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Park Program

History of the

Old Settlers Picnic

Colt Show 2
Colt Show 1

In the fall of 1873, Jessie Bowles invited neighbors and friends to enjoy a basket dinner in the walnut grove of his farm to celebrate harvest. The next year Fred Wagner extended the invitation. The picnic was held on different farms or at a grove on the Ninnescah each year and was called the Harvest Home Picnic.

Jim Brown, who had a trading post at Littleton, started promoting a colt show for the 4th of July. It was decided to put the two celebrations together and the picnic and cold show were held in Major Freeman's grove near the trading post. Settlers would bring their prize animals for all to see.

The first organized picnic and written account was held in 1884 in Major Freeman's grove. Logan's naitonal martial band enlivened the woods with patriotic aires. Alonzo Shull was chairman of the after dinner program, which consisted of speeches and awards for the settlers, first to break ground, first to raise corn, etc. This was the end fo the Harvest Home Picnic and the start of teh Mulvane Colt Show. In 1900 the Mulvane Colt Show merged with the Mulvane Agricultural Association.

In 1904 it was decided to make it a Quad County Old Settlers Picnic. The counties being Sumner, Sedgwick, Butler, and Cowley. A representative from each was appointed to handle arrangements.

The parade was started in 1915 at George Blair's instigation. We have not been able to find the exact date the carnival was started but the merry-go-round seems to be remembered by all old timers. The equestrian Quadrille was held in the mid twenties, and received national attention by being invited to perform at the National Livestock Show in Wicita plus many other places. A queen was chosen in 1937, Mrs. Sarah Jane Jones, to honor the pioneer women. In later years a King was added.

The Quad County Old Settlers Picnic was changed to Mulvane Old Settlers Picnic. Many changes have taken place over the years, but the covered wagon and the oxen have always been a part of the parade starting with George Seaman's excellent white oxen.

Old Settlers has always been dedicated to preserving the past and building for the future. Mulvane Old Settlers always takes place the third weekend in August.

King and Queen Attendants
Turtle Races Concessions