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8 October 2006


  Allotment Maps and Lists (New)    Wyandotte Gazette /Kansas City Gazette        Grinter Place         Schools       

Wyandotte County, Kansas  is a relatively new page. I am yet uncertain as to exactly what I will put in it. Be assured, that there will be all kinds of interesting items. So much of what happened in the Lenape-Delaware Experience was in this county that is seems worthy of an entry by itself. As a starter, I am putting in some historic maps and some general county history. This page is not intended to be the "History of Wyandotte County, Kansas History," but rather a view of the county as it related to the Lenape-Delaware and their extended families; and to their Native American Neighbors, the Kickapoo to the north; the Wyandotte (Huron to the east; the Shawnee to the south; and to the families of the Lenape-Delaware, the Kansas Delaware, who remained in the area. I will try (not promise) to provide some better order to this page later. For the time being, I am stuffing in things I find of use and interest. The Wyandotte County Gazette Extracts take up sufficient space that I have made them a sub-folder. Similarly, I have created separate sub-folders for Schools and the Grinter Place. Editor. swiftwater@lenapedelawarehistory.net

      Map of Historic Wyandotte County, Kansas, 1878

[This article was added on 8 October. There are several subjects in it, so it will probably be divided up a bit with individual portions put in their logical places. In the interim, it will be left here until there is time to do that. Editor.]


1840 et seq.  http://www3.wycokck.org/static/planning.zoning/HISTORY2004/WHITECHURCH.pdf. Submitted by Peggy Smith pjsmith@rmi.net

2200 North 85th Street

W. W. Rose, Architect

Kansas City, Kansas Historic Landmark: January 26, 1983

Register of Historic Kansas Places: February 13, 1982

The first church to be erected on this site was of logs, and was constructed in 1840, some eight years after the Methodist mission to the Delaware was founded. The Delaware Indians had come to what is now Wyandotte County beginning in 1830. For a century they had been pushed west, from Pennsylvania to Ohio, from Ohio to Indiana, and from there to southern Missouri. They naturally hoped that each new home would be permanent, but had learned long before to distrust the American government and its promises.

On September 24, 1829, the Delaware then in southern Missouri signed a treaty agreeing to leave the state and move to Indian Country, in what is now Kansas. They were to receive support for the move, one year’s provisions thereafter, erection of a saw and grist mill within two years, and an additional permanent annuity of $1000. In addition, thirty-six sections of their best lands in Missouri were to be sold to provide a school fund. Experience had taught the Delaware to be cautious, so the treaty was to be valid only after the examination and approval of the new lands in Kansas. Final approval was signed by a Delaware delegation at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers on October 19, 1829, after they had examined the proposed reserve. After months of preparations, the first party of Delaware emigrants, 61 individuals with two wagons and many horses, led by their long-time Principal Chief, Captain William Anderson, arrived in their new home on December 1, 1830. They were followed within a few days by thirty more families, but the last Delaware to remove to Kansas did not arrive until the summer of 1832.

The new Delaware Reserve consisted of all of what is now Wyandotte County north of the Kansas River, substantial portions of Leavenworth and Jefferson counties, and a ten-mile wide outlet strip extending some two hundred miles to the west for access to the buffalo hunting range. (The area south of the Kansas River was part of the Shawnee Reserve, established in 1825.) Despite this sizeable area, the principal Delaware settlements were in western Wyandotte County and southern Leavenworth County, often with substantial cabins and well-tended farms. There were also several towns and villages, the chief of which (prior to the flood of 1844) was Anderson’s Town, on the site of the present Edwardsville. The eastern part of Wyandotte

County, which the Delaware would subsequently sell to the Wyandot Indians in 1843, remained largely uninhabited. The Rev. Thomas Johnson had founded the Shawnee Methodist Mission south of the Kansas River in November 1830. Earlier in that year, he had been assigned to the new Shawnee mission, and his brother William to the Kansa, by the Missouri Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The first volume of the Rev. Isaac McCoy's The Annual Register of Indian Affairs, published at the Shawnee Baptist Mission by the Rev. Jotham Meeker in January, 1835, lists 1831 as the date of the founding of the Delaware Methodist Mission, and this founding is usually credited to the Johnson brothers jointly.

The Indian Mission District was created by the Missouri Conference on September 17, 1832, with the Rev. Thomas Johnson as Superintendent of the District, the Rev. Edward T. Peery assigned to the Shawnee Methodist Mission, and the Revs. William Johnson and Thomas Markham assigned to the Delaware. It is this date of 1832 that is most often given for the founding of the church and cemetery, but this is almost certainly incorrect. Local church tradition, adding to the confusion, ascribes the founding to Thomas Johnson in May 1832. The confusion stems in part from the fact that the original mission building, like all Methodist missions to the ndians, was primarily a school. It also furnished space for religious services as needed, but a

Page 2


separate church building would normally not be built until the congregation had grown to sufficient size to warrant it.

This first mission building, as distinct from the church, originally lay somewhere in the area between Anderson's Town and the Grinter ferry. The Rev. Edward T. Peery was assigned to the mission from 1833 to 1837, and was replaced by the Rev. Learner B. Stateler on October 9, 1838. Late in that year, or early the next, Rev. Stateler relocated the mission school to a new building in the vicinity of the present South 78th Street and Speaker Road, near Stony Point South Elementary School. The Shawnee Indian Manual Labor School was opened in October of 1839 under the supervision of the Rev. Thomas Johnson, and from that point on the Methodists began to consolidate their educational efforts at the new school. In February, 1844, the Delaware agreed that their school fund for the next ten years would go to the manual labor school, and nothing more is recorded of the Delaware Methodist Mission school as a separate entity.

By 1834, the congregation of the Delaware Methodist Mission church had forty members. This number fluctuated greatly over the next twenty-five years, but the average stood between fifty and sixty. It is uncertain if there was ever a separate church building at a prior location, but the first church at the present site was onstructed in 1840. (The distance between church and school, some three and one-half miles, was not unusual, as they were largely separate operations.) The ewed-log structure was dedicated on July 3, 1840, by the Rev. Thomas Johnson, acting as Superintendent of the District.


This first building stood on the southeast corner of the property, where the parking lot and Sunday school wing are today. This first church burned in 1844, and was soon replaced by a frame building on the same site. The new church measured approximately forty by sixty feet and was painted white, which was apparently nough of a novelty at this date to cause the building to be called the White Church thereafter. The church cemetery was located to the northwest of the building. It was the burial place of many of the most notable members of the Delaware Nation, including the Ketchum family, as well as Isaac Mundy (1814-1858), the longtime acksmith and government paymaster for the tribe.

