Newspaper Items


An organized bank of kidnappers is at the present time keeping the colored population of Kansas in constant alarm. Their victims are selected principally from among the Arkansas exiles, who a few years since were driven from that State and took up their abode in Kansas.

Their free papers are taken from them by the kidnappers and destroyed, and they are then coerced into the admission that they are runaway slaves, when they are taken to Missouri and sold for a more southern market. Very little effort apparently is made to stop those nefarious operations. [Douglass' Monthly, Rochester N.Y., Sept. 1860; submitted by Candi Horton]


A letter of the 23d ult, from the Osage Council grounds, informs the Missouri Democrat that the treaty, in addition to provisions heretofore made know, provides for the sale of the present reservation and trust lands, in all about 8,000,000 acres, for the sum of $1,500,000, $100,000 to be paid within three months after the ratification of the treaty, and the rest in yarly payments of $100,000 and the completion of the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston railroad, twenty miles south from Ottawa, patents for one-fifteenth of the lands in value are to be issued, and upon each subsequent payment and the completion of an additional twenty miles of railroad, patents for one-fifteenth of the lands are to be issued.

The prospects of the signing of the treaty were not very encouraging on the 20th ult.; but on the 23d the correspondent believed that it would be carried.

The Treaty Ratified

Since the above was written we learn from the St. Louis Republican, of the 31st, that the treaty had been ratified. A correspondent of that paper, writing from the council, on the 27th ult., says:

An important treaty between the United States Government, represented by Hon. N. G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Col. Thos. Murphy, Superintendent of Kansas Indians, Col. A. G. Boone, and Major G. C. Snow and the chiefs, counselors, warriors, and head men of the Osage nation, was today concluded and signed by which the Osage nation ceded to the Government and the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston road, the remaining lands owned by the Osages in the State of Kansas, including their trust lands, amounting in all to about 8,000,000 acres. By this cession the annuities of the Indians are largely increased and abundant provision made for their settlement in their new home in the Indian Territory, the establishment of schools, churches, a saw and grist mill, blacksmiths, etc.

Grave difficulties have recently occurred between the settlers and these Indians, and their early removal to the Indian Territory is regarded as a most desirable consummation. The sale of the lands to the Galveston road, upon the terms proposed, it is believed, will insure the speedy construction of this important line of railway, connecting the lakes and Gulf, and add largely to the wealth, settlement and commerce of the Western States.

This important item of information should cheer on the spirit of enterprise in our city and throughout the State. It shows that , in this enterprising country, even bad government cannot keep down the progressive energy of the people, and indicates that in a few years Texas will be far ahead of her present position in some of the most essential elements of prosperity and greatness. (The Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Saturday June 6, 1868, submitted by Nancy Piper)


Death Notice In Kansas , on the 8th of October, of typhoid fever, WILLIAM E. KIRKE, son of William Kirke, of Bethel township, Delaware county, Pa., in the 25th year of his age. (Village Record (Penn) December 19, 1857, submitted by Candi Horton)

Having established Episcopal residence permanently for the quadrennnium [sic]in Kansas City, Kansas , all persons will please address all mail matters for me to 532 Washington Ave., Kansas City, Kansas, And oblige, Yours truly, "In His Name", C.T. Shaffer, Bishop (The Christian Recorder, (Philadelphia, PA) April 3, 1902, submitted by Candi Horton)


A despatch [sic] in the Platte Argus, dated at Kansas on the 21st of July, says that some time in the afternoon of the previous day, Judge Walderman, in the pursuit of a runaway negro when attempting to dismount from his house, discharged his gun, and eight buck and sixteen goose shot penetrated his body. He died the same night. (Provincial Freeman, [Toronto, Canada West] August 26, 1854, submitted by Candi Horton)


The Zouaves d'Afrique in Kansas have finally been mustered into the service of the United States. They had been serving without pay, and many of them had families that were suffering. They are to be paid from the tine of enlistment, and will join the Army of the Frontier under General Blunt. (Douglass' Monthly, [Rochester, N.Y.] January, 1863, submitted by Candi Horton)


