Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

. (page 23 of 104)
Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 23 of 104)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook



- With the coming of the German settlers on Horse Shoe creek, among
whom were the Friedrichs, Raemers, Koenekes, Schottes and Westermans,
came the knowledge of good draft and general utility horses. Those men
were from the north of Germany, where the splendid breeds of horses for
cavalry and for heavy draft use were well known and appreciated. Those
German farmers had no desire for racing stock and they at that time and
for many years, continued to raise the best draft horses in the county.

The desire for fast horses, wdiich usually attends frontier life, was
present for some years in the county and was in a small measure indulged
in by H. H. Lourey, J. Gano, Dave Barrett and Charles Hill, of Frankfort;
Perry Hutchinson, Dr. G. A. Seaman, Dr. E. L. Willson, Sr., A. G. Shepard,
and in later years, H. E. Wiedemeyer, of Marysville, were patrons of the turf.
A racing association and track were maintained at Frankfort and Marysville
for many years, but the men who once kept fancy horses are no longer living
and few of the men of today evince the sporting spirit of the "race-horse man."
The Marshall County Fair and Stock Show may again attract races and revive
the old spirit. L. W. Libby was a lover of good horses and at one time had
one hundred and twenty-five head of the Sangaree breed, which he raised
for market, but the decline in the price of horses during the years 1894 to
1898 resulted disastrously for Mr. Libby.


About 1876 Henry Bull 1:)rought a high-grade Norman horse to Marys-
ville and in 1883 Degnan & Degen brought two imported French Norman
horses. To Dr. E. L. Willson, Sr., belongs the credit of having done more
for the improvement of the horse in the county than to any other number of
men. From 1882 to 1886 he imported seventy-two Percheron, Clydesdale
and English Coach thoroughbred stallions from Canada and Scotland, and
to this day when a good stepper is seen, it is almost sure to be a descendant
of Doctor Willson's "Sangaree" or "Karatas," although Doctor Willson
retired from active horse business many years ago.

Horse raising was quite an industry up to 1894, by which time the
county was full of very good horses of all kinds. The year 1894 will never
be forgotten by all who lived in the county, as the year of the hottest winds
ever experienced, killing not only the corn and hay, but all the fruit and
denuding even the forest trees of foliage, so that by September the trees


were as bare as in the winter. There was no feed nearer than St. Joseph
or Kansas Cit)', Missouri, where owin^- to its scarcity- tlie price was prohibi-
tive. Many horses were given away for lack of feed to support them.

I. B. Davis bought a good team of mules, wagon and harness on the
streets of Marys\'ille for sixty-seven dollars. During that winter horse buy-
ers from Eastern markets scoured the county. One man from Omaha bought
two carloads at one time in Alarysville. not one of the horses weighing less than
fourteen hundred pounds and without blemish, at an average of forty-five dol-
lars per head. This buyer told the writer that it was the finest lot of horses
he had bought in many years. That fall ( 1894) it was reported in Marys-
ville that there was a sign on the gate of a pasture, which contained a lot
of cattle and horses, just across the state line in Gage county, Nebraska, bearing
these words: "Help yourself to horses, but don't let the cattle out."

In February, 1896, Robert Halter, of St. Gall, Switzerland, came to
Marysville to purchase a cargo of horses. The best horses had been sold
by this time. John Degnan drove him to the country to make purchases.
On Horse Shoe creek, two big fine horses were shown and Halter told Deg-
nan to "go a hundred dollars apiece on them." Degnan ofifered the owner
eighty-five for the two, which caused the Swiss to run behind the barn, expect-
ing the owner of the horses to resent the "insult" by opening fire. Hearing
no shots he returned to find that Degnan had bought both horses for eighty-
five dollars.

In the fall of 1894 Halter had been told to come to Kansas and buy
horses, but when he got as far west as Ohio, he was informed that there
was nothing in Kansas but ponies and that people lived in dug-outs, so he
bought his cargo of undoubtedly western horses in the Eastern markets at
Eastern prices and returned to Europe. Needless to say, that when Halter
obtained an introduction to Kansas horses and prices in 1896 he was a wiser
but poorer man. At such prices ruling horse raising was anything but profit-
able to Marshall county farmers.

The recovery of the industry was slow and the introduction of the
automobile did not encourage it any. However, many good sires were con-
stantly being brought in and while recovery and development have been slow,
it has been in the right direction. The county is still behind other sections
of the country in the production of good horses. The raising of thoroughbred
horses for breeding purposes has not been pursued in this county to anv
extent. August Wempe, of Erankfort, is breeding Percherons. but has only
a small number at present.



