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September 4, 1909
WAGON MASTERS TALK
OF OLD TRAIL DAYS.
PLAINSMEN OF 50 YEARS AGO
HOLD A REUNION.
Recall Incidents of Overland Travel
When Indians Roamed Plains.
Man's Arm Amputated With
an Old Saw.
Wagon masters of fifty years ago, to whom the Santa Fe and Great Salt Lake trails were as familiar as their own country roads, gathered yesterday at the "old settlers' " reunion at the Independence fair.
Some of them came from Texas, but the greater number came from Kansas. When they left for the long overland trip it was as wagon masters, but yesterday they came back to a world moved by machinery and electricity. In '49 they left by the slow going wagon train, fording rivers and traveling through a country unblazed by an ax.
The entire forenoon was devoted to reminiscent stories by old men. They held aloof from the track, but their hands tightened on one another as they met.
"There is Wood McMillain," said one. "I would know him as quick as I would know my mother."
The next minute two gray-haired men were deep in the recollection of friends, many of them gone, and as they listened to one another the meeting warmed into life misty memories of the past. Mr. McMillain was one of the old wagon masters of '49. Many an expedition he conducted across the great American desert, now known as Kansas, and yesterday he met many men in the prime of life who knew him. He is now a resident of Denison, Tex.
WHEN INDIANS ROAMED THE PLAINS.
The introduction of wagons for the overland trade came as early as 1824. Colonel Marmaduke was one of a party of eighty which formed a company for the Western trade, 800 miles distant.
When they returned they had silver ore in rawhide sacks and piled the sacks in an adjacent lot close to what is now known as the public square of the county seat.
Jackson Tarquo was on the grounds yesterday.
"I have been over the route several times," he said. "I have never had trouble with the Indians but once or twice. Indians would never sacrifice their men except for revenge or in warfare. Many redskins were killed without cause and in consequence there was bad feeling between them and the wagon men.
"Of course, once in a while a man or a boy would be shot on route and we would bury him after the fashion of the plains. On one occasion the Indians ran off about 400 ponies we were bringing through. They asked for one horse, then for two, and finally, with a whoop, they took all of the ponies. Oxen were used in the early days, but in '49 most of the hauling was done by mules.
"I'll bet I can yet load a wagon and store away more goods than any moving van in Kansas City, and that when the wagon arrives at the end of the long journey not a box or object will be moved one inch out of place. We loaded wagons in those days, and wagon masters understood the art. We would carry through thousands of dollars' worth of goods.
RUDE SURGICAL OPERATIONS.
"Every wolf yell meant Indians to novices in the old days. I went on one trip I can't forget. There was a man who accidentally shot himself in the arm. It was hot and mortification set in. The man would not give up, so we found a saw, whetted a knife, heated wagon bolts red hot and performed a crude job of amputation. After the arm was opened to the bone, we found the saw's teeth were too big, so we filed smaller teeth and sawed through the bone. That man lived for thirty years afterward."
W. Z. Hickman was another old wagonmaster. He is now employed in the county surveyor's office. Yesterday he again became a wagon master for the time being and participated in the talk about the trackless and treeless plains.
Yesterday was the banner day for attendance. The country people turned out. Never was there such a gathering of wagons in the fair grounds. Stations east of Independence sold all of the excursion tickets and before noon the grounds were filled.
Hundreds of awards were made yesterday and special premiums given. F. M. Corn was awarded the third prize for the best yellow corn. J. E. Jones secured first prize and P. H. Curran second. The products of the soil had their inning, and blue ribbons floated from pumpkin to apple piles.
Labels: history, Independence, Native Americans, pioneers, Santa Fe Trail, Texas
September 1, 1909
ON MOTORCYCLES 1,600 MILES.
Riders in Kansas City on Last Leg
of Their Trip.
Charles W. Neff, a jeweler of St. Joseph, Mo., and C. C. Anderson, an automobile dealer of Creston, Ia., arrived in Kansas City last evening ready for the last leg of a 1,600 mile motorcycle trip which started at St. Joseph and circled around Beaver.
