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Jesse Chisholm & Chief Left Hand Graves Grave Site 35.740488531899615, -98.35947722196579 Jesse Chisholm Born in Tennessee in 1805 of Scottish and Cherokee descent, Jesse Chisholm came to Indian Territory in the 1820's for 40 years he operated trading posts near Asher, Purcell Watonga and Okla. City. Also a guide, freighter, interpreter, salt works owner and peacemaker. Few men in the territories were so well known by the Indian. Due to this part of his freighting route became know as the Chisholm trail. He died on March 4, 1868 after eating bear meat cooked in a copper kettle and was buried near Left Hand Spring Allotment of his old friend Chief Left Hand NE of present Geary the inscription on his grave. No one left his home cold or hungry, is a tribute to the character of this rugged individual. Source - Photo - Carleta Latham
Pat Hennessey's Gravesite Historic Placard,Grave Site 36.1156, -97.9021 This marks the place on Chisholm Trail where during the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian. Pat Hennessey A government freighter, was massacred, July 4, 1876, by white outlaws, masked as Indians. His grave lies nearby. The town of Hennessey was named in his honor. Directions From US 81 turn left onto OK 51 go to North Arapaho Street turn south park should be on Left side of road. Source -
Silver City Cemetery - Tuttle, OK Historic Placard N 35° 19.700 W 097° 49.036 Silver City, was located just south of the Canadian River, where the Chisholm Trail crossed. It is known, that a Mexican family lived nearby and sold quirts (stock whips) to the cowboys before 1880. William Ward, a cowboy, was shot in 1876, in a gunfight and was the first one to be buried in the Silver City Cemetery. In 1890, the Rock Island Railroad extended it tracks south of the river and the citizens of Silver City migrated to Minco and Silver city died out. All that is left of Silver City is the well kept cemetery surrounded by farms, oil wells, and cattle. 6/10 mile from the section line on the southern side of section 22, T10N, R6W I.M. source - Photo by Carleta Latham
Red Fork Ranch Historic Placard 35°59'10.1"N 97°54'31.4"W The Red Fork Trail ranch house stood about a half mile to the south of this location now marked by a granite monument on Red Fork Street. The image above was drawn by Adolph Hunnius in 1876 a surveyor (Courtesy of the Kansas State Historical Society). After the cattle trail became well established, trail ranches sprang up in various locations along the trail. Especially in Indian Territory. Here, the Trailing herds could stop and rest. The cattle could easily be contained in pens, and the drovers could enjoy basic amenities. The Red Fork Ranch is one of the best known and documented of these ranches. During the height of the trail season, tens of thousands of cattle could be found bedded down nearby, in addition to the drovers. Travelers along the military road: stage coach passengers, teamsters driving heavy freight wagons, army patrols, and Indians. Generally, the cattle road ran along the east side of the ranch, with the military and stage road along the west. Source - Photo - Carleta Latham
Chisholm Trail Boulder - Tuttle Historic Placard 35.29107, -97.81194 1870 - 1931 This Boulder Marks The Chisholm Trail Site of Silver City trading post,first school,and pioneer burying ground, two miles North. Dedicated to Ranchmen,cowboys,early setters and their descendants. Sponsored by Chickasha Chapt. National society Daughters of the American Revolution. Directions West edge of Tuttle, OK on the right side of road in front of the American Legion building. On OK 37 Source - Photo - Carleta Latham
Chisholm Trail - Yukon Historic Placard 35.493584, -97.757951 Over this spot passed the vast herds of longhorned cattle from the ranges of Texas to the railroads in Kansas. It was in 1867 that the first herd came up this trail on the way to the nearest railroad loading yards in Abilene, Kansas. Jesse Chisholm, an Oklahoma part - Cherokee Indian trader, soon after the Civil War, laid out a trail for his freight wagons that reached approximately from the Arkansas River in Kansas to the north Canadian River in Oklahoma. In time the entire Trail from southern Texas to northeastern Kansas took the name "Chisholm" after the man who had laid out the major part existing when the drives began. In the twenty years of its use millions of beeves were driven up this route, making it the greatest cattle trail of all time. Oklahoma Historical Society 1965 Directions I-40 take Garth Brooks north pass the Wal-Mart Supercenter, turn on W. Vandament on the north side of road. Yukon, OK Source - no photo source listed.
Cowboy Camp Springs Historic Placard 35.493584, -97.757951 This pond is the site of an important watering hole used by drovers as they passed through this area on the way to the railheads in Kansas. Created by the confluence of two natural springs, it has been used for hundreds of years by Indians, buffalo, and other wildlife. The pure, clean water made a perfect location for cowboy campsites. The cattle themselves were watered nearby on the North Canadian River just to the north. The present pond was built in the 1930's by the Work Program Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps. Directions I-40 take Garth Brooks north pass the Wal-Mart Supercenter, turn on W. Vandament on the north side of road. Yukon, OK Source - no photo credit listed.
