To the Close of 1865

by T. F. Robley

Fort Scott, Kansas 1894


Pages 182 - 197


At this session of the Legislature C. F. Drake introduced and had passed a general county seat law, providing for elections for county seats on I petition to the County Court, etc. On the passage of that law the City Council of the City of Fort Scott, of which Mr. Drake was also a member, proposed to the County Court that the city would build a City Hall and in the event that the people, at the proposed election, voted to re-locate the county seat at Fort Scott the use of the City Hall would be given to the county for county purposes. The proposition was accepted by the Board of County Commissioners, and a special election for county seat was held on the nth day of May, 1863. The result of the election was as follows: Fort Scott received 700 votes; Centerville, on Mill Creek, 279 votes; Mapleton, 14 votes; Fort Lincoln, 1 vote, and at a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners on the 16th of May 1863, the last one held at Marmaton, Fort Scott was by proclamation declared the county seat. At this meeting there were present T. W. Tallman, Isaac Ford and E. A. Toles, Commisioners and David R. Cobb, County Clerk.

The city council then took steps for the erection of the City Hall. The location decided on was the South-east corner of Locust and Jones streets, now Second Street and National Avenue. The building was to be of stone, two stories high. The contract was let to Goodlander & Allison for the sum of $3,900. It was completed that fall, except the railing around the spiral stairway, which was never finished. Goodlander made one for it but it didn't fit, and he threw it under the work bench, then he convinced the council that railings were out of style, anyhow.

At a meeting of the City Council held on December 14, 1863, it was on motion, ordered "That the City Marshal notify the county officers that the City Hall was in readiness, and request them to occupy the same."

The county officers then moved in. The County Clerk, Treasurer and Register of Deeds occupied the lower story. The District Court was held in the upper story. And that was the Bourbon County court house for nearly thirty years. When court was not in session the upper story was subject to be used for miscellaneous purposes. Religious services were held there nearly every Sunday by some Denomination which had, as yet, no home of their own. Political meetings and contentions caucused and pulled wires, and long-haired itinerant cranks would occasionally loosen the plastering in expounding their wonderful theories. During the 60's amateur dramatic clubs often "played" under the management of John R. Morley, Geo. Clark and Ken Williams, in a repertoire from "Black-eyed Susan'" to "Hamlet." A "Masquerade Ball" was given at least once a year. The "Masques" were varied, most life-like, and always thoroughly original.

But few incidents of local interest transpired during the year 1863. There was not much done in the way of improvement either in the town or county. The erection of the woollen factory by Geo. A. Crawford was the most important. Port Scott being a military post, a telegraph line was constructed from Fort Leavenworth, and the people had means of communication with the outside world, without having to depend on the often delayed trips of the old "jerky" stage, which the boys said was a "tri-weekly, it went out one week and tried to get back the next" Sometimes it didn't do it. The stage fare between Kansas City and Fort Scott was "ten dollars and carry a rail." Sometimes, when the roads were real good, a man passenger would not have to walk and carry a rail more than a third of the time. When they were very bad he walked all the way, carried his rail, and paid his ten dollars just the same. So. But then he had the privilege of being whirled into town and landed at the Wilder House with a grand flourish. That was worth something.

A good portion of the men of Bourbon County, in common with those of the balance of the State, were in the army. The total number of Kansas troops in the field by the middle of this year was 9,600. A large number went in after that date. Nearly every man living in Kansas during the war was in the service in some shape. If not in the volunteer service he was in the home guards or State militia.

On the 4th of July, 1863, E. A. Smith was promoted to Captain of the 2nd Kansas, or Blair's Battery, and Blair was assigned to the 14th Regiment of Kansas Volunteers as Colonel. He was soon after promoted to Brigadier General, and ordered to Fort Scott as commandant of the post. He remained in command of this post until April 28th, 1865, when he was succeeded by Gen. U. B. Pearsall, who remained in command until the close of the war.


The general election in the State was held on the 3rd of November. District Attorneys, Legislators, and a part of the county officers were to be chosen. Samuel A. Riggs was elected District Attorney for the Fourth Judicial District, consisting of the counties of Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Douglas, Franklin, Johnson, Linn and Miami. The Representatives for Bourbon County were Wm. Stone, R. P. Stevens, D. R. Cobb and J. G. Miller. County Treasurer, James Aitkin; Sheriff, H. G. Moore; Probate Judge, Wm. Rose; Register of Deeds, E. B. Norcross. The new County Board was organized on the next January: T. W. Tallman, E. A. Toles and J. F. Holt, Commissioners, and J. S. Emmert, County Clerk.


Pages 198 - 209


In the early part of 1864 several extensive fortifica-tions were commenced, and finished that spring. J These were quite heavy, well constructed earthworks. uFort Henning" was located on Second street, between National Avenue and Judson street. "Fort Blair" was on First street between Main street and Scott Avenue, and contained the block house now standing across from the post office. '"Fort Insley'' was on the extreme point northeast of the Plaza. There were some barracks and fortifications commenced on the hill southeast of town, and some rifle pits on what we now call Tower Hill. The old Government Hospital building was used for a hospital, and the old guard house was again utilized for the original purpose.
Dr. Van Duyn was the surgeon in charge of hospitals at this post during 1864.


