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Seth E. Ward Residence
Seth E. Ward Residence
TitleSeth E. Ward Residence
DescriptionPostcard of the Seth E. Ward Residence
Historical ArticleBent's Fort in Colorado, which is being restored, is linked to one of Kansas City's historical landmarks. This is the old Ward homestead at 1032 W. 55th, now the home of Dr. and Mrs. Frederick B. Campbell.

Bent's Fort, built of adobe, was a trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe trail. It was completed in 1832 on the Arkansas River, some 10 miles northwest of the present La Junta, Colorado. The post, with the flag of the United States flying overhead, was a marvel to all visitors because of its size and sturdy construction. It was in use for 16 years.

William Bent, builder of the fort, with a 20-to 30-wagon train of buffalo hides and beaver pelts, made an annual summer trip across the plains of Kansas to Westport and unloaded his bales of furs on the Missouri River front at Westport Landing (now Kansas City), where they were taken by steamboat to St. Louis. Indian trading items and supplies for the fort filled his wagons on their return to Colorado.

In 1858 Bent bought most of the land embraced in the present Sunset Hill district and Loose Park area of Kansas City. He purchased it from the administrator of the estate of its former holder, Edmund Price, and erected a large farmhouse which forms the nucleus of the Campbell home today. Early publications tell of the Bent housewarming to which most of Westport was invited.

The land provided pasture and forage for the oxen, mules and horses of the Bent wagon trains.

In 1872 Seth E. Ward, a Westport friend of Bent, bought the Bent residence and added two large rooms on the southwest corner of the house, one above the other.

Ward had been a Santa Fe trail trader, buffalo hunter and Indian agent for the U.S. government. He became a Westport banker.

Through the years the state of Colorado, the state historical society, students of Trinidad Junior College (who did extensive digging at the site in 1953) and the National Park Service have been responsible for research in establishing the exact location of the fort ruins.

Archaeological studies will make possible reconstruction nearly as the fort was in the 1830s. The cost of restoration will be over $2 million.

Kansas City Times
July 12, 1975
AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectResidences
Seth E. Ward Residence
Ward, Seth E.
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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