Monument at Spencer Park - Yukon, OK Historic Placard 35.493584, -97.757951
Cimarron River Crossing the Trail Junction Historic Placard 35.95660, -97.90050 The Abilene Cattle Trail crossed the Cimarron directly before you. About a mile west, the Fort Sill - Arkansas City wagon road. The western variant of the cattle trail through Ft. Reno and the The Darlington Agency, crossed the Cimarron. A short distance north of the river, the two trails joined just before reaching the Red Fork Ranch as they continued northward. Some 50 miles south, before crossing the south Canadian River, The Abilene Trail split. The mail trail continued almost due north to this location. But a western variant developed that ran to Fort Reno and the Darlington Indian Agency. Drovers wanting to sell beef to the Fort and the Indian Agency took this route as a detour as they headed north to the railheads. Directions First road to the east after you cross the Cimarron River Bridge OK 81 highway, 1 mile and Right side of road. South edge of Dover, OK Source - Photo - Carleta Latham
Chisholm Trail Crossing - Duncan, OK Historic Placard 34.492133, -97.909215 At this point you are crossing Old Chisholm Trail over which the great cattle herds were driven from Texas to Kansas. From 1867 to 1889. This marker erected by the Kiwanis club of Duncan, Oklahoma 1936. Reconstructed in 1986. Directions Highway 7 on the south edge of Duncan, OK. East to Eastland Dr. take first road east (Old Highway 7) go 2 miles marker is on north side of road. Source -
Baker's Ranch Historic Placard 36.03388, -97.53971 Site one-half mile west, this ranch station, noted watering place on the Old Chisholm Trail, was attacked in the last Indian war and found deserted a few days later, July 5m 1874, by Indian Agent J. D. Miles who asked for U. S. Cavalry to guard the trail in this section. This site was laid out in 1890 as Baker City, a ghost town now. Directions Located 2 miles south of Hennessey, OK on Highway 81 on the west side of road. Source -
Buffalo Springs Trading Post and Ranch Historic Placard 36.2175, -97.8883 One half mile due west of the location stood Buffalo Springs Trading Post, Ranch, and Stagecoach stand. This sketch of the ranch was made by Adolph Hunnius. A surveyor, in 1876. Buffalo Springs was a well - used stop for drovers and herds along this western trail variant. it was from this location that the ill - fated Hennessey Party departed on July 4, 1874. Headed south along the Ft. Sill - Arkansas City wagon road despite warning of Indian hostilities in the area. A few miles south, the Party was attacked and killed. Directions On U.S. Highway 81, one and one-half miles north of Bison, Garfield County. (Image courtesy of Kansas State Historical Society) Source -
Bull Foot Station Historic Placard 36.06013, -97.54017 On the old Chisholm Trail, this station was noted for its water well. The name , from a huge indentation in the ground here resembling inprint of a Bull's Foot. Buildings were still standing on site, 50 yards east of the old trail, and 4.5 miles south of the north line of the Oklahoma Land which was opened to settlers by the Great Run, April, 22, 1889 Directions Off Of Highway 81 south edge Hennessey, Ok, Main and 9th Street, follow street around in Park until you see the monument on the west side of street. Source -
Kingfisher Stage Station Historic Placard N 35° 51.637 W 097° 56.460 This stage station on the old Chisholm Trail, 1867-1889, was 4 blocks no., on south side of Kingfisher Creek. The trail had two branches in this area; one for cattle was 6 miles east. Directions 45th Division Memorial Park 12th and Broadway Kingfisher, OK Source -
Old Chisholm Trail Crossing Red River / Fleetwood Terral Indian Territory Historic Placard 33.89698, -97.82968 Looking southeast is Red River station in Texas -- the Chisholm Trail entered there and come out in Indian Territory here at the Fleetwood Community. Millons of cattle crossed here on their way from Texas to Abilene, Kansas and other points off the Chisholm Trail. The cattle were so thick at times in the river crossing that a cowboy could walk across the river on their backs. Northwest of the site on the I. C. McGinnis land in a branch of Fleetwood Creek are wagon wheel ruts in sandstone that are very destinct today. Historical Society of Fleetwood Terral Indian Territory, Okla. Directions Highway US 81 at Terral, Ok turn east on Apache, follow road, road turns into Fleetwood Rd. go about 5.5 miles. Marker is on south side of road. This marker is on the southeast corner of two markers. Source - photo - Carleta Latham
Shannon Springs Historic Placard 35.02431, -97.94707 Shannon Springs - A Watering Place of the Chisholm Trail 1870 & 1880 - DAR1975 Source -
Welcome to Oklahoma's Chisholm Trail Centennial Corridor-Red River Crossing Historic Placard 33.880316, -97.932995 The Corridor, and Oklahoma Centennial Project, marks the Old Chisholm Trail, Cattle Trail as it crosses Oklahoma as indicated on the map to the left. US Highway 81 generally follows the Trail and is marked with signs indicating historic Trail sites and crossings. We invite you to explore the Corridor as you travel through our historic state. The Old Chisholm Trail was established in 1867 as a route from the cattle ranches of south Texas, where millions of longhorn cattle roamed after the Civil War, across Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to the railroads in Kansas for shipment to eastern markets. In use from 1867 to approximately 1885, over four million cattle were driven over this route in the greatest controlled animal migration in the world's history. Red River Crossing To the east about eight miles downstream from here, The Chisholm Trail, then know as the Abilene Trail, crossed the Red River from Texas into Indian Territory. This ancient crossing site became a Confederate outpost during the Civil War, and after the War, it was used by a major Army supply road running from northeast Texas to Fort Sill in Indian Territory. A small town was established during the cattle drive era offering supplies to drovers and other travelers, nothing remains of the town but a marker indicating its existence. Directions On Highway 81, .01 miles north of the Red River Bridge that crosses into Texas. The marker is located on east side of road near the Welcome to Oklahoma Sign. Source -
