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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

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

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

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

Collins Library

Collins Library is the Baker University Library but also houses the Methodist Historical Library and two of the nation's top collections - The Quayle Rare Bible Collection and Rev. Coole's Ancient Chinese Coin Collection.

The library also houses an authentic 18

Baldwin City, KS Historic Libraries

Old Castle Museum Complex

The 3-story native sandstone Castle was the first home of Baker University, Kansas' oldest 4-year college. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places , it was built in 1857 and 1858, at a cost of $3,200 and includes native wood - mostly walnut - woodwork. It provided a "

Baldwin City, KS Museums

Things to do Pioneer Life near Baldwin City, KS