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The Wichita Beacon, August 2, 1922.


"Cannonball" Green, Picturesque Figure of Early Days, Is No More

Photo of D.R. 'Cannonball' Green, published in The Wichita Beacon, 2 Aug 1922.

Image courtesy of Shirley Brier. D. R. (Cannonball) Green is dead. The pioneer who operated the stage coach line between Wichita and Kingman for more than twenty years died at his home in Long Beach, Calif., Monday, according to a telegram received here yesterday. Mr. Green has been failing for several months and the report of his death was not a surprise. He was eighty-four years old.

Mr. Green was a picturesque figure of Wichita and the country to the west before the construction of the Wichita & Western Railroad. He operated a stagecoach between Kingman and Wichita and later west of Kingman to Greensburg, which was named for him.

He was nicknamed "Cannonball" because of the speed with which he drove his horse. He was an expert at flicking a fly at a long distance with the cracker of his blacksnake.

With the opening of Oklahoma he left Kansas for the newer country and was a county officer. He was one of the founders of Pond Creek.

He is survived by five children; Mrs. J. C. Duffield, 242 East Douglas; Mrs. Roberta Stewart, Kansas City, Mo.; O. S. Green, Oklahoma City; W. D. Green, San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Mrs. J. P. Gless, San Francisco, Calif.

The body is being brought back to Wichita for burial by W. D. Green.

Gravestone for 

Donald R. 'Cannon Ball' Green 1839 - 1922, 
Margret Ellen Green 1851 - 1912, 
Lela Green Parham 1871 - 1902, 
and Lucile Green Bloom 1891 - 1918.

Section H, Lot 11, Grave 2,

Maple Grove Cemetery, Wichita, Kansas.

Photo courtesy of David G. Stuart.
Gravestone for Donald R. "Cannon Ball" Green and his family
Section H, Lot 11, Grave 2, Maple Grove Cemetery, Wichita, Kansas.
Photo courtesy of David G. Stuart

D.R. GREEN   1839 - 1922
LELA GREEN PARHAM   1871 - 1902
LUCILE GREEN BLOOM   1891 - 1918

Kansas Historical Marker: 
Cannonball Stage Line Highway,

Photo by Bobbi (Hackney) Huck.
Kansas Historical Marker: Cannonball Stage Line Highway
Location: Highway 54 on the eastern city limits of Greensburg, Kansas.
Photo by Bobbi (Hackney) Huck.


Flamboyant and colorful, Donald R. "Cannonball" Green (1829 - 1922) ran a stage line connecting the railroad to towns across southwestern Kansas. Green started his first stage service in Kingman in 1876. It ran through Pratt to Coldwater and later to Greensburg, a town he helped found in 1886.
    Green's stage line served areas not reached by the railroad, and for a few years he also carried the mail from Wichita to Kingman. Known for their speed, Green's coaches were pulled by teams of six or eight horses which were changed every eight to ten miles. More than just a driver, Green was an advisor and teacher, sharing with passengers his knowledge of southwestern Kansas and the prairied landscape.
    As the railroads advanced, Green moved his stage service west but stage demand soon dwindled. In 1898 he took a claim in Oklahoma Territory when the Cherokee Strip opened. Although Green also served in the Kansas legislature, he was best known for his stage route between Kingman and Grensburg, the Cannonball Highway, which became U.S. Highway 54.
    Green died in Long Beach, California and is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Wichita.

Erected by Kansas State Historical Society and Kansas Department of Transportation.

The Barber County Index, August 24, 1922.


(The following taken from the Oklahoma Histora will be of interest to the old timers in Barber county that read the Index. "Cannon Ball" Green was one of the early settlers in Western Kansas and many people now living in Barber county have ridden with him on the old rockaway. - Editor)

A few old timers will recall the subject of this sketch whose stage line from Kingman, Kansas, in an early day brought him both fame and fortune as his was about the only conveyance always "at your service, sir," reaching far westward not only through the untamed short grass regions of Kansas, but also through the likewise untamed red lands of Oklahoma.