Fleetwood Store and Post Office Historic Placard 33.89670, -97.851018 The first store was built here in the 1880's, moved by Fleetwood from south of his home site because the cattle of the trail drive caused too much commotion for business as usual. This store became the first Post Office of the Indian Territory. It remained open until 1980. in later years the store was bought by O. C. Walker and W. L. Weatherly then by Hugh Weatherly who kept it open until 1946. Olin Weatherly bought the store in 1946 and operated it until it closed in 1981. The orginal wood building was torn down in 1935 and the present building was built in 1935. This building was destoryed by fire in the early forties and rebuilt as it is today. Historical Society of Fleetwood Terral Indian Territory , Okla. Directions Highway US 81 at Terral, Ok turn east on Apache, follow road, road turns into Fleetwood Rd. go about 4 miles. Store and marker on north side of road. Marker is on building. Note: Two more marker are located on east to the end of road, markers are on the south side of road. Source - photo - Carleta Latham
Chisholm Trail Marker - Duncan Historic Placard 34.50937, -97.96735 Two miles east of this point ran the Chisholm Trail named for Jessie Chisholm, and Oklahoma part-Cherokee indian trader. Soon after close of Civil War, Chisholm laid out a trail with his freight wagons extending from the Arkansas river valley in Kansas to the North Canadian river valley in Oklahoma. When Texas drovers headed their long-horned cattle toward the nearest railroad at Abilene, Kansas in 1867, this trace was the only well defined part of the route. As a result the entire trail from south Texas to northeast Kansas became known as the "Chisholm." In the vicinity of this marker, William Duncan constructed is store where cowboys on the trail stopped to trade and where the city of Duncan was later built. Probably the first commercial dairy in western Oklahoma was established near here by Theodore Fitzpatrick soon after the trail was opened. He secured cows from the trail herds and sold milk to drovers and the military at newly established Fort Sill. (Logo) Oklahoma Historical Society incorporated state trustee 1895 founded 1891 Directions Chisholm Trail Marker is located in the west side of Fuqua Park , just north of the intersection of Beech and U.S. 81, Duncan, OK. Stephen Co.
Indian Baseline Monument / Initial Point Monument Historic Placard 34.50926, -97.96737 Initial point was established by the U.S.government in 1870. All Oklahoma except the panhandle was then divided into townships north and south and ranges east and west of initial point. The Indian Base Line is two-tenth of a mile south of this point on beech road. Duncan is 41 miles west of initial point. The stones in this nomument were taken from initial point. Placed by Duncan chapter, Natioanl Society Daughters of the American Revolution as a bicentennial project February 22, 1974 Directions Located Next To The Intial Point Monument In Fuqua Park/Memorial Park, Just North Of The Intersection Of Beech And U.S. 81 On West Side Of Road, Duncan, OK, Stephens County. Source -
Old Military Trail Historic Placard 34.38156, -97.96506 To adventures in the west. The famous Dragoon Expedition, 1834, Col. Henry Dodge in command, passed near here on the way west to the Wichita village on north fork of Red River. Near here in 1852. Capt. R.B. Marcy, 5th Inf. Met his wagon train for his expedition west, in search of the source of Red River. East of here, 2 mi., was the Chilsholm Trail. Oklahoma historical society and state high way commission 1958 Directions From junction U.S. 81 And U.S. 7, Go east to 13th street (aka Meridian Rd.), turn south, 6 miles. Marker on west side of road. Duncan, Oklahoma, Stephen County. Source -
Cowboy Shootout Historic Placard 34.72582, -97.95822 About 1.8 miles east of here, via the section line road, is the likely site of a shootout in 1876 between two trail drovers. As reminisced by C. F. Colcord, a drover of the era, two cowboys in the outfit just ahead of his had a dispute during breakfast. They were separated and sent to their positions with the herd. Both were pointers, or lead riders, each riding and opposite sides of the herd. Later, they were seen to stop and argue while the herd passed between them. As the last of the cattle passed, they both drew their pistols and fired at one another simultaneously. Both fell dead and were buried in a single grave along the west side side of the trail. Directions 6 miles north (Grady County) of Marlow, OK (Stephen County. Just north of 1580 CR, on the east side of US Highway 81 Source -
Fred, IT Historic Placard 34.99168, -97.89959 Fred - Indian Territory Trading post established by Col. Frank Fred in 1870s Crossroads of Chisholm Trail and The Fort Cobb Stage Road. Post Office Established in 1889 Methodist Church Established in 1889 Directions US 81 south Chickasha, OK, turn left at stoplight on to OK 19, go 2 miles east to Quail Rd, turn right historical marker is on Left side of road, go .01 mile marker and pavilion are on the right. Source -
Rush Springs - Springs Historic Placard 34.785644, -97.950639 The Springs is mention in the earliest histories and furnished water for Indians and Settlers. Chisholm Trail Watering Place. Directions Junction of U.S. Highway 81B and Highway OK 17 go east, cross railroad track Jeff Davis Park is on the north side of road enter at the first gate, Spring is located straight head on the right side of road at covered pavilion. Rush Springs, OK Source -
Darlington Agency Site Historic Placard 35.58480, -97.95915 Darlington Cheyenne-Arapaho Agency Established there 1870, by Brinton Darlington, Quaker, Indian Agent appointed by President Grant. Important Stop on Chisholm Trail Site of Arapaho School, John H. Seger, Supt. Post Office Established in 1873, and First Newspaper "Cheyenne Transporter" in Western Indian Territory published there, 1879. Directions Monument: North of El Reno, Ok on US 81 marker on west side of road Source -
Fort Reno Marker Historic Placard 35.53735, -98.02607 U.S. troops encamped near Cheyenne Agency in Indian uprising 1874. Site s.w. of agency selected by Agt. J.D. Miles and Capt T. Wint, established as permanent post in July, 1875, and named for Gen. Jesse L. Reno who died in action in Battle of Antietam., 1862. Post abandoned Feb. 24, 1908. Reserve was U.S. remount station to 1949. Directions Fort Reno Visitor's Center 7107 W. Cheyenne, El Reno, OK - 4 miles west of El Reno on Route 66 - 2 miles north of exit 119 of Interstate 40, Continue on east for .5 miles from Visitors center historical marker is located on the north side of highway.
