Frank Stahl: A Life on the Prairie

Francis Marion (Frank) Stahl came from Ohio to Kansas in 1857 when he was 16. He rode the Santa Fe trail twice, prospected for gold in Colorado, fought in the Civil War and Indian Wars, served as chief of police in Topeka, and was active in the Kansas temperance movement. (Click here for a short 1918 bio.) The diaries below were transcribed from copies of his handwritten originals. The autobiography, based on his own notes, was transcribed from the book published in 1959. (For digging deeper, the digital archives below have copies of many original documents about Frank and his family back to the mid 1700s.)

Santa Fe Trail Diary

1865 cattle drive from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
to Fort Union, New Mexico

One-Way Ticket to Kansas

Autobiography, University of Kansas Press

Personal Daily Diaries

1869 through 1885, with some gaps

- Archive of digital documents about Frank and the Stahl family, from the early 1700s onwards
- Archive of documents for the related Meredith family, originally in Virginia and North Carolina

Thanks to Teresa San Martin for sharing copies of the original diaries. (Site last updated on 25 January 2024)
Feel free to use any of these materials, but please use common courtesy and give appropriate credit.