ANDERSON COUNTY, KANSAS
THE HISTORY OF ANDERSON COUNTY, KANSAS
FROM IT'S FIRST SETTLEMENT TO THE FOURTH OF JULY, 1876
BY W. A. JOHNSON, CHAIRMAN OF HISTORICAL COMMITTEE
PUBLISHED BY KAUFFMAN & ILER, GARNETT PLAINDEALER, 1877
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1877 by KAUFFMAN & ILER, In the office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C.
On the 13th day of May, A. D. 1876, there was a meeting of citizens of Anderson county at the county hall in Garnett (commonly known as the "old settlers' meeting"), for the purpose of taking the necessary steps to prepare, compile and publish a full and complete history of the county from its earliest settlement to the 4th day of July, 1876.
At this meeting a committee of sixteen persons, selected from different parts of the county, was appointed, and instructed to collect all matters and items of interest in their respective localities, and report at a future meeting. The following are the names of the gentlemen appointed: W. A. Johnson, S. Kauffman, A. Simons, J. W. Vaughn, John Moler, B. M. Lingo, J. H. Wolken, Zar Bennett, A. G. West, T. J. Day, M. E. Osborn, Wm. Denny, C. E. Dewey, Preston Bowen, J. Y. Campbell, I. P. Sutton.
This committee organized by the election of Solomon
Kauffman, chairman, and Charles E. Dewey, Preston Bowen, J. Y. Campbell, I. P. Sutton.
At the adjourned meeting of the committee, May 20, an executive committee was appointed, consisting of W. A. Johnson, A. Simons, J. Y. Campbell, Dr. Preston Bowen, Charles E. Dewey and Solomon Kauffman, who were instructed by the original committee to receive the reports of members of the historical committee, and to collect from all available sources all facts and matters of interest necessary to form the basis of the history, to write up, compile and prepare the same for publication, delegating to the executive committee full authority to select from their number, or outside of the committee, a suitable person or persons as historians to write up and prepare the same for publication, and to publish the history in book or pamphlet form.
The committee organized by the election of W. A. Johnson, chairman, and Solomon Kauffman, secretary, and proceeded to appoint the necessary committees, and to apportion the work among them.
At a subsequent meeting of the executive committee (June 24), W. A. Johnson was selected as the historian, to compile and write up from the material furnished, and from the records and other sources, and complete the history, the committee to give every assistance in their power in the collection of material for the same.
The manuscript being prepared and ready for publication, a meeting of the executive committee was called (January 27, 1877), to provide for its publication. There being no funds in the hands of the committee, the following proposition, presented by the firm of Kauffman & Her was accepted:
"That if the executive committee will turn over to Kauffman & Her a subscription list of 125 books, at $1.25 per copy, that they will publish 500 copies of the history, of the style heretofore agreed upon, cloth binding, and of the manuscript prepared by W. A. Johnson, and supposed to make about 250 pages, and will sell the same at $1.25 per copy, without any further expense to the said committee."
W. A. JOHNSON, Chairman. SOLOMON KAUFFMAN, Secretary.
Anderson county is located in the second tier of counties west from Missouri, fifty miles south of the Kansas river, and seventy miles north of the Indian Territory. It is twenty-four miles square, contains five hundred and seventy-six square miles, and is well supplied with water by the following streams: North Pottowatomie, flowing across the northern portion, with the following tributaries in the north and west: Sac creek, Ianthe creek, Kenoma creek, Elm creek, Thomas creek and Cherry creek ; Cedar creek and South Pottowatomie, rising in the central portion, flowing north into the North Pottowatomie ; Sugar creek with its numerous branches, in the eastern portion, flowing east into Linn county; the Little Osage river, with its numerous tributaries, in the southeast, flowing southeast through Bourbon county; Deer and Indian creeks, flowing south through Allen county. These are all streams of pure, living water, abounding with fine fish. Along most of these streams abundance of good timber is found, consisting of black walnut, burr oak, red oak, hickory, elm, hackberry, sycamore, hard and soft maple, basswood, cottonwood, wild cherry, locust and mulberry. The alluvium or bottom prairies are found along all of these streams, being as fine quality of land as can be found in the State, the soil being from two to five feet deep. The general surface of the country is a gentle, rolling prairie, with a few steep hills or bluffs, interspersed with many beautiful mounds and high ridges. The soil is of fine quality, and is admirably adapted to the growing of the cereals, fruit, hemp, flax, tobacco, potatoes, castor beans, broom corn and every variety of products commonly grown in this latitude.
