Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

History of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions online

. (page 21 of 104)
Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 21 of 104)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

.society ever ceases singing it will be because the clarion tenor of Thierstein
and the "aelpler jodel" of Braeuchi. have been stilled. Jacob Ruetti is like-
wise an old and honored m.ember. ]\Iany years of hard work on his farm
have made it possible for him to come to town in the back seat of his auto.

In years gone this society made a practice of observing the Swiss
national independence, or holiday, in appropriate manner, the wives of mem-
l^ers outdoing each other in the preparation of the banquet of Swiss dishes.
.\rd to this day the gr.ests at these tables recall those old "gruetlifests" as
'he m.ost pleasant times of^their life. It was the Swiss women who made
those gatherings the success they were, and to their industry and frugality
belongs a great deal of the credit for the success on the farm or in the busi-
ness undertakings of their husbands.

The present officers of the society are: John Thierstein, president; Jacob
Wullschleger. vice-president ; Carl Haenni, secretary ; Gottfried Braeuchi,
treasurer ; Frank Yaussi, trustee.


The story of the Swedes in Marshall county is very much like the story
of other pioneers in Kansas. They came to America prompted by the desire
of getting homes of their own. Some came directly from Sweden; others
stayed a short time in the East before coming to Kansas. Their material
resources were rather limited. They did not possess much money or property
of any kind ; but the real assets and values they commanded were ambition,
industry and perseverance. These qualities have brought to the Swedes
both wealth and happiness. Religiously, the Swedes adhere to the Lutheran
faith. There are two Swedish Lutheran churches in the county and one
Swedish Mission church, which in doctrine and polity differs a little from the
Lutheran church.

The Swedes believe in giving their children religious training as well
as secular education. Religious instruction is systematically given in the
parish summer school and in the confirmation classes. While they patronize
public schools and state institutions of learning, the church also maintains
educational institutions.



.Vlthough tlie Swedes ha\'e deemed it necessary to use the Swedish
language during tlie transition periful in their reh'gious work, and ahhough
they may have a desire to maintain their distinct national and religious ideals,
they are not really clannish and they do not want to isolate themselves from
others. On the contrary, the Swedes are loyal Americans. '

One of the very first things a Sw'ede thinks of, after arri\ing in this
country, is to take out his first jKipers, and as soon as the law^ permits, he
becomes a naturalized citizen. They speak with pride and enthusiasm of
America as "our country.''

The Swedes have contributed a number of school teachers and public
officials to the county. Many of them have filled offices and positions of
trust, both in the county and in the various townships and cities, and at the
present time one of their sons, Hon. A. A. Nork, represents the county in
the state Legislature. The Swedes of Marshall county are industrious, frugal
and law-abiding citizens, possessing the utmost integrity of character and, by
reason of these facts, have contributed largely to the prosperity and develop-
ment of the county and their influence for good wall be felt more and more
in times to come.


There are two Swedish settlements in Marshall county. One betw^een
Axtell and Frankfort in Lincoln, Rock and Noble towmships, and another
south of \\^aler\-ille in Cottage Hill township.

The first Swedish settler in Marshall county was Peter Froom. He
was born in Ockelbo, Sweden, 1825, and came to America in 1855. He
lived a few years in Knox county, Illinois, and arrived in Marshall county
in 1858. He settled on a homestead on the \vest fork. Rock township. He
was married 1875 to Netta S. Anderson; he died in 1894.

John Bloomberg and his son, Gustaf Bloomberg, came from Hinsdale,
Illinois, and settled on a farm nine mJles northeast of Frankfort, February,
1870. In the beginning of the same year a meeting w^as held in Chicago to
consider the founding of a Swedish colony in Kansas. It was decided to send
a delegation of three to Marshall county to select the location and make
investigations. The delegation arri^•ed here in April, 1870, and selected land
in the southern part of Murray township. They also selected a site for a
town, which should be called Gothamborg.


