Bypaths of Kansas History - May 1937
(vol. 6, no. 2, pages 200 to 210
Transcribed by lhn; digitized with permission of
the Kansas State Historical Society.
SKETCH OF A BORDER RUFFIAN
From the Geary City (Doniphan county) Era, August 1, 1857.
Dr. Gihon, the private secretary of Ex-Governor Geary, in his forthcoming work on Kansas, gives the following truthful and graphic picture of the world-renowned Border Ruffian. Every citizen of Kansas will attest to its accuracy. As the race is fast becoming extinct, so few now being found who will acknowledge the name, they will soon be as scarce as witches.-Hence a painting of them drawn from life will in a few years be of great interest:
"Active preparations for war were discernible at all the river towns. At Lexington, a large crowd was assembled on the levee, many of the persons comprising it loaded with arms. But at Kansas City, the warlike demonstrations were still greater. This town is on the southern side of the mouth of Kansas river, which, at this point, separates Missouri from the territory of Kansas. It is situated about five miles from Westport, near the eastern landing of Kansas where the Missouri army was concentrating preparatory to the invasion of the territory. Both of these towns have become notorious as places of refuge for the most desperate characters, whose almost nameless crimes have blackened the annals of Kansas, and as being the resorts of numerous combinations which have there congregated to plot against its peace. In a word, they are the strongholds of the worst of the `Border Ruffians.'
"Let it not be understood that this latter term is considered by those to whom it is applied as one of reproach. On the contrary, they boast of it, are proud of it, glory in it, and do all in their power to merit it, and very many of them have been eminently successful. In their manner they assume the character of the ruffian-in their dress they exhibit the appearance of the ruffian-and in their conversation they are ruffians indeed. They imitate and resemble the guerrillas, ladrones, or greasers of Mexico-the brigands of Spain or Italy, or the pirates, robbers and murderers of the theatre. On the levee at Kansas City stood a sort of omnibus or wagon, used to convey passengers to and from Westport, upon either side of which was painted, in flaming capitals, the words `BORDER RUFFIAN'. Standing about in groups, or running in every direction, were numbers of the men who claim for themselves that gentle appellation.
"A description of one of these will give the reader some idea of their general characteristics. Imagine, then, a man standing in a pair of long boots, covered with dust and mud, and drawn over his trousers, the latter made of coarse, fancy-colored cloth, well soiled-the handle of a large bowie-knife projecting from one or both boot-tops--a leather belt buckled around his waist, on each side of which is fastened a large revolver-a red or blue shirt, with a heart, anchor, eagle, or some other favorite device braided on the breast and back, over which is swung a rifle or carbine-a sword dangling by his side-an old slouched hat, with a cockade or brass star on the front or side, and a chicken, goose or turkey feather sticking in the top-hair uncut and uncombed, covering his neck and shoulders-an unshaved face and unwashed hands. Imagine such
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a picture of humanity, who can swear a given number of oaths in any specific time, drink any quantity of bad whisky without getting drunk, and boast of having stolen a half-dozen horses and killed one or more abolitionists, and you will have a pretty fair conception of a border ruffian as he appeared in Missouri and Kansas."
FINANCIAL PROSPECTS FOR 1858
From The Kansas Crusader of Freedom, Doniphan City, January 30, 1858.
Money is very scarce in Kansas. But we believe that there will be more money in the territory next summer than in any state in the union, in proportion to population. The Utah expedition has already cost $6,000,000; the army has already lost 1,700 mules and between 3,000 and 4,000 head of cattle. The probability is that all their stock will be gone before spring. This stock, the feed and fodder-every kind of agricultural produce-will have to be replaced. It will give a market to our farmers-who will sell for cash, at the highest prices, all that they can raise. Let Eastern Emigrants, who have stock, bring them on.
ANNEXATION OF "SOUTH PLATTE," NEBRASKA, TO KANSAS
From The Weekly Highlander, Highland, January 1,1859.
