Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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in the evening he attempted to get into the court house, where there was to
have been a dance, when Henry Agle, who is the constable of the township,
took hold of Goisney and told him to keep quiet and that he could not go
into the court house.

"A scuffle ensued during which Goisney drew a revolver and, just at
this juncture, Mr. Patrick Casey came up for the purpose of helping Henry
Agle, who had called for help, wiien Goisney pointing his pistol at Agle
and firing, exclaimed, 'Take that.' Casey fell dead, the ball having entered
his neck under the left ear, passing out on the opposite side. Mr. Casey
died instantly without uttering a word or sound. The murderer was imme-
diately carried to jail and ironed. During the night the guard was awak-
ened by a large crowd of men who took the prisoner and hanged him upon
a tree near town. The next morning the body was taken down, a coroner's
inquest held and the body was carried out to the prairie and buried.

"On Monday the remains of poor Casey were buried with military
honors. A large concourse of citizens attended to pay the last tribute of
respect to a good man, a worthy citizen, a faithful friend and an affectionate
husband and father. Patrick Casey had been a soldier and served as ser-


geant; had avowed patriotic and loyal principles, and f<»r this he met his
deatli at the hands of a disloyal traitor."


During the year i860 a train of soldiers, emigrants, and gold seekers
was returning from the West. The party camped on the grounds of the
present city park. In the evening a number of the men came up town to a
saloon, which was kept on the spot where White Brothers' store is now
located. They drank heavily and one man in the company a German, dis-
played a pouch of gold. Later, the German was seen to leave the saloon with
a man who seemed sober. Nothing was thought of the matter at the time.

During the forenoon of the following day some hunters came into the
same saloon and reported the finding of the body of a man in the creek.
There had been a light fall of snow during the night and the footsteps of the
two men were traced to the spot on Spring creek, where the body of the man
had been found. The body was quickly identified by a number of men who
had seen him in the saloon displaying his gold.

The train was followed, stopped and the men in charge informed of
the murder. The German had not been missed from the party, but suspicion
fell on the man who left the saloon with him on the previous night. A search
was made and the man was found concealed in one of the wagons. The
entire train returned to Marysville. A short trial was held without judge
or jury and the only witnesses were the lifeless body and the confessed mur-

A short consultation, a trip to the elm tree on Spring creek, two graves,
one on the prairie and one in the cemetery on the hill, and the train moved

The gold, a watch and a letter giving name and address were sent to
the dead man's people.

That night the w^iole matter was thoroughly discussed in the saloon and
it was unanimously decided that justice had been done.


The following story was told the writer by a prominent pioneer : "There
was a gang of horse thieves operating through Marysville and some good
horses had been stolen. One night I lost a fine mare and the next day a
crowd of us started in search. Wt found the thief with mv mare and


another southeast of Waterville, hiding in the brush on a creek. We put
the fellow on a lead horse, tied his hands and started for Marysville. It
was just coming day when we reached Spring creek and the thief began to
, quarrel because we refused to untie his hands. He was told to keep still,
whereupon he kicked the horse viciously. We were tired of him any way,
and one of the men had a long rope halter, and we left him hanging to the
elm tree."

Later the tree was cut down, but that fact did not prevent the meting
out of swift puni-shment to the criminal.

The passing of the years, the civilizing influences of the school, the pulpit
and the press had awakened the sense of allowing legal processes to govern
criminal action, when a dastardly murder aroused the people of the city, and
this time the new bridge over Spring creek became the means of sending a
guilty man out of the world.


Mr. and Mrs. Pennington lived alone on a farm in Wells township and
found it necessary to keep a hired man. They employed a stranger who
proved very helpful to them on the farm. He had been in their employ about
two weeks when, one day, a neighbor going to the Pennington home, dis-
covered the murdered bodies of both these good people. The crime was
traced to the hired hand, he was apprehended in Nebraska and brought to
Marysville and confined in the old jail.

He was brought to trial, found guilty and, while awaiting sentence, a
body of masked men went to the jail about midnight and took the murderer
to Spring creek bridge and hanged him.

Dastardly as was the crime, and with no doubt of the man's guilt, yet
the manner of his death was felt to be a lingering remnant of barbarism.
It was the opinion of all that "Judge Lynch" had had his time and that
thereafter the law would be respected.

