Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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the Prairies," and the first home-makers. Household utensils were very
few; split bottom chairs, corded bedsteads (if any), homemade table, iron


pot, bake pan and skillet. The skillet or frying pan was called by the Yankee
a "spider."

Vicissitudes. — Changes, lots of them ; winds changed ends forty times a
day. Some years it rained and some years it did not rain. One settler from
Illinois came and said he was going to "raise broom corn here or raise h — 1" ;
he died.

The young folks thought nothing of going forty miles to Manhattan, in
a lumber wagon drawn by four mules and Jim Vaugn as driver; dance all
night, "go home by broad daylight in the morning." Marysville, Sheehies, on
Spring creek in Pottawatomie county, Barretts mills were also dancing points.
The Greens, "Fes" and "Nick", on the Vermillion, played the fiddle for the
dances. The Linn boys, Frank and Dave made the music for Marysville.
The Manhattan orchestra (two violins and a clarionet), piped and sawed
for the Blue Valley. Happy days. Our wives, the mothers of our children,
were the "Pioneer girls of the Prairies." Note the change. "We are grow-
ing old."

In the fall of 1868 the Central Branch railroad, then known as the Atch-
ison & Pike's Peak railroad, was completed to Frankfort. Capt. Perry
Hutchinson freighted from Marysville and shipped the first car of flour.
J. D. Wells shipped the first car of cattle. John Watson shipped the first car
of wheat. Our market then was Chicago, Illinois, and train loads of fat
cattle w^ere soon shipped East by William Kennedy, Clem Hessel, J. D. Wells,
Charles Butler, Perry Hutchinson and others, from Frankfort.

Prairie sod was broken up by oxen, two, three and four yokes of oxen
hitched to a twenty-four-inch breaking plow, and it cost four dollars an acre
to break the sod, wdiich was about twice as much as the original cost of the

High rates of interest. — No limit in early days. I remember in 1875,
"grasshopper year," Hon. James Smith was then our county treasurer. He
said there was not money enough in the county to pay the taxes. Robert
Osborn, Abby and Jacob Mohrbacher paid all county bills in county scrip or
warrants. "No tax penalty for one year," was the slogan.

The Shanty. — Yes, the log cabin on the edge of the creek; well do I
remember it. Dirt floor, door so short that you made a bow to the occupants
before entering. Genuine hospitality within. "Come in and have a chair" ;
share our cabin and our meals. You could track the first one up in the morn-
ing from his bed or cot to the fire place; if in winter his footmark was in
the snow ; if in summer it was in the dust.



Religious duties. — At Barrett's school house Reverend Burr (do not know
what creed or denomination, the question was not asked in early days) gave
out one Sunday evening that "on next Saturday afternoon a business meet-
ing will be held, and on Sunday, church at the usual hour." Someone
whispered to him that a horse race was booked for Saturday, on which he
announced : "Business meeting on Friday evening, horse race on Saturday
afternoon and church as usual on Sunday."

Care of the sick. — We all used quinine in pioneer days. The only sick-
ness was fever and ague. Some "shook", every day; others every other day,
and some everv third dav. The disease lasted from three months to one
year. That is what makes so many "standpatters" now.

When there was a death in the settlement everyone turned out to help.
A detail was made to dig the grave, a carpenter made the coffin, which was
taken in a wagon covered with a sheet or blanket and followed to the grave
by the neighbors, all on horseback. Note the change which fifty years has
made. Now it is a casket, an automobile hearse, and mourners going and
coming in automobiles.


The first school house in Marshall county was built in 1858, by four
bachelors. It was not very large, fourteen by twenty-four. It was then
and remains today district No. i.

The Indians worked great hardships to the settlers in the early years.
In 1862 the Indians had an understanding with each other and they "struck"
what was called "The Pike's Peak Trail," for one hundred and fifty miles
and murdered every man, woman and child that they could find. This was
a pre-concerted movement and they started about eleven o'clock in the morn-
ing. The east end of this savage attack was about twenty miles west of
Marysville, on the Little Blue river. Every house was burned and the occu-
pants murdered with savage brutality.

