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Remember the
Smoky Hill Trail!
PATTY NICHOLAS
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS LIBRARIAN, FORSYTH LIBRARY
Smoky Hill River
http://geology.com/lakes-rivers-
water/kansas.shtml
Explorers
 SPANISH –
 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado - 1540 – is given credit for being the first
white explorer to visit...
Gold!!
 In 1858, gold was discovered in Cherry Creek next to the
Rocky Mountains which was in the Kansas Territory at the...
Kansas Territory - 1854-1861
Historical Atlas of Kansas, 2nd Edition by Homer E.
Socolofsky and Huber Self
Smoky Hill Trail Routes
 Began
 Leavenworth
 Went through
 Abilene
 Salina
 Ellsworth
 Hays
 Wallace County
 Old ...
Historical Atlas of Kansas, 2nd Edition by
Homer E. Socolofsky and Huber Self
Map of the Smoky Hill Trail Route
Route thro...
Trail in Colorado
“Starvation Trail”
~
1859
 The Middle Trail became known by this name because of the
gruesome story of the Blue Brothers ...
Building a better route
 The towns along the eastern part of the Smoky Hill Trail in Kansas
came up with a plan to outfit...
David A. Butterfield
 Born on January 17, 1834 in
Franklin County, Maine
 He was intrigued by the West, so
he moved his ...
Butterfield Overland
Despatch
This route is not to be confused with the Butterfield
Overland Mail Route which was establis...
Trail Survey
 Butterfield wanted to use much of the same route as the
earlier Smoky Hill Trail, but his road had to be sh...
Making of the trail for
stagecoaches and freight
 Stations were set up at various places along the
trail
 40 stations
 ...
Butterfield Overland Despatch
 First wagon train carrying 150,000 pounds of
freight left Atchison on June 24, in the shad...
Atchison to Soldier Creek &
Leavenworth to north of Topeka
Two trails come together at Louisville and
then on to Junction City
Junction City, Abilene, Salina and
Bavaria
Old Highway 40 follows the trail here –
Brookville, Fort Harker, Ellsworth & Bunker Hill
Bunker Hill, Fossil Creek Station (Russell), Fort Fletcher,
Big Creek, Lookout & Stormy Hollow Stations
Stormy Hollow, Downer’s and Chalk Bluffs
Stations; Fort Downer - temporary outpost
Chalk Bluffs and Monument Stations,
Russell Springs and Fort Wallace
Fort Wallace into Colorado; trail splits at
Cheyenne Wells into North Branch and South
Branch
North Branch and South Branch meet at Willow
Spring, then split apart west of Lake Station
The North and South Branches
head into Denver
Indian Troubles
 The B.O.D. freight and passengers had a great risk
traveling along the Smoky Hill Trail in the latter pa...
Forts already in existence/established along the trail
in Western Kansas for protection from the hostile
Indians
 Fort El...
Ben Holladay
 Butterfield’s stage and freight lines were losing money on the
Smoky Hill route because of the Indian attac...
More trouble with the Indians
 Spring of 1867 - the Indians began attacking various B.O.D. stations
 Maj. General Philip...
The Union Pacific Eastern Division
Railroad
 Began construction in Kansas City in 1863
 It became the Kansas Pacific on ...
Cow towns / Cattle trails
 Kansas had passed a law in 1865 prohibiting Texas cattle from
coming through the Kansas farmla...
Cow towns / Cattle trails
 Chisholm Trail – started in Texas and ended in Abilene from
1867-1871
 Chisholm Trail was so ...
The Western: The Greatest Texas Cattle Trail
By Gary and Margaret Kraisinger
The Western: The Greatest Texas Cattle Trail
By Gary and Margaret Kraisinger
Massacre in Western Kansas along
the trail
September 1872
 Dick Jordan and George
Jordan
 Buffalo hunters from Ellis
 F...
The last trail tragedy –
September 11, 1874
 German Family
 John and Lydia
 Rebecca – 20
 Stephen – 19
 Catherine – 1...
Historical Atlas of
Kansas, 2nd
Edition by Homer
E. Socolofsky and
Huber Self
More hostilities
 “Remember the German girls” – In April 1875, Lieutenant
Henely led a group of soldiers to an Indian cam...