It was the passing of the old frontier spirit and the dawning of a better
way. Since that time law and order have prevailed in a larger measure and
every man is allowed his "day in court."


In April, 1898, bold burglaries were committed in Vermillion and Blue
Rapids. The members of a gang, James S. Dalton, Ed Royal and Tom
Taylor were apprehended and placed in the old jail at Marysville. Charley


Batterson was under-sheriff for Sheriff Huff, and in order to keep close guard
over the prisoners, had a cot placed in the corridor and slept there.

The prisoners managed to loosen the rivets in the clasp of the door
between the cell room and the sheriff's office, also to reduce the heads of
the staple wdiich held the padlock to Dalton's cell, so that the staple could be
pushed out and thus release the door. A city election had been held that day
and Batterson had been down town to get election returns. Coming home a
little late he lay down on the cot and fell asleep. Dalton had wrenched an
iron slat from tjie cot in his cell, and as the door was loose he soon opened it,
and also the door to the corridor, and with the slat beat Batterson into insen-
sibility. He then took the keys of the jail opened the doors of the cell in
w^hich Taylor and Royal were and opened the outer door and all escaped.
Batterson lived a few days, but never regained consciousness.

Dalton enlisted under an assumed name in the United States army and
went to the Philippines. St. Claire Guthrie, Sr., w'as elected sheriff of Mar-
shall county and determined to bring Dalton to justice. He learned that
Dalton's mother lived in Indiana and knew that sooner or later she w^ould
have a letter from her son. Detectives were put on guard.

During Dalton's absence he did not write to his mother, but on returning
to San Antonio, Texas, he wrote to her and the letter was intercepted by the
authorities. After four years of freedom, in 1902, Dalton was again incar-
cerated in the cell from which he escaped.

He was tried and sentenced for life to Lansing. Under the wardenship
of W. H. Haskell, Dalton was made clerk in the "Bertillon" room and soon
became very expert. Gov. W. R. Stubbs paroled him and made him Bertillon
clerk at Hutchinson state reformatory.

So the man who brutally murdered Charley Batterson, is now a salaried
state official, on parole from the Kansas state penitentiary.

Sidelights on Marshall County History.


Gen. John C. Fremont in his report of the expedition of 1842, says :
"I had collected at St. Louis, Missouri, twenty-one men, principally Creoles
and Canadian voyageurs, who had become familiar with prairie life in the
service of the fur companies in the Indian country.

"Mr. Charles Preuss, a native of Germany, was my assistant in the
topographical part of the survey. L. Maxwell, of Kaskaskia, had been
engaged as hunter, and Christopher Carson, more familiarly known as Kit
Carson, guide. In addition to these, Henry Brant, son of Colonel J. B.
Brant, of St. Louis, a young man nineteen years of age, and Randolph, a
lively boy of twelve, son of Hon. Thomas H. Benton, accompanied me."

On June 19, 1842, Fremont writes: "Longitude 96 degrees, 14'-
49"; latitude 39 degrees, 3o'-4o''. (Near the southeast corner of county.)

"The morning of the 20th was fine with a southerly breeze and a bright
sky ; and at seven o'clock we were on the march. The country today was
rather more broken, rising still, and covered everywhere with siliceous lime-
stone, particularly on the summits where they were small, and thickly strewn
as pebbles on the shore of the sea. We crossed at ten a. m., the Big Ver-
million, which has a rich bottom of about a mile in breadth, one-third of
which is occupied bv timber. Making our usual halt at noon, after a day's
march of twenty-four miles, we reached the Big Blue, and encamped on the
uplands on the western side, near a small creek, where was a fine, large spring
of very cold water. This is a clear and handsome stream, about one hun-
dred and twenty feet wide, running with a rapid current through a ^vell-
timbered valley. Today, antelope were seen running over the hills, and at
evening Carson brought us a fine deer. Longitude of the camp 96 degrees —
32'-35''; latitude 39 degrees — 45'-35"; thermometer at sunset 75 degrees."

The commonly accepted statement that General Fremont camped for


days at Alcove Springs and that he lost some soldiers there by death from
cholera, is not borne out by the published report made by Fremont to the
war department.

