This is a 1900 plat
Richmond township with the early trails added. These trails
were the highways to the west and used between 1848 and 1870. This
traffic started when gold was discovered in California in 1848. Trail traffic lasted till the railroad came
1870. The railroads replaced the trails Those who lived next to the trail
with the wagon trains with necessities and services
for the travelers. Many would come by Steam Boat up the Missouri River to Kansas City,
Leavenworth, Atchison or St.
Joseph and from there take one of the trails to the west. This brought
many who's destination was California,
Utah or Oregon through Nemaha County either crossing first at
at Richmond and later at at Baker's Ford
on the Nemaha south of Turkey creek and after
1859 crossing at Seneca over Smith's bridge.
crossing was about two and a quarter miles north of Seneca and
Baler's Ford was seven miles north of
where Seneca. This trail
traffic was switched to Seneca by a Capt. John E. Smith in 1857 by placing a
signs direction traffic to his bridge. He also seeded oats or millet on
the trail to Richmond to make it looked unused. That is another story
on another page. The dotted line is where the trail was likely
Capt. seeded the oats or millet. Many of our first
ancestors that came to Nemaha county arrived over one of these trails.
Today if you drive near the trail you will see why they
were traveled. The best route is on the high ground which avoided
crossing many streams of low wet areas where there there was a chance for
wagons to sink into the mud. This also gave them a good view of the
surrounding area as there times when the Indians were on the warpath. Notice above where the trail comes slightly
into Richmond township. This is a
point two miles north of St. Benedict. The trail on the south of St.
Benedict was only on mile. See Story of trails
in St Benedict story of 1880s.
Use your backspace key to
There were local
trails and Indian trails in the area which were not shown on this map.
See same area map with all the trails marked when the area was surveyed
in 1855 to 1857.
Seven miles north of
Seneca on the Nemaha River was another river crossing on the trail out
of St. Joseph Mo. Villages sprang up on either side of the Nemaha River,
the east of the Nemaha River a town called Taylor
Rapids and another town to the west by the name of Farmington. These
town sprang up because they could do business with those traveling the
trails and the villages died when the trail died. A towns survival depended
on the trail or later the railroad. There is a pasture north of Seneca along
the west side of highway 63 where the old trail is marked and one can
still see the trail ruts heading up hill to the south west. This marker is a
white post with the markings of the Oregon trail which is located about
one and a half miles south of Turkey Creek. See
Some seven miles west
of St. Benedict or what was Wildcat as it was called in those days was
Ash Point where the two trail join. To this day there is a small
cemetery located there. =