Jesse Chisholm

With Jeremy still on vacation. I decided it might be interesting to visit a couple of historical monuments in Wichita. After two stops, I noticed a trend, so I followed the trend. I have always had an interest in Jesse Chisholm. My elementary school was named after him.

Jesse Chisholm was a legendary figure in American history who is famous for his role as a trader, interpreter, and guide during the 19th century. He played a significant role in opening up the American West to settlement and trade and is remembered as one of the most important pioneers of the era.

Jesse Chisholm (circa 1805 – March 4, 1868) is most famous because of the namesake cattle trail, which he developed to supply his various trading posts in what is now Kansas and Oklahoma.

Chisholm was born in 1806 in Tennessee and spent much of his early life working as a trader and interpreter with various Native American tribes. In the 1820s and 1830s, he established a number of trading posts in what is now Oklahoma and Kansas, trading primarily in furs and other goods.

This is a monument that marks Chisholm’s first Kansas Trade Post.

You can find it in the lower level of Twin Lakes Shopping Center

This is a monument marking the original confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas River. It also marks a Treaty signing between Chisholm and the Plains Indians. The marker can be found right across the street from the Wichita Art Museum.

In 1826, Chisholm became involved in a gold-seeking party, who blazed a trail and explored the region to present day Wichita, Kansas.

During the 1840s, Chisholm became known as a guide for travelers and traders making their way through the western territories. He established a trail that would later bear his name, the Chisholm Trail, which ran from Texas to Kansas and was used by cattle drives in the late 1800s.

This is a monument dedicated to the beginning of the Chisholm Trail. It can be found on the northeast corner of Douglas and McLean.

Chisholm was an interpreter and general aid in several treaties between the Republic of Texas and local Indian tribes, as well as between the United States federal government and various tribes after Texas joined the United States.

This is the Mulberry Tree Marker, at over 200 years old, it served as a marker for those following the Chisholm Trail. At the end of the Civil War, Chisholm settled permanently near present-day Wichita, and recommenced trade into Indian Territory.

This is the historical marker for the Chisholm Trail. It’s on Broadway just north of I-235. Through the trees is the the KFDI Radio Ranch. Chisholm built up what had been a military and Indian trail into a road capable of carrying heavy wagons for his goods. This road became known as Chisholm’s Trail.

This is the school that still bears his name. While it is a center for Special Needs students, this was an elementary school, when I attended in the early 80’s. Jeremy Crockett teases, that it was probably for special needs kids even back then.

He died at his last camp near Left Hand Spring (now Oklahoma) due to food poisoning on March 4, 1868, and is buried there.

Photo from

Today, Jesse Chisholm is remembered as a pioneering figure in the history of the American West, whose legacy has had a lasting impact on the region’s culture, economy, and way of life.

There are a few additional stories related to Jesse Chisholm on this website: Chisholm Greenway Park, Chisholm Creek Park North, Chisholm Creek Park South

The “Longhorn on the Chisholm Trail” statue was designed by John Kearney. It is the same longhorn that once stood in front of the Kansas Coliseum.

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