This report also states that he did not lose any men by death on
the trip. The men who accompanied him were not enlisted men in the
service of the government, but were hired for the trip, except the two l)oys
who accompanied him for love of adventure. The spring was on the old
Schroyer home farm and is still a living spring.


One of the great movements in the West was the exodus of the Mor-
mons in 1846 from east of the Missouri river to Great Salt Lake. Thou-
sands of those exiled "saints" crossed at the Independence Crossing and in
time the name "Mormon Crossing", was applied to it.

For more than two years these people traveled this trail under all sorts
of conditions. By ox team, wagon team, on foot and on horseback; some
with all their worldly belongings heaped in wheel-barrows and pushcarts;
others with bundles on their backs, all with eager, even anxious faces turned
towards "the promised land". This vast concourse of people, not less than
seventy-five thousand, entered what is now Marshall county, near the soutli-
east corner of the county, traveled in a northwestern direction, and near
where Barrett is now located, crossed the Vermillion and followed the trail
to the crossing on the Big Blue, as seen by the picture.

When the river was swollen, the travellers camped on its banks until
the water subsided. Hundreds of wagons and people were sometimes gath-
ered there and about Alcove Springs, where there was always a plentiful
supply of pure cold water. It was a motley crowd, hastening from the fer-
tile Valley of the Blue westward to the great American desert.

The ill-fated Donner party followed this trail in 1846 and left a lonely
grave on the hillside, a silent testimony of the hardships of pioneer life.

So the great mass of restless humanity surged westward. The Indian
trader, the gold seeker, the adventurer and the explorer as well as those
seeking homes, all "hit the trail", and crossed the Big Blue river in what
afterwards became Marshall county.


The exodus of the Mormons and the discovery of gold in California,
necessitated the establishment of a mail route across the countrv.


The first contract was let to Samuel H. Woodson, of Independence,
Missouri, which was an old point and which soon became very prominent
(luring the days of the Overland mail.

In T859 up to June 30th, there were no less than six different routes for
carrying the mail to and from California. The route which traversed Mar-
shall county was known as the Central-Overland-California line. The fare
across the continent was one hundred dollars in gold.

At that time Marysville, one hundred miles west of the Missouri river,
was almost at the outskirts of civilization and was the last town of conse-
(juence on the Overland route between Atchison and Denver.


Among the men who traversed Marshall county by the Overland stage,
and crossed the Big Blue at Marysville, were Ben Holladay, the owner of
the stage line ; Albert D. Richardson, war correspondent for the A^eiv York
Tribune; Schuyler Colfax, Colonel Thomas Knox, who had gone around
the world for the Nczv York Herald; Mark Twain, Gen. P. E. Connor,
United States commandant at Great Salt Lake; Richard J. Hinton, Bayard
Taylor, Bishop E. S. Janes, of the Methodist Episcopal church ; Fargo,
Cheney and Barney, great express men ; Jim Bridger, famous scout ; Russell,
Majors and Waddell, noted transportation men; Artemus Ward, scores of
army officers and scouts ; senators and representatives from the great West ;
delegates to Congress from tlie western territories ; prominent Mormon lead-
ers from Utah, and hundreds of others. The trail across the state was worn
"as smooth and hard as a floor", according to an old military man who
traveled it.


.Some dift'erences existing between Holladay and the town of Marys-
ville, a cut-off of thirty-five miles, was talked of by the stage authorities, to
run northwesternly from Guittard's via Oketo across the Otoe Indian reserva-
tion, leaving Marysville to the south.

To forestall this a new road was laid out from Marysville to Seneca,
leaving Guittard's a few miles to the north. It was hoped to induce the
freighters to travel this road but the plan did not succeed.

All these plans and schemes only served to augment the existing ill will
and, finally, Holladay opened up the road and about the middle of October,


1862. the Overland sta.i^e began traveling- the Oketo cut-off. Before this
change Marysville had a tri-weekly mail. For a month afterward the people
were without mail.


Finally; a man was engaged to carry a tri-weekly mail, from Guittard.
Later, that was cut to a semi-weekly and again to once a month. A vigor-
ous remonstrance was sent in, and then the mail was discontinued. This
was unbearable and in time the mail service was restored and a carrier
delivered mail regularly.

