Elwood Kansas & the Mighty Mo

In trying to locate more information on a cemetery at Elwood, Kansas, my husband unearthed some interesting maps of Elwood in relation to the Missouri River.

The Kansas Memory site has several maps that help place the river in relation to the city of Elwood. A map of Elwood dated between 1870 and 1890 places the river at the East and North edges of the town.

This map is a fairly detailed map of the town showing street names and parks. It does not indicate a cemetery.

The 1882 plat book of Doniphan County also indicates that Elwood was bordered by the Missouri River on the North.

Likewise, the 1904 Plat Book of Doniphan County has the northern edge of Elwood on the banks of the Missouri River.

Below is a current day image from Google maps showing the northern edge of Elwood. The Missouri River is along the right of the image. The state boundary line in the upper left corner of the image is following an oxbow lake. The railroad tracks and Vermont Street can be used as comparison points between the current day image and the early map (1870-1890). The map from the 1870-1890 time period indicates that there were 12 blocks north of Vermont Street. In looking at today’s image, it is easy to imagine the river making a curve and going along the very North edge of Elwood.


If the GPS coordinates of the Elwood cemetery are correct, then it is very doubtful that this cemetery existed in 1896 in the stated location. Based on these early maps, the suggested location of the Elwood Cemetery would have either been in the river or on the Missouri side of the river in 1896.