Wet/Dry Routes Chapter
Quarterly Newsletter
Vol. 1 "1994" No. 2

     The Spring Meeting of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter is scheduled for April 24, 1994 at the Senior Citizen's Center in Burdett, Kansas. As usual, the Business agenda will begin at 2:00 with the program at 3:00. The speaker will be David Clapsaddle, his topic, Burning Lime and Making Money. As an added attraction, a field trip will be taken to some nearby lime kilns.

1994 Officers
     Officers for 1994 elected during the Chapter's Winter Meeting at Kinsley on January 30, 1994 include: President, Lon Palmer: Vice President, Louis Van Meter; Secretary/Treasurer; Mildon & Ida Yeager; Program Director, David Clapsaddle. All four of the officers served in the same positions during the previous year.

Newsletter Name Contest Completed
     The Chapter officers have narrowed the nominations for the newsletter name to four: "Traces" "The Ox Yoke" "Scuttlebutt" "Catch Up" and "Wet/Dry Tales". These four names will be put to a vote of the membership at the April 24th meeting. Any member not able to be in attendance may submit a vote by mail to Secretary Ida Yeager.

Traveling Display
     The new traveling display which features artifacts and commentary related to the evolution of freighting on the Santa Fe Trail continues to be well received in many communities. Since the Winter Meeting at Kinsley, the display has been on exhibit at Kinsley, Offerle, Spearville, and Dodge City, Kansas. Chapter member, Larry & Carolyn Mix of St. John continues to transport the display from city to city. Thanks loads!

First Winner of the Faye Anderson Award
     The first annual winner of the Faye Anderson Award was Leo and Bonita Oliva, Woodston, Kansas. The Olivas received a handsome plaque and a lifetime membership in the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter at the Chapter's Winter Meeting January 30, 1994. The Olivas edit and publish Wagon Tracks, the official newsletter of the Santa Fe Trail. The Olivas are long time supporters of the Chapter and we are proud to have them as members.

Winter Meeting
     The Winter Meeting was held in the City Building, Kinsley, Kansas January 30, 1994 with an excellent attendance. Items on the agenda included: The approval of July 4, 1994 for the Annual Chuckwagon fund raiser; The Approval of the Chapter's serving a Chuckwagon meal during the 1995 Santa Fe Trail Symposium; And the Approval of a $500 contribution to the 1995 Santa Fe Trail Symposium budget.

Book Reviews
Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail
by Leo Oliva
226 pages, illustrations, select bibliography, index;
University of Oklahoma Press, 1967; Out of Print, located in most libraries

     All Santa Fe Trail and military history enthusiasts are fortunate that Dr. Oliva wrote this trail history. In all honesty, his book turned me on to the Santa Fe Trail History. While in high school I was given a copy and after reading it, I could not wait to get to Hays to meet Dr. Oliva. The author succeeds in making the military's activities on the trail come alive. This book is full of primary references that are well footnoted so the reader can return to that source and dig further into the subject when doing research. Another great aspect of this work is that Dr. Oliva is always willing to visit about the subject, and will assist with your research.

     This book contains an excellent over all view of the trail then expands with chapters easily arranged by years. The first section covers military escorts, while the following sections cover effects of the Mexican and Civil Wars, military protection and soldier life. The one section I would like to see updated is the one dealing with Fort Larned. When you read that section, I am sure you will see what I am talking about without my going into it.

     We certainly need to thank Dr. Oliva for writing this worth while addition to history. I would like to see everyone write Dr. Oliva and encourage him to update this book and then have it reprinted so you can purchase a copy for your personal Santa Fe Trail library.
George Elmore

Going West
     Going West; by Jean Van Leeuwen, New York, New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1992. 41 pages. Illustrated by Thomas B. Allen.

     "Going West" is a delightful story about a pioneer family leaving their home in the East and heading West in a covered wagon to make a new home. If there is a flaw in this book, it is the fact that the author tries to cover too much time, in to short of a story, thereby leaving out day-to-day details about starting a new life on the frontier. This small flaw is definitely outweighed by the wonderful illustrations which appear on every page. Another plus for this book is the fact that the author did not identify where the family had lived or where they were going. This allows the children to use their imagination and have this family follow any one of the many trails used to settle the West, including the Santa Fe Trail. For many children, they can imagine their ancestors as they made their journey to establish their new homes on the plains.

