Emma Elizabeth Calderhead Foster.

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

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master of ceremonies. Such gay young fellows as Ike Davis, Bob Shibley,
the Barretts, John Watson, the Vaughns, Trospers, Aulds, Dave Walker
and Cale Osborne were among the guests.



84 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

THE BABIES MIXED.

An amusing incident occurred that night which has been perpetuated
by a popular novelist. A corner had been reserved for babies too young to
be left at home. Some hay was thrown on the floor and covered with heavy
blankets and on this bed the babies were put to sleep while the mothers
danced.

Dave Walker, Cale Osborne and Andy Travelute decided to have some
fun ; so unobserved they changed the wrappings of the babies and also their
places on the bed. The dance being over, mothers took their infants and
some drove away before the joke was discovered. Such crying of babies
and screaming of mothers and hustling off wraps until each mother had her
own again. One young mother of a fine boy, found herself with a tiny girl.
Finally, as the morning broke, all were adjusted and merrily rolled home-
ward. Owen Wister in "The Virginian,'' has told the tale.

Shortly after the new mill was built the big house on the hill was
erected, which for so many years was the hospitable home of the Hutchin-
sons.

Here, as while in modest homes, Mrs. Hutchinson gave personal atten-
tion to her household duties. She entertained the leading people of the state
during a period of nearly half a century. Among them were Governors
Martin, Humphrey, Morrill and Hoch; Noble Prentiss, the well-known news-
paper writer, and Gower, superintendent of the Grand Island railway.
Favorites with the Hutchinsons were James Smith, Case Broderick and
especially Senator Preston B. Plumb, who never failed to visit them when
in this part of the state.

With all these duties Mrs. Hutchinson yet found time to visit the sick;
to arrange benefit balls for yellow fever sufferers ; to prepare the dead for
burial and to comfort the living. She was always prepared for emergencies
and rose to them with great courage. In times of business hurry she was
ready and helpful. She once cooked dinner for forty men on an hour's
notice.

Her knowledge of the men employed about the mill gave her a good
insight to their fitness and she often spoke a kind word in someone's behalf,
that to this day is gratefully remembered.

Mrs. Hutchinson devoted her life to her husband's interests. She never
wearied in well doing. In the early years she boarded the mill people,
cooked the meals and kept the house. After the big house on the hill was



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 83-

built, she continued to work and do all she was able, and many times beyond
the limit of her strength, in order to "help the business." Her family
increased with time and social duties grew as the years passed. Her husband
once said of her, "She made me what I am. She never knew when she was
'licked.' "

In all those early years of struggle she was the far-sighted partner of
the firm. Air. Hutchinson's parents on visiting them, found her plenty big
enough for the job. She numbers her friends in every home in Marshall
county and the members of her own household "arise up and call her blessed."
She lived up to the full measure of duty each day and now as she makes her
home in the city she helped to build, all doors open with pleasure to greet her.
She will celebrate her eightieth birthday in May, 191 7.

THE CRANE FAMILY.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Crane came from Illinois to Kansas reaching the
Vermillion on October 22, 1869.

After leaving Illinois, on their way to the West, Mr. and Mrs. Crane
went to Iowa to visit Mrs. Crane's sister, Mrs. Samuel Parks. The Parks
family became imbued with the Western spirit and sold out in Iowa and
came to Kansas with the Cranes.

There were three children in the Parks family and six in the Crane
fdmily, Mrs. Gertude Scott, of Marysville, being then a babe six weeks old.
On the way from Iowa the party was joined by the Frost brothers, Tom
and Simpson. Tom Frost had a wife and two children ; Simpson Frost was
a single man.

Robert Crane, the Parks and Frosts had wagons drawn by horses.
Other emigrants joined them until there were thirteen teams in the party,
some being ox teams, among these were Enoch Manning and family. The
"movers" camped at night and slept in their wagons.

On the day following their arrival on the Vermillion, the women all
went to the creek to put out the family washings. The day was fine and the
clothes were nearly all dried and taken in by night. The next morning a
Kansas blizzard had arrived. Snow, mingled with sand, driven by a fierce
wind, dealt cruelly with the newly-arrived settlers. The men in the party
found a log cabin which had been used for a sheep "bye," but which they
cleaned out and soon had a roaring fire in the big, friendly fire place.
Here the women and children were gathered while the men took the best care.
they could of their horses and cattle. The women heated their irons in front



86 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

of the "forelog" and ironed the wash and thawed out the clothing that had not
dried the previous day. As night came on, the bhzzard increased in violence
and the anxiety about shelter was great.

