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Kansas Historical Quarterly - Kansas Historical Markers

Texts by Kirke Mechem



November, 1941 (Vol. 10, No. 4), pages 339 to 368.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

Chisholm Trail marker

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UNTIL recent years it was the practice to erect historical markers on the sites where the events occurred. Frequently these places were inaccessible and usually the history consisted of a few words on a plaque or monument. It was assumed that only those already familiar with the facts would be interested. Today, however, with thousands of tourists on the highways, history is being marked where those who ride may read. Inscriptions on roadside markers often tell of events that happened miles away, and the history of a region may be condensed in one text.

Kansas has recently erected fifty-six of these modern markers. The project was sponsored by the Kansas State Chamber of Commerce when Roy Bailey of Salina was president. It got under way in 1934 at a meeting attended by Mr. Bailey, Fred Brinkerhoff of Pittsburg, Samuel Wilson of Topeka, W. E. Archer of Hiawatha, and Frank Haucke of Council Grove, representing the State Chamber, and Kirke Mechem, secretary of the Kansas Historical Society. Details of construction were worked out with engineers of the State Highway Commission after a study of similar signs in other states. In 1938, towards the end of Gov. Walter Huxman's administration, one marker was built. In 1940 Gov. Payne Ratner authorized D. J. Fair, director of highways, to erect fifty as the beginning of a program which he hoped would continue until all important sites were marked.

These first fifty were chosen by the state committee from a list of one hundred prepared by the Historical Society. They are not offered as the principal historic sites in Kansas. A few of those selected were not marked because it was impossible to secure rights of way. Among the omissions are Shawnee Methodist Mission, Shawnee Baptist Mission, Leavenworth, Fort Leavenworth and Osawatomie. Many others will be noted. Kansas is so rich in history that several hundred markers could be placed. Continuation of the project rests with the governor and the Highway Commission-and the state of the budget.

Inscriptions for the markers were written by Kirke Mechem, secretary of the Historical Society. Research was done by members of the staff. A Vast and often contradictory collection of notes about each site was accumulated. Books, pamphlets, newspapers, govern

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ment documents, maps, clippings and manuscripts by the hundreds were consulted. Controversies over dates, locations, names and events had to be settled. First drafts usually ran to several hundred words, to be condensed to one hundred and fifty. Sometimes as many as twenty-five revisions were necessary. Although accuracy was the first essential it was recognized that the texts must be more than a list of dates and names. The ideal was a blending of epigram, fact and poetry, obviously unattainable. The result is a series of inscriptions, however, which it is hoped will suggest something of the color and Variety of the state's history.

For more than a year this Society has had the generous cooperation of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the Highway Commission, which is responsible for building, placing and maintaining the markers. Fred Brinkerhoff, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce committee, Roy Bailey, Samuel Wilson, D. J. Fair, state highway director, R. B. Wills, state highway engineer, Leslie E. Edmonds, superintendent of public relations, and Franklin Rose, landscape engineer, have taken a personal interest in the program. Mention should also be made of Nyle Miller, research director of the Historical Society, who checked statements of fact with the records.

The texts and locations of fifty-five of the markers follow. The fifty-sixth, the Geographic Center marker, appears as a picture.

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THE INDIAN AND THE BUFFALO

THE BUFFALO WAS THE DEPARTMENT STORE OF THE PLAINS INDIAN. THE FLESH WAS FOOD, THE BLOOD WAS DRINK, SKINS FURNISHED WIGWAMS, ROBES MADE BLANKETS AND BEDS, DRESSED HIDES SUPPLIED MOCCASINS AND CLOTHING, HAIR WAS TWISTED INTO ROPES, RAWHIDE BOUND TOOLS TO HANDLES, GREEN HIDES MADE POTS FOR COOKING OVER BUFFALO-CHIP FIRES, HIDES FROM BULLS' NECKS MADE SHIELDS THAT WOULD TURN ARROWS, RIBS WERE RUNNERS FOR DOG-DRAWN SLEDS, SMALL BONES WERE AWLS AND NEEDLES, FROM HOOVES CAME GLUE FOR FEATHERING ARROWS, FROM SINEWS CAME THREAD AND BOWSTRINGS, FROM HORNS CAME BOWS, CUPS AND SPOONS, AND EVEN FROM GALL STONES A "MEDICINE" PAINT WAS MADE. WHEN THE MILLIONS OF BUFFALO THAT ROAMED THE PRAIRIES WERE EXTERMINATED THE PLAINS TRIBES WERE STARVED INTO SUBMISSION. A FEW SMALL HERDS SAVED THE BUFFALO FROM EXTINCTION AND THERE ARE NOW MORE THAN 22,000 IN NORTH AMERICAN GAME PRESERVES. A HERD MAY BE SEEN JUST SOUTH OF GARDEN CITY.
US-50S, at Garden City,
Finney county.

INDIAN BURIAL PIT

SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS AGO, PERHAPS MORE THAN A THOUSAND, THIS VALLEY WAS INHABITED BY MEN WHOSE AVERAGE HEIGHT WAS PROBABLY WELL OVER SIX FEET. THESE WERE NOT THE INDIANS OF QUIVIRA, WHOSE "7-FOOT WARRIORS" CORONADO DESCRIBED IN 1541, BUT AN EVEN EARLIER PEOPLE. HERE THEY LIVED IN EARTH LODGES, TILLING THE SOIL, HUNTING AND FISHING, AND HERE THEY LEFT RECORDS OF UNUSUAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE. ONE MILE SOUTHEAST OF THIS MARKER IS A BURIAL PIT CONTAINING MORE THAN 140 SKELETAL REMAINS THAT DEMONSTRATE THE REMARKABLE SIZE AND STRENGTH OF THESE PREHISTORIC INDIANS. THE PIT WAS DISCOVERED IN 1936. IT HAS BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY EXCAVATED, WITH THE SKELETONS STILL PRESERVED IN THE SAME FLEXED POSITIONS OF THEIR BURIAL CENTURIES AGO. AMONG THE OBJECTS FOUND IN THE PIT ARE PIECES OF POTTERY, A GRINDING STONE, PARCHED CORN AND BEANS. A STONE TOMAHAWK, CEREMONIAL FLINT KNIVES, AND CLAM-SHELL BEADS AND EAR PENDANTS.
US-40, about four miles east of Salina,
Saline county.

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WACONDA, OR GREAT SPIRIT SPRING

MANY MOONS AGO, SO RUNS AN INDIAN LEGEND, WACONDA, A BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS, FELL IN LOVE WITH A BRAVE OF ANOTHER TRIBE. PREVENTED FROM MARRIAGE BY A BLOOD FEUD, THIS WARRIOR EMBROILED THE TRIBES IN BATTLE. DURING THE FIGHT AN ARROW STRUCK HIM AS HE STOOD ON THE BRINK OF A SPRING AND HE FELL MORTALLY WOUNDED INTO THE WATERS. WACONDA, GRIEF-STRICKEN, PLUNGED AFTER HIM. BELIEVING HER SOUL STILL LIVED IN THE DEPTHS, THE TRIBES FOR COUNTLESS AGES CARRIED THEIR SICK TO DRINK THE HEALING WATERS. HERE THEY CELEBRATED THEIR VICTORIES AND MOURNED THEIR LOSSES, NEVER NEGLECTING TO THROW INTO THE SPRING SOME TOKEN FOR THE GREAT SPIRIT. WACONDA SPRING, 3/4 MILE SOUTH OF THIS MARKER, IS A MINERAL POOL ABOUT FIFTY FEET IN DIAMETER, SET IN A CURIOUS LIMESTONE BASIN.
US-24, about three miles east of Cawker City,
Mitchell county.

CORONADO AND QUIVIRA

EIGHTY YEARS BEFORE THE PILGRIMS LANDED AT PLYMOUTH ROCK SPANISH EXPLORERS VISITED KANSAS. FRANCISCO VASQUEZ DE CORONADO, SEEKING GOLD IN NEW MEXICO, WAS TOLD OF QUIVIRA BY AN INDIAN CALLED THE TURK. HERE WERE "TREES HUNG WITH GOLDEN BELLS AND PEOPLE WHOSE POTS AND PANS WERE BEATEN GOLD." WITH 30 PICKED HORSEMEN AND A FRANCISCAN FRIAR NAMED JUAN DE PADILLA, CORONADO MARCHED "NORTH BY THE NEEDLE" FROM A POINT IN TEXAS UNTIL HE REACHED KANSAS. HERE HE FOUND NO GOLD, BUT A COUNTRY HE DESCRIBED AS "THE BEST I HAVE EVER SEEN FOR PRODUCING ALL THE PRODUCTS OF SPAIN." THE TURK CONFESSED HE HAD DECEIVED THE SPANIARDS AND ONE NIGHT WAS STRANGLED. FOR 25 DAYS IN THE SUMMER OF 1541 CORONADO REMAINED AMONG THE GRASS-HUT VILLAGES OF THE QUIVIRAN INDIANS, THEN RETURNED TO NEW MEXICO. PADILLA WENT WITH HIM, BUT THE FOLLOWING YEAR CAME BACK TO QUIVIRA AS A MISSIONARY. LATER HE WAS KILLED BY THE INDIANS, THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYR IN THE PRESENT UNITED STATES. NEAR THIS MARKER IS THE SITE OF ONE OF THE LARGEST VILLAGES OF THE "KINGDOM OF QUIVIRA."
US-50N, west of Lyons,
Rice county.

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FATHER JUAN DE PADILLA AND QUIVIRA

IN 1540 FRANCISCO VASQUEZ DE CORONADO MARCHED NORTH FROM MEXICO WITH 300 SPANIARDS IN SEARCH OF THE "SEVEN GOLDEN CITIES OF CIBOLA." WITH THEM WERE SEVERAL PRIESTS, INCLUDING JUAN DE PADILLA, A FRANCISCAN FRIAR. WHEN THE GOLDEN CITIES PROVED TO BE ONLY ADOBE PUEBLOS THE SPANIARDS WENT ON TO EXPLORE THE SOUTHWEST AND PADILLA WAS AMONG THOSE WHO DISCOVERED THE GRAND CANYON. LATER HE MARCHED WITH A PARTY OF 30 PICKED HORSEMEN TO THE LAND OF QUIVIRA IN KANSAS. FOR 25 DAYS IN THE SUMMER OF 1541 CORONADO REMAINED AMONG THE GRASS-HUT VILLAGES OF THE QUIVIRAN INDIANS, THEN RETURNED TO NEW MEXICO. PADILLA WENT WITH HIM, BUT THE FOLLOWING YEAR CAME BACK AS A MISSIONARY. HERE HE WAS LATER KILLED BY THE INDIANS, THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYR IN WHAT IS NOW THE UNITED STATES. ALTHOUGH THE EXACT PLACE OF HIS DEATH IS UNKNOWN THERE IS A MONUMENT TO PADILLA IN CITY PARK IN HERINGTON.
US-50N and US-77, one
mile South of Herington, Dickinson county.

