Jump to Navigation

Bypaths of Kansas History - August 1941

(Vol. 10, No. 3), pages 324 to 330.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.


From the Daily Missouri Republican, Saint Louis, May 28, 1842.

The Steamer Edna, Capt. Martin, arrived here on Sunday evening, from Weston, Missouri river, having on board 931 Sacks of wheat, 95 barrels of do, 48 hogsheads of tobacco, 169 coils of rope, 228 bales of hemp, 20 barrels hemp seed, &c. &c., and 28 deck and 36 cabin passengers.

The following memoranda may be interesting, as giving some idea of a trip 500 miles down the Missouri.

Weston is above Ft. Leavenworth, and, with the exception of the beginning of a Settlement called Iatan, it is the westernmost town of the state. It contains at present about 400 inhabitants, and has been settled about three years, on public land never yet brought into market for Sale. It is Situated in the elbow of a bend of the river, on the north bank, between two rocky bluffs; has amongst others, several good looking frame buildings, and is probably as busy a place for its size, as any in the country. No soil can, in any part of the world, be richer than that of Platte county, in which it is Situated. The county is well settled, and this whole country is settled up to the western line of the state, and even to the western line of Iowa territory north. Wheat, hemp, tobacco and corn thrive well here, and extensive preparations are making for a large crop of hemp next season, in all this Section. The drought of the current year, which has continued the whole season, until last week, has materially retarded the growth of the wheat and hemp. Opposite Weston dwell the Kickapoo Indians, in a country as attractive as any yet settled by civilized man. Immediately above Weston, in the river, you observe bristling up almost a forest of snags, apparently obstructing steamboat navigation. Yet boats ascend nearly 2,000 miles above!

The boat left Weston, Tuesday, 17, 4 o'clock, P. M. Stopped at Fort Leavenworth, the most beautiful spot on the banks of the Missouri. It i8 protected from the encroachments of this turbulent river by a natural wall of limestone, and occupies an eminence visible for several miles on the west and east. There is but one company of soldiers there at present, under the command of Capt. Swords.

Below the cantonment, observed upon the bank, Several Indians of the Stockbridge tribe, originally from the Western part of Massachusetts. They dwell just below the cantonment, on lands said to belong to the Delawares, and have the reputation of being a religious and orderly people. Their claims are now before a committee of congress.

Passed two "Mackinaw boats" loaded with peltries, followed by a canoe filled with half naked Indians from the mountains.

Wednesday, 18th.-Owing to the numberless Snags and sandbars in the river, the boats do not deem it prudent to run in the night, therefore "hauled up" for the night at Independence, upper landing. During a powerful shower of rain which overtook us in the morning at Liberty, an Indian of the Pottawattamie tribe came on board, and broke down the front door of the social hall. shivering it to atoms. He was knocked down forthwith in return, and carried out on Shore, stunned, but not killed.




From the Fort Scott Monitor, November 20, 1867, and Memoirs and Recollections of C. W. Goodlander of the Early Days of Fort Scott (Fort Scott, 1900), pp. 111-113.

The dance and Supper given by the "Pioneers of '57," last Thursday evening, Was the gayest party held in Fort Scott for a long while. It was a reunion of the old advance guard of civilization and settlement, coupled with a general invitation to all who wished to join them in the festivities of the occasion, and was gotten up "on the spur of the moment," yet a very large and enthusiastic crowd assembled to enjoy the dance; and more than that, to partake of the boasted "game Supper," which, to Say the least, was a sumptuous one, out-rivaling, as their bill of fare shows, any first-class hotel on the continent. The supper was prepared at the Wilder House, under the supervision of Chas. Dimon, Esq., the proprietor, and was perfection itself. Most of the wild game was killed by a party of hunters composed principally of the settlers or pioneers of '57. The following is the bill of fare as "dished up" at the Wilder House

Wilder House.
Fort Scott, Kansas, Nov. 14, 1867.


Twelve O'clock Supper.


Oyster. 160; Colbert.


Baked Black Bass. 160; Broiled Red-horse.


Broiled Leg of Mutton, Caper sauce;
Wild Turkey, Braised, with Oysters;
Ham, Champagne Sauce;
Broiled Prairie Chicken, Parsley sauce;
Rib of Antelope, a la Regeance;
Buffalo Tongue.


Chaudfroid of Faisant, a ]a Parisienne.
Pattress de foie Gras, with jelly.
Bastion of Rabbits, a la Shiloh.
Bear Tongue, a la Carlotta.
Boned Turkey, decorated with jelly.
Boned Partridge, a la Pawnee.
Brandt, ornamented with jelly.
Sunfish au Beurre, de Montpelier.



Rissoles of Jack Snipe, a la Pompadour.
Fillet of Curlew, a la Rouenaise.
Civit of Venison, with Port wine.
Fillet of Wild Goose, a la Marmaton.
Fillet of Teal Duck, a la Drywood.
Fillet of Plover, a la Prairie.
White Crane Salad, a l'Osage.
Woodcock Fricasee, a la Wolverine.
Noix of Fawn, a la Balltown.
Coon Chops, a la Marais des Cygnes.
Sweet-bread, a la Toulouse.