About twenty-four Swedes and a few Norwegians bought land; but
the plans regarding the "Gothamborg settlement" never materialized. Only
two of the original parties arrived here, namely, Klaus A. Johnson and
Christian Iverson. Klaus A. Johnson came to Frankfort, September ii,

About the same time a company of Swedes at Keokuk, Iowa, planned
to come to Kansas. Three men were sent to make investigations regarding
homesteads in Kansas ; one of the three was J. Hurtie. As a result of their
report the following decided to make Kansas their home : Fred Johnson,
John Poison, S. P. Ericson, J. Hurtie and family; J. Bjork and family. This
party of ten homeseekers arrived in Frankfort, Marshall county, May 17,
1870. They hied on claims and made homes on the prairie in section 4,
Lincoln township, (then part of Murray township).

Other Swedes who came in 1870 are John Johnson, August Lann,
John Soderquist, Klaus Anderson, J. A. Nork, Peter Johnson, Andrew
Person, and Gustaf Bromberg. The Swedish population of Marshall county,
both foreign and native-born, numbered nearly one thousand on January i,

One of the greatest events of Marshall county is the Swedish picnic,
which is held annually in Lincoln township and given under the auspices of
the Salem Lutheran church. On several occasions the picnic has been attended
by as many as three thousand people.

In July, 19 1 6, Governor Arthur Capper attended the picnic, and delivered
a patriotic address.


The first religious services held in the new colony, were conducted by
Rev. S. P. A. Lindahl, who was the synod missionary stationed at Mariadahl,
Pottawattomie county. The first meeting was held in the Nork home in 1871.
The first Christmas service was held at the home of J. Hurtie, in 1872,
Mr. Hurtie officiating as pastor.

N. G. Bergenskold came to the colony in August, 1873. He held meet-
ings in the Farrar school house, served communion and baptized children.
He became resident pastor, each family agreeing to pay him ten dollars per
year, whicli aggregated the princely sum of one hundred dollars. He
remained one year and was succeeded by Reverend Seleen, who organized
the Salem congregation with the following charter members : N. Peter-
son, Klaus Anderson, K. A. Johnson, J. A. Nork, J. A. Bjork, J. Blom-
berg. C. Blomberg, Nils Winquist, S. P. Erickson, John Poison, Fred Johnson,
Olaf Backman, Erick Englund, P. M. Nelson, Christian Iverson, John Soder-


quist. Severin W'inquist. Sunic ut these men had fuinihes, so the congrega-
tion was organized with forty-two charter members.

The Augustan synod's constitution for church government was adopted
and following officers were elected : Deacons, J. A. Nork, C. Iverson and Klaus
Anderson; trustees, John Soderquist, Nils Peterson and G. Blomberg. Rev-
erend Seleen was installed as pastor of the congregation at a salary of one
hundred dollars per year, in consideration of which he was to give them
six services a year and more, if possible.

In 1876 Reverend Seleen resigned and in 1877 was succeeded l)y Rev.
Hakan Olson, who ministered to the congregation once each month. In the
course of time Reverend Olson recommended a young minister. Rev. P. J.
Sanden, w-ho came six months for two hundred dollars. Under his faithful
pastorate the church prospered and he became resident pastor and served until
1887. '^t tliat time there were one hundred and fifteen communicants and
the total Swede population was two hundred and forty. The church was
built in 1883.

Rev. F. A. Bonander became pastor on July 15, 1888 and served until
November 3, 1901. Rev. A. S. Segenhammer of Galveston, Texas, became
pastor on July 5, 1902, and served until September, 19 12. The present pastor,
Rev. Gustaf Nyquist, commenced his work as assistant to Reverend Segen-
hammer and succeeded him on February i, 19 12. The property held by
the congregation is worth about fifteen thousand dollars.

During forty years existence, up to the year 19 14, the Salem congregation
had received three hundred and forty-six members ; confirmed three hundred
and eighty-two, baptized five hundred and fifty-five children. During the
same period three hundred and fifty-nine persons have been dismissed or
died. The church, at the beginning of 191 7, had three hundred and eighty-
three communicant members, and a total membership, counting children, of
five hundred and tliirt_\-five.


There's a bower of roses by Bendemeer's stream,

And the nightingale sings round it all the day long;
In the time of my childhood 'tv^■as like a sweet dream, -

To sit bv the roses and hear the bird's sons:.
That bower and its music I ne\er forget,

But oft when alone in the bloom of the year,
I think — is the nightingale singing tliere yet?

Are t!ie roses still l^riHit bv the calm Bendemeer?


