KanColl: The Kansas Historical Quarterlies

Touring Kansas and Colorado in 1871
The Journal of George C. Anderson -- Part I

Autumn, 1956 (Vol. 22, No. 3), pages 193 to 219;
Transcribed by Barbara Hutchins and Lynn Nelson;
HTML by Barbara Hutchins and Susan Stafford;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.
NOTE: The numbers in brackets refer to endnotes for this text.


DELEGATES to the Ohio Soldiers Colony in convention at Columbus, Ohio, in April, 1871, chose a committee of five to go west in search of suitable lands for colony members. Committee members, all Ohioans, were: Maj. N. Bostwick, Mount Vernon; T. H. Ferrell, St. Clairsville; Isaac Huffman, Cincinnati; J. T. McKittrick (or McKitrick), Cincinnati; and George C. Anderson, Sidney. The committee set out from Cincinnati on May 16.

     Three days later they were in Topeka. Here they obtained passes on the Santa Fe railroad to the new town of Florence. From this point they proceeded to Butler county. At Towanda, on May 23, they joined a buffalo hunting party and spent five days beyond the limits of civilization on the north fork of the Ninnescah river. By the end of May they were back in Topeka, and had lost one member of the party -- T. H. Ferrell -- who returned to Ohio downhearted and homesick. McKittrick later deserted.

     The three remaining committeemen spent the month of June viewing lands in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Indian territory. But when they returned to Cincinnati on July 8, they had not decided upon a site. Records of subsequent activities of the colony have not been found.

     One of the three men who completed the tour -- George C. Anderson -- kept notes on the committee's travels, experiences and expenses. These jottings he expanded into a detailed journal, now in the archives of the Kansas State Historical Society. It is a small manuscript volume, 4 x 7 inches, and inserted among its 190 pages are several sketches which the author evidently made during the tour. (See facing p. 208 for reproduction of two of these.) Anderson's photograph is a frontispiece for the volume. There is a dedication: "To Isaac Huffman. A Kind Gentleman and pleasant Companion. Through the continued changes and perplexities of



fifty-five days travel through the West, with the first Locating Committee of the Ohio Soldiers Colony And a Faithful Friend Since our return." The page is signed and dated: "Geo. C. Anderson, Sidney, O. Christmas day. 1872."

     At the end of the day-by-day account there is a list of places visited, mileages traveled and expenses incurred. A table of contents completes the volume. Some of its headings have been incorporated into the journal as printed here, but the addenda are otherwise omitted.

     A few deletions have been made. Although Anderson's frequent shift from past to present tense is sometimes confusing, the account is published without corrections.


     According to a resolution passed by the delagates to the Ohio Soldiers Colony in convention at Columbus [in] April, 1871, the locating committee consisting of Maj. N. Bostwick, of Mt. Vernon, T. H. Ferrell of St. Clairsville, Isaac Huffman and J. T. McKittrick of Cinti. and G. C. Anderson of Sidney met at Cincinnati on the 15" of May following and perfecting their arrangements, left Cinti. at 3 o'clock P. M. on the 16" accompanied by Col. [James A.] Hill, Agt of the O[hio] & M[ississippi] R. R. who had kindly furnished us transportation to Kansas City and return.


     We took supper at Seymour Ind. keeping our seats all night with but little sleep we arrived at St. Louis on the morning of the 17" at 6 oclock transfering our baggage to the Mo. Pacific R. R. we accompanied Col. Hill to the Planters House where we partook of a breakfast such as we had never found at a public house before, after which the Col. took us to several R. R. offices introducing us to the Officials, that we might receive further assistance from them if necessary, after which he made us promise to take dinner with him at the Planters House at 1 oclock P. M.

     We then parted with him and as some of our party had never been in St. Louis before, we strolled around looking up the architectural, mechanical and business qualities of the City which we found to be very extensive. A fine view of the extent of the city is obtained from the dome of the Court House. It's growth since the close of the war has been very rapid. The most important improvement we saw was the building of the great piers for a bridge over the Mississippi making an unbroken chain of communication between the east and west, which will do away with (the most per-


plexing of all bores) the transfer. We reached the Planter's House in time for the Col's dinner which so far excelled the breakfast, that in our attempt to do justice to our Host's epicurean display failed to quit on time, and the consequence proved rather serious to one of the party.

     At four oclock P. M. we left St Louis in company with Mr. Mirrick [H. D. Mirick], Gen'l Ag't. of the Mo. Ka & Texas R. R. who very kindly agreed to furnish us with free passes from Junction City Ka. to Big Cabin, Indian Ter. and from thence to Sedalia Mo. Our route lay through a very fine country, for many miles we passed fine residences with highly ornamental surroundings. Large orchards were to be seen in all directions, and the best evidences of thrift were ever around us.

     Arriving at Franklin at 6 oclock the usual announcement was made. "30 minutes for supper" Not feeling very hungry after such a stuffing as we had at St Louis, we concluded to invest in a cup of coffee and some biscuit which were being sold by some half dozen ragged urchins and as many female representatives of the 15" Amendment who were fully entitled to boast of the unadulterated blood of their African ancestors and who were fat, full of fun, and saucy, keeping all in the car laughing with their jokes. They appeared to be doing good business in competition with R. R. eating houses, furnishing a very good meal for 20 cents. Thus was fifty five cents each saved and five men made happy.

     We were soon on our way, passing the time in pleasant conversation until 10 oclock when we retired to the sleeping coaches where we spent the night half awake and yet dreaming until daylight, when we arose about fifty miles east of Kansas City, enjoying a fine ride over beautiful prairies well improved with comfortable farm houses and barns, orchards and fields of grain. The meadows were dotted over with flowers of different hues, the scenery is grand, and we roll along with increasing interest until we reach the Mo. river, when the country becomes quite uneven. High hills rise up on our left while the river rolls lazily along it's low, sandy, and muddy looking banks to our right. The vegetation is very rank. This part of the country being too broken to cultivate successfully would be better adapted to stock raising.


     We arrived at Kansas City on the morning of the 18" at 6.30 A. M. and proceeding down to State line put our baggage into the rooms of the K. P. R. R. Take breakfast at the Kaw Valley House and pro-


ceed to hunt up J. P. Devereaux Land Ag't for the K. P. R. R. After many delays and a great amount of running through the hot sun we found him. He very cheerfully gave us passes to Denver and return, agreeing to meet us at Denver if we would notify him when we would be there. This we promised to do. After which we took a survey of the city, which is perched high upon the bluffs overlooking the river and valley for several miles.

     About three miles up the south bank of the river on an eminence stands Wyandotte in the State of Kansas. The dividing line between Missouri and Kansas is the Kaw or Kansas river, which empties into the Missouri about midway between the two cities. A person standing down on the levee, or at the R. R. Depot, does not see much of Kansas City. It is not until the bluffs have been climbed, and the streets running through steep and uneven grades have been traveled, that the vast improvements being made are seen. Immense structures are being raised in all parts of the city and the question arises[:] Will the future prospects of the city justify such an immense outlay of capital? Vacant lots in the business part of the city, sell at from $5,000, to $10,000 and some as high as $15,000. Many of these require from ten to twenty feet of solid earth to be removed from their entire surface, in order to bring them to the established grade, and what is singular, the earth can be removed from one lot, leaving a perpendicular wall of earth from ten to thirty feet in height on the adjoining lot without caving. We saw houses perched on these high places, the persons occupying them were certainly high minded, as they looked down on their nearest neighbors.

