Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express
The Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express was a very important part of history. William H. Russell and John S. Jones established it in the Spring of 1859. The job of this express was to carry passengers and freight from the Missouri River to the Colorado gold fields. This express cut through Kansas to the Republican River. Near the present day Hitchcock-Dundy County line and southwest from the river was the express' station eighteen. Newspaperman Horace Greeley took off from here to go to the temporary tent station in Denver. He arrived here June 2, 1859 and noted, "I would match this station and its surroundings against any other scene on our continent for desolation." The stagecoaches were rerouted through the Platte Valley beginning in July 1859 after the express acquired the Hockaday mail contract to California. This was expensive to start up. The payment for the 175 men and the some other costs added up to one thousand dollars a day alone. The old stations were then abandoned and no longer used for the express, but emigrants and other settlers used it for a short period of time afterward. Sometime in October, 1859, Majors and Waddell incorporated the Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express Company into the Central Overland, California & Pike's Peak Express Company. It was later called C.O.C.