This site is dedicated to Medicine Lodge and Barber County, Kansas & Its History

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Every three years for three days, Medicine Lodge remembers her heritage in a celebration and reenactment of the Peace Agreement between the U.S. Government and the Five Tribes of the Plains

Sharing Our History

The following information comes from The Gyp Hill Premiere's Special Edition on Peace Treaty. It gives a glimpse of what took place in 1867 and also a look into our area's rich history.


Located at the junction of Highways 160 and 281, and joined by the scenic Gyp Hills on the West, Medicine Lodge is not only a historic community, but is also family and business oriented. The county seat of Barber County, its quality educators, fine churches, recreational programs, business friendly atmosphere, and low crime rate combine to make it a community you will want to become a part of. For more information, please call (620) 886 3908 or FAX (620) 886-3900 email: 

What now comprises the center of the business district of Medicine Lodge, was once a protected area surrounded by a stockade, to keep the little populace and their guarding militia sage from Indian raids

In 1874, during a period of Indian outbreaks in western and southern Kansas, Thomas A. Osborne, then governor of Kansas, organized the Kansas State Guards. Sun City and Medicine Lodge furnished the two companies for this section of the state.

A Captain Ricker commanded the Barber County organization, and John Mosely was second in command. It was the duty of the Medicine Lodge and Sun City militia to guard and keep the territory from Caldwell to Dodge City, and south to the Cimarron river, clear of marauding bands of Indians.

The stockade in Medicine Lodge was built by the militia and citizens, and guards were placed.
According to old timers, the west line of the stockade ran along what is now the alley west of Main Street where The Peoples Bank stands; the south line about where the Grand Hotel is now; the east line near the west side of the courthouse and the north line about where the Presbyterian Church and Intermediate School are now. The walls of the stockade were cedar posts about nine feet high, set on end in the ground, side by side. Gates were maintained at the north and south.

Many times, 200 persons would gather in the stockade with the wagon teams, cows and dogs. Rations were issued each day. Corn was ground on a coffee grinder for bread, and buffalo meat was used.

The meat wagon stood just north of what is now the Trice building, and everyone helped himself to meat. When the wagon was empty, two men were detailed to get more.

In the stockade, time often dragged for the men. The saloon had gone dry, but there were cards, and most of the men played all the time they were not dancing. Dancing took place in the cool mornings and evenings, and many tripped the light, fantastic in their bare feet.

The drill ground was outside and southeast of the stockade. A man was kept on guard on top of the stage barn. When ordered, every man had to run to the place he had been assigned to guard, when a gun was fired. Target practice was held quite often.

The young men who had no families were kept scouting a good deal of the time. There were over 100 miles of the state line to guard, and there were no roads.

The outfit and rations of a scout consisted of rifle, carbine, 100 cartridges tied on the saddle and in the belt. A grain sack with five days rations, including army crackers, bacon, sugar and coffee was tied on the saddle with frying pan and coffee bucket. The rations became pretty stale toward the end of the trip.
The militia had but one encounter with the Indians northwest of Sharon, at the foot of the big hills. There were about 50 Indians, and six were killed. Fifty-four ponies, six mules and all the Indians’ camp outfit, saddles, guns, bows, arrows and clothes were taken.

On June 17, 1874, the Osage Indians made a raid on Kansas and killed John Martin and Elijah Kennedy, two and one-half miles southwest of Medicine Lodge. Issac Kein was killed on Cedar creek, three and one-half miles west of town.

The Peoples Bank has erected a monumental replica fence in remembrance of the original Stockade. It is located in the Washington Street exit of the bank.

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