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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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Transportation - Trails - Mormon Trail

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A Portfolio of Mormon Trail Engravings

A Portfolio of Mormon Trail Engravings
Date: 1874
A pamphlet of Mormon Trail engravings by Frederick Hawkins Piercy and Thomas Moran. The engravings offer a glimpse of what travelers saw along the Mormon Trail.


Buttons from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Buttons from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1950
These six buttons were collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail. Shown on the top row are a black plastic four hole coat button, a shell two hole coat button, and a faceted pink glass button with a loop back. Those on the bottom row include two shell two hole buttons, one of a fish-eye style and the other decorated with incised squares and cross hatching. The final artifact is a metal button front with the profile of a Greek or Roman lady.


Flow Blue Dishes from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Flow Blue Dishes from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1930
These two rim sherds were collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee county and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Though small, one can tell that the transferware pattern was deliberately blurred, a hallmark of flow blue patterns. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


Mormon trail

Mormon trail
Date: Between 1910 and 1940
These accounts describe travel on the Mormon trail, which went from Independence, Missouri, through several southeast Kansas counties, eventually exiting the state through Washington County. This trail was primarily used by Mormons who were heading west to settle in Utah during the 1840s through the 1860s


Mortise Locks and Keys from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Mortise Locks and Keys from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1950
These locks and keys were collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Each of the locks has the key that opened it. The lock on the left is a mortise lock, which was placed within a mortise in a door. The lock on the right is a surface-mount lock, which was screwed onto the exterior of a door. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup Bottle from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup Bottle from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1849-1930
The patent medicine bottle shown here was collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The medicine was made first by Mrs. Charlotte Winslow and marked by Curtis and Perkins, her sons-in-law. One of the ingredients in the soothing syrup was morphine, indeed providing the "soothing," but also drawing incriminations from the American Medical Association by 1911. It remained on the market for another 19 years. The donor painted the embossed lettering for emphasis. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


Regular Horseshoe from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Regular Horseshoe from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1930
This regular horseshoe was collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail. This horseshoe style is called "regular" and is what was used on most horses use to support the hoof. It is complete with a groove, called fullers, that allow for the nail to be driven into the hoof.


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