In July, 19 1 2, G. Philip Schmidt, of Marysville, because the first owner
of an automobile in the county — a one-cylinder Oldsmoljile. On January t,
191 7, there were at least two thousand automobiles in the county, one
thousand nine hundred and fifty- four of them being licensed machines, or
one machine to every ten and one-half inhabitants. In 1900 there were from
two to four livery stables in each town, supporting from two to ten teams
each. Now the horse livery and the livery horse are practically extinct, the
auto having displaced them.

During the past four years the tractor engine has begun to displace the
horse on t'ne farm, principally at the plow.

There is still plenty of room for the good farm and draft horse, but the
roadster and saddler have become too slow for present-day conditions. The
farmer of today living three miles from town can. go to town in his auto,
transact business and return in less time than it took his "dad" to yoke "Buck
and Jerry."

Since the outbreak of the European war, many horses have been pur-
chased in this county for shipment to Europe and the previous market price
has been enhanced about twenty-five per cent.


Sheep have never played a very important part in the system of agricul-
ture in Marshall county. Dr. J. G. Crawford had rather an extensive sheep
ranch in Center township from 1872 till 1878. but no wide-spread sheep
industry has been carried on in the county. Sheep, in limited numbers, have
been fed for n:arket in \'arious places, but as a money-making product of the
farm t]:;ey have not ranked with either hogs or cattle. Some of the farmers
in tl:e county who feed out some sheep yearly are Hawk Brothers, William
Wuester, Henry Farrar, J. Farrar and Jesse Craik.

The following shows the number of sheep listed in the county for the
past four years: 1913, 285: 1914, 391; 1915, 366; 1916, 1,450.

Since the foregoing report was rendered, Francis Benson, Ross Kinney,
Fred Reinders, William Jones and -Vnton Feldhausen have invested in sheep
and will give the business a try-out. At the present time there are over
two thousand head of sheep in the county.



The raising of hogs was one of tlie first side Hnes that the farmer took
uj) in connection wiili other farm activities in .Marshall county. Tlie first
pure-hred hog'S in the count}- were tlie Berkshires, Poland Chinas and Chester
Whites. J. D. Farwell. of W'aterville. is credited witli liringing the first
Che.-ter Whites to the county. It cannot he determined wlio introduced the
other breeds. Charles Scholz. of Snipe Creek, introduced the Duroc-Jersey

During the first three decades of Marshall county history the hog was
the "mortgage lifter." Early-day farmers raised hogs more for the purposes
of market and consumption, than for pedigree. The state agricultural
reports show that Marshall county was a big hog-producing county of the

Durino- the last thirty years hog cholera has increased and has caused
losses to farmers running into thousands of dollars. During the yeir end-
ing ATarch i. 1013, the reports show that 30,296 hogs were raised in the
county. Of this numl:)er 5.588 died of disease. For the year ending March
I, 1914, 32,844 hogs were raised, and 6,394 died of disease. In 1915, 41,904
hogs were raised and 6,071 died of disease. This aggregated a loss to Mar-
shall county farmers of oyer $200,000. In 1916 the number was 40,919
hogs, and 1,325 died. Of this latter number 813 died of cholera.


In July, 1Q14, the Bureau of Animal Industry of the United States
Department of Agriculture established a hog cholera eradication station in
Marshall county, with headquarters at Marysyille, with an expert yeterinarian
and a corps of assistants. The entire expense of maintaining this station is
lorne by the Federal goyernment.

The bureau made a thorough inyestigation of hog diseases prevalent
in the county and immediately instituted vigorous warfare on such diseases.
A decrease is shown by the last report in the, total death rate, and a very
marked decrease in the death by cholera.

L. R. Smith, D. V. S., who has been in charge of the station
since September, 191 5. states that for the past fifteen months there
has been practically no loss in the county from hog cholera and that
during forty days he did not recei^'e a call in the county. Hearty co-opera-


tion between the farmer and bureau will result, it is hoped, in a permanent
eradication of the disease and a consequent gain to the producer.

A large percentage of the hogs now raised in the county are registered
or are eligible to registration. Some of the farmers who have been exten-
sive breeders of thoroughbred hogs are, Thompson Brothers, Ben Bell, A.
B. Garrison, A. B. Swank and J. M. Nielson.

