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Baldwin, Historical Marker


category : Pioneer Life
Baldwin, Historical Marker Here, and for the next 300 miles west, Highway 56 roughly follows the old Santa Fe Trail, and frequently crosses it. White settlement began in this area in 1854, the year Kansas became a territory, and in 1855 the town of Palmyra was founded. When Baker University was established on the outskirts in 1858 a new town sprang up. It was named for John Baldwin, an Ohio capitalist, who in 1857 hauled a steam sawmill in over the trail. By 1863, Palmyra has merged with Baldwin.


Local settlers were "Free-State" in the fight over slavery; several were captured in a Proslavery raid of 1856. Among Free State leaders was Dr. Andrew T. Still, founder of osteopathy, whose theory of healing developed here.


Baker University, named for Methodist Bishop Osmon Baker, is the state's oldest 4-year college. It houses the famous Bishop Quayle Bible Collection and its first building, the "Old Castle", is now a museum.


Erected by the Kansas State Historical Society and State Highway Commission


Address: U.S. Highway 56 just east of High Street

Come visit us in Baldwin City, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Women's Bridge

The native stone and brick bridge over Tauy Creek was erected in 1890 at the request of Baldwin's first female mayor, Lucy Sullivan. Mrs. Sullivan, one of the nation's earliest woman mayors, and her all-female council distinguished themselves with community improvements such as this bridge "

Baldwin City, KS Pioneer Life

Battle of Black Jack

This battle was part of the struggle to make Kansas a free state. In May, 1856, Pro-slavery men destroyed buildings and newspaper presses in Lawrence, Free-State headquarters. John Brown's company then killed 5

Baldwin City, KS Battlesites

Clarice L. Osborne Memorial Chapel

This chapel's history takes a little more than a glance to read, but the story of its transport from a small town in England to its resurrection at Baker University is remarkable.

In 1864, after nearly six decades of meeting in local homes, a small Methodist congregation in Sproxton (

Baldwin City, KS Historic Churches

Kibbee Cabin

[Kibbee Cabin] The Kibbee Cabin is a reproduction of a log cabin which stood on the crest of the Santa Fe Ridge (commonly called "Big Hill") north of Baldwin where a group of Methodist ministers met to form Baker University in 1857

Baldwin City, KS Pioneer Life

Palmyra Post Office

Located at the Old Castle Complex is the Palmyra Post Office and Blood's Grocery which opened in 1857. Originally located north of the highway on the Santa Fe Trail, it served travelers on the trail and the pioneer community of Palmyra, the original townsite later to become Baldwin City.

Baldwin City, KS Pioneer Life

Things to do Pioneer Life near Baldwin City, KS

Blacksmith Shop

The blacksmith shop was an important part of the rural community. Blacksmiths kept the town in working order the same way an ...