O. P. JOHNSON, INDIAN SCOUT.
Emporia News, December 16, 1870.
ARKANSAS CITY, KANSAS, December 9, 1870.
As most of your readers will know, this new city is built between the Walnut and Arkansas Rivers, within a mile and a half of their confluence. It is also within a few miles of the southern line of the State, dividing our territory from that of the Osage Indians. The extract I enclose from the Arkansas Traveler will give a correct idea of the present state of these natives.
“The Osages are all out on the hunt yet. Chetopa’s band are up near the head of the Nenescah. Hardrobe [Hard Rope] and Beaver are on Shawacospa and Little Salt Plains. The Big Hill’s are on Salt Fork and Medicine Lodge. The Black Dogs are still further south. The Cheyennes and Arapahos are hunting on the Salt plains, and seem friendly. The Cheyennes, Arapahos, Kiowas, Caddos, Wichita, and other plains Indians, held a grand council on the north fork of the Canadian, about ten days ago, at which they all agreed not to go on the war path this fall, provided the Osages behaved themselves. All the plains Indians were represented except the Comanches.”
This report comes from good authority—Mr. O. P. Johnson, an old scout and plainsman.
Emporia News, May 12, 1871.
Arkansas City, May 1, 1871.
EDITOR NEWS: About one week since, a strong working force stated from this point for Fort Sill, accompanying a train sent out by Neal & Co., of Humboldt, to the Cheyenne and Wichita Agencies. Col. O. P. Johnson commands the party.
The object is to completely open a road to a point near the crossing of Red Fork, just above where the “Jackson Trail” diverges. This will give us an air line to Fort Sill, through a most magnificent country, and over a road made as perfect as a strong working force can make it in one season.
We have an excellent ferry at this point. Only 50 cents ferryage across the Arkansas, and freighters from Emporia will save 50 to 75 miles by taking this instead of the Wichita route.
Very respectively, H. B. NORTON.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, November 20, 1873.
[From the Arkansas City Traveler.]
Mr. A. C. Williams, of Leavenworth County, Kansas, has been appointed special agent for the Mexican Kickapoo Indians, to be located at the junction of Bitter Creek and the Sha-kas-ka River, twenty-five miles southwest of this place. A portion of the tribe, consisting of one man, fourteen women, and twenty-two children, passed through here last Monday, accompanied by the agent, teamsters, and O. P. Johnson—the guide. The people were all looking hearty and in good spirits, although they really are prisoners of the United States, having been captured by Gen. Mackenzie last spring, while raiding into Mexico, and held as prisoners at Fort Gibson, until the 6th of this month, when they were placed under charge of the agent and started for their reserve. One hundred Kickapoo warriors are on the road to their reserve, and will arrive in about three weeks. Mr. Williams leaves for Fort Sill today, to meet them. They are mounted, and own a number of ponies, although they are poorly clad. The balance of the tribe, numbering some six or seven hundred, will come up in the spring. Their supplies will be purchased at this place, as far as possible. O. P. Johnson has the contract for building two log houses—a commissary store and a dwelling house. The remainder of the buildings will not be commenced until next summer.
Winfield Courier, July 3, 1874.
Col. O. P. Johnson has brought in several specimens of coal, of excellent quality, from a seam near the edge of the coal basin, about twenty miles south of the State line. He declares the supply to be abundant, and the mine entirely accessible. Traveler.
[ITEM FROM THE ARKANSAS CITY TRAVELER.]
Winfield Courier, September 25, 1874.
An insane man was found lying on the prairie, near the Salt Fork, in an almost helpless condition, by O. P. Johnson, while coming from the Cheyenne Agency. He was fully fifty miles from habitation, and was apparently lost. He gives no name or place of residence, and it is supposed he has run away from some lunatic asylum.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 3, 1877.
O. P. Johnson, an Indian Scout of Considerable Renown, dropped down from the Centennial last week. He expects to join McKenzie’s command, and go north after Sitting Bull. O. P. has seen considerable service as a scout, and is recognized as one of the best in this section. At one time he was with Custer during the trouble in the Territory and later acted with Gen. Miles.
Winfield Courier, June 21, 1877.
O. P. Johnson, Indian scout from the Indian Territory, is spending a few days in the city. He has just returned from the Black Hills.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 27, 1877.
O. P. Johnson was at Winfield last week, hailing from the Black Hills.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 4, 1877. [Item from Telegram.]
Mr. O. P. Johnson and Miss Clara Tansey were married on Monday evening of this week. We have often wondered what attraction there could be in Winfield for O. P., who was so familiar with the excitements accompanying the life of an Indian scout: and now the mystery is solved. O. P. has our heartfelt congratulations on the happy and successful termination of his ‘scouting around Winfield. He has won a treasure of whom he may ever be proud, and we wish he and his fair bride every happiness that they could wish. That O. P.’s future ‘scouts’ may not lead him into danger, but be made up principally of ‘little harmless scouts,’ is the wish of the Telegram.
Winfield Courier, July 5, 1877.
MARRIAGE. For some unaccountable reason, our notice of the marriage of Mr. O. P. Johnson to Miss Clara Tansey was overlooked by the compositor. However, it is not too late to wish the happy couple the hearty wishes of the COURIER. O. P. has been in the U. S. service almost since he was born and has had his share of “perils by field and flood;” but now let us hope that he will settle down to a peaceful life with his beautiful and accomplished bride.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 15, 1882.
Col. O. P. Johnson and wife, who have been guests at the City Hotel, left on the 3 o’clock train yesterday for the northeast part of the State.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 15, 1882.
One of the old habitues of the city put in an appearance last Monday in our sanctum, in the person of Col. O. P. Johnson, whom many of our citizens will remember with pleasure. O. P. Johnson has been traveling around for Uncle Sam, in various portions of the northern States and Territories as scout, etc., but is as accomplished as ever.
[The above entry in 1882 was the last that I found. MAW]