COUNCIL GROVE, Kan. - In late January 1860, the Kanza Indians traded 500 wolf skins to Emporia merchant, A. G. Proctor, in exchange for "groceries, dry goods, etc." Proctor found most of the tribe in their winter camps approximately thirty miles west of Emporia near present Elmdale in the Cottonwood valley and its tributaries, Middle and Diamond creeks.
The Kanzas had just returned from their annual autumn hunt in present-day central Kansas. From October through mid-January, the tribe dispersed in bands, establishing camps on Cow Creek and the Little Arkansas, Smoky Hill, and Saline rivers. The men pursued game, especially buffalo, and gathered furs; the women tanned and dressed the robes and peltry into saleable condition.
The return trip down the Cottonwood River valley passed through where Florence stands today. But the Kanzas had not made a successful hunt, "owing to the fact that the Buffalo had for some reason gone further back and were very scarce in the country where they had been accustomed to find them."