It was dark when the men reached town and they lost no time in getting into barber chairs at the Blossom house. Later in the evening they visited the Union depot and met some friends whom they were expecting from Oklahoma.
"Our ride is the longest on record so far for a motorcycle in this section of the country," said Mr. Neff. "We meant to prove that it could be made and we have succeeded in demonstrating that fact. We made the trip to Beaver from St. Joseph in three days. We went by way of Topeka and Garden City and on our return hit the Santa Fe trail and followed it all the way. We had trouble but once and that was a single tire puncture which occurred to my wheel. We will leave for St. Joseph in the morning."
Labels: Blossom house, motorcycles, Santa Fe Trail, St.Joseph, Topeka, Union depot, visitors
August 2, 1909
MACADAM FOR PART
OF SANTA FE TRAIL.
WILL BE BETWEEN KANSAS
CITY AND OLATHE.
Board of Highway Commissioners of
Johnson County, Kas., Propose
to Expend $100,000 on
The Santa Fe trail, over half a century old, is soon to come into its own for the distance between Kansas City and Olathe, at least. Yesterday afternoon the board of highway commissioners of Johnson county, Kas., and some of the prominent citizens of Olathe, toured the road, which it is proposed to macadamize at a cost of about $100,000. A meeting of the highway commissioners will be held this morning at which the final steps toward deciding on this work will be taken.
The plan that will be presented for the approval of the board today is for a macadamized strip sixteen feet wide and a foot thick. The petition for the road was circulated by John W. Breyfogle under the law which was fathered by Senator George H. Hodges.
In the party yesterday were Senator George H. Hodges, Roy Murray, engineer; John W. Breyfogle, W. W. Fry and Harry King, a commissioner, in Senator Hodge's machine. In the other machine, owned by Will Lemon, were Robert Baker, chairman of the commissioners; B. F. Culley and J. M. Leonard.
The party took dinner at the Hotel Baltimore and discussed the road informally. All were enthusiastic for the road. Senator Hodge's machine sustained a badly punctured tire and he and his party returned to Olathe by way of the electric line.
The road will connect with Hudson avenue in the southwestern section of Kansas City. The town of Lenexa, Kas., has promised to assist and will macadamize the street which the road will touch in and out of that town. Olathe will macadamize to the road which under law cannot be built inside an incorporated city or town.
Labels: automobiles, Johnson county, Lenexa, Olathe, public works, Santa Fe Trail
July 11, 1909
BOUGHT THE FIRST LOT
IN KANSAS CITY.
J. C. EVANS, PIONEER RESIDENT,
DIES AT AGE OF 76 YEARS.
Was Second White Child Born Here.
Became Indian Trader in Early
Days -- Funeral Not
J. C. EVANS.
J. C. Evans, 76 years of age, who was the second white child to be born in Kansas City, died at the University hospital yesterday afternoon as the result of an operation. Mr. Evans had been ill but a short while.
On Dundee place, and on the very highest point of that place, J. C. Evans was born. All around the house was farm land and wilderness, and off to the south and west was the thriving town of Westport. For almost twenty-one years Mr. Evans lived in the house on Dundee's place and did his share towards the building of the greater city upon which he looked with utmost pride in the last years of his life.
Mr. Evans, in those early days, was a trader by occupation, and many were the trips which he took over the old Santa Fe trail down into the Southwest to barter and trade with Indians. With the Indians around Kansas City he had many dealings and was looked upon as a fair man by them.
Shortly before the civil war Mr. Evans married Miss Elizabeth Campbell of Clay county. Within a few months the couple moved from Kansas City to a farm in Clay County, where Mr. Evans had lived until his death.
In 1880 Mrs. Evans died, and four years later Mr. Evans married Miss Sarah M. Plummer of Paris, France, whom he met while she was visiting in this country. Mrs. Evans survives her husband.
Among the interesting facts surrounding the long life of Mr. Evans are two most prominent. It was he who surveyed the first plat of Kansas City, and it was he who bought the first town lot.
Mr. Evans was the son of William B. and Amelia McGee Evans, both of whom were prominent in the pioneer days of Kansas City. Mrs. Evans, his mother, was one of the old Westport McGees.
