Specks of Civilization
The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter's fourth annual Santa Fe Trail Seminar was presented on June 10, 2000 at the Santa Fe Trail Center in Larned, Kansas. This seminar was judged to be the best by far of the four by Program Director David Clapsaddle as well as by comments from attendees. The theme of the seminar was Specks of Civilization, U.S. Military Posts in Pre-Territorial Kansas.
Visiting Fort Leavenworth in 1833, John Treat Irving described the post as "a speck of civilization in the heart of a wilderness". The same could be said of the other two U.S. Army Posts established on the eastern edge of Indian Territory in what was to become the Territory of Kansas in 1854: Fort Scott and Fort Riley. The Fourth Annual Santa Fe Trail Seminar is dedicated to the study of these "specks of civilization" and the particular role that each played in the unfolding saga of the Santa Fe Trail.
Speakers at the seminar were Stephen Allie, Director, Frontier Army Museum, Fort Leavenworth; Arnold Schofield, Historian, Fort Scott National Historic Site; Bill McKale, Museum Specialist, Fort Riley U. S. Cavalry Museum; John Lemons, Dragoon Reenactor, Canon City, Colorado. Speakers covered their topics thoroughly and very interestingly. John Lemons was costumed in an exact replica dragoon uniform and explained each item of dress and dragoon armament.
The chapter's chuck wagon committee, chaired by Rusti Gardner, served the lunch. Jack Gardner played the part of a wagon train cook and in spite of strong winds and extreme heat, grilled the buffalo burgers perfectly. Karl Grover from the Kansas Wildlife Parks donated the buffalo meat. Jack said he wanted to make the meal a little more authentic by cooking the buffalo meat over dried buffalo chips but the only ones he could find were a little too fresh. He was forced to use a gas grill but as a consolation his bottle was filled with buffalo gas.
Lunch servers were Laveda Cross, Mona Marie Wysong, Janice Klein, Clara Lowery, Thelmarie Wilhite, Joyce Losey, Barbara Koester, Michaela Koester, Shauna Koester, and Betsy Reneau. Secretary Treasurer Anita Thomas and Vice President Barbara German handled the registration. Alice Clapsaddle and Joyce Losey assisted at the refreshment table. Janice Klein, Clara Lowery, Barbara German, Betsy Crawford-Gore, Alice Clapsaddle, Anita Graves, Berdene Russell and Ruth Steffen provided cakes.
President Howard Losey was master of ceremonies and Program Director David Clapsaddle introduced the speakers.
Appearing in the February 2000 edition of Folio, (the newsletter of The Patrice Press, editor, Gregory M. Franzwa), was the following review of the chapterís A Directory of Santa Fe Trail Sites. Clapsaddle, David. A Directory of Santa Fe Trail Sites, Associated with the Wet and Dry Routes... and the Fort Hays Fort Dodge Road. Larned, Kans.: Wet/Dry Routes Chapter, 1999.
by Marc Simmons
Not long ago, the Wet/Dry Routes of the old Santa Fe Trail in central Kansas formed one of the least recognized sections of the entire trail. For many years, Dr. David Clapsaddle of Larned worked unheralded, attempting to puzzle out the exact course of these significant routes and at the same time identify sites worthy of marking and commemoration.
Under his leadership, an intrepid band of history-minded residents of Pawnee County labored in 1989 to mark ten locations along the almost forgotten Fort Hays-Fort Dodge Road, which at the latter place intersects with the Santa Fe Trail. That project two years later was expanded and incorporated into the newly formed Wet/ Dry Routes chapter of the Santa Fe Trail, which soon designated 105 sites for attention within its seven county area.
Dr. Clapsaddle has now compiled this amazing directory, documenting the sites and locating them with precision on original township survey maps. The result is a peerless historical resource that will be as valuable to scholars as it is for serious trail buffs. The work could well serve as a model for detailed recording of other segments of the Santa Fe Trail.
Other features enhancing this directory are a series of site photographs (which vary in quality of reproduction) and brief but appropriate quotes by nineteenth century travelers. The pages are preserved in a loose-leaf binder, so that corrected or supplemental pages can be added in the future. This is a professional and useful guide to the Santa Fe Trail and can be highly recommended.
Marc Simmons is America's leading scholar of the Santa Fe Trail and founding president of the Santa Fe Trail.
First Faye Anderson Award?
Pictured here is Paul F. Bentrup (L), Santa Fe Trail Ambassador, as he receives the chapterís very first Faye Anderson award (a pat on the back) from Faye herself.
This award was presented on one of the chapterís traveling seminars to Bentís Old Fort some years ago. Many chapter members remember Faye as one of the most active, supportive members the chapter has ever had.
This is a joke, the first Faye Anderson Chapter Award went to Leo & Bonita Oliva in 1994.
The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail held its Spring, quarterly meeting in the beautiful, historic St. Mary and Martha of Bethany Episcopal Church, Larned, Kansas, on Sunday April 9, 2000. A bountiful carry in dinner featuring a chapter furnished combination roast pork/roast beef entrťe was enjoyed by members and guests.
