I am afflicted with an insatiable appetite for history.
In past blogs, I've posted about the very ancient history of the Red Hills in describing hundred million year-old fossils from the Cretaceous Period found in sandstone and shale deposits. For this post, I'm skipping nearly all that geologic time frame straight to the age of humans. While emphasizing the early settlers and eventual ranching culture, I offer some insight to the hardships and perseverance of early pioneers as well as some obvious joy in early living in the Kansas Outback.
| A marker identifies the final resting spot of a native American just|
southeast of Ashland in Clark County.
|The Lodi Cemetery southeast of Medicine Lodge |
bears gravestones from some of the first white settlers
of Barber County.
|The earliest birthday found in the Lodi Cemetery. |
Some distant relative obviously replaced and updated
the original headstone. Nicely done!
|Many Civil War Veterans homesteaded in Kansas. J. W. Rhodes|
ended up in Barber County and eventually in the Lodi Cemetery.
|Thomas and Charles Watt met violent deaths from local|
open range advocates when they were carrying a load of
barbed wire across southern Barber County. These graves
are in a very remote tract of red dirt prairie.
|This homestead and settlement of several structures reside on a|
ranch near the Medicine River. Reports are that it was still
occupied in the 1950's.
|This rock cabin was reportedly owned by a former President, probably|
Calvin Coolidge as per a local resident. It's in a very remote area north of the Medicine River
in a very secluded canyon next to a spring.
|Of all the violent deaths witnessed by the Red Hills, perhaps none are as|
heart-wrenching as Rosa's. A thoughtful rancher friend donated this
memorial near Thompson Creek in Kiowa County.
|The cowboy heritage runs deep in the red soil of the Kansas Outback.|
This is a more modern day depiction of this respect in the
Sun City Cemetery.
The people and places of the Red Hills offer endless opportunity for study and adventure. Reading on-line and library research is a great way to start. Going to some of these places completes the passion. For more extensive history of the Jewish settlements and the Comanche Pool, reference http://kancoll.org/books/harris/sod_chap09.htm . (Thanks to Dennis Angle for the reference.)
Locations of some sites not available due to consideration for private property rights. The Lodi and Sun City cemeteries are both accessible.