Tragic ending of David Butterfield’s
life
 After he sold the Butterfield Overland Despatch to Ben
Holladay in 1866, he an...
Howard Raynesford
 Much of the information in this presentation came from a book written
by Howard C. Raynesford and Wayn...
Markers
Cement plaques for each
marker base were cast by
Raynesford
The plaques read as
follows:
Smoky Hill Trail Butterfi...
Smoky Hill Trail Association
 The Smoky Hill Trail Association is dedicated to the
preservation, promotion, and interpret...
2013 Conference – Parker
A bus trip took us along the route from Seven-Mile Station near
Parker to the end of the trail in...
End of the Trail as it looks today
Downtown Denver -
Corner of Broadway and Colfax
Pioneer Monument
Kit Carson and his hor...
End of the Smoky Hill Trail as it looks today
Broadway and Colfax Intersection
with the State Capital Building in the
back...
2015 Conference
Atchison, Kansas
October
Smoky Hill Trail Association
Membership Information
 Yearly fees range from $10 to
$100
 Categories include:
 Student
...
“
”
Remember The
Smoky Hill Trail!
Thank you for coming today.
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Smoky Hill Trail PowerPoint

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Patty Nicholas: Forsyth Friday Forum, February 6th 2015.
Smoky Hill Trail PowerPoint

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Smoky Hill Trail PowerPoint

  1. 1. Remember the Smoky Hill Trail! PATTY NICHOLAS SPECIAL COLLECTIONS LIBRARIAN, FORSYTH LIBRARY
  2. 2. Smoky Hill River http://geology.com/lakes-rivers- water/kansas.shtml
  3. 3. Explorers  SPANISH –  Francisco Vasquez de Coronado - 1540 – is given credit for being the first white explorer to visit the Smoky Hill valley  Juan de Ulibarri - 1706 – looking for a band of Picuries at El Cuartelejo, he may have come as far north as the Smoky Hill River  FRENCH –  Etienne Veniard – 1724 – probably the 1st white man to travel the entire length of the Smoky Hill River  AMERICAN –  Zebulon Pike – 1806 – explored the headwaters of the rivers to the west and he, no doubt, was near the Smoky Hill River as he discovered the peak that bears his name  John C. Fremont – 1842 - with Kit Carson as his guide, John was the first explorer in the name of the United States to explore the entire length of the Smoky Hill River
  4. 4. Gold!!  In 1858, gold was discovered in Cherry Creek next to the Rocky Mountains which was in the Kansas Territory at the time  Gold seekers wanted to find the fastest way to the Rocky Mountains, and an old Indian trail to the north of the Smoky Hill River became the most direct route to the gold fields in 1859  There were cutoff routes to Denver from both the Oregon and the Santa Fe Trails, but they took longer  Named the Smoky Hill Trail, it became the most traveled route, despite the fact that it was also the most dangerous because of the possibility of Indian attacks and the scarcity of water
  5. 5. Kansas Territory - 1854-1861 Historical Atlas of Kansas, 2nd Edition by Homer E. Socolofsky and Huber Self
  6. 6. Smoky Hill Trail Routes  Began  Leavenworth  Went through  Abilene  Salina  Ellsworth  Hays  Wallace County  Old Cheyenne Wells (headwaters of the river begin there)  Three different trails from this point  North Trail – route is pretty close to present day Interstate 70/U.S. 40  South Trail – more of western route to present day Kiowa and then northwest to Denver  Middle Trail - went west from Lake, near present-day Limon, then turned northwest to Denver where it met the South Trail
  7. 7. Historical Atlas of Kansas, 2nd Edition by Homer E. Socolofsky and Huber Self Map of the Smoky Hill Trail Route Route through our state
  8. 8. Trail in Colorado
  9. 9. “Starvation Trail” ~ 1859  The Middle Trail became known by this name because of the gruesome story of the Blue Brothers and cannibalism  Alexander, Daniel and Charles – Whiteside County, Illinois  Their party set out for the gold fields in February 1859 and eventually made it to the headwaters of the river near Cheyenne Wells around March 17  A blizzard caused them to become disoriented and they traveled in circles; after the blizzard, several members of the party were able to travel on to Denver  Weak and exhausted, the 4 members left behind (the 3 brothers and a man named Soley) made requests that if he died, the others could eat his body to strengthen themselves  Soley died first, then Alexander, then Charles; Daniel was near death when found by Arapahoe Indians who nursed him back to good health  Daniel arrived in Denver on May 11  Travel on the Smoky Hill trail practically stopped after people heard Daniel Blue’s story
