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.
March has been a momentous month in the annals of the Leavenworth area, and the happenings of that period of our calendar, covering a long range of years, have been as varied as its blustery, yet benign reign.
These events, as the records will show, have been quite in keeping with the diverse moods of the Ides of March, the blasts of Boreas and Eolus, the mad March hare, the Vernal Equinox and the "breath of spring."
Among the many events of more or less importance that occurred within the month in Leavenworth and the country contiguous thereto, have been the following:
On March 7, 1827, there was issued from the Adjutant General's Office in Washington, D. C., the following order which resulted in the establishment of Cantonment Leavenworth, now Fort Leavenworth:
"Colonel Leavenworth, of the 3rd Infantry, with four companies of his regiment, will ascend the Missouri, and when he reaches a point on the left bank, near the mouth of the Little Platte River, and within a range of 20 miles above or below its confluence, he will select such position as, in his judgment, is best calculated for a site of a permanent cantonment.
"The spot being chosen, he will construct, with the troops at his command, comfortable, though temporary, quarters, sufficient for the accommodation of four companies. This movement will be made as early as the convenience of the service will permit. By order of Major General Brown."
Isaac Ellis was granted a ferry license at Kickapoo, March 11, 1839.
On March 24, 1855, the following notice appeared on the Kickapoo ferryboat: "Some silly disposed persons have tried to injure my ferry, by stating that I refused to cross persons, last fall, to the election. This is false. It would be difficult to find one more 'sound on the goose' than I am. Signed -- John Ellis."
(Presumably a son of Isaac Ellis.)
One of the earliest births in what is now Leavenworth County was that of Gustavus P. Smith, born at Kickapoo, March 4, 1836, a son of John P. smith, Government blacksmith for the Kickapoo Indians.
A town and postoffice were established at Barry, in Clay County line, in Missouri, March 9, 1829, and a military road was laid off between Fort Leavenworth and that point. Peter H. Burnett, later of Platte County, made it a place of importance. When the Oregon excitement began, he led one of the first expeditions to that Territory, and still later became the first territorial governor of California.
The famous Lewis Clark and Clark (sic) exploring expedition left St. Louis on March 4, 1804, on its long voyage up the Missouri River, and thence across the western wilderness and mountains to Oregon and the Northwest.
"Lonesome Charley" Reynolds, Gen. George A. Custar's (sic) Chief of Scouts, killed with Custer and the rest of his command in the famous battle of the Little Big Horn, Montana, in 1876, was born March 20, 1844, in Warren County, Ill.
He came to Kansas, as a youth with his parents Dr. and Mrs. Reynolds, and settled on Stranger Creek at the old town of Pardee, in Atchison County, where the father was a pioneer physician. Charley's career in the West was a remarkable one. He had also been a scout with "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
Easton was laid off and platted by Spartan F. Rhea, in March, 1855. It had previously been known as Dawson's Trading Post, and was established at the crossing of Stranger Creek, on to Forts Leavenworth-Riley military road, in pre-Territorial times.
Thomas J. Payne and Philo Hull settled at Mount Pleasant, near the present site of Potter, on the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Kearney military road, on March 4, 1856, and opened a blacksmith and wagon shop. Thomas L. Fortune had previously opened a trading post there.
The late Mrs. N. H. Burt of Leavenworth, was born at the Baptist Indian Mission, south of the present site of Leavenworth, March 26, 1854, a daughter of Rev. John G. Pratt the missionary.
John Seckler, pioneer Leavenworth clothier, came to Kansas in March, 1857. He was the father of Harry Seckler, formerly of the editorial staff of The Times, and whose interesting sketches of early local history are now appearing in The Times.
(John Seckler, was one of the first men I remember having known in Leavenworth. I bought my first suit of clothes from him and traded with him for several years afterwards.)
The Leavenworth Post Office was established March 6, 1855, with Lewis Rees as postmaster. Rees had previously been a merchant at Platte City. He and two brothers, Amos and Richard R. Rees, located in Leavenworth in 1855, and had much to do with the founding and development of the city.
The Territorial Register, a pioneer Leavenworth newspaper, began publication in March, 1855.
The first Free State mayor of Leavenworth, Henry J. Adams, was elected March 18, 1857.
W. M.clough enrolled as an attorney at Platte City, March 21, 1854 and his brother, E. N. O. Clough, enrolled at the same place, March 4, 1855. Both afterward became prominent in Leavenworth. H. Miles Moore, who was enrolled at Platte City, March 3, 1852, also became one of Leavenworth's best known citizens.
William F. Cody ("Buffalo Bill) and Louise Frederica, were married in St. Louis March 6, 1866. They came to Leavenworth immediately, and opened the Golden Rule Hotel in Salt Creek Valley.
A post office was established at the old town of Alexandria, in Leavenworth County, March 18, 1856, with Joseph L. McAleer postmaster; the Salt Creek post office, established in 1863, with Alexander Russell, postmaster, was discontinued March 2, 1864; the Springdale post office, established in 1860, with David F. Walker postmaster, was discontinued March 15, 1907. Tonganoxie post office was established March 16, 1863 with William English.
