Herbert Tony Tells How the Cross Party Was Slaughtered

Liberal, Kan., July 28 - The bodies of four men killed by the Hugoton party were brought to Stevens county, night before last, and with the wounded boy Herbert tony, afterwards taken to Woodsdale. No further shooting is reported but squads of Hugoton and Woodsdale people seen by the travelers in different parts of the county may provoke another conflict.

Herbert Tony, the nineteen year old boy who was seriously wounded, made an ante-mortem statement Voorhees, July 28, sworn before H. V. Tucker, Notary, as follows:

On July 24, 1888, I went in company with John Cross, Sheriff of Stevens county to arrest Sam Robinson, then said to be in the neutral strip. We went down to the neutral strip, but failing to find Robinson. We proceeded to return on July 25th, and stopped to remain a while and rest our horses at Wild Horse Lake, in the strip. We lay down ourselves at a hay stack. In about a half an hour, I heard the Sheriff say:
"Boys, they have got us." I looked and saw they were all around us, their number consisting of about twenty men. Sam Robinson demanded of Sheriff Cross, that he give up his arms. Cross replied that he did not have any, whereupon Robinson said: "Sheriff Cross, you are my first man," raised his Winchester and fired; Cross fell. Robinson then killed Hubbard in the same manner. J. B. Chamberlain, one of the County Commissioners of Stevens county shot me in the shoulder, but I escaped by feigning death. I heard Robinson say he shot Eaton the fellow who had formerly pulled a gun on him. They also shot and killed Wilcox. They fired into the dead bodies of several men to make sure, but they left me for dead. The posse consisted of myself, Cyrus W. Eaton. B. Hubbard, Rolla Wilcox, and John Cross, Sheriff. After they had gone I saddled my pony and made the best of my way to Voorhees. (Wheeling Sunday Register, July 29, 1988, Page 1)


Herbert Tony Tells How His Four Unarmed Comrades were Cruelly Murdered

Conflicting Stories of the Bloody War Growing Out of a County Seat Fight

Residents of Both Towns Armed and More Trouble Feared - And Asked of Governor Martin


Topeka, Kan., July 28 - Captain L. C. Price, Mayor of Woodsdale, Stevens County, arrived from the scene of the war late last night and appeared before Governor Martin this afternoon. He implored the Governor to take some action at once toward setting the trouble there. He filed a written statement in which he gives the following facts regarding the murder of Sheriff Cross and his posse:

"They were disarmed and stripped of everything valuable. They were then stood up and the command was given, "line up." Three men lined up and at least twenty shots were fired simultaneously. The men fell in their tracks. Two men refused to line up, but one was shot. The other started to run for the lake and reached it, but was riddled with bullets. The party then rode rapidly north. As soon as they were out of sight the hay campers crawled out of their tent and examined the bodies. Every man was dead and every body was simply riddled. A messenger was at once sent to Voorhees, the nearest town, eighteen miles to the north, in Stevens County, and here the people were informed of the occurrence. From Voorhees a messenger was dispatched to Woodsdale, and three wagons were sent south from the former place to secure the bodies. As soon as the news reached us, about 11 o'clock in the morning, it created great excitement. A meeting was immediately called in the Town Hall, and every citizen attended. J. D. Murray presided. Everybody was in favor of arming and proceeding at once to Hugoton to burn the town and kill as many men as possible in retaliation, but finally wiser counsels prevailed and that was abandoned. Arrangements were at once made to bury the men as soon as they arrived, which was Friday morning. It is hard to tell what the outcome of the affair will be. Every citizen in the county is armed and if the trouble comes to a head there will be more lives lost."

A dispatch received tonight by Governor Martin says that the total number killed is seven.