  10. 10. Building a better route  The towns along the eastern part of the Smoky Hill Trail in Kansas came up with a plan to outfit an expedition to build a road up the Smoky Valley  Henry Green headed the road-building crew which left Leavenworth on June 18, 1860 and reached Denver after 54 days  Green sent back a positive report to Leavenworth saying the road was good for travelers  However, the anticipated stampede did not happen  Kansas became a state in 1861  Rumblings of war began – Civil War  But….the greatest impact was yet to come
  11. 11. David A. Butterfield  Born on January 17, 1834 in Franklin County, Maine  He was intrigued by the West, so he moved his family to Kansas in 1856, and then to Denver in 1862 after the Civil War broke out  He dreamed of operating a stage and freight line from the Missouri River to Denver going across Kansas; moved his family to Atchison in 1864
  12. 12. Butterfield Overland Despatch This route is not to be confused with the Butterfield Overland Mail Route which was established by John Butterfield (no relation) in 1858 and operated through 1861 Its route started in St. Louis, went down through western Arkansas and turned west across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and then turned north again in California towards San Francisco
  13. 13. Trail Survey  Butterfield wanted to use much of the same route as the earlier Smoky Hill Trail, but his road had to be shorter and safer; he commissioned a survey of the route  Lieutenant Julian Fitch was the surveyor who began the survey on June 13, 1865 in Atchison and arrived in Denver on August 7  Changes that were made did make the trip faster, but not necessarily safer  In Colorado Territory, the Middle Trail (Starvation Trail) was bypassed because of the lack of water; the original North and South Trails were used
  14. 14. Making of the trail for stagecoaches and freight  Stations were set up at various places along the trail  40 stations  16 were home stations where passengers could get meals  The state was settled between Atchison and Fort Riley, so there were not any stations listed for that part of the route
  15. 15. Butterfield Overland Despatch  First wagon train carrying 150,000 pounds of freight left Atchison on June 24, in the shadows of the survey team who left on June 13  The first passenger stagecoach left Atchison on September 11 and arrived in Denver September 23  Passenger fare was $175 without meals
  16. 16. Atchison to Soldier Creek & Leavenworth to north of Topeka
  17. 17. Two trails come together at Louisville and then on to Junction City
  18. 18. Junction City, Abilene, Salina and Bavaria
  19. 19. Old Highway 40 follows the trail here – Brookville, Fort Harker, Ellsworth & Bunker Hill
  20. 20. Bunker Hill, Fossil Creek Station (Russell), Fort Fletcher, Big Creek, Lookout & Stormy Hollow Stations
  21. 21. Stormy Hollow, Downer’s and Chalk Bluffs Stations; Fort Downer - temporary outpost
  22. 22. Chalk Bluffs and Monument Stations, Russell Springs and Fort Wallace
  23. 23. Fort Wallace into Colorado; trail splits at Cheyenne Wells into North Branch and South Branch
  24. 24. North Branch and South Branch meet at Willow Spring, then split apart west of Lake Station
  25. 25. The North and South Branches head into Denver
  26. 26. Indian Troubles  The B.O.D. freight and passengers had a great risk traveling along the Smoky Hill Trail in the latter part of 1865  Indians became desperate when their hunting grounds were invaded by the B.O.D. and they started hunting the white men  First attack on a stagecoach was near Monument Station (Gove County) on October 2, 1865  This and other attacks prompted the establishment of Fort Fletcher on October 11
  27. 27. Forts already in existence/established along the trail in Western Kansas for protection from the hostile Indians  Fort Ellsworth (southwest of Kanopolis)  August 1864 and renamed Fort Harker in November 1866  Abandoned in 1867  Fort Harker (in Kanopolis)  A new site  Closed and abandoned in 1872  Fort Fletcher (south of Walker)  October 11, 1865  Abandoned May 5, 1866  Re-established October 17, 1866  Became Fort Hays on November 17, 1866  Flooded in June of 1867 and moved  Fort Hays  June 23, 1867  Closed and abandoned November 8, 1889  Fort Wallace (southeast of Wallace)  October 26, 1865  Abandoned May 31, 1882
