I guess that the trip to Tipton and Osborne county could have been made most easily by train, at least from about 1870 on. However, the traveler by train might have limits on how many possessions they could bring. If a family was moving their household belongings, perhaps the more efficient means would be by wagon.
- I know nothing of how John M. Kohn came to Kansas. His first home in the U.S. was likely La Crosse WI.
- According to family anecdote, the Robert Ohnsat family came to Kansas from Pittsburgh PA via Conestoga wagon.
- I know nothing of how the Anton Deneke came to Kansas. Their first home in the U.S. was Cincinnati OH.
Trails and RailsSanta Fe Trail Research documents a lot of information about the forts established to protect wagon trains, stage coaches, and other travel across Missouri and Kansas. The site also has an index of articles found in the periodical Wagon Tracks, including a number of references to the forts Riley, Leavenworth, Ellsworth, Hays; railroads, stage coaches, Salina KS, Saline county MO, and the Solomon River, wagon trains, and many other topics. A fort existed near Leavenworth KS from about 1827, as reported on the site. Detail there about Fort Ellsworth says, "In June 1864, "Fort Ellsworth, Kansas" was established at the site of the Page Ranche. The fort was one of several that served to protect the area of Central Kansas and the Santa Fe Trail." So far, I have not found a map of the pioneer trails on the site, and its greatest lack is illustrative material in general.
The Legends of America site has detail about the Smoky Hill Trail, which connected travelers from Fort Leavenworth to Denver. Following this trail, the Butterfield Overland Dispatch could travel from Atchison to Denver in about 3.5 months (for example, from 4 June to 23 September in 1865). The stage line was active only from 1865 through 1870, after which train travel obviated its need.
The Legends of Kansas site documents a list of railroad service to the state. However, no maps show clearly which railway came close to Osborne and Tipton.
The Thompson Family History site records a history that states "On Oct. 18, 1916 the Salina Northern Train arrived in Tipton. It ran between Osborne and Salina." from a history compiled by Adeline Arnoldy. The Tipton municipal site has the same historical record.
According to Solomon Valley Heritage, the first rail to reach the area was to Downs in 1879 and then to Osborne, its terminus. Tipton received service much later from a line that came from Salina. The site also provides a bit of detail about other travel in the period 1865-1880. A detailed early-history of Solomon Valley towns brings new information about the location where my great-grandparents married. Heretofore I had thought they were married at the hotel of Waconda Springs. But now I realize a town named Waconda was begun about two miles south of Cawker City, and it did not survive for many years beyond 1875.
A plat map of Wyandotte County from 1887 is available. Although many roads exist by then, their alignment to the meridians at one-mile intervals leads me to believe that their quality was low and purpose was farmland access. The most likely throughfare followed the north bank of the Kansas River westward through Muncy, Edwardsville, and Bonner Springs. The road from Bonner Springs is uncertain.
The county population grew five-fold from 10,015 in 1870 to 54,407 in 1890.
A plat map of Leavenworth County from 1878 is available. Again, most roads are aligned to the meridian grid, and a clear throughfare is not clear. But a section of road between Le Mare and Stranger that bends in parallel to the railway may indicate its importance as a throughfare from Bonner Springs in Wyandotte County. I would presume the due-west road from Stranger was the continuation of the throughfare.