Written March 2022
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Railroad to Freedom
Kiene, L. L. (1903–1904). "Battle of the Spurs and John Brown's Exit from Kansas". Kansas History. Vol. 8. pp. 443–449. Archived from the original on 2018-12-15. Retrieved 2021-07-02.
I grow up as a boy where the three states Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri come together. The small town of Falls City, Nebraska was my home. It was five miles north of the Kansas state line and ten mile West of the Missouri state line and River.
You heard vague references to the Civil War and the Underground Railroad but no solid references or history about it being included in the area where I lived. It must have happen some place else was my feeling. As time went on, I did more research and this is what I found.
The Underground Railroad was a term used for smuggling slaves in "Bleeding Kansas" from 1857 to 1861. It was a trail (marked with rock piles known as Lane's chimneys) built by Gereral James H. Lane and called Lane's Road. Lane's Road followed several paths with one passing through Padonia to Falls City and another passing through Albany, Kansas to Salem, Nebraska. Lane's Road ran from Lawrence, Kansas through Padonia, Brown County, Kansas, then near or over Pony Creek, then through the Falls City underground railroad in Richardson County, Nebraska to Nebraska City. The name of the street that the highway takes through Falls City is now called Lane Street. In some writeups, it states that James Lane lived at Falls City, Nebraska part of the time that the underground railroad activity was going on.
"Bleeding Kansas" was a dangerous place. John Brown personally used this Underground Railroad to smuggle slaves to freedom by taking them through the Brown County area to Falls City, Nebraska (Slavery in Nebraska) where he hid slaves on the Underground Railroad (one then would go through Padonia to get to Falls City). John Brown sparked the American Civil War by his actions in other parts of the United States and was hung for this. He is considered by some to be a heroic martyr and one of the more important people in American history because he give his life for freedom of the slaves by actions which he intentionally took to free the slaves. Others consider John Brown a terrorist.
The Battle of the Spurs
This slavery confrontation occurred about half way between Hiawatha and Horton Kansas on January 31, 1859.