Living Off the Water: The Challenge to Tame and Sustain Life in the Solomon Valley
Shared human experiences with water along the Solomon River from Glasco to Hoxie, Kansas.
During the long, hard first winter, 1877-1878, African-American colonists carried water from a creek and figured out what they needed to do to survive: They needed to dig a well.
Digging a well was extremely dangerous — cave-ins, lethal gases, collapsed walls — added to the physically taxing process. Well-digging was never attempted unless persons intended to stay in a town or on a claim. The Nicodemus town well proclaimed the African-American colonists’ intent to remain on the plains in Graham County.
*From Nicodemus: Post-Reconstruction Politics and Racial Justice in Western Kansas (2016), Charlotte Hinger.
Photo courtesy of Nicodemus Historical Society, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries