KanColl: The Kansas  Historical Quarterlies




Bypaths of Kansas History

February, 1944(Vol. 13 No. 1), pages 98 to 106.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.

BURIAL OF A CHIEF'S SON

     From the White Cloud Kansas Chief, October 21, 1858.
     A son of To-he, an Iowa chief, died a few days since, and was buried with the highest honors of the tribe. He was placed in a standing (or sitting) posture, on the surface of the ground, upon the top of a high hill, with his face to the setting sun, and bow and arrows, a war-club and a pipe were deposited near him. A pony, which was said to be the fleetest in the tribe, was then shot and laid beside the boy; and thus prepared to journey to the happy hunting grounds, a mound of earth was raised over the whole. A white flag was then raised over themound, and the usual charms placed around, to keep away evil spirits. The young chief was but ten or twelve years of age.

KEEPING THE SABBATH IN 1859

     From a manuscript volume, "Record of Members of the Congregational Church, Topeka," preserved in the archives of the First Congregational Church.
     The annual meeting of the church was held May 21st 1859, the pastor being in the chair. . . . A communication from Brother C L Terrill, giving his reasons for traveling on the Sabbath while teaming, was read, and final action upon it deferred to a future meeting.
     Minutes of a meeting of the Free Congregational Church of Topeka, held July 16th, 1859, according to public notice. . . . The reading of a communication from Brother C L Terrill received May 21st was followed by a verbal statement of the facts, from him. After consideration of the subject the following was unanimously adopted.
     Resolved That this church having heard from Brother C L Terrill his reasons for traveling on the Sabbath upon the two occasions mentioned by him, considers them insufficient, that he violated the law of God by so traveling, and should make an acknowledgment of the wrong as public as the offence.
     Pursuant to a call of the trustees, a meeting of the church or society was held Nov 6th 1860, in the evening at the school house; E C Tefft presiding. Bro. C L Terrills request for a letter of dismission and recommendation, was presented, and it being objected to on account of his being under censure for violation of the Sabbath, the clerk was instructed to correspond with him in relation to the matter.

GETTING OUT THE VOTE

     From the Weekly Herald, Leavenworth, December 10, 1859.
     Dr. H__ tells a good story at the expense of our worthy ex-city marshal. While the latter was endeavoring to rescue the team which broke through the ice on election day, he broke through himself, and came very near drowning. As the ice was giving way, and he about going down, he exclaimed, at the top of his voice, "I have not voted-I have not voted!" Of course he was rescued, as candidates could be found within the hearing of every man's voice.

INDIAN BALL

     From the Leavenworth Daily Times, April 27, 1862.
     The Burlington Register notices a game of ball played by the refugee Indians at Leroy on Sunday, April 15th. It is a new game, and might be adopted for novelty by the ball-players of civilization. Two frames, each about twelve feet high and three feet wide, were erected, about 150 yards apart. These belonged to the two parties engaged in the play, each party composed of eighty Indians and each possessing a frame. The trick of the game was to cast balls through those frames. If the party of one frame succeeded in thrusting a ball through or hitting the frame of the other party, it resulted in counting one for the party so succeeding. Twenty was the number played for. But one ball was in circulation at a time, and it was started from the center by umpires, the ball being thrown upward. Both parties mixed promiscuously, and upon the ascension of the ball from the umpires, a general scramble was made for it by all. Each Indian had two bars or scoops, about two and a half feet in length, with which to throw the ball. It was not allowable to touch the ball with the hands. The Indians wore nothing but breech clouts; all of their persons, except the little portion covered with breech clouts, were stripped bare to the skin.

BASIC ENGLISH

     From the Marysville Enterprise, August 11, 1866.
     The following is a true copy of a "notis" that is posted up on a post in the prairie somewhere in this county:

     ey Due hear Buy for Bid eney purson of cutting eney grass on my plase if thay Due thay will loose thar labor and i want them to Bee veary carfull and not cum over the line. July the 30 1866,

(98)

100 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

HEADED FOR KANSAS

     From The Weekly Free Press, Atchison, November 10, 1866.
     The St. Joe Herald says yesterday morning a party of emigrants passed through that city en route to Kansas and created some excitement, owing to the very novel conveyance made use of. In a "dog cart," leisurely reclining upon a mattress, were an old woman and a young girl, both enjoying the luxury of a pipe; the old man and his youthful son being hard at work giving the necessary locomotion to the vehicle.