  28. 28. Ben Holladay  Butterfield’s stage and freight lines were losing money on the Smoky Hill route because of the Indian attacks; people were using the longer route through Nebraska and Colorado  Ben Holladay had a mail contract from the Missouri River to Denver along the Platte River (Pony Express that ran in the northeast part of the state) and he had Army protection along the route  He offered to purchase the B.O.D. line to offset the route that Wells Fargo was starting from the Missouri River  Purchase was complete in March 1866  Spread too thin, Ben began having his own financial difficulties and sold his company to Wells Fargo on November 1, 1866
  29. 29. More trouble with the Indians  Spring of 1867 - the Indians began attacking various B.O.D. stations  Maj. General Philip Sheridan was post commander at Fort Hays until 1869 when Col. Nelson Miles took over in April  Bvt. Maj. General George Custer was moved to Fort Hays during the summer of 1867 from Fort Riley due to the hostilities of the Indians along the Smoky Hill  June was one of the bloodiest months in the fighting, most of which was west of Fort Hays  It was also the month that Fort Hays was flooded, and then moved to its present location  The Kansas Pacific Railroad, laying rails across the state, was also victim of the hostilities  Seven railroad workers were killed just east of Victoria on August 1  Spring 1868 and Spring 1869 – Indians started attacking again  1870 brought a more peaceful atmosphere
  30. 30. The Union Pacific Eastern Division Railroad  Began construction in Kansas City in 1863  It became the Kansas Pacific on May 31, 1868  Through the Indian attacks, the railroad still kept laying tracks in Western Kansas and by January 1870, the rails reached Eagle Tail Station in Colorado  As the railroad was built on west, the B.O.D. stations were either abandoned or taken over by settlers  The rails reached Denver and the stagecoaches stopped running on August 18, 1870  The Butterfield Overland Despatch became history
  31. 31. Cow towns / Cattle trails  Kansas had passed a law in 1865 prohibiting Texas cattle from coming through the Kansas farmlands  Farmers did not like having cattle from the trails roaming over their lands with their own cattle  The line was about sixty miles west of Topeka, so west of that line there were no restrictions  Joseph McCoy, of Springfield, Illinois, owned a livestock shipping business  McCoy came up with the idea in 1867 to ship cattle using the railroads and decided to locate a market that was near the Smoky Hill River  Junction City, Solomon City, and Salina did not want the cattle  He couldn’t go further west because the rails were not built that far yet  Abilene, a little town on Mud Creek, wanted the cattle trade
  32. 32. Cow towns / Cattle trails  Chisholm Trail – started in Texas and ended in Abilene from 1867-1871  Chisholm Trail was so named because a portion of it followed a wagon trail that had been in use by Jesse Chisholm, an Indian trader  Later ended in Newton, Wichita and Caldwell  Ellsworth - became a cattle town and shipping point for the Chisholm Trail as the railroad moved west (1871-1875)  Hays – it never became a shipping point because the farmers cut off the road to Ellsworth, but it was on the Western Trail which ran from Bandera, Texas to Dodge City to Ogallala, Nebraska  The Great Western Cattle Trail was longer in length and carried cattle for two years longer than the Chisholm Trail
  33. 33. The Western: The Greatest Texas Cattle Trail By Gary and Margaret Kraisinger
  34. 34. The Western: The Greatest Texas Cattle Trail By Gary and Margaret Kraisinger
  35. 35. Massacre in Western Kansas along the trail September 1872  Dick Jordan and George Jordan  Buffalo hunters from Ellis  Fred Nelson  A young Swedish boy who worked for the brothers  Mrs. Dick Jordan  Had recently lost her baby and did not want to stay home by herself  They planned to hunt along the Smoky Hill River and go south towards Fort Dodge; planned to be gone 6 or 7 weeks  About the time the party should have returned to Ellis, two wagons were found along Walnut Creek in Ness County  The bodies of Dick Jordan and Fred were found by the wagons; the body of George Jordan was found across the creek where he had tried to get away  Mrs. Dick Jordan’s apron and bonnet were nearby; she was never found and is believed to have been killed before the Indians went back to their reservation