It was exactly at this point that "the West began." The neighbors on
the Vermillion had heard of the new arrivals and finally located them in
the old log cabin.

John Life took two families home with him. True, "home" was but a
ten by twelve-foot cabin, but it would shelter from the storm.

The Mitchells and Butlers took some. Millet had an unoccupied cabin ;
the Frosts were housed in it.

A family across the Vermillion sheltered the Mannings.

William B. Lewis had six children, but he did not hesitate to take in
Mr. and Mrs. Crane and their six.

Elijah Bentley had a house twelve feet square. He took Mr. and Mrs.
Sam Parks and their three children home with him. So before night fell
all were safely housed from the storm.

Those were the days of true hospitality, when every man was a brother,
w^hen hospitality was open and kindness ruled.

The prairies w^ere wide and bare of habitation, and so the settlers drew^
close together and shared the hardships and privations of pioneer life. They
forgot the toil and anxiety, when the greeting w-as friendly and the handclasp
warm.

DR. ALBERT MORRALL.

Dr. Albert Morrall of Wamego died at University hospital in Kansas
City, Sunday, March 4, 1917, and was buried at Wamego, Wednesday, March
7. He was eighty-seven years, three months and ten days old. He is sur-
vived by one daughter, Mrs. Fred Darling, of Wamego. Doctor Morrall
w'as one of the pioneers of Marysville. He arrived here July 8, 1856, along
wnth R. Y. Shibley, James S. Magill and others, who had formed a company
to organize a town company. They organized the "Palmetto Town Com-
pany," and laid out a half section of land in town lots. That half section is
now the north half of the city of Marysville. Doctor Morrall was the first
president of the town company. Doctor Morrall w^as also one of the incor-
porators of Ballard & Morrall's addition to Palmetto, which is now the south-
east one-fourth of the city of Marysville. Of the original Palmetto Town
Company, R. Y. Shibley of this city is the only survivor. Doctor Morrall
and IMr. Shibley were both South Carolinians and left there in the spring of
1856 to go buffalo hunting. They got as far as Atchison, when they fell



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 8/

in with the party coming to Marysville and joined the party. Shibley is still
here. Morrall left here in 1866 and moved to Wamego. He held property
interests here for many years and frequently visited here.

JAMES m'CLOSKY.

Many men of different nationalities and avocations had traversed the
land which is now Marshall county prior to 1849, but in that year Francis
J. Marshall became the first permanent settler.

Following Marshall, came James Nelson, a Dane, G. H. Hollenberg, a
German, and James McClosky, a Scotchman. So that from its pioneer days
until the present this county has been the abiding place of mixed nationalities.

Of this trio James Nelson and G. H. Hollenberg came from the West,
both having been sailors and. landing on the California coast, had crossed
the great desert towards the East.

McClosky had become familiar with the country from traversing the
trail, carrying on trade with the Indians. He had worked out from St.
Louis and was attracted by the fertility and beauty of the Valley of the Blue
and in 1854 he returned to make a permanent home, bringing with him a
party of mountaineers.

It was the intention of the party to settle near the Alcove Springs and
Independence Crossing, where McClosky had camped on former trips, but
Marshall having moved his ferry to the upper crossing, McClosky settled
near it. At that time the small settlements on the Vermillion and Marshall's
on the Big Blue, were the only permanent settlements in the county.

SCOT WEDS SQUAW.

McClosky had a Sioux Indian girl for his wife and in 1857 J. S. Magill,
a regularly elected justice of the peace, united in marriage James McClosky
and the Indian maid, Monlawaka. This was the first marriage in Marys-
ville.

Mr. and Mrs. McClosky sent their sons to the Iowa Indian Mission
school in Doniphan county and their daughters to the Highland University,
giving all their children educational advantages. The eldest son, James,
was an interpreter for the government at Ft. Laramie, where he was killed
by a man named William Boyer, who was hanged for the crime.

Henry, the second son, was interpreter at Ft. Halleck. He was killed
near Hanover, at Cottonwood Station. Charles, the younger, was acci-



88. MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

dentally shot by the discharge of a gun while he was attending school in
Doniphan county. Edna died while at school at Highland, at the age of
fourteen. Julia married and moved to Nebraska. Monlawaka (Medicine
Eagle) did not long survive and is .buried in the old Marysville cemetery.

