Feudin’ and Fightin’ Friday: The Hay Meadow Massacre

HayMeadowMassacreSiteIt was a Kansas feud, a county seat war, but the massacre occurred in a strip of land which is now part of Oklahoma, the “panhandle” part.  In 1888, however, it was called the “Neutral Strip” or “No Man’s Land”.

Stevens County, Kansas was established in southwest Kansas on August 3, 1885.  The town of Hugo (later called Hugoton) was established in late 1885 and the town of Woodsdale was founded in 1886 by Colonel Samuel Newitt Woods.  Hugoton and Woodsdale would later lock horns over which one would be the county seat.  In that day, county seat wars were all too common – Gray, two counties northeast, was another that turned into an unfortunate bloody affair (you can read about it here).

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