HISTORY OF BUTLER COUNTY, KANSAS

By Vol. P. Mooney

1916

DEDICATED

TO THE MEMORY OF MY WIFE,

FRANCES E. MOONEY,

WHO FELL ASLEEP - CROSSING THE GREAT DIVIDE - FEBRUARY TWENTY - FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN. FOR FORTY YEARS MY COMPANION AND FRIEND; ALWAYS ASSISTING, NEVER HINDERING; LIVING ON THE SUNNY SIDE, REFUSING THE CLOUDS; WHOSE COMING BROUGHT DELIGHT AND GLADNESS; WHOSE DEPARTURE TOOK AWAY THE MOTIVE, THE INCENTIVE, THE INSPIRATION OF LIFE, LEAVING AN EXISTENCE OF CHAOS, DESOLATION AND GLOOM. HER HOUSEHOLD WAS HER JOY; HER HOME HER TREASURE; HER FRIENDS HER PRIDE; HER FAITH IN ALMIGHTY GOD, AND THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL, HER COMFORT. "HER CHILDREN RISE UP AND CALL HER BLESSED; HER HUSBAND ALSO, AND HE PRAISETH HER."

VOL. P. MOONEY.

FOREWORD

"Histories are as perfect as the historian is wise and is gifted with an eye and a soul." Carlyle.

The contributors to this work, the historians, are men and women, writing from personal knowledge, personal observation, and personal experience; those that have made, created, and assisted in making and creating that of which they write. That they are wise and gifted and endowed with, and possessed of both eye and soul, is a self - evident fact; and the reader will be convinced that they speak that which they do know. This history being based upon such evidence, which becomes the best evidence attainable, its reliability, its perfection, and its authenticity, are assured.

The history of Butler county is the history of an empire. While many of those pioneers of early days have taken their chamber in the silent halls of death, have gone to that country from whose bourne no traveler hath ever yet returned, yet a goodly number remain among us; ripe in years, experience and information. From them we learn of those whose brain and brawrn laid, and assisted in laying the foundation of what is today a county. "Magnificent in its greatness and great in its magnificence" a county with a diversity of interests and resources practically unlimited; a county where school houses and church spires are always in sight; a county whose people are happy, contented and prosperous, possessed of refinement and culture, attained unto an intellectual level; and equipped to meet the broader view and higher purpose of the civilized world.

As,we contemplate the results of the efforts of these hardy, earnest early settlers, and realize the wonderful transformation by reason thereof, and as we enjoy the fruits and benefits of their labors, their toil, their hardships, their sacrifices, our hearts go out in thankfulness to Almighty God for that American spirit possessed by our ancestry, which battles, builds, creates, and makes two blades of grass grow where but one grew before.

The reminiscences of these pioneers form a most essential, valuable and interesting portion of this work. There is nothing mythical or legendary contained in them. They are not dream stories, but reliable and authentic stories of the men and women, boys, and girls of early days. Their romances, their trials, tribulations and triumphs. They who stayed, who endured, who conquered, who are entitled to, and who will receive greater things in the days to come.

Grateful acknowledgment is hereby made to the press of Butler county, and to those whose kindness of heart and whose ready pen have rendered material assistance in the preparation of this work; and to those pioneer men and women whose, lives and experiences make this history possible, a great many of whom are no longer here, but whose memory remains like unto a benediction; and to my daughter, Corah Adelaide Mooney, for her efficient help.

Recognition is made of the following bibliography used in the preparation of this book: Kansas State Historial Collection; Wilder's Annals of Kansas; Kansas in American Commonwealths, by Leverett W. Spring; History of Kansas, William C. Cutler; Cyclopedia of State, F. W. Blackmar; Kansas Session Laws, Bulletins, Pamplets, Records, etc.

VOL. P. MOONEY.

El Dorado, Kans., September, 1916.

CHAPTER I.

ORGANIZATION

Named in Honor of Andrew P. Butler - Early Influence Indicated in Name - One of the Original Thirty - three Counties - First and Later Boundaries - First County Seat - Township Bound aries - Organization of Townships - Districts - Topography - Products - Herd Law - Fences ; Pages 33 - 40

CHAPTER II.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Pre - Historic Red Man - Coronado's Visit in 1541 - Native Indian Tribes - Indian Character - Early Trails - Evidences of PreHistoric Occupation of Butler County - Indian Relics - Village and Camp Sites - Indian Traditions - Indian Implements Pages 41 - 46

CHAPTER III.

FIRST EVENTS

First Settler - Births - Marriages - Postoffices - Stores - Schools - Churches - Court Records and Procedure - Official Acts - Elections - Assessment and First Valuation - Present Valuation Pages 47 - 53

CHAPTER IV.

