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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

Allen (Depot) Park

Allen Park, Main and High streets in West Baldwin (formerly Media), is privately owned and maintained by the Santa Fe Trail Historical Society. While privately owned, it is open to the public and offers a ball field, play area and shelterhouse with picnic tables, running water and grills.

Baldwin City, KS Parks

Grove and West Parks

Grove Park, Fremont and Third, and West Park, 11th and High, are tree-shaded city-owned parks equipped with children's playground areas with swings, slides, and other equipment.

Baldwin City, KS Parks

Baker University

Baker is a liberal arts university which draws the region's finest students. The first university in Kansas, Baker was founded by Methodist ministers 139 years ago.

Baldwin City, KS Colleges

The Midland Historic Railroad

The Midland Historic Railroad began operation August 8, 1987 with a restored diesel engine, a 1923 Rock Island commuter coach and a 1950

Baldwin City, KS Railroad History

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