Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sunflower Tea Anyone?

The Kansas explorer often reads other blogs that are interesting.

At Tourism Oxford, (January 12, 2013) he came across a recipe for Sunflower Tea that seemed intriguing. The recipe is buried in an article about Dr. Perry (no first name given) of Woodstock, Ontario, Canada. The doctor, it seems, treated many of his patient's ailments with herbal remedies. Dr. Perry, so the article says, "found great success with herbal remedies and would grow an abundance of flowers and herbs around his home." The Sunflower tea recipe was popular to treat the symptoms of malaria.

A sunflower I grew

Tourism Oxford

Sunflower Tea Recipe
Take leaves and stems of sunflower and steep in brandy. Add a little ash bark.
 Ever the skeptic, the Kansas Explorer checked another site just to make sure Dr. Perry was up on his stuff. Sure enough, from Herbal Legacy we learn that there is a real Sunflower leaf tea:
Sunflower leaf tea has been used to treat high fevers, and for lung ailments. Just a few tablespoons of sunflower leaf tea will stop diarrhea—so it is best to use it sparingly. The leaves have both diuretic and expectorant properties.
 This will make me look at sunflowers a little differently.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Stone Bridges of Butler County - 60th st. off Haverhill road

Stone Bridges of Butler County 

This is bridge #1 on the Tour Butler County Kansas day tour.

This double arch bridge spans Turkey Creek in Spring Township of Butler County. It is located six miles south of El Dorado off of Haverhill Road to the east. From Wichita, drive east on Kellogg (Highway 54/400), past Augusta, then turn north on Haverhill Rd.. At 60th and Haverhill, go east one mile until you come to Turkey Creek.

One of two double arch bridges left in Butler County, the bridge was built by C.C. Jamison in 1912. The arches are 20 and 30 feet in width. Turkey Creek joins up with Walnut River about two miles to the west.
One mile east of Haverhill on 60th St. (January 2013)
Eleven months later, the creek has water.

60th street off Haverhill rd., December 2013
60th st. bridge viewed from the east side

C.C. Jamison

From a History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney, 1916, pages 568 and 569. (Skyways has a shortened transcription online.)

C. C. Jamison began his career as a contractor and builder when he was about twenty-four years of age, his first work being a forty foot stone arch bridge, across Dry Creek, between Bruno and Augusta. [Near Santa Fe Lake.] Prior to this he had superintended the construction of the electric light building at El Dorado. Among the most important works that Mr. Jamison has done as a contractor and builder are the following: A forty foot stone arch bridge, one mile west of Latham; the piers for the iron bridge across the Walnut at Augusta: a thirty-six foot stone arch bridge, in Bruno township; a thirty-six foot stone arch bridge, across Hickory creek, near Leon; a thirty-six foot stone arch bridge in Chelsea township, near Chelsea; a thirty foot stone arch bridge at Brainard; and a thirty foot stone arch bridge, across Turkey creek, five miles south of El Dorado. Mr. Jamison has probably built about fifty county bridges in Butler county, and 200 township bridges.
For a complete listing of the Stone Bridges of Butler County, go to Tour Butler County. This is bridge #1 on their list.

From A Standard Atlas of Butler County, by George A. Ogle, 1905. KansasMemory. Note that the road before the bridge veered around Turkey Creek to the north. Turn south on Walnut River Road, and you will come to another stone bridge, also built by C.C. Jamison (1910).

Portion of Spring Township, road to bridge in red.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Stone Bridges of Butler County

In the dawn of the era when civilization, pressing westward, entered claim for its own, man, urged by his ambition and inspired by his imagination, stood upon an elevation and beheld the plains primeval. There in the unhindered scope of his vision boundless rolling ranges stretched to endless skies ; peaceful, restful hills and valleys lay in dreamy, sensuous slumber; timber edged streams wound up and down ; unchained, unclaimed, unknown. Prairies of promise. Stretches of possibilities.
History of Butler County by Vol. P Mooney, 1916. Chapter V, page 96.

Ellis and 140th
Tour Butler County

You can link to a list of the stone bridges of Butler County compiled by Tour Butler County.

[Note. The first bridge should direct you east of Haverhill Rd..]


Butler County, on the southern fringe of the Flint Hills, has numerous rivers and creeks, including the Walnut, the Little Walnut, the Whitewater, and the Clearwater, to mention a few. Many creeks were passable by wagon in low water, but during spring rains it was necessary to construct bridges to connect roads and farms.

Butler County 1885 McGinnis Atlas of Butler County

There are perhaps less than a dozen bridges still standing in number. The fact that they survived is due both to the construction and the isolation of these bridges from main traffic routes. They were constructed over a period of 15 years, beginning in 1897, and ending around 1912. Thereafter, iron truss bridges became common place, both because of cost and strength.

Construction material was Kansas limestone and concrete. The arches are generally 20 to 30 feet in expanse. The bridges follow the typical pattern of an arch bridge with a keystone supporting the structure. Some of the bridges have a rounded arch, but some use a more oblique arch. Arch bridges work by transferring the weight of the bridge and its load horizontally. The bridge and its load are held in place by compression and restrained by the abutments at either side.

Three builders are given credit for the majority of stone bridges built, C.C. Jamison, A. Methany, and Walter Sharp. Presently, only one bridge is listed on the Historical Register in Butler County. This is the the Pole Cat Creek Bridge, 1910, built by C. C. Jamison.

Ellis at 140th St.

Bridge #10 on the list of bridges compiled by Tour Butler Count. Built in 1905, this bridge over the Little Walnut has an arch of 40 feet.The builders name is not known.

Ellis at 140th St. South
More History of Butler County

Butler County Kansas was opened to homesteaders after passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. The Homestead Act of 1862, signed by President Abraham Lincoln after the start of the Civil War, allowed any citizen or intended citizen to claim 160 acres, one quarter square mile, by building a dwelling and improving the land over a period of 5 years.The first areas to be settled were the northeastern area of Kansas territory. Much of the souteastern portion of the Kansas territory was reserved for various Indian tribes.The continuing cloud of title to land as a result of  the Osage Indian Reserve made most of the early settlers in Butler County squatters in Indian territory.

Early settlements were made at El Dorado and Chelsea in 1857 and Towanda in 1858, and in scattered other locations. The first acknowledged settler of  Butler county was William Hildebrande, who came in May of 1857 to El Dorado Township. He settled of the bend of the Walnut River one and one half miles south of present El Dorado where the Walnut intersects the old California Trail. See USD375.

By an act of Congress on July 15, 1870, the remainder of the Osage land in Kansas was order to be sold and the tribe relocated to Indian Territory in the Cherokee Outlet of Oklahoma. See OsageTribe. It was after this that settlement began in earnest and homesteaders rushed in to get their 160 acres of land. As part of the treaty, the homesteaders were required to pay $1.25 an acre, which was to be used ion helping the Osage Indians to relocate in Oklahoma.

More Stone Bridges of Kansas

A list of 32 masonary bridges compiled by the Kansas Department of Highways. This list is incomplete, listing only the Polecat Creek Bridge, 5 miles west and 2 miles south of Douglass, and the Muddy Creek Bridge, 3 miles east and 1 mile north of Douglass.