against the Jayhawkers, but all other species of mob
violence, vigilance committees, protective societies,
etc., in all forms. The point was passed where any-
thing more of that kind would be tolerated. The
disposition and determination of the public mind was
to inaugarate law, to establish the forms and prece-
dents they had been accustomed to in the old States,
and thus bring order out of the utter chaos which had
so far reigned from the day the Territory was organized.
It was not hoped that this could be accomplished in a
day, but it was, nevertheless, practically so, for these
were the last outrages perpetrated under the guise
of " Free State" or "Pro-slavery."
152 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1860
CHAPTER XXII. ā¢
THE ARTS OF PEACE.
oCT?HE idea of improving their homes, establishing
Ā§M schools amd churches, instituting county fairs,
building railways, etc., began to take possession
of the people. Hardly a week passed that there
^ was not an enthusiastic meeting in the interest
' of some line. Among the proposed roads were
the " Tebo and Neosho," afterwards the Missouri,
Kansas and Texas, the "Fort Scott, Neosho and Santa
Fe." and the "L,ake Superior, Fort Scott and Galves-
ton." There was some talk of the "Hudson's Bay,
Fort Scott and Honduras," but they considered that it
would be too nearly a parallel line and would interfere
with the business and carrying trade of the Lake
Superior, Fort Scott and Galveston route, so that
project was dropped.
The question of an Agricultural Society, County
Fair, etc., received due attention. At a meeting held
at Marmaton on the 14th of June, at which A. G.
Osbun was President, and W. R. Griffith, Secretary, it
was resolved to form an association to be known as
"The Bourbon County Agricultural Society." J. M.
Liggitt, A. Decker, and Judge Farwell were appointed
1860] N. Y. INDIAN LANDS. 153
a committee to draft a constitution and report at the
At the next meeting the Bourbon County Agricul-
tural Society was fully organized by the election of the
following officers: President, Dr. A. G. Osbun; Vice-
President, Richard Stadden; Secretary, Wm. R. Grif-
fith; Treasurer, Isaac N. Mills; Executive Committee,
H. C. Moore, Aaron Decker, Ezekiel Brown, Harrison
Martin and S. B. Farwell. The first annual exhibition
was to be held at the residence of Mr. Griffith, near
Marmaton, on the 24th and 25th of October.
The Fair was held according to programme, and was
better than could have been expected under the circum-
stances. There had been no rain for a year, but they
did the best they could. They were a little short on
big pumpkins and long corn, but the show of live stock
and fancy work was very good.
POPULATION ā N. Y. INDIAN LANDS.
During the spring of i860, Will Gallaher took the
census of this part of the Territory, and returned the
following statistics: Number of inhabitants in Bour-
bon County, 6,102; deaths during the year ending June
1, i860, 101; mills and manufacturing establishments,
9; farmers, 1,200. Inhabitants on the Cherokee Neu-
tral Lands, 2,025.
As was stated in the first part of this book, the num-
ber of Indian claims allowed on the New York lands
was thirty-two, equal to 10,240 acres. This tract had
been located in the neighborhood of Barnesville. The
1 54 HISTOR Y OF BO URBON COUNTY. [1 860
residue of the tract, comprising a million acres of the
best land in Kansas, was turned over to the General
Land Office as public land, subject to entry and sale,
about the 20th of June, i860. The plats were at the
Land Office in Fort Scott, and settlers commenced
filing and pre-empting.
In reference to those thirty-two allotments, in several
instances the occupying Indians were driven off at the
time the Free State men in the same locality were
driven out in 1856, and some of them never returned.
Their lands were taken possession of by white settlers,
who were afterwards permitted to acquire title from the
Goverment. The Indians so driven off* afterwards ap-
plied to the Court of Claims for compensation, and
their claims were allowed thirty years later.
ON THE NEUTRAL LANDS.
By this time a large number of settlers had gone onto
the Cherokee Neutral Land, squatted on claims, built
cabins and made other improvements. They were
trespassers by law and by treaty stipulations, but they
claimed the usual pioneers equity in Indian lands, and
had the moral support, at least, of all the other settlers.