He was a large specimen of bone and sinew standing fully six foot in "his socks," and kicked the beam at from 190 to 210. A whole-souled genial westerner who became universally a favorite of the traveling public. The sobriquet on "Cannon Ball" soon attached on account of the extra-ordinary speed he made from point to point and it stuck to him until the final parting of the ways a few years ago.

Speaking of his success especially in a financial way, he attributed it to his liberality toward those who he deemed might be of benefit to him. In his success the country editor came in for a very large shore. "My office in Kingman was furnished nicely," he said during an interview in the early 1900's when he was an applicant for the Lawton receivership to succeed J. D. Matthews of Norman who declined to stand for re-appointment. At that time Green lived on a homestead near Bridgeport, Oklahoma. An editor running a small paper in one of the sun baked regions in a prairie town would come to me stating he had railroad transportation but was unable to reach places where he felt he could secure subscribers, etc. and requested a half-fare rate. Owners of other and small lines would respond to such requests with a flat "No!" that it cost just as much to haul you as it does to haul any one else and no half-fare goes." "I kept a supply of elegantly printed passes and would issue one of these to the editor good at any time over any of my lines on payment of half-rate, and when he desired to take a trip all he need do would be to hop on. As my lines reached hundreds of miles into the west, this would take a person almost any place in the west, barring an occasional gap."

In those days according to Mr. Green, the price of a Concord Coach was $1200.00 and mules as high as $400.00. His coaches covered one hundred miles a day. In addition to the Concords, the lines were provided with many smaller stages or coaches; "but when an editor showed up," he says, "I would always give him a seat in one of the big coaches; and told the driver that as I had a wind-pumper to hit only the high places, and that's just what the driver invariably did. I received thousands of dollars worth of advertising from these editors.

The reputation of my coaches traveled throughout the country and did not confine to high places, either. Often comfortable carriages owned by competitors would be at the train unloading of passengers at depots and scramble for business. My weather-beaten, and dusty coaches would have the words "Cannon Ball Green" painted on them in big box letters. Strangers who had read and otherwise heard of my whirl wind trips would pile into my outfits, while the more comfortable vehicles of would be rivals remained empty."

Cannon Ball Green's business was exceedingly prosperous from about 1870 to 1880 - ten years - when the extension of railroads utterly destroyed it. The old coach recently contributed go to the Oklahoma Historical Society is one of the best as well as one of the best coaches of his line and did ten years service, subsequently falling into the ranks of the Miller Bros. of the 101 Ranch who made it an attraction in their annual blow-outs and wild west performances.

Keno Armstrong was here Monday from Lake City and being in a reminiscent mood he had much to say about Cannon Green and expressed regret that it was impossible for him to attend Green's funeral. Mr. Armstrong was one of the old stage drivers that plied between civilization and the frontier villages and while he never drove for Green was intimately acquainted with him and valued Cannonball's friendship very highly. Mr. Armstrong is now so badly crippled up that he uses a wheeled chair in which to get around, or as he calls it "his roller skates" and he is never so happy as when visiting among the old timers that congregate on the streets of Medicine Lodge.

The Western Star, March 18, 1921.


Biographical Sketches of the Famous Stage Coach Manager,
Written Expressly for the Star.

Long Beach, California.
March 1, 1921.

Editor of the Star, Coldwater, Kans.

Dear Sir: I certainly appreciate your paper. I was very much interested in Cash Cade's letter. In his letter I notice so many of the old timers have passed away. I feel like an old stub of a tree with all of its limbs gone from it. It is true, I have lived rather an adventurous life. Perhaps it may be interesting to some of your readers to read short biographical sketch of my life. I am too old to write flowery history so I will follow Cash's letter and state only facts.

