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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

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

Caldwell Railroads

The Santa Fe Railroad was the first railroad that came into Caldwell. Traces of the pens are still visible as well as the roundhouse.

Caldwell, KS Railroad History

Old Mill and Elevator

The Old Mill and Elevator was originally built as a flour mill in the 1880s on the Santa Fe tracks by the Kramer Milling Company.

Caldwell, KS Historic Mills

Historic Walking Tour

Caldwell, the Border Queen, has seen wild days as a cowtown beside the Chisholm trail, a brief period of booming times during the Oklahoma Land Rush days, and quiet prosperity based on the vast grain fields of Sumner County.

Caldwell, KS Tours

Border Queen Museum

The Border Queen Museum exhibits antiques and artifacts preserving the culture and history of the area. A restored Union Pacific caboose houses railroad artifacts. Located in the city park.

Caldwell, KS Museums

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 ...

Serpent Intaglio

The Serpent Intaglio was dug by the Indians sometime around 1200-1300 A.D., and is approximately 160 ft. long and varies in w...