Butterfield's Overland Dispatch - Atchison, Ks.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 39° 33.703 W 095° 06.863
15S E 318360 N 4381249
This highly polished black granite marker is located at the northwest corner of Veterans' Memorial Park - Commercial Street and River Road in Atchison, Ks.
Waymark Code: WMTCTZ
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 11/03/2016
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Four For All
Views: 7

This highly polished black granite marker is located at the northwest corner of Veterans' Memorial Park. It is approximately 150 feet west of the Lewis and Clark Pavilion.

Information on Butterfield's Overland Dispatch from Santa Fe Research:

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.

Concord Coach:
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.

Text on the Front of the marker:

(picture of Concord Coach)

Memorial by
Smoky Hill Trail Associates
October 2015

Text on Reverse of marker



The B.O.D. followed the Smoky Hill Trail,
the shortest and most dangerous trail
from the Missouri River to the
Rocky Mountain gold fields.

Butterfield's first supply wagons left
Atchison in June 1865 and his first
stagecoach to Denver departed
Atchison in September 1865.

B.O.D. Headquarters was 100 yards
south of this site on the river.
Marker Name: Butterfield's Overland Dispatch

Marker Type: Roadside

Marker text:
See long description

Marker Location: Atchison

Year Marker Placed: 10/01/2015

Name of agency setting marker: Other (Please identify in marker text)

Official Marker Number: Not listed

Marker Web Address: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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