Barton County; Longford Water, KS Books, Morning Harvest, Ft. de Cavagnial and Geff’s Poem #2

(Frank) Today on Around Kansas we start with a story about Barton County, the only Kansas County named for a woman: Clara Barton. Next learn about naturally filtered Longford Water and this week’s picks of new books about Kansas. Then meet Morning Harvest, a farm in Harvey County that operates naturally; and learn all about the oldest fort in Kansas. We’ll wrap up with a poem from Geff Dawson.

Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.

(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas. You know dozens of our counties were named for Civil War soldiers but we’ve only got one county named for a woman-Barton County, named of course for Clara Barton. And while she wasn’t a soldier she was the founder of the American Red Cross and beloved by so many soldiers during the American Civil War. And of course in that movement west after the Civil War was over, so many of our towns beyond that first third, the first eastern tier of Kansas were peopled by veterans from both sides, mostly Union, but from both sides of the war. So, Clara Barton was so beloved that she was chosen to be honored with a county name. Now Barton County was established in 1867 just as the railroads of course were moving west. So, the first track from the Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe was laid through there in 1871-72, sometime there. And Great Bend came into being. Of course, these weren’t the first white people to come into Barton County or what would become Barton County. So many of those early trail blazers- Steven Long, Zebulon Pike, so many of those guys have already visited and explored through what’s going to become Barton County. Now, what’s that major water route going through Barton County through Great Bend? And of course, the Great Bend is the great bend of the Arkansas River. So, you just can’t over estimate the importance of that river, both in providing water to the area, transportation, all that and harnessing it. You know preventing the flooding and there’s just so much of that history that’s connected. They built a wooden pile bridge, 1,400 feet long across the Arkansas River at Great Bend in 1873. Twenty eight spans of 50 feet each, what a feat that must have been. It cost $15,000 back then and the Great Bend township paid for that. Then there was an iron pile bridge, 630 feet long at Ellinwood and that was built in 1876. That was the first iron bridge to cross the river. There were 10 spans of 60 feet each, one span of 30 feet. Lakin township bore the cost at $10,000 dollars. What a remarkable thing. Now with all the flood control plans that we have and of course with the irrigation taking so much out of the river, it’s just not as big an issue as it was then. But back before you had all that control, you know the river just spreads out, it spreads out over it’s banks and it’s quite the challenge. Go out and visit if you’re not from Barton County already, fantastic historical museum and village there in Great Bend that’s got a tremendous history to share. That’s a great place to take the kids, take the family and get to know a little bit more about Barton County. There is of course, explore the land around the old Fort Zarah. There is a picnic area with the historical marker where Fort Zarah was. If you stop and talk to the folks at the museum, they may give you where it might really have been. There’s so much to see and do in Barton County. Tell ’em Around Kansas sent you over there. We’ll be right back.

