The Original Dry Route

Site E-2 - Interpretive Marker Text

Jones Point Marker

BRANCH: The Pre-1859 Dry Route
LOCATION: From the Site E-1 Marker, continue southwest on U.S. 56, 1 mile, right 1.3 miles, and left .8 mile to the marker on the left.
GPS AT MARKER: N38 07.087 -- W99 11.197
MODERN DAY MAP: Santa Fe Trail Map Pawnee County, Kansas
TOPOGRAPHIC MAP: Topographic Map
HISTORIC DESCRIPTION: Site of an attack on a mail wagon by Kiowas on September 24, 1859 in which Lawrence and Michael Smith were killed.
DISTANCE: From Pawnee Fork Crossing, 5.5 miles.

After eating dinner and grazing the mules, the mail party hitched up and started on their way about 4:30 P.M. Less than six miles along, the mail party was accosted by about fifteen mounted Kiowa, who galloped out of a ravine which the mail wagon had just passed. The Indians appeared friendly enough in their demands for sugar and crackers, which were given to them as was customary. But their demands became more insistent and their manner more insolent until the situation exploded into a running fight with the Kiowa. Armed as they were with guns as well as bows and arrows, the Kiowa killed the two Smiths and lost only one of their warriors. William Cole managed to escape into the tall grass, where he spent the night, and reached the cavalrymen the following morning. Lieutenant Otis and his men returned with Cole to the scene of the fight, buried Michael and Lawrence Smith, and recovered the letter mail, which they left with the postmaster at Beach Valley.

Affidavit of William Cole, October 8, 1859; Report from William Butze to Jacob Hall, Sept 30, 1859 as cited in Morris Taylor, First Mail West (Albuquerque; University of New Mexico Press, 1971), 62-63.

COMMENTS: The site was called Jones Point by James Brice, an early employee at the mail station near Fort Larned.
LEGAL DESCRIPTION: SW 1/4, Section 22, T-22-S, R-17-W, Pawnee County, Kansas.

Jones Point Plaque

Township 22 South of Range 17 West, Pawnee County, Kansas Township 22 South of Range 17 West, Pawnee County, Kansas

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