Reprinted with permission of Rooting Around, published by the Leavenworth County Genealogical Society. Donated by Debra Graden.

Scraps of Local History Picked Up Here and There

by George Remsburg

(Published June 30, 194_ [American Forces landed on Rendova Island WWII)

Charles D. Briggs, who died at this home at Alahambra, Calif., recently at the age of 94 years, spent his boyhood and early manhood at Weston, Mo., where no doubt he will be remembered by old-timers still living there. He often visited Weston in later years, while living in Atchison, where he operated a book store for many years before moving to California in 1928. He was born in Iowa in 1849, three years after "Buffalo Bill" Cody, whom he later knew well, was born in the same sate, and always called himself a "forty-niner." He and Billy Cody came to Weston at about the same time. The writer knew Mr. Briggs well years ago and contacted him several times since he came to California.


Eighty-six years ago this month Colonel D. R. Anthony located permanently in Leavenworth and at once became a valuable asset to the new city. The impression he left by his long service to the community and to the state becomes more indelible as time goes on.


Seventy-seven years ago this month, the Missouri Pacific railroad was completed to Kansas City and steamboats connected with Leavenworth and Weston. Early in July the road reached Leavenworth and there was much rejoicing and celebration here.


Who remembers the violent storm that occurred in the vicinity of Leavenworth on June 28, 1885? Much damage was done throughout this section. The storm was particularly disastrous across the river from Leavenworth, where, at Waldron, in Platte County, one man, Granville Owens, was killed by his house falling on him, and another, named Alexander, was fatally injured. Others were hurt and much property damage done. Owens was a pioneer justice of the peace in Platte County.


Fairmount was platted 75 years ago this month, by the Kansas Valley Town Company. The station was originally a mile further east, on the Lawrence branch of the U. P. railroad, and was calld Kelley's Station.


Leavenworth in '59.

John J. Ingalls, writing to his father in Massachusetts, from Lawrence, Kas., January 2, 1859, after visiting Leavenworth, says: "Leavenworth is increasing with fabulous rapidity. It has alredy about 10,000 inhabitants and will undoubtedly be the great point in Kansas. Decending into the city at night from the north one is conscious of that indefinable sensation which indicates the neighborhood of masses of men. theirregular, serrated outline along the dim horizon, the scattered lights, the stir, the impulse--all are here.

"Since Christmas, a week yesterday, there have been five murders in the city limits, all of the worst description, in the worst places. Remaining over night at the Planters' House, I started at seven yesterday A.M. for Lawrence. From Leavenworth to Lawrence is 35 miles, which we accomplished with three relays of horses in ten hours--three and a half miles per hour--the best commentary on the state of the roads which can be given. There are not more than half a dozen houses on the entire route, and not a tree for the central 25 miles. I never suffered more from hunger in my life. I had taken a little cracker and cheese, but the oxygen of the prairie wind soon burned it up and created an urgent demand for more. The country is undulating prairie, with occasional roads of inky blackness, winding through the ruddy distance, or lost, absorbed in the deeper blackness of the hills, which had been recently burned by the annual fires. The well-trodden paths, vanishing through the vast uninhabited expense, left asingular impression upon my mind, as if there was something wrong about it. The treacherous tricklings of the 'divides' made an inevitable slough every mile or two, swollen by sudden rains, with inundations which interrupt travel for days. The soil is so compact that it sheds nearlyall its moisture. Brick is made from the surface dirt everywhere through the country."

"Most of the land between the two cities is the property of the Delaware Indians, the remnant of which tribe, now about 950 in number, still dwell here in rude huts and live a life of indolent degradation. Government gives them $100 each per year--enouth to keep them drunk nearly all the time. Many of them wer just returning from a New Year's spree as we passed along. They dress in many colors and ride small ponies of peculiar breed, which are highly valed for their good disposition and great endurance.

Gen. James G. Blunt.

July 21 will be the 117th anniversary of the birth and July 25 the 62nd anniversary of the death of Major General James G. Blunt, distinguished early Leavenworth citizen. Andreas' "History of Kansas" published 60 years ago, gives the following sketch of General Blunt:

"This illustrious general was born in Hancock County, in the state of Maine, July 21, 1826. Until the age of fourteen, he remained at home, where he received a good common school education. With a naturally energetic and restless disposition, he tires of the restraints and routne of his everyday life, and while still young, ran away and went ot sea, shipping at first before the mast, and remaining as a sailor, serving in various capacities, for four years. In December, 1845, he abandoned the sea and emigrated to Ohio, where he studied medicine with Dr. Rufus Gillpatrick. Was married in the same state toNancy G. Putnam, January 14, 1850, and resided and practiced his profession at New Madison, Ohio, until December, 1856. He then immigrated to Kansas, and settled near Greeley, in Anderson County, where he continued to practice as a physician until the outbreak of the rebellion, having in the meantime served the county as its delegate in the Wyandotte Constitutional convention. At the commencement of the war, Dr. Blunt enlisted as a private, but was made lieutenant colonel of the Third Kansas Volunteers at its organization. James Montgomery being the commanding officer. He was appointed brigadier general in April, 1862, and soon after was ordered to the command of the Department of Kansas. During the year, under his personal command, the First Division of the Army of the Frontier, after driving Coffee, Jackman and other rebel leaders out of Missouri, and south of the Arkansas, fought and won at the battles of Cane Hill, Old Fort Wayne and Prairie Grove, driving the enemy beyond Van Buren, Ark., and virtually ending the war north of the Arkansas river. Gen. Blunt was promoted to the rank of major general in 1863, being the only officer of that rank from Kansas. At the close of the war, he located at Leavenworth, and afterward removed to Washington, D. C., where he died, insane, in 1881 (July 25). He was a brave, and efficient man and officer, whom Kansas should be proud to honor."

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