In Memory Of Pioneer Mennonite Settlers Historic Placard 35.57210, -97.95893 Mennonites settled in this area soon after Oklahoma Territory opened by run April 22, 1889. Their first mission activity was among Indians. This colony was southern most for Mennonites along Chisholm Trail. Farmers of Swiss from Berne, Ind., German and German Russian decent were urged to settle here in order to establish the Christian faith on the frontier. Testimony of faith services continued in this church building until 1953. It now stands as a continuous reminder of the rugged faith of pioneers to this area. The keystone of Mennonite faith for over 400 years has been 1Cor 3:11: "And no one can ever lay any other real foundation than that one we already have --Jesus Christ" Erected in 1972. Directions Approximately 6.5 Miles North of El Reno, Oklahoma, Canadian County, on U.S. 81 on the left side of road by a Cemetery Source -
Massacre of Pat Hennessey Historic Placard 36.111095, -97.899161 Freighter Hennessey's charred body tied to his wagon wheel was found in a smoldering fire near 3 of his drivers, all killed on July 4, 1874, in last Indian war when his train was on way along Chisholm Trail to Kiowa Agency. Grave is 2 blocks West. Oklahoma Historical Society and State Highway Commission 1957
Red Fork Station Historic Placard 35.986852, -97.908775 Site 3 blocks south Stockade buildings of Red Fork Ranch on the Chisholm Trail , at the Cimarron or Red Fork river crossing here, included a stage station to change horse and a supply depot for travelers, late 1860's to 1890's. Troops from Ft. Sill were on duty here during Indian war alarm after the Pat Hennessey massacre, in July 1874. Oklahoma Historical Society and Oklahoma Highway Commission 1957 Directions in the park on the north side of Dover, Oklahoma at Highway 81 and Walnut. Source -
Buffalo Springs Historic Placard 36.2175, -97.8883 On the Old Chisholm Trail, 1/3 mi. west. From this noted watering place came the name of "Bison," 1 mi. so., "Buffalo Springs" was the camp site of Pat Hennessey and his men just before the were massacred, 7 mi. so., July 4, 1874. Next day, a war band of Indians was stood off by ranchmen at the Springs. Crowds here made the Oklahoma "Run," April 22, 1889. Directions On U.S. Highway 81, one and one-half miles north of Bison, Garfield County Source -
Going Up the Chisholm Trail Historic Placard 31.699, -97.2384
Chisholm Trail - Caldwell, KS Historic Placard N 37° 01.972 W 097° 36.411 Author notes there are several Chisholm Trail Historic Placards. Stop at the visitor center for full map. Between 1865 and 1885 an observer standing here would have witnessed the forced passing of Native American Indians south into the Territory, hundreds of thousands of Texas longhorn cattle moving north to market, and westbound supply wagons taking foodstuffs to America's far flung military camps and outposts. Jesse Chisholm blazed his legendary trail between San Antonio and Abilene, though only about 150 miles of it between Dover, Okla and Wichita was used for cattle. The trail was about 200 ~ 400 yards wide as it passed this marker toward the northeast. The trail was closed north of Caldwell in 1880 with the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad. Chisholm, part Cherokee himself, was a scout, trader and explorer who died in 1868 before seeing his trail put to its greatest use, the cattle trade. Location of Marker: 16 N. Main St., between post office and law office, Caldwell Source -
Caldwell And The Chisholm Trail Historic Placard N 37° 00.453 W 097° 36.403 A mile southeast of this marker the Chisholm trail entered Kansas. It took its name from Jesse Chisholm, Indian trader, whose route lay between the North Canadian river and present Wichita. In 1867 it was extended from the Red river to Abilene when the building of the Union Pacific gave Texas cattle an Eastern market. Over this long trail more than a million head were driven before the Santa Fe built south and brought the drives to Newton, 1871, and the next year to Wichita. Incoming settlers in Kansas soon fenced off the land and by 1876 drovers had abandoned the trail. In 1880, however, the railroad built to Caldwell, one-mile north, and drives were resumed. It is estimated that two million longhorns were driven across the prairie here on a road that in many places was a quarter of a mile wide and as bare as a modern highway. Location of Marker: US-81, roadside park, 1 mile south of Caldwell Source -
Chisholm - Caldwell, KS Historic Placard N 37° 01.874 W 097° 36.411 CHISHOLM BY HAROLD T. HOLDEN ERA OF THE CATTLE TRAILS IN CHEROKEE STRIP HISTORY By the close of the Civil War in 1865, the cattle herds and cowboys from Texas began forging trails through Oklahoma and The Cherokee Strip to rail heads in Kansas. The most famous route of all was the Chisholm Trail. Caldwell Kansas became the final terminus for the herds in the late 1880s as the railroads began extending their tracks further south into The Cherokee Strip. Presented to Caldwell, Kansas November 1993 Location of Marker: 1st St. & Main St., city park, Caldwell Source -
