Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

. (page 6 of 104)
Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 6 of 104)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


ness house in Denver, Colorado. He died on November 25, 1895, after a
most eventful life, leaving a wife, four sons and a daughter. Mrs. Marshall
is still li\ing with her daughter in New York City.

CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR.

In 1857 Gen. F. J. Marshall was the pro-slavery candidate for governor
and George W. Smith was the candidate of the Free State party.



64 MARSH. \I, I. COUNTY. K.VNSAS.

Smith's majority over Marshall was 130. Smith received 6.875 ''^"'^^
Marshall, 6.745. In Marshall county. Marshall received ^2 votes and Smith.
47 votes; total 119.

The vote on the other territorial officers was exactly alike in each case.
Governor, secretary, auditor, treasurer, congressman, each received ']2 votes
as pro-slavery candidates and 47 votes were recorded for the Free State men.

At this same election a vote was taken on the adoption of the Lecomp-
ton constitution, "with slavery", or "without slavery", and 232 votes were
cast and counted for "with slavery", against 41 votes cast for "without
slaverv." This ^vas in Marshall county, where Marshall himself was a
candidate for governor and where the vote on territorial officers in no ease
exceeded 119.

Marshall never served in any military organization and the title of
"General" was purely nominal.

He v.-as well known hy many of the pioneer settlers and was a man of
strong personality, devoted to his family and scrupulous in his religious
duties. Mrs. M. A. B. ]\Iartin, who knew the family well, says: "Mr. Mar-
shall and family always observed the Sabbath. They would read from the
Bible and then all join in singing hymns."

Mr. Marshall built a good residence on the spot where Dr. Jennie
Eddy's office now stands. Mrs. Dan Griswold made her home with them
for awhile, v.'hen a little girl, and remembers Mrs. Alarshall as a woman of
great kindness.

Marshall's reminiscences.

The following is F. J. Marshall's personal letter written to and read
by J. S. Magill at the Old Settlers Reunion held at Irving in August, 1895.
It is given in full in order that the readers of the history may have personal
knowledge of the views of the man for whom the county is named and for
the further reason that it tells the story of early days of Marysville.

To James S. Magill, E.sq., Secretary of the Old Settlers Pioneer Association:
]My Dear Sir — I have read with pleasure the very kind invitation of
your committee to be with you on the occasion of the meeting of the Old Set-
tlers' Pioneer Association of Marshall county, Kansas. Nothing would
afford me more pleasure than to avail myself of your kind invitation and to
meet the people of Marshall county, as well as those from other parts of the
state, and I had made all arrangements to be with them at their coming
reunion, but at the last moment my failing health forbids me making the






7^^ J


^^i^/^SS^^^v^^


4^ ^ - ^ijpi^^



GEN. FRANK .MARSHALL.



MRS. MARY MARSHALL.





PETER FROOM.



CON SMITH,
An Old-Time Stage Driver.



THS ^^
- "BUC



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 65

long trip and herewith I enclose a short history of my recollections of the
olden times of Kansas pioneer life.

In the early settlement of Kansas, it is to be remembered, I established a
trading post at the government crossing of the Big Blue river on the road
leading to the great West, over which went all the travel starting from Ft.
Leavenworth and all other points below old Ft. Kearney on the Missouri
river to new Ft. Kearney, Ft. Larimer and all the Indian country, Utah,
Oregon, Washington and the great emigration to California, which meant
at least five thousand to ten thousand people a day from April to July. Over
this route went the great pony express enterprise to California, which the
country now knows partially led to the building of the Union Pacific rail-
road. Most of the time the river could be forded, but often even for six
weeks at a time it could not be crossed except by means of the ferry. This
was one of the greatest overland thoroughfares which the country has ever
known. |

SEEKS TO ESTABLISH FERRY.

I applied to the Indian agent for the privilege of establishing a ferry
and trading post at the point where Marysville now stands. It was in the
Indian country, and there was no particular agent having jurisdiction over
this part of the Indian lands. He informed me that it was the battle-ground
of the different tribes when at war with each other, hence a dangerous place
for the establishment of a trading post, as I proposed.

