Saturday, December 27, 2008

Vegetarians in Kansas

What were they thinking?
As the sign's first paragraph says:
"In March 1856 the first emigrants of the Vegetarian Settlement Company set out for the Neosho River Valley in Kansas Territory. Harry S. Chubb promoted Kansas Territory as a permanent home for believers in Vegetarianism, hydropathy and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, and fowl and dairy products. Farms of 102 acres radiating from an Octagon-shaped center were planned. Chubb's promise of streets, gristmill, sawmill, and temporary housing for the 60 families (some 150 settlers) did not materialize and they received nothing for the $5 per acre investment in the company. Lack of successful crops, mosquitos, deathly fever, and starvation led to scores of deaths..."
The sign is located about five miles south of Humboldt on CR1150 (go south of town on bridge) at Arizona Road, just north of the Allen and Neosho county line.
Severe hardships forced most families to abandon the colony within a year. The Allen county Museum in Iola preserves the story of the Vegetarian Colony. 620.365.3051.
Why do we put up historical signs about a social experiment that lasted only a year? There can be only one reason -- to help people "Get Kansas!"
KE #2 Marci Penner

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