When my mother passed away, my father was a physician, went from our old home in Kentucky to Hickory-co., Missouri. He married a widow, a Mrs. Mashburn (Sic Washburn?). She had two boys about the same ages of myself and brother. Father came back for me and my brother. We were so small we could not ride horseback. He put us on the horse and led him. It was not long after our arrival in our new home until our Kentucky blood started a fight with the Mashburn boys. Father would whip us for it and let the Mashburn boys go free. My father had a little patch of corn - about one acre. He made us boys get up just before daylight and with a little fist dog we would run squirrels out of the little field of corn. When that fist dog got after them you could not tell whether the old rail fence was rails or boards for so many squirrels were on that fence. Well, I don't think I was over six years old when my brother, two years older than myself and I made up our minds to go back to old Kentucky. However we were bottled up in a little cabin - a garret - no windows and the way the roof of our house was built was with chestnut boards and no nails - only a row of boards with the logs on top of them. So we pushed the logs to one side and removed the boards, then we tied the quilts so as to make a way to get down and we went into the night. There were no roads, only paths from house to house. When we came to a cabin we told them a hard luck story and my brother was old enough to tell them we wanted to go to St. Louis. They would give us a little grub and tell us what path to go. We wandered around, slept nights in the wildest places. We would hear the screams of mountain lions and all sorts of ghosts, but we were so tired we went to sleep. Finally we got to St. Louis. My brother knew we had an uncle by the name of Sample. It so happened that General Sample had a country residence somewhere up the river, called Jersey Landing. We were so ragged and so young that the people gave us clothes and food at St. Louis, and put us on a boat for Jersey Landing. There we found our uncle, General Sample, who sent us to Alton, Ill., to school. I stayed in school until I was about ten or twelve years of age. My older brother, there being three of us, had gone to California, and knowing my brother had gone there, having a roving disposition, I wanted to go there too. There happened to be two cattle men by the name of Whittier and Presby going through with cattle to California. I thought this was my chance to go see my brother. When I applied to them to go along with them, I being a sprightly young fellow, ten or twelve years old, was just the fellow they wanted so they made me a present of a horse and saddle and told me to go to St. Joe, Mo., and wait there until they came along. In due time they arrived. The first night after we crossed the river the cattle stampeded. It was storming. I had made my bed down in a low place and the water was about six inches deep. All hands were called up to round up the cattle. My next letter will tell you all about four long months on the road to California in 1853. I feel lucky I pulled through. I am not good story writer, but will hand you some cold facts and relate some experiences full of more or less danger.

April 8, 1921

In my last letter I think I ended with an account of reaching St. Joe and of the two cattlemen giving me a saddle and pony with which to accompany them over the plains to California, back there in 1853, when I was a mere lad. I was to help the men on their long trip, which at that time required about four months to make, and we sure did have some experiences which I will never forget.

I had gone several days without anything to eat, so I started to travel on an empty stomach. At that time the buffalo on the plains were quite thick. Sometimes they would stampede, and when they did so, especially in cases where there were thousands of them, as often happened, you could hear them for miles. At such times nothing could turn their course. Being unaccustomed to such a noise, I thought at first that the devil sure had me. On some such occasions a few of the animals on the outskirts of the big herd came near me. It gave me such a scare, that I wanted to be on the train, and I promised myself that if I ever caught up with a train I would never leave it again. There I was, a mere child, you might say, hundreds of miles from any settlement, hungry, ragged and starving, as I had become separated from the other travelers. People have been known to go about 40 days or more without food. I think that I went without food for bout 10 days. About this time I camped by a little branch, and I soon went to sleep. When I awakened I saw smoke a little way down the creek, and thought it was a cow camp. You may guess I was the happiest kid you ever saw. I soon made my way through the brush, but I was getting quite weak from hunger. However, when I got within three or four hundred yards of the camp, I discovered a big buck Indian, with all his war paint and feathers, standing with his back to me. I quickly turned, forgetful of my weakness, and when I reached my pony I soon tried his speed.

I traveled all day until about dark, when I came to a little watering place surrounded by some timber. I laid down to sleep in the thickest part of the brush, so as to hide the best I could. It was a moonlight night, and I really saw or dreamed that night of all kinds of wild animals. The wind was tossing the trees about, making such spooky noises that I could not sleep. I got up at about midnight, led my pony to a log, got on him and started. About daylight I saw a cattle train camp. The fellows in the camp realized my condition and gave me some light food. If you ever went without food for three days or four days, you may have noticed that you do not then feel so very hungry, but after you have had light food for a few days, you begin to feel as though you could eat "a cow and a calf, and ox and a half," as the old rhyme goes. After I got well, I stayed with these people for about a month. They were very kind to me, but I had a brother in California, who had gone there in the year 1850, and I was exceedingly anxious to see him. So I got a big chunk of bacon and plenty of crackers, and started out again on my long trip to see my brother. April 15, 1921

