|The sacking of Osceola by the Jayhawkers|
Courtesy of LegendsofKansas.com
Not to mention the ongoing war.
|Col. John "Jack" Harris|
A new life required putting down roots.
After a brief return to Kentucky in the late 1830s, Joel returned and first bought land where today Hyde Park sits and then selected for settlement just north of his brother’s farm in New Santa Fe in Section 6 of Washington Township.
|Henrietta Simpson Harris|
Wow, now that name makes you think twice. Why was it called the Catfish House? Well, slaves Mark and Minerva were known far and wide for their tasty fried catfish pulled fresh out of the Kaw River.
This was a saloon, restaurant and had a few rooms to let to travelers.
They owned this business until it tragically burned to the ground in 1852. Not one to be discouraged, Harris built a new three story brick hotel on the same corner. Some accounts even state that John Harris was offered money to rebuild with no strings attached; however, he refused and only accepted money if the loaner let him pay them back.
They called this new, large hotel the Harris House Hotel.
The hotel stood at the corner of Westport and Pennsylvania and was known far and wide for its generous hospitality and Southern cooking.
In 1855, John Harris moved his family to his Southern colonial mansion at the intersection of Westport and Main Street, and the two unwed lovely daughters of John Harris continued to entertain guests at his new home and at his hotel in Westport.
His house (not his hotel) was dismantled and moved to its present location of 4000 Baltimore and is carefully preserved by the Westport Historical Society. It's commonly known as the 1855 Harris-Kearney House.
|For your next gathering...|
Original recipe for "Chess Cakes" from
Henrietta Harris' cookbook, published
in the Kansas City Star in 1918
|Harris House Hotel, cir. 1849-1922|
|1877 Plat Map showing Joel|
Lipscomb's land and New
|Clipping from the 1858 article in the Washington Union noting the destruction of the Lipscomb house|
|Early photo of Christian College, Columbia, Mo.|
|Colonel Edmund Holloway (1821-1861)|
Courtesy of Herbert Rickards
|Image showing the divide in 1861- Missouri is divided|
Things for Joel, and for the settlers along the Missouri-Kansas border, were getting dicey.
You see, a man named Quantrill had just sacked Lawrence on August 21, 1863. This was more of a mass execution than a battle of any proportion.
This was the Lawrence Massacre, an event that showed that some men were willing to go to any lengths to make those Jayhawkers pay attention. They looted banks and stores- and killed 185 to 200 men and boys in their path.
The Union Army wasn't happy, so they responded.
Union General Thomas Ewing, Jr. issued an order in August 1863 that further changed everything along the border.
Prior to rising into infamy, William Quantrill was known to have stayed for a time with Col. Marcus Gill in New Santa Fe. It was no secret that Quantrill had a lot of Southern sympathizer friends along the border, especially people living south of Westport.
|George Caleb Bingham's "Order No. 11" painting|
General Order No. 11 forced the evacuation of Jackson, Cass, Bates and part of Vernon County. Unless you lived within one mile of Westport, Hickman's Mill, Independence or Harrisonville, you were forced to leave your land.
....Unless you swore allegiance, you were to leave immediately.
And it wasn't a peaceful removal.
Joel reacted. In order to keep his children safe, he sent his younger children (Lou, Frances, Rodney and James) to Westport to live with John and Henrietta Harris.
John Harris Lipscomb, his 13 year-old son, stayed with his dad... for the time being.
The war and the pressure from all sides was on. Joel, although too old to serve the Confederate cause, knew he had a target on his back.
Two sons in the Confederate Army mixed with slaves on the border was a recipe for disaster.
|Harris House (1855), now the home of the Westport|
Historical Society. It was moved to its current location of
He felt his time in Jackson County, at least until this war was won, had run out.
For the conclusion of this story, please click here: The Lipscomb's, a Log Cabin, and a Legacy Lost (Part 2!)