McPHERSON COUNTY, KANSAS

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES

HIGHEST TEMPERATURES

The highest temperature Tuesday was 100 degrees, and there was very little breeze. Four heat prostrations were reported, none fatal. A number of horses died on the street. The prospect is for continued hot weather. The highest official temperatures in the United States Tuesday were reported from Kansas. Hays City, 104, Fort Scott and McPherson 103 degrees. (Newark Advocate, July 3, 1901, Kansas City, Submitted by Linda D.)

Transcribed by Christine Walters

HALF OF GROUP OF SWEDES NEVER REACHED LINDSBORG

Half of the Swedish immigrants who set out for Lindsborg in 1869 never did arrive, according to new information uncovered by Dr. Emory Lindquist, president of Bethany college here. Part of the group settled in Missouri instead of Kansas, according to an article by Dr. Lindquist which appeared in the Missouri Historical Review.

When the party of 250 arrived at Glasgow Scotland, it was learned the Atlantic voyage would have to be made in two ships. Passengers with the Rev. Olof Olsson, leader of the movement, successfully made their way to Lindsborg. Immigrants in the other ship were met in Chicago by a labor recruiting agent for the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. He had been sent there from Bucklin, MO., by another Swede, N.S. Ornsdorf.

The immigrants worked for the railroad during the summer months, feeling that extra money earned would assist them in establishing permanent residence at Lindsborg. The request for temporary stay was approved by Rev. Olsson. But Missouri became home to the Swedes, and they never left.

In writing of the separation, Mr. Olsson said, "What has been for me the most disturbing experience is that the majority of my party stayed in Missouri where they bought railroad land and paid $10 an acre. Here (Lindsborg) they could have acquired the most beautiful land without wooded arses to be cleared at the rate of $20 for 160 acres."

He held "greedy land agents" responsible for the break in his group. Olsson said land dealers "fooled" his people to make purchases and spread rumors of Indian massacres in Kansas. Indians had killed about 134 settlers in Lincoln county KS, the same month the Swedes sailed from their native land.

Though disappointed Rev. Ollson maintained close correspondence with his friends in Missouri. He sent Carl Walleen, a laymen with the original party, to conduct church services and Bible classes there. The Swedes in Missouri organized a Lutheran congregation and built a church eight miles north of Bucklin.

Bucklin Swedes have not retained their Old World traditions as their fellow immigrants in the Smoky Valley. But some bonds of common origin still remain. According to Dr. Lindquist, "The visitor to the area in Baker and Bucklin townships, once settled so extensively by Swedes, observes marks of identification with the past. Mail boxes still carry such names as Olson, Benson and Larson.

The homes still maintain the traditional hospitality, including the never present coffee pot, rolls and other Swedish delicacies. At Christmas time, some families serve tut-fisk and potaliskorf, Swedish is seldom spoken even by the few children of the pioneers who remain, and the English used is typical of the people in the surrounding area. The new generation knows only a few words of the language that was heard in the two while churches or as neighbors meet on narrow roads to discuss the crops or events as recorded in "Augustana" or "Hemlandet." The older generation will respond in Swedish when addressed in that language.

As is true among Swedish-Americans generally with pioneer antecedents, the language is unique and quaint, with accent and vocabulary belong to the 1860's and 1870's and identified with a province. There has been practically no immigration from Sweden to Bucklin since pioneer times and now continuous connection with the homeland.

The history of the Swedes in the picturesque countryside of Linn county exists almost entirely in the temple of memory of an older generation. Some aspects of that history will be transmitted as an oral tradition to succeeding generations.

Unknown and unrecorded is the toil and hardship, times of loneliness in a new country far from relatives and friends, the uncertainty of the morrow. But these people from Sweden saw in America what they called in their language, "Framtidlandet," the land of the future. And foremost of them it was what it seemed to be. They have shared in the life of a nation which gave them freedom and opportunity, and for it, they and their children's children have always been grateful."

Dr. Lindquist wrote.. "The college president received several letters a year ago which led to his discovery of a separation in the original group. The letters were written by Olsson and his wife to relatives in Sweden, and told of their disappointments when the immigrants remained in Missouri".

Dr. Linquist, upon visiting Bucklin MO recently, definitely established that part of Olsson's followers remained here. Residents in the Missouri and Kansas towns probably have more in common than many next door neighbors. (The Salina Journal, February 11, 1951, submitted by Christine Walters)

A CLUE TO A MOST HORRIBLE MURDER IN KANSAS

Chicago, Aug. 11---The police force of the city think they have discovered a clue to the motives leading to the horrible murder of Wm. Campbell, a wealthy Texas cattleman, who was brutally murdered at McPherson, Kansas, on the 16th of July last. Campbell was last seen alive in company with an employe named Van Doren who has been arrested for his murder. Campbell's body being found on top of a parially consumed haystack, seven miles from McPherson, with the head nearly severed from the body. It transpires that about a year ago Campbell was robbed of $2500 in this city, by two sharpers who are being prosecuted for the theft. He was en route to Chicago with a cargo of ponies with which to defray the expenses of the prosecution, at the time of his death. There is some reason to believe that Van Doren was hired to kill Campbell. The murdered man was a member of an old and highly respected Scottish family.
(Arkansas Gazette ~ August 12, 1887)

