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The following article was made available through the courtesy of Stephen Chinn. It should not be quoted or retransmitted without a full citation to the website address, and should not be put into print without permission.

1540/1541--The Spanish explorer, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, marched north from Mexico in search of the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola. In New Mexico he was told about the Land of Quivira, and he turned east and north in search of this place. By the summer of 1541, he had reached the Arkansas River in Kansas, crossing it near present Dodge City. Coronado found no gold in Quivira and returned to New Mexico.

1542--Father Juan de Padilla, a priest who had accompanied Coronado, returned to Kansas. He hoped to bring Christianity to the Indians. He was killed, however, by those he tried to help. Father Padilla is said to have been the first Christian martyr in America.

1724 Captain M. Etienne Venyard de Bourgmont, a French explorer, led an expedition into what are now Atchison and Doniphan counties to establish trade relations with the Indians of the Platte River region.

1762--France lost the territory of Kansas to Spain.

30 Apr 1803--Louisiana Purchase
The United States concluded a "deal" when it signed an agreement to purchase the entire Lousiana Territory from France. This transaction ended the trading era for Kansas and brought forth the exploration of a new American settlement.

1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Jun/Jul 1804--Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, while exploring the Louisiana Purchase by order of President Thomas Jefferson, made camp at several points in the Leavenworth area on the Kansas side of the Missouri River.

4 Jul 1804--At the present location of Atchison, the Lewis and Clark group celebrated what was probably the first Independence Day in Kansas by firing a swivel gun. Later they named Independence Creek and closed the day with another cannon blast.

26/29 Sep 1806--When the "Stars and Stripes" (American flag) were first raised in Kansas by a Pawnee Indian Chief.

1806--Lt. Zebulon Pike of the U.S. Army crossed the KS area on an exploring expedition during which he met with the Indians and signed treaties with them as the representative of the new "White Father." He continued westward on this journey to discover the mountain that is now called Pike's Peak.

1819--The Western Engineer was the first steamer to enter the Kansas river.

1821--William Becknell, a Missouri trader, was the first to follow the route that later became known as the Santa Fe Trail. His (pack) mule train passed through Morris County at what became known as Council Grove.

1822 - William Becknell used wagons instead of pack mules or horses to take trade goods over the Santa Fe Trail. Because Becknell found a good mode of transportation and a passable wagon route, he is credited as the Father of the Santa Fe Trail.

Jun 1825--The necessary treaties were negotiated between the federal government and the Kansa and Osage tribes for a cession of Kansa-Osage land onto which eastern Indians could be moved.

1825--Daniel Boone was appointed farmer to the Indians.

1825--By a council under a tree (Council Oak) and a treaty signed with the Osage Indians, the United States Government obtained the right of way for a public highway, established as the "Santa Fe Trail."

8 May 1827--Fort Leavenworth, first known as Cantonment Leavenworth, was established by Col. Henry Leavenworth on the Missouri River's right bank of Salt Creek as an army post to protect the western frontier and travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. 1829 Sublette's pack-train, en route West by way of Independence, Missouri for the first time traveled out the Santa Fe Trail some distance before turning northwest toward the Kansas river. This became the established Oregon-California trail route.

1829--The largest and historically most important of all the Kansas missions was the Shawnee Methodist, opened as a school by the Reverend Thomas Johnson and his wife in 1829, on the site of present-day Turner (part of Greater Kansas City).

May 1830--The Indian Removal Bill of 1830 uprooted the Kickapoo, Shawnee, Delaware, Pottawatomie, Wyandot, Ottawa, Chippewa, Iowa, Miami and Sac and Fox tribes. An "Act to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing within any of the states or territories, and for their removal west of the river Mississippi" was passed by Congress and signed by President Andrew Jackson.

1830 William L. Sublette took the first wagons along the route (Oregon Trail) to the Rocky Mountains.

Jul 1831--Isaac McCoy was instrumental in founding the Shawnee Baptist Mission opened by Johnston Lykins. It was located a few miles south and west of the Kansas River mouth in that is now Johnson County.

1833--Jotham Meeker came to the Shawnee Baptist Mission, bringing with him the first printing press to be set up on Kansas soil.

1834 Bent's Fort (Fort William), a fur trade post on the upper Arkansas, was established. A Bent, St. Vrain and Company party (with wagons) eastbound from Santa Fe, NM in the late summer traveled by way of Taos and Raton Pass to Fort William; then they came down the Arkansas to the Santa Fe Trail; thus, opening the Bent's Fort branch of the Santa Fe Trail.

1835--The Kansa, or Kaw were a small tribe; only 1,606 of them would be counted when a census was made in 1835.

1839--The Shawnee Methodist Mission was relocated in 1839 on a 2,240-acre grant some two miles southwest of Westport, Missouri (also now smothered by Kansas City), in what became Kansas's Johnson County. Here was established a large diversified farming enterprise, including a twelve-acre apple orchard, the first on Kansas soil.

1841--First emigrant wagon train for the Pacific. The Bidwell-Bartleson party's journey west was from Independence, Missouri, via "Sublette's Trace" (or, the now developing Oregon-California trail).

30 May 1842--Fort Scott, named in honor of General Winfield Scott, was established 30 May 1842 at Marmaton crossing of the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Gibson military road.

