Travel is so smooth and effortless today that it
is hard to visualize the hazards in the mid-19th century.
For example, in June, 1859, four miles pulling a Denver-
bound Pike's Peak Express stagecoach--six days and
450 miles out from Leavenworth-- were terrified by
Indians a few miles northeast of here. Plunging down
a precipitous bank, the animals upset the coach and
its best-known passenger, Horace Greeley, editor of the
New York Tribune. Greeley was soon rescued "and taken
to Station 17, a few yards beyond, where the good woman
dressed his galling wounds."
There were other, more serious encounters with the Indians. On April 23,1875, 40 men of the Sixth U.S. cavalry attacked 75 Northern Cheyennes on Sappa creek, 14 miles south. Two soldiers and more than score of Indians were killed. A Cheyenne raid in the autumn of 1878 brought death to more than 30 settlers on Sappa and Beaver creeks here in Rawlins and adjoining Decatur counties.
Thousands of cattle were driven through this area in 1876-1885, plodding the Western cattle trail from Texas through Dodge City to Ogallala Neb.
Atwood, established in 1879, is the seat of Rawlins county, organized in 1881.
Marker by the Atwood City Lake
Marker text sent by Mike LeMasters, Wichita, KS