I then applied to Major Ogden. the quartermaster at Ft. Leavenworth,
for a contract with the government to put in boats, build ware- and store-
houses and to supply troops returning from the western forts in the winter
time, and he protested that on account of its dangerous proximity to the
ground described such an establishment might not last long without military
protection. I expressed' myself , however, as willing to arrange for my own
protection, to which he afterward gave his consent. On securing his per-
mission, I proceeded at once, bought a piece of artillery, mounted it, loaded
my own wagons and was on the way to the Big Blue crossing at the point
referred to within twenty-four hours after my contract with the government.
This arrangement was universally concurred in by the officers at Ft. Leaven-
worth. Colonel Sumner, who then commanded the Second dragoons and
who afterwards commanded a division in the late war, and Lieutenant Stuart,
who was his quartermaster on expeditions into the Indian country in the
spring and summer and afterwards known as the rebel. General Stuart, of

(5)



66 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

the Black Horse cavalry, on returning late in the fall crossed at this point,
always required supplies for his soldiers and horses, knew of the facts in
connection with my enterprise, and I had their hearty co-operation.

TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHED.

This undertaking was commenced as early as the year 1852, and led
two years later to the establishment of a territorial government for Kansas
and Nebraska, a brief statement of which may not be uninteresting at this
time.

In 185 1 the Big Blue river rose to the top of its banks, and perhaps this
fact had something to do with the facility with which I secured permission
from the government officers to carry out my plans for establishing a ferry,
etc.

Suffice to say that I succeeded in every way, nor did I have the serious
trouble with the Indians that had been apprehended, they regarding me as
occupying the same position relatively to them as did the military forces at
Ft. Kearney.

All the lands west of the Missouri river at that time, not within the
boundaries of California, had no name except in a general way as the "Indian
country," the "Great American desert," or "Nebraska," but there were sparse
settlements in the mining country now known as the state of Nevada, and in
the Mormon settlements of what is now known as Utah.

The next move I made was to bring about the organization of a terri-
torial government of the "Great American desert," so-called, and it was
brought about, I might say, somewhat in an accidental way.

The Pottawatomie Indian agent, Major Whitfield, had started up the
Missouri river from St. Louis to pay the Indians at the Pottawatomie post
their annuity, but his boat was detained by running on a sandbar and he
was delayed several days beyond the pay day.

A large body of the Pottawatomie Indians were educated Indians, hav-
ing been educated at St. Mary's Mission on the reservation, and were known
as Mission Indians, to distinguish them from the prairie Indians.

INDIANS BECOME IMPATIENT.

The prairie Indians became impatient by reason of the non-appearance
of the agent, and in the absence of railway and telegraphic communication
the authorities could get no information as to the cause, except by means of



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. '^ 67

the slow mails. A portion of the educated Indians and traders came to me
and asked what would be the better course to pursue in order to keep the
prairie Indians quiet until the agent should arrive. It occurred to me that
it would be interesting, instructive and amusing to call a pow-wow or con-
vention of the traders and Indians. There were at that time a thousand or
more curiosity seekers, etc., in the vicinity. I requested Bill Lorton, a half-
breed educated Indian, always a reliable friend on my travels through the
Indian country, to notify everyone. He mounted his wild bucking broncho,
with a cowbell in hand, and spread the news with a great hurrah. Several
thousand Indians and nearly as many whites came pouring in from all direc-
tions. I had requested one of the agents from the Indian department to
explain the object of the convention. He wanted to know what he should
say. I told him to discuss the question of organizing a territorial govern-
ment for Nebraska, the prosperous condition of the Indians or anything else
he could imagine that would give him something to talk about, intending to
amuse the crowd.

The fact is that up to that time I did not know what was going to be
said or done, except that, as before stated, I thought we would get a good
deal of amusement out of it and allay the restless spirit of the Indians. The
aeent announced that 1 knew all about the matters to be discussed and called
upon me to explain the object of the convention. I responded, beginning
more in fun than in earnest, referring to the then condition of affairs, but
soon I became serious, and the importance of accomplishing a territorial
government dawned upon my mind and the more feasible appeared the object,
and soon the convention became enthusiastic and in earnest.