No ; the roses soon withered that hung o'er the wave,

But some blossoms were gathered, while freshly they shone.
And a dew was distilled from the flowers, that gave

All the fragrance of summer, when summer was gone.
Thus memory draws from delight, ere it dies.

An essence that breathes of it many a year ;
Thus bright to my soul, as 'twas then to my eyes.

Is that bower on the banks of the calm Bendemeer.

In the early history of Marshall county two distinct localities were set-
tled by the Irish people, St. Bridget, in the northeast and Irish creek, in the

The settlements in each case were made along the streams where the
timber was good and easily obtainable for the cabins. The first settlers in
St. Bridget were Phillip Coffey, Owen Reilly, Elizabeth Hoffman and Eli
Tripp in 1857. The following year came John Coughlin, Alichael Shaugh-
nessy, Peter Lynch, John Smith, Alichael Murray, Patrick Hughes, Thomas
Loob and Michael Maddigan.

From that date until 1861 the little colony was increased by the famdies
of Patrick McGrath. James Carroll, John Gossin, Sylvester Creevan, John
Clark and Bernard Gallagher.


On Irish creek the first settler was Daniel Donahy, who took up the first
homestead under the United States laws and received patent No. i from the
government. From 1857 to 1861 the following families settled on the creek.
David. Jerry and Dennis Donahy, John Doud, William, Thomas, John and
Daniel Nolan, Thomas and Edward 3*IcNieve, Patrick, Ned, Mike and
Hubert Burke, the Greggs. Kennedys, Harringtons, Grimes and Hendeshans.

The families were all of a sturdy type of pioneers and while the hard-
ships they endured were almost more than flesh and blood could stand, yet
they had the indomitable spirit of the race and a faith which never failed
them even in the darkest hours.

Soon the cheering visits of the ever welcome priests helped the dark
days to pass and inspired them with hope for better times. Very soon the
faithful adherents of the Catholic church gave of their scant stores to build
humble church homes, where they might meet and ^^•orship the God of their


Those weekly meetings were the occasions of great happiness to a people
who, l)v nature, are full of brotherly love and human sympathy. There they
eagerly inquired after the health and welfare of neighbors and sent the kind
wishes of warm hearts to absent ones.

News from that loved h'tlle isle — the emerald gem set in the silver sea —
was exchanged and mutual messages sent. N'o story is so full of human
interest as that of the pioneer. The palace is a tribute to the architect and
the builder; but the log cabin appeals to the heart, for that rude dwelling
sheltered men and women who had the courage to endure and the strength
to overcome. It would be difficult to describe the hardships of those early
years. Of actual suffering and want there was some; but, perhaps, the
greatest suffering was never known.


To those early Irish people the thought of separation from the home and
scenes of childhood, was fraught with such depths of anguish as only the
loving, tender Irish heart can know.

How many times the brave parents sat beside the cabin door, while the
little ones slept witliin, and felt within their hearts the utter loneliness of life.
Memories of the happ)^ childhood home, the dear old parents far away,
would fill their hearts.

But the true hearts kept them brave and they lived to see cattle fatten-
ing upon the green pastures and golden grain waving in the fields. Wealth
and comfort have come to those who toiled, and loved, and hoped. Many,
many have long since crossed the river and are resting on the other shore.

Perhaps no people who came to Marshall county were better fitted for
the life of the pioneer. Living as their forefathers had, on an island, battling
ever with the wild forces of nature, the sea and the storm were to them a
force to he overcome.

So those descendants of a courageous race gave royal battle to the
blizzard, the drought and the pestilence, and wrested from the virgin prairie
its hidden wealth.

In the history of our county few years have passed that Irishmen have
not served in some oflicial capacity. They have been especially prominent
on the Ijoard of county commissioners and have guided the affairs of the
countv with intelligence, care and integrity.

The names of Gossin, Alurray, Shaughnessy, Manly, O'Neill and Sullivan
adorn the roll of splendid pioneers and citizens of the county.


It is clitficnlt for one in wliose veins flows the blood of a noble Irish
ancestry to write in guarded tones of a race which unites the ardent, emo-
tional, affectionate temperament, quick to resent an injustice, ever ready with
forgiveness, with the highly religious qualities of soul, and the forceful, pro-
gressive character.

