Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West Fort Larned Old Guard Newsletter

David K. Clapsaddle - 1934-2016
David with students who helped with his trunk program: Kayla, Nate, and Ally.

Tribute by Leo E. Oliva
     David Clapsaddle should be and will be fondly remembered as the Renaissance Man of the Santa Fe Trail. He provided leadership and understanding of Trail history, wrote numerous articles about the historic route (especially the Wet and Dry routes, stream crossings, trading ranches, connecting roads from the railroad (Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division, which became the Kansas Pacific Railway) to the main routes of the Santa Fe Road, and people who made Trail history), worked to preserve Trail remnants, over saw the marking of scores of Trail sites, developed auto-tour guides to those sites, organized and led Trail tours, served many years as president of the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter (one of the strongest chapters in the Santa Fe Trail), collected Trail artifacts which he shared with museums (examples include the strong box from Don Antonio Jose Chavez's wagon in use in 1843 when Chavez was murdered on the Trail near present Lyons KS, now on exhibit at the Coronado Quivira Museum in Lyons, and a collection of several Trail artifacts now property of Fort Larned National Historic Site), presented lectures about the historic Trail to many organizations, worked with the Santa Fe Trail Center on the biennial Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous, wrote a series of booklets about the Trail for children, developed trunk programs for use in the schools (programs he presented for years, each trunk includes a story with artifacts for children to touch and understand), was a volunteer at Fort Larned National Historic Site and a constant supporter of the many programs at this first National Park in Kansas, and he had a cadre of friends who worked with him and supported his many efforts and projects.

     David provided leadership in the purchase and marking of the 1825 Sibley Survey campsite in present Larned and the acquisition and development of the Little Red House in Larned, which is interpreted as the sutler's mess hall from Fort Larned that was moved and became the first building in the town of Larned in 1872. Both sites in Larned are today the property of the Fort Larned Old Guard, the official friends group of Fort Larned National Historic Site, in which David and Alice have been longtime active members. He was fortunate to have the devoted support of Alice, who contributed much more to David's work on the Trail and Fort Larned than we realize. It was my pleasure to work with David in many ways, especially to serve as his editor for numerous articles he wrote for Santa Fe Trail Quarterly Wagon Tracks and Fort Larned Old Guard Outpost. We did not always agree, but we always respected each other and worked together.

     David was a friend of many Trail aficionados but did not suffer fools gladly. He possessed a dogged determination to be accurate and tell stories correctly, and about this he could be very stubborn. It was a trait he shared with another protector and custodian of Trail history and remnants, the late Paul Bentrup. They were friends, and both men will long be remembered for their efforts and their refined sense of humor. David usually had a funny story or joke to share on any occasion. Seldom did one have a conversation with David, in person or by phone, when he did not share at least one good joke, and he usually ended a phone conversation with this question, "How else can I lie to you?"

     Those of us who love the Santa Fe Trail and Fort Larned will always be grateful to David Clapsaddle, especially his devotion to preservation and promotion of the history for adults, young people, and future generations, his willingness to work as well as talk about saving and marking the Trail, his willingness to share his knowledge and his passion, and his keen sense of humor which made us laugh and endeared us to him.

     It is fitting to conclude this brief tribute with a story which David would enjoy and makes a fitting conclusion. There was a married couple who tried without success for many years to produce a child, and just when they were approaching the age when that would become impossible their efforts were blessed with the birth of a son. They were so happy that they named their son "Fantastic." You can only imagine how difficult it was for a child and adult to go through life with that name, but Fantastic had a long and happy life. In his final years he begged his wife not to put his name on his gravestone, saying that people had made fun of his name all his life and he would rest in peace if the name were not perpetuated. When he died his wife thought long and hard about honoring his wishes, and she finally had this written on his stone: "Here lies a man who never looked at another woman." To this day people read that and say, "That's Fantastic!" In memory of David and all his work, I would say, in summary, "That's Fantastic!" To alter slightly a traditional Westerner's compliment, "he was a good man to ride the Trail with."

Remembering David Clapsaddle
by Rex Abrahams
(Rex Abrahams is former chairman of the Fort Larned Old Guard and a volunteer at Fort Larned.)

     David Clapsaddle passed away on April 28, 2016. He will be missed. This is not an obituary. That can be found in other places. Instead, this is about a friendship. A friendship developed over 30 years. When I first met David at Fort Larned, I was not sure what to think. Anyone who knew David knows what I mean. David was full of vim, vigor, bluster, and dare I say bloviating. I wasn't sure if I could take him seriously or not. Who could tell? Over the years, I learned to enjoy his bluster. He played the part and he always meant well.

     Once David found out I was "Mennonite" he never let me forget it. What! A Mennonite portraying a soldier on the Santa Fe Trail! That had to be sacrilege! How was that going to play in Peoria, or should I say Hillsboro! He always had a Mennonite joke for me. Actually, I think the Mennonite part could have been substituted with any other sect, but David reveled with glee whenever he met me and told me a new Mennonite joke. That was David and I waited with anticipation to see what he would come up with next. He never disappointed.

     When it came to history, he wanted the "story" to be "right." Since my first day at the fort, that was my objective too. To get the story "right." David would correct whenever he saw error---gently and with a smile. Maybe others didn't get the same treatment. I always did. Maybe he felt I was on the right side of "God." Ha! He even told me that once, another one of those "Mennonite" jokes. Maybe he was just taking unnecessary precaution. Either way, we developed a great relationship. I came to respect his immense knowledge of Fort Larned and the Santa Fe Trail. I hope he grew to enjoy my friendship.

     My biggest regret? David asked me to come to Larned several times and he would take me on a personal tour of all the historic sites in the area. I kept putting it off. I would do it later. Well, now it is later and it is too late! And whose fault is that? If someone offers you the chance to do likewise, don't pass it up. One never knows when it is going to be too late.

     David will be missed. We will miss his personality and immense knowledge of history. David's passion for sharing will carry on though. His "Trunks" programs have already been given to thousands of school children, and they continue. Someday, maybe one of them will carry David's mantle and love of history. We can only hope to be so lucky.