There was but little partisan political feeling in this County at that time. Public sentiment may have found vent, to some extent, in the action of the City Council at a meeting held January 2, at which Councilmen Dimon, White and Drake caused the following order to be spread upon the minutes:
"Ordered: That the Street Commissioner cause a sidewalk to be built from the corner of Wall Street, etc., and provided, that said walks be of two planks one foot wide, 12 inches apart, 2% inches thick, slightly elevated, and pinned to terra firma like h-1."

The old party organizations were kept up, but the sentiments of all were simply for the Union and for the suppression of the rebellion.

At a large Democratic convention held May 23rd, 1864, in the City Hall, for the purpose of electing a delegate to the State Democratic Convention to be held at Topeka, the following resolution, among others, was passed:

''Resolved, That we will vote for no man for Presi-dent or Vice-President who is not pledged to devote all his powers to the suppression of the rebellion, and maintain and defend the Constitution of the Union from all aggression from secession traitors of the South and conspirators of the North."

The meeting was presided over by Robert Blackett. O. Dieffenbaugh was secretary. Charles Bull was chosen delegate to the State Convention.

John E. Himoe, of Mapleton, brother of Dr. S. O. Himoe, while on a trip up the Missouri river, about April 1, 1864, was taken down with the smallpox. He was landed at Boonville with a nurse. While there he became delirious and one night, escaping from the house in that condition, he tried to break in through the window of a neighboring house, and the man inside naturally took him for a burglar and shot him dead. Mr. Himoe was at that time County Surveyor of this county.


About the 20th of May, 1864, Henry Taylor, a noted guerrilla of Vernon County, Mo., made a raid in the Drywood valley. He had a large company with him, some say as many as eighty men. He entered Bourbon County on the south, and first went to the house of William Custard, about ten o'clock at night. Custard had been in bed, but by some means he got warning of their approach, and he and his brother, Rufus, made their escape, just in the nick of time. Taylor run into the house and, in the search, he felt in the warm bed, which Custard had just left.

Taylor then robbed several families and committed other depredations. Finally, on his return out of the county he went to the house of Louis L. Ury, at the place where Garland is now, and surrounded it. There were in the house, Mr. Ury and his wife, his son Joe Ury, and the young children, Newt and the two girls, now Mrs. Homer Pond and Mrs. John Withers, and a Mr. T. Cartmell. Taylor had with him Mike Kelley, John Gwynn and several other prisoners that he had picked up, and intended to get Mr. Ury and his son Joe. After capturing the men folks he moved Newt and the two girls out into the corner of the yard preparatory to burning the house. Just then George Pond, James Pitts and Fred Carpenter, a scouting party from the 3d Wisconsin Cavalry, run onto them and commenced firing, and Joe Ury, as soon as he heard the guns, picked up a stick of wood and knocked Taylor down. When Taylor got up, he called out "shoot the prisoners," and made for his horse. Some of the others of the gang fired at the prisoners, two balls striking Mr. Louis Ury, who was standing in his door. Then the entire party lit out for Missouri, leaving all the prisoners. Mr. Ury's wounds were found to be very serious. His leg had to be amputated and he lingered until the 2nd of July, when he died.

The summer before this occurred, this same Taylor captured a man by the name of Tom Whitesides from the house of Mrs. Beals, east of Fort Scott, and took him to near the u Line House" and killed him, firing twelve shots into him. After the war Taylor was elected sheriff of Vernon county.

About June 1, 1864, a dozen or more bushwhackers made a raid into the county, up on the head of Pawnee Creek, and captured Rev. Mr. Harryman, Mr. Potter, and two or three colored people, and robbed and burned Mr. Harryman's house. The robbers took alarm at the approach of some parties and hastily left without their prisoners.


On the 1st day of June, 1864, a railroad convention in the interest of the Border Tier railway was held at Paola. The delegates from Bourbon County were Geo. A. Crawford, Geo. Dimon, H. T. Wilson, Isaac Stadden, Dr. Freeman and A. Danford. D. P. Lowe and J. D. Snoddy were among those from Linn County.

This was the first concerted effort in the direction of building railroads in this section of the State. Speeches were made and various committees appointed. One committee was appointed to memorialize Congress to grant lands to a border road, setting forth in their me-morial the vast importance of such a road in a military point of view. The people had sat down to an indefinite siege of war. The end seemed far off in the dim future, and they had come to accept it as almost the natural condition.

President Lincoln was nominated for re-election. An immense ratification meeting was held on the 20th day of June, 1864, at Fort Scott. T. T. Insley was President, and J. R. Morley, J. F. White, W. A. Shannon, B. P. McDonald, S. A. Manlove, and Wm. Margrave were Vice-Presidents.

