The establishment of the Santa Fe Trail, along with the Kaw Indian reservation and the influx of white settlers answering the unyielding call of Manifest Destiny, set the scene for Morris County and its part in the epic story of the American West and Bleeding Kansas. Millions of dollars in goods and hundreds of thousands of men passed through Morris County during that era, and inevitably it became the stomping ground of many notable historic figures, both famous and infamous. Bloody Bill Anderson, Dick Yeager, Jack McDowell, Jesse Chisholm, and George Armstrong Custer are just a few of the names that have made Morris County legendary. Since Morris County has been tamed, it has been known as prime cattle country and farmland and is home to the Council Grove Federal Reservoir, which brings in thousands of waterskiers, anglers, boaters, and campers every year.
Kansas in its early years was one fine place for outlaws, and one of the most violent places in America's history. Consider the exploits of Jesse James—a sociopathic killer or a Robin Hood who redistributed Union wealth? Or those of Big Nose Kate, whose true identity was much nobler than her reputation as Doc Holliday's longtime companion. That's not to mention the dangerous inmate who became the learned Bird Man of Kansas—a renowned canary expert whose life story became a hit film. Outlaw Tales of Kansas introduces of the most daring and despicable desperados in state history.
From early exploration of America, Bleeding Kansas, the Civil War and the Plains Indian wars to the world wars and the modern era, the forts and bases of Kansas have been central to America's defense. Beginning with Fort de Cavagnial in 1744 and ending with the defunct fields of Cold War missile silos, historians Debra Goodrich Bisel and Michelle M. Martin provide a guide to the forts and posts throughout Kansas.
The photographs and pictures are better quality than is normal for a book like this, and the chronological structure of the content puts it in understandable context.
A photograph of the Alta Vista Cornet Band in Council Grove, Kansas. People in the photograph are: standing (left to right) Martin Biglin, Gus Webber, George Turney, Bret Hull, Will Karnicky, Hala Bond-Baugh, Charles Chitty, Rachel Thomas, Robert Webber, Min Biglin-Jacobs, Ralph Hull, Milt Bond, Paul Johnson, Prof. Hull; and sitting (left to right) Union Thomas, Pearl Thomas, John Wild, Andrew Turney, Ottis Turney, and Herman Webber.