History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs


Historic People of Kansas

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Pioneers in Kansas by J. Ward Lockwood

"Pioneers in Kansas," mural by J. Ward Lockwood, a Kansas native, hangs in the U.S. Federal Building in Wichita, Kansas. A

 stagecoach laden with mail and passengers marks the center of the canvas; a Pony Express rider and a Native American exchange

  fire on the left side  of the canvas; a vulture flies above the rider, symbolizing imminent danger and death. A pioneer couple stands

 on the right side of the  canvas; a black steam engine emerges behind  the couple, symbolizing continued western expansion.





You can never really escape. It goes with you, wherever you go. Somehow, the prairie dust gets in your blood, and it flows through your veins until it becomes a part of you. The vast stretches of empty fields, the flat horizons of treeless plains. The simplicity of the people—good, earnest people. The way they talk and the way they live. The lack of occurrence, lack of attention, lack of everything. All that—it’s etched into your soul and it colors the way you see everything and it becomes a part of you.

P.S. Baber, Cassie Draws the Universe



Historic People of Kansas:



  • James B. AbbottJames B. Abbott (1818-1879) - Kansas pioneer, Free-State partisan and soldier.

  • Franklin George Adams (1824-1899) - Free-State advocate, teacher, attorney and publisher.

  • Edward "Eddie" J. Adams (1887-1921) - A Kansas bootlegger, car thief, and murderer, Adams was eventually captured and sentenced to life imprisonment. He escaped custody twice and was killed in a shootout with police in Wichita, Kansas on November 22, 1921.

  • Henry J. Adams (1816-1870) - Lawyer, Free-State advocate, politician and soldier.

  • Henry J. Allen (1868-1950) - Publisher, governor, and U.S. Senator.

  • John Alexander Anderson (1834-1892) - Minister, congressman, and president of the Kansas State Agricultural College, at Manhattan, Kansas.

  • William "Bloody Bill" Anderson (1839-1864) - One of the most daring, brutal and bloodthirsty of those guerrilla captains who harassed Kansas during the early years of the Civil War.

  • Charlie Angell, Sr. (1881-1927) - Inventor of several agricultural improvement to machinery.




  • Willis Joshua BaileyWillis Joshua Bailey (1854-1932) - U.S. Representative and Sixteenth Governor of Kansas.

  • Thomas W. Barber (??- 1855) - Free state supporter, was shot and killed by a proslavery advocate.

  • Clarence Batchelor (1888-1977) - Received a Pulitzer Prize in 1937 for editorial cartoons.

  • Olive Ann Beach (1903-1993) - Aircraft manufacturer and philanthropist.

  • Walter H. Beech (1891-1950) - Aircraft manufacturer and philanthropist.

  • Hamilton Butler Bell (1853-1947) - Sheriff of Ford County, Kansas for three decades following lawman Bat Masterson. He arrested more alleged outlaws, with a warrant, than any other lawman in the West.

  • Mary "Mother" Bickerdyke ( 1817-1901) - Civil War nurse and veteran's supporter.

  • James G. Blunt (1826-1881) - Physician and abolitionist who rose to Union Major General during the Civil War.

  • Blackbear Bosin - (1921-1980) - An artist of Kiowa-Comanche ancestry.

  • Justin De Witt Bowersock (1842-1922) - U.S. Congressman and business man from Lawrence.

  • Charles H. Branscomb - Along with Charles Robinson, Branscomb was one of the founders of Lawrence and a free state advocate.

  • Jacob Branson - One of the early settlers of Douglas County, Free-State advocate arrested by Sheriff Samuel J. Jones.

  • David J. Brewer (1837-1910) - Jurist, U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

  • John R. "Doc" Brinkley ( 1885-1942) - Famous for his goat gland transplants, gubernatorial candidate, and pioneer radio broadcaster.

  • Joseph L. Bristow - (1861-1944) - Editor and U.S. Senator.

  • Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet from Topeka.

  • Billy BrooksWilliam L. "Buffalo Bill" Brooks (1832-1874) - Lawman turned outlaw, Brooks served as Marshal in Newton and Dodge City, Kansas, before being arrested for horse theft. He and two other men were lynched by a vigilante mob in Caldwell, Kansas on July 29, 1874.

  • Earl R. Browder ( 1891-1973) - American Communist Party leader and presidential candidate from Wichita.

  • Cleyson Brown (1872-1935) - Utility and telecommunications pioneer from Abilene.

  • Esther Brown ( 1917-1976) - Civil rights advocate from Kansas City.

  • Henry Newton Brown (1857-1884) - Fought with the Regulators in the Lincoln County War of New Mexico. He then worked as a sheriff in Tascosa, Texas and a marshal in Caldwell, Kansas. While serving as a lawman, he made a failed attempt to rob a bank in Medicine Lodge, Kansas on April 30, 1884. He was immediately captured and hanged the same day by vigilantes.

  • John Brown (1800-1859) - Abolitionist who advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to end all slavery. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas and made his name in the unsuccessful raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859.

  • Blanche K. Bruce - First African American graduate of the University of Kansas in 1885.

  • Abram B. Burnett (1811-1870) - Potawatomie chief.

  • Pardee Butler (1816-1888) - An abolitionist minister minister from Atchison.


Continued Next Page

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