It may be truly said that to the Irish in ^larshall county we owe much
of our material development and fine intellectual attainments.

Railways of Marshall County.


On Alarch 20, i860, an item appeared in the Kansas paper that was of
great importance to the people of Marshall county :

"Iron arrives in Kansas, and track laying begins on the Elwood and
Marysville railroad. This is the first railroad iron laid down on Kansas soil."

On April 28, i860, the following appeared in the Ehvood Free Press:

"On Monday last, April 23, the directors of the Elwood & Marysville
Railroad placed on their track the locomotive 'Albany,' an engine which
has been used from Boston to the Missouri, as railroads have successively
stretched their length toward the setting sun.

"On Tuesday several cars were brought across the river and a large
concourse of people gathered to celebrate the actual opening of the first
section of the great Pacific road. Col. M. Jeff. Thompson, president of the
Elwood & Marysville road; Willard P. Hall, president of the St. Joseph &
Topeka road ; Gov. Robert M. Stewart, of Missouri, and others addressed the
crowd on the great topic of the day."

On July 19, of the same year, a great celebration was again held at
Elwood on the completion of the road to Wathena — the first railroad in the
territory of Kansas.

On January 20, 1871, the first train on the Grand Island railroad reached
Marysville. This line of railway extends through Murray, Guittard, Frank-
lin, Center, Elm Creek, Marysville and Logan townships, and the stations
are Axtell, Beattie, Home, Garden, Marysville, Herkimer and Bremen. Thirty-
seven miles of this road traverse the county.

For many years the St. Joseph & Grand Island railroad was the main
highway from Marysville to the river and west to Grand Island, Nebraska,
where connection was made with main lines East and West.


All shipping was carried on over this road until the Lincoln-Manhattan
branch of the Union Pacific road was built, giving Marysville a north and
south road, and later the Marysville and Menoken "cut-off to Topeka was
built, thus putting Marysville on a trans-continental line.


Perhaps the most important item of news to the citizens of Marysville
that has appeared for many years was the notice that Charles F. Pusch,
mayor of Marysville, had been elected a director in the St. Joseph & Grand
Island railroad. Since that day Mr. Pusch has worked diligently for better
railroad conditions in Marysville and owing to his efforts the hope of Marys-
ville people that their city might be made a division point, has at last been

The Grand Island road is now under the management of the Union
Pacific system, that system holding ninety per cent of the stock.

The Union Pacific Company will buy practically all the land from the
city limits north to the river, a tract of sixty-eight acres; all town lots
between Seventh street and the railroad, to be used for freight and passenger
division terminals. Icing plants and feed yards will also be built.

The appropriation to be expended on these improvements in 191 7 is
two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and a like amount in 1918. It is
anticipated that the Grand Island machine shops now located in St. Joseph,
Missouri, will be brought to Marysville. The following interesting clipping
is from the Marshall County News of March 23, 191 7:


After the nomination of Mayor Pusch he thanked the delegates for this
unanimous nomination to a fourth term as mayor. In speaking of the
railroad improvements, he told how he had worked long years for the loca-
tion of division terminal facilities, new depot, etc., and thanked the people
for their confidence and support during all this time. He was glad to be
able to report now that the contracts with the railroad company had been
practicallv completed and that the work would proceed this year. He read
a letter just received from E. E. Calvin, president of the Union Pacific
Railroad Company, which reads as follows :


"Union Pacific System.

Omaha, March 20, 191 7.
"]^Ir. Charles !•". I'uscli. mayor, City of Marysville,
"]\larysville, Kansas.

"Dear Sir:

"This will acknowledge and thank yon for your favor of ]\larch 19th
concerning matters at Marysville.

"I have directed that the options running to the Union Pacific Railroad
Company be exercised at once and will advise you when this is done so that
the ordinances may then be promptly passed.

"Further consideration has been given the special provision to be included
in the deeds covering land to be conveyed to us for passenger station and
I submit herewith a clause which I Ijelieve will be satisfactory to you and
afford such protection to the railroad company as it is felt we should h:ive
and which I am certain you w^ant us to have :

" Tt is understood that as a part of this consideration for this convey-
ance, the grantee herein, Union Pacific Railroad Company, agrees to erect
upon the premises hereby granted, a passenger depot and appurtenant facili-
ties ; the grantee, the Union Pacific Railroad Company, will also erect in the
vicinity of ]Marysville. Kansas, as soon as the land is available, a round house
and such other terminal facilities as may be necessary for the handling of the
business of the railroad company at that point.'

