Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road
Mileage Chart & Diary

     Not many milage charts or diaries can be found or were kept for the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Road. But on April 4, 1868 Richard Blinn, his wife Clara, and two year old son Willie, arrived at Hays City enroute to the Fort Lyon, Colorado area. They departed Hays City four days later, the small party reached Fort Dodge on April 11, 1868. The details of this trip over the Fort Hays/Fort Dodge Trail was kept by Mr. Blinn in diary form, with the original in the manuscripts department of The Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas.

April, Saturday 4, 1868
     Hays City. Got here at 10 oclock found a nice place to camp. Plenty of wood and water so we do not have to run after wood as we did the night before. Wil stay here 2 or 3 days until Jack's train comes in from the Plains. The girls are baking bread and getting ready to start across the plains. Had a big row in camp this morning.

April, Sunday 5, 1868
     Camp near Hays City. The trains came in town last night. The stock looks hard. Are going to get the mules shoed tomorrow. Expect to have a big time with Jule.

April, Monday 6, 1868
     Nothing happened today. Went up town twice.

April, Tuesday 7, 1868
     Hays City took the mules up town and got them shoed. Had some fun with Jule she knocked the blacksmith behind the anvil.

April, Wednesday 8, 1868
     Big Timber creek. Left Hays this morning at 7 oclock drove 16 miles had a big scare today. Saw our first Indians today. They were about four miles off. They did not notice us at all but went about their business what ever it was. We are traveling with a Mexican train. They are camped about a mile back.

April, Thursday 9, 1868
     Started this morning at half past six. This morning drove 27 miles. Left the train off Mexicans for they did not travel fast enough for us so we are alone. Jack and Steve found a lot of their friends here and they all feel pretty well tonight. It rained last night and froze so every thing is all ice.

April, Friday 10, 1868
     Sligo log creek. Camped at Boyds Ranch. Started this morning at 6 oclock and drove about 13 miles. Found another Mexican train stuck in the mud. Took dinner and drove 7 miles and caught up with the train they were feeding their mules so we unhitched ours and let them graze awhile. The wind blows like the old harry. Can't pitch the tent so we have to let the girls sleep in the waggon and Steve and I have to take to the ground.

April, Saturday 11, 1868
     Fort Dodge. Started out of the camp this morning at 3 oclock and drove 12 miles and stopped at this place to go to a dance tonight at some of Jack's friends. Found lots of Indians here but they were friendly and do not offer to hurt anyone.
The Blinns' continued along the north bank of the Arkansas on the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail to the Sand Creek stage station where Blinn found work as a stock tender. Following the closing of the station, the family resided in the Boggsville area before heading east to Fort Dodge in early October. On October 9, Indians attacked their train, captured Clara and Willie, and subsequently took them to Indian Territory. There, in Black Kettle's Village on the Washita River, mother and son were killed during George A. Custer's attack on November 27, 1868.
It should also be noted that the Boyd's Ranche Blinn makes note of at Sligo log creek (Sawlog in this time period) was not the same Boyd that operated a ranche at Pawnee Fork Crossing on the Santa Fe Trail Dry Route near Fort Larned. This Boyd's Ranche is located on the Warner Ranch in Ford County. At the Sawlog Creek Crossing there is a dugout on the south side of the creek that could have been the trade ranche noted by Blinn.

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