Cherokee County,  Kansas

Newspaper  Items 



His Brother's Death and Financial Trouble the Cause

CHEROKEE, KAS., Sept. 7---Yesterday at about 12 p.m. a report reached the city of the death of Rev. W. C. Price, a respected citizen, who lived just inside the city limits, caused by self-intent. The means used to perfect his intent was a rope, one end of which he fastened to the top of a post, then climbing up the bars tied the other around his neck, lowering his body to the ground and causing strangulation, it is thought in a very few minutes. The rope used was a small piece of clothesline and was not over five feet in length. His little son, aged about 11 years, was sent by his mother to see where his father had gone. She had entertained fears for some months past that he was losing his mind, and as the little fellow neared the bars he saw his father in the fearful position mentioned, and bore the sad news to the family, who were so shocked with his misfortunes that screams could be heard for several paces from the house. As soon as the news reached town the excitement grew worse, and before an hour had elapsed after the finding there were at least 500 people on the ground. The cause of the affair, as near as can be ascertained, is the loss of a brother some three months ago, trouble with his rent, and the fear of not being able to meet a note, which would be due in a few days. The former caused him a great deal of sad thought, and on Saturday previous to the sad affair, he received a trunk from his relatives which contained his brother's clothes and other articles that were sent him as relics. The rope used was the one that the trunk was tied with upon arrival at Mr. Price's house. The verdict of the jury was strangulation, brought about by the deceased's own hand. The family is highly respected in this vicinity and the victim in particular, for honesty and sobriety at his home, on the street or in the pulpit.
(Kansas City Star ~ September 7, 1885)


After His Release, Mose Locke Was Re-arrested at Galena

Galena, Kas., July 17---Mose Locks, the cripple who gave the alarm of the murder of John Purvis, Thursday night, and was held on suspicion of being the murderer, but was later set at liberty by the verdict of the coroner's jury, was re-arrested today. The verdict was that the murder was done by unknown persons.

Locke said that the murder as done by two negroes, while and Purvis were sleeping together on Shoal creek. Sheriff Sparks arrived on the scene of the murder early Friday morning from Columbus. His searching parties could find no trace of the negroes. Sheriff Sparks, M. F. Parker, City Marshal Frank Calhoun and others, by promising Locke protection and questioning him, secured a confession that he and another man murdered Purvis for his money. His story was about as follows:

About four weeks ago Will Kerry, aged 18 years, and myself entered into a scheme to rob Purvis of his money. We did not have an opportunity to do so and about two weeks ago Kerry's father told us if we did not get Purvis's money he would. Home days ago Purvis told us he wanted to go to Vinita, I. T. I went to old man Kerry and told him and that I wanted his team and wagon to take Purvis there. Agreement was made between us for the team and its uses. Then Kerry and I planned the murder and robbery. I was to go as far as Shoal creek from Galena and camp for the night. Kerry was to come up about 3 o'clock and hold us up. After we got to Shoal creek I done as I agreed with Kerry. I dosed off to sleep while waiting for Kerry. When he came he went for Purvis to rob him. Purvis was awake and as soon as Kerry saw that he shot him. I woke up just before he shot him. I then shot at Purvis but shot over him so as not to him him as I did not want to shoot him, but fired for fear of Kerry shooting me if I did not pretend to assist him. Kerry then shot at him and hit him several more times, killing him. Then he took his money. We then got on the horses, riding towards Galena, and I threw my shotgun in a pond before reaching Galena. We separated before going into town, Kerry taking the horses back home and turning them loose. I came into Galena and notified the officials about the murder.

The gun was found today in the pond. Kerry and Locke are both under arrest.
(Kansas City Star ~ July 17, 1899)



Chas. Payne, a Hack Driver, Killed This Afternoon by Jack Sanders


In the Excitement Following the Killing, Sanders Made His Escape and is Still at Large

Another killing has been added to Galena's calendar of crime. Chas. Payne, a hack driver, was shot and almost instantly killed about 3:30 this afternoon by Jack Sanders.

The shooting took place in Geo. Pulley's place, near the Frisco depot. It is not known what trouble led up to the killing, as the persons who witnessed the deed said no quarrel took place there.

Sanders fired five shots into Payne's body and in the excitement which followed the slayer made his escape.

Coroner English has been notified and will be over this evening to take charge of the body; in the meantime the murdered man lies, where he fell, in a pool of his own blood.

Payne will be remembered as the hack driver who had a desparate fight with the half-breed Miller, on East Fifth street a few months ago, in which Miller was nearly killed.
(Galena Evening News ~ Tuesday ~ July 24, 1900)


Jack Sanders, the Slayer of Chas. Payne, Yet Uncaptured


Friends of Sanders Claim He Did a Father's Duty---The Dead Man's Betrothed

The shooting of Charley Payne, the hack driver, by Jack Sanders yesterday afternoon, occurred too late to give an extended account of the tragedy.

The affair was witnessed by seven or eight people. A TIMES reporter has talked with all of them since the affair and they agree without an exception that Payne was the aggressor. Sanders and his victim were standing at the bar about six feet apart drinking. A few words passed between them, the substance of which we do not care to print, but will leave that to be brought out in the trial of the case in the event Sanders is captured. Payne made a move as if he intended to strike Sanders, at the same time making a threat what he would do. As Payne advanced Sanders pulled his gun, a 38 calibre, and fired. It is thought the ball entered the right side about four inches under the arm and came out under the shoulder blade. The next shot struck Payne in the left side of the nose. At this he fell upon his face to the floor and expired almost instantly. As he lay on the floor Sanders deliberately put two more bullets into his body, one entering the head, coming out at the left side of the chin, the other bullet entered the right shoulder. It is said that another shot was fired, but there was no evidence that such was the case.

Sanders walked around the body, waved his hand, said, "Ta, Ta Boys," and made his escape. There was no attempt made by anybody to stop him. He hurried down the Frisco track to his home, procured a shot gun and struck out for the timber.

Deputy Sheriff Elliott was notified of the killing and arrived on the scene shortly afterwards. He summoned Undertaker Stough to come and take charge of the body, which he did and removed it to his establishment where he prepared it for burial.

It is not known positively what was the real cause of the killing. There are different stories being circulated.

One is that Payne had been intimate with Sanders' daughter, and tatalizingly threw it up to the father.

The dead man had borne an unsavory reputation. He was about 26 or 27 years of age and has been around Galena several years. His father lives at Blackwell, Okla.

An uncle of the dead man by the name of Payne came here this morning and will take the deceased to Hallowell this evening, where the funeral will be held tomorrow forenoon.

Miss Eva Blackburn, of Girard, who was betrhothed to Payne and the wedding day had been set for Sept. 25th, came this morning to view the remains of the man she loved. It was a pathetic scene when she visited the undertaking room and looked upon his face. She was accompanied by a lady friend.

Sanders is a miner and it is said is a bad man when drinking; otherwise he is a quiet and industrious citizen.

Shortly after the killing the officers started in pursuit of Sanders. They kept up a vigilant search for him until nearly midnight without success. Thinking it useless to continue the search in the heavy timber, where Sanders was last seen, they gave up the chase.

Up to 3:30 this afternoon Sanders had not been captured. It is thought that he will come and give himself up.
(July 25, 1900)

Jack Sanders Kills Charles Payne and Is Now Resisting Arrest

Galena, Kan., July 25---Jack Sanders instantly killed Charles Payne last evening in George Pulley's joint, near the Frisco depot. It is claimed that Sanders and Payne recently had trouble over a girl. When they met in the saloon last evening, scarcely a word was exchanged when Payne started toward Sanders. He had only advanced a short distance when Sanders pulled his gun and fired rapidly until his gun was empty. The first shot took effect at the point of Payne's nose and came out at the back of his head. He fell forward on his face, dying within a few feet of Sanders, who sent another ball into the back of his head and the following three into his body. Sanders then coolly bid the by-standers good-by and walked out of the building and toward his house.

It is claimed the officials have Sanders located, but he has a breechloading shotgun in his possession and will resist the officers. They are determined however to have him dead or alive.
(Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital ~ July 27, 1900)


An Awful Story of a Series of Crimes Comes to Light in the Trial of a Woman and Two Sons

Columbus, Kan., Sept. 15---A story of crimes rivaling the deeds of the notorious Bidder family comes to light in a murder trial now in progress here in the district court. Ed and George Staffleback, brothers, and their mother, Mrs. George Wilson, are accused of the murder of Frank Galbraith, in June last at Galena, Kan. The evidence is so direct that George Staffleback and his mother were speedily found guilty of murder in the first and second degree respectively, and the trial of Ed Staffleback is still in progress. The family were keepers of a dive in Galena. Galbraith was shot to death and robbed in the place, following a quarrel, with the mother and sons over the woman's daughter. His body was thrown into an abandoned mine shaft. Mrs. Cora Staffleback, wife of George, and two other inmates of the house, gave testimony as to the facts of the murder, and from the witnesses' evidence another triple murder at Galena has become public. Their story is that two girls from western Kansas were visited at the Wilson dive by an acquaintance. Mike Staffleback, another son of the Wilson woman, who is now in jail, charged with burglary, became engaged with jealousy and killed the man and the two girls with a hatchet. The bodies were thrown into an abandoned shaft. At Galena, a force of men are pumping out the shaft in an endeavor to find the bodies of the other murdered persons.
(Dallas Morning News ~ September 16, 1897)


GALENA, KAS., Aug. 8---Following a coroner's investigation today, a charge of first degree murder was placed against Ed Donaldson, who is near death from a wound self-inflicted after killing his wife yesterday afternoon. Donaldson has not wavered from the story that his wife did all the shooting.
(Kansas City Star ~ August 8, 1911)


First Reward in Search for Staffleback Victims

Galena All Wrought Up Over the Probable Find of the Bodies--Columbus Jail Very Insecure

Galena, Kan., Sept. 16---The hoist is still at work in the shaft in which victims of the Staffleback family are supposed to be. A large crowd surrounds the mouth of the pit at all times and great interest is shown in each bucketful of dirt which comes to the surface. This interest was rewarded about 9 o'clock this morning by the appearance of a wooden club on which was a bunch of hair. This was carefully examined by barbers and others, and pronounced human. The workers had begun to despair of results, but this find increased new energy in the search.

It is said on the streets that a company of vigilantes has been organized to go to Columbus in case bodies are found and lynch the entire Staffleback family. It is said that the man who will lead the crowd is the one who commanded at the lynching of Joe Thornton in Joplin ten years or more ago. This committee of forty-five is said to be mostly workingmen, but a number of merchants have signified their approval of the scheme and their willingness to join in the work.

The people of Galena are thoroughly aroused. A number of murders have been committed here lately and many disreputable characters have come here from other places. There is likely to be a determined effort to clear the moral atmosphere by making the town too hot to hold those not wanted.

If the crowd should go to Columbus and be successful in gaining access to the jail, the Stafflebacks will not be the only ones hanged as there are nine men in that structure who have been recently convicted of murder in the first degree.

The general opinion in Cherokee county is that Kansas needs a Governor who will sign a batch of death warrants. Opinion is somewhat divided as to the probability of a lynching bee. Public sentiment is undoubtedly in favor of it, but concentrating and leadership are necessary to bring about results.

It is expected that the bottom of the shaft now being dug out will be reached soon. This is the one in which the bodies of the two girls are supposed to be. If nothing is found in this shaft, another one nearly 100 feet deep will be searched for the body of the peddler alleged to have been thrown in there before the murder of the two girls. This is the shaft out of which some bloody clothing was taken Tuesday. The only explanation of finding these things other than the supposition that bodies are there is that these shafts have been used as receptacles for the articles used in connection with the Galbraith murder and as a general dumping ground for as tough a residence district as there is in any part of the state.
(Topeka Weekly Capital ~ September 17, 1897)


The Husband Was Jealous and Wounded a Young Man Boarder, Too

Galena, Kas., Nov. 30---Mrs. Alice Dunkle and her husband, Charles Dunckle, had not been living together in harmony for some time. At 8:30 o'clock this morning, after a long conversation, he tried to kill her and a young man boarding with them at their home, Washington and Cornwall avenues. The young man escaped with a shot through one hand.

