What’s New

Enjoy these latest additions to our website:

George Bent when older.George Bent – Cheyenne-American Soldier & Leader – George Bent was a Cheyenne-American interpreter, historian, Civil War soldier, and Cheyenne Dog Soldier who lived in Colorado.

Susan Magoffin – Recording the Santa Fe Trail – Susan Shelby Magoffin was one of the first women to travel the Santa Fe Trail. Making the journey with her husband, a trader, she kept a detailed diary of her travels which has been extensively used as a source for the history of the time.

Bose IkardBose Ikard – Black Cowboy in Texas – Bose Ikard was a former slave who participated in the pioneering cattle drives and honed his cowboy skills with Charles Goodnight.

For the History Buff: 10 Fascinating Historical Sites of Colorado – In Colorado, there’s no shortage of opportunities to indulge your interests. From ancient cliff dwellings to iconic mines and everything in between.

Charles Waggoner – Colorado Robin Hood – Submitted by Author Daniel R. Seligman, not many tales of ‘robin hood’ outlaws were like Charles Waggoner, a banker in Colorado who saved his depositors by swindling banks in New York City just before Black Tuesday, 1929.

November Newsletter – A Glorious Disaster, scattered lodges to largest city, salute to veterans & Native American Heritage in this month’s newsletter.

Scouts Of The Prairie 1872Scouts of the Prairie: A Glorious Disaster – Author Daniel R. Seligman brings us the story of Scouts of the Prairie, a stinker of a play that opened on December 16, 1872 in Chicago. The show was a critical step in the artistic transition from dime novel to stage and launched Buffalo Bill Cody into stardom.

The Mothman of West Virginia – In Point Pleasant, West Virginia, a large humanoid creature called the Mothman was sighted decades ago by two young couples who fled the dark woods in terror.

Thomas R. Livingston – Confederate Guerilla – Major Thomas R. Livingston was a Confederate soldier during the Civil War and a participant in the Bleeding Kansas era that preceded the war.

Wichita, Ks - Emporia-and-Douglas-Avenue 1879Wichita, Kansas – Largest City (Legends of Kansas) The site of Wichita was first settled in 1864 when J.R. Mead opened a trading post. When Mead first settled, the Wichita Indians occupied the land, and the town was named for the tribe. The word means “Scattered Lodges.”

Tuttle Creek Lake and State Park(Legends of Kansas) The lake is a reservoir on the Big Blue River five miles north of Manhattan. It provides 12,500 surface acres of water and 100 miles of shoreline, making it the second-largest lake in Kansas.

Steps to Counteract Sickness While Traveling – Possibly one of the worst times to get sick is when you’re traveling, as you’re nowhere near the creature comforts that help you feel that little bit better. Here’s what to do in case this happens to you. (Submitted by Daniel Sherwin at DadSolo.com)

Assaria, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Assaria, Kansas, in Smoky View Township in south central Saline County, was founded when several ChicagoIllinois settlers bought a section of land for $3.50 an acre.

Riding a buffalo on Bean Day in Wagon Mound, New Mexico by Russell Lee, 1939.Wagon Mound, New Mexico – On the Santa Fe Trail – Wagon Mound, New Mexico, a village in Mora County, is located at the foot of a butte called Wagon Mound, an important landmark on the Santa Fe Trail.

October Newsletter – Fall trippin, First Restaurant Chain in America, long path to citizenship, and an obscure American Revolution… In this month’s newsletter.

Aliceville, Kansas – Ghostly in Coffee County(Legends of Kansas) Aliceville, Kansas, located in Avon Township of Coffey County, is an extinct town because it no longer has a post office. However, it is also an interesting ghost town with a number of buildings, a profitable bank, and an active church.

Fort Brewerton, New York – Fort Brewerton, New York, constructed in 1759, is a historic fort site located in Oswego County. It was built to protect the passage from Albany to the port of Oswego.

Fort Wadsworth, New York by Carol Highsmith.Fort Wadsworth, New York – Rich in history and natural beauty, Fort Wadsworth allows visitors to observe an important part of our nation’s history while offering magnificent views of New York Harbor.

Lone Elm, Kansas – Ghost Town in Anderson County(Legends of Kansas) Lone Elm, Kansas, located in Lone Elm Township of southeast Anderson County, is officially an extinct town because it no longer has a post office. However, as of the 2020 census, its population was 27.

Indigenous Americans Long Path to U.S. Citizenship – The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 was the first to extend U.S. citizenship to Indigenous peoples of America on a mass scale, 148 years after the founding of our nation.

Nabor Pacheco – Pima County Lawman – Nabor Pacheco was the first person of Mexican descent elected as Sheriff of Pima County in Arizona Territory in 1904.  He is credited with ending the practice of Public Hangings in Arizona territory.

Harvey GirlsHarvey Hotels & Restaurants Along the Rails – Founded in 1876 by Fred Harvey to cater to the growing number of train passengers, the Fred Harvey Company owned the popular Harvey House chain of restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality businesses alongside railroads in the late 1800s. It was the first restaurant chain in the U.S.