As I said in my last letter, the people at the cow camp who took me in and cared for me were kind and good to me, but it was too slow; ox teams were worn out and scarcely able to travel, so the train would have to lay over sometimes for a week to rest up. This traveling was too slow for me. I slipped away from them. I traveled about a week before I came up to another train. My grub laster, you bet. There was nothing happened of importance during my stay with them, except every little while we would see fresh graves with a board stuck up which said, "Killed by the Indians."

Yes, there were some happenings I came near forgetting.

We camped on the Platt river bottom line, the bluegrass was tall, and two of the boys were herding the cattle. They were sitting down in the high grass, so I could see nothing but their hats; they were big white hats. I rushed off to the camp and got a shotgun. I loaded it with buckshot, both barrels. I thought, "Now I'll get an antelope." The tail of the antelope is very, very white, so I had taken the boys' white hats for the antelope, I crept along through the high grass until I got within what I thought gunshot distance. I raised my gun and pointed at them, cocked and ready to shoot. For some reason, I thought I might be too far away, so I said to myself, "I'll get a little closer." If the antelope should jump up and run I figured I would be close enough to kill him, so I raised my gun again, cocked it and held it on the two boys' white hats, and was just ready to pull the trigger when suddenly one of them stood up.

April 22, 1921

In my last letter I told of my experience with the cowboys on the plains at the time I mistook two of them antelope, mistaking the tops of their white hats for the tails of the antelope. That was not very far from the Platt river. The Platte, as I well remember it, was a beautiful river, about 50 yards wide. It runs through a beautiful valley, and along its banks there was blue grass not far from two feet high. That, of course made fine feed for all kinds of stock. I cannot now just remember how we got across the river, but I think it was by means of some small boats; anyway we got across all right. I traveled for some time with the wagon train before referred to, but while on the trip west of the Platte River not very much of interest occurred. We often ran across graves over which were crude headboards upon which was written the words, "Killed by Indians," but that did not cause us very much concern. We saw a great many Indians - mostly Crow Indians. There were many Sioux Indians, also. The latter we found to be rather hostile towards us, while the Crows were quite friendly. There were many more of the Sioux than of the Crows. There were three tribes of them, and Sitting Bull was the big chief over all of them. We were warned by the Crows of the whereabouts of the Sioux. On one occasion the Crows told us that there were about a thousand Sioux camped about 20 miles ahead, on or near our trail. They advised us to go into camp until the Sioux had moved on. When the unfriendly Indians finally did move the Crows told us by signs of that fact, and you may be sure we were grateful to the Crows. As our cattle needed a rest and our horses were pretty well jaded, we camped for about two weeks. I recall that I traded my jaded pony to one of the Crow Indians for one of his ponies, which was fat and fresh. I remember very well that my new pony had a hole in each ear. With my fresh pony I concluded to try my luck again. So I set out on the way to the great state of California. I could tell by the tracks and the nature of the droppings something as how far ahead of us unfriendly Indians were. I figured that they were about three weeks ahead of me, so I loaded my pony with enough provisions for about that time. On the way I came to a very bad mud hole. I was afraid to ride in. I noticed that there was a log, probably a foot in diameter, extending across the mud hole. I lengthened out my rope and thought that I would let my pony cross without me, but to my surprise when I was about half way across I noticed that my pony was also walking the log, and I had a hard time to keep ahead of him. That may sound a little "fishy" but I give my word of honor that that is just the way it happened.