Mrs. Dunckle received two wounds, from which she died. Dunckle immediately made his escape. No trace of him has been found.

Mrs. Dunckle has borne a good reputation, yet it is the general opinion that her death is due to jealousy upon the husband's part.

Dunckle is a mine operator on a comparatively small scale. Albert Edison, the young man who was shot, is an unmarked man, bearing a good reputation.
(Kansas City Star ~ November 30, 1901)


Nine Persons Charged with Murder Are in Hourly Expectation of Mob Violence

COLUMBUS, KAN., Sept. 17---The Cherokee jail, which is at present the home of the Staffleback band, has an uneasy lot of inhabitants tonight. They have been for the last three days in hourly expectation of a visit from the miners of Galena, who have sworn to lynch "Mother Nance" and her brood.

In the stone jail are crowded forty-eight prisoners. Of these, nine are charged with murder in the first degree and seven have already been convicted at this term of the Circuit Court.

If a mob comes to Columbus, its work may not end when the Stafflebacks have expiated their crime. Murderers now in the jail may be left tenantless by such a visit.
(Sun ~ September 18, 1897)


Startling Developments in the Gailbraith Murder Trial

The Stiffleback Family Alleged to Be Professional Murderers, Numbering Victims by the Score

Columbus, Kan., Sept. 14---The trials of George and Edward Stiffleback and Charles and Nancy Wilson for the murder of Frank Galbraith at Galena, Kansas, on the 19th day of last June, has developed a carnival of crime only surpassed in the state by the famous Bender family.

Nancy Wilson, one of the defendants, is the mother of the two Stifflebacks and the wife of Charles Wilson, by her second marriage.

For several years, occasionally dead bodies would be found at the bottom of abandoned shafts which are to be found near at hand in any part of Galena or its suburbs, but the coroner's jury would usually have no suspicion of foul play, thinking perhaps that on some dark night the deceased person had carelessly mistaken the road and walked into them, and the fall on the rocks at the bottom of the shaft accounted for not only the death of the person but also for whatever wounds were found on the body.

The defendants were all mutually interested in maintaining a house of ill fame and until this trial it was supposed this was their only means of gaining a livelihood, and when it became necessary to replenish their harem if they could not entice some young victim into their clutches in any other manner, they would marry them.

George had lately married a new wife, but as soon as she discovered what was expected of her she skipped out to her old home. When George found she would not return under such circumstances he wrote pledging that if she would return to him that they would live separate and apart from the other Stifflebacks. This induced her to return. George at once began his efforts to persuade her to embark in a career of infamy. She refused, but did not dare to leave for she had seen enough of the gang to be afraid to directly oppose them, but she was only awaiting her time. After she had been at the Stifflebacks about ten or twelve days, a murder occurred.

On the 19th of June one Frank Galbraith, a miner, came to the house at about 11 p.m. and enquired for Em Chapman, an inmate, but a daughter of Mrs. Wilson. This Mrs. Wilson went to the door and told Galbraith Em did not want to see him, that she was engaged. Frank said "Em had sent him a note to call and see her and he was going to do so," at the same time going to her room to which Mrs. Wilson followed. The old woman again ordered him to leave the house and seeing Ed and George Stiffleback and Charles Wilson entering the room and perhaps anticipating trouble he immediately proceeded to go. As he left the room Mrs. Wilson followed and seized a huge corn knife which she always kept handy, she cut at Galbraith but whether she hit him or not is not known. Galbraith then broke and ran for the nearest street but as he ran the gang followed and Ed Stiffleback drawing his revolver, fire one shot, which Mrs. McCoombs, an eye witness, says must have hit him above the hip for it brought him to the earth. The Stifflebacks still pursued their victim and he struggled and rose and started on the run again with Ed within a few feet of him. When near an abandoned shaft he caught up with Galbraith and placing the pistol against his head, fired, killing him.

After he had fallen the three men and old woman gathered around the body and rifled the pockets and then seizing the corpse plunged it into the deep shaft by the road side.

All these transactions were seen by Mrs. McCombs, a widow, who by mistake came to the house. The wife of George Stiffleback, who was awaiting an opportunity to escape from her husband and his kindred, was also a witness.

Ed Stiffleback told the women if they ever dared whisper to anyone anything in connection with that night's work that they would kill them. The women promised not to tell, but it is a wonder considering after developments that they were not murdered then and there.

The body of Galbraith remained in the shaft several days until at last a man in passing discovered it and it was drawn to the surface.

This, in connection with other murders in the community, aroused the people of Galena until they resolved to find the criminals. Of course suspicion must rest on people with such a record as borne by the Stifflebacks and finally the proper clue was found.

After the trial began the two women finding their lives would be more secure by telling all they knew concerning the Stifflebacks than in a partial clearing up of the Galbraith mystery, informed the prosecuting attorney of other murders that could be laid at the door of the Stifflebacks. Among others of two women who mysteriously disappeared last summer.

Last summer there was first seen at the Stiffelbacks two very handsome and attractive young girls supposed to be about 15 and 17 years of age. Those visiting the house could never learn any particulars about them, either how they came there, where they came from or what were their names. It was supposed they had been enticed away from home by Stiffleback. After being there three or four months they suddenly disappeared.

Cora Stiffleback, the wife of George, now states on oath as a witness in the Galbraith case that both girls were cruelly murdered. She says that Ed Stiffleback killed one of them by crushing her skull with the butt end of a revolver and that his brother George then seized the other victim and beat her brains out by pounding her head on the floor. Both bodies, Mrs. Stiffleback declares, were rolled under a bed until night when they were carried out and thrown into an abandoned shaft.

After hearing the woman's story, the county attorney telegraphed the sheriff at Galena to have the shaft pumped dry and see if the bones are there as represented. News from Galena today said the shaft would be pumped out by tonight.

Last summer a man by the name of Frank Smith of Galena mysteriously disappeared and Cora says he is another victim of the Stifflebacks.

Three years ago a citizen of Joplin, Mo., by the name of Moorehead, was found in a shaft--another alleged Stiffleback victim.

There are yet other parties unaccounted for which Mrs. Stevens, the prosecutor, says will be enrolled among the Stiffleback dead. In fact there is no telling where the list will end. They have escaped so long that they became careless. In listening to the evidence, the entire family seem the most unconcerned persons in the court room, frequently laughing at blunders of the witnesses.

The man Charles Wilson fled as soon as he heard the officers were on their track and no trace of him has yet been found. Not even during the famous Blalock trial was there the excitement that now agitates the people. In case the bones of the girls are brought to this city it has been suggested that the jail had best be well guarded.
(Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital ~ September 17, 1897)


Galena, Kan., May 17---Jerry McMurray, colored, and Wm. Hawkins were found over Saturday to the September term of the district court at Columbus for the murder of Matthew McGurk in this city on the night of February 27. Frank Williams and Sid Armstrong, purported eye witnesses to the killing, are held under bonds of $1,000.
(Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital ~ May 18, 1897)


Scammon, Kas., Dec. 24---James McCollough, a drayman, shot and killed J. J. Curry here yesterday afternoon. The trouble was of several years standing, but recently Curry had made threats against McCollough and yesterday attacked him while he was at work in a coal car. Curry was 23 years old and was a soldier in the recent war.
(Kansas City Star ~ December 24, 1898)


A Powder Mill at Turck, Cherokee County, Blew Up

PITTSBURG, KAS., May 10---Four workers were killed and twenty others injured when the large press mill of the Laflin-Rand powder works in Turck, Cherokee county, exploded this afternoon. The dead are: Robert McFarland, Joseph Stovall, James Rood, and William Morrow. All lived in Columbus, Kas.

The explosion happened at 3:13 o'clock. The four men who were killed were the only occupants of the mill. The cause of the explosion is a mystery. The blast demolished window lights for several miles and was felt thirty miles away. Workmen in adjoining mills of the big plant were thrown from their feet and flying timbers and pieces of machinery were hurled to every section of the plant. Many workmen in other parts of the mill grounds were struck by timbers and injured. The property loss, it is estimated, will reach $25,000 or $30,000.

Five other buildings at the plant, in which large quantities of powder were stored, were threatened by the flames which followed the explosion. One hundred men, employed at the plant, worked two hours before they were able to extinguish the fire.

Stovall, Morrow and Rood were married men and the heads of large families. The explosion today is the fourth in the history of the works. In each instance the mixing house was wrecked and all employed there were killed. The plant produced black and smokeless powder.
(Kansas City Star ~ May 11, 1909)


Galena, Kas., Jan. 3---Dert Meeks, who shot and killed Ivan Hendley two months ago, committed suicide with morphine yesterday. Meeks, it is believed took his life to avoid punishment for the murder. Meeks said he killed Headley because the latter was too intimate with his wife.
(Kansas City Star ~ January 3, 1899)


Galena, Kas., June 20---Chief of Police Milford Parker was killed last night by electricity. A live wire touched a broken wire that he was coiling up and he fell dead.
(Kansas City Star ~ June 20, 1900)


Kills Five People Outright in the State of Kansas


Churches, Grocery Stores and Houses All Mixed Up in the General Smash

Kansas City, July 6---A special from Baxter Springs, Kan., says: A cyclone, which struck Baxter Springs last night, killed five people outright and two others were wounded and are not expected to live. A dozen people were seriously injured; Cooper & Hodgkins' dry goods store was destroyed, the Methodist, Christian and colored Methodist churches were blown down, and a dozen residences and many barns were totally wrecked. Those killed outright were:

A MRS. WEBSTER- and her mother and daughter

The injuries of the mother of James Neal and A. H. Haubuck will probably prove fatal. All wires are down and another storm is coming.
(Minneapolis Journal ~ July 6, 1895)


Judge Receives Black Hand Letter Warning Him of Death

Columbus, Kan., May 4---Frank Williams, J. H. Green and John Anderson were found guilty here of highway robbery and assault with intent to kill in connection with the robbery of a St. Louis & San Francisco Railway company's station and the shooting of Agent Cortland High at Baxter Springs, March 19 last.

District Judge McNeill sentenced the prisoners from ten to twenty-one years in the penitentiary.

Judge McNeill was the recipient this morning of a black hand note in which he was threatened with death before the end of the summer if the men on trial were convicted.
(Daily Oklahoman ~ May 5, 1910)


Accident Happens on Fredericksburg Road Near San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, June 15---Mrs. Ellen Scammon of Columbus, Kan., died in a hospital here yesterday as a result of injuries sustained Saturday night when an automobile in which she was riding with her daughter, Miss Frances Scammon, and Dr. Frederick D. Fielding, turned turtle on the Fredericksburg road. The two other occupants of the car were injured, but it is believed both will recover.

Dr. Fielding attributed the accident to a soft place in the road and to the high speed at which they were traveling. The body of Mrs. Scammon will be taken back to her home in Kansas for burial.
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram ~ June 15, 1914)
NOTE: The name was misspelled as "Ellan Scanlan" in the newspaper.


R. H. Lawton, of Columbus, Kas., was found dead in bed yesterday at the Hotel Emory at Cincinnati. Charges of fraud in some real estate transactions in Kansas were hanging over him and it is believed that his death was not so much the result of ill health as of premeditated self destruction.
(Kansas City Star ~ June 26, 1886)



Stung to Death on the Bridal Couch


The Press Dispatches the other day made a brief announcement of a tragic occurrence in Cherokee county, Kansas, in which George Schrader and his bride of a few hours were reported to have lost their lives as a result of snake bites. Later details recite a terrible story. It seems that Schrader, who had lived with his father in the southern part of the county and near to the Indian territory, had just been married. Among the party who attended the festivities were George Higgins, A. M. McPherson, James C. Robb, W. F. Sapp and W. C. Stice, all of Galena, Kansas. These gentlemen happened to be on a hunting expedition and were encamped near the Schrader homestead. Their camp was also within hearing of the house newly built for the bride and groom. Early in the morning they participated in the festivities at old man Schrader's house in honor of the marriage of his son.