The following breeders exhibited thoroughbred hogs at the Marshall
County Stock Show at Blue Rapids in 1916: J. A. Carlson, George IJoney-
cutt, Howell Brothers, J. O. Honeycutt. Ed. Erwin, Herman Anderson and
F. B. ^^'empe.


There is not a town in the county which has not one or more dealers
in poultry and eggs, and the "helpful hen" is not to be despised as an assist-
ant money maker, by any means.

Official reports show the value of eggs and poultry sold in the county for
the period ending March i of the following years to be — 1913 — $209,099;
1914 — $203,557; 1915— $231,312 ; 1916 — $239,242, an annual average of
$221,605. These results do not take into account the eggs and poultry con-
sumed at home.

Of th.e many breeds of chickens, the Rhode Island Red and the Barred
Plymouth Rock are the most numerous; after these, almost every known
breed is well represented and enthusiastically supported. The county has
manv men and women who specialize in thoroughbred chickens, and who sell
a great number of eggs for hatching purposes at fancy prices, ranging from
fifty cents to six dollars a setting of fifteen.

While the hen has not gone out of business entirely as a hatcher, never-
theless, her process is too slow for this age of speed mania, and for that
reason the incubator, which hatches from one to several hundred chicks at
one time or setting, is universally used.


The Marshall County Farm Bureau was organized in the spring of
1916. Marshall was the sixteenth county in Kansas to perfect an organiza-
tion. F. B. \\'illiams was elected county agent and began his work on June
21, 1916.


Tlie Imrean is a co-operative educational organization of the farmers
of the county to promote better farming-. 1)ctter st(K-k raising and l)etter farm
and rural honie conditions. In e\ery counly in ilic state there is a \'ast
amount of ])ractical knowledge that can be used to assist in solving the agri-
cultural problems of the present day. If this knowledge can be organized
and placed in a readily available form, it will be the most valuable informa-
tion that can be secured from any source. Such practical information is the
hrst essential in successful farming. Every farmer will admit that it is
necessary to keep well informed also upon so-called "scientitic farming,"
which is merely the application of tlie best known principles of agriculture
to every-day farm operations.

A farm bureau giving continuous attention to agriculture, will help to
organize available information and to keep all concerned well informed.
The farm bureau is financed by the government, the state, the county and by
the individual members. The ser^-ices of the county agent are free. He is
furnished with an automobile and will respond at any time to the call of the
farmers of the county requiring his assistance. The county agent is not an
"adviser," but is a man with an agricultural education and practical experi-
ence, working under the direction of the farm bureau, to improve agricul-
tural conditions.


The farm bureau conducts its Avork by means of demonstrations and
den^onstration meetings, publications, through committees and by personal
visits of the agent. Some of the projects carried on are variety tests, seed
selection, testing insect coi:trol and orchard work ; drainage, planning farm
building's, live-stock impro\-ement, cow testing, boys' and girls' clubs, and
anything that the bureau deems advisable. The farm bureau working in the
United States has been an unqualified success. There are now one thou-
sand two hundred and fortv agents at work, and the good being accomplished
is far greater th.an was originally anticipated.


First honors in the Y. 3,1. C. A. acre-growing corn contest were won
by Chester Rowe, of Marvsville. .\s winner of the contest he received a
siher loving-cup, offered l)v R. S. Pauley, of Beattie, and a Holstein calf,


offered by Lackland Brothers, of Axtell. The cup will be held one year and
then passed on to the winner of next year's contest.

Maynard Reb, of Blue Rapids, won second honors; Jay Hendel, of Blue
Ra]:)ids. tliird, ar.d Harold Wager, of Irving, fourth. Maynard Reb received
the Poland China gift, offered by A. B. Garrison & Son, of Summerfield.

The content will be continued in IQT7. The Lackland Brothers have
been so well pleased with the interest shown that they have again offered a
Holstein calf to the winner. P. T. Burk, of Alarysville, has also oft'ered a
se\-enty-live d'lllar silo for the first prize.

farmers' educational axd co-operative union.

In the year 1912 a number of the farmers of Marshall county, believing
that they could better their condition by some method of farm marketing,
began to discuss the question of organization and co-operation. Some wanted
to organize the county by itself, others favored joining the Grange, but the
final decision was to unite with the Kansas branch of the Farmers' Educational
and Co-operative Union of America.