FORECASTING THE WEATHER

     From the White Cloud Kansas Chief, June 20, 1867
     We are reminded of the fact that the weather is very hot, by seeing the Indians sauntering about snugly enveloped in heavy blankets and military overcoats. In winter, they will go half naked.

IN THE WRONG PEW

     From the Marysville Enterprise, February 15, 1868.
     At Topeka there is a marked saloon, with a beautiful gilt sign, marked "Senate."It is in a. fine brick block just adjoining the rickety old rookery where thesenate of the state convenes to make laws for the people. As becometh allreligious and properly organized legislative bodies, the senate opens eachmorning with prayer, the resident clergyman of the city of Topeka officiating.The other morning, Rev. Mr. H [A. J. Hesson?]., who is a new comer, was calledupon to officiate. Observing the sign, he went into the "Senate," but seeingsundry bottles and billiard tables, concluded that was hardly the place for theassembled wisdom of the state to convene. The reverend gentleman explains thejoke by saying, in a quiet way, that he thought he would be as apt to find asmany senators there as anywhere -- State Journal.

AN INDIAN HEARS OF THE FIRST SIN

     From the Emporia News, January 28, 1870.
     A gentleman from the Southwest, who called upon us the other day, is responsiblefor the following story: One of Grant's Quaker Indian agents was down in theneighborhood of Fort Gibson on a missionary tour, and called together a number ofthe red men to give them some religious instruction. The Friend talked of theexceeding sinfulness of human nature, and the "fruit of that forbidden tree whichbrought death into the world and all our woe," and as he warmed with his subjectand his voice rose and fell in the pathetic undulations of his Quaker song, anaged chief was observed to be giving very marked attention to the preacher,until, through the interpreter, he learned

BYPATHS OF KANSAS HISTORY 103

how the woman was persuaded by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit, and forwhich she was driven from the Garden. His countenance changed, and with a look ofunmistakable contempt, he replied, "Ughl that was just like a white woman; if shehad been a squaw, she would have picked up a stick and killed that snake."

UNCOMFORTABLE PLATES? TRY THIS

     From The Kansas Daily Commonwealth, Topeka, May 1, 1870.
     A gentle savage near Fort Scott recently traded two mules for a set of falseteeth, and proudly wore them, necklace fashion, around his neck.

MAYBE HE DIDN'T LIKE THE HAT

     From the Ellsworth Reporter, December 5, 1872.
     Curley Marshall, a desperado of considerable note, recently departed this lifepeacefully in his bed at his home in Wichita. He used to live in this city andkilled at least one man here. Last summer he made Newton his headquarters. Oneday a stranger came into a saloon wearing a "stove pipe" hat. The wearing of sucha hat was sufficient provocation for Curley Marshall to shoot him, which he didwithout hesitation.

THE WAGES OF HORSE THIEVING WAS DEATH

     From the Junction City Union, August 30, 1873.
     Mr. L. C. Palmer, of this city, returned on Tuesday of last week from one of thelongest, dryest and dustiest chases after horse thieves that has occurred in hisown history, or that of anybody else.
     On the night of Sunday, the 16th inst., three horses were stolen from the stableof Mr. McNamee, living seven miles from this city, on Lyons creek. Two of thehorses were a span once belonging to Mr. Forbes, of this city, and remarkable forlarge size, weighing about 3,300 pounds; the third animal was a riding marebelonging to a daughter of Mr. McNamee's. The Houston brothers, two sons of Mr.McNamee, Mr. McClelland, of Woodbine, and a Mexican in the employ of Mr.Mansfield, took the trail on Sunday morning, while the elder McNamee came to townand telegraphed to points south and west.
     On Monday night Mr. Palmer started from Junction, armed with a warrant fromJustice Gordon, and went out twenty-five miles up Lyons creek, where he waitedfor day-light, to resume his journey. At Marion Centre on Wednesday morning, Mr.Palmer found that the thieves with the three horses had been seen near town onSunday morning, and had tried to trade the stock. He also learned that SheriffHowe, of Marion county, had gone on in pursuit. He also heard that the Hustonsand their party were still on the trail in advance., although some of theneighbors who had started from Lyons creek had returned. Thus there were at thattime, including Mr. Palmer, eight men

