"Cottonwood Creek Crossing"
USGS Aerial Photograph

Cottonwood Crossing Marion County Kansas

     Cottonwood Crossing, west of Durham, Kansas was also known as Moore's Ranch in the 1860's. The first to build a cabin there was George Smith, the man who later lost his Lost Spring place to Jack Costello. In 1858 as noted in the Journal of Commerce, this stop in the Santa Fe Trail was fairly important in the providing of supplies, corn, hay, wood, grass and water. It was also a mail station which means that this was the first post office in later Marion County. Smith maintained the ranch until the Moore Brothers bought him out.

     Abraham Atlantic More and his older brother Ira drove government ambulances from Kansas City to Santa Fe in 1858. They made one trip down to Santa Fe, disliked the work, and headed back home crossing Kansas. At Cottonwood Crossing they stopped and visited with George Smith who was running the trading post, selling whiskey, canned goods and other provisions to passing Santa Fe Trail wagon trains and travelers. The Moore brothers were interested in the business and bought it from Smith. A traverler on his way to Pike's Peak wrote in his journal that almost 700 people had camped on "Cottonwood crick". Buffalo, deer, elk and antelope grazed nearby. Moore's ranch is nothing more than two log cabins, one for a dwelling and one for the grocery store.

     Mr. Moore was made postmaster at the station in 1861. He kept the ranch but moved on to Marion Centre where he established the first store. Moore's Ranch was also the stage stop for a time.

Cottonwood Crossing Marion County Kansas




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