28 Jul 1843 Date for the Wyandot Indians arriving in Kansas. We arrived in Kansas on July 28, 1843. Upon arrival in Kansas Territory, we were to purchace land from the Shawnee, however the land sale was held up by the area's indian agent. We ended up purchacing the land between the Missouri and Kansas rivers from the Delaware, who had made improvements on the land, clearing it for farming. Source: Darren Zane English (darren@olympia.com), Cultural Coordinator, Wyandot Nation of Kansas

1844--The first free school was established by the Wyandot Indians.

1846--Crossing points above St. Joseph, Missouri, such as Iowa Point (Doniphan County--first settled in 1854) and Elizabethtown, used by Pacific-bound emigrants this year, and subsequently.

Spring 1846--The Kansa (Kaw) Indians signed a treaty with the government, ceding their reservation land along the Kansas River near Topeka in exchange for a new but smaller reservation located along the upper valley of the Neosho River, in what is now Morris County.

April 1847--A reservation 20 miles square was established in what is now Morris County near Council Grove. The Kaw Indians were relocated from their reservation near Topeka and moved on to the land embraced within the limits of the reservation. They remained on the Kaw reservation until 1873.

1849/1850 The Kaw Mission at Council Grove was built by the Methodist Episcopal Church South with government funding to serve as a school to educate the Kaw Indians after they were relocated from their reservation near Topeka in 1847. Thomas S. Huffaker contracted to teach the school. He acted in the capacity of the teacher until 1854 when the school was closed. The Kaw Mission later became a first school for the settlers' children.

8 Aug 1850--Fort Atkinson was established by Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Vose Sumner, 1st U. S. Dragoons. It was located about two miles west of the present Dodge City, on the left side of the Arkansas River near the site of old Fort Mann. Intended to control the Indians and protect the Santa Fe Trail. This small army post was made entirely of sod buildings.

1852--Flour milling got its start in Kansas by Mattitins Splitlog in Kansas City.

17 May 1853--Fort Riley was established in Kansas Territory by Captain Charles S. Lovell, 6th U.S. Infantry, on a site recommended by Colonel Thomas T. Flauntleroy, 1st U. S. Dragoons.

Summer 1853--In the summer of 1853, George W. Manypenny, U.S. commissioner of Indian affairs, under a directive from Congress, came into the valleys of the Kaw and Neosho to negotiate treaties with Indians to resede to the U.S. Government all but a fraction of the land that, a quarter-century before, had been assigned them "forever." Manypenny was reluctant to do so.

1854--Fort Atkinson was abandoned due to the poor condition of the sod buildings.

1854--Col. Cyrus K. Holliday came to "Topeka, Kansas Territory." Holliday was a founder of Topeka and promoter of the Santa Fe Railroad.

30 May 1854--The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed and signed by President Franklin Pierce, and Kansas Territory was organized and opened up for settlement. Its boundary included eastern Colorado, west to the Continental Divide. The only white persons then residing within this boundary were those about the military posts, Indian traders, missionaries and a few males, who married into the different tribes. A purpose of the Kansas-Nebraska Act was to open the country to transcontinental railways.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act was responsible for causing the label "Bleeding Kansas." The incorporation of popular sovereignty made the territory's residents (not the Federal government) responsible for the question of slavery in their own backyard. The proximity of Kansas to slave-owning Missouri and the lack of any natural border between the two regions prompted an influx of Pro-slavery individuals into the new territory when it opened up for settlement.

1854--Andrew H. Reeder was appointed the first territorial governor of Kansas by President Franklin Pierce.

29 Nov 1854--Andrew H. Reeder was the first territorial governor of Kansas who called an election to choose a delegate to congress.

1854--The New England Emigrant Aid Society in Boston, MA was a company interested in peopling the frontier with anti slavery (abolitionist) settlers. 1854--This company helped to found Lawrence, Kansas (town named after Amos A. Lawrence, promoter of the Emigrant Aid Society), which then became the center of Free-State activities.

1854--Swiss immigrants first arrived and settled in Pottawatomie (Onaga) and Nemaha (Bern, Neuchatel) and Allen (Geneva) Counties.

1855--The Valley Falls Mill was built by Isaac Cody (father of Bill Cody).

1855--A free-state constitution was framed in Topeka. It did not receive serious consideration in Congress.

Jul 1855--The first territorial Capitol of Kansas was built of native stone at Pawnee on the Fort Riley reservation.

1856--Cholera raged at Fort Riley.

August 1856--John Brown and 40 defenders were attacked by an army of 400/600 pro slavery Missourians. In this raid on Osawatomie, the settlement (all but four homes) was burned by the invaders and John Brown's son Frederick was killed. Four wagon loads of dead and wounded were brought into Booneville, Missouri when the invading army returned.

1857--A pro slavery constitution, if Kansas is admitted as a slave state, was drafted at Lecompton. The constitution was adopted in an election in which free state men refused to vote and later was rejected at a second election in which the pro slavery men took no part.

1857--A third constitutional convention convened at Leavenworth, and the constitution drafted there was adopted by the people in 1858, but this too failed final acceptance.

1857--A group of German Immigrants settled in Allen County and founded Humboldt and Iola, and settled in Wabaunsee County and founded Alma. Germans were located in all counties and had large settlements in Kansas City, Leavenworth (Leavenworth County), Seneca (Nemaha County) and Topeka (Shawnee County).

1857--The Hays House, said to be the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River, was founded by Seth M. Hays at Council Grove.

