Baby Swap on the Homestead Near Marysville, Kansas

Three young men play a joke on homesteaders at a dance with their own version of the baby swap.

| Good Old Days

The Hutchinson Mill on the east side of the Big Blue River near Marysville, Kansas, was replaced with a new and larger mill in 1867. And that new mill was to be the scene of one of Marshall County Kansas most memorable nights, a night when a homestead prank involved a baby swap.

Plans were made for a dance in the new three-story stone mill before the machinery arrived. Notices of the entertainment were sent far and wide. Scores arrived for the dance, bringing well-filled baskets of food for the midnight refreshments. John Pecenka's music was at its swingin' best. Couples danced in reckless abandon, forgetting their babies sleeping peacefully in an adjoining room.

Three young single men observed the sleeping children, an even dozen bedded down on a pallet in the corner.

Then one of the trio, a twinkle in his eye, sprung the plan.

"How will they ever pick out the right kid?" he wondered aloud.

They worked fast, changing positions of the sleeping babies.

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