One of the earliest burials of which any record remains is that of Captain Ketchum, Principal Chief of the Delaware Nation, in July of 1857. At the time of his death at the age of 77,

he had been a church member for 22 years. The Ketchums also played a prominent role in the split of the congregation in 1845, when the national Methodist Episcopal Church was divided on the issue of slavery. The Indian Mission Conference, which had just been organized the previous year, chose to go with the southern division and thus the newly built church and its missionary became part of the new Methodist Episcopal Church South. Most of the Delaware congregation ollowed their missionary into the South church, including the Rev. James Ketchum, the first ordained minister in the Nation. However, his brother the Rev. Charles Ketchum, a deacon and noted orator, led a portion of the congregation in adhering to the parent church. Where this separate congregation met, and whether or not they had their own church building, has never been adequately determined. Despite the division, the two brothers were subsequently buried side-by-side in the cemetery.

In anticipation of the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would open much of Kansas to white settlement, both the Shawnee and the Delaware were ersuaded to sign new treaties with the government, giving up lands that were supposed to have been theirs “forever.” On May 6, 1854, the Delaware signed a treaty giving up their western outlet and substantially reducing the size of their reserve, to 275,000 acres. (The northern boundary of the Diminished Reserve, as it was called, eventually became part of the boundary between Wyandotte and Leavenworth Counties.) Then in the Treaty of Sarcoxieville on May 30, 1860, the Delaware were 1

He had arrived home from the annual meeting of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church a week before, only to find that two of his four children had died in his absence.



persuaded by the government to take their land in severalty as provided for in the 1854 treaty, effectively dissolving the reservation. Each tribal member was allotted 80 acres, and 40 acre

tracts were set aside for both Methodist churches. The unallotted balance of the reserve was to be sold to the Leavenworth, Pawnee and Western Railway (later to become the Kansas Pacific) at $1.25 per acre. The treaty was protested by a substantial number of Delaware, but to no avail.


Still not satisfied, in a treaty signed at Leavenworth a year later between the Delaware and the Leavenworth, Pawnee and Western’s attorney, Thomas Ewing, Jr., the railroad was able to secure title to the Delaware lands with a mortgage in place of a cash settlement. The railroad issued bonds to pay for the land, using 100,000 acres as security, then offered the remaining 123,000 acres for sale at $20 to $50 an acre. This allowed a profit of up to $3,000,000 without the railroad investing a cent of its own money.

During the Civil War, the Delaware repeatedly demonstrated their loyalty to the Union. Delaware volunteers served with Fremont in southern Missouri in the fall of 1861, and joined Col. William Weer’s Indian expeditionary force to the Cherokee Nation in 1862. At one point, Delaware enlisted in the service of the Union numbered 170, out of 201 eligible men between the ages of 18 and 45. The government in turn agreed that the Delaware could remain on their Kansas reserve, and promised to build a school and restore stolen tribal funds (neither of which was done). A report drafted in September 1864 by the Delaware Indian Agent, the Rev. John G. Pratt, stated that there were 1,065 members of the Delaware Nation resident on the Reserve, with holdings of substantial value, but noted, “The Delawares are affected by the unsettled conditions of the country. Many of them are in the army. Their families are consequently left without male assistance.”

Demoralized, cheated out of much of their land, and their tribal existence in danger, the Delaware signed a new treaty on July 4, 1866, in which they agreed to sell their remaining lands to the Missouri River Railroad Company (Missouri Pacific) for $2.50 an acre and remove to the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory. (The Delaware treaties are an excellent example of how the term “being railroaded” originated.) The move was made in the winter and spring of 1867-1868, with much hardship and numerous deaths. One hundred and seventy-five Delaware chose to give up their tribal relations, become United States citizens, and retain their 80-acre allotments in Wyandotte and Leavenworth Counties. The White Church and its cemetery also remained, and continued an active existence as a Southern Methodist church.

A small community including a school and a dozen or so houses had gradually grown up around the church, and by 1870 this community was itself being called White Church, a label which persists to this day. For a while the church building was shared with a third congregation, the White Church Cumberland Presbyterian Church, organized in April 1869. The group continued to worship at the White Church until 1883, when their own building was completed near the present 112th and Parallel. The original White Church was destroyed by a tornado on May 11, 1886. Its ruins were still scattered about the area two years later, but the small congregation lacked the funds to build a replacement. Instead, for the next 20 years the congregations of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Methodist Episcopal Church both met in the adjacent school. The question of property titles in the former Delaware Reserve was often confused and the subject of much litigation. As a result, the Methodist Episcopal Church South never did have a full title to the site of the old White Church (its 40 acre allotment under the treaty of 1860 was apparently elsewhere). Instead, it had only managed to secure a title to an undivided one half 2

The Delaware Indian Agent, Thomas B. Sykes, reportedly tracked one chief down on a buffalo hunt and forced him to sign. He was also accused of getting three of the chiefs drunk in order to secure their signatures.



interest in the acre on which the church originally stood, excluding the cemetery. In 1901 Robert Wise, who owned the adjoining land to the north and west including the Delaware Indian cemetery, proposed to the church to deed to it the ground on which the cemetery was located in exchange for its undivided one half interest in the acre on which the old church had stood. This was accepted and the ownership of the cemetery tract passed to the church while Mr. Wise took title to the old church site. Shortly thereafter, in 1904, the congregation was able to secure a loan from the Methodist Episcopal Church South building fund. The church then hired W. W. Rose, the most prominent architect of that period in Kansas City, Kansas, to design a new building. The new church was small but impressive, a simple ectangle in plan with an entry surmounted by a bell tower projecting from the eastern side of the main block. The exterior was carried out in roughly dressed stone masonry with wide joints. Corner buttresses, Gothic arched openings, and a subdued machicolation at the top of the bell tower formed the only decorative elements. The windows, however, were beautiful examples of stained glass work, and were dedicated to the memory of the Methodist missionaries who had served the Delaware. The Memorial White Church, as it was called, was dedicated on July 29, 1906. A cemetery association was organized in 1914, and the church trustees deeded the west 152 feet of their new site to this organization.

In the 1930s, the church property went through a number of changes. On November 4, 1931, the congregation voted to withdraw from the Methodist Episcopal Church South and subsequently reorganized as a Community Church. The trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church South deeded the church property to the new church organization on June 10 of the following year for the sum of $600, ending 100 years of Methodist history. And on February 5, 1934, the widow of Robert Wise deeded the property he had acquired in 1901 back to the church for a park and playground to be known as Wise Memorial Park. The original church site, the new church, and the Delaware Indian cemetery were thus rejoined under a single ownership.

