Wellsville, located in the northeast corner of Franklin County, Kansas was once known as the “English Blue Grass Capitol” of the world for its production of grass seed. The community was once part of the land ceded to and then reacquired from the Shawnee Indians.
Scattered settlement of the Wellsville Area began in the 1850’s. The city itself dates back to the first known survey of the area by Mr. Wells in September, 1870, who was surveying for the Santa Fe Railroad. The name “Wellsville”, was derived from Mr. Wells. The completion of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1870 encouraged growth and development of the community. The first plat of the City was submitted by P.O. Elder on May 1, 1872, and has been accepted as the official map. The City was incorporated July 8, 1884.
The old bank building at 418 Main was the town’s first brick edifice, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The renovated home at 113 E. 5th, just east of Main, was the former Barabeau Hotel, the first building in Wellsville. Several early homes exist. Of note is the Hostetter home at the end of north Main.
Wellsville is the home of renowned artist, Elizabeth “Grandma” Layton.