     We left Kansas City at 5.30 P. M. traveling up the Kaw valley through a very fine country. Passing Lawrence about sunset we had a good view of the town, memorable for the Quantrel butchery and the Lane tragedy during the pro slavery excitement, [1] enterprise and energy were visible in every direction.


     Arriving at Topeka at 9 oclock P. M. we stop at the Capital House, take supper and retire about 11 oclock. [2] Four of us in one small room. On the morning of the 19" we found Capt. Ferrell so sick that we concluded to stop until the next day. we called in a Physician who administered and left with him a quart or more of medicine, and instructed us if he was not better in the evening to


let him know. After getting our friend comfortably situated, some of our party obtain passes for us over the M. K. & T. R. R. from Junction City Ka. to Big Cabin Indian Ter. and from thence to Sedalia, Mo. via Fort Scott. We also obtain passes from Topeka to Florence and return, over the A. T & S F. R. R. through the kindness of the Officers at Topeka.

     Some of our party went out to look at a farm advertized for sale, in order that we might post ourselves in regard to land, it's price, cultivation &c. &c. We were interviewed by the Reporter of the Topeka Record who gave us quite a notice in the next days issue, saying we looked like men with the nerve to stand the hardships, and privations, that would nescessarily befall us, in the discharge of our duties. Our committee was organized by appointing J. T. McKittrick chairman, T. H. Ferrell sec't'y, and Maj. N. Bostwick Treas. After writing to our friends at home, we retire to our beds quite late.

     On the morning of the 20" we find T. H. Ferrell so much better, that we conclude to resume our journey, and accordingly leave Topeka at 6.45 A. M. accompanied by Nelson Young a former resident of Cinti, and acquaintance of Mr. Huffman, but now a book keeper in the employ of the A. T & S F. R. R. Co. He was sent along as an assistant, and to give us any information in regard to the Co's lands, that we might wish, but we found him better versed in long stories, jokes, shooting &c, and a much better judge of whiskey than land, yet a real good fellow to camp out with who would fight off the blues with dry jokes, and a hearty laugh. Many times were we suddenly startled from our reverie by his shrill Shooboy! Shooboy!! as he would urge the ponies from a lazy walk to a full gallop.

     We are running to the S. W. over a well improved country, particularly the counties of Osage and Lyon. The soil is not as deep as we have seen it along the Kansas River, but more broken, with limestone cropping out along the streams, which are generally well wooded with scrub elm and cottonwood. About Emporia there appears to be much thrift among the farmers, judging from their comfortable surroundings.

     Nearing the terminus of the road at Florence, we find the comforts of the older settlers fast disappearing. We pass one residence dug in the side of a hill, with trenches around the top to keep the water from running into it. This was covered with the branches of trees, and "shingled mit straw." The front of this palatial residence, was composed of a cotton sheet, for the purpose of keeping out the sun, rain, wind and burglars. The proprietor was sitting


on a few poles near by, meditating no doubt on the probability of having to move West in order to escape the annoyances of civilization.


     Arriving at Florence at 3 oclock P. M. in a very heavy rain, we were crowded into a small building, just being put up for a Depot. [3] Between the noise of the workmen, and the garrulous voices of some dissatisfied persons, who had congregated there and were telling stories of rattlesnakes, hair breadth escapes, and horrible Indian attrocities, made one instinctively feel the top of his head to satisfy himself that all was well with his scalp. Their stories and the gloomy surroundings, caused by the rain, together with our uncomfortable condition, made some of our party wish they were home. The fact that a very sick lady was among the number of passengers, kept us from engaging in any hilarity, but we were yet novices. After waiting about two hours, the rain slacked a little, and we started out in search of a Hotel, having been informed there were two in the place. Walking two or three squares of stakes, tents, sheds, and wagon camps, through mud and water half boot top deep, we finally reached one, [4] ordered dinner, cleaned the mud off of our boots, which was quite a job, as the soil is mixed with gypsum, and when wet is very sticky.

     After washing and cleaning ourselves, our appetites seem to have increased, or were naturally inclined (by the wonderful stories we had heard) to partake of the surroundings, and on sitting down to dinner, we begin to inquire for buffalo meat, venison, bear-steaks and trout, and were very respectfully informed that we had not reached the hunting grounds of the Noble Red Men, and that we must necessarily content ourselves with what was set before us, and having been born in a christian country and taught in our youth to submit when we could not help it, we yielded to the force of the argument.

     After dinner we walked out over the uplands south of the town, found many species of flowers, and the first prairie apples or buffalo peas we had ever seen. They grow upon a short stem in clusters and range in size, from a hazel nut to a common sized walnut, looking very much like a large gooseberry, and tastes like the


pod of the common pea. They are served as pickles and are good when properly prepared. Mr. Huffman practiced snipe shooting with his revolver, with some success. From the bluff we had a fine view of the country. Florence was laid out within the last two months, and buildings are going up like mushrooms. There are two or three groceries under tents, shops in the open air, a bank for loans and deposits under a shed, [5] families living in wagons and horses and cattle anchored in the prairie.

     On our return to the Hotel we find the place still more crowded by arrivals from the south and west by coaches. Among them we find a man by the name of Jaster in charge of the Sherriff of Monroe Co. Mo. who had arrested him at Wichita, for the murder of a boy named Gates, aged nineteen years. Jaster is handcuffed and looks like a very bad character. We here met E. C. Mendenhall of Cinti. who had been waiting here for us three or four days, and with whom our Chairman [McKitrick] held much secret conversation. Our party of seven slept in a small bedroom containing two beds. We changed the old saying of "three in the bed and one in the middle" to three in each bed and one on the floor.


     The morning of the 21st was clear and the sun shone beautifully, but Florence was charmless amid the sea of water and mud. We hire a team of ponies and a springwagon for five dollars per day, and after laying in provision, cooking utensils, &c, start Southwest about 8 oclock A. M. traveling over high rolling lands, the soil appearing thinner than we had seen down the valley to Florence.

     We saw no timber after leaving Florence, not even a shrub until late in the afternoon when we came in sight of the belt of timber skirting Whitewater Creek. About 2 oclock we came to a swale where we dug down and obtained water for ourselves and ponies. After several ineffectual attempts to start a fire with some wet fuel left by parties before us, we concluded to forego the pleasure of hot coffee and fried bacon, and wash our dry bread and raw bacon down with warm water from the swale.

     After our ponies had grazed and taken sufficient rest, we proceeded on our way, passing many grazing ranches. One thrifty cattle dealer was raising six young Buffaloes. He had erected a very comfortable two story hewn stone dwelling. Here we filled our canteens with good water from a well. This family informed


us that the country was fast filling up with settlers, and their advantages were consequently increasing. They had now to carry their grain only twenty five miles, where one year ago they were compelled to go fifty miles, and there were grocerys now within five miles of them.