     My friend David, rest in peace. The trail is long but the journey is short.

David K. Clapsaddle, Obituary
     David K. Clapsaddle, 81, Larned was born October 9, 1934 in Thayer, KS, son of John and Ida Ethel Peterson Clapsaddle and died April 28, 2016 in Larned, KS. He married Alice Ann Powell on January 2, 1971 in Oswego, Kansas. Graduating from Thayer High School, he obtained an AA from Southwest Baptist University in Boliver, MO. He received a BA from Howard Payne University, Brownwood, TX, a MS from Pittsburg State University, KS, and a PhD from Kansas State University in adult education. His teaching career included Levelland, TX, Diamond, MO, Baxter Springs, KS, Kansas State University, Wichita State University, University of Montana, and Barton County Community College. Other career positions included Head Start Director in Ottawa, KS, Director of Education in Southeast Kansas for a community action agency, and Coordinator of Research and Training at Larned State Hospital.

     A well-known historian of trans-Mississippi western history, most specifically the Santa Fe Trail, he wrote numerous articles for journals, authored books, and wrote a history of Larned State Hospital. Among his many awards are the U. S. National Park Service 2010 Midwest Region George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Individual Volunteer Service, the Gregory M. Franzwa Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Santa Fe Trail, and the William Chalfant Memorial Award of the Fort Larned Old Guard.

     Memberships included Kansas State Historical Society, National Santa Fe Trail, (President of Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail), Smoky Hill Trail Association, and Kansas State University Alumni Association. He was instrumental in developing Sibley's Camp, The Little Red House, and Zebulon Pike Plaza in Larned as well as 200 markers identifying notable historic sites in Kansas. A consummate speaker, researcher and author, he was especially pleased with his work in developing the Traveling Trunks Program for school age children in collaboration with Fort Larned National Historic Site.

     Survivors include Alice, wife of the home, two sons, Timothy Mark Clapsaddle of Parsons, KS, Paul Anthony Clapsaddle of San Angelo, TX. and a daughter, Jennifer Lou Duncan of Longmont, CO. Preceding him in death was son Jonathon Bruce Clapsaddle, parents, eight siblings, and numerous nieces and nephews.

     David chose to have his body donated to the University of Kansas Medical Center for research. A Celebration of Life will be held from 2-4 pm, April 30, in the fellowship hall, First Presbyterian Church, 8th and Morris, Larned. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Fort Larned National Historic Site Old Guard, First Presbyterian Church Youth of Larned, KS, Pawnee Valley Community Hospital Foundation, Larned, KS, Wet/Dry Routes Chapter Marker Fund, all in care of Beckwith Mortuary, Box 477 Larned, KS. A graveside service will be held at a later date in Thayer, KS.

Weidner Claims For Losses to Indians, 1868
by Leo E. Oliva

     (While searching government documents for another project, I found these records of claims for compensation for Indian depredations. Chief Ranger George Elmore stated this is new information, but he probably knew and forgot because he has forgot more about Fort Larned history than the rest of us know. Is retired Fort Larned Old Guard Chairman Ken Weidner a relative of Christopher Weidner?)

     In 1868 Christopher Weidner, operating a trading ranche and toll bridge on Pawnee Fork east of Fort Larned, was raided by Indians on two occasions. He claimed significant property losses and requested compensation from tribal funds as authorized by Congress.

     The documents of the first claim are found in House of Representatives Executive Document No. 94, 43rd Congress, 2nd Session, 1872, considering "The claim of Christopher Weidner, for depredations committed by Kiowa Indians in 1868." Excerpts from these documents are quoted below.

     1. Letter of Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs H. R. Clum to Secretary of the Department of the Interior Columbus Delano, March 24, 1871:

     I have the honor to submit herewith a claim of Christopher Weidner, on account of a depredation committed by Kiowa Indians in August, 1868.

     The claimant makes oath to the effect that, on or about the 1st of August, 1868, a party of Kiowa Indians came to his residence in Piketon County, Kansas, where he owned a chartered toll-bridge, and carried off or burned property belonging to him valued at $2,388.25, an itemized account of which is embraced in his affidavit. He adduces the testimony of Mary Weidner, Stephen Weidner, and Cicero Weidner, who were, as they testify, personally cognizant of the depredation, being "near at the time and seeing the Indians leaving the place." The other affiants in the case, Amos Chapman and Henry C. Beale (Henry O. Beal), briefly depose to the fact of Kiowa Indians "carrying off or burning all the stock and fixtures" of the ranch of claimant, and or setting on fire all the surrounding out-houses, but they do not say they were eye-witnesses to the act of the Indians.

     The case was presented to the Indians by the United States Indian agent, Laurie Tatum, as required. . . , who denied that the depredation was committed by their people. . . .

     From a careful examination of the testimony adduced in support of the claim, I am of the opinion that a depredation by the Indians, probably Kiowas, upon the property of claimant at the time and place stated, was committed as charged: but as to the loss sustained in consequence thereof, I think it doubtful that it was to the extent claimed. The account is made up of many items of household goods, clothing, provisions, tools, &c., each article of which it is hardly possible claimant could have remembered as being in his possession at the time of the depredation. . . In my judgment most of the values are exorbitant. . . I suggest whether a deduction of 33 1/3 per cent. might not be reasonably made from the claim, and yet there be left a sum that would be a just remuneration for his loss. . .

