John Speer Farmstead

John Speer Farmstead (HMP4X)

Location: Lawrence, KS 66044 Douglas County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 57.922', W 95° 13.663'

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Murphy-Bromelsick House

Abolitionist John Speer established a farmstead on this site shortly after his arrival in Kansas Territory in September 1854. A newspaper publisher from Pennsylvania, Speer became a part of the struggle to bring Kansas into the Union as a free, non-slave-holding state. As a pressman and political strategist, he was a founder of Lawrence, and he played a major role in the drama known as Bleeding Kansas.

The struggle for political control of Kansas, 1854 - 1861, was a prelude to the American Civil War, leaving a bitter legacy of distrust, hatred, and violence. Kansas entered the Union as a Free State in January 1861. Two and a half years later, Lawrence suffered the worst civilian atrocity of the war at the hands of William C. Quantrill and his 450 Confederate irregulars. By mid-morning of August 21, 1863, 200 men and boys were dead or missing and the town lay in ruins. Elizabeth and John Speer lost two teenage sons. One column of invaders crossed near this site at dawn, en route to the business district. The only bushwacker to die here on the day of the raid was captured southeast of Lawrence, brought to this hilltop, and shot.

The Murphy - Bromelsick house, relocated to this site in August 2000, is a product of the spirited rebuilding of Lawrence in the decade followingthe Quantrill massacre. It was constructed in stages between 1866 and 1869, at 909 Pennsylvania, almost 300 yards northwest of this site. Irish and German immigrants built and owned or occupied this structureuntil c. 1941.

This dwelling was placed in Hobbs Park as a memorial toJohn Speer, to the vision and sacrifice of the founding citizens of Lawrence, and to the domestic vernacular architecture of that era.
HM NumberHMP4X
Year Placed2001
Placed ByHobbs Park Memorial Fund
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 7:29pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 306993 N 4315293
Decimal Degrees38.96536667, -95.22771667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 57.922', W 95° 13.663'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 57' 55.32" N, 95° 13' 39.78" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)785, 913
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1000-1048 Delaware St, Lawrence KS 66044, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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