Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ash Valley, Pawnee County, an old gravestone

I wrote about Ash Valley  a while back, but here is information on an old gravestone, maybe one of the oldest gravestones in the state! Click here for the story of Ash Valley and its birth and death. Here's a photo I stumbled across in an email I received a while back from a reader.

From The News
Another remnant is about a mile east of town, a limestone marker honoring a man who died before Kansas was a state. Cliff Line, a former resident of Ash Valley, was digging a post hole in 1916 when he hit a rock. When he unearthed it, he found lettering on it and realized it was a grave from 75 years earlier. The stone said: A.D. 1841 June W.D Silver Shot with (below shows the carving of an arrow). Speculation is he died from an Indian attack. The site, according to an article from the time in the The News, is 30 miles from the Santa Fe Trail and the man could have been hunting before he was attacked. The railroad erected a monument that still stands today along the former railroad line.

Thanks for the photo Adrian!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. John Line lived on the farm where a bridge was being constructed across Ash Creek one mile east of Ash Valley (then known as Ely). Because the bridge construction and railroad right-of-way had taken a strip along the south side of their property, Mr Line was relocating the fence and digging new postholes when he found the stone. The name on the stone was W. D. Silver, not Silverton, and it is still easily legible. The site is only ten miles from the Santa Fe Trail, not the thirty miles indicated above. It is most likely that he was a member of a scouting party of just a few men that was exploring the land near the Santa Fe Trail. I removed an earlier post that contained a factual error.

    1. Thanks Don! I'm going off the 1916 article in The News - I'll post an unedited version from our files.

      Marker of Victim of Indian,
      Found in Ash Valley,
      Pawnee Co.
      A gri m reminde r of th e day s whe n
      savag e Indian s prowle d ove r Kansa s
      plain s wa s unearthe d a fow day s ug o
      whe n th e headston o markin g th o grav e
      of .an India n victim wa s found in As h
      valley , Pawne e county .
      Townshi p Cler k Lyons, of As h vall
      e y township , wa s diggin g posthole s
      for a fenc e whe n his spad e struck^ a
      rock . H e unearthe d it an d found som e
      rudel y cu t letterin g on It. Washin g
      it off h e found tha t It apparentl y wa s
      a marke r for a grave , date d 75 years
      ago .
      T h e stono , a soft re d sandston e bor e
      this Inscriptio n cu t In wit h a knlf

    2. t h e Stat e Historica l society . This plac e
      wher e It wa s found Is probabl y 30
      mile s off th e old Sant a F e Trail. Probabl
      y som e plainsma n wa s hunting , up
      t h e valle y an d wa s killed by Indluns.

    3. Jun e 4, A. D. 1841.
      " w : D. SILVER.
      Die . Sho t Wit h
      (Inscriptio n of arrow.)