EL QUARTELEJO

IN SCOTT COUNTY STATE PARK THREE MILES NORTHWEST IS EL QUARTELEJO, ONLY KNOWN INDIAN PUEBLO IN KANSAS. ABOUT 1650, IT IS BELIEVED, TAOS INDIANS MIGRATED HERE TO ESCAPE SPANISH OPPRESSION. LATER THEY WERE PERSUADED BY THE SPANISH GOVERNOR TO RETURN TO NEW MEXICO. IN 1706 JUAN URIBARRI FORMALLY TOOK POSSESSION OF THE VALLEY FOR SPAIN, CALLING IT SAN LUIS PROVINCE. SPANIARDS AND FRENCHMEN IN THE FRONTIER STRUGGLES OF THE 1700'S ALTERNATELY OCCUPIED THE OUTPOST. DRIFTING SOIL EVENTUALLY BURIED THE STRUCTURE AND NOT UNTIL 1895 WERE THE RUINS EXCAVATED, REVEALING A TYPICAL PUEBLO WITH TRACES OF AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM. TODAY THEY ARE AGAIN BURIED BUT THE SITE IS MARKED BY A MONUMENT.

NEAR HERE IN 1878 COL. WILLIAM H. LEWIS, COMMANDING TROOPS FROM FORT DODGE, WAS FATALLY WOUNDED IN A BATTLE WITH CHIEF DULL KNIFE AND HIS NORTHERN CHEYENNES. LEWIS WAS THE LAST ARMY OFFICER KILLED BY INDIANS IN KANSAS.
US-83, 101/2 miles north of Scott City,
Scott county.

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PIKE-PAWNEE VILLAGE

IN 1806 ZEBULON MONTGOMERY PIKE WITH TWENTY INFANTRYMEN CROSSED KANSAS ON AN EXPLORING EXPEDITION WHICH ENDED IN THE DISCOVERY OF PIKE'S PEAK AND HIS CAPTURE AND IMPRISONMENT BY A SPANISH FORCE. ON SEPTEMBER 29 AT A PAWNEE VILLAGE EIGHT MILES NORTH AND FOUR MILES WEST OF THIS SIGN TWO MILES SOUTHWEST OF REPUBLIC, PIKE HELD A COUNCIL WITH THE PAWNEE NATION. A SPANISH FLAG, LEFT SHORTLY BEFORE BY AN EXPEDITION FROM MEXICO, WAS FLYING IN THE VILLAGE. PIKE TELLS IN HIS REPORT HOW HE PERSUADED THE CHIEFS TO RAISE AN AMERICAN FLAG IN ITS PLACE, THE FIRST RECORD OF THE FLYING OF THE FLAG IN PRESENT KANSAS. THE SITE OF THE VILLAGE, NOW OWNED BY THE STATE, IS MARKED BY A MONUMENT.
US-36, near Republican river bridge at Scandia,
Republic county.

CHOUTEAU'S ISLAND

IN THE SPRING OF 1816 AUGUSTE P. CHOUTEAU'S HUNTING PARTY TRAVELING EAST WITH A WINTER'S CATCH OF FURS WAS ATTACKED NEAR THE ARKANSAS RIVER BY 200 PAWNNES. RETREATING TO AN ISLAND FIVE MILES SOUTHWEST OF THIS MARKER THE HUNTERS BEAT THEM OFF WITH THE LOSS OF ONLY ONE MAN. IN 1825 INCREASED TRAVEL ON THE SANTA FE TRAIL BROUGHT A GOVERNMENT SURVEY AND CHOUTEAU'S ISLAND WAS LISTED AS A TURNING OFF PLACE FOR THE DANGEROUS "JORNADA" TO THE CIMARRON. FOR A TIME THE RIVER HERE WAS THE MEXICAN BOUNDARY. WHEN MAJ. BENNETT RILEY AND FOUR COMPANIES OF INFANTRY, SERVING AS THE FIRST MILITARY ESCORT ON THE TRAIL, ARRIVED IN 1829 WITH A WEST-BOUND WAGON TRAIN THE TROOPS WENT INTO CAMP NEAR THE ISLAND. THEY SPENT THE SUMMER FIGHTING OFF INDIANS, LOSING SEVERAL MEN AND PART OF THEIR OXEN. THE RETURN FROM SANTA FE OF THE CARAVAN WITH A MEXICAN ESCORT WAS CELEBRATED IN A COLORFUL EXCHANGE OF MILITARY INSPECTIONS.
US-50, one mile west of Lakin,
Kearny county.

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OREGON AND SANTA FE TRAILS

AT THIS POINT US-50 IS IDENTICAL WITH THESE FAMOUS TRAILS WHICH FROM THE MISSOURI RIVER FOLLOWED THE SAME GENERAL ROUTE. NEAR HERE THEY BRANCHED, THE WORDS "ROAD TO OREGON" ON A ROUGH BOARD POINTING OUT THE NORTHERN FORK. SO SIMPLE A SIGN, ONE WRITER OBSERVED, NEVER BEFORE ANNOUNCED SO LONG A JOURNEY.

HERE A SECOND SIGN POINTED SOUTHWEST ALONG THE SANTA FE TRAIL. OF ITS 750 MILES, TWO-THIRDS LAY IN KANSAS. AS EARLY AS 1821 PACK TRAINS HAZARDED THIS ROUTE BETWEEN THE MISSOURI AND SPANISH FRONTIERS. BY 1825 IT HAD BECOME A COMMERCIAL WAGON ROAD.

FROM 1840 TO 1870 THOUSANDS OF TRAVELERS PLODDED THE 2,000 TORTUOUS MILES OF THE OREGON TRAIL, RECORDING WITH FEARFUL MONOTONY THE NEW GRAVES ALONG THE WAY. DOWN THE SANTA FE TRAIL WENT TROOPS BOUND FOR THE MEXICAN WAR OF 1846-1847. OVER THESE TWO ROADS, BRANCHING HERE INTO THE WILDERNESS, TRAVELED EXPLORERS, TRADERS, MISSIONARIES, SOLDIERS, FORTY-NINERS AND EMIGRANTS, THE PIONEERS WHO BROUGHT CIVILIZATION TO THE WESTERN HALF OF THE UNITED STATES.
US-50, one-fifth mile west of Gardner,
Johnson county.

COUNCIL GROVE

IN 1825 GROWING TRAFFIC OVER THE SANTA FE TRAIL BROUGHT A GOVERNMENT SURVEY AND RIGHT-OF-WAY TREATIES WITH CERTAIN INDIANS. COUNCIL GROVE TAKES ITS NAME FROM AN AGREEMENT MADE HERE THAT YEAR WITH THE OSAGE NATION. INDIANS FARTHER WEST CONTINUED THEIR ATTACKS ON WEAK OR UNWARY CARAVANS. A LARGE GROVE ON THE RIVER HERE BECAME THE RENDEZVOUS WHERE WAGON TRAINS BANDED TOGETHER FOR SAFE TRAVEL AND TO MAKE REPAIRS FROM THE LAST AVAILABLE TIMBER. FREMONT'S EXPEDITION OF 1845 AND DONIPHAN'S TROOPS BOUND FOR THE MEXICAN WAR IN 1846 CAMPED ON THE SITE. IN 1849 THE OVERLAND MAIL WAS ESTABLISHED, WITH SUPPLY HEADQUARTERS HERE, FOLLOWED THE NEXT YEAR BY MONTHLY COACH SERVICE. TRAVEL TO SANTA FE THROUGH COUNCIL GROVE ENDED IN 1866 WHEN THE UNION PACIFIC REACHED JUNCTION CITY.

THIS AREA BECAME A KAW INDIAN RESERVATION IN 1846. WITH THE INDIANS CAME THE FIRST WHITE SETTLER WHO BUILT A TRADING POST. THE METHODIST CHURCH ESTABLISHED A MISSION AND SCHOOL HERE IN 1850. THE INDIANS IN 1872 SIGNED A TREATY FOR REMOVAL TO INDIAN TERRITORY, NOW OKLAHOMA. THERE ARE SEVERAL PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST IN AND NEAR THE TOWN.
US-50N, one-third mile east of Council Grove,
Morris county.

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KANSAS INDIAN TREATY

IN 1825 PRESIDENT JAMES MONROE APPROVED A BILL PROVIDING FOR THE SURVEY OF THE SANTA FE TRAIL FROM MISSOURI TO NEW MEXICO AND THE MAKING OF TREATIES TO INSURE FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH INDIANS ALONG THE ROUTE. A MILE WEST OF THIS SIGN, ON DRY TURKEY CREEK, A MONUMENT MARKS THE SITE OF A COUNCIL ON AUGUST 16, 1825, BETWEEN U. S. COMMISSIONERS REEVES, SIBLEY AND MATHER, AND SON-JA-INGA AND FIFTEEN OTHER HEAD MEN OF THE KANSAS OR KAW NATION. NEGOTIATIONS WERE CONDUCTED THROUGH "OLD BILL" WILLIAMS, A NOTED GUIDE AND TRAPPER. FOR A CONSIDERATION OF $800 IN CASH AND MERCHANDISE THE CHIEFS PROMISED THAT THE TRIBE WOULD NOT MOLEST TRAVELERS. EARLIER, AT COUNCIL GROVE, A SIMILAR TREATY WAS MADE WITH THE OSAGE INDIANS.
US-81, about five miles southeast of McPherson (near Elyria),
McPherson county.

PAWNEE ROCK

ONE-HALF MILE NORTHEAST IS PAWNEE ROCK, A FAMOUS LANDMARK ON THE SANTA FE TRAIL. AS A LOOKOUT AND AMBUSH, RISING FROM THE PRAIRIES WHERE MILLIONS OF BUFFALO PROVIDED AN EASY LIVING FOR HOSTILE INDIANS, THE ROCK WAS ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS POINTS ON THE CENTRAL PLAINS. PIKE, WEBB, GREGG, DONIPHAN AND OTHER TRAVELERS MENTIONED IT IN THEIR JOURNALS. HERE 17-YEAR-OLD KIT CARSON, STANDING GUARD ONE NIGHT IN 1826, SHOT HIS OWN MULE, MISTAKING IT FOR AN INDIAN. TRAPPERS, SOLDIERS, GOLDSEEKERS, FREIGHTERS AND EMIGRANTS CARVED THEIR NAMES IN THE STONE. IN LATER YEARS RAILROAD BUILDERS AND PIONEERS STRIPPED THE TOP OF THE ROCK AND GREATLY REDUCED ITS ELEVATION. IT IS NOW A STATE PARK. A ROAD LEADS TO A SHELTER HOUSE AND MONUMENT ON THE SUMMIT.
US-50N, west city limits of Pawnee Ro
ck, Barton county.

