border queen caldwell
Toughest Town on the ChishoLm trail
254 pages • 6 x 9
Retail Price - $24.95
By Bill O'Neal
The Wild West thrived for more than two decades in Caldwell, Kansas. Throughout the 1870s Caldwell was a lawless, unincorporated village astride the storied Chisholm Trail. Located just north of the Kansas state line, the Border Queen was the first semblance of a town seen by drovers after long weeks of shoving their herds through Indian Territory. The raucous trail town offered whiskey and women to legions of dusty cowboys, while inevitably becoming the site of shootouts and lynchings. In 1880 railroad tracks reached Caldwell, and the Border Queen boomed as the last railhead on the Chisholm Trail, succeeding Abilene, Newton, and Wichita. Shanghai Pierce, Col. Joseph G. McCoy, and other cattle kings often were seen on the streets of the Border Queen, and so were such other western notables as Charlie Siringo and young buffalo hunter Wyatt Earp. Continuing violence in Caldwell finally was tamed by city marshal Henry Brown but Marshal Brown and his deputy were lynched after pulling a murderous bank robbery in a neighboring community. Although the Chisholm Trail closed in 1885, for several more years Caldwell retained its cattle town status as headquarters for the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association. And before settling into a quiet existence as a wheat farming center, Caldwell enjoyed one last Wild West adventure as a launching point for the spectacular Cherokee Strip Land Rush.