Further changes have occurred in subsequent years, but the integrity of the third church and the cemetery remain largely unimpaired. A kitchen and social hall were added to the west of the church by architect J. G. Braecklein in 1933-34, carrying the building up to (and possibly beyond) the cemetery line. (One source states that the addition was not carried out until 1945, and that a number of graves were moved at this time.) The Wise Memorial Park was converted to church use when a Sunday school wing was constructed to the south of the west addition in 1954 and 1965, with a parking lot to the east. The congregation changed its affiliation once more, and is now the White Church Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The church and cemetery were placed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places on February 13, 1982, and nominated to the National Register as well. Unfortunately, the National Register nomination was rejected by the Department of the Interior on the grounds of questionable historic significance, a decision surely at odds with all that has occurred here over the past 150 years.




Barry, Louise. The Beginning of the West: Annals of the Kansas Gateway to the American West 1540-1854. Topeka: Kansas State Historical Society, no date (1972).

Brown, Barbara et al. "Built on Faith...Nourished with Love:" White Church Christian Church Sesquicentennial Celebration 1832-1982. Kansas City, Kansas: White Church Christian Church, 1982.

Caldwell, Martha B. Annals of Shawnee Methodist Mission and Indian Manual Labor School. 1939. Topeka: The Kansas State Historical Society, 1977 (Second Edition).

Carson, Alta Marie. "New Light on a 'Forgotten' Pioneer." The Kansas City Kansan, no date. A fairly extensive article on Isaac Mundy.

Farley, Alan W. The Delaware Indians in Kansas: 1829-1867. Kansas City, Kansas: self published, 1955.

Harrington, Grant W. Historic Spots or Mile-Stones in the progress of Wyandotte County,

Kansas. Merriam, Kansas: The Mission Press, 1935.

Nichols, Deborah and Laurence M. Hauptman. “Warriors for the Union.” Civil War Times Illustrated, Vol. XXXV, No. 7, February 1997: 34-41.


Kansas State Board of Agriculture, First Biennial Report, 1878

Wyandotte County

Moses Grinter was the first white settler in the bounds of what is now Wyandotte county. He located near where the station of Secondine now stands, in 1831, and lived there till his death in the fall of 1878.

In May, 1843, Silas Armstrong and George Clark, with their families, and Miss Jane Tilles, now Mrs. William Cook, came to this section to select a reservation for the Wyandottes, who were to be removed from Ohio. Mr. Armstrong was also to build a trading store for the nation, which he did. The town of Armstrong was named after this Silas Armstrong.

In May, 1832, a mission school was established among the Delaware Indians, near the white church, by Rev. Thomas Johnson, a Methodist minister.

In 1837, John G. Pratt located on Section 10, Town. 30, Range 23, about 16 miles west of Wyandotte City [now Kansas City], where he still resides. He established a Baptist mission among the Delawares. Mrs. Pratt is still living at the old place, and has never visited either Wyandotte or Leavenworth. Mr. Pratt has published several hymn books in the Delaware language, one of which was as printed at the Wyandotte Herald office. Mr. Pratt was appointed agent for the Delawares by President Lincoln. One of his sons married a daughter of Charles Journeycake, a well known Delaware chief. His oldest daughter is the wife of Col. Sam. Black, of Leavenworth.

On the 31st of July, 1843, the first party of the Wyandottes came to this section, and, with them, a number of whites; of these, there are still living, Mrs. Lucy B. Armstrong, Miss Anna H. Ladd and Mrs. Lydia B. Walker. Mrs. Wm. Cook, who came in the May previous, is also still alive.

Hiram N. Northrup, now a leading banker and prominent citizen of Wyandotte, located here in 1844. He married Miss Margaret Clark. This marriage was the first in the county, and was celebrated at the Methodist Episcopal parsonage, by Rev. James Wheeler. Miss Clark was a member of the Wyandotte nation, and, by this marriage, Mr. Northrup was adopted as a member of that nation, and was one of the most prominent and trusted men in this section. In 1855, the Wyandottes made a treaty with the Government, by which their lands were divided in severalty, and most of them became citizens, the heads of families being allowed to sell their lands; as soon as this was done, white settlers came in rapidly.

On the 2d of September, 1854, a convention was held at Wyandotte, on the spot where Dunning Hall now stands, at which a provisional government was formed for the Territory. At this convention, William Walker, a Wyandotte Chief, was appointed Provisional Governor; Matthew R. Walker, Probate Judge, and George I. Clarke, Secretary. Col. Russell Garrett and Isaiah Walker are the only delegates to that convention now known to be living.

On the 8th of April, 1856, two churches, which had been built under the auspices of the Methodist church, at Wyandotte, were burned down. Mrs. Lucy B. Armstrong was teaching a school in one of these churches at the time. The first school opened in the county was taught by John B. Armstrong, in a building standing on the east side of Fourth street, between Kansas and Nebraska avenues, in Wyandotte.

The first frame building in the county was the Methodist parsonage, erected in 1844, in the northern portion of Wyandotte City. Its first occupant was Rev. James Wheeler.  The first mill in the county was erected in 1852, by Mathias Splitlog. It was run by horse power, and was located where the residence of the late Hon. S. A. Cobb stands, on what is called Splitlog's hill. The first jail in the county was erected by the Wyandottes, near the Council house, in 1848. Its first occupant was locked up for being drunk. In those days, when a woman got drunk her head was shaved; while a man was imprisoned.

Early in the spring of 1857, George W. Veale, now of Topeka; V. J. Lane, now editor of the Wyandotte Herald; Charles Robinson, now of Lawrence; A. D. Richardson, author of "Beyond the Mississippi;" John M. Walden, now agent of the M. E. Book Concern, at Cincinnati; S. C. Smith, who was private secretary of Gov. Robinson; P. T. Colby, appointed U. S. Marshal by President Buchanan; Fielding Johnson, agent for the Delawares; Alfred Gray, who was the first Mayor of Quindaro; M. B. Newman, Perley Pike, Charles Chadwick, Morris Sherman and Owen C. Bassett, located at Quindaro. At about the same time, Col. Dan Killin, now of Miami county; Dr. F. Speck, at present Mayor of the city; E. L. Buesche, John E. Zeitz, Hester A. Halford, Mrs. J. W. Huskins, Nicholas McAlpin, Dr. J. P. Root, Col. S. W. Eldridge, L. H. Wood, Thomas J. Barker, John M. Funk, M. W. Delahay, Wm. Y. Roberts, N. A. Rheinecker, Col. J. R. Parr, C. S. Glick, George D. B. Bowling, Joseph Hanford, Dr. G. B. Wood and others, settled at Wyandotte. The first postmaster at Wyandotte was Thomas J. Barker; he used to bring the mail on his back from Kansas City to his office. There have been only four postmasters in the city, altogether. These were Mr. Barker, R. B. Taylor, E. T. Vedder, and the present incumbent, A. D. Downs, who was appointed by President Johnson.