For two years past-in fact ever since the organization of Nebraska and Kansas, there has been considerable said in Congress and out of it as to the practical operations and beneficial results most likely to arise by annexing "South Platte," Nebraska, to Kansas. As a journalist, and private citizen, together with, we are satisfied, a great majority of the citizens of Nebraska residing south of the Platte river, we have opposed such a proposition for the single reason that we would thus become mixed up in the "Kansas troubles." These difficulties being now removed, or settled, we are forced to admit that there are many and weighty reasons in favor of the movement. We will hastily give a few arguments that present themselves to our mind.
In the first place, the Platte river is a natural boundary line; has been, is and always will be, an almost inseparable barrier, dividing the two sections of Nebraska, known as "North Platte," and "South Platte" Full one-half the season it is utterly impassable. It cannot be bridged except at an enormous expense; and should this be done, owing to the treacherous embankments and bed of the river, nine chances to one, the first freshet after its completion, would sweep it away.
Again, there has grown up a bitter sectional or local feeling between those two portions of the country, entering into almost every question that may be agitated; which always has and always will prevent harmonious effort, and retard the progress and development of the territory. In short, there are no interests in common at stake.
And still again while we remain as we are we cannot reasonably expect to be admitted into the great sisterhood of states short of ten years to come. We have not the population to gain admittance. We have not the financial ability to sustain ourselves as an independent state government.
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In the second place, the line as it now exists between Kansas and Nebraska is really only imaginary-on paper-in passing from one to the other it cannot be found. Not even a atone or a stake denotes the separating line, except, perhaps, some private mark of the surveyor known only to himself. The natural interests of the two sections spoken of are one and the same; nature has so arranged, and it cannot be otherwise.
By annexation, we assist to swell a population sufficiently large to gain immediate admission into the union, and thus take our place in the rank as a sovereign state, with a voice, votes, and influence in our national council. We become identified with a portion of the country possessing a world-wide notoriety. And however much we may deplore the manner of obtaining, and the cost of that notoriety, yet we must admit Kansas has an advertisement unprecedented; attention has been drawn to her from, we might say, almost every portion of the known world. We become attached to, and gain a population and wealth; a section of country susceptible of agricultural advancement and internal improvements, proportionate with our own. We become joint participants in the extensive land donations which usually follow the admission of new states, and will thereby be enabled to adopt and carry out a system of internal improvements, and consequent development, which will in a surprisingly short time, make a state of unsurpassed wealth, prosperity and greatness. We become possessed of the power to regulate and govern our own affairs; we pass from minority into majority, become men of full stature; breathe free, feel free, and are free.
We have briefly given a few of our individual ideas in relation to this matter, in this number of our paper. We shall refer to it again; perhaps frequently; and in the meantime would be pleased to hear from others who may feel disposed to present their ideas through the columns of the Advertiser, either for or against.
We have conversed with a number of prominent citizens of Nemaha, Johnson, and Clay counties within a few days past, and find a very general opinion in favor of annexation. We trust, however, that no action will be asked of, or taken by Congress, until an expression by petition or otherwise, of the citizens interested, can be had: Brownville [Neb.) Advertiser.
ANNEXATION MEETING AT BROWNVILLE, NEBRASKA.-A meeting of the citizens of Brownville was called on Tuesday evening of the present week, at the new Presbyterian church, to take into consideration the expediency of calling a convention of the people of South Platte portion of Nebraska, for the purpose of obtaining an expression of their views and feelings in regard to annexation to Kansas.
The meeting being organized by the appointment of Richard Brown as president, and O. B. Hewett, secretary, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, the question of annexing that portion of Nebraska south of the Platte river to the territory of Kansas is beginning seriously to agitate the public mind, and the measure is one that so materially concerns the interests of the people of that section of Nebraska, as to merit their prompt and serious consideration; and whereas, we, the citizens of Brownville, and Nemaha county, deem it desirable that a conference of the people of South Platte should be held, and an interchange of views and feelings upon the subject
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should be had, and further, that a time and place for holding such a conference should be appointed:
Therefore be it resolved, that the people of every county of South Platte, Nebraska, be, and are hereby invited to meet with the people of Nemaha county in a convention to be held at the city of Brownville on the first Wednesday of January, A. B. 1859, for the purpose of interchanging views and obtaining the sense of the people of that section of Nebraska upon the proposed annexation to Kansas.