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WAGON BED SPRINGS

TWO MILES SOUTHWEST WERE THE LOWER SPRINGS OF THE CIMARRON, AN "OASIS" IN DRY WEATHER WHERE SHORTCUTS OF THE SANTA FE TRAIL CONVERGED TO CONTINUE UP THE RIVER. THE MOST POPULAR CUT-OFF TURNED SOUTHWEST FROM THE ARKANSAS RIVER IN PRESENT GRAY COUNTY. THE 60-MILE STRETCH BETWEEN THE TWO RIVERS, KNOWN AS THE "JORNADA," WAS A PERILOUS ROUTE FOR MEN AND ANIMALS IN DRY SEASONS WHEN WAGON TRAINS OFTEN RAN OUT OF WATER. HERE ALSO FIERCE PLAINS INDIANS FREQUENTLY ATTACKED AND PLUNDERED THE CARAVANS. NEAR HERE IN 1831 THE NOTED WESTERN EXPLORER AND FUR TRADER JEDEDIAH SMITH, LOST FOUR DAYS WITHOUT WATER, WAS KILLED BY COMANCHES JUST AS HE REACHED THE RIVER.

LATE IN THE HISTORY OF THE TRAIL A WAGON BOX SET IN THE WATER GAVE THE SPRINGS THEIR NAME. LITTLE REMAINS OF THIS FAMOUS CAMPING PLACE, BUT WHEEL RUTS OF THE OLD TRAIL MAY STILL BE SEEN IN NEAR-BY AREAS.
US-270, eleven miles south of Ulysses,
Grant county.

MISSION NEOSHO

THE FIRST INDIAN MISSION AND SCHOOL IN PRESENT KANSAS WAS ESTABLISHED IN SEPTEMBER, 1824, ONE-THIRD MILE WEST OF THIS MARKER. BENTON PIXLEY, THE MISSIONARY, FOLLOWED CHIEF WHITE HAIR AND HIS BAND OF GREAT OSAGES WHO HAD MIGRATED FROM MISSOURI ABOUT 1815. THE NEW "MISSION ON THE NEOSHO" WAS A BRANCH OF HARMONY MISSION, OPERATED IN MISSOURI BY PRESBYTERIAN AND ASSOCIATED DENOMINATIONS. SEVERAL OSAGE TRIBES LOCATED NEAR BY, AND SOME OF THE CHIEFS AND THE INDIAN AGENT WERE ANTAGONISTIC TO PIXLEY. INDIAN ROWDIES OFTEN DISTURBED RELIGIOUS MEETINGS AND THE SCHOOL FAILED TO ATTRACT PUPILS. IN 1829 THE FIELD WAS ABANDONED.

IN 1844 A. B. CANVILLE ESTABLISHED A TRADING POST AMONG THE OSAGES A LITTLE SOUTHEAST OF THIS MARKER. HERE ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1865, THE OSAGES SIGNED A TREATY WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGREEING TO A REDUCTION OF THEIR RESERVE IN KANSAS. A FEW YEARS LATER THEY WERE REMOVED TO OKLAHOMA.
US-59, on Christian church grounds at Shaw,
Neosho county.

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SHAWNEE FRIENDS MISSION

IN 1825 THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BEGAN MOVING EASTERN INDIANS TO NEW LANDS WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. THIS SIGN IS ON A TRACT OF 2,500 SQUARE MILES ASSIGNED TO THE SHAWNEES. WITH THIS TRIBE CAME METHODIST, BAPTIST AND QUAKER MISSIONARIES. ONE MILE EAST AND A LITTLE NORTH THE QUAKERS ERECTED BUILDINGS IN 1836 AND OPENED A SCHOOL THE FOLLOWING YEAR. INDIAN STUDENTS, WHO LIVED AT THE MISSION, RECEIVED ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING, RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING IN AGRICULTURE AND DOMESTIC ARTS. HIGHEST RECORDED ENROLLMENT WAS 76. IN ITS LATE YEARS THE SCHOOL WAS ATTENDED MAINLY BY INDIAN ORPHANS. THE MISSION OPERATED ALMOST CONTINUOUSLY UNTIL 1869. A MARKER DESIGNATES THE SITE OF THE MAIN BUILDING WHICH WAS TORN DOWN IN 1917.
Junction K-10 and US-50, near Shawnee,
Johnson county.

HIGHLAND PRESBYTERIAN MISSION

IOWA, SAUK AND FOX INDIANS OF MISSOURI WERE REMOVED BY TREATY TO PRESENT DONIPHAN COUNTY IN 1837. WITH THEM CAME SAMUEL M. AND ELIZA IRVIN, PRESBYTERIAN MISSIONARIES, WHO ESTABLISHED A LOG-CABIN MISSION AND SCHOOL. IN 1843 IRVIN AND HIS ASSOCIATE, WILLIAM HAMILTON, SET UP A PRESS THE SECOND IN KANSAS TO PRINT SCHOOLBOOKS AND RELIGIOUS WORKS IN THE IOWA LANGUAGE. A THREE-STORY STONE AND BRICK BUILDING OF 32 ROOMS WAS COMPLETED IN 1846 ON A SITE ONE MILE EAST AND A LITTLE NORTH OF THIS SIGN. HERE INDIAN PUPILS RECEIVED ELEMENTARY SCHOOLING AND INSTRUCTION IN DOMESTIC ARTS, MANUAL TRADES AND AGRICULTURE. REMAINS OF THE BUILDING MAY STILL BE SEEN. WITH THE ORGANIZATION OF KANSAS AS A TERRITORY THE TRIBES WERE REMOVED TO DIMINISHED RESERVES AND THE MISSION WAS FINALLY CLOSED ABOUT 1863.
US-36, one-fourth mile east of Highland,
Doniphan county.

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FORT SCOTT

THIS WESTERN OUTPOST, NAMED FOR GEN. WINFIELD SCOTT, WAS ESTABLISHED BY U. S. DRAGOONS IN 1842 ON LAND RESERVED FOR NEW YORE. INDIANS. IT WAS MIDWAY BETWEEN FORT LEAVENWORTH AND FORT GIBSON ON A MILITARY ROAD THAT EXTENDED FROM THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER TO LOUISIANA. BY 1853 THE INDIAN FRONTIER HAD MOVED wEST AND TROOPS WERE WITHDRAWN. TWO YEARS LATER THE BUILDINGS WERE AUCTIONED TO INCOMING SETTLERS AND THE CITY OF FORT SCOTT GREW UP AROUND THEM. FROM 1855 TO 1860 THE TOWN WAS IN THE THICK OF THE TERRITORIAL STRUGGLE OVER SLAVERY AND IN 1855 IT WAS RAIDED BY MONTGOMERY AND HIS BAND OF JAYHAWKERS.

DURING THE CIVIL WAR THE FORT WAS REESTABLISHED. IT BECAME UNION HEADQUARTERS AND SUPPLY DEPOT FOR SOUTHEAST KANSAS AND WAS UNDER CONSTANT THREAT OF ATTACK UNTIL 1865. SEVERAL OF THE OLD FORT BUILDINGS MAY STILL BE SEEN ON THE PLAZA.
US-69, at north city limits of Fort Scott,
Bourbon county.

OSAGE CATHOLIC MISSION

THIS MISSION WAS FOUNDED IN 1847 FOR OSAGE INDIANS LIVING ALONG THE NEOSHO AND VERDIGRIS RIVERS. A MANUAL LABOR SCHOOL FOR BOYS WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE JESUITS AND A DEPARTMENT FOR GIRLS BY THE SISTERS OF LORETTO. HIGHEST RECORDED ENROLLMENT WAS 239. IN 1848 THE FIRST CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SOUTHERN KANSAS WAS BUILT. DURING THE CIVIL WAR WHEN PROPERTY WAS LAID WASTE THROUGHOUT THE BORDER THE MISSION WAS ALWAYS SPARED AND SCHOOL WAS NEVER SUSPENDED. WHEN THE OSAGES MOVED TO INDIAN TERRITORY IN 1870 WHITE CHILDREN GRADUALLY REPLACED THE INDIANS. THE SCHOOL BECAME ST. FRANCIS INSTITUTION FOR BOYS AND ST. ANN'S ACADEMY FOR GIRLS. ST. FRANCIS CLOSED IN 1891 AND ST. ANN'S WAS DESTROYED BY FIRE IN 1895. NOTABLE IN SERVICE HERE WERE MOTHER BRIDGET HAYDEN AND FATHERS JOHN SCHOENMAKERS, JOHN BAX AND PAUL MARY PONZIGLIONE, THE LATTER AN ITALIAN NOBLEMAN. A TOWN, OSAGE MISSION, ORGANIZED IN 1867, BECAME ST. PAUL IN 1895.
K-57, at east city limits of St. Paul,
Neosho county.

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ST. MARYS

THIS CITY AND COLLEGE TAKE THEIR NAME FROM ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC MISSION FOUNDED HERE BY THE JESUITS IN 1848 FOR THE POTTAWATOMIE INDIANS. THESE MISSIONARIES, WHO HAD LIVED WITH THE TRIBE IN EASTERN KANSAS FROM 1838, ACCOMPANIED THE REMOVAL TO THIS AREA. A MANUAL LABOR SCHOOL WAS OPERATED AT THE MISSION UNTIL 1871. FROM IT DEVELOPED ST. MARY'S COLLEGE, CHARTERED IN 1869. THE COLLEGE IN 1931 BECAME A JESUIT SEMINARY. A BOULDER ON THE CAMPUS MARKS THE SITE OF THE FIRST CATHEDRAL BETWEEN THE MISSOURI RIVER AND THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. BUILT OF LOGS, IN 1849, IT BECAME THE SEE OF BISHOP MIEGE, "BISHOP OF THE INDIANS." VICE PRESIDENT CHARLES CURTIS, PART KAW INDIAN, WAS BAPTIZED IN THIS PARISH ON APRIL 15, 1860. THE MISSION WAS AN IMPORTANT STOPPING POINT ON THE OREGON TRAIL. HERE ALSO WAS THE U. S. POTTAWATOMIE AGENCY. THIS BUILDING STILL STANDS 600 FEET NORTHWEST OF THIS MARKER.
US-24, at east c
ity limits of St. Marys, Pottawatomie county.

