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Furrow, a furrow plowed in the Kansas prairie in 1873 apparently beginning at the Henry Brunk farm approximately six miles (10 km.) west of Marion Centre (now Marion), Marion County, Kansas, and extending straight west on the present Highway 50 into McPherson County to a point near the home of Daniel Brundage. This furrow has become legendary in the literature on the Kansas frontier, generally being referred to as the “23-mile furrow” although it was apparently only 14 miles (22.5 km.) long. Literary accounts credit various individuals for having plowed it, although the records seem to prove that either R. J. Heatwole or Daniel Brundage or both participated in this task. Heatwole in 1893 explained that the purpose of the furrow was to enable the scattered Mennonite settlers to “find our course along this furrow back and forth to worship together without losing the way along which mere was nothing to break the monotony of the journey save the flocks of prairie chickens, and the small herds of antelopes cantering from us in the distance.”

[edit] Bibliography

Melvin Gingerich, "The Twenty-Three Mile Furrow." Mennonite Historical Bulletin (October 1949): 3-4.

Mennonite Life IV (July 1949): 6-7.

Author(s) Melvin Gingerich
Date Published 1959

[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Gingerich, Melvin. "Furrow (Kansas)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 26 Apr 2017.

APA style

Gingerich, Melvin. (1959). Furrow (Kansas). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 April 2017, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1086. All rights reserved.

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