The bridal cabin had only one room and was built of rough logs, with a rough pine lumber floor and roof. A perpendicular wall of rock, forming part of a bluff, was utilized for one wall of the structure. Against this wall a fireplace of the old-fashioned kind was built, the chimney extending up its side and towering above the edge of the bluff. In this fireplace the fire was built which warmed the house ready for the reception of young Schrader and his bride after the festivities at the parental home. They retired to their new home at midnight, and the few guests who had gathered to celebrate the event departed.

Hardly had the camping party retired to their tent when they were aroused by calls for help from old man Schrader. They responded, and, guided by cries, hastened to the cabin of the young couple, where they found the two writhing in agony and the old man and his wife standing over them and crying piteously. About the floor and on the low bed were seventeen snakes of various species, principally copperheads and rattlesnakes. Some of them had been killed and others chilled to insensibility. The hunters ran back to their tent for some whisky, which they tried to administer to the dying couple, but the remedy was too late, and the victims died before morning.

Upon investigation it appeared that the fireplace had been built in close proximity to a sort of cavern in the bluff, in which the snakes had hibernated. The fire had warmed the reptiles into life, and they were driven out into the cabin by the intense heat. Young Schrader was able, before he died, to explain that he and his bride had been aroused from their slumber by the moaning of a house dog sleeping at their feet, and which, too, was bitten to death. Following this, Schrader heard a hissing and rattling sound, and, leaping out of bed to ascertain the cause, his bare feet lighted upon the cold and writhing body of a serpent. Next he felt himself stung, and by the light of the dying embers in the fireplace he saw a number of reptiles crawling about the floor or coiled up in the attitude of striking. He was stung again and again. His cries aroused his wife, and she, too, jumped from her bed, only to meet a like fate. Then they ran for the door and cried for help, and in a short time old man Schrader appeared. In the meantime the open door had admitted the cold, and the reptiles became torpid and were easily dispatched.

On Saturday, two day after the tragedy, the young couple were buried in the Indian burying-ground on the banks of Spring river, in the Quapaw reservation, seven miles south of Shoal Creek, with all the solemnity of an Indian burial. This was because the bride was a half-breed Indian girl. Mr. Higgins and his companions assisted at the funeral, and Mr. McPherson read the Lutheran burial service, at the request of the Schrader family.

The next day a dynamite shot was put in the cavern by a miner from the lead mines at Galena. The explosion tore out several yards of the bluff and snakes of all varieties, from the harmless black snake to the copperhead and rattlesnake, were found. They were torpid from cold, and were slaughtered.
(Kalamazoo Gazette ~ January 18, 1894)


Galena, Kan., March 19---Mable, the 3-year-old daughter of Joseph Deininger, living at Baxter, seven miles west of here, was burned to death yesterday. The child was left alone upstairs, and it is supposed that her clothing caught fire from the stove near which she was playing.
(Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital ~ March 20, 1900)
NOTE: Mable is buried at the Baxter Springs Cemetery


Spaulding, One of the Proprietors, and Tegweller, the Ring-master, Reported Killed

We received yesterday from one of the correspondents of the Tribune the following letter, which gives the details of a shooting affray that occurred at Baxter Springs last Wednesday.

Dan Rice's circus, when exhibited at Olathe on Saturday last, moved down the Fort Scott road, and on Wednesday brought up at Baxter. At this point, curing the evening performance once, a new nature was introduced - not new to Baxter, but new to the circus. It was in the shape of a first class shooting affray, enacted inside the canvass and curing the performance, though not down on the bills. The difficulty was between one of the proprietors of the circus, Spaulding and Wesley Taylor, the City Marshal of Baxter.

Taylor attempted to arrest one of the candy and lemonade vendors in the circus for selling without a license, when Spaulding interfered, saying that no one could be arrested inside the tent and at the same time drawing his revolver. Taylor generally carries such a tool himself and naturally "went" for it. As he was drawing it Spaulding fired at him, which Taylor returned, and then the two settled down to business and ? away ? other until four or five shots apiece were exchanged.

Two of the bullets took effect in Spaulding, one went out of the stomach, another in the shoulder and another grazed his breast another …….. the Wiggins House, where he now lies in a critical position.

The tent was packed full at the time and as might be expected, the excitement was memento. The screaming and fainting of the ladies and children was huge, while the colored brethren made a bee line in a body from that tent, and if reports are authentic, are running yet.

In talking the matter over, ? taken to the hotel, Spaulding stated that he had ? buffled City Marshals and policemen by drawing his pistol and expected to do so in that case.

Now it was unfortunate for him that he did not know more about Baxter and its City Marshal. Bluff is not a game to play there, nor Taylor the one to try it on. The latter is an easy, cool, careless young man, always in good humor, and when making an arrest, or in a row, keeps his eye on the defendant, and when occasion demands, his old pistol comes out, and the bullets slide into a person as easy as ice cream into the mouth of a country girl.

After the row was over the showmen sallied out in a body, caught an unoffending printer named Wiggins, and punched him pretty severely, besides inflicting a stab or two in the breast. They pretended they thought he was Taylor, but as this latter individual had just procured an extra pair of revolvers, and was out on the street, the mistake was undoubtedly a very healthy one for them.

The circus fixtures were soon after loaded on the cars and moved to Fort Scott, and so ended the last "battle in Baxter."

Since receiving the above we have informed from parties who arrived here yesterday from Fort Scott, that Tegweiler, the ring-master of the circus was also shot and wounded more fatally and has since died. Our informant also stated that Spaulding is also dead and that in the affray two citizens were wounded seriously. We hope to obtain full particulars today. (Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, June 1, 1872, page 2)


Kansas City Police Advance Theory After Autopsy Is Held---Recently Took Out $50,000 Insurance

Kansas City, April 2---Suicide was advanced by the police tonight as the cause of the death of Dr. John B. Kelly, a dentist, whose body was found here early today in a hotel room. An autopsy revealed traces of an anesthetic in the stomach. The face was covered by towels soaked in the anesthetic and a partly empty bottle of the drug was found in the room. There were no signs of a struggle.

Dr. Kelly formerly lived at Galena, Kan., where he practiced.

Police said tonight they learned that Dr. Kelly obtained a $50,000 life insurance policy last October on which no collection could be made in case of death by suicide within one year.

Kelly's widow said her husband had complained that his business was not paying so well as he had hoped.

Kansas City, April 2---The question as to why Dr. J. B. Kelly, dentist, formerly of Galena, Kan., whose body was found at a local hotel today with the head swathed in towels and apparently the victim of an anesthetic, should have registered as Pat Henderson of El Paso, Tex., added to the perplexity of the police who tonight were investigating circumstances that they said indicated murder or suicide.

S. E. Farrell, clerk who assigned "Henderson" to the room, said E. A. Winfield, bell boy who took the man to the room, identified Dr. Kelly's body as that of the man who registered as Pat Henderson.


A further element of mystery was added when Farrell revealed that a man had inquired at the hotel yesterday for Henderson and had been given the number of the room occupied by Dr. Kelly. Farrell was unable to say whether the man went to the room.

Dr. Kelly had told his wife yesterday that he intended to visit a Pat Henderson at the hotel and had previously shown her a letter signed "Pat" asking the dentist to meet the sender at the hotel. Dr. Kelly told his wife, she said, that he had known "Pat Henderson, in the army in which Dr. Kelly was enlisted during the World war under an assumed name. A man called Mrs. Kelly by telephone yesterday leaving a room number at the hotel for Dr. Kelly, she told the police.

Although police said that handwriting of the letter signed "Pat" did not resemble letters written by Dr. Kelly, the handwriting on the hotel register, apparently written by Dr. Kelly's hand, was similar to that of the letter.


Puzzling the police, too, was discovery that although one of the hands of the man who represented himself to be Henderson was observed by hotel attendants to have been bandaged, no bandages were said to have been found on either of the hands of the body. Bandages, however, were found in a small, black grip found in Dr. Kelly's room. Mrs. Kelly said she did not know that Dr. Kelly owned such a grip.

Dr. Kelly described "Henderson" to his wife as "the nerviest man I ever saw."

When Mrs. Kelly called her husband yesterday to tell him of the telephone call from the hotel, Mrs. Kelly said, Dr. Kelly said:

"That's Pat Henderson," and added laughing, "I'll go down to see him. I hope he will pay me the $200 he owes me."

Dr. Kelly stopped at the apartment on the way to the hotel and handed Mrs. Kelly a $50 government compensation check.

In Dr. Kelly's pocket was found $7 indicating, the police believe, that he was not murdered in a robbery. A bank book was found in his pocket, also, showing a bank balance of $238.

Dr. Kelly was associated with a brother, B. E. Kelly, in the manufacture here of a dental appliance that the former had invented. He came to Kansas City from Abilene, Kan., where had practiced dentistry about a year.

Dr. Kelly was born in Smith Center, Kan. He enlisted in the First division and went to France in the World war. He was wounded, gassed and invalided home, spending a long time in hospitals in the south. Prior to going to Abilene, he had lived in Galena, Liberal and Salina, Kan.


The telephone call which Mrs. Kelly received from "Pat Henderson" was made from the hotel room in which her husband was found dead, the police learned tonight. The hotel telephone operator recorded the call at 9:05 o'clock Wednesday morning. She called the number of Dr. Kelly's apartment and connected the room in the hotel.

Mrs. Kelly said the doctor left home about 8:20 o'clock, telling her he was going to his office. However, at 8:50 o'clock, he registered at the hotel under the name of Henderson. Mrs. Kelly said she telephoned her husband at his office five or ten minutes after she received the telephone call, which was recorded at the hotel at 9:05 o'clock. Ten or fifteen minutes later she called him, she said. Dr. Kelly returned home. This would have been 9:20 or 9:30, if her memory was correct, police pointed out. But Mrs. Kelly said she noticed the clock pointed to 10:30 when her husband left home the last time.


Was Well Known In Kansas town And Married Galena Young Woman While There

Galena, Kan., April 2---Dr. John B. Kelly, Kansas City dentist, who was found dead in a hotel at Kansas City this morning under mysterious circumstances, formerly resided here. He practiced dentistry here for about three years after the World war. He was married two years ago to Miss Garnet Bullock, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Bullock of Galena.

Dr. Kelly came here shortly after he received his discharge from the medical department of the government, in which he served. He remained here two or three years, during which time he was joined by his brother, Dr. Bernard E. Kelly, who came from Springfield.

Dr. Kelly left Galena to go to Pittsburg, but returned for a few months, during which time he was married to Miss Bullock. Mr. and Mrs. Bullock have gone to Kansas City to be with their daughter.

During the World war, Dr. Kelly was shell-shocked and wounded in the foot. He was of nervous disposition his friends said. He was drawing government compensation for his injury.

During the last few years Dr. Kelly and his brother, who now resides in Abilene, had perfected a dental appliance which physicians here declared would be more practical than those now in use. They predicted a good future for the dentists as a result of their invention.

Friends could assign no reason for his having registered under an assumed name at the Kansas City hotel nor for the possibility of his having committed suicide. He was well thought of by them.
(Joplin Globe ~ April 3, 1925 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Kansas City Firm Will Operate Cherokee Coal Fields

Columbus, Kan., Dec. 8---The Columbus Coal company have leased their mine located four miles north of town to the Kansas Commercial Coal company of Kansas City for a period of five years, and the lease took effect the first day of this month.

The Columbus Coal company will go out of business for the time their property is leased, and unless they lease again at the end of five years they will operate their mine.