     2. Deposition of Christopher Weidner, November 24, 1868, before Notary Public Wm. P. Douthitt:
     Christopher Weidner, being first duly sworn, deposes and says that he is, and for one year last past has been a resident of the county of Piketon, State of Kansas, where he resided on the 1st day of August, A. D. 1868, at Pawnee Fork, four miles east of Fort Larned, at which place he was the owner of a chartered toll-bridge, and at that time was the owner and in possession of the following property and merchandise; that on or about the 1st day of August, A. D. 1868, the Kiowa Indians burned and carried off the property enumerated below, viz:
     4 feather-beds -- $180.00 -- 8 feather-pillows -- 8.00 -- 2 feather-bolsters -- 4.00
     2 counterpanes -- 20.00 -- 6 bed-ticks -- 32.00 -- 3 Mackinaw blankets -- 48.00
     12 gray blankets -- 60.00 -- 3 calico quilts -- 15.00 -- 18 sheets -- 45.00
     34 pillow-slips -- 17.00 -- 1 bedstead -- 15.00 -- 6 woolen quilts -- 18.00
     53 towels -- 21.20 -- 1 stove and furniture -- 40.00 -- 1 clock -- 15.00
     3 sets plates -- 6.00 -- 2 sets cups and saucers -- 3.00 -- 5 ladies' dresses -- 25.00
     3 stone jars -- 2.25 -- 4 large tin pans -- 4.00 -- 6 earthen dishes -- 3.00
     6 glass dishes -- 3.00 -- 3 sets knives and forks -- 3.00 -- 2 sets silver tea-spoons -- 9.00
     1 1/2 sets silver tea-spoons -- 3.00 -- 1 dozen large iron spoons -- 1.00
     1 set under-clothes -- 14.00 -- 1 bonnet -- 5.00 -- 1 girl's hat -- 4.50
     2 shawls -- 15.00 -- 1 set curtains -- 8.50 -- 1 large cape -- 4.00
     2 small capes -- 4.50 -- Silver coin -- 11.00 -- Jewelry -- 7.00
     2 pair gaiters -- 9.50 -- 3 pairs ladies' hose -- 3.00 -- 3 pairs gents' hose -- 1.50
     3 overcoats -- 30.00 -- 1 dress-coat -- 20.00 -- 1 dress-coat -- 20.00
     3 linen coats -- 9.00 -- 5 pairs pants -- 30.00 -- 3 blouses -- 9.00
     9 shirts -- 36.00 -- 1 pair pants -- 10.00 -- 3 soft robes -- 36.00
     1 fine bowie-knife -- 4.00 -- 3 buckets -- 1.50 -- 1 large wash-tub -- 2.00
     1 table and 4 chairs -- 13.00 -- 2 wagon-sheets -- 30.00 -- 2 tents -- 30.00
     Books -- 40.00 -- 2 sets mule-harness -- 100.00 -- 3 new axes -- 4.50
     4 rifle-guns -- 32.00 -- Ammunition -- 10.00 -- 40 pounds carbonate soda -- 14.00
     30 pounds candles -- 12.00 -- 45 pounds soap -- 9.00 -- 6 bottles pepper-sauce -- 1.80
     3 cases matches -- 7.50 -- 10 pounds grape tobacco -- 10.00 -- 10 pounds navy tobacco -- 10.00
     1 copper kettle -- 9.00 -- 1 dozen live chickens -- 12.00 -- Smoking tobacco -- 12.00
     30 pounds dried apples -- 7.50 -- 50 pounds coffee -- 20.00 -- 1 box mustard -- 6.00
     1 lot medicine -- 15.00 -- Stove furniture -- 10.00 -- Set of blacksmith and other tools -- 300.00
     Value of blacksmith's shop, 20 by 20 feet -- 200.00 -- Value of ranch destroyed by fire, 16 by 75 feet -- 500.00
     6 bottles Jamaica ginger -- 4.50 -- 25 pounds lard -- 7.50 -- 30 pounds Brazil-nuts -- 10.50
     20 bales smoking-tobacco -- 15.00 -- 2 cords wood -- 40.00
     Amount -- 2,388.25

     And that he has not recovered any part of said property, nor received any pay there-for from the Government or Indians, and that he has not before made any written application for payment of the same, and that he has not sought any private revenge nor redress against said Kiowa Indians on account of said depredations, nor on any account whatever; and deponent further says that the Kiowa Indians acknowledged to him that they took the property above remunerated, and that he saw many of the articles in their possession; and that after the said Indians had moved their camp he visited the place and found pieces of the property taken; and deponent further says that the values named of the articles taken and destroyed are reasonable and just, and not above the market price at the date and place of said loss. . .

     No document has been located to show what action Congress took on this claim, if any. Christopher Weidner sold the remains of the trading ranche and toll bridge to A. H. Boyd in late 1868 or early 1869, and Boyd's Ranche operated until 1872. It was a popular place for soldiers at Fort Larned to visit for rest and relaxation.

     The documents of Weidner's second claim are found in House of Representatives Executive Document No. 235, 43rd Congress, 3rd Session, 1873, considering "The claim of Christopher Weidner for depredations in October, 1868, by Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians." Excerpts from these documents are quoted below.

     1. Letter of Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs H. R. Clum to Secretary of the Department of the Interior Columbus Delano, February 15, 1873:

     I have the honor to submit for the action of the Department a claim of Christopher Weidner for $1,650, the value of seven mules and four horses, alleged to have been stolen from him at his ranche in Piketon County, Kansas, by Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians.

     The claim, in the judgment of this Office, is clearly established by the testimony adduced, and it is respectfully recommended that the claimant be allowed, as a full indemnity for his loss, the sum of $1,250, being $150 for each mule, the estimated average value of mules heretofore given in regard to claims of this character, and for each of the horses, described by two of the affiants as "ponies," $50. . .

     2. Deposition of Christopher Weidner, November 24, 1868, before Notary Public Wm. P. Douthitt:

     Christopher Weidner, being duly sworn, deposes and says, that he is and for year last past has been a resident of the county of Piketon, State of Kansas, at Pawnee Fork, four miles east of Fort Larned, and that he resided with his family in the county and State last named on the 2d day of October, A. D. 1868, and at that time, about sunrise, a party of Indians, supposed to be Cheyenne and Arapahoes, made an attack on his ranch and drove off seven mules, worth $150 each, and four horses, worth $150 each-whole value $1,650-all of which were the property of this deponent; and he further says that the above values are reasonable and fair, and not above the market-value at the time and place of the above loss. . .

