Cannonball Stageline Highway

category : Landmarks
Cannonball Stageline Highway Donald R. Green was originally from Kentucky but learned to ride a stage coach while living in Montana. Hearing about how people were moving westward through Kansas during the late 1800s beyond where the railroads ended, he saw a financial opportunity.

Beginning in Kingman, west of Wichita, he soon had a reputation for moving people faster than any other stageline. Remembering the legend of the Wabash Cannonball trail and comparing the speed of his stages to it, Green named the stageline "The Cannonball" and claimed that even Father Time could not keep up with him. Using two teams of horses, he had relay stations every ten to fifteen miles, thus being able to travel faster than his competition.

His stageline first went from Kingman to Coldwater, a 100-mile trip. This trip would include Pratt, west of Kingman, and the round trip could be made in 2 days. Ever looking for new opportunities, Green teamed with other men to found the city of Greensburg.

Green was elected to represent Greensburg and Kiowa County in the state legislature. It was during this time that the nickname "Cannonball" was tagged on him.

As the railroads caught up with him, Green would move further west and in 1889 he made an agreement with the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railroad to take passengers to the unassigned land in Indian Territory. This was to be the salvation of his by then foundering company, but it turned into the downfall instead as the railroad did not let him know in time that nearly all the passengers would arrive on one train and he could not possibly take care of them all. His reputation suffered immensely.

In 1893 he made the run into the Cherokee Strip and staked a claim northwest of Pond Creek. Never as successful at farming as he had been as a stage coach driver, he lost his great financial status, but never his flamboyancy and determination.

D.R. "Cannonball" died in 1922 at the age of 85 years in Long Beach, California.

When Woody Hockaday began marking major roads, he followed the former Cannonball Stage route. In later years, this route became U.S. Highway 54.

- Researched speech presented to the State of Kansas Transportation Committees to acquire the official designation of Highway 54 between Kingman and Greensburg as the Cannonball Stageline Highway.

Come visit us in Kingman, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Byron Walker Wildlife Area

Hunters and non-consumptive wildlife users alike will find plenty to do on Byron Walker Wildlife Area. The habitat is diverse, including streamside woodlands, shrub plots, native prairie and food plots. Most of the grassland has been enhanced with tree and shrub cover strips adjacent to food plots.

Kingman, KS Wildlife Refuges

Stan Herd Murals

Stan Herd, a famous international artist, painted two murals on the north wall of the Kingman County Museum. Clyde Cessna is depicted flying his first airplane over Kingman County. In 1911, Clyde founded Cessna Aircraft Company.

Kingman, KS Arts

Kingman State Fishing Lake

Kingman State Fishing Lake and Byron Walker Wildlife Area are located on U.S. Highway 54 seven miles west of Kingman, in the valley of the South Fork of the Ninnescah River. The area encompasses 4,529 acres, including the 144-acre Kingman State Fishing Lake.

Kingman, KS Recreation

Riggs/Waterloo Aboretum

Established by John Water Riggs, the Riggs Arboretum at Waterloo is perhaps the oldest and least known arboretum west of the Mississippi River. The property is in essence a large (10 acre) grove of trees, most ranging in age from 75 to 100+

Kingman, KS Arboretums

Kingman Post Office Mural

The Kingman Post Office is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of the mural on the inside south wall of the building. The Painting at the Kingman Post Office is one of over 1300

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Things to do Landmarks near Kingman, KS

Santa Fe Trail Ruts

Ruts left by wagon trains can be found along Ash Creek, a tributary that feeds the Arkansas River. Ask at the Farmer's Co-op ...