Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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and children and asking help in recovering friends who had been captured
by Indians.


Militia companies were immediately mustered and, after making hasty
preparations, went in pursuit of the Indians. One company under the com-
mand of Capt. Frank Schmidt and one in charge of Lieutenant McClosky,
left JMarysville on August i ith. They were joined by a company from Vermil-
lion under Capt. lames Kelly and one from Ti^xing under Capt. T. S. X^aile.
The -\Iarshall count)- troops were under the command of Col. E. C. Manning.
C(;mpanies were also formed in Xemaha, Riley and Washington counties,
under command of General Sherry, of Seneca.

These troops marched over Marshall county to the west and while they
saw plenty of evidence of Indian warfare and depredations, they met with
no Indians. However, the presence of armed troops had a wholesome effect
on the Indians and a cessation of the worst depredations ensued. It was
several years before the Indians came to believe that they were not the
owners of the land and that murder and pillage were not justifiable.

Many of the refugees from the Overland road and from counties west
remained in Alarshall county for weeks before returning home.


Al:out tlie loth of May, i86g, Reuben Winklepleck and son, Alonzo,
Edward Winklepleck, a nephew, Philip Burke, J. L. M.cChesney, a Air. Cole
and son. from Michigan, left Waterville with two wagons,, to, go west, look
at the country and hunt buft'alo. They followed the Republican river to
beyond the mouth of White Rock creek, in the northwest corner of Republic
county. They obtained a supply of buffalo meat and were on their way
home on May 25, when overtaken by Indians, whom they drove away by
firing at them at long range. McChesney, who was guide for this part}',
advised crossing the river and making for Scandia, where there was a colony
house and Avhere the settlers had made some preparations for defense from
Indian attack. McChesnev feared the Indians would return for a night attack.


The remainder of the party did iiul take the matter so seriously and they
camped on the west side of the Repuhhcan river. Jiarly on the morning of
May 26. while they were preparing to break camp, they were attacked by
Indians and all killed except McChesney, who jumped into the river and
bv secreting himself in the overhanging l)rush escaped and reached Scandia
that day.


Ed S. Rowland, now a resident of Marysville, Kansas, makes the fol-
lowing statement :

"On May 10, 1869, I left New York City as a member of the Walker
colony from that city, which located on land about twenty miles west of
Scandia. There were sixty people in this colony, some of whom had left
New York about a month earlier than I did. Concerning this Indian massa-
cre, I had been out at the colony about a week engaged in putting up shacks
on homesteads and had helped bury four men, buffalo hunters who had been
killed by the Indians. A man nained Robert Watson and myself drove into
Scandia. I put up at the colony house and on Friday afternoon about three
o'clock, a man who seemed 'all out of sorts' and who afterwards turned out
to be John McChesney, sat down beside me and asked for something to eat.
I ordered a meal for him and while waitiiig, McChesney told me that his six
companions had been killed by the Indians that morning up the river, and
asked that a party be raised to go and find out what had happened, and to
bury or recover the bodies of his companions.

"I reported the above at once to others and by Saturday we had a suffi-
cient posse to venture forth. We had to have the Fisher boys, who were early
settlers in that country and who knew Indians and their ways, to act as
guides. These boys lived about ten miles northwest of Scandia. W'e \\ent
there first and got them and on Sunday morning we started east to where
the attack was made. When near the spot we divided into two parties.
There were twelve or fourteen in the party. \\^e found the two wagons on
the west side of the Republican river, horses gone, harness cut in pieces, not
more than a foot long, the barrels of the guns bent elbow shape between the
spokes of the wheels. The wagons and buffalo meat were unmolested. We
found all the bodies on the east side of the river, opposite the wagons. The
bodies were huddled together. Two men had been scalped, one scalp taken,
the other left beside the dead man. The clothing had all been stripped from
them and carried away. A pair of shoes only left on the feet of the boy, all
his other clothing taken. We buried the bodies on the spot where we found


them, only a few yards from the river, on that Sunday. I am under the
impression that this place of burial is nearly opposite the mouth of White
Rock creek. It looked to us that the hunters had left the teams and wagons
to search for a good place to cross the river and when they were separated
from their teams, wagons and guns, the Indians came from ambush and
massacred them. After the burial we all returned to Scandia."