On October 27, i860, the agent of the Cherokees,
with a body of troops, commenced the work of driving
all the settlers off the Neutral Land. Orders to that end
were issued by the Commissioners of General Land
Office in the spring, but on a representation of the facts
temporarily suspended. The present move was entirely
unexpected. From 75 to 100 houses were burned, and
1860] ARRIVAL OF TROOPS. 155
as many families rendered destitute. These were in
outlying settlements. When the agent reached Dry-
wood he found the settlers united and determined, and
concluded to give them one month's grace. There
was not a Cherokee on the land, and, moreover, there
was no desire on the part of the Indians that the whites
should be disturbed.
Delegations were sent to Washington by the business
men of Fort Scott in the interest of the settlers on the
Neutral Lands in Bourbon County. Colonel W T ilson,
who was familiar with the Cherokee people, went to
Tahlequa to ascertain the feeling of the head men in
reference to a sale of the Neutral Land. But the
matter was not quite ripe. In several instances the
settlers on the Neutral Land married Cherokee women,
thereby becoming "squawmen" ā legally Cherokees ā
and entitled to a "headright," and thus securing their
claims. Old man Hathaway, on Drywood, was one
instance in this county.
As has been noted, there was a very large immigra-
tion into this county during the winter and spring of
i860, "too numerous to mention." Among the many
who came to Fort Scott that spring must be noted the
arrival of John S. Miller and family on the 5th of
March. Mr. Miller was from Pennsylvania, of the old
"Pennsylvania Dutch" stock, and was a most excellent
man and citizen. He was active in business circles,
and in the affairs of the city, township and county.
ARRIVAL OF TROOPS.
About the 1st of December, i860, General Harney
156 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1860
and staff arrived. The command came the next day.
It numbered about 180 men. The offieers were
Brigadier General Harney, Captain Jones, A. A. G. ;
Lieutenant Armstrong, Aid; Lieutenant Tidball, A. A.
Q. M. ; Swift and Brewer, Surgeons; Lieutenant Mul-
lins, ist Dragoons; Captain Barry and Lieutenants Fry,
Bargar, Sullivan and Perry of the artillery.
The Jennison "circuit" detailed some pages back,
had occasioned a great scare, and the troops came here
for the purpose of protecting the border. The Governor
of Missouri had also sent a brigade of Missouri militia
to the State line under command of Gen. D. M. Frost,
afterwards of the rebel army, and of "Camp Jackson"
fame. One purpose of having troops at Fort Scott was
to be present at the laud sales which occurred on the
3d of December, i860. Only fourteen 80-acre tracts
were disposed of, at prices ranging from $1.25 to 5.50
per acre. The attendance was very large. The lands
were all offered by 12 o'clock, and the people went
home satisfied their claims were safe for another year.
THE GREAT DROUTH.
The year i860 is known as the "dry year." The
long drouth really commenced in the latter part
of 1859. The year 1859 up to August or September
was very seasonable. Crops were all made and the
yield was immense. It was most fortunate they were
so, for the crops of 1859 saved the people in the next
year. Corn turned out from sixty to ninety bushels to
the acre. Even sod corn made an immense yield.
1860] THE GREAT DROUTH. 157
The Fort Scott Democrat of November 10, 1859, is
the authority for the statement that "Mr. Buckner,
living between Marmaton and Mill Creek, this season
raised six hundred bushels of corn on seven acres
of sod." Wheat and oats were good. Prairie grass
grew to a height of from three to four feet.
The immigrants coming in that spring and summer,
seeing the rich overflow of a bounteous harvest, and
the summertide of glorious verdure, hearing on every
side the gurgling springs and brooks as they trilled in
limpid silver down the ravines, thought that this was
in truth the Elysian fields, the abode of the blest, and
they felt like sending up their voices in grand diapason
of the vox humana. If such was the natural condition,
they thought, if vegetation existed in such luxuriance,
if every "draw" contained a spring and every ravine
was a creek, it certainly surpassed any country of
which they had ever dreamed.
But the scene was to change.
About the 1st day of September, 1859, it quit rain-
ing. The 1st of January, i860, came, but still no rain
or "falling weather." The winter crept along, not
very cold but very dry. Spring came, and still no rain.
The farmer plowed as usual for crops, which were
planted at the usual time, but no rain yet. Corn and
other crops sprouted and came up, but no showers
gladdened the tender shoots. The wind blew inces-
santly from the southwest. Occasionally a cloud would
come over about the size of a ten-acre lot, and it would
sprinkle a little. Sometimes a bank of clouds would
loom up in the northwest in the evening, shake their
158 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1860
heads and disappear. On the 16th of June a thunder
shower came up, and it lightened and thundered and
blowed and raged, and it rained ā a little; so little that
it was only an aggravation.