Eight children survive: Mrs. S. P. Stowers, Millersburg, Mo.; Paul Evans, Mountain Grove, Mo.; Amelia Evans, Clay county; Mrs. J. H. Garth, 1035 Monroe avenue, Kansas City; Mrs. W. R. Soper, Independence, Mo.; Mrs. J. C. McGee, Texarkana, Tex.; J. C. Evans, Jr., Oldham, Mo., and J. M. Evans of Clay county. In Kansas City Mr. Evans has a brother, M. M. Evans, Twenty-fifth and Troost, and a sister, Mrs. William Vineyard, 1475 Independence avenue.
Owing to the condition of the railroad service no definite time has been set for the funeral. It will be held from the First Christian church. Rev. F. V. Lose of Liberty, Mo., will officiate. Burial is to be in the family lot at Elmwood cemetery.
Labels: churches, death, history, Independence avenue, Liberty, ministers, Monroe avenue, Native Americans, pioneers, Santa Fe Trail, University hospital, Westport
June 13, 1909
HADLEY BUSY SIGNING BILLS.
Temporary Headquarters at Balti-
more While Father Is Sick.
After two days of signing bills, chiefly revision measures, Governor Herbert S. Hadley left his quarters at the Hotel Baltimore yesterday afternoon for DeSoto, Kas., to be with his father, Major John M. Hadley, who was stricken with paralysis early in the week. The governor departed over the Santa Fe at 4:30 o'clock. He had signed nearly 200 bills.
"A telephone communication early this afternoon announced that my father's condition is much improved," said Governor Hadley yesterday, "and if it is possible I expect to bring him to Kansas City next week. He will either go to the hospital or remain at the home of my sister. At all events I will retain my temporary headquarters at the Hotel Baltimore and finish what business can be attended to there, so as to be in close touch with my father. The trip from Kansas City to DeSoto can be made in an hour on the train or by automobile, while from Jefferson City it might require from eight to ten hours to complete the journey."
A bill appropriating $3,000 to pay for markers for the old Santa Fe trail, introduced into the legislature by the Daughters of the American Revolution, was signed by the governor yesterday morning. Another bill was one requiring an examination and registration for public accountants in Missouri. A bill making it a misdemeanor to bet on a game of pool or billiards was also signed.
Bills vetoed proved to be duplicates of laws already on the statute books.
Labels: billiards, gambling, Governor Hadley, Herbert Hadley, Hotel Baltimore, Santa Fe Trail
May 12, 1909
TO MARK SANTA FE
TRAIL IN MISSOURI.
BILL APPROPRIATING $3,000 IS
NOW READY FOR GOVERNOR.
Rough Hewn Blocks of Red St.
Francois Granite Will Per-
petuate the Route of
SANTA FE TRAIL MARKER.
JEFFERSON CITY, May 11. -- From Old Franklin, Howard county, to Westport, rough hewn blocks of St. Francois granite will mark the old Santa Fe trail, the path of the pioneers, across Missouri.
By a vote of 98 to 31 the house today passed the bill already passed by the senate, appropriating $3,000 for that purpose, and it now is ready for the governor's signature, which Representative Glover Branch is assured will be appended.
The bill passed today contemplates the erection at intervals from Old Franklin, in Howard county, through Mrashall, Grand Pass, Lexington, Independence and Kansas City, of markers, roughly hewn from blocks of Missouri granite, the red mottled variety, quarried in St. Francois county, with a polished face on one side bearing the inscription:
Santa Fe Trail
1822 - 1872
Marked by the
Daughters of the American Revolution
State of Missouri
One of the freighters who took ox trains over the trail regularly was H. G. Branch, father of the member who today had the bill passed to have the route of the pioneers perpetuated.
SANTA FE TRAIL ACROSS MISSOURI.
Colorado appropriated $2,000 to mark the trail through the southeast corner of that state, and Kansas appropriated half as much, a sum which is to be increased.
Labels: history, Jefferson City, Lexington, organizations, Santa Fe Trail
May 4, 1909
SANTA FE MARKERS LOST?
Kansas City Delegation Is Disap-
pointed in Lack of Interest.
