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.”
Melvin Gingerich, "The Twenty-Three Mile Furrow." Mennonite Historical Bulletin (October 1949): 3-4.
Mennonite Life IV (July 1949): 6-7.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1086. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Gingerich, Melvin. "Furrow (Kansas)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/furrow_kansas.
APA style: Gingerich, Melvin. (1959). Furrow (Kansas). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/furrow_kansas.