     Striking Whitewater Creek late in the evening, we were compelled to follow it's course some time, before we could find a crossing, as the banks were too steep. Crossing it we camped on the south bank. The streams through this country are rather sluggish, with generally a lime shale or gravelly bottom, and steep precipitous banks, densely skirted with scrubby elm, cottonwood, sycamore &c. and abounding in raccoon, wildcat, wolves and rattlesnakes. Putting lariatts upon our ponies, we anchored them on the prairie, after which we cooked and ate our supper. Being tired with our first days journeying off of the railroad, we did not remain up until a fashionable hour, but laying down upon our rubber blankets, and drawing our woolen ones over us, we were soon fast asleep. We lay in the open prairie just outside of the belt of timber, and slept well all night, undisturbed by man or beast.

     May 22d. This morning our blankets were very wet from the dew. We cooked and eat our breakfast, and were off at six oclock. Cattle were grazing around us on every hand. excepting an occasional herder who was galloping through the prairie gathering his scattered herd, we saw no person until we reached the valley lands, which seem to be the first choice of the settler. Arriving at Towanda [6] about 10 oclock we met some persons who were going to start the next day on a Buffalo hunt, and insisted that we should accompany them, saying they were going over a portion of country which they thought would suit us. We finally agreed that after seeing the land Ag't. at Augusta, if we then concluded to go, we would meet them at Towanda the next morning about 9 oclock.


     Resuming our journey, we arrived at Augusta at 3 oclock P. M. [7] Here we find a town of some three hundred inhabitants, nearly all of which are land agents or sharks. We find men from every direction, race and color, taking claims, buying and selling land or trying to take advantage of some impecunious Preemptor. We are immediately surrounded on our arrival, and interviewed, as only people in this country know how to interview. However we are


not easily frightened, as our party are well armed. Messrs. Huffman and McKittrick are armed with breach loading Ballard rifles, Navy revolvers and knives, Maj Bostwick with a common hunting rifle, revolver and knife, Capt Ferrell with revolver and knife, Young with rifle and revolver and Anderson with Spencer rifle, revolver and knife and to guard against certain kinds of trouble, two or three of the party had an additional armament of bottles, our only remedy against snake bites.

     There was a suit before the Land Agent at the time we were there, between a squatter and an actual settler, for a certain piece of land. At one time it looked as though there would be a general fight. Some of the parties placed their hands upon their revolvers, to draw them, but did not. After examining the maps, we were informed by the Ag't that the largest and best body of lands yet unoccupied, were in Sedgewick and Reno Counties, and that we had better examine them.

     As our friends who had invited us to accompany them on the buffalo hunt, were going over that portion of the country recommended by the Agent, we held a meeting to decide whether to accept their offer, or proceed to the north-western portion of the State.

     After mature deliberation we stood three for, and two against accepting the offer. We therefore start back at 5: P. M. to meet the hunters at Towanda at the appointed time. On the road back some quail and snipe were killed. We camped in the evening three miles north of Augusta, lariatted the horses and began preparing our evening meal. So eager were some of the party to have an extra supper, they cooked the birds without taking the insides out, or the feathers off, before they were cooked, darkness came upon us, and in eating, one person prefering the gizzards, found more gravel and sand than he could masticate, and the consequence was: he went to bed with a light supper. Poor Huffman! his visions of home that night were blasted. He dreamed he had been purchased by a Colorado mining company, and had been converted into a quartz mill.


     We laid down under the broad canopy of Heaven, and after a good nights sleep we arose on the morning of the 23d much refreshed, and after an early breakfast, were on our way rejoicing. Arriving at Towanda we found our friends awaiting us. Transferring our baggage from our wagon, we divide it among their three wagons, leaving Nelson Young to return to Florence alone. From Towanda


we went west, stopping about two miles out at the residence of Mr. Priest, where the arrangements are completed and we started for the hunting grounds via. Wichita. On our way out we pass by the graves of two men who were murdered on the spot sometime before, by desperadoes whose only purpose was robbery.

     Reaching Wichita [8] late in the afternoon, we purchased what provision would be wanted during our stay on the plains, as that was the last opportunity we would have until we should return: crossed the Arkansas river: passed up the south bank, and camped for the night about two miles above Wichita. Here we found plenty of fuel, the banks of the river being well wooded with cottonwood. After building a good fire, and the usual routine of supper, we laid down on our blankets: drew the sky over us, and were soon in the land of dreams. The wind raised during the night, and we awoke quite cold; got up early in the morning on the 24", resumed our journey at 5:20.

     Leaving the river, we travel due west over the finest country we have yet seen. A luxuriant growth of grass covers the whole country; flowers of different hues were sending forth a sweet fragrance: birds of fine plumage were warbling their sweet notes, and all nature seemed to invite us to locate here; yet we traveled on, Crossing Cowskin creek. We took wood enough into our wagons to cook our provision until we should return, as that was our last opportunity.

     We stopped on Rattlesnake creek to feed our horses and take a cold lunch. While the horses were eating, some seated themselves on buffalo skulls to take notes; while others amused themselves shooting at the skulls with their revolvers. We spent sometime fixing our guns and getting ready for action as the many skulls seemed to indicate business. We are now among plenty of wild game, deer, antelope, prairie wolves, prairie dogs, gophers: Jack rabbits: prairie chickens: quail &c. &c.


     Resuming our journey, we reach little NenaScah river in a very hard rain. We stop, remaining in our wagons until the storm has somewhat abated, when we started across. Finding the bottom a quick sand, and rather treacherous, we get out of the wagons and wade across the river, camping about a quarter of a mile west of the river, at the foot of a hill, that we might protect ourselves as


much as possible from the high winds; on account of which we experienced some difficulty in starting a fire.

     While supper was being prepared, some of the party took their guns: going out over the hills: looking for game. Some antelope were seen, but a shot could not be had, as they were very wild. A Jack rabbit was killed, which was about the size of a mule colt. The wind changed to the northwest, getting so cold that we had to draw on our overcoats, and blankets, and sitting around the fire, we passed the time in telling stories and wonderful adventures. Darkness coming on us and the boys not returning, we became very uneasy in regard to their safety, and began firing our guns in order to attract their attention. They came in safe however, and reported plenty of buffalo about three miles west of us.

     The soil after leaving the Rattlesnake becomes more sandy, and along the NenaScah the sand has been blown into hills and ridges fifteen and twenty feet high. buffalo-grass, wild sage and devils shoestring are the principle kinds of vegetation. The bed and banks of the river are quicksand, with an occasional shrub growing where the sand was not too deep, they were very scarce however. Buffalo paths are seen in every direction leading to the water, many carcasses are strewn over the plain, some but recently killed, while the whole country is dotted with bleached skulls. We are outside of civilization, not a habitation within twenty five miles on the east, and on the west, none until we reach the Rocky Mountains. These are the hunting grounds of the Noble Red Man, and formerly belonged to the Osage Indians, the Government had given them land in the Indian Territory, in place of this reservation, and these lands were now for sale at $1.25 per. acre.