TRIPLE TRAGEDY IN KANSAS

Charles Tuxhorn, a Farmer, Kills His Two Sons, Fires His Property and Commits Suicide

McPherson, Kas., Jan. 24---Charles Tuxhorn, a farmer, who lived 14 miles southwest of here, killed his two sons, young boys, aged six and ten years, burned his house and barn with all of their contents and later, shot and killed himself. Tuxhorn smothered his sons to death and took their bodies to a neighbor's orchard, a half miles distant, where he laid them on the ground and covered them with blankets. Tuxhorn then returned to his home and set fire to all of his property after which he killed himself. He had been arrestd for mistreating his wife and children and was to have appeared in court today. He was 40 years old.
(Jonesboro Evening Sun ~ February 2, 1905)

SHOT DEAD BY ACCIDENT

The President of Two Kansas Banks Kills HImself Unintentionally

McPHERSON, KAN., Feb. 25---O. G. Heggelund, president of the Second national bank of this city and president of the First national bank of Lindsborg, besides holding many positions in other corporations in this city, accidentally shot himself in the heart 9 o'clock this morning.

An immense throng soon assembled at the Second national bank, the scene of the accident. The only witness to the affair was the youngest son of the deceased, who was in the bank at the time.

A Coroner's inquest was held, at which the evidence showed that the deceased was examining a new revolver which had recently been purchased and placed in the bank when by some means the weapon was discharged, the ball passing through the heart, causing instant death.

Mr. Heggelund was one of the best business men in the city and was always foremost in encouraging laudible enterprise for the good of the community. His loss will be greatly felt, especially among the poor, who always found in him a friend and helper.

The two banks of which Mr. Heggelund was president are among the best financially in this part of the state, and no one fears any trouble by reason of the accident.

Mr. Heggelund was a man about 55 years old, strong and robust, and in perfect health at the time of his death. His life was insured for $45,000.
(Kansas City Times ~ February 26, 1889)

HARRY TORNBLOOM'S SWEDISH DIRK

Harry Tornbloom of McPherson county, has a Swedish dirk, the blade of which darts forth when a spring is touched. In playing with this the other day Tornbloom touched the spring mistake and cut a gash over a friend's heart. (Sedan Lance, March 23, 1899, page 2)

TUTTLE FAMILY HAS MORE SMALL POX

The Tuttle family near Windom, in McPherson county, has more small pox. The two children now have the disease. They are broken out with it and very sick. The authorities have had some trouble in persuading Mr. Tuttle to obey the quarantine. He went down to Windom a few days ago, and when it was learned that his children had taken sick, the remarks made about him were anything but eulogistic. (Sedan Lance, March 30, 1899, page 6)

BAILEY GANGSTER DEAD OF WOUNDS AFTER GUN FIGHT - OFFICERS WAIT IN AMBUSH FOR DESPERADO; WIFE ALSO SHOT

Siloam Springs, Ark., Aug. 17 - Gene Johnson, 35 years old, believed by police to be a member of the Wilbur Underhill-Harvey Bailey gang of bank robbers and kidnapers, was shot and fatally wounded by police today after he, his pretty wife and another man had opened fire on 16 officers who waited in ambush. He died this afternoon.

Johnson and his wife who suffered several minor wounds in the melee, were brought to a hospital here. Their companion believed to be another desperado named Wright, escaped.

Johnson was wanted in connection with the robbery of a filling station at McPherson, Kans., during which Charles Bruce night watchman, was killed.
Johnson was tracked down on a tip received yesterday that the trio would appear at the farmhouse during the night. Sixteen picked deputies from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri went to the house, found to be a veritable arsenal, during the night.

Shortly after dawn a car drove up. When officers commanded it to halt Johnson and his male companion opened fire. Advancing toward his captors, Johnson went down with a bullet through his head as his wife fell screaming. The other man disappeared into a clump of trees and was not apprehended.

Police said they had definite information Johnson was a confederate of the Wilbur Underhill gang of escaped Kansas penitentiary convicts, one of whom, Harvey Bailey, wanted for participation in the Union Station massacre in Kansas City and in the Urschel kidnapping was arrested last Saturday in Dallas, Tex. (Times Picayune, August 18, 1933, page 11)

KIDNAPED JUDGE HOME SAFE AFTER ORDEAL

MCPHERSON, Kan.----A probate judge who was abducted at gunpoint from his home returned unharmed 14 hours later today.

Judge H. Dean Cotton was driven to McPherson by a Kansas highway patrolman and slipped into the back door of his house this morning, avoiding newsmen who had gathered on the lawn in front.

He was not immediately available for comment.

Cotton had apparently been out of contact with authorities and his family since shortly after his release near Okmulgee, Okla., until he was stopped by the highway patrol at Wichita, about 200 miles north of Okmulgee. Authorities drove the truck from Wichita to McPherson, and Cotton was taken in a car from Wichita to his home.

