The second of the 2012 Kaw Council's educational program series at the Kaw Mission State Historic Site in Council Grove will be presented at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 1.
The presentation will feature Leo Oliva as Private Robert Morris Peck, First U.S. Cavalry, on the Santa Fe Trail, 1857-1861. The event will be at the mission site, 500 N. Mission St. Regular admission fee of $3 for adults and $1 for children applies.
Robert Morris Peck joined the U.S. cavalry in 1856 and served in the frontier army in Kansas during most of his enlistment. In 1901 he wrote his memoirs of military service. Peck served in the 1857 Cheyenne Expedition, was among troops that protected the trail and established Fort Larned in 1859, escorted mail coaches on the trail, served in the Kiowa Expedition of 1860, and helped establish Fort Wise (later Lyon) in Kansas Territory (now Colorado).
Oliva portrays Peck in 1901, recalling his stories of a soldier's life on the Santa Fe Trail, Council Grove, and Lost Spring. Oliva became interested in frontier military history during the 1959 centennial of Fort Larned and has been researching and writing about frontier military posts and trails ever since. He has degrees from Fort Hays State University and the University of Denver. He is a former university professor who retired to take over a family farming operation near Woodston. He is a founding member of the Santa Fe Trail Association and the Smoky Hill Trail Association.
The Friends of Kaw Heritage, Inc., the Kansas Historical Society, and the Santa Fe Trails Association sponsor Kaw Councils 2012.The Kansas Historical Society does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, or operation of its programs. The Historical Society requests prior notification to accommodate individuals with special needs or disabilities.