Furnas County


General George A. Custer Traveled through Furnas County in June of 1867

  • June 1, 1867 – General Custer, with 350 men and 20 supply wagons left Ft. Hays, KS to search for Indians between Ft. Hays and the Platte River in Nebraska.
  • June 6 – They entered into Furnas County at a spot on the Nebraska-Kansas line south of the present town of Hendley and one mile east.
  • They traveled northwest about one mile to find a place to cross the “Stealing Horse Creek” (Sappa Creek). This crossing is straight south of Hendley.
  • They proceeded northwesterly to the “White Rock Creek” (Beaver Creek), at a spot about two miles west of Hendley.
  • Here they found an Indian Trail indicating about 15 Indians going east but they didn’t follow it as the trail was several days old.
  • They forded the creek and proceeded northwesterly to within two miles of the Republican River and camped there over night.
  • June 7 – They continued a northwesterly route to the east side of Medicine Creek and followed it north going out of Furnas County the same day.
  • They traveled on to Ft. McPherson on the Platte River, then traveled back to Kansas in a southwesterly direction and then into eastern Colorado.
  • July 12 – They returned back to Ft. Wallace, located on the south fork of the Smokey Hill River in western Kansas.
  • They had several skirmishes with Indians, but nothing of great importance was really accomplished.
  • June 5, 1967 – As part of Nebraska’s Centennial Celebration, almost 100 years to the day from Custer’s crossing of the Beaver Creek, a wagon train composed of 5 wagons and some 40 people under the leadership of Wagon-master, Lyle Hutchens of Hendley, started out from the Hutchens farm near Hendley and crossed the Beaver Creek at almost the exact crossing location taken by General Custer in 1867.