Resolved; that we do earnestly urge upon our fellow-citizens the importance of such a convention being held, and that in selecting Brownville as the point for holding it, we are influenced only by consideration of its local convenience to the whole South Platte.
Resolved; that we recommend to our fellow-citizens of other counties, that they do immediately take steps to secure a representation in the proposed convention, and that the citizens of Nemaha county be requested to meet on Wednesday the 15th instant, at Peru, for the purpose of appointing delegates to the South Platte convention.
Resolved,-that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the Advertiser and Journal of Brownville, and that all papers favorable to the proposed convention be requested to copy them.
A BUFFALO HUNT
From The Commercial Gazette, Wyandotte, December 1,1860.
John P. Alden, T. J. Darling, I. D. Heath, John Blachly and Alanson Reeve started from Wyandott on Thursday, Sept. 27th, as our readers were informed at the time, on an expedition in search of buffalo, with the determination to bring back some meat if there was any to be found in the buffalo country. Messrs. Alden, Darling and Heath arrived home with the ponies and light wagon on Thursday night of last week, the 22d inst., having been gone just eight weeks. Messrs. Blachly and Reeve came in with the ox teams on Sunday night, bringing the "spoils" amounting to over 5,000 pounds of as fine buffalo meat as ever tickled the palate of a hungry man.
By conversation with members of the party, and a hasty glance at the diary of one of them, we have gathered some items in regard to the expedition which may be of interest to our readers.
They took along two ox teams, each two yoke of oxen, a pair of ponies with a light wagon, a small rat terrier and a big dog.
In the way of outfit they had a tent, three Sharp's and one muzzle-loading rifle, two shot guns for small game, three Colt's revolvers, navy size, five lbs. powder, ten lbs. shot, twenty-five lbs. lead, five sacks flour, two aides bacon, one bushel onions, one bushel potatoes, seven bushels corn meal, four cwt. salt, fifty lbs. sugar, ten lbs. coffee, five gallons sorghum, one gallon common molasses, table salt, pepper, ginger, pipes and tobacco for three smokers, &c.,
Thursday, Sept. 27th, started from Wyandott, crossed the bridge to the south side of the Kansas, went through Shawnee and camped on Mill creek, having made about 16 miles.
Friday, Sept. 28th, went about 15 miles and camped on the prairie.
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Saturday, Sept. 29, went a little beyond Lawrence, camped near the forks of the road, and stayed over Sunday. Heavy thunder shower Saturday night and drizzling rain most of Sunday.
Monday, Oct. 1st, started in the afternoon, made about 9 miles, and camped about 4 miles S. E. of Lecompton.
Tuesday, 2d, went on about 2 miles beyond Tecumseh and camped. Killed some prairie chickens. Met a good many people going out of the territory, but most of them said they were coming back in the spring.
Wednesday, 3d, went about five miles beyond Topeka, crossing the Kaw at that place, and camped on Soldier creek, just west of Indianola, in the Pottawatomie reserve.
Thursday, 4th, drove on past Silver Lake, and past the council house of the Pottawatomies, and paid outrageous toll over Cross creek bridge, when, had we taken the left hand road at Silver Lake would have had an excellent ford with a shorter and better road, as proved on return. Crossed a toll bridge over Mud creek, 7 miles from Cross creek, (a poor ford close by,) camped one and half miles this side of St. Mary's mission, making a day's drive of 22 miles.
Friday, 5th, passed the mission, which is a Catholic institution for the Indians. Grounds neatly fenced and kept, buildings of wood, and beginning to show age. Went on over Lost creek on a toll bridge, (which may be avoided by going a little lower down,) and camped on the Vermillion.