April 29, 1921

It will be remembered that in my last letter I told of my pony walking a log across a muddy place which was in the road. I imagine that some of the readers of these articles are still smiling and perhaps, doubting that a pony could do that, but I repeat that it did happen just as I related it, and that pony of mine sure did do some fine log walking on that occasion. Let me in this letter tell of two or three other incidents which, may cause the reader a little agitation and wonderment. Occasionally I was with a wagon train, and once the boss said to me, "Young men, I am going ahead to find a good camping place; here is a lame steer. You drop behind with him and bring him up slowly, so that he can stand the trip better." I was about half a mile behind the train. I cannot say that I liked my task very well, as I knew that we were right among the Sioux Indians and that they were hostile. But I kept a good lookout for the red skins. Once, when I looked behind me I saw not very far away, about 300 Sioux. They seemed to have discovered me about the same time I first saw them. I concluded best to abandon the steer as quickly as possible, and as my pony was fresh, I made good time in getting away. The people at the camp saw me and seemed to realize that there was danger from an attack by the treacherous Indians, so they rounded up their wagons in a hurry and prepared as best they could to protect themselves. The Indians shot many an arrow in my direction and I could see them strike around me. The men at the camp began firing at the Indians. I could hear the bullets whizzing by me, but I escaped unhurt.

We were soon rounded up in good shape and the fight started. There were probably about 300 of the Indians, but it appeared to me that there were a thousand or more of them. They circled about us several times and would make believe that they were about to make a dash from all sides. There were some women in our camp and they helped in the defense by using guns. Of course, some of them may not have been able to 'hit the side of a barn," but they helped to keep the Indians away from us. The Indians stayed for nearly three days, no doubt hoping that they might see an opportunity to take us unawares, but they failed in that. We finally ran out of bullets, but the women soon got busy and ran more bullets for us. The Indians would never bother us at nights, but just as soon as daylight appeared, we could see them riding around and around, apparently getting closer all the time. At the end of the second day one old Indian, no doubt one of the leaders, left his men, took off his war feathers and came toward us on foot. When he got within about 200 yards of our wagons, our boss walked out and met him. The Indian offered his hand and said "How! How!" and made signs that he would be friendly. He wanted to come into our camp, no doubt for the purpose of seeing how we were fixed to defend ourselves. Our boss refused to allow him to come any closer. The next morning there was no sign of any Indians. Men were sent ahead to watch for them, but they did not get any trace of them, and we concluded that the worst danger had passed and proceeded to continue our journey.

May 6, 1921

Well, I left the wagon train and made another start, riding my pony. I did not have very much trouble, and got along quite well. Of course there were new experiences and new dangers, one after the other, but somehow I cared nothing for that. You see, a person on such a trip as I was making must get used to thrilling experiences.

On the way I came to a small stream, not very wide, but deep and very swift, and with very high banks. Let me tell you how I got across that stream. A strong rope was stretched across the stream and fastened to a tree on either side. A large strong box was fastened to this rope by means of pulleys. I got into the box and they started me across. It seemed as though I was going down to the bottom of the river, it went so fast. I landed all right on the other side of the stream close to a big tree. They swam my pony across the stream. I do not know how they got the cattle train across, but suppose that they used the box to transfer the wagons and that they swam the cattle across. They managed to cross some way, and continued to show the same determination which characterized all the pioneers who crossed the plains. They were resolute and invincible, and had no such idea as giving up and turning back.

Later I joined another wagon train. We soon reached the desert. It required three days for us to cross the barren waste of ground called the desert, and that was sure a trying portion of our journey. As soon as the cattle smelled water we could do nothing with them. We concluded best to unyoke them and turn them loose. They soon found a stream of water.

Next we came to a deep canyon. It seemed to me it was a hundred feet deep and 50 feet wide. The road turned to the left, and it was not long until I came to where they had out a fine large tree. They had fallen the tree across the canyon, hewed the top off of it and put up banisters along the sides. That formed a pretty good bridge, and by means of it they got their wagons and cattle across in safety. When we had crossed I noticed a great many trees with their bark off, where they had let wagons down with ropes. Finally I came to a sharp backbone in the road, just wide enough for a wagon to cross. On each side was a precipice. A steer had died and had been left in the center of the road. I could not get my pony to go by it, there being scarcely any room on either side. While I was working with my pony, two Sioux Indians came up on horseback, with their war paint on and with feathers flying. I pointed my little toy pistol at them, pulling at my horse and crying. Finally the Indians whipped my horse and made him come by the dead steer. They started off with me and kept me a captive for several miles. I remember now that one of them was talking loud and rough. The other Indian was talking mild and pleasant, possibly pleading for me. All at once they whipped up their horses and rode away from me.