1857 The Last Chance Store, built in 1857 at Council Grove, was the last chance for those headed to Santa Fe to stock up on supplies.

19 May 1858--The Marais Des Cygnes River at Pleasanton in Linn County is the site of a famous confrontation between pro slavery ("Border Ruffians") and abolition (free-state) forces. The five victims of the massacre were immortalized as martyrs in the cause for freedom. This massacre was the last significant display of mob rule in Kansas.

May 1859--The Republican party was formally organized at Osawatomie.

Jul 1859--The fourth and last constitutional convention assembled at Wyandotte, now part of Kansas City. This time free state advocates were solidly in control, and the document they drafted barred slavery and fixed the present boundaries of the state. It was accepted by a vote of the people in October, and in December a provisional state government was elected.

22 Oct 1859--"Camp on Pawnee Fork" and Camp Alert, as Fort Larned was first known, was established as a military post to protect travelers and commerce and mail on the Santa Fe Trail from Indians. It also provided a more centralized point for the distribution of annuities, as provided by treaty, to the Indians.

1859--During his visit to Kansas, President Abraham Lincoln spoke at the famous Planters Hotel.

30 Nov 1859--President Abraham Lincoln said, "No other territory has ever had such a history" in his first speech in Elwood.

Dec 1859--President Lincoln visits Kansas.

1859/1860--During the winter W. H. Russell, of the firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell, completed plans for the two thousand mile Pony Express between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California.

1860--Beginnings of the oil industry in Kansas date from 1860 although large scale development was delayed because of a lock of commercial market.

1860s--Irish, some from big cities in the U.S., were located in large numbers near Chapman (Dickinson County), near Seneca (Nemaha County), and in Pottawatomie County, and at Boston (Chautauqua County).

1860--Pony Express was inaugurated in Kansas. More than 125 miles of the eastern end of the Pony Express was in Kansas. The Kansas section of the route had 11 stations. It operated less than a year and a half (1860-1862).

1860--Mennonite Brethren split from what is now the General Conference Mennonite Church (Bethel College variety) back in Russia. There were strong feelings over the split carried over into America. As a result, many small towns in Kansas have both varieties of churches, and two different colleges were founded, Bethel and Tabor.

23 Feb 1860--The legislature passed a bill over the governor's veto abolishing slavery in Kansas.

29 Jan 1861--Kansas was admitted into the Union as the 34th state. Topeka became the state Capitol.

Apr 1861--Civil War: In answer to President Lincoln's first call for troops in April, Kansas supplied 650 men. Before the war ended in 1865, Kansas contributed 20,097 men to the Union Army, a remarkable record since the population included less than 30,000 men of military age. Kansas also suffered the highest mortality rate of any of the Union states. Of the black troops in the Union army, 2,080 were credited to Kansas, though the 1860 census listed fewer than 300 blacks of military age in the state; most of them came from Arkansas and Missouri.

1861--Kansas women were given the right to vote in school elections, far earlier than in most states.

7 Feb 1862--The state Capitol stands on 20 acres of ground donated to the state by Cyrus K. Holliday. The Legislature accepted the block of land by a joint resolution approved.

1862--The Homestead Act greatly aided in the opening of the country after the Civil War. "It gave 160 acres of federal land to any citizen or any person declaring an intent to become a citizen." All they had to do was pay a filing fee of ten dollars and then live upon and improve the given acreage for five years. The land for the Homestead Act came from the railroads. The railroads were granted with enormous acreage of federal land in Kansas plus significant land endowments from the state. The railroad also purchased huge acreage for a song from the Indians. The Homestead Act was a vigorous effort to dispose of these holdings to settlers.

21 Aug 1863--Surprise attack at Lawrence by Confederate guerillas led by William C. Quantrill. Only 150 of the 2,000 residents were killed in the raid. The city (not the whole town) was sacked and burned, and about $1.5 million worth of property was destroyed.

1863--Kansas State University was the second state agricultural college in the United States to be founded.

Aug 1864--The original post (Fort Harker #1) was established by troops of the 7th Iowa Cavalry under the command of 2nd Lieutenant Allen Ellsworth by order of Major General Samuel R. Curtis to protect the more remote frontier settlements. Originally called Fort Ellsworth, for Lt. Ellsworth. Originally located on the left bank of the Smoky Hill River at the point where the Santa Fe stage route crossed the River, about 3-4 miles southeast of the present town of Ellsworth.

6 Sep 1864--Fort Zarah was established on the banks of Walnut Creek near the crossroads of the Santa Fe Trail, the army supply route from Fort Riley, and the main Indian trail. In 1867 Fort Zarah was relocated in stone buildings two miles downstream near the Arkansas River. Fort Zarah was abandoned December 4, 1869 as the Indian problem moved southwestward.

25 Oct 1864--Battle at Mine Creek: Although Kansas soldiers saw action in many important engagements of the Civil War, the only major battle fought in Kansas occurred at Mine Creek in Linn County. This battle involved some 25,000 men. The Union Army under Generals Curtis, Blunt, and Pleasanton defeated the Confederate Army under Generals Sterling Price and Marmaduke, ending the threat of a Confederate invasion in Kansas.

1864--Indians begin attacks on frontier settlements.

1864--Jim R. Mead became the first white settler at Wichita when he opened a trading post on the site of Wichita, Kansas.

1865--Wichita was plotted during this year.

