Monday, February 22, 2016

The Secrets of Southeast Kansas: Gerth Cabin

 It was late December 1858. Abolitionist John Brown had just made a raid in western Missouri, liberating 11 slaves and spiriting them across the Kansas border to the Greeley community. While in hiding one of the escaped slaves, Jane Daniels, gave birth to a son, John Brown Daniels.

There is evidence that the newborn and other escaped slaves were hidden for a time underneath the cabin of Valentin Gerth, a settler of German descent who arrived in Anderson County in 1854. Gerth is buried in the Greeley City Cemetery.

The Gerth Cabin has been moved into Greeley from its original location north of town. The cabin stands on Trego Road, by the banks of the South Fork of Pottawatomie Creek. You can visit the cabin to learn about its possible ties to the Underground Railroad, and view a nearby 101-year-old concrete arch bridge. The Gerth Cabin offers tours; call (785) 867-2966 to make arrangements.

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