Corn made a brave effort to grow. It was pitiful to
look at. It held up its withered blades as if imploring
the brazen heavens to let down rain. The poor, little
spindling stalks grew up about three feet high, tasseled
out, and then died. During the first part of July the
thermometer ranged from 98 to 104 degrees in the
shade. In the sun at midday is was 132 . By the
middle of July the heat was simply awful. It is a
matter of record that on the 13th, and for weeks after
that, the thermometer often went up to 112, 113 and
114 degrees in the shade. There was a wind ā almost
a gale sometimes ā but it came up, seemingly, with a
spiral twist ā hot, scorching, withering, like a blast
from a seething furnace. People sought their houses
and closed the doors and windows to keep it out. The
foliage on the trees withered up and blew off. The
prairie grass, which had grown up about three inches
high, turned brown and was dry enough to burn. It is
said that eggs would roast in the sand at midday ā were
actually so roasted. There is no doubt of it. The
thermometer was 146 degrees in the sun. Thus the
terrible drouth continued day after day, week after
week, month after month.
Springs, wells, water everywhere, gave out. The
farmer sought the lowest "draw" on his place and dug
down for water, sometimes with partial success. The
creeks and larger streams were perfectly dry except in
1860] THE GREAT DROUTH. 159
the large "holes," which, ordinarily from ten to fifteen
feet in depth, were reduced to muddy, stagnant puddles.
There would often be a stretch of a mile or more be-
tween these pools in which the bottom of the river was
dry and dusty, and the dry leaves, lately fallen from
the trees, would rustle and swirl in the little whirl-
winds as they swept up and down the river bed.
In the latter part of September or first part of October
the drouth was partially broken. It rained a little.
The rains were not general or heavy, but it rained
enough to freshen up the stagnant pools, and form
many small ones. Stock water was not so scarce, and
once more the cow and yoke of steers could have
enough to drink.
The drouth had lasted for more than a year. Dates
of its beginning and ending vary with localities, but
it may be said, in general, that there were from
twelve to fourteen calendar months during which time
the total rainfall did not exceed one inch.
Of course all crops were practically a failure. In
fields around the base of the mounds, which in ordinary
years are wet and springy, and in some places in the
low bottom lands some corn was raised, in some
instances as much as five bushels to the acre, of little
wormy-ended nubbins. Sorghum sugar cane did better
than any other crop. In fact, it made a fair yield
where planted, and all that fall the creak of the cane
mills could be heard in neighborhoods where they had
been fortunate enough to have planted cane.
In the year before, a good crop of cane had been
raised on a small patch of ground on the farm of Dr.
160 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1860
A. G. Osbun. In harvesting the cane that fall the
seed had rattled out over the ground and in the spring
it came up quite a thick "volunteer" crop. It grew
that season about four or five feet high, being so thick
on the ground, and was cut and put up like hay, and
fed to the horses and other stock that winter.
Unfortunately but few farmers in this county had
sorghum seed, and but little was planted. In Linn
County this crop was quite general and very good. The
farmers there made any amount of molasses, but some
had nothing to "put it on." Children were often seen
eating sorghum molasses off a chip instead of their
much loved crust of corn bread.
This general failure of crops of course caused much
suffering, especially as winter approached and the store
of old corn in the country became more nearly ex-
hausted. Many were compelled to leave the country
temporarily, to seek subsistence. In such cases where
the family had a claim it was the tacit understanding
that their claims should be protected until their return
the next year.
Efforts were begun that fall in the direction of secur-
ing aid. Delegations were sent East to represent the
facts and solicit help. Considerable aid was received
in this county, but not as much as in that part of the
country contiguous to the Missouri river, up which all
freights had to come at that day. From here it was a
round trip of two hundred miles to Wyandotte.
There were a few intermittent rains and snows during
that fall and winter, but the flood gates were not opened
and the streams flushed until early in April, 1861.
1861] STATE GOVERNMENT. 161
@?ANSAS was admitted as a State on the 29th day
^ of January, 1861. It came to the fireside of the
Union only to witness the frowning and wayward
sisters of the South departing, one by one, across
' the threshold, out into the darkness ā out into the
coming storm. But Kansas came not in the
innocence of childhood, nor like "a fair young girl,
with light and delicate limbs and waving tresses," but
"like a bearded man ; armed to the teeth, one mailed
hand grasping the broad shield and one the sword ; its
brow, glorious though it be, is scarred with tokens
of old wars." On its shield was written, Ad Astra per
Aspera ; on its sword, Excalibur Expurgatorius.