JEFFERSON CITY, MO., May 3.-- Kansas City's delegation in the house was greatly disappointed this afternoon when the committee on appropriations sent the Santa Fe trail appropriation bill asking for $3,000 back to the house without recommendation.
The fact that the committee has refused to appropriate anything for the markers will go a long way towards preventing its passage when its time arrives to be voted on.
Representative Glover Branch of Lexington, who introduced the bill, thinks he will be able to get it through, but the Kansas City members think differently.
Labels: history, Jefferson City, Lexington, Santa Fe Trail
February 13, 1909
MARKING SANTA FE TRAIL.
Mrs. Van Brunt Tells What the D.
A. R. Is Doing for This Project.
To The Journal:
It seems desirable at this time that the people of Missouri and particularly those living along the line of the old Santa Fe trail, should be made conversant with the efforts that the Daughters of the American Revolution, and particularly the Kansas City chapter, of which B. T. Whipple is regent, are making to preserve the route of the historic old road by locating granite markers at prominent points, suitably inscribed.
The scheme originated with Miss Elizabeth Butler Gentry, some two years ago, when she was regent of the Kansas City chapter. The matter has since that time so far developed through the conscientious and untiring efforts of the Kansas City chapter that it seems more than probable that their patriotic aims are to be achieved.
The Santa Fe trail committee has arrived at the point where it has received all the data necessary. A map has been made of the route form Old Franklin, Howard county, the cradle of the trail, to the Kansas state line; points have been selected where markers should be placed, the number of markers needed has been ascertained, and preliminary estimates as to the cost of the markers, delivered and set, have been received.
It may be well to state here for the benefit of those who are not aware of the fact that our sister state, Kansas, has already completed her part of the work. Colorado will finish her share this year, and New Mexico not only erects an arch at the terminus of the trail in Santa Fe, but also takes up the marking of the part of the trail within her borders. This has all been made possible by appropriations given the D. A. R. by generous legislatures.
The Daughters have felt that our state has neglected this work, not from lack of patriotism, but lack of knowledge. Therefore they have taken the matter in hand, with the fond hope that they may see their dreams realized.
The Santa Fe trail committee has sent out letters to prominent men throughout the state, asking them to become members of an advisory board, and through their able assistance and co-operation to properly present the matter to the Missouri legislature. A bill is now being framed at present at this session, asking for an appropriation to defray the expense of erecting suitable markers.
Letters have also been sent to senators and representatives in the different counties through which the old road passed, that they may be advised of the movement, and asking for their assistance. The Daughters, through their untiring efforts in studying up the history of the trail, locating it accurately -- no easy task, consulting old settlers, and ex-wagon bosses, all of whom have shown a gratifying desire to help -- feel that their efforts may be crowned with success, and are very much encouraged with the fact that interest seems to be growing stronger every day.
MRS. JOHN VAN BRUNT.
President Santa Fe Trail Committee.
Labels: history, organizations, Santa Fe Trail
December 8, 1908
J. S. CHICK, PIONEER
MERCHANT, IS DEAD.
HE FOUNDED THE FIRST BANK
IN KANSAS CITY.
Widely Known for His Integrity and
Honor in Business Affairs.
Funeral Will Be Held
Joseph Smith Chick, founder of the first bank in this city and for fifty years a citizen here, died at his home, 1039 Brooklyn avenue, at 4:30 yesterday morning. He had been ill several months, although he went to his offices until last week.
Mr. Chick was born in Howard county, Mo., August 3, 1828. His parents were from Virginia and the family lived on a farm. In 1830 the family moved to the town of Westport. Mr. Chick's father, Colonel William M. Chick, was one of the early purchasers of the original site on which Kansas City was built. At the time the family moved to Westport there were not a half a dozen families in Kansas City, called then Westport Landing. Joseph Chick went to the Westport schools, but at the age of 18 years put away his books and went into business. He became a clerk in the general store of H. M. Northrup, the largest shop of its kind in the town of Westport Landing. He worked hard and faithfully and in 1852 was admitted to a partnership in the firm.