The proceedings of that convention resulted in the adoption of a
memorial to Congress to organize a territorial government for Nebraska
or the Great American desert. The news of the memorial to Congress was
communicated to the St. Louis Republican by General Mitchell and the other
papers of the United States took up the subject, and its discussion resulted
in the development of great interest, and the Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, of
the state of Illinois, who was then a member of the United States Senate,
took up the subject and introduced the Kansas-Nebraska bill. It was soon
apparent from the discussions which took place in Congress that the Southern
states would not vote for his bill because it prohibited Southerners from mov-
ing into the territories with their property, unless the Missouri compromise
was first repealed, because that law denied the right to carry slaves into the
territories. This law was repealed as a part of the Kansas-Nebraska bill,
and the southern members of Congress voted for the measure. It then



68 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

became popular, and was carried hy an ii\er\vhcliiiin^- majority, and was
regarded as a most jiisl law under the doctrine of what was known as "squat-
ter sovereignty."

SOUTIIKRN STATES FAVOR DOUGLAS.

This [)ut the Southern states in favor of Mr. Duughis for tiie Tresidency,
hut it aroused the opposition of the northern Democracy, and Air. Douglas
found it convenient to drop the southern Democracy and swing of¥ with the
northern wing, making war on the Democratic administration which endorsed
the Democratic doctrine of equality between the states. This led to a divi-
sion of the national Democracy and gave birth to the Republican i>arty, and
finally resulted in the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency.

Air. Douglas had argued that Kansas would come in as a free state,
w'hich it would have done under the Lecompton constitution, but for the
policy of Horace Greeley and his confreres, wdio prevented it coming in as a
free state and thus downed Mr. Douglas and the Democratic party. The
policy of the free state party managers was to withhold a large per cent, of
the Free State voters and allow- the pro-slavery ticket to be elected and the
slavery clause to be retained ; for if they had voted their full strength they
would have elected a Free State member of Congress, and excluded slavery
from Kansas, and it would have come into the union under that constitution
as a free state, with free state officers; the agitation w^ould have ceased;
there w'ould have been no Republican party, no additional slave states, no
war, and no such great blessing as our national debt of millions.

So you will see that the conduct of myself, with the co-operation of
Bill Lorton, the half-breed educated Indian from St. Mary's Mission, back
in those early days really resulted in the development of a territorial govern-
ment organizing Kansas and Nebraska, wdiich has been followed by a con-,
tinual formation of states west of the Missouri river, containing today mil-
lions of people. This vast region of country being rapidly settled and cap-
able of supporting many millions of people more than now inhabit it ; rich in
agricultural resources and mineral wealth it will eventually have the pow-er
to control the affairs of the nation. It already holds the balance of power,
and only needs the co-operation of the middle and southern states to wrest
from the hands of England and other foreign countries the power to control
the financial policy of this country, as they do at the present time.' This can
be done, in my opinion, by the remonetization of silver and a change of the
policy of our financial system.



MARSHALL COUNTY^ KANSAS. 69

SOME FACTS NOT RECORDED IN HISTORY.

I do not desire to bring political questions into discussion on this occa-
sion, but I beg leave to say that the history of the country now under con-
sideration necessarily calls for some facts not recorded in history, which
Democrats and Republicans alike, as well as the country at large, are inter-
ested in.

The present generation is not aware how the Republicans came to be a
political pafty, nor do the Democrats all know the causes which led to their
surrendering the government to a new party, which has since been known as
the Republican party. Only a day or two ago I met a man forty-five years
of age who said that his great-grandfather was a Republican and he was
going to stick to that party — silver or no silver. I then informed him that
I was personally present at the birth of the Republican party, and that my
great-grandfather was a Democrat, but that I would not vote for that party
or any other unless it declared for the remonetization of silver at the ratio
of 16 to I.

The gold standard advocates nominated both Harrison and Cleveland,
and it did not matter to them which was elected. The same game may be
looked for in the next national conventions of the two old parties.

It is often asked by men of great intelligence, "What is the cause of the
present deplorable condition of the country?" when a schoolboy can answer
the question. It is simply this : That the Bank of England forced Wall
street and Wall street forced every national bank in this country to shut
down on the people, and lock up the money of the nation, and they have it
locked U]) yet. And they can perform this operation again and again so long
as the gold standard men control our finances.

Very respectfully yours,

F. J. Marshall.

Denver, Colorado, July 22, 1895.

MRS. MARY MARSHALL.

