From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.

January Events in the History of Leavenworth and Vicinity

by George Remsburg

Chief Justice Samuel D. Lecompte arrived in Leavenworth, January 1, 1855, and organized the United States District Court.

On January 1, 1864, the mercury fell to 23 below zero and guards froze to death at Fort Leavenworth.

The First Presbyterian Church of Leavenworth, the first white Presbyterian church in Kansas, was organized, January 1, 1856.

The Leavenworth steel river bridge was inaugurated with big celebration, January 2, 1894.

A Free State mob took possession of Leavenworth, January 4, 1857, and General Calhoun and other pro-slavery men fled to Missouri.

On January 4, 1866, Henry J., John W. and B. F. Freeland, well known brothers of Platte County, started by hack from Leavenworth for St. Louis. Near Quindaro they were attacked by outlaws. Henry J. was killed and robbed.

The contract for Leavenworth's first river bridge was let January 4, 1869, Boomer & Company of Chicago, for $700,000.

The Kickapoo cannon was captured by Leavenworth Free State men, January 5, 1858.

Thomas C. Thurston was shot and killed by W. W. Embry in Leavenworth, January 7, 1880.

The Pemberton Mills, in Leavenworth collapsed with a sudden crash. January 18, 1858, and more than 200 of the 700 employees were killed.

A postoffice was established at Fall Leaf, Leavenworth County, with John J. Weber as postmaster, January 28, 1868.

Col. D. R. Anthony established the Leavenworth Conservative, January 28, 1860.

Capt. R. P. Brown, Member-elect of the Free State Legislature, was brutally murdered by border ruffians in Salt Creek Valley, January 18, 1856.

William E. Murphy was elected mayor of Leavenworth, January 21, 1856.

Charles Fisher, an alleged fugitive slave from Louisiana, was kidnaped from the Planters House in Leavenworth, where he was employed, and taken to Missouri, January 13, 1859. He afterwards escaped.

John Grund, pioneer Leavenworth brewer, and Eliza Tennel were married January 13, 1856. A son, one of Leavenworth's early babies, was born to them, January 14, 1857.

Leavenworth Lodge No. 2, AF & AM, was organized, January 18, 1855.

At the county and territorial election January 15, 1856, an attack was made on the polls at Easton by Pro-slavery men. The Free-State men under Stephen Sparks, put up a vigorous defense and a Pro-salvery[sic] man named Cook was mortally wounded.

A German Society, the Leavenworth Mainner Ger-Sangverein, was organized January 23, 1859.

George Prior was drowned at East Leavenworth, January 21, 1872.

A postoffice was established at Kickapoo with Thomas D. Armond as postmaster, January 24, 1855.

Elijah Cody, pioneer merchant at Weston and uncle of "Buffalo Bill" Cody, died in Denver, January 17, 1866.

Dr. Joseph L. Wever of Leavenworth became surgeon of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, January 14, 1864.

Platte City was incorporated by the Missouri legislature, January 24, 1845.

Coal was first encountered in the Kansas State Prison coal mine at Lansing, January 18, 1881.

In January, 1857, the Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western railroad was organized; in January, 1858, the telegraph was extended from St. Louis to Leavenworth; in January, 1855, the first grist mill in the vicinity of Leavenworth was put in operation at East Leavenworth.

Gen. Alex Caldwell came to Kansas from Pennsylvania in January, 1873, and became prominent at Leavenworth.

On January 13, 1899, it was 30 below zero in Kansas. On the same day, one year later, it was 60 above zero.

There was a severe cold spell in this section January 2 to 25, 1884, the temperature ranging from four to 26 below zero. Another firgid[sic] spell was in 1888--January 14 to 19-- when the mercury fluctuated from 14 to 25 below zero. The ice on the Missouri River was 18 inches thick and heavy wagons crossed on it.

A severe blizzard occurred in Kansas, January 2 to 8, 1866, with a temperature as low as 20 below zero and a good ice harvest.

Earthquake shock were felt throughout Kansas, January 7, 1906.

In January, 1870, the Jesse James gang of outlaws were causing so much terror in Missouri a militia company was organized in Platte County for protection against them.

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