There was bad feeling between Oketo and Marysville. One stormy
night the ferry was cut loose from its moorings wliich was a serious damage
to the stage company. But it was not the end of the trouble. Crossings
were torn up. ditches dug and some shooting affrays took place. Holladay
had placed J. H. V/hitehead in charge of the Oketo station, and although
some historians state that the Oketo cut-off (which had become quite famous),
was discontinued by Holladay after four months, Mrs. Lee Holloway, who
was formerly Mrs. J. IL Whitehead, declares positively that Holladay did
not discontinue tlie use of this cut-off until the Overland stage was finally
abandoned by reason of the building of the railroad to Grand Island, Nebraska.

Certain it is that the matter culminated, because one dark and stormy
night the stage with a United States general as a passenger, was plunged
into a ditch and the offfcer given a shaking up.

When he was told of the bad feeling and depredations, he at once wrote
to the commanding officer at Ft. Leavenworth and had troops sent out to
protect the Overland mail line. In a few days a detachment of the Third
Wisconsin Cavalr\^ arrived at Marysville and peace was restored and in time
the stages again drove through Marysville.

Many old frontiersmen and freighters declared that the route through
Marysville was the better. It was an old-established military highway across
the plains to Salt Lake City and California, and was one of the most important
stage and wagon roads in the country.


The establishment of the cut-off had cost. Holladay at least fifty thou-
sand dollars and the people of Marysville were caused some losses. Both
parties at last learned the value of forbearance.


There was much rejoicing among- the stage employees and the citizens
of the town, when the old Concord coach again dashed into town and pulled
up in front of the Barrett hotel.

A pioneer stage driver of the Overland stage was Con Smith, who
resided for many years near Irving. Smith once drove from Boonville to
Tipton, Missouri. Later, he drove on the Butterfield stage line from Ft.
Smith, Arkansas, to Sherman, Texas.

In 1 86 1 he came to St. Joseph and drove for Holladay. His drive was
from Guittard's Station to Hollenherg. the first station west of Marysville.
In 1862 he enlisted in Company H, Seventh Kansas and served until 1865,
when he again entered the employ of Holladay and drove until he finally
"threw down the lines'' and began farming. A man of sterling integrity
and great physical courage, he was a w-ell-respected citizen of this county.


■ V

This was a frontier enterprise of great public importance. The power
behind the throne was the well-known western overland freighter, William
H. Russell, of Leavenworth. The route from St. Joseph, Missouri, struck
the old military road at Kennekuk, forty-four miles out, thence it ran in a
northwesterly direction and touched Marshall county at Guittard Station
and Marysville. The first courier of the pony express left the Missouri
river, April 3, at three p. m., and reached Salt Lake Cit}^ on the evening of
April 9.

Johnnie Frey, mounted on a swift little black pony, was the carrier.
At the same moment he left St. Joe, Harry Roff left Sacramento on a snow-
white steed and the courier arrived in Salt Lake City on April 7. These
two boys, neither of whom weighed over one hundred and thirty-five pounds,
were heralds of tlie great development and civilization which followed.

Russell had two hundred ponies and hundreds of small, fleet horses.
They were distributed along the line from nine to fifteen miles apart. Each
rider was required to ride three animals in succession, covering three stages.
The riders were selected on account of light weight, few weighing over one
hundred and thirty-five pounds. The saddle, bridle and leather pouch used
for the mail were strong and durable, weighing altogether only thirteen
• pounds. The most important news transmitted by the pony express from
St. Joe early in 1861 was that the air was filled with rumors of war. In


the early sixties some letters were sent at a cost of twenty-seven dollars and
sixty cents postage.

Of the eighty daring riders employed on the line at times, forty were
in. the saddle going east .and. forty ..goijog. west. Aai average of two hundred
miles was covered every twenty-four hours. The couriers were splendid
types of young men of great courage and power of endurance. They
endeared themselves greatly to the settlers along the routes, who welcomed
the sight of their coming, and watched them depart with a silent prayer for
their safety.


The following advertisement copied from the Big Blue Union of Octo-
ber 15, !86_i, indicates one way the pioneer might have passed away an other-
wise dull hour.

