Wet/Dry Routes Chapter
Quarterly Newsletter
Vol. 2 "1995" No. 2

     The spring meeting is scheduled for April 23, 1995 at the Dodge City Public Library, Business at 2:00 to be followed by program 2:45. The program will be presented at Youthville by Bruce Kenyon. Bruce's program will be a blacksmithing demonstration.

Winter Meeting
     The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter met January 15, 1995 at Offerle, Kansas. Included in the business session was the election of 1995 officers: President, Louis Van Meter; Vice-President, Janice Klein; Secretary/Treasurer, Ida Yeager. Reports were given with regard to the Lime Kiln Project, The Lime Kiln Project, the Life and Legacy of Henry Booth booklet and the project to mark the graves of Lucie and Nathaniel Booth. The Chapter voted to join the Fort Dodge/Dodge City Chapter in the installation of markers at Fort Mann, Point of Rocks, and The Caches. In other business, the 1995 Santa Fe Trail Symposium was discussed with Steve Linderer, Symposium Coordinator, briefing the Chapter on the program as planned.

     The Chapter presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Matt Waldren of Boy Scout Troop #238 for completion of his Eagle Award, the compilation of a directory of the markers placed on the Santa Fe Trail in Pawnee, Edwards, and Ford Counties. The highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the Faye Anderson Award to Mildon Yeager. Two presentations followed the business session. Janice Klein told of using the Learning Box with her students at Methodist Youthville in Dodge City; and Joel Walker spoke on the Pawnee Indians and their relation to the Santa Fe Trail.

Faye Anderson Award
     Recipient of the 1995 Faye Anderson award was Mildon Yeager of Larned Kansas, presented at the January 15 meeting of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter in Offerle, Kansas. Yeager has been one of the prime movers in the marking of the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road, the Santa Fe Trail between Forts Larned and Dodge, and historic sites in the Larned area associated with Henry Booth. The award is given annually to a person/s or group who have made significant contribution to the preservation and interpretation of the Santa Fe Trail. Initiated in 1994 in honor of Faye Anderson, a charter member of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter from Larned, last year's award was given to Leo and Bonita Oliva, editors of Wagon Tracks, the newsletter of the Santa Fe Trail. In addition to an engraved plaque, the recipient of the award is given a lifetime membership in the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter.

Faye Anderson Award Perpetuity Plaque
     The Chapter has purchased a Faye Anderson Award Perpetuity Plaque upon which will be engraved the names of the Awardees as they are recognized on an annual basis. The plaque will be placed on display at the Edwards County Historical Museum in Kinsley Kansas.

New Member
     Helen Crane, Kinsley, Kansas

Lime Kiln Project
     The Lime Kiln project is progressing according to schedule thanks to the hard work of Louis Van Meter and the Sons of the American Legion at Burdett. Concrete footing has been poured and lime stone has been obtained for the retaining wall. Roofs will be installed over the kilns located just west of Burdett as weather permits. These kilns remain in excellent condition and the project was designed to prevent their erosion in the future.

The Chapter Gets Applause
     Chapter members should take pride in the recognition offered in recent trail publications. Byron Shutz wrote in the November 1994 Wagon Tracks:

     The trail needs to be better marked and information provided on the sites by well designed, good quality markers and signs. We do not need to wait for the National Park Service to do all of this. As interested citizens, we can step forward to do much of this ourselves. Members of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter have set a fine example of initiating a project and carrying it through to completion.

In the May 1994 edition of the "Folio", Gregory Franzwa wrote:
Santa Fe Trail has twelve Chapters now, and some of them do wonderful things.
"The most outstanding is the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter"

More Ruts
     A single rut on the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road has been discovered in a pasture northeast of Alexander, Kansas. This is the first physical evidence of the road to be found between Big Timbers and Walnut Creeks. The property is owned by Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur Brack. Mrs. Brack's grandfather, formerly a soldier stationed at Fort Hays, homesteaded near this location. For persons familiar with Rush County, the site is four miles west of Nekoma, Kansas and five miles north.

President Van Meter Recuperating
     Louis Van Meter, President of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter is in residence at the Wesley Rehabilitation Hospital, 8338 W. 13th, Wichita, Kansas. He is recovering from bypass surgery and will appreciate cards and letters. Our best wishes to Louis.

1995 Santa Fe Trail Symposium
     The agenda for the 1995 Santa Fe Trail Symposium has been scheduled for September 22, 23, 24, 25, at Larned and Great Bend, the symposium. On Friday, September 22, a group of Chapter members headed by Mildon Yeager will give a demonstration on the preparation of Stone posts to be used as trail markers; and that evening, the Chapter will serve a barbecue dinner at Fort Larned. To be included in the packets of symposium registrants will be copies of The Santa Fe Trail In Pawnee, Edwards, and Ford Counties, Kansas; The Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road; and The Life and Legacy of Henry Booth. These self guided auto tours will allow the participants to visit trail related sites in the area at their conveniences. Also scheduled all four days of the symposium is a field trip to be conducted by David Clapsaddle on the Wet/Dry Routes of the Santa Fe Trail. These field trips will utilize a bus provided by Barton County Community College. A charge of $5.00 per person will be charged in addition to the regular registration fee. In addition, the Chapter will exhibit its traveling displays which were featured at the 1994 Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous in Larned, Kansas.

     Chapter members will receive an agenda for the Symposium with directions for registration.

