Kansas 105

1870-1880 Timeline


July 21 — One woman — Catherine McCarty, mother of future outlaw Billy the Kid — and 123 men sign a petition to create the town of Wichita.


E.B. Allen is elected Wichita's first mayor.

Brewster Higley leaves Ohio in 1871 and homesteads on the banks of Beaver Creek in Smith County. Higley, a medical doctor, writes a six-verse poem which later is set to music and becomes known as "Home on the Range," the Kansas state song.

April 15 — James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok is sworn in as marshal of Abilene.


Marsh Murdock founds The Wichita Eagle. He reports that dance hall girls from Delano are seen bathing in the river with nothing on except the moles on their backs.

Soon-to-be outlaw, Billy the Kid — Henry McCarty — then 11 years old, witnesses numerous gunfights and is called a "street urchin" in a Wichita Eagle column.

Jan. 22, 1872 — the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia is in the United States — in Kansas — to hunt buffalo. He is escorted by Buffalo Bill Cody.

March 27 — Dr. Francesia Porter, Lawrence, is admitted into the Kansas Medical Society — the first woman admitted to a state medical society in the nation.

Nov. 28 — A herd of buffalo knocks the Santa Fe's steam locomotive bearing the nickname "Buffalo" off the tracks near Larned.


Jan. 28 — The Kansas Senate investigates bribery charges against Samuel Clarke Pomeroy, U.S. Senator from Kansas, nicknamed, "Pompous Pom." Pomeroy's life is used as a model in Mark Twain's book "The Gilded Age," as what's wrong with politicians.

Kaw or Kanza tribal members are forced by the federal government to leave the state named for them and move to Indian Territory.

April 1 — The first Scottish colonists to settle in Victoria, Ellis County, sail from Glasgow to the United States.

Dec. 26 — About 2,000 buffalo hunters are pursuing game in western Kansas, each bringing down about 15 buffalo a day.

Dec. 28 — The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad is completed through Kansas.


About 5,000 Mennonites from Russia settle in Kansas between 1874 and 1884, forming communities at Goessel, Inman, Buhler and Moundridge.

March 10 — A law is passed exempting Mennonites and members of the Society of Friends from military service.

May 28 — The Wichita Eagle reports that fines paid by prostitutes and saloon owners bring in thousands of dollars. Prostitutes are fined $10 and madams $20.

Aug. 5 — Kansas residents wake to clouds of swarming grasshoppers. The ground is 2 to 3 inches deep in grasshoppers.

Aug. 24 — Six U.S. surveyors are massacred by Indians in Meade County near the "lone tree," a landmark on the Santa Fe Trail.

Between 1874 and 1884, Volga Germans settle in Kansas, establishing Catholic communities in Rush and Ellis counties.


Walter Chrysler, the founder of Chrysler Corp., is born in Wamego.


July 30 — A colony of 30 African Americans from Scott County, Ky., settle at Nicodemus.


William Barclay "Bat" Masterson begins working as the Ford County sheriff.

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