(Frank) Good morning I’m Frank Chaffin and this is Around Kansas. I love doing this show because it’s a fascinating state, Kansas. People, places and things that make this a great place to live, work, play and visit. And also it happens to be the place where you can find some of the best water in the world. Yes, we’re talking about Longford Water. And Longford Water comes from Longford, Kansas, which is over by Manhattan, Kansas, on Highway 15. Now the brand name of the water is Kiowata and there’s a good reasons why. Kiowata is the brand name of pure naturally filtered water from the Kiowa and Dakota Aquifers. Kiowata is a business in Longford, Kansas, the water Kiowata Water is a business in Longford, Kansas. The water near the City of Longford is known for its sweetness, they call it, natural sweetness, softness of quality of its drinking water. Longford Water is unique because it is naturally filtered by the distinct underground formations in the area. The rocks near Longford are part of the Kiowa Formation and include siltstone sandstone, minor lignite and abundant clay rocks. Now what that means I don’t know, but apparently it makes really, really good water. Their website states that, our bodies are 70 percent water so what you put in there really is an important thing, I think you’ll agree. The Kiowata Water is bottled in Longford and available all around Kansas. And they also offer private labeling, so if you’re having an anniversary coming up or a birthday you can actually give the guests water and have their names on it. It’s really a pretty cool deal. Kiowata Water is unique, it’s from Kansas. Enjoy some, it’s really good. Now, before we go today, I also like poetry, as many people do. I’ve told you before that I made friends with a guy named Randy Sparks who started the New Christy Minstrels back in the 1960s. Well, he is a song writer and of course, a lot of it also becomes poetry. So today, if I can, I’m going to share a fun poem. Now it doesn’t have much to do with water except it’s about a horse and you know about leading a horse to water. This is called the Appaloosa Pony. Little children gather round, I’ll tell you if I can of why the trees and leaves are green and how it all began. Why skies are blue and lakes are too and pale is the mountain goat. And why the Appaloosa pony wears a spotted coat. Long ago when the world was new God looked down one day, he saw no red or green nor blue. Just mousy brown and grey. He being God, there was no one to answer his complaint, so he got a brush and a bucket and he began to paint. He painted trees and leaves and grass on the hillsides green. He painted mountains like the world had never seen. He painted skies and eyes and acres of lakes of blue with black and yellow, red and pink. He painted me and you. Well he worked all day and he worked all night and he knew without a doubt, he could not get the whole job done before the paint ran out. So, he lightly touched the mountain goat and blue forget-me-nots. But the Appaloosa pony all he had left was spots. I’ll see you somewhere, Around Kansas.

(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas. We are starting a new feature on Around Kansas, right now this very minute! I know a lot of you are book lovers just like me, and music lovers as well, so we thought that maybe once a month we’d share some new books and some new music with you and I’ve got a bunch of new books today. And if you want to be a part of that, if you’ve got a new title, or are aware of one, if you’ve got some new music that’s either by a Kansan or about Kansas, feel free to share it with us. Send it to us and we can talk about it on the website if we don’t get everything out on TV, or on our Facebook page. The first one is “A Kansas Soldier at War.” This is compiled and edited by my good friend Ken Spurgeon. And a lot of you remember that we did an interview with Ken who did the documentary, “A Road to Valhalla”. He’s a filmmaker and quite the historian ad what’s valuable about this collection is so many times with soldiers’ letters yo have one side but not the other. In this case, the letters of Christian and Elise Isley, both sides survived, so you’ve not only got the soldier’s writing home, which are pretty common, but you have the wife’s letters to him as well. So it’s a great glimpse into what these people were going through and into these really remarkable folks. “The Darkest Period, the Kansa Indians and their Lost Last Homeland, 1846-1873” by Ron Parks…what can you tell me about the Kansa Indians? Here we live in the state of Kansas and its named for the Kaw, or Kansa, and people know precious little about that tribe. This is just an invaluable book. And Ron Parks was the historian at the State Historic Site down in council grove for a number of years. He’s retired now, and this is just invaluable. this is one you’ve just got to have and its shameful not to know more than we do about the Kaw. When we’re talking Wild West history, of course Dodge City always comes to mind, but that’s not the only thing that happened in Dodge City. As my good friend George Laughead points out in this Arcadia Press “Images of Dodge City” there’s a lot of other things going on. Really a multi-layered town, there on the high prairie. So this is just a wonderful little volume to remind you there’s a lot more to Dodge City than Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Now of course the last couple of books I want to share with you are a couple of mine. “Forts & Bases” came out last year with my good friend Michelle Martin and myself as the authors. And we had to fight about which fort who got to write about. But this starts with ft. de Cavagnial in 1744 and it goes on up to the missile silos just a few years ago, talks about Riley and Leavenworth and McConnell and some of the places you’re familiar with but maybe some that you’re not so familiar with, like maybe Ft. Zarah and Ft. Wallace. So I’m real proud of that book and I think is another valuable resource. My latest book is “Kansas Music, stories of a Rich Tradition” and like I’ve said a million times, our most valuable export in Kansas is not wheat or cattle, its talent. And when you read this you’ll figure out that’s exactly the truth. We’ve just got a tremendous number of talented musicians in this state. You’re going to love reading these stories about some of the big events like Winfield and the well-known bands like Kansas. There are some folks that may not be as well-known, but there’s a lot on the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in here, but its just the tip of the iceberg. There’s just so many genres, so many talented people, I look forward to hearing what you think about that. I look forward to writing more. And once again, we’ll try to get together and talk about books and music once a month so send us some ideas on that. We’ll be right back.

