When Isaac Goodnow homesteaded 160 acres along Wildcat Creek in 1855, he did so, in part, to stop the spread of slavery into Kansas.
But Goodnow wasn't a typical homesteader.
Prior to coming to Kansas, Goodnow had been a professor of natural sciences at the Providence Conference Seminary in East Greenwich, R.I..
He was a newspaper columnist, having written editorials published in several New England newspapers promoting abolitionist efforts.
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Goodnow was also a devout Methodist and a graduate of the Wilbraham Wesleyan Academy in Massachusetts. He held an honorary degree from Wesleyan University.
He came to Kansas to build a free-state town with the New England Emigrant Aid Co. He meant to establish that settlement at the confluence of the Kansas and Big Blue rivers.
But when he arrived at the junction of the two rivers, two other tiny communities had already sprung up — one named Polistra, the other Canton.
In April 1855, Goodnow and representatives from Polistra and Canton combined their efforts for settlements into a new town, which they called Boston.
Goodnow then helped write the constitution for the Boston Town Co.
But the tiny community was quickly renamed two months later when a steamboat from Ohio ran aground on the Kansas River.
The passengers aboard the Hartford accepted an invitation to join the settlement, but only on the condition that the settlement be renamed, which it was on June 29, 1855.
As the years went by, he became increasingly involved in Kansas politics and education.
Question: Goodnow is best known for having started which Kansas town and college?
Answer to Saturday’s question: He portrayed the state as a place where men climbed ladders and used hatchets to cut the ears off corn; with watermelons so big men could easily stand on them; and with sweet potatoes so gargantuan a derrick was needed to lift them from the ground.
Check Kansas.com Monday for the answer to today’s question.