Mary Colter – Architect of the West – Mary Colter was one of the very few female American architects of her day. She was also the chief architectural designer and interior decorator for the Fred Harvey Company from 1902 to 1948.

Willis, Kansas – Extinct in Brown County(Legends of Kansas) Willis, Kansas, is a ghost town in Mission Township of Brown County. Though it showed much promise in its early days, it is a shell of its former self today.

The Battle of Athens: An Obscure American Revolution(reprinted with permission from Libertarianism.org) Also known as the McMinn County War, this August 1946 battle between returning war veterans and a corrupt sheriff was caused by voter suppression.

Sodder Children RewardMissing Sodder Children in West Virginia – On December 25, 1945, tragedy struck the Sodder family in Fayetteville, West Virginia, when their house went up in flames, and five children disappeared.

Lafontaine, Kansas – Extinct in Wilson County – La Fontaine, in Talleyrand Township of Wilson CountyKansas, got its start on March 14, 1879, when a post office was established. Today, it is a ghost town.

Parallel Road to the Colorado Goldfields(Legends of Kansas) The Parallel Road was surveyed in 1859, when gold was discovered near DenverColorado. This road, which made its way across Kansas, into Nebraska, and Colorado, would be utilized by several stage lines in the following years.

September Newsletter – Massacre in the Meadows, Old Spanish Trail, The Osage, and much more in this month’s newsletter.

Mildred, Kansas – Ghostly in Allen County(Legends of Kansas) Mildred was founded in 1907 by Kansas City industrialist Sam T. Dermott for the Great Western Portland Cement Company of ChicagoIllinois.

Denmark, Kansas – Extinct in Lincoln County(Legends of Kansas) One of the first permanent settlements in Lincoln County, it was settled about 1869 by Danish Lutherans.

Beaumont, Kansas – Ghostly in Butler County(Legends of Kansas) Beaumont, Kansas, is an unincorporated community and semi-ghost town in Glencoe Township of Butler County. It’s known for the historic hotel and cafe still in operation.

Saffordville, Kansas – Extinct in Chase County(Legends of Kansas) Saffordville, Kansas, in Toledo Township of Chase County, was first called Safford. After peaking at over 200 residents in the early 1900s, it is extinct today.

Cedar Point, Kansas – Chase County Tiny Town (Legends of Kansas)  Cedar Point, in western Chase County, was founded in 1862. Today it is a semi-ghost town with several remaining buildings and a historic flour mill.

Hotel in Clements, Kansas 1910.Clements, Kansas – Ghostly in Chase County (Legends of Kansas) Clements in western Chase County, was first called Crawfordsville. It is a ghost town today. Little remains except for the beautiful stone arch bridge, ruins, a couple of old buildings, and an old store.

Delano, Kansas – Wicked in Wichita(Legends of Kansas) Delano, Kansas, once another rowdy Kansas cowtown, is now a historic neighborhood of Wichita in Sedgwick County.

Waterloo, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Waterloo, Kansas, a tiny hamlet of Kingman County, is located in Galesburg Township, ten miles northeast of Kingman. Though it is officially an “extinct” town because it no longer has a post office, it still displays several homes, buildings, and a small population.

Early day Fort Scott, Kansas.Bourbon County, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Bourbon County, Kansas, is on the Missouri border in the southeast part of the state. Its county seat and most populous city is Fort Scott.

Garland – Bourbon County Ghost Town(Legends of Kansas) – Today, Garland is a ghost town. It still has named streets and a scattering of homes — some still lived in and others in ruins.

Marmaton – Extinct in Bourbon County (Legends of Kansas) Marmaton, Kansas, first spelled “Marmiton,” located in central Bourbon County, was first settled in about 1857. It is an extinct town today.

Hiattville KansasHiattville – Extinct in Bourbon County(Legends of Kansas) Hiattville, Kansas, in Pawnee Township of Bourbon County, was first called Pawnee. It is an extinct town today.

Wilson Reservoir & State Park(Legends of Kansas) Wilson Reservoir and State Park, in north-central Kansas, is located in the heart of the Smoky Hills. It is considered by many to be the most beautiful lake in the state.

Greeley County, Kansas – (Legends of Kansas) The county is named after Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, who encouraged western settlement with the motto “Go West, young man.”

Shawnee County, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) One of the original 33 counties created by the first territorial legislature in 1855, Shawnee county is now the third most populous in Kansas.

Charles Preuss – Mapping the Oregon Trail – John C. Frémont’s cartographer was the German Immigrant George Karl Ludwig Preuss who helped created the original Oregon Trail Map. Historian and author Stephen Schell writes of his important work and the search for a grave almost lost.

Smoky Hill Trail, KansasButterfield Overland Despatch Stage Stations – The first Butterfield Overland Despatch stagecoach left Atchison, Kansas, on Monday, September 11, 1865, and arrived in Denver on Monday, September 23, 1865

Kansas City, Lawrence and Southern Kansas Railroad(Legends of Kansas) The Kansas City, Lawrence, and Southern Kansas Railroad initially went by several other names.