A steam ferry was established at Quindaro in 1857, and one at Wyandotte in 1858. Neither of these are now in existence. The first steam flouring mill was built in 1858, by McAlpine & Washington. Silas Armstrong and Matthew R. Walker erected the first brick buildings in Wyandotte: the first, at the corner of Minnesota and Fifth streets, afterwards the Eldridge House, which was burned in 1865; the other is still standing on Third street.

The first bridge built across the Kaw river was erected in 1858, by private subscription; it was located about three miles above Wyandotte, and cost $15,000. In 1860, a tornado passed over this section, which tore out one span of this bridge, and the remainder soon disappeared.

In 1859, Wyandotte county was formed from territory belonging previously to Leavenworth and Johnson counties, and the first election under the new organization was held on the 20th of February of that year, at which J. W. Johnson was elected Probate Judge, Marshall A. Garrett, County Clerk; W. L. McMath, County Attorney; Samuel E. Forsythe, Sheriff; Robert Robitaille, County Treasurer; V. J. Lane, Register of Deeds; J. B. Wilburn, Superintendent of Public Instruction; Cyrus L. Gorton, Surveyor.

The first bank in the county was established by Davis & Post, in 1857. It was called the Exchange Bank. The first store established after the county was open to settlement, was by Barker & Walker.

In February, 1857, Colby & Parker opened the first hotel in the county; it was at Quindaro, in a building five stories high, and 60 by 80 feet. The first brick church built in the county, after it was opened for settlement was erected at Quindaro by the Methodists in 1857. The first survey for a railroad was made from Quindaro to Lawrence under the charter of the Missouri River & Rocky Mountain Railroad Company. The first grading for a railroad in Kansas was done at Wyandotte on the Kansas Valley Railroad. This was about twenty feet higher than the present road bed of the Kansas Pacific. The Kansas Pacific Railroad was put in operation in 1863. The first locomotive was called the Wyandotte. The Missouri River Railroad was put in operation in 1866.

In 1867, the county built a fine wooden bridge across the Kaw about two miles above the town of Armstong, at a cost of $165,000. There is also a fine iron bridge across the Kaw, connecting Wyandotte with Kansas City, Kansas, which cost $62,500. A street railway from the center of Wyandotte City to the State line of Missouri, a mile and a half long, was put in operation in 1873.

The convention that framed the present State constitution met at Wyandotte, July 29, 1859. The hall in which its meetings were held was afterwards used as quarters for the first Kansas regiment raised for the late war. It was a four-story building. The regiment moved out of it at half past ten on the morning of June 1, 1861; at twelve o'clock the same day the building tumbled into a heap of ruins. At the time it fell, Capt. James H. Harris was in it, with nineteen recruits, some of whom were so seriously injured that they afterwards died, though none were killed outright.

For the last five years, the growth of the county has been a substantial one, and the improvements of the solid character needed by its rapidly increasing business. Population in 1860, 2,609; in 1870, 10,015; increase in ten years, 7,406; population in 1875, 12,362; increase in five years, 2,347; population in 1878, 13,161; increase in eighteen years, 10,552. Rural population, 6,449; city or town population, 6,712; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 49.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.









Kansas City










Wyandotte City






Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 20 per cent.; upland, 80 per cent.; forest (Government survey), 25 per cent.; prairie, 75 per cent. Average width of bottoms, one to two miles; general surface of the country, undulating and bluffy.

Timber. - Timber abounds to a greater or less extent throughout the county; the entire county was formerly heavily timbered, except the extreme northern limit. Varieties: cottonwood, walnut, oak, hickory, sycamore, pecan, hackberry, etc.

Principal Streams. - The Missouri forms the northeastern boundary of the county, flowing in an easterly and southerly direction; the Kansas river forms part of the southern boundary, then flows north and east into the Missouri at Wyandotte; each has numerous tributaries well distributed through the county. The county abounds in splendid springs; good well water obtained at a depth of from 20 to 50 feet.

Coal.- For the object of testing the practicability of reaching coal at Wyandotte, boring was commenced in 1875, under the direction of a company organized for that purpose. The diameter of the bore is 4-1/2 inches. At the depth of 250 feet, gas was struck. A constant issue of gas has escaped since it was reached, in May, 1875. It is estimated that 10,000 cubic feet of gas escape hourly, affording 240,000 feet every 24 hours; a sufficient quantity, it is estimated, to light a city of double the population of both Wyandotte and Kansas City. The boring has reached salt water, and the escaping gas forces up a constant stream of this water to the height of from 12 to 15 feet. The gas roars like the escape of steam from an engine, and when ignited, as it has been at night, a continual column of flame, of several feet in diameter, is seen shooting into the air to the height of from 30 to 40 feet. This gas has been, as yet, utilized only in an experimental way. A two-inch pipe conducts a sufficient quantity of it to the house of a Mr. Wilderman, to supply all needed light and fuel. The engine which is used in continuing the boring for coal is constantly run by the use of this gas as its only fuel. The gas burns with a strong, clear, white flame, and is free from sulphurous smell. The salt water yields 4-1/4 ounces of salt per gallon of water; the salt being free from impurities. At the depth of 500 feet, coal had not yet been reached.

Building Stone, etc. - Fine quarries of white magnesian limestone extend for five miles along the Kansas river - it is similar to the Cottonwood Falls stone; also, an excellent quality of blue limestone for building purposes. The abutments and piers of the Kansas Pacific Railway bridges built the present season near Wyandotte are constructed of this stone.

Railroad Connections. - The Kansas Pacific Railway runs through the county, following the north bank of the Kansas river; principal stations, Wyandotte, Armstrong and Edwardsville. The Missouri River Railroad (an extension of the Missouri Pacific Railroad), follows the south bank of the Missouri river to Leavenworth and Atchison; principal stations, Wyandotte, Quindaro, Pomeroy, Barker's Tank and Connor.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 97,920; taxable acres, 90,577; under cultivation, 43,281.12; cultivated to taxable acres, 47.78 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 3,525.87.

LARGE YIELD. - Statement by J. H. Hollingsworth, Connor Station:

Potatoes. - I planted one acre of rich sandy upland with Climax potatoes, in the middle of April. The land is in Section 13, Township 10, Range 23. The crop was ploughed twice and hoed once, being planted in drills about 12 inches in the row and 3 feet the other way. I harvested them from the 1st to the 15th of September, the produce of the acre being 200 bushels; the cost of producing being $4.50.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $17,784; poultry and eggs, $7,404.

STATEMENT showing the Acreage of Field Crops named from 1872 to 1878, inclusive.









Winter Wheat
















Spring Wheat








































Irish Potatoes








Sweet Potatoes
















Castor Beans








































Broom Corn








Millet and Hungarian








Timothy Meadow








Clover Meadow








Prairie Meadow








Timothy Pasture








Clover Pasture








Blue-Grass Pasture








Prairie Pasture
















Increase in six years, 46-per cent. Average increase per annum, 7.67-per cent.

