National Geographic : 1937 Aug
SPEAKING OF KANSAS rnotograpn oy nicnara n. atewart "IF I COULD GET HIS MOUTH OPEN AND SEE HIS TEETH, I COULD TELL HIS AGE" This baby jackass is one of the hundreds of jacks and jennets bred on the Hineman stock farm near Dighton. Mules, agile and shapely, born of mares and jacks, are sold by thousands through Wichita's livestock market. see a heterogeneous variety of other things -from jam and seed to farm machines and vehicles-put up at these auctions. RAILS SPREAD A STEEL NETWORK "We built our first track out of Atchi son," said President Bledsoe of the Santa Fe Railway system, which now covers more than 7,000 miles and employs about 50,000 people. "Those first rails were laid on solid wal nut logs, cut in eastern Kansas. Imagine what that much walnut is worth now! It's a curious fact that though our line is named the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, none of our fastest trains now go through any of those cities. Across Kansas we parallel the old Santa Fe wagon trail." One night I rode in a Santa Fe locomo tive cab with the engineer and fireman. You could sense the rate at which we whizzed over the prairie by the suddenness with which night birds or fluttering moths appeared in the long, bright headlight ray that pierced the black, and then shot swiftly back toward us. Scared jack rabbits, racing beside, seemed to be slipping backward. Today Diesel-motored streamline trains streak across Kansas at 100 miles or more per hour. With this speed and comfort, we forget the trials of pioneer track builders until we stumble on such a reminder as a stone set up by the Union Pacific at Vic toria. Beneath it sleeps a squad of Ameri can tracklayers, killed by Indians in 1867. Trying to stop the white man's "fire horse," Kansas Cheyennes once stretched a long rope across the track. As a train ap proached, crowds of redskins took hold of each end and pulled the rope tight. When the speeding engine hit that rope the air was filled with flying Indians.