Another dispatch says that the whole county is armed, and that there is likely to be an outbreak at any moment. The citizens of both towns have organized into companies, all armed and ready to fight at a moment's notice. Barricades have been built at Woodsdale, and sentinels have been stationed for a distance of several miles around the town. Instructions have been given that if a Hugoton man attempts to pass he shall be fired upon. The feeling is so intense that a clash between the two towns can hardly be avoided, and if it should come there will be wholesale bloodshed. The Woodsdale people yesterday ordered 100 Winchester rifles and a large supply of ammunition. Advices from Hugoton state that the town is in arms, and no stranger is permitted to enter until he gives satisfactory proof that he is not a friend of Woodsdale. Even the boys and women have been furnished with firearms and attack by Woodsdale people being anticipated at any time. The whole trouble grows out of a bitter county seat fight between Hugoton and Woodsdale which has been in progress for the two years. Hugoton got the county seat originally by a small vote and a petition was subsequently filed in the office of the clerk of the Supreme Court attacking the validity of the county organization. It has been a constant fight there ever since. No hearing has ever been had on the petition, which is still pending, the county seat meantime remaining at Hugoton.

Gov. Martin had received several telegrams during the day from Liberal, Meade Center, and other points in the vicinity of Stevens County, which proved the Stevens County massacre was worse than at first reported, as there being no telegraph line in Stevens County, it was impossible to get direct information. To ascertain the state of affairs Governor Martin dispatched Attorney General Bradford to the scene. He will be joined by Bridgadier, General Murray Myers of the State militia at Hutchinson and together they will repair to Stevens County to investigate and restore order if possible.

The strange feature of this case is the fact that even though murder has been committed as foul and blood-curdling as described, the guilty wretches are not amenable to any law, as No Man's Land, the scene of the crime, is not within the jurisdiction of any court of the land, as far as the law is concerned. Though murder should be proven, the men could go Scot fee. No Man's Land is a section of the country without law, and is ruled only by might. It is a rendezvous for murderers, horse thieves and blacklegs generally - in fact, a place of refuge. The Governor today telegraphed Congressman Peters as follows:

The Hon. S. P. Peters, House of Representatives, Washington: The Sheriff of Stevens County and four or five citizens of Kansas have been killed in No Man's Land just south of the State line. That country is new and has been for years the home or hiding place of outlaws and criminals. It is under no jurisdiction and has no laws. It ought to be attached at once to the district of Kansas so that the United States Marshal for this State could drive out or arrest the outlaws who infest it. To attach it to the judicial district of New Mexico would not improve matters. I hope Congress will speedily adopt some measure of relief. John A. Martin


Liberal Kan., July 28 The bodies of four men killed by the Hugoton party were brought to Voorhees, Steven County night before last, and with the wounded by Herbert Tony afterward taken to Woodsdale. No further shooting is reported but armed squads of Hugoton and Woodsdale people seen by the travelers in different parts of the county may provoke another conflict.

Herbert Tony, the 10 year old boy who was seriously wounded, made an ante-mortem statement at Voorhees, July 26, sworn before H. V. Tucker, notary, as follows:

"On July 24, I went in company with John Cross, Sheriff of Stevens County, to arrest Sam Robinson, then said to be in the Neutral Strip. We went down to the Neutral Strip, but failing to find Robinson, we proceeded to return on July 25 and stopped to remain awhile and rest our horses at Wild Horse Lake, in the strip. We lay down ourselves at a haystack. In about half an hour, I hear the sheriff say: "Boys they have got us."

I looked and saw they were all around us. There were about twenty men. Sam Robinson demanded of Sheriff Cross that he give up his arms. Cross replied that he did not have any whereupon Robinson said Sheriff Cross you are my first man, raised his Winchester and fired. Cross fell. Robinson then killed Hubbard in the same manner.

J. B. Chamberlain, one of the county commissioners of Stevens County, shot me in the shoulder, but I escaped by feigning death. I heard Robinson say he shot Eaton, the fellow who had formerly pulled a gun on him. They also shot and killed Wilcox. They fired into the dead bodies of several of the men to make sure but they left me for dead. The posse consisted of myself, Cyrus W. Eaton, Bob Hubbard, Rolla Wilcox, and John Cross, Sheriff. After they had gone I saddled my pony and made the best of my way to Voorhees.

