Butterfield’s Overland Despatch Marker

(Frank) Back again from Lecompton. (Deb) Wasn’t that fun? (Frank) Yes it was. Yes it was, yes it was. (Deb) Yea, I love going to Lecompton. Well, this time we’re gonna go to Atchison. We had…Michael and I went up to Atchison for just a wonderful event a few weeks ago and there’s just so much history to talk about. And we also want to encourage people throughout the holiday season, don’t just buy stuff, give people memberships. You know, in your historical societies and all kinds of organizations that need support and will help you learn. So, that’s what this is all about. (Frank) It was a clear October afternoon, with just a hint of autumn’s chill. Elton Beougher, president of the Smoky Hill Trail Association, took the microphone and introduced Mayor Jack Bower. Bower admitted to the history fans that until he was contacted about the placement of this marker, he had never heard of David Butterfield. So he did some research and was delighted to find that Butterfield represented many of the qualities for which Atchison prides itself including an entrepreneuring spirit. Jere DeBacker from Colorado, great grandson of the businessman, dressed in period clothing and told the crowd how pleased he was to be present for the dedication of the marker designating the beginning of the Butterfield Overland Dispatch route. Jere grew up with family stories and has been researching the Smoky Hill Trail and the BOD for most of his life. He is a founding member of the organization. The unveiling of the BOD marker along the Missouri River was a highlight of the 2015 Smoky Hill Trail Association Conference. Speakers Dr. Michael Olson, Lee Whiteley, Stanley Copeland, Paul Basgall, Tim Zwink, and Leo Oliva illuminated the rich history of the eastern piece of the trail. Each year, the location changes to enable different aspects of trail history to be interpreted and enjoyed through presentations and tours.

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