Learn more about Victoria by following the links below:
History of Victoria
1005 4th Street
About this Exploration:
Victoria was founded as an English colony by George Grant, a successful silk merchant and Scottish nobleman. In the early 1870s, his search for a large countryside estate in England that would be suitable for retirement did not prove to be a successful endeavor. He came to America in 1872 to explore the vast open plains and found what he was looking for in the great fertile prairies of Kansas. He envisioned the development of this region into a profitable agricultural and livestock producing area. He purchased an estimated 70,000 acres from the Union Pacific Railroad in October 1872. This was land that was mostly south of the current day community of Victoria.
When he returned to England, he carried out his plan of selling large tracts of the land to men of wealth that he knew in England. He organized these British and Scottish noblemen in preparations for the journey to America. On April 1, 1973, a delegation of 38, including men, women and children left the harbor of Glasgow England and traveled by ship to New Orleans, up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and by train to the land he had purchased in Kansas. They arrived on May 17th and soon began to build their new homes and form a town he named Victoria, in honor of Queen Victoria of England. The original town site was generally in an area south of today’s railroad tracks and east of Main Street.
The town grew slowly over the next few years, but two severe winters, prairie fires, drought in the summers and other hardships caused despair among the colonists and some returned home to England. After the death of George Grant in April 1878, many more moved away, gave up on the farming or returned back to England.
In 1876, Germans who were immigrating to Kansas from the Volga River region of Russia, began to settle in Ellis County. On April 8, 1876 a group from Herzog Russia settled north and west of the town of Victoria on the east bank of Victoria Creek. Another group of Germans from Russia arrived on August 3rd. These Germans were accustomed to the hard work associated with farming and even though they had many hardships with the rough winters, drought and poor crops the first several years, their community continued to grow.
More Volga German immigrants settled in Herzog and it became the largest and most important German-Russian colony in Ellis County. Eventually the new settlement of Herzog and the colony of Victoria grew together as one town but they kept the English name of the first settlement and in 1913, the German-Russian village was officially named Victoria.
City Clerk - Mary Pfeifer
1005 4th St.
Victoria, KS 67671