Historic Interpretations
     Kansas Day, January 29, was the date selected for David Clapsaddle, Program Director for the Wet/Dry Route Chapter to present a first person interpretation of Seth Hays, Indian trader and founder of Council Grove, Kansas, to the First Methodist Church, Ellinwood, Kansas. On February 4, Clapsaddle made a similar presentation to the Meade Kansas County Historical Society regarding Richard Blinn, the husband of Clara Blinn who along with her two year old son Willie was captured by the Cheyennes in 1868. On March 5, he interpreted George Bent for the First United Methodist Church, Kinsley, Kansas; and on April 18, he will interpret the Bent Program to the Daughters of the American Revolution in St. John, Kansas. Bent was the son of William Bent of Bent's Fort fame and Owl Woman, daughter of Grey Thunder, the Keeper of the Arrows. His is the story of the perspective of a Cheyenne warrior. Other Bent presentations are scheduled for the Kansas City Metro Surveyors Association and Grinter House Friends, Inc., Kansas City, Kansas. Groups interested in scheduling any of the above mentioned programs may contact David Clapsaddle at 215 Mann, Larned, Kansas 67550, (316) 285-3295.

Barton County Community College Tour to Santa Fe
     In his inaugural trip to the Southwest, William Becknell crossed the Arkansas River in present day Rice County Kansas and pursued its South bank to the mouth of the Purgatory River near present day Las Animas, Colorado. There he turned south to cross the Sangre de Christo Mountains and continued on to the village of San Miguel and eventually Santa Fe. On his return trip to Missouri, Becknell took another course through present day northeast New Mexico, the Oklahoma panhandle, and southwest Kansas to strike the Arkansas in present day Ford County.

     Barton County Community College is pleased to announce a traveling seminar scheduled for October 5-8, 1995 which will follow Becknell's return route. Beginning at Dodge City, Kansas, the tour will pause at the sites of Fort Mann, Fort Atkinson, and the Caches before continuing to the middle crossing near present day Ingalls. Continuing to the southwest, the tour will make stops at the Lower and Middle Springs, Autograph Rock and McNeese's Crossing before arriving at the first night's lodging in Clayton, New Mexico.

     The second day will feature visits to Point of Rocks, Rock Crossing, Wagon Mound, Fort Union, and the Tipvonville/Watrous complex. Following the tour will continue to Las Vegas, Tecelote, San Miguel, and Kozlowski's Ranche.

     One of the highlights of the trip will be a visit to the Pecos ruins and then on to Santa Fe for a good night's rest.

     On the third day, visits will be made to the historic sites in Santa Fe before departing for Taos following the Bent's Fort Road established in mid 1940's. Included in the stops at Taos will be Charles Bent's Home, the Kit Carson Museum, and the Taos Pueblo. The day will conclude at historic Cimmaron where lodging will be provided at the historic St. James Hotel.

     The fourth day will include visits to the Bloom and Becca Homes in Trinidad on the return trip

     Leading the tour will be David and Alice Clapsaddle, long time instructors in the Barton County Community College Historic Series.

Book Reviews
Santa Fe Trail Voyage of Discovery
"The Story Behind the Scenery"
Text by Dan Murphy,
Photos by Bruce Hucko, 64 pages, No Bibliography or index;
KC Publication, Las Vegas, Nevada
Available in the book store at Fort Larned at $6.95.

     If you are, the type of person who enjoys coffee table type books with great photographs and easy reading then this is the book for you. One page will be a full color photograph of a trail site with the opposite page having a smaller color photo and trail map showing the location you are at on the trail. The layout starts with a view of Boone's Lick, Missouri and is laid out with 25 full page views and 2 two-page photographs of trail sites, ending with an inside view of the San Miguel Church, Santa Fe. Fort Larned views can be found on the cover with a view of the escort wagon, on page 30 with a winter scene and on the inside of the back cover with a view of the Conestoga wagon in the quartermaster building.

     If you have someone that you are trying to get interested in the rich history of the Santa Fe Trail this would be a great book to purchase as a gift. This book does not have footnotes to bore the casual reader yet it has wonderful quotations by famous trail people such as George Sibley, Susan Magoffin, Josh Gregg and many others across the tops of several pages. This is a well laid out book with something to give everyone hours of pleasure.
George Elmore

Bent's Fort by David Lavender
479 pages, Bibliography, Index
University of Nebraska Press, 1954

     While there are many good books on the Santa Fe Trail, this book stands out as a must read for any individual wishing to understand Bent's Fort, and Freighters on the Trail. Lavender is able to bring life to the Bent Brothers Charles and William, along with a host of others, among them are the St. Vrain family, trail traders, mountain men, Indians, Mexicans, and soldiers.

     Many people seem almost bewildered when trying to understand the settling of the American west. Lavender is able to blend the story of Bent's Fort into this broad picture of the west. This story of Bent's Fort is well researched and easy reading. It starts with an introduction to the Bent family then quickly moves through the years up to the establishment of Bent's Fort. The book carries the Bent family history up through Sand Creek to May 19, 1869 with William Bent's death.

     This book is out in paper back, making it affordable for those who wish to purchase their own copies. You should be also be able to find it in almost every library in this area. If you are interested in almost any aspect of the Santa Fe Trail you should plan on purchasing your own copy.

Fourth Annual Wet/Dry Routes Tour
     The fourth annual tour of the Wet/Dry Routes is scheduled for October 21, 1995. The tour, following the Wet Route, will feature the recently identified campsites used by the team surveying the Santa Fe Trail in 1825. Plans call for the bus to depart Larned at 8:00 a.m. and return by 5:00 p.m.

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
Thank you for supporting all our Wet/Dry Routes Chapter projects!
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