POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, KANSAS

BRIEF HISTORY OF POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY

LOUISVILLE

Louisville, one of the incorporated cities of Pottawatomie county, is loated in Louisville township on Rock Creek, 11 miles southeast of Westmoreland, the county seat, about 3 miles from Wamego. It is connected with both these places by daily stage. It has a weekly newspaper, a flour mill, and a money order postoffice. The population in 1910 was 264. The town site was preempted by Robert Wilson, who built a log cabin on Rock creek at the old military crossing in the early '50s and kept a hotel there for many years. With him were his sons, James and Louis, the town being named after the latter. It was recorded as a town site in 1857. It is very pleasantly situated and there are said to be mineral springs with medicinal properties near it. Louisville was the county seat from 1861 to 1882. (Kansas, A Cyclopedia of State History, Edited by Frank W. Blackmar, Vol. II, 1912, Page 191)

OLSBURG

Olsburg, a village of Pottawatomie county, is located on the Union Pacific R. R. about 14 miles west of Westmoreland, the county seat. It has 2 banks, a weekly newspaper (the Gazette), express and telegraph offices and a money order postoffice with one rural route. All the main lines of business are represented. The population in 1910 was 300. The town and the surrounding country were built up by Swedes. (Kansas, A Cyclopedia of State History, Edited by Frank W. Blackmar, Vol. II, 1912, Page 389)

ONAGA

Onaga, one of the incorporated cities of Pottawatomie County, is located in the northeastern part of they county at the junction of two lines of the Union Pacific R. R. and on the Vermillion river, 20 miles from Westmoreland, the county seat. It has 2 banks, a weekly newspaper (the Herald) and is a shipping point for grain, live stock, fruits and produce. The population in 1910 was 800. There are express and telegraph offices and an international money order postoffice with five rural routes. The town was first platted in 1877 by Paul F. Havens, the president of the railroad. An addition was made to it in 1878. There were only two families on the town site at that time - Amoe E. Langdon and J. B. Hubbell. (Kansas, A Cyclopedia of State History, Edited by Frank W. Blackmar, Vol. II, 1912, Page 391)

ST. GEORGE

St. George, a little town of Pottawatomie county, is located in St. George Township on the main line of the Union Pacific R. R. and on the Kansas River, 16 miles south of Westmoreland, the county seat. It has express and telegraph offices and a money order postoffice with one rural route. The population in 1910 was 149. The first town of St. George was platted in 1857 and the ambition of the promoters was to have their town connected with St. Joseph, Mo., by a line of railroad which should be a great southwest thoroughfare. In 1879 the town was moved about a mile in order to be on the railraod. One of the early settlers was Jacob Emmons, who was afterward probate judge, county commissioner, clerk and surveyor. For many years he constituted all the law there was in that section of the county and in the absence of any knowledge of legal lore based his decisions on common sense and honesty. He advanced $200 for books for the first public records. St. George was the first county seat. (Kansas A Cyclopedia of State History, Edited by Frank W. Blackmar, Vol. II, 1912, Page 620)

ST. MARYS

St. Marys, formerly known ast St. Mary's Mission, one of the leading incorporated cities of Pottawatomie County, is located in the extreme southeastern part of the county on the Kansas River and the Union Pacific R. R., 25 miles from Westmoreland, the county seat and 24 miles from Topeka. St. Mary's College, on eof the leading Catholic institutions of higher learning, is located here and is the most important institution in the town. There are two weekly newspapers and a college monthly, 3 banks, grain elevators, brick, tile, and cement works, and a number of well stocked stores. St. Marys is an important shipping point for grain, live stock, fruits and produce. It has express and telegraph offices and an international money order postoffice with two rural routes. The population in 1910 was 1,397.

St. Marys was the first point in the county to be settled. The Catholic missionaries came in 1848 and built a mission for the education and spiritual instruction of the Pottawatomie Indians. the town was not laid out until 1866. B. H. Bertrand was the original promoter. In 1869 Mr. Bertrand, Dr. Luther R. Palmer and Dr. H. C. Linn made an addition to the town and the next year another addition was added by Dr. Palmer, Adelaide Bertrand and John D. Lasley. A third addition was also made in June of that year. St. Marys has been very unfortunate in the matter of fires, having experienced four destructive ones, the first on Dec. 6, 1872, the second in Feb., 1879, in which the main building of the college was burned, the third in Oct., 1884, and the last on Dec. 13, 1884, in which Alva Higby lost his life and $45,000 worth of property was destroyed. (Kansas A Cyclopedia of State History, Edited by Frank W. Blackmar, Vol. II, 1912, Page 632)

WAMEGO

Wamego, the largest town in Pottawatomie county is located in Wamego township on the main line of the Union Pacific R. R. and the Kansas river, about 15 miles south of Westmoreland, the county seat. It is an important shipping center, has grain elevators, 2 barrel factories, a flour mill, a national and 2 state banks, 2 weekly newspapers, an international money order postoffice with four rural routes, express and telegraph offices, etc. The population in 1910 was 1,714.

The town was platted in 1866 by Hugh S. Walsh, agent for the Wamego Town company. Additions were made in 1870 by A. M. Read, Antoine Ulrich and S. Finney. Being at the end of the first division of the Union Pacific railroad, the shops and round house were located there, in which quite a number of men were employed, which helped the growth of the town. As early as 1872 a two story stone school house was erected at a cost of $12,000. A bridge was built over the Kansas river by issuing bonds, the greater part of the expense being borne by the citizens of Wamego. This caused the products of Wabaunsee county to be marketed by way of Wamego. (Kansas, A Cyclopedia of State History,Edited by Frank W. Blackmar, Vol. II, 1912, Page 875)

WESTMORELAND

Westmoreland, the county seat of Pottawatomie County is located in the central part of the county on the Kansas Southern & Gulf R. R., which connects with the Union Pacific at Blaine, 8 miles north. It has 1 national and 2 state banks, an opera house, 2 newspapers and all the general lines of business activity. There are daily stage lines to Louisville and Wamego on the south line of the county. The population in 1910 was 500. The town was platted in 1871 by Volney Baker. Subsequent additions have been made by J. Rachel Arner and A. C. Cochrun. It was made the county seat by a vote of the people in 1879 but not removed until 1882. Being a comparatively new town Westmoreland is one of the smallest county seat towns in the eastern part of the state. (Kansas A Cyclopedia of State History, Edited by Frank W. Blackmar, Vol. II, 1912, Page 902)

WHEATON

Wheaton, one of the most prosperous of the villages of Pottawatomie county, is located in Lone Tree township on the Union Pacific R. R. 12 miles northeast of Westmoreland, the county seat. It has banking facilities, telegraph and express offices, and a money order post office. All the general lines of business activity are represented. The population in 1910 was 225. It is one of the new towns. Kansas, A Cyclopedia of State History, Edited by Frank W. Blackmar, Vol. II, 1912, Page 904)


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