Caldwell, Kansas, is mentioned often in the magazine, but why doesn’t Hunnewell—a wild, border town itself—get the same coverage?

Donna L. Wiley

Hunnewell, Kansas

You’re right, Hunnewell was a wild town.  The city was located on the Kansas-Oklahoma border, right on a cattle trail drive from Texas. It had a railroad, and it was even named for a railroad official. Hunnewell became particularly restive when the long trail drives from Texas ended. In 2004, the population was only 82, and I’m guessing it never was a large town even in its heyday, so nearby Caldwell gets more attention.

Like any town with a story to tell, Hunnewell needs a good writer to bring it to light. Caldwell has succeeded in showing True West how the cowtown upholds its Western heritage. If Hunnewell wants to step to the plate, the town is more than welcome to. In case no one ever does, let me clue you in on one wild event that occurred in Hunnewell.

In August 1884, bad men Oscar Halsell and Clem Barefoot (don’t you love those names?) got crosswise with the law in Hanley’s Saloon. Ham Raynor and former Texas Ranger Ed Scotten had been hired to tame the wild and wooly Texas drovers. When the smoke cleared, lawman Scotten and badman Barefoot were dead. Halsell got away but later turned himself in, was tried for murder and acquitted.

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