Indian scares plagued the early settlers in southern Kansas, as did shortages of staples such as coffee. Settlers kept a look out for raids and made do with substitutes such as coffee corn.
Some men paid Chief Chetopa five dollars a year, and he and his tribe never molested them. However, rumors of attack persisted. At one time the settlers in my own locality deemed it well to gather in a home built of logs like a fort.
Five families crowded into two small rooms, children crying, women half-hysterical, and the men with guns in their hands. Late in the night the hostess suggested that they make coffee for the men. "But," said she, "we'll have to shell and parch the corn because we have no real store coffee."
"Let's not bother to shell it," said a neighbor woman. "Just throw it in the b'iler, cob and all. We'll all be scalped before morning anyhow."
But the corn was shelled, parched and brewed. It tasted good, and morning dawned peacefully. The settlers returned to their homes and never saw a really hostile Indian then or thereafter.
Arkansas City, Kansas