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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Lecompton in Douglas County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Democratic Headquarters

 
 
Democratic Headquarters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, June 21, 2018
1. Democratic Headquarters Marker
Inscription.  This stone building was the headquarters of the Democratic Party during the Kansas Territorial period (1854-61). The cabin was used during a time when Lecompton, known as "The Birthplace of the Kansas Democratic Party,” was the territorial capital and stood at the center of national attention. Within these walls ambitious and influential men gathered to discuss issues, plot strategies, and make decisions that helped to shape the destiny of Kansas politics and government.

Built in the 1850s by Italian stonemason Mark Migliario, this structure was attached to a log cabin that has since disappeared. It may have been the residence of William Simmons and his son Thomas. In 1853 the Simmons traveled from Indiana to this place where they "squatted” a year before Kansas Territory legally was open for settlement. The Simmonses made their living on the Kaw River, where they fished and operated the Fairy Queen, a twenty-foot ferry made from hollowed-out sycamore logs.

Later this building's function changed from politics to commerce when it was acquired by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, which for many
Democratic Headquarters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, June 21, 2018
2. Democratic Headquarters Marker
years used the building as a pay station.

In 1997 Pat and Aurelia Istas purchased the property and began a reclamation of the building and grounds. In 1998 the site was acquired by the Lecompton Historical Society. With the assistance of many generous individuals, businesses, and organizations, the Lecompton Historical Society has restored the building and established the Historic Lecompton River View Park.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings.
 
Location. 39° 2.907′ N, 95° 23.485′ W. Marker is in Lecompton, Kansas, in Douglas County. Marker is on East Second Street 0.1 miles east of Haldeman Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lecompton KS 66050, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lane University (approx. ¼ mile away); Sheriff Samuel J. Jones (approx. ¼ mile away); Lecompton Constitution Hall (approx. ¼ mile away); Kansa Indians (approx. 2.8 miles away); Lecompton (approx. 3.8 miles away); Coon Point (approx. 3.8 miles away); First United Brethren in Christ Church in Kansas (approx. 5½ miles away); a different marker also named Lecompton (approx. 6.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lecompton.
 
Democratic Headquarters image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, June 21, 2018
3. Democratic Headquarters
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 17, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 38 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 17, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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Mar. 1, 2021