Oh What A Difference An ‘S’ Can Make When Talking About One Most Historic Morris County Area On ‘Diamond Creek’
By Frank J. Buchman
The “spring” is west of 2200 Road, about 2.5 miles south of the intersection of U.S. 56 and K-177 highways. It is not visible from the county road. Town site of Diamond Springs, with an “s,” is about 6.5 miles south of the intersection of U.S. 56 and K-177. Ranchers in the area today often readily acclaim their ranches as being in the Diamond Springs community. In the 1825 survey of the Santa Fe Trail, the spring was named Jones Spring by U.S. Commissioner George Sibley, McClintock informed. That was in acknowledgement of Ben Jones, a hunter with the survey party, who discovered it on August 11, 1825. It was not until Sibley re- surveyed part of the route in 1827 that he renamed the spring “The Diamond of the Plain.” A guide “Big John” Walker carved that name on an elm tree which overhung the spring. “For trivia,” McClintock said, “he was the same ‘Big John’ Walker who, also in 1827, discovered the Big John Spring.” East of Council Grove, Big John Spring, from which Big John Creek was named, is also known as Fremont Spring.
Frequently if not nearly always, Diamond Spring and Diamond Springs are synonymous in lay conversation. That’s inaccurate, but both are important to the history of Morris County. Likewise both Diamond Spring and Diamond Springs had important roles for early travelers and settlers. Particularly that was true for those following the Santa Fe Trail during years of existence. Okay, for quick reading scanners, clarification is necessary. Diamond Spring is a “natural spring of water” providing the most essential nutrient then and now: water. Early day prose and writings, describe Diamond Spring as having “clean sweet water sparkling like diamonds.”
Diamond Springs, that’s “Springs plural,” with an “s” at the end, was a community developed to serve railroad transportation. It is a “ghost town” today with only few reminders of what once was. If this sounds complicated, it certainly can be for interested historians looking back nearly two centuries; that’s 200 years. Timeframe perspective, Diamond Springs Post Office closed in 1930. Yet, the southwest Morris County community remains served by United School District 417. According to Kenneth W. McClintock, likely Morris County’s most deliberately thoroughly accurate historian; Diamond Spring is located on private property.
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