1865--Civil War ended.

1865--After the Civil War, Jesse Chisholm pioneered the Chisholm Trail when Jim R. Mead sent him into the southwest (south from Kansas to the Red River) with a wagon load of goods to trade with the Indians for buffalo hides.

10 Apr 1865--Fort Dodge was established by Captain Henry Pierce, 11th Kansas Cavalry, by order of Major General Grenville M. Dodge, commanding the department. Although there is some doubt, the post was probably named for Colonel Henry Dodge, 1st U. S. Dragoons. Fort Dodge was established to protect the Santa Fe Trail from Indians.

Sep 1865--Fort Aubrey was established early in September 1865 by Captain Adolph Whitman, 48th Wisconsin Infantry, in the present Hamilton County at the head of Spring Creek. The site was originally recommended by Francis Xavier Aubry (1824-1854), trader and explorer, who was killed in Santa Fe 18 Aug 1854, and for whom the post was named.

11 Oct 1865--Fort Fletcher was established as a frontier military post to protect military roads, defend construction gangs on the Union Pacific Railroad, and guard the U.S. mail. The post was first designated Fort Fletcher, in honor of Governor Thomas C. Fletcher of Missouri.

1866--Construction of the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka began.

1866--The first Kansas orphanage, St. Vincent's Home, was opened by the Sisters of Charity.

Nov 1866--Fort Fletcher renamed Fort Hays.

4 Jul 1867--Fort Hays relocated.

1867--Buffalo Bill Cody co-founder of Rome, Kansas.

1867/1872--More than three million head of Texas longhorn cattle were driven up the Chisholm Trail to the Union Pacific (later the Kansas Pacific) Railroad shipping center at Abilene.

1867/1868--A great famine in Sweden combined with the discontent bred by repressive government made the American advertisement of land and freedom particularly attractive to Swedes. The third largest foreign-born group in nineteenth-century Kansas came from Sweden. The primary colony from Sweden was at Lindsborg in McPherson County. The settlement at (New) Scandia in Republic County was promoted by the Scandinavian Agricultural Society of Chicago. Swedish influence was also in Osage County and the Blue River parts of Riley and Pottawatomie counties.

17 Sep 1868--Col. George A. Forsyth and his command were on Arikaree Creek, a fork of the Republican River, five miles due west of Kansas's northwest corner. They were surrounded by nearly a thousand Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Sioux. They retreated to an "island" (sandbar) in the Arikaree and dug-in. They suffered heavy losses, including the company's surgeon and its second-in-command, Lt. Fred H. Beecher (he was nephew of Henry Ward Beecher, of Harriet Beecher Stowe). The U.S. Army officially named this the Battle of Beecher Island in honor of Lieutenant Beecher.

1867--Joseph G. McCoy arrived at Abilene, the end of the extended Chisholm Trail, and built stockyards that he advertised throughout Texas.

1867--Indian attacks reached their height in Kansas, when nearly 130 settlers were killed.

5 Jun 1867--The first recorded Indian attack at Henshaw Station, when the Indians killed four men and stampeded the horses. At the time the station was guarded by only ten soldiers and two stock traders, so pursuit of the Indians was out of the question. By the time a force arrived from Fort Wallace, the Indians had dispersed.

1867--One Indian raid occurred at a small settlement called Brookville. When a large body of Indians attacked the town, the settlers rushed to the roundhouse where a barricade was hastily thrown up. The Indians surrounded the building, piled Railroad ties against it, and tried to set the structure on fire. Railroad crew members jumped on an engine already under steam, crashed it through the doors of the roundhouse, around the turntable, and with whistle and bell sounding, headed for Salina to get help. This action caught the Indians completely off guard, and they fled. When the engine reached Salina, a dead Indian was found lying on a wheel.

1867--The Indian Peace Treaty Monument of Medicine Lodge commemorates the signing of the peace treaty between the U.S. and the Indian tribes.

1868--Jesse Chisholm died at Left Hand Spring near modern Geary, Oklahoma, in 1868, about the time the traders' routes across Indian Territory became the Chisholm Trail, used as a cattle highway by Texas ranchers moving their longhorns to railheads in Kansas.

1868--Nineteenth Kansas Cavalry mustered in for Indian Wars.

1869--Sioux and Cheyenne raid northwestern Kansas.

1869--Ernest Valeton de Boissiere established a communal French colony in Franklin County introducing silk to Kansas.

1869--Wild Bill Hickok, special marshall of Hays City, Kansas.

1870--Brookville Hotel in Brookville, Kansas was built. It is famous for it's family style chicken dinners.

1870's Pittsburg--Crawford County, the coal metropolis of Kansas was founded as a mining camp during the 1870's. Name that came from the coal region of Pennsylvania to the coal region of Kansas.

1870's--The Bender family lived on the road south from Independence in Montgomery County, halfway between the "Little House on the Prairie" and Independence, and near a land mark known as Bender Mounds. People disappeared on that road and they were never heard of again. Occasionally the Benders invited travelers to stay for dinner. These itinerants were then murdered and robbed of their valuables.

1870/1871--After the Civil War, many families came from Clermont County, Ohio and settled on the high prairie in what is now known as Ohio Township in the northwest part of Morris County. On their way, they laid over at Topeka where they met others from Clermont County, Ohio.

