Canema, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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Canema, Barber County, Kansas

1886 map of Barber County, Kansas.
1886 map of Barber County, Kansas, showing Canema.

Map showing the location of Canema, Barber County, Kansas.

From the map collection of Phyllis Scherich.
Map showing the location of Canema, Barber County, Kansas.
From the map collection of Phyllis Scherich.


The Kansas Gazeteer & Business Directory For 1888-1889

Canema. Locally known as Cumminsford, on Little Mule creek in Barber county, 12 miles south of Medicine Lodge, the county seat, usual banking and shipping point. Population, 40. Tri-weekly stage to New Kiowa; fare $1.50. Mary E. Smith, postmaster.

Cummins, Mrs. Mary M. - grocer and hotel
Hillgren, L, Jr. - justice of peace
Roberts, Rev. John - (Methodist)

(Contributed by Kim Fowles).


The Canema Post Office was established 10 May 1882 and discontinued 31 May 1894. -- Source: Post Offices in Kansas, 1828 - 1961   The Kansas State Historical Society.

(Note the discrepancy in the dates of the closure of the post office.


Meanwhile, Scott Cummins, the "Poet Bard" who ran his Last Chance tavern-trading post on the nearby Little Mule Creek canceled his Fourth of July celebration -- a victim of one too many sabbaths.

"Cumminsford will not celebrate the Fourth of July this year for various reasons," he declared. "One is that the 4th falls on the Christian Sabbath, and if we celebrate it on the 3rd, it's on the Ancient Jewish Sabbath, and if we celebrate it on the 5th it would be a day too late and no use to make a fuss about it. Therefore, we'll give way and let the small towns bust themselves."

-- Chapter IX - Hebron and Gilead: Gyp Hills Jerusalems, Sod Jerusalems, by Lloyd David Harris.


Canema was named after Scott and Mary's daughter, Nina Canema Cummins. Canema was locally known as "Cumminsford" and was located on on Little Mule creek in Barber county, 12 miles south of Medicine Lodge.

After the Fire is a poem written by Scott Cummins on July 5, 1893, the night after his home at Canema burned down.

Scott Cummins was a Civil War veteran who served in Company A, 3rd Iowa Cavalry, according to an article, "Soldier's Reunion", published in The Medicine Lodge Cresset, October 23, 1879.

While living in Canema, Scott Cummins wrote a poem in memory of Captain Byron P. Ayers, a fellow member of the Grand Army of the Republic: Memorial Tribute by the Pilgrim Bard to the Memory of Capt. Byron P. Ayers. -- The Medicine Lodge Cresset, March 15, 1888.

An excellent biography for him is online: Orange Scott Cummins a.k.a. The Pilgrim Bard, May 12, 1846 - March 24, 1928.


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