Kenneth Huff, 37, a former mental patient from McPherson, was arrested about 7 a.m. sleeping in a wooded area near Okmulgee in connection with the abduction of Cotton and two of Huff's nieces. Police said he was armed with a shotgun and .22-caliber pistol but offered no resistance.

Cotton had signed papers that committed Huff to a mental institution in 1972, authorities said.

Authorities said the two teenage nieces of Huff were abducted Tuesday afternoon before the judge was taken early in the evening. They said Cotton talked Huff into releasing the girls shortly after leaving McPherson. They were not hurt.

Investigators said it all started when Huff went to the home of a brother, William, with a shotgun and held the brother's wife and daughter at gunpoint.

"It has been a nightmare all night long," William Huff said this morning. "Thank God everything came out as well as it did. We'd rather it wouldn't have ever happened. This is something you read about and hear about but never imagine happening to you."

Family members told authorities Huff had been vowing to seek vengeance on several persons whom he held responsible for problems he had suffered the past three years. In late 1972 Huff was injured while working for a concrete business. Details of Huff's injury and subsequent psychiatric treatment could not be learned.

Ellis County Sheriff Ellis Musselwhite gave this account of Tuesday's events:

Huff, brandishing a shotgun, entered the home of a brother about 4:45 p.m. and held his sister-in-law and niece at gunpoint. At his orders, the woman went to another brother's house and returned with the second niece.

Some time later, after ordering the sister-in-law to make several telephone calls to family members, Huff took another gun, some ammunition and money, and left in a pickup truck with the two girls. Authorities said he told the family the girls would be killed if police were called.

Some time later he appeard at Cotton's home and sent one of the girls into the house to get the judge. The judge, although apparently not realizing the severity of the situation, refused to come out. Huff and the two girls left in the pickup, then returned about 7:20 p.m. an Huff took the judge hostage.

Mrs. Cotton, in another part of the house, knew only that her husband was leaving with another man, police said.

Family members finally alerted police at 10:15 p.m. after the girls returned home. They said Cotton had persuaded the abductor to release them along U.S. 56 east of town. They walked eight miles home in about two hours.

A statewide search was launched immediately. Authorities also ordered protective surveillance for several persons, including Huff's employer at the time of his 1972 accident, the judge at Newton, Kan., who conducted his recent divorce hearing, and a former law enforcement officer now living in Topeka.
(El Dorado Times ~ June 25, 1975)

SINK-HOLE SAM, KANSAS MONSTER, MAY OR MAY NOT BE IMAGINATION

INMAN, Kans. --- Things are buzzing down at the Sink Hole, especially now that the drought is here. With the water falling, there's more chance to see Sink Hole Sam, Kansas' answer to the Loch Ness monster.

Sink Hole Sam, bless his slimy heart, was first spotted about a year ago. Two fisherman were sitting on the bank of the 100-acre fishing spot four miles southeast of here. No fish. Suddenly, Sam showed up. The fishermen saw him break water. He had a flat head and, 15 feet back, a tail of some sort. In between was a snake-like body.

The fishermen showed Sam their heels, but that started the greatest monster hunt in the history of the Sink Hole. Everybody came out to get a glimpse of Sam. Those who claim to have seen him say his body is 21 inches around. In drawings by Kansas artists, Sam is shown with a fluted tail, a long fin on his back, and a big, non-snake-like grin.

Albert Neufeld took a shot at Sam and said he thought he hit him (or her, or it). The beastie disappeared. But George Regier, Jr., was standing on a little bridge over the Sink Hole and swears he saw Sam and Sam was fit as a monster.

Local papers are giving Sam a big play, reporting that many "responsible citizens" say they've seen Sam. Others scoff. The scoffers say how could a monster get into the Sink Hole in the first place -- it's just a depression in the earth that's been constantly sagging and widening since an oil company did core drilling on the site 25 years ago.

The believers scoff at the scoffers. They say the area is inundated by floods every so often and Sam could have come in with the fishes from Inman Lake or the Little Arkansas River during a flood. Or maybe he was down in some underground pool all along, and just got swimming room as the Sink Hole sank.

So sightseers keep flocking around the Sink Hole, waiting for a sight of Sam. But the fishermen stay away. They don't want to hook the best monster to hit Kansas since Tyrannosaurus Rex. (Panama City News ~ October 23, 1953 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

GRACE WILCOX HERE FROM McPHERSON

Miss Grace Wilcox is here from McPherson, visiting friends, and incidentally endeavoring to get up a class in music. (Haven Independent, Haven, Reno County, Kansas, February 27, 1897, page 3, column 2, submitted by Rose Stout)

JOHN FARVER WENT TO McPHERSON COUNTY

Mr. John Farver has gone to McPherson County Kansas. John is an honest man, and we hope he will do well in Kansas, but we would like to welcome him back again to Paris. [Edgar County Times, Paris, Edgar Co., Illinois Thursday May 31, 1877, submitted by K. T.]


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