     We placed our wagons so as to form three sides of a square, and as we were on a low wet spot of ground, we crowded ourselves into the wagons to sleep. We found this a tight squeeze, and endeavored to take all the advantage of our structure we could, by putting a long man in one end of the wagon, while we placed a short man opposite him in the other, even then the feet of one would come in rather close proximity to the olfactory nerves of the other, and we were forced to spoon, or lay in the shape of a half closed pocket knife. When one got tired of laying on one side, he would have to awaken his companion, and at the words one, two, three, they would both flop over like a griddle cake. The wind blew very hard, and the rain beat in upon us all night. At times we thought the wagons would be blown over.



     Spending a sleepless night, we turned out at daylight wet and cold, and after breakfast started westward on the warpath. We had gone but a short distance before we discovered two or three herd of buffalo grazing to the west and northwest. Four of our party started northwest, Bostwick, Huffman, Anderson and Priest; they traveled about two miles before they could form an idea of their number or appearance. When within eight hundred or one thousand yards of them our party divided in twos, and began crawling through the wet grass on their hands and knees in different directions. They had proceeded but a short distance before the buffalo discovered them, and ran off to the northwest.

     Priest and Anderson then took a circuit of about three quarters of a mile, in order to flank them, as they were making their way to the main herd some two or three miles off. Not being followed closely, they stopped and began grazing again, after passing over a hill out of sight. Again coming in sight of them, we began crawling and singled out a very fine large black bull that was lying down. By the time we had reached a distance of some five hundred yards from him, the balance of the herd discovered us and ran over a hill out of sight.

     The bull very leisurely got up and walked off towards them, not having seen us. We followed skulking with rapid strides, carrying our guns ready for use, trying to get within easy range. When he would stop, we immediately dropped flat upon the ground, and lay motionless, after taking a very scrutinizing survey of the surroundings, he would walk off again, and we would follow, keeping this up for three quarters of a mile or more, until we had got some three hundred or three hundred and fifty yards from him, when he discovered us, and began running. We raised to our feet, and Wilson Priest fired the first shot: striking him in the fleshy part of the rump: making him switch his tail and increasing his speed fully one half. Anderson then fired: breaking the animals thigh bone and bringing him to the ground. two more shots so enraged the animal that he raised to his feet and gave chase fully determined on annihilating the Ohio Soldiers Colony. But he was mistaken in his mission, for these brave boys having saved their country in her peril, were fully able to take care of themselves, and being filled with their old spirit of 1862-3 & 4 began looking around for a tree or telegraph pole to climb, or a hole in which to run and pull in after them, but not being able to see either, they suddenly


concluded that they did not like that part of the country, and that a colony could not be successfully located there, suddenly and rapidly started eastward. The buffalo being so severely wounded soon fell. Thus changing the opinion of the Soldiers, in regard to the country and their usefulness at home, and returning to the charge, with two more shots dispatched him.

     Our firing soon brought the wagons in sight, and as there had been much discussion and speculation between the hunters and the members of the committee as to who should bring down the first buffalo, Anderson jumped upon the carcass and swinging his hat high in the air, claimed the victory and the honor of bringing down the first, and which subsequently proved to be the largest buffalo killed by the party, weighing about 2500 lbs Skinning the animal we cut the flesh from the hump, the hams and other fleshy parts of the body, leaving the skin and all of the bones laying on the ground. In one and a half hours after killing, we had the flesh salted down in barrels, and were after more. So eager were the most of the party to kill a buffalo that caution was not used in selecting good fat animals, and the consequense was, that of eight killed, but two was salted down, as the balance were too old and poor.

     Late in the afternoon we camped on the north fork of the NeneScah. [9] The novelty of buffalo hunting had worn off, and we were tired. The next day was to be one of business, for we had concluded to furnish enough meat to load the wagons, if there were buffaloes enough in the country to do it. After completing our arrangements for the next day, and partaking of a hearty supper of roast buffalo which we thought the best meat we had ever eaten, owing to our long continued diet of salt bacon and to the fact that we had fasted since early in the morning which was enough to make even quail gizzards with their gritty contents palatable, we laid down upon the ground for the night, during which we had rain.

     On the morning of the 26th after our regular routine of business, and a hearty breakfast we started out fully determined to furnish enough meat to satisfy our friends who had kindly offered us transportation, and who were now dividing their scanty provision with us, as we had failed to provide enough to last us during the trip, having intended to return to the settlements sooner. Many laugh-


able incidents occurred during the day. One person getting the buck ague when about to fire at a buffalo and letting his gun go off at random in the air, was rather too good a joke. he however retrieved this action by shooting a buffalo in the eye, which we tried to make him believe was an accident. This we could not do, as he would invariably tell us the Major was a center shot. Some not getting out of sight of the camp for fear of being lost, gave a very laughable account with a stretch of the imagination of some fearful scene that had made their hair stand on end, and were unable to say how they reached camp in safety.

     The height of interest was fairly reached at dusk when Priest and Anderson who had started out in the morning; were not seen all day and had not yet returned. Many conclusions were suddenly arrived at. Some that they had lost their way, and we would not see them until we reached the settlements. Others; that one had killed the other that he might rob him, and return home telling some great story of having been pursued by Indians and separated, and still another and which seemed to be the prevailing idea, that they had either been murdered or captured by the Indians, and advocated the necessity of going to the settlements, and raising a body of men to search for the missing ones, and kill every Indian they could find. Old Mr. Priest and Bostwick seemed to be the most sanguine in regard to the Indian theory, and were greatly excited.

     Darkness coming on, a large fire was built, and parties were sent out in different directions to fire off their guns, finally a faint shot was heard up the river to the northwest, all eyes turned in that direction, when a flash was seen, followed by the report of a revolver, then still another, followed by a voice that all knew to be that of one of the men, supposed to be lost. They were soon in camp tired and hungry, not having eaten anything all day. Thay had traveled to the northwest some twenty miles; had come upon a herd of Indian ponies and soon after came in sight of an Indian camp. Not wishing to have their scalps adorn the belt of some warrior, or their teeth strung and worn on the necks of Squaws or Pappooses as ornaments, or to be robbed of their clothing and guns, as a party before us had been. The circumstances of which were as follows. Some men who had been hunting all day camped near the river; being warm and tired they concluded to have a bathe, and stripping off their clothes, left them in the wagons with their guns, and while they were bathing in the river, a party of


Indians went to the wagons and carried off their clothing and guns. Not wishing these misfortunes to befall our two hunters, they changed their course, traveling through low lands and in deep ravines.

     Reaching a high ridge of land, they saw a large herd of buffalo moving northward. Priest being anxious to capture a buffalo calf, proposed crawling up near the center of the herd for that purpose, as the herds in moving always keep the cows with their calves, in the center, while the front, flanks, and rear, are guarded by bulls. Skirmishers in herds of from six to twenty, were usually out from two to five miles on either flank, and on the approach of danger would run and give the alarm to the main herd. After crawling flat upon the ground, about three quarters of a mile or more without seeing a calf, they determined to bring down a full grown buffalo, and accordingly each picking out a fine looking animal, fired; when the herd stampeded.

