Sunday, March 12, 2017
Doniphan used to be an important town in the early days of Kansas, with a population of around 1,000 in 1857. This, incidentally, was the same year that the avid abolitionist James H. Lane was made the president of the town company. The town was so important, in fact, that Abraham Lincoln visited it in 1859. It had a long history even before that, however, with Europeans living in the area as early as 1724.
To get to Doniphan, we drove along some of the most treacherous dirt roads we've ever braved. At least once, we pondered turning back, faced by huge ruts and mud puddles. In the end, though, we persevered. After all, this was our final stop in Doniphan County!
These days, Doniphan is a sleepy little village. We were grateful for this nice marker, put up by a proud private citizen, which marked the spot. Otherwise, there would be no way to tell where the town site was. We did see a quaint old stone cabin, but other than that, there were no lasting marks of the days when this was one of the chief settlements in the state.
If you want to learn more about Doniphan, take a look at this research paper written about the community by a K-State student.