Uniontown was originally established in 1848 as a stop on the Oregon Trail on the south bank of the Kansas River in what is now Shawnee County by Richard Cummins and Alfred Vaughan. The small trading post became a decent sized trail town thanks to the Oregon Trail traffic and the Potawatomis who lived just north of the river. The Potawatomi would come into Uniontown to receive and cash their government payments and it was soon recorded that Uniontown had a population of over 300 people and over 60 buildings.
However, after a cholera outbreak in 1849 and 1850, the town was swiftly abandoned but not before hundred of people died, including some Potawatomi. 22 were buried in a mass grave and the town was burned to make sure that a cholera outbreak would never happen again. Uniontown was reestablished in 1851 and quickly regained its status as a major stop on the Oregon Trail. When Kansas Territory was opened for settlement in 1854, it was the beginning of the end for Uniontown. New towns along the Kansas River sprang up like Lawrence, Lecompton, Tecumseh, and Topeka. Competition was stiff and Uniontown just couldn't compete. When Topeka became the major city in the area, traders and settlers moved there, or elsewhere, and by 1858, Uniontown was again abandoned.
John Green and his family acquired the land that Uniontown sat on in the 1870s and farmed the land well into the 1960s. Most of the land was then given to the Kansas Department of Wildlife to use as a nature preserve. The Uniontown Cemetery, with the mass Potawatomi burial, has been well-preserved and is commonly known as Green Cemetery since the Green family began using it as a family cemetery.
Uniontown Cemetery is currently privately owned and maintained by the Citizen Band Potawatomi out of Oklahoma and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Recently, ground-penetrating radar was used to search for the mass grave and it's believed the location has been found. The Citizen Band Potawatomi and relatives of those in the cemetery are hoping to place interpretive signs in the cemetery in the near future.
|John Green, born in Gloucestershire, England.
September 11, 1827 - September 6, 1902
The golden gates were opened wide
A gentle voice said come
And angels from the other side
Welcomed our loved one home
|from Kansas Historical Society
|The entrance to the Herbert Reinhard Green Wildlife Area
|The bulletin board near the entrance and the grave of an Oregon Trail
[Fauqui]er Co. VA.
Sept. 24, 1824
June 9, 1851
Aged 26 Years
|Old farming equipment
|Restoration of tall prairie grasses.
|Mature post oak trees
|Scenic Post Creek valley view
|Valley view and dead trees
|Site of American Elm Tree
|Restoration of native grasses
|Reclaimed prairie grasses
|Oregon Trail ruts
|Sign marking the Oregon and California trails