May 20, 1921

After being realized by the Indians I proceeded on my journey and had but little trouble for several days. I finally came to a sign in the trail which read "Cut off - a new route." The "new route" led off from the main trail to where some men were camped. I found that they had small willow houses, and that their principal purpose in staying there was to buy up weak and poor cattle. That was in the Mountains in California, so I was not afraid as I was getting so close to my destination, and I rode bravely up to the men. They kept me over night. The next morning I could not find my pony. I hunted for him for several days, but failed to find him. So I sold the chance of finding him for $20. Within a few minutes the man who had bought the chance came up riding my pony. Of course he "had" hidden him with the one idea of keeping the pony. I had a good cry because it began to look as though I would not get my pony back. The fellow who had bought the chance soon let me know that he considered the pony his. He said to me, "Never mind, kid, there will be another train in a day or two, and you can get in with them."

Finally along came another train and I joined them. They found that I was without a pony, so they let me have a little mule which they had - one no larger than a shetland pony and which they called "Step." My new mount was a whole lot better than nothing at all. After a few days we came to lake Tahoe, which was apparently about three miles wide and seven or eight miles long. It was right on top of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This lake was at the mouth of the Truckee river. You bet the water which ran off of these mountains was some swift. We had to cross it many times, and nearly always we had to raise the wagon bed up to the top of the standards. That crossing was full of the big boulders. The boys who had good sized horses had little trouble in crossing it, but I had a time of it trying to cross on "Step." The water was so swift that "Step" and I were washed down into the deep water. Sometimes I was on "Step," and sometimes he was on top of me. The boys would holler, "Stay with him, kid, stay with him." The river was in a canyon, and I had this experience often.

Well, I finally arrived at Sacramento, which was then only a small town. I had only $5 in money left. My brother had shipped a small steamboat around the southern cape of South America (Cape Horn) and was running it on the Sacramento river to Colusa, where he had laid out a town. When I bought my ticket on this boat with the only $5 I had left, the clerk handed me a piece of paper. I did not know that it was a ticket and had considerable value, so, child like, I tore it up. When the clerk came around taking up the tickets he, of course, found me without a ticket. He was very nice to me, though, and explained to me how tickets are used in traveling on trains, steamboats, etc. He explained to me that I should have kept the ticket. That man was my brother. It was a very small boat - so small, some said that if you shifted your chew of tobacco from one side of your mouth to the other, it would creel the thing over. I had never been on a boat, and I thought that my time had come when that boat rocked to one side.

Now, my early day trip to California is over. I have tried to tell you something of interest, and if I have succeeded, I am glad. Later, I may conclude to write a brief history of my travels in California.


The Western Star, May 20, 1921.

The Western Star prints this week the closing article written by "Cannonball" Green, in which he tells of his experiences on a trip which he made from Kentucky to California in the year 1853, when Mr. Green was yet quite a small boy. Many of our readers have found these articles full of real interest, conveying as they do considerable information in regard to what pioneer settlers on the Pacific coast had to contend with on their way to that country between 60 and 70 years ago. We hope to have for publication a series of articles from Mr. Green giving some of his impressions and experiences in California.

"Arriving at Kinsley, I remained the latter half of the night at some cheap hotel, then took "Green's Cannonball Stage" for Coldwater, paying five dollars for the transportation. Four western ponies drew the stage coach at a gallop, and horses were changed every six or eight miles. We got an early and very good dinner at Greensburg and arrived at Coldwater by about 4:30 p.m. The distance thus traveled in about six hours actual going was 60 miles.

I had with me my surveying outfit, consisting of a transit, "Y" level, tools, poles, chairs and such like, besides a valise full of clothing and a trunk filled with clothing and books, all of which, as I now recall, went with me by stage for the five dollars. This line of stage coaches was operated by Col. Green. He had other lines which he operated, the appellation by which he went being To this day a trail in that locality is yet called the "Cannon Ball" Trail, but goes westward from Greensburg to Dodge City, and going east from Greensburg to Wichita."

-- James W. Dappert, The Western Star, January 15, 1926.

