Christian Bernhardt.

Indian raids in Lincoln County, Kansas, 1864 and 1869; story of those killed, with a history of the monument erected to their memory in Lincoln court house square, May 30, 1909 online

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Online LibraryChristian BernhardtIndian raids in Lincoln County, Kansas, 1864 and 1869; story of those killed, with a history of the monument erected to their memory in Lincoln court house square, May 30, 1909 → online text (page 1 of 6)
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3 1833 01103 1645





In Lincoln County, Kansas,


1864 and 1869

Story of Those Killed, With

History of the Monument

Erected to Their Memory

in Lincoln Court House

Square, May 30,











Copyright 1910 by


Published September, 1910
Lincoln, Kansas



In preparing this little book, I have had in view one
purpose: the correction of former errors in the names of
victims, and in the location of the events for which the
Pioneer Monument stands. The public records have been
my main guide, supplemented by such information as can
now be had from the pioneers and scouts. It has neces-
sarily required a good deal of work and research to find
out what happened here forty-six years ago, but I have
good proof that my version is in every respect correct.

I am under obligations to Hon. Thomas Anderson of
Salina, for most of the information of 1864, and to Pro-
bate Judge Supple, also of Salina, for courtesies extended
in giving me an opportunity to copy the Moffitt brothers
administration records; to the Clerk of the Court of Junc-
tion City for aiding me in getting facts from records
there; also to J. J. Peate and Waldo Hancock of Beverly;
to Ferdinand Erhardt, Martin Hendrickson and A. Roen-
igk of Lincoln Center, and to Christian Christiansen of
Denmark, and to a few others. To all of you I extend
my thanks. Very respectfully.

C. Bernhardt.

Table of Contents

Preface Page 3


Massacre of the First Settlers, 1864 ... 6

Extract from Letter of John L. Moffitt . . .6

Letter from Thomas MofBtt 6

Troops on Kansas Frontier in 1864 .... 8
Report of Moffitt Massacre by Capt. Plenry Booth . 9

Defence of Moffitt House 11

Houston and Tj ler Identified 12

Burial of the Murdered Men 12

Number of Indians in the Battle . . . .13

Skulls in Bullfoot Cave 14

Removal of the Bodies of the Moffitt Brothers . 15
Letter of Robert N. Moffitt to His Mother . .16

Administration of the Moffitt Estate . . 17

Early Probate Records of Saline County ... 22

Character of the Moffitts 23

Preservation of the Battlefield of 1864 . . .24

Indian Massacre of 1869 25

The Coming of Settlers to Donmaik ... 25

First Accident 26

Additions to the Settlement 27

Raid of May 30, 1869 . . ... 28

Death of Laurit/.en and Wife, and of Otto Petersen '2S
Death of Weichell and Meii^herhoff, and Mrs.

Weichell made Prisoner 29

Mrs. Alderdicc made Prisoner, HtM- Children ^iiot

or Killed 29

.Mrs. Kine's Statement of the Aldcrdice Ail'air . . 31

Captivity of Mrs. Alclordice and Mrs, Wfichell . 32

Shootinijr of John H. Stranofe and Arthur Schmutz 32

Burial of the Dead in 1861J 33

Return of Settlers to their Claims . . . .34

Eli Zieorler's Account of the Spillman Creek Raid 34

The Schermerhorn Ranch 41

Railroad Construction Ganti; Attacked ... 41

Indian Outrages of 1868 42

Lack of Military Protection in 1864 and 1869 . 43

Scouts of the Saline Valley 44

Character of the Murdered Settlers of 1864 and 1869 45

Watermelons in Cold Storag-e .... 47

Other Hardships of Pioneering .... 47
Making a Home of a Homestead . . . .48

Note 49

The Pioneer Monument and Pictures . . . .51

Monument Selected 52

Selection of Monumt Site . . . . . 53

Inscription on Monument 53

Subscriptions to Monument Fund .... 54

Laying the Corner Stone 55

Unveiling of the Monument 56

Search of Biographical Data for Monument . 57

Henry Sahlmann the Builder of the Monument . 61

Financial Statement 61

Death of James R. Mead 61

Erratum 62

Key and Map on Last Page.


