FORT SCOTT INCORPORATED AS A TOWN.
Fort Scott was incorporated as a town by Chapter 40
of the Bogus Statutes, which chapter was acted on and
passed by the Legislature on the 30th of August, 1855.
Section 1 of that chapter provides that the land
set forth and defined in the plat of said town shall be
incorporated into a town by the name of Fort Scott.
Section 4 provides that "the first Board of Trustees
of the town of Fort Scott shall consist of H. T. Wilson,
A. Hornbeck, Thomas Dodge, R. G. Roberts, F. De-
mint and Thomas B. Arnett."
Section 8 provides that the trustees shall have power
to collect taxes, regulate dramshops, to restrain and
prevent the meeting of slaves, etc.
But little is now known about some of the trustees.
A. Hornbeck was a merchant. He came in from Mis-
souri, and went back there after two or three years'
residence here. Dodge was an Indian trader, and had
been all his life. Thomas B. Arnett opened and kept
the first hotel ever in Bourbon county. It was in the
1855] MORE ELECTIONS. 49
house on the west corner of the Plaza, known after-
wards as the Fort Scott, or Free State Hotel. He fell
dead one Sunday, sometime afterwards, while attending
religious services in the Government Hospital building,
probably because, as town trustee, he had not been
strict enough in "regulating dramshops."
On the ist of October, 1855, an election was held under
provisions of the Legislature, for Delegate to Congress.
J. W. Whitfield was again the Pro-slavery candidate,
and received 242 votes in this county.
There was no Free State candidate, and the Free
State men took no part in this election.
A convention had been called at Topeka on the 19th
day of September, to take measures to form a State
Constitution. An election was held for Delegates to
the Topeka Constitutional Convention, on the 9th of
October. A. H. Reeder was also voted for by the Free
State men for Delegate to Congress. The town of Fort
Scott cast 27 votes. There appears to be no record of
a county vote.
The Convention met at Topeka on the 23d day of
October. A Free State Constitution was framed, and
an election for its adoption held on the 15th day of De-
cember. Again there is no record from Bourbon County.
The fact of the matter is, there were but few Free State
men in this county at that time. There were not
enough of them to form anything like an organization,
or even a circulating chain of intelligence among them-
50 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1855
selves. Each one was isolated from hig kind, and lived
like a rabbit in a burrongh. He kept his eyes and ears
open, but he kept his mouth shut. There were less
than 300 legal votes in the entire county, and not more
than thirty of these were Free State men. The first
immigration into this county was largely from the
Southern States. The territory lay adjacent to a slave
State, and it was natural that it should assimilate with
the peculiar institution of the South. Further north,
where the parties were more nearly equal in number,
the Free State men went to the polls ; they protested,
however vainly, against the fraudulent elections ; they
took concerted action for self-defense. Here they could
do neither. As yet they were in too great a minority.
They could only sit down and wait ; wait to see how
far and to what extent the Northern people would go to
meet the open defiance of the maddened and blinded
partisans of ultra pro-slaveryism ; wait for immigration
to reach down this far and give them help. It seemed
now to them like a losing contest. The migratory
hordes of the Pro-slavery party had, under the faint
pretense of "election," taken possession of the Terri-
tory, driven out the first Governor — an able, fair and
just man — and published to the world their statute of
"laws," which hung over the Territory for five years
like the web of a mammoth spider.
THE SECOND GOVERNOR.
Wilson Shannon of Ohio, was appointed to succeed
Governor Reeder. He arrived at Shawnee Mission and
1855] POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE. 51
assumed the duties of his office on the 7th of Septem-
ber, 1855, a few days after the adjournment of the
Governor Shannon had nothing to do with the elec-
tion of March 30th, 1855, and was, of course, in no
way responsible for the action of either faction; and,
although surrounded exclusively by Pro-slavery men,
bravely endeavored, during his short administration, to
do his duty as he saw it.
POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE OF BOURBON COUNTY.
