MEADE COUNTY, KANSAS

BRIEF HISTORIES

JASPER, a post hamlet of Meade county, is a station on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R. R. 6 miles west of Meade, the county seat. It is a local trading point and does some shipping. The population was 20 in 1910. (Kansas Cyclopedia, Volume II, Edited by Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., 1912, page 20)

FOWLER, an incorporated city of Meade County, is located in the township of the same name and is a station on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R. R. 10 miles northeast of Meade, the county seat. It has 3 banks, an international money order postoffice with two rural routes, telegraph and express offices, grain elevators, lumber yard, a number of well stocked mercantile establishments, a weekly newspaper (The Gazette), Congregational, Friends and Methodist Churches, good schools, hotels, etc. It is located in the Crooked creek valley and is the shipping point for a large agricultural district. The population in 1910 was 473. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, volume I, edited by Frank W. Blackmar, 1912 page 678)

MEADE, the county seat of Meade county, is located north of the central portion on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R. R. It has 2 banks, 2 newspapers (The News and The Globe), all lines of mercantile enterprise, telegraph and express offices and an international money order postoffice. The population according to the census of 1910 was 664. Meade was founded in 1885. The buildings were all of native stone which existed in abundance. During the first few months the growth was very rapid on account of prospects of county organization. A bank was established and two newspapers were started. It was declared the temporary county seat on November 4, 1885. A few days later the town was organized as a city of the third class and the following officers elected: Mayor, Peter E. Hart; Police Judge, William C. O. Osgood; Councilmen, Nelson Button, Evan A. Furst, George M. Roberts, David Truax and William H. Stewart. In January 1886, Meade was chosen permanent county seat. It was originally called Meade Center, but the name was changed to Meade by the act of February 26, 1889. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, volume II, edited by Frank W. Blackmar, 1912 page 249)

MEADE COUNTY, one of the southern tier, is the fourth east from the Colorado line. It is bounded on the north by Gray and Ford counties; on the east by Clark; on the south by the State of Oklahoma, and on the west by Seward and Haskell counties. It was created in 1873 and named in honor of Gen. George G. Meade. The boundaries were defined as follows: "Commencing at the intersection of the east line of range 27 west, with the north line of township 29 south; thence south along range line to its intersection with the south boundary line of the State of Kansas; thence west along said boundary line of the State of Kansas to a point where it is intersected by the east line of range 31 west; thence north along range line to where it intersects the north boundary line of town 29 south; thence east to the place of beginning."

The county was dissolved in 1883, but was re-established in 1885 with slightly different boundaries. The northern boundary was made the north line of township 30 south, and the east boundary was extended to the east line of range 27 west, adding another tier of townships on the east. The county was organized in 1885, when a petition signed by 250 householders attesting that the county had more than 1,500 inhabitants and that more than 250 of these were householders, was sent to the governor, John A. Martin. He appointed I. N. Graves census taker. The returns showed a population of 3,507, of whom 1,165 were householders. The governor made the proclamation of organization on Nov. 4. Meade Center was declared the temporary county seat and the following temporary county officers named: County clerk, A. D. McDavid; commissioners, L. S. Sears of Meade Center, H. L. Mullen of Fowler, and E. M. Mears of West Plains. The election for the location of the county seat and the choosing of permanent officers was held on Jan. 5, 1886. The candidates for county seat were Fowler, Pearlette and Meade Center, the last named being the winner. The officers elected were as follows: County clerk, M. B. Peed; clerk of the district court, W. H. Willis ; treasurer, W. F. Foster; probate judge, N. K. McCall; sheriff, Mr. McKibben; register of deeds, C. W. Adams; superintendent of public instruction, M. B. Clark; county attorney, Samuel Lawrence; surveyor, Price Moody; coroner, E. E. Buchecher; commissioners, John D. Wick, Chris Schmoker and H. L. Muller; representative, R. M. Painter.

The first settlements in Meade county were made in 1878. In 1879 a colony from Zanesville, Ohio, settled at Pearlette. Daniel Dillon and John Joblin were prominent in the organization of the colony. A little newspaper, the Pearlette Call, was issued, the first number appearing in April, 1879. In February of the same year a salt sink was discovered about 3 miles south of Meade Center. This hole, which was said by scientists to be one of the remarkable natural curiosities of the state, made its appearance suddenly on the site of a favorite camping ground. A traveler having camped on the spot returned after 3 days and found the salt sink, which was a hole 200 feet wide and over 100 feet deep, and about half full of water. Salt was manufactured by evaporation for four or five years, but the enterprise was abandoned for lack of a market. Peat was discovered in the fall of 1878. About the middle of the '80s artesian water was discovered and by 1887 a large number of wells had been sunk on farms in Crooked Creek township. At present there are 1,000 artesian wells in the northeastern part of the county, within an area of 6 miles wide by 30 long, known as Artesian Valley. The water is found at a depth of 150 feet. A good grade of pumice limestone, sandstone and gypsum is also found.

The county is divided into nine townships, viz: Cimarron, Crooked Creek, Fowler, Logan, Meade Center, Mertilla, Odee, Sand Creek and West Plains. The postoffices are Atwater, Carmen, Fowler, Jasper, Lakeland, Meade, Mertilla, Miles, Plains and Uneda. The general surface is a rolling prairie with some rough lands and bluffs in the southeast. Bottom lands average a mile in width and comprise 10 per cent. of the area. Timber is scarce. Crooked creek enters in the northeast, flows east about 10 miles, thence by a devious course to the southeast corner of the county. It has several tributary creeks. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R. R. enters in the northeast and crosses southwest through Meade into Seward county.

The leading crop is wheat, which in 1910 brought an income to the farmers of $618,938; Kafir corn the same year was worth $170,340; alfalfa and other tame grasses, $128,097; barley, $75,644. Corn, oats, buckwheat, millet, milo, maize, sorghum, Irish potatoes and wild grasses are other important crops. The raising of live stock is profitable. The animals sold for slaughter in 1910 brought $264,644, and the total value of farm products for that year was $1,642,089. The assessed valuation of property in 1910 was $9,192,283, and the population was 5,055, showing an average wealth per capita above the average for the state. The population in 1900 was 1,581, the gain in the last ten years being over 200 per cent. In common with other western counties Meade experienced a depression during the latter '80s and the '90s from which it has now fully recovered. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, volume II, edited by Frank W. Blackmar, 1912 pages 249-251)

PLAINS, (formerly West Plains), a little town in Meade county, is located in West Plains township on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R. R. 16 miles west of Meade, the county seat. It has a bank, a weekly newspaper (The Journal), a mill and elevator, telegraph and express offices, and an international money order postoffice with one rural route. The population in 1910 was 350. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, volume II, edited by Frank W. Blackmar, 1912 page 480)

MERTILLA, a rural money order postoffice in Meade County, is located in the township of the same name, about 14 miles northwest of Meade, the county seat and 10 miles north of Jasper, the nearest shipping point. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, volume II, edited by Frank W. Blackmar, 1912 page 270)

ODEE, a county hamlet in Meade County, is located on Crooked creek in the township of the same name about 10 miles southwest of Meade, the county seat and nearest railroad station, from which point mail is delivered by rural carrier. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, volume II, edited by Frank W. Blackmar, 1912 page 383)



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