Le Loup Kansas – Extinct in Franklin County(Legends of Kansas) The town was first named Ferguson, but  was renamed LeLoup after a French traveler got off at Ferguson and mistook a coyote for a wolf and began shouting “le loup.”

Argentine Kansas - Silver AveArgentine – Kansas City Neighborhood(Legends of Kansas) Argentine, Kansas, was formerly a city in Wyandotte County. It was annexed by Kansas City in 1910. Located on the south bank of the Kansas River, three miles from its mouth, this was the site of a former Shawnee Indian reservation.

Plan Ahead to Lower Stress and Enjoy Your Getaway – Whether you’re visiting relatives, traveling solo, or planning a cross-country getaway with your partner, it is entirely in your power to actually enjoy traveling.  Submitted by Daniel Sherwin of DadSolo.com.

July Newsletter – America’s First Medical Mandate, A gunfight to beat all gunfights, Cadillac Ranch, The Cherokee, and much more!! in this month’s newsletter.

Osage County(Legends of Kansas) The only white men living in the county before 1854 were General Whistler, an ex-army officer and Indian trader, and John Goodell, both of whom had married Indian wives and were living where the Santa Fe Trail crossed 110 Mile Creek, and a man by the name of Case, who kept a trading post at the Indian agency at Quenemo.

Superior – Extinct in Osage County – Superior, Kansas was the first town and the county seat in what was then Weller County. Today, the Superior School is all that remains as evidence of the town of Superior.

Olivet Kansas Depot 1956

Olivet – By 1910, the town was a station on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad and was a shipping point for the prosperous farming community.

Melvern Lake & Eisenhower State Park(Legends of Kansas) Melvern Lake and Eisenhower State Park are located in the Tallgrass Prairie of Osage County, Kansas. It offers nearly 7,000 acres of water and more than 17,000 acres of public land for a variety of recreational opportunities.

Blaine(Legends of Kansas) Blaine is an unincorporated community in Pottawatomie County, Kansas. It is also an “extinct town” as it no longer has a post office. However, it still has a small resident population, several homes, and the beautiful St. Columbkille Catholic Church.

Indianola – Extinct in Shawnee County(Legends of Kansas) Indianola, Kansas in Shawnee County was situated at the crossing of Soldier Creek on the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Riley Military Road.

Emerald – Extinct in Anderson County(Legends of Kansas) Located on Iantha Creek on the Anderson-Franklin border the community was first settled by immigrants from old Ireland or the Emerald Isle in 1856.

Leavenworth County(Legends of Kansas) The first whites to visit Leavenworth County were the French traders and explorers who came up the Missouri River early in the 18th century. The first European settlement in the area was Fort de Cavagnial, built in 1744.

Jarbalo(Legends of Kansas) Jarbalo, Kansas, is a very small town in Leavenworth County. Because it no longer has a post office, it is officially an extinct town today.

Willow Springs(Legends of Kansas) Willow Springs, Kansas in Douglas County, was once a popular campsite on the Santa Fe Trail. It is extinct today.

smallpox patient

Smallpox and America’s First Medical Mandate – General Washington issued the first medical mandate in America, a military order to inoculate all soldiers against smallpox in 1777.

Fort Leavenworth-Fort Riley Military Road – The military road from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley, Kansas, was blazed shortly after Fort Riley was created in 1853.

Vieux Crossing, Kansas – On the Oregon Trail – The crossing was utilized by travelers as early as 1819, when Thomas Say, a member of Stephen H. Long’s expedition, camped near the crossing. By the 1840s, it was regularly used. Kit Carson and John C. Fremont crossed here in 1842 and the Donner Party in 1846.

Central City – Lost Town(Legends of Kansas) Central City, Kansas, in Nemaha County, was laid out in 1855, by William Dodge, for Thomas Newton and his sons and H. H. Lanham.

Bakers Ford(Legends of Kansas) Baker’s Ford was located on California Trail at the crossing of the Nemaha River.

Log Chain Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Log Chain was the next station on the line west of the Kickapoo/Goteschall Station, which was on the Overland Trail. An eating station on the line, it was also kept by Noble H. Rising.

Nemaha County(Legends of Kansas) Nemaha County, Kansas was one of the original 33 counties created by the first territorial legislature in 1855.

Richmond (Legends of Kansas) Extinct in Nemaha County – Richmond, Kansas in Nemaha County was settled in 1854 by Cyrus Dolman. It is an extinct town today. It was located on the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Kearny Military Road at the crossing of the South Fork of the Nemaha River.

June Newsletter – A salute to the United States Flag, Kansas Adventures, Witness to Little Big Horn & Pony up to the bar in this month’s newsletter.

Trego County(Legends of Kansas) Trego County includes several sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Collyer Downtown Historic District, St. Michael School & Convent in Collyer, and the one-room Wilcox School south of WaKeeney.

Cedar Bluff Reservoir (Legends of Kansas) The reservoir was built and is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for irrigation, area water supply, and flood control. It also serves visitors with recreation opportunities, and Cedar Bluff State Park is located on its shore.

