Volga German settlers began arriving in Ellis County in the mid-1870's. These frontier settlers were so named because prior to coming to the United States they had settled along the Volga River in Russia. Coming from a harsh climate, the Volga Germans were able to adapt and thrive in their new home. They learned to use what nature provided. A good example of this is their use of limestone in the absence of lumber. This can still be seen today in their homes, churches and fence posts. Being a very religious people, they expressed creativity in the construction of beautiful churches, many of which are still in use in the communities surrounding Hays. The most famous of the churches is the magnificent St. Fidelis Church, more commonly referred to as "the Cathedral of the Plains", which stands today as a monument to the Volga German immigrants and their enduring lifestyle.
To: Ellis County
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