RANK of Wyandotte County in the Crops named below, as to Acreage, and in Cultivated Acreage for the years mentioned in the foregoing table.

























Total Acreage in all Crops








STATEMENT showing the Acres, Product and Value of Principal Crops for 1878, together with the Increase and Decrease as compared with 1877.



FROM 1877.

IN 1878.

FROM 1877.

IN 1878.

FROM 1877.

Winter Wheat - bu.


4,008.00 in.


68,907.00 in.


11,329.50 in.

Rye - bu.


483.00 de.


7,972.00 de.


3,619.00 de.

Spring Wheat - bu.


2.00 de.


20.00 in.


36.00 de.

Corn - bu.


493.00 in.


53,686.00 in.


27,984.04 de.

Barley - bu.


31.00 de.


650.00 de.


233.00 de.

Oats - bu.


451.00 in.


13,530.00 in.


5,352.60 in.

Buckwheat - bu.


94.00 de.


1,300.00 de.


1,040.00 de.

Irish Potatoes - bu.


1,683.00 de.


78,120.00 de.


136,458.00 de.

Sweet Potatoes - bu.


36.88 de.


6,233.20 de.


8,196.56 de.

Sorghum - gall.


77.50 de.


8,912.50 de.


4,456.25 de.

Castor Beans - bu.


7.00 de.


85.00 de.


82.25 de.

Cotton - lbs.







Flax - bu.


8.00 in.


88.00 in.


88.00 in.

Hemp - lbs.


150.50 de.


138,460.00 de.


8,307.60 de.

Tobacco - lbs.


7.00 de.


5,180.00 de.


518.00 de.

Broom Corn - lbs.


46.50 de.


37,200.00 de.


1,395.00 de.

Millet and Hungarian - tons


57.00 in.


414.50 in.


2,901.50 in.

Timothy Meadow - tons


485.50 in.


728.25 in.


5,826.00 in.

Clover Meadow - tons


674.50 in.


1,011.75 in.


8,094.00 in.

Prairie Meadow - tons


311.50 de.


404.00 de.


2,828.00 de.

Timothy Pasture acres


136.00 in.





Clover Pasture - acres


613.50 in.





Blue-Grass Pasture - acres


188.25 de.





Prairie Pasture - acres


717.00 in.







3,525.87 in.




$161,562.10 de.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 141,496 bushels, or an average of 54 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 50 lbs.; in 1878, 2,500 lbs.; increase, 2,450 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 94,408 lbs.; in 1878, 83,588 lbs.; decrease, 10,820 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 2,550; in 1878, 2,181; decrease, 369. Mules and asses, in 1877, 525; in 1878, 544; increase, 19. Milch cows, in 1877, 2,014; in 1878, 1,858; decrease, 156. Other cattle, in 1877, 2,918; in 1878, 3,109; increase, 191. Sheep, in 1877, 1,490; in 1878, 689; decrease, 801. Swine, in 1877, 10,681; in 1878, 13,228; increase, 2,547

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 47; value of sheep killed by dogs, $141.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 1,106 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $111,800.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 7; number of trees in bearing: apple, 51,932; pear, 1,247; peach, 18,895; plum, 940; cherry, 6,456. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 57,396; pear, 1,440; peach, 13,109; plum, 1,243; cherry, 580.

Herd Law. - Herd law not in force. A letter says: "It would save an immense amount of fencing. Even in this timbered country we can not afford to maintain fences."

Fences. - Stone, 1,556 rods; cost, $3,112. Rail, 243,739 rods; cost, $280,299.85. Board, 32,056 rods; cost, $44,878.40. Wire, 3,666 rods; cost, $2,566.20. Hedge, 37,563 rods; cost, $22,537.80. Total rods of fence, 318,580; total cost, $353,394.25.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 787; pounds of honey, 14,961; wax, 826.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $17,617.

Manufactures. - Delaware township: steam grist mill, capital, $1,200. Kansas City, Kansas: pork packing establishment, steam-power, capital, $50,000; beef and pork packing house, steam-power, capital, $1,000,000; steam glue factory, capital, $4,000; carpenter and joiner shops, 5, capital, $100,000; cooper shops, 7, capital, $500,000; soap factory; grist mill, capital, $10,000; saddle tree factory, capital, $2,000; ice houses, 11, capital, $50,000. Prairie township: cheese factory. Quindaro township: steam saw mill, capital, $600; steam grist mill, capital, $10,000. Shawnee township: steam saw mills, 2, capital, $800; steam-power rolling mill, capital, $80,000. Wyandotte township: steam saw mill, capital, $1,000; steam saw and grist mill, capital, $700; steam grist mill, capital, $1,500; steam-power machine shops, capital, $120,000. City of Wyandotte: steam saw mill, capital, $2,500; harness manufactory, capital, $500; wagon factory, capital, $1,500; cigar manufactories, 2, capital, $6,000; plough manufactory, steam-power, capital, $1,000; steam grist mills, 3, combined capital, $40,000; broom factory, capital, $1,200; vinegar factory, capital, $3,500; tinware manufactory, capital, $2,000. Shawnee township: steam saw mills, 2, capital invested, $1,000; steam-power rolling mill, capital, $80,000.

THE KANSAS ROLLING MILLS. - These mills are located at Rosedale, in Wyandotte county, about four and one-half miles from Kansas City. They were built in 1875, the machinery being brought from Decatur, Illinois, and operations were commenced in November, 1875. There is now employed a force of 275 men; but the pay-rolls frequently show as many as 325 names. The works are under the immediate direction of Ira Harris, Manager and Treasurer of the company. A. B. Stone, of New York City, is President; W. H. Harris, of Cleveland, Ohio, Vice-President; E. V. Wilkes, Secretary, and D. S. Mathias, Superintendent. The mills consume an average of 3,600 bushels of coal each day, and produce, when running full time, 268,800 pounds of rails, weighing 56 pounds to the yard. The same heating also produces 55,000 pounds of splice bars, and 80 kegs of railroad spikes, weighing 150 pounds to the keg. There is also made at these mills, wrought iron draw-heads, and the company is arranging to put in an additional train of rolls. At present they have three roll trains - one 21 inches, one 18 inches, and one of 12 inches in diameter; the new roll will be nine inches in diameter. They have nine large furnaces, which can be used for either the 18 or 21-inch train; one furnace for the steam hammer, and one for heating spike rods. There are five steam engines in use, and three steam pumps. The main engine has a 32-inch cylinder and a 36-inch stroke; its fly wheel weighs 30 tons. The wages paid the employees range from one dollar to eight dollars per day. The skilled workmen are paid by the piece, the scale being fixed at so much per ton of manufactured goods. The pay rolls vary from $8,000 to $20,000 per month. The amount paid for wages for the seven months ending February 1, 1878, was $69,931.15. The value of new rails made during the same period was $366,246.88. To produce this quantity of rails required 11,100 tons of iron. The average daily consumption of iron is 130 tons, of 2,240 pounds each. In 1878, there were manufactured 1,350 tons of splice bars, valued at about $50,000. About 15,000 tons of new rails were turned out during the last year, the aggregate value of which was nearly $500,000.