MARYSVILLE

A FEW MILES BELOW MARYSVILLE WAS THE FAMOUS FORD ON THE OREGON TRAIL KNOWN AS THE INDEPENDENCE, MORMON OR CALIFORNIA CROSSING. THERE THOUSANDS OF COVERED WAGONS WITH SETTLERS BOUND FOR OREGON, MORMONS FOR UTAH AND GOLDSEEKERS FOR CALIFORNIA CROSSED THE BIG BLUE RIVER. IN 1849 A FERRY AND TRADING POST WAS ESTABLISHED AT THE FORD BY FRANK J. MARSHALL, DESPITE CONSTANT DANGER FROM INDIANS. TWO YEARS LATER THE MILITARY ROAD BETWEEN FORTS LEAVENWORTH AND KEARNY CROSSED THE RIVER AT THE SITE OF PRESENT MARYSVILLE, ONE MILE WEST. MARSHALL BUILT ANOTHER FERRY AND FOR YEARS HANDLED AN IMMENSE TRAFFIC. HE GAVE THE NAME OF HIS WIFE, MARY, TO THE TOWN THAT DEVELOPED HERE AND HIS OWN NAME TO MARSHALL COUNTY OF WHICH IT IS COUNTY SEAT. IN 1860 MARYSVILLE BECAME A STATION ON THE PONY EXPRESS. FOR MOST OF THE 1860'S IT WAS AN IMPORTANT STOPPING POINT FOR COACHES OF THE GREAT OVERLAND STAGE LINE.
US-36, one mile east of Marysville,
Marshall county.

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FORT RILEY

FREMONT'S EXPEDITION CAMPING HERE IN 1843 REPORTED GREAT NUMBERS OF ELK, ANTELOPE AND INDIANS WHERE THE REPUBLICAN AND SMOKY HILL RIVERS UNITE TO FORM THE KANSAS. IN 1853 FORT RILEY BECAME AN OUTPOST FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE SANTA FE AND OREGON TRAILS. FOR YEARS IT WAS AN ARMY HEADQUARTERS ON THE INDIAN FRONTIER. HERE IN 1866 THE FAMOUS 7TH CAVALRY WAS ORGANIZED WITH LT. COL. GEORGE A. CUSTER SECOND IN COMMAND. IN 1884 GEN. PHILIP SHERIDAN RECOMMENDED THE PRESENT TRAINING SCHOOL, THOUGH CLASSES WERE NOT HELD UNTIL 1893. THE CAVALRY SCHOOL IS BELIEVED TO BE THE LARGEST IN THE WORLD.

THE ORIGINAL FORT WAS BUILT BY MAJ. E. A. OGDEN AND NAMED FOR GEN. BENNETT RILEY. CAMP FUNSTON, NAMED FOR GEN. FREDERICK FUNSTON, WAS ESTABLISHED EAST OF THE FORT IN 1917. HERE MORE THAN 140,000 MEN WERE INDUCTED INTO WORLD WAR SERVICE. CONSTRUCTION OF THE SECOND CAMP FUNSTON BEGAN IN 1940.
US-40, east of Junction City,
in Fort Riley military reservation.

ATCHISON

ON JULY 4, 1804, LEWIS AND CLARK, EXPLORING THE NEW LOUISIANA PURCHASE, CAMPED NEAR THIS SITE. FIFTY YEARS LATER THE TOWN WAS FOUNDED BY PROSLAVERY MEN AND NAMED FOR SEN. DAVID R. ATCHISON. THE SQUATTER SOVEREIGN, ATCHISON'S FIRST NEWSPAPER, WAS AN EARLY ADVOCATE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST ABOLITION. HERE PARDEE BUTLER, FREE-STATE PREACHER, WAS SET ADRIFT ON A RIVER RAFT AND ON HIS RETURN WAS TARRED AND FEATHERED. HERE ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN 1859 "AUDITIONED" HIS FAMOUS COOPER UNION ADDRESS-UNMENTIONED BY LOCAL NEWSPAPERS.

DURING THE HEYDAY OF RIVER STEAMBOATING IN THE FIFTIES ATCHISON BECAME AN OUTFITTING DEPOT FOR EMIGRANT AND FREIGHTING TRAINS TO UTAH AND THE PACIFIC COAST. IT WAS A BASE OF SUPPLIES FOR THE PIKE'S PEAK GOLD RUSH AND IN THE EARLY 1860'S WAS A STARTING POINT FOR THE PONY EXPRESS AND OVERLAND STAGE LINES. IN THIS PIONEER TRANSPORTATION CENTER THE SANTA FE RAILWAY WAS ORGANIZED IN 1860, MODESTLY NAMED THE ATCHISON TOPEKA.
US-59, at southwestern city limits of Atchison,
Atchison county.

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LAWRENCE

LAWRENCE WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1854 BY THE EMIGRANT AID COMPANY, A NEW ENGLAND ORGANIZATION FORMED TO PREVENT THE NEW KANSAS TERRITORY FROM BECOMING A SLAVE STATE. WHEN THE FIRST LEGISLATURE ENACTED THE SO-CALLED BOGUS LAWS WITH SEVERE PENALTIES FOR OPPOSING SLAVERY LAWRENCE WAS THE CENTER OF FREE-STATE RESISTANCE. FREE-STATE NEWSPAPERS HERE FURTHER ANTAGONIZED PROSLAVERY OFFICERS. LATE IN 1855 1,500 PROSLAVERY MEN GATHERED TO ATTACK THE TOWN. FREE-STATE MEN CAME TO ITS DEFENSE, AMONG THEM JOHN BROWN. BLOODSHED WAS AVERTED BY A "PEACE TREATY." THE NEXT SPRING, HOWEVER, A "SHERIFF'S POSSE" OF SEVERAL HUNDRED MISSOURIANS BURNED HOUSES, DESTROYED TWO NEWSPAPER PRESSES AND FIRED A CANNON INTO THE ELDRIDGE HOTEL ON THE PRETEXT THAT IT WAS AN ABOLITION FORT.

DURING THE CIVIL WAR LAWRENCE WAS A HAVEN FOR RUNAWAY SLAVES AND WAS HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR UNION RAIDS INTO MISSOURI. ON AUGUST 21, 1863, QUANTRILL AND A BAND OF GUERRILLAS RAVAGED THE TOWN AND KILLED NEARLY 150 MEN. MONUMENTS TO THESE VICTIMS AND OTHER HISTORICAL MARKERS MAY BE SEEN IN THE CITY. LAWRENCE IS THE HOME OF THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS AND HASKELL INDIAN INSTITUTE.
US-24, three and one-half miles northeast of Lawrence,
Douglas county.

FIRST CAPITOL OF KANSAS

THIS BUILDING WAS ERECTED IN 1855 IN THE NOW EXTINCT TOWN OF PAWNEE FOR THE FIRST LEGISLATURE OF THE TERRITORY OF KANSAS. THE MEMBERS WERE MOSTLY MISSOURIANS, FRAUDULENTLY ELECTED IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE KANSAS A SLAVE STATE. THEY CAME IN WAGONS AND ON HORSEBACK, WELL ARMED, AND CAMPED OUT ON THE PRAIRIE. THE SESSION LASTED FROM JULY 2 TO 6. THE MISSOURIANS WERE DETERMINED TO LEGISLATE NEARER HOME AND PASSED A BILL TO MOVE TO SHAWNEE METHODIST MISSION NEAR KANSAS CITY. GOVERNOR REEDER VETOED THE BILL, IT WAS PASSED OVER HIS VETO, AND THIS ENDED THE SESSION HERE. ALL OTHER ACTS, INCLUDING THE SO-CALLED BOGUS LAWS, WERE PASSED AT SHAWNEE MISSION. THIS BUILDING STOOD IN PARTIAL RUIN UNTIL ITS RESTORATION IN 1928 BY THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD. US-40, east of Junction City,
in the First Capitol grounds,
Fort Riley military reservation.

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Dodge City, Cowboy Capital marker

Please Read the text in the marker
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LECOMPTON-SLAVERY CAPITAL

THREE MILES NORTH IS LECOMPTON, FAMOUS IN THE LATTER 1850'S AS HEADQUARTERS OF THE PROSLAVERY PARTY IN KANSAS. THE "BOGUS" LEGISLATURE OF 1855 MADE IT THE TERRITORIAL CAPITAL AND CONGRESS APPROPRIATED $50000 FOR A CAPITOL BUILDING WHICH WAS NEVER COMPLETED. LECOMPTON WAS SERVED BY STAGECOACH, STEAMBOAT AND FERRY. WITH A LAND OFFICE AND OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES, IT PROSPERED UNTIL THE DOWNFALL OF THE SLAVE POWER IN KANSAS. GOV. CHARLES ROBINSON AND MANY FREE-STATE LEADERS WERE IMPRISONED THERE DURING 1856-1857. STILL TO BE SEEN ARE THE LEGISLATIVE HALL IN WHICH THE LECOMPTON CONSTITUTION WAS FRAMED IN 1857, AND THE ROWENA HOTEL, LONE SURVIVOR OF THE BOOM-DAY HOSTELRIES.

"FORT TITUS," HOME OF PROSLAVERY LEADER HENRY TITUS, ATTACKED AND BURNED BY FREE-STATE MEN IN 1856, WAS 21/2 MILES NORTH OF THIS MARKER. THREE MILES NORTHEAST IS THE RESIDENCE BUILT BY ACTING GOV. FREDERICK STANTON IN 1857, NOW OWNED BY FORMER SECRETARY OF WAR HARRY H. WOODRING.
US-40, three miles south of Lecompton,
Douglas county.

FIRST CAPITAL OF KANSAS

TOPEKA WAS FOUNDED IN 1854 AT THE SITE OF PAPAN'S FERRY WHERE A BRANCH OF THE OREGON TRAIL CROSSED THE KANSAS RIVER AS EARLY AS 1842. ANTI-SLAVERY LEADERS FRAMED THE TOPEKA CONSTITUTION, 1855, IN THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO ORGANIZE A STATE GOVERNMENT. THE NEXT YEAR, THEIR LEGISLATURE WAS DISPERSED BY U. S. DRAGOONS UNDER ORDERS FROM PRESIDENT FRANKLIN PIERCE. [SO PIERCE WAS OMITTED WHEN TOPEKA NAMED ITS STREETS AFTER THE PRESIDENTS.] IN THE LATE 1850'S NEGROES BOUND NORTH ON THE "UNDERGROUND RAILWAY" WERE HIDDEN HERE BY JOHN BROWN IN A CABIN WHICH MAY STILL BE SEEN. TOPEKA BECAME THE CAPITAL IN 1861 WHEN KANSAS WAS ADMITTED TO THE UNION AND THE SLAVERY CONFLICT FLAMED INTO REBELLION.

AFTER THE WAR, IN 1868, THE SANTA FE RAILROAD, PROMOTED BY C. K. HOLLIDAY, A CITY FOUNDER, FIRST STARTED BUILDING FROM TOPEKA. THIS WAS THE BIRTHPLACE, IN 1860, OF VICE PRESIDENT CHARLES CURTIS, PART KAW INDIAN, THE ONLY "NATIVE AMERICAN" TO REACH SO HIGH AN OFFICE.
US-75, one-fourth mile north
of Topeka, Shawnee county.