Saturday, 6th, drove through Louisville, which is just west of the reserve over a beautiful rolling prairie, camped at Pittsburg, at the mouth of the Big Blue, and remained over Sunday.
Monday, Oct. 8th, drove through Manhattan and Ogden, and camped two miles this side of Fort Riley.
Tuesday, 9th, drove by the fort and Junction City, and camped at Kansas Falls, eight miles beyond Junction.
Wednesday, 10th, drove across Chapman's creek, and 16 miles further across Mud creek, and camped two miles beyond Mud creek, having driven 24 miles. Here prairie chickens, ducks and geese were abundant, and buffaloes in countless numbers had been seen but ten days previous, between Chapman's and Mud creeks. Darling and Heath had their first shot at buffalo about three miles off the road. Had a bard time looking for camp, and finally gave it up and passed a cold uncomfortable night at the mouth of Solomon, eight miles beyond Mud creek.
Thursday, 11th, the teams having come up about 11 o'clock, spent the rest of the day in fishing and shooting ducks. Caught a barrel of fish and salted it down.
Friday, 12th, drove on up Solomon, and camped on Hard-crossing creek (fitly named). There the buffalo carcasses were very numerous, showing that there had been great slaughter among them a few weeks previous. A good many Irish and German settlers in this neighborhood. Shot at more buffalo.
Saturday, 13th drove on across Sand creek, a beautiful soft water stream, and camped on Solomon. Shot at more buffalo, but brought none down yet.
Sunday, 14th, forded Solomon and camped on Salt creek. Saw a few wild turkeys. The timber consists of cottonwood, burr oak, white oak, black walnut and elm.
Monday, 15th, killed three buffalo, and brought two, nicely dressed into camp before sundown. Lost the other from not being able to dress it soon
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enough. Buffalo must be dressed immediately after being killed, or the meat will spoil. Two of these were killed each with a single ball, while the third was so tenacious of life that he refused to give up till he had nearly a pound of lead under his skin.
Tuesday, 16th, spent the day cutting up beef, and commencing the process of "jerking." Cut up the hind quarters in thin slices, across the grain, which are then dipped in hot brine, or allowed to lie in cold brine all night, and afterwards the meat is spread upon small strips of wood or upon wire, and dried by smoke, sun and wind.
Wednesday, Oct. 17th, Darling, Blachly and Reeve went out and brought in one buffalo, nicely dressed. Some one remained in camp all the time.
Thursday, 18th, killed a fat young buffalo, and "jerked" the whole.
Friday, 19th, killed one buffalo.
Saturday, 20th, killed three buffalos, but saved only one of them.
Monday, 22d, Alden, Blachly and Reeve killed four buffalos late in the afternoon, about four miles from camp. Went after the meat with the ox team, and returned about 2 o'clock in the night, with all the hind quarters, and some of the fore shoulders.
Tuesday, 23d, spent all day curing our beeves.
Wednesday, 24th, killed one buffalo.
Thursday, 25th, killed nichts.
Friday, 26th, had a severe thunder storm. First day on the hunting ground that the weather has been other than most delightful weather.
Saturday, 27th, cold drizzling rain all day. Darling and Heath killed three buffalo between sun-down and dark. Two fell at the first fire with one bullet each. Walked eight miles into camp, ate supper enough to astonish the nation, went back with the ponies, light wagon and blankets, dressed our buffalo and slept by the meat.
Sunday, 28th, moved camp higher up Salt creek, and brought in our meat.
Monday, 29th, spent all day curing our meat. Beautiful day.
Tuesday, 30th, killed one buffalo.
Wednesday, 31st, killed three buffalos, but saved nothing but two tongues and one hide. They were run till the meat was heated before they were killed.
Thursday, Nov. 1, killed one buffalo. All right.
Friday, Nov. 2d, it snowed, rained and hailed all day.
Saturday, Nov. 3d, killed four buffalos, which finished the hunt.
Sunday, Nov. 4th, a beautiful day.
