It may seem hard to believe now, but shallow seas once covered central Kansas about 320 to 245 million years ago. Examine the layers of limestone rocks that line Kansas roads and highways and you will see brachiopods (shelled animals), corals, crinoids, and sponges.
For thousands of years, Kansas was home to native American Indian tribes such as the Osage, Pawnee, and Comanche . Herds of buffalo numbering, at one time, in the tens of millions roamed the Kansas Plains and provided a way of life to the Indians.
Early explorers such as Coronado came to Kansas in search of wealth and gold. Later adventurers, like Francis Parkman and James R. Mead, came to see the Indian culture and the beauty of the Plains.Traders from Missouri crossed Kansas on the Santa Fe Trail. The 1840's and 50's saw emigrants crossing Kansas on their way to Oregon and California. Jesse Chisholm blazed a trail that bears his name, and opened up the cattle trade that is still an important part of Kansas life. In fact, at least ten historic trails crossed Kansas at one time or another.