At the Democratic Convention of Topeka, J. Thomas Brldgens of Fort Scott, was appointed one of the candidates for Presidential Elector.

A Republican State Convention met at Topeka on the 8th of September, 1864. On the first ballot for candidate for Governor, George A. Crawford was in the lead, but the opposition concentrated on Samuel J. Crawford, and on the sixth ballot the vote stood: Samuel J. Crawford, 51; Geo. A. Crawford, 31; and Samuel J. Crawford was declared the nominee.


In October, 1864, what is called the Price Raid took place. General Price passed up from Arkansas through Central Missouri, in the direction of Lexington, on the Missouri river. He recruited his army as he advanced until he had about 20,000 effective men. General S. R. Curtis was at Leavenworth, in command of the Department of Kansas. General Curtis's command consisted of part of the 14th and all of the 15th and 16th Kansas, a battalion of the 3rd Wisconsin, a section of the 2d Kansas Battery, a Colorado battery, and the 9th Wisconsin Battery, a total of about 4,500 men. On the 8th of October he proclaimed martial law, and ordered all the U. S. troops into the field to resist Price. Governor Carney called out the State Militia, and ordered them to the Border under General Deitzler, Major General of State Militia. At Fort Scott there were assembled from various points 1,050 men. The most of these were formed into the 24th Regiment of State Militia, with the following field and staflf officers: Colonel, Isaac Stadden; Lieutenant Colonel, John Van Fossen ; Major, Joseph Ury; Adjutant, A. Danford ; Quartermaster, J. Thomas Bridgens; Surgeons, B. F. Hepler and S. O. Himoe.

The companies in the 24th Regiment were officered as follows: Company A, John F. White and C. B. Hayward; Company B, W. C. Dennison and R. D. Lender; Company C, J. B. Skeen, Thomas Barnes and C. B. Maurice; Company D, J. C. Hinkley and Robt. Stalker; Company E, H. T. Coflfman, R. Adams and W. P. Gray; Company F, J. C. Ury, J. B. Cabiness and S. Streeter.

Lieutenant Colonel George P. Eaves, of Uniontown, had a battalion of mounted men, which he raised in the various townships of the county, consisting of seven companies, which had the following named officers: Company A, D. D. Roberts, I. Burton and C. W. Campbell ; Company B, Dyer Smith, D. R. Radden and B. R. Wood; Company C, John J. Stewart, John Blair and E. M. Marshall; Company D, S. B. Mahurin, John Hamilton and J. C. Andrick; Company E, B. F. Gumm, Nathan Baker and William Goff; Company F, Isaac Morris, R. S. Stevens and A. S. Potter; Company G, W. A. Shannon, N. J. Roscoe and D. McComas.

These troops were soon reinforced by militia from Allen and Coffey counties, under Colonel Twiss and Major Goss.

With Colonel Eaves' force and all the mounted troops he could pick up, General Blair left for the field to join Blunt's division, then near Westport, Missouri.

Generals Pleasanton and Sanborn, with about 4,000 men had left Jefferson City, to join the general pursuit.

On the 20th, 21st and 22d, engagements took place respectively at Lexington, Little Blue and Big Blue. The Union troops were victorious. Price was rapidly retreating down the Missouri border, fighting almost continuously. He had 15,000 veteran troops, plenty of field artillery, and such lieutenants as Shelby, Marmaduke, Cabell, Slemmon, Fagan and Graham. Price's army first entered Kansas in Linn county, and a part of it camped, on the 24th of October, just north of the Trading Post, on the exact spot at the base of the big mound near old Jackey Williams farm, where, on that beautiful May day in 1858, the forerunners of this army of invasion had enacted the prologue of the bloody and disastrous scene which was to follow on the next day.

The old gray haired General could still see on that hallowed ground

"The blush as of roses Where rose never grew; Great drops on the bunch grass But not of the dew."

And in his troubled sleep that night, when the lights burned blue, at the dead of midnight, there may have come to him the visions of those murdered men, as "With no vain plea for mercy,

No stout knee was crooked; In the mouths of the rifles

Right manly they looked. How paled the May sunshine,

Green Marais du Cygne, When the death-smoke blew over

Thy lonely ravine!"

On the 25th of October, after a sharp skirmish, the rebel forces retreated to the south side of the Marais des Cygnes, and the entire army was brought to bay, and was formed in line of battle in Mine Creek Valley, near where now stands the City of Pleasanton. It was a grand field for a battle. The open prairie was four or five miles in extent, with only gentle undulations, and the entire force, as well as all the maneuvers of either army, could be plainly seen. The troops under General Blair, Colonel Moonlight and Colonel Crawford were in position nearly on the left flank of the enemy, with Generals Pleasanton, Sanborn, McNiel and Benteen on the center and right. The engagement was general, and for some hours well and hotly contested.

