This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Today’s story is about a place where many early settlers in our area shopped – even some that became famous in American history.
Mrs. Nancy Taylor wrote in her “Remembrances of Early Days” that her father, John F. Wiley, was one of the earliest settlers when he arrived in 1858. He took up a claim across the Kansas River, south of Ogden, which later was known as the Old Eskers Place. However, he was not a successful farmer and sold out, then moved to Junction City in 1860. It was here that he bought a grocery store. At that time there were only a dozen families in town, but as the town grew in population and businesses grew, Nancy’s father built an addition to this building and sold both groceries and dry goods. He also bought buffalo hides and all kinds of fur from the Native Americans and shipped them to Leavenworth, Kansas by ox teams. Mrs. Taylor mentioned that Bill Hickock and Bill Cody, better known as Wild Bill and Buffalo Bill, used to patronize her father’s store. After running the store for several years her father sold out, bought a farm again and at one time owned Logan Grove. Nancy Taylor died in 1929 at the age of 79 years.