By JUSTIN SABATA
During Monday’s special Ellis County Commission meeting, Hays’ notorious Noose Road was officially changed to Rome Road following the decision made during last week’s meeting.
It was previously reported the road would be changed to Rome Avenue. However, given that East and West roads in Ellis County are identified as “roads” (north and south roads as “avenues”), the commission decided to keep up with the tradition in order to assist emergency services.
The change came after the controversy of Noose Road arose again on social media earlier in the month, with several residents calling for the change. These events also come as a result of the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement and the increase in sensitivity towards African-Americans and African-American culture.
Rome, Kan., was an 1860’s settlement a mile west of current Hays and was officially the first town in Ellis County (Rome, Hays and Ellis County were all founded in 1867). The majority of residents were railroad construction workers for the Kansas Pacific Railway.
The area also had the keen interest of Wild West legend Willliam “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who was initially brought to the area to supply the workers with buffalo meat. However, after a brief but eventful rivalry with what was then Hays City, Rome was quickly abandoned within the year. More information on Rome can be found on the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau website.
The name change will cost approximately $250 for new road signs. The Ellis County Commission will meet publicly again July 6. Residents can view the meetings on Ellis County’s YouTube and Facebook pages.