Finally, a brilliant movement was made by Colonels Philips and Benteen, and a brigade under General Cabell of nearly 1,000 men was captured, together with nine pieces of artillery. Generals Marmaduke, Cabell, Slemmer and Graham were also taken prisoners. The enemy now rapidly retreated, their deflection into Missouri, to the southeast, being forced in a great measure by the field maneuvers of General Blair and Colonel Crawford.

Another stand was made by the enemy on the Little Osage in Bourbon County, but McNiel and Pleasanton, who were in advance, soon routed them out; and still another on Shiloh Creek in this county, where we captured two pieces of artillery.


On the 20th of October, just before the battle of Mine Creek occurred, a squad of about twenty-five men, belonging to the command of the old guerilla, Jo Shelby, struck the Osage river about the State line, and went up on the north side. When they got up to Fort Lincoln, they halted in front of the store in that place, owned by Knowles & Green. Andrew Stevens and W. H. Green were near the store door. The bush-whackers at once opened fire on the two men, and Stevens was instantly killed. Green escaped by slipping down under the river bank and making for the brush. Then they plundered the store and burned the building, and the residences of Mr. Knowles, Mr. Green and Mr. Hopkins, after robbing Mrs. Hopkins.

They then crossed the river, and robbed all the families living as far west as Primm's and Armstrong's, and burned the dwellings, hay stacks, and barns belonging to Dick Stafford. Turning back down the Osage, and dividing up into squads, they killed Mr. Woodall and Mr. Miller.


Another raid by guerrillas was made into Bourbon County on the 22nd of October, 1864. On Saturday night of that date, about midnight a company of from forty to sixty men, under command of Allen Matthews and Major Courcey, came up from a southern direction to the neighborhood of Marmaton. Before they reached town some of the neighboring farmers had discovered them and came in ahead and gave the alarm. That night there were about thirty Home Guards quartered in the church, under command of Captain Harding, First Lieutenant Ramsey, and Second Lieutenant J. G. Roush. By order of Captain Harding these men were scattered out in squads of eight or ten to picket the several roads leading into town. In the meantime, the guerrillas, presuming such would be the case, left the main road and charged across lots into town, which they thus found without any defense at all. They then commenced capturing every man they could get hold of, and firing on any they saw trying to run away. They first picked up Colonel Horatio Knowles, Daniel M. Brown, Dr. L. M. Chadwick, Joseph Stout, Abner McGonigle and Warren Hawkins. These men they murdered in the most cold-blooded manner, as fast as they came to them, in some instances taking hold of their victim with one hand and putting a bullet through his head from a revolver in the other. In other cases they would repeatedly shoot into their prisoners while they were down and begging for mercy.
Nelson Ramsey, Wm. Holt, brother of Judge Holt, Rev. Mr. Prigmore, and others, were on the street, and were repeatedly fired at, but they slipped away somehow and hid in the deep ravines near by.

The stores in town were those of Aitkin & Knowles, and Cobb & Jones. These they robbed and then burned. The residence of Mrs. Schoen, widow of Lieutenant Schoen, of Company E, ioth Kansas, the Methodist church, and other buildings were burned.

As soon as possible after the attack, Lieutenant Roush started for Fort Scott to give the alarm and get help in the pursuit of the ruffians. Some of them discovered him and gave him close chase as far as the Catholic Cemetery, when they probably concluded they were near the Fort Scott picket line, and turned back. Lieutenant Roush reported the affair to Colonel Stadden, who ordered out a force in pursuit, but the bushwhackers had too much the start, and being well mounted they got away. In passing out of the county, near Cato, they killed another man, a Mr. Simons, whom Matthews had a special grudge against. They then continued their flight into the Cherokee Nation.

Reliable information is furnished that this Matthews with about twenty of his men, left soon after for the Rocky Mountains, going in a north-westerly direction into the country of the Osage Indians. At a crossing is of the Verdigris river, near where Independence now is, and just after they had crossed, they were met by a large body of Osages who informed them that the Osage people had orders to arrest any and all persons attempting to pass through their country and take them to Fort Scott. Matthews told them they were friends of the tribe, but that they would never submit to be taken alive, especially as prisoners to Fort Scott. A battle then opened, and Matthews and every one of his men were killed. This is the statement as made by Little Bear, who was then Chief of the Osages.

The murders recounted in these raids were the most atrocious and cold-blooded of any that had ever occurred in Bourbon County. The men killed were all good, quiet, peaceable citizens, not identified in any way as partisans, or even active in politics, excepting Horatio Knowles, who had been in the Legislature several years, as has been noted. It was probably not known at the time to what particular rebel command these murderers belonged who raided the Osage valley. The statement is made here that they belonged to the command of the rebel General Jo Shelby, although he was not present in person. The proof of it is given in the following extracts from page 447 of a book published in 1867 by authority of Shelby, called "Shelby and His Men; or War in the West." The author says, in speaking of these raids into Kansas:

"No prisoners were taken, and why should there be? Shelby was leaving Kansas and taking terrible adieus. Hay stacks, houses, barns, produce, crops, and farming implements were consumed before the march of his squadrons, and what the flames spared the bullet finished. Shelby was soothing the wounds of Missouri by stabbing the breast of Kansas. For the victims of Lane and Jennison he demanded life for life and blood for blood. The interest had been com-pounded, but he gathered it to the utmost farthing. Fort Scott lay before him like a picture, mellowed by haze and distance, and the orders for its destruction had gone forth."