"If the above provision is acceptable to you, will you kindly have deeds
prepared in accordance therewith and submit them to us.

"You understand, of course, that we will undertake the construction of
the round house and appurtenant facilities this year, and as Cjuickly as prac-
ticable after we obtain possession of the necessary land under the proposed
condemnation proceedings, with wdiich you are familiar.

"Yours very truly,

"E. E. Calvin."

' The mayor said the clause to be inserted in the deeds had been accepted
and that the deeds were being prepared by E. R. Fulton and would be imme-
diately signed up and returned to the company.


This road was incorporated by special act of the Territorial Legislature
of 1857, as the Marysville, Palmetto & Roseport Railroad Company. Under


the law of 1862, the name was changed to St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad
Company. The western division was built under the charter of the Northern
Kansas Railroad Company, and the general railroad law of Nebraska: incor-
porated January 17, 1868.

By an act of the Legislature of 1866, the Northern Kansas Railroad
Company was granted a portion of the five hundred thousand acres of land
granted to the state by the act of Congress of 1841. By an act of Congress
of July 2T^, 1 856, the St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad Company received
a grant of lands to aid in its construction.

On September 18, 1867, articles of consoHdation were filed with the
secretary of state, consolidating the Northern Kansas Railroad Companv and
the St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad Company, under the name of the latter

On April i, 1877, articles of consolidation were filed, consolidating the
St. Joseph & Pacific Railroad Company, incorporated August i, 1876, (a com-
pany organized by the purchasers upon foreclosure of the St. Joseph & Den-
ver City Railroad Company for the purpose of constructing or purchasing
and operating that portion of the St. Joseph & Denver City railroad between
Elwood and Marysvillej and the Kansas & Nebraska Railroad Company,
incorporated August i, 1876. (a company organized by the purchasers upon
foreclosure of the St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad Company for the pur-
pose of constructing or purchasing and operating that portion of the St.
Joseph & Denver City Railroad Company west of Marysville), the company
thus formed to be known as the St. Joseph & Western Railroad Company.
In 1879 the road came under the control of the Union Pacific Railway Com-
pany, which owns $1,536,200 of the stock of the company; $1,274,569, St.
Joseph & Pacific Railroad bonds: $1,076,361.40. Kansas & Nebraska Rail-
road bonds, and $113,000, receiver's certificates: operated as the St. Joseph
& Western Division of the Union Pacific Railway, but all accounts are kept
separately. The road extends, from St. Joseph, Missouri, to state line of
Nebraska, a distance of one hundred thirty-eight miles ; thence to Grand
Island, Nebraska.


January 7, 1870 — Another short survey of the St. Joseph & Denver
City railroad is being made.

April 22, 1870 (Friday morning) — A Marysville item says: "The
surveying party of the St. Joseph & Denver City railroad returned from


Kearney last Tuesday (19), havino^ completed the survey of that road.
They are to commence the work of locating eastward from this point.

May, 1870 — Contract let for building the St. Joseph & Denver City rail-
road to Marysville. The work to be completed ready for laying the iron
by November i. The road is now completed some five or six miles west of
Hiawatha, in Brown county.

June 17, 1870 — The St. Joseph & Denver City railroad is now running
as far as Hamlin, ten miles west of Hiawatha. It is to be finished as far
as the Big Blue — one hundred and twenty-five miles west of St. Joe — by
November i, 1870.

December 9, 1870 — A general interest is felt by the people of the
county respecting the St. Joe & Denver City railroad bonds. The county
commissioners have not as yet decided whether to issue them or not. The
bonds were voted years ago, the object being to secure a leading line of
railroad through the county. Since that time another railroad has Ijeen
built without the aid of the county, proving that the county need not have
ofifered any bounty in order to secure a road. It is a question whether lapse
of time or an act of the railroad company itself, has not worked a forfeiture.

January 13. 1871 — The MaryrciUc Loconwtiz'c, the official organ of

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 21 of 104)