There was two B.O.D. across the Western United States at the same time in the early 1860's.
The Southern Trail was opened by John Butterfield in 1858, and was the first stage lines to carry mail. This trail ran from Springfield, Missouri and Fort Smith, Arkansas, southwest across Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and west from El Paso to California.
The other B.O.D. trail ran across Kansas and Colorado and was opened by a David A. Butterfield and was no relation John. This trail was established in the year of 1865. On September 25, 1865 the Atchison Free Press announced, in the headlines; "First Coach Through to Denver". "The first coach belonging to Butterfield Overland Dispatch Company, which left this city on Monday, the 11th inst., Accompanied by D. A. Butterfield, Esq., General Superintendent, and several officers of the company, reached Denver on the 22nd, twelve days enroute."
Soldiers were stationed at many of the stage stations and the forts along the trail during those years of Indian troubles.
The B.O.D. operated until about 1870, when the first transcontinental railway line direct from the Missouri River to Sacramento, California was completed, thus ending the B. O. D., this happened on May 10, 1869 at Promontory Point, Utah, with the driving of the Golden Spike at that location and the meeting to the two lines, one coming from the east and the other coming from the west.
The names of the old stations and towns along the Smoky Hill route, followed by the Butterfield Overland Dispatch and eventually the Kansas Pacific railroad as it went west over the prairie. Both trails, the B.O.D. and K.P.R.R. paralleled the highway U.S. 40 and the Smoky Hill River to the Kansas Colorado line. Many of the stations were named for people, Chapman Creek was also called Sycamore Creek, and was later named for a Major Chapman. The Indians called this Creek Ne-so-ja, meaning soldier creek. A two story barn one fourth mile north and three fourth mile east of the town of Chapman, was used as a blacksmith shop and stable for the B.O.D.
A common name for the coach used on the Overland Mail, made by Abbott-Downing Company, Concord, New Hampshire. The coach had an arching roof with a railing around the outer edge. The front was the boot where the driver sat with his feet braced against the footboard. Behind his feet were a sack of tools, a treasure box, a water bucket, a buffalo robe and perhaps some mail. At the rear was another boot, a sort of projecting platform covered with a leather curtain. This was used to carry the baggage, express, and mail. Any over-flow of packages or mail was carried on top of the coach and also protected the passengers form rain and cold wind. This coach was the best of its type, when new it cost from $1,000 to $1,500.
A stopping place along a stage line or railroad line, to feed and water stock pulling stage coaches, also for fuel and water for the steam engines. People traveling on stage lines and rail lines could stop to eat, rest and sometimes stay overnight at these stations.
This Chart was made from the records of the B.O.D. in 1865. The mileage's in Italic's are from the records of the B.O.D, with addition from other sources where names and location of the stations could be found.
Those marked with an (**) are the home or eating stations.
The names and location of Stations in the State of Colorado, are taken from the book,
"The Smoky Hill Trail" by Margaret Long, M.D.
The Mileage's that are in (***) are taken from the 1867 Survey Report as Listed.
Station Along The Butterfield Overland Dispatch - 1859-1870
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Leavenworth County
Easton, Kansas, Leavenworth County
Hickory Point, Jefferson County
Ozawkie, Jefferson County
Silver Lake, Shawnee County
St. Mary's, Pottawatomie County
Louisville, Riley County
Juniata Crossing, Riley County
Fort Riley, 116 miles from Atchinson, Kansas. Riley County (116 Miles)
**Junction City, Kansas 3 miles, Geary County (119 Miles)
Chapman Creek 12 miles, Dickinson County (131 Miles)
**Abilene Kansas, 12 miles, Dickinson County (143 Miles)
Solomon River Crossing, 10 miles, Saline County(153 Miles)
**Salina Kansas, 13 miles, Saline County (166 Miles, end of track, April, 1867)
Spring Creek Stage Station, Ellsworth County, 15 miles(181 Miles)
Was one of the Stage Relay Stations on the Butterfield Overland Dispatch Trail, or as it is known today the B.O.D. The road ran from Fort Riley to Denver Colo. To get to Spring Creek Station go to the Junction of K140 & K141 Highway ½ mile west and ½ mile south. The station sat in a field just to the west of the road east of the tree row that is about ¼ of a mile to the west of the road. There are no signs of the station in the field except the broken glass and other objects you would find around an abandoned site.
