The Last Chance

The first building erected at Caldwell was, appropriately enough, a saloon. Constructed of thick logs in 1869 by Curley Marshall, it was located about a mile southeast of this marker on the north bank of Bluff Creek. It was open for business in time to serve the great cattle drives which moved from Texas to Abilene over the then new Chisholm Trail.

A sign on the building greeted Texas drovers just as they crossed into Kansas, proclaiming it was the "First Chance Saloon", and as they rode back toward the Lone Star state, the sign stated it was the "Last Chance Saloon", as a reminder of the prohibition of liquor in Indian Territory.

In 1874 a posse from Caldwell, while in pursuit of outlaws, thought badmen had holed up in the Last Chance and burned the saloon to drive them out. Though their suspicions proved to be unfounded, the building had been destroyed. The business was operated for a time from a secondary building at the same location, but soon fell into disuse as there was too much competition from the innumerable new saloons being established within the City of Caldwell.

Erected 1993 by donations from Richard D. Lowe and the
Caldwell Cherokee Strip Centennial Committee

Marker on Main Street in Caldwell

Sumner County


March 31, 1999 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas /

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