OSAGE COUNTY, KANSAS

HISTORY

OLIVET

The town of Olivet was started in 1869 by a company of Swedenborgians, among whom were A. J. Bartels, Dr. W. C. Sweezy, Dr. J. Parker Ball, and T. B. and William Haslam. A mill was erected, also a church, school house, a good store, hotel and several dwelling houses; but the town soon seemed to be doomed to destruction. The mill was burned; the Haslams failed in business; a prairie fire swept over the town, and burned up a large number of the dwellings. The city was unable to pay its bonds which had been issued for city improvements. The inhabitants abandoned the place. The city was sold for taxes and the purchasers of the tax certificates, when they came to pay the taxes for the succeeding years, found a bigger elephant on their hands than they bargained for, and in all but a name the city of Olivet has long since been snuffed out. (1879 Osage County, Kansas Atlas, By: Edwards Brothers)

MELVERN

The city of Melvern was settled in 1870. Among the first settlers were Wm. and Charles Cochran, L. F. Warner, T. O. Boggs, Asher Smith and Thomas Baxter. Melvern, like Quenemo, is surrounded by an excellent farming country, and the citizens are enterprising and industrious. There seems to be lacking but one thing to make it a first class inland town, namely, a railroad. It seems to me to be successfully demonstrated that no town can flourish unless the surrounding country is prosperous; and no farming community can prosper where the slow process of hauling produce is cheap and no manes of transporting it to market is provided, except the slow process of hauling with horse teams. What Melvern, Quenemo, Olivet, Lyndon and Arvonia seem to need most of all is a railroad. (1879 Osage County, Kansas Atlas, By: Edwards Brothers)

SCRANTON

The youngest town born in the county is Scranton. It was laid out in the year 1873 by O. H. Sheldon and Alexander Thomas. Coal mining was started there on a small scale by Sheldon and Thomas, who were succeeded by the Burlingame and Scranton Coal Company. A school house was erected; a store soon after opened by Finch Bros. A good deal of coal shipping was done by private parties. The showing made by these parties attracted the attention of the Carbon Coal and Mining Company, and they afterwards procured leases of coal land, so far as they were able and now they are doing a large share of the coal business. In 1875, Joseph Drake opened up a coal shaft on the property of H. P. Throop and soon after his brothers, experienced coal miners, came out from Pennsylvania and joined in business with him. (1879 Osage County, Kansas Atlas, By: Edwards Brothers)



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