The situation of Bourbon County during the years
1855, I ^56 and 1857 was peculiar. It was different
from that of any other county or portion of the Terri-
tory. The county was away down in the southeast,
isolated, and as yet out of the line and track of immi-
gration, and as yet out of the way of the partisan
troubles which held full sway in the country further
north. There were some men — their number could be
counted on your fingers — drifted in during these years,
who hung around here more or less, who were of the
very worst class; border ruffians themselves, and leaders
above all others of that ultra, uncompromising Pro-
slavery element whose politics was simply extermination
— extermination of Free State sentiment — extermina-
tion of Free State men, if that were necessary. These
were men like Dr. Hamilton, Captain G. A. Hamilton,
Alvin Hamilton, W. B. Brockett, G. W. Jones, G. W.
Clark. E. Greenwood, Sheriff Ben Hill and others.
But few of these made any pretense to citizenship, but
52 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1855
made Fort Scott one of their many stopping places or
headquarters. Their followers — their "men" — were of
that class they, themselves, called "poor white trash."
They were never able to own a slave and never expected
to be. They were that grade of men who saw everything
through the diseased perceptions of an incomplete
nature and a smothered intelligence. The men
from the South who came here as bona fide settlers
to make homes for themselves and families were of a
different grade. They were Pro-slavery, and desired as
a political question, that Kansas should come into the
Union as a slave State. They were thoroughly imbued
with the principles of Squatter Sovereignty, but had
no more idea or design of a criminal crusade in order to
accomplish their political ends than did Stephen A.
Douglas himself. They staid here law abiding men
during this first war; they staid here good Union men
during the Union war, and lived and died among us
under the flag of Clay and Benton, either the one or
the other of whom had been their household god since
the days of their youth.
As for the Northern men, a few of whom were now
finding their way into this county, they, also, were in
some sense different from their brethren further north.
They came without "aid" or other influence, except the
desire to build up a home. They came very generally
from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. They
were Free State men and finally voted for a Free State
Constitution. But they were not anti-slavery in the
sense of being Abolitionists. They did not want
slavery; they did not want free negroes; they simply
1855] POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE. 53
did not want any "nigger" at all. Many of them were
Democrats; many were Republicans; but they had no
desire to interfere with the "peculiar institution" of the
South further than to keep it out of Kansas. They
came here to make Kansas a State and to make it free.
It is not within the scope and design of this work to
detail the historical incidents and the public acts of
historical men or notorious characters outside of Bour-
bon County, except insofar as they concern or affect,
directly or indirectly our own local history. So far, an
attempt has been made to keep in touch with the prom-
inent men of those times, the animus of political
parties and the social bias of the contending forces.
It may be possible that the accurate and complete
history of our State can only be thus prepared, block
by block, and the checquered and mosaic tablet be
handed down to the future as the "History of Kansas."
54 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1856
TONE OF PRO-SLAVERY PAPERS
■^rPHE year 1856 opened in the northeastern part of the
Territory and along the Kaw valley, in turmoil,
violence and murder. Armed factions were almost
daily coming into the couflict. The Free State
^ Ij 3 men were being armed and drilled for defense.
' The Pro-slavery men were being reinforced from
South Carolina, Alabama and the entire South, for the
openly declared purpose of overawing the Free State
men by violence and murder.
One sample of the tone of their newspapers at that
time is here given. The Kickapoo Pioneer, in speak-
ing of Free State immigrants, said :
"It is this class of men that have congregated at
Lawrence, and it is this class of men that Kansas must
get rid of. And we know of no better method * * *
than to meet in Kansas and kill off this God-forsaken
class of humanity as soon as they place their feet upon
Bourbon County had as yet but little of this disorder
and violence. But the disturbing elements were to
come in very soon, and peace bid farewell for many years.
1856] TOPE K A CONSTITUTION. 55
THE TOPEKA CONSTITUTION.
The first political move of the year 1856 was the
election of officers under the Topeka Constitution,
which took place January 15. Charles Robinson was
the leading candidate for Governor, and M. W. Delahay
for Congress. W. R. Griffith of Bourbon County, was
voted for as State Auditor, but received less votes than
G. A. Cutler for that office. Griffith was also a member
of this Constitutional Convention.