The Chisholm Trail, Wellington, KS Historic Placard N 37° 15.482 W 097° 31.768 Between 1867 and 1876 more than two million Texas Longhorns were driven North past here to Kansas railroad towns for shipment East. At Slate Creek Crossing 5 miles northeast a trading post, 1869, was the first building in Sumner County. Over this trail after it was closed to cattle came many of the pioneers who settled Western part of the County. This site was given to the City of Wellington by Fred Rose, who traveled the trail as a child. Location of Marker: Anson Rd. & 20th St. S, former roadside park, 2 miles S. of US-160, 6 miles W. of Wellington Source -
Chisholm Trail & Wheat Country Historic Placard N 37° 22.000 W 097° 19.349 This portion of the plains ~ ~ Indian country until about 1870 ~ ~ is a center of Kansas agriculture and industry. Over the Chisholm trail, which ran a few miles west and roughly parallel to this Turnpike from the Oklahoma line to Wichita, a million head of Texas cattle were herded to Kansas railheads from 1867 to 1876. Caldwell, 37 miles southwest, rivaled Dodge City in cattle shipments and gun fights after the railroad reached there in 1880. Oklahoma “Boomers” camped in and around Wellington just before central Oklahoma was opened for white settlement in 1889. Again in 1893 when the Cherokee Outlet was opened, thousands waited near Arkansas City, South Haven, Hunnewell, and Caldwell for the shot that sent them spilling into the promised land. Wellington is the seat of Sumner county, normally the banner wheat producer of Kansas. Winfield, 28 miles southeast, is a gateway to the great Bluestem pastures. North is Wichita ~ ~ Kansas’ largest city and “air capital of the world.” Erected by the Kansas Historical Society and Kansas Turnpike Authority Source -
The Chisholm Trail - Sedgwick County Historic Placard N 37° 45.636 W 097° 20.179 At the close of the Civil War when millions of longhorns were left on the plains of Texas without a market, the Union Pacific was building west across Kansas. Joseph McCoy, an Illinois stockman, believed these cattle could be herded over the prairies for shipment by rail. He built yards at Abilene and sent agents to notify the Texas cattlemen. The trail he suggested ran from the Red river to Abilene but took its name from Jesse Chisholm, Indian trader, whose route lay between the North Canadian river and this vicinity. In 1867 the first drives were made and during the next five years more than a million head moved north past this place. Eventually the railroads and the barbed wire of settlers closed the long trails. But the cowboys of these great drives, living in the saddle for more than a month, swimming flooded river, fighting night stampedes, have become the heroes of an American epic. Source -
Caldwell "The Border Queen" Historic Placard N 37° 01.874 W 097° 36.411 Founded 1871, incorporated 1879 by a town company of investors from Wichita and named for U. S. Sen. Alexander Caldwell. The original townsite was north of Ave. F, the Kansas state line prior to 1876. One of the original cowtowns in Kansas, violence and politics claimed 18 city marshals between 1879 and 1885 and led a Wichita editor to write, "As we go to press hell is again in session in Caldwell." Founded on the Chisholm Trail, which was 200 - 400 yards wide and ran just east of this park in a northerly direction, Caldwell acted as a railroad shipping point for Texas longhorn cattle. By 1886 the cattle shipping had moved west as farmers settled the area and planted their Russian hard winter wheat. In 1893 congress opened to settlement the Cherokee outlet, and thousands of land hungry pioneers staged here before making the last great land rush in America. Caldwell of the past was home to gunslingers, cowboys, prostitutes, Indians, saloon keepers, and criminals; but around this sign today is a proud, quiet, farming community made up of good citizens instilling its small-town values on its youth .... though, as Bill O'Neal wrote of Caldwell in 1980, "In just the right light it is not difficult to imagine the sounds of a frontier saloon, of cattle hooves, and gunfire." Originally sold as empty lots in 1879 for $125, by 1887 a $45,000, 3 story building stood here. Made of Caldwell brick with St. Louis brick fronts and blue cut limestone accents, the building stood 75' tall and was the highest private building in Sumner County. The first floor contained 4 stores, the second had offices, and the masonic lodge was on the third. Known to recent generations as the J. C. Penney store, the building was home to a variety of professionals, businesses, and families during its 102 year existence, finally succumbing to time, disrepair, and the wrecker's ball in 1989. Catty-corner to the NW was the "Leland", a legendary 1883 cattlemen's hotel. There was a tunnel running between here and the Leland, under Main Street, built as an exit from the hotel for gamblers when law enforcement took exception to their illegal activities. Such exception rarely occurred in cowtown Caldwell in the 1880's for it might have hurt business in the booming city.