Bluffton Station on the Smoky Hill Trail(Legends of Kansas) The station was named for its location beneath an almost perpendicular 75-foot bluff. Here, several travelers inscribed their names to such an extent that it was said that the pillar rivaled Independence Rock in Wyoming for names per square foot.

Wilcox – Extinct in Trego County (Legends of Kansas)  A post office was established on April 30, 1879, on land provided by William K. Willcox. The second ‘L” was later dropped from the original spelling of Willcox.

Hickory Point – Extinct in Jefferson County(Legends of Kansas) The community of Hickory Point was laid out in March 1855 on the north side of the Fort LeavenworthFort Riley military road. From the beginning, a contest arose between the Free-State and pro-slavery residents of the area.

Easton, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) In the early autumn of 1854, Andrew Dawson, Colonel William G. Mathias, General L. J. Eastin, and others laid out the village of “Eastin,” named for General L. J. Eastin, the editor of the Leavenworth Weekly Herald newspaper.

Buckcreek, Kansas – Extinct in Jefferson County(Legends of Kansas) More than 20 years after the school was established, a post office opened in Buckcreek on May 15, 1899. However, its life was short-lived. It closed on December 31, 1905.

Thompsonville, Kansas – Extinct in Jefferson County(Legends of Kansas)  Thompsonville, Kansas, was a hamlet located on the Delaware River in Kentucky Township of Jefferson County.

Jefferson County(Legends of Kansas) Jefferson County, Kansas, was one of the counties formed and organized by the first territorial legislature in 1855.

One Room, Country, & Historic Schools of Cherokee County(Legends of Kansas) There are several historic one-room schools in Cherokee County, Kansas.

Agnes City(Legends of Kansas) Agnes City, Kansas, in Lyon County, was founded by Arthur Inghram Baker about eight miles east of Council Grove in 1856.

Scipio(Legends of Kansas) Scipio is an extinct town in Anderson County, Kansas. However, it is still home to the beautiful St. Boniface Catholic Church.

Anderson County Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Anderson County, located in East Central Kansas, was established while Kansas was still a territory in 1855. It was one of the 33 original counties established.

Flint Hills near Manhattan KansasThe Flint Hills Of Kansas(Legends of Kansas) The Flint Hills, historically known as Bluestem Pastures or Blue Stem Hills, is a region in eastern Kansas and north-central Oklahoma. It was named for the abundant flint eroded from the bedrock near or at the surface.

Litchfield(Legends of Kansas) Litchfield, Kansas was a busy coal-mining town on Carbon Creek in Crawford County. At one point, it was shipping about 500 carloads of coal each month. It’s gone today.

Girard(Legends of Kansas) Girard was founded in the spring of 1868 to oppose Crawfordsville as the county seat. It was named Girard by Mr. Strong, after his hometown in Pennsylvania.

Arcadia Kansas Main Street Arcadia(Legends of Kansas) A man named Howell was the first to settle here near Coxe’s Creek and opened a blacksmith shop in 1844. He had married a Cherokee Indian woman, which gave him the right to live in the Indian lands. He also built a double log house.

Frontenac(Legends of Kansas) Frontenac, Kansas, got its start as a coal mining town in 1886 in the Cherokee-Crawford Coal Fields. Today it is the second-largest city in Crawford County.

Cato – Extinct in Crawford County(Legends of Kansas) Cato was full of firsts. It was here that the first white child was born in Crawford County, the first fraternal organization was formed, the first school was located, the first church was founded, the first Sunday School was organized, the first coal mining operation, and the first County Fair. It was also the home to Nels Smith, Crawford County’s first millionaire.

Croweburg(Legends of Kansas) Located halfway between Arma and Mulberry, Croweburg was made up of four separate mining camps. Each camp was about a half-mile apart from one another, and the community unified as Croweburg.

Clinton Lake (Legends of Kansas) This area of the Wakarusa Valley had a history of flooding before the construction of Clinton Lake which had devastated the former towns of Belvoir, Bloomington, and Sigil in Douglas County, and Richland in Shawnee County numerous times.

Clearfield School, Baldwin City Kansas

One Room, Country & Historic Schools of Douglas County(Legends of Kansas) The first immigrant party, made up of 29 men arrived in Lawrence in August 1854. Though their primary mission was to ensure slavery would be illegal in Kansas, it was written into their original petition that immigrants coming to Kansas Territory would be provided with public education.

Oak Ridge, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Oak Ridge, Kansas, is an extinct town in Douglas County. It was located in Grant Township, about five miles northeast of Lawrence.

April Newsletter – Quest for Treasure on the Missouri, Aliens & Outlaws (2008 Adventure), Cynthia Ann Parker, Memories of more past adventures all in this month’s Newsletter.

Coal Mine, KansasCoal Mining In Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Coal mining has been going on in Kansas as early as 1827. Bituminous coal deposits were widely distributed in eastern Kansas.

Clinton, KS(Legends of Kansas) Clinton, Kansas, one of the early settlements of Douglas County, is an unincorporated community located on a peninsula next to Clinton Lake.