During the fifteen years of business the company has given employment to hundreds of men and paid out for wages an average of from $4,000 to $6,000 a month, the greater portion of each year. Their business has been an important source of revenue to the merchants of Columbus.
(Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital ~ December 11, 1896 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Two persons Burned to Death After Smashup at Columbus

FORT SCOTT, Kan., Feb. 14---A northbound passenger train on the Frisco road was wrecked today at Columbus, Kan. Harry Roundtree, express messenger, and a newsboy, names unknown, were burned to death. The entire passenger train except the sleeper burned. The passenger train ran into a string of box cars which had broken loose from a freight train. Engineer George Woods and Fireman W. F. Runyan were severely injured.

Several members of the crew were pinioned in the burning wreck. There were only a few passengers on the train and these escaped serious injury. They worked heroicall in an effort to rescue the imperiled trainmen but were driven back by the flames before they could reach Roundgree and the newsboy. One passenger, whose name is unknown, dropped dead, evidently of heart disease, while working under great excitement to rescue them.
(Idaho Statesman ~ February 15, 1906 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


The Notorious Family Convicted of Murder at Columbus, Kansas

Columbus, Kan., Oct. 2---The notorious Staffelback family, whose crimes are commonly supposed to have rivaled those of the Benders, have been sentenced here for the killing of Frank Galbraith, the peddler, who was murdered in their den at Galena.

Ed and George Staffelback, convicted of murder in the first degree, were given life sentences; Mrs. Wilson, their mother, as an accomplice, was sentenced to twenty-one years. Mike Staffelback is serving a five-year term for burglary. Ed Staffelback has been declared insane, his mind having given way through fear of lynching.
(Morning Herald ~ October 3, 1897 ~ Submited by Lori DeWinkler)


A thousand men and women were thrown into heaps yesterday morning during a picnic at Lakeside park when they turned suddenly to watch the actions of a drowning boy, causing the collapse of temporary supports upon which they were standing to have their picture taken.

Several persons suffered bruises, but none was so seriously injured as to require medical attention. Their names were not learned.


In the confusion of the pile-up, the boy in the water, Alfred Newcomb, 15 years old, of Galena, was not fortgotten. Two other youths swam to him and supported him until he was taken ashore. He suffered no ill effects.

The accident occurred at the annual picnic of employees of the Golden Rod Mining and Smelting Corporation and their families. The temporary structure had been erected near the lake. It was in three tiers, the topmost being about four feet high.

Just before noon lunch, everyone climbed on the stands. Men and women stood on the supports with the band in front, as the photographer bent to his camera.

Someone chanced to see Alfred floundering in the water. "Oh, look!" he cried. His shout was a signal for the assemblage to turn as one man. The structure gave way under the sudden movement and down they crashed.

Meanwhile, Alfred was being held out of danger by the two other youths, one of whom is said to have participated in saving ten drowning persons this summer. John B. Hynal of the U.S. bureau of mines, who has been training the Golden Rod first aid team for a national contest, rowed out and brought the boy to the bank. He was conscious.


The boy is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Newcomb of Galena. Newcomb is employed by the Golden Rod company as a blacksmith.

It was recalled that the 1925 picnic of the company's employees was also the occasion for an accident. Twenty-four persons were slightly injured when two cars of the Southwest Missouri Railroad Company, running behing a third car and carrying employees to the picnic grounds, crashed together and into the rear of the third car. The accident occurred southeast of Galena.

Several special cars of the railroad were used yesterday to convey the picnickers to and from the park.
(Joplin Globe ~ Sunday ~ August 22, 1926 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


COLUMBUS, Kan., Friday, Dec. 13 --- The street lights in this Southeastern Kansas city of 3,280 will be blacked out tonight and every night for the rest of December---by peacetime necessity. The light fund is in arrears and the shutdown is made necessary by the Kansas cash-basis law. Downtown Christmas lights, however will shine on, for the merchants have underwritten them.
(Seattle Daily Times ~ December 13, 1940 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


All The Way From Galena, Kansas, But It Appreciates A Good Thing

A delightful serenade was rendered by the Galena, Kan., Fireman's band in front of The Times office last evening. The band is composed entirely of volunteer firemen. It accompanied an excursion from Galena to this city and played during the day at the A.O.U.W. picnic at Fairmount park. It was by all odds the best band on the ground, and has been accorded a place in the Priests of Pailas parade in October.

The band drew an immense crowd which completely blocked Main street from the Junction to Eighth. Each selection rendered received a hearty encore, and it seemed impossible for the spectators to get enough of the music. The membership of the band includes: W. H. Akers, leader; William Stevens, W. R. Brown, R. L. Cox, R. Carroll, F. Davis, William W. Richardson, H. Wiles, William Walker, William Painter, Lafe Roe, M. Pickett, P. Eyster, William Patton, S. Davies, Charles Dobson, T. Hart and H. Hart.
(Kansas City Times ~ August 24, 1894 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Columbus, Kansas, June 11 --- Because he declared the G.A.R. and W.R.C., with all kindred organizations, were a menace to the nation's peace, Rev. Arthur Allen, a pastor here, has been forced to resign by his congregation.

On Memorial Day, Rev. Allen was invited to address the G.A.R. and in his address delivered a stinging denunciation of the organization. He advocated a law forcing the organization to disband.

The minister is a Southerner and he declared the Northern soldiers had caused his parents to lose more than $65,000 before he was born, depriving him of his heritage. He declared he had been informed that the women's organization "had even joined the Devil's gambling arms."
(Lime, Ohio, Times Democrat ~ June 11, 1909 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Bell Doesn't Ring Anymore But----Seventy-Year-Old School Building Hasn't Outlived Its Usefulness

Two miles and a half southeast of Columbus in Crawford township stands the former Stoney school, Dist. 88.

For more than 70 years, the stone building served as a school house, providing the only "book larnin' " many of its occupants were able to receive.

In its time it was one of the finest rural schools in the county, but along came progress. Good roads, modern transportation and different ideas of education brought consolidation. Stoney school district dissolved into the Columbus city schools district.

But, unlike many of the other rural schools in the county, the Stoney building has not outlived its usefulness. Mainly because of its building material. A stone building is not as easily destroyed as an aged wooden building.

Consolidation did not close the doors of the old building forever, as happened to many other rural schools. Instead, the building is kept in good repair and is used by the Stoney ATA Lodge and Auxiliary for its lodge activities. It also remains the voting precinct for Crawford township.

The man perhaps most responsible for the building still standing was a pioneer Englishman dead these many years. When the school district was organized in 1879 and plans for a building were made, it was Harry Sadler who declared the building should be constructed of stone so it would last. And it has.

The stone was quarried from the same farm on which the building stands. It was cut and laid by John Brooks of Columbus, who was well known throughout the area as a stone mason. He used stone from the same quarry to build the First National Bank building.

There are still two people in the area who recall the first day of school in the rock building back in 1879. They are Len Sadler, now 83 years old, and still a resident of the Stoney district, and his sister, Mrs. Milt Cowell, who lives northeast of the school along highway 69. Mr. Sadler and his sister, who was a year younger than he, entered the first grade together.

Mr. Sadler recalls that Jim Skidmore and Sam Doty served on the first school board along with his father, Harry Sadler.

Later, after Mr. Sadler became a man, he said he served 30 years on the school board while his children and grandchildren attended the same school where he had received his eight years of schooling.

Mr. Sadler is proud of the fact that he has lived long enough to claim the disctinction of being present at the opening of school and also at the last board meeting more than 70 years later.
(Columbus Daily Advocate ~ January 3, 1956 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

The Columbus Journal of the 5th states that on the Wednesday night previous, about eight o'clock, three men rope up to the residence of Mr. Donald Ramsey, living about four miles south of Columbus. One of the men dismounted and walked up to the window, and fired through it at the person of Mr. Ramsey, who was sitting with his elbow on a table, talking to some gentlemen, who were in the room. The ball struck Mr. Ramsey in the right breast. He rose, and two more shots were fired, passing through his clothing. He died the next day. The parties immediately rode away in a southwesterly direction, and are supposed to be half-breed Indians, from the fact that Mr. Ramsey, during the day, had had a difficulty with some half-breeds who came from the Nation. A half-breed Cherokee named Henry Goddard is charged with committing the murder.
(White Cloud Kansas Chief ~ April 18, 1872 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

Upon a second trial, at Columbus, Henry Goddard, charged with killing Donald Ramsey last spring, the jury, on last Wednesday evening, returned a verdit of murder in the first degree.
(The Weekly Kansas Chief ~ November 7, 1872 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



Baxter Springs, KS., Dec. 21---A double murder is reported from a small place on the country road between here and Miami, O. T. An altercation arose between Bill Johnson and Frank Stallsworth. Stallsworth struck Johnson on the head with an iron bar, knocking him senseless. He continued to strike him as he lay upon the ground, when Harry Johnson, a boy of sixteen, took his brother's part, drawing a revolver and shooting Stallsworth in the head. The latter is dead and Bill Johnson is dying. Harry johnson cannot be found.
(Plain Dealer ~ Cleveland, OH ~ December 22, 1894)


The auctioneer's hammer fell on the Scammon School property Saturday afternoon and most local folks appeared to be happy with the outcome.

A crowd of nearly 100 people gathered to watch the selling of the shool building and property.

The school building and property was sold for $40,500 to Ron McCormick, representing the Scammon Holiness Church.

"We don't know yet exactly what we will do with the property, but we are talking about a day care center or something for the youth," said McCormick following the purchase.

The bidding was brisk until the number hit $39,000 when auctioneer Delbert Rowden put in a bid of his own for $40,000. He had disclosed before the auction began that he would be bidding for himself. He also said following his $40,000 bid hw said this was his final bid.

McCormick bid $40,500 and no other bidders went higher. The property included one square block in Scammon except two lots. The new part of the building was built in 1971. The gymnasium was the original Jackson School built in 1898.

Auctionneer Rowden told the crowd during the sale that a builder had estimated the cost of replacement at $4.5-million based on the structure and square footage.
(Columbus News ~ Monday ~ June 11, 2012)


October 1, and it is not far away now, is the date when the coal companies are expected to have bath houses ready for their workmen, where they can wash and change their pit clothes for street wear. Many of the companies are getting ready for the day when the law goes into effect, but a few of them have not yet started although it is believed they will be ready when the time comes. These bath houses will be fitted with hot and cold water and shower bath for the benefit of the men, and lockers will be built in sufficient number to accommodate every man working at the mines. Those who do not desire the shower bath will be furnished with tubs and warm or cold water and each man will have an individual vessel for his use.

The State Board of Health is at the bottom of the new innovation for the miners and it is believed that all the miners will take kindly to the plan judging from the statements made by many of them regarding it. The claim made for the plan is that it is a matter of health and sanitation. The men will not have to come out of the mines and go to their homes in their clothes which way be wet and uncomfortable, especially during the winter time, when it is stated that many severe colds are contracted. The miners will not then be compelled to enter a street car in their dirt-begrimed pit clothes and be avoided by some because of the coal dirt and ill-smelling pit lamps. While the miners know that they are not in a fit garb to travel on street cars it is no fault of theirs; but with the bath house they will feel as free to enter a crowded car as anyone.
(Columbus Daily Gazette ~ September 7, 1911)


by W. F. Oliver

As we look back over the past years and think about the good old days when we had the old-fashioned grist mill here on Spring River, owned and managed by Mr. H. R. Hubbard with Henry Glassner as head miller, some of us miss the old mill and the good times we had in those days. People would bring their grist from miles around and stay all day. They did not have to give half of their grain to get it ground, like they do nowadays. When the miller was rushed they would run after night. The old mill made such a noise we could hear it a mile away.

Mr. Glassner and his son, Joe, made as good corn meal as ever went to Galena and Mr. Hubbard sent carloads of meal and flour to Galena and other places.