The first local in the county was organized by Mr. McAuliffe, of Salina,
president of the state union, in January, 1913, at the school house in district
No. 75, two and one-half miles south of Vermillion. Later a local was organ-
ized at the Lamb school house in district No. 134, two miles west of Ver-
million, and during the next few months a number of locals were organized
in diff'erent parts of the county.

On ]\Iay 24, 19 13, the several locals of the county met at the court house
in Marysville to perfect a county organization, in order, that by co-operative
effort in the county, they might better accomplish the ends they were striving
for. McAuliffe, of Salina, was present and assisted in the organization.

A constitution and by-laws were adopted and officers elected as follows :
President, N. S. Kerschen, of Marysville ; vice-president, John Frost, of Blue
Rapids; secretary-treasurer, A. F. Johnson, of Vliets; county organizer, W.
G. Swanson, Vleits ; conductor, Clarence Steel, Vermillion ; doorkeeper, Roger
Pichney, Waterville.

Farmers' wives and daughters are eligible to membership in the organiza-
tion and have taken a very active part, not only in the social and educational
features, but have assisted materially in the business enterprises.



As the organization liad to grow and learn at the same time, the members
worked along step by step. At first they clubbed together to ship their grain
and live stock, and buy their supplies in carload lots, and found by so doing
they could save considerable money.

By the end of the first year they found it would be necessary to employ
men to take care of their shipments, and in 19 14 the county was divided into
four sections with the following men elected by each section, to take care of
this work: L. H. Van Valkenburg, of Blue Rapids; E. W. Bergman, Axtell;
Charles R. Wallace, Vleits, and J. H. Schulte. Home City.

From this humble start in 19 13 the organization has continued to increase
its membership and enlarge its business activities, until, in January, 19 17, its
membership is 1,855, with fourteen business associations, consisting of thir-
teen elevators, one store and fifteen produce stations, located as follows : Blue
Rapids, Marysville, Schroyer, Waterville, Irving, Winifred, Axtell, Summer-
field, Vliets, Oketo, Beattie, Home City, Herkimer, and a store at Mina.

These business enterprises have a paid-up capital of over $75,000, and the
business transacted in 19 16 aggregated $800,000.

The directors of the business associations are chosen from among the
farmers and nearly all the managers are farmers. Every association has been
a financial success — sufficient evidence that the Union w^ill make better farms,
better homes, better towns, and place the business of farming in the front
rank of the great industries of the world.


At the county fair held at Blue Rapids in October, 19 16, five locals
entered a contest for the best display of farm products. Lamb Local No. 779,
of V'liets, won first prize with a display of two hundred and fifty products,
grown on the farm of Charles R. Wallace, near Vliets, besides a number of
products from other farms in Lamb local, among which were the best ten
ears of white corn shown at the fair, grown by E. Schubert, of Vermillion.
The other locals contesting were Blue Valley Local No. 781, which took
second prize in the general exhibit, also a number of blue ribbons. Cottage
Hill No. 801 won third prize with a splendid exhibit. Cooley Local No. 807
won fourth prize with a very creditable exhibit.

The county union now consists of forty local unions, with a membership
of 510 women and 1,345 men, making a total of 1,855 members.


The West 3o years ago.

A0\- Co^vvc^V^ v7o7 b^ U H.V^^X'^^'t'^'^






Meetings of the county union are held quarterly at the following points :
Marysville, in January ; Beattie, in Alay ; Frankfort, in July, and at Blue Rap-
ids, in October.

In January, 191 5, the following officers were elected: President, W. T.
Gossin, of Axtell; vice-president, John T. Ellenbecker, Marysville; secretary-
treasurer, Charles R. Wallace, Vliets. At that time the organization was

In January, 191 6, the following officers were chosen : President, William
T. Gossin, of Axtell; vice-president. John Frost, of Blue Rapids; secretary-
treasurer, Charles R. Wallace, of Vliets.

The officers for 1917 are: President, Ralph H. Hawkins, of Marysville;
vice-president, A. D. Fitch, of Frankfort; secretary-treasurer, Charles R.
Wallace, of Vliets.