Twin Mound – Extinct in Douglas County (Legends of Kansas) Twin Mound is an extinct town in western Douglas CountyKansas, founded by Henry Hiatt, an Indiana native who arrived with his wife, five children, and widowed mother-in-law in Kansas Territory in April 1856.

Pitty Pat Hollow  – Tennessee Lore – The pitty-pat is a shadowy creature that has inhabited that area since the late 1860s and has been the subject of ridicule, however, for many people who have encountered the pitty-pat, there is a sense of total belief and fear in its existence.

Tall Grass Prairie Schoolhouse courtesy National Park Service.Tall Grass Prairie Preserve (Legends of Kansas) Located in the Flint Hills, two miles north of Strong City, Kansas, this 10,894-acre portion of the once vast tallgrass prairie is preserved for this generation’s benefit, education, and enjoyment.

Bazaar, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Bazaar, Kansas is an unincorporated ghost town located in the picturesque Flint Hills of Chase County. One of the oldest towns in the county, the settlement got its start in March 1856 on Rock Creek on an old trail that ran south from Cottonwood Falls.

Fulton, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Fulton, Kansas, a tiny town in northeast Bourbon County, was established in 1869. The town was first called Osaga for the Little Osage River that runs north of the town.

Rapp Schoolhouse –  (Legends of Kansas) The old Rapp Schoolhouse in Osage County, Kansas, is one of the few, if not the only one-room eight-grade schoolhouses in the state that still has its original desks and textbooks.

Chingawassa Springs, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) This group of several springs were renamed in the late 1800s after Osage Indian Chief Chingawassa, meaning Handsome Bird.

Moore’s Ranch & Cottonwood Crossing(Legends of Kansas) – Cottonwood Crossing, west of Durham, Kansas, was one of the more famous and difficult stream crossings on the Santa Fe Trail.

Lost Spring Station(Legends of Kansas) Long before it was known to travelers on the Santa Fe trail, Lost Spring was used by the Indians, early explorers, and traders.

Old Ancho, New Mexico SchoolAliens & Outlaws – Our 2008 Adventure in Southern New Mexico (Travel Blog) In February 2008, while Dave was still working in the corporate world, we took a flight out to El Paso from Missouri, rented a Jeep, and traveled through history in Southern New Mexico.

Arvonia – Lost on the Prairie(Legends of Kansas) An extinct town today, Arvonia was settled in 1869, by a company of Welsh people led by John Mather Jones. From Utica, New York, Jones was the owner of a Welsh-language newspaper.

Quest for Treasure in the Missouri River –  Author Jerry Walker Sr. brings us the true story of the unsuccessful attempt at raising the sunken boat, the Pontiac, from the Missouri River in the 1880s.

Glasco Kansas 1910Glasco(Legends of Kansas) In November 2002, Glasco’s Downtown Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes both sides of Main Street between Fisher Street and Railroad Avenue.

Minersville – Coal Mining in Cloud County  – (Legends of Kansas) Minersville was a small town located near the northern border of Cloud County, Kansas. The town is extinct today.

William Comstock – Ace of Scouts – William Comstock, a scout on the central plains in the days of the Old West, was celebrated by contemporaries for his skills but was killed in the line of duty.

March Newsletter – Mining on Mount Irish, Adventure in Flour Power, Native Remedies, Women’s History Month and more! in this month’s newsletter.

Ruins in Logan City, NevadaLogan City, Nevada – Mining on Mount Irish – Logan City, Nevada was settled in 1865 after the discovery of silver on the eastern slope of Mount Irish, about 2.5 miles south of Mount Irish Peak. Today it’s a ghost town.

Cleburne (Legends of Kansas) Cleburne, Kansas, one of the river towns of Riley County, was located in Swede township. It was razed when Tuttle Creek Dam was built.

Bala, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Bala, Kansas is a ghost town in eastern Riley County that got its start with Welch immigrants around 1870.

Army City Fort RileyArmy City, A Short-Lived High Life(Legends of Kansas)  Army City was a town built in 1917 to satisfy the needs of Camp Funston on Fort Riley, Kansas military reservation.

Ashland Colony(Legends of Kansas) The Ashland Colony, sometimes called Ashland Bottoms, was initially established in Geary County, Kansas, within a few months after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill.

Bazine(Legends of Kansas) The community started as a station on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. It was named for the French general François Achille Bazaine.

De Soto(Legends of Kansas) De Soto, Kansas, in Johnson County to its start in the spring of 1857 and was named for 16th-century Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.

Border War between Missouri and Kansas.

Johnson County Border Troubles (Legends of Kansas) Johnson County, like other eastern parts of Kansas, was caught up in border troubles with Missouri after Kansas Territory was created and into the Civil War.

Quantrill Raids Olathe(Legends of Kansas) On the evening of September 6, 1862, William Quantrill led his Confederate guerrillas, numbering from 125 to 150,  in a raid against Olathe, Kansas.

Bennie and Stella Dickson – Depression Era Bank Robbers – Bennie and Stella Dickson were a husband and wife team who turned to a life of crime shortly after their marriage. It put them in the crosshairs of the FBI.