The Last Chance Saloon Historic Placard N 37° 01.893 W 097° 36.417 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. Location of Marker: 3 S. Main St., Caldwell Source -
Red Light Saloon Historic Placard N 37° 01.972 W 097° 36.411 On the NE corner of Chisholm and Ave A stood the Red Light Saloon which helped give Caldwell its reputation as the most lawless cowtown. In April, 1880 George and Mag Wood literally disassembled their Wichita Saloon and brought to Caldwell what became its most murderous establishment. People killed here included marshals, cowboys, bystanders and even the owner when he tried to protect the honor of one of his "girls" who both lived and "worked" upstairs. Though liquor was illegal in Kansas by state law and illegal in the Indian Territory to the south by federal law, somehow Caldwell always had a good supply for the dusty cowboys. The drovers also looked forward to the Red Light and other saloons for their "ladies of the night" or, in Caldwell, the "Border Queens". Location of Marker: 16 N. Main St., between post office and law office, Caldwell Source -
Historical Kansas Historic Placard N 38° 55.560 W 097° 23.661 Ten miles ahead is Abilene, first of the major cattle trail towns of Kansas, and famed in the story of the Cowtown West. Following the Civil War, millions of Longhorn cattle were stranded on Texas ranges. Beef-eating Northerners were hungry and the problem was to bring the supply to the markets. After the westward building Union Pacific railroad reached Abilene in March, 1867, along came Joseph G. McCoy from Illinois. He chose the town as a cattle-shipping center, built stockyards, and sent circulars all over Texas advising cattlemen to drive their herds up the Chisholm trading trail to the site of present Wichita, then on up McCoy's extension to Abilene. During 1867-1871 more than a million cattle were trailed to Abilene where, for a time in 1871, James B. "Wild Bill" Hickok was the marshal. Hundreds of cowboys, saloonkeepers, gamblers and dancehall girls added to the din until the inhabitants who had come to stay forced the whole kit and boodle to take its market place elsewhere. Abilene was the boyhood home of President Dwight David Eisenhower from 1891 to 1911. The Eisenhower Home, Museum, Library and Chapel help make it one of Kansas' most interesting cities. Marker Location: I-70, E. bound rest area, m/m 265, 1 mile W. of Solomon. Source -
The Stock Exchange Bank Historic Placard N 37° 01.893 W 097° 36.417 The Stock Exchange Bank is the oldest business in Caldwell and occupies one of the oldest surviving buildings in town. It received a State Charter on November 12, 1881 and opened for business the following December 24th. The stone building erected to house the bank in 1881, at a cost of $5,000, is still in use but has undergone several major remodeling projects. The steerhead emblem has always been associated with the bank which was allied with the cattle business of the southwest from the beginning. The bank has a colorful history being witness to Caldwell's cowtown era. In the main lobby is a pair of cattle horns measuring 7' 2" across, brought from southern Texas during the early cattle drives. At one time the bank's vault held 100,000 silver dollars to pay Indian allotments as the Indians would not accept paper money. The first officers were Major A. Drumm, President; Charles H. Moore, Cashier; and John W. Nyce, Assistant Cashier. Major Drumm came to Caldwell in the early 1870s on a cattle drive from Texas over the Chisholm Trail. He established the "U" Ranch in Indian Territory near Caldwell in 1874. Drumm later founded the Cherokee Strip Livestock Association which was instrumental in founding the bank. The Livestock Association's offices were at one time located on the second story over the bank. Drumm also founded the Kiowa Town Company which established the city of Kiowa, Kansas. Location of Marker: 103 S. Main St., Caldwell Source -
Chisholm Trail - Pond Creek Historic Placard 36.40844, -97.48259 Chisholm Trail * Pond Creek Chapter D.A.R. 1937 This marker is one mile north of Pond Creek on the west side of Hwy 81. It is about 500 - 600 feet north of the first east/west section line north of town. It is located about 600 feet east of the Trail's exact path. This location is one mile south of Salt Fork River. The marker is about 4 feet square and is made of stone. Source - Mr. Bob Klemme
Chisholm Trail - Pond Creek West Historic Placard 36.39964, -97.48761 Chisholm Trail * Pond Creek Chapter D.A.R. 1937 This monument is about 36 inches tall. A few years ago the highway department widened the highway and moved the monument, which sat right in some trail ruts. After work was complete, they reset it, but they had destroyed the trail ruts. It is sad to think they are gone forever. Source - Mr. Bob Klemme
On the Chisholm Trail - Marlow, OK Historic Placard N 34° 38.871 W 097° 57.060 "You are standing on the site of the largest movement of animals in history. While the big cattle drives over the Chisholm Trail began in early 1868 abd lasted only slightly more than a decade, eight million longhorn cattle followed the trail across Texas and Oklahoma to Kansas and the railroads. The midpoint of the trail followed the west bank of this creek through what is now Redbud Park. The numbers fell off and dried up to a mere trickle by 1878. The great Chisholm Trail drives ended completely in the early 1880's, but not before luring the adventurous Marlow family to live on the banks of Wildhorse Creek. A new word was born on the Chisholm Trail - the word "cowboy." This marker is erected at the entrance to the park, just north of the large granite Marlow Brothers monument.
