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James Denver, 5th Territorial Governor of Kansas.

How gold was discovered in Kansas

History, as written, often leaves a few things out, such as gold being discovered in Kansas, not Colorado. Looking at a map of present day Kansas, there is an important omission, Arapahoe County. It actually did exist, and I have been fortunate to have actually seen a postmark from the county.


Pike’s Peak was actually in Kansas when gold was discovered.

In looking at the timeline, we find that in 1858, gold was discovered in the South Platte River in Arapahoe County of the Kansas Territory. Thus began the famous Pikes Peak gold rush of 1859. Arapahoe County included the territory from present day Kansas to the Continental Divide. On February 7. 1859, the


Robert White

Kansas Legislature, in order to better serve the miners, cut Arapahoe County into six separate smaller counties. However, none of the counties were ever organized.

Arapahoe County paid homage to Kansas by naming their county seat after the man they thought was their governor, James Denver. The area west of the 25th meridian west of Washington, Arapahoe County was severed from Kansas with its admission as a state on January 29, 1861. Colorado did not officially become a territory, however, until February 28, 1861.

Sometimes what we have in our history books, the assumed history, may be a bit different than the actual history.

–By Robert White | Metrovoicenews.com. Robert is a lover of all things history.

Metro Voice is starting a series on the history of Kansas City and the states of Missouri and Kansas.