McClosky was well known to the older citizens of Marysville and served
as captain of a company to defend the community from Indian depredations.
He was devoted to his wife and family and never ceased to mourn the loss
of the gentle Monlawaka.

W. F. BOYAKIN.

The name of Doctor Boyakin was for so many years a household word
in ^Marshall county, that a few lines must be written' in his memory. He
was born in North Carolina, May 30, 1807, graduated from Mary College,
Tennessee, in 1826, and studied law with James K. Polk, the thirteenth
President of the United States.

Boyakin came to Marshall county in 1868 and resided here until his
death. On the anniversary of his one hundredth birthday he delivered the
Decoration Day address in the Turner Hall at Marysville.

He helped to build the first Methodist church in St. Joseph, Missouri.
He w^as a graduate in law and medicine and a licensed minister. When he
was born, Thomas Jefferson was President of the United .States and Aaron
Burr was being tried for treason. Boyakin lived through the administrations
of seventeen Presidents and saw many stars added to our flag. He was
twenty years old when Queen Victoria ascended the throne of England. He
was a widely-read and greatly-traveled man and possessed a remarkable
memory. He served the county in many positions, but chiefly as an edu-
cator. He died on June 5, 1908, at his modest home on Elm creek, where
he had always lived and where his family still resides. W. A. Calderhead,
then a member of Congress, delivered the final eulogy.

r.RIEF MENTION OF EARLY SETTLERS.

Samuel Smith settled in Noble township in 1855.

Ambrose, East, Martin and James Shipp, four brothers, settled south of
the Big Blue river, a short distance from Irving, in 1857.

Smith Martin built the first log cabin and settled in Center township in
March, 1857.

Among the families who have helped largely to make Marshall county




DR. W. F. BOYAKIN.



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 89

a desirable place in which to live, the McKee family deserves especial men-
tion. The parents of John, Robert, William G., Frank and Harry McKee
came to Marshall county from Canada. They were people of culture and
were members of the Baptist church. They took a deep interest in promot-
ing education and religious influence and were prominent in all movements
for good in the life of the coufity. Their sons and daughters are still resi-
dents of the county and fulfill the highest hopes of their parents in character
and upright living. E. T. McKee, a leading hardware merchant of Marys-
ville, his brother, Robert, and Frank, sons of Robert McKee, are men of the
highest type of Christian influence.

Another family of the same name, known as the Frankfort McKees,
were L. V. McKee, a banker of that town ; A. J. McKee, a philanthropist and
business man, and Samuel McKee, a lawyer, were men of prominence in the
political and business history of iVTarshall county. While there was nothing
of the spectacular in the character of the McKee family, their silent but firm
stand for all that meant progress along educational and moral lines, was
always a powerful influence. Robert McKee, of Center, L. V., A. J. and S.
J. McKee, of P>ankfort, are deceased.

A pioneer of Marshall county, who saw many sides of frontier life, is
C. W. Blodgett, of Frankfort. The Blodgetts came to Kansas in 1859 ^^"^^
settled on the Blue. Their log cabin was built near the Otoe Indian trail.
Blodgett "teamed" four years on the plains in the employ of the government
and served as quartermaster at Ft. Laramie and at Ft. Kearney. He helped
build the Oketo dam. He went to Frankfort when the town started and
opened a harness-making shop and later went in to the hotel business which
he still manages. He has been for the past twelve years a rural mail carrier
and is the oldest man in the county in the service.

John Brockmeyer, of near Bigelovc. broke the first five acres of ground
in the county. He turned the ground over with a spade.

When the first survey of Marshall county was made, there were just five
pieces of land in cultivation. John Lane, of Blue Rapids, George Guittard,
of Guittard, John D. Wells and D. C. Auld, of Vermillion, and John Brock-
meyer, of Elizabeth, were in occupation.

Among the many men who were identified with Kansas history in pioneer
days and achieved national reputation was Powell Clayton, who was one of
the incorporators of the town of Woodson in Marshall county. Clayton
afterwards was sent as minister to Mexico and also w-as governor of Arkansas.

Albert D. Richardson, the author of "Beyond the Mississippi," pre-
empted a claim in ^Marshall county and was an early settler. Richardson



90 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

was shot in New York City and when W. A. Calderhead was coimty attorney
he settled the Richardson estate in the probate court.

Junius Brutus Brown, a noted newspaper correspondent, also entered
a claim in Marshall county.

OLD-TIME DANCES.

