The town of Rome was established in May of 1867. However, the details surrounding the rise and fall of this small town are not clear. The first inhabitants of Rome appear to have been the Lull brothers from Salina, Kansas. Whether they were the town founders, emissaries of the founders, or simply the first businessmen remains a question. Also unclear is the roll William Cody played in the town's history. Some accounts credit Cody and his partner, William Rose, with the founding of Rome.
Cody as a scout for the Army and Rose as a railroad contractor may have had information that could have led them to choose the site as a good location for a town, as neither the railroad nor the Fort were in the area when Rome was first settled. Regardless of their questionable status as founders, both Cody and Rose were avid promoters of the town.
The town of Hays City was established in August of 1867. By the time the railroad arrived in October, many of the businesses of Rome relocated to Hays City and the last businesses moved in the spring of 1868. A stone marker on western outskirts of Hays shows the approximate location of the Rome townsite.