The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter conducted its Winter Meeting at the City Building, Kinsley, KS, January 11, 1998. Officers for 1998 were elected: Rusti Gardner, President; Barbara German, Vice President; Ida K. Yeager, Secretary/Treasurer. Janice Klein, Past President, was elected to serve as advisor to the Chapter Officers.
Janice Klein was awarded the President's Plaque and David Clapsaddle was presented the Faye Anderson Award.
Other business included reports on the marking of the Owl Creek crossing site, the 2nd annual seminar, the mapping project and the web site created by Larry & Carolyn Mix. Approval was made for payment of another plaque for the Fort Hays and Fort Dodge Road.
Following the business session, David Clapsaddle presented the program in leiu of Lawrence Hart, the scheduled speaker who was unable to be in attendance due to bad weather.
The Chapter's Spring meeting is scheduled for April 19 at the Fort Larned National Historic Site, 2:00 p.m. business meeting; 2:45 program. The speaker will be Lawrence Hart, Cheyenne Cultural Center, Clinton, Oklahoma. Hart, a graduate of Bethel College, will speak on the Battles of Sand Creek and the Washita. He is a descendent of families who were present at both battles. Chief Hart was originally slated to speak at theJanuary chapter meeting, but bad weather prevented his coming. Be advised that admission is free to the Historic Site for those who are attending the meeting. However, a $2.00 fee will be charged for those who wish full access to the fort. Be advised that those wishing to tour the facility should come early as there will not be adequate time following the meeting.
LaVeda and Gay Lynne Cross, Lewis, Ks -- Robert Button, Great Bend Ks -- John Liston -- Mona Wysong, Larned, Ks -- Scott Tempero, Great Bend, Ks -- Ross Reeves, Phillipsburg, Ks -- Ross Marshall, Merriam, Ks
The label on the Traces will inform you if your 1998 dues have not been paid. Please respond at your earliest convenience so the Traces can keep coming your way. The annual dues are $10, single or family.
Owl Creek Crossing Marker
At the request of Don and Lillian Swink, the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter assisted in placing a marker at the Owl Creek Crossing in Rice County, Kansas. The Swicks have long been interested in marking this site on their property southwest of Lyons which is associated with the murder of Antonio Chavez in 1843. The bronze plaque mounted on a limestone post reads Owl Creek Crossing, Santa Fe Trail. Trail buffs will recall that Owl Creek was renamed Chavez Creek subsequent to the murder. Eventually, Chavez was corrupted to Jarvis, the name ofthe stream presently. Working on the project were Don Swick, Mildon Yeager, and David Clapsaddle.
Chavez Marker Dedication
According to early Rice County, Kansas settlers, a limestone post inscribed with the single word CHAVES was located south of the Owl Creek Crossing on the Santa Fe Trail. The marker, long since gone, was placed near the site where Antonio Chavez was killed in 1843 by Jackson County Missourians who were operating as merceneries in league with the Republic of Texas. At present, the property owners, Don and Lil Swink, in cooperation with the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the National Santa Fe Trail, are preparing a replica of the historic marker to be placed at the location of the original stone. An onsite dedication of the marker will be conducted at 7:00 p.m., June 12, 1998. Speaking will be Dr. David Sandoval, Colorado Southern University. The public is invited to attend.
Directions to the site are as follows: four miles east from the junction of highways 56 and 14 in Lyons, KS three miles south, and one half mile east. Road signs will be placed to guide visitors to the site.
The dedication is scheduled on the evening preceding the June 13 date of the 2nd Annual Seminar conducted by The Wet/Dry Route Chapter. Officers and members of the Santa Fe Trail are cordially invited to participate.
