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

Soule's Ditch

 
 
Soule's Ditch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., November 10, 2012
1. Soule's Ditch Marker
Inscription.  
Local men, boys, and animals sweated long and hard to build the Eureka Irrigation Canal between 1884 and 1887. The long line below the ridge is a remnant of this early effort to irrigate semi-arid lands using the only reliable water source then available: the Arkansas River. Financed by speculator Asa T. Soule, the canal snaked its way over 90 miles from Ingalls to near Spearville, providing water to farmers in between.

Plagued with problems, the canal was soon seen as a failure. Breaks in the canal wall, seepage, flash floods that destroyed a dam, a low river level from irrigation upstream, and drought led to its abandonment. People began calling it "Soule's Folly" and "Soule's Elephant." Attempts were made to revitalize the canal with pumps, but too much water was lost from seepage and evaporation, resulting in its final abandonment in 1921.

[Background photo caption reads] Remnants of the Soule Canal wind snakelike across the Kansas plains.
 
Erected by Boot Hill Museum, Inc.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture
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Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1884.
 
Location. 37° 47.462′ N, 100° 11.775′ W. Marker is near Howell, Kansas, in Ford County. Trail Ruts Park is on the right while traveling west of US Hwy 50/400, about ½ mile west of Howell Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dodge City KS 67801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Santa Fe Trail Remains (here, next to this marker); The Worst Piece of Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Trails on the Prairie (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Santa Fe Trail Sites to the West & South (about 500 feet away); A Fine Country… (about 500 feet away); Santa Fe Trail, 1821 - 1880 (about 500 feet away); Santa Fe Trail Sites to the East (about 500 feet away); Campsite of the U.S. Survey Team Sept. 10-21, 1825 (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Howell.
 
Also see . . .  Soule's Folly at Kansapedia. (Submitted on May 24, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Soule's Ditch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., November 10, 2012
2. Soule's Ditch Marker
Looking ESE
Soule's Ditch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., November 10, 2012
3. Soule's Ditch Marker
Looking ENE
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 24, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,015 times since then and 132 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 24, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Jul. 24, 2024