1871--Many Italian and other immigrants came to the coal mining region of southeast Kansas.
Crawford County: Arma, Bruce; Mulberry, Pittsburg, Litchfield.
Cherokee County: Stilson/Scammon, Wier City, West Mineral.

1871--About then coal mines were opened near Mulberry--Crawford County. This was also about the date of transition from the name Mulberry Grove to Mulberry.

15-Apr-1871 James Butler Hickok replaced Tom Smith as Marshal of Abilene.

Jul 1871--The Santa Fe Railroad extended its line to Newton, Kansas, which then succeeded Abilene as the terminus of the Chisholm Trail. The cattle boom at Newton only lasted a year for the railroad was soon extended to Wichita.

Aug 1871--During this period there was considerable violence in the saloons and dance halls at Newton, with nine men being shot down in one shootout.

1872--"Home on the Range" song words written in Smith County by Dr. Brewster M. Higley, M.D.

1872--Ellsworth succeeded Abilene as the northern terminus (shipping point) of the Texas cattle trail.

1872--A branch of the Santa Fe Railroad arrived at Wichita, and the town "busted-wide-open." A sign was erected at the outskirts of town proclaiming: "Everything goes in Wichita."

1872--When the Santa Fe Railroad was completed to the Colorado border, the days of the Santa Fe Trail as a main transportation route were over. Dodge City remained the cattle shipping point for 10 years.

1873--The Kaw Indians were removed from their reservation in Morris County to Oklahoma Territory, thus opening this land for white settlement.

1873/1874--German Mennonite immigration to Kansas and South Dakota from Russia. Southeast McPherson and adjoining Marion (Hillsboro), Harvey (Halstead-where they built a flour mill by the Little Arkansas River, North Newton), and Reno (Buhler-one of the oldest Mennonite Brethren churches in Kansas) counties became the home of German-Russian Mennonites.

1870s--Bethel College at Newton was founded by Swiss and German Mennonites from Russia; what is now the General Conference Mennonite Church.

Mar 1874--The Kansas legislature amended the state militia law. This allowed anyone who objected to military service on religious grounds to obtain release. All they had to do was sign a declaration of objection in the county clerk's office.

31 Jul/Sep 1874--Grasshopper plague (Rocky Mountain Locust) visited Kansas. The grasshopper invasion devastated crops (corn) in Kansas and many people lost nearly everything. Aid (clothes, provisions and money) was sent from the East to help the people get through the hard winter.

1874 Four Kansas Railroads shipped 122,914 head of Texas cattle in eight months.

1874/1875 -- Mennonites from Russia introduced Turkey Red wheat to Kansas.

Mid 1870's--Small western towns such as Catherine, Munjor, Pfeifer, Schoenchen and Liebenthal were founded in the middle 1870's by Volga Germans, German catholics who emigrated from Russia.

1875--The Kansas State Historical Society was organized.

1876--State legislature abolishes color distinction from Kansas law.

1878--By this time the buffalo, upon whose abundance the plains Indian's life and culture were wholly dependent, had disappeared from Kansas and was rapidly approaching total extinction.

1878--Robert Layton took advantage of the available fuel at Pittsburg, Crawford County and established a zinc smelter. Pittsburg became the center of the leading zinc-smelting area in the United States.

1878--Prag, a Czech Community in Rawlins County (P.O. located 7 miles below the forks of the Beaver River, near Ludell), is mentioned in a report submitted by Captain William G. Wedemeyer of the 16th Infantry, regarding losses suffered by settlers during the 1878 Cheyenne raid in Northwestern Kansas.

27 Sep 1878--Chiefs Dull Knife and Little Wolf of the Northern Cheyenne led their people in a rebellion and flight from confinement and starvation on the reservation in Oklahoma (Indian Territory) to their home lands in Yellowstone. The trek climaxed on 27 Sep 1878, when 284 braves, women and children made their final stand on the bluffs of Ladder Creek, now Beaver Creek, just south of Scott County State Park. This encounter with the U.S. Cavalry was the last Indian battle in Kansas. The site--Squaws Den Battleground--drew its name from the pit in which the women and children were placed after helping to dig rifle pits for the warriors. The breastworks the Indians dug to withstand the attack by soldiers are still visible.

1878--Western Kansas continued to have Indian problems until the last Indian raid in Decatur County, Kansas in 1878.

1878/1879--A colony of several hundred (Susquehanna) River Brethren from Pennsylvania arrived in the old-time corrupt cowtown of Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas. They brought with them fifteen carloads of household and farming equipment, and more than 500,000 dollars in cash. With this stuff they at once began to organize homes and fields on virgin land purchased from the Kansas Pacific Railroad.

1879--The prominent issue of the Kansas legislature was prohibition.

1880--An amendment to the Kansas Constitution approved by Kansas voters prohibited the manufacture, sale, or gift of all forms of intoxicating liquor. Kansas became the first state in the United States to pass this controversial amendment.

1880's--Carry A. Nation lived at Medicine Lodge before she began her crusade against liquor that took her to all parts of the United States and England.

1881--Bethany College of Lindsborg was founded by Swedish immigrants.

1881/1882--Most of the trail herds headed for Dodge City, another shipping point on the Santa Fe Railroad line.

1882--Dodge City was the "Cowboy Capital" of the West.