The Topeka Constitution was not recognized by
Congress. The Legislature elected under it never had
any practical existence, nor was it expected to have, or
probably, intended to have. The conventions of Aug-
ust 14 and September 15 ; the elections of October 9,
December 15 and January 15, the Constitutional Con-
vention and the Topeka Constitution, were intended by
the Free-State leaders to serve — like toys given to im-
patient children — to occupy the minds of our Free-State
men; to solidify the growing " Anti-Pro-slavery "
elements of all shades in the North, and by publishing to
the world their platforms, resolutions and constitutions,
to furnish educating exponents of the principles, policy
and design of the Free-State party.
As was expected, some of the ultra Abolitionists were
dissatisfied. The word "white" was not eliminated
from the new Constitution ; its tone was for peaceful
solution, instead of for the aggravation of conflict as
they desired. They kicked over the traces, but they
were simply "cut out" and driven away.
The Free- State leaders at this time — among them
56 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1856
Charles Robinson, A. H. Reeder, M. J. Parrott, Joel K.
Goodin, M. W. Delahay — were strong men. The Con-
vention and the Legislature elected under it were
composed of good and true men. They raised here the
first signal light of Freedom, against which were already
breaking the black, seething waves of disunion.
The first invasion into Bourbon County by the Pro-
slavery men occurred in the spring of 1856. A party
of about thirty South Carolinians, headed by G. W.
Jones, came in and stopped temporarily in Fort Scott.
Under pretense of looking for homes, these men visited
most of the settlers in the county, ascertained where
they were from and their politics, what property they
had, and their means of defense, and made a complete
list of all the Free-State men. Then, later in the
season, about July, the Free-State men were again
visited, and were told they must leave the Territory.
A system of espionage, intimidation and arrest was
commenced. Their stock was driven off; their cabins
fired into in the dead of night, and they were often
taken under pretended arrest to Fort Scott, where they
would be advised that it was a much healthier country
further north for their class. The object was to so
harass and intimidate them that they would leave
their claims and such property as could not be easily
moved, and get out of the Territory, which the Pro-
slavery people had decided was their own by right, not
of discovery, but "non-intervention," and "Squatter
1856] TROUBLE COMMENCES. 57
Sovereignty." The matter was actually presented to
the masses of the South in the light that, as the re-
strictive compromise law had been wiped out, this was
slave territory; Free-State men were interlopers, and
had no more rights here than they had in South Caro-
lina. A Free-State man would not be allowed to live
in South Carolina ; why should he be here?
Anyway, their plans worked well. The Free-State
men were not strong enough then for resistance or
defense, and most of them left. This was in execution
of the concerted plans of Major Buford and his lieu-
tenant, G. W. Jones, who had arrived on the 7th of
April, at Westport, Missouri, with a large body of
armed men, some three hundred in number, from Ala-
bama, Georgia and South Carolina. Buford was a kind
of brigadier general in the army of invasion, and had
charge of the border, with the instructions, among
others, to search all steamboats coming up the Missouri
river, for Free-State passengers, and all emigrant wag-
ons coming from the East and North.
TEXAS RANGERS — EXPEDITION TO MIDDLE CREEK.
Late in the summer of this year a squad of fellows
came into Bourbon County from the south, who called
themselves "Texas Rangers." They were all well
armed and mounted, and wore spurs as big as a tin
plate. Their saddles were of the regulation Texas
pattern, with immense saddle blankets, with the "Lone
Star" worked in the corner.
Altogether, they were a very "fierce and warlike
58 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1856
people," and wanted to go right into the business im-
mediately. So, after laying around town two or three
days whetting up their bowie knives and running
bullets they got some of G. W. Jones' South Caro-
linians, added a few of the fellows who lived in Fort
Scott, and away they went, headed for Osawatomie, to
rout out John Brown. The company was under com-
mand of Win. Barnes, G. W. Jones and Jesse Davis.
They got up as far as Middle Creek in Linn County
where, about August 25th, they were met by Captains
Shore and Anderson with a company of Free State men
of about the same number. After a lively skirmish, in
which three or four volleys were exchanged, they let
go and skedaddled back to Fort Scott, pushing on their
bridle-reins and with saddle-blankets flying. They
had such big stories to tell about being closely pur-
sued by 2,000 yankees, who would soon be on them to
bum and murder, that everybody in town, men,
women and children, dogs and niggers, took to the
woods and laid out all night. It is said the Texas
Rangers never stopped till they got back to Red River.