The Liberal Leader received today the following statement from C. E. Cook, editor of the Hugoton Hearld:

Saturday, July 21, a party consisting of C. E. Cook, O. F. Cook, A. McDonald and Sam Robinson with their families went to the strip hunting and fishing and gathering wild plums. On the third day out at Goff's Creek they were surrounded by a party from Woodsdale, led by Ed Short and a demand made for their immediate surrender, which of course was promptly refused. The party then determined to try and divide their party, which consisted of eight men. It was decided to have Sam Robinson take one of the horses and flee, which he did with five men in hot pursuit on horseback and armed with Winchesters. The remaining Hugoton men hitched up their teams and let their wives take charge of them, while they marched out with their Winchesters and protected them in making their escape. They made a forced march to Hugoton and a force was immediately organized and started for the strip. They met Robinson on his way home, but eleven miles in the Territory, and as it was not midnight, they concluded to go into camp at some haystacks near by. When they reached the stacks they were fired upon by parties secreted in the stacks and general fusillade began. When it ended Sheriff Cross, Bob Hubbard, T. F. Easton and Wilcox were dead and a young man by the name of Tony was seriously if not fatally wounded. Sam Robinson of the Hugoton party was shot through the leg. (Daily Inter Ocean, July 29, 1888, page 3, part 1)


Seven Hugoton Men Implicated in Sheriff Cross' Murder Taken to Topeka

Liberal, Kan., Aug. 7 - Sam Robinson, C. E. Cook, Orrin Cook, J. H. Chamberlain, M. Rigeley, A. McDonald, and J. W. Calvert were arrested by the United States Authorities at Hugoton, Stevens County, as implicated in the murder of Sheriff Cross and three deputies, and arrived here late this afternoon in charge of United States Marshal Jones, four members of the state militia, and W. F. Schnelt, D. Noble, J. J. Johnson, W. S. Steel and W. O'Conner of Hugoton, who had been sworn in as United States Deputies. They were placed on board the cars in the afternoon and will be taken to Topeka. Other charges against them are conspiracy and attempt to restrain others of their liberty. The troops will remain in Stevens County for about a week or ten days and will then be sent home, with the exception of two companies, which will be stationed respectively at Hugoton and Woodsdale, and will stay there for six weeks and longer if necessary. The State authorities seen determined to break down the disturbing element and prevent a recurrence of the horrible tragedy in the neutral strip. (Daily Inter Ocean, August 8, 1888, Part 1)


Evidence That Sheriff Cross Was Murdered in Cold Blood

Topeka, Kan., Aug. 2 - Attorney General Bradford returned last night from Stevens County, where he went to investigate the massacre of Sheriff Cross and his five deputies. He examined a large number of people in the different towns and all the eye-witnesses of the shooting affair. The testimony is unanimous to the effect that Cross and his deputies arrived at camp tired and worn out; that they asked permission of the haymakers to lie down and rest, and that they were sleeping and apprehending no danger when they were surrounded by Robinson and his men and shot down without having any chance to defend themselves.

All three of these witnesses say that not one shot was fired by Sheriff Cross or any one of his men. General Bradford has gathered a large amount of testimony, which he will submit to the Governor.

General Myers found that no troops were needed and so the mission of the two officials is ended for the present.

Business is reported to be at a standstill at Hugoton and Woodsdale. Everybody is armed and ready for an attack, but it is not likely either side will do anything until they find out what Governor Martin will do. Governor Martin has to appoint a new sheriff for Stevens County in the place of the one killed, and both towns have submitted a name from their respective places to General Bradford, but it is not likely that either one will be appointed.

Robinson who shot the five men is reported as taking things coolly. He was noticed Tuesday sharpening a sickle, whistling the while, and acting as pleasant and unconcerned as if the killing of five men was but an everyday affair. (The Washington Critic, August 2, 1888, page 1)


The ice cream social given at Ora Levey's was well attended and every one seemed to have a good time.

Tom Wright's are fixing to move this week.

Mr. H. L. Mills, Versia Lucille and Jack Mills, Linn Aheed, Tom Wright, Ora Levey, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Levey were callers at the Eugene Mills home this week.

