Scraps of Local History Picked Up Here and There

by George Remsburg


The current number of the Kansas Historical Quarterly, under the head, "US Regular Service! Three Years," reprints the following notices from the Leavenworth Times of September 14, 1861:

"Wanted 300 soldiers for the regular service. Pay $13 per month, clothing and rations, to serve three years. Apply to the commanding officer of Fort Leavenworth."


The Van Winkle cemetery, near Lowemont, was started 91 years ago this month, when Nancy W., wife of Jesse Connell, of that locality, died March 27, 1855, and was buried there. Mr. Connell was a member of the Lecompton constitutional convention of 1857, and of the senate of the first state legislature in 1861.


Buffalo Bill Has Hotel

Charles B. Winzer, a well known farmer near Doniphan, who recently celebrated his birthday, was born at Weston, Mo., 80 years ago. His father, William F. Winzer, a native of Saxony, was a pioneer stonemason of Weston and built many of the old structures of Platte County. He died in 1896.



Eighty years ago March 6 Col. William F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill," and Louise Frederici, a beautiful French girl, were married in St. Louis. They immediately came to Leavenworth on a steamboat and settled in Salt Creek Valley, the boyhood home of the groom, where they opened a hotel on the military road, called the "Golden Rule House," which they operated for about six months. Cody then returned to the plains. His mother formerly had operated the same hotel in Salt Creek Valley.


Maple Syrup

Otis E. Mann recently suggested in a letter to The Times that: "With the sugar and syrup shortage, why not tap these soft maple trees growing by hundreds in town and vicinity the sap of which will boil down into a delicious maple syrup and even to the sugar stage?"

When I lived on a fruit farm, northwest of Leavenworth, in the early days, I made a fair grade of syrup, not only from the sap of the soft maple, as Mann suggests, but also from the sap of the box elder, a species of maple sometimes called ash-leaved maple, of which there were many growing on my father's farm. They are, or were, numerous wild sugar maples growing in the timber of Platte and Buchanan Counties in Missouri, and syrup and sugar making was quite an industry at one time. The Kickapoo and Delaware Indians frequently went to Missouri to make maple sugar.



March Events

--On March 7, 1827, Col. Henry Leavenworth was ordered to proceed up the Missouri river and select a site for the fort that was to bear his name

--The Leavenworth Times of today is the result of the consolidation of three newspapers with the original journal, the first number of which appeared March 7, 1857.

--The Leavenworth post office was established March 6, 1855, with Lewis N. Reese as postmaster.

--The First Congregational church of Leavenworth was organized March 14, 1858.

--Gen. William b. Almond, distinguished pioneer died in Leavenworth, March 4, 1860, and was buried at Platte City, Mo.

--The Territorial Register began publication in Leavenworth in March, 1855.

--The first train crossed the Missouri river on the Leavenworth bridge, March 30, 1872.

--The first free state mayor of Leavenworth. H. J. Adams, was elected March 18, 1857.

--George H. Keller, of Leaven wroth, became the first warden of the Kansas state prison at Lansing, March 12, 1867.

--The Leavenworth City and Fort Leavenworth Water Company was chartered March 16, 1881.

--A post office was established at Alexandria, Leavenworth county, March 28, 1856, with Joseph L. McEleer as postmaster. The office was discontinued February 11, 1857.

--Tonganoxie post office was established March 16, 1863, with William English as postmaster.

--The Salt Creek post office, in the historic Salt Creek Valley, was discontinued March 2, 1864, after a brief existence of less than a year, with Alexander Russell as postmaster.

--The Weston and Atchison railroad was chartered, with John Doniphan as president, March 4, 1859.

--Col. Andrew G. Ege was appointed postmaster at Fort Leavenworth, March 12, 1862; Elizabeth Graham, March 20, 1865; Capt. David L. Payne, March 19, 1867. (Captain Payne afterwards became the "Father of Oklahoma")

--Easton was laid off and plotted by Spartan F. Rhea, in March 1855.

--Isaac Ellis was granted ferry license at Kickapoo, March 11, 1839.

--Gustavus P. Smith, one of the earliest white babies born at Kickapoo made his appearance March 4, 1836.

--Work of constructing the Maple Leaf railroad between St. Joseph and Beverly, began March 13, 1888.

--Vinton Stillings, of Leavenworth, visited Platte City, March 4, 1889 and addressed the county court relative to his proposed pontoon bridge over the Missouri river. On March 11 of the same year, there was a pontoon meeting at Farley.

--Leavenworth Lodge No. 2, IOOF was organized March 9, 1857.

--Leavenworth Commandery No. 1, Knights Templar, was organized March 30, 1861.


Came in March

Looking through a biographical history of Leavenworth County I could not help but notice the large number of well known early settlers who arrived in the county during the month of March. The following are some of the more prominent ones who located in the month of March, in the years and communities designated after their names:

Theodore A. Hurd, lawyer, Leavenworth, 1859; John Seckler, clothing merchant, Leavenworth, 1857; A. A. Fenn, brick manufacturer and contractor, Leavenworth, 1862; Edward Fritsche Sr., Leavenworth, 1858; Dr. James A. Lane, Leavenworth, 1874; John Philip Balz, Kickapoo, 1864; Francis M. Beagle, Kickapoo island, 1852; Jacobina Bollin, Kickapoo, 1860; Benjamin F. Edwards, Round Prairie, 1855; John L. Bristow, Easton, 1855; A. E. Cleavinger, Round Prairie, 1855; Ernest Kasten, Pleasant Ridge, 1855; Nathaniel S. Ward, Kickapoo, 1858; Frederick Knollman, Milwood, 1867; Gottleib Maier, 1858; J. H. Vaughn, Fairmount, 1864; Joshua Eckman, Daisy, 1869; Joseph J. Shaw, Sherman township, 1868. Many others might be mentioned.


Some March Births

Gen. Alexander Caldwell, distinguished Leavenworth pioneer, was born March 1, 1830, at Drake's Ferry, Pa.--Judge Newton Mann of Leavenworth was born March 19, 1844, in Ohio.--M. E. Franke, pioneer Leavenworth grocer, was born March 17, 1837, in Germany.--John Hannon, pioneer Leavenworth business man, was born March 22, 1839, in Ireland.--J. C. Baird, pioneer horticulturist of Easton, was born March 11, 1836, in Ohio.--John Conrad Schroth, Kickapoo pioneer, was born March 8, 1826, in Germany.--Henry Shaw, pioneer of Easton township, later of Leavenworth and Potter, was born March 22, 1847, in Illinois.--W. W. Chadwick, pioneer of Loring, was born March 11, 1835, in Ohio.--Ben Miller, Leavenworth jeweler, and for years financier of AOUW Lodge No. 122, of this city, was born March 14, 1857, in Leavenworth.--Mrs. N. H. Burt of Leavenworth was born March 26, 1854, at Delaware Indian Mission, a daughter of the Rev. John G. Pratt, missionary.

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