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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

The Historic Santa Fe Depot

The Santa Fe Depot was built in 1906 and is the only remaining depot of Kansas' first railroad south of the Kaw, the Leavenworth, Lawrence, and Ft. Gibson.

It includes unique architectural features of triple arched windows, floor water cooler, dual gas/

Baldwin City, KS Railroad History

Santa Fe Trail Well

Located three blocks north of Highway 56 on Washington Street in Baldwin (the only Palmyra street to still carry its original name), the Santa Fe Trail Well provided the first fresh water for travelers on the Trail.

Hand dug to 40 feet, it was later deepened to 70

Baldwin City, KS Pioneer Life

Quayle Rare Bible Collection

The Quayle Bible Collection includes over 700 volumes and manuscripts dating from hand-lettered and ornately-decorated Bibles by monks, clay tablets from 2060 BC (the time of Abraham), a synagogue roll from the 12th century made of 13

Baldwin City, KS Collections

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