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A memory of old Fort Harker

A memory of old Fort Harker
Creator: The Club Member
Date: February 1908
This reminiscence by Mrs. Henry Inman, published in The Club Member, describes her experiences as a Kansas pioneer. She moved to Fort Harker in January 1868 after a difficult journey in severe winter weather. She details various aspects of frontier life, including the U.S. military's conflicts with Native Americans and the daily struggle for survival. She also mentions how she met "Mother" Bickerdyke, and that her husband served in the Seventh Cavalry under General George Armstrong Custer.


A. Roenigk to George W. Martin

A. Roenigk to George W. Martin
Creator: Roenigk, Adolph, 1847-1938
Date: July 18, 1904
A letter from Adolph Roenigk of Lincoln, Kansas, to George W. Martin, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas. Roenigk recounts hearing from a Mr. Ferdinand Erhardt, of an Indian battle site in Lincoln County.


Bottle from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Bottle from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
This small clear bottle was recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. The bottle has a flat or patent finish and two recessed side panels. It may have once held patent medicine. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Bullets from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Bullets from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
These lead bullets were recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. The bullet in the top row is a .57 caliber and the three on the bottom row are all .44 caliber. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Buttons from a Child's Treasure Trove, 14EW310

Buttons from a Child's Treasure Trove, 14EW310
Date: 1930-1959
Shown are five of the 83 artifacts stored in a jar that was recovered during the Kansas Archeology Training Program excavation in 1996 at Fort Harker in Kanopolis, Kansas. The artifacts were discovered in a broken mustard jar, shown in the two slides, and may well represent a child's treasure, buried and forgotten sometime between the 1930s and the 1950s. Shown are four of the six buttons that were found: a lozenge-shaped shank button, two white plastic buttons now stained red/pink and a black and gold glass button. Slight traces of the silver coating on the belt buckle remain.


Buttons from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Buttons from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
These buttons were recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. Shown are two decorated metal buttons, a glass dome-shaped button, 2-hole glass and shell buttons, and a 4-hole glass piecrust type button. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Camp at Fort Harker in Ellsworth County, Kansas

Camp at Fort Harker in Ellsworth County, Kansas
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This photograph shows a camp at Fort Harker in Ellsworth County, Kansas. The fort was located in present day Kanopolis, Kansas. The image is from Alexander Gardner's series, Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division.


Flatware from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Flatware from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
All three pieces of flatware shown here were recovered during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school during a metal detection survey at Fort Harker in Ellsworth County. The spoon has the words "SENATE SILVERPLATE" on the back, indicating it was manufactured by Oneida. The pattern on the front of the spoon's handle matches the 'Jean' pattern which was made in 1932, post dating the fort's occupation by 60 years. There are no marks on the knife or the fork. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Fort Harker, Kansas

Fort Harker, Kansas
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This stereograph shows U.S. Army troops on the grounds of Fort Harker, Kansas. The photo was taken 500 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri, in present day Kanopolis, Kansas. It is from Alexander Gardner's series, Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division.


Fort Harker, Kansas, 218 miles west of Missouri River

Fort Harker, Kansas, 218 miles west of Missouri River
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This is a photo showing U. S. Army troops on the grounds of Fort Harker, Kansas. Fort Harker (originally called Fort Ellsworth) was established in 1864 in order to provide protection for the Kansas Stage Line and military wagon trains transporting goods along the Smoky Hill Trail and the Fort Riley Road. The fort closed in 1872 and was located in present day Kanopolis, Kansas. It is from Alexander Gardner's series, Across the Continent on the Kansas Pacific Railroad.


General Order No. 1, 18th Kansas Cavalry

General Order No. 1, 18th Kansas Cavalry
Creator: Moore, Horace L. (Horace Ladd), 1837-1914
Date: July 17, 1867
This order for the 18th Kansas Cavalry, located at Fort Harker, regulates the maintenance of cavalry horses. Fort Harker was established to provide protection for the Kansas Stage Line and the military supply trains traveling the Smoky Hill Trail and the Fort Riley Road. As stated in the order, these regulations are essential because "the efficiency of every cavalry command depends much upon the condition of its horses."


