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

Conn Store

“He fears no competition.”

 
 
Conn Store Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 19, 2011
1. Conn Store Marker
Inscription.
"In his stock were found every known variety of goods for use on the frontier, from ox yokes and repairs to cambric needles, from small boxes of pills to barrels of whiskey."
- Conn Store Clerk William Shamleffer

For traders on the Santa Fe Trail, the Conn Store must have been a welcome sight. Here, traders headed from Santa Fe to "the States" purchased a meal or perhaps slept in a bed after crossing 625 miles of prairie. And Council Grove was the last major stop for supplies and amenities before travelers trekked to New Mexico.

Malcolm Conn's stone store, built in 1858, rivaled the outfitting firm already run by Seth Hays on the opposite side of the street. Business was brisk, with Conn selling $24,000 in merchandise in one month in 1864. He traded with freighters; the government; locals; and Kaw (Kansa) Indians, on whose reservation Council Grove was located. Conn became a community leader, eventually serving as county clerk and treasurer of the Town Company, a corporation that plotted and sold town lots.

One of the oldest buildings still standing in Council Grove, the Conn Store provided accommodations, meals, and stables for freighters, in addition to retail operations. In 1866, Conn sold his store to Shamleffer & James, who took this photo between 1867 and 1871.

These 1859 advertisements
Conn Store and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 19, 2011
2. Conn Store and Marker
from the Kansas Press illustrate the rivalry between Council Grove's two most prominent merchants.
 
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° 39.672′ N, 96° 29.426′ W. Marker is in Council Grove, Kansas, in Morris County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (U.S. 56) and Neosho Street (Kansas Highway 177), on the right when traveling west on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 130 West Main Street, 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 National Bank Building (here, next to this marker); Malcolm Conn Store (within shouting distance of this marker); Council Grove (within shouting distance of this marker); Farmers & Drovers Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); A Well-furnished Store (within shouting distance of this marker); Hays House (within shouting distance of this marker); Masonic Lodge Hall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Cottage House Hotel and Motel (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Council Grove.
 
Also see . . .
Malcolm Conn Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, undated
3. Malcolm Conn Photo on Marker

1. Council Grove Historic Sites. (Submitted on July 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Santa Fe National Historic Trail. (Submitted on July 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Council Grove, Kansas. (Submitted on July 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Council Grove, Kansas. (Submitted on July 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. Santa Fe Trail Association. (Submitted on July 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
 
Conn Store Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shamleffer & James, circa 1870
4. Conn Store Photo on Marker
Former Conn Store Building image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 19, 2011
5. Former Conn Store Building
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 385 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 26, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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