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Bypaths of Kansas History - May 1942

(Vol. 11, No. 2), pages 216 to 218.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.


Over forty divorces were granted in acts passed by the Kansas territorial legislature of 1860. Sol. Miller, editor of the White Cloud Kansas Chief, took notice of this legislation in his issue of March 8, 1860:

We think it would be a judicious move to appoint a committee in each county in the territory, whose duty it shall be to use the utmost diligence to ascertain how many and what married persons in the territory were not divorced by the late legislature. Some folks may be interested in knowing just how they stand on that question.


From the Topeka Tribune, March 10, 1860.

We have lately learned of a curious custom, prevailing among the Kaw Indians. It is usual with them to marry their children in infancy. The parents having agreed to the marriage, the children are laid beside each other, in the presence of the chief, when the parents promise for them, and going through with various ceremonies, the twain (infants) are made one flesh. It then becomes the duty of the respective parents to bring up their children in view of their union, and impress upon their minds the duties pertaining to those relations.

A friend who is well acquainted with the tribe, informs us that it is not remarkable to see a child not yet one year old, who is a widow or widower. We are also informed that when the child has lost its companions, it is usual for the parents to supply it with another, and this is sometimes done without respect to age; hence, an Indian twenty years of age, is not unfrequently married to a baby girl not yet a year old.

Whether this custom prevails in any other tribe or not, we do not know, nor can we account for this unnatural custom with this tribe, since it takes off all the romance of Indian courtship, of which we have read, and robs the Indian of half the glory which historians have ascribed to him. Still, such is the custom among the Kaws.


From the Fort Scott Democrat, March 29, 1860.

"Old man Hathaway," who lives on Drywood, near the state order to save himself from being driven off by the Indians, been down to the [Cherokee] Nation, and married a Cherokee woman. Unmarried men living on the Neutral Land, and who wish to remain there, can do so, by following Mr. Hathaway's example. line, has, in




From the Emporia News, April 14, 1860.

MILL RAISING.--All the settlers for several miles around were engaged on last Monday and Tuesday in raising the heavy frame of Peter Harvey's mill, at Neosho Rapids, twelve miles east of Emporia. About 125 men were employed the first day, and 150 the next. The building is 60 feet long by 40 feet wide, and four stories high. It is intended for a flouring mill, saw mill, and carding mill. The flouring mill will contain five pairs of burrs. Those who have seen the frame since it was erected, describe it as the most beautiful piece of mechanical work they have ever seen anywhere. The mill when completed will probably be the largest and finest in Kansas territory. Its cost cannot be less than $15,000. A fine dam is being constructed, which will afford an abundance of water power to run the mil] all the year. Neosho Rapids, by the aid of this mill, must spring up and become quite a place. Two new stores, we understand, are to be opened there soon.


From The Conservative, Leavenworth, January 28, 1861.

AN AMUSING INCIDENT. One day last week the Union Guards, under command of Capt. Thatcher, went through their usual evolutions on the ice. The place of drilling was novel-and we doubt if the bosom of the Big Muddy was ever put to such a use before. The company went through the exercises with as much precision as the nature of the case would admit.

An amusing incident happened while the company was on drill. A couple of our Missouri neighbors, who were probably on their first visit to the city, did not see the company until they had got part way across the river. At that time the company was on the "double quick march" toward the Missouri shore. One would-be witness halted at the first sight of the company, "about faced," and climbed the ice at a "march" that soon put the "double-quick time" company far in the rear. The last seen of our Missouri friends, their coat-tails were in a horizontal position, and turned towards Leavenworth.


From The Smoky Hill and Republican Union, Junction City, September 5, 1863.

A Manhattan correspondent of the Leavenworth Bulletin says that six hundred thousand tons of hay have been put up at Fort Riley. Good joke on the garrison, which was all infantry at the time of writing. Enough to supply five hundred such posts.