Soon afterwards he and his partner conceived the idea of operating a bank in Kansas City and established one under the name of H. M. Northrup & Co. The company also took some interest in the trade across the plains to Santa Fe and in the year 1861 Mr. Chick and Mr. Northrup, with their wives, made the trip over the Santa Fe trail to trade with the Indians.
BANKING IN NEW YORK.
The next year, on account of the unsettled conditions prevailing, the company gave up its business in Kansas City and removed to New York, where they established a bank under the name of Northrup & Chick, on Wall street. For eleven years they continued in that city but in 1874 Mr. Chick sold out his interest and removed to this city, where he associated himself with some of the wealthy business men of the city and organized the Bank of Kansas City. In 1888 this institution was merged with the National Bank of Kansas City and Mr. Chick was chosen president, a position he held until the dissolution of the firm in 1895. Since then he had been in the real estate business with his son.
Mr. Chick was also connected with the St. Louis and Missouri River Telegraph Company, built to Kansas City in 1851; the Missouri Pacific Railroad, the macadamized road from Westport to the city, the first telephone company, the Kansas City Electric Light Company and the National Loan & Trust Company. He was once president of the board of trade.
For many years Mr. Chick had lived in the house where he died. Immediately after his return from New York he bought a large plot of ground in that neighborhood, ten acres facing on the street that is now Brooklyn avenue. Mr. Chick gave the street its present name after the city that he made his home when a banker in New York.
Since his early youth Mr. Chick was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and a faithful attendant at church services. For the last twenty-five years he had been the president of the board of stewards of the Central Methodist Episcopal church.
MRS. CHICK IS ILL.
Mr. Chick was married to Miss Julia Sexton of Howard county in 1855. Mrs. Chick is 76 years old. She is dangerously ill and may not survive her husband for long.
Two children survive, Joseph S. Chick, Jr., and Mrs. E. E. Porterfield, wife of Judge Porterfield, and three grandchildren, Mrs. Robert G. Caldwell, who lives in Indianapolis, Ind., E. E. Porterfield, Jr., and Miss Julia C. Porterfield.
The funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the home. Burial will be in Mount Washington cemetery. The active pallbearers will be selected from Mr. Chick's nephews.
In both his public and his private life Mr. Chick bore the reputation for exemplary character. His business integrity was above reproach, and when the bank with which he was connected failed in 1895 on account of hard times, Mr. Chick assumed the task of paying off the debt. Five years ago the last dollar was paid, together with 8 per cent interest on the money. He was always benevolent in disposition and had given an efficient business training to many young men now scattered in many states. His bearing was erect and his address cheerful. He was beloved by many, and liked by all who knew him.
Labels: banking, Brooklyn avenue, cemetery, churches, death, history, Judge Porterfield, Mt. Washington, New York, pioneers, railroad, real estate, retailers, Santa Fe Trail, telephone, Utilities, Westport
October 24, 1908
MAY MARK SANTA FE TRAIL.
Missouri D. A. R. Would Ask Legis-
lation for Granite Stone.
COLUMBIA, MO., Oct. 23. -- (Special.) The daughters of the American Revolution favor marking the old Santa Fe trail from Old Franklin, Mo., on the Missouri river, to Independence, in Jackson county, with granite markers. The plan was presented to the ninth annual conference by Miss Elizabeth B. Gentry of Kansas City.
The next legislature will be asked for the money. The trail has been marked in other states.
The conference adjourned today. The next session will be held at Cape Girardeau, Mo. Clinton McDade won a year's scholarship in the School of the Ozarks at Forsythe, Mo., for the best essay on "The Causes of the American Revolution."
Labels: Independence, Missouri river, organizations, Santa Fe Trail, women
October 8, 1908
ORDERED BEER WITH A WEAPON.
Modern Bad Man Created a Flurry
in Victoria Hotel Buffet.
Santa Fe trail days were revived for a few brief ticks of the clock last evening between the hours of 6 and 7, in the buffet of the Victoria hotel. Gun play, of course, figured melodramatically.
A customer wearing the air of a modern bad man came in and ordered a beer with the concomitant free lunch. Instead of throwing the crusts of his sandwich on the floor, the defiantly put them on the polished mahogany.
