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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Kansas City in Platte County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Pony Express

 
 
The Pony Express Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 19, 2010
1. The Pony Express Marker
Inscription.
Some might say the idea for the Pony Express arose from a bad case of saddle sores. In 1849, W.M. Gwin, a senator from the new state of California, was making his way on horseback from San Francisco to Washington City. He and his companion, Mr. B.F. Ficklin, of the Kansas City freight firm, Russell, Majors and Waddell, had plenty of time to discuss the poor communication between the government and its growing union.

It was on this lengthy trip that the two men came upon the innovative concept of a weekly mail express between St. Louis and San Francisco that would take just ten days. Upon his return to Washington City, Senator Gwin introduced a bill before Congress proposing the idea, but it soon took a back seat to other important concerns. The idea did not die in Congress, however. At high noon on April 3, 1860, thanks to private funding from Mr. Ficklinís Kansas City employer, Colonel Alexander Majors, the first Pony Express rider left the station in St. Joseph bound for the West Coast.

The Pony Express was a marvel of human and animal endurance. To cover the nearly 2,000-mile route, relay teams had to travel 250 miles each day. The ponies could ride up to 20 miles each (at around 12 miles per hour), which became the distance between relay stations. New riders and ponies waited at each station, and it took only
The Pony Express Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 19, 2010
2. The Pony Express Marker
a second or two for the two-sided saddle pouch filled with mail to be thrown from one pony to the next. Along the way, riders faced an unbelievable list of perils, ranging from Indian attacks to snowstorms that hid the road signs to riders relied on to help guide the way.

The Pony Express carried the mail across the country for 15 years, after which it was replaced, sadly, by the telegraph. During that thrilling era, of man and mail versus nature, the riders and their trusty ponies never once failed to make the treacherous transcontinental trip in an amazing ten days.

[The Pony Express only lasted from Apr 1860 to Oct 1861 – not 15 years]
 
Erected by Kansas City International Airport. (Marker Number A1.)
 
Location. 39° 18.877′ N, 94° 41.851′ W. Marker is in Kansas City, Missouri, in Platte County. Click for map. Marker is at Passenger Kiosk A1, in Economy Parking Lot A, at Kansas City International Airport, 601 Brasilia Avenue. Marker is in this post office area: Kansas City MO 64153, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Aromatherapy (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Shoe Parties (about 500 feet away); All That Jazz
The Pony Express Marker Artwork image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 19, 2010
3. The Pony Express Marker Artwork
(about 600 feet away); KC Art Deco (about 700 feet away); Swope Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Stockyards (approx. 0.2 miles away); Heart of the Nation (approx. 0.2 miles away); Satchel Paige (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Kansas City.
 
More about this marker. The Economy Parking Lots' passenger kiosks each have unique historical markers and flashy artwork to help passengers remember where they parked.
 
Also see . . .
1. Pony Express National Historic Trail. (Submitted on June 6, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. History of the Pony Express. (Submitted on June 6, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Air & SpaceCommunicationsSettlements & Settlers
 
Economy Parking Lot A Entrance image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 19, 2010
4. Economy Parking Lot A Entrance
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 345 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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