Lieut. I. N. Savage, historian of Republic county, in which the Winkle-
pleck massacre took place, is authority for the statement that the victims
were buried on section 15, township i, range 5, Republic county.

As far as the writer has been able to ascertain, this covers the only
serious depredations by Indians in Alarshall county, or affecting its people.
The late increased immigration and the effective defense made, finally drove
the Indians farther west.

Cil.MTI'I^ IV.
Settlement of Marshai.i. County.


''Onr little systems have their day,
They have their day and cease to be."

"Westward ho!" has been the cry of men for ages. The golden west
has lured men of all times and climes. The story of Caesar and Columbus is
the story of Washington, of Lewis and Clarke, of John C. Fremont and of
Kansas. The Indian and Spaniard came and passed away. The French-
man lingered. The German, Irish, Swede, Dane and Swiss came and con-
quered. The adventurer from the South wlio came to usurp became a citizen.
He saw the American pioneer, with his gun and ax and plow, transform the
desert into fertile fields. Rev. Patrick O'Sullivan says: 'Tt was a grand
generation of heroic mold, who, amidst hardships, privations and dangers,
broke the prairies, built homes and brought religion and civilization to Mar-
shall county."

Of those who }"et remain, the snow of age has touched the hair and Time
has slowed the footstep and enfeebled tlie frame. Wdien we meet them we
are reminded that they made possible the conditions existing today. Lives of
men and women went int() the making and are a part of the warp and woof
(jf the beautiful fabric Avhich is the Alarshall county of today.

"The past will alwa}'s win a glory from its being far."


The Marshall County Old Settlers and Pioneers Association was organ-
ized in i87q. The object was to bring together the old settlers of this and
adjoining counties and to hold annual reunions, at which old friends might
meet and bv j^ublic addresses and the telling of early-day trials, teach the
younger people what it cost to 1)uild a state. A meeting was held in Blue


Rapids on June 12, 1879, when \\'illiam Paul, C. E. Tibbetts and T. W.
Waterson were appointed a committee to prepare a program for the first Old
Settlers Reunion to be held in Marshall county, September 11-12, 1879.

At that first reunion the following officers were elected: A. G. Barrett,
president; D. C. Auld and William Thompson, vice-presidents; Frederick
Hamilton, treasurer, and J. S. Magill, secretary. Executive committee, Wil-
liam Paul. Blue Rapids, chairman; Thomas McCoy, Alarysville; W. T.
Dwinnell, Frankfort: Ro])ert Smith. Irving; J. E. McChessey, Waterville,
and Judge Madden, of Guittard. On January ist, 19 17, but one of the first
officers of this association was yet li\-ing — Robert Smith, of Frankfort.

Since that first meeting at Blue Rapids the association has never failed
to meet. The last meeting being held in Marysville on September 20 to 2t,,

This Old Settlers Reunion organization has grown to be the "biggest
thing," in the way of an annual g-athering, held in the county. Although it has
grown away from the original idea of a gathering of pioneers and has be-
come the forum of the politician, yet it is an event that gathers a crowd and
there are still some of the pioneers who are present and are actively inter-
ested in tlie welfare of the organization.

The officers for 191 7 are: J. 'M. Watson, president; Howard Reed,

The following address delivered by Mrs. Andrew J. Travelute at the
annual Old Settlers" Reunion at Marysville in September, 1916, was greatly
enjoyed by the many pioneers who were present.

Mrs. Travelute was formerly Elizabeth Mohrbacher, daughter of Jacob
Mohrbacher, and one of the first teachers in Marshall county. During this
address a number of pioneer ladies sat on the platform knitting, spinning
and sewing as in olden times. Among them were ]\Irs. H. P. Benson, Mrs.
E. A. Scott, Mrs. Sarah McKee. Mrs. M. Roseberry, Mrs. W'ashburn, Mrs.
Lieb, Mrs. Bunton and Mrs. Heister.

Mrs. Travelute's address follows •

The time has arrived when it becomes the duty of the people of Marshall
county to perpetuate the names of their early pioneers.

