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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas

1844
2012

 

 

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The Story of Kansas City, Kansas

"The Arrival"

On the afternoon of July 31, 1843, the Nodaway was plowing up the Missouri River near the mouth of the Kaw.  Faster and faster the huge wheel turned.  The captain and crew seemed as eager as the passengers to reach the landing place on the river bank.

Men and women gathered in groups to talk of the long weeks since they had left home.  The children raced about on the deck.  How good it would be, everyone said, to leave the boat and the disagreeable captain.  Soon they would step upon the land that would be theirs from this day on.

Just at sundown the boat chugged to a stop.  The captain called out, "Everybody off!  This is as far as we go."

The passengers scarcely could believe they had understood his words correctly.  They were stopped at a small clearing on the bank.  On three sides stretched a dense mass of trees and underbush, deserted and lonely looking.  In the distance high forbidding cliffs rose above the lowlands near the river.  One small hut stood in the clearing.  Only a few of the hundreds on board would be able to find shelter in it.

When the passengers begged for permission to spend the night on the boat, the captain refused, saying, "We are going up the river to St. Joseph.  I have to be there by morning."

Two families slept in the hut.  The others lay on the ground in the clearing, wrapped in blankets to protect themselves from the heavy dew of the river bank.

All night long sounds of activity came from the boat, but it did not move up the river.  In the morning the passengers discovered that the crew had spent the night replacing the rugs and furniture that had been removed during the trip.

Naturally the Wyandots were indignant, but there was nothing they could do.  A year later the captain wrecked his boat on the river.  If the Wyandots were not too sorry to hear the news, they can scarcely be blamed.

As you ride across the Intercity Viaduct, you can locate the spot where the captain put his passengers ashore.  It is the point where the line that divides the states of Kansas and Missouri meets the Missouri River.

[Annotation:  On the following map, you can see the end of Market Street and a dashed line running to the Missouri River, which will be approximately the area where the passengers were put ashore.  Map of 100 Market Street]

Homeless

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Contact the History Webmaster - Patricia Adams

History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 02-Jan-2012

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