Monument Hill / Chisholm Trail Lookout Point/Monument at Addington Public Art,Historic Placard,Grave Site 34.245324, -97.922267 Hardships tested the mettle of men on the trail. Sever weather at times mad conditions hazardous as well as miserable and there was always the treat of stampedes caused by a bolt of lightning a loud clap of thunder or the trickery of raiders. The scattering of cattle meant that there would be no rest for drovers until the strays were rounded up. Millions of longhorns were driven northward across the plains to railheads in Kansas during the period 1867 - 1889. The great cattle drives not only helped to feed a nation just after the Civil War, they produced one of the Nation's most enduring heroes -- the cowboy. The brief era of the open range and free grass generated the greatest cattle boom in world history. This hill was a landmark for drovers who road northward from Red River to a campsite nearby. Directions US 81 and Eva Road turn east go 3 miles monument on south side of road. Drover grave is located on the southeast corner of the fenced in area. Addington, OK Source -
Marlow Brothers Outlaw Monument Public Art,Historic Placard 34.64778, -97.95099 Born along the Chisholm Trail and on the banks of Wild Horse Creek the legend of the Marlow family and the five Marlow brothers has been proven to be more fact than fiction. Dr. Williamson Marlow and his wife, Martha Jane, a relative of Daniel Boone, first established a homestead in this area during the early 1880's. The site of the original Marlow family home is reported to have been located just north of Redbud Park. Somewhat of a nomad by nature, Dr. Marlow provided medical treatment to the many settlers in this portion of Indian Territory and to many cowboys driving cattle up the Chisholm Trail. He also farmed while his sons reportedly herded horses, selling many of the animals to the U.S. Army located at neighboring Ft. Sill. Dr. Marlow died in 1885. In 1888 his five sons were accused of horse-stealing, a charge which was later proven to be unfounded. Four of the brothers (Charlie, Alfred, Boone and Lewellyn) were arrested and transported by a U.S. Deputy Marshall to the Federal Court in Graham, Texas, for trial. Hearing of this brother's arrest, George Marlow took the entire family to Graham to clear his brothers but soon found himself behind bars. Boone Marlow ultimately escaped and returned to the Marlow area in Indian Territory, while his four brothers were scheduled to be transported to a safer (?) jail in Weatherford, Texas. Several attempts were made by Graham citizens and law enforcement officials to lynch the Marlows. On the night of January 19, 1889, the brothers were shackled in pairs -- George to Lewellyn and Charlie to Alfred -- for the trip to Weatherford. When the group reached Dry Creek outside of Graham, a signal was given and a hidden mob opened fire on the seemingly defenseless Marlows. The guards ran to join the mob while the brothers leaped from the wagon and armed themselves with guns take from guards. In the vicious gunfight that followed, Lewellyn and Alfred were killed. Both George and Charlie were seriously wounded. Retrieving a dead mob member's knife, George Marlow unjointed his dead brother' ankles. He and Charlie used a wagon to escape the ambush site. Three members of the mob were also killed and a number of others wounded. Several members of the mob were later prosecuted and convicted for the assault upon the brothers. Boone was later poisoned near Hell Creek west of Marlow. His corpse was then shot in an attempt to obtain a $1,500 reward, but his killers, too, were brought to trial. Alfred Boon, and Lewellyn are buried in a small cemetery at what was once Finis, Texas outside of Graham. George and Charlie Marlow survived the attack, eventually moving their families to Colorado where they became outstanding citizens, serving as law enforcement officers. In 1891, after sentencing mob member for their part in the attack, Federal Judge A. P. McCormick was quoted as saying: "This is the first time in the annals of history where unarmed prisoners, shackled together, ever repelled a mob. Such cool courage that preferred to fight against such great odds and die, if at all, in glorious battle rather than die ignominiously by a frenzied mob, deserves to be commemorated in song and story." Directions Redbud Park, 4 blocks E of Main St stoplight, Marlow, OK Source -
Chisholm Trail Monument - Clearwater, KS Public Art,Historic Placard 1200 E. Ross Clearwater, KS 67026 Stand on the Chisholm trail, shut your eyes, and imagine thousands of cattle on their drive as they moved to their destination. The trail, named after Jesse Chisholm, was open from 1867 until 1885. The 1,200 mile historic Chisholm Trail is known as the world's greatest cattle trail. A stone monument marks the spot of the Chisholm Trail in Clearwater. After you stand on the trail be sure to visit the Historical Museum to see more about the trail and Clearwater. Source -
Ghost Riders of the Chisholm Trail Public Art,Historic Placard N 37° 00.080 W 097° 36.473 The silhouette on the bluff to the East, astride the actual Chisholm Trail, was completed in 1995 after hundreds of hours of volunteered labor, land, and donations. The "Ghosts" will forever remind is of the great cattle drives, 1866-1887, when millions of Texas longhorn cattle passed here on their way to legendary railheads, like Caldwell, Kansas. So life-like is the scene, observers are certain they have noticed both dust and sounds coming from the bluff area. The trail, established by Native American tribes and made famous by Jesse Chisholm, helped in the settlement of the Old West by providing a travel and communication link to the Indian Territory, presently Oklahoma. The history of the Chisholm Trail, the Cherokee Strip and early Caldwell can be enjoyed by exploring the many markers like this one located in Caldwell's Historic Cowtown District two miles North and the rest area directly North of this site. Donated to the state of Kansas by a group of history-preserving citizens of Caldwell, Kansas Source - Photo - Carleta Latham
Chisholm Trail 1947 Marker, Caldwell, KS Public Art,Historic Placard N 37° 01.874 W 097° 36.411 CHISHOLM TRAIL This marks the Chisholm Trail, established in 1865 by JESSE CHISHOLM Hundreds of Thousands of tons of freight and Over 3,000,000 head of stock passed over this Route in the years of its use. Location of Marker: 102 S. Main St. & 1st St., city park, Caldwell Source -