S M Gen. Ewing, commending the Department of Kansas , issued an order on the 18th ult., directing that the slaves of disloyal men in the counties of Missouri in his district should, if they wish to leave the State, have a military escort into Kansas . A negro regiment is also to be raised in Kansas. (The Liberator [Boston] September 4, 1863, submitted by Candi Horton)


We are glad to see that Southern politicians are beginning to be sensible of the folly of abusing the Kansas Emigration Societies which have been formed in several of the Northern States, and are taking the much more rational course of imitating their example. The Montgomery Ala. Journal, in noticing the departure of 300 from that city, for Kansas takes occasion to state from personal knowledge, gathered on a recent trip to the sea-board that measures are already effected to place in Kansas before the October election at least 6,000 Southern voters, - and that Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, and other States "backed by Missouri," stand ready at any moment to supply any balance of voters which may be necessary. This is a practical mode of endeavoring to meet the emergency. It shows that the South is thoroughly ashamed of its denunciations of the societies formed in Massachusetts for the purpose of settling Kansas , and that instead of opposing them longer, it is prepared to enter into rivalry with them. This struggle for Kansas is an unavoidable result of the squatter-sovereignty doctrine. The Kansas bill left the inhabitants of Kansas to decide whether Slavery should or should not exist within its borders. It followed necessarily that the friends and the enemies of Slavery would have a sharp contest for the Territory: and that emigrants would pour into it by thousands from all sections of the Union. The Northern States were the first to enter the field: but the South is resolved to make up for loss time by an excess of zeal. The South however must know that the contest is unequal. Where there is one man in the Southern states prepared to emigrate to Kansas there are ten in the North. It will not do for the South to send whites who are not slave holders: for they would become Anti-Slavery men the moment they reached Kansas . And of the slave-holders themselves there are very few who can afford such transplantation of their interest as emigration to Kansas would involve. But every Northern and Western State, is full of active hardy men whose circumstances and disposition alike settlement in a new country. Tens of thousands of such men will become inhabitants of Kansas long before the October election arrives. - N.Y. Times. (Publication: Provincial Freeman [Chatham, Canada West] May 17, 1856, submitted by Candi Horton)


Married. On the 4th of January, by Rev. J.M. Wilkerson, Mr. JOSEPH GARTH to MISS ELIZABETH TAYLOR, all of Lawrence, Kansas . On the 1st of January, by Rev. W.H. Winder, of Freehold, Mr. Wm. H. JOHNSON to MISS LYDIA ANN JOHNSON, both of Freehold, N.J. On the 31st of December, 1862, by Rev. John Turner, WM. HENRY JONES to MISS LUTIA WATKINS, both of Leavenworth City, Kansas . On the 1st of January, 1863, by Rev. John Turner, JOHN L. TINSLEY to MISS LOUANNA WARD, both of Leavenworth City, Kansas . On the 1st of January, 1863, by Rev. John Turner, AMOS MITCHELL to MRS. FLORA MOUNT, both of Leavenworth City, Kansas. (The Christian Recorder, (Philadelphia, PA) January 24, 1863, submitted by Candi Horton)

Kansas Had the First "Woman Mayor"

Elizabeth Jordon is the Ladies' Home Journal

Women mayors of Kansas have been almost as common as sunflowers.

Women legislators have been numerous in Utah.

Women state superintendents of public instruction have held office all over the West.

Kansas, it may e recalled, was the originator of the "lady mayor" in this country. The town of Argonia gave that innovation to the world thirty-one years ago so successfully that there have been "city mothers" all over the state ever since.

In Colorado the state superintendent of public instruction has been a woman seven times since 1892; in Wyoming, four times since 1893; in Idaho, six times since 1897, and in Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Texas and Washington, once each.