Monday, Nov. 5th, began packing up for return home.
Tuesday, 6th, finished packing, and all ready for an early start.
Wednesday, 7th, opened cold, wet and gloomy. Broke up camp towards night, and traveled two miles towards home.
Here we will drop the diary, having stated in the outset that our hunter friends got home safely, and subjoin some reflections by one of the party.
"This hunt we all will ever remember as one of the pleasantest episodes of our lives. We examined the country thoroughly, and it is our opinion that the bottom lands of the Solomon, Saline and Smoky Hill will support an immense population, for richer lands cannot be found. The country back is rolling and much of it very rough. It is not fit for cultivation, but will make a most excellent grazing country, and will fatten countless herds. Beautiful springs are abundant.
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"On the whole the hunt was a complete success. Each one gained about twenty pounds. Let every one who wishes to smell God's pure air, enjoy the most perfect health, eat enough to frighten himself and his friends, and grow fat, go on just such a trip, and we will insure recovery from disease, and confusion to physicians."
POSTAGE STAMPS FOR CURRENCY
From the Freedom's Champion, Atchison, October 18,1862.
The following order has been issued to postmasters. It explains itself.
POSTOFFICE DEPARTMENT, FINANCE OFFICE, September 27, 1862.
Sir: Postmasters are instructed not to sell stamps knowingly for use for currency. The department is at present unable to supply one half the current demand, by reason of large sales by postmasters to the public to supply the want of small change. Respectfully yours,
A. N. ZEVELY,
Third Assistant P. M. General.
CHEYENNE SCALPS, TEN CENTS EACH
From the Junction City Weekly Union, December 28, 1867.
Our town has been full of Kaw Indians during the past week. They have abandoned their regular winter hunt on account of the hostility of the Cheyennes. When they came to town Stover was here, but instead of introducing them, as was his duty, he left town and has not been heard of since. The party brought in about twenty-five Cheyenne scalps, which they retailed out along the road in small bits at ten cents a piece, which was a business transaction. We believe this is the first time they have visited us since the locomotive came among us, and their gaping astonishment is indescribable.
STATE CAPITOL SQUARE IN 1875
From The Commonwealth, Topeka, April 3,1875.
The law creating a board of state house commissioners has been repealed and the legislature has abandoned the capitol square to the cows. The secretary of state is the custodian of the miniature Sahara which encompasses the state house, and he has no appropriations in his hands to expend upon the grounds. He therefore solicits "aid" in rendering the grounds at least respectable in appearance. Citizens are invited to set out trees in the inclosure, and places will be assigned to those who wish to do so. The grounds ought to possess one or more specimens of every tree native to Kansas. Topeka is interested in seeing the public ground beautified. Ample pasturage for cows can be found elsewhere.
From the Concordia Empire, October 20, 1876.
On Saturday last we were asked by Mr. Jonathan Fulford if we had "heard about the snakes:" We hadn't, and he proceeded to tell us a story that we at first thought incredible, but which we were at last fair to believe, and which
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now know to be true, having seen the horrid sight; and can vouch with sworn affidavit if necessary, as can others who may have visited the scene within the past two weeks, as to the truth of what we have to relate.
On the 2d inst., toward evening, a young son of Mr. A. Thompson, who lives about 81/2 miles from town southward, was passing over a hill on the farm of Mr. Gibbs Myers, a neighbor, in quest of his father's cattle, when he accidentally stepped into a small hole, and drawing his leg out quickly, drew with it several serpents. The sight frightened the lad, and he ran home with all speed and reported his experience. He soon returned, however, with another lad, and found that the hilltop was the home of a community of crawling reptiles, and before they left the spot they had dispatched forty-six.
The matter was now reported among the neighbors, and on the following day, Messrs. J. Fulford, T. R. Graves, and B. Bessee went to the place indicated, and began a war upon the serpents, finding that the hole into which the boy had stepped was the resort of hundreds of the snakes, and that the hill-top was literally "alive" with them. They dug down to a crevice between two upright stones about two feet below the surface and then fought for hours, killing hundreds, and still apparently making not the least diminution in their numbers.