Also see:

Memoirs by "Old Timer", The Western Star, June 26, 1925. Includes a description of riding the Cannonball stage line from Kingman to Coldwater, Kansas in 1885.

Duff Green, son of Col. D.R. Green, & ex-marshall Locket.
, The Western Star, January 17, 1891.
Surnames: Green, Lockert & Miles.

More About Cannonball Green
  • "The party of pleasure seekers from Coldwater, who spent last Thursday evening and night at the residence of D. R. Green, just over the county line in Kiowa, report that Mr. Green has one of the most commodious residences and best improved farms in the southwest. He has four acres in three year old shade trees, which already make considerable shade. Mr. Green will be remembered as the father of Greensburg. -- The Western Star, 13 Aug 1887.

  • "Early Day Memories" by Alice (Eyerly) Ferrin, The Wilmore News, October 31, 1939.

  • History of Greensburg, Kansas: "Greensburg was named for stagecoach driver D. R. "Cannonball" Green. He once ejected Carrie Nation from his coach after she snatched a cigar from his mouth and tossed it away... Colonel Green was a flamboyant, boastful character. He liked to dominate a crowd while twirling his diamond-studed watch chains. He owned and operated "The Cannonball Stageline." His fine stage coaches and speeding broncos blazed trails which railroads and highways later followed. He took great pride in the speed of his coaches and advertised that even "Father Time" couldn't keep up with the "Cannonball."

  • Cannonball Stage Line Highway "Flamboyant and colorful, Donald R. "Cannonball" Green (1839-1922) ran a stage line connecting the railroad to towns across southwestern Kansas. Green started his first stage service in Kingman in 1876. It ran through Pratt to Coldwater and later to Greensburg, a town he helped found in 1886... Green died in Long Beach, California and is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Wichita."

  • Cannonball Stage Line - Pratt "In the late 1800s, there was a colorful character in south central Kansas by the name of D. R. Green. In 1876, Mr. Green opened a small livery stable in Kingman, Kansas. He had been a champion stagecoach driver, and he soon founded a stage line to transport people through the region. He insisted on speed, and his stage line expanded rapidly. The stage line was named the Cannon Ball, inspired by the old song Wabash Cannon Ball which is about a powerful locomotive... Mr. Green's stage line grew into 70 vehicles and 1,000 horses covering 1,500 miles of Kansas prairie. Mr. Green was even elected to the state legislature, where he earned the nickname Cannon Ball Green."

  • Cannonball Stage Line Highway There is a historical marker about the highway at a turnout on Highway 54 on the eastern city limits of Greensburg, Kansas.

  • "Dan Green's Cannonball Express" 3 p. in True Comics, no. 80 (Dec. 1949) -- SUMMARY: The origins of Greensburg, Kansas. The Cannonball Express is a stagecoach line. -- Call no.: PN6728.1.P3T7no.80. Michigan State University Libraries, Special Collections Division, Reading Room Index to the Comic Art Collection.

  • Historic Plaque of D.R. Greene Artist Mark Peterson was "Commissioned to create an historic plaque of "D.R. Greene" - statesman and founder of the "Cannonball Express," the largest stagecoach line in the United States. The piece includes a painting on the oak plaque of one of the stages and I also got to write some American history in a concise biography of the man and his notable contributions to our great nations early progress. The plaque is displayed in the Greensburg, Kansas, museum of history. The work was authenticated by his then 92 year old daughter, Roberta, and the local historical society."

  • Historical photos of D.R. Green, clipping from Tulsa World about artist Mark Peterson's source material for his historic plaque.

  • Maple Grove Cemetery, the burial place of D.R. Green, is located at 1000 N. Hillside, Wichita, Kansas, 67214

  • Burial of D.R. Green Donald R. Green, born: 1839, died: 31 Jul 1922, buried: Section H, Lot 11, Grave 2, Maple Grove Cemetery, Wichita, Kansas.

  • Kansas Past: Pieces of the 34th Star, by David Hann, Penthe Publishing, Lawrence, Kansas, 1999, has biographical information on D.R. "Cannonball" Green.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article and obituary to this web site! She noted: "The same obit appeared in the Western Star, (taken from the Beacon), but without the photograph of him.

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