Mr. C. L. Nix and family took in the show at Liberal Saturday afternoon.

Mrs. Harmsen is spending a few days with Mrs. Marion Stoops.

Ora Levey and wife took Sunday dinner with Frank Levey.

Mrs. Eugene Mills and baby junior returned to their home Monday. Her sister, Miss Ruth Levey is spending a few days with her.

Mrs. Ottis Nix is preparing for a trip to Wichita to see her parents, L. S. Curry.

Mr. Ottis Nix and Clarence Nix and family visted at the Ben Nix home near Rolla Sunday.

Mr. Eugene Mills spent Sunday night at the Frank Levey home.

Mrs. Vance Baker and children, Misses Ruth Levey and Buelah Wayland were Sunday guests at the Marion Stoops home.

Frank Thomas and family and Elliott Skinner and family went to Pratt county last wee.

(Source: The Liberal Democrat, August 10, 1922)


Liberal, Kan., April 11 --- Roger Johnson, son of Miles Johnson, of near Hugoton, Kan., accidentally caught his left hand in a corn sheller today.  The hand was so severely mutilated that it had to be amputated.  The sheller was being run by gas power.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Tuesday ~ April 12, 1921 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



Another Boy Suffers Broken Leg In Automobile Accident

Hugoton, Kan., May 3 --- Rolland Morgan, 14 year old son of Sheriff William Morgan of Stevens county, was killed in an auto accident yesterday when the car which he and Harold Flower were driving turned over near their home in Hugoton.  Flower suffered a broken leg and dislocated hip.
(Abilene Daily Chronicle ~ Tuesday ~ May 3, 1921 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


R. M. Tilden Charged With Impersonating Federal Officer

J. C. Shearman, United States commissioner, issued a warrant Wednesday for the arrest of R. M. Tilden of Hugoton, Kan., charged with having impersonated a deputy United States Marshal.  Tilden, according to information received from federal authorities, obtained possession of an automobile on the assumption that he is associated with the department of justice.  United States Marshal O. T. Wood, who is here for the week, will go to Hugoton some time this week to bring Tilden to Wichita, where his hearing will occur.  He is at present in the Stevens county jail.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ Thursday ~ September 15, 1921 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


But Then He Died and She Found Out He Had Forged Mortgages


Case Finally Won by Widow in Four Days Legal Battle in Stevens County

Hugton, Kan., Nov. 8 --- When a husband tried to keep something from his wife, it led to embarrassments and complications that have finally wound up in district court.

Wm. A. Sibon, who is now dead, failed to pay off indebtedness on lands owned by his wife, which she thought he was paying, but used the money for other purposes.

In order to keep her from finding out, it is alleged Mr. Sibon gave fraudulent mortgages on the land, unknown to her.  Then he died.  Now she has discovered the frau when suit was brought by the J. D. Newcomer Co., of Eldora, Iowa, for the purpose of foreclosing on the land.  The amount involved is $5,000 to $7,000.

There wre six forgery cases brought against Mrs. Sibon in connection with the matter, involving six quarter section of land in Stevens and Morton counties.

Mrs. Sibon, who lives in southwestern Stevens county, in her defense claimed that the mortgages sued upon in the actions were forgeries, except as to one quarter, and that she had advanced the money to take up that one.   She further claimed that she had obtained the money to buy her land through her joint efforts with her prior deceased husband, one Mr. Ott, and had advanced money from time to time in large amounts to off indebtedness on her hands, but that her second husband, William A. Sibon, deceased, failed to apply the same as she directed and thought was done, and as the outcome of the suits showed, apparently gave the fraudulent mortgages sued upon, in order to keep the information from his wife, but owing to his inability to keep up the interest payments, suit was filed an Mrs. Sibon discovered the fraud.  By agreement of counsel the suits were consolidated and tried together, the jury trying part and the court part.  The trial lasted full four days, and after having been out to and one half hours the jury returned a verdict in favor of Mrs. Sibon, which was accepted by the court and judgement rendered for her.  The cases meant much to Mrs. Sibon for it represented her life's savings, as well as that of her son by her first husband.  The cases were fought hard by both sides.
(Hutchinson News ~ Wednesday ~ November 8, 1922 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Farmer and Two Daughters of Ranchman Caught in Flood

Moscow, Kan., May 4 --- Word received tonight told of the drowning of three persons Saturday near here in floods caused by the Cimarron River, which began to recede today after reaching flood stage.