Happy is the miller, that lives by the mill,
The wheel runs around against his will,
One hand in the hopper, the other in the sack,
The mill is gone to never come back.

The mill was the gathering place for the boys in this neighborhood, the writer being one of them. They would gather there every Sunday, chew and smoke, tell yarns, jump, wrestle and try all kinds of projects. As I said people would take wheat and corn, have it ground for toll and they all got the bran. That was in the good old days.

There was a dam across the river, the mill being run by water power. When the river would get real high, the miller would have to move the wheat and corn out of the warehouse to save it. The writer went to Boston Mills many a time on horseback with a sack of corn on behind him.

O. N. Mallatt, Joe Glassner and four of the Olive boys are all that still live near the old mill site. All the rest live in other states, some are dead. We would like to see another grist mill in the neighborhood.

In those days we had a post office called Boston Mills. This locality still carries the name and guess it will for years to come. To be sure the boys had an old swimming hole at the old mill and many a one had his clothes tied in a knot.
(Galena Evening Times ~ March 13, 1923)


It is rather interesting to witness the manufacture of pop. We lately dropped into the establishment of Messers. Norman & Gillett, of this city, and was surprised to witness the process of manufacturing this very pleasant and pop-ular drink. A gas is generated by bringing in contact marble dust and muriatic acid, which is purified by passing through water. The process is very simple and entirely different from what we thought it was. The bottling is performed by a machine very ingeniously devised, putting in the syrup and water impregnated with gas and stopping the bottle almost instantly. Mr. Gillet kindly showed us the process of making pop, and bottling it, and particularly exhibited his skill in bottling, but when he undertook to fill us up on pop he found himself inadequate to the task.

They have about $2,500 invested in machinery, bottles, boxes, ets., in this enterprise and are preparing to enlarge their establishment and put in new machinery and much larger generators.

They manufacture a fine quality, making a delicious and healthy summer drink, and they are building up a fine trade in the adjoining cities. These gentlemen are very glad to have visitors call and inspect their establishment, and visitors will find it interesting to see how pop is made.
(The Columbus Courier ~ June 5, 1884)


Enumerators Task Will Not be Easy and Questions

Will Not be Asked Out of Curiosity

Are you ready to make public your pedigree in its entirety? Is there anything in your past of which you are ashamed? Is there anything about your present that you do not care to have known? Unless you can answer all these of these questions in the affirmitive you had best "hide out" during the month of April, for if the government census man gets you he's going to make you tell everything you know about yourself.

Commencing April 15 government census enumerators will commence work rounding up the facts and figures bearing upon every citizen of Cherokee and Galena. It's not going to be as pleasant a job as some of them probably imagine, nor as unpleasant as some of the prospective question answerers would like to make it for them.

The census man is not merely curious about these things. It's his business to know them and he's going to find out before you can get rid of him. If you are the head of a household here i the list of questions he is going to ask you: What is your house number? What is your name? The name of the members of your family? What is the relationship of these people to you? How old are you? Are you single, married, widowed or divorced?

How long have you been married, if at all? How many children have you? Where were you born and where were your father and mother born? Are you naturalized? Can you speak English? If not, what can you speak?

What is your occupation? Are you an employer, or employed? Were you out of work April 15, 1910? How long out of work in 1909?

Can you read and write? Do you own or rent your home? Any mortgage? Are you a survivor of the Union or Confederate army or navy? Are you blind, one or both eyes? Are you deaf of dumb?

It has been ten years since the last decennial government census was taken. The above list of questions, there, will be brand new to the numerous heads of households who have attained the proud distinction within the last decade. Other heads of households may have been called upon to answer the same list of questions several times in the past.


Following is the list of enumerators who will take the census of Cherokee county, the work beginning on the 15th:


Miss Ruby B. Covey, Baxter Mrs. Annie Mellors, Weir
L. M. Dillman, Columbus S. O. McDowell, Columbus
Joseph A. Duree, Galena J. C. Wolfe, Galena
Carrie A. Todd, Galena Charles Pence, Galena
Miss Irene Nichols, Galena W. R. Brown, Galena
Charles E. Jones, Empire George D. Stanley, Baxter
Mrs. Fannie L. Ross, Galena Alvin L. Kelly, Hallowell
Mrs. Lucy H. Haug, Galena Calvin M. Cooper, Columbus
Joseph P. Levecque, West Mineral Thomas Fliss, West Mineral
John P. Pollock, Scammon Mathew C. Cheyne, Melrose
Peter McDonald, East Mineral Beryl E. Sine, Mineral
George H. Tharp, West Mineral Charle H. Carrol, Columbus
Miss Gertrude Denny, Galena Thomas Stewart, Oswego
J. Morton Hall, Baxter Conrad A. Heiser, Weir
Edward Young, Weir  

(Galena Evening Times ~ February 9, 1910)


The coal miners of Scammon and Weir City have boycotted the electric railroad between those two towns and now it is a $5 fine for a miner to ride on the line until the railroad interurban company agreed to the reduction in fares of 5 cents which has been demanded.
(Galena Evening Times ~ September 9, 1909)


Galena School Board Bars Married Women and Forbids Dancing

Galena, April 20----Members of the Galena school faculty for 1926-27 were elected at a special meeting of the board of education last night.

A resolution was passed to insert a clause in all teachers' contracts forbidding the attendance of public dances.

Hereafter, it shall be the general policy of the board not to employ any additional married women teachers, and any teacher who marries during the course of the school year automatically cancels her contract.

A resolution was passed to adopt the salary schedule constructed and presented by the superintendent and teachers' committee.
(Columbus Daily Advocate ~ April 21, 1926)


Delegation of Women from Mineral, Kansas Call on County Attorney Majors----Smash Up Alleged Saloon When Beer is Refused Them.

The enforcement of the prohibitory liquor law in the north part of this county is causing considerable excitement in the vicinity of Mineral, Kansas. This community is the heart of the coal district of this county and the thousands of foreigners employed in the mines there cannot understand why they are deprived of their beer, and they have started out to find why they are being deprived of it.

Tuesday night a crowd of about two hundred women made a demand for their beer at two places in Mineral where it was alleged beer was being sold, and upon being refused it they proceeded to smash up the building, hurling rocks and breaking out the windows.

As a way out of the difficulty it was decided that a committee should be sent to County Attorney Majors asking that they be supplied with beer, and in consequence of this decision a committee of about ten ladies called at County Attorney Majors' office at Columbus yesterday at noon and presented a petition to him signed by 96 women asking that they be allowed to purchase beer. The owmen were foreigners and it required the services of an interpreter for County Attorney Majors to talk with them.

The women were under the impression that County Attorney Majors could grant them permission to get beer, and that he was solely responsible for them being deprived of it. They contended that they worked hard all day at the homes and that they desired to have their beer; that their men worked hard in the mines and when they came home their beer was a necessary article. County Attorney Majors explained to them that the sale of beer was in violation of law and that he could not give them permission to get it, and the women departed for their homes, but it is difficult to tell what their next move will be.
(Galena Evening Times ~ July 8, 1909)


It stands in the midst of a section of land, three and a half miles southwest of Cherokee, Kansas, surrounded by a lonesome and desolate waste of neglected farm land. A stunted growth of noxious weeds covers the once fertile pasture and wheat land, and, excepting a small building occupied by the tenant and a half tumbled down house erected in the pioneer days, there is no other structure visible.

No one lives in this strange melancholy house. Its windows stare blankly from the silent walls, and the massive hardwood doors with their bronze hinges resist all who would cross the threshold.

It appears to be a haunting dream of a dead master, who intended it as a home for his declining years, a dream realized by the kingly yield of coal taken from the earth below. In this house was a sumptuous library, for the master was a poet and philosopher. It was in the library he had planned to pass many happy years. But he died, and the house was closed and stands that way today.

The newspapers had much to say about him, for Eugene Ware was beloved by all who knew him and his works. Little was said about his having been a great lawyer, or of his having been a Roosevelt appointee--commissioner of pensions. But praises were sung of Eugene Ware, the poet and philosopher, author of "The Washer Woman's Song," and many other poems.

Lines from the "Washer Woman's Song" show his philosophy:

"With a Savior for a friend,
He will keep me to the end."

Fifty years ago Eugene Ware used to come to Cherokee and play croquet with the young folks of the then little border town. Some time he would attend the ice cream suppers at the Methodist church. Among his friends was Judge E. A. Perry, who died several years ago. The judge once wrote to Ware of a friend who was seeking appointment to a federal office. The letter was returned with this written across it:

"I had heard her semi-song,
It's a song I do not sing,
For I scarce believe a thing
Of the stories that are told
Of the miracles of old;

But I know that her belief
Is an anodyne of grief,
And will always be a friend
Who will keep her to the end."

(Kansas City Star ~ October 19, 1924)


Hereafter Parties Who Attempt to Delay the Fire Department Will Be Ejected From the Wagon Without Regard for Injuries

Mayor C. H. Jones today asked The Times to state to the people of Galena that hereafter there will be plenty doing if there is any more interference with the fire department in reaching fires and that the city will assume responsibility for damages or injuries that may be sustained by boys or men who are kicked off the wagon. The mayor also stated that a fine of from $5 to $25 will be imposed in police court upon any person who is convicted of boarding the fire wagon.

From statements made by the mayor it appears that there are too many men and boys in Galena who are laboring under the impression that the fire team and wagon were installed especially to haul them to fires and that it is more important for them to get a ride than it is for the fire fighting equipment to reach the blaze as quickly as possible. The great interference since the equipment was installed was noticed Tuesday night when men and boys almost blocked the work of the department. The wagon was so heavily loaded that it was impossible to make any progress in getting to the Kellar street fire which burned three residences. The men and boys refused to be driven from the wagon and because Andy Helton's time was fully occupied by the team it was impossible for him to forcibly eject them.

In other cities the fire department stops for nothing and parties who fail to get out of the way are run over. It is also true that anyone not a fireman who attempts to board the fire fighting apparatus will need some one to help pick him up and this is to be the order in Galena hereafter. The mayor has authorized the men in charge of the fire wagon to use all the force necessary. He holds that if men and boys haven't enough sense to not interfere with the fire fighting apparatus it will do no harm if they have a little sense beaten into them. The practice of the men is soon taken up by young boys and the mayor thinks it would be well for parents to give their young hopefuls a little instructions in this line. The warning has been given by the city and any of those who may be in doubt or are especially anxious to do a little experimenting can satisfy their desire by boarding the fire wagon at the next opportunity. The situation seems to be that if they escape injury, and are not kicked or beaten off, the ride will cost them anywhere from $5 to $25. Walking is a slow way to get to a fire, but at the price which will be charged by the city it will be found the cheapest method of transportation.
(Galena Evening Times ~ June 6, 1912)


Farmer Discovers Prehistoric Graves Near Faulkner

A few days ago a farmer living near Faulkner, southwest of Columbus on the Missouri-Pacific, discovered an ancient grave in his field while plowing. He was astonished to hear his plow strike a rock, as he did not think there were any rocks on the place.

Upon digging he unearthed about a ton of rocks in a region where there are no surface rocks within two miles. Rocks removed he came to a vault three feet long built in mortar lying north and south. In the vault was black mold and no coffin or bones, flints, nor human device.

Mr. McMickle, an intelligent gentleman living near, went to see the grave and made investigations and is of the opinion the gravey is very old and an Indian grave, and that it dates back before the Spanish occupation.

It was a child or its teeth or bones would have been preserved. If an adult, beads or indestructible trinkets would possibly have been buried with the body.

Mr. McMickle, who settled there 35 years ago, relates that when he came there on a prairie knoll he noticed a circular depression in the ground, and elevation somewhat like an emigrant's camping place with drains around it. Curiosity excited, he dug into the ground and found a grave, the bones decayed and gone, but beads and some cloth fabric preserved, charred by burning, but no coffin, teeth or bones.