Geo. W. Jones buried himself in the wilds of Buck
One of the recruits from Fort Scott on this expedi-
tion was a man named Kline, who had just started a
newspaper which he called the "Southern Kansan."
He had issued only two numbers of it when he felt a
call to help "advance the banner of the holy crusade."
He laid down the "shooting stick" to take up the
shooting iron. But it was an unlucky exchange, for,
at the first fire of "leads," the "devil" fired him into
1856] BOURBON COUNTY LEGISLATORS. 59
the "hell-box," and he remained in "pi" forever.
This was the only report in the "remark" column of
THE TOPEKA LEGISLATURE.
The Legislature elected under the Topeka Constitu-
tion met first on the 4th of March, and adjourned to
meet at Topeka on the 4th of July, 1856. At that date
they assembled and attempted to open a session, but
they were met by Col. Sumner of the regular army,
who ordered them to disperse.
SHANNON RESIGNS — GEARY APPOINTED.
Governor Wilson Shannon, who had now been in
office several months, became distasteful to the Admin-
istration and the Pro-slavery party, and retired from
office on the 21st of August, 1856.
Secretary Woodson, an implement of the Pro-slavery
people, became acting Governor until John W. Geary
of Pennsylvania, was appointed, and assumed the office
in September following.
TERRITORIAL LEGISLATORS FOR BOURBON COUNTY.
On October 6th, 1856, an election was held for mem-
bers of the second Territorial Legislature, which was
to meet the following January. In this county there
were to be two members elected. There were three
candidates in the field, who received votes as follows :
B. Brantly, 176 votes; W. W. Spratt, 127 votes; R. G.
60 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1856
Roberts, 60 votes. Brantley and Spratt were declared
These men were Pro-slavery. The Free State men
had nearly all been driven out, as has been stated, and
what few were left had neither disposition or opportu-
nity to vote. The Pro-slavery people also voted at this
election for J. W. Whitfield for Delegate to Congress,
and voted for calling a Constitutional Convention.
The closing hour of 1856 was the darkest hour for
freedom in Kansas. Its closing day marked the first
year of the preliminary struggle of the civil war. The
lines were being drawn and public sentiment solidified
throughout the Nation by the co-efficients of intoler-
ance, prejudice and hate.
1857] NEW TOWNS. 61
BOURBON COUNTY OFFICIALS.
"sTPHE county officers at the beginning of 1857 re-
£#k mained about as they had been in 1856. A. Horn-
beck was County Treasurer. The same Board of
County Commissioners, and B. F. Hill was still
J |j » Sheriff. The full representation in the Legislature
was : Blake Little in the Council, W. W. Spratt
and B. Brantley in the House. Blake Little had been
elected to succeed William Barbee, who died sometime
before. Mr. Little was quite an old man, and always
regarded as a good citizen. He was Pro-slavery in
politics. His son John H. and daughter Mary were
living at Fort Scott with him. He left here in 1859
and went to Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
The second session of the Territorial Legislature was
convened at Lecompton on the 12th of January. Among
the laws passed was an act incorporating the town of
Sprattsville in Bourbon County, an act establishing
a State road from Barnesville to Cofachique. Spratts-
ville was near where Dayton now is. It never advanced
in "growth and population" further than the survey
62 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1857
stakes for corner lots. It perished. It was located by
W. W. Spratt, who was that year in the Legislature.
The dense population in this connty at that time
seemed to require the "building up" of more towns.
Already foundations for future cities were being laid,
which in the near future were to become "busy marts
of trade," "manufacturing and railroad centers;" have
the machine shops and vote bonds, and have a mac-
adam tax, and a cracker factory. The probable location
of the depot was another question of vast moment. It
must not be so located that it would draw business to
one point of the town at the expense of another. That
must be guarded against. Everyone with a piece of land
suitable for an "addition" said he would guard against
it if it took half the land he had.
All these things were within the vision of the found-
ers, although the nearest railroad was yet two hundred
Mapleton was first located in May, 1857. The Town
Company were J. C. Burnett, E. P. Higby, Mr. Morton,
B. B. Newton, S. W. Cheever and D. Scott. This
Company soon afterwards abandoned the town project
and was dissolved.
