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Caldwell, Kansas

Caldwell, Kansas

One of only six cowtowns in Kansas, Caldwell was founded in 1871 astride the then new Chisholm Trail as an economic adventure of a group of Wichita entrepreneurs. The trail, running from Texas to the Intercontinental Railroad in northern Kansas, guided over a million longhorn steers and their guardian cowboys through Caldwell. Business people from afar made their home here to ply their trades, whatever they be, from banker toliquor dealer to prostitute.

Incorporated in 1879 when the railroad neared the city limits, Caldwell boasted a longer cowtown period (1880-1885), a higher murder rate, and loss of more law enforcement officers than other, even more famous, towns such as Dodge City, Abilene, and Wichita.

Fame, however, is not definitive of history. From the past come the true stories of Cowtown Caldwell - the hanging of the city's first lawyer for horse stealing, the unfortunate robbing of a nearby town bank and the killing of its president by a well-liked Caldwell City Marshal, the murder of another City Marshal by the town's police force, an outlaw brought to justice for a murder following a shootout where the outlaw was shot thirteen times but lived to see his trial date... and the list goes on and on.

History lives on here... A life-sized silhouette of a trail cattle drive, historical markers everywhere you turn telling the cowtown stories, boot hill cemetery with its re-enactors and "talking tombstones," and the celebrations that bring history to life and knowledge of the past to children today.

The western stories on television were born here ... enjoy the history, see a real cowtown, see Caldwell, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Carnegie Library

The Caldwell Carnegie Library was one of 59 public libraries constructed in Kansas. Built in 1912, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

Caldwell, KS Carnegie Libraries

Cherokee Strip Bridge

This bridge built by Grant County, Oklahoma and Sumner County, Kansas is a new monument to those hardy and determined men and women who ran the Cherokee Strip Run in 1893.

Caldwell, KS Historic Bridges

Post Office Mural

The Caldwell Post Office, built in the 1930s, is listed on the National Historic Register, as it displays one of the collection of murals commissioned during the Depression Era by the WPA. The mural, "Cowboys Driving Cattle," was painted by Kenneth Evett in 1941.

Caldwell, KS Arts

Saint Martin's Church

St. Martin's Catholic church was built in 1924 in the style of old Spanish Missions. It's a beautiful old stucco and terra-cotta building with the mural "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" inside.

Caldwell, KS Historic Churches

Caldwell Cemetery

See the tombstones of Cadwell's notorious ancestors in Caldwell Cemetery. George Wood, husband of Mag Wood, were the owners of the famous Red Light Saloon.

Caldwell, KS Cemeteries

Things to do near Caldwell, KS

Kansas Quilt Walk

The art of quilt making figures strongly in the history of our early pioneers. The "Kansas Quilt Walk" was developed to both ...

Pratt County Historical Museum

A visit to the Pratt County Historical Museum is like instant time travel to the days when America began building an empire o...

The Community Church

The Community church was organized in 1872, and constructed the following year at a cost of $2,000. The church had a startin...