Hoisington(Legends of Kansas) Established around 1886, Hoisington was a big railroad stop for the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

Fort Hays State University(Legends of Kansas)  In 1901 the legislature passed legislation establishing the Fort Hays Experiment Station (part of Kansas State University) and set apart about 4,000 acres for the Western Branch State Normal School.

Arkansas City Summit Street 1890Arkansas City(Legends of Kansas) The founders of Arkansas City arrived at the site on January 1, 1870, and a settlement called Walnut City was platted the same year.

Edmund Ross(Legends of Kansas) Edmund G. Ross was a journalist, free-state advocate, and United States Senator from Kansas.

Martin Parmer – Woodsman Turned Texas Hero – Martin Van Buren Parmer was a frontiersman, soldier, a founder of Missouri, a veteran of the Texas Revolution, and a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Carry NationCarry Nation(Legends of Kansas) Carry Nation was a temperance reformer, author, and lecturer in Kansas. She was particularly noteworthy for promoting her viewpoints through vandalism.

John Geary (Legends of Kansas) John White Geary was the third Territorial Governor of Kansas, a lawyer, a Union general in the Civil War, and the 16th governor of Pennsylvania.

Fry W. Giles, Topeka, Kansas FounderFry Giles(Legends of Kansas) Fry W. Giles was a free state supporter, promoter of the Topeka Movement, and one of the founders of TopekaKansas.

Blue Lodges Against Freedom(Legends of Kansas) Many of these lodges were established in western Missouri in 1854 to thwart Northern anti-slavery plans to make Kansas a Free-State under the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain – Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a college professor, Civil War General for the Union, Medal of Honor recipient, and the 32nd Governor of Maine.

David Dawson Mitchell – David Dawson Mitchell was a fur trader, soldier, and superintendent of Indian Affairs.

Charles KeemleCharles Keemle – Charles Keemle was a journalist, fur trader, and Indian fighter who had a hand in many newspapers in St. Louis.

Daniel Lamont – Fur trader Daniel Lamont was one of three partners of the Upper Missouri Outfit of the American Fur Company and one of the original company men of the Columbia Fur Company.

Sunflower Ordnance Works & Village (Legends of Kansas) Sunflower Ordnance Works was a powder and propellant manufacturing facility in northwest Johnson County, Kansas. It was established in 1942 on 9,063 acres, three miles south of De Soto.

Gibson General Store, Stilwell, Kansas, 1915

Stilwell, Kansas – Johnson County Neighborhood(Legends of Kansas) Much of the small downtown was burned in a fire in about 1925, from which it never completely recovered. Today, there are only a few structures left standing.

Ocheltree(Legends of Kansas) Ocheltree, Kansas was a village in the extreme southern part of Johnson County. Located two miles north of Spring Hill, and about eight miles south of Olathe, the town is extinct today.

February Newsletter – Deep in the heart of Texas, extinct towns of Johnson County Kansas, Black History Month, and more! In this month’s Newsletter.

I Wanna Be a Cowboy…In Bandera (Travel Blog)and then San Felipe de Austin, the original Texas Capital before Texas was..well, Texas. We cowboyed up in the Cowboy Capital, then traveled to the original Texas Colony on a lone star adventure.

San Felipe de Austin, Texas – First Colony – San Felipe de Austin, Texas, was chosen by Stephen F. Austin as the unofficial capital of his colony in Mexican Texas in October 1823.

 Monticello, KS General StoreMonticello, Kansas(Legends of Kansas) Monticello, Kansas, is an extinct town in northern Johnson County. This heavily timbered area was originally home to the Shawnee Indians.

Chouteau, Kansas – Long Lost Trading Post(Legends of Kansas) Choteau, Kansas, once a hamlet of Johnson County, got its start as a trading post along the Kansas River. It is an extinct town today.

William Whitney Brazelton – William Whitney Brazelton, also known as “Brazen Bill,” was a stagecoach robber who operated in Arizona and New Mexico in the days of the Wild West.

Sheppard Busby – Marshal Hanged – Sheppard Busby was a U.S. Deputy Marshal commissioned in the Western District of Arkansas, and the only U.S. Deputy marshal to be hanged at Fort Smith.

Thomas Johnson – Kansas Missionary(Legends of Kansas) Thomas Johnson was a Methodist minister who founded the Shawnee Methodist Mission in Kansas.

Colonel Henry Inman

Colonel Henry Inman

Henry Inman – Soldier and Author(Legends of Kansas) Henry Inman was a soldier, frontiersman, and author who published several widely read books.

Lanesfield, Kansas and the Battle of Bull Creek(Legends of Kansas) Lanesfield, Kansas, in Johnson County, was a Free-State town located on the Santa Fe Trail. The town no longer exists today.

Oxford, Kansas and the Oxford Fraud(Legends of Kansas) Today there is no marker or monument to commemorate the old town of Oxford that once stood, but the important history here has been felt for generations.

