The low line of trees to the south marks La Junta
of the Mora and Sapello Rivers.
It is also known as La Junta because its location is
where the Cimarron and Mountain Branches of the Santa Fe Trail join
Arriving with the U. S. military and Fort Union,
American merchants and Protestant missionaries founded
Tiptonville on the Santa Fe Trail near La Junta
(renamed Watrous after the srrival of the railroad).
Tiptonville became an important western staging area
for the Santa Fe Trail,
serving much the same function as
Council Grove, Kansas, at its eastern end.
Travelers met here to exchange information on trail
conditions, water resources, and dangers along the trail.
For eastbound wagon trains, Tiptonville was an
important place to weight the merits of the faster
Cimarron Branch of the Santa Fe Trail
against the 100-mile longer Mountain Branch.
The increasing numbers of Angle settlers, missionaries,
and merchants, along with the establishment of
Fort Union, hastened the process of
“Americanization” of the former
Native American ancestral homelands and