     A great rumbling noise fell upon their ears and rising to their feet, they were almost horror-stricken at the sight. An immense herd of buffalo were moving in solid column upon them at full run, and not more than five hundred yards distant. The first impulse was to run; retracing their steps down the draw, they had crawled up, but seeing they would not be enabled to escape in that manner stopped, and when the herd had reached a distance of about one hundred yards from them fired their guns over their heads, taking care not to fire low enough to hit any of them. The flash of fire, smoke and report of the guns had the desired effect of dividing the herd immediately in their front, the main herd passing to the east, while one or two thousand passed to the west, joining the main herd some four or five hundred yards to the north of us. They now saw the great danger to which they had been exposed, and thanked God for their escape. In crawling up the draw, or low depression of land, they were unable to see that they were immediately in front of a large herd grazing towards them. The firing of the guns had stampeded the whole herd, and they came near being trampled to death in consequence. Going upon a ridge they were enabled to see over a plain about three miles in width and ten or fifteen miles in length from north to south. This whole plain was covered with a mass of buffalo moving northward. As far as the eye could reach from north to south, this immense herd could be seen, and while they watched it an hour or more, they were unable to see any diminution in their numbers. Numbering four buffaloes and one antelope among their trophies, they began retracing their steps campward.


     A difference of opinion arising as to the right direction to the camp, of about three points of the compass; they conclude to settle it by a view from a very high point of land, and on reaching the summit they could trace the NenaScah river by its sandy banks, and in the direction maintained by Anderson, they were enabled to discover three white objects in a triangular position on the bank of the river and from the center was seen curling a column of smoke, which they knew to be the camp, and starting down from the summit about 5 oclock, and traveling hurriedly; wading through sluices, marshes, and the river, reached camp about 9 oclock. Thus ended an adventurous day. McKittrick told many wonderful stories about the number of buffalo killed by him, but as he was not seen to kill any, and brought no trophies of his success to camp, due allowance was made for what he said, and he was credited with killing none. Mr. Huffman made good use of his time, bringing down several. Wilson Priest captured a young antelope which he valued highly and tried to keep alive by feeding it cornmeal gruel, which made it sick and caused its death in a few days. Eleven buffalo and one antelope were killed this day.

     Just as we were lying down for the night a very heavy rain fell upon us, wetting our bedstead (the ground), bedding, and our clothes through to the skin, in consequence of which we spent rather a restless night. On the morning of the 27" we were up early, and after salting and packing away the meat, we started at 8:20 A. M. traveling some twelve miles to the southeast, killing two more buffaloes


     Reaching the Wichata trail at the crossing of the NenaScah we presented rather a ludicrous appearance. Some of the party from constant wading of streams and traveling through the wet grass, had been sleeping with their boots on ever since leaving Florence, as they would not have been able to put them on again had they taken them off. Their feet were sore, and their boots being now dry, they wished to keep them so until they would reach Wichita. They accordingly prevailed on their more fortunate friends to carry them over on their backs. Thus might have been seen Anderson perched upon the back of his friend Huffman, carrying the boots, gun and accoutrements of Huffman, while his own gun and outfit finished out the load of about three hundred pounds. Huffman felt his winding way very cautiously, over the treacherous, sandy bottom of the river. Smiling all the while under this laughable load,

sketch of buffalos

George C. Anderson's sketch of a buffalo herd in Reno county in 1871.

another buffalo sketch

Anderson pictured himself and companion being
chased by a wounded and enraged buffalo.

bold circus poster

The advertisement (considerably reduced) from the Kansas State Record, Topeka, May 24, 1871, announced the circus which Anderson described as "the best we had seen for several years." [Please click here for text version of poster.]


which just for the fun of the thing would have smiled in turn to have been thrown headlong into the water, by an unlucky step of the carrier.

     After crossing the river in safety we stopped to feed the horses and take some refreshments. Thence traveling eastward our progress was rather slow. The wagons being loaded with about 2000 pounds of clear meat, each. At night we camped on the bank of buffalo creek. This was a beautiful night; the moon shone brightly; the air was cool and invigorating, and our party felt in joyous spirits; sitting around the fire laughing and joking until 10 oclock, when we retired to our ground matresses, and had a good nights sleep.

     On the morning of the 28" we had a very heavy dew, almost equal to a rain. After our usual breakfast of chickory coffee, buffalo meat and sour bread, we were on the road at 6:45. Traveling eastward we see some of the finest land we have yet seen; deep, rich, black soil covered with a luxuriant growth of grass. The hills of black earth thrown up by the gophers, attest to the depth of the rich soil. After crossing the east branch of Buffalo Creek, we found four poles laid on the ground, forming a square of ten feet. This was the foundation of a house. One of the poles had written upon it "Claimed by Henry Owens May 15" 1871." [10]

     Nearing Cowskin Creek a large herd of Texas cattle passed us going up the Park City trail. [11] Some of the party enjoyed themselves shooting rattlesnakes. Arriving at the Arkansas river at 11 oclock, we double teams on each wagon, and crossed with much difficulty. The river being swollen from the recent rains, made the crossing hazardous; we had to pull at the wheels to help along, and keep the horses from stopping.


     Arriving at Wichita we took a prodigious lunch or farewell banquet with our friends at a grocery, liquor and provision store. After which, with a hearty shaking of hands and many good wishes for their future welfare, we part with them regretfully. Though three of them were rough and uncouth in their manners; yet they possessed warm hearts; while all would join in trying to secure our comfort even at the sacrifice of their own. Jacob Cruse, who was quite a brick, and who claimed to have lived with the Indians many years, received three dollars for hauling our traps. The others


would receive nothing. Cruse claimed to have seen the burial place of the celebrated war chief Black Kettle, [12] and said it had been robbed of its blankets and costly robes, by some marauding whites while he was there. He appeared to be about half Indian. His choice of portions of the buffalo which he cooked and ate, were not calculated to inspire us with feelings of refinement. From the first buffalo killed he secured a peculiar raw hide whip, with which he belabored his poor mules most unmercifully at times.

     John Edwards, another one of the hunters was a mixture of Spanish and American. he could speak the English, Spanish, French, German, and several of the Indian languages; had traveled through most of the countries on the globe; was quite talkative, and a very interesting as well as a good natured fellow.

     We stopped at the Southern Hotel; spread our blankets, coats, &c on the grass to dry and air as they were getting quite musty, it having rained every day since leaving Towanda with one exception. We also tried to dress the buffalo scalps, we had secured as trophies of our success. The heat had begun to tell on them; they had a very unsavory smell; the hair was slipping from them, and as soon as they were exposed to the air, the blue bottle flies held a carnival, and began decorating the scalps with their peculiar ornaments. We rubbed them with alum and salt, but finally gave them up in despair, and gave them away. Huffman only, holding on to his, which he afterwards got home in safety.