And the orders for its destruction would have been fully carried out had it not been for the prompt organization and assembly of the militia.
Price had also determined on the total destruction of the City of Fort Scott. Marmaduke and other rebel officers, while prisoners of war here, repeatedly stated that Price had given orders for the annihilation of Fort Scott as soon as they could get to it.


On the day of the battle of Mine Creek, and for some days previous, the people of Fort Scott and the troops here were naturally in a state of great suspense. They knew, indefinitely, that there had been fighting up north, and that Price was retreating down the border. They had good reason to fear the worst. They had no disposition to cry wolf when there was no wolf, and they fully realized their danger if the rebel army should get at them, and they were nerved up to defend themselves to the best of their ability. They probably did not know at that time of the especial determination and order to destroy the town, but in a general way they knew Price and his men and his methods, and they had every reason to believe that he would attack and destroy Fort Scott, which was then rich in supplies and plunder.

A part of the defensive force was posted on the hills north of town. Entrenchments were thrown up at the river fords, and preparations made for moving the women and children.

About 3 o'clock on the morning of the 25th the cannon boomed forth the alarm. A scout had just arrived with the news that the enemy was at the Trading Post, and it was presumed that their march on Fort Scott would be unchecked. Every man was at his post, and all exhibited the coolness of veteran troops. The morning was rainy, but it cleared up later in the forenoon, Up to 3 o'clock that afternoon no definite news was had of the operations of the two armies. They could hear the boom of the cannon, but they did not know the result of the day. All kinds of rumors were flying. Late in the day large bodies of troops were seen marching on the city. But it was soon ascertained that they were Union troops under Colonel Moonlight. They then learned of the victory at Mine Creek, and that General Blair's command and other forces of the Union army would soon be here. The revulsion of feeling cannot be described. The tense, rigid feeling of suspense and anxiety which had so long held the courageous militia to their work, gave way to exultation and joy.

That night Generals Curtis, Pleasanton, Blunt and Sanborn and their forces came in, bringing the captured rebel Generals and other prisoners, and the captured cannon. The next morning they again took up the march in pursuit of Price, except General Pleasanton and his command, who, after remaining a few days, left for St. Louis with the prisoners and captured artillery. On the 28th, Colonel Stadden of the 24th regiment, issued the following order:

Gen. Order No. 5.

The Colonel commanding takes pleasure at this time in thanking the brave men under his command for the heroism and fortitude displayed during the late crisis. Although not* actively engaged in the field, the cheerfulness displayed is certainly worthy of a veteran corps.

Again he assures you that no one will have occasion to blush for being a member of the First Bourbon.

I. STADDEN, A. DANFORD, Adjutant.Colonel Commanding.


On the next Saturday evening a large public meeting was held in Fort Scott. S. A. Manlove was chosen President, and J. R. Morley, George Dimon, G. A. Reynolds, N. Z. Strong and William Margrave, Vice-Presidents. General Blair, who had returned to his post as Commandant, was called on to speak. The General said he was not there to make a political speech, as he had nothing to do with politics since the war began, and would not have until it closed. He said he desired, however, to do justice to the brave men who had left their homes and kept in the front until Kansas was out of danger. He closed with a detailed description of the battle of Mine Creek, and the military operations along the Border.

As has been stated, General Curtis continued the chase after the rebels, pursuing them to their final de-struction as an army.

This was the last time Bourbon County was threat-ened by the invasion of an armed enemy, and the people soon settled down to some degree of peace and quiet.

The general election was held on the 8th day of No-vember. Samuel J. Crawford was elected Governor and Sidney Clarke, Congressman; A. Danford was elected State Senator from Bourbon County. The Representatives were: Fiftieth District, L. D. Clevenger; Fifty-first, D. L. Campbell; Fifty-second, N. Griswold; Fifty-third, N. Z. Strong. D. M. Valentine was elected Judge of the Fourth Judicial District. D. B. Emmert, District Clerk; Wm. Margrave, Probate Judge, and Nelson Griswold, Superintendent of Schools.

Bourbon County cast 960 votes for Lincoln electors and 126 for the McClellan electors.

The year 1864 has been a season of more than usual disquietude and apprehension, in this county. Besides the operations of the regular Confederate armies, there were many roving bands of guerillas, bushwhackers and marauders swarming along the Missouri border, who took every opportunity to slip into Kansas and commit murder, robbery, theft and any depredation that took their fancy or that occasion permitted.

The bordering section of Missouri was practically without law, civil or military, and these men held full sway in their reign of terror. This state of affairs continued until Priced horde was swept down the Border, and the last remnant of rebellion disappeared.


