TREGO COUNTY, KANSAS

NATIVE AMERICANS

STONE IMPLEMENTS IN TREGO COUNTY

By J. Savage, Lawrence

In company with Prof. Patrick, of the State University, the writer made a short collecting tour in Trego county, Kansas, in 1878. We stopped off at the new town of WaKeeney, for headquarters, and made side-trips to different parts of the county.

The third day after our arrival, we made an excursion nine miles northwest of WaKeeney, on the Saline fork of the Kansas river, to look after some bones reported to be of large size. We found them to be the bones of a buffalo, and protruding from the alluvial soil upon the side of a draw or ravine.

It was here, at the residence of Mr. J. M. Davis, that we found numerous fragments of stone implements lying about the premises. These we readily secured through the generosity of Mr. Davis, and also made arrangements for saving any others he might afterward find. The implements thus secured, whole and in fragments, amount to several hundred pounds in weight. They consisted of stone mallets (many of them of large size), pestles, lap-stones, grinding-stones, and smoothing-stones. The smoothing- stones were many of them much worn by use, and nearly all of them were unbroken.

The bottom upon the north bank of the Saline, where most of these implements were found, was covered so thickly with tent-poles, of oak and cedar, that Mr. Davis and some of his neighbors used them for firewood nearly all summer; and what seemed to me a little singular was, that over several acres of the bottom and slope adjoining were, mixed with the coarse sand of the numerous ant-hills, many glass beads of various colors, and of recent origin. So plentiful were they, that one could find several beads in almost every little heap of sand, or rather fine gravel.

Near by this locality a stone hatchet was found, with a handle of wood already attached to it. This hatchet I was unable to see or secure, as it was mislaid or lost in removing from a dug-out to a log house. I also learned from several neighbors living near this locality, that the best and choicest hammers and other implements had been, previous to our visit, gathered up and sent away to relic-loving friends living in different localities Eastr thus leaving only the greatest part of the cast-away ones for our hands to gather up.

The hammers were all made of metamorphic rocks, such as quartz, quartzite, granite and scieniteŚrocks which are not found in any part of Kansas that we are aware of. The smoothing-stones may, or may not, have been natives of our State. The tent-poles, those that I saw, were much worn upon their tip-ends, by being dragged over long distances upon the rough ground.

Source: "Transactions of the Annual Meetings of the Kansas Academy of Science"
By Kansas Academy of Science, Kansas Academy of Science Meeting
Published by Kansas Academy of Science., 1906
Submitted by K. Torp

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