The flood crippled telegraph service and cut Mocow off from communication with the outside world.  The rance house at the Point of Rocks ranch, near here, was washed away Saturday and two small daughters of Perry Bright were drowned.  Mrs. Bright was rescued with difficulty by her husband.

While attempting to swim the Cimarron at the Santa Fe railway bridge, near here, John Beemer, a farmer, was drowned.  The rise in the river followed a rainfall last week of three and one-half inches in southwestern Kansas.  The Cimarron spread from its banks over the lowlands and at several places was a mile wide.
(Leavenworth Times ~ Tuesday ~ May 5, 1914 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Moscow, Kan., Aug. 13 ---  A fatal shooting occurred at Moscow this afternoon on the principal street.  Tom Campbell, a blacksmith and old resident of Stevens county, shot and killed Code Hall, a young farmer.  The killing was the culmination of an old feud.  Hall was up on a phone pole in front of Campbell's house, when, without warning, Campbell, who was sitting in front of his house armed with a double-barrel shotgun and a revolver, stepped out and fired one charge into Hall's face, and when Hall came down fired again, the second charge tearing a hole through the young man's liver and stomach.

Dr. Brownell, a local physician, was summoned, but Hall was past help and died in the doctor's office an hour later.  Campbell stated after the killing that he felt easy now for the first time in a year.  He will be placed under arrest.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Friday ~ August 14, 1914 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Moscow, Kan., Aug. 14 --- The Hall-Campbell feud which culminated in the deliverate killing at Moscoe August 13 of C. E. Hall, by Tom Campbell, dates back many years and in many ways resembles the famous feuds of Kentucky several years ago.  The Halls had trouble with some negroes at Hugoton, county seat of Stevens county, and Campbell was drawn into the fight some way.  The Halls were beaten.  Trouble arose between Code Hall, the dead man, and the Campbells over a party phone line running into Moscow.  About three weeks ago Hall's wife was confined and he tried to get Moscow over the phone but the line being in bad condition would not work.  Hall and Campbell had harsh word over the phone and Campbell took his wife off until Hall's confinement case was over then he attached his wife.  Hall threatened to cut it off again and had climbed the pole presumably for that purpose when Campbell came out of his house and fired the fatal shot.

Tom Campbell at one time was mayor of Liberal, Kan.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Saturday ~ August 15, 1914 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Omaha, Neb., Dec. 4, --- Hugh Anderson of Moscow, Kan., was buncoed out of $100 here today by a stranger.

Anderson came to Omaha to attend a business college.  He arrived this morning.  Before he left the depot he met an affable stranger and was surprised to find that the latter was from Moscow.  Anderson said he did not remember the stranger, but the latter finally convinced him that he used to call on Anderson's sister.

Then he borrowed $100 from the Kansan, saying he had to pay a freight bill.  Anderson waited three hours and then appealed to the police to hunt his new friend, who he thought must have had an accident.

Anderson says he has not now sufficient money to attend school and must return to Moscow to make some more.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Saturday ~ December 5, 1914 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Unique Event at Moscow, Kan., Opened With Prayer by One of the Church Officials

Moscow, Kan., May 31 --- A number of the more staid church members of Moscow were a little startled when the Moscoe Sunday school held a dance in order to raise funds to purchase an organ.  The dance was a success in every way.  It was opened with prayer by one of the officials of the Sunday school.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Friday ~ June 1, 1906 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


New High School and Other Improvements in the Town

Moscow, Kans., April 19 --- Moscow is enjoying a building boom.  A new $50,000 high school has just been completed.  The Methodists are preparing for a substantial addition to the church.