Fort Harker, Ellsworth County
**Ellsworth Kansas, 14 miles, Ellsworth County(195 Miles)
Buffalo Creek Station, 12 miles, Ellsworth County (205 Miles)
**Hick's Station, 15 miles; a/k/a Lost Creek, Wilson Creek, Russell County (214 Miles)
Bunker Hill, (222 Miles)
Fossil Creek Station, 15 miles Russell County (230 Miles)
Section 30, Township 14 south, Range 13 west
Forsythe's Creek, 11 miles; a/k/a, Walker Creek; abandoned in favor of Fort Fletcher, Russell County (240 Miles)
Hays Creek, (about 256 Miles, end of track fall 1867)
**Fort Fletcher Ellis County Kansas, 5 miles; a/k/a Forks of Big Creek
Extreme Northeast Corner of Section 5, Township 15 south, Range 17 west, 4 miles west of Victoria, Kansas. Main building stood on the south bank of Big Creek.
**First Big Creek Station, 11 miles, and was in the; Ellis County (252 Miles)
Southeast ¼, of Section 27, Township 14 south, Range 16 west
**The Second Big Creek Station, Ellis County, and was in the Northeast ¼, of Section 5, Township 15 south, Range 17 west
The stables and pasture were on the north side of the creek, this station also had a blacksmith shop. 8 to 12 people worked at this station.
Lookout Station, Ellis County; (261 Miles)
Southeast ¼, of Section 36, Township 14 south, Range 19 west
It was one of the few stations where there were no tunnels joining the main station house with the stables. It was located 5 miles south and 3 miles west of Hays Kansas.
Louisa Springs Station, 12 miles; abandoned in favor of Stormy Hollow, Ellis County
Northeast ¼, of Section 2, Township 15 south, Range 20 west
This station was named for Lieutenant Julian R. Fitch's wife, who accompanied her husband on his survey of the trail in 1865.
Blufton, 14 miles; a/k/a Bluffton, Threshing Machine Canyon; abandoned for White Rock.
Located south of WaKeeney Kansas in Trego County;
Section 3, Township 14 south, Range 24 West
Southeast ¼, of Section 22, Township 14 south, Range 22 west,
After the station closed the place was still used as a campsite by travelers, and had quite a number of names carved in the 75 foot bluff that the station got its name from. It is said to have rivaled Independence Rock for names per square foot. Names from 1849. The Cedar Bluff Dam, just a little over a mile to the east of the canyon, backs up water to the base of the bluff and covers most of the BOD trail in the area. The bluff face with the names is all but gone now, lost forever by progress??
Stormy Hollow Station, Trego County Kansas (273 Miles)
Southwest ¼, Section 25, Township14 south, Range 21 west,
On the Eastern edge of Trego County.
White Rock Station, Trego County Kansas (284 Miles)
Northeast ¼, Section 19, Township 14 south, Range 22 west
**Downer Station; a/k/a Downer's Creek, Fort Downer; Trego, County Ks, 13 miles(294 Miles)
Northwest ¼, Section 15, Township14 south, Range 24 west
12 miles south and 5 miles west of Wakeeney, Kansas, or 3 miles south of Bosna, Kansas, west side of the creek.
Ruthton Station, 7 miles, Trego County; used only a short time.
Northeast ¼, of Section 2, Township 14 south, Range 25 west Probably named for a Captain West's wife who was along on the 1865 survey.
Castle Rock Creek Station, 9 miles, western edge of Trego County. (305 Miles)
Southwest ¼, of Section 31, Township 13 south, Range 25 west
Northeast ¼, of Section 31, Township 13 south, Range 25 west?