No. 859 — Roy Christy, Axtell. No. 781 — Charles Musil, Blue Rapids.
No. 776 — L. W. Davis, Vermillion. No. 779 — J. A. Johnson, Vliets. No.
780 — Neil Swanson, Vliets. No. 782 — A. W. Bennett, Waterville. No. 796
— Charles A. Schulz, Marysville. No. 797 — James McNew, Marysville. No.
801 — Charles Stenson, Waterville. No. 807 — C. H. Palmer, Blue Rapids.
No. 809— M. T. Bigham, Frankfort. No. 822— R. D. Blair, Blue Rapids.
No. 838— E. C. Talbot, Marysville. No. 841— H. A. Waters, Marysville. No.
834 — R. S. Hawkins, Marysville. No. 854 — O. C. Severns, Marysville. No.
857 — Fred W. Koepp, Home. No. 858 — Anton Nieberding, Marysville. No.
808 — Stephen Navricek, Irving. No. 924 — H. C. Lucas, Frankfort. No.
948 — R. F. Carver, Frankfort. No. 951 — Phil Smith, Frankfort. No. 961 —
William T. Gossin, Axtell. No. 964 — Willis Conable, Axtell. No. 967 —
H. H. Feldhausen, Frankfort. No. 968 — Charles Wuester, Beattie. No. 971
- — V. C. Miller, Summerfield. No. 990 — H. A. Wanamaker, Blue Rapids.
No. 997 — Dan Bachoritch, Oketo. No. 998 — George E. Raymond, Bigelow.
No. 1002 — Irwin Otto, Marysville. No. 1005 — A. H. Seaman, Axtell. No.
185 1 — Otto J. Wullschleger, Winifred. No. 1071 — Sidney Johnson, Frank-
fort. No. 1 122 — H. F. Bergman, Vermillion. No. 1232 — Charles Schroeder,
Home. No. 1238 — Emil Hohn, Marysville. No. 1259 — N. G. Schmidt,
Marysville. No. 1288 — J. C. Shepard, Irving. No. 1349 — Harvey Smith,




The Marshall County Stock and Fair Association, located at Blue Rapids,
was chartered in March, 1916, and its capital stock fixed at $10,000, divided
into 1,000 shares of $10 each. For the purpose of interesting as many as
possible in this matter, it was determined not to sell more than one share to
any one person.

The following first board of directors was elected at the first stockholders'
meeting held at Blue Rapids, June 21st, 1916: E. R. Fulton, William Acker,
S. W. Tilley, W. J. Gerard, J. W. Stewart, Niel Robinson, A. B. Garrison,
John Cottrell, A. R. Dean, Frank W. Lann, C. E. Nichols, C. B. Mayer, G. D.
Curry, Ernest Herm.ann and R. J. Wells. The organization was completed
by the election of Neil Robinson, president ; J. W. Stewart, first vice-president ;
A. B. Garrison, second vice-president; W. J. Gerard, treasurer, and C. J.
Brown, secretary. Executive committee : W. J. Gerard, A. R. Dean, Neil
Robinson, C. B. Mayer and G. D. Curry.

The city of Blue Rapids gave to the association, for a term of years, the
use of its Riverside park, for stock show and fair purposes, and in this beau-
tiful park the first fair was held October 10 to 13, 1916.

The result of the first year's work of this county stock show and fair is,
in brief, as follows : Several fine permanent buildings on the grounds, a very
successful fair held, every obligation paid, a ten per cent, dividend paid on the
seven hundred and twenty-five shares of stock sold, and eight hundred dollars
surplus in the treasury for the future work.


This was a splendid awakening of the county fair spirit, which did so
much for the agricultural interests from the time the first fair was held at
Marysville in 1873, ^P to ten years ago, when it died out. During most of
those years race horses were kept in training on the tracks of Marysville and
Frankfort, practically all the year round. The fair was the one great occa-
sion of the year, attended by everybody with his whole family. The stock was
worth seeing, as well as the exhibits of grain, but the great attraction was the
races between some of the best and fastest horses in the country, some of
which were owned at home. Capt. Perry Hutchinson, Doctor Willson, Doctor
Scamon, Neil Robinson, H. E. Wiedemeyer and others from Marysville ; H.
H. Lourey, J. Gano, the Osborn brothers and others from Frankfort, all had
good track horses, some with national reputations.


As the old settler and the old cavalry soldier passed away, the real lover
of the horse passed, and the great American game, baseball, took the eye and
money of the people. Bicycle and automobile races are much more interesting
now than horse races ; as the faces change, so do the tastes. However, the
live stock and farm product show at Blue Rapids in October, 19 16, was a
decided success.


The display made by the ladies of the county is worthy of especial com-

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 23 of 104)