A similar grave was found near Sherman City, only the mount was perhaps 18 inches high and a much plainer circular depression or ditch around the mound. Digging into it decayed bones were found and bracelets and ear rings of copper wire badly oxidized.

Osage Indians who came here in 1812 bury in a rock cairn. These Cherokee county Indians it seems bury in the dirt like the Mound Builders. No Indian graves have been found on this side of the Neosho buried in the ground or dirt. South of Joplin in Missouri, on Shoul creek at Redding's Mills, there seems to be a cemetery on each side of Shoal creek, with maybe a dozen Mound Builder's graves. They are 4 feet wide, 30 feet across and have not to our knowledge been dug into.

Copper relics are found very frequently in the graves of these people in the west and south and east, and many of the dead were cremated in teh tomb before covering up, many being buried sitting up. It is believed the graves are those of Mound Builders.---- Columbus Advocate
(Galena Evening News ~ May 11, 1904)


In thirty-nine years, time has wrought a great change in Columbus and Cherokee county. On Christmas day, 1869, I settled in Columbus. Three friends from Illinois, and myself, stood in the middle of the public square, the spot is now covered by the court house. A full foot of snow spread over the ground. In every direction over the glistening show we could look as far as the eye could reach without a tree or shrub to obstruct the view.

There were thirteen wooden shanties around the square, made of rough lumber of the native saw mill kind. The other vacant lots facing the four sides of the square were all taken by placing four posts in the form of a square on each lot.

There was notice "Hands off" to all strangers and every one else, and it was strictly observed. The Leagues were in the saddle then, and their rules and regulations were the law. Their methods were not altogether ethical, but were forcible and commanded about absolute respect.

The lot east of the now First National Bank, then a blacksmith shop, was vacant. I pre-empted this lot by placing on it four scantling in form of a square.

I then hired teams and had three four-horse loads of lumber hauled from Ft. Scott. It was the first northern pine lumber landed in Columbus, and attracted the attention of many of the natives, who expressed acquisition with many smart and silly remarks.

I built a small office and a larger room for a drug store which was the first drug store opened in Columbus.

At that time the physicians in Columbus were Dr. Walker, Dr. Childs, Dr. Winslow, myself and Dr. Lee; although Dr. Lee did not practice and Dr. Winslow remained but a few months. Dr. Bailey was at Pleasant View; Dr. Oakes at Spring River; Dr. McDowell at Crestline; Dr. McCormek at Millersberg; Dr. Martin on Neosho River; Dr. Burns at Sherman City; and Dr. Sackett near there, and Dr. Patty at Lowell.

At Baxter were Drs. Street, O'Connor, Cummings, Stewart, McCellan, McClure, and others.

In the spring of 1870, Columbus grew very fast; the first passenger train that ever came into Columbus was on April 15, 1870, over the old Gulf on Memphis Ry. It was then called the Missouri River, Ft. Scott & Gulf Ry. The first railroad for years that came into Columbus. There was a constant stream of emigration and among them many doctors, but few of them remained long.

Dr. Thurman was one who remained there until he died a few years ago. Among the doctors who came to Columbus at an early day and remained but a short time here: Drs. Monahan, Day, Hill, Marlow, Markham, Murbury, Minney, two DeTarrs, Smith Thompson, Russell, Warrenton, Bennefee, and others.

Those who came later and remained for sometime, but have left are Dr. Jordon, Patty, May, Lewis, Snow, Craig, Morrison, Lawrence, and Graham.

The physicians who settled very early in the seventies and are still here in practice are Dr. Scoles of Galena, who lcated in Lowell over thirty-five years ago, Dr. Hoag of Weir City, located in Stilson thirty-four years ago, and Dr. Baxter of Columbus, commenced practice here over thirty-three years ago. A few years ago we had with us a very distinguished old German doctor named Grobecker. He was dignified and wise, and looked very much the way an owl looks in the day time. He was here but a short time, and at first tried to work a partnership with some of our doctors, but for some reason he made headway slowly, and he felt his German brogue and superior abilities were not appreciated by the doctors and even by the people. He made us all feel he was accustomed to have the doctors go to him for council and knowledge, and the people for treatment, at his own price. He said the people of Columbus did not seem to know they could have the services of a German physician, but in the end it was their loss and not his. He would go where he would be appreciated, so he pulled up and settled in Crestline, six miles east of Columbus, and in a short time went the way of all these limberger M. D.'s, who usually flee from Germany to escape mal-practice prosecutions.

In 39 years in Columbus my recollection is but one mal-practice suit of any importance has ever been tried in our district court. A few other cases have been started but never reached trial.

The case tried was in the early seventies, and was the case of J. K. Jones vs. Dr. Oakes. Both lived near Spring River. Jones met with a serious accident, which made it necessary to amputate his leg. Dr. Oakes and Dr. Cummings of Baxter made the amputation. It was a bad compound comminuated fracture, beyond the skill of surgery to save the leg. A few years afterward Jones brought suit for damages against Dr. Oaks, leaving Dr. Cummings out. Oaks had property, Cummings had none. The case was tried three time I think, the jury disagreeing twice, but at last Oakes was soaked for $1500. The judgment, cost of attorneys fees cost the doctor $6000, which broke him up.

Dr. Oakes was a generous, splendid old man, this suit took from him all he had accumulated in a lifetime. He moved to Missouri and soon died. I was a witness in this case and do not believe in justice a verdict against him should have been rendered, but sympathy for the one-legged man constantly and skillfully kept before the jury by the prosecution won the case.

The record in a period of nearly forty years speaks well for the physicians of Cherokee county in damage suits. The record is far different in Crawford county.

Of all the physicians that I have met in our county in the last 39 years, with the exception of three or four, they have been men of ability and high gentlemanly standing. Of about 25 doctors in Cherokee county in 1869, I believe I am the only one living who was in the county at that time.
(The Modern Light ~ June 25, 1908)


On May 2, 1866, I landed in what is now Shawnee Twp., Cherokee County, Kansas, and settled on a claim on the east side of Shawnee Creek, near the old Military road, east of Wirtonia, in what is now Shawnee. The 3rd day of May we were looking over the county and came across the families in camp on Cow Creek, at the Hayworth Ford, Henry Rice and wife and John Rawlings and wife.

During the first year we went to Ft. Scott for our mail, groceries and a few household supplies. We had free delivery of mail then. Two or three went to Ft. Scott and secured the mail for the neighborhood and delivered it to them. We took turns in going. We went from 50 to 150 miles in Missouri and paid as high as $2.50 a bushel for corn meal. We got shorts to make biscuit on Sunday, for a change. Our cook stove was a fire place built in one end of our log house. Our cooking utensils were an old skillet with a lid; an iron tea kettle and one iron pot. We built a one room house, 16 ft x 20 ft, one story high with a rock chimney in the west end. Two doors and no windows. The first year we lived on the ground floor. We put sleeprs in the house. We put four close together in the center of the room and used them for a table. Then put one on each side of them for chairs to be used when we ate our meals. The others we put in the east end of the house for our bedroom. We had two beds with only one leg each. We bored holes in the logs of the house for the side and end rails of the bed. The slats were made of our lariet ropes.

Our well was Spring River pumped up by horse power in barrels. Our fuel was hauled from Cow Creek and Spring River. The first year I broke out 6 acres of sod and planted it to corn and built a shanghai fence around it. The corn came up and grew fine. About Sept. 23 or 24, the grasshoppers came and at it all up in one day and night. In the winter of '66 and '67 I went to Kansas City and hauled a load of goods for a man who was starting a store at the mouth of Fly Creek in the southwest corner of this county. In going across the country for home, I went across the upper end of Quaker Valley, about four miles southeast of where Columbus now stands. I saw 39 deer in one drove, and when I reached Shawnee Creek, I saw 6 more; 45 in one day.

The first year I never saw but one rabbit on any of the praries, and only one tree was seen for years. The tree stood one or two miles east and north of where Stippville now stands, and was called Lone Elm. There were only two public roads in the country as I know of. The old Military road and the Humboldt, running across the county from northwest to the southeast.

The first year or two, prairie chickens and deer were plenty.

In the year of 1867, I helped move a saw mill from Spring River to Neosho river. We went through where Columbus now stands, when there was only one house there.

The first Sunday School was held in a log house near where Wirtonia cemetery is on Shawnee creek. The most of us boys went barefoot; two or three preferred to be a little stylish. One had a good pair of boots and others had one good boot while the other was out at the toe. Another had a dog chain on for a watch chain, and Green McDowell actually came to Sunday School one time in a buggy. There were no autos then and the first three or four years I never knew of but two buggies in our part of the county. Green McDowell was very accomodating. He would let us boys have his buggy to use once in a while to go riding with our girls.
John H. Scott, 636 S. Tenn., Columbus, Kansas
(The Modern Light ~ Thursday ~ May 10, 1917)


This school is beautifully located in the midst of the thickly settled neighborhood known, even to the oldest settlers of Cherokee County, as the "Quaker Valley."

Ground was first broken for the buildings in 1879, and the first committee of management was appointed by Spring River Monthly Meeting of Friends, 7th month 1880. These Friends were appointed "to have the oversight and management of Friends high school at Spring river;" but before the school was formally opened the 1st month 1881, the name was changed to Spring River Academy.

The first teachers were Chas. W. Ryder, of Boston, principal, and Rachel A. Stout, of Emporia, assistant.

The enrollment the first year reached 55 pupils. During the second year Louisa Deweese, (now Haworth) was added to the teaching force. In the summer of 1882 the first boarding house addition, 36x24 feet, was finished, and the school opened on the 13th of 10th month, 1882, with Joseph and Esther Masters of Ohio, superintendent and matron, and Dillwyn Stratton, of Ohio, principal, assisted by Rachel A. Stout. The enrollment of pupils this year reached 62: while under the succeeding management of Henry S. Harvey, principal, and Joseph S. Moore, assistant, the enrollment reached 64 pupils, and this remained the maximum enrollment until 1895-96, when it reached 76, under Adolphus E. Harvey, principal, and A. Gertrude Harvey, assistant. For the succeeding year Joanna Bowles was added to the teaching force, and the enrollment reached 92.

But the end of growth was not yet; for last year, with Adolphus E. Harvey, principal, and Joanna Bowles and Lydia F. Harvey, assistants, the enrollment reached 97 pupils. And in spite of the phenomenal growth of the past three years, the prospects were never better for making a "record-breaker" than they are now for next year.

The foundations of this reasonable hope are a few such substantial facts as these: First, more than 80 pupils are already definitely "entered" for next year. Second, the primary department is to be moved into more commodious quarters so that the youngest pupils as well as the more advanced, may have the advantages not only of a well-lighted and well-heated room, but also be so removed from the upper school that the pupils of one department can not interfere with the work of another. Third, the work of the primary department has been systematized as never before, and the work of the upper school has been regraded and advanced to the extent of one full year's work. Fourth, both American Sweedish gymnastics will be inroduced, and all pupils will be given class drills at least once a week throughout the course in order to teach them a proper control of their muscles in "standing and walking, and also develop in them the habit of quick response."

Few schools in America posses a more suitable hall for work in Sweedish gymnastics than is to be found at the academy. Fifth, the school year has been lengthened from five to six months, on the basis of three months to the term according to the plan of Western boarding school of Pennsylvania, the largest and most thorough Friends boarding school in the world. And lastly, while the business management of the school remains largely in the same able and careful hands as last year, the faculty has been remodeled so as to fully meet the demands of the generally advanced conditions of the school.

The teachers for 1898-99 are: Anson B. Harvey, American history, languages and literature; Adolphus E. Harvey, physicial science, elocution and mathmatics; Joanna Bowles, primary department.