     This claim was supported by testimony of Mary Weidner, Stephen Weidner, Cicero Weidner, E. W. Wynkoop, Henry O. Beal, and George Schryver.

     Congress approved payment of $1,194 to Christopher Weidner for this claim in 1873 (House of Representatives Bill 3875, 42nd Congress, 3rd Session).

Fort Larned Roll Call: Seasonal Rangers
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     A few familiar faces are returning to work at the Fort, and the staff is delighted! Our busy season has arrived and it's time for reinforcements to step in and help. There are so many more opportunities to interpret history and meet the needs of the visitors when the seasonal staff is here.

     Ranger Pete Bethke, our well known blacksmith, has returned and has fired up the forge for school groups in recent weeks. The early start always reminds us of summer crowds enjoying the demonstration. The blacksmith demonstration is one of the most popular programs we offer at special events and summer weekends. Another talent Pete shares in his work is setting up a 14-pole canvas teepee. He used to camp that way many years ago. This skill comes in handy several times during our busy season.

     Ranger Roy Hargadine has been a tremendous help to us giving guided tours during our busy school field-trip season. This year's field trip experience includes hearing stories from the Fort records to engage students to become Artist Correspondents and illustrate the story they enjoy the most and write a report as a correspondent informing Easterners of what is happening in the West. Roy certainly knows plenty of stories pertinent to Fort Larned and he shares them in a very entertaining way.

     Ranger Margaret Smith will soon be back at the front desk orienting visitors, keeping the gift shop looking good, and keeping George in line! Margaret is the first contact for most of the visitors at the Fort. Her friendliness and attentiveness makes for a hard act to follow!

     There will be others to follow this year. But for now, having our dedicated staff increased by these outstanding seasonal rangers makes our jobs easier and all the more rewarding. Stop by and say hello to Pete, Roy, and Margaret soon.

Volunteer Roll Call: BIll Wolfe
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     Chances are, if you were at Fort Larned for a special event in recent years, you were offered a horse-drawn carriage ride around the Fort grounds. The two beautiful horses you met are Pete and Lil; both are part American Quarter Horse and part Missouri Fox Trotter. The volunteer who owns and handles the horses and carriage is Bill Wolfe from Sterling, Kansas. Bill bought the carriage from Fischer Buggy Works at the Kansas State Fair several years ago. He gives rides to visitors who attend the Fort's special events and he has made front page news in the Sterling 4th of July parade!

     Bill, an Arkansas native, moved to Sterling as a youngster - just in time to begin his formal education. But Arkansas is where he fell in love with horses. His grandparents owned horses and working with them made quite an impression on young Bill. He has been a horseman all his life. He still visits relatives in Arkansas every other year, but Sterling has been his home for a long time. He is a graduate of Sterling High School.

     After high school he completed Ferrier trade school in Oklahoma City and shoed horses for over 20 years as a sideline business. He has given multiple interpretive programs on horseshoeing that are well attended at the Fort's events.

     After retiring from 36 years of working at a grain elevator, Bill went to work part-time at Kansas Machine Works (KMW) where he still works today. His wife of 37 years, Debbie, is a nurse practitioner at the Sterling Medical Center. They have a son, Scott, who is a paramedic for Rice County, Kansas. Life is good for the Wolfe family in Sterling, Kansas.

     Horses might be his main interest these days, but Bill is actually a very accomplished blacksmith working alongside Pete Bethke. He recently demonstrated blacksmithing at the Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty. Bill can step back in time and demonstrate life in and around the Fort so well. When asked what he likes most about volunteering at Fort Larned he states, "Every time I volunteer at the Fort I learn something new." Bill really enjoys giving people horse and buggy rides. It's evident that the visitors like him just as much. They like Pete and Lil too!

Post Surgeons: Warren Webster
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
(This is second of the series on the post surgeons at Fort Larned)

     Assistant Surgeon Warren Webster, Fort Larned's second post surgeon, served for a little over a year, from August 20, 1860, to October 28, 1861. He was the first U. S. Army doctor to serve in that position, replacing the civilian contract surgeon, A. L. Breysacher.

     Dr. Webster was born in New Hampshire in 1835 and attended Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1860. He was appointed from Massachusetts as an Assistant Surgeon on June 23, 1860. During Surgeon Webster's tenure at Fort Larned the Fort's adobe hospital was built, most likely during the summer of 1860. This structure would serve as the post hospital for most of the Fort's history since a stone one was not constructed when the rest of the stone buildings were erected after the Civil War.

     As with all the officers at a frontier fort, Dr. Webster had extra duties to perform, as well as his regular duties as post surgeon. He is listed as present for a general court-martial on September 26, 1860. The post commander at this time was Major Henry Walton Wessells, who was racing to get structures built and supplies laid in before winter arrived in Kansas. It was slow going because of delays further up the chain of command.

     By the time winter set in, the adobe structures were mostly completed, although the garrison was reduced to 53 men for the winter; the rest being ordered back to Fort Riley. Three officers stayed behind as well: First Lieutenant Lloyd Beall, post commander, Second Lieutenant, Solomon Williams, and Assistant Surgeon Webster. Along with the soldiers and officers left behind were approximately six men too sick to make the trip to Fort Riley. They would remain at the post until their health improved and the weather allowed them to travel again.

     In December Dr. Webster had a prisoner in the guardhouse moved to the hospital because of a severe case of catarrh, or sinus infection, which could have turned into pneumonia if left untreated. He also treated a soldier with a sprained thumb that prevented him from properly handling his rifle during inspections. By the summer of 1861 Private Robert Roach is recorded as serving in extra-duty capacity as the hospital steward.

     While at Fort Larned, Dr. Webster reported on the terrible effect that untreated syphilis had on the Kiowa and Arapaho, writing that they were the "victims of the most desperate forms of constitutional syphilis, evidencing itself in lost noses, vacant palates and the vilest cutaneous affectations." He was on record opposing the use of mercury in the treatment of syphilis, recommending instead that the initial chancre be destroyed with a caustic agent.