102 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

after the thieves. At Marion Centre Mr. P. exchanged his horse and buggy for asaddle horse, and pushed on to Peabody, where he again changed horses. AtTowanda, Butler county, his next stopping place, he found the Marion Centre partyhad changed horses. The people all along the road had noticed the big horses andsuspected the riders, but had not arrested them.
     Mr. Palmer rode on to Augusta., changing horses again, went on to Winfield, wherehe found he was beginning to gain on the thieves. He learned at Winfield that theMarion Centre party had gone on to the state line, and had there given up thechase and returned through Winfield.
     The next stopping place was Arkansas City, a short distance from the state line.Here he learned that the thieves had passed through, and had broken into somehouses, from which the owners were absent, and stolen provisions. They had alsostolen two saddles, which must have been a relief, as two of them had riddenbareback all the way from Lyons creek. Mr. Palmer also heard here that the Davis[Geary] county boys had come down the river from Wichita, had taken four men withthem and gone south. Two of the men, the Arkansas City men said, were old scouts,who would certainly take the thieves in. It was Thursday morning and Palmer wasbothered. He waited three hours in Arkansas City, then took a fresh horse andstarted east on the state line. Twelve miles east he found that the thieves hadcrossed and gone toward Gibson. Determined to cut them off, he kept east alongthe line in the territory, traveling forty miles without seeing a house. Justbefore reaching Elgin he met a bare-footed man who said he had come from theOsage agency, and that seven miles south of Elgin he had met three negroes withthe horses. In the meantime the Davis county party had gone to the Kaw reserve inthe territory, had heard of the thieves, but acting on the advice of the scouts,had returned to Arkansas City, thus throwing them behind Palmer. They then gotsix men and went east on his trail.
     The affair was now getting interesting. Palmer was closing in on his game. AtElgin Mr. Palmer secured the aid of Deputy United States Marshal Joe Vannoy,Charley Case, Dr. Miller and another gentleman, and struck out on the agencyroad. At midnight the party halted on the prairie. On Friday morning they foundthe thieves had doubled on their track and taken the Coffeyville road to the oldOsage agency, and then gone south. They were, when the pursuers reached the oldagency, but two hours ahead, but were going their best. Taking the Fort Gibsonroad, the pursuing party went 35 miles to the home of the Delaware, Sarcoxie. TheIndian informed them that half an hour before the thieves had passed, and taken ablind trail to the left. The thing was getting red hot. Sarcoxie gave Vannoy afresh pony, mounted one himself and joined the pursuers. Seven miles more, andthey came upon the thieves, who had dismounted, unsaddled their horses, and wereresting. It was at the edge of the timber, and the thieves did not take the alarmuntil the pursuers were within two hundred yards. They then jumped up and ran onfoot in different directions. Sarcoxie went to the horses. Palmer gave chase toone and called him to halt. He kept on running. Palmer's first inducement to stophim cut the vest on top of his shoulder. The second argument cut a finger off hisright hand. The thief then fell as if dead, and Palmer turned back to the rest ofthe party. He found one of the thieves a prisoner. Another had been chased up aravine in the prairie. It is not certainly known

BYPATHS OF KANSAS HISTORY 103

what became of him, but there is great reason to hope that he will steal, nomorehorses. Attention was then directed to Palmer's supposed dead man, but it wasfound that he had gone off. He was surrounded in a corn-field and ordered to comeout. He at first declined on the ground that he was dead, but finally came out.The party, with the two prisoners and the recaptured horses, started for Elgin.The thieves were all mulattoes, and young men. The two captured were well dressedand intelligent, and appeared quite unconcerned about their fate. On arriving atElgin, the Davis county and Arkansas City party was met. Palmer got handcuffs forhis prisoners and left them in a livery stable, in custody, while he took asleep. At about midnight a party demanded the prisoners. Resistance under thecircumstances would have been manifestly improper.
     A short distance from the town, in an open place in the timber, the enterprisingcitizens of Elgin have started a graveyard. It is designed for horse thieves andthe like, and the first grave made there was that of a horse thief who killed oneof the best citizens of that region. To this dismal place at midnight the twohorse thieves were taken. They had not denied their guilt, for to do so wouldhave been useless; but said a man named Cox had told them where to find McNamee'shorses, and had said that if they could get the horses to Fort Gibson, he wouldgive them a good price for them. They asked time to say their prayers, which wasgranted them, and then were hung on a tree; and were hanging there when the Daviscounty party left the next morning.
     Mr. Palmer came with the party about thirty miles, and then left them, as theywere obliged to travel slowly on account of the jaded condition of the bighorses.
     He arrived home on Tuesday, having been gone a week, and traveled in that time,as he figures it, about 600 miles.
     We have been thus minute in describing this affair because we think all partiesdeserve credit for their perseverance in the matter, and set a good example. If asimilar course were pursued in western Missouri, it would break up the gang ofmarauders which infest that country, robbing railroad trains and banks, andcommitting all sorts of depredations.

