History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs


Kansas Rivers

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Ferry crossing the Kansas River, between 1854 and 186

Ferry crossing the Kansas River between 1854 and 1861






Arikaree River

Arkansas River

Beaver Creek

Big Blue River

Black Vermillion River

Chikaskia River

Cimarron River

Cottonwood River

Cow Creek

Delaware River

Elk River

Kansas River

Little Arkansas River

Little Osage River

Marais des Cygnes River

Marmaton River

Medicine Lodge River

Neosho River

Ninnescah River

Osage River

Pawnee River, aka Pawnee Fork

Pottawatomie River

Republican River




Saline River

Salt Fork Arkansas River

Smoky Hill River

Solomon River

Spring River

Verdigris River

Vermillion River

Wakarusa River

Walnut River

Whitewater River

Wolf River


Kansas Rivers

Kansas rivers, map courtesy Wikipedia


Arikaree River -  A tributary of the North Fork of the Republican River, it flows east out of Yuma County, Colorado  through the extreme northwestern corner of Kansas through Cheyenne County for about 10 miles, before making its way through the southwestern portion of Nebraska to its mouth near the town of Haigler, Nebraska where it joins the North Fork of the Republican River. It is named for the Arikara Indian tribe. The Battle of Beecher's Island, sometimes called the Battle of Arickaree, was fought on a small island in the middle of the Arickaree River in what is now the state of Colorado, near the west line of Cheyenne County, Kansas. This action terminated the Indian wars on the plains.


Arkansas River - See full article HERE.


Beaver Creek - There are actually four streams in Kansas that bear this name. The first flows in a southeasterly direction through Clark County and empties into the Arkansas River; the second rises in the northern part of Barton County and flows north to the Smoky Hill River; the third flows south across the western part of Smith County and empties into the Solomon River near the town of Gaylord; and the fourth and largest is composed of two forks, one of which rises in Sherman and the other in Cheyenne County. They unite near the town of Atwood, Kansas, from which point the main stream follows a northeasterly course and empties into the Republican River at Orleans, Nebraska. This last named Beaver creek was so named by James R. Mead's exploring party in 1859 on account of the large number of beaver dams along its course.


During the Indian troubles in the summer of 1867, the Eighteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry left Fort Hays on August 20th for the headwaters of the Solomon and Republican Rivers. On the evening of the 21st Captain George B. Jenness of Company C was sent out with a detachment to ascertain the cause of a light seen at some distance across the prairie. He found the remains of an old Indian campfire, but when he attempted to return to his regiment, he became confused in the darkness, and finally decided to camp  on the open prairie. Early the next morning he reached the river, about eight miles below the camp.


Upon reaching the river he pushed on toward the troops, but after going about three miles his detachment was attacked by a large body of Indians. Forming a hollow square, he managed to hold the Indians at bay. His men were armed with Spencer repeating carbines and each man carried 200 rounds of ammunition, so they were well equipped for a heroic defense. After a short skirmish Captain Jenness again began to move up the river toward the camp, but after going about mile, saw more Indians. He then returned to the river and threw up a breastwork of driftwood and loose stones, behind which his little band fought valiantly for three hours.


All the horses except four were either killed or wounded; two of the men were killed and 12 seriously wounded. The detachment withdrew to a ravine, where they found water and remained under cover of the willows and banks of the ravine until dark. The Indians then drew off and Jenness and his men, under the guidance of a scout, followed a buffalo path for 5 miles until they came to the river. The Indians renewed the attack the next morning, but the main command came to Jenness' rescue. This affair is known as the Battle of Beaver Creek. The event was said to have occurred on Prairie Dog Creek in the northwestern part of Phillips County.


Big Blue River above Manhattan, KansasBig Blue River - The largest tributary of the Kansas River, the waterway flows for approximately 250 miles from central Nebraska into Kansas, where it intersects with the Kansas River east of Manhattan. One of the principal water-courses of northeastern Kansas, is composed of two branches. The north fork rises in Hamilton County, Nebraska and the south fork in Adams County, Nebraska. They unite near the town of Crete, from which the main stream follows a southerly course, flowing through the western part of Marshall County, Kansas forming the boundary between the counties of Riley and Pottawatomie, and emptying its waters into the Republican River at Manhattan. It was given its name by the Kanza Indian tribe, who camped at its mouth from 1780 to 1830.


As it makes its way through Nebraska and Kansas, it passes through mostly agricultural land and shortly before intersecting with the Kansas River, the Big Blue discharges its waters into a reservoir called Tuttle Creek Lake, near Manhattan. The land surrounding the reservoir is a state park area.


Black Vermillion River - A stream of northeastern Kansas, it was in the past, also called the Black River. Consisting of two forks, the north fork rises in northeast Marshall County and flows south; the south fork rises in the southern part of Nemaha County and flows northwest, the two forming a junction near the little village of Vliets. From this point the main stream follows a southwesterly course until it empties into the Big Blue River near the southern boundary of Marshall County.


Chikaskia River - Usually pronounced chi-KAS-kee-uh but often pronounced chi-KAS-kee, the river is a tributary of the Arkansas River system. It is formed by the union of Sand Creek and another small stream in the southern part of Kingman County. Its general course is southeast, across the southeast corner of Harper County and through Sumner County, crossing the southern boundary of the state near the town of Hunnewell, and finally emptying into the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River near the town of Tonkawa, Oklahoma. It is about 145 miles long and is known for its large catfish.


Cimarron River - See full article HERE.



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