The barkeeper reprovingly brushed the remnants of the lunch from the bar, citing rule 23 from Chesterfiled's manual all the while. Then he suavely informed the offender that unless he could more faithfully observe the rules of said manual, he would never again be served in that establishment.
The fever of the rebuffed one promptly arose to 1849 -- and stopped. Uttering ungentlemanly threats, he went out in an ungentlemanly rage, to return ten minutes later with a piece of hardware that was in popular use when the "unbiled" shirt was exclusively in fashion. Then he covered his reprover and promised him unpleasant things if another beer were not forthcoming. After a moment's meditation on the part of the man behind the bar, the Budweiser was set out. The man with the gun is employed in a cement company office on Ninth street.
Labels: alcohol, food, guns, hotels, Ninth street, Santa Fe Trail
September 21, 1908
WAS AMONG FIRST OF
DEATH OF "JUDGE" JAMES HUN-
TER, THE PIONEER.
"Judge" James Hunter, a settler in Westport since 1826 and one of the most familiar figures of the old town, died at the Harris house in Westport, where he had lived for twenty-five years, at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, at the age of 88 years old.
Born eighty-three years ago in Russellville, Ky., James Hunter, at the age of 1 year, came with his father, the Rev. James M. Hunter of the then Cumberland Presbyterian church, to where Westport now is, in 1826. There was but one house in the place, a cabin owned by Frederick Chouteau, which was hotel, general store, and, in fact, the whole settlement under one roof. Rev. Hunter started another store, where he had saddlery, general merchandise and notions, now the corner of Southwest boulevard and Penn street. At this time Kansas City was not in existence. Young Hunter later started in the saddlery business. He also became the owner of a tract of about eighty acres between Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third, Main and Holmes streets. this he afterwards disposed of very cheaply. At the age of 30 years he married Miss Eleanor Stevens of Cass county, Mo., but she lived only a year. They had no children.
About 1854 the great movement across the plains was at its highest point, and James Hunter and his younger brother, Thomas, went into the freighting business. Their long caravans of prairie schooners, drawn by oxen, toiled slowly across the dry plains from Westport to Santa Fe, hauling every sort of necessity for the settlers in the gold fields. The profit was brought back in the form of gold dust, and debts were paid with the dust in Westport, as well as in San Francisco. Both of the brothers made their headquarters in Santa Fe, but they were constantly on the move, and Westport saw them several times a year.
When the civil war broke out they had not time to mix in the quarrels of the North and South -- they were interested in the development of the Western country. They continued to run their business right through the war. Their name became known everywhere along the great trail, and they waxed wealthy.
The inception of the railway proved the ruin of their freight business. In 1871 James Hunter gave up the trade and moved from Santa Fe back to Westport, where he had lived ever since. He became a notary public and in 1886 was elected police judge of the town. Twenty-five years ago he registered at the Harris house, then the leading hotel in Westport, and retained a room there until his death.
Two brothers and a sister survive, Dr. D. W. Hunter of Dallas, Tex.; Thomas H. Hunter of 4013 Central street and Mrs. E. H. Huffaker of El Paso, Tex.
The funeral services will be at 10 o'clock Tuesday morning from the residence of Thomas H. Hunter. Burial will be in Union cemetery.
Labels: Central street, churches, death, history, Holmes street, Judges, Main street, ministers, Santa Fe Trail, Thirty-third street, Twenty-eighth street, Westport
December 15, 1907
IT LEAD TO THE SANTA FE TRAIL.
Judge Goodrich Holds That Old Frag-
ment Is Still a Road.
Memories of fifty years ago were revived yesterday by a decision in Judge James E. Goodrich's division of the circuit court declaring the roadway east from Gillham road, through a part of Janssen place, to be a city street, and ordering it graded preparatory to paving. richard and Oliva Smith fought the suit on the contention that the section of road was inclosed and belonged to them.
Fifty years ago that bit of street was a portion of the Independence-Westport trail, the main thoroughfare south to Westport, and practically the only wagonway from what is now the business center of Kansas City to the Santa Fe trail at Westport. There are men in Kansas City who have driven over it in a covered wagon.
Labels: Gillham road, history, Judge Goodrich, Judges, Santa Fe Trail
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