The Kansas City Car Wheel Company, which has its mills at Rosedale, was organized in May, 1877. Its officers are: O. D. Moore, of Rosedale, President and Manager; W. H. Green, of St. Louis, Mo., Vice-President. At present this company can turn out about 300 car wheels and 150 tons of other castings for railroad machinery and ore crushers per month. It employs now from 18 to 30 men, one-third of whom are moulders. The pay-roll is from $750 to $900 per month.

The Kansas Iron Fence Company is also located at Rosedale. This company commenced work in June, 1878. Ira Harris, President; E. V. Wilkes, Secretary and Treasurer; and J. R. Brown, Superintendent. As now working, it employs 19 men and boys, paying about $500 per month. Its capacity is now 800 pounds of barbed wire, and the iron posts, braces, stays, etc., for the same per day; but steam engines now contracted for will increase its capacity to 1,900 pounds of wire, or two miles of iron and steel fence complete, each day.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $194,181; railroad property, $514,492.36; total assessed valuation of all property, $2,203,040.86; true valuation of all property, $3,671,734.77. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $354,328.84; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, 12-.

Newspaper History. - The first paper published in Wyandotte City was the Wyandotte Citizen, by Ephraim Abbott. It was established in 1857, or early in 1858, but was continued only a few months. It was succeeded by the Western Argus, which was printed on the same material, and published by the Western Argus Company, J. E. Bennett, editor, and P. Sidney Post, commercial editor. The first number of the Argus was issued March 25, 1858, and it was continued till March 9, 1861, when the material was sold to R. B. Taylor, on which to print the Wyandotte Gazette. The Wyandotte Gazette was established August 7, 1858, by S. D. Macdonald, editor and proprietor. Mr. Macdonald continued the publication one year, issuing a daily during the sitting of the Constitutional Convention, and then suspended. In August, 1860, Mr. Macdonald, having associated with himself R. B. Taylor, resumed the publication of the Gazette. This partnership continued but a few weeks, when Mr. Taylor leased the office from Mr. Macdonald and published the paper alone. On the 15th of January, 1861, while the editor was in the East, the office was entirely destroyed by fire. When Mr. Taylor returned he purchased the material of the Argus office, and printed the Gazette on it. He continued the publication of the Gazette till the spring of 1867, when Philpott & Brown got possession of the office, printing the paper for about three months, but failing to comply with the terms of sale, Mr. Taylor resumed control of the establishment, and published the paper till October 1, 1869, when he leased the office to Kessler & Tuttle. On the 1st of January, 1870, Mr. Tuttle withdrew, leaving Mr. Kessler sole lessee and editor, under whose management it remained till July 1, 1870, when Mr. Taylor again assumed control, and continued the publication of the paper till his death, March 26, 1877, since which time, his son, W. B. Taylor, has conducted the paper. The Gazette has always been Republican in politics.

The Wyandotte Reporter was started by M. W. Delahay in the spring of 1857. The material was sold to S. D. Macdonald the same year. In April, 1857, the publication of the Quindaro Chindowan, a Free-State paper, was commenced by Babb & Walden. The paper was published by them a year, when it was suspended. It was afterwards revived and published by the Quindaro Board of Trade, of which Alfred Gray was President. The Wyandotte Democrat was published about a year and a half, commencing in May, 1857, by J. A. Berry. Its name was indicative of its politics. The material was removed to Pleasanton, Linn county. The Kansas Tribune was established at Quindaro in the fall of 1859, by Francis & Davis. It was printed on the material previously used for the Chindowan. In about three months Mr. Davis retired, and Mr. Francis continued the publication till the spring of 1861, when he removed the office to Olathe The Kansas Post, a German weekly paper, was removed to Wyandotte, from Kansas City, in the early part of the war and published for one year, by A. Wuerz and John Haberlein. It was again moved to Kansas City. The first number of Die Fackel (The Torch), was printed in Wyandotte, September 12, 1866, by Kastor, Ficher & Co., H. W. Kastor, editor. On the 1st of January, 1868, the paper was removed to Atchison. The Kansas Real Estate Herald was issued at Wyandotte, by E. F. Heisler, from November, 1868, to July, 1869. The Kansas Pilot was established at Kansas City, Kansas, May 1, 1878, by William Caffrey, editor and proprietor. It is a weekly, and Republican in politics. The Wyandotte Herald was established by V. J. Lane, on the 4th of January, 1872. It is a Democratic paper, and its publication is still continued by the original proprietor.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 39; school population, 5,235; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $46.33; females, $31.67. School houses built during 1878, none. Total number of school houses, 44; log, 1; frame, 31; brick, 7; stone, 5. Value of all school property, $85,733. The principal district school grounds are enclosed and ornamented with a variety of young shade trees, mostly silver maple.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 6; membership, 200; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $1,500. Congregational: organizations, 5; membership, 136; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,500. Episcopal: organizations, 1; membership, 16; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,000. *Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 6; membership, 150; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $5,000. Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 15. Roman Catholic organizations, 3; membership, 2,000; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $10,000.

* Return for 1876. No returns for 1878.

Transcribed from First Biennial Report of the State Board of Agriculture to the Legislature of the State of Kansas, for the Years 1877-8 embracing statistical exhibits, with diagrams of the agricultural, industrial, mercantile, and other interests of the state, together with a colored outline map of the state, and sectional maps, in colors, of each organized county, showing their relative size and location, railroads, towns, post offices, school houses, water powers, etc., etc. Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Board of Agriculture. Rand, McNally & Co., Printers and Engravers, Chicago. 1878. Transcribed by Megan Wade and Casey Rowe, March 2002.

* * *


By general consent, Moses Grinter is awarded the priority among the early settlers of Wyandotte County. He located near where the station of Secundine afterward stood, in 1831. and lived there up to the time of his death, which occurred June 1, 1878. The next white man to stop within the limits of Wyandotte County was Rev. Thomas Johnson, a Methodist minister. who established a mission school among the Delaware Indians, near "the white church."