Beef, Wild Turkey, Killdeer,
Buffalo, Saddle Venison, Gray Squirrel,
Gray Duck, Fox Squirrel, Sage Hen,
Goose, Wood Duck, Crane,
Mallard, Red-head Duck, Black Bear,
Brandt, Canvas-back Duck, Gray Duck,
Opossum, with Persimmon Jelly, Butter-ball Duck.


Persimmon Pyramid, Cocoanut Pyramid,
American Dessert, Cantelope rum sauce,
Mince Pie, Strawberry Ice Cream,
Dewberry Jelly, Champagne Jelly,
Pumpkin Pie, Pretzels,
Paw-Paw Pie, Horn of Plenty.


Wild Fox Grapes, Black Walnuts,
Hazel Nuts, Butter Nuts,
Bush Cherries, Paw Paws,
Pecans,Apples, Coffee.


Robinson & Co.'s Dry Verzenay.
J. Sattler & Co.'s Green Seal Imperial.
C. H. Haynes' Royal Rose.
Van Fossen Bros! Gold Seal.


Linn & Stadden's Sillery Mouseaux.
A. McDonald & Bro's. Monopale.
J. S. Redfield & Co.'s Dry Sillery.
Dr. J. H. Couch's Verzenay.
Dr. B. F. Hepler's Cabinet.
J. S. Redfield & Co.'s Imperial.


Table, Medoc, Floirac, (D. Marie & Freres and Brandenburg,
Freres), St. Julien, Chateau, Leoville, (first quality)
Chateau Margux, Chateau Yquem, Chateau Lafitte, Chateau

California Wine.

Angelica, Los Angelos Vintage.
California Port, Muscatel and Hock.

Kansas Wine.

Southern Kansas Wine Co.
Imperial, W. T. Campbell's Vintage. Sparkling Catawba,
Spring River Vineyard. H. B. Hart's Seedling "Bergunday."
Still Catawba, (very still, no noise).

Ale and Porter.

Hack's Imported (Leavenworth) Ale.
Newberry's London Porter.

Another notable Kansas menu was prepared for the state legislature in Topeka on January 22, 1872, when Grand Duke Alexis of Russia was honored with a banquet at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. The duke, third surviving son of Alexander II, czar of Russia, was touring the United States by special train. He went west from Omaha on a buffalo-hunting trip, and visited Denver before returning east over the Kansas Pacific (now the Union Pacific) via Topeka. The official party included: Vice Admiral Possiet, Lieutenants Karl Tudor and Stordegraff of the Russian Imperial navy; W. T. Machin, chancellor of state; Count Olsenfieff; - - Bodisco, consul general of Russia to the United States, and - - Shuveloff, secretary of the legation. On the Plains the United States was represented by Gen. P. H. Sheridan, Gen. George A. Custer, Col. M. V. Sheridan, and Col. George A. Forsyth. After visiting the legislature, then in session, the duke returned to the hotel for the dinner. This is the "Bill of Fare" as printed in The Kansas Daily Commonwealth, January 23, 1872:




Oyster, a la Possiet, Chicken, with Rice.


Boiled White Fish, a la Maitre d'Hotel.


Pressed Corned Beef, Leg of Mutton, Caper Sauce,
Chicken, Egg Sauce, Ham, Pickled Pork, Tongue.


Corn Beef, Pork, Chicken Salad, Ham, Lobster Salad, Calf's Tongue.


Chow-chow, Pickled Lilly, Mixed Pickles, Cauliflower,
Gherkins, Club Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce,
Pickled Oysters, Celery, Cheese.


Buffalo, Rabbit, Venison, Moose, Squirrel, Elk, Bear, Quail,
Duck, Turkey, Prairie Chicken, Antelope.


Chicken Wings, Fricassed,
Queen Fritters, a la Princess,
Pigs Feet, Breaded,
Scalloped Oysters, a la Stanton,
Quail on Toast,
Rabbits, a la Chasseur,
Tenderloin of Beef, a la Royal,
Oyster Patties, a la Rhine,
Macaroni, aux Graton,
Rice Croquettes, with Jelly,
Prince Albert Pancakes, with Quince Jelly,
Platons [?] of Chicken Liver, a la Bonaparte,
Haricot of Mutton, a la Bourgoise,
Squirrel, Crumbled and Fried,
Deviled Ham, a la Italienne.


Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Leg of Mutton,
Mallard Duck, a la Mateloite, Ribs of Beef,
Chicken, Oyster Dressing, Buffalo, Brown Sauce,
Ham, Champagne Sauce, Antelope, Grape Jelly,
Elk, Currant Jelly.



Boiled Potatoes, Green Peas, String Beans,
Parsnips, Lima Beans, Tomatoes, Hominy,
Mashed Potatoes, Brown Potatoes, Cabbage,
Mashed Turnips, Succotash, Corn.