     This book can easily be read by a 2nd grader, but both older and younger children will enjoy it.

Stone Post as Markers
     The Wet/Dry routes Chapter is urging other Chapters interested in marking the trail to use limestone posts. The Wet/Dry Chapter has found these posts to be durable and economical. Chapter members are willing to share information about the cost, availability and transportation of limestone posts to interested parties. Information is also available regarding the preparation and mounting of plaques on the posts. Should other chapters chose to use limestone posts, a continuity of markers could be established throughout the length of the trail. Interested chapters may contact any officer of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter.

Did You Know?
     As the Santa Fe Trail departed its original terminus at Franklin, Missouri, it followed the wooded valley of the Missouri River westward to the present day Missouri Kansas border. There, the trail turned southwest through the tall grass prairie dominated by big and little blue stem to present day McPherson County. From that point, the blue stem began to fade into buffalo and gamma grasses; and upon reaching Walnut Creek in present day Barton County, the trail was without question in short grass country. Where there was buffalo grass, there were buffaloes, and where there were buffaloes, there were Indians.

     Prior to reaching Walnut Creek, travelers had little need to be concerned about difficulties with Indians; but beginning at Walnut Creek, sentinels were posted at night, and the wagons began to travel four abreast. Such a configuration had several advantages over traveling in single file; In case of Indian attack, each set of four wagons could quickly assemble into a diamond of defense; In case a wagon broke down, the remaining wagons in the caravan did not have to circumvent long line of wagons common to a single file; Such a configuration prevented Indians from cutting off the last few wagons bringing up the rear. Ruts showing the four abreast configuration are replete in many trail locations. One such set of ruts are located adjacent to the north city limits of Larned on the Bob Jost property. Anyone wishing to view these ruts should contact this writer. Please do not trespass on the property.

More Eagle Service Award Projects
     On March 20. 1994, a handsome roadside sign was erected on U.S.156 west of Burdett directing the public to Duncan's Crossing, a well known site on the Historic Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road. The installation of the sign was the culmination of an Eagle Service Award project under taken by Scott Divis, Troop 238, Lewis, Kansas. Scott is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Lyle Divis of Lewis; his scout master is Ron Lindberg. Serving as advisor for the project was David Clapsaddle, Program Director for the Wet/Dry Route Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail.

     In addition to the four Eagle Service Award projects already completed, two more are under way. Included is a project to compile a directory of the fifty-eight markers set by the Chapter which will identify land owners and legal descriptions of each site as marked. Matt Waldren has volunteered for this assignment; and Shane Schnoebelen is replacing four of the newly quarried limestone markers which have deteriorated due to last winter's harsh weather. All of the above named scouts are members of Troop 238, Lewis, Kansas, Ron Lindberg Scout Master. The Chapter owes a special round of applause to these scouts and their parents.

Self Guided Auto Tour of the Santa Fe Trail
     After months of preparation, the Self Guided Auto Tour is available for distribution. The booklet lists the fifty-nine markers places on the five separate routes of the Santa Fe Trail by the Chapter in 1991-1993. With each listing are odometer readings to direct trail buffs to the sites along with commentary on historical significance of each location marked. The booklets are available free of charge through the generous support of the Larned Convention and Tour Committee. The booklet will be available at many locations in Pawnee, Edwards, and Ford Counties. We would be remiss if we did not recognize Larry & Carolyn Mix for their careful check of odometer readings.

New Members
     Julie Ackerman, Offerle, Ks -- Mr. & Mrs. Rick Blasing, LaCrosse, Ks -- Betty Broddock, Dodge City, Ks -- Loren & Gia Lane, Larned, Ks -- Boyd Mundhenke, Kinsley Ks -- David & Brenda VanMeter, Larned Ks -- Mr. & Mrs. Jones Cananaugh, Great Bend, Ks

Dues are always Due to the
Fastest Hand in the West

     Chapter dues in the amount of $10.00 per family, are due at the Winter meeting or may be mailed to Alice Clapsaddle, 215 Mann, Larned, Kansas, 67550. Checks should be made out to the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter. Dues and email addresses are welcome.
"Printable Dues Form"

Do Not send Wet/Dry Routes Chapter dues to the Santa Fe Trail Center
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