     We then take a stroll through the town. This being the Sabbath day we were rather astonished to see nearly all the business houses open, and doing a larger business than on any day during the week. There is one church in the place in which they have preaching semi-occasionally. [13] There is an occasional sermon preached at the old Mission which was built for a fort, and trading post. [14] It was formed of round logs placed on their ends, in double rows, and covered with logs, a ridge pole ran through the center to give it the desired pitch. This was shingled with sod, and covered to the depth of twelve or fifteen inches, and on this, grass and weeds were growing luxuriantly; many herds of cattle passed here today. The herders are usually Texans, Mexicans and Greasers, and the hardest set of men we had yet encountered; every one carrying a huge bowie knife;


a brace of Navy revolvers; large spurs with bells tingling from their heavy cavalry boots; rawhide breeches with the hair on. They were swearing drinking and doing much as they pleased. From five to ten of these fellows usually accompanied a herd. From fifteen to twenty thousand head of cattle passed through this place every week. Three fourths of the business houses here keep whiskey to sell. There is one paper published here called the Vidette, the morality of which is rather questionable.

     Owing to great competition in all kinds of business, groceries, and goods of all description, could be bought as cheap here as at home. The Hotel was kept by a young man from Cincinnati. The moral portion of the community were trying to raise the morals of the place; having hung some half a dozen men in the last year or eighteen months. [16]

     We left Wichita on the 29" at 10:30 A. M. in wagons going to Florence for goods. The drivers having been on a protracted spree, were tapering up in the usual manner, by taking a drink every fifteen or twenty minutes, consequently not very clear in the head; lost their way, and after wandering around over the prairie until night, camped on the bank of Whitewater, west of Towanda. After supper Huffman and Anderson went fishing for trout, but did not even get a shiners nibble. After trying until dark to get the fish to bite at our salt bacon without success, we very naturally concluded that the fish had been put in their little beds, and we had better be turning into ours. Returning to camp, we were soon preparing our beds on the ground. The wind was blowing a perfect gale. The drivers, who were old frontiersmen laid a blanket on the ground, then spreading their wagon cover over the blanket, they proceeded to undress for bed in the most approved christian style, and were soon snugly at rest between the blankets and wagon covers. They informed us that they always retired in that manner, and for fifteen years, one of them had never slept in a house. In the winter, and during stormy weather, when they could not sleep on the ground, they slept in their wagons.


     On the morning of the 30" we were on the road at 6:30 stopping at Plumb Grove for dinner. [17] Plumb Grove is a flourishing village


in Butler County, numbering two inhabitants -- man and wife -- , and consisting of a one story building, twelve by fourteen feet. In this building was one dry goods store; one grocery; one hardware store; one stove and tinware, and the Post office. Going rather suddenly into this business place we somewhat astonished the natives; judging from their looks. After purchasing and eating our dinners and resting our teams we resumed our journey to Florence Our teamsters laying in a fresh supply of the overjoyful at Towanda, soon lost their way again, and we went straying over the prairies not reaching Florence until after dark, in a drenching rain; went to a different Hotel from the one we had stopped at on our former visit here, and spent the night on the floor. For which privilege we paid one dollar.


     Left Florence for Topeka on the morning of the 31st at 6:15 in a hard rain; where we arrived at one oclock P. M.  T. H. Ferrell did not stop but continued on homeward, fully of the opinion that locating the Colony was an impossibility and withal he was quite homesick. He was a clever hearted fellow, but was taken sick soon after starting, became depressed in spirits, and remained unhappy as long as he was with us and growing more so each day. Nelson Young met us at the depot, and directed us to a private boarding house; where we gave ourselves a good washing, and doffed the dirty clothes that we had worn without changing since leaving here on the 20". After completing our toilette and eating dinner, a meeting of the committee was held. G. C. Anderson was chosen to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of T. H. Ferrell. It was ascertained on our arrival here that no money had been sent to defray our expenses further; we concluded to wait a few days for some, and in the meantime write and telegraph to headquarters for some. In the evening, Nelson Young came around and gave us an account of his troubles after leaving us at Towanda  He lost the way, and after wandering around over the prairie until ten oclock at night, he stopped, and picketed his ponies; having but one match in his pocket, he was fortunate enough to kindle a fire from that. He roasted two snipe, which we had killed in the morning and had left in the wagon when we parted from him. These without any salt, and one cracker, constituted his evening meal, which he relished very much, having eaten nothing since early in the morning. He laid under the wagon with no covering. Shivering and in dread, with the wolves howling around him, he spent a sleepless night. In the morning he picked the bones of the


snipe, and started northeast. Meeting with some travelers, he found that be was five miles farther from Florence than when he started from Towanda on the previous morning. Changing his course to the northwest, he reached Florence at night, very hungry and nearly worn out, and was compelled to pay five dollars extra for keeping the team out one day longer than was agreed upon when we hired them. Each one of the committee refunded to him their share of these extra expenses, except McKittrick, who said he would do so before he left, which I think is very doubtful. Being tired we retired early. During the night a very heavy rain settled the dust and cooled the air.


     June 1st the morning was fine and clear; the air cool and invigorating  John Robinson's Circus and Menagerie moved gorgeously through the streets amid an excited throng of people who had congregated from all directions to have a good time and see the sights. We went to the show in the evening; the best we had seen for several years. [See advertisement reproduced with this article.]

     June 2d. The weather was very warm   We conclude to have group photographs taken of ourselves, with our guns and buffalo trophies. After a meeting of the committee; -- there still being no money sent us; -- we conclude to prosecute our duties westward, each bearing his own expenses. This was too much for McKittrick. He proclaimed violently that the Colony had acted in bad faith with him, and he did not propose to pay out his money for the benefit of others. . . . He therefore . . . concluded to return home. . . . Mr. Huffman was now appointed chairman. The committee being now reduced to three, their business can be pushed forward with better feeling and less expense.

     We then box some trinkets with our guns and send them home, Mr. Huffman only retaining his Ballard rifle. After considering that we would be on the road on Sunday if we started before Monday, we conclude to wait until then. In the afternoon we visit the different land Agencies. The National Land Co. making the most favorable offers, we conclude to look over some of their lands along the K[ansas] P[acific] R. R.


     We visit the Capital building situated on an eminence about three quarters of a mile from the river, and commanding a fine view of the surroundings for several miles. When completed it will be a beauti-


ful edifice. One wing has only been erected. [18] It is built of magnesian limestone, brought in large blocks from the quarries near Junction City. These blocks were placed on an ordinary sash saw mill, and sawn into blocks of any desired size. When first taken from the quarries this stone is soft, and is easily sawn, or carved into the most difficult designs, and becomes hardened by exposure to the air.

     Portraits of the most prominent men, who have figured in the history of Kansas from it's first territorial government to the present time, are painted on the walls of the Legislative Halls. Very fine business blocks are being erected on some of the principle streets, and Charitable institutions are being pushed forward. The Citizens can justly point with pride, to a commodious free school building, where the schools are conducted by an efficient corps of teachers. [19] An iron bridge of great length, spans the Kansas river connecting the City proper, with North Topeka where the K. P. Depot is located. [20]


     The Morning of the 3d was beautiful. Van Amburgh & Co's Menagerie & Circus show here to day. [21] The crowd appears larger than on Thursday. Indians are to be seen coming from every direction to see the great lion tamer and his pets.

