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 J. Remsburg

George A. Root, of the Kansas State Historical society, is preparing a historical account of the old Leavenworth & Pike's Express Company, for the Kansas Historical Quarterly, Established in 1859, at the time of the gold rush to what then western Kansas, now Colorado, its story is an interesting one, and one that has been neglected. George Root is one of the most painstaking and reliable historians in Kansas, and he can be depended upon to do a good job of telling this story.


Frank Ryan's Book.

An interesting book of 168 pages, entitled: "Directory and Interesting Facts Concerning Kansas," has reached my reading table. It was compiled by Frank J. Ryan, formerly of Leavenworth, who was nominated at the August primaries for a ninth term as secretary of state of the great commonwealth of Kansas, a record that should make any man's heart swell with mingled pride and gratitude. The book is chock full of information, statistical, historical and otherwise, about Kansas, and constitutes a valuable ready-reference compendium. As a frontispiece there is appended a glowing prose poem "Tribute Of An Huble Native To Kansas," written by Mr. Ryan. Frank as we all affectionately call him in his letter transmitting the book to me, sounds a pathetic note when he says: "Was over to Leavenworth recently. Get kind of sorrowful when I stank on the corner of Fourth and Delaware streets and don't know a soul. And I was born there, too. All, or nearly all of my old friends are in the burying ground south of town."



The 67th annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical society, in Topeka, October 20, recalls that Colonel D.R. Anthony, of Leavenworth, was one of the founders of that society in 1875 and was elected one of its first directors. Later he became president of the society. Colonel Anthony always took an active and enthusiastic interest in the affairs of the organization.




Oscar Yeager, who was born in Leavenworth 72 years ago, and who lived here many years died at his home in Crete, Ill., recently. He was a retired painter.



Springdale, which is located in the center of Alexandria township, Leavenworth County, was surveyed and platted 82 years ago this month by Hiram Rees and Eli Morris. It was settled, however, several years before that time by members of the Society of Friends or Quakers, and the settlement was named Springdale, for Springdale, Ia., from whence many of them came. A post office was established there September 24, 1860, with David F. Walker, as postmaster. The office was discontinued March 15, 1907. The first settler in the township is said to have been John Wright, who settled there in 1854. Springdale was quite a milling point at one time, two steam grist and saw mills having been located there.




Noted Builder.

October 28 will be the 117th anniversary of the birth of Erasmus Theodore Carr, a distinguished pioneer Leavenworth builder and architect. He came to Kansas in 1855 and was placed in charge of the work of practically rebuilding Fort Leavenworth. Completing this job he opened and architect's office in Leavenworth and became e one of the best known architects in the west. In 1859, he resumed work for the government and constructed the arsenal and ordnance depot at the fort. Soon after he was appointed superintendent of all the works of the Ordnance department and removed his family to the fort where they remained until 1871. He planned the Kansas state penitentiary, the Morris school and many of the finest early structures in Leavenworth. In addition to the penitentiary, he was the architect of the following state buildings: State Normal school at Emporia, Agricultural college at Manhattan, Insane asylum at Topeka, Insane asylum at Osawatomie, Institute for the Blind at Wyandotte and state capitol at Topeka. He designed the court houses of Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Brown, Nemaha, dickinson and Morris counties, besides many other important buildings in Kansas. He was a prominent Mason, receiving his entered apprentice degree in Leavenworth in 1856 and afterward about every degree of the order. He was an officer of the supreme council of the southern jurisdiction of the United States. He held many offices in the state grand bodies and was secretary of the grand lodge and grand chapter and recorder of the grand commandery. Mr. Carr was a native of New York and was descended from an old Scotch family that came to America before the Revolution and settled in Rhode Island.




October Events.

October 24, 1832, the Kickapoo Indians were assigned to lands in northeastern Kansas including what is now a portion of Leavenworth County -- In October, 1854, Murphy & Scruggs began operating the first saw mill in Leavenworth -- In October, 1854, the first sale of town lots occurred in Leavenworth. -- In October 1854, the Leavenworth Hotel, the first in the city, was opened by George H. Keller and A.T. Kyle. -- In October 1854, the first United States territorial judges for Kansas, arrived in Leavenworth. -- In October 1854, Adam and George Fisher arrived with the first families in Leavenworth. -- In October, 1854, the first religious services in Leavenworth, were conducted by Elder W. C. Capels, of the M. E. church, under a tree. -- In October 1854, John J. Bentz established the first wholesale grocery house in Leavenworth. -- In October, 1855, and election to determine the county seat, was held, Delaware receiving 900 votes, Kickapoo 838, and Leavenworth 700. -- In October, 1854, Andrew H. Reedier first territorial governor arrived in Leavenworth. -- In October 1855, Leavenworth's population was 1,200. -- In October 1858, King Solomon Lodge, No. 10 A.F. & A.M., was organized in Leavenworth. -- In October 1872, Mechanic's Lodge, No. 89, I.O.O.F. was organized in Leavenworth. --In October 1869, a two foot vein of excellent coal, was discovered in Leavenworth, 700 feet below the surface. -- In October 1863, the first state fair was held in Leavenworth. -- In October 1861, Col. D.R. Anthony was appointed provost marshal at Kansas City.


Return to Index