As the result of a long series of wars beginning in colonial times, the United States by the early 1820s contained a large subject population of American Indians. Eventually the country turned to Indian removal, a policy which from 1825 to 1843 relocated more than one hundred thousand people from their homes in the East to new reservations west of the Mississippi River. The new permanent military Indian frontier coursed through present-day Minnesota and Iowa and more or less followed today's Kansas-Missouri, Oklahoma-Arkansas, and Texas-Louisiana state boundaries, thus separating the U.S. from Indian Territory.
More than 10,000 emigrant Indians from about two dozen tribes or nations were brought to Kansas. Two of the eight military posts spanning the permanent military Indian frontier, Fort Leavenworth and Fort Scott, tried to maintain order among the emigrant Indians and U.S. citizens along the borders of Indian Territory.
Troops traveling between Forts Leavenworth and Scott sometimes crossed the Kansas River on a ferry operated by Moses Grinter. A native of Kentucky, Grinter married Annie Marshall, a Lenape (Delaware) Indian whose people had been relocated to the Fort Leavenworth Indian Agency in the early 1830s. Moses and Annie Grinter's later home, a two-story brick house completed in 1857, is preserved today as the oldest home in Wyandotte County.
From 1855 to 1860 Moses Grinter operated a trading post, a business that sold about one hundred sixty types of goods (clothing, powder and bullets, perfume, sugar, and scissors, among other things) to the Delawares in exchange for cash and furs. The Grinters also farmed, raised poultry and livestock, and planted an apple orchard on their farmstead. During the Civil War one of their sons served in the Fifteenth Kansas Calvary.
Moses Grinter died in 1878, and upon the death of Annie in 1905 their son-in-law and daughter, Reverend Henry C. and Martha V. Grinter Kirby, moved into the residence. Henry and Martha's daughter sold the residence and land in 1950 to a family who owned and operated a chicken-dinner restaurant on the site until the mid-1960s. Through the assistance of the Junior League of Kansas City, Kansas and the Grinter Place Friends, the state of Kansas acquired the site in 1971, which it now administers as Grinter Place Historic Site.
Entry: Grinter Place
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: August 2002
Date Modified: November 2012
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.