Those Who Came Before, Caldwell, KS Public Art,Historic Placard N 37° 01.941 W 097° 36.368 This Kansas limestone relief sculpture, by Cherokee sculptor Eddie Morrison, depicts the variety of cultures which have occupied and influenced this area. Each group, from Native Americans to early pioneers, farmers, and adventurers, have shared the same land, work ethic, concern for family and belief in divine influence. An underlying theme is the common view that our spirit, our prayers and our hopes are carried on the wings of the soaring eagle. Jesse Chisholm, founder of the Chisholm Trail, and himself a son of a Cherokee - European union, represents a cultural blending and understanding. With the passing of each generation, Americans need pause to reflect on our differences and, more importantly, to stand in wonder of our many similarities. Location of Marker: 13 E. Central Ave., Caldwell Source -
Chisholm Trail Monument - N of Enid Public Art,Historic Placard 36.27846, -97.5222 This monument was set in place in 1945. We were all still in the service during the war and found the monument when we returned. On the east side of the monument, it tells a little about the Chisholm Trail. (The Trail is actually one mile and 33 chains east of the monument.) On the west side are names of the old cowboys that worked the ranches in the Cherokee Outlet (Strip) before the area was settled by land run on September 16, 1893. This group was called "The Cherokee Strip Cowpunchers' Association." There were lots of these old guys around when I was a kid. The names are just a few that actually belonged to this association. I understand that it cost 25 cents per letter to get your name on the monument, but there were lots of the members that didn't have the 2 bits. If you look closely, you will see some names you will know. A lot of people never go to the back of the monument and don't even know about the names. Source - Mr. Bob Klemme
Government Springs Park - Enid, OK Public Art,Historic Placard 36.23455, -97.52222 In September 2003, I placed 24 longhorn silhouettes, six cowboys, one chuck wagon pulled by a team of mules, and one Indian in Government Springs Park, Enid, OK. The photo shows a herd coming from the west getting ready to cross a creek with the Indian waiting for them. He will probably ask for a couple of head for using the land. The monument is located just west of the tree in the middle of the photo. The Chisholm Trail crosses toward the north, just 25 chains west of the monument. Source - Mr. Bob Klemme
Jesse Chisholm at Kingfisher, OK Public Art 35.861167871837, -97.93245596811175 This life-size statue of Jesse Chisholm, father of the Chisholm Trail, stands in the center of downtown Kingfisher. Chisholm is depicted atop his horse extending a peace pipe. Photo by: Ted Streuli
On the Chisholm Trail Bronze Public Art 1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway Duncan, OK 73533 One of the largest bronzes to the Chisholm Trail, the On the Chisholm Trail bronze by Oklahoma artist Paul Moore is a must see.
Up the Chisholm Trail Monument Public Art 201 North Main Street, Belton, TX 76513 From 1867 to 1887, over 14 million head of longhorn cattle were driven north from Texas along the Chisholm Trail to reach newly formed cowtowns in Kansas. The trail, which included a tributary that ran through Bell County, affected the entire nation economically, and helped create a new folk hero: the American cowboy. In 2007, the Bell County Museum commissioned sculptor Troy Kelley to create a monument to the Chisholm Trail, the major tributary through which the cattle were rounded up in south Texas and herded to Kansas. We wanted to memorialize the trail and the cattle industry that have shaped our state, but we didn’t want just another statue of a longhorn. We wanted the monument to be both beautiful and educational. Troy did an amazing job! He added his own artistic interpretation to this history and has adhered to the facts of the trail as well. Up the Chisholm Trail consists of 17 bronze panels, three bronze longhorns, barbed wire, and a Texas star that represent various aspects of the history of the trail. As you look at the panels, you walk around in a circular fashion moving farther away as your gaze travels up the monument. There is really nothing like it anywhere in the world. It’s educational, unique, and helps us to interpret an important part of our history. Stephanie Turnham is the director of the Bell County Museum. Source -
Branding the Brazos Public Art 31.699066397831295, -97.23843421787024 A cowboy sculptures and a herd of bronze longhorns at the Waco Suspension Bridge are a part of the Waco Chisholm Trail Heritage sculpture project. The riders and 25 longhorn cattle are pay homage to Waco’s role along the historic cattle-drive trail. The cowboys depict a diverse group, including a vaquero, an African American cowboy, and one white.. The sculptures were funded by donations after Waco Cultural Arts Fest announced a million dollar challenge grant from Waco philanthropists, Clifton and Betsy Robinson. The sculpture grouping has become a key place for visitors to take photos.
Dave Blue Trading Post N 35° 11.383 W 097° 22.213 Dave Blue Trading Post Located 1 mile S of here on the Chisholm Cattle Trail, also called Arbuckle Cattle Trail, Blue hired Cherokees and Creeks to kill wild buffalo in early 1870's and to deliver the hides to Atoka for shipment east. Directions On Highway 9 , east of Norman, on North side of road. Source -
Old Chisholm Trail - Dewitt County N 29° 07.881 W 097° 16.560 From site near here, 1800 Longhorns were moved out April 1, 1866, on first trail drive from this area to northern markets. Crockett Cardwell, owner of cattle bedground, had gathered the herd. The trail boss was Thornton Chisholm, a native of DeWitt County. Indian Scout Jesse Chisholm in 1865 had marked the upper trail from the North Canadian to the Arkansas River. Road here became a prong of the famous ChisholmTtrail, going past Gonzales, San Marcos, Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, Gatesville, Glen Rose and Red River Station, into Indian territory. The 30 men of this 1866 drive to St. Joseph, Mo., were gone 7 months, 10 days. The cook and many of the men made numerous later drives; but Thornton Chisholm died in 1868. 260,000 cattle - accumulated in Texas in 4 years of Civil War - went in 1866 up the Chisholm Trail, a flood channel from a vast reservoir of beef. Sold in northern markets or to the U.S. Government to feed Indians on reservations or soldiers in forts, the trailed cattle helped Texas recover from the war. From 1866 to 1895 at least 10,000,000 cattle were driven up the Chisholm Trail by courageous Texas cowboys - the greatest movement of animals under the control of men in all history.