Second Annual Seminar
The recent editor of Wagon Tracks contained a flyer describing the Chapter's seminar related to the Survey of Santa Fe Trail scheduled for June 13, 1998. We are hoping that his advertisement will attract additional numbers to the seminar and the field trip to be conducted on June 14. The bus for the field trip will accomodate only 45 passengers. Those with an interest in the field trip should respond immediately as reservations for the field trip are arriving a rapid pace. Please dress comfortably for the field trip, While no one will be required to walk any long distances, there will be an option for some short hikes. Consequently, good footwear is advisable. We will have lunch in Dodge City and hope to return to Larned by 4:00 p.m. By way of disclaimer, all participants will be required to ride the bus, and the field trip will be restricted to adults.
The Chapter will serve our famous cream can dinner on June 13th. Barbara German, newly installed vice-president, has agreed to ramrod this event. Please give her a hand. It's a big undertaking.
Plans are incomplete at this writing, but consideration is being given to an ice cream social the night of June 13 at Sibley's Camp. The event will provide entertainment for those who are staying overnight in Larned and also an opportunity for out-of-town participants to tour Sibley's Camp, a site definitely related to the seminar subject.
Faye Anderson Committee
Two chapter members were appointed by President Rusti Gardner to serve as members at large on the Faye Anderson Award Committee. They are Lon Palmer of Hoisington and Larry E. Mix of St. John. Thanks to Becky Stukesbury and Dick German, outgoing members.
The Chapter has received pledges of donations for two of its projects. The Larned Convention and Tourism Committee will provide funds for: (1) a Second edition of Henry Booth, His Life and Legacy; and (2) the rent of the Larned Community Center for the upcoming seminar. The banks of Larned, First National Bank & Trust, the First State, and the Commercial Federal Bank have agreed to finance the treats served at the breaks of the seminar. A big vote of thanks goes to these friends of the chapter.
Marker Should Stay Put
Rosetta Graff recently supplied the following clipping from an early day Kinsley newspaper. It reads.
There is an effort being made in the state to mark every mile of the trail. It was begun by one of the noblest woman who ever blessed the state with her life and love, Mrs. Fannie G. Thompson, of Topeka. The trail is fast being obliterated in Edwards county by the plow. If the old settlers' association will make it a part of their work to interest our people, we may yet follow the path of the pioneer by a tribute to his bravery that will keep his memory alive in the land.
The reference is to the markers placed in Kansas under the auspices of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the State of Kansas. The project, 1906-1908, placed six markers in Edwards County. Four of those markers were later transferred to other locations. The present officers of the Daughters of the American Revolution are working with local communities to return all markers to the locationoriginally designated. Hopefully, citizens in Edwards County will be helpful in this regard.
Worth Thinking About
We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth, as "wild." Only to the white man was nature a "wilderness" and only to him was the land "infested" with "wild" animals and "savage" people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it "wild" for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was that for us the "Wild West" began.
Chief Luther Standing Bear
The Dry Route Revisited
Larry & Carolyn Mix have discovered documentation which clearly demonstrates that the Dry Route had as its original western terminus the Caches some four miles west of present Dodge City. The other terminus was located ten miles east of the Caches. It appears that for a period, the road to the Caches and the road to the point ten miles east of the Caches operated simultaneously. By the early 1850's, however, the road to the Caches lost favor and fell into disuse. Plotting the roads on a modern map from Big Coon Creek Crossing west of present Kinsley, the road to the Caches passed about one mile north of present Offerle; and the road to the point ten miles east of the Caches passed about one mile south of Kinsley.
Early Hays City
We are indebted to Post Returns the newsletter for the Society of Friends of Historic Fort Hays for the following article. Devotees of the Fort Hays-Fort Dodge Road will find this information helpful.