Pages 210 - 215


The year 1865, while it was laden with events of vast import to the Nation, bore to us but few marked incidents of a local nature. President Lincoln was re-inaugurated on the 4th of March, and was assassinated on the 14th of April. He had, however, lived to see the surrender of Appomattox, and to smilingly approve of Grant's direction to the paroled army of North Virginia: "Take your horses and mules home, you will need them on the farm." He had lived to see the rebellion crushed, and to realize that government by the people should not perish from the earth. Nor will his name. He had reached the apex of human greatness. The Infinite fittingly ordained there should be no descent.


In the spring of 1865 the regular election was held in Fort Scott for city officers. Isaac Stadden was elected Mayor. The Councilmen were A. R. Allison, S. A. Manlove, Charles Rubicam and J. R. Morley. City Marshal, H. C. Jones; Treasurer, C. F. Drake; Recorder, Wm. Margrave; Assessor, J. W. Coutant; Street Commissioner, C. W. Goodlander; Attorney, A. Danford.


In January, i860, S. W. Greer, Superintendent of Schools, made a report of the condition of the schools in the Territory at that date. His figures for Bourbon County are as follows: Number of districts organized, seven. Number of children between the ages of 5 and 21, seventy-four.

The first school district in this county was organized in December, 1859. It was what was afterwards District No. 10. None were organized in i860, and only 45 were organized until after the war, when in 1867 the organization of districts again commenced. At the close of 1865 there were 3,261 children of school age in the county. Many of these were children of refugees who had come in to Fort Scott from Missouri and Arkansas. Through the Ports of C. F. Drake, and a few others, school rooms were furnished and fitted up in the old hospital building and in the old City Hall.

The few school buildings in the county were poorly furnished. The appliances were meager. There was nothing like uniformity in books. The children brought the books which had been used by their parents fifteen or twenty years before, and represented nearly as many different States and kinds of books as there were children. The daily routine was something like this: The reading class would form in line; one scholar read a verse from an old reader commencing, "Rome was an ocean of flame;" the next would read one about "Lo! the Poor Indian;" the next, not having anything but Webster's Spelling Book, read about one of the pictures in the back part, where the girl failed to be able to buy a new dress because the cow kicked over the pail of milk. And so on down the line, until the last one, a little fellow, read the best he could about the wonderful cat.

The facilities for acquiring an education in those times compares but feebly with our grand institutions of the present day. Our trained, competent and efficient professional teachers, with the paternal aid of the State, have wrought a wonderful change. Working through our Normal Colleges and High Schools, they have brought our common school system wellnigh to perfection. Not only that, they have caused the word "Teacher'' to take its rightful place at the head of the list of the learned professions. And also, like Abou Ben-Adhem, "of those who love their fellow-men, their names lead all the rest." "May their tribe increase."


In July, 1865, J. S. Emmert, County Clerk, left among the records of the County an itemized account of the expenses of housekeeping, from which the following extracts are made:

One-half bushel apples, $1.50; one dozen beets, 50 cents; four pounds of butter, $1.25; four dozen eggs, $1.30; four heads of cabbage, 50 cents ; twelve pounds of sugar, $3.00; five pounds of coffee, $5.00; one-half gallon kerosene, $1.00 ; one bushel of potatoes, $2.00; six bars soap, $1.00 ; two chickens, 80 cents ; one peck of onions, 75 cents; one-half pound tea $1.50; fifty pounds flour, $3.50.


The Kansas troops had been or were being mustered out. Their old yellow parchments said they were "honorably discharged." 4tNo objection tore enlistment known to exist." But many of them knew there were objections known to exist-dressed in calico-and they were going to meet those objections, just as soon as possible. A farewell glance was given the faithful old camp kettles and mess pans, in which they had so often cooked coffee and beans and rice and desiccated potatoes, or the chickens and sweet potatoes, turkeys, and pigs, and geese, which somehow found their way into the company messes. They were going home. The orderly sergeant called the roll for the last time. He skipped many names on the original muster-in roll. Some had been discharged for wounds or other disability; many had left their bones in one or the other of a dozen States from Kansas to the Sea.

The record of Kansas in the war is grand. The State sent more soldiers to the war than it had voters in 1861. Its quota under the calls for troops was 12,931; it sent 20,151, without conscription. Nineteen regiments and three batteries participated in more than a hundred engagements, six of which were on Kansas soil. The battlefields from Wilson Creek to the Gulf are consecrated by their blood. Provost Marshal General Fry, in his final reports of the Union Army Roster, wrote this: "Kansas shows the highest battle mortality of the table. The same singular martial disposition which induced about one-half of the able-bodied men to enter the army without bounty may be supposed to have increased their exposure to the casualties of battle after they were in the service."

The regiments and batteries had all made an honor-able record. In the many battles in which they were engaged, there were none of which they were not entitled by General Orders to emblazon the battle-name on the white stripes of "Old Glory."