1883 Litchfield--Crawford County is listed as "located four miles northeast of New Pittsburg. It is a coal town in every sense, about 500 car loads of coal being shipped each month. There are here a post office, public school, a general store, a drug store, two blacksmith shops, a wagon shop and about 200 inhabitants" according to A. T. Andreas HISTORY OF THE STATE OF KANSAS in 1883.

30 Apr 1884--Several cowboys, including Henry Brown (later Caldwell City Marshall), attempted to rob a Medicine Lodge bank.

1884--Lane University was established in Lecompton and was attended by Ida Stover, President Eisenhower's mother.

1884--Haskell Indian Nations University was established in Lawrence.

1884/1885--The era of the great cattle drives ended when the Kansas Legislature, alarmed by the increase of the cattle disease called "Texas Fever" brought into the state by the Texas tick, passed legislation forbidding the importation of Texas cattle between March 1 and December 1, the season for the long drives.

1885--Last Texas cattle drive to Dodge City.

1886--Kansas Wesleyan University was built in Salina, Kansas.

1887--Susanna Medora Salter of Argonia was the first woman mayor in the United States to be elected in southeastern Kansas.

1887--while drilling a well, Sam Blanchard struck salt at 300 feet. Hutchinson has been built on top of one of the world's greatest salt deposits.

1888--Almost a dozen salt plants were in operation at Hutchinson.

1889--Mentholatum was invented by Albert Alexander Hyde of Wichita.

5 Oct 1892--The notorious Dalton Gang rode into Coffeyville, Montgomery County, Kansas and attempted to rob two banks, the Condon Bank and the First National Bank. They took about $25,000 in 12 minutes. A shootout followed which claimed the lives of eight men: the outlaws, Grat and Bob Dalton, Dick Broadwell and Bill Powers; and four Coffeyville residents, Charles T. Connelly, Coffeyville city marshal (killed by Grat Dalton in "Death Alley"), Lucius M. Baldwin, George B. Cubine and Charles Brown. Three other townsmen were wounded.

1894--Many companies organized to develop oil and gas fields in Kansas.

1895--Wichita State University in Wichita was founded as Fairmount College.

1896--West Mineral in Cherokee County was founded in 1896 as a mining town.

1898--Kansas enlists four regiments for service in the Spanish-American War.

1900--The last ethnic group to enter Kansas in large numbers was Spanish-speaking Mexicans, brought to the state as laborers for various Railroad companies. Numbering only 71 in 1900, their totals reached 13,570 in 1920 and 19,042 in 1930. Their primary population concentrations were in Railroad centers.

Early 1900's--Lilla Day Monroe was the president of the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association.

1903--The Kansas State Capitol building in Topeka was completed. It was constructed over a period of 37 years from 1866 to 1903, cost a total of $3.2 million. The French Renaissance style is constructed of native limestone.

1906--The Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth was completed.

1907-1908--The yellow brick road leads to Dorothy's House in Liberal, Kansas. It was buit in 1907-1908 and given to the Seward County Historical Society.

1911--On July 9, the Smoky Hill River was so low that farmers fished with pitchforks.

1911--Heavy snow over the state tied up Railroad transportation on December 30.

1912--Kansas votes complete suffrage for women; women gained the right to vote.

1913--KS oil production was 24,083 barrels. Of 2,174 holes drilled, only 483 were dry.

1914--President Wilson sent army units, including troops from Kansas, to aid in the protection of U.S. property and treaty rights concerning Mexico.

1914--Arthur Capper becomes first native Kansan elected to the office of Governor.

1915--Since 1915 when oil was discovered, El Dorado has boomed from a small town into a progressive city.

1915--Dwight D. EISENHOWER graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with the rank of second lieutenant.

1916--Kansas National Guard sent to the Mexican border.

1917--The Anti-Saloon League was the name of the group established that proved integral in preventing the sale of intoxicating liquors.

1917--Influenza epidemic.

1917--World War I brought an unprecedented boom in agriculture because of the demand for food from the warring nations of Europe. Thousands of previously uncultivated acres were planted in wheat.

1917--State Highway Commission created.

1917--Kansas had produced 25,402,521,000 cubic feet of natural gas in the past year, and 112 gas wells had been drilled.

1918--End of World War I--80,261 in war service from Kansas.

1918--Shortly after 1918 the population of Wichita nearly doubled when a great reservoir of oil was discovered nearby.

1920's--The business men of Wichita went to work attracting the aircraft industry.

1920--The O'Henry candy bar was invented by Tom Henry of Arkansas City. The candy bar was originally called "Tom Henry" but was changed later when Mr. Henry sold the rights to his candy bar to a candy factory.

1921--Amelia Earhart made her first solo flight.

1923--Amelia Earhart, a native of Atchison, became the first woman to be granted a pilot's license by the National Aeronautic Association.

1924--The handkerchief-dress craze hit Kansas. At Atchison over 250 dozen red and blue bandanas were sold to women who made dresses of them.

1925--Forestry, Fish and Game Commission organized.

1925--Walter P. Chrysler, son of Henry Chrysler, was born in Wamego and grew up in Ellis, Kansas. At Ellis Walter P. Chrysler received his public school education and learned his trade as a machinist. He was an industrialist who established the Chrysler Motors corporation in 1925.

1925--Walter Anderson, Wichita, one of the founders of the White Castle eating houses and known as the "Hamburger King," operated 22 White Castles. He bought the first one in Wichita with a loan of $60.

1927--The Cigarette Tax was the first sales tax to be imposed by the 1927 Kansas legislature.

