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Bypaths of Kansas History - November 1947

(Vol. 14 No. 4), pages 404 to 405.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

Kansas Historical Quarterly, November 1947


From The Weekly Free Press, Atchison, November 9, 1867.

GREASY.-When the passenger train on the C. B. U. P. R. R., yesterday morning reached the vicinity of Monrovia the wheels of the engine began to slide so that further progress up the grade was difficult. After using all the usual appliances in such cases, and spending some hours in attempts to climb the grade, the train ran back about three miles, put on all steam, and succeeded in making the ascent. The rails had been thoroughly greased by somebody. A notice in another place offers a reward for the detection of the offenders.


Five hundred dollars reward will be paid for the detection, arrest and conviction of the party or parties implicated in obstructing the train at Monrovia, on Friday, November 1st, 1867. CENTRAL BRANCH U. P. R. R. ATCHISON, Kan., Nov. 2d, 1867.

From The Western Observer, Washington, May 26, 1870.

A few days ago, as we were going south by rail, we saw a little incident on the cars which demonstrates the craftiness of the gentler sex, and particularly the business capacity of the one under whose management the conductor was so nicely beaten out of a hundred miles ride. A family, consisting of a mother, a boy 14 years, and a girl under 12 years, took the M. R. Ft. S. & G. cars at Kansas City, for Fort Scott. The family were Irish, and evidently of the poorest class. On the entrance of the conductor to collect fares, the boy slid off his seat and hid himself under the skirts of his mother and sister, and when the conductor had passed through the car, he again emerged to view. This concealment was repeated after stopping at every station, and was so deftly performed that the boy stole his ride to Fort Scott, and left the cars with his mother and sister without once attracting the notice of the conductor. This little bit of bye-play afforded much amusement to the passengers, and led to the discussion of the question whether it is any part of the duty of a conductor to hunt among the drapery of his lady passengers, in search for possible stowaways.-Atchison Patriot.


John Speer in The Kansas Weekly Tribune, Lawrence, January 13, 1870.

To a person unacquainted with French the name of the noted Marais des Cygnes is a jawbreaker to pronounce or spell. As we first came into Kansas on the old California road, we met a farmer with his team about half way between here and Kansas City, and made various inquiries about different



portions of the country, to which he responded that he considered the Marais des Cygnes the best he had seen. "How do you spell it?" we asked, taking out our note book. "Well, there," he replied, "I cannot tell you." But we had to spell it; and how does the reader suppose we did it? Finding that old memorandum book, a few days ago, we saw the name as we wrote it fifteen years ago: "Merry Dezine." We have the satisfaction that we were not the only man who could not spell that name, for, by reference to the old New York Tribune files, we observe the learned Kansas correspondent of that journal spelled it "Merodesin." Why cannot the hard names be anglicized?


From the White Cloud Kansas Chief, February 3, 1870.

BOUND TO MAKE THE RIFFLE: Last week, a young married couple, bound this way, on their wedding tour, reached the opposite bank of the river, when the owner of the conveyance would not venture to cross on the ice. The young man was bound not to be put back, so he came over and got a buggy, pulled it across himself, put his bride in, and came trotting back in shafts as if he were used to it!


From the Weekly Champion & Press, Atchison, July 2, 1870.

The Delaware Indian word for love is "schmelendamowitchewagan."


From the Wichita Eagle, May 22, 1873.

The Big Arkansas river has been slowly rising for several days. The stockholders of the big bridge [at Wichita] are anxiously praying for a continuation of the rise. For nearly seven months the river has been fordable, and the way that big corporation is wanting to sell out is amusing.

From the Eagle, June 12, 1873.

Belle Plain has built a free bridge across the Nennescah, but the teamsters tell us that near one end of the bridge there is a slough in the road; said road is fenced, and that the owners of the fenced land charge teamsters ten cents for the privilege of driving through their field, in order to avoid the slough and reach the bridge.