A superior quality of sand stone, for building purposes, is found in the western and central parts of the county. Limestone is found in most portions. A fair quality of stone coal is found in the northwestern and southeastern portions.
Bottom land, 10 percent; upland, 90 percent; timber, 6 percent; prairie, 94 percent; average width of bottom, about two miles.
A more specific description of the different portions of the county will be found in the chapters relating to the different townships.
History of the First Settlement by the Pottowatomie Indians in 1837-Their Removal in 1854-First Settlement by Whites in 1854
Organization of the Territory-The several Elections in 1855-6-Organization of Anderson County
Appointment of County Officers-Locating First County Road-Locating Permanent County Seat- First Term of District Court-Organization of Pottowatomie Rifle Company-They Break up Cato's Court at Shermanville
NOTED SETTLERS, ELECTIONS, BORDER RUFFIANS
Noted Settlers of 1855-Election of Delegates to Topeka Constitutional Convention-Election on Adoption of Constitution-Election of State Officers under Topeka Constitution-Noted Settlers of 1856-Territory Overrun with Border Ruffians-The Probate Judge, County Commissioners and Sheriff Flee the Country-John Brown with his Company Marching to the Rescue of Lawrence-United States Troops Sent to Pottowatomie
POTTOWATOMIE GUARDS, FIRST CELEBRATION, BATTLES, SUFFERING
Organization of Pottowatomie Guards-Celebration of Fourth of July, 1856-Struggle between. Free State Men and Border Ruffians-Battle of Middle Creek- How a Ruffian Lost his Nose-Raid on Pottowatomie -Battle of Osawatomie-Great Suffering among Settlers
NEW SETTLERS, TOWNSITES, STEAM MILL
Arrival of C. E. Dewey and Party from Ohio-First Settlement on South Pottowatomie-Death of Bear- Survey of Government Land-Location of Kansas City,or Ianthe,Townsite-Selection of Garnett Town-site-Arrival of Louisville Colony, with Machinery for Steam Mill-Prominent Settlers of Garnett in 1858-9
POLITICAL-MEETINGS, COUNTY OFFICERS, ELECTIONS, CELEBRATION, SICKNESS
Mass Meeting at Hyatt-First Meeting in Garnett- County Officers Appointed-Election of Delegates to Lecompton Constitutional Convention-Free State Convention at Sac and Fox Agency-Celebration of the Fourth of July at Greeley-Dividing the County into Municipal Townships-Free State Conventions at Simons' and at Hyatt-First Election for County Officers-Vote of the Precincts, except Shannon, thrown out by Probate Judge-Letter Giving Reasons for Same-Free State Convention at Grasshopper Falls-Sickness in the Fall of 1857
ELECTIONS, PROBATE COURT, PUBLIC BUILDINGS
Commissioners to Attend Voting Precincts-Election under Lecompton Constitution-Resignation of County Officers-Appointment of Agent to Contest Claim-Election of Delegates to Leavenworth Constitutional Convention-Election of County Officers -Election- on Leavenworth Constitution-Jurisdiction of Probate Courts-Troubles in West Part of the County-Contract to Erect Public Buildings - Vote on Lecompton Constitution
CONVENTIONS, ELECTIONS, MAIL ROUTES, BORDER TROUBLES, REPUBLICAN MEETING