  36. 36. The last trail tragedy – September 11, 1874  German Family  John and Lydia  Rebecca – 20  Stephen – 19  Catherine – 17  Joanna – 15  Sophia – 12  Juliana – 7  Addie - 5  Left Missouri on August 15, 1874 and by the night of September 10, they were within a day’s ride to Fort Wallace.  As they got ready to set out the next day, a band of warriors, including two squaws, attacked the family  John, Lydia, Rebecca, Stephen and Joanna were killed in the attack  Catherine, Sophia, Juliana and Addie were kidnapped  Remains of the German family are in the Fort Wallace post cemetery
  37. 37. Historical Atlas of Kansas, 2nd Edition by Homer E. Socolofsky and Huber Self
  38. 38. More hostilities  “Remember the German girls” – In April 1875, Lieutenant Henely led a group of soldiers to an Indian camp on Middle Sappa Creek (Rawlins County) where there was a battle that ended with 19 warriors and 8 squaws and children being killed, along with 2 soldiers  More than 3 years later in September 1878  Soldiers were ambushed about 30 miles southeast of Fort Wallace, killing 1 soldier and injuring 2 others  As the Indians fled, they killed 20 men in Decatur County and 11 men in Rawlins County, and others in Nebraska before being captured near Fort Robinson  This was the last Indian raid on Kansas soil
  39. 39. Tragic ending of David Butterfield’s life  After he sold the Butterfield Overland Despatch to Ben Holladay in 1866, he and his family moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas where he started up a street car system  On March 27, 1875, he approached a couple of employees at his stable about their alleged abuses of the stock; one of them hit David on the head with a stick of wood, striking him unconscious  David passed away the following morning, leaving behind a wife, four daughters and one son
  40. 40. Howard Raynesford  Much of the information in this presentation came from a book written by Howard C. Raynesford and Wayne C. Lee titled “Trails of the Smoky Hill: From Coronado to the Cow Towns”  Raynesford was born and raised on a farm southwest of Ellis and raised his own family on a dairy farm outside of Ellis  A historian who became Director of the Kansas State Historical Society  Mapped the BOD trail from Atchison to Denver in his spare time and he was granted permission in 1963 from the State Legislature to place stone-post markers at the right of ways where the trail crossed major highways; he received no funds for doing this major project  Original papers and maps are in the Kansas Room at the Hays Public Library; copies are in the Smoky Hill Trail Association Archives located in Special Collections here at Forsyth
  41. 41. Markers Cement plaques for each marker base were cast by Raynesford The plaques read as follows: Smoky Hill Trail Butterfield Overland Dispatch Atchison to Denver Traveled by Gen Fremont 1844 First Denver Stagecoach 1859 Most Dangerous Overland Route Retraced and Mapped By Howard C. Raynesford Ellis Kansas Marker Placed 1965 138 stone posts Each was etched with “BOD 1865”
  42. 42. Smoky Hill Trail Association  The Smoky Hill Trail Association is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and interpretation of the heritage of the Smoky Hill Trail. The Association was founded in 2007.  The Association is actively engaged in seeking National Historic Trail status for the Smoky Hill Trail, under the National Trails System Act. It also has an on-going project of mapping and marking of the historic Trail.
  43. 43. 2013 Conference – Parker A bus trip took us along the route from Seven-Mile Station near Parker to the end of the trail in downtown Denver Cherry Creek House at Four-Mile Station
  44. 44. End of the Trail as it looks today Downtown Denver - Corner of Broadway and Colfax Pioneer Monument Kit Carson and his horse; The Hunter (to the left)
  45. 45. End of the Smoky Hill Trail as it looks today Broadway and Colfax Intersection with the State Capital Building in the background Denver Public Library – a couple of blocks away
  46. 46. 2015 Conference Atchison, Kansas October
  47. 47. Smoky Hill Trail Association Membership Information  Yearly fees range from $10 to $100  Categories include:  Student  Individual  Family  Institution  Business  Patrons (supports, but not involved)  Lifetime ($500) Website  http://www.smokyhilltrail.com/
  48. 48. “ ” Remember The Smoky Hill Trail! Thank you for coming today.

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