H B Lowe

He Drove the Santa Fe Trail

H. B. LOWE, of Caldwell, Kansas, one of the old-time stage-drivers, was a familiar figure on the box in the 1860's. In his time he has held the lines on "twos" and "fours" all over Kansas, and way "out west" as far as Utah. He was a driver in early days on the old Santa Fe stagecoach along the Arkansas river westward from Fort Dodge, which was an important station on the trail leading into the great Southwest. He once drove for the Kansas Stage Company between Leavenworth and Lawrence, when these two towns were the biggest cities in Kansas. In the later '50's he drove on the Hockaday mail and express coach between Atchison and Salt Lake City, and hauled into the "City of the Saints" Horace Greeley, who was a passenger with him on his run when the philosopher made his overland journey by stage to California, in the summer of 1859.

While driving on the Salt Lake and Santa Fe routes he hauled many prominent army men and high officials across the plains. Mr. Lowe claims to have hauled Hon. John Speer, the pioneer and veteran Kansas journalist, at least fifty times. He also saw the indians whom General Harney drove into the Platte river, and relates that, when the mercury registered twenty degrees below zero, he came to a bunch of buffalo that lay in the sandy trail for warmth, when he was obliged to crack his whip and yell "Hoa! hoa!" to get the shaggy beasts out of the road.

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