Archive for Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pascal Fish had knack for business

November 15, 2007

Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of stories on the life of Paschal Fish.

Fern Long

Special to The Eudora News

One of Pascal Fish Jr.'s daughters, Susan Zane Quinney was listed on the microfilm Indian Roll No. 62 at the National Archives, but she is not listed on this census as living with Paschal and Jane.

On the Shawnee Indian rolls of 1869 the following are listed: Paschal Fish (Jr.), Jane, son Leander, Eudora Emmons, Dallas Emmons, Theodore Emmons, Bertie J. Emmons, and Anna Edmonds.

We have been told that an orphan boy named Judge Cato came to Eudora and Paschal raised him, but we have not found any official documents listing his name.

Paschal Fish Jr. was one-half Shawnee, one-eighth Miami, one-16th Delaware and five-16th white. Chief Blackfish was Paschal's godfather. One soldier listed Paschal's brother, Charles, as part French.

Paschal Fish, the businessman

Paschal and brother, Charles were licensed by the Kansas Legislature to operate a rope ferry over the Kansas River at the mouth of the Wakarusa, one mile up and one mile down the river, joining Douglas and Leavenworth counties, located S.4,T,13,R,21 E.

Charles owned 39 acres of land in this area in section 33,T,12,R-21 and the deed was signed Aug. 9, 1862, by Shawnee chiefs Charles Bluejacket and Eli Blackhoof, as Shawnee Nation Chiefs. This land was in the area that later became known as Weaver Bottoms, when a Mr. Weaver bought land there and a small village was established on the fertile bottom land. Floods have destroyed much of the land and the homes there. It was easy for Charles to attend to the ferry as he lived closer than Paschal. Charles sold his land to Charles Achning on March 24, 1865.

Many U.S. soldiers, animals and military equipment crossed the Kansas (Kaw) River with the Fish Ferry at the mouth of the Wakarusa and wrote in their journals about the event. Paschal provided this service for the U.S. Army Dragoons who sought a shorter route from Fort Leavenworth to join the Santa Fe Trail to the war in Mexico. This was at Willow Springs.

Col. Doniphan's army as well as other wester travelers used it many times. Paschal also ran a ferry near Topeka for several years and he sold it to the Pappan Brothers.

In 1854 when the Indians signed a treaty to own their own land individually, Paschal built a sturdy hewn-log, thatched-roof house on the Westport-Fremont Trail about a mile south of the river and used it as an Inn and stopover, or "Ranche House," for early day travelers by horseback, wagon, stagecoach, etc. It was called "The Fish House" and Paschal provided meals, lodging and blacksmith needs and sold travel essentials, such as he could provide, in this small building. This house was located on S-8, T-13, R-23. He hired a manager to run it.

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