New residences are now being started for Geo. Shaw, Fred Brownell, two houses for the Morgan brothers, and Roscoe Morrell.
(Hutchinson News ~ Wednesday ~ April 19, 1922 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Woman Sucks Poison Going Two Miles for Aid

Moscow, Kan., Sept. 3 --- Mrs. Clara Harkness is suffering from the bite of a rattlesnake the other day.  While her husband and son were in town shopping she went to the windmill which is at the corner of four quarters, to turn on the water for a trough.  Thistles had grown around the pipes and as she reached down to turn on the cock, the snake bit her.  She had to walk two miles to get aid, and sucked the poison out of her hand while walking.  She will recover.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Monday ~ September 4, 1922 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Topeka, Kans., August 25 --- Governor Martin received a telegram from the authorities of Stevens county dated Woodson via Lakin, Kansas, briefly stating that Colonel Samuel N. Wood, together with I. C. Price, had been kidnapped by an armed mob, and fear are entertained that they have been summarily dealt with.
(Fort Scott Daily Monitor ~ Thursday ~ August 26, 1886 ~Page 1)



Apparently Foiled, He Is About to Quit When Culprits Are Found Among Workmen

The story of how Herman Eckland of Stevens county ran down two horse thieves reads more like an excerpt from the pages of a "Diamond Dick" novel than the recital of present day happenings.

After making  a personal search of nearly every lumber camp in northern Minnesota and trailing Mike Shini, an innocent lumberjack, for two months, Eckland at last located him in Killeen's camp near Ridge on the Duluth & Iron Range.

When the stage was all set for Shini's arrest Eckland found he was not the man he wanted.  The climax came when he discovered that John Roby, a former employe, who stole the horses, was on the camp pay roll.  Roby's arrest followed and he confessed that he and a brother had made away with the team.  The brother was also employed at the camp and was arrested.

Eckland is a farmer living 25 miles north of Morris, the county seat of Stevens county.  The horses were stolen from him Oct. 2 and he suspected JOhn Roby, who up to that time had been working on his farm.  He at once notified Sheriff F. A. Zahl of Morris and a card was issued giving a description of Roby, but neglecting to state his name.  The card also offered a reward of $200 to be paid for the capture of anyone connected with the theft.  Eckland offerd an additional reward for $25 for the return of either horse.


It was unknown by Eckland that Roby had formerly worked in the woods, so he started out to search for him when the cards brought no results.  After making a canvass of every camp in that part of the country he landed at James E. McGrath's camp near White Pine Feb. 12.

Eckland put the customary questions to McGrath, giving Roby's description, and was told that a man who gave the name of Mike Shini had worked at the camp and answered to that description, and that he left for Duluth Feb. 8.

McGrath taking an interest in Eckland's story wrote Chief Troyer, giving Shini's description, and asked that he located him.  Detective Tuohy was sent out and learned Shini had shipped out to Killeen's camp at Ridge through an employment agency.  McGrath was at once notified.

In the meantime Eckland left the camp to continue his search and knowing that McGrath had written Chief Troyer, came to Duluth where he was informed of Shini's location.  He at once proposed to start out single-handed.  Without a gun or warrant and capture Shini and take him to Morris to face trial.

He was advised to get an officer but as he was in a hurry to have the job through with and as Ridge is un-policed, Chief Troyer telephoned to Mesaba, the nearest twon, for assistance for Eckland, and was informed Marshal James Moriarity was already on his way to Duluth with a prisoner.  Accordingly an officer and Eckland met Moriarity at the station and the situation was explained to him.  He readily agreed to accompany Eckland to Ridge.


When they arrived at Killeen's camp Moriarity ordered Eckland to go into hiding as it was feared Shini (whom they thought was Roby) might make his get-away.  Moriarity ascertained from the camp clerk that Shini was employed there, made the arrest and brought him before Eckland who declared he was not the guilty party.

