Scraps of Local History Picked Up Here and There

Leavenworth Times


A fine whole page view of Leavenworth sketched in 1875, by Henry Worrall, a noted Kansas artist of that period is reproduced in the current issue of the Kansas Historical Quarterly (vol XIV, no. 3) in connection with Dr. Robert Taft's interesting paper, "The Pictorial Record of the Old West."


In the 1840-'42, there was a steamboat on the Missouri named the "General Leavenworth," in honor of Gen. Henry Leavenworth, the founder of Fort Leavenworth.


The first tornado in what is now Leavenworth county, of which there is any record, was on April 10, 1841. It wrecked governmental buildings and injured two missionaries and several others at Kickapoo.


Pike's Peak Guide

A Pike's Peak guidebook, written by Samuel Adams, entitled, "Hints and Information For the Use of Emigrants to Pike's Peak," was published in Leavenworth in 1860, according to George A. Root, the veteran curator of archives of the Kansas State Historical society, in his series of valuable articles on the "Pike's Peak Express Companies" which has been running in the Kansas Historical Quarterly. Does anyone happen to have a copy of this guidebook? Its publication was announced in he Leavenworth Daily Times, February 4, 1860, and was reprinted entire in The Times of February 14, 1860. The booklet contained 15 pages, seven pages of which was devoted to a description of Leavenworth as a commercial center and outfitting point for emigrants.


'Diablo Hills'

The name of Jarbalo, as applied to a locality and village in Leavenworth County dates back a century ago, having been named "Diablo Hills" by the Col. Alexander W. Doniphan expedition in 1846. When Colonel Doniphan's army left Fort Leavenworth in that year, on its famous march to Santa Fe, one of greatest marches in all history, to take part in the Mexican War, he put his men through some very strenuous drilling up and down over the steep and rugged hills for which the locality is noted, hardening them for the long and tedious journey ahead. This prompted one of the recruits to remark: "This is a devil of a place." From that incident the locality was named "Diablo Hills." Diablo is the Spanish name for "devil," and this was later corrupted by pioneer settlers into "Jarbalo."


Steamboat Graves

The writer recently came across a clipping from the Leavenworth Times "Looking Backward" column of several years ago, in which it is stated that $20,000 is buried in the river bottom under the cottonwood grove across the river and was never recovered. Large amounts of money were on the Bologna, a riverpacket buried in the river opposite the Dresser docks. The Monongahela is under the Missouri Pacific freight house. Few people if any are looking across the Missouri river or lounging on the banks stop to think about what lies concealed beneath the water and mud. Tales of the above lost boats have been told by old riverman who have been familiar with the happening for the last fifty years."

Chappell's "History of the Missouri River" makes no mention of the "Bologna," but says that the Monongahela sank at Leavenworth in 1870, without designating any particular spot. Among other boats that found "watery," or rather, muddy graves, at Leavenworth and immediate vicinity, were the following: The Arabia with a large cargo of whisky, sank below Leavenworth, near Parkville, August 10, 1856. Efforts have been made to recover it, but without avail; the Express sank near here, June 15, 1855; the Minnie also sleeps near here; the Fannie Barker rests below town, having gone to rest in 1873; the Oddfellow was submerged between here and Weston in 1850, as was also the Portsmouth, in 1861; the Rialto sunk near the old town of Rialto, below Weston, in 1864; the Black Hawk and the Admiral No. 1, both went down near Weston, the former in 1862, and the latter in 1847; the Thomas Morgan was lost near Parkville in 1866; the Sallie West "kicked the bucket" at Kickapoo, in 1859; a small steamer sank in the Platte river opposite Leavenworth during the '40s; the Florence No. 1, and the Neut both repose at Port William, above here.


September Events

By treaty of September 24, 1829, the Delaware Indians relinquished their lands in Missouri and were assigned to a reserve in Kansas, including most of what is now Leavenworth county. A council with the Iowa, Sac and Fox Indians, whereby a treaty was made for their removal from Missouri to Kansas, was held at Fort Leavenworth, Sept. 17, 1836. Major John Dougherty, Indian agent held a council with the Pawnee Indians at Fort Leavenworth, Sept. 24, 1930. Charles Augustus Murray, English traveler and adventurer, arrived at Fort Leavenworth on his return from a tour of the West. Rev. Joseph Taton Lutz arrived at Fort Leavenworth Sept. 18, 1828, preparatory to beginning Catholic missionary work among the Indians.

A son, Gerald O., was born to Rev. Jerome C. Berryman, Methodist missionary at Kickapoo, Sept. 22, 1835. The site of Fort Leavenworth, selected by Col. Henry Leavenworth, was officially approved Sept. 19, 1827. On Sept. 20, 1853, a convention was held at Kickapoo to select a delegate to Washington and to urge the organization of Kansas Territory. The first squatter's meeting in Kansas Territory was held at Riveley's tavern in Salt Creek Valley, Sept. 20, 1854. The first newspaper in Leavenworth and in Kansas, the Kansas Herald, appeared Sept. 15, 1854. The first city election in Leavenworth, was held Sept. 3, 1855. The first board of Leavenworth county commissioners met Sept. 7, 1855. The Leavenworth city council first met Sept. 11, 1855. Leavenworth's first fire company was organized Sept. 17, 1855. Dr. Charles Leib, Leavenworth's first physician, opened his office in a tent in September, 1854. Gen. John W. Geary, the third territorial governor of Kansas, arrived at Fort Leavenworth, Sept. 9, 1856. The State Teacher's Association was organized in Leavenworth Sept. 29, 1863. The Seventh Kansas Cavalry was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth Sept. 4, 1865. The General Grant statue at Fort Leavenworth was unveiled Sept. 14, 1889. President Hayes visited Leavenworth, Sept. 28, 1879. The first disabled veteran was admitted to the Leavenworth Soldier's Home, Sept. 1, 1885. The Missouri river bridge here burned Sept. 1, 1886. The Leavenworth Turner Hall burned Sept. 11, 1893. The State Fair opened at Leavenworth Sept. 10, 1874, and on the same date the State Temperance convention was held here. Big fire at Weston, Sept. 4, 1858. Gen. Sterling Price reached Missouri on his threatened invasion of Kansas, Sept. 24, 1864. The Kansas City Star first appeared Sept. 18, 1880. The 13th Kansas Infantry was organized Sept. 10, 1862. Senator Vest spoke at Platte City, Sept. 27, 1874. Leavenworth Chapter No. 2, Royal Arch Masons received its charter Sept. 9, 1865. In September, 1866, occurred the big grasshopper invasion in Kansas, reaching Leavenworth on Sept. 15.

Return to Index