The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter met for its Summer meeting on August 3, 1997 at the Clapsaddle's residence in Larned, Kansas. Following a steak and gravy meal, the following business was conducted and reports were given on the Murder on the Santa Fe Trail Seminar, the Duncan Crossing sign, and the additional markers recently placed on the Fort Hays-Fort Dodge Road. Also discussed was the new edition of A Self Guide Auto Tour of The Santa Fe Trail in Pawnee, Edwards, and Ford Counties, Kansas, the proposed seminar on the Survey of the Santa Fe Trail to be conducted in the Fall of 1998, and regulation changes for the Faye Anderson Award. Other items included the mapping project and a proposed money making project, the catering of a meal for Boy Scouts on October 25, 1997. Subsequent to the business session, members reviewed the video prepared by the Larned Area Chamber of Commerce which contains features related to the Chapter's trail marking project and Sibley's Camp. Also on exhibition were the twelve paintings of Santa Fe Trail scenes, sponsored by the First National Bank of Trinidad, Colorado.
The Fall meeting will be conducted at 2:00 PM, November 2, 1997 at Public Library in Dodge City with the program to follow at 2:45. Speaking will be Dr. Leo Oliva, an authority on military history related to the Santa Fe Trail. Oliva's topic will be Fort Dodge, a subject he has long researched for his soon to be published book, one of several regarding frontier forts in Kansas.
Kathryn Jaview, Garfield, Ks -- Chester and Joanna Unruh, Larned, Ks -- Craig Wright, Oklahoma City, Ok -- Charles Spradlin, Wichita, Ks -- Kenneth Drews, White Plains, MD -- Ronald Nelson, Rockville, MD -- Larry and Linda Nelson, Washington, D.C. -- Vivian Bennett, Garfield, Ks -- Gary and Lou Nelson, Garfield, Ks
Jones Point, a site on the Pre-1859 Dry Route is located some six miles southwest of present Larned. There, Michael and Lawrence Smith, stage company employees were killed by Kiowas on September 24, 1859. The Chapter now has a new marker at that site, a handsome bronze plaque which replaces the home made brass marker previously installed. On another note, your editor is pleased to report that a marker has been placed at the Ash Creek Crossing located northeast of Larned. At this site on July 4, 1846, the carriage of Susan Magoffin over-turned. Young Susan suffered a miscarriage at Bent's Fort one month later.
The Murder on the Santa Fe Trail Seminar conducted by the Chapter on June 14th was well received by some 100 participants. Many have expressed their appreciation for the program and the hearty meal served by the hard working committee headed by Rusti Garner. While the Chapter did not undertake the seminar as a profit making project, there was a profit of $300 plus. Thanks to all who helped and the participants who came from as far away as Santa Fe and Kansas City. The Chapter has approved another seminar for the Fall of 1998. The seminar will focus on the Survey of the Santa Fe Trail, 1825-1827. Future issues of the Traces will provide more details.
Faye Anderson Award
The Chapter has approved changes in the regulations concerning the Faye Anderson Award. The major change relates to the selection of committee members. Three members from Pawnee, Edwards and Ford Counties will serve two year terms; two members from at large will serve one year terms. Appointed were Clara Lowrey, Larned; Rosetta Graff, Kinsley; Keith Chadd, Dodge City; Dick German, Arlington; and Becky Stukesbary, Ness City, KS.
Duncan Crossing Sign
Vice-President Rusti Gardner reports that her side of the Duncan Crossing sign has been completed. Husband Jack has not been so prompt on side of the sign.
This Newsletter is the official publication of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter. Annual subscriptions are obtained through membership in the Chapter. Dues are $10.00 annually, single or family.