The Women's Administration in Valley Center, Kansas

The Kansas towns over which women preside -- and to them this year are to be added one in Texas, on in Wyoming and one in Missouri -- are not metropolitan in area or in problems.

But the women have attacked their jobs with a picturesque, unwasteful sort of common sense that seems the essential attribute of the unspoiled woman. It is exactly the kind of good humor, determination and gumption that the majority of mothers show in disposing of the daily questions, insubordinations and unruliness of the average American nursery.

In many towns the women were not concerning themselves about public office until they found themselves occupying it.

In Jewett, Texas, for example, women did not vote at the town election by which an all woman town government was established.

In Jackson's Hole, Wyoming, the men outnumbered the women and could have elected an all male ticket. Instead, they ran the women into office.

The theory runs that the woman government of Valley Center, Kansas, was the result of a joke played by the town clerk. He felt that the election was proceeding too languidly to suit his taste, so he undertook to inject a little sprightliness into the affair. He informally made a new ticket, all women, and posted it at the polling place. Voters came along, looked, smiled, went in and voted that ticket.

Probably by this time some of the men wish they had not fallen in so easily with the town clerk's joke. For Mayor Avice Francis, Marshal Susie Goodrich, and Police Judge S. A. Ridenour, all practical woman and used to meaning what they say, have made the state anti-cigarette law effective in Valley Center.

Women Enforce Laws

They have also put a stop to one of the favorite Sunday masculine diversions of the town, horseshoe throwing.

They also came to conclusive grips with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, as represented by a dilatory conductor of one freight train. When the men were running Valley Center, interminable freight trains blocked traffic through the town for long periods of time. The women, when they assumed office, warned the railroad company to stop this practice. The company, as represented by the freight conductors, paid not attention to the request.

One day, when a train had been standing in the streets long enough to annoy Mayor Avice, she telephoned to Marshal Susie. The two took legal possession of the person of the dilatory conductor of the freight train and led him to the station house. There Justice Sallie met them by telephone appointment, convened court, heard the case, fined the conductor and compelled him to pay the fine before he could take his train across the prairies.

Kansas City Star - June 1, 1921
Transcribed and contributed by: Frances Cooley


'The finest of flesh is dust:  prepare for death, for follow me you must....'

Only in the last few centuries has the common man bothered to erect monuments above his final resting place.

Although more interesting history may be found on the patriot's graves of New England, or the crude markers of colorful Dodge City citizens, some insight is gained by noticing the tombstones in the area.

Much of how people felt about life, death and the dead is reflected on the marble epitaphs.

Casual visitors to any community cemetery observe the style changes in the stones.  At the turn of the century, marble markers were replaced by longer lasting granite.

In addition, the facts recorded on the stones were altered.  For many years it was common to put "Here lies.....", the name, plus next of kin.  Ages were detailed as to year, months and days.

Probably most interesting about the stones, other than the decorations and carvings, are the epitaphs.  Not everyone bothered with verse, but several took the time to write their own before dying.

Many stones record the faith and hope of a religious belief.  Some carry verses from the Bible.  One popular epitaph found on several markers reads:

"Shed not for him a bitter tear;  Nor give one vain regret;  'Tis but the Casket that lies here;  The gem that filled it sparkles yet."

Many children's markers reflect a popular hope that speaks of budding on earth to blossom in heaven.  Other sayings speculate on God's reason for drawing the dead to heaven.

In Locust Hill Cemetery near Rush Center the following stone marks a 3-year-old child's grave:

"There as an angel band in heaven;  That was not quite complete;  So God took our darling Floyd;  To fill the vacant seat."

Often, any brothers and sisters died with in a year.  Checking into historical records, epidemics of diptheria, whooping cough, and other diseases took the toll of many children and adults in the 1880's.

Two children's grave in the Larned cemetery are marked "None knew her but to love her" and "Sweet little Charley dove is resting above."

Some adult's graves are also a testimony to their character.  A 76-year-old man in Garfield's cemetery was called "A man with Guile."  A 60-year-old woman from Rush Center was named "One of God's Mothers."