Bonita, Kansas – Extinct in Johnson County(Legends of Kansas) The first settlement was made by Frank Temple and William Jobi, on October 17, 1879, and a post office was established in December 1879, with F. Gilbert as the first postmaster.

Holliday, Kansas – Lost Town to Landfill (Legends of Kansas) First called Waseca, the town was platted in 1882 and received a post office on June 26, 1882.

Aubry, Kansas – Bleeding Kansas Battleground(Legends of Kansas) Aubry, Kansas, located in southeastern Johnson County was once a bloody battleground during the border troubles of the Civil War.

Happy New Year! – Our final newsletter of 2021 looks back at our top three adventures over the last year.

Farrington Brothers – Confederate Train Robbers – In the early 1870s, brothers Levi and Hillary Farrington, from near Gilliam Station, Tennessee began to rob trains.

Last Major American Train Robbery – The last major American train robbery was attempted on November 25, 1937, on a Southern Pacific Railroad’s westbound Apache Limited out of El Paso, Texas.

Archaic Spear Point.Archaic Period in American History – Archaic cultures are defined by common characteristics rather than a particular time or location. The primary characteristics are changes in subsistence and lifestyle.

December Newsletter –  Origins of the Ghost Dance, Disaster in Ashtabula, Largest Stone Fort in America, a Pioneer Christmas, and MORE in this month’s newsletter.

Folsom Culture in America – Thought to have derived from the earlier Clovis culture, the groups differentiated by a specific and unique stone tool-making technology.

Pueblo Grande de Nevada – The Lost City – Pueblo Grande de Nevada, also known as the “Lost City,” is a complex of villages located near Overton, Nevada.

Lozen, Apache Warrior WomanLozen – Apache War Woman & Prophet – Lozen, the younger sister of famous Apache Chief Victorio, was a skilled warrior, shaman, and prophet of the Chihenne Chiricahua Apache.

Jones & Plummer Trail – This trail was established in the fall of 1874 when two former buffalo hunters turned merchants and freighters, opened a dugout store in the Texas Panhandle.

Pullman Market Hall courtesy Wikipedia.

Pullman, Illinois – A Model Company Town – Pullman, Illinois, developed in the 1880s just outside the Chicago city limits, was one of the largest and most substantial early company towns in the United States.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Virginia – Appomattox Court House National Park in Virginia commemorates the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to Union General Ulysses S. Grant.

Native American Smudging – Smudging is a ritualistic burning of herbs and plants to purify and cleanse negative energy, bring good luck, and protect a person or place.

Coal Miner and Horse in West Virginia Mine.

West Virginia Coal Mining – A large part of West Virginia’s heritage is its coal mining history. Coal has contributed significantly to the state’s economic, political, and social history since it was first discovered in Boone County in 1742.

Company Towns of America – In many cases, these towns were developed in remote locations to service mining, railroad construction, logging, dam sites, factories, and war-industry camps. Far from other established towns, the companies generally owned all the buildings, businesses, and homes.

Joseph “Rowdy Joe” Lowe – Saloon Gunfighter – After serving in the Union during the war, he was mustered out and he and his wife, Kate Daniels, better known as “Rowdy Kate,” moved from Illinois to Kansas, where they would roam through several cowtowns establishing several bawdy joints.

Sweet Virginia – Saving Our Nation More than Once(from our Photo Travel Blog) – Virginia can lay claim to being the beginning, and end of British Colonialism, and the savior of our nation during the Civil War.

Fort Monroe Moat by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Fort Monroe, Virginia – Fort Monroe is a military installation overlooking the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The largest stone fort ever built in the United States, it is also the only moat-encircled fort remaining in active duty.

October Newsletter – From a scenic drive to a ghostly tale, a West Virginia ghost town to some really big stuff, all in our latest newsletter.

Thurmond, West Virginia – Most Thurmond property is owned by the National Park today. The entire town is a designated historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. Thurmond is the least-populous municipality in West Virginia.

Thurmoond National Bank, Thurmond, West Virginia by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Finding Our Lumps in West Virginia (From our Photo Travel Blog)Exploring mining towns of West Virginia, we discovered just how hard a life it is to be a coal miner. We also found a really long arch bridge. 

Chillicothe, Ohio – Chillicothe, Ohio, the county seat of Ross County was the first territorial capital and the first and third state capital of Ohio.

From the National Road to Worlds Largest Stuff in the Land of Lincoln – (From our Photo Travel Blog) We found ourselves on the Cumberland Road, the first national highway, as we ventured across Illinois. We also discovered BIG things in Casey.

Fort Leavenworth-Fort Gibson Military Road – The Fort Leavenworth-Fort Gibson Military Road was created in 1837 and designated as the “permanent Indian Frontier” borderline.

Ponca Tribe – The Ponca are a Siouan tribe of Nebraska, who were closely related to the OmahaOsageKanza, and Quapaw.

Crush Explosion

Monster Crash At Crush – There once was a town in Texas that existed only for a day, and exclusively for one event. To purposely crash two locomotives head-on.

