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The Park Brothers Papers digital collection displays the correspondence of three brothers: John Wesley, Frank M., Park, and Jesse, who lived in Missouri and Kansas from 1857-1861 and 1867-1869. Most of the letters are written to family in their hometown of Higginsport, Ohio. The letters of John Wesley Park describe life along the Kansas-Missouri border from 1857 to 1861. In the letters Park wrote about the pro-slavery and anti-slavery activity in the area, activity at Leavenworth, Kansas, and social life around Smithville, Missouri. He also described his experiences on the plains, a trip to the Colorado gold fields, and a stint as a school teacher in Melville, Missouri. In 1861 Park joined pro-Union forces and served as a teamster in Jim Lane's Brigade, and some of his letters describe the action along the Kansas-Missouri border. Frank M. Park described life on the Western Kansas frontier from May 1867 to September 1868. He wrote letters about battles between the U.S. Army and Indians around Fort Hays during the summer of 1867, life in Hays City and buffalo hunting on the plains. The letters of Jesse Park describe life in Sheridan, Kansas, from March 1869 to September 1869. At that time Sheridan was the end of the line for the Union Pacific Railroad. In his letters Jesse Park wrote about an Indian raid and vigilante justice.
Finding Aid to Park Brothers Papers