In April, 1837, Rev. John G. Pratt located upon Section 10, Town 30. Range 23. about sixteen miles west of Wyandotte City, where he still resides. He established a Baptist mission among the Delawares, published several hymn hooks in their language. and one of his sons married a daughter of Charles Journeycake's, a well-known chief. He is now-the oldest settler in the county and the following account which he gives of the tribe is therefore of more than usual interest and value:

That part of the country on the north side of the Kansas River was first settled by the Delawares in 1829. They came from Ohio, and brought with them a knowledge of agriculture, and many of them habits of industry. They opened farms, built houses and cut out roads along the ridges and divides, also erecting a frame church at what is now the village of White Church. The south side of the Kansas River was settled by the Shawnee Indians in 1823. They also afterward came from Ohio, and were about as much advanced in civilization as the Delawares. They had a Methodist mission about three miles from Westport, a long time, it being presided over by Rev. Mr. Johnson; also a Quaker mission about two miles west of that. The population of the Delaware tribe when it first settled in Kansas, was 1,000. It was afterward reduced to 800. This was in consequence of contact with the wilder tribes, who were as hostile to the short-haired Indians as they were to the whites. Still the Delawares would venture out hunting buffalo and beaver, to be inevitably overcome and destroyed. Government finally forbade their leaving the reservation. The effect of this order was soon apparent in the steady increase of the tribe, so that when they removed in 1867, they numbered 1,160. The ruling chiefs from 1829 to 1867, were Ne-con-he-con, Qui-sha-to-what (Capt. John Ketchum), Nah-ko-mund (Capt. Anderson), Kock-a-to-wha (Sar-cox-ie), Charles Journeycakes, Qua-con-now-ha (James Sacondine or Secundine), Ah-cah-chick (James Connor) and Capt. John Connor."

Capt. John Ketchum, one of the most noted chiefs of the Delawares, died in August, 1857. He lived near White Church on the Lawrence road, and at the time of his death, which occurred at an advanced age, he was almost helpless. His funeral was attended by a large number of Indians, who came in their colored blankets and painted faces, carrying their guns. They were mounted on horseback, and as the procession slowly followed the remains of their chief along the windings of the forest road, they seemed truly the sorrowful survivors of a once powerful race.

* * *

On May 8, 1827, Colonel Henry Leavenworth established Cantonment Leavenworth on the site of the present fort.  It was intended to be the principal western depot for government supplies, which were shipped up the Missouri River by boat and then distributed overland to the various posts on what was intended to be the permanent border between the United States and Indian Country.  It soon became evident that, for the supply system to function smoothly, a ferry would be needed across the Kansas River.  Accordingly, in January 1831, a twenty-one year old Kentuckian named Moses R. Grinter was sent to establish and operate a ferry at a point on the river near the present intersection of 78th and Kaw Drive. [1]   At that time, the area north of the Kansas River was part of the Delaware Reserve, established in 1829, while the lands on the south bank were part of the Shawnee Reserve, established in 1826.  

The Grinter ferry was a typical rope ferry, the type most frequently used on the larger streams such as the Kansas River.  It was designed so that the current furnished the motive power.  A heavy cable was stretched across the river, on which ran two pulleys from which ropes were attached to each end of the boat.  When the ferryman was ready to start across, he would release one end of the rope to head the boat upstream.  The current pushing against the side of the boat would then propel the ferry to the opposite shore.  The boatman controlled the movement by winching the cables with a windlass to hold the boat at different angles.  This was a slow process, as generally only one team and wagon at a time could be carried.  In the case of the Grinter ferry, the charge to non-military users of the ferry was set at 50 cents for a passenger and two dollars for a wagon.

In the first years of the ferry's operation, the roads that ran to it were little more than Indian trails, but in 1836, Secretary of War Lewis Cass proposed the construction of a military road from Fort Snelling in Minnesota south to the Texas border, linking the forts and posts of the “permanent” Indian frontier.  In October of that year, the Delaware signed an agreement granting the government permission to open a road through their reserve.  From September 1 to October 8, 1837, the route for a section of Cass’ military road between Fort Leavenworth and the Arkansas River was surveyed by a party led by Col. Stephen Watts Kearny, but it was not until some five years later that the southern section of the Military Road was finally completed, connecting Fort Leavenworth with Shawnee Town, Fort Scott and the government posts beyond.  The Grinter ferry is often noted as having been on the Military Road from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Scott.  This is correct, but the establishment of the ferry predated the construction of the road by eleven years. 

In the summer of 1844 there was a great flood on the Kansas River following six weeks of rain in May and June.  The Grinters’ cabin was washed away, as was the Delaware mill on Mill Creek a short distance to the east and the village called Anderson's Town to the west where Edwardsville is today.  Both Anderson’s Town and the mill site were abandoned, but the Grinter ferry was soon back in operation. [2]   The Grinters then built a second, more substantial cabin higher up on the north bank, well above the flood level.

As the years passed, military and civilian traffic on the ferry steadily increased.  The Delaware Indian town of Secondine was established by James Secondyne, or Quar-cor-now-ha, to the east of the Grinter property across a small ravine or creek that may still be seen on the east side of 78th Street.  Stores, including a trading post operated by the Chouteau family, and a blacksmith shop operated by Issac Mundy for the Delaware, were built on the Grinter side of the creek. In 1849 James C. Grinter, a younger brother of Moses, came to Kansas.  He assisted as ferryman until 1855, and married Anna Grinter's sister Rosanna Marshall.  A post office called Delaware, the first in what is now Wyandotte County, was established in 1850 with Indian trader James Findlay as Postmaster.  As names (and spelling) were apparently somewhat flexible in the mid Nineteenth Century, it should perhaps be noted that the Grinter ferry, the Military ferry, Delaware, the Delaware ferry, Delaware Crossing, Secondine, and Secondyne all refer to the same small community. 

Moses Grinter was authorized to open a trading post with the Delaware on April 20, 1855, and continued to operate it until October of 1860.[3] The Kansas Pacific Railroad reached Secondine from Wyandott in April 1864, and was extended to a point opposite Lawrence by November.  A Secondine Station was established, and was located about 100 yards southeast of the Grinter house.  Depressions in the ground where the tracks were laid were still visible in 1963.  Despite the arrival of the railroad, the ferry remained in use throughout the years of the Civil War, hastening the crossing of troops and supplies from Fort Leavenworth to the Battle of Westport on October 23, 1864. 

The first bridge across the Kansas River, the Southern Bridge connecting Wyandott to Shawnee Town, had been built in 1858 some seven or eight miles downstream from the Grinter ferry.  This apparently did not affect the ferry greatly, as the two crossings served travelers on different routes.  But in 1867, a railroad bridge across the Kansas River at Wyandott was completed, and the ferry was becoming obsolete after nearly forty years of operation.  It was also in 1867 that the Delaware finally gave in to continuing pressure and sold their reservation in Kansas, moving to Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma the following winter.  The town of Secondine soon disappeared, its departure hastened by the removal of the station to Muncie a mile further east.  By 1870, the Grinter ferry, unlike several other ferries further upstream, was absent from the official map of Wyandotte County that was published in that year.  