Items discussed during the business meeting included the following:
Faye Anderson Award committee report, Chuckwagon committee report, marker inspection, June 10 seminar plans, bulk mailing of Traces, judging History Day entries, providing meals at the Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous, and the chapterís web site. Plans for the August, summer meeting were outlined.
Merlene Baird, president of the local historical society announced that organizationís upcoming events.
A musical program was presented by Bob Sallee, Larned, Ks.
Following the dinner and meeting, members were invited to tour The Little Red House. David Clapsaddle is renovating this house to replicate Larnedís first building. David has furnished the house with historically accurate period furniture and fixtures. It appears that he will have a first class museum on his hands when it is finished.
Two streaks of sunflowers, nodding gay,
With grass-grown ruts between -
The old-time western wagon-way
Where oxen, tired and lean,
Dragged awkwardly their heavy loads
On to the tradersí far abodes.
And men, as gaunt and tired as they,
Strode sturdily beside.
And some there be who live to-day,
And some there were who died -
Along the way to where the sun
Flares crimson, when the day is done.
And now, we blaze anew the trail,
In love and reverence;
And follow it, oíer plain and vale
And rocky eminence,
And hail the bravest and the best
Who built the Empire of the West.
From The Kinsley Graphic of 3/29/1907
Submitted by Ed Carlson
End of the Trail
May 27, 2000
Elizabeth Duke is a member of our chapter. I know she has made many Clapsaddle Tours including the last one to the Battle of the Washita last April.
Mrs. Don Cooper, her sister-in-law and friend of ours, said Elizabeth talked so enthusiastically about the last tour when they had a family get-together a couple of weeks ago. Elizabeth was looking forward to leaving this weekend on a two-week trip with her son and family. She died while sitting in her lounge chair on Wednesday evening, May 24, 2000 after having returned from undergoing an MRI in Topeka. She had been trying to figure out what was causing the arm and chest pains for the past three days.
Obituary: Elizabeth Jane Duke 75, Vassar, KS passed away May 24, 2000 at her home. Graveside services 11 a.m. Saturday, May 27 at Vassar Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Santa Fe Trail.
Pvt. Nehemian Carson's Tombstone
Members of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail and the Sons of the Civil War recently placed the below-pictured tombstone at Pawnee Rock to memorialize Pvt. Nehemiah Carson who died and was buried near the Rock in July 1846. Carson, with the lst Missouri Mounted Infantry, was en route to Santa Fe at the beginning of the Mexican War at the time of his death.
Pvt. John Taylor Hughes, also a member of the 1st Missouri, described Carson's burial in his 1847 book, Doniphan's Expedition.
Early on the morning of the 14th the Army was put in motion, Capt. Congreve Jackson and his company being left to pay the last honors to the remains of young N. Carson, who died suddenly the previous night. His burial took place near the Pawnee Rock, a decent grave being prepared to receive the corpse, wrapped in a blanket instead of a coffin and shroud. A tombstone was raised to mark the spot where he reposes, with his name, age, and the date of his decease engraved in large capitals. He slumbers in the wild Pawnee's land. This is but a sample of the interment of hundreds whose recent graves mark the march of the Western Army.
Did You Know?
As early as 1822, American traders continued south of Santa Fe 580 miles to Chihuahua City to market their merchandise. Such trade prospered through the 1840ís. Maybe the Road to Santa Fe might also be called the Road to Chihuahua.
The chapter continues to grow. This quarter we welcome the following new members: Clara Wingfield Lyons, Ks -- Sam and Sandy Kerr Norman, Ok -- Steve Black Cheyenne, Ok -- Bob Sallee Larned, Ks -- Mac Gross Winchester, Il.
Traveling Seminar to Beecher's Island
Santa Fe Tours has scheduled a traveling seminar to Beecherís Island on October 14-15, 2000. En route, stops will be made at the Fort Wallace cemetery and the Kidder Massacre site. On the return trip, a stop will be made at Monument Rocks in Gove County. The tour will originate at 8:00 A.M. on October 14 in Larned, Kansas and end on the 15th at 5:00 P.M. Cost per individual is $160 based on double occupancy. Included in the fee are all meals, materials, lodging, and transportation. For further information, contact David Clapsaddle 215 Mann, Larned, Kansas, (316) 285-3295.
Kansas History Day
Traces readers will recall that the chapter established a $200 award for the best Santa Fe Trail related entry in the annual Kansas History Day. The theme for the event held in Abilene, in early May of this year was Turning Points in History. There were four entries related to the SFT but none of them were state winners so the $200 award was not given. One entry, that of Anne Neilsen from Wamego, Kansas, did merit the $50 award for her video presentation on the Santa Fe Trail.
Mildon and Ida Yeager, charter members of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 2, 2000. Ida served as the chapterís secretary/treasurer for six years (1993-1999) and was recently awarded for her faithful service. Mildon has been involved in every chapter activity from installing markers to cooking cream can dinners.
This article is being put on the research page as it contains a lot of historic information and it may be lost in the newsletters.
The Wet/Dry Routes Chapterís summer meeting will be in the Barton County Historical Society Museum, 85 S U.S. 281, Great Bend on Sunday, August 20, 2000. The business meeting will start at 2 pm and the program will commence at 2:45 pm. The program will be a tour of the museum plus a presentation of the new learning tool Robertís Trunk.
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.