A trip into the past
With its foundation laid in Kansas Territory, the Rawlinson-Terwilliger home was built alongside the famed Santa Fe Trail as Kansas became the 34th state. Built by Abraham and Mary Rawlinson in 1860-61, this stone home was the last house freighters passed going West when leaving Council Grove as late as 1863. The Rawlinson family came from England on a ship and living with them was George Alexander, who was also from England and was 45 years old when he and the Rawlinson's one son, James, 20 years of age, left in September of 1861 to join the 8th Kansas Infantry to fight in the Civil War. November 4,1862 George Alexander died and is buried in Danville, KY. James survived the war and returned home in 1866.
From their home on the edge of the frontier, the Rawlinsons witnessed long trains of freight wagons loaded with goods, heading to or from Santa Fe. This home was a welcome sight to the freighters, as it signaled their return to civilization.
The property was purchased by William Riley Terwilliger and his wife, Mary, in 1870, who added the South wing by 1873. The Terwilliger family came to Morris County in 1859, and Mr. Terwilliger was at times a farmer, stockman, freighter, and owner of a livery stable,.They had 15 children and you can see three of them in this 1880 picture, along with Mary and William Riley, standing in the yard behind the fence.