A WOLF HUNT IN 1876

     From The Nationalist, Manhattan, March 31, 1876.
     The following letter was written by an officer on the staff of Gen. [George]Meade, while stationed in the Indian territory, to his four little children. Weare sure our young readers will thank us for producing it for their especialbenefit.-[Ed.l
     Fort Sill, I. T., March 7, '75 [1876?]. My dear children-Till, Meade, Joe and thebaby-I doubt whether the baby can understand this-how are you all? Your papa doeswant to see you very much. Till must read this letter.-She ought to read it verywell since she wrote her papa such a nice letter.
     Soon after I got here I went on a wolf hunt-there are not many trees around here,but, round hills and valleys, and a horse can run everywhere.

104 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

     First rode the hunter, Mr. Jones, the man who talks to the Indians and tellsuswhat they say, and them what we want to have told. After the hunter's horse'sheels trotted half a dozen or a dozen greyhounds and the hunter had a hornsomething like those horns you get at Pentenrieder's for a quarter, on which hetooted whenever the dogs strayed too far away, and they came instantly back. Wehad not gone far before we saw a wolf sneaking away as if he did not want us tosee him, but it was too late. One of the dogs saw him, and with a bark the wholepack was after him. The riders gave a cheer, and your father amongst themgalloped after the dogs like the wind. First went poor wolf running for dear lifeand never uttering a sound-but ever and anon casting an anxious glance behind tosee how far his pursuers were behind him-then came the cruel hounds strainingevery nerve, and so earnest that they did not have time to bark but only gave anoccasional yelp-all well together-then came the riders, scattered for half amile-some riding in the front at the top of their speed so as to be in at thedeath, or present when the wolf was caught and killed-others, who did not want togo so fast, or whose horses were not so fast, were strung along behindhand. Amongthe first riders, at the head of the column, were two boys, one ten and the othernine, only a year older than Till. They were mounted on small Indian ponies hadlittle horns to blow and enjoyed themselves more than anybody else. They also hadknives to cut off the wolf's tail if they got there first. The first wolf chasedran along until it got to a stream running between banks as high as our house andvery steep, and jumped right into the water ker-chunk, and all the dogs jumpedright in after him and before he could swim across, the dogs caught him. We allgot down from our horses and looked. Such a fuss and row as was kicked up in thatwater you never did see. Bark, snap-barking and snapping with the teeth were allthe sounds you could hear. The water was churned by the struggle and splashinginto a foam, and the foam turned red from the blood which flowed from the bitesthe dogs gave the wolf. Nor did the dogs escape without scars. They all werebitten on the nose and about the eyes by wolfie in his dying struggles. At lastone of the hunters, a lieutenant, reached down, took hold of the wolf by the hindleg and pulled him out of the water, and held him up, he was quite dead, and hishead hung down. His tail was cut off and kept as a trophy of the hunt-your motherwill tell you what trophy means. They take the tail so as to brag of killing thewolf. The next wolf we caught was in the open prairie. We saw the dogs biting athim and wolfie snapping at the dogs. He has long jaws filled with shining whiteteeth and big grey eyes, just like the wolf who put on Little Red Riding Hood'sgrandmother's cap, and ate up Little Red Riding Hood, as you children have readof, so I didn't feel as sorry for the wolf as I might have done, seeing him alonesurrounded by so many enemies. Just as soon as the first man got up he pulled outhis hunting knife and cut off the wolf's tail while the dogs were fighting him.Wolves are smart, and this wolf very soon made out he was dead. Gen. [John W.?]Davidson, who was the chief man in rank, then came up, and he was a kind man, andsaid-take off the dogs, you've got the poor wolf's tail, he is only pretending tobe dead, now you have his tail, let us go away and let us watch him. We had tobeat and kick the dogs to make them go away and follow Mr. Jones, who tooted hishorn for them. All the rest of us then rode off a little way and got behind ahill and watched the