Mrs. J. M. Watson of Frankfort received a telegram on April 25, 191 7,
notifying her of the death of her sister. Mrs. Mary Marshall, at Largemont,
New York, Tuesday, April 24. Interment was made at New Rochelle, New
York, the following evening.

Mary R. Williams was born at Richmond, Missouri, December 4, 183 1,
and at the time of her death was aged eighty-five years, four months and



yO MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

twenty days. Reaching womanhood, .she was married to the late Gen. Frank
J. Marshall, of Weston, Missouri. They came to Marshall county among the
first wdiite settlers of this county. Mr. Marshall established a ferry at Inde-
pendence Crossing, alwut eight miles south of Marysville, on the Blue river,
in 1849. Tw^o years later he moved his ferry to Marysville. He was elected
to the first territorial Legislature and in the organization of the county had
the county named Marshall and the town named Mary, in honor of his wife.
Mr. and Mrs. Marshall lived in Marysville until the breaking out of the war,
when they moved to Colorado. The Marshalls were ardent pro-slavery people,
but when the southern states seceded from the Union, Mr. Marshall did not
feel that he could conscientiously fight either against slavery or against the
Union, and he and his family left Kansas and located in the mountains of
Colorado.

Mrs. Marshall, for whom Marysville was named, was an excellent woman,
of high intelligence and courage and took an active part in the early incidents
of Marshall county. She was highly respected by all the early settlers and
by many new^r settlers who have met her on her frequent visits to Marys-
ville. After the death of her husband she has been living with her children
in Colorado and New^ York. For the past few years her home has been with
her daughter, Mrs. Mary McCall, at Largemont, New^ York, wdiere she was
when death called her.

EMMA WILLIAMS.

Emma Williams, a younger sister of Mrs. Marshall, came to Marysville
to make her home with her sister in 1854. She was married to J. H.
McDougal. During the war, McDougal served as first lieutenant of Com-
pany E, Thirteenth Kansas Infantry, under Perry Hutchinson, captain. On
July 17, 1863, Captain Hutchinson resigned and on December 4, 1863,
McDougal was promoted captain. McDougal died in Marysville and after
the close of the war, Mrs. McDougal became the wnfe of John M. Watson.
Mrs. Watson is one of the oldest pioneer settlers now living.

J. M. Watson was a native Pennsylvanian, born in 1840. He served in
the Army of the Potomac, from 1861 to Petersburg, Virginia, in 1865. He
came West in 1865, walking from the Missouri river to Marshall county.
Then there w-as not a mile of railroad in Kansas. He took a homestead,
farmed and freighted on the plains. Later, he served as register of deeds
of the county. He engaged in the retail lumber business in Frankfort for
eighteen years and served as postmaster of Frankfort for thirteen years. Mr.
Watson regards the days spent at the battle of Gettysburg as the incident in



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 7I

his life most worthy to be recorded in history. Mr. and Mrs. Watson reside
in Frankfort.

LETTER FROM MRS. GEORGE W. THORNE.

Beattie, Kansas,
February 14, 191 7.
Dear Mrs. Forter:

Replying to your request to tell you something of old times : I came
here from Maryville. Missouri, where I had three months schooling, before
coming to Kansas with my father, Joseph Totten. There were six children
in our family. There were no schools to go to here and there were more
Indians than white people.

Mrs. Emma Jones, formerly Totten, taught the first school in our dis-
trict. We had to have three months school taught before we could draw
any state money. My brother, John Totten, and Frank Lannan went to
Blue Rapids and paid tuition for three months school.

Soon after the neighbors got together and organized a district named
Guittard, and then they had three months more school. But three months
school was all I ever had.

Yes, I plowed five acres of ground with an ox team. The boys helped
plant the corn. We then had to harvest with an ox team.

In i860 I was married to George W. Thorne and we went on a farm
whei-e we lived five years. There was only one house between here and
Marysville and that was a ranch kept for the traveler.

THE PRICE OF CATS.

I remember one night I started after my father who had gone on foot
to Marysville after the doctor and I met him about halfway. My father used
to go to St. Jo for provisions and once he brought out two cats, for which he
paid a dollar apiece in St. Jo.

If we had a calico dress, it was good enough for church or dances. And
if I wanted a new dress I would go and drop corn for fifteen cents a day
and earn the money for the dress.

To obtain the first feather bed I had, I husked corn for fifty cents a day
for my father and paid him one dollar apiece for the geese to get feathers to
make the bed.