The modern reformer, who devotes time and energy to rehabilitating
the people of today in moral garments of his own style and make, would
have been ^■ery lonesome in the pioneer days of Marysville.

The mild excitement following a soft drink at the marble soda water
fountain, or an evening at the movies, is in marked contrast to early-day
drinks and amusements.

The building of the bridge across the Blue river brought the town and
country settlers more closely together and Marysville enjoyed good business
activity. . With better business conditions social life became more prominent.

Those were the days of the old-fashioned dances. Everybody danced
but the preachers and they did not remain long enough to become inoculated
with the .germ.

When the dance was given in a private house the cook stove and any
other furniture were set out of doors. In the country there were several
pioneers who were disciples of Nero. At Independence Crossing Theo.
Hammett and his brothers, Frank and Neil, and George and John Arm-
strong were the musicians. Undoubtedly Billy and Dave Linn were the first
fiddlers in the county and lived in Marysville. Dan Clements at Oketo and
Phil Simmons on Horseshoe and Mose Bennett on Coon creek furnished the
music.

MUSIC HATH CHARMS.

The early colonists on Coon creek were very congenial and in a little
^'star chamber" proceeding decided that they would select their own neigh-
bors and when a prospective settler came along unless he suited them, he
was to be told the land was all taken up.

One day at a barn raising a man drove up and inquired if there was any
vacant land. He did not look good to the crowd and was answered in the
negative. As he turned his team to drive away the cover on the rear end
of the wagon being up, a violin case was seen swinging from the wagon bows.
Interest was aroused and the mover was called back. "Do you play the
fiddle", was asked. Mose acknowledged, that he was master of the art,



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 9I

whereupon he was" requested to stop and take a claim. Mose furnished music
for all the neighborhood dances and in later years the name of Hon. Moses
T. Bennett appears on the list of county superintendents of public instruction.

The first real orchestra consisted of Theo. Hammett and his brothers,
Frank and Neil, Sebastian Joerg and A. H. McLaughlin. The Hammett
brothers played violin and 'cello, Joerg played cornet and McLaughlin had
an accordion with three registers, which was considered a fine instrument in
those days. Sebastian Joerg was a brother of John Joerg. This orchestra
was widely known and was in demand far and wide. Later, it was engaged
for balls in Hanover and Fairbury.

The Pecenka orchestra played music of a better sort and was composed
of two violins, cornet, accordion and 'cello. These musicians were really the
aristocrats of music. Later, blind Henry Lofinck came and organized an orch-
estra. Lofinck played the violin, Ernest Lange, second, and Martin Piel,
'cello. Later, Sam Forter took the 'cello.

TANGO THEN UNKNOWN.

Early balls .were given .in Water.son's Hall, and in the late seventies
Lofinck's orchestra and the Pecenka orchestra furnished the music. The
popular dances were the firemen's dance, Virginia reel, waltz, polka and
schottische. The quadrille was the favorite form and our pioneers became
most proficient in the graceful bow, following the prompter's "salute your
partner." Then, "circle left, promenade back." Then the dance went on
with vigor: "First four, right and left; side four, right and left; right and
left, all." Then, the grand climax, "right and left and swing partners to
place," and "all promenade."

A few moments were given for breathing and then the second change
was called ; for, by some social law, three separate quadrilles were prompted
or "called," before the dancers "had their money's worth." After the build-
ing of the Turner Hall, dances became more formal.

Barks' orchestra, composed of C. F. Barks and his two sons, Herman
and William, and later by his grandson, William, Sam Forter, Nic Grauer,
Auldice Hale and Roll Allen, and others whose names are not recalled,
furnished music of the best class to be obtained. The "Devil's Dream" and
kindred waltz music was replaced by the "Blue Danube Waltz" and under
the spell of better music and surroundings the dances became more fonnal.
Never, even in the very early days, did Marysville have any semblance of the



92 MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS.

so-called dance hall with its attendant vice. Howev^er informal the dances
of the pioneer days, they were not unwholesome.

Many staid grandmothers of today, who look w'ith some misgiving on
the free comradeship of the modern boy and girl, in those good old days went
through the graceful figures of the Virginia reel or whirled around the hall
with a handsome dare-devil, who may have worn a revolver strapped to his
side and did not hesitate to leave the ball-room for the bar. But w^ith it all
there was a certain unwritten law that the game must be scjtiare or punish-
ment would be sure.

OLD TIMES HAVE CHANGED.