Afterwards a new Company was organized by Wm.
Baker, Dr. S. O. Himoe, A. Wilson, John Hawk,
James Huffnagle and M. E. Hudson. This Company
first called the town Eldora, but after a time the name
was changed back to Mapleton. Dr. S. O. Himoe was
1857] MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. 63
appointed the first Postmaster on October 15th, 1857.
E. P. Higby was appointed early in 1858 and continued
the Postmaster for more than thirty years. E. Green-
field established the first store in 1858.
Mapleton has always been a prominent place in this
county. It is located in the beautiful valley of the
Osage, surrounded by an agricultural country unsur-
passed, and a thrifty, intelligent people.
Rayville, of which considerable will be said here-
after, was located by the two Ray brothers. It was on the
Osage, about halfway between the points now known as
Ft. Lincoln and Mapleton. Rayville never became a
great manufacturing center, either; but they manu-
factured some Bourbon County history there. It had at
one time a store and a postoffice. But it finally per-
ished, also, and was laid "under the sod and the dew"
by the side of Sprattsville. It was too near Mapleton.
MEANS OF COMMUNICATION.
The means the people of Bourbon County then had
for mail facilities and communication with the outside
world were decidedly limited. They had a stage line
established between Fort Scott and Jefferson City, Mo.,
and the stage, an old bob-tailed "jerky," such as is now
to be seen only in "Wild West shows," made the trip
once a week; that is, when the creeks were not up and
there was no other preventing providence. This line
brought in the Eastern mail, and its arrival and depart-
64 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1857
ure were important events. Col. Arnett was the local
agent, and he conducted the business with characteristic
flourish. Three times a week they had a horseback
mail from Westpoint, Montevallo and Sarcoxie, Mo.,
Baxter Springs, Osage Mission and Cofachique. These
radiating lines indicated the importance already at-
tached to Fort Scott as a distributing point. All freight
came on ox-wagons from Kansas City, Mo., down the
old military road.
There were then but three saw mills in the county:
one on the Little Osage, near the future site of Fort
Lincoln; one on the same stream above Sprattsville,
and one on the Marmaton six miles west of Fort Scott.
There was an abundant growth of black walnut, syca-
more, cottonwood, oak, coffee bean, linn, etc., along
the Little Osage, Mill Creek, Marmaton and Drywood.
Goon Bass Fishing on Miij, Creek.
1857] MORE POLITICS. 65
r>'T?HE Territorial Legislature in February, 1857,
passed an act dividing the Territory into three
judicial districts. The first step in the Lecotnpton
Constitution movement was taken February 19th
by the Legislature passing an act providing for the
election of delegates to a convention to frame a
State Constitution. The act provided for a census to
be taken, on the basis of which the Governor was to
apportion among the precincts the sixty delegates to
the Convention. The delegates were to be elected on
the second Monday in June, which was the 15th, and
were to meet at Lecompton on the first Monday in
September. Governor Geary vetoed the bill, but the
Legislature passed it over the veto, by a nearly unani-
On the 4th of March, 1857, James Buchanan became
In his Inaugural Address he said :
"Congress is neither to legislate slavery into any
Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to
leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and
conduct their own domestic institutions in their own
66 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY. [1857
way. As a natural consequence, Congress has also
prescribed, that when the Territory of Kansas shall be
admitted as a State, it shall be received into the Union
with or without slavery, as the Constitution may
prescribe at the time of admission. A difference of
opinion has arisen in regard to the time when the people
of a Territory shall decide this question for themselves.
This is happily a matter of but little importance, and
besides it is a judicial question, which legitimately
belongs to the Supreme Court of the United States,
before whom it is now pending and will, it is understood,
be speedily and finally settled."
Two days afterward the Supreme Court handed down
the decision in the Dred Scott case. The gist of that
decision is this : The Missouri Compromise, so far as
it excluded slavery from the Louisiana Purchase, north
of 36. 30 was unconstitutional ; that Congress had no
power to prohibit slavery from any portion of the
Federal territory, nor to authorize the inhabitants
thereof to do so; that negroes are not citizens, and have
no rights as such. Or, in other words, that Kansas was
de jure Slave Territory, as it was de facto.