And now a word about the teachers: Joanna Bowles, though teaching the upper school last year, has been a specialist with young children, having had three years experiences as primary teacher in the schools of Northern Kansas and three in the Training school at Tunesassa, N. Y. The two other teachers are "original sons" of Spring River Academy, both of them being present as pupils at the formal opening of the school nearly 20 years ago. Each prepared at the academy for entrance to Westtown Boarding School, and from which Anson B. Harvey was graduated "in the classical course" in 1892, and Adolphus E. Harvey "in the scientific course" in 1893. The latter, after graduation, entered the teaching profession, and for two years conducted a most successful school at Plainfield, Ind., the enrollment and interest almost doubling under his management. In 1895-96 he took charge of Spring River Academy under the most discouraging circumstances, and the facts given above in the general description of the growth of the school speak with sufficient eloquence of his administration.

Anson B. Harvey, after graduating from Westtown, entered the Junior Class of Haverford College, Pennsylvania, and was granted the degree of Bachelor of Science, in 1894; he remained another year, taking a graduate course in history, literature and philosophy, and was granted the degree of Master of Arts in 1895. During the same year he also took a course in gymnastics at Drexel Industrial Institute, Philadelphia, and in the summer of 1895, he attended the summer school of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., receiving a certificate for work done in general American gymnastics. In the fall of 1895, he was elected as Associate Member of the American Branch of the Society for Physical Research of London, England, and during the school year of 1895-96 he taught in Friends' Select School, Philadelphia, and carried a course in ethics, philosophy and physiology, at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. This course was continued for another year and a half, when an attack of la grippe made it necessary for him to stop his studies for awhile; and drifting home as every native Kansas man must do sooner or later, the committee in charge of the academy succeeded in securing his services for next year.

With such a faculty and with the committee doing everything in their power to put the buildings and equipments in the best possible condition, it will certainly be no surprise if the enrollment should go over the hundred mark this coming winter.
(The Modern Light ~ Thursday ~ September 15, 1898)


Complete Settlement Of All Matters Regarding Estate Reached Today


Claims of Others Will be Satisfied by Subscription---The Estate, With Esception of $12,000 to be Distributed

The city gets the Norton residence for a hospital.

Late this afternoon, after a couple of days spent in ironing out all of the details, it was announced that the plans of settlement which were published in The Advocate last Wednesday have been definitely agreed upon.

The necessary papers have been signed and the probate court has ordered a distribution of all the Norton estate with the exception of about $12,000. This will be held by the administrators until the full two years, as required by law, expire.

Through the agreement the claims of the city, the First Baptist church and Mrs. Sarah A. Remy are satisfied and the suit which they brought agains thte three direct heirs will be dropped.

The heirs, Mrs. Mattie Ingle; William Norton and Claude Norton, donate the Norton residence to the city to be used and known as the Maude Norton Memorial hospital. The deed which was signed the first of the week, conveying the property to the city, but which was placed in escrow pending the completion of the negotiations, will now be delivered to the City of Columbus. this is the only concession made by the heir as the claims of Mrs. Remy and the Baptist church will be satisfied by public subscription, not in excess, it is reported, of $1500.
(Columbus Daily Advocate ~ July 28, 1917)


The county commissioners have decided to sell, through sealed bids, approximately 228 acres of land surrounding the Hillcrest Rest Home, east of Columbus, it was announced today.

The tract, formerly known as the county farm, contains 240 acres. However, approximately 12 acres will be retained by the county for the Hillcrest Rest Home and a small cemetery.

Six appraisers have been appointed by the commissioners to set a value on the property to be sold. They are Tom H. Weakley, Baxter route one, Jim Grant, Scammon route one, R. W. Fowler, Weir, Fred Braun, Jr., Galena, George Stoskopf, Baxter Springs, and R. L. Jackson, Columbus.

A legal notice calling for sealed bids on the land to be sold will be published later. Funds from the sale will be placed in the county's building fund.
(Columbus Daily Advocate ~ January 18, 1966)


Approximately 232 acres of the Cherokee county farm, two miles east of Columbus, will be offered for sale to the highest bidder by the county commissioners.

Sealed bids are to be mailed to the commissioners until May 9, and will be opened by them at 10 a.m. May 10. No cash deposit will be required with the bids, and the buyer will be notified to pay in cash within 10 days after the opening of the bids.

A description of the property, which is divided into two tracts, will be found elsewhere in this issue of the Daily Advocate, in a notice being publisehd by the county commissioners.

Approximately 13 acres of the farm now being used for the Hillcrest Rest Home will be retained by the county.

The land to be sold was appraised recently. Funds from the sale will be placed in the county building fund.
(Columbus Daily Advocate ~ April 26, 1966)


Early Morning Blaze Destroys Three of Buildings


Commissioners Have Work On Temporary Kitchen and Dining Room Started

Fire at the county farm this morning almost completely destroyed the main building, the dining room and kitchen which immediately adjoined it, and the women's dormitory. The county has $875 insurance on the buildings and contents, but this will not be anything like enough money to replace them.

The fire was discovered about 5 o'clock this morning by Phil Fisher, the superintendent. It started in a closet in the rear part of the main buliding where a quantity of old clothing and other combustible material was stored. Fisher fought out the blaze in the closet but it had worked its way into the walls and the building was doomed.

The main building was a large story and a half structure. Constructed of white pine and being over forty years old it burned like tinder. Fisher, the few inmates at the county farm who are able to work and some neighbors made a hard fight against the flames in order to save other buildings.

It was soon seen that it was impossible to save the main building, or the kitchen and dining room which were built as an addition to it several years ago. The women's dormitory, which stood near by, also caught fire and burned.

As it was some time after the discovery of the fire in the main building before the flames were communicated to the dormitory, all the occupants got out in safety.

Only a small part of the furniture in the main building was saved. Along with that belonging to the county was the furniture which was the personal property of Phil Fisher, the superintendent. Mr. Fisher had no insurance on his furniture.

The insurance will fall far short of replacing the burned buildings and the equipment. The main building was so old that its face value was not great, but to put up a new buildling to take its place will cost much more than the insurance.

It was only by the hardest work of the improvised bucket brigade that the men's dormitory was saved. They kept it drenched with water while the other buildings were burning.

While the exact cause of the fire is not known, Superintendent Fisher's theory is that mice, with which the building was infested, carried matches into the closet, and that when they ignited them by nibbling the clothing in the closet caught fire and from this the flames readily spread to the old pine wood of the building.

This morning Superintendent Fisher and the twenty people who are at the county farm, ate their breakfast outdoors, the meal being cooked in an improvised kitchen.

County Commissioners Shearer and Collins visited the scnee of the fire this morning. As soon as they returned to town they ordered lumber with which to build a temporary building 15 by 32 feet. This will be erected as quickly as possible and will be used for kitchen and utility room. The old cell house will be worked over to fit it for temporary use as a dormitory.
(Columbus Daily Advocate ~ December 1, 1911)


Authorities Release Three Persons Held On Insufficient Evidence

Harve Stephens, 62 years old, of Oromogo, Mo., was undoubtedly murdered by some unknown person or persons, according to the verdict of the coroner's jury last Monday night.

Stephens' body was found dead and floating on 25 feet of water in the Silver Fox mine about seven miles southwest of Baxter Springs, Monday, May 25. The top of the shaft was covered with planks which had been nailed there since the mine suspended work about three months ago.

Mrs. Lizzie Stephens, wife of the dead man; their son, Joe Stephens, 16 and James. R. Phillips were released from custody by authorities immediately following the inquest. Each testified that they knew nothing about the murder. G. P. Stephens, brother of the dead man, testified that he had not seen his brother since March 16, at which time he left Afton saying that he intended to go to Commerce, Okla.

An autopsy performed by Dr. C. E. Lewellen in the presence of Porter Clark, Jr., county coroner, failed to reveal the presence of any bullet in Stephens body as was thought possible at the time x-ray pictures of a wound on his back near his left shoulder, were taken.

The jury was composed of the following: H. H. McGuire, foreman; E. C. Stevison, Van T. Cavanaugh, M. R. Hartley, Edward Johnson and Ivan Chubb.

Other witnesses were Ira Qualls of Galena and Leon Childress who found the body when they were preparing to resume operations with a party of workmen, Vivian Hiatt and Harold Mills who took the body from the mine, Night Marshal Fred Gadis and J. F. Kinnett of Oronogo, a life long acquaintance of Stephens.

Funeral services were held at 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon in the cemetery at Oronogo, Mo., Lodge No. 335, Modern Woodmen of America, of that place had charge of the services.
(Baxter Springs Citizen ~ June 4, 1925)


In response to numerous inquiries from eastern men who are not familiar with lead and zinc mining, lease of mining lands, etc. We here give the modus operandi pursued by most of the companies at work in this district. An individual, or company of men, will lease a tract of land, 40, 80 or 160 acres, that they wish to mine for a term of 10, 15 or 20 years, building themselves to pay to the land owner, 5, 8, 10 or 12 percent, or any other percent agreed upon, of the gross product from said land as royalty. The company then, generally speaking, plat the ground that they have leased; that is, they lay it off into lots 200 feet square which they sublease to miners at a royalty of 20 to 25 percent of the gross product of zinc ore that is mined off of said lots by the miner, and a royalty ranging from 25 to 55 percent of the lead mined. The companies generally develop the ground either by sinking a shaft, or shafts, or by finding ore with drill holes before they attempt to sublease any lots. When a company starts in to develop or prospect their ground with a shift, they generally sink it 6 x 9 feet, or large enough to put in a pump and also hoist out of. The miner generally sinks his shaft, which is only used for hoisting purposes, 5 x 5 feet in the clear. Most companies in subleasing lots to miners agree to drain the ground and furnish water to miners to wash or clean their ore with, which necessitates the sinking of their pump shaft to the water level and the putting in of pumps. In some ground the water is stronger than in others and it is frequently the case that a shaft can be sunk 80 to 100 feet without putting in a pump, while in some cases strong water is encountered nearer the surface. Some companies reserve a number of lots to work themselves, while others sublease all their lots to miners and rely solely on the royalty they receive for their profits. All ore is weighed over the company's scales when sold and the company receives all monies paid for ore, and after deducting the royalty coming to them, pay the remainder over to the mine operators, generally on Saturday evening of the week in which the ore is sold, also settle with all the hands they may work, on Saturday evening. Wages range in this section, for practical miners, from $1.75 to 2.25 per day. While we have thousands of acres of mineral land in this section yet undeveloped, we do not wish to be understood as advocating that all a company has to do is to sink a hole, stroke ore and become immensely wealthy, but we do say that with common judgment used in the selection of the land, location, etc., there is no other business a capitalist can go into with such surety of large returns for the moeny invested as in developing mining lands in Jasper and adjoining counties.----Carterville Republican
(The Short Creek Republican ~ Saturday ~ November 5, 1892)



There are twenty-two towns and post offices in this county at this time. A few notes as to their origin, and for whom or what named, may not be un-interesting.

Baxter Springs, with one exception, is the oldest town in the county. It takes its name partially from a man by the name of Baxter who resided on what is now the town site long before the war, and for the numerous springs there which the citizens have long claimed possessed curative qualities.

Columbus was named for the great discoverer and the innumerable towns and people that bear that name, since Christopher started on his voyage of looking us up.

Crestline was named by a citizen who had formerly resided at Crestline, Ohio.

Empire City was so named by some citizens who thought they were building an empire on the hills opposite Galena in the early days of Short Creek lead mining.

Faulkner was named for Hon. Chas. Faulkner, who has been superintendent of the Soldier's Orphan home since its institution at Atchison, about ten years ago. Many are under the impression that the town was named afer the Forkner family of this city, but as its noticed the names are not spelled the same.

Friendship is a post office out in the Friends neighborhood in Sheridan township.

Galena means lead or blue mineral and is the name born by a city in this county that is today the center of the greatest lead producingn district in the world.

Hallowell was named by the editor of this paper for Col. J. R. Hallowell, a gallant soldier, a bright lawyer, for a long series of years a resident of this county, subsequently moving to Wichita and is preparing now to move to Chicago.