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ELWOOD

ELWOOD, FIRST CALLED ROSEPORT, WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1856. IN ITS HEYDAY SCORES OF RIVER STEAMBOATS UNLOADED PASSENGERS AND FREIGHT AT ITS WHARVES AND EVERY 15 MINUTES FERRYBOATS CROSSED TO ITS MISSOURI RIVAL, ST. JOSEPH. DURING THE 1850'8 THOUSANDS OF EMIGRANTS OUTFITTED HERE FOR OREGON AND CALIFORNIA. ON DECEMBER 1, 1859, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, SEEKING THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION, HERE FIRST SET FOOT IN KANSAS, AND SPOKE IN THE THREE-STORY GREAT WESTERN HOTEL. ELWOOD WAS THE FIRST KANSAS STATION ON THE PONY EXPRESS BETWEEN MISSOURI AND CALIFORNIA. CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST RAILROAD WEST OF THE MISSOURI RIVER BEGAN HERE IN 1859. ON APRIL 23, 1860, THE FIRST LOCOMOTIVE, "THE ALBANY," WAS FERRIED OVER AND PULLED UP THE BANK BY HAND. ELWOOD'S AMBITIONS FOR GREATNESS WERE THWARTED, NOT BY ST. JOE, BUT BY THE RIVER WHICH UNDERMINED THE BANKS AND WASHED MUCH OF THE OLD TOWN AWAY.
US-36, one-fifth mile east of Elwood,
Doniphan county.

BATTLE OF BLACK JACK

THIS "BATTLE" WAS PART OF THE STRUGGLE TO MAKE KANSAS A FREE STATE. IN MAY, 1856, PROSLAVERY MEN DESTROYED BUILDINGS AND NEWSPAPER PRESSES IN LAWRENCE, FREE-STATE HEADQUARTERS. JOHN BROWN'S COMPANY THEN KILLED FIVE PROSLAVERY MEN ON POTTAWATOMIE CREEK NOT FAR FROM THIS SPOT. IN RETALIATION HENRY C. PATE RAIDED NEAR-BY PALMYRA AND TOOK THREE PRISONERS. EARLY ON THE MORNING OF JUNE 2 BROWN ATTACKED PATE'S CAMP IN A GROVE OF BLACK JACK OAKS ABOUT 1/4 MILE SOUTH OF THIS SIGN. BOTH SIDES HAD SEVERAL WOUNDED AND NUMEROUS DESERTIONS BEFORE PATE AND 28 MEN SURRENDERED, BROWN CLAIMING HE HAD ONLY 15 MEN LEFT. AS EVIDENCE OF CIVIL WAR THIS FIGHT RECEIVED MUCH PUBLICITY AND EXCITED BOTH THE NORTH AND SOUTH.
US-50, three miles east of Baldwin,
Douglas county.

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BATTLE OF HICKORY POINT

IN SEPTEMBER, 1856, A BAND OF PROSLAVERY MEN SACKED GRASSHOPPER FALLS -- VALLEY FALLS -- AND TERRORIZED THE VICINITY. ON THE 13TH THE FREE-STATE LEADER JAMES H. LANE WITH A SMALL COMPANY BESIEGED A PARTY OF RAIDERS IN LOG BUILDINGS AT HICKORY POINT, ABOUT 1/2 MILE SOUTHEAST OF THIS MARKER. UNABLE TO DISLODGE THEM, LANE SENT TO LAWRENCE FOR ARTILLERY AND REINFORCEMENTS. COL. JAMES A. HARVEY RESPONDED NEXT DAY ONLY TO FIND THAT LANE HAD RAISED THE SIEGE AND DEPARTED. "SACRAMENTO," HISTORIC MEXICAN WAR CANNON, WAS FIRED INTO THE BUILDINGS WITH LITTLE EFFECT, AND MEN PUSHING UP A BURNING HAYRACK WERE SHOT IN THE LEGS. THE SKIRMISH ENDED IN AN ARMISTICE, CELEBRATED, IT IS SAID, OVER A CONSIDERABLE QUANTITY OF WHISKY. CASUALTIES WERE ONE PROSLAVERY MAN KILLED AND FOUR WOUNDED, AND FIVE FREE-STATE MEN INJURED.
US-59, one-fourth mile north of Dunavant,
Jefferson county.

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS

IN JUNE, 1804, LEWIS AND CLARK, EXPLORING THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE, CAMPED WHERE THE KANSAS RIVER EMPTIES INTO THE MISSOURI. FORTY YEARS LATER THE WYANDOT INDIANS WERE MOVED HERE FROM OHIO. THEIR TRIBAL BURIAL GROUND, HURON CEMETERY, MAY STILL BE SEEN IN THE HEART OF THE CITY. THE TOWN OF WYANDOTTE WAS LAID OUT ON THE INDIAN VILLAGE SITE IN 1857. HERE THE CONSTITUTION UNDER WHICH KANSAS ENTERED THE UNION WAS FRAMED IN 1859. THRIVING RIVER TRAFFIC SOON MADE WYANDOTTE AN IMPORTANT GATEWAY TO KANSAS. FROM HERE THE UNION PACIFIC IN 1863 STARTED BUILDING WEST ACROSS KANSAS.

ALSO WITHIN PRESENT KANSAS CITY WAS QUINDARO, A RIVAL OF WYANDOTTE, FOUNDED IN 1856 BY FREE-STATE MEN. IN THE SOUTH PART OF TOWN IS THE SITE OF THE VILLAGE OF " THE PROPHET," A SHAWNEE WHO LED THE INDIAN FORCES AT THE BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE. WYANDOTTE AND OTHER TOWNS WERE MERGED INTO KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, IN 1886.
US-24, nine miles west of Kansas City,
Wyandotte county.

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MARAIS DES CYGNES MASSACRE

NOTHING IN THE STRUGGLE OVER SLAVERY IN KANSAS DID MORE TO INFLAME THE NATION THAN THE MASS KILLING WHICH TOOK PLACE MAY 19, 1858, ABOUT FOUR MILES NORTHEAST OF THIS MARKER. CHARLES HAMELTON, WHO HAD BEEN DRIVEN FROM THE TERRITORY BY FREE-STATE MEN, RETALIATED BY INVADING THE COUNTY WITH ABOUT 30 MISSOURIANS. CAPTURING 11 FREE-STATE MEN HE MARCHED THEM TO A RAVINE AND LINED THEM UP BEFORE A FIRING SQUAD. FIVE WERE KILLED, FIVE WERE WOUNDED AND ONE ESCAPED BY FEIGNING DEATH. THE SITE AND ADJOINING LAND, OCCUPIED FOR A TIME BY JOHN BROWN, ARE PRESERVED IN A STATE MEMORIAL PARK. A MONUMENT BEARING LINES FROM WHITTIER'S TRIBUTE TO THE VICTIMS STANDS IN THE TRADING POST CEMETERY WEST OF HERE. THE TOWN RECEIVED ITS NAME FROM AN INDIAN TRADING POST ESTABLISHED ABOUT 1834. A MONUMENT JUST EAST OF THE RIVER MARKS THE SITE. HERE, ALSO, IN JANUARY, 1859, JOHN BROWN DATED HIS FAMOUS "PARALLELS."
US-69, at north edge of Trading Post,
Linn county.

FORT LARNED

THIS WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT KANSAS POST ON THE SANTA FE TRAIL. ESTABLISHED IN 1859 AND CALLED CAMP ALERT, IT WAS RENAMED IN HONOR OF COL. B. F. LARNED. SOLDIERS STATIONED HERE ESCORTED THE MAILS AND PATROLLED A REGION NOTORIOUS FOR INDIAN KILLINGS AND PLUNDERED WAGON TRAINS. THE FORT ITSELF WAS SEVERAL TIMES BESIEGED. GENERALS HANCOCK AND CUSTER STARTED FROM HERE IN 1867 ON THEIR UNSUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN TO SUBDUE THE CHEYENNES AND SIOUX. IN THE MIDDLE 1860'8 THE POST WAS AN AGENCY FOR THE COMANCHES, KIOWAS AND APACHES. TROOPS WERE WITHDRAWN IN 1878, AND IN 1882 THE RESERVATION WAS ORDERED SOLD TO SETTLERS. SEVERAL OF THE STONE BUILDINGS ARE IN USE TODAY ON THE FORT LARNED RANCH. THERE IS A MARKER IN THE SMALL PARK ON THE OLD PARADE GROUND, 1/4 MILE SOUTH OF THIS SIGN.
US-50N, six miles west of Larned,
Pawnee county.

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HOLLENBERG PONY EXPRESS STATION

BEGINNING IN 1860 THE PONY EXPRESS OPERATED LIKE A GIANT RELAY RACE BETWEEN THE MISSOURI RIVER AND THE PACIFIC COAST. ALONG THE OREGON TRAIL, THROUGH FORTS LARAMIE AND BRIDGER, AROUND THE GREAT SALT LAKE, RIDERS CARRIED THE MAIL THROUGH A WILDERNESS INFESTED WITH HOSTILE TRIBES. THEIR MOUNTS WERE INDIAN PONIES, NEARLY 500 ALTOGETHER, KEPT IN RELAY STATIONS EVERY 15 MILES. AT EACH STATION TWO MINUTES WAS ALLOWED FOR TRANSFERRING SADDLEBAGS TO A FRESH PONY. EVERY FEW STATIONS A NEW RIDER TOOK OVER. DAY AND NIGHT, SUMMER AND WINTER, OVER SUN-BAKED PLAINS AND ICY MOUNTAIN TRAILS, THE SCHEDULE WAS MAINTAINED. WHEN THE TRANSCONTINENTAL TELEGRAPH LINE REPLACED THE EXPRESS, PONIES AND RIDERS HAD MADE THE REMARKABLE RECORD OF 18 MONTHS WITH ONLY ONE MAIL LOST. THE HOLLENBERG OR COTTONWOOD RANCH HOUSE FOUR MILES NORTH, BUILT IN 1857, IS BELIEVED TO BE THE ONLY ORIGINAL AND UNALTERED PONY EXPRESS STATION. IT IS NOW OWNED BY THE STATE.
US-36, one-half mile east of junction with K-15E (near Hanover),
Washington county.