Editor: David Clapsaddle
Typist: Ida K. Yeager
President: Janice Klein
Vice President: Rusti Gardner
Secretary-Treasure: Ida K. Yeager
Program Director: David Clapsaddle
Santa Fe Trail Symposium
Twenty-one members of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter attended the 1997 Santa Fe Trail Symposium held at Elkhart, Kansas, Boise City, Oklahoma, and Clayton, New Mexico. President Janice Klein was presented the first ever Education award and Ruth Olson-Peters was recognized for ten years of service as the Association's Secretary-Treasurer.
Daughters of the American Revolution Markers
A prior issue of Traces reported that the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) marker located at 2nd and Trail Streets in Larned was struck by an errant automobile. State DAR officers took this opportunity to have the marker moved to it's original location, Larned's Santa Fe Railroad depot, now a restaurant known as the Larned Station. Mildon Yeager contracted with the DAR to move the store and placed it on a new base. State DAR officials and local members met at the old depot to rededicated the marker on September 22, 1997. Regarding another Larned area DAR marker, the DAR officers have determined that the marker located at the Larned Municipal Airport be moved to its original intended site, the Peace Lutheran Cemetery, on old highway 183 north of Kinsley. The marker never did exist at that predetermined location. Rather, it was set 3.5 miles west of Kinsley near the Big Coon Creek Crossing of the Santa Fe Trail. However, the marker was removed from that location about 1850 and placed at the airport. At the request of DAR officers, your editor with the help of Chester Smith has moved the stone to the cemetery. The sexton, Ray Wetzel, also assisted in the move. Plans call for the marker to be put on a new base in the near future.
The mapping of the Santa Fe Trail in the areas traversed by the original route in Pawnee, Edwards, and Ford Counties, Kansas plus the areas related to the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road has taken more greater accuracy in with the acquisition of the original survey maps of the counties involved which show where the trail accessed east of the section lines. Such detailed information will require some fine tuning of the work already completed; but, the improvement will be worth the extra effort. The Chapter should extend an extra vote of appreciation in Chairman Richard Ford of Jetmore and long distance member Lee Kroh of Merriam, Kansas for their many long hours devoted to the project. Your editor has been there also. How much help he has given is yet to be decided according to both Richard and Lee. A footnote is in order. The original survey maps for Ford County were provided by Keith Chadd of Dodge City. Keith, a new member of the Chapter, also holds membership in the Dodge City/Fort Dodge Chapter as do a number of Wet/Dry Chapter folks.
The Arkansas River, Navigatable or Not?
In late Spring of 1843, Bent, St. Vrain and Company floated five wagons load of buffalo robes down the Arkansas River in shallow draft boats constructed especially for the voyage. Some where en route, the boats were stranded on sand bars; and wagons were dispatched to retrieve the hopeless voageuis and their reluctant cargo. In 1872, the river's navigability was once again tested. The following from the Topeka Daily Common-wealth was provided to the Traces by the ever alert Ed Carlson, one of the Chapter's long distance but energetic members.
11 July: Correspondence to the Commonwealth dated Great Bend 06 July, "The A.T.&S.F.R.R. track is laid within thirteen miles of this place and a week hence we shall be rejoicing, doubtless, in welcoming the iron horse to our city. The railroad company are building a boom across the Arkansas river at the mouth of the Walnut, about three miles below here, for the purpose of holding a large amount of railroad ties that are to be rafted down the Arkansas from the mountains, and distributed at this point."
Did the railroad ties reach the Walnut, or did they too become stranded by the fickle, ever changing crossing the Arkansas River?
Perhaps, future research will tell.
Did You Know?
In the early days of the Santa Fe Trail, the hooves of oxen were shod in moccasins of raw buffalo hide. Later, the oxen were shod with steel shoes, each foot requiring two separate shoes due to the split hoof of the oxen. Oxen were difficult to shoe because unlike the horse or mule it is impossible for a bovine to stand on three legs. Thus, in settlements, Farriers used a windlass to elevate the ox while the shoes were attached. Away from such a device on the trail, the oxen had to be placed on the ground, their legs tied, and the shoes nailed on.
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"
Santa Fe Trail Research Site
"E-Mail & Home Page"
Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.