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Gary and Margaret Kraisinger visit Cohen Center for Kansas History in Barton Library


By Joe Vinduska, Barton Community College 


GREAT BEND, Kan. — Old West history expert Gary Kraisinger stopped by the Cohen Center for Kansas History in the Barton Community College Library in early October to research for an upcoming book he is working on with his wife Mary.

Since 2004, the award-winning duo has written three books together with Gary doing the research and Mary doing the writing. Most of their focus is on the Western Cattle Trail and the routes that were used, but they were inspired by the 150th anniversary of the Chisolm Trail in 2017 to shift their focus for their current book titled “The Shawnee-Arbuckle Trail, 1867-1870, The Predecessor of the Chisholm Trail to Abilene, Kansas.”

According to, “this book shows the importance of the early Shawnee Trail and its connection to the later Chisholm Trail.  Audiences will be surprised to learn that trail drivers used another route in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to push their longhorns to Abilene, Kansas, in 1867 through 1870, before the current-day recognized Chisholm Trail in Native American Territory was used.”

Director of Library and College Archives Darren Ivey said he was excited to help the pair on their journey to gain more knowledge they could use to write their book.

“The Cohen Center welcomes historians and authors, and we were honored that Mr. Kraisinger paid us a visit to conduct research,” he said. “The Kraisingers’ previous titles have been in our collection for years, and we were happy to be able to make a small contribution toward their next book.”

The Center is dedicated to preserving resources in Kansas and inspiring research in Kansas history. The original collection was a generous gift from the late Barton P. and Dr. Mary Davidson Cohen to the Barton Community College Foundation. Donations from other individuals and organizations to add to the collection are accepted. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Ivey at [email protected] or (620) 792-9364.