In 1857, Noble H. Rising and his family came to Kansas with a colony of a dozen or more families from Painted Post and Castle Creek, New York. They settled at the head of Pony Creek, naming their town Albany in honor of the capital of their native state. Many men of the group were destined to exert considerable influence on the area’s civil, military, and economic affairs. Educated, cultured, and possessed of sound business acumen, they supported Free-State principles wholeheartedly.
Noble Rising, a surveyor, built the Granada Hotel at Pleasant Spring (later Central City) in 1858 and erected one of the first houses in Sabetha when, in 1858 and 1869, he ran a store there with George Lyons.
In 1860 he built Log Chain Station for the Pony Express on a branch of Muddy Creek (Later called Locknane Creek.) Also referred to as Log Chain Ranch, it was located at the crossing of an old military road and the creek. When General Albert Sidney Johnston was sent with United States troops to quiet the Mormon uprising in Illinois in 1844, they had great trouble crossing this creek due to its quicksand bottom. Wagons often needed help getting out, and they hooked log chains to the axle of a wagon and hitched extra yokes of oxen to the chain. Scores of heavy chains were broken by teams of 24 to 38 ox teams in trying to drag the heavily laden military wagons and artillery through the stream. This gave the stream the name of Log Chain and the ranch took the name from its troublesome little creek.
Log Chain was the next station on the line west of the Kickapoo/Goteschall Station, which was on the Overland Trail. An eating station on the line, it was also kept by Noble H. Rising.
Log Chain ranch included a large log cabin measuring 24×40 feet and a barn 70 feet long. Noble Rising’s son, 16-year-old Don Rising, was among the first express riders employed by A.E. Lewis for his division.
Though the size of the station was impressive at the time, English traveler Richard F. Burton described it in August 1860:
“…a few log and timber structures near a creek.”
Even though Log Chain was built by Rising, it was the home of Robert Sewell. Better known as “Old Bob” Ridley, he was an Overland Trail driver; he was famous for his never-ending supply of chewing tobacco. He was known to keep all the stock tenders and others on their run supplied with “filthy weed.”
The area surrounding Log Chain was suitable for a rural farming community. Farmers grew corn. A post office opened on November 28, 1864 with John Hazzard as postmaster.
Noble Rising had a thriving business here during stage days, but it wouldn’t last, especially as the railroads began coming through the area in 1867. The post office closed on August 18, 1868.
In the following decades, Log Chain Station was altered and, in later years, was abandoned and allowed to fall into ruins. Today, the site is farmland.
Log Chain Station stood near Locknane Creek at SW1/4 Sl9 T3S R14E.
Blackmar, Frank W.; Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Vol I; Standard Publishing Company, Chicago, IL 1912.
Cutler, William G; History of Kansas; A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL, 1883.
Deters, Katelyn, Log Chain, Nemaha County, Lost Kansas Communities
Pony Express Division One
Pony Express Historic Research Study
Tennal, Ralph; Nemaha County, Kansas, Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kansas, 1916.