Rope Powered Ferry, Marysville, KS Marshall County

 Marysville's
 Early History

Rope Powered Ferry

In 1852 Francis J. (Frank) Marshall of Weston, Missouri, came out to operate a ferry and a trading post at the future site of Marysville.  Westward bound emigrants, gold-seekers, soldiers and adventurers crossed the river here.  The place was called Marshall's Ferry until 1854 when Marshall received permission to open a post office, which he named Marysville in honor of his wife, Mary.  The Marysville post office is now the oldest civilian post office in continual operation in Kansas.

In 1855 a small group of South Carolinians arrived, hoping to help make Kansas a slave state.  They established a town immediately next to Marysville, naming it Palmetto (the state tree of South Carolina). Most of these men did not stay long and their town soon merged with Marysville.  The towns had been laid out so close to one another that only half a block separated the two main streets.  This "short block" between Broadway and Center Streets can still be seen today.  It is sometimes said that one town favored slavery and the other was against it.  In fact, before the Civil War most people in both towns were pro-slavery.  Frank Marshall even ran for governor on a pro-slavery ticket in 1857.  He left Kansas for Colorado at the start of the Civil War.

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(785) 562-3101 • 101 N. Tenth • Hwy 77 & 36 • Marysville, KS 66508

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BLS - 07/23/2012