The Overland stage had a house every fifteen miles. The Indians burned
these houses together with the hay and provisions, and, in fact everything
that would burn. Troops were raised and went in pursuit and after that
^^•e had not so much trouble with the red rascals.


Our \]v<{ prcacliiiij^- was in 1S57 at Rarrctts mills. The services were
held in the saw-nnll. The seats and pnlpit wei'c made of sawn logs. The
preacher's name was Miles and he nsnally had ahont twenty in attendance.

Once when the otTering was Ijcing taken c)ne of our best men wanted to
give something, but his smallest change was a five dollar gold piece. Pres-
ently a man went up to la\' his olTering on the board and the man with the
tive dollar gold piece whispered to him as he came back : "Lend me a dime,
I ha\e nothing smaller than live dollars." "Oh," saifl the man, "you can
change it at the board, 1 saw some gold and silver there." So the good man
walked up and laid down his live dollars in gold, but he could only get two
dollars and tifty cents out cjf what was on the board. Well, the preacher w'as
well satisfied with the collection.

Permit me to take a stroll down the vanished lane of yesterday and
imagine I am with comrades of 1855 to i860. The faces I would see would
be those of the Barretts, the Leavitts, Dan and Henry; the Aulds, John D.
Wells and his family ; G. H. Hollenberg and his handsome young bride ; the
Brockmeyers, Roland, W. S. Blackburn, who afterwards became county
superintendent of schools, as also did Wells ; the Greggs, the McElroys and
James Malone, a fine scholar, who became a missionary, and many others of
the splendid men and women who came to make Kansas a free state. To
mention all would ])rolong this sketch too much, but if it be true, "To live in
hearts we leave behind, is not to die," then the Kansas pioneer still lives.
It has been a long time since Kansas was settled. Yet we look back over
those years and thank God we had the courage to endure the privations of
those early days.

The people of today, rich as the result of those years of toil, danger and
isolation from the comforts of civilization, look back with admiration and
wonder at the will power and endurance of the pioneer men and women.
The stress of the times brought out all the better qualities of heart and mind
and developed the true spirit of sympathy and kindness.

In the northern portion of the county some men tried to make an
entrance for the slave party. But they were not successful. Many returned
to Missouri and Carolina. Some remained and while we differed politically,
we never sought redress in violence. But the spirit of freedom was in the
pure Kansas air and has ever remained. "Ad astra per Aspera" was true
of those brave pioneers of Marshall county. Many have gone to their
eternal home, where we shall join them. What a reunion that will be.



In 1856 Isaac Walker and family, members of the Ohio colony, settled
on the land near where Winifred now stands and the old Walker homestead
called "West Fork," is still maintained by the family.

The town Winifred was named for Mrs. Isaac Walker and this noble
pioneer woman deserves a permanent place in Marshall connty history, because
of the great courage and fortitude with which she endured the hardships of
pioneer life.

When Winifred Barrett married Isaac Walker her father gave her as
a wedding gift a walnut bureau which he himself made for her, and which
she prized very dearly. When Isaac Walker and his wife decided to come
to Kansas with the Ohio colony, they first came as far as Iowa where Mrs.
Walker had an uncle, and as they found it impractical to bring all their
household goods with them, they stored them with their uncle in Iowa.
Among other things the bureau was left. But this little woman was not to
be separated from her household god so easily. In 1858 Mrs. Walker made
the trip from the west fork of the Vermillion to Birmingham, Iowa, with an
ox team and wagon to get her treasured bureau, and bring' it to her new home
in Marshall county. It took her three months to make the trip. She started
for Iowa about June ist and returned early in September. The oxen and
their driver were weary-eyed and worn, but her father's precious gift was
once more in her home. Her son, David B. Walker, still numbers the old
walnut bureau among his valued possessions.


