From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.

The Anthony Letters

Asks Father to Leavenworth; Guarantees Him $1,000 a Year

Leavenworth Times, Sunday, December 23, 1956


Editors note: This is another in a series of letters written by Col. D. R. Anthony to his family in the east almost 100 years ago when Leavenworth was a new town and Kansas was still a territory. The letters give a clear picture of Leavenworth in its early period. The Times is publishing the letters each Sunday and Thursday.


Leavenworth K.T.

2nd, January 1958[1858]

Dear Father:

Can you make arrangements to spend the summer in Leavenworth?

I will guarantee you $1,000 per annum. There is a large number of dwellings, say 1,000, in this town, uninsured. It needs only solicitation to get them and then not one fourth the labor required in Rochester.

General Bennet wants me to pay some attention to Kansas City and other Missouri towns and will probably wish me to be their supervising agent for the Missouri River country.

Could you sell any of the Rochester property do so at three quarters the market value, or price usually valued at by you. All appearances indicate a large business here this spring.

I would like to have you try the business here a short time at any rate. The only question is "can you do better here and enjoy yourself better than in Rochester?"

I would not exchange my chance here for the best business you have in town (with no capital or same as I have). Our telegraph line will be completed to this place by 15 January 1859.

Have engaged a new office, 16 foot front, 38 feet deep, on fist floor of a two story building, brick, with a front higher than adjoining buildings -- and am to have the whole front for my advertising with signs. This office is only a few doors below my present office and is one of the best locations in the city.

Yesterday New Years. With four others made calls and I had a good opportunity as we rode about town with a four horse carriage to see the rapid growth of the place.

Building constantly going up -- two to three hundred dwellings now being finished. Now is the time to make a strike -- once get them insured and then the work is done.

Write me what you think about this matter. I think the prompt manner in which business is done here would please you. What is needed is to talk the thing right up.

I have good charter for insurance, life, fire,a nd marine with banking privileges -- am elected president of it. Old Lyman Scott is one of the directors and has taken $20,000 worth of stock. He is one of the wealthiest men. I think it is a good thing and if you were here you might do a good business just insuring lives.

Look this matter over thoroughly and see if you don't feel disposed to try this place.

Wilder will visit Rochester about 15 January -- will return to Leavenworth 15 February or 1st March. I shall open an account in New York in the spring. Write soon.

Yours truly,

D. R. Anthony

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