Kansas City in Platte County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Pony Express
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 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.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pony Express National Historic Trail marker series.
Location. 39° 18.877′ N, 94° 41.851′ W. Marker is in Kansas City, Missouri, in Platte County. Touch 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 All That Jazz (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). Touch for a list and map 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 & Space • Communications • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 6, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 373 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 6, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.