In the winter of 1S61, Isaac Walker and his eldest son enlisted in Com-
pany D, Eighth Kansas Infantry and were stationed at Iowa Point on the
Kansas-Missouri border. While there the son contracted measles and died,
and the father decided to bring his body home for burial. A kind man
loaned him a team of ponies and wagon and he started on the long journey,
over the bleak, barren prairie to bring to that brave mother the lifeless form
of her eldest born, who had been to him not only a son, but a soldier and

WHien Isaac W^alker reached the site where Vermillion now stands the
team, broken down from the long- travel and insufficient food, was unable
to go farther and the weary father stopped, feeling to himself that he could


not proceed farther <>n his sorrowful journey. A settler living near saw the
distressed group and came to in()uire the cause and to give help. Word was
sent to the family at West Fork and the younger son, David B., came with
an ox team and together, father and son hrought the body of the soldier boy
to l-"rankf()rt, where burial w-as made.


Isaac Walker returned to his regiment and the following winter was
crippled with a wound in his leg and became an invalid for two years. Dur-
ing this time the younger son, David, enlisted in Company Ninth Kansas and
w^ent away to the front. Mrs. Walker was left not only with the care of her
husband but the responsibility of making the living. Undaunted, she plowed
the land with her ox team and raised what crops she could. Those who
recall that frail, delicate woman with gentle face and softly-glowing dark
eyes are filled with admiration at the great power of endurance and the fer-
vent patriotism she displayed. Once in reminiscent mood she told the writer,
''Davy was always a good boy to his mother. When he was at the front he
always sent me his wages. It was not a great sum, but it seemed a great
deal in those days, when money was so scarce and hardship so plenty."

Before going into the volunteer service, David Walker had been one of
E. C. Manning's "home guards," and had gone on several expeditions after
marauding Indians. On one of these trips the party had taken refuge at a
place called Hewitt's ranch on the Big Sandy. They found there an entire
family had been massacred by Indians the previous night. An old Indian
trail, which can be traced at the present time, ran near the Walker homestead.
This was a foot trail, and led to the old Indian village near there and farther
on to the w^est. Thousands of Indians traveled over this trail, for the Indian
village was a trading post for many tribes, but principally the Pottowatomie
and Delaware Indians.

David Walker became very familiar with the different tribes and could
distinguish them readily by their garb and tribal emblems. An afternoon
spent with him when he is in a talking mood, is like reading the pages of
Fenimore Cooper. He inherited much of the intrepid spirit of his mother
and is a respected pioneer of Marshall county.



In the history of a county there are certain names that stand out prom-
inently and around which a deep interest centers. Such a name is that of
Jennette Barber, who was mavried at the age of eig^hteen and one-half years
to Perry Hutchinson.

Mrs. Hutchinson's parents, Chemplin and Malancy Barber, were pion-
eers in Herkimer county, New York. They resided near Fredonia, Her
mother was a very capable woman, a fine housekeeper and with great frugal-
ity and forethought. They Hved on a farm and her father was one of the
substantial men of the community. Mrs. Barber was a member of the Pres-
byterian church and her family was brought up in that church.

After her betrothal to Perry Hutchinson, the young man desired to pre-
sent her to his parents and together they made the trip in a buggy. The day
turned stormy and rained and she she was somewhat tired on their arrival,
Mr. Hutchinson's mother was a large woman, weighing about two hundred
pounds. His prospective bride was rather slight and timid. Miss Barber
naturally wished to know the opinion the young man's parents had of the
future daughter-in-law and finally Perry confided to her that they thought
her "rather small."

After their marriage the young people moved to Iowa, where they
resided for four years, part of the time on a farm, and part of that time Mr.
Hutchinson engaged in milling. His partner, not proving satisfactory, he
returned to the farm. In 1859 they had in sixty acres of corn. On July 3,
a hard ffost destroyed the corn. They had planted ten acres of cucumbers
for the purpose of raising the seed for a seed house in Fredonia, New York.
These escaped with little injury; but the opportunity of obtaining govern-
ment land interested them and Mr. Hutchinson decided to come west and
locate a claim and later return for the wife, little son, Frank, and baby

The young wife took this under advisement. If she remained, it would
mean hiring help to gather the cucumber seed and boarding them wdiile they
worked. Her children were small and after some thought she decided to
accompany her husband in search of a home. When she told him of her
decision he answered, "You can't stand the hardship," She answered, "I can
stand whatever you can." With that thrift and clever management which
have been livelong characteristics of Mrs. Hutchinson, she prepared for the
journey. The neighbors came in and provision was prepared to last for the
noonday meals during the entire journey. Chickens were roasted and pre-


serves made and bread leaked. Xo preparation was made for camping out.
Tliev stopped at any home that could and would shelter them for the night.
At noon they had tlieir flinner by the way while the horses were being fed.


