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 a leader 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 published book. The digital archives below have copies of many original documents about Frank and his family back to the 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
- Document archive for the related Meredith family, originally in Virginia and North Carolina


Thanks to Teresa San Martin for sharing the original diaries. (Site last updated on 25 March 2021)
Feel free to use any of these materials, but please use common courtesy and give appropriate credit.