     Surgeon Webster was transferred to Washington, D. C. in October 1861, when Assistant Surgeon Charles Wilson, U. S. Army, took his place at Fort Larned. Dr. Webster was court-martialed in January 1864 for insubordination while in charge of MacDougall General Hospital at Fort Schuyler in New York City. The charges stemmed from his refusal to arrest a sick soldier under his care. He argued that since Private Philip Fitzsimmons, who was accused of desertion, was in the general hospital under the command of the medical department, and not the post hospital, under the command of army line officers, he was within his rights to refuse to obey the order if he felt that it was not in the best interests of his patient's health. The court found Dr. Webster guilty and sentenced him to six months confinement to his command, which was later reduced to 60 days confinement.

     Dr. Webster obtained the rank of Major Surgeon on July 28, 1866 and appears to have been a respected medical authority. During the Civil War he wrote reports on a variety of medical subjects, such as trephination of the skull, treatment of facial wounds, ligation of the common carotid and auxiliary arteries, as well as diagnosing typhus.

     Dr. Webster retired from the Army on February 28, 1889, and died in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 13, 1896. He began his distinguished career as an Army Surgeon at Fort Larned.

The Enlisted Men of Company C, Third Infantry
Part IV - William Anderson
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     (Fort Larned's main interpretive year is 1868, which is the year the stone buildings were completed. Company C, 3rd U. S. Infantry, was stationed at Fort Larned during that year and part of the research for the restoration of the barracks and hospital building was finding out information for most of these enlisted men. That information was compiled in the Historic Furnishing Study: Enlisted Men's Barracks and post Hospital, HS-2. Here is the fourth installment in a series on the enlisted men whose information is included in that report.)

     William Anderson was born on Long Island, New York, in October 1844. By the time of the Civil War he was described as being 5 feet, 8 inches tall with blue eyes and brown hair. His occupation was listed as farmer. Anderson was a Civil War veteran, serving in both the 89th and 59th Illinois Volunteer Regiments. He was captured by the Confederates in 1864 and spent some time in Andersonville prison before it was liberated by Union troops. He returned to New York after the war before deciding to join the regular Army. He enlisted on November 8, 1865, in Brooklyn.

     During his time at Fort Larned, Private Anderson proved to be a capable and reliable soldier. He started 1868 on extra duty in the post Quartermaster Department as a teamster during both January and February. From March to June he was on company duty. July proved to be a somewhat difficult month for him. He spent about a week and a half altogether in July off duty due to diarrhea. He started the month with company duty, but reported to sick call on the 8th and returned to duty on the 10th. By July 20th he was back on sick call, returning to duty by the 22nd. His medical issues continued because he is reported back at sick call on the 26th, and remained sick in barracks for the rest of the month.

     Anderson began August still sick in barracks, but was back on company duty by the 3rd. On the 24th he was assigned to extra duty in the post Quartermaster Department as a teamster. He continued with that duty throughout September and October. In November he was back on company duty until his honorable discharge from the Army on the 8th.

     After leaving Fort Larned, Anderson traveled west, settled in the San Francisco area and took up farming. He married Ellen Riley in 1875; they had no children together. His wife died before him, and he eventually moved to the Soldiers' Home in Los Angeles in 1910. He died there on September 7, 1912.

The Grimsley Saddle At Fort Larned
by Sam Young, Fort Larned National Historic Site Volunteer

     Are there any records of the Grimsley saddle ever being at Fort Larned? If there were, they are probably long gone or buried deep in some old dusty file. However, there could have been. But first, what is a Grimsley saddle?

     Reproduction Model 1847 Grimsley Dragoon Saddle, Fort Scott National Historic Site

     The Grimsley was a military saddle of which there were two models, 1833 and 1847, and two types, dragoon and artillery.

     The Model 1833 resulted from Army officers who had experience with Spanish/Mexican soldiers and civilians who rode simple but strong saddles which were superior to the English style saddles ridden by U. S. troops. The Spanish saddle had a deep-seated tree which provided greater security for the rider in the rough country west of the Mississippi River or if the horse was unruly.

     In 1833 Lieutenant Colonel Stephen W. Kearny and Major Richard B. Mason, U. S. Regiment of Dragoons (authorized in March 1833 and the first permanent cavalry unit in the Army), recommended, based on the Spanish saddle, what became the Model 1833 Grimsley saddle as the dragoon saddle. The Army approved their request and the Thornton Grimsley Saddlery of St. Louis was contracted to produce 715 dragoon saddles.

     One of the features taken from the Spanish saddles was the wooden tree wrapped in wet rawhide that, when dried, form-fitted the tree. Another Spanish feature was the horn on the pommel which dragoons did not like. Unfortunately other issues with this model of the Grimsley saddle made it quickly unserviceable in the field. Other styles of saddles, such as the Model 1844 Ringgold saddle, filled the void until the advent of the Model 1847 Grimsley saddle.

     Thornton Grimsley was a businessman and a saddler in that order. To succeed at the first he had to be both highly knowledgeable in his profession and eager to learn new techniques to improve his products. The Model 1847 Grimsley Dragoon saddle was the result. He improved on the shrink-fit, rawhide covered tree by wrapping the wooden tree in formfitting wet rawhide and stitching it securely in place. As the rawhide dried, it shrank - pulling the nailed, wooden pieces of the tree tightly together and leaving them immovable and covered in a tough, wear-resistant cover. And he incorporated an improved sidebar design in the wooden tree. Over this a black leather covering was added for additional protection. It did not have the hated horn. It was approved by the Army on 7 March 1848 as the official saddle for mounted service.