The Territorial probation was at an end. The
untried and unexampled task set before it had been
accomplished, not as designed by the spirit of the past
ages, but as marked out by the advancing rays of the
The Territorial Legislature adjourned on the 2nd
day of February, to meet no more.
162 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1861
Governor Charles Robinson was sworn into office on
the 9th day of February, as the first Governor of the
State of Kansas. He convened the State Legislature,
elected under the Wyandotte Constitution, on the 26th
day of March. The members of that Legislature from
Bourbon County were : J. C. Burnett, of Mapleton,
Senator. Horatio Knowles, of Marmaton, S. B. Ma-
hurin, of Scott, and J. T. Neal, of Osage, were the
Representatives. James H. Lane and S. C. Pomeroy
were elected United States Senators on the 4th day
The population of the City of Fort Scott was now
about 500. At the regular spring election for muni-
cipal officers the result was as follows : ā Mayor, Joseph
Ray ; Councilmen, H. T. Wilson, J. S. Redfield, A.
McDonald and Chas. W. Blair ; Clerk, William Galla-
her; Treasurer, C. W. Goodlander ; Recorder, J. S.
Miller ; Assessor, A. R. Allison ; Marshal, R. L. Philips;
Street Commissioner, J. G. Stuart.
The vote was 83, which indicated about the popula-
tion of 500, as stated.
The Southern States had now nearly all seceded and
their Provisional Government was in full operation at
Still, the people of Bourbon County, in common with
the entire North, laid the flattering unction to their
1861] IMPENDING CRISIS. 16.1
souls that in some way, or by some means, the impend-
ing war might yet be averted. The Governor of the
State had appointed four commissioners to the Peace
Convention, two of whom had voted for peace and
compromise. Meetings were held in various parts of
this county, all of which expressed sentiments of con-
servatism, and especially a spirit of conciliation towards
the people of the neighboring State of Missouri living
along our border. The leading Democratic citizens of
Fort Scott united with the Republicans in a letter to
James H. Lane, inviting him to come down and make a
speech. He accepted, and came about the 15th of
March, and spoke at a public meeting that day.
The attendance at the meeting was very large,
and included many citizens of the adjoining portion of
Missouri. Lane advocated the cultivation of amicable
relations between the people of the two States. He
advised the belligerent portion of the Kansas people to
"get a bag of meal under the bed, a ham in the cellar,
and a dress for the baby," before engaging in a war
which would be certain to desolate and impoverish the
A few days afterwards ā about the 20th ā a large and
enthusiastic meeting of the citizens of Linn and
Bourbon Counties, Kansas, and Vernon County, Mis-
souri, was held at Barnesville. It was presided over by
H. G. Moore, Sheriff of Bourbon County. Byron P.
Ayres, of Linn County, was secretary. James H.
Lane, W. L. Henderson, A. B. Massey, J. T. Neal,
Ben Rice, George A. Crawford, Chas. W. Blair, C. W.
McDaniel, Geo. A. Reynolds, and A. Burton were
164 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1861
appointed a committee on resolutions. The resolutions
were conservative throughout. General Lane after-
wards addressed the meeting in about the same tenor as
in his speech at Fort Scott.
The circumstances attending this meeting, ā the con-
gregation of a mass of men who had been so long in a
whirling eddy of sectional discord, ā the appointment
on working committees of men who had heretofore
entertained such widely differing opinions, ā is worthy
of historical note.
The old order of things had passed away. The
public mind was adjusting itself on new lines ; the
political atmosphere was clearing up ā clear as a bell,
and the bell had but one tone.
