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

His New Building on Levee 'Should Be the Best in Town'

Leavenworth Times, Thursday, February 28, 1957


Leavenworth, K. T.

Nov. 15, 1860

Dear Father:

I send you herewith trial balance as of Nov. 14th for you to put on file with the others. Don't let these trial balances lie around loose. I want them kept confidential in the family.

I bought the lot adjoining mine and am building. More later on this.

Not much news. Business is progressing slowly -- no suffering here -- can't tell how much in the territory, but bad enough I fear.

Have heard nothing from Merritt but suppose he is getting on finely as I saw a man in Atchison the other day who saw Merritt at his new home. He thought he was doing well as he was trying to buy two hundred dollars worth of cattle.

My buildings are progressing fine and will be done Dec. 1.

Yours as ever

D. R. Anthony.



Leavenworth, K. T.

Nov. 17, 1860

Dear Aaron:

I received a telegram today from J. M. Anthony at Omaha as follows: "What pay for gulch and quicksilver gold. Remain here four days."

I answered his telegram at once and I have written him asking full particulars of his business. I suppose he is going back to his claims on the Platte -- columbus, Platte County, Nebraska Territory.

My building is up three stories on the Levee. Should be done Dec. 15 and is the best in town, decidedly.

D. R. Anthony

(Editor's Note -- Colonel Anthony's letters became brief and infrequent as home ties weakened with the years. On January 28, 1861 he established The Leavenworth Daily Conservative with his friend, D. W. Wilder as editor. In a letter to his brother he mentions a new enterprise but intimates that more information will come later.

Within months of the completion of his new building and the founding of his new newspaper, D. R. Anthony was faced with greater problems, as were all men -- war problems. He answered the first call for volunteers, disposed of his newspaper and was in the Union Army as lieutenant colonel of the 1st Kansas Cavalry.

His next letter, or at least the next letter that his family preserved, follows. Presumably, he was finally successful in getting his brother to come west.


Headquarters 1st Kan Cavalry

Kansas City Mo Oct 1 1861

Dear Bro:

From present appearances I shall be obliged to march with our forces east towards Lexington. I now have six companies in all, 400 men and more expected. We have not yet got our horses but hope to soon. Our men are all in good spirits. They are quartered in good brick stores. We live well but sleep on the floors.

I wish you would see Capt M. H. Insley of the Mansion House. He will furnish you with a good horse, saddle, revolver, and sabre. I have one horse here but want two. You can come with horse on the boat--they will pass you to Kansas City.

Write me how matters progress in Leavenworth. We shall have a fine army to start with and hope to do some good before we return.

Say to Alex to pay out no money except on an order from me. He can write the insurance companies saying I have gone on a trip commanding a regiment to Lexington. You had best write home telling them where I have gone. I have little time to write and shall have less soon.

General Jim Lane's command is here. They look like fighting men. We will act in concert.

Yours, etc.

D. R. Anthony

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