Caldwell in Sumner County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Legend of Mount Lookout / Gunﬁre Kills Lawman
Just south of town is the red sandstone bluff first known as Manning's Peak following the killing of a cowboy by that name in a gunfight in town in 1872. Manning's brothers refused to bury him in Kansas and mistakenly believed that they were across the state line when they buried the departed cowpoke. Discovering their error, they returned from Texas, exhumed the body and returned home. The depression of the open grave is still visible.
The Santa Fe Railway built a spur line and cattle pens on the hill's eastern slope when Kansas closed its settled lands to Texas cattle and their dangerous "fever" disease. By 1885 the bluff became known as Mount Lookout after local saloon girls kept vigil at the highest point to watch for approaching Texas cattle herds. It was important to be ready for the customers of Caldwell's well - known vices and a few moments notice allowed the businessmen to better display their wares, be they whiskey, dice or feminine charm.
In the years since, locals and travelers alike have reported on moonlit nights seeing a mysterious woman in white standing motionless atop the hill, her dress waving in the breeze. Apparently looking southward, she seems to again be awaiting the dust cloud of the longhorn cattle, a sure sign
Though an incorporated city for only 3 years, Caldwell needed their 9th marshal. Unfortunately for the City and the new marshal, a 10th would soon follow. Appointed in March, 1882, George S. Brown, 28, lived to enforce the law only until the hot weather set in.
On June 22, 1882, Marshal Brown was killed by Texas cowboys Steve and Jess Green in the Red Light Saloon as Brown and a deputy answered a disturbance call. With the help of the saloon employees the Green brothers escaped into Indian Territory, only to be caught in a gunfight with Texas lawmen in October. Steve Green and a deputy sheriff were killed and Jess Green was captured, riddled with 13 gunshot wounds. The Kansas governor gladly paid the Texas posse the $1000 in Kansas reward money.
Following an obviously uncomfortable wagon ride from Wise County, Texas, Jess Green died on November 5th in the county jail in Wellington, just prior to his murder trial. As a sign of its respect, Main Street closed during the marshal's funeral, an event unheard of during the cowtown period. The marshal's grave is located in the city cemetery, Section 3, Lot 108.
Location. 37° 1.832′ N, 97° 36.408′ W. Marker is in Caldwell, Kansas, in Sumner County. Marker is on South Main Street (U.S. 81) near East 2nd Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: South Main Street, Caldwell KS 67022, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Grand Opera House (within shouting distance of this marker); Caldwell "The Border Queen" / On This Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Chisholm Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); The Stock Exchange Bank (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Chisholm (about 300 feet away); Native Stone Building (about 400 feet away); The Railroad Influence (about 400 feet away); The Leland Hotel (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Caldwell.
More about this marker. Funded by donations from Linn, Barbara, Mickey & Scott Shaffer and the Historical Marker Committee.
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Notable Events • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 7, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 7, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 142 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 7, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of Mount Lookout location. • Can you help?