Grinnell Springs Station, 11 miles, Gove County (313 Miles)
Section 29, Township 14 south, Range 27 west
Southeast ¼, of Section 23, Township 14 south, Range 27 west, This location is by E. M. Bougher
Chalk Bluffs Station, 12 miles, Gove County (316 Miles)
Located south of Gove, Kansas near K-23 highway.
Section 13, Township 15 south, Range 29 West
South ½, of Section 12, Township 15 south, Range 29 west
Carlyle Station, a/k/a Bridgins Raisin, Carlysle Hall,7 miles, Gove County
Section 15, Township 15 south, Range 30 west
**Monument Rock, a/k/a Monument Station, a/k/a Antelope Station, 13 miles (344 Miles)
Near the western boundary of Gove County Kansas,
Southwest ¼, of Section 34, Township 14 south, Range 31 west
Southwest ¼, of Section 33, Township 14 south, Range 31 west
One mile northeast of the station were the castle like rocks called Monuments or Pyramids.
Smoky Hill Spring Station, 11 miles a/k/a Four Crossing Stage Station, (356 Miles)
Logan County Kansas,
South ½, of Southeast 1/4, of Section 32, Township 13 south, Range 33 west
Northwest corner of Section 4, or the Northeast corner, of Section 5, Township 14 south, Range 33 west
**Eaton, a/k/a Russell Springs, Wood Bottom, 12 miles, Logan County(366 Miles)
South ¼, of Section 23, Township 13 south, Range 35 west
West ½, of Section 23, Township 13 south, Range 35 west
Logan County, Just a few miles west of Eaton Station the river forked, there was no station here but it was a favorite campground, and was also called Forks of the Smoky. It was after several Indian raids the place earned the name of Death Hollow.
Henshaw Creek Station, a/k/a Bluff Camp, Henshaw Springs, 13 miles, Logan Co. (380Miles)
Section 23, Township 13, Range 37 west
Northwest ¼, of Section 13, Township 13 south, Range 37 west
Located on the north bank of the South Fork of the Smoky Hill River.
Henshaw Station - Logan County
Detachment at Henshaw Station
A military post founded about 1865 shortly after the Civil War, was located near McAllaster about nine miles east of Fort Wallace on Turkey Creek, not the best place for a small command post because of the frequent Indian attacks in the area. The first recorded attack there was on June 5, 1867, when the Indians killed four men and stampeded the horses. At the time the station was guarded by only ten soldiers and two stock traders, so pursuit of the Indians was out of the question. By the time a force arrived from Fort Wallace, the Indians had dispersed.
**Pond Creek Station, a/k/a Duck Pond, 11 miles, Wallace County(391 Miles)
This was the original station at Wallace and was two miles west of Fort Wallace
Northwest ¼, of Section 26, Township 13 south, Range 39 west
East ½, of Section 26, Township 13 south, Range 39 west
Like most of the stations this one had underground tunnels running from the house to the barn and from both buildings to the rifle pits. The rifle pits were big enough for two men to stand in, they were covered with a large slab of stone held off the ground with short pieces of wood. There was three of these pits, one at the end of the tunnel running out from the stable, one went from the house and one larger than the others guarded the rear of the station.
Goose Creek Station; Wallace County (402 Miles)
Northeast ¼, of Section 9, Township 13 south, Range 40 west
Willow Creek, a/k/a Willow Springs, Fitch's Meadow, 14 miles, Wallace County
Northeast ¼, of Section 17, Township 13 south, Range 41 west
East ½, of Section 15, Township 13 south, Range 41 west
Blue Mound, a/k/a Big Timbers, Big Grove and Big Cottonwood Grove, 9 miles,Wallace County (412 Miles)
1½ miles East of the State Line,
Southeast ¼, of Section 18, Township 13 south, Range 43 west
**Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 13 miles
5 miles North of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, on south bank of Smoky Hill River
Northeast ¼, of Section 28, Township 13 south, Range 44 west
Southeast ¼, of Section 28, Township 13 south, Range 44 west
In 1860 Lt. Fitch's survey party had dug the well just north of the south fork of the Smoky.