Convention at Ottumwa-Election of Members of Territorial Legislature-Establishing Mail Routes in Southern Kansas-Free State Men Called on to Defend Settlers in the. Border Counties-Posse from Coffey County Arrests Settlers of Anderson County- Burning of Painter's and Fox's Cabin by a Mob-Marais des Cygne Massacre-John Brown's Parallels-Liberation of Slaves-Squatters' Court Organized in Anderson, Linn and other Counties-First Meeting of the Republicans of Anderson County
POISONING, HORSE STEALING, MURDERS, TRIALS
Attempt to Poison Banta-Trial of Theodore Royer for Horse Stealing-His Suspicious Disappearance-Marriage of Leon Phillips and Sarah Potter-His Death- Her Arrest for Murder-Examination, Escape. Return, Re-arrest and Trial-Murder of James Lowry- Trial of his Murderers-Conviction of Ford-His Pardon by the Governor-Trial and Acquittal of Tustesoii and Knouff-Murder of Mrs. Adaline Duren- Capture and Execution of the Murderer
TAX, VALUATION, ROADS, ELECTIONS, POLITICAL, DROUTH
First Tax Levy-Valuation on First Assessment-Appointment of County Superintendent of Public Instruction-Location of Territorial Roads-Election of Delegates to the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention-Adoption of the Constitution-Organization of Political Parties-Election of State and County Officers-Drouth of 1860, &c,
THE WEATHER, FIRES, INDIANS
Severity of the Winters of 1855-6 and 1856-7, and Mildness of those of 1857-8 and 1858-9-Prairie Fires-Sac and Fox Indians
BRIGHT AND GLOOMY PROSPECTS, RAILROAD COMPANIES, VOLUNTEERS, NEW PARTY
Bright Prospects of 1858-9-Organization of Railroad Companies-Gloomy Forebodings of 1860-Relief Committees-Organization of Volunteer Companies -Hardships Endured by the Women of the County- Organization of New Party, Called Farmers and Mechanics Union Association-Election in 1861
SENATORS, REPRESENTATIVES, JUDGES, COUNTY OFFICERS
Successive State Senators-Members of the House of Representatives-Judges of the District Court-County Officers
ACCIDENTS AND MISFORTUNES
Shooting of Tipsword-Drowning of Lester Dart- Christian Feuerborn Killed by Indians-Josiah Kellerman, his Wife and two Children Burned to Death in a Prairie Fife-James A. Town and Son Drowned in Potto watomie Creek-Levi L. Hay den frozen to Death
AID TO RAILROADS
Various Bond Propositions to Aid Railroad Companies to Build Railroads-The Orders for Submission and the Result of the Elections thereon
GARNETT, PUBLIC BUILDINGS, BUSINESS MEN, OFFICERS
Contest over Townsite-Removal of J. Y. Campbell, Probate Judge-Appointment of Charles Hidden- Pre-emption of Townsite-Public Buildings-Business Houses-Business Men-Successive City Officers and Postmasters
NEWSPAPERS, FAIR ASSOCIATION, RAILWAYS, SOCIETIES, POSTOFFICES
The Garnett Plaindealer, the First Paper in the County -Garnett Courant, Established in 1868-Garnett Journal, Established in 1873-Organization of Anderson County Fair Association-Organization of the Paola & Fall River Railway Company-Charitable Societies-Postoffices and Postmasters
CATTLE DISEASE, GRASSHOPPERS, THE SEASONS
Spanish Fever among Cattle-Locusts, or Grasshoppers-Synopsis of the Seasons
Religious Zeal of the Early Settlers-Churches-Educational Interests-Formation of School Districts- Building School Houses-Value of School Buildings, &c.