     The Kaw Indians especially attract attention. They are dressed in the true Indian costume; buckskin moccasins and leggins; cotton breechcloth, and strings of beads complete their toilette; occasionaly we would find one able to sport a gaudy colored blanket, in which they would wrap themselves; while great drops of sweat would roll down from their brows; marking longitude, rivers, and boundary lines through the highly colored maps on their faces and bodies. The Kaw ladies and gentlemen ride astride, with stirrups very short, which gives them a very awkward and uneasy position. Squaws had their Papposes wrapped in heavy woolen blankets and lashed to their backs. The little fellows were bare headed, and


appeared quite contented. They would gaze curiously at everything they saw; neither laughing nor crying, or showing any signs of uneasiness whatever.

     The Squaws wore their hair long, letting it hang down over their shoulders, and backs. The men shave their heads on each side, leaving a strip of hair runing from the forehead to the back of the neck; this strip is about three or four inches wide, and the hair is kept about three inches long, standing erect, excepting the scalp lock, some three or four inches square, and left to grow as long as it will. This on State occasions is plaited and stuck full of feathers, highly colored rags and ribbons; their faces, arms and bodies were painted with Vermillion, Ochre and Paris-green. All having three or four slits cut around in the rims of their ears, and in them were twisted iron and brass ornaments. Being armed with bows and arrows, they presented quite a warlike appearance. The men and boys spend much of their time shooting at nickels, getting all they hit, they usually take great pains in trying to miss none. They sell bows, arrows and whips; usually asking one price and sticking to it.

     The Pottawatomies are civilized and dress as the citizens do. They have a Catholic Mission and schools in their reservation. All are too fond of fire water; many were arrested and taken to the lock up for drunkenness and disturbance; they are very noisy when drunk. The Pottawatomies have received patents for their lands, and are now selling them to the whites.

     On the morning of the 4" Maj. Bostwick started early to look at the country north of Topeka. Huffman and Anderson attended church morning and evening. Bostwick came in at eleven o,clock at night.


     We walked over to the Depot at two oclock A. M. June 5 and took the cars for Denver. Passed Fort Reily before day-light. we ate a little, poor breakfast for much money at Saline City.

     Passing Abeline we saw Buffalo Bill at the Depot; [22] he is tall, slender with long, black hair hanging to his shoulders. From a belt around his waist, hung two navy revolvers and a large bowie knife; being marshal of the town, he moved around with an air of authority; a terror to all evil doers. The council of Abeline were to decide some very important measure, at an appointed time, the majority of whom, wishing to shirk their duty in regard to the


question, did not put in an appearance, consequently there was not a quorum present. Wild Bill being equal to any emergency, went out into the Gambling houses and saloons, and carried members of the council on his back, until he had got a quorum, when they proceed to business.

     At Fort Harker we saw a plattoon of soldiers, target shooting. [23] Here we find a very neat looking fort, in the midst of a not very fertile plain; stacks and ricks of old hay, dotted the immediate vicinity of the fort which had been cut for horses and cattle and had not been used. A few groves could be seen around, but vegetation was growing shorter as we proceeded westward.

     Passing on beyond Wilsons Creek we see the graves of three men who had been killed by the Indians last year. Seven section men were working on the track, their guns were laying on a hand car some thirty or forty yards from them. The Indians crept up the bed of the creek within a short distance of them and fired from behind the bank, killing three men; before the survivors could reach their guns, the Indians had fled. [24]

     Twenty five miles further on, we strike the lands that the Agent of the National Co. at Topeka, had requested us to examine, and he was satisfied we would immediately locate. A glance at these lands satisfied us that we would not. The grass was but four or five inches high, and dying for want of rain, which only falls semi-occasionly. For successful farming, irrigation would be necessary, the want of streams within reasonable distance renders this impossible consequently a Colony could not succeed here.

     We stopped at Fossil Station. [25] Here a Colony had located about two months before. their opinions in regard to success appeared to be divided. [26] All agreed in saying they were afraid they would suffer for want of rain. They had planted some corn, and potatoes, which was just coming up. Many of the people were living in holes dug in the ground, which were covered with sheets and blankets. But few shanties had been erected.


     From this point west the stations are all guarded by U. S. soldiers. These stations are only for watering, coaling, and dispatching, and usually consist of a water tank, coal platform, and a box car converted into a telegraph office. The soldiers occupy a frame building, around which are built earth-works. Within this enclosure, underground passages lead to underground forts outside of the earth-works. These forts rise from eighteen to twenty four inches above the ground; are covered with logs; upon which adobe is laid in such a manner as to prevent the water from soaking through, when the rains fall, -- (which is very seldom) -- and also make it bullet proof. Just above ground they are pierced with port holes enfiladed between, making a very secure fortification against the Noble Red Man. There is usually a fort on either side of the barracks.

     We dined at Ellis. Before reaching Sheridan a hard storm came upon us; the wind almost turned the train from the track. The lightning was terrific, many telegraph poles were torn to splinters. At Wallace the train stopped for supper. Mr. Frank Ford of Denver, Col. (a very agreeable gentleman, and with whom we had spent most of the day) invited us to take lunch with him, which we did; thus making the receipts at the supper table four dollars less.

     Continuing our journey, we retire about eleven oclock at night, being quite comfortable we soon fall asleep, but awake about two oclock very cold; wrapping ourselves in our blankets, we again lay down and sleep until five oclock.

     June 6" we get up, and going through our usual ablutions, seat ourselves at the windows, and take a view of the scenery. To our right we see a white cone shaped hill apparently about fifteen feet above the horizon, with smaller ones dotting along from the north-west to the south-west, at which extremity one rises twenty five or thirty feet. We are asked by Mr. Ford if we could form an idea of the distance we were from them. We told him from three to ten miles. He informed us we were from seventy five to one hundred and fifty miles distant, and that we were fifty miles from the nearest foot hills, which were not yet in view. The tallest peak to our left was Pikes Peak, to which the gold excitement carried many thousand disappointed fortune hunters. The two tallest on our right were Long's Peak and Greys Peak. The peaks of this whole range of the Rocky Mountains are covered with snow, and present the appearance of a general wash day among the mountaineers. The air is so clear small objects can be seen a great distance.



     Arriving at Denver at seven oclock A. M. we are piloted to the Carr House. After breakfast we proceed to the Post office where we receive our first letters from home; after which we take a walk westward towards the mountains. Crossing Cherry Creek and Platte river we see many cosy residences among the groves, dotted along the foot hills. Large trains of wagons are continually on the road to and from the mountains loaded with provision for the miners and wood and lumber from the mountains. The intense heat and continual columns of dust soon cause us to retrace our steps. We visit the Woolen factory, fur and game stores, &c. In the afternoon we were introduced to Col. [Cyrus W.] Fisher Gen'l Sup't of the Denver Pacific R. R. formerly of the B & I. R. R. of Ohio, who kindly furnished us with passes over his road and return, also, gave us all the information he could in regard to lands &c.