Eureka Station, Colorado, 11 miles southwest of Cheyenne Wells
Southwest ¼, of Section 30, Township 14 south, Range 45 west
**Duboise, Colorado, 24 miles
Northeast ¼, of Section 20, Township 15 south, Range 47 west
6 miles Southeast of Kit Carson, it was at this point the travelers heading toward Bent's Fort on the Arkansas River left the BOD.
Grady's Station, Colorado, 11 miles
Southwest ¼, of Section 17, Township 14 south, Range 50 west
North Bank of Big Sandy, one mile west of Wild Horse, a man with the name of Bayard Taylor says; "At Grandy's Station there was but one man, a lonely troglodyte, burrowing in the bank like a cliff swallow"
**Connell Creek, Colorado, a/k/a Cornell Creek or Cornett Creek, 13 miles
Northwest ¼, of Section 26, Township 13 south, Range 52 west
Located at the point where Connell Creek ran into the Big Sandy.
**Coon Creek Station, Colorado, 12 miles
Center of Section 33, Township 11 south, Range 53 west
Located on the north bank of Coon Creek at its junction with the Big Sandy.
Hogan Station, Colorado, 11 miles northwest
Northeast ¼, of Section 36, Township 10 south, Range 55 west
There was a spring called Cap Barron on the north bank of the Big Sandy at this location.
Hedinger's Lake Station, Colorado, a/k/a Lake Station, 9 miles
Northeast ¼, of Section 27, Township 9 south, Range 56 west
Located at the junction of Lake Creek and Big Sandy Creek, it was here the North and the South trails separated in 1866, The station was a huge dugout with sod walls above the ground. It was large enough to hold an entire stagecoach. There was also a tunnel to connect the station to a place called Mule Cellar.
Big Bend of Sandy, Colorado, 13 miles
South side of Section 33, Township 9 south, Range 58 west
Two miles northwest of present River Bend, and located on the Well's Ranch.
**Reeds Spring Station, Colorado, 13 miles
Near the middle of Section 28, Township 9 south, Range 60 west
The station had a huge dugout that could hold a stage coach and team without unhitching it. It was also used as a store.
Bijou Creek, Colorado, 12 miles
Southeast ¼, of Section 11, Township 9 south, Range 62 west
Kiowa Station, Colorado, 9 miles
Southeast ¼, of Section 17, Township 8 south, Range 63 west
**Running Creek Station, a/k/a Ruthton Station, Colorado, 9 miles
Northwest corner of Section 6, Township5 south, Range 64 west
Northwest ¼, of Section 6, Township 8 south, Range 64 west
Its name was changed to Ruthton Station after the station in Kansas was abandoned.
Sulphur Station, Colorado, a/k/a Parkhurst Station
Middle of Section 26, Township 6 south, Range 66 west
Located on the south bank of Sulphur Gulch and had a good well.
Twenty Mile House, was located a short distance from Sulphur Station and may be most of the facilities of the Sulphur Station.
Cherry Creek Station, a/k/a, Cherry Valley, 16 miles,
Southwest ¼, of Section 18, Township 5 south, Range 66 west
At the Junction of Sampson Gulch and Cherry Creek, this was the point where the Starvation Trail, or Middle Smoky Hill Trail reached Cherry Creek.
**Denver Colorado, 14 miles
End of the trail Marker;
The end of the trail is marked at the junction of three corners of Broadway, Colfax, and Fifteenth Streets in Denver, Colorado.
Total Distance; 592 miles
"Notes on the Locations"
This is information collected over the years because of the interest in the trails of Kansas. These notations were taken and compared with several sources. Hope you enjoy this information on another trail in the State of Kansas.
On some of the Stations there are two locations listed, the names of the stations are listed as they where found, some had been changed several times while they were occupied, these are as they were found, listed in different places and books. Don't know which one is right, just put them all down for reference only, some day maybe it can be looked into and find out which one is right. This is as near as you can come to the places from a book. Also just about all of the stations west of Salina, Kansas to the Colorado Line had troops stationed at them most of the time to guard against Indian Attack. The B.O.D. is a trail that has so much written about it, and in so many places that this story may never be finished.
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