On the 12th of April, 1861, was fired the first gun of
the civil war. By a singular coincidence the deed was
performed by an old fellow with whose name we have
become quite familiar. It was Ruffian. He was
probably not the "Ruffian" of our acquaintance, but
his act in pulling the lanyard over that old smooth-
bore Napoleon gun, which fired the first shot against
Fort Sumpter, was the climax of the political doctrine
that had been taught, not only to our Border Ruffian,
but to the entire people of the South. The firing of
that gun was the natural and logical sequence and
culmination of that spirit ā that political essence ā
which the people of Kansas had contended against for
four long years, and which the Government, and the
1861] WAR FEELING. 165
people of all the other states were to now take up on an
appeal, and enter into a gigantic trial of another four
The artillery "heard around the world" on that
April day opened the greatest conflict the world has
ever seen. It was the grandest, most momentous
sound ever heard on earth. Artillery is God's own
music. The reverberating thunder of artillery, the
steady tread of contending hosts ā fierce, bloody war ā
these are God's instruments for the advancement and
civilization of the human race, and have been since the
days of Joshua.
Every war in every nation, ā every war between
nations, ā cuts through the film of ignorance on the
eyes of the people, and advances the banner of regener-
ation and disenthralment. The real camp followers
are freedom, tolerance, invention, science. War breaks
the fetters of the serf and the slave ; it unyokes the
woman from the plow team ; it casts off the wooden
sabots of the listeners to the Angelus.
THE WAR FEELING IN BOURBON COUNTY.
After the war had actually commenced, ā after the
first "overt act," as we called it, the conservatism, the
doubts, the hesitation, of our people were laid aside,
together with their politics. The Democrat, the only
newspaper in the county, came out early and declared
that it abandoned ail party affiliations and announced
itself "for the constitution and the union, and a
supporter of the new Administration so long as it shall
166 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1861
labor in the direction of their perpetuity." That was
the universal sentiment. If war must come the feeling
was not only to prepare for it but to prosecute it to the
end. Our people realized, also, more nearly than
those of other sections of the North the full import
of what was to come. The "Ninety Day" theory
of Secretary Seward met with no believers. The
opinion was, also, often expressed, that the war would
result in the extinction of human slavery on this
On Thursday night, April 24th, there was a Union
demonstration, the most enthusiastic yet held in the
town. The demonstration was entirely impromptu ā
nine-tenths of those who took part in it being aroused
from their slumbers at midnight. As each one joined
the procession he was greeted with three cheers,
followed by three times three for the Union. "The
Red, White and Blue," "Star Spangled Banner,"
"Yankee Doodle," "Hail Columbia," and other
patriotic airs were sung amid the wildest applause.
All party feeling was buried beneath the glorious plat-
form of National Union. It was a scene worthy of our
town, and one long to be remembered with feelings of
deep emotion by every true and loyal citizen.
At a meeting held in the office of C. W. Blair, Esq.,
Wednesday evening following, two volunteer com-
panies were organized and the following officers elected;
First company ā Captain, C. W. Blair; First Lieutenant,
A. R. Allison; Second Lieutenant, R. L. Phillips;
Third Lieutenant, Chas. Bull; Ensign, Wm. R. Judson.
Second company ā Captain, A. McDonald; First Lieu-
1861] WAR FEELING. 107
tenant, Charles Dimon; Second Lieutenant, William
Gallaher; Third Lieutenant, A. F. Bicking; Ensign,
O. S. Dillon. The officers were elected by the com-
bined vote of both companies, leaving each man to
decide afterwards with which company- he would con-
There were two companies formed in Drywood town-
ship about this same time, under command of Captains
Henry Coffman and E. J. Boring, and one company on
the head of Lightning Creek officered by John T. Mc-
Whirt, Roswell Seeley, John Tully, John F. Gates
and Sam McWhirt.
The first two Fort Scott companies were finally con-
solidated, and called themselves the "Frontier Guard."
The boys started for Lawrence to be mustered into
the service. At Lawrence Captain Blair was promoted
to Lieutenant-Colonel of the 2d Kansas, which was to
be the regiment of the Fort Scott company. After a
few days rest at Lawrence, the regiment left for Kansas
City for muster-in. When they got to Wyandotte,
about June 1st, most of the Fort Scott boys concluded
they had seen enough service and returned home.
The larger part of them, however, went into the army
afterwards. "Frontier Guard No. 2" was raised soon
afterwards by W. T. Campbell, and a company was
raised on Mill Creek by Captain Hall.
All this was the usual preliminary business that
occurred at that time all over the country, with the
object of not only testing who really wanted to go to
war, but who were prepared at short notice to leave
home for an indefinite time.
168 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1861
The Fourth of July had now come, and was quite a
gala day in Fort Scott. It had been arranged that Fort
Scott Guards, Nos. i and 2, should have a parade and