     There were three configurations of the Model 1847 Grimsley saddle: Dragoon, Driver's, and Valise. The last two are artillery saddles and only the Driver's was meant to be ridden. All three had the same basic characteristics: same Grimsley shape, rawhide-covered tree, brass binding, and covered in black bridle leather with ribbed seat. While there were many other similarities, there were obvious differences. For example, only the Dragoon Saddle had rings and foot staples, on which to attach equipment such as saddlebags, horseshoe pouches, canteens, and pistol holsters; and coat straps for attaching overcoats and bedrolls. It was secured on the horse by an English style girth with surcingle for added security.

     Grimsley artillery saddles were adopted about 1856 as the official artillery saddles, replacing the 1832 Model artillery driver and valise saddles. They were the artillery saddles used through the Civil War and until the 1898 Spanish American War.

     The Grimsley Driver's saddle was the seat of the driver of the team of horses or mules pulling the limber with cannon, howitzer, or caisson attached. On the six-horse team and the two-horse team the saddle was on the near (left) rear horse (called the near wheel horse). In addition to the girth it was attached to the hame straps at the horse collar and to the horse's tail by a crupper. Drivers did not carry their personal equipment on their saddles so these saddles lacked the rings, foot staples, and coat straps.

     Reproduction Model 1847 Grimsley Driver's Saddle Fort Larned National Historic Site

     The Grimsley Valise saddle carried the driver's personal clothing and articles in the valise. It was placed on the saddle between the pommel and the cantle and attached by leather straps that passed through foot staples on the front and rear of the sidebars. It was a miniature Grimsley saddle and was not meant to be ridden.

     Original Grimsley Valise Saddle Frontier Army Museum, Fort Leavenworth

     So, were there Grimsley saddles at Fort Larned? Maybe as Fort Larned was established in October 1859 by the First Cavalry Regiment; just over seven months after the Model 1859 McClellan saddle replaced the Model 1847 Grimsley Dragoon saddle as the official cavalry and dragoon saddle. Could they have already been riding the Model 1859 McClellan? Possibly, however, the Grimsley Dragoon Saddle was the standard saddle for the first four squadrons of the First Cavalry Regiment from which came the cavalrymen responsible for establishing Fort Larned. But it is also very probable these cavalrymen could have been riding one of the experimental saddles authorized for testing; Jones saddle of 1854, Campbell saddle of 1855, Jenifer saddle of 1850, Hope or Texas saddle of 1857, and McClellan saddle of 1857. I cannot find documentation showing which saddles those cavalry companies had been issued at the time Fort Larned was established, and I am not comfortable saying it was the Grimsley saddle.

     What about the Infantry at Fort Larned? While the Indians called them "walk-a-heaps" because they walked almost everywhere they went, some rode either in wagons or on horses. You may have seen the print on the wall by the Fort Larned National Historic Site welcome/information desk showing soldiers on horses on a snowy day. Those are Infantry soldiers. Again, no records are available showing what saddles were at Fort Larned which the infantrymen would have used.

     That leaves the Artillery, of which the 3rd Independent Battery from Wisconsin served at Fort Larned during the last three years of the Civil War. Did their drivers ride Grimsley Driver's saddles? It is safe to say yes since the Grimsley artillery saddles were adopted in 1856 for the artillery and ample numbers of these saddles became available as the war progressed.

     Now that old Fort Larned is a National Historic Site its staff had taken great pains to replicate the fort in 1867-1868 which had four mountain howitzers each pulled by a two-horse team. The harness for these horses includes an 1847 Grimsley Driver's saddle and an 1847 Grimsley Valise saddle. There no records of these Grimsley saddles at Fort Larned.

     R. Stephen Dorsey and Kenneth L. McPheeters, The American Military Saddle, 1776-1945. Collector's Library, 1999.

     Randy Steffen, The Horse Soldier 1776-1943, Volume I, The Revolution, the War of 1812, the Early Frontier 1776-1850. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1977.

Living History or Reenacting
by Sam Young, Fort Larned National Historic Site Volunteer

     Recently I was asked the difference between "living historians" and "reenactors." That is a very fair question as many of us do one or the other and maybe both but probably do not know what they mean. So, I started researching and found many one or two sentence answers, but almost all were incomplete and/or confusing. Then I happened on the Alamo's website, , where I found an exceptionally thorough description, with more answers than I originally sought.

     The following, when in " " is from the Alamo. I will share some examples, preceding them with the word Example.

     Definition of "Living History" "The term 'living history' refers to a method of interpreting the past through the use of a person or persons dressed in period clothing. The technique is usually enhanced by having the person or persons use period tools and engage in period activities." Example: Pete Bethke, the Fort Larned blacksmith, is an outstanding example through his period dress, use of period blacksmithing tools and techniques, and in the actual Fort Larned shop he uses. He "talks the talk and walks the walk."

Who are "Living Historians"?
     "The term is applied (as well as misapplied) to anyone who attempts to convey information about the past while dressed in period clothing. The term 're-enactor' is often used in place of living historian. It is important to note, however, that while living historians can 'reenact,' not all re-enactors make good living historians. Reenacting is actually a recreational pastime, carried on by individuals with an interest in history. Dressing in period clothing and engaging in period activities allows reenactors to 'experience' the past. Living historians, on the other hand, tend to be associated with museums and historical sites that specialize in interpreting the past through a format that allows visitors to visualize the past through the use of their senses. Living historians can also be dedicated private individuals who volunteer their talents and services to historical sites and as such are a valuable resource."

     Example: Consider the Fort Larned soldiers' barracks. Most of the volunteers there are reenacting specific facets of a soldier's life with little knowledge of what it was like being a soldier in 1867, living in those barracks. National Historic Site staff and a few volunteers such as Karl Grover are both reenacting the 1867 soldier's life and doing living historic interpretation of specifics of soldier life in the barracks and the fort. Karl makes the barracks come alive as it could have been in 1867. Living historians study the period and environment in which they portray to attain an accurate character portrayal. Karl continues to do that.