1927--The state flag of Kansas was first displayed at Fort Riley by Gov. Ben Paulen in the presence of troops from Fort Riley and the Kansas National Guard. The official state flag of Kansas was adopted by Legislature in 1927 and revised in 1961 with Great Seal and Crest symbolizing Kansas history.

1928--Charles Curtis, U. S. Senator from Kansas, is elected Vice President of the United States under Herbert Hoover.

1928--One-seventh of the world's wheat crop, 12,400,000 acres, was grown in KS.

1929--Mrs. T.T. Solander was the first woman to become a Kansas State Senator.

1930--Clyde Tombaugh was a Burdette astronomer. He discovered the planet Pluto in 1930.

1930s--The previously uncultivated land (thousands of acres), planted to supply warring nations of Europe during World War I, was allowed to lay fallow during the recession of the 1920s, and became part of the "dust bowl" of the 1930s.

1931--Record KS wheat crop of 240 million bushels.

1932--Alfred M. Landon elected Governor.

1932--Kathryn O'Laughlin, first congresswoman elected to respresent Kansas.

1934--Landon is the only Republican governor reelected in the nation.

1936--New oil fields developed in western KS.

1936--Alfred M. Landon ran for president of the U.S. losing to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1938--The first Rural Electric Association (REA) line in Kansas was put up in Brown county.

1939--World War II creates demand for food and prices for Kansas farm products begin to rise.

Jul 1943--A German prisoner of war (POW) camp was built in Concordia during World War II.

1942/1943--A German prisoner of War (POW) camp was built in Peabody during World War II. These German POW's built Peabody Park where fireworks are annually displayed 4th of July. These German POW's also worked for many of the area farms as well.

1950--Over 30,000 producing oil wells in KS.

1951--Flood of 1951.

1950s Virgil Coffer of Ransom, Ness County, Kansas invented the first riding lawn mover, called the Virginia Wonder Mower. Virgil rode the mover from coast to coast to advertise it. His son continued the business, and it was sold several times. A riding mower is still produced in Ransom, Kansas.

1952/1953--Dwight D. EISENHOWER becomes first Kansan to be elected as President of the United States.

1954--Brown vs. the Board of Education in Topeka was a historical and controversial case taken to the United States Supreme Court.

1954--Autopilot was invented by David D. Blanton of Wichita.

25 May 1955--Tornado at Udall caused 83 deaths. 1956--The 236 mile Kansas Turnpike is completed from Kansas City to Wichita.

1957--Flood of 1957.

Nov 1957--Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery opened at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. The Sandzen Gallery was built through the efforts of his son-in-law, Charles Pelham Greenough.

1958--Second largest wheat crop in history brings cash receipts of over one billion dollars to KS farmers and ranchers.

10 Jun 1958 -- A tornado that hit El Dorado, Kansas, Butler County caused 15 deaths along with 50 injuries.

1960--The Coleman Company was the largest user of sheet steel between the Mississippi and the Rockies.

29 Jan 1961--KS Statehood Centennial Celebration begins a second century of even greater accomplishments.

1961--Wichita, Kansas is known as the "Air Capital of America."

1961--The ICEE machine, the first frozen carbonated drink machine, was invented by Omar Kneclik of Coffeyville.

1961--The world's largest and longest wheat elevator is located at Hutchinson at the largest primary hard wheat market in our nation.

1963--Big Brutus was built at a plant near Hallowell, Cherokee County, Kansas in 1963. West Mineral, Cherokee County, Kansas home of Big Brutus. Costs and the fact that the EPA declared that the strip mine coal had too much sulphur and therefore stopped its use. Big Brutus was retired in 1974 and became a museum.

18 Jun 1966--Topeka, Kansas was hit by a tornado, killing 17. 550 people were injured when this F5 tornado hit Topeka.

1969--President Dwight D. Eisenhower died.


21 Feb 1971 Leon, Little Walnut Township, Butler County, Kansas

"A Cry for Help"

Following on the heels of really mild weather for this time of year, one of the worst snow storms in the history of this area hit suddenly Sunday morning at about nine o'clock.

U.S. Highway 54 had reached the impassable point. About 100 motorists were abruptly stranded by a snow drift on Highway K-96 a mile south of Leon, Kansas. Everyone thought they "could beat the blizzard to Wichita."

Minister David Chinn, Mrs. Tom Bohon, Mrs. Paul Seward, Mrs. Louis Seward, Mrs. Virginia Matson and Grace Petitt got the Leon United Methodist church ready for 100 overnight guests. They set to the task of collecting food and blankets and other items required for the stranded travelers. Members of the Christian and Baptist Church congregations and others in the community came to the aid of the Methodists. Roy Davis opened the Hogue Grocery Store and Terry Beaumont opened the Leon Locker and Market where additional foods and other necessary commodities were available.

Leon mechanic Jean Matson (wrecker) with employee Alfred Gannon and church custodian Fred Burton (van) headed rescue efforts. They towed in 25 snowbound cars to the parking lot of the United Methodist Church.

About 72 stranded motorists sought refuge from the storm in the Leon United Methodist Church and area residences (six at Sears', one at Hadleys') until the storm subsided Monday (with an estimated total of twelve inches) and the roads cleared midmorning Tuesday.

