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

Douglas State Lake

The Douglas State Fishing Lake is located two miles northeast of Baldwin just off County Road 1055. The surface area of the lake is 200 acres with approximately 600 acres surrounding the lake.


Baldwin City, KS Recreation

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

Area History Mural

The mural depicting area history was painted by local artist, Tom Russell. It is displayed in the Baldwin State Bank.

Baldwin City, KS Arts

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

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

Things to do Pioneer Life near Baldwin City, KS