The Kansas City, Kas post office, originally established as "Wyandotte, Leavenworth County, Wm J. Osborn, Postmaster," in 1855 was changed to "Wyandotte, Wyandotte County," March 11, 1867 and to "Kansas City, Wyandotte County." Still later, Fort Leavenworth post office, was originally established as "Contonment Leavenworth, Clay County, Missouri," in 1831. It was changed from Clay County, Mo., to Leavenworth County, Kas., March 12, 1862.
A post office was established at Ozawkie, in Jefferson County, March 15, 1855, with George M. dyer as postmaster.
Judge Newton Mannwas born March 19, 1844, in Ohio.
The Leavenworth Times was first issued 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.
Col. Andrew G. Ege was appointed postmaster at Fort Leavenworth, March 12, 1862; Elizabeth Graham, March 20, 1865; Capt. Davis L. Payne March 19, 1867; (Note: Capt Payne afterward became the original "Oklahoma boomer" and the "Father" of that Territory. He lived in Doniphan county at one time. Col. Ege lived at Doniphan, and when Lincoln spoke there in 1859, Ege made a reply to his arguments on the slavery question.)
The Weston & Atchison Railroad was chartered March 4, 1859, with John Doniphan as president; later became the K. C. St. J and C. B. Railroad.
Theodore A. Hurd, pioneer attorney, located in Leavenworth in March, 1850.
John Philip Balz settled near Kickapoo, March 26, 1864.
Work on the Maple Leaf Railroad between St. Joseph and Beverly began March 13, 1888.
Ben Miller, jeweler and for years financiers, of Lodge No. 122, A. O. U. W. of Leavenworth, was born March 14, 1857, in this city.
Jacobina Bollin located at Kickapoo in March, 1860; John Philip Balz settled near there March 26, 1864.
Henry C. Squires and Ella J. McCrary were married in Leavenworth County March 3, 1870, and resided at Lowemont for many years.
J. C. Baird, pioneer Easton fruit grower, was born March 11, 1836 in Ohio.
Ernest Kasten, Kickapoo Township pioneer, settled there in March, 1855; Nathanial S. Ward arrived in March, 1858.
John S. Bristow settled at Easton, March 1, 1855, and was married there March 6, 1862, to Missouri A. Wilburn.
John Conrad Schroth, Kickapoo pioneer, was born March 8, 1826, in Germany.
Francis M. Beagle settled on Kickapoo Island in March, 1852. He later moved to Kickapoo Township, where he became a prominent citizen.
Henry W. Wulfekuhler engaged in the grocery business in Leavenworth in March, 1858.
Nancy W., wife of Jesse Connell, died at her home near Pleasant Ridge, March 27, 1865, and was the first person buried in Van Winkle Cemetery in that locality, Jessee Connell was a prominent citizen of Leavenworth County and was state senator at one time. Horace Keyes, another Pleasant Ridge pioneer, died March 23, 1895, and was buried in Van Winkle Cemetery.
Gen. William B. Almond, a distinguished pioneer of Platte County, the California gold rush and Leavenworth, died here March 4, 1860, and was buried at Platte City.
Benjamin F. Edwards, prominent pioneer of the Round Prairie community northwest of Leavenworth, settled there in March 1855, A. E. Cleavenger located there at the same time.
A. A. Fenn, brick manufacturer and contractor, located in Leavenworth in March, 1862. (Wondar how many of his brick buildings are standing today?)
Henry Shaw, pioneer of Easton Township, and later of Leavenworth, was born March 22, 1847, in Illinois. In late years he became known as the "Picnic King."
Joshua Eckman located at Daisy, in this county, in March, 1869.
The late W. W. Chadwick, of Loring was born March 11, 1835, in Ohio.
Joseph J. Shaw, pioneer of Sherman Township, came to Kansas from Ohio, in March, 1868.
Gottleib Maier settled in Leavenworth County in March, 1858.
George H. Kellar became the first Warden of the Kansas Penitentiary at Lansing, March 12, 1867.
Frederick Knollman, pioneer of Millwood, came to this section March 1, 1867.
J. H. Vaughn settled near Fairmount March 1, 1864.
Edward Fritsche, Sr., located in Leavenworth in March, 1858.
M. E. Franke, pioneer Leavenworth grocer, was born March 17, 1837, in Germany.
John Hannon, of Leavenworth, born March 22, 1839, in Ireland.
Dr. James A. Lane located in Leavenworth, in March, 1874.
Leavenworth Commandery, No 1, Knights Templar, was organized March 9, 1857.
Leavenworth Lodge No 2, I.O.O.F., was organized March 9, 1857.
Gen. Alexander Caldwell was born March 1, 1830 at Drake's Ferry, Pa.
The first train crossed the Missouri River gridge at Leavenworth, March 30, 1872.
Leavenworth, City and Fort Leavenworth Water Company, was chartered March 16, 1881.
Vinton Stillings, of Leavenworth, visited Platte City, March 4, 1889 and addressed the county court in favor of his proposed pontoon bridge over the Missouri River. On March 4, following, there was a pontoon meeting at Farley.
Judge w. M. Paxton, Platte County historian, known as the "Sage of Platte,: was born March 2, 1819, in Kentucky.