Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
June 12-16, 2007


This trip and web page are dedicated to the memory of my best friend:

Henry S. Parker, Jr. "Hank"
May, 1943 ~ April, 1980


My name is Bill Mullin.  My family and I lived in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from the summer of 1954 through the summer of 1957, when my father was a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army and an instructor at the Command and General Staff College (CGSC).  I was 9 years old when we moved to Fort Leavenworth and 12 years old when we left.  In early 2007, I realized that this year marked exactly 50 years since we had left the Post.  Since I had so many good memories of Fort Leavenworth, I thought a summer, 2007 mini-reunion with my sister (Pat Gray) and myself in Fort Leavenworth would be a great idea.  I sent her a plane ticket ~ the result of our trip is shown is the below pictures.

It should be noted that all of the people we met in both Leavenworth and in Fort Leavenworth were very friendly!  I have no idea why everyone was so nice, but it was great!

Hank Parker and I met and became friends in 1954 in the 5th grade.  In 1957, our family moved to Alaska and Hank's moved to Washington, DC.  After 2 years in Alaska, we also moved to Washington, DC, where we found that we now lived only 1 block from the Parker family.  After a few more years, Hank and I both moved to northern Virginia where we remained best friends until Hank's untimely death from heart disease just before his 37th birthday.  Had Hank still been alive, I would have also sent him a plane ticket for our Fort Leavenworth trip.  You died too young buddy . . . I miss you!


Click either small picture to enlarge photograph.

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This is Mrs. Nelson's 5th grade class picture, which was taken in the spring of 1955 at the Eisenhower Elementary School in Fort Leavenworth.  Hank is sitting in the middle of the bottom row and I'm in the top row, far left.  In this picture, Hank is 11 years old and I'm 10. This is a picture of Hank taken during a fishing trip in September, 1971.

 


The following 60 photographs represent the best of the 290 pictures that were taken on this trip . . . enjoy!


(Click on picture to enlarge)

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This is Pat and our rental automobile.
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This sign is at the main gate.
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From the main gate, you take Grant Street into the Post.  About a mile at the right is the Buffalo Soldier Monument, commemorating the frontier's black cavalry.  This memorial was not here 50 years ago.

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The blue water is not natural ~ it is probably an insecticide and algaecide combination.  Note the hitchhiker on the soldier!  :)
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Next to the Buffalo Monument is Smith Lake, where I spent many happy days fishing as a youngster.
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This walkway next to Smith Lake was not there 50 years ago.  Additionally, there is now a new sidewalk all around the lake.

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Directly across Grant Road is Merritt Lake, another favorite fishing spot of mine.
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The building (mostly hidden by trees) on top of the hill is the Fort Leavenworth Officer's Club.
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Beautiful here, isn't it?
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Adjoining Merritt Lake to the south and west is an 18-hole golf course.  During the 3 years we lived in Fort Leavenworth, my parents played a LOT of golf!
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Many buildings around the Post are historically significant and were identified with signs similar to this.
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The Syracuse house.
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I remembered that Hank lived on Sumner Place, but I couldn't remember the house number.  So I called the Post Public Information Office and found that they had a 1954 phone book ~ Hank lived at #18.

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#18 is the left half of this large building.
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Close-up of #18.
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The house is now occupied by Chaplain Thomas, whose wife Cecilia took this picture.
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Directly across from #18 is one of many Post parade grounds.  They were preparing for the CGSC graduation.

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Directly to the right of Hank's building was the Rookery ~ unoccupied and supposedly haunted!
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The Rookery.
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I remember the Beehive well, but what I remembered was that families lived in the building, whereas now it was all offices.  This sign clarified matters for me.

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The Beehive.
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When I was about 10 years old, I fell down these stairs and broke my right wrist!  :(
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My family lived at 320-2 Doniphan Drive.  The field directly in front of the house had changed its name, back then it was called the Polo Grounds.

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This is Doniphan Field.  Back in the 1950's there was no road, no playground, no fences, and no lights . . . just a single baseball field.

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This is building 320 on Doniphan Drive.
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The doorway, window to the left of the door, and 2 windows to the right of the door are all part of #2.  The sign is new.
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The doorway at the bottom of the steps belong to #2.  Note that the stairway is steel ~ 50 years ago it was all wood.
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Tornado cellar ~ I guess we ARE in Kansas, Dorothy!  :)
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The tenants in 320-2 allowed us in to see how it has changed since 1957.  To the far right in the house are 2 bedrooms, my parent's and Pat's.  The front bedroom was my parent's.

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Towards the rear was Pat's bedroom.
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In the middle of the house is the kitchen, which has obviously been remodeled since we lived here!
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The dining room.  Note that this house is HUGE ~ 2,200 square feet and 12 foot ceilings . . .
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. . . and the dining room is also BIG, which is why it takes 2 pictures to show it.
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We called this room our sun room.  I thought the new tenants might call it a den, but they also called it a sun room!
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The living room.
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The left side of the house had a long hallway which adjoined 2 bedrooms and a bathroom.
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This was my bedroom.
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Towards the rear of the house was the 4th bedroom which we used as an office for my father and an ironing room for my mother.  The current tenants told me that nowadays only large families qualify for this house.

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Because I was the only person living in the left side of the house, I had a private bathroom.  It would be MANY years until I'd again have a private bath!
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The Post Theater ~ exactly as I remember!  The entire 3 years I lived in Fort Leavenworth I went to matinees every Saturday, where it cost me 15 to see a movie and 10 for a bag of popcorn!  :)

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Pat in front of the Post Frontier Museum.
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Me.
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Grant Hall was part of the CGSC.
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The clock tower over Grant Hall.
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I couldn't decide which clock tower picture I liked more, so I kept them both.
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Cannons pointing over the Missouri River.  These cannons were used from this location back in the 1800's as protection against Indians.

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The Missouri River as seen from the cannons.
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This was my family's Episcopal Chapel.
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Gazebo in Zais Park by Grant Road.  I don't recall this being here back in the 1950's.
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Of course Grant Road needs a statue of Ulysses S. Grant!
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This is the oldest structure on the Post.
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The sign on the wall to the right is the one you just saw.  The sign to the left says, "Site of Old Blockhouse, 1838-1860".

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This was where the Boy Scouts met, but now it seems to have been taken over by the Girl Scouts.  I was unable to find where the Boy Scouts meet nowadays.
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I went to Eisenhower Elementary and Patton Junior High back in the 1950's.  The old Eisenhower Elementary is gone ~ this new school was put into service in 2003.
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In 1958, this school replaced the old Patton Junior High.
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Drive out the main gate, turn right, go about a mile, and on the right side of the street is the Leavenworth Penitentiary ~ past home of Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, and other notorious persons from America's history.  For those that don't know, the prison lies fully in the adjoining town of Leavenworth, NOT in Fort Leavenworth.



You may use any of the above pictures for any purpose and may do so without giving me credit.  Note that these pictures have been downsized for those with slow connection speeds.  If you'd like copies of the original JPG pictures, send me an E-mail telling me which pictures you want and I'll be happy to send the original pictures to you at no charge!


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