Another indication of how the living felt about death is described simply on some stones.  Those who left were "at rest", "asleep" or "gone home."

One epitaph on a small boy's grave in Stafford is painfully real in its parental exclamation of grief.  "The little bed is empty now;  The little clothes laid by;  A mother's hope, a father's joy;  In death's cold arms doth lie."

Still another verse seems to culminate a long illness.  "It is o'er' All the days and nights of pain;  All our tears and prayers so vain! Nevermore;  Shall she suffer, that is past;  Rest and peace she finds at last."

Some epitaphs, written before death, are admonitions to the living.  "My heart, once heavy, now at rest;  My groans no more are heard;  My race is run, my grave you see;  Prepare for death and follow me."

The "follow me" saying is popular to show the relief death brings.  Another epitaph is similar.  "Remember me as you pas by;  As you are, so once was I;  As I am now, so you shall be;  Prepare for death and follow me."

An 80-year-old mother prepared her own personal epitaph, which showed no fear at death.  "Dear Sisters of Eastern Star and Corps;  I can never meet with you any more; Loving husband and sons three; Live a good life and follow me."
(Great Bend Tribune ~ Sunday ~ January 12, 1975 ~ Page 1)

A woman down in Kansas, Mrs. Jane Durham, has earned the stars in her crown. During her life she has adopted, educated and reared to maturity, thirty-two little orphans. She probably didn't have much time for whist or clubs or social stunts, but it would not take a microscope to see that the world was made better by her having lived.-Austin Herald.
(Rochester Daily Post and Record ~ Rochester, MN ~ February 3, 1920 ~ Page 2 ~ Submitted by Robin Line)


Topeka, Kas., Feb. 6 --- The 19th century almshouse---an institution Charles Dickens portrayed in "Oliver Twist" to arouse the public to better care of the aged and infirm---has its counterpart in modern Kansas, asserts a social study report made public today.

Based on an investigation of 78 county poor farms operated in the state, the study made under direction of the Kansas emergency relief committee described conditions in many of them as "disgraceful" and "appalling."

"Although a century has passed since the time of which Dickens wrote in "Oliver Twist," the similarity between the English almshouse of the 1830's, described therein, and the Kansas poorhouse of 1935, is astonishing," the report said.


Explaining that several of the institutions were well kept and inmates properly cared for, the report asserts, however, that in general conditions need to be improved.

"Sanitary conditions in some poorhouses were appalling," said the study, conducted by Miss Carol R. McDowell supervisor of research for the KERC.

"Rooms in many were filthy and ill-smelling; clothing and bedclothing were insufficient and unclean; bedridden patients were left uncared for," it added.

Other findings reported by the study included:

Diets not suited to inmates' needs.  Bed-ridden patients and able-bodied working inmates often receive the same diet.


Use of barred cells and handcuffs as disciplinary measures.

Superintendents often selected "for reasons other than ability, to care for the aged and infirm."

Faulty admission policies cause housing together of conglomerate groups.  Children were found living with the aged on several poor farms.

No planned activity or recreation to relieve the monotony of insitutional life.

Many of the homes in poor state of repair.  Rooms in many were barren, poor ventilated and lighted.

Clothing worn by women often is old, patched and drab.  Men's shirts often are unironed, torn and ragged.

The study pointed out that the state provides no uniform standard of care of inmates.


"Although each caretaker is expected to give adequate care to inmates, there is no uniform interpretation of the term 'adequate' and because there is little, if any, inspection of these homes, a great variety of care is given inmates," the study said.

"Unfortunately, boards of county commissioners, who are responsible for employment of superintendents, frequently are concerned too much about the poor farm as a financial venture and too little about it as a home for the aged," it added.

It cited instances where inmates were placed in empty cells for acts varying from stubborness to smoking.

It also said inadequate medical care and nursing were furnished in most poorhouses.


The cost of caring for inmates in 1934 ranged, the report said, from $90 to $604 per person.

