Bob Button honored by the Trail Association

KINSLEY – Great Bend native Robert (Bob) Button posthumously received the 2022 Faye Anderson Award Jan. 23 from the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association at their meeting in Kinsley. His son Robert (Roann) Button accepted the award.

Bob was a farmer with a passion for Native American archeology and history, the Santa Fe Trail, Walnut Creek Crossing (including commercial ranches, stream crossings, and Fort Zarah), the site of the Peace Treaty of Medicine Lodge, Fort Larned and related areas. His research and fieldwork were meticulous and professional, even though he had no formal training.

He was an artist and his woodcarvings, especially of natives, are remarkable creations. Collections of his research papers are held at the Barton County Historical Society, Santa Fe Trail Center, Kansas State Historical Society, and other institutions.

Button was always willing to share his research and knowledge, taking interested people to historical and archaeological sites, and helping other researchers with what he had learned. His work always helps answer questions; for example, its location of Zebulon M. Pike’s Campsite at present Great Bend is currently being used for the Pike’s Route Feasibility Study for inclusion in the National Trail System as the Pike National Historic Trail .

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