What does the term "first person" mean?
     "The term refers to a technique where a person takes on a historical persona and acts as if he or she was that person. The persona can be that of a well-known historical figure like Sam Houston or Abraham Lincoln. It can also be of an actual but unknown historical figure like a farmer or soldier. A generic persona based on actual historical figures can be effective 'first person' impressions. Conversations with visitors or other interpreters are carried out using the pronouns 'I' and 'we.' For example, 'I told my constituents that they could go to hell and I'd go to Texas!' or 'We built our cabin down by the spring.' A person in true first person mode does not know anything about events or the world outside his or her historical timeframe."

     Example: Marla Matkin is an outstanding example of this technique. For years she has portrayed Libbie Custer with authenticity for which historic sites such as Fort Hays seek her to do both living history and reenacting, as Libbie Custer accompanied by her husband when he was at Fort Hays. Although Libbie Custer was never at Fort Larned, Marla could use the historic setting of a Fort Larned officer's quarters to reenact an event in Libbie's life, such as when Libbie was notified in her quarters at Fort Abraham Lincoln that her husband had been killed at the Little Bighorn. Also Marla, because of her extensive study of post-Civil War officers' wives living in frontier forts, is very capable of portraying in "first person" an officer's wife living at such posts as Fort Larned.

What does the term "third person" mean?
     "Unlike in the case of first person interpretation, individuals using the 'third person' do not leave the present time. Third person interpreters are essentially modern people dressed in period clothing, discussing the past with visitors or other interpreters. The clothing and other objects are used as tools to teach about the past. Conversations with visitors or other interpreters are carried out using the pronouns 'he,' 'she,' and 'they.' For example, 'He told his constituents that they could go to hell and he'd go to Texas!' or 'They built their cabin down by the spring.' A person in third person mode knows about the modern world."

     Example: Gay Choitz is an outstanding third person living historian who can easily transition to first person and back to third. She and her husband Lloyd have the experience of having actually lived in their quarters at Fort Larned on very hot summer days as well as cool/cold days in the spring, fall, and winter. They have also lived in a tent on the open prairie when it was rainy, hot or cold. In both indoor and outdoor environments they wear the correct period clothing and use historic furnishings and household items. She knows how to portray the wife of her officer husband. She cooks; she sews and knits; she treats wounds and injuries, and can assist with child birth; she rides horses side saddle and drives wagons; she can shoot, hunt, and fish; she plays a harp; and she can maintain her household and raise children while always ready to host unexpected house guest since no guest quarters were available on military posts.

What does it take to be a successful living historian?
     "Knowledge and props. While this sounds simple, quality living history is extremely difficult and takes commitment and practice on the part of its practitioners. He or she must be familiar with all aspects of daily life of the time period to be interpreted. Additionally, knowledge of the historical events and important figures of the day is essential. The interpreter must also be familiar with clothing and other physical items (usually referred to as material culture) that are characteristic of his or her time period. Visitors can tell when interpreters are untrained or are using inauthentic items. They deserve the best that you and your site can provide."

     Example: Ranger Mike Seymour portrays the Fort Larned Ordnance Sergeant. His duties include maintenance of Fort Larned's weapons, ammunition, and associated supplies and equipment. His period daily uniform correctly reflects the signs of extensive wear. His knowledge of the historic weapons is extensive. He also trains volunteers and staff on how to use, clean and maintain the fort's period weapons from rifles to the mountain howitzers, using period equipment and techniques.

     Example: From Leo Oliva: "I wish you would also look at Joyce Theier's Telling History: A Manual for Performers and Presenters of First-Person Narragives. Joyce, professor at Emporia State University, also teaches classes and trains people to present. Her book should be recommended to anyone doing living history, reenacting, portraying historic characters, etc. It has helped me with my portrayal of Private Robert Morris Peck, First US Cavalry, 1856-1861. I have Peck's memoirs and follow his words as closely as possible when I perform as Peck.

How does living history work?
     "Living history requires interaction between the interpreter and visitor. This means that the interpreter must draw the visitor(s) into his or her world. As in other businesses, this is referred to as a 'hook.' While some visitors may approach the interpreter with a question, it is the interpreter's responsibility to initiate contact. It can be as simple as asking a question such as 'Have you ever seen a long rifle before?' The key to success is making the visitor feel comfortable enough to want to stay and participate. Let them ask questions and make comments. Even though this is an educational experience, don't 'lecture.' Interaction can be impromptu or scripted. Impromptu interaction is often driven by a visitor's questions and contains an element of spontaneity. However, most visitors usually have similar questions, allowing the interpreter to give fairly standard answers. Thus, the information being dispensed is consistent. Impromptu interaction works well in small group environments. Scripted interaction works better for large groups because the element of intimacy can be lost when many people of families present. In a scripted scenario, the interpreter addresses the entire group, presenting predetermined information. It, too, can be interactive by encouraging questions from the group or selecting people to participate in the presentation."

     Example: As a saddler living historian I wear either the period cavalry uniform or the clothing of a civilian contracted by the fort as a saddler and share with visitors the period hand-sewing techniques and equipment used to repair and/or make leather equipment or canvas such as wagon covers. I also compare with the visitors performing those duties in a garrison saddle shop and in the field using what is available for a temporary fix, such as using a stirrup strap to make a girth. I have been asked to make holes in belts for both volunteers and visitors. Since living history is educational, I always seek opportunities to compare period equipment and techniques with those used today. I believe that makes history interesting and relevant. For example, in my shop is a period army ambulance. It is painted yellow. I occasionally refer to it as Fort Larned's "yellow cab." That allows me to explain the ambulance's primary alternate use.

     "Living history is hands-on-education. Encourage visitors to touch and involve them in period activities.

"Tips for success.
     What sets a 'living historian' apart from others is not the clothing but his or her knowledge of the period being portrayed and a familiarity of that period's material culture.

     While living history is entertaining, it is a proven educational method. Take it seriously and refrain from developing a 'theme park' mentality.

     Complacency results in stagnation. Interpreters who engage in living history must always strive to learn more about the time period they portray."

