Under treaties made in 1828 and 1833 with the Federal Government, the Cherokee Tribe of Indians exchanged their homelands in the southeastern part of the United States for land in the present northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas and "a perpetual outlet west" lying across southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma between the 96th and 100th meridians. In 1837 the Federal Government authorized Reverand Isaac McCoy to survey the boundaries of all the Cherokee lands. This survey showed the northern boundary of the Cherokee domain to be the southern edge of the Osage reserved lands in the territory that became the State of Kansas, I.E a line 2.46 miles north of the 37th parallel.
On May 30, 1854, when the United States Congress passed the Kansas - Nebraska Act. The southern boundary of the territiory of Kansas was established at the 37th parallel, thereby including a narrow strip of Cherokee land in the new territory. The Cherokees reported the matter to the Secretary of the Interior and asked that the southern boundary of the Kansas territory be so modified as to make it coincident with the northern boundary of their lands. No correction was made and in 1861 Kansas was admitted as a state.
the Federal Government made a treaty with the Cherokees under which the tribe ceded, in trust to the United States, the 2.46 mile wide strip north of the 37th parallel and agreed that it should become part of the State of Kansas. On May 11, 1872 Congress opened the "Strip" to white settlers.Hunnewell
The Cherokee Outlet is often mistakenly called the Cherokee Strip. The western limit of both tracts was 100th meridian. Otherwise the two areas differed in width and length. The Outlet was 226 miles long and 58 miles wide. It's eastern boundary was 96th meridian "The Strip" was 276 miles long by 2.46 miles wide. It's eastern boundary was the Neosho River. The outlet contained approximately 13,000,000 acres. The "Strip" about 435,000. After 1866 the Outlet was all in Oklahoma, the "Strip" all in Kansas.
After the land of the "Real" Cherokee strip was offered for sale to settlers in 1872 most of the area became cropland, and the great cattle drives in this vicinity ceased. Hunnewell, named for the president of the first railroad into the town was established in 1880 on a 400-acre townsite purchased from Robeson Stewart and Hale. It was situated on the southern edge of the strip in Kansas adjoining the boundary of the Cherokee Outlet.
The first building was the outfitting store of
Ford and Leonard erected June 16, the same day the Sumner County Railway, a branch of the Kansas City, Lawrence, and Southern Kansas Railroad was completed to this point. During the summer the town acquired a doctor, a lawyer, a hardware store, a drug store, and a 33-room, three-story hotel costing $5,000.00. The hotel first named Hunnewell House was later known as the Sante Fe Hotel and the Hale Hotel. When razed in 1939 over 70 pounds of lead were recovered from the white pine boards offering substantial proof that many a gun battle was enacted inside as well as outside the establishment. The depot was completed in June and the railroad track extended to the boundary of the Indian territory. A stockyard costing $7,000 was built 1886 the Kansas Indian Territory. Railroad Frisco completed it's line into Hunnewell. The first railroad hired the early marshals and a police judge. Before a post office was established on August 20, 1880, the mail was brought from South Haven, left on the desk at the depot and everybody picked out his own letters. In 1885 George W. Miller of the famous 101 Ranch bought six outlots containing some 93 acres from Hunnewell Town Company. These were used for shelters, feed storage, and cattle pens. Miller shipped green horses into Hunnewell and kept a breaking crew working year around. In the 1880's Hunnewell was a roaring cowtown in tradition of the earlier
shipping centers. The local newspaper reported in 1889 that the Santa Fe had shipped 762 loads of cattle and the Frisco 749 loads.
When the Cherokee Outlet was opened in September 1893, Registration Booth No. 8 was set up here. Every incoming train added hundreds to the throng of approximately 15 thousand that had gathered to make the run. Several gambling houses and five or six saloons flourished. Most prospective settlers brought food, but a barrel of ice water brought $25 to $30. On September 16, horses and vehicles, three and four deep were amassed along the starting line.
The Trail outfit is entering Hunnewell,
The candles are lit in Hale Hotel.
There will be music and dancing all through the night,
Courting and loving until the break of daylight.
From The Old "Cimarron" by H.H. Halsell