Massacre of the First Settlers.


The first settlers in Lincoln County, John L. Moffitt,
Thomas Moffitt, John W. Houston and James Tyler, were
murdered by the Indians, August 6, 1864. The only reli-
able information we have regarding the settlement here of
any of these young men is derived from letters written to
members of their family by the Moffitt brothers. Through
the courtesy of George W. Moffitt of Lawrence, Kanstis,
I give the following extract from a letter received bj^ Rob-
ert Nichol Moffitt, and written from Kansas by his brother
John, dated May 13, 1864. The letter says:

"We came here March 16, 1864. We are twenty-five
or thirty miles from Salina, up the Saline river. We are
now thirteen miles from the nearest house. We put up a
stable thirty-five feet in length, a house twenty-two feet,
of logs." — Lincoln County Sentinel, Feb. 11, 1909; also
published in the Lincoln Republican and Sylvan News.

These were the first substantial buildings in Lincoln
county so far as I have knowledge, and were located on
the southwest quarter of section 10, in what is now in
Elkhorn township, Lincoln county, in the bend of the Sa-
line river, just below the present site of the Rocky Hill
bridge. The letter which follows was written by the
younger brother Thomas, to his sister in Philadelphia.
The mother was then living in Henry county, Illinois,
from whence the brothers had emigrated to Kansas.

Letter from Thomas INIoffitt.

"Salina, (Kansas), July 30, 1864.
"McCanless and Nancy: — I suppose it is my time to

write now, us I have left home. I have no chance to hear
from you throu.i^-h any letters that you may send others.
I have not had a letter from home since I came away, and
I have not heard from Philadelphia for a loni,*- time; you
must try and write as soon as it will be convenient, for I
am dreadful anxious to hear from you.

"I left home the middle of April and came to Kansas
to Jack. Althoug-h I don't like Kansas, I think I will
stay for awhile. Jack and I have boug-ht about fifty head
of cows and heifers. We are going to raising stock. I
think we can make a living- easier raising cattle than work-
ing so hard as we used to.

'This is an excellent grazing country and is a very poor
farming country — the fact is, it is too subject to drouth for

"We were doing very well and would do as well now if it
were not for the Indians. We would make five or six dol-
lars a day hunting buffalo, but we have been obliged to
give it up for the present. The Indians are so hostile to
the hunters and settlers that we dare not go from the

''When we have to go we go armed. Even when we go
to the stable to take care of the horses we carry our re-
volvers along; rather hard lines these from what we have
been used to. The government has sent out several com-
panies of soldiers, but they can't fight the Indians as well
as settlers themselves. Some of the folks that have fami-
lies are leaving Salina for a more safe place. Some ex-
pect there will be a regular Indian war, but I don't think
there will be any trouble in the settlement from the

"Jack just got back the other day in company with two
other fellows, and fetched a load of hides.

"As I have nothing that is interesting to you I will
fetch my letter to a close. "Thomas Moffitt."

"Direct to Salina, Saline Co., Kansas.

"Give my love to Uncle and Aunt and all my friends."

This letter from Thomas Moffitt dated July 30, 1864,
was written just six days before his death. The two
hunters spoken of in the letter are probably the two men
killed in the battle on August 6th, 1864, with the writer,
namely, John W. Houston and one Tylor, although one
might have been Charles Case, as he was known to have
been with the Moffitts at various times and became admin-
istrator of their estate after they were kill by the Indians.
But it is likely that it was Houston and Tylor who were

there on this ;^

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Online LibraryChristian BernhardtIndian raids in Lincoln County, Kansas, 1864 and 1869; story of those killed, with a history of the monument erected to their memory in Lincoln court house square, May 30, 1909 → online text (page 1 of 6)