Who shall arise at this day and offer criticism? Who shall say that
the men and women of frontier days, who faced the scorching heat of summer
and the fierce blasts of winter, blazing the way to the fulfiHment of hopes, to
the wealth and comfort and culture of the Marysville of today, were lacking
in those qualities of mind and soul that are so essential to a strong, virile
manhood and to a sweet and tender womanhood?

]\Iany times at the dance the coat was threadbare, or missing altogether
and the dress was of calico. The lantern and the moon furnished illumina-
tion, but hearts beat true to the measures of the music and, as in Brussels
on that historic night before Waterloo,

"Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all w'ent merry as a marriage bell."

The dance over, they faced the every-day toil and privations with good
courage, and they shared the common joys and sorrows of those around
them. The feet that tripped so lightly to "Money Musk," went quickly and
W'illingly to the help of a sick babe. The strong arm that swung her to the
"Aurora Waltz," was still stronger at helping some newcomer put up his
cabin.

Times have changed. The girl, wdiose grandmother walked miles to a
"dance," has her flowers and fan and dancing frock and is carefully carried
to a well-lighted and comfortable hall in an automobile. The two-step. Castle
w-alk and one-step have superseded the quadrille. Her program is filjed for
a dozen numbers and then the jjall is over. The old days and the old fiddler
are no more.

The footsteps of today walk in smoother paths and along more con-



MARSHALL COUNTY, KANSAS. 93

ventional lines, but the hearts are the same, and youth and love and happiness
are uncharrging as the generations come and go. "All things serve their
time."

PIONEERS OF THE VERMILLION VALLEY.

James AlcClosky, a Scotchman, who was agent for a St. Louis firm of
fur traders, having passed back and forth through this county since 1839,
on his trading expeditions, finally came here to settle in 1854, bringing with
him some other settlers among whom were three Frenchmen — Laroche,
Changreau and Louis Tremble. These four men had Sioux Indian wives.

Tremble, Laroche, and Changreau settled on the Vermillion, where
Tremble built a puncheon toll bridge. At that time the travel west was over
the Fremont and Mormon trail and Tremble earned a living by charging toll.
G. H. Hollenberg came soon after and built a small store near the bridge,
and sold supplies to travelers.

In 1846-48 the Mormons, under the command of Brigham Young, had
crossed the Vermillion at this point and it came to be called the "Mormon
crossing" and the "Hollenberg crossing," and as such has ever since been
known. During the year 1854 John D. Wells came with his family from
Kentucky and located on the Vermillion near this crossing. Changreau,
Laroche and Tremble were driven away by Indians, and Hollenberg after a
few years removed to Washington county, so that it is generally conceded
that lohn D. Wells was the first permanent settler on the Vermillion. His
neighbors were Eli Puntney, D. M. Leavitt and Joseph Langdon came in
1855 or 1856 and settled near him.

In 1855 Horace Greeley, S. M. Wood and others, who were ardent
unionists, made many public speeches in Eastern cities on the subject of
Kansas and conditions in the territory following the enactment of the infam-
ous Kansas-Nebraska 1)ill.

The Herald of Freedom, published at Lawrence by G. W. Brown, and
the Kansas Free State, published by Josiah Miller and R. G. Elliott, were
telling the country of the beauties of Kansas scenery, the fertile soil and the
marvelous future in store for her, if the territory were kept free from the
blight of slavery.

OPPOSED TO SLAVERY.

Josiah Miller, a Carolinian by birth, writing editorials in a room of
which he said, "It has neither floor, ceiling or window," uncompromisingly
opposed the introduction of slavery into Kansas, as tending to impoverish



94 .MARSHA 1,1. COUNTY, KANSAS.

the soil, to stirie all energy, to paralyze the liaiul of industry and to weaken
intellectual effort.

Horace Greeley imbued with the same spirit speaking in Apollion Hall,
Pittsburgli. Pennsylvania, repeated tiie story of the men who came as pioneers
to make Kansas a place where civil and religious liberty should reign, and
urged men to "go West." S. B. Todd was at the meeting and he with fifteen
others enlisted that very night in the movement to Kansas. Under the
auspices of the Massachusetts Free State Emigrant Society, they arrived at
Kansas Citv on April 19, 1856, came West and located in the Valley of the



Online LibraryEmma Elizabeth Calderhead FosterHistory of Marshall County, Kansas : its people, industries, and institutions → online text (page 8 of 104)