From The Land of Kansas is a trademark program that helps Kansas businesses grow, produce, process or manufacture Kansas products. Let’s meet Morning Harvest Farm nestled in the rolling hills of Harvey County. Owned and operated by Eric and Paula Sims, Morning Harvest Farm operates as naturally as possible. They use no hormones and no steroids in raising their livestock, which includes cattle, chickens, pork and turkeys. Daily contact keeps the animals calm and leads to tender meat. The cattle are able to graze to maturity. Chickens have a portable hen house and take care of most of the pests. The eggs they lay have dark, golden yolks. Fresh produce is available during the growing season. Artisan breads are available year-round. Visit for more information.

(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas, pulling out the “Forts and Bases” book again. I hope you got this, because it’s a fantastic reference. What do you think the oldest fort in Kansas might be? A lot of folks say Fort Leavenworth, 1827. We can go back further than that. How about Fort de Cavagnial, 1744 to 1764. Now it was a French Fort obviously because that’s even before the Louisiana Purchase, before Kansas is a territory. And it was located somewhat close to Fort Leavenworth. We don’t know exactly where. There’s actually a rock, just a big boulder up on the post that says, “If you are standing here you would have been able to see Fort de Cavagnial.” When Lewis and Clark came through in 1804, it was a ruin. In fact, that’s one of the reasons William Clark stopped there. He wanted to see that fort. Now, what do you reckon the French wanted a post there for? Well, furs. Furs were the currency of the world at that time. And it’s hard to imagine now, but all these streams, the Kansas River and all these creeks and the Arkansas, all these creeks and streams are full of beaver. And beaver pelts are so widely prized around the world, especially for beaver hats and coats. You know they’re warm, they’re water proof, there’s just so many great things about using that beaver pelt. So there was a French captain, de Bourgmont, who came down in 1714 and then in 1727 and visited that huge Kansa village that was located there at the mouth of the creek, near the Kaw River, not far from where Fort Leavenworth is today. And because of his trading with the Indians they later, the French later came down and established Fort de Cavagnial. That fur trade, I can’t over emphasize how significant that was. And of course the French, most of the French we have here are because of the trapping business. De Bourgmont, back in I think 1724, even took some of those native Americans back to France with them. They hunted at the Versailles, they met King Louis, it is just an incredible, incredible story. But Fort de Cavagnial is now private property. So, it hasn’t been excavated, there hasn’t been any archaeological excavation down there. But one of these days, that’s gonna yield a real prize. We’ll be right back.

(Geff) Hi folks, I’m Geff Dawson, ranch cowboy and cowboy poet. And I’ve got a story for you today. You know a cowboy and a horseman, I’m one in the same. There ain’t a cow I can’t pin or a horse I can’t tame. I grew up in the old school, but evolved in the new, but in the same business, for year’s there’s been few. I’m on the back side of 50 and I’m pondering now, when I reach 70 will I still ride ’em and how? But my blessings have been many, my heartaches have been few. I’ve calved thousands of cows and a baby
colt or two. Some mounts have been iffy, some spoiled rotten brats, but they all made a cow horse once we got past our spat. Old timers tell me I was born way too late. New wavers say my style’s up for debate. But I’m just myself, I’ve always been that way. I try to do what I think is right, and still listen to what others say. I’ve tried to soak in some knowledge at 50 years or more and tried to be the best, more better than before. But I leave you with this thought, before I say goodbye, in my mind you’ll make a cowboy if all you have is “Try”. God bless you folks.

Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. he Soybean Checkoff Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.