"The Lone Star Billiard .Saloon. — Keep cool, gentlemen. Take some-
thing like a julep, punch, cobbler, sangaree, cocktail, smash, or lager, in ice,
through a straw, or any other way while you enjoy yourselves at the famous
military game of billiards."

The proprietor evidently did not care to engage in the "famous military
game'' then being played, with the life of the nation at stake.

An advertisement in the same issue of the paper is, to say the least, unique.

"American Hotel, Marysville, Kansas. — I have lately purchased thie
property known as Barrett's Hotel, in this place, and shall endeavor to keep
a first-class hotel. Hay, corn and oats plenty. J. H. Cottrell, Proprietor."

In the same paper, J. W'iesbach advertises : Dry goods, groceries, boots
and shoes, liquors and tinware and says : "Cash paid for hides, wool and

T. W. W'aterson advertises an immense stock of dry goods, groceries,
drugs, medicine^, foreign and domestic liquors.

A. E. Lovell notifies his customers that he has a "full supply of choice
family groceries, including tobacco and candles." In the dry-goods depart-
ment he advertises : "Monkey jackets, hoop skirts, balmorals, nubias,
wamunses, etc." Fashions have changed somewhat in the half century that
has passed.

It is worthy of chronicle that two parties advertising in the paper do
not offer intoxicating liquors for sale.

■>**. ,.

■J ■ i^ — - ■•^*^'



Mrs. Sarah Foster advertises "millinery done in the latest style and on
the shortest order."

Gustav Staitss announces to the citizens of the community that he has
opened a blacksmith sho]) on Broadway and that "he is prepared to do all
kinds of work in his line on reasonable terms and at the shortest notice ; and
hopes by strict attention to business to merit the confidence and patronage
of the public."

The Big Blue Union also carries the advertisement of a man who spent
the remainder of his days in Marysville and was the friend of all who came
to know him,

"Thomas McCoy, boot and shoemaker. — Come along and bring your
feet, I can fit them ; don't care if they are as uneven as a tomato, or so ugly
as to make their owner blush. N. B. — I will also repair harness."

In time McCoy became the largest harness dealer in the city. His
unique advertisement appeared in the Marysville papers for a period of
twenty-five years, as follows :

A good broth of a boy is Thomas McCoy,

He lives in Marysville, Kan.,
And those who want tools for horses and mules,

Should call on him quick as they can.

He has saddles and bridles, and collars and whips.

All made with new-fangled invention.
His goods are all made with an eye to the trade,

And to please is his honest intention.

So come in and buy, of this clever McCoy,

And ne'er doubt but your visit will pay.
You'll remember the place, 'tis so easy to trace,

At the west end and south side of Broadway.


The accompan} ing view will recall i)leasant memories to the mind of
every man under forty years of age, who lived in Alarysville for any length of
time in boyhood days.

To this shady retreat on Spring creek may be charged countless cases


of tniancv. liours of maternal anxiety and "oceans of fun" for the Ijoys, who
during- all of th()^-e years have promptly and cheerfillly responded to the sign
of "two fingers."

The amphihians in the water are William A. Calderhead, Jr., now man-
ager of a hig cattle ranch in Mexico; Arthur Johnson, well known in Rock
Island railr()a<l circles, and Butler Shepard, who was recently on the Mexican
border with the late General Funston. The boy on the bank must remain
incognito. Suffice it to say he has boys of his own large enough to recognize
the sign of the "two fingers."


On April 14. 1846, the Douner party left Spring-field, Illinois, on their
journey to California. James F. Reed was the originator of the party, and
the Donner brothers, George and Jacob, joined him.

Mrs. Reed's mother, Sarah Keyes, was an invalid, seventy-five years
old. but as Mrs. Reed was her only daughter she refused to be parted from
her and although her sons, Gersham and James W. Keyes, tried to persuade
her to remain with them, she accompanied the party.

Everything possible was planned to make her comfortable for the long
journey and she improved in health every day until the party reached the
Big Blue ri\-er. at the Old Independence crossing, where they found the
river so swollen that they could not cross and were obliged to lie by and
make some rafts. As soon as they stopped traveling. Grandma Keyes began

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 40 of 104)