Lowell is the oldest town in the county, there being settlements there over fifty years ago. The town is at the mouth of Shoal creek where it empties into Spring river, both streams being great natural water powers. The early settlers, expecting to build up there a second Lowell, Massachusetts manufacturing center, gave the place that name.

Melrose signifies "honey or roses", and if there is a more rosy spot in the county than where J. S. Gillispie, Geo. Mathews, and J. T. Jarrett lives we don't know where it is.

Messer takes its name from a town that sprang up for a season or two and flourished during the time the old narrow gauge road from Parsons to Weir City formed a junction with the 'Frisco in Shawnee township, a mile or so this side of Spring river. When the narrow gauge road was taken up the town vanished and subsequently the name was given to the post office, now a mile or so south, and which "corners" with the farm of J. C. Hubbard who lately retired as register of deeds and proposes now to be a horny hand of toil.

Mineral is the new coal town out in Ross township where the M. K. & T. forms a junction with the Missouri-Pacific. The name is after the mineral or great coal fields in that district.

Neutral takes its name from the "Neutral Lands" by which all the land in this, Crawford and a portion of Bourbon county, were originally known. In the early days there was a Neutral City in the extreme northeast part of the county.

Pleasantview is a post office out in Pleasantview township near the site of the town of that name that was in the original county seat of the county.

Scammon takes its name from the Scammons who were the original owners of the land and the pioneers in the coal shipping business in this county. The town is located on the Ed Scammon farm and perhaps he is entitled to the credit of the name.

Sherman was one of the early towns and post offices in the county and takes the name from General and not John Sherman, which will perhaps be of some gratification to many pops.

Sherwin Junction is a station six miles west of Columbus at the intersection of the Frisco with the Missouri-Pacific. As to whom the town was named for we can't recall, if we ever knew.

Starvale is a post office out in Sheridan township which takes its name from a school house out that way, well known to all local politicians as Star school house.

Stippville is a coal station and post office between Columbus and Scammon and takes its name from F. M. Stipp, the original owner of the land.

Tehama has some reference to valley, which we do not now recall, and was so named for a post office in the Quaker valley six miles southeast of this city.

Varck is the station where passengers on the Memphis road get off to go over to the old town of Lowell, a mile away. It was named for W. H. Varck, or as he was best known in his lifetime, "Dad", for long years in the post office at Baxter Springs either as postmaster or assistant.

Weir City finishes the list in alphabetical order. This great coal center, and now next to the most populous town in the county, takes its name from the large family of Weirs who were the original settlers on the land.

In the early days of the county there were other towns that flourished for a time but have long since vanished and been forgotten except by the old timers. There was Neutral City and Pleasantview, already mentioned, in the northeast part of the county. Wirtonia, Messer and Brownsville, in Shawnee township, Brownsville was the terminal of what is now the Frisco road for three years, and Messer, a mile this side, subsequently a terminal for the narrow gauge road. Wirtonia was the "hotbed" of the old "Neutral Landers", or the rallying point of the "settlers", who, whenever the flag was raised on a pole for that purpose, would come flocking in with rifles, shotguns and other weapons, prepared to fight the minions who were trying to steal their land from them in the interest of the railroad company.

Millersburg, out in Ross township, was another important early day town. It was there that Uncle John Whitcraft started on the road to wealth in this county, and where Jim, the oldest boy, received the early training that fitted him in after years to wallopo his competitors for office so beautifully.

Cherokee City was another early day town that vanished many years ago. It was out in Lola township, and Will H. Thomas and the Thomas family, now of this city, got sustenance from the soil of that town site for many years afterwards.

Stilson was one of the early coal towns of the county and was located about a mile this side of the present city of Scammon. It was at Stilson that the present judge of the district court, Hon. A. H. Skidmore, did his "sparking" after coming to Kansas, and where he promised the preacher that he would do the right thing by the girl, "so long as life should last."
(Columbus Star Courier ~ May 7, 1896)



Deer Were Plentiful


Served in Civil War When Mere Youth


When you speak of pioneers out at Melrose they tell you that William Dodge Jarrett helped to hoe up the hill that the town stands on, planted the big trees there and donated toward the building of the first store. They will also tell you that he owns a goodly percent of the buildings in that town now and has always been an enterprising and respected citizen.

Mr. Jarrett settled in Melrose in 1871 when there were only two log houses on what is now the townsite. His father acquired one of these and with it 200 acres. William homesteaded 80 acres a mile south of the town. His patent to the land bears the name of President Benjamin Harrison.

"I have seen as high as 15 deer in one herd in what is now the main street of Melrose and buffalo were plentiful around what is now Coffeyville," Mr. Jarrett told a representative of The Citizen a few days ago.

The Melrose patriarch is 85 years old. He was named after William Dodge, father of the Dodge brothers of automobile fame. The Dodges and the Jarretts came from England. The Dodges settled in New York and Mr. Jarrett's mother remained in the Dodge home while her parents moved on to Philadelphia and hewed out a home in the wilderness.

When the Civil war broke out Jarrett enlisted in the Third Michigan volunteer cavalry, Company I. He was then only 17 but he served more than two years.

Mr. Jarrett recalls the building of the first store building in Melrose, one of the buildings he owns now. A man by the name of White was traveling in a wagon for his son's health. White said that, as the site of the village pleased him, he would build a store and carry a nice stock of goods if anyone showed a little encouragement, so the elder Jarrett gave $50 and William donated $50 worth of labor on the structure. A tornado unroofed it several years ago but it has been repaired and is in good condition.

Mr. Jarrett farmed for several years but later moved to Melrose where he engaged in the real estate business for 20 years. His wife died seven years ago.
(Baxter Springs Citizen ~ June 2, 1932)


Took Mrs. Veriez Over A Year To Get Back Home


Left Skidmore In Spring of 1914 and Came Back Sunday, After Husband Supposed Her Dead

A vivid description of the horrors of the invasion of Belgium and of the European war is given by Mrs. Paul Veriez, whose unheralded return to her home at Skidmore Sunday morning, after an enforced absence of 21 months, came as a surprise to her husband and her brother, Nick Schlitz, who had come to think of her as dead in stricken Belgium.

Mrs. Veriez tells of the descent of the Germany army on the city of Chatelet, early in August, 1914, and the ensuing five days of devastation, and the 5-day battle on a hill near the city that resulted in the almost complete annihilation of the French and Belgium forces. She witnessed and describes three desperate bayonet charges of the allied forces in a vain attempt to pierce the lines of the German forces, that had been reinforced the third or fourth day of the battle, and had formed a complete circle around the allies.

Mrs. Veriez is a young and pretty German woman and her dark eyes flash fire but her voice breaks as the telling of her story makes real again the horrors and sorrows of the war zone. She describes going on the battlefield to care for the wounded. A note of anger creeps in as she tells of the women being compelled by German officers to care for the German wounded first, leaving the allies to suffer until later.


Mrs. Veriez left skidmore March 28, 1914 to visit her mother in Chatelet, who was very sick. Rumors of an impending war reached her ears in June and fearing she would not be able to return safely later, she immediately wrote her husband to send her money to come home. Mr. Veriez sent the money July 13, 1914, but she never received it and it was returned to him last month. At no time from the day the Germans invaded the city was she allowed to send word to her husband of her plight. Correspondence of this class was forbidden by the German officers.

Early in August, she says, a warning rang through the city, "The Germans are coming! Flee all who can." A large German force entered the city and while some of those who fled escaped, most of them were pursued, captued and brought back. While no resistance was made by the citizens, many of them were killed and wounded, she says. Some of the houses were burned.

Five days after the invasion a large force of the allies drew near the city and the German forces went out to meet them. Both the armies dug trenches and most of the fighting was done from these. The allies found themselves surrounded when German reinforcements came up in the rear of the allies and three desperate attempts were made to get through the lines of the invaders. Most of the fighting could be seen from the city, Mrs. Veriez says. The entire force of the allies was either killed or taken prisoner and the German army marched on, leaving only sufficient soldiers to control the people of the city.


Mrs. Veriez soon after went to Acos, a neighboring city, and entered the employ of a physician and supported herself by doing housework for that family. At Acos she found a similar scene of desolation to the one she had left at Chatelet, the invading forces having reduced many houses to ashes and killed many of the citizens.

During the ensuing months she made many fruitless attempts to get transportation to France or Holland in hopes of then getting to the United States. Her health failing, the doctor who had furnished her employment lent her $100 and through the United States consul, transportation was secured for her to New York through Holland.

Mr. Veriez having received no letters from her all these months, and having received a return of the money sent for her home passage was forced to think that she had been killed duringn the invasion. Sunday monring as he was stepping out of a store at Skidmore he met her walking down the road in the direction of their home. This was the first time he had seen or heard from her since she left him in March, 1914.

Mrs. Veriez was born in Lorraine, and came to the United States seven years ago. While she is a German, she is bitter against the German soldiers because of their treatment of the Belgian people.

The city of Chatelet is a beautiful city of about 12,000 inhabitants, she says, having many fine residences and public buildings. It is about 80 miles from the German border and was among the first Belgian cities invaded, Mrs. Veriez says.
(Columbus Daily Advocate ~ December 18, 1915)

DEAD IN HIS BARN (Charles E. Leeman)

An Aged Kansan Found Dead Among His Horses and Cattle

Columbus, Kan., Feb. 21---While hunting rabbits this afternoon when about two miles southeast of this city a boy heard a loud commotion amoung the live stock in the barn owned by an old man by name of Leeman. On going to the barn the boy saw the old man Leeman lying dead upon the floor. No one knows what day the old man died, but from the fact that the horses and cattle seemed almost frantic for food and water, it is supposed he must have expired not later than last Friday. Mr. Leeman came here from Iowa about five years ago and has children residing in that state, but no relative here. He lived entirely alone, although about 75 years of age.
(Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital ~ Friday ~ February 24, 1899)


Mysterious Tragedy Which Occurred Near Hallowell

Man Named Shultz Shot Through the Head, His Throat Cut and Left for Dead

Columbus, Kan., Aug. 17---A shocking tragedy occurred Monday night at school house No. 90, locateda bout two miles west of Hallowell and has just come to light. A man named Shultz was found at a house near there with his throat cut and a bullet in his head. He was supposed to be dead.

About 9 o'clock two young boys named Wink and Eckstein, who were passing the school house, thought they heard a cry of distress, but upon going nearer they discovered nothing to warrant a belief that there had been any crime committed. But the cry for help left such an impression on young Wink's mind that at daylight yesterday morning he concluded to make a further investigation.

In his hunt he saw that someone had camped on the play ground, and upon going towards the burning embers of the camp fire he discovered a fresh pool of blood, while the grass looked as if there had been a scuffle.

The trail of blood was quite distinct and led toward the nearest house, occupied by Mr. Stevens, but he and his family were away from home on a visit.

Young Wink followed the trail to the door which was wide open and saw that the blood stains led to a bed room, where upon search he discovered what he supposed was the body of a dead man on the floor underneath the bed.

He went to Hallowell and gave the alarm, and a posse followed him to the Stevens' home where they loaded the man in a wagon and took him to that village for the inquest.

To the surprise of everyone the supposed corpse revived, although there was a bullet wound on the head and his throat was cut from ear to ear entirely severing the esophagus and partially severing the wind pipe. It was almost impossible to gain the particulars from the man on account of difficulty of articulation, but with some writing the following facts were learned.

The victim's name is Schultz and he and a negro had been working for a man near Chetopa, cutting corn, until yesterday when, their job being ended, they started in pursuit of further work.

They reached the school house just before dark and concluded to camp there. Schultz had a horse which they rode turn about.

Beyond those facts all that can be got from Schultz is that the negro cut his throat.

The negro has not been heard from and so far there appears no motive for the crime, as he neither took Schultz's horse, money or watch. The injured man can not recover.
(Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital ~ Friday ~ August 19, 1898)


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