BYPATHS OF KANSAS HISTORY 105

wolf to see where he was going and what he was going to do. For some time thewolf laid right still and did not move. Soon he raised his head, looked aroundquickly and laid it right down again as if he were dead again. Then he raised itwhen he found he was not bothered and looked longer-and then seeing all the baddogs away he got up a little and walked away a little-very weak and tired-laiddown and rested a little bit, got up again and staggered off sadly into the worldwithout any tail. We caught another wolf and turned him off without a tail. I'llbring you children home one of these tails to let you see what they looklike.
     Then we rode home all very tired, the dogs all scarred from nose to tail withbites from the wolves. Mr. Jones, the hunter, said they would not be able to huntagain for a week.
     Sometimes they catch a wolf whose tail has been cut off before.
     After we left off hunting, we rode home through some of the Indian camps. Thefirst camp we came to we saw a little Indian boy creeping through the grasstrying to shoot a bird that he was creeping on, with a little bow and arrow hehad. This little boy was hardly any bigger than Joe. His was a small bow and hisarrows had no iron head, but were made of sharp wood. I'll bring home some of thearrows to let you see. The little Indian boys are very expert in killing littlebirds, with these little bows and arrows. When they are big men they have to maketheir living by killing big game, with their bows and arrows, so they are taughthow to commence shooting with little arrows when they are young, just like youchildren are taught how to read and write in small children's books when you areyoung so that you may make your own living when you grow big and strong, and beable to read big books, and write real letters and do big sums. We rode throughtheir camps which were made of big tents or lodges, or tepees as they call them,made of buffalo robes sewed together and stretched over poles.
     The men-warriors-were glad to see us, but the children hallooed and one littlefellow pretended to shoot arrows at us, and made fun of us, and spit at us, as ifhe did not like us, although he was laughing. As he was not as big as Meade weonly laughed at him. Perhaps if he lives and all his people are not killedbefore, he may be a big Indian like those you children have seen, and kill agreat many white men.
     I saw an Indian war dance here, but I'll tell you that some other time when Iwrite, or when I come home, which I hope will be soon.
     It will be nice weather when I come home, and I expect to walk with you. Yourmother says you have all been very good, and therefore I will bring you allsomething, but you must not expect too much, and you must not want to see yourdear father just because he is to bring you something, but also because you lovehim and want to see him.
     Good bye Till, Meade and sweet little Jo. YOUR FATHER.

STILL FASHIONABLE IN PLACES

     From the Junction City Union, July 22, 1876.
To cut a child's hair with neatness and dispatch, just turn over its head a bowl,and with a pair of sharp scissors clip close to the edge all around. This is veryeconomical, and appears to be quite fashionable in many places.

106 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

ADD TO THE DIFFICULTIES OF RAILROADING

     From the Parsons Eclipse, November 15, 1877.
     Five car loads of cattle of train No. 6 was ditched on Friday evening, andunloading the stock a masculine bovine made it lively for the boys for a fewminutes. After running all hands under the cars, he tried to throw the enginefrom the track, but failing in this he started off on the run. The last seen ofhim he was going over the hills at a lively rate with head and tail erect.

A CYCLONE INCIDENT OF 1879

     From the Junction City Union, June 14, 1879.
     A Salina gentleman tells a singular incident connected with the cyclone of the30th. He was coming down Solomon valley in the public hack. They had passedDelphos a mile or SO. There were three passengers beside the driver. One of thepassengers was a good story teller, was engaged in the relation of some incidentwhich attracted the attention of all the others, and they had turned their facestowards him on the back seat. Suddenly a strong gust of wind struck the hack, andthe hats of all the company were carried off on the prairie. The hack was stoppedand the whole party, including the driver, started in pursuit of their hats. Ournarrator was the first to recover his, some two hundred yards from where the hackhad been left. On turning round he was surprised not to see the hack. Thewhirlwind was plainly to be seen on its course. His attention was attracted to anobject moving in a circle, as every thing was moving, but descending to theearth. He watched it till it struck the ground, then hastened to it to ascertainwhat it was. It was the hack and horses. The two horses and the hack had beenpicked up by the cyclone, carried up towards the clouds and then dropped againwithin a hundred yards from where they had been sucked up by the demon of theair. Both horses were killed, and the hack broken to pieces.

OF INTEREST TO VICTORY GARDEN SPADERS

     From the Logan Enterprise, September 23, 1880.
     We understand that a colored man in Graham county, has, during the summer, spadeda four-foot hedge row around his farm of 160 acres, and we are told that anothercolored man in the same vicinity has a cow with which he broke and improvedtwelve acres of prairie and cultivated eight acres of corn.

Go to previous article     Go to next article     Go to cover page for this issue     Go to KHQ main page