Butterfield Overland Despatch Trail


Stone markers can be seen where this trail crosses the north-south country roads. The Butterfield Overland Despatch followed the route of the old Smoky Hill trail from Atchison to Denver.

In 1865 the Butterfield Overland Despatch was established by Dave Butterfield in the southern part of what later became Trego County. It was originally established to run freight and then later carried passengers. The trail followed the Smoky Hill River from Fort Leavenworth to Denver and was the shortest route between the two but was not always the safest. The stations in Trego County included Stormy Hollow, Bluffton, White Rock, and Downer. Downer Station was the only home station in Trego County. The BOD was used until 1878 when the railroads moved west. Today the trail is marked and you can still see some of the wagon ruts.


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