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Home on the Range

Homesteading in Smith County

Home on the Range

Dr. Brewster Higley was a medical doctor who had made his way to Smith County after many years of dealing with personal tragedies, such as the deaths of 3 of his wives and the divorce from his fourth wife, as well as the death of an infant son. He did have 2 children by his third wife and 1 son by his second wife.

Dr. Higley married a 5th time to Sarah Clemens at Smith Center on March 8, 1875, and they had four children, one of whom died as an infant.

Dr. Higley wrote poetry and while was between his fourth and fifth marriages, he lived in the cabin he built along the Beaver Creek. It was constructed a cabin of logs and limestone and was built in 1872. A person visiting him found the poem "My Western Home" and suggested that Dan Kelley of Gaylord be asked to write the music. Dr. Higley took the poem to Mr. Kelley and the song "Oh, Give Me A Home Where The Buffalo Roam" was created.

More Information on the History of "Home on the Range"


Pletcher, Vera Edith Crosby. "A History of Smith County, Kansas to 1960". Masters thesis, Kansas State University, 1960.


Hours and Contacts

Extended Hours starting Sunday, March 23 until the end of the semester:
Sun:             1:00 pm - 2:00 am
Mon-Thurs: 7:30 am - 2:00 am
Friday:         7:30 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:            10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Phone: 785.628.4434
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   600 Park Street
   Hays, KS 67601
Physical Address:

   502 South Campus Drive
   Hays, KS 67601-4099