     Having no clean shirts, handkerchiefs or linen coats to put on, we visit the Chinese laundries for the purpose of having washing and ironing done. There was some difficulty in convincing the Proprietors of our great necessity for clean clothes; consequently we were compelled to visit several before being able to find anyone who could have it done in time. We finally made arrangements with Wang Shang.

     The Chinese quarters are in the northeastern part of the City. . . . The men usually carry on laundries and are very industrious. . . . We found laundries carried on by the following named persons, Ung Sang; How Chong;. Sam Waugh; Fung Lee; Sing Lee; Waugh Lee; Sam Lee; Win Lee; Wang Shang; Ye Kee; Ching Wy; Lee Paugh; Hom Lee; Ye Lee.

     There was a tea and tobacco store kept by one Fee Tang who was married and had his family with him. We bought a few articles of him, after which he took a book, pot of paint, and brush, and made a string of hieroglyphics, which may have been an account of the articles sold, or a condensed history of China; or "what I know about farming," but if we had been hunting game, and found such writing as that on the ground, we would have brought our guns to our shoulders expecting to bring down a Turkey the next instant. Ah Sin is the only female name we heard of and from the description given of her, the name and character harmonize well.

     In the evening we listened to a street lecture and illustrations by the Lightning Calculator. After which we visit the Denver Theater


to hear the play of the Serious Family. We arose on the morning of the 7" after the best nights rest since leaving home. Here we had clean beds and good board. The nights being cool we could sleep comfortably with three or four heavy covers over us. We took our washing to Wang Shang who gave us a receipt for the same in Chinese hieroglyphics.

[To Be Concluded in the Winter, 1956, Issue]


1. Probably a reference to the killing of Gaius Jenkins by James H. Lane, June 3, 1858, in a dispute over a contested land claim. The Quantrill massacre occurred on August 21, 1863.

2. "Capitol House, John Wilson proprietor, Sixth st., bet[ween] Kansas ave. and Jackson St." -- City Directory . . . of Topeka (Topeka, 1871), p. 31.

3. The town company was chartered in September, 1870, by Samuel J. Crawford, James D. Riggs, A. S. Johnson, Enoch Chase, and John Martin. Florence was named for Crawford's daughter. The line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad had reached this town on May 11, 1871.

4. This was probably either the Bibler House (Jacob Bibler, proprietor), on Fourth street, or the Florence Hotel (J. A. Pike, proprietor), according to advertisements in The Railway Directory & Advertiser . . . (Topeka, 1872), pp. 91, 93.

5. The dry goods-and-grocery stores of John Wilhelm and T. K. McLean (see ibid., pp. 92, 93) which were in existence in Florence in 1872 had probably been established the previous year. The bank was doubtless J. R. Swallow & Co's. Marion County Bank. -- Ibid., p. 93.

6. Towanda, Butler county, had been laid out in June, 1870, by the Rev. Isaac Mooney.

7. The Augusta Town Company had been chartered in March, 1870. Seven months later, October 1, 1870, a U. S. land office was opened there.

8. Wichita, on the Chisholm cattle trail, had been incorporated as a third class city in the month prior to the visit of Anderson and his party. But it had not yet taken on the boom town aspect that was to come in 1872 with the building of the Wichita & Southwestern railroad (later part of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad system) from Newton to Wichita.

9. In his journal, Anderson does not indicate how far west the search for buffalo took them. However, in the table of mileages and expenses at the end of the volume, he records the distance as 75 miles. And, in his table of contents, he gives the locale of the hunt as Reno county.

10. This was Dr. Henry Owens, long-time resident of Sedgwick county.

11. Park City, 10 miles northwest of Wichita, was platted in 1870. It declined after losing out to Wichita in the county-seat contest, and within a decade had ceased to exist as a town.

12. Gen. George A. Custer and Seventh cavalry troops attacked Black Kettle's band of Cheyennes on the Washita river, near the Antelope Hills, in present Oklahoma, on November 27, 1868. Black Kettle was killed in the battle.

13. The First Presbyterian church had erected a frame building in the fall of 1870.

14. Probably St. John's Episcopal church.

15. The Wichita Vidette, earliest newspaper in Sedgwick county, was first issued on August 13, 1870.

16. Recorded evidence does not seem to support this statement about the number of hangings in early Wichita.

17. Plum Grove is now an extinct location. During Frederic Remington's brief stay in Kansas, 1883-1884, he lived near Plum Grove and visited it frequently. -- See Robert Taft, "The Pictorial Record of the Old West -- Remington in Kansas," The Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. 16, p. 123.

18. Work on the east wing of the State House was begun in 1866. In January, 1870, the legislature first occupied the structure, though the wing was not completed until 1873.

19. Probably Lincoln school, erected 1870-1871. -- A. T. Andreas and W. G. Cutler, History of the State of Kansas (Chicago, 1883), p. 545.

20. This Kansas avenue bridge had been completed in 1870.

21. "The great Van Amburgh show arrived in town with all the wild beasts in a healthy condition. . . . The town was stuffed full of people long before the hour for the parade, and hundreds visited the corner of 8th and Kansas avenues before the hour for the performance to inspect the monster tent and the town of tents about it. . . . The crowd is the largest ever in attendance on a menagerie or circus in this city." -- Kansas State Record, Topeka, June 7, 1871. The advertisements read: "Van Amburg & Co's Mammoth Menagerie and Seigrist's Great French Circus." They also stated: "The year 1871 sees Van Amburgh & Co. on the road for just one-half century." -- Ibid., May 31, 1871. Admission was 75 cents for adults and 50 cents for children under ten.

22. Anderson meant "Wild Bill" Hickok. James Butler Hickok had been made marshal of Abilene on April 15, 1871, less than two months before Anderson and party saw him there.

23. Fort Harker, first established as Fort Ellsworth in 1864, was moved about three miles in 1867 to the site (present Kanopolis) near the approaching railroad. Soldiers were stationed at the post until 1873.

24. Anderson was misinformed about this Indian depredation. See next footnote.

25. Fossil Station (present Russell): "Up to the spring of 1871, a station and water tank were all the buildings that existed where this thriving town now stands. A 'dug-out' still remains where the brave Dutchman lived who tended the tank, and in which he defended himself and family, and the section men who survived the assault on one afternoon in May, 1869, from a band of Indians. The graves of two of the men who were killed by the redskins may be seen on Main street; a small stone marks the spot, with the inscription: 'John Lynch, of New York, and Alex. McKeever, of Canada -- Killed by Indians May 28th, 1869.' The first settlement of Fossil -- or Russell, as the postoffice is called -- was made by the Northwestern Colony in April, 1871. . . ." -- Weston's Guide to the Kansas Pacific Railway . . . (Kansas City, Mo., 1872), pp. 71, 72.

26. The Junction City Union of May 13, 1871, reported the recent settlement on Fossil Creek of the Northwestern Colony -- an organization of Wisconsin people, with B. Pratt, president; O. P. Reed, vice president; C. B. Dickinson, secretary; and C. B. Steward, treasurer.

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