Searching For Mariposa

How do towns get lost, or die? Once gone, how are they found again? Sometimes, it is while looking for one thing that we find another.

According to the Smoky Hill Museum, that is what happened to author Johanna Wickman. While gathering information on Preston Plumb, she came upon the story of Mariposa.

According to Wickman’s book, Preston Plumb’s career includes founding the now dead Saline County town of  Mariposa. He would go on to found the city of Emporia, starting and managing newspapers, becoming a lawyer, president of the Emporia National Bank, service as Lt. Colonel of the 11th Kansas Cavalry during the Civil War, election to the Kansas state legislature and U.S. Senate, and even smuggling guns for the Free State movement during Bleeding Kansas. Plumb dedicated his life to selfless service for the state of Kansas and has seemingly been lost to history.

Join Wickman via Zoom, as she shares why the Saline County town of Mariposa was founded, what happened to it, and a bit about Plumb, its founder.

Wickman is an author, independent researcher, member of the Fort Caspar Museum Association Board and president at Wickman Historical Consultants. The Museum Store has signed copies of her book, The Forgotten Senator: The Life & Character of Preston B. Plumb.

The Smoky Hill Museum is hosting this presentation through Zoom only on Thursday, February 1, 2024, from 5:30 to 6:30. Register for your Zoom link at