A partial human skull was discovered Sunday on the Wet Walnut Creek, Barton County Sheriff Greg Armstrong said. "It could be from the 1800s," the sheriff said Monday.
Greg Brown said his sons Tanner and Layton were duck hunting with friends Kyle and Kevin Corbett Sunday morning when they found the skull less than a mile from his residence southeast of Great Bend. "Kyle was first to see it," Brown said. "It was laying on a log in the creek." The skull was missing the lower jaw and only had three teeth in the upper jaw, but was mostly intact, he said.
"I suspect it was old — I sure hope it was," Brown said. "My son called me on a cell phone and said ‘we found a human skull.’ I said, ‘Is it real?’"
The Barton County Sheriff’s Office collected the skull and is attempting to determine its age, Undersheriff Larry Holliday said. Photos of the skull will be mailed to Kansas State University.
This isn’t the first time human remains have been discovered in the area along the Wet Walnut. In 1973, the Kansas Historical Society notes, floodwaters of Walnut Creek exposed human bones in the creek bank. They were from the 10 bodies that had been buried in two graves after an attack by Indians — later known as the Massacre at Walnut Creek — on July 17, 1864.
Brown said bullets and American Indian paint pots have also turned up over the years.