Those men and women, who in their prime of life, entered the wilds
of Kansas and tilled the virgin soil have nearly all passed to their graves;
the number remaining who can relate the incidents is becoming small. The
frontier is gone and those who reuK^ved it are gone; and those who assisted
in removing it are going one l)v one.

Therefore, my friends, one and all. we who are gathered here, let us


dedicate the thirty-eighlli annual luiiiy Settlers" Reunion of Marshall county
to the sacred memorv of those dear ones who braved life's battles here
on Kansas soil when all was a wilderness. They came with the inspiration
ui hope and love for their dear ones who are enjoyin<^- the fruits of their
hard labor, because what those noble pioneers had to suffer, only God and
the recording angel can disclose.

During those years, when the white men were traveling through Kan-
sas, thev were not making settlements here. The country remained in the
undisputed possession of the Indians : the white men did not want it as yet.
They looked upon these vast prairies not as a resource, but as so much land
to be crossed in reaching places further west.

But changing conditions in the states east of the Mississippi river made
people begin to look upon Kansas in a different light. The country there
was becoming thickly settled and people wanted the lands of the Indians.
As the Indians had all been removed to these western plains, the white man
could not settle on these reservations without the consent of the Indians.
According to the treaties, the Indians were promised their land so long as
grass should grow or w^ater run. But it soon develoj^ed that the white man
wanted Kansas land. Also, in the year 1854, we find the tribes being trans-
ferred to the Indian territory, now^ Oklahoma, where the remnants of various
tribes still remain.

Although Kansas was not used during those early years to make homes
for the whites, a few hundred people came here. They were of three differ-
ent classes: missionaries, soldiers and fur traders.


The attempt to civilize the Indians began in the days of the early
explorers, but it was on Kansas soil that the first missionary lost his life.
This man was Father Padillo, a Jesuit, who came with Coronado on his
journey. Father Padillo became much interested in the Indians, but his
noble work. was of short duration, for he was soon killed by some of the


Later, wdien Kansas became a part of the United States, a number of
missions w^ere established by Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Cath-
olic churches. Kansas remained in the possession of the tribes until the year
1854, when it was organized into a territory.

About this time the New England Aid Company was organized. It
gathered and published information concerning the new country, and under


the g-overnment of these companies, newspapers were filled with descriptions
of the loveliness, the fertility and the future greatness of the territory, and
people were urged to come to Kansas at once, both to secure the advantages
of the country and to help in saving it from slavery. They lived in sod
houses, log cabins and dugouts.

Arriving w'ith my parents in the small hamlet of ]\tarvsville, in the
spring of i860, about eight months previous to the time when Kansas was
admitted to the Union as a state, the people had almost as few comforts of
life as when they first came to the territory. A few of them had come with
little ideas of hardships of frontier life, and others had believed such condi-
tions would last but a short time. Many returned to their Eastern homes
and to wife's folks, because they lacked the energy to rough it through. But
the greater body of Kansas pioneers had come with a tw'O-fold purpose : of
making homes and making a free state.


The pioneers who followed a trackless west should never be lost sight
of. They were good, representative men wdiere they came from, and were
not to be discouraged.

In looking back fifty-six years, I feel proud of my early associates.
Most of them are gone ; onlv a few are left to confirm the storv we have to
tell. Frontier life is always hard, Init it was rendered many times harder
here in Kansas by years of strife and warfare.

In these days of the railways, the good roads and the Ford automobiles ;
of the telegraph and telephone and the rural mail routes, it is difificult to
realize what life on the Kansas prairies meant in the sixties. The virtue
of the Kansas pioneer homes has never furnished theme for song
or story, because it is not so easy to grow sentimental over sod houses or
log cabins or dugouts, or to romance over slab shacks that were windo\v-
less lest the prowling savages seek their vantages ; and floorless for want of

The privations and sacrifices and the loneliness of pioneer life fell most
heavilv on the women. Business and necessity brought the men together
occasionally, but the woman in the isolation of her prairie home often saw
no friendly face for a month. It was in the home of the pioneer woman
that the lessons of self-abnegation and self-denial, deprivation and courage
in the face of hourly danger w^ere learned. The log cabin of Kansas had
never about it the elements th.at render its photograph in the least picturesque.


