To-day we have left the settlements. After a twenty-mile horse-walk we have reached and made our camp in Sapling Grove. We are a mighty band to meet and contend with a whole village of red-skins. We count thirty-seven, in all, with ninety-five horses and mules. I presume I am [now] out of the United States, and in the territory of our good Uncle Sam. But does his law, or power, still protect me? Shall I say to the redman, “Take care what you do! If you strike me, I will sue you for assault and battery; if you steal my horse, I will send you to the penitentiary.”
--- William Anderson, 1834
Sapling Grove Park , 8210 Grant Street Overland Park , KS
Since the late 1820s, Sapling Grove, located on the headwaters of Turkey Creek, was a significant campsite on the Santa Fe Trail. George Sibley, an Indian agent commissioned to survey the trail in 1825-27, included Sapling Grove on his list of campsites.
Sapling Grove was the rendezvous point for the Bidwell-Bartleson group, the first caravan of families to head west on the trail in 1841. Overnight travelers camped on the hill where Comanche Elementary School now stands.
Recently known as Comanche Park, this site was renamed in 2003 by the City of Overland Park when a local teenager petitioned to change the park name to honor the Sapling Grove campground.