Stratton in Hitchcock County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Leavenworth and Pike’s Peak Express
In the spring of 1859, William H. Russell and John S. Jones established The Leavenworth and Pike’s Peak Express to carry passengers and freight from the Missouri River to the Colorado gold fields. The route crossed northern Kansas, detouring northwest through an area lacking wood or water, to reach the Republican River in this vicinity. The company’s station eighteen was located southwest of here near the present Hitchcock-Dundy County line.
Noted newspaperman Horace Greeley took the stagecoach to Denver and stopped at the temporary tent station on June 2, 1859. He wrote, “I would match this station and its surroundings against any other scene on our continent for desolation.”
After The Leavenworth and Pike’s Peak Express acquired the Hockaday mail contract to California, its stagecoaches were rerouted through the Platte Valley beginning in July 1859. The original stations in Western Kansas and along the Republican River in Nebraska, including station eighteen, were abandoned. Emigrants and settlers continued to use the old trail for a few more years.
Erected by Nebraska State
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society series list. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1966.
Location. 40° 8.88′ N, 101° 14.108′ W. Marker is in Stratton, Nebraska, in Hitchcock County. Marker is on Howard Street (U.S. 34) near Texas Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stratton NE 69043, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Texas Ogallala Trail (approx. 10.8 miles away); Prisoners of War in Hitchcock County (approx. 15˝ miles away).
More about this marker. This marker is located in the Stratton town park.
Also see . . . The Overland Stage to California - Frank Root & William Connelley. NEGenWeb Project Resource Center website entry:
In the latter part of 1858 there was a stage line in operation known as the "Central Overland California." Its initial point was St. Joseph, on the Missouri river. About the same time another line was organized, and in May, 1859, ran between Leavenworth and Denver, under the name of the Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express. The proprietors were Jones &Russell. The backers and chief owners of these two lines were the well-known Government freight contractors, Russell, Majors & Waddell. Soon afterward the two lines were consolidated, (Submitted on December 3, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 15, 2022. It was originally submitted on December 3, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 388 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 3, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.