Day after day this work went on, until last Sunday the dead snakes were picked up and counted and placed in a pile near the mouth of the den. The number of 1,776 was counted 1 and still the work of killing goes on from day to day. We went to the place on Monday accompanied by L. H. Smyth, and the astounding sight of near 2,000 snakes in one pile met our gaze, with live ones still in apparently undiminished numbers upon the hill. We killed fifteen in as many minutes and had enough, while two little lads were all the time at work. And the work of killing has been going on ever since, until now we hear that about 3,000 have been dispatched, and there are hundreds, perhaps thousands left!
The snakes are of the species called the blue racer, with a sprinkling of adders, and vary in size from the thickness of a man's finger to that of his wrist and in length from a foot to four or five feet. They run with remarkable speed, and at first were cowardly, endeavoring to escape and not much disposed to show fight. They are now, however, becoming vicious, and show fight, and at times get startlingly aggressive.
A reasonable theory is that the hole leads to a cavern somewhere in the depths of the hill, where there are many thousands possibly of writhing serpents; and that they have gathered here from all directions for a winter residence. Some think they are poisonous; others that they are harmless, except the "hissing adders," which are doubtless venomous. At all events, Mr. Graves informs us that three horses that had grazed upon the hill during the "raid" have had severe spells of sickness.
The above statement is absolutely true, and the sight is worth a pilgrimage to see.
Now what is to be done? A work of extermination should be set about and carried to completion. A blast has been suggested; but something should be done to rid the neighborhood of such an ugly mass of possibly venomous reptiles. Let a plan be devised, a time set, and a snake-killing "bee" organized to see what may be hidden in the gloomy depths of that horrid hill.
Issue of October 27, 1876.
THE SLAUGHTER OF THE SNAKES: We understand that a number of our citizens were out to the snake den last Sunday, and that three hundred more of the serpents were killed; so that the number killed up to Sunday evening was stated to be 3,6001
It was proposed to unearth the reptiles this week by blasting. We would suggest, in this connection, that the pile of decaying snakes should be either buried deeply in the ground or covered with lime, or it will soon be dangerous to be in their vicinity.
Since writing the above paragraph we have received a note from Mr. T. R. Graves, saying that he and others visited the snake den on Monday, and killed two hundred more.
Judge Borton who was on the ground yesterday, says 350 were killed that day.
THE BONE BUSINESS
From the Dodge City Times, August 3, 1878.
A large number of teams came in from the range Wednesday loaded with bones, which were gathered for miles south. A regular business in gathering bones has long been established though not so profitable as formerly. Carcasses are not as numerous, the buffalo is becoming extinct and the long horn gives up his bones to the slaughter pen, being driven over the plains with less loss. There are thousands of buffalo and cattle that are killed and die annually; and the bones are gathered at all seasons of the year, thus affording constant employment to a large number of men and teams. The bones are shipped East by the carloads, where they are ground and used for fertilizing and manufactured into numerous useful articles. The bone business extends over a great portion of western Kansas.
NO QUESTIONS, PLEASE!
From the Belleville Telescope, June 12, 1879.
An emigrant passed through this place the other day with the following painted on the side of his wagon, from which we would infer that he was from Boston, and bound for Edwards county, Kansas, and did not wish to be bored with questions: "Boston Mass.; through line west; read this and ask no questions; refreshment and sleeping car; take our advice and go west, or where you darned please, but don't keep stopping us."
TIMBER IN WESTERN KANSAS
From the Republican Citizen, Atwood, November 5,1880.
