Clark County, Kansas

 

Indian Living Water Marker

LOST

By: Al Puckett, Assistant Curator, Pioneer-Krier Museum, Clark County, Kansas
Cartoon by Al Puckett about the lost plaque

 
I remember standing on top of a hill just south of the Little Basin and overlooking St. Jacob's Well. Where, oh where, can I be?
 
I remember being made of bronze and had an adornment on my chest. A scripture, I do remember.  It was John 4:10.  I also remember being fastened to a pillar of stones.  If I remember right, I was placed there by the Clark County Historical Society in the year of 1958, I think.  I do not know the exact date.  They call me the "Indian Living Water Marker." I am Lost; someone removed me from my resting place.  I would like to find my way home.
 
If someone has a picture of me, please give it to the Historical Society so my friends can make a duplicate (clone) of my bronze splendor, to be placed back where I belong.  Long before I existed, a pile of stones were placed on the hill by, we think, the Plains Indians.  The Indians were the first to find, the now called "St. Jacob's Well".  This marked the spot pointing to the well, so the Indians could find it easily as they roamed the plains.  Indians could have used the well as a landmark and a water source for hundreds of years before the white man settled the area.  The Indians, who inhabited the plains, were nomadic tribes.  They came to the area because of the buffalo and other game.
 
The first white man to discover St. Jacob's Well could very well have been the Spanish explorers during the 1540's.  A Spanish bit was found near Englewood, Kansas; this would give credence to this story.
 
Another version to the story could be that the soldiers guarding the supply route between Fr. Supply, Oklahoma and Ft. Dodge, Kansas during the 1860's came across St. Jacob's Well, or cattlemen when they came through with their herd in the late 1800's.
 
It was reported that George A. Custer visited St. Jacob's Well when he was stationed in northern Clark County during the same time frame.
 
This is a just a little history of St. Jacob's Well and the Living Water Marker.
 
A History class from Dodge City, Kansas is seeking a grant to replace the bronze plaque.  We are looking for the exact wording on the plaque.  We know it had the scripture John 4:10 and a description about the Plains Indians and the Living Water (St. Jacob's Well).
 
The Clark County Historical Society and the Pioneer-Krier Museum would appreciate any help that you can render.
 

Used by permission from: Pioneer-Krier Museum.
 
If anyone has any information that can help, please contact Linda Fox by e-mail at echslfox@pldi.ent
 
March 27, 2001 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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