Gun Rack Label from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Gun Rack Label from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
This gun rack label was recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. The label is stamped with the letter "P." Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Infantry and General Service Buttons from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Infantry and General Service Buttons from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
These military buttons were recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. They are all made of brass. Those on the bottom row were in the same location and are all General Service buttons, the smallest made by the Scoville Manufacturing Company of Waterbury, Connecticut. The Infantry button on the top row has a faint "I" in the middle of shield and illegible back maker's marks. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


James Butler Hickok at Fort Harker, Kansas

James Butler Hickok at Fort Harker, Kansas
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This photograph shows James Butler Hickok, at far left, with a group of men at Fort Harker, Kansas. Fort Harker was located in present day Kanopolis, Kansas.


Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at  Fort Harker

Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at Fort Harker
Creator: Dean, Virgil W
Date: 1996
Here are five photographs of Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at Fort Harker 14EW310.


Kansas : early routes, old trails, historic sites, landmarks, etc.

Kansas : early routes, old trails, historic sites, landmarks, etc.
Creator: Root, George A. (George Allen), 1867-1949
Date: 1939 December
This map, created by George Allen Root and later reproduced by the Kansas Turnpike Authority, depicts trails, landmarks, and historic sites in the state of Kansas. The original map was compiled by George Allen Root and delineated by W. M. Hutchinson from information obtained from the Kansas State Historical Society.


Knapsack Hooks from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Knapsack Hooks from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
These knapsack hooks were recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. They were used to secure a soldier's knapsack, worn on the back and often topped with the soldier's bedroll. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Ladle Handle from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Ladle Handle from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1920
This ladle or spoon handle was recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program. The handle has a molded scrollwork pattern and may date to the period of the Fort's occupation or slightly later. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Map of Kansas, with parts of neighboring states and territories

Map of Kansas, with parts of neighboring states and territories
Creator: Hunnius, Ado, 1842-1923
Date: 1870
This map was drawn by Ado Hunnius at the request of Major General J. M. Schofield. It was compiled under the direction of 1st Lieutenant Henry Jackson of the 7th U.S. Cavalry in March 1870. It includes the location of forts in Kansas, southern Nebraska, eastern Colorado, and northern portions of Indian Territory (Oklahoma), as well as noting natural features (rivers, hills, etc.), trails, and Indian reservations.


Marbles from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Marbles from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1970
These marbles were recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. The glass marbles help to document the presence of children there and in the surrounding town. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Ornate Stove Burner Grate from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Ornate Stove Burner Grate from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
This cook stove burner grate was recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. The burner grate is decorated with a scroll work pattern while the other end has a claw-like pattern. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Pins from a Child's Treasure Trove, 14EW310

Pins from a Child's Treasure Trove, 14EW310
Date: 1930-1959
Shown are three of the 83 artifacts stored in a jar that was recovered during the Kansas Archeology Training Program field school excavation in 1996 at Fort Harker in Kanopolis, Kansas. The artifacts were discovered in a broken mustard jar, shown in the two slides, and may well represent a child's treasure, buried and forgotten sometime between the 1930s and the 1950s. These three stamped iron pins all had spring loaded pin backs. The oval pin with a picture of a skeleton key has the words "KEY COMMITTEE" printed on it. The other pins are a brass or bronze pin with an etched crisscross pattern and a rusty pin that may have once been white or silver colored.


Pipe Bowl from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Pipe Bowl from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
This ceramic pipe bowl was recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. The pipe bowl is manufactured of clay in a two-part mold (mold seams visible) and has a hexagonal shape. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Pocket Watch Fragments from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Pocket Watch Fragments from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
These pocket watch fragments were recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. Shown are two movement plates, a pocket watch back, and two bezels (a rim that fastens the watch case). One of the bezels has the stem wind crown in place. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County. This toy would have post dated the occupation of the fort.


Primer Pin for Field Artillery from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Primer Pin for Field Artillery from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
This primer pin for field artillery was recovered from Fort Harker during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program. It was excavated during the metal detector survey conducted there. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


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