Mr. Hutchinson was always fond of good horses and knew how to take
care of them. Having heard of the good land in Marshall county they
pushed along and they slept in their wagon for the first and only time on the
trip w iiliin the borders of Marshall county. After reaching Marysville they
heard of a man named John Hyatt, who was in search of a man and wife to
assist him on liis claim.

Hyatt asked Brumbaugh what he thought of the "Yankee." and Brum-
baugh gave him a favorable answer, so the young pioneers drove back over
the trail of the previous day until they came to a log cabin which was to be
their first dwelling place in the county.

The cabin had a puncheon floor and plenty of fresh air. The cracks
were "big enough to throw a cat through," and there was a wide fireplace
so low that one ccmld look out of doors by glancing up the chimney. One
storm\- day, Mrs. Hutchinson hung a blanket across in front of the fire place
to shut out the bitter wind and seated within, near the fire with her two
children, she made for her eldest son, Frank, his first pair of pants.

While they lived in the Hyatt cabin, Mr. Hutchinson joined a party of
buffalo hunters and went west in search of meat. Mrs. Hutchinson stayed
alone in the cabin on the prairie, with her children. A neighbor coming that
way invited her to go along and visit another neighbor. On returning
towards evening they saw that her cabin door was open. This made her
timid and the neighbor persuaded her to spend the night with her, which she
did. After a sleepless night she preferred to brave the Indians and
returned to her own cabin. This was the only time in all those early years
of loneliness and privatic^n that she ever left her own rooftree by reason of
being left alone.

The buffalo hunters did not find game as near as they expected and
many returned, but Perry went far enough west to obtain a good supply of
the meat. Much of this Airs. Hutchinson cured and the remainder Perry
sold along the trail, realizing enough to lay in a supply of groceries from
St. Joe. It also gave him an opportunity to see the land and he soon selected
a claim seven miles east of ^^larysville: as there was good timl)er on the land.














he built a substantial log cabin with one room below and a chamber over-

Into this first real home Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson moved on February
2, i860. That spring a party of men becoming dissatisfied with their
driver, made Perry a good proposition to drive them to Denver. There
were eight in the party. Having found someone to stay with his wife, Mr.
Hutchinson made the trip, leaving in May, returning in August. While
there he joined with some miners and after a month or so of mining he real-
ized five hundred dollars, a munificent sum in those days. He immediately
invested in another mine, which proved a failure. Meanwhile Mrs. Hutchin-
son had "looked after" matters at home. She sold hay at four cents a
pound and corn at two dollars a bushel and when her husband returned she
had more money than he had, lacking a few cents of having fifty dollars.
The night after his return from Denver, a horse died and she gave him the
fifty dollars, with which he bought a pony and later traded for another

Mrs. Hutchinson was a good manager and never was without some
provision. In all those years she really never found her cupboard bare, and
never turned a weary wayfarer from her cabin door hungry. They had
a splendid well on their place and this attracted travelers, as good well
water was scarce.


One day just as Mrs. Hutchinson had taken her wash from the line
and laid it on some chairs a cyclone struck the cabin tearing off the roof and
scattering the shingles far and wide.

The man and wife who were keeping her company during her hus-
band's absence, were so badly frightened that they sprang into the bed and
covered up with the feather tick. Mrs. Hutchinson put little Frank under the
covers and, outside behind the house, bending over her baby sheltered her
from the driving hail and rain. The man in the bed fainted, the woman
screamed and cried, but Mrs. Hutchinson revived the man with camphor
and quieted the others and directed the re-roofing of her cabin. She was
bruised and lamed by the storm, but her children were unhurt, so she made
light of it.

They lived one year on the farm and then the Barrett Hotel being with-
out a landlord, friends suggested that they take charge of it. Mr. Hutchin-
son applied to Barrett for a lease and was refused, because he had not money


for the rent. Somewhat downcast he was met by F. J. Marshall, who, on
learning the facts, guaranteed the rent and the young people took charge of
the hotel.