The people of our county were now turning their attention more than ever before to the pursuits of peace.

For ten years there had existed among our entire people a sense of insecurity and apprehension. It was an epoch of unrest, a decade of bloody strife. No one on retiring to rest at night knew what might occur before another sun. An enemy was always in striking distance. They became accustomed to this state of affairs at times, when the recurrence of some bloody deed would again raise up the nightmare of border strife or civil war.

But all that was at an end. The war was over, and the receding tide had taken with it the flotsam and jet sam of border war.

Fort Scott was rapidly improving. The "Wilder House" and the stone "Miller Block,'' opposite, had been built sometime, and they were classed among the architectural wonders of the State.

The Wilder House was thus named in compliment to A. C. Wilder, who was Congressman from this State, and afterwards stationed for a time at Port Scott in the Commissary Department, and who was, also, a great friend of the Dimon brothers, who built the house. A. C. Wilder was a brother of D. W. Wilder, who is not only well known in Fort Scott but throughout the West.

The "Miller Block" was built by Dr. J. G. Miller, who, as stated, was a Representative in 1865, and a prominent man until his death, some time afterwards.

The military telegraph had been run down the road from Leaven worth in 1863, and its last months of use here by the military, the office was conducted by J. D. McCleverty as chief operator. George A. Crawford had erected a year before a large flouring mill of four run of burrs, probably the largest mill then in the State. Early this year he commenced the erection of a large woollen factory, the largest and best appointed of any one in the West. By fall of this year there could be heard the whirr of a thousand spindles, and the intermittent thump and bang of many looms. The best grade of merchant yarns, blankets, and woollen cloths were manufactured. The wheat and wool of this and adjoining counties were worked up here which found a ready market. This mill and factory were totally destroyed by fire on the night of November 1, 1870. There was no insurance on this property and its loss to Mr. Crawford caused much financial embarrassment. It was also a severe blow to the city of Fort Scott. These mills were the pride of the town, then struggling for a place in the front rank of the manufacturing points in this State, and ambitious even then, to be rated as the principal city of Southern Kansas.

The establishment of a military post at Fort Scott during the war was, of course, of material advantage to it. While much of the business was of a transitory nature, a very considerable amount of it was of legitimate wholesale trade, and the retail trade with the surrounding country was very extensive.

Among the largest business houses at the close of 1865 may Denoted the following: Dry Goods Wilson, Gordon & Ray, A. McDonald & Bro., J. F. White, J. R. Morley & Co., Wm. Roach, Rosenfield & Co., Sanderson & Thomas, Shannon & Seavers, A. J. Lagore, and Jones & Cobb. Groceries Linn & Stadden, G. R. Bodine, A. Cohen, Ernich & Lender, E. M. Insley, Van Fossen Bros., Parker & Tomlinson, and Pennington & Secrist. Hardware C. F. Drake and Rubicam & Dilworth. Bankers A. McDonald & Bro. Book Store S. A. Manlove. Livery Stables Benj. Files, P. Clough, H. Dimon, S. A. Olds, and Chas. Walker. Watch Maker D. Prager. Tailors R. Blackett and J. Winter. Harness Maker Hartman & Co. Plasterer A. Coston. Shoemaker John Crow. Cabinet Makers S. O. Goodlander and Wm. C. Weatherwax. Wagon Maker John A. Bryant. Blacksmiths W. H. Dory, Moses Boire and C. J. Neal. Drug Stores D. S. Andrick & Co. and W. C. Dennison & Co. Barbers Ed. Henderson and Joe Barker. Carpenter C. W. Goodlander. Masons John Higgins and Billy Shan-nehan. Physicians B. F. Hepler, J. H. Couch, J. S. Redfield, S. O. Himoe, H. M. Timmonds, J. C. Van Pelt, etc. Lawyers Too many, as usual.

The rest of the fellows kept saloons.

The principal business part of the town was then on Market street called Bigler street then-and North Main street. A. McDonald & Bro. store was in a long one-story frame house, fronting on Scott avenue, and running along Wall street to the alley. The "Banking House" was in the rear end of it, with an entrance on Wall street.

The other business houses, on Market and Main Streets, were all one and two story frame buildings, many of them but little better than board shanties. Most of the business houses on these streets were burned in the great fire of April 23, 1873.

A very good county fair was held at Fort Scott on October 12, 1865. G. A. Crawford, David Gardner, A. Goff, and N. C. Hood, were the officers.

The general election for 1865, was held on the 2nd of November. In Bourbon County D. B. Emmert was elected as State Senator to fill a vacancy.

The Representatives elected were as follows: 50th District, W. H. Green; 51st, J. L,. Wilson; 52nd, Nelson Griswold ; 53rd, C. W. Blair. General Blair ran against W. A. Shannon, a very popular republican, and was elected by a vote of 264, as against 145 for Shannon.