Source: Nation, Carol. "Leon Rescues, Warms Up Cold Bunch of Refugees." The Wichita Eagle-Beacon. Wednesday, February 24, 1971.
Source: "Rallied to the Aid of Travelers Stranded by Unexpected Snow Storm." The Leon News. Thursday, February 25, 1971.


1976--Bob Dole was a Kansas leader who ran for Vice President of the United States.

1978--Nancy Landon Kassebaum was the first Kansas woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate for a full term.

1982--Tom Docking carried on his father's political legacy by becoming elected as Lt. Governor.

1982--Sam Hardage was a Wichita businessperson who was unsuccessful in his attempt to become elected Governor.

27 May 1983 -- Spotted tornadoes north of Cimarron, Gray County, Kansas during Spring storm
The Jacksonian 1 Jun 1983:
"It rained and hailed in isolated areas, and several tornadoes touched down on the ground north of Cimarron Friday afternoon. The warning whistles blew in town at 4:40 pm. after tornadoes spotted about eight miles north of town. According to Gray County Sheriff's Department there was no structural damage from the tornadoes."

1986--KS produced 421,540,000 bushels of wheat.

1988--Kansas Jayhawks won the Final Four.

1989--The Berlin wall came down.

13 Mar 1990--A large F5 tornado went through Hesston, Harvey County and other Kansas towns. It was on the ground for more than two hours. It was at times over a half-mile wide. It caused millions of dollars of damage and two deaths outside of Hesston.

13 Mar 1990--A tornado cut a 500-yard path of destruction through western Sumner County the evening of Tuesday, March 13, 1990.

1990--Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia.

17 Jan 1991--The air strike on Iraq in Operation Desert Storm.

28 Feb 1991 Cease-fire announced in Gulf War.

26 Apr 1991--Wichita/Andover. This F5 tornado was on the ground for about 70 miles, from Clearwater in south-central Kansas to Cassoday in northern Butler County. It was on the ground for about 50 minutes. The killer tornado destroyed 1,120 houses, damaging 571 more, injured 302 and left twenty dead.

15 Jun 1991--Hoch Auditorium burned at Kansas University.

1991--The end of the U.S.S.R. (Soviet Union)

7 May 1993--Tornado in Russell County causes one death.

Jun/Jul 1993--The Flood of 1993. Flood gates were opened at Milford Res. (Republican River) and Tuttle Creek Res. (Big Blue River). Flooding on Smoky Hill River. 11 Jul 1993 marked the beginning of the Flood in Kansas City.
***In Kansas, 4.6 million acres of farmland -- nearly one-fifth of the state's total farm acreage -- were damaged or destroyed. Crop losses total more than $434 million, and 53,000 farmers were affected.
***In Kansas, the flood caused more than $19 million in damage to state, county and city roads, and bridges.
***In Kansas, there was 1 death, more than $475 million estimated property and crop damage, 13,000 people evacuated, 3,414 homes damaged, 4.6 million acres flooded, and 46 counties declared federal disaster areas.
[Source: Kansas City Star 11 Jul 1993 & 22 Aug 1993; contributor: Linda S. Lipp]

Apr 1994--Stand-off ended in Waco, TX between Branch Davidion and F.B.I.

19 Apr 1995--Bombing of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

1996--Fort Hays State University, Division II national basketball champs, record of 34-0.

1996--Bob Dole, Kansas Senator, retired from the U.S. Senate.

1996--Bob Dole, from Russell, Kansas, ran for President of the United States.

22 Oct 1996--Unexpected snowstorm hit Kansas City area. 8 inches of snow fell in Overland Park, the largest snowfall ever in the month of October. Most of the trees still had their leaves; the branches could not handle the weight of the heavy wet snow. Downed trees limbs and power lines were everywhere. Over 170,000 homes in the Kansas City area were without power. Power restoration to residents took close to a week. The clean-up of tree limbs took much longer (December in Overland Park and March in Kansas City, MO). [contributor: Linda Lipp]

3 May 1999--F4 tornado hits Haysville then Wichita in Sedgwick County causing five deaths and many injuries.


Kansas Timeline Sources

Barry, Louise. The Beginning of the West - Annals of the Kansas Gateway to the American West (1540-1854). Topeka: Kansas State Historical Society, 1972.

Bowe, Richard J. Historical Album of Kansas. Wichita: THE GARVEY FOUNDATION. 1961.

Cutler, William G. "History of the State of Kansas" Publ. by A. T. Andreas. Chicago. 1883 (Kansas Collection)

Dary, David. True Tales of Old-Time Kansas. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1984.

Davis, Kenneth S. Kansas - A History. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. 1984.

Dennis, Matt. Kansas Tornado Chasers. http://www.mattdennis.com/skywarn/ 5/5/1999. Fitzgerald, Daniel. Ghost Towns of Kansas -- A Traveler's Guide. University Press of Kansas. 1988.

Gallaway, Dorothy L. DWIGHT, KANSAS - THE FIRST 100 YEARS (1887-1987)

Green, Charles R. "Early Days in Kansas, Pioneer Narratives of the First 25 years of Kansas History." 5 volumes. Olathe, Kansas. March, 1912; information provided by Bonnie Bunce 18-NOV-1994.

Midwest Research Institute. The Capper/MRI Quick-Fact Book of Kansas. Topeka: Capper Press. 1990.

Parsons, Kurt. Kansas Trivia. Wichita: KDS Publications. 1984.

Rydjord, John. Kansas Place-Names. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1972.


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