ABILENE -- Jim Gray will present "The Kansas Cattle Towns" at 7:00 the evening of Saturday, June 18th. The location is the Dickinson County Heritage Center, in Abilene. These cattle towns are part of the Wild and Wooly West History.
“The Cowboy” Jim Gray, Geneseo, Kansas, is a 6th generation Kansan. His family has been in Kansas since it became a territory in 1855. Great-grandfather, George Gray, set up Gray’s Ranch in central Kansas in 1883.
In 1996, Gray and Ellsworth, Kansas native Linda Kohls established the C.O.W.B.O.Y. (Cockeyed Old West Band Of Yahoos) Society to promote and preserve the Cowboy heritage of Kansas through The Kansas Cowboy, a bi-monthly (six issues a year) newspaper. The articles researched and written by Gray examine the frontier history of Kansas from Gray’s own unique perspective on history. “I’ve always had an interest in things that have gone before. These Kansas plains have been witness to untold stories of joy and desperation. Many have been told over and over. Others have lapsed beyond recognition.”
Gray authored "Desperate Seed: Ellsworth Kansas" on the Violent Frontier in 2009. "Desperate Seed" is a history of the founding years of Ellsworth, Kansas, in the exceedingly violent years on the plains following the American Civil War. Ellsworth’s beginnings were distinctly unique as the town’s founders struggled to establish order amid the chaos of reckless adventurers, flood, disease and Indian attack. The history of Ellsworth is the story of the opening of West with all of its intensity and intrigue. Author Rod Beemer calls Desperate Seed “…The Rest of the Story about the old West’s railheads, outlaws, lawmen and tough towns.”
The Way West, a weekly newspaper column about Old West Kansas, is Gray’s newest venture available in publications across the state of Kansas. The Way West discovers the past with enthusiasm and expression so realistic that readers feel as if they are actually there. Whether it’s his latest column, book, or the recent issue of the Kansas Cowboy, Gray writes in a unique style that puts flesh and blood onto the bones of stories that have been buried but not forgotten.