Lane University and Territorial Capitol Museum - Lecompton, Kansas
Lecompton, Kansas was one of the seven Kansas Territorial Capitols. Founded in 1854 by pro slavery Missourians, those founders intended for Lecompton to become the state capitol, and the United States Congress authorized funds to build the Capitol Building. But when the Lecompton Constitution was defeated, it was clear that Kansas was not going to enter the Union at that time and the future capital would not be in Lecompton. The unfinished building was used during the battle that took place when James Lane attempted to destroy Lecompton in 1856.
The shell remained unfinished until 1882 when Lane University (a United Brethren college) completed the structure and moved in. The school continued until 1902 it was united with Campbell University and moved to Holton. During the Lane University period, Dwight D. Eisenhower's parents met and married at the University.
This former capitol building and school is now a community historical museum. Much of the museum is devoted to the 1850s, Lane University and the Eisenhowers. Although viewing everything in the three floors of exhibits could take several hours, most visitors will be satisfied with an hour.
The Territorial Capital Museum hosts an annual Christmas tree display from November 1 through the first Sunday in January. In 2020 the museum has reduced the number of trees on display to allow for more social distancing. This year there are about 110 trees decorated in Victorian, antique and theme ornaments, trim and toppers compared to over 200 trees in the exhibit last year.
Call in advance to schedule a guided tour of Lane University & the Kansas Territorial Museum.
copyright 2006-2020 by Keith Stokes