Council Grove in Morris County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
"The creek bank, which is short and steep, made of some little detention in the crossing of the wagons, they had to double teams several times. It is amusing here to hear the shouting of the wagoners to their animals, whooping and hallowing; the cracking of whips almost deafening."
- Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846
"The Neosho is a quick-running stream, with a stony and gravelly bed, not over 30 feet wide at our crossing and not more than from 18 inches to 2 feet depth of water. On the opposite or west bank we found the small trading settlement of Council Grove..."
- 2d Lt. William D. Whipple, 1852
River crossings on the Santa Fe Trail were a tricky business. Ornery livestock and soft river bottoms compounded the hazards of easing a two- to three-ton wagon into the water and struggling up the opposite bank. The best crossings had a combination of shallow water, a rock bed, and gentle slopes into and out of the stream.
The shallow riffles in the river indicate the natural rock bed where heavy prairie freighters crossed the Neosho River. During trail days, the riverbanks sloped more gently to the water's edge than today. American and Mexican trader hauled tons of cloth, tools, jewelry, guns, and even canaries, in wagons headed to Santa Fe and deep into Mexico. Silver, wool, mules, and hides were
Erected by National Park Service and City of Council Grove.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Santa Fe Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 39.758′ N, 96° 29.323′ W. Marker is in Council Grove, Kansas, in Morris County. Touch for map. Marker is along the Neosho Riverwalk, about 500 feet northwest of the intersection of Main Street (US Route 56/Kansas Route 177) and Union Street (Kansas Route 177). Marker is in this post office area: Council Grove KS 66846, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Council Grove (within shouting distance of this marker); Guardian of the Grove (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rendezvous on the Trail (about 400 feet away); Masonic Lodge Hall (about 500 feet away); Hays House (about 500 feet away); A Well-furnished Store (about 500 feet away); Madonna of the Trail (about 600 feet away); Council Grove National Bank Building (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Council Grove.
Also see . . .
1. Santa Fe National Historic Trail. (Submitted on July 24, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Santa Fe Trail Association (Submitted on July 24, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Council Grove, Kansas. (Submitted on July 24, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 24, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 302 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 24, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.