Eckland was about to give up the quest, having already expended $175, when among the lumberjacks coming home for supper he noticed Roby.  Moriarity grabbed him before he was aware of Eckland's presence and after the bracelets were put on he broke down and confessed that he and his brother, who also worked at the camp, stole the team.  Both refused to state what disposition had been made of the horses.

The state reward for the capture of the two horse thieves amounts to $400, and will be shared by Moriarity and Eckland.  The latter says he is tired of playing detective and after locating his horses he will return to his Stevens county home.
(Duluth News-Tribune ~ Duluth, Minnesota ~ Monday ~ February 19, 1912)



Mrs. C. H. Homedew, for a number of years postmistress at Woodsdale, died of cancer Monday.  She has been a sufferer from this disease for a number of years.  Last January while she was in the hospital her husband was stricken with paralysis and died.  Rev. A. W. Ihde of the Baptist church at this place conduced funeral services Tuesday, and interment was made in the Hugoton cemetery.  Mrs. Homedew was well known to the people over the country, who will regret to learn of her passing away.
(Liberal Democrat ~ Friday ~ August 13, 1915)


BIRTHDAY  GIRL  --- Betty Ann Brown and some of her new dolls.

The fourth birthday for brown-eyed Betty Ann Brown who lies paralyzed in St. Elizabeth's hospital's polio ward was brightened Friday by a group of her Hugoton playmates.

Hugoton Cub Scouts who knew Betty Ann before she became ill meant the difference between just another day in bed for Betty Ann and a full-scale birthday celebration.

The Scouts began working for the party several weeks ago.  They collected pop bottles to raise money.  Other Hugoton residents heard about the event and donated egg cartons, potato sacks, cookies and cake for the sales.

Although the Cub Scouts were not able to be here for the party, they forwarded their presents along with their best happy birthday wishes.

Other patients in St. Elizabeth's children's ward helped Betty Ann celebrate.

Betty Ann's presents included four dresses, three dolls, a hair ribbon, a crayon book, and a bubble blowing outfit.

Although Betty Ann appreciated the gifts, her greatest pleasure was the sight of her new 6-weeks old sister, Melba.  Betty Ann's mother, Mrs. Roy Brown, traveled here from Hugoton and brought the new baby so Betty Ann could see her for the first time.

The young Hugoton miss was stricken with polio last August.  She spent two months here in an iron lung and was moved to the children's ward on Jan. 17.

Betty Ann can now sit up in a wheel chair and has partial use of his arms.  Her legs are still paralyzed.

While Betty Ann is happily recovering in the hospital, she still has not been informed that she has been left without a father.

The father was killed last February in an oil field accident.
(Hutchinson News ~ Friday ~ April 27, 1951 ~ Page 10)


Hugoton Man Was Feeling For Fish In The Coldwater

Warren Farrar had a very sore thumb the first of the week, injured in rather an odd manner.  Fishing along the Coldwater a few days ago he was wading along the banks and feeling in the cavities for any large fish that migth have hidden there when a musk rat big through his thumb, nail and all.  He had found some pretty nice fish but also a turtle and a water moccasin.  Pass the bait please, we'll fish with a line.---Hugoton Hermes.
(Liberal Democrat ~ July 12, 1917)


MOSCOW, Kan. ---- The name's the same, but that's all.

There aren't any Russians here, there never have been, and this town of about 200 in far southwestern Kansas isn't about to develop an inferiority complex because the name is the same as that of the capital of Communist Russia.

The name is a mistake, anyway --- not because of mid-20th century international politics, but because of a late-19th century goof made somewhere in the official channels of the U.S. Post Office Department.

The town is supposed to be called "Mosco," after one of Coronado's explorers.  Somebody in Washington added the "w" when the town was born in 1888, and the postoffice became Moscow.

Now the residents get sympathy and offers of help, for a price, from members of the legal profession, inquiries from tourists, and an occasional letter meant for Moscow, Russia---about one a year, says Postmistress Nina Slemp.

"Every so often," says former city councilman Ray Miller, "the council would get a letter from some lawyers in California, asking if we'd consider changing the name" --- and offering their services.

"The letters went into File 13," Miller adds.