CIVIL WAR BATTLE, DRUM CREEK TREATY

IN MAY, 1863, A MOUNTED PARTY OF ABOUT TWENTY CONFEDERATES, NEARLY ALL COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, SET OUT FROM MISSOURI TO RECRUIT TROOPS IN THE WEST. SEVERAL MILES EAST OF HERE THEY WERE CHALLENGED BY LOYAL OSAGE INDIANS. IN A RUNNING FIGHT TWO CONFEDERATES WERE KILLED AND THE OTHERS WERE SURROUNDED ON A GRAVEL BAR IN THE VERDIGRIS RIVER ABOUT THREE MILES NORTH OF THIS MARKER. IGNORING A FLAG OF SURRENDER, THE OSAGES SCALPED AND CUT THE HEADS OFF ALL BUT TWO OF THE PARTY. THESE, WOUNDED, HID UNDER THE RIVER BANK AND ESCAPED. AFTER THE WAR WHEN SETTLERS BEGAN STAKING CLAIMS ON THE OSAGE RESERVATION, CONGRESS AUTHORIZED REMOVAL OF THE TRIBE TO PRESENT OKLAHOMA. IN 1870 A TREATY WAS SIGNED IN A GROVE ON DRUM CREEK, THREE MILES SOUTHEAST. IRONICALLY, THE CHEAP LANDS TO WHICH THE OSAGES WERE REMOVED BECAME A GREAT OIL FIELD AND FOR A TIME THEY WERE THE WEALTHIEST PEOPLE PER CAPITA IN THE WORLD.
US-160, about one mile east of Independence,
Montgomery county.

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BAXTER SPRINGS MASSACRE

ON OCTOBER 6, 1863, GEN. JAMES BLUNT AND ABOUT 100 MEN WERE MET NEAR BAXTER'S SPRINGS BY WILLIAM QUANTRILL AND SEVERAL HUNDRED CONFEDERATES MASQUERADING AS UNION TROOPS. AS BLUNT'S BAND WAS PREPARING A MUSICAL SALUTE THE ENEMY FIRED. THIS SURPRISE ATTACK PREVENTED ORGANIZED RESISTANCE, AND THOUGH BLUNT ESCAPED NINE-TENTHS OF HIS MEN WERE KILLED. THE RAIDERS ALSO ATTACKED LT. JAMES POND AND 95 MEN ENCAMPED AT THE SPRINGS. THIS FORCE WAS LIKEWISE CAUGHT OFF GUARD BUT RESISTED UNTIL THE ENEMY RETIRED. THESE BATTLE SITES ARE IN PRESENT BAXTER SPRINGS. A NUMBER OF THE VICTIMS ARE BURIED IN THE NATIONAL CEMETERY ONE MILE WEST OF TOWN.

BAXTER SPRINGS WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1866 ON THE FORT LEAVENWORTH-FORT GIBSON MILITARY ROAD. FOR SEVERAL YEARS IT WAS IMPORTANT AS A TRADING CENTER FOR TEXAS CATTLE.
US-66, at Baxter Springs,
Cherokee county.

BATTLE OF MINE CREEK

IN OCTOBER, 1864, A CONFEDERATE ARMY UNDER GEN. STERLING PRICE WAS DEFEATED NEAR KANSAS CITY. HE RETREATED SOUTH, CROSSED INTO KANSAS, AND CAMPED AT TRADING POST. EARLY ON THE MORNING OF OCTOBER 25 UNION TROOPS UNDER GENERALS PLEASONTON, BLUNT AND CURTIS FORCED HIM FROM THIS POSITION, AND A FEW HOURS LATER THE BATTLE OF MINE CREEK WAS FOUGHT OVER THESE FIELDS. CONFEDERATE FORCES WERE THROWN INTO CONFUSION AS THEY TRIED TO CROSS THE STEEP, SLIPPERY BANKS OF THE STREAM. IN THE CLOSE FIGHTING ON THE BOTTOMS HUNDREDS OF REBEL SOLDIERS WERE CAPTURED, INCLUDING GENERAL MARMADUKE, WHO WAS TAKEN BY A 20-YEAR-OLD PRIVATE. ALTHOUGH UNION FORCES MISSED A CHANCE TO DESTROY PRICE'S ARMY THE DEFEAT WAS DECISIVE ENOUGH TO END THE THREAT OF A REBEL INVASION OF KANSAS. ABOUT 25,000 MEN WERE ENGAGED, MORE THAN IN ANY OTHER KANSAS BATTLE.
US-69, about two miles south of Pleasanton,
Linn county.

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FORT HARKER

ABOUT THREE MILES SOUTHWEST IS THE SITE OF FORT ELLSWORTH, ESTABLISHED IN 1864. TWO YEARS LATER IT WAS RENAMED FORT HARKER FOR MAJ. GEN. CHARLES G. HARKER AND IN 1867 WAS MOVED TO THE SITE OF PRESENT KANOPOLIS. WHEN THE UNION PACIFIC REACHED HERE IN 1867 THE FORT BECAME A STARTING POINT FOR STAGE LINES TO SANTA FE AND A FREIGHTING AND SUPPLY DEPOT FOR SOUTHERN AND WESTERN FORTS.

THIS REGION WAS IN THE HEART OF THE INDIAN COUNTRY. MARAUDING PLAINS TRIBES KEPT TROOPS FROM THE FORT ALMOST CONSTANTLY IN THE FIELD. HERE GENERAL SHERIDAN PLANNED HIS WINTER CAMPAIGN OF 1868-1869 WHICH FINALLY SUBDUED THE SOUTHERN INDIANS. OTHER FAMOUS GENERALS, INCLUDING GRANT, SHERMAN, HANCOCK, MILES AND CUSTER, VISITED OR WERE QUARTERED AT HARKER. SOLDIERS WERE STATIONED AT THE FORT UNTIL 1873. SOME OF THE BUILDINGS ARE STILL USED IN KANOPOLIS.
US-40, one and one-half miles north of Kanopolis,
Ellsworth county.

FORT ZARAH

IN 1825 THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SURVEYED THE SANTA FE TRAIL, GREAT TRADE ROUTE FROM WESTERN MISSOURI TO SANTA FE. TREATIES WITH THE KANSAS AND OSAGE INDIANS SAFEGUARDED THE EASTERN END OF THE ROAD BUT PLAINS TRIBES CONTINUED TO MAKE RAIDS. FORT ZARAH, AT THIS POINT, WAS ONE OF A CHAIN OF FORTS BUILT ON THE TRAIL TO PROTECT WAGON TRAINS AND GUARD SETTLERS. IT WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1864 BY GEN. SAMUEL R. CURTIS AND NAMED FOR HIS SON, MAJ. H. ZARAH CURTIS, WHO HAD BEEN KILLED IN THE BAXTER SPRINGS MASSACRE OCTOBER 6, 1863. THE FORT WAS BUILT OF SANDSTONE QUARRIED IN NEAR-BY BLUFFS. FORT ZARAH WAS SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED AGAINST AN ATTACK BY 100 KIOWAS ON OCTOBER 2, 1868. IT WAS ABANDONED IN 1869.
US-50N, three miles east of Great Bend,
Barton county.

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FORT DODGE

FORT DODGE WAS ESTABLISHED HERE IN 1864 BY MAJ. GEN. GRENVILLE M. DODGE. IT WAS A SUPPLY DEPOT AND BASE OF OPERATIONS AGAINST WARRING PLAINS TRIBES. CUSTER, SHERIDAN, MILES, HANCOCK, "WILD BILL" HICKOK AND "BUFFALO BILL" CODY ARE FIGURES IN ITS HISTORY. THE SITE WAS AN OLD CAMPING GROUND FOR WAGON TRAINS AT THE WESTERN JUNCTION OF THE "DRY" AND "WET" ROUTES OF THE SANTA FE TRAIL. THE FIRST BUILDINGS WERE OF SOD AND ADOBE ALTHOUGH SOME OF THE TROOPS LIVED IN DUGOUTS. SEVERAL OF THE STONE BUILDINGS ERECTED LATER ARE IN USE TODAY. THE FORT WAS ABANDONED IN 1882 AND IS NOW A STATE SOLDIERS' HOME. THE SPANISH EXPLORER, CORONADO, IS BELIEVED TO HAVE CROSSED THE ARKANSAS RIVER A FEW MILES EAST OF HERE IN 1541. US-154, at State Soldiers' Home,
four miles southeast of Dodge City,
Ford county.

INDIAN TREATIES ON THE LITTLE ARKANSAS

IN 1865 HUNDREDS OF PLAINS INDIANS CAMPED ON THESE PRAIRIES TO TALK PEACE WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. AMONG THEM WERE CHIEFS BLACK KETTLE AND SEVEN BULLS CHEYENNE), LITTLE RAVEN AND BIG MOUTH (ARAPAHOE), RISING SUN AND HORSE'S BACK (COMANCHE), POOR BEAR APACHE), SATANTA AND SATANK (KIOWA). FEDERAL COMMISSIONERS WITH GREAT PRESTIGE AMONG THE INDIANS WERE GENERAL HARNEY, COLONEL LEAVENWORTH, KIT CARSON AND WM. BENT. THE WHITES WANTED PEACE, UNMOLESTED TRAFFIC ON THE SANTA FE TRAIL AND LIMITATION OF INDIAN TERRITORY. THE INDIANS DEMANDED UNRESTRICTED HUNTING GROUNDS AND REPARATION FOR THE CHIVINGTON MASSACRE OF BLACK KETTLE'S BAND. TREATIES MADE HERE GAVE THE INDIANS RESERVATIONS SOUTH OF THE ARKANSAS, EXCLUDED THEM NORTH TO THE PLATTE, AND PROCLAIMED PEACE. SEVERAL WHITE CAPTIVES WERE RELEASED, AMONG THEM A WOMAN AND FOUR CHILDREN FROM TEXAS. LATER BOTH SIDES CHARGED VIOLATIONS AND WARFARE CONTINUED UNTIL THE MEDICINE LODGE TREATIES OF 1867. THERE IS A MONUMENT ONE MILE WEST.
US-81, four miles north of Wichita,
Sedgwick county.

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FORT HAYS

THIS NOTED FRONTIER POST WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1865 TO PROTECT MILITARY ROADS, GUARD THE MAILS, AND DEFEND CONSTRUCTION GANGS ON THE UNION PACIFIC, WHICH ARRIVED IN 1867. "BUFFALO BILL" CODY, SUPPLYING MEAT FOR RAILROAD CREWS, RECEIVED HIS NICKNAME HERE. AT THIS POST HE WAS MADE CHIEF SCOUT OF THE 5TH CAVALRY AFTER A RIDE OF 350 MILES IN 60 HOURS WITH MILITARY DISPATCHES. GENERALS MILES, SHERIDAN AND HANCOCK SERVED AT FORT HAYS, AND FROM HERE GEN. GEORGE CUSTER LED HIS 7TH CAVALRY AGAINST MARAUDING INDIANS. IN 1889 THE FORT WAS ABANDONED BUT THE STONE BLOCK AND GUARD HOUSES ARE STILL TO BE SEEN SOUTH OF TOWN.

HAYS CITY WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1867. FREE-SPENDING SOLDIERS, FREIGHTERS AND RAILROAD WORKERS SOON BROUGHT DANCE HALLS, SALOONS AND GAMBLING HOUSES. A BRIEF CAREER AS THE MOST LAWLESS TOWN ON THE FRONTIER RESULTED IN 50 "BOOT HILL" BURIALS. FOR A TIME "WILD BILL" HICKOK SERVED AS TOWN MARSHAL.
US-40, at east city limits of Hays,
Ellis county.

