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Mount Marty yearbook, 1910, Rosedale, Kansas Mount Marty yearbook, 1910, Rosedale, Kansas

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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1860s to 1870s (Benchmark 3) - Fed. Gov. and Indian lands (Indicator 1) - Depletion of buffalo and natural resources

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Buffalo hunt

Buffalo hunt
Date: 1869
This photograph depicts a buffalo hunt along the Big Timber River, located in Ellis County south of Hays, Kansas. Some more well-known members of the hunting party include General George Armstrong Custer, Hill P. Wilson, Captain Tom Custer, and General Samuel D. Sturgis.


Dodge City, Kansas

Dodge City, Kansas
Creator: Knight, J. Lee
Date: 1872
This photograph of a street scene in Dodge City, in Ford County, depicts three of the town's buildings. The building on the left was the first dance hall in Dodge City, owned by a man named Jones. The second building was a grocery and general store owned by George O. Smith and J. B. Edwards, and the third building, also a general store, was owned by a man named Wolf. Also visible are a crowd of men standing in the street, and two horse-drawn wagons loaded with buffalo hides. Dodge City is located on the Santa Fe Trail in western Kansas.


"From the Plains," New York Times

"From the Plains," New York Times
Creator: New York Times Company
Date: October 19, 1867
This brief article concerns the impending treaty negotiations between various Indian tribes and the U. S. government, which would eventually be signed at Medicine Lodge Creek, Barber County. The article mentions that, in case no peace treaties are signed, the military will protect settlers by stationing more soldiers on the plains and by hastening the completion of more railroads. These railroads would ensure that game animals, essential to the livelihood of the Indian tribes, would be wiped out.


James R. Mead to his father

James R. Mead to his father
Creator: Mead, James R. (James Richard), b. 1836
Date: August 26, 1860
In this letter, written from Burlingame, Kansas Territory, James R. Mead informs his father that he had come back to eastern Kansas to work for Mr. Titus, presumably pro-slavery Colonel Titus. Mead still maintains a ranch and trading post on the Saline River near Ft. Riley. Mead also writes to his father about a home that he was building in Salina. He callshis buffalo hunting "a wholesale butchering establishment," and writes he was going to cure the meat. Apparently he has developed quite a reputation in the area, and he had been made sheriff of Saline County. These typed copies of the James R. Mead's letters were donated to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Mead's family in 1940 when the originals were still owned by the family. The originals are now held by Wichita State University.


James R. Mead to his father and others

James R. Mead to his father and others
Creator: Mead, James R. (James Richard), b. 1836
Date: November 7, 1859
In this letter, James R. Mead describes his first buffalo hunt to his family and friends. He had recently returned from this adventure and apparently he was extremely successful, having killed thirty buffalo. He provides a rather detailed description of a buffalo's appearance so his friends and family would have a mental picture of this magnificent animal. Mead also mentions other wild animals, such as prairie dogs and rabbits, commenting on their plumpness. These typed copies of the James R. Mead's letters were donated to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Mead's family in 1940 when the originals were still owned by the family. The originals are now held by Wichita State University.


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.


Shooting buffalo from a Kansas Pacific Railroad train

Shooting buffalo from a Kansas Pacific Railroad train
Creator: Harpers Weekly
Date: December 14, 1867
This drawing, from the December 14, 1867 edition of Harper's Weekly, is an artist's depiction of travelers shooting buffalo from a Kansas Pacific Railroad train.


"The End, 1883"

"The End, 1883"
Creator: Garretson, M.S.
Date: Between 1913 and 194
This ink on paper drawing by Martin Garretson depicts the artist's conception of the changes in western Kansas as the open prairie was claimed for family farms. By 1883, the vast buffalo herds of the central plains had been hunted almost to the point of extinction. In the drawing, one man is shown loading bleached buffalo bones into an oxen-drawn wagon, while another man with a horse-drawn plow has begun plowing the cleared prairie for a farm crop. A young girl and boy are shown with piles of horns and horned skulls, and a woman is shown standing in the doorway of a small farmhouse in the background.


Showing 1 - 8

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