People who are desirous of seeking homes on the frontier, or in the land of the "cow boys" and where coyotes visit the chicken pantry, are zealous in looking over the columns of our periodicals to see what there is in the shape of timber. Is it hazel brush, under-brush jack-oaks, cottonwood, or is there any brush or wood of any description? I hazard the assertion that in all the great states of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota, in all this great domain of real-estate, not a solitary county exists but what contains timber of some kind,
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let it be large or small, hard or soft; consequently Cheyenne is not an exception to the general rule. At present there are plenty of claims with good timber and splendid water, but six months hence such may not be the case. The majority of such may be found in the northern half of Cheyenne, while the southern has little or none of that genera, excepting a very little on the banks of the South Beaver which meanders through the southeast corner of the county. In the northeast part on Big Timber creek, there you will find big timber sure enough-trees so large that if cut into stove wood would be sufficient to last an ordinary stove one year. Now this may seem an exaggeration of a sane man's veracity, but it is nevertheless true and in a prairie country too. Timber is found for distance of ten miles on this stream from the source which heads near Kepferle post office. The South Fork affords some nice cottonwood along the banks for fifteen miles from its mouth, which is found on the north line of the county. It comes from the southwest out of Colorado, but after you pass the center of the county you find scarcely anything on the stream to burn except buffalo chips, which are in abundance and make the hottest fires when dry. Many a poor man has been and is compelled to resort to this kind of fuel, and finds it a very good substitute on the prairie, and cheap as dirt. Hackberry and Plum creeks in the northwest quarter of the county, have some excellent timber, both fruit trees and fire-wood. But very few claims are taken in that part of the county. One man and his better half have recently settled on the Hackberry, and are hard at work building a log house. Beside what has been mentioned, there is a vast amount of timber on the North Fork of the Republican, only fifteen miles from the center of the county. On Landsman creek just across in Colorado, you will find timber on the west side of this county. But one year hence timber will be replaced as fuel by coal, brought by the B. & M. Railroad from Denver. The cost of the coal will be six dollars a ton delivered here. This is encouraging surely to those who wish to locate in the "Garden of Eden," only 165 miles east of the golden city of Denver, the greatest and best market between St. Louis and San Francisco. Denver is the city of the fastest progress in population and wealth of any in the last decade in the United States. Whatever else may be said on the fuel question in this corner of Kansas we leave until another time.
"THROW OUT THE LIFE-LINE"
From Session Laws, Kansas, 1903, Ch. 67, pp. 113, 114.
REGULATING THE USE OF AUTOMOBILES
MANY patrons of the Kansas State Historical Society are in touch with the Society only through the medium of the Quarterly. Unfortunately this does not permit access to the 50,000 pound volumes of newspapers, or the 300,000-odd books, pamphlets, and magazine volumes, or the million manuscript. pieces, or the numerous broadsides and dodgers-all of which make up the story of Kansas. These collections represent several generations in the state's history. In them are found the records of the times-the accounts of happenings that were important in the lives of individuals and communities. It seems appropriate that as many of these little-mentioned bypaths be explored as space and time will permit; hence this department.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
SECTION 1. That the term "automobile" and "motor vehicle" as used in this act shall be construed to include all types and grades of motor vehicles propelled by electricity, steam, gasoline, or other source of energy, commonly known as automobiles, motor vehicles, or horseless carriages, using the public highways and not running on rails or tracks. Nothing in this section shall be construed as in any way preventing, obstructing, impeding, embarrassing or in any other manner or form infringing upon the prerogative of any political
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chauffeur to run an automobilious band-wagon at any rate he sees fit compatible with the safety of the occupants thereof: Provided, however, That not less than ten nor more than twenty ropes be allowed at all times to trail behind this vehicle when in motion, in order to permit those who have been so fortunate as to escape with their political lives an opportunity to be dragged to death: And provided further, That whenever a mangled and bleeding political corpse implores for mercy, the driver of the vehicle shall, in accordance with the provisions of this bill, "Throw out the lifeline."
SEC. 5. No automobile or other motor vehicle shall be run on any public highway outside the limits of the thickly settled or business part of any city or town at a speed exceeding twenty miles an hour, and no such vehicle shall be run on any public street or highway within the thickly settled or business part of any city or town at a speed exceeding ten miles an hour.