Six Mile Creek
Morris County, Kansas

Six Mile Stage Station Marker

     The original proprietor of the Six Mile Creek Station is not known. However, Samuel Shaft who was appointed postmaster at Six Mile in February, 1863 is presumed to be the initial owner. In the fall of 1865, two brothers from New Hampshire, Frank and William Hartwell, came west to Kansas. At Topeka, they were advised to purchase a ranche on the Santa Fe Trail. Finding the Six Mile Creek Station for sale, they purchased the business for $2,000. The property consisted of a low stone building with three rooms and a dirt roof, a log building used as a store, and a stable. Additionally, the former owner had constructed a sturdy, stone corral. Business was poor through the winter, and to complicate matters, rumors were afloat that the stage company was about to move its headquarters to Junction City, thus bypassing the Six Mile Creek Station. That rumor proved true as the Union Pacific Railroad-Eastern Division pushed west to Junction City where a new eastern terminus for the Santa Fe Trail was established. The June 12, 1866 Junction City "Union" reported that the stage line would run from Junction City to Santa Fe after July 1.

     In the meantime, the Hartwells were informed that the stage company was in need of a ranche at the Cimarron Crossing, thirty miles west of Fort Dodge. The HartwelIs sold the Six Mile Ranche for $500 to Charley Owens and departed to the Cimarron Crossing to establish a new business in company with six other men. In October, 1866, the post office was discontinued, but Owens kept the station in operation through 1868. In that year, Cheyennes, moving eastward to war with their ancient Kaw enemies at Council Grove, burned the buildings. Fortunately, Owens and his wife were away at the time. The station was never reopened.

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