From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.
Judge William b. Almond Settled in Platte Purchase In 1837--He Joined Gold Rush of '49 and Later Returned to Leavenworth--Other Local History.
The Pony Express Courier, of Placerville, "Old Hangtown," Calif., is running serially the life story of Judge William B. Almond, an early attorney of Leavenworth and Platte City, under the title of "His Honor, Judge William B. Almond." It is written by Clyde Arbuckle, a well known Western historian.
Judge almond practiced law both in Leavenworth and Platte City during the early history of those towns. He died in Leavenworth March 4, 1860, and is buried at Platte City where a beautiful monument markes his grave and those of his family.
Almond settled in the Platte Purchase about 1837 or soon after its opening. At the first session of the Platte County court he was enrolled as an attorney and later was elected county attorney and circuit judge. In 1849, he joined the California gold rush and distinguished himself as a territorial judge in San Francisco.
Returning to Missouri with $15,000 he bought a half interest in the Platte City mills, continued to practice law and was one of the most enterprising and influential men in that section of the country. He moved to Topeka later and from there to Leavenworth, where he remained until his death.
Bertram Ashby, reminiscing in the Times recently, mentioned Chief Johnny Pancake, of the Delaware Indians and his village near the old Ashby mill, on Stranger creek, in Leavenworth County.
Not desiring to inpugn Mr. Ashby's memory, but I am wondering if he did not have in mind Chief Journeycake, generally called by the whites, "Johnnycake." I have spent many years delving into Delaware Indian history, but I never heard of Chief Johnnie Pancake and can find no record of him.
There were several of the Journeycakes of Johnnycakes. Charles Journeycake was the one who was chief. His name in Indian was Ne-sha-pa-na-cumin. Linwood was originally named Journeycake in honor of him. Isaac Johnnycake was a Delaware interpreter.
The first Unites states military expedition to travel the full length of the Oregon Trial from Fort Leavenworth to Vancouver, Wash., has been exploited in a volume issued by the Arthur H. Clark press, of Glendale, Calif., under the title of "The March of the Mounted Riflemen." It is edited by Raymond W. Settle, and is number three of the "Northwest Historical Series."
It records the journal of Major Osborne Cross, the diary of George Gibbs and the official report of Colonel William W. Loring. This journey of about 2,000 miles was made from May to October 1849 by the United States Mounted Rifles.
There were 700 horses in the Mounted rifles, 1,200 mules, 171 wagons, a number of oxen and 500 beef cattle were picked up after the cavalcade reached Fort Kearney. The records of this expedition, as presented in this volume of 380 pages, disclose much of intense interest.
The Atchison Globe recently printed the following item:
"A patent from the United States of America to Daniel Neel was filed in the register of deeds office yesterday covering the South 1/2 of the NE 1/4 and Northwest 1/4 of the NE 1/4, 3-7-20, Kickapoo, Kas., containing 188 acres. The patent was signed by President James Buchanan, April 10, 1860."
Does any old-timer recall Daniel Neel?
Eighty-three years ago this month, or to be more explicit on August 15, 1859, the first telegraph message ever sent from Atchison was transmitted by Mayor s. C. Pomeroy, of that city, to Mayors H. B. Denman of Leavenworth and O. D. Filley, of St. Louis.
The telegraph had already been established in Leavenworth in the spring of that year, but Atchison, being situated at the great western bend of the Missouri river, was, on the above date, the most westerly telegraph station on the American continent. Mayor Pomeroy's message to Mayor Denman, of Leavenworth, was as follows:
"His Honor, H. B. Denman, mayor of Leavenworth: Our medium of communication is perfect. May our fraternal relations continue--may our prosperity and success equal our highest efforts."
Mayor Denman replied as follows:
"Hon. S. C. Pomeroy, mayor of Atchison: "May each push forward its works of enterprise and the efforts of each be crowned with success." In October of that same year, the first news of the capture of Harper's Ferry by John Brown was flashed over the wire.
In the "Looking Backward," (forty years ago) column in The Times recently appeared the following:
"J. A. Grund, who claims to be the first white child born in Leavenworth, yesterday revisited the city after an absence of 30 years. He was born January 14, 1857 a mile northwest town on the Salt Creek Valley road."
Mr. Grund was away off in his claim that he was the first white child born in Leavenworth. There were a number of white babies born here long before he appeared on the scene. there are authentic records of several having been born here in 1854 and 1855.
Cora Leavenworth Kyle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. t. Kyle and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Keller, of the pioneer Leavenworth hotel, was born here December 6, 1854. As Leavenworth was founded in 1854, it is not reasonable to suppose there would not be a number of children born here before 1857. Some years ago I compiled a list of early births in Leavenworth, but do not now have this data at my command as it has been sent to the Kansas State Historical Society.
Ralph H. Records, in a paper entitled, "Range Riding in Oklahoma," published in "Chronicles of Oklahoma," official organ of the Oklahoma Historical Society, among other things, says: "The roundup outfit had a great deal of fun when former governor, James Hamilton, of Kansas, sent his cow hands to join the roundup of 1882, etc."
Where do some of these would-be historians get such stuff? There never was a Governor Hamilton in Kansas.
Eighty-four years ago on September 4, Weston had a $23,000 fire. Fred Kaufman's loss was $4,500; Shaw & Newhouse, $6,000; John Dietz, $10,000; City, $3,000. another disastrous fire occurred there on November 1, 1884, when the total loss was $30,000. One person, Daniel Linn, was burned to death. The Weston depot burned November 30, 1885, and the old St. George (Exchange) Hotel was destroyed December 14, 1890..