Bin in\- dear friciul^, 1 can say in truth iliat llic l'uniil\- altar was as cherished
there as thongli in marlile walls.

Till-: I'lONEER FAK.MF.r's WIFE.

While there; comes to my mind so \ividly a true pictnre of the pioneer
farmer's wife. I shall attempt to outline it to yon for the benefit of the young
women on the farms of dear, glorious Kansas of today. ]\Iy memory places
before me a toil-worn woman, standing in front of the dugout, with the sun-
flowers growing on its sodded roof. She is gazing over the vast expanse
of prairie that stretches out before her. She is gazing eastward; her vision
is dimmed, because countless millions of grasshoppers ha\e eclipsed the sim-

Her heart is filled with homesickness and regret. She is sadly think-
ing of her dear father and mother, whose tender embrace her poor, lone-
.some heart is longing for. and of that dear old home and its sweet comforts,
and while the hot a\ inds from the south are scorching her hands and face,
and while baby is asleep in the homemade cradle and there happens to be no
Indians in sight — she hurriedly takes the w'ater pail and goes down to the
slough, which is more than a quarter of a mile distant, to bring the water
wherewith to prepare the meal for her tired husband.

ThC' sweetness in performing her household duties, and the hope for
the new home she has come t(j help to build, softens every regret. It is that
divine virtue called hope which is now depicted in her dear face. Hope and
courage, the "I will."' is what helped to make Kansas glorious.

Speaking of the grasshopper — it happened a farmer wanted to borrow-
bis neighbor's wagon, aiid the box had been taken oft'; so he asked the
woman of thediouse -where he could find it. She told him she did not know
where it could be found — like as not the grasshoppers had swallowed it.
This was in Balderson township.

■ ■ Although 4he pioneers of Kansas were d-eprived of the various good
things which we liave to eat, they were more rugged and enjoyed better
health, with the exception of malarial fever in. some locahties. They lived
chiefly on corn bread,,butfalo meat or bacon-, sorghuif! molasses, barley coffee,
wild fruits and on very rare occasions a pumpkin pie, providing the grass-
hoppers did not eat the vines or the hot winds did not cook them before the
pumpkins were fit for use.

Wdrile making mention of the corn bread, I recall the time when some
of the i)ioneers had no other means of grinding the corn wherewith to make


this bread than an old tin milk pan that leaked too bad for any other use.
They would use a hammer and nail and punch it full of holes and that left
the bottom of the pan rough enough that you could take an ear of corn and
grate it down to the cob. Then the trouble with some people was they did
not have grease enough in the house to grease the pan to bake it in, to pre-
vent it sticking to the bottom of the pan. They would have to go to the
neighbors to borrow their greaser. i\nd, remember, the neighbors did not
live close enough together so you could have a talk across the fence, and
there was no telephone to go to and say, "May I come o\'er and borrow your




Although there was privation and hard work, there was also some
pleasure. There were the literary societies, the singing schools, the spelling-
schools held in the little log school house. And country dances and the corn
husking bees. I recall a husking bee when John Shroyer invited the young-
men and bovs of the neighborhood to come and husk corn during the day
time and at night they were to bring their best girl or grown sister along
and enjoy some fun. Now, Mrs. Shroyer had baked some pumpkin pies
for our refreshment. The house, being a log cabin with one room and a
fire place, and when company came in pioneer days the furniture had to be
set out of doors in order to provide room. This was the case here. This
was the month of November and the weather was very cold, and the mis-
tress of the house, not knowing what to do with her pies until she wanted
to serve them, took them to the rail corn crib and placed them on the newly
husked coni. A few hours afterwards, when she wanted to serve them they
were frozen so hard it was impossible for her to make use of the knife.
Onlv for the forethought of our friend, R. Y. Shibley, who is still in our
midst, v>ho was one of those young men who make all kinds of promises to
the young ladies. He called for a long-handled shovel, and he placed those
frosted pies in groups of three or four on it and very patiently held them
over the fire in the fireplace to thaw them out, then, without removing them
from the shovel, passed them to the boys and girls.