FORT WALLACE

BEFORE THE BUILDING OF THE UNION PACIFIC THE OLD DENVER ROAD CROSSED THESE PRAIRIES AND OVER IT PASSED SEVERAL OF THE FAMOUS FREIGHT AND STAGE LINES OF THE EARLY WEST. THE WILD PLAINS INDIAN BITTERLY FOUGHT THIS TRAFFIC THROUGH HIS HUNTING GROUNDS. FORT WALLACE, ESTABLISHED IN 1865 AS CAMP POND CREEK AND RENAMED IN 1866, WAS ONE OF FOUR MILITARY POSTS PROTECTING THE ROUTE. FROM 1865 TO 1878 IT WAS THE MOST ACTIVE POST ON THE INDIAN FRONTIER. TROOPS WERE ALMOST CONSTANTLY IN THE FIELD AND THE FORT WAS SEVERAL TIMES BESIEGED. IN JUNE, 1867, 300 CHEYENNES UNDER CHIEF ROMAN NOSE RAIDED AN OVERLAND STATION NEAR BY AND ATTACKED THE FORT, KILLING SEVERAL SOLDIERS. THE POST WAS ABOUT TWO MILES SOUTHEAST. IT WAS ABANDONED IN 1882 AND NOTHING NOW REMAINS OF THE STONE AND WOOD BUILDINGS WHERE ONCE AS MANY AS 500 MEN WERE STATIONED.
US-40, at Wallace,
Wallace county.

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THE CHISHOLM TRAIL

AT THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR WHEN MILLIONS OF LONGHORNS WERE LEFT ON THE PLAINS OF TEXAS WITHOUT A MARKET THE UNION PACIFIC WAS BUILDING WEST ACROSS KANSAS. JOSEPH MCCOY, AN ILLINOIS STOCKMAN, BELIEVED THESE CATTLE COULD BE HERDED OVER THE PRAIRIES FOR SHIPMENT BY RAIL. HE BUILT YARDS AT ABILENE AND SENT AGENTS TO NOTIFY THE TEXAS CATTLEMEN. THE TRAIL HE SUGGESTED RAN FROM THE RED RIVER TO ABILENE BUT TOOK ITS NAME FROM JESSE CHISHOLM, INDIAN TRADER, WHOSE ROUTE LAY BETWEEN THE NORTH CANADIAN RIVER AND THIS VICINITY. IN 1867 THE FIRST DRIVES WERE MADE AND DURING THE NEXT FIVE YEARS MORE THAN A MILLION HEAD MOVED NORTH PAST THIS PLACE. EVENTUALLY THE RAILROADS AND THE BARBED WIRE OF SETTLERS CLOSED THE LONG TRAILS. BUT THE COWBOYS OF THESE GREAT DRIVES, LIVING IN THE SADDLE FOR MORE THAN A MONTH, SWIMMING FLOODED RIVERS, FIGHTING NIGHT STAMPEDES, HAVE BECOME THE HEROES OF AN AMERICAN EPIC.
US-81, one and one-half miles north of Wichita,
Sedgwick county.

ABILENE, END OF THE CHISHOLM TRAIL

AT THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR WHEN MILLIONS OF LONGHORNS WERE LEFT ON THE PLAINS OF TEXAS WITHOUT A MARKET THE UNION PACIFIC WAS BUILDING WEST ACROSS KANSAS. JOSEPH MCCOY, AN ILLINOIS STOCKMAN, BELIEVED THESE CATTLE COULD BE HERDED NORTH FOR SHIPMENT BY RAIL. HE BUILT YARDS AT ABILENE AND SENT AGENTS TO NOTIFY THE TEXAS CATTLEMEN. IN 1867 THE FIRST DRIVES WERE MADE AND DURING THE NEXT FIVE YEARS MORE THAN A MILLION HEAD WERE RECEIVED. ABILENE BECAME THE FIRST OF THE WILD CATTLE TOWNS WHERE GAMBLING PLACES, SALOONS AND DANCE HALLS COMPETED FOR THE COWBOYS' WAGES. GUN FIGHTS WERE FREQUENT AND SEVERAL PEACE OFFICERS RESIGNED. THE FIRST TO BRING ORDER WAS TOM SMITH WHO WITH BARE FISTS ENFORCED THE ORDINANCE AGAINST CARRYING FIREARMS. MORE FAMOUS WAS "WILD BILL" HICKOK WHO BECAME KNOWN AS THE DEADLIEST "TWO-GUN" MARSHAL ON THE WESTERN FRONTIER. THERE ARE SEVERAL HISTORICAL MARKERS IN THE CITY.
US-40, two and one-half miles west of Abilene,
Dickinson county.

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MEDICINE LODGE PEACE TREATIES

IN OCTOBER, 1867, KIOWA, COMANCHE, ARAPAHOE, APACHE AND CHEYENNE INDIANS SIGNED PEACE TREATIES WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. 15,000 INDIANS CAMPED NEAR BY DURING THE COUNCIL, AMONG THEM THE FAMOUS CHIEFS SATANTA, LITTLE RAVEN, PAINTED LIPS (NO, NOT A SQUAW AND BLACK KETTLE. 500 SOLDIERS ACTED AS ESCORT FOR THE U. S. COMMISSIONERS. INTEREST IN THIS COLORFUL SPECTACLE WAS SO WIDESPREAD THAT EASTERN PAPERS SENT CORRESPONDENTS, AMONG THEM HENRY M. STANLEY, WHO LATER WAS TO FIND LIVINGSTONE IN AFRICA. WHILE THE TREATIES DID NOT BRING IMMEDIATE PEACE THEY MADE POSSIBLE THE RAILROADS AND EVENTUAL SETTLEMENT. THE SITE OF THE COUNCIL WAS AT THE CONFLUENCE OF MEDICINE RIVER AND ELM CREEK, A LITTLE SOUTHWEST OF MEDICINE LODGE. EVERY FIVE YEARS A TREATY PAGEANT IS REENACTED IN THIS AMPHITHEATER. IN MEDICINE LODGE THERE IS A COMMEMORATIVE MONUMENT ON THE HIGH SCHOOL GROUNDS.
US-160, on Peace Treaty grounds, one mile east of Medicine Lodge,
Barber county.

LINCOLN COUNTY INDIAN RAIDS

THE DESPERATE STRUGGLE OF PLAINS INDIANS TO KEEP OUT WHITE SETTLERS WAS A SUCCESSION OF RAIDS AND MASSACRES. THERE WERE SEVERAL ATTACKS IN PRESENT LINCOLN COUNTY. IN 1864 CHEYENNES ON A FORAY THROUGH THE SALINE VALLEY TRAPPED FOUR BUFFALO HUNTERS AGAINST A ROCKY LEDGE A LITTLE SOUTH OF THIS MARKER AND KILLED THEM AFTER A BITTER FIGHT. IN 1868 THREE WOMEN WHO HAD BEEN CAPTURED AND MALTREATED BY MARAUDING INDIANS WERE FOUND SEVERAL DAYS LATER HALF-DEAD ON THE PRAIRIE. IN 1869 TEN PERSONS WERE MASSACRED AND TWO WOMEN WERE CAPTURED ON THE SALINE RIVER AND NORTHWEST OF HERE ON SPILLMAN CREEK. FEDERAL TROOPS LATER RESCUED ONE OF THE WOMEN IN COLORADO. A MONUMENT TO THE VICTIMS OF 1864 AND 1869 STANDS ON THE COURTHOUSE SQUARE IN LINCOLN.
K-18, two miles east of Lincoln,
Lincoln county.

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DODGE CITY, THE COWBOY CAPITAL

FOR TEN YEARS THIS WAS THE LARGEST CATTLE MARKET IN THE WORLD AND FOR FIFTEEN IT WAS THE WILDEST TOWN ON THE AMERICAN FRONTIER. ESTABLISHED WITH THE COMING OF THE SANTA FE IN 1872, DODGE CITY BECAME THE SHIPPING CENTER OF THE SOUTHWEST. THE HUNTERS WHO EXTERMINATED THE BUFFALO HERE MARKETED SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF HIDES AND MEAT. HUNDREDS OF WAGON TRAINS CARRIED SUPPLIES TO WESTERN TOWNS AND ARMY POSTS. BY 1875 MOST CATTLE TRAILS LED TO DODGE; IN 1884 TEXAS DROVERS ALONE BROUGHT 106 HERDS NUMBERING 300,000 HEAD. AS A RENDEZVOUS FOR HUNTERS, TRAPPERS, COWBOYS, SOLDIERS, RAILROAD BUILDERS, BULLWHACKERS, INDIANS, SALOON KEEPERS, DANCE HALL GIRLS, THUGS AND GAMBLERS, THE TOWN BECAME NOTORIOUS FOR VICE AND VIOLENCE. NUMEROUS VICTIMS WERE BURIED ON BOOT HILL. EVENTUALLY LAW WAS ENFORCED BY SUCH "TWO-GUN MARSHALS" AS BAT MASTERSON, WYATT EARP AND BILL TILGHMAN. NEAR DODGE CITY ARE THE SITES OF OLD FORT MANN AND FORT ATKINSON. THE SANTA FE TRAIL WHICH THEY WERE ESTABLISHED TO PROTECT MAY STILL BE TRACED ON THE NEAR-BY PRAIRIE.
US-505, one mile west of Dodge City,
Ford county.

LONE TREE MASSACRE

IN 1874 TWENTY-SEVEN PERSONS WERE MURDERED BY INDIANS ON THE WESTERN FRONTIER OF KANSAS. SEVERAL TIMES DURING THE SUMMER WARRIORS BROKE AWAY FROM THE RESTRAINT OF THEIR RESERVATIONS IN INDIAN TERRITORY -- PRESENT OKLAHOMA -- AND MOVED NORTH KILLING AND PLUNDERING. ON AUGUST 24 CHIEF MEDICINE WATER AND A BAND OF TWENTY-FIVE CHEYENNES AMBUSHED SIX MEN OF A SURVEYING COMPANY ELEVEN MILES SOUTHWEST OF HERE. AFTER A RUNNING FIGHT OF THREE MILES THE OXEN DRAWING THE SURVEYORS' WAGON WERE SHOT. ALL THE MEN WERE KILLED AND THREE WERE SCALPED. TWO DAYS LATER THEIR BODIES WERE FOUND BY OTHER MEMBERS OF THE PARTY AND WERE BURIED TEMPORARILY IN A COMMON GRAVE NEAR A SOLITARY COTTONWOOD FIVE MILES SOUTH OF THIS MARKER. FOR MANY YEARS THE "LONE TREE" WHICH GAVE ITS NAME TO THIS MASSACRE WAS A FAMOUS LANDMARK ON THE PRAIRIE.
US-54, one and one-quarter miles west of Meade,
Meade county.