Plum Pie, Strawberry Pie, Mince Pie, Peach Pie,
Pound Cake Pudding, Cranberry Tarts, Fruit Cake, Ornamented,
Cranberry Pie, Gold Cake, Jelly Roll, Pound Cake,
Iced and Ornamented,
Drop Kisses, Cocoanut Tops,
Rose Jelly Cake, Lady Fingers,
Silver Cake, Marble Cake, Leopard Cake.


Vanilla Ice Cream, Almonds, Oranges, Pecans,
Apples, Wine Jelly, Crab Apple Jelly, Brandy Jelly,
Quince Jelly. French Coffee, Tea.


From the Junction City Union, July 8, 1871.

There is a row of saloons on the Kansas Pacific railway called Hays City. Having visited the place, we Should call it the Sodom of the plains. Its history has been written, but never believed. We have remarked that its history has been written. In this we are mistaken. Only a faint glimmering of its wickedness has been put on record. The whole Story of that town no man knoweth. Were the dead that sleep on the lonely hill behind the city to get up from their graves, they might be able to give reminiscences of the place, that would cause the hairs of the head to Stand on end, and the blood to curdle in its natural channels. There are living witnesses, to whom we have listened, who can draw back the awful veil that hides them, and reveal to the understanding, acts of fiendish inhumanity too black to relate. It has been the rendezvous of thieves and robbers, of murderers and accomplished villains. The tale of its existence is a grand series of tragedies. But many of those desperadoes who have made Hays City a Synonym of iniquity, and wreathed the laurels in its garland of infamy, lie buried near the spot where their diabolical crimes were committed. They have ceased to howl, and no more disturb their fellow men in the peaceful walks of life.

Its saloons, as we have observed, are among its chief attractions. On entering one, you are astonished at the warlike appearance of the place, as it looks more like an arsenal than a bar room. The adroitness with which the skilled barkeepers there handle their weapons is a marvel. When a noisy crowd enters, the keeper of the arsenal retreats gracefully behind his fortifications, and "smiles blandly upon his baffled pursuers." He is surrounded with a halo of knives and pistols, and Strikes an attitude of defiance among the


spigots. Immediately upon the least sign of hostile demonstrations, he displays his skill as a marksman upon some unfortunate victim, and taking a piece of chalk in his hand, turns lithely to the french plate mirror at his back, and writes in large letters, "to be continued." This exhibition of trained dexterity wins for him the reputation of a "thorough-bred," and one not to be trifled with. Such Scenes made up the daily routine of life there, in the days of Wild Bill, sometimes called William Severe, and they are yet frequently repeated in commemoration of the ancient chivalry of the city.

It was our fortune to be in this fortress of Sin on the Fourth of July, and we believe its people, or the people that were in it, did more celebrating to the Square inch, than in any one town in the country. To Say that the town was distracted on that day, or rather on that night, would be using a very tame phrase: The ball opened at early candlelight, and kept rolling until the stars had sunk from the heavens. The boys in blue fought their battles in the streets of the town with all their ancient vigor and vehemence. They seemed to revel in riot and dissipation. The soiled doves joined in the drunken carnival, and gave to the scenes of violence rather a thrilling and terrible cast. Strange to say nobody was killed. This fact is almost miraculous, and will be deemed a mistake by old residenters.

Thus have we endeavored to give a brief sketch of Hays City by lamp light, though feeling that no pen can do it justice. On leaving it, we do not esteem it blasphemy to bid adieu in the following words addressed to the city of London, by Alexander Pope, one of the greatest of English poets "Dear, damn, distracted town, farewell!"

Among those who celebrated at this far-off city of the plains, was Lord Campbell, brother of the Marquis of Lorne, who was recently married to the princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria. This illustrious young nobleman has been making a trip through the great West, and evidently enjoyed everything, especially hunting buffalo and celebrating the Fourth of July.

At the camp of the Sixth cavalry, about two miles from the city, on the classic banks of Big creek, everything glimmered like a sunbeam, and the fun and good times among the boys seemed to have no limit. Here it was our good fortune to meet Messrs. Ruggles, Keenan, and Hoffman, who were all as happy as a bundle of Sun flowers. They welcomed us to their pavillion, which was well Stored with the wherewithal to celebrate. String bands, brass bands, and bands that played on no instruments, either with strings, or of brass, gave spice and variety to the "day's doings" Towards the wee small hours, the vocalists, who were Serenading, sang at a high pitch, for the benefit of those living in Hays City. The officer of the day interviewed them, not that he would deprive the youths of their innocent amusement, but because military discipline had certain regulations that could not be overlooked.

We had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Loring, who was formerly Stationed at Fort Riley, and is now With the Sixth cavalry near Fort Hays.


From the Kansas State Record, Topeka, September 20, 1871.

The prairie fire had to be fought in the streets of Parsons the other night.