Matthew King Burial (Lost)

See the Digital Cemetery for more info.

Lost Cemetery

Related Kansas Archealogical Sites 14JO499 and 14J1401, registered 2006.

This burial or cemetery was located high on the Kaw bluff, overlooking Captain's Creek and the Weaver Bottoms in Douglas County, just south of the point where Captain's Creek flows into the Kaw River.

In 1859, the US granted a patent to Matthew King and family, of Douglas County, KS, for this land, and more, on both sides of the Douglas/Johnson County line. Upon King's death in 1872, the land was deeded to King's wife and children. The remaining family sold their land shortly thereafter, and moved to Indian Territory with their fellow Shawnee. While believed to be the location of Matthew King's interment, it is unknown who, or how many others, were interred in the cemetery. 

According to Eudora area residents who grew up on or near this land, the cemetery was located close to the bluff at the highest point. As children, these folks remember riding their horses in this area and seeing the old Indian cemetery. They describe the cemetery as being small, surrounded by an old wire fence, and completely overgrown. It was common knowledge at the time that this was an old Indian cemetery.

The earliest aerial map found is from the USDA, dated 1959. At that time the land was cultivated and there was no indication of a cemetery.

On visiting the area of this cemetery we discovered an old road leading up the side of the bluff to the top. At the bottom, the road crosses a feeder to Captain's Creek on an original mortarless stone bridge. We also discovered a natural rock outcropping with 3 man-made stone walls to enclose the area, and evidence of an early 1900s dump site. The dump site contained pieces of crockery, enamelware, and glass, including fragments of a Cod Liver Oil bottle, dated to around 1880.

All atlas maps show the cemetery marked as Indian Cemetery. The 1886 atlas shows a Kaw ferry crossing close to this site, and there are indications of the ferry site and the road leading up from the Bottoms in Douglas County. This ferry led to the town of Linwood, situated near the north bank of the Kaw (Kansas) River in Leavenworth County, Kansas. Due to flooding from the Kaw, the Linwood townsite was later moved several miles north to its present location.

Atlas Images

1874 Atlas, Johnson County, KS, Lexington Township, pg. 94 ( Geo T Comings )

1874 Lexington Twp Atlas segment with cemetery marked

1886 Atlas, Johnson County, KS, Lexington Township ( F M Cory )

Cemetery marked on 1886 Lexington Twp Atlas

1902 Atlas, Johnson County, KS, Lexington Township, pg. 26 ( F M Cory )

Cemetery marked in 1902 Lexington Twp Atlas

1922 Atlas, Johnson County, KS, Lexington Township, pg. 36 ( F M Cory )

Cemetery marked in 1922 Lexington Twp Atlas

1959 USDA Aerial, Johnson County, KS, Lexington Township, Section 35

1956 USDA Aerial shows no trace of cemetery

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