COUNTY SEAT AND COURT HOUSE

First County Seat - County Seat Elections - First Court House - Bond Issue Defeated - Citizens' Subscription - Further County Seat Contention - Court House Enlarged - New Court House - Location - Building - Cost - Extinct Towns. Pages 54 - 62

CHAPTER V.

INDIAN HISTORY AND EARLY TIMES

The Plains - Dawn of Era - Primitive Times - First Settlement - Indian Perils and Scares - Cherokees Come - Indian Trading Posts - Camps - Settlement Prior to 1870 - Settlement in1857 - Drouth of 1860 - Home Defense Company Organized - Butler County in the Civil War - First Settler in El Dorado - Cholera - Early Settlers - Postoffice - First Fourth of July Celebration - Homesteading Pages 63 - 74

CHAPTER VI.

PERMANENT SETTLEMENT

Real Settlement - Pioneer Women - Erection of Saw Mills - Pioneer Life - Amusements - Grasshopper Year - Devastation - Reaction - Brighter Hopes - "Sleep, Old Pioneer" - Afterwards - Public Enterprises - Prosperity - Now  Pages 75 - 85

CHAPTER VII.

TRANSPORTATION

Highways in Early Days - Freighting - Government Trains - Mathewson - Stage Coaches - Experiences of Stage Coach Days - Stage Drivers - Passing of the Stage Coach Days - Railroads - First Railroad Bonds Voted - Another Bond - Election - Santa Fe - Missouri Pacific - Frisco - Communication - Pioneer Mail Carrier - Star Route - Automobiles. Pages 86 - 94

CHAPTER VIII.

TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS

Augusta Township - Benton Township - Bloomington Town ship - Bruno Township - Chelsea Township - Clay Town Ship - Clifford Township - Douglass Township Pages 95 - 119

CHAPTER IX.

TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS

El Dorado Township - City of El Dorado - Location - Early Industries - Name - First Postoffice - First Hotel - Railroads - Walnut Valley Times - El Dorado in 1870 - From the Walnut Valley Times of March, 1881 - El Dorado in 1916 Pages 120 - 152

CHAPTER X.

TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS

Fairmount Township - Fairview Township - Glencoe Township - Hickory Township - Lincoln Township - Little Walnut Township - Leon - Logan Township Pages 153 - 170

CHAPTER XI.

TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS

Milton Township - Murdock Township - Pleasant Township - Plum Grove Township - Prospect Township Pages 171 - 192

CHAPTER XII.

TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS

Richland Township - Rock Creek Township - Rosalia Township - Spring Township Pages 193 - 214

CHAPTER XIII.

TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS

Sycamore Township - Towanda Township - Towanda - Union Township - Walnut Township Pages 215 - 235

CHAPTER XIV.

POLITICAL HISTORY

Early Political Views - Judicial Districts - First Election - Character of Officers - First Township Officers - An Independent Party - First Conventions - Political Parties - Farmers' Alliance and Populism - Free Silver Party - Last Election - Senators - Representatives - County Commissioners - County Clerks - County reasurers - County At torneys - Sheriffs - Clerks of the District Court - Registrar of Deeds - Probate Judges - Superintendents of Public Instruction - County Surveyors - County  Assessors - County - Health Officers Pages 236 - 249

CHAPTER XV.

COURTS AND THE BAR

Early Judicial Districts - "No Man's Land" - County Lines in1864 - County Seat Changed - Early Lawyers and Law Suits - First Deed Recorded - First and Second Terms of Court - Horse Thieves - Vigilance Committees - Lynchings - "Butler County War" - Criminal and Civil Cases - Attorneys Pages 250 - 261

CHAPTER XVI.

MEDICAL PROFESSION

Physicians of this Generation - Qualifications - Experiences - Pioneer Physicians - Advance of the Science - Surgery - Hospitals .Pages 262 - 263

CHAPTER XVII.

AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Society - First Fairs - Kafir Corn Carnival - Changes in Methods - Alfalfa - Kafir - Increase of CropAcreage - Market Conditions - Oats and Wheat - Progress - "Kafir Corn" - County Farm 264 - 270

CHAPTER XVIII.

LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY

Early Day Horses - Trotting Stock - Some Fast Ones - Draft Horses - Mules - First Cattle - Losses from Severe Winters - Cattle Raising as a Business - Effect of Herd Law - First Cows - Breeders - Finest Herd of Herefords in the World Pages 271 - 274

CHAPTER XIX.

