Tuesday, July 03, 2018


I've talked about the murder of Charles Dow by Franklin Coleman that happened in Hickory Point a few miles north of Baldwin City. Dow's death was never avenged. Coleman implicated a friend of Dow's in his murder and Coleman would later go on to fight against John Brown in the Battle of Black Jack. Dow's murder happened on November 22, 1855 but nearly a year before, on November 29, 1854, Lucius Kibbee was imprisoned for the murder of Henry Davis.
an illustration of Lucius Kibbee, courtesy FindAGrave
November 29 was the day of the Territorial Election. Lucius Kibbee and N.D. Johnson were returning to Hickory Point from Lawrence along Blanton's Crossing (present-day Louisiana Street) when they passed a wagon carrying Henry Davis (not to be confused with Henry T. Davis, another settler whose family cemetery and namesake bar are located near 6th and Kasold in Lawrence). Davis and the men he was with were witnessed by Kibbee and Johnson burning down a house which angered Kibbee. When confronted, Davis asked what business it was of his. When Kibbee continued to press, Davis drew a knife and within seconds Kibbee had unloaded into Davis' stomach.

Kibbee turned himself in to Judge Elmore and was sent to stand trial in front of Chief Justice Samuel LeCompte. His trial took place on December 27, 1854 and was the second trial held in the territory. A dozen or so witnesses testified about Kibbee and Davis' confrontation. According to Johnson's testimony, after learning about the burnt property, Kibbee threatened to report Davis to the authorities. Davis threatened "I'll report you to Hell", brandished a knife and struck at Kibbee, missing him.

Kibbee passively turned away citing that he had no quarrel with Davis. Davis then swore he'd cut Kibbee's heart out and made two more lunges with the knife before Kibbee shot him right before Davis made a third lunge. The arguments were submitted and Kibbee was released on $1,000 bail until a trial could be held.

Lucius Kibbee was born in Iowa in 1815 and came to Kansas with his wife and children settling on land near Hickory Point about a mile from the Santa Fe Trail. Since preemption laws required improving the land, Kibbee built a small cabin. In July of 1854, Reverend William Goode preached the first sermon under the authority of the United Methodist Church. For months it was rumored that Missourians were going to come in from Missouri and hang Kibbee and in March 1855, Rev. Goode found the Kibbee cabin surrounded. The group was dispersed but Kibbee was charged with assault. Knowing he wouldn't get a fair trial, Kibbee gave up and returned his family to Iowa. He would later move to Nebraska where he died in 1880.
Kibbee Cabin replica at Baker University. Photo courtesy Baker University.
Kibbee's abandoned claim became property of David Jones who reportedly had slaves. When the tides turned and Kansas became a free territory, Jones left and asked Henry Barricklow to watch his land. Barricklow moved his family to the land and eventually bought the land. In 1857, at the Barricklow, formerly Kibbee, cabin, it was decided by the preachers at the Methodist convention that Baker University be established. A replica of Kibbee's cabin sits just north of the Old Castle Museum. A plaque commemorating the Kibbee/Barricklow Cabin is on private property just east of Signal Oak north of Baldwin City.

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You know, I've seen Brutus golf with unnamed stangers, Veeblefester, Arnie, and even Wilberforce but I have never seen him play golf with Uncle Ted. Uncle Ted must not want to waste time playing golf with someone who is as terrible at it as Brutus. Veeblefester and Arnie can justify it because it's good for a few bucks or a laugh.

Here's your new hip, Uncle Ted. Whoops. Heh, heh. You'll have to go easy on it.