The girls vrore calico dresses and some of the young men were dressed
in their homespun and some in their jeans, while the young swells wore
"Palm Beach" trousers made of new grain sacks and down on the outside
seams ^■ou could see these \Aords, stamped in black capital letters: "Amos-
keag seamless. Patent applied for."

There comes to my mind the time when my father having built a new


house of considerable size, on his farni soiitli of town, tlic \-oung people of
AFar\-sville came to surprise us and gixe us w hat they called a house .warm-
ing. I think there were about eight couples of them. I recall the names of
some that were jircsent, namely: Mr. and Mrs. Perry Hutchinson. John
Hornbeck. Henry Devue, John Webber, J£d Lovell, Snowden Transue, J\. Y.
Shibley and I. B. Davis of tlds city. Among the young ladies 1 recall the
names of Kate Webber, Hn.ima Webber, Alaggie Smith, Edith Lovell, Belle
Watcrson and Annie Bendel. My father being a musician, they prevailed
ujxtn In'm to bring forth his clarionet and ])lay while they danced. Then at
tlie hour of midnight, my father excused liimself and retired for the night,
when our friend. 1. B. Davis, who was endowed with a talent for music,
made good use of the instrument. |)]aying all kinds of airs while the dance
went on.


My dear friends, while it is impossible for me to descrilje to you in
words the sweet charms of those tunes which Mr. Davis produced on my
father's clarionet, because more than half a cen.tury has passed since the above
mentioned event took place, 1 will venture to say to you that I am greatly
surprised to note the automobiles liave been so constructed, after so great
a lapse of time that at least some of them are able to resound the echo

^^'hile making mention of the spelling schools in pioneer days, they
were well patronized by young and old. I recall a time when the teacher
gave out words of two syllables. There was a young man present from the
state of Illinois — you all know Illinois claims she has no illiterates — and
when it came this young man's turn to spell the word "austere," he spelled
"offsteer." He had been in Kansas long enough to learn to drive oxen.

In the life of every man and woman who walked on Kansas soil, is a
lesson that should not be lost on those who follow. Coming generations
will appreciate the volume \Ahich is at the present time being compiled by
Mrs. E. E. Forter of this city. It will be cherished by everyone as a sacred
treasure. Although Marysville was but a small hamlet, with a few small
stores, it was the only trading point within a distance of twenty-five miles
and I recall the days when the women came here riding in lumber wagons,
drawn by oxen, and no spring seats to sit on. While they were jOy-riding
they would knit a pair of socks for their husbands — busy all the while.
Industry and economy was the motto in pioneer days.

My dear friends, you may reasonablly feel that you have been no unim-


portant factor in the elevation of Marsliall county to its present position.
T well remember the historic inscriptions on some of the prairie schooners
which used to pass through Marysville in the pioneer days. Some read,
"Pike's Peak or Bust," while others read, "Bound for Kansas, the lieht-
house of the world."

You have aided in no small degree in the making- of Kansas one of the
brightest stars in the great constellation of American states, in her greatness,
her power and her wealth, and while we are enjoying these great blessings,
let us ever hold sacred the memory of those noble men and women who
removed the frontier from the wilds of Kansas. And let us never forget to
thank Him who doeth all things well that we are [jermitted to call Marshall
countv our home.


Frank J. Marshall, whose name the county bears, was born in Lee
county, Virginia, April 3, 1816. He was educated in the common schools
and in William and Mary'vS College. In early manhood he went West and
located in Ray county, Missouri, later moving to Weston, Platte county,
from which place he joined the forty-niners to go to the California gold
fields. Upon reaching the Big Blue river, he at once saw the necessity of
a ferry which he built and operated near the Independence Crossing for
several years. After Captain Standberry laid out the Ft. Leavenworth and
Ft. Kearney military road, Marshall followed the new road and established
a ferry about two hundred yards up stream from where the steel bridge at
Marysville now stands.

In 1858-59 gold was discovered in the Pikes Peak and Clear creek
regions in Colorado and soon after the gold fever affected Marshall. He
left the county and the town which he had named and again became a pioneer
in the mining districts of Clear creek and Gilpin counties, Colorado. F. J.
Marshall built the first house in Marysville and he built the first brick busi-

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 5 of 104)