The ruling prices of some of the staple provisions in the fall and winter of 1865, in the Fort Scott market were as follows: Wheat, $2.50 per bushel; flour, $10 per hundred; corn meal, $2.75 per bushel; oats, $2 per bushel; corn, $2.50 per bushel; sugar, 33 to 50c per pound; coffee, Rio, 66%c per pound; coffee, Java, 75c per pound; teas, $2.50 to $3.50 per pound; rice, 30c per pound; molasses, $1.50 to $3 per gallon; butter, 50c per pound; cheese, 40c per pound; eggs, 60c per dozen; potatoes, $4 to $4.50per bushel; turnips, $2 per bushel; green apples, $3.50 to $4 per bushel; dried apples, $5 per bushel.

In the summer of 1865 the Kansas & Neosho Valley Railroad Company was organized at Kansas City, Mo. The initial point of this road was to be at Kansas City. The Southern terminus and direction was undetermined. Official communication was opened with our County Board with a view to having Bourbon County take $150,000 in stock of the Company. After some correspondence the Board finally required that the name of Fort Scott be incorporated in tKe name of the Company and road, and suggested "Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf" as such name. The Company at once agreed to make the change, and at a meeting on November 18th, the Board ordered an election to be held on the 16th day of December, 1865, on tne question of voting $150,000 in county bonds. The election resulted as follows: Osage Township voted 41 for, none against; Freedom 65 for, 4 against; Timberhill 49 for, 33 against; Franklin 4 for, 87 against; Marion 17 for, 67 against; Marmaton 36 for, 29 against; Scott 493 for, none against. Total, 705 for, and 220 against. And the first preliminary struggle for a railroad through Bourbon County was over. This road was completed to Fort Scott in the fall of 1869.

In November, 1865, County Assessor, Mr. E. Brown, made his official returns, from which the following figures are taken:

Population White males, 4,954; white females, 4,282; black males, 379; black females, 418. Total population of the county, 10,033. Fort Scott contained about 1,800 inhabitants, who were actual citizens. The total valuation, real and personal, (which the assessor returned together) of the entire county, was $1,442,687.00. During the fiscal year of 1865 there was harvested and manufactured the amounts and articles following: Wheat harvested, 28,676 bushels. Rye, 3,621; Corn, 206,297; Oats, 15,352. Irish potatoes, 5,591; sweet potatoes, 821. Butter, 14,498 lbs. Cheese, 11,907 pounds. Sorghum molasses, 7,606 gallons. Hay, 15,565 tons. Total number of acres of land fenced, 34,344.

Acres of land improved, 25,687. Number of horses, 2,702; number of mules, 301; number of milch cows, 3,630; number of oxen, 603; number of other cattle, 5,209; number of sheep, 6,345; number of swine, 2,638. Value of live stock, $476,295.

The population of the county had increased about 4,000 since the enumeration of 1860.

There was no census, even approximate, of the population of Fort Scott in 1865. There was a large "floating population" of refugees and indiscriminate and indescribable people, white and black, who had, practically, no home or residence anywhere, to the number of 1,000 or more.

The actual number of bona fide citizens was probably less than 1,800. The tax roll of the city bears less than 400 names.


The close of the year 1865, is deemed the fitting period to close this volume of the History of Bourbon County. It is the closing point of an Era. Old "Time" here rested his scythe for a moment, and turned the sand in his glass.

A final tribute should be paid to our men and women, one and all, the living and the dead, who came to this county in early times to help found a State.

They sacrificed all the established comforts of their homes in the old States to found new homes in this semi-wilderness. They came with no misunderstanding . as to the state of the country or the political and social conditions. They came with their eyes wide open, each well knowing that his life here, for many years, must be and would be a life of hardship, self-denial and danger. As a class, they were a superior people; superior in that stamina of character; superior in that native manhood and womanhood which goes to make up the "salt of the earth." Poor they were in purse, but rich in integrity of purpose.

At the old fireside, a young man, "the flower of the flock," the one widest between the eyes, stood out from the family circle and said: "Sis, pack my carpet-bag, I'm going to Kansas." "Sis" was probably to follow as soon as a certain young man had a cabin and ten acres of sod corn.

And so they came. Sometimes one, alone, sometimes the entire family.

Many have passed over to the other side. Many have reached what the man of Avon called the "chair age." A few are still in. the vigor of life. All passed through a life's experience such as will come to no other people. They all played a part in that grand drama which closed the heroic epoch in politics and war. They watched, step by step, the political legislation, and the unfolding, like the bloom of the deadly night-shade, of the divergent sentiments among the people of the two great Sections. They saw the result-ing partisan strife, of which Bourbon County was the storm center, and the culmination in bloody civil war. They saw the primal cause-that exudation from the dark ages go down forever on the very spot of its origin, "the Plantations on the river James.n They saw the wayward sisters, as from a pathway through a burning forest, emerge into the sunlight. They saw civilization, cradled on the rock of Sinai and crowned on the rock of Plymouth,-plant here another guidon under the rising battle-smoke of 1865.

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