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Pony Express History

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

Because of its effort to speedily deliver mail over great distances, the Pony Express has gained a glamorous and romantic history, though it operated less than a year and a half (April 1860 - October 1861).

Pony Express riders carried mail in relays. Each rider rode about thirty-three miles, changing horses twice, about every eleven (10 to 15) miles, after leaving his home station. The entire one-way trip required ten days.

More than 125 miles of the eastern end of the Pony Express Route was in Kansas. The twice-a-week deliveries each way found the riders on this section carrying the mail at an average speed of ten miles an hour. The Kansas section of the route had 11 stations.

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