HORTICULTURE

Wild Fruits of Pioneer Times - First Orchards - Plant Disease - Insects - Investment - Butler County Horticultural Society - Successful Fruit Growers - Orchards - Native Trees - Native Flowers Pages 275 - 280

CHAPTER XX.

OIL AND GAS

Supply of Fuel - Deep Test in 1879; - Other Tests - First Company Organized to Drill for Oil - Early Geologists, Reports Discouraging - Company Organized at Augusta - First Gas Discovered West of the Flint Hills Near Augusta - Other Tests and Discoveries - Oil Discovered - Marvelous Development Pages 281 - 284

CHAPTER XXI.

BANKS AND BANKING

Present Prosperous Conditions - Number of Banks in the County - First Bank - Second and Third Banks - First National Bank - Exchange National Bank - Fourth Bank in El Dorado - Ed. C. Ellet - Officers and Capital - Citizens State Bank - Butler County State Bank - Exchange State Bank - State Bank of Leon - Peoples State Bank, Latham - Bank of Whitewater - Peoples State Bank, Whitewater - Towanda State Bank - Rose Hill State Bank - Rosalia State Bank - Beaumont State Bank - Character of Banks - Bank Commissioner Pages 285 - 291

CHAPTER XXII.

TELEPHONE SYSTEM

Mysterious Switchboard - First Telephone Exchange at El Dorado - Butler County Telephone and Electric Company - Growth of Business - Missouri and Kansas Telephone Company - Officers - Charles H. Parker . Pages 292 - 294

CHAPTER XXIII.

BUTLER COUNTY SCHOOLS

First School - Difficulties of Early Organization - Early Normal Institutes - First Teachers Associations - Course of Study Provided - First Commencement - First School House in El Dorado - Barnes Law Schools - Special Courses - Barnes High School League - Rural School Contests - Early Teachers - El Dorado High School - Superintendents - Central School Building Burned - Development of Schools Pages 295 - 300

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE PIONEER CHURCH

First Religious Services in Butler County - A Pioneer Meeting House - Beecher's Sermons Delivered Here - First Sermon in Western Butler County - Missionaries - First Methodist Minister - All Denominations Represented - Sunday Schools - Influence of Churches Pages 301 - 303

CHAPTER XXV.

FRATERNAL ORDERS AND LODGES

Masonic Lodges - Independent Order of Odd Fellows - Modern Woodmen of America - Grand Army of the Republic - Woman's Relief Corps - Anti Horse Thief Association. .Pages 304 - 313

CHAPTER XXVI.

WOMEN'S CLUBS

Federated Clubs - Beethoven Club, El Dorado - Shakespeare Club - Woman's Mutual Benefit Club - The Avon Club, El Dorado - Daughters of American Revolution -  The Outlook Club, Augusta - Twentieth Century Club, Douglass - Mutual Helpers, Cassoday - E. M. B. Club, Towanda - Every Wednesday Home Study Club .Pages 314 - 317

CHAPTER XXVII.

REMINISCENCES

First Commercial Sign - The Next Beer Story - A Booze Story - Another One - Just a Story - Celebration - Some Things - A Murder - When Times Were Young, by Frances E. Mooney - In Society - The Old Hotel - Another Time . . Pages 318 - 325

CHAPTER XXVIII.

REMINISCENCES, CONTINUED

My Parents - The "Quilting Bee" Crowd - Recollections of Plum Grove - Back in the Sixties - The Last Battle - "Vagrant Memories" Pages 326 - 339

CHAPTER XXIX.

REMINISCENCES, CONTINUED

My First Night in El Dorado - Memories - A Hunting Party, - Dr. John Horner's Recollections - Southeast Butler - Early Times - A Story of the Days Long Gone - Memories of Pioneer Days Pages 340 - 358

CHAPTER XXX.

REMINISCENCES, CONTINUED

Experiences of a Lawyer Joe Everson - Joe Ever son and the Fool Boy - Gardner's Heroic Effort - Tiger Bill - An Intelligent Jury - A Defendant Who Lied - The Colonel's Stratagem - A Game of Pool - The Colonel and Dan - Mistaken Identity.. Pages 359 - 366

CHAPTER XXXI.

REMINISCENCES, CONTINUED

The Victory of Half a Century - A Pioneer - Story of Early Days - Pioneer Days - A Pioneer of 1868 - Recollections fo Jerry Conner Pages 367 - 378

CHAPTER XXXII.

REMINISCENCES, CONTINUED

Mead's Ranch - Recollections of Early Times - An Indian Scare - Early Schools in El Dorado - A Tornado - Wing in the Seventies Pages 379 - 392

CHAPTER XXXIII.

BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY

INDEX

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