Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baseball in Nicodemus, Kansas

I recently came across an interesting town in Kansas. Nicodemus is the name.

The National Park Service says this about the town:
Former enslaved African Americans left Kentucky in organized colonies at the end of the of post-Civil War Reconstruction period to experience freedom on the free soils of Kansas. Nicodemus represents the involvement of African Americans in the western expansion and settlement of the Great Plains. It is the oldest and only remaining all Black Town west of the Mississippi River. 
I have culled some names out of an index that I found at the Family Search site.  The actual document that I used is The Indexes to three newspapers of  Nicodemus, Graham County, Kansas 1886-1888 compiled by Robert A. Hodge of Emporia, Kansas.

The following men were listed as members of the Nicodemus Baseball Club in the August 24, 1887 edition of the Nicodemus Enterprise (page 4, column 1).
  • Boylan, Bert 
  • Craig, S. 
  • Duncon, George 
  • Evens, T. 
  • Hawkins, H.C. 
  • Hays, S.E. 
  • Lowrey, J.C. 
  • McPherson, E. 
  • Stewart, P. 
  • Vanduvall, A.G. 

The following men were listed as members of the Western Cyclone Baseball Club in the February 10, 1887 edition of the Western Cyclone (page 2, column 3).
  • Burnsides, R.M 
  • Cotton, William H.
  • Craig, Sonfold
  • Duncan, George
  • Garland, Samuel
  • Hawkins, H.C.
  • Hays, S.E.
  • Henrie, H.S.
  • Lightfoot, H.K.
  • Logan, J.A.
  • McPherson, Ed
  • Moreland, B.D.
  • Patterson, Ed
  • Stewart, D.P.
  • Turner, F.G.
  • VanDuvall, A.G.
  • Watt, David

There was also a mention of a pitcher with an unnamed Ball Club, a Logan, J.W.? in the February 24, 1887 edition of the Western Cyclone (page 3, column 1).

I've clipped a few pages from a document, Promised Land on the Solomon: Black Settlement at Nicodemus, Kansas, found on the National Park Service site.

1907 Nicodemus Blues baseball team

For more info on the town, visit the Kansas Historical Society's kansapedia entry on Nicodemus.

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