In conclusion, the report said:

"It is hoped that Kansas soon can look back with as much abherrence to her present short-sighted policy of caring for all the indigent aged and infirm in poorhouses as she now does to her earlier policy of admitting to the poorhouse the young, the blind, the orphan, the handicapped, the delinquent and the unemployed."

The Allen county poor farm was included in the survey of 78 such institutions in Kansas, but the results of that survey so far as the local farm is concerned could not be learned today, since Myron Funk, county case supervisor, was out of town this afternoon.
(Iola, KS, Register ~ February 6, 1936)


Unusual Record Shown in Kansas Report Today

State Makes Best Showing in the Entire Country


Secretary Howe of Board of Coontrol Gives Conditions

Forty-Five Shown in Report From Shawnee County

Poor farm statistics gathered by J. W. Howe, secretary of the state board of control, show that Kansas counties cared for 908 paupers during the year ending July 1.  This good record, probably better than that of any other state, shows twenty counties have no poor farms or no indigent poor, while in nine other counties the poor farms return a caseh rental and are self supporting.  Six other counties failed to report.  All of the six counties reported no inmates in 1914.

Because of the delay of the state in the building of new quarters at the Winfield hospital for feeble minded, a number of insane and feeble minded patients were cared for by the individual counties.  This situation resulted in a total increase of ten poor farm inmates during the year as compared with the 1914 record.  In 1914 the counties cared for but 44 insane poor as against 69 in 1915 and 145 feeble minded as against 192 this year.  Last year a total of 14 children were found in county institutions as against 19 this year.  Classified as "other inmates" were 627 patients this year, as against 695 under the same classification in the July 1914 showing.


"The record for the year ending July 1 will probably put Kansas in the front ranks in the small number of indigent poor under care by the various counties," said Secretary Howe.  "The record which shows an increase on account of conditions at Winfield is still so low that very few states can compete."

Seven counties---Greeley, Hamilton, Hodgeman, Lane, Morton, Rush, Sheridan---reported no inmates of their county farms.


Thirteen other counties own no poor houses.  They are Finney, Graham, Haskell, Kiowa, Logan, Morton, Ness, Russell, Scott, Stanton, Stevens, Wallace, Wichita.  Six other counties---Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Gove, Grant and Gray---did not file their reports.  Each of these counties reported no indigent poor in the July, 1914, statement.  Should thee counties continue their showing, the total record would be 29 counties with no poor, while nine additional counties make their county farms self supporting.

County farms are self supporting in Chase, Greeley, Hodgeman, Jefferson, Norton, Pawnee, Rush, Sheridan and Smith counties.

In Johnson county a hospital has been established and reports received by Secretary Howe state that the new institution has proven a success.  It is the first of the Kansas cocunties to establish a county hospital.


In Barton county the poor are kept at their own homes.  The county commissioners make regular appropriations to cover expense.

The only expense for poor in Bourbon county is the county farm superintendent's salary of $800.

Finney county has no poor farm, but spent $1,216.06 for the care of the poor.

The only expense for the care of Pratt county poor is for board and washing.

Sheridan county has for eight years rented the county poor farm for grain rent.

In Crawford county $13,000 was spent this year for the erection of new buildings, while in Leavenworth county, the expense for the care of poor amounted to $4,360, independent of salaries to farm superintendet and nurses.

The total cost for the care of poor during the year was $124,696.75, as against an expense of $137,655.09 last year.  Counties owning farm devote 15,061 acres to the care of the state's poor.


Records for Shawnee county show that a total of 45 poor were cared for at public expense.  Of this number 15 patients were insane, 10 feeble minded.  One child is included in the list of 45 patients, while a total of 19 patients are not classified.

Shawnee county's poor farm comprises 120 acres of improved land with ample buildings for the care of public charges.  The expense for the care of the 45 poor last year, including salaries and incidental expense, was $6,665.
(Topeka State Journal ~ August 27, 1915 ~ Page 2)

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