September Newsletter – Another mountain adventure, Native American Ordeals, Stuckey’s Stuckey’s Everywhere, Two heads are better than one, and more in this month’s newsletter.

San Luis Valley, Colorado – Much of the beautiful landscape remains largely unchanged, where visitors can enjoy mountain biking, scenic hikes, skiing, fishing, camping, and other activities along the Reio grande, the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains, and Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.

Bent's Fort Colorado by Kathy Weiser-Alexander

Bent’s Fort – Trading on the Trails(From our Photo Travel Blog) – Bent’s Old Fort is a must-see stop if you are in Southeastern Colorado. The old trading post played a large role on the Santa Fe Trail.

On the Road – Cimarron and the Santa Fe Trail(From our Photo Travel Blog) While we were in the Eagle Nest and Moreno Valley area, we took a trip westward through Cimarron Canyon to the historic Santa Fe Trail at Cimarron, New Mexico.

Costilla, New Mexico Plaza building by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Costilla, New Mexico – Along with nearby Amalia, New Mexico, and Garcia, Colorado, Costilla was founded as a farming and ranching community in the early 1800s.

Questa, New Mexico – A Mining Maven – Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Questa, is a village in northern Taos County. The village is on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, near the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Red River.

Eagle Nest Lake, New Mexico

On the Road – The Beauty & History of New Mexico’s Moreno Valley – In our latest Travel Blog, we revisit the beauty and history of the Moreno Valley.

Wampanoag Tribe – The Wampanoag people were original natives of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  It was the Wampanoag people who befriended the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.

Assiniboine Tipis

Assiniboine Tribe – The Assiniboine are a tribe with similar characteristics to the Nakota Sioux. The differences in dialect between the two suggest a time of separation sometime before 1640.

July Newsletter – Magical Shrine in New Mexico, General Order No. 11, Dakota War of 1862, 200th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail, and much more in this month’s newsletter.

Tewa Puebloans – The Tewa people are a group of Pueblo tribes belonging to the Tanoan linguistic family. They historically made their homes on or near the Rio Grande north of Santa FeNew Mexico.

Chimayo, NM -El Santuario

Chimayó, New Mexico – Land of Healing – El Santuario de Chimayó, north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, attracts hundreds of thousands each year to its alleged healing earth.

Kansas Transportation History(From our Legends of Kansas pages) From horses to covered wagons, steamboats, and railroads, this is the history of Kansas Transportation.

James H. “Dog” Kelly(From our Legends of Kansas pages) James H. “Dog” Kelley was the Dodge CityKansas mayor when several of the Old West’s most famous lawmen worked under him, including BatJames, and Ed Masterson, as well as Wyatt and Morgan Earp.

Thomas County Courthouse, Colby KansasColby, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Despite its location, a major drought, and the dust bowl, Colby has held its own in Northwest Kansas as the Thomas County Seat.

Clayton, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Clayton, Kansas, is a semi-ghost town located primarily in Norton County but also in Decatur County. It is known for a horrific train crash in 1910 that killed and injured many passengers.

William Allen White(From our Legends of Kansas pages) William Allen White was a journalist, author, and one of the best-known men in Kansas during his lifetime.

Edward P. McCabe, first black state auditor for KansasEdward McCabe – Pioneer and Auditor(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Edward P. McCabe was a colonizer of NicodemusKansas, and the first African American to serve as state auditor.

David Hoyt(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Major David Starr Hoyt was a Free-State advocate who was killed by pro-slavery men during the days of Bleeding Kansas.

Junction City, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas pages) It takes its name from its location at the confluence of the Smoky Hill and Republican Rivers, which form the Kansas River.

Vintage Paola, Kansas

Paola, Kansas(From our Legends of Kansas pages) By the 1840s, white settlers began to move to the area, and several missionaries lived in and near “Peoria Village.” In 1852, an Italian Priest named Paul D. Ponziglione arrived and renamed the village Paola after a small town on the coast of Calabria, Italy.

Black Friday Flood of 1951(From our Legends of Kansas pages) “Black Friday,” July 13, 1951, still stands as the single greatest day of flood destruction in Kansas.

Big Dam Foolishness at Tuttle Creek(From our Legends of Kansas pages) Though there were 25 floods that damaged the area and cities downstream between the years 1903 to 1959, there was much opposition to building the dam that created the lake.

Cottonwood Falls Kansas

More Kansas Emerging Ghost Towns of the Plains (From our Legends of Kansas pages) :

Cottonwood Falls – The first settlement in the Cottonwood Falls area began in 1854 when an Indian trader named Seth Hays founded a cattle ranch on the Cottonwood River close to the mouth of the Diamond Spring Creak.

Wheeler– Wheeler, Kansas was laid out by the Lincoln, Nebraska Land Company during the building of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad to St. Francis, Kansas in 1887.

Green – Governor Green offered to buy a bell for the first Methodist Church to be established in a town named Green. The bell is still there today.

June Newsletter – Happy Birthday America! Meandering around Kansas, Colonial Williamsburg, Walnut Grove Dam Disaster, and much more! in this month’s newsletter.

 

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