The railroad was obviously an extremely important factor in the settlement of western towns. Most towns with rail connections prospered while many of those that had no such connections withered and died. Towns that had both the railroad and a military post nearby were almost guaranteed to succeed. The military brought a certain amount of security against desperadoes and safety from hostile Native Americans. Forts also meant dollars to business men and women, whether their business concerns were freighting, railroading, general merchandising, gambling, prostitution, or any one of a hundred other professions, legitimate or not. A ready and willing client was waiting inside the confines of the military reservation in the form of Uncle Sam's troopers who were always looking for ways to spend their hard earned, government-issued greenbacks. Forts also meant jobs for those nearby civilians who wished to harvest hay, cut wood, haul coal or supply any of the other services needed to keep the forts running smoothly. Fort Hays had two towns vying for its affections. The first to arrive on the scene actuatlly predated the fort itself.
In May 1867 a firm referred to only as "Lull Brothers of Salina" founded the town of Rome in an oxbow of Big Creek along the proposed route of the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division, that was rapidly building west-ward toward Denver. Some early residents included Simon Motz (the future first mayor of Hays City), William Rose and William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody (incorrectly said to have been co-founders of the town), and James Duncan (president of the town company). The town quickly boasted of having three "merchandise establishments," a two-story frame hotel, and a stone business house built by Roseand Cody, as well as "half a dozen other places of business and industry," according to Motz. But Rome experienced an early setback that was to prove disastrous to its future development. On June 7 a flood (the same that hit old Fort Hays near present-day Walker) worried railroad engineers. To protect the tracks from any future floods, the roadbed was raised three and one-half feet where a bridge was to be built over Big Creek. This created a dike on the south side of Rome. With Big Creek surrounding the town on the other three sides, Rome was effectively isolated from the outside world. But the town's developers and its five hundred inhabitants continued to be optimistic. Fort Hays was moved to a spot south of Rome within a month, and by August 1867 fort records referred to Rome as "the settlement on Big Creek near this post."
Rome had many businesses but the "liquor business" was by far the most lucrative. Simon Motz remarked that the "saloon business was thriving and continous all day, all night, no halt, no intermission." The first major altercation between soldiers and civilians resulted from this "business." Captian Henry Corbin (Company C, Thirty-eighth Infantry), commander of Fort Hays, reported that "some evil disposed person" was spreading rumors that hostile Indians were in the area and urging railroad workers west of Rome to return to the safety of the town and fort. Once the workers returned, they were sold "bad whiskey" and would lay around "drunk, ragged and filthy." To combat this problem, Corbin ordered a detail of Thirty-eighth Infantry soldiers into Rome on August 12 with orders to confiscate all the liquor in the town, "save those who have License from Civil or Superior Military Authority to the Commandant of this Post." One of the town's more celebrated residents, William F. Cody, lost "4 gals.
Did You Know?
In this column of the Winter 1998 Traces, a quote from George Bent regarding the descendents of Black Kettle was not printed in full. The quote should read, "Black Kettle has no grandchildren living as he never had no children during his life." Forgive the error.
Wet/Dry Routes Chapter Members & Visitors to this Web Site:
As you know Larry & Carolyn Mix have put on the World Wide Web several pages about the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail. The pages were on the server at Geocities, it was a good server but there just got to be more and more adds and other problems that I just didn't like.
Then "Along Came Jones", no that was a song in my time?? Seriously along came a local server in St. John, Kansas that I went to and then came the job of changing all our pages over to this new and better server. "No Adds" The Web Site at Geocities is still there it just isn't updated like the new pages are. All the links on Geocities goes to the new server now. I just completed that task a few days ago.
The list of links on the Home Page will give you a tour of the site. The site will change from time to time as I get new information and articles.
If you have any thing that you would like to put on the pages please let me know as I am open for suggestions. So those of you with internet access the address for our Web Page has changed and the new address is below. If you found this letter you are on the new site.
Carolyn and I would like to take this time to say "Thank You" to all that have helped in any way. I won't mention any names because sure as I do I will miss someone in the process and I don't want to do that. I will just say, you know who you are. We also hope that you have enjoyed the Web Site. From the e-mail that we have received you must have, and we have enjoyed bring it to you.
We want you to remember that this is your site also and it will take all of us to keep it going!
Larry & Carolyn Mix
St. John, Kansas
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.