Maintenance Matters
by William Chapman, Facility Manager

     In the last issue of Outpost we spoke about some of the summer positions available in the maintenance division this year. Since then we have hired two seasonal workers, both reporting for duty on May 15. We still have additional positions that will be announced soon. Maintenance has completed the seasonal openings of facilities in the picnic area of the park. They also cleaned, weeded the parking lot and associated structures preparing for the Fort Larned Old Guard Mess and Muster and other events coming soon. They serviced tools and equipment which are used in preparing for the warmer seasons. They have been working like a hive of bees everywhere in the park!

     The maintenance staff recently flew to the top of the world (okay-it was just the flag pole), with repairs to the lighting protection system, servicing the pulley, painting the pole, and replacing the rope. They also assisted in the recent geophysical survey with mowing additional grounds and removing faux markers from the graveyard. The metal pins from such markers disrupt the survey. And as many of you know, once you work on one thing, you find additional items that need work as well. As you may notice when you visit the fort, some of these faux markers are missing. Many of their glue joints separated and are being repaired. They should be returned to the cemetery by Memorial Day.

Kansas Kids Fitness & Safety Day
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     It started in 1998. A mass of 3rd graders from this area of Kansas descend upon Fort Larned the first Friday in May each year. They participate in a plethora of parade ground activities designed to keep their limbs moving while having some fun. Some of the activities are the same each year, like the fire brigade, graces, hoop & spear, bear hunt, and tug-of-war. The stop, drop, and roll activity is both about fitness and safety. The bear hunt activity is led by Park Volunteer Alice Clapsaddle. She takes the students on a journey of excitement and anticipation, and a bit of a scary twist, all from within the four walls of the post school!

     Alice Clapsaddle at Post School, 2016

     The teacher/coordinator of this event is Sandy Lucas, the Physical Education teacher for the Larned USD 495 elementary and middle schools. With Mrs. Lucas's connections the event runs much more smoothly with approximately 25 8th graders leading the activities. They also set up and take down the event.

     This year the fort saw about 200 students. They toured the buildings between activities and met with some of the park rangers for mini-interpretive talks. This event every year is a great way to showcase the fort to the next generation!

Students Bake Bread For National Park Week
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     National parks all across the nation planned special events and programs during National Park Week, April 16-24. The goal was to bring about awareness that the National Park Service is celebrating its Centennial and kicking off a second century of stewardship. The staff of Fort Larned National Historic Site couldn't have asked for a better crowd to join in the celebration than Larned High School students in the "Adopt a Class" program. The "adopted" students are freshman who will graduate in 2019.

     The fort had a wonderful aroma wafting through the air on Thursday. Ten loaves of homemade bread and four sheets of hardtack were baked by the hands of 25 students from classes taught by Jacque Johnson and Kimberly Morse. The students also churned butter to melt on the freshly baked yeast bread. The cast iron stoves, complete with ovens, are from the 1800's era in our original sandstone buildings. There wasn't a burned loaf of the ten - all came out perfectly and were delicious. The students did a great job! While the bread dough was rising there were several talks related to stewardship and the importance of preserving the Fort's resources. The students also had the opportunity to enjoy the perfect weather day by walking around the parade ground and the nature trail.

     The staff at Fort Larned National Historic Site wants the students at Larned High School and every Kansan to be aware of what our national parks have to offer. We encourage all to find a connection with the vast network of public lands and places that protect and preserve our national and cultural heritage.

     Notice: If you would prefer to receive OUTPOST as a pdf file via email to save paper and postage, please send a note to the editor at {}. You will see color photos in color and may print out the newsletter if you want a hard copy. Thank you.

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2016, please send dues to membership chair Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with projects of the Old Guard. Thank you for your support.

New Memberships
     Fort Larned Old Guard welcomes the following new members:
     Mark Berry, 4516 Rd EE, McDonald KS 67745
     Britt & Linda Colle, 724 Penn Dr, McPherson KS 67460
     Dennis Coddington, 1236 Garfield St, Emporia KS 66801
     Don McElroy, 1830 110th Ave, Ellis KS 67637
     Kelly Taylor, 2571 Paint Rd, Chapman, KS 67431

     For more information, please call the Fort at 620-285-6911.

     May 28-30, 2016: Memorial Weekend Events

     June 24, 2016: Naturalization Ceremony

     July 2-4, 2016: Independence Day Events

     Aug. 27, 2016: Picnic in the Park, Special Celebration of National Park Service Centennial

     Sept. 3-5, 2016: Labor Day Weekend Events

     Sept. 22-24, 2016: Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous, events at Fort Larned on Sept. 24

     Oct. 8, 2016: Candlelight Tour (reservations are required, available in September)

     Dec. 10, 2016: Christmas Open House

Deadline For Next Issue: August 1, 2016

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships in the Fort Larned Old Guard expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2016, please send dues to membership chair Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with projects of the Old Guard. Thank you so much for all your support!!!

Fort Larned Old Guard Contact Information
     The officers, members of the board of directors, dues information and email's are listed on this page of Information. Please feel free to contact any of us.

Schedule of Annual Events
     True to life stories of the Indian Wars along the Santa Fe Trail, brought to life by some of the greatest volunteers in the West. . . ! Visit the most complete Indian fort surviving from the days when Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody rode through this part of the West on their missions. Original restored buildings to that time period, a visitor center, Park Rangers will guide you through this adventure of the Old West.

     Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday, Sunday & Monday) largest living history event in western Kansas - experience a working frontier fort.

     Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, Sunday, & Monday) Re-enactors bring Fort Larned back to life for the holiday weekend.

     Candlelight Tour (2nd Saturday of October) Entertaining evening tours with vignettes from the fort's history.

     Christmas Open House (2nd Saturday of December) Old-fashioned Yuletide celebration with hot apple cider, cookies and Christmas carols.

     Fort Larned National Historic Site is a unit of the U.S. National Park Service located six miles west of Larned on Kansas Highway 156. Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p. m. daily, the park's Visitor Center/Museum and all furnished buildings are admission free. Information on Fort Larned may be found at {}, by calling 620-285-6911, or by sending email to {}.

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