When I was married I had a home-made table, three stools and a Cot-
tonwood bedstead that Mr. Thorne made and I cooked over a fire-place. I



72 MARSH ALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

dropped ten acres of corn in one day and liad tln-ee cows to milk. I have
husked more corn tlian half of llie farmers raised last year.

After we got to raising;' corn to sell, my hushand used to haul it to Ft.
Kearney, where he sold it for one dollar a bushel and we could only get ten
or eleven cents a bushel in Marysville.

We knew nothing of corn shellers and once shelled forty bushels by
hand. My liusband used to go to St. Jo with an ox team for groceries and
meat. That was otu" nearest meat market.

The first wheat we raised was three acres and there came a prairie fire
and burned it up. When we raised wheat my husband cut it with a cradle
and I bound it with straw and we threshed it with a flail. We had to take
it to Table Rock, Nebraska, to mill, which took four or five days and I had
to stay at home and do the chores.

There were plentv of Indians around, too, with whiskey to drink. If
I wanted to go and \-isit a neighbor I would walk four or five miles and stay
all night and come home the next clay.

WHien we wanted to write to a friend, we had to go to the hen house,
get a quill to make a pen and make ink out of maple bark.

My family consisted of ten girls and one son, George W. Thorne, of
Beattie. Ten of our children graduated from the Beattie schools. I am
now seventy-one years old.

With best wishes,

Elizabeth Thorne.

EARLY settler's DEATH.

Mrs. Elizabeth Thorne died on Tuesday, April 17, 191 7, and was buried
Thursday afternoon, April 19. .She was seventy-one years, six months and
nine days old. She had been a resident of Marshall county since 1858. She
was a daughter of Joseph Totten, one of the pioneers of Marshall county.
Her husband, George W. Thorne, deceased, was another of the pioneers of
Marshall county. Mrs. Thorne was a splendid woman, kind, generous, faith-
ful and true. Her influence in the community was always for the good and
for the advancement of the things which went for community betterment.

Mrs. Thorne was present at the pioneers' reunion at Marysville last fall
and registered on the roll of old settlers. Only a very few enrolled who
antedated her in residence in Marshall county. The last writing Mrs. Thorne
did was the foregoing sketch for this History of Marshall County.



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 7-3

PIONEERS ON THE VERMILLION.
By J. M. Watson.

Daniel M! Leavitt and Henry, his brother, came here "from the jumping-
off place," Portland, Maine. Mrs. Leavitt was a school teacher in Iowa.
Mr. Leavitt met her there, they were married and coming overland by
ox team located on the Vermillion in the fifties. Their first log cabin is
standing and at the present time is used for a hen honse. Yes ; she was a
mother to all us boys. I remember the winter of 1865-66 when she was
cooking our dinner; likewise her face, over the old fashioned fire-place, when
\X. H. Smith, James Smith, myself and others, appreciating her kindness,
"chipped in," and sent to Leavenworth and bought her a cook stove. Say;
she smiled all o\er when that stove was set up. The neighbors came miles
to see the new stove.

Before we had railroads in Marshall county the farmers hauled their
corn and oats by ox team to Ft. Riley, where they sold their products to the
government for use of the troops stationed there. The wheat was hauled
to Wamego, forty miles distant and the wagons came back loaded with
groceries and lumber.

NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS.

Monev matters in early days. — Well, we had none. I was indebted to
W. H. Smith, one hundred dollars balance on land purchase; Frank Love
was owing me one hundred dollars for corn he bought to feed to his sheep;
A. G. Barrett was owing Love one hundred dollars balance on saw-mill ; John
D. Wells owed Barrett one hundred dollars for sawing lumber, and W. H.
Smith was indebted to John D. Wells in the same sum, balance on land deal.
Thus we paid five hundred dollars of debts and never saw a dollar of the
money.

Prairie Fires. — Yes, I had some experience. Lost one horse, cow, hay
and fencing and was caught m}/self. I lay down and the fire passed over me,
burning the clothes ofl:' my back. They rolled me in a sack of flour to take
out the burns, while they sent twenty miles for a doctor and he was not at
home. I was laid up for three months.

The early settlers between 1850 and i860 were truly the "Pioneers of



Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 6 of 104)