Names of Prominent Men, and Incidents
MURDERS AND TRIALS
Murder of Allen G. Poteet-Escape of his Murderer- Murder of James Jackson by D. R. Pattee-Murder of James Day by David Stewart-Murder of William Hamilton by John "W. Chamberlain-Trial of Dr. Medlicott for the Murder of I. M. Ruth
Names of Soldiers who Served in the Army for the Suppression of the Rebellion-Names of the Heroic Dead who Sacrificed their Lives in the cause of their Country
Trials of Felonies, less than Murder
Organization-Settlement-Prominent Men-Elections -Successive Officers
Organization - Settlement - Towns - Elections-Successive Officers
Boundaries-Organization-Streams- Soil - Timber-Prominent Settlers from 1855 to 1860-First School-First Marriage-First Deaths-Successive Officers
Early Settlements - Boundaries - Organization-Officers
Organization-Prominent Settlers-First School District-First
Church Building-Mount Carmel College -Successive Officers
Boundaries- Organization-Prominent Settlers-Elba Town Company-Successive Officers
Organization-Streams-First Election-Town of Colony-Ohio and Indiana Colony-Successive Officers
Boundaries-Soil-Streams-Timber-Coal-Early Settlers-First Election-Successive Officers
INDIAN CREEK TOWNSHIP
Organization-First Settlement-Soil-Streams-Successive Officers
On the 24th of June, 1876, I was selected by the historical committee to write out and prepare for publication a history of the county from its first settlement to the present time. I accepted the appointment, and at once entered upon the work of collecting the incidents connected with the settlement of the territory now embraced within the limits of Anderson county. The settlement of this portion of the Territory followed so closely on the passage by Congress of the 'Kansas-Nebraska bill, with the repeal of the Missouri compromise, that many incidents of the early struggles of this section have undergone Congressional investigations, and have consequently already passed into our national history.
In order to give a full and complete history of the first settlement of the county, I commenced with the settlement of the Pottowatomie Indians, in 1837, and their numerous settlements along the Pottowatomies since, with their removal, and the first white settlements, in 1854, and have carefully written up the many thrilling adventures and hardships encountered by the bold and hardy pioneers who left their homes in civilized communities and took up their line of march in covered wagons, across the pathless prairies and through the wild jungles that lay in their course, until their arrival at their new and romantic settlements, where they intended to make their future homes, and to help open up the wild prairies and beautiful valleys and establish freedom, and make it a civilized community and a desirable country for future generations. The bitter controversy between contending parties in the first settlement of the Territory-one intent upon establishing a government for the new State recognizing and sustaining the institution of slavery; the other contending for a government recognizing the freedom of all mankind, as free and equal under the law-has been touched upon. I have also given the first settlements in the different portions of the county; the selection of town sites, their settlement and progress, or decline, as the facts required; the location and settlement of different colonies, with a brief sketch of the more noted settlers prior to 1860; the many elections in Territorial days; mass meeting's, political conventions, railroad meetings, organization of rail road companies, locating roads and post offices, location of county seats, first term of court, and the manner in which business was conducted in the courts for several years; dividing the county into municipal townships and school districts, the building of school houses, church organizations and building church edifices, giving names of the successive state senators, representatives, judges of the district, court and county officers, from the organization of the county to the present time, with dates of election or appointment, and the time served by each; a brief statement of the organization of each township, its settlements and successive township officers; also, a synopsis of seasons, crops, visitation of locusts or grasshoppers, Spanish fever among cattle, and the full particulars of all the murders and murder trials in the county. I have carefully prepared a list of the names of the brave men who served in the army for the suppression of the rebellion, giving the company and regiment in which each served; also the names of the heroic dead who sacrificed their lives in the service of their country.
I have endeavored to furnish a true and impartial history of the county from its first settlement to the present, and in as brief a manner as possible to do justice to all. In the preparation of this history, I collected the facts from the imperfect and partial records of the county, and detached papers in the county offices, from files of old newspapers, old letters, and from the recollection of many of the early settlers, as well as my own recollection.
The design of this history is to preserve for the people of Anderson county an imperishable record of its early history, now existing only in the memory of its earliest settlers and in scattered and. detached papers and records, which are now fast wasting away.
I have tried to avoid partiality or favor to any particular person or place. What I have written has been with a desire to present the facts, and I now present these matters to the public for their candid perusal and unbiased judgment, hoping that it will meet the approval of my fellow citizens who have helped contribute to the transactions that go to make up this history.
W. A. JOHNSON
back to Index Page
Copyright © 2010 to Kansas Genealogy Trails' Anderson County host & all Contributors
All rights reserved