Roy Miller, Ray's twin brother and partner in the town's grocery, says a number of out-of-towners ask whether anyone is dissatisfied with the name.  And a number of tourists, he says, have asked for picture-postcards of the town, to send back to friends.

"So many asked for pictures we got to thinking from carrying them," he says.

But they don't---yet.

The local authority on the town's history is Edith Campbell Thompson, who was born near Moscow the year the town was founded, and saw the town pick up and move to its present location on the Santa Fe Railroad in 1913, when the railroad missed it a few miles.  A few of the buildings were carted over to the new townsite, she said---but practically nothing remains to mark the grave of the ghost town which once was Moscow.

It was once a thriving town, she recalls---completed with a newspaper---the Moscow Review---and everything else that made up a bustling early-day Kansas town.

Everything, that is, but Russians.

"As far as I know, there was never a Russian anywhere near here....the only things Russian we have here are Russian thistles."

Moscow's history is traced in detail in her book, a documentary called "Pages from the Southwest."  She also has written a novel, "The Lone Hill Story," published in 1955.

The first building constructed in the new town in 1913 was the Santa Fe freight depot, which still stands.  Agent H. P. Mills says the railroad dispatchers at Newton used to razz him about the name.  But they have grown accustomed to it and hve dropped the tired joke, he adds.

Like most Moscow citizens, Mills echoes the comment of Roy Miller:  "We never think anything about it."
(Emporia Gazette ~ Friday ~ November 23, 1962 ~ Page 1)

Miss Ramonia Johnson has returned to her home in Hugoton, after attending school here this past session.
(Negro Star ~ Wichita, KS ~ Friday ~ June 6, 1947 ~ Page 2)


He Was the Leader in the Kansas County Seat War, Which Induced the Death of Several Men

Topeka, Kan., Oct. 12 --- Judge Theodosious Botkin has resigned.  For three years Botkin has been judge of the Thirty-second district, and was the leader of the famous county seat war.  The district was composed of two factions, one of which was led by Sam Wood and the other by Judge Botkin.  The killing of Sheriff Cross and posse in No Mans Land, was the immediate result, and the county seat fight between Hugoton and Woodsdale followed.  From that time the fections were at war.  Sam Wood attempted to have Botkin onated from office and on the impeachment trial charges of tyranny and drunkenness in office were made.  The result of this trial was the murder of Sheriff Cross, and that Sam Wood was shot and killed by James Bronnan, an intimate friend of Botkin's, in June, 1891, at Hugoton, Stevens county.  It created a big sensation and it was impossible to secure a jury to try Brennan on account of the intense partisanship of the judge.
(Morning Star ~ Rockford, IL ~ Thursday ~ October 13, 1892 ~ Page 1)


Some excitement arose on Main Street early Tuesday morning when Arthur Hockett, a well known young farmer living in the southeast part of the county, was found with a bullet hole in his leg.  His story is that he was walking south on the west side of the street when a hand with a revolver was protruded from the stairway of the Blackburn & Firmin building and he heard a voice say, "I'm going to shoot you;" that he struck the gun down so that the bullet entered his leg instead of his right side as aimed.  Further than that he gives no clue and says he did not see the party.  The bullet entered the fleshy part of the right leg below the knee, on the inner side, and passed through, stopping just inside the skin on the outer side; it appeared to be a .25 caliber steel jacketed bullet and was mushroomed considerably, probably from striking a bone.  No one else appears to have heart the shot fired, the time being about sunrise and no one else near on the street.  Hockett had spent part of the early morning at the Hugoton Hotel and was taken there for surgical attention and still remains there and the wound seems to be mending all right.  The officers were soon on the scene but have found no definite clue as to who fired the shot.  It is reported that Hockett was carrying a .25 caliber automatic pistol at the time of the shooting.
(Hugoton Hermes ~ Friday ~ August 3, 1917 ~ Page 1)

C. B. Combs of Hugton, has the contract to build the Sunflower school house.
(Hugoton Hermes ~ Friday ~ August 3, 1917 ~ Page 1)


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