Moses R. Grinter died on June 12, 1878, at the age of 69.  He was buried in the Grinter Chapel cemetery a quarter mile to the north of his house on ground that he and Anna had donated to the Methodist Episcopal Church South ten years before.  Anna Marshall Grinter died June 28, 1905, at the age of 85. 

[1] Accounts of this event vary, some saying that Grinter was in the Army at the time, others saying that that he was a civilian in Army employ, and some suggesting that he came from Kentucky specifically to operate the ferry.
[2] The Delaware Baptist Mission at Anderson’s Town survived the flood, but the abandonment of the town eventually led to the mission being relocated to near the present 110th Street and State Avenue.
[3] When closed on October 24, 1860, Moses Grinter’s account book showed $14,134.13 owed to him by his Delaware customers.

Barry, Louise.  The Beginning of the West:  Annals of the Kansas Gateway to the American West 1540-1854.  Topeka:  Kansas State Historical Society, no date (1972).
Farley, Alan W.  The Delaware Indians in Kansas: 1829-1867.  Kansas City, Kansas: 1955.
Hanson, Harry E.  A Historic Outline of Grinter Place from 1825 to 1878.  Kansas City, Kansas: self published, 1976.
Harrington, Grant W.  Historic Spots or Mile-Stones in the Progress of Wyandotte County, Kansas.  Merriam, Kansas:  The Mission Press, 1935.
Manning, Jack W.  "John Gill Pratt:  Missionary Printer, Physician, Teacher and Statesman."  Unpublished PhD. dissertation, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Kansas, 1951.
Morris FCE, The.  Morris 1821-1997:  A Community on the Ft. Leavenworth Military Road to the Santa Fe Trail.   Compiled by Dorothy Hart Kroh.  No place (Kansas City, Kansas):  no publisher (Morris Association for Family & Community Education), no date (1997).
Weslager, C. A.  The Delaware Indians:  A History.  New Brunswick, New Jersey:  Rutgers University Press, 1972.
 ----------.  The Delaware Indian Westward Migration.  Wallingford, Pennsylvania:  The Middle Atlantic Press, 1978.

* * * 

History of Wyandotte County
By Murrel Bland

    About 2,000 years ago, primitive Indians who were hunters and gatherers lived in what is now Wyandotte County, Kansas. Anthropologists believe that the confluence of two rivers— the Kansas and the Missouri— was a significant factor in attracting these Indians.
    In 1825, the federal government moved the Shawnee Indian tribe to Wyandotte County. The area had been under control of Spain and later France. However, the United States acquired the area as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
    In 1830, the federal government moved the Delaware Indian Tribe to Wyandotte County. Then in 1843, the Wyandotte Indians came here from Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
    The Wyandotte Tribe took an active part in community affairs. The chief, William Walker, became the first provisional governor of the Kansas-Nebraska Territory in 1854. Most of the Indians accepted U.S. citizenship. A few moved to Indian territory in Oklahoma. Today the official home of the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma is in Wyandotte, Okla.
    The first permanent white settler in Wyandotte County was Moses Grinter. He built Grinter House in 1857 which is now a state historical site which overlooks the Kansas River. Grinter's wife, Annie Marshall Grinter, was the daughter of a Delaware Indian woman and a French Indian trader. They married in 1836.
    Grinter was chosen by Col. Henry Leavenworth to operate the ferry across the Kansas River. Col. Leavenworth, who had established a military post, needed a ferry to link various military outposts that stretched from Ft. Snelling, Minn., to Ft. Gibson, Okla. These military posts were necessary to protect the stream of traders and travelers heading down the Santa Fe Trail and to preserve peace with the Indians.
    Grinter started operating the ferry in 1831. Travelers, both civilian and military, paid 50 cents a person or $2 a wagon to cross the river.
    The town of Wyandot was incorporated in 1858. It was located in what now is the downtown area of Kansas City, Kansas. Wyandotte County was incorporated in 1859. However, it was not soon enough for the county to have delegates at the convention which drafted the Kansas Constitution.
    Convention officials, although they met in the City of Wyandot, held that Wyandotte County had not been formed when the Kansas Territorial Legislature met on Feb. 11, 1859 to establish the convention. Wyandotte County, the smallest county in Kansas with 155.7 square miles of land, was made up from portions of Leavenworth and Johnson counties.
    Wyandotte County continued to grow in its early days. By 1870, it had more than 10,000 people. It was during this period that Kansas City, Kansas, became a railhead and received more than 120,000 head of cattle its first year.
    By the 1880s, population had grown to about 20,000. A real estate agent led in the effort of consolidate. In 1886, the cities of Wyandot, Armourdale, Armstrong and Kansas City, Kansas, were consolidated into one city— called Kansas City, Kansas. In 1890, the city had a population of more than 54,000 and more than 73,000 in 1900.
    In 1909 the City of Argentine became part of Kansas City, Kansas. The City of Rosedale was added in 1922. At that time the population of Wyandotte County was about 115,000. . .
   Industry has always been important to Wyandotte County. Railroads and the stockyards can trace it roots to the 1870s. In the early 1900s, several meat-packing houses were established near the banks of the Kansas River. Many immigrants from Slavic nations came here to work in the packing plants.
    Most of the original white settlers were of English and Irish descent. In the late 1870s and the early 1880s, many black persons came to Wyandotte County. They were called the "Exodustors" who migrated from southern states after the Civil War.
The railroads brought Mexicans to Wyandotte County.   

Cutler's History of Kansas - Wyandotte County

Full-text of William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL. From the Kansas Collection at CARRIE, Kansas Heritage Information Server.

Grinter Place State Historic Site

Grinter Place was an early trading post in Kansas Territory owned and operated by Moses Grinter and his wife, Annie, a Delaware Indian. Kansas State Historical Society site.

A History of the Schools of Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas
The story of many of the early schools in Kansas City, Kansas is found on this web site from USD #500.
Short History of Wyandotte County
From Prehistory through Kansas Territory and Statehood, by the Wyandotte County Historical Society and Museum.
"Views of the Past"

History of Kansas City, Kansas in pamphlets prepared by the KCK Bicentennial Committee. From the Kansas City Kansas Public Library.

Wyandotte County Historical Society and Museum

Hours of operation and contact information, holdings of the Harry M. Trowbridge Research Library.

Wyandotte County Photo History Album
From the Wyandotte County Economic Development Council.
Wyandotte Nation of Kansas

Official Wyandot Nation of Kansas page, "dedicated to the preservation of Wyandot history and culture and the preservation, protection, restoration and maintenance of the Huron Indian Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas"

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Cross Reference Map of Wyandotte County Showing Sections, Townships, and Ranges. Because we can not  find a better base map, we are removing some of the data in order to put in features of our own. You can follow the progress here, if you like as we make the changes.


Times New Roman 12 point.  Copy 24 October 2004. Photo check A. TH