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RED TURKEY WHEAT

CHILDREN IN RUSSIA HAND-PICKED THE FIRST SEEDS OF THIS FAMOUS WINTER WHEAT FOR KANSAS. THEY BELONGED TO MENNONITE COLONIES PREPARING TO EMIGRATE FROM THE STEPPES TO THE AMERICAN PRAIRIES. A PEACE-LOVING SECT, ORIGINALLY FROM HOLLAND, THE MENNONITES HAD GONE TO THE CRIMEA FROM PRUSSIA IN 1790 WHEN CATHERINE THE GREAT OFFERED FREE LANDS, MILITARY EXEMPTION AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. HERE THEY PROSPERED UNTIL THESE PRIVILEGES WERE THREATENED IN 1871. THREE YEARS LATER THEY EMIGRATED TO KANSAS, WHERE THE SANTA FE RAILROAD OFFERED THOUSANDS OF ACRES ON GOOD TERMS IN MARION, HARVEY, RENO AND MCPHERSON COUNTIES, AND WHERE THE LEGISLATURE PASSED A BILL EXEMPTING RELIGIOUS OBJECTORS FROM MILITARY SERVICE. WITHIN A MONTH AFTER LANDING IN NEW YORK THE MENNONITES PLANTED THE RED-GOLD GRAINS THEIR CHILDREN HAD SELECTED. THE HARVEST WAS THE FIRST OF THE GREAT CROPS OF HARD TURKEY RED AND ITS DERIVATIVES THAT HAVE MADE KANSAS THE GRANARY OF THE NATION.
US-508, one-half mile east of Walton,
Harvey county.

LAST INDIAN RAID IN KANSAS

IN SEPTEMBER, 1878, A BAND OF HOMESICK NORTHERN CHEYENNES, CONSISTING OF 89 MEN, 112 WOMEN AND 134 CHILDREN, STOLE AWAY FROM THEIR OKLAHOMA RESERVATION UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF CHIEF DULL KNIFE. ATTACKED BY SMALL TROOP DETACHMENTS AND COWBOYS THEY MOVED THROUGH KANSAS KILLING AND PLUNDERING. WESTERN COUNTIES WERE TERRORIZED, BUT FORT LEAVENWORTH DISCOUNTED REPORTS AND DELAYED HELP. WEEKS LATER 149 OF THE INDIANS WERE CAPTURED IN NORTHERN NEBRASKA. MOST OF THEM WERE AFTERWARD KILLED IN PRISON BREAKS AND FEW WERE RETURNED TO OKLAHOMA. THEIR ESCAPE ACROSS THREE STATES PURSUED BY TROOPS FROM THREE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS WAS CONSIDERED A REMARKABLE FEAT. INNOCENT VICTIMS WERE FORTY KANSAS SETTLERS MURDERED ON THEIR FARMS. HERE IN DECATUR COUNTY NINETEEN WERE KILLED ON SAPPA CREEK. A MONUMENT STANDS IN THE CEMETERY ONE MILE EAST OF THIS MARKER. Junction of US-36 and US-183,
at northern city limits of Oberlin,
Decatur county.

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CALDWELL AND THE CHISHOLM TRAIL

A MILE SOUTHEAST OF THIS MARKER THE CHISHOLM TRAIL ENTERED KANSAS. IT TOOK ITS NAME FROM JESSE CHISHOLM, INDIAN TRADER, WHOSE ROUTE LAY BETWEEN THE NORTH CANADIAN RIVER AND PRESENT WICHITA. IN 1867 IT WAS EXTENDED FROM THE RED RIVER TO ABILENE WHEN THE BUILDING OF THE UNION PACIFIC GAVE TEXAS CATTLE AN EASTERN MARKET. OVER THIS LONG TRAIL MORE THAN A MILLION HEAD WERE DRIVEN BEFORE THE SANTA FE BUILT SOUTH AND BROUGHT THE DRIVES TO NEWTON, 1871, AND THE NEXT YEAR TO WICHITA. INCOMING SETTLERS IN KANSAS SOON FENCED OFF THE LAND AND BY 1876 DROVERS HAD ABANDONED THE TRAIL. IN 1880, HOWEVER, THE RAILROAD BUILT TO CALDWELL, ONE MILE NORTH, AND DRIVES WERE RESUMED. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT TWO MILLION LONGHORNS WERE DRIVEN ACROSS THE PRAIRIE HERE ON A ROAD THAT IN MANY PLACES WAS A QUARTER OF A MILE WIDE AND AS BARE AS A MODERN HIGHWAY.
US-81, one mile south of Caldwell,
Sumner county.

OLD RUNNYMEDE

TWO MILES NORTHEAST OF HERE, IN 1890, STOOD A TYPICAL ENGLISH VILLAGE. CURVING DRIVEWAYS LED TO ENGLISHSTYLE HOUSES SET AMONG ROWS OF CLIPPED HEDGES. NEAR BY WERE POLO GROUNDS, A STEEPLECHASE COURSE, A RACE TRACK, TENNIS COURTS AND A FOOTBALL FIELD. RED-COATED HUNTERS RODE TO HOUNDS ACROSS THE BUFFALO-GRASS PRAIRIE. FARMS AND ORCHARDS WERE MODELED AFTER ENGLISH ESTATES AND ON THE TOWNSITE A THREE-STORY HOTEL AND OTHER BUSINESSES WERE ESTABLISHED. THE PROMOTER OF ALL THIS BRITISH ACTIVITY WAS AN IRISHMAN WHO PERSUADED WEALTHY FAMILIES TO SEND SONS TO THE COLONY TO LEARN AMERICAN FARMING METHODS. IN PRACTICE RUNNYMEDE STRONGLY RESEMBLED A MODERN DUDE RANCH. ALTHOUGH AT ONE TIME A HUNDRED YOUNG ENGLISHMEN LIVED IN THE SETTLEMENT, A NUMBER OF WHOM OWNED ESTATES, IT WAS A FAILURE AS A COLONY. WHEN HARD TIMES CAME OLD RUNNYMEDE COLLAPSED AND MOST OF ITS REMITTANCE MEN RETURNED TO ENGLAND. TODAY WHEAT FIELDS COVER THE TOWNSITE.
K-2, at Runnymede,
Harper county.

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OPENING OF THE CHEROKEE OUTLET

AT NOON ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1893, MORE THAN 100,000 PEOPLE LINED THE BORDERS OF THE CHEROKEE OUTLET LISTENING FOR THE PISTOL SHOTS THAT STARTED ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST RACES. THE PRIZE WAS 8,000,000 ACRES OF LAND: A QUARTER SECTION OR A TOWN LOT TO EVERY ELIGIBLE SETTLER WHO COULD STAKE A CLAIM. FOR WEEKS 50,000 HOMESEEKERS AND SPECULATORS FROM ALL PARTS OF THE COUNTRY HAD BEEN GATHERING TO MAKE THE RUN FROM THIS VICINITY. JOCKEYING FOR POSITION AS NOON APPROACHED WERE CITY CABS, BICYCLES, COVERED WAGONS, BUGGIES, OX TEAMS, INDIAN PONIES AND RACE HORSES. THOUSANDS PREPARED TO WALK AND OTHER THOUSANDS FILLED THE CARS OF SPECIAL RAILROAD TRAINS. WHEN THE PISTOLS WERE FIRED THE MAD RUSH BEGAN ALONG 400 MILES OF BORDER. BY NIGHTFALL THE OUTLET WHICH FOR CENTURIES HAD BEEN THE HOME OF THE INDIAN, THE COYOTE AND THE BUFFALO WAS A SETTLED LAND OF TOWNSITES AND HOMESTEADS.
US-77, three miles south of Arkansas City,
Cowley county.

BOYHOOD HOME OF GENERAL FUNSTON

FREDERICK FUNSTON, FIVE FEET FOUR AND SLIGHTLY BUILT, WENT FROM THIS FARM TO A LIFE OF AMAZING ADVENTURE. YOUTHFUL EXPLORING EXPEDITIONS IN THIS COUNTRY WERE FOLLOWED BY TWO YEARS IN THE ARCTIC FROM WHICH HE RETURNED DOWN THE YUKON RIVER 1,500 MILES BY CANOE. AFTER VENTURES IN LATIN AMERICA HE SERVED 18 MONTHS WITH CUBAN INSURGENTS, FIGHTING IN 22 ENGAGEMENTS AND REACHING THE RANK OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL. INVALIDED HOME SHORTLY BEFORE THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR, FUNSTON WAS MADE COLONEL OF THE 20TH KANSAS INFANTRY. IN 1901 HE PLANNED AND EXECUTED THE CAPTURE OF AGUINALDO, COMMANDER OF THE FILIPINO ARMY. HE RECEIVED A CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR AND AT 35 WAS MADE A BRIGADIER GENERAL IN THE REGULAR ARMY. IN 1914, DURING INTERVENTION IN MEXICO, HE COMMANDED VERA CRUZ AS MILITARY GOVERNOR AND WAS THAT YEAR MADE A MAJOR GENERAL. HE DIED IN 1917. THIS WAS THE HOME OF HIS FATHER, EDWARD H. FUNSTON, A MEMBER OF CONGRESS, 1884-1894.
US-59, four and one-half miles north of Iola,
Allen county.

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GEODETIC CENTER OF NORTH AMERICA

ON A RANCH 18 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THIS MARKER A BRONZE PLATE MARKS THE MOST IMPORTANT SPOT ON THIS CONTINENT TO SURVEYORS AND MAP MAKERS. ENGRAVED IN THE BRONZE IS A CROSS-MARK AND ON THE TINY POINT WHERE THE LINES CROSS DEPEND THE SURVEYS OF A SIXTH OF THE WORLDS SURFACE. THIS IS THE GEODETIC CENTER OF THE UNITED STATES, THE "PRIMARY STATION" FOR ALL NORTH AMERICAN SURVEYS. IT WAS LOCATED IN 1901 BY THE U. S. COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY. LATER CANADA AND MEXICO ADOPTED THE POINT AND ITS SUPPORTING SYSTEM AS THE BASE FOR THEIR SURVEYS AND IT IS NOW KNOWN AS THE "NORTH AMERICAN DATUM." WHAT GREENWICH IS TO THE LONGITUDE OF THE WORLD, THEREFORE, A KANSAS PASTURE IS TO THE LINES AND BOUNDARIES OF THIS CONTINENT. IT MUST NOT BE CONFUSED WITH THE GEOGRAPHIC CENTER OF THE U. S. WHICH IS 42 MILES NORTH, IN SMITH COUNTY.
US-24 and US-281, one-fourth mile north of Osborne,
Osborne county.

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Geographic Center of U. S. marker

Read text in the marker