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Kansas Territorial History - Friday, March 16, 2018

Some of the many buildings at Fort Larned, where a one time Indian agent and sheriff of Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory, was once stationed. (Photo by J. Schafer)

Q: In 1858, he was appointed the first sheriff of Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory. He was also one of the founders of the city of Denver. Today, a street and a brewery in Denver are named in his honor. What's his name?

A: Edward W. Wynkoop    

In 1858, Edward Wanshaer Wynkoop was appointed sheriff of Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory -- an area that once covered what is now the entire northeast corner of Colorado. Wynkoop fought in the Civil War and served in the Colorado Volunteer Cavalry. Later, he served as an Indian agent and was stationed at Fort Riley and Fort Larned, where he tried to broker peace with Native Americans. In 1864, at the time of the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado, Wynkoop was posted to Fort Riley.  On behalf of the U.S. Army, he investigated the actions of Colonel John M. Chivington at Sand Creek, which led to Chivington's condemnation. In 1866, Wynkoop became an Indian agent for the Southern Cheyennes and Arapaho. Two years later, he resigned his position in protest of the destruction of Black Kettle's village in the Battle of Washita River. Wynkoop, one of the founders of Denver, Colorado, later became warden of the New Mexico penitentiary. He died in Santa Fe in 1891. Today, the Wynkoop Brewery in Denver and a street in that city are named in his honor.

Find more interesting tidbits of Kansas history by visiting our Kansas Trivia Archive.

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