While they yet lived in their log cabin the pony express passed by their
door and many of the messengers had cause to remember Mrs. Hutchinson.
She always had a kind word for them and something special, a slice of ginger-
bread or "some of her good doughnuts. She remembers them as fine boys,
many being from the East and college l^red. Billy Bolton was a favorite with
Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson and oftimes he would stop a few minutes and sing
for her. He had a sweet tenor voice and sang with great feeling some old
favorites, "Annie Laurie," "Sweet Evalina," and the "Old Log Cabin in the
Lane."' This latter song was a great favorite with General Sherman;
Clara Louise Kellogg once sang it for him, when encored in a St. Louis
opera house.

The pony express and Overland stage stopped at the Barrett house. Mrs.
Hutchinson w'as a good housekeeper and cook and it soon became a popular
hostelry. Mrs. Hutchinson managed every detail of the hotel and did much
of the work herself. In that hotel she entertained many men who afterwards
became widely known. Albert D. Richardson, Schuyler Colfax, members of
Congress, Mormon celebrities, Mark Twain and scores of others were guests
under that roof. The lawyers who practised at the Marshall county bar made
the Barrett hotel headquarters. John James Ingalls, Albert H. Horton, Nathan
Price, Bailey Wagener and others always stopped there.

The parlor of the hotel was the only floor large enough that could be
used for dances and many a night the people, young and old, gathered there
for a social evening. Mrs. Hutchinson gave the first socials ever given in the

While she was in the hotel it became necessary for a legal residence to
be established on the claim. Business kept Perry in Marysville and it fell
to her lot to "live" on the claim. She cooked up food and with her children
took up her legal residence on the claim, living in a wagon and shed until the
required time was fulfilled. The cabin was rented to a settler,

Under the hard work Mrs. Hutchinson's health gave way and the war
coming on, Mr. Hutchinson was commissioned captain and they gave up
the hotel, wdiich w\as taken over by J. H. Cottrell and wife.


The following item appeared in the Blue Valley Union in the issue of
October 15, 1865:


Last Wednesday about forty men, who have willing hearts and helping
hands assembled at Hutchinson's mill site to raise his flour mill. With a
hearty good will did they shake that two-story frame together, completing the
job just as dark came upon them. A good dinner was prepared by the lady
of the house to which they all did justice.

Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson lived near the mill and they kept open house
for many years. It was not the life of ease for the wife and mother, but she
bore her own burdens and helped others bear theirs. She turned none away
empty handed and many a pioneer had cause to remember her with gratitude.
She cared for her family, husbanded her resources and helped every good
work of the town. It was through her efforts that the Memorial Presby-
terian church in Marysville was built. Mrs. Hutchinson had a good bay team,
was a fearless driver and many times took her team and drove the venerable
blind preacher, Rev. Charles Parker, to different points in the neighborhood
where he held religious services.

Church and Sunday school were held in the old stone school house and
she taught a Sunday school class and led the singing, assisted by Attorney
A. Parks and Mrs. Fisher.

One of the chief amusements of those days was dancing. On one occasion
Reverend Parker came to Marysville during the week and, as was his custom,
night found him at the house near the mill. Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson were
preparing to attend a dance and the good man volunteered to keep the children.

While they were absent some belated travelers came along and the min-
ister took them in and made them comfortable. Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson
returned in "the wee sma' hours" and the gentle, white-haired man arose and
opened the gate for them to drive in.

In 1867 the three-story stone mill was built on the west side of the
Blue and before the machinery was installed they decided to have a "mill
warming". Notice of the night was sent far and wide and scores came,
bringing well-filled baskets for the midnight refreshments. John Pecenka's
orchestra furnished the music and to this day that night is recalled by "the
oldest 'un".

There had been a double wedding at Frank Marshall's residence the day
before the dance. Two sisters, Rose and Emma Weber, were the brides.
Rose married Sam Raines and Emma married John Crump. This bridal
party attended the big dance. Captain Frank Kister was the head miller and

Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 7 of 104)