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History of Labette County, Kansas, from the first settlement to the close of 1892 online

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John McClintock and Nettie Smallwood, on December 22, 1872, were
joined in marriage, being the first couple married in the township, and
the marriage of H. F. Jones and Mary McClintock followed some two or
three weeks later. Among the first births in the township were sons in
the families of W. J. McClintock and D. H. McKee, in the summer of
1870, and on August 15, 1870, a daughter, Julia A., to Colonel Baldwin
and wife. A son of G. B. MoKee was injured by falling into a well,
from which he died ; this was the first death in the township, and I uu-


derstand that B. W. Harwood, -who was murdered on August 15, 1872,
was the second person who died in the township.

The first party to locate in Elm Grove township was William Boweu,
who took his claim on sections 3 and 10 early in the spring of 1867, the
old settlers say, although no one whom I have met is able to fix the date
of his settlement. Probably the next settlers in the township were K. P.
and Amos Totten, who located on section 10, as it is thought, in the
summer of 1867. A few parties made settlement here in 1868. Madison
Sharp came in June and located on the northeast quarter of section 13,
although he did not bring his family until the following February. At
the same time Thomas Sharp located on the southeast of the same sec-
tion. In 1869 many more families came in. C. M. Keeler located on
same section with William Bowen, Daniel Mclntyre on the southwest
quarter of section 12, Josepli Gray on the northeast quarter of section 3,
A. J. Moler on the southwest quarter of section 13, James Woodville on
section 12, in township 35. Wesley Faurot came Jaly 29th this year, and
settled in the extreme southeast corner of the township ; Harvey Jones
also settled in the southern part of the township. In July, C. B. Pratt
took the northwest quarter of section 3, in township 35, and opened
thereon the first store in the township ; he was appointed postmaster of
the postoffice at that point, which was called Kipon. In October Dr.
D. P. Lucas settled on the northwest quarter of section 12, in township
35 ; and during the season Thomas Summerfield settled in the same local-
ity, on the southeast quarter of section 9. Probably still more families
whose names I have not mentioned came in this year. The settlement of
the southwestern part of the township did not commence until the spring
of 1870. In June, Peter Shufelt found a small house on the southwest
quarter of section 20 which had been put there by some one who had
left. He took possession of this and made claim to this quarter, after-
ward paying the man for his house. Harrison Sword settled on the
southwest quarter of section 30, A. J. Lots on the southwest quarter of
section 7, Peter Rhodes on section 18, H. H. Lieb and R. W. Lieb also
in that vicinity. During the season Owen Wimmer and sons located on
section 29, but did not bring their families until the spring of 1871 ; Al-
fred Elliott located on the northwest quarter of section 30. In 1871,
Junius, Peter and Lewis Goodwin settled on section 31.


By the division first made, what is now Elm Grove township was a
part of Canada and Hackberry townships. After November 21, 1867,
until its organization by itself, it formed a part of Hackberry township


•only. On July 37, 1870, W. H. Bowen and fifty-five others having peti-
tioned therefor, the Commissioners made an order for the organization
of townships 34 and 35, in range 19, into a municipal township, with tlie
name of Elm Grove ; and on July 29th appointed the following ofBoers:
D. Mclutyre, trustee ; John Lane, clerlr ; John Freeman, treasurer ;
■Charles Ballard and S. Bentley, constables ; and recommended W.' H.
Bowen and T. H. Nosleu for appointment as justices of the peace.


On April 12, 1871, upon a petition of its citizens, the Commissioners
■ordered that stock be prohibited from running at large in the night-time
for the term of three years.


This township had the misfortune not to be named in the apportion-
ment of 1871, and it was not until 1873 that it was made a part of any
legislative district.


In the fall of 1869 James M. Woodflll died, and was the first person to
be buried in the cemetery then started on section 13, in the south part ot
the township. His wife Sarah soon followed him, and was the second
to be interred in this cemetery.

A few parties settled in this township in the fall of 1865. James Moss,
Robert Hastings and Mr. Cawthorn located on section 1, Mr. Henderson
on section 13, and Mr. Chandler near by. A few more parties came in
the following year, and among them Mr. Redfield, who settled on the
northwest quarter of section 1, Luman Reed on the northeast quarter of
section 35, and Robert Gill on section 33. Many settlers came in 1867,
commencing early in the spring and continuing to arrive during the sum-
mer. In June, Gilbert A. and J. T. Cooper located on the south half of
section 14, and about the same time Alexander Bishop settled on the
northwest quarter and Jerry Strickler on the northeast quarter of the
same section ; William Newcomb settled on section 11, and Henry G.
Pore on section 12. In July, George W. Franklin and L. C. Howard
located on section 3 ; William Sullivan, Robert Johnson, Abner DeCou,
Benjamin Hiatt, James Sloan, Walter Pratt and Caleb Phillips came
sometime during the year. It is possible that some of the parties named
came in 1866 instead of 1867. Elder Cooper settled on section 8 early in
1868, and was the first Baptist minister in that vicinity. In October,
William Hannigan bought the northwest quarter of section 9 from Cal.
Watkins, who had taken it sometime previous thereto. About the same
time Martin Jackson, Aaron Young and Mordecai Ramsey came in. In


February, 1869, D. C. Constant settled on the southeast quarter of sec-
tion 18 ; on March 9th, G. W. Jenkins on the northeast quarter of sec-
tion 33 ; and in July, J. \,. Jones on the northwest quarter of section 5,
township 35.


In the first division of the county, Hackberry township included town-
ship 34, range 20, and the east half of range 19. By the new division,
on November 21, 1867, it was ordered that '-Hackberry township. No. 5,
shall include town 34, R. 19 & 20." On April 14, 1869, township 35,
lying in these ranges, was attached as a part of the township. The first
election in the township was held at the time of the election of the first
county ofBcers, April 22, 1867, but there is iio record of the result. At
the election held April 7, 1868, the following officers were elected : G. W.
Franklin, trustee ; William Johnson, clerk ; H. G. Pore, treasurer ; L. C.
Howard and D. M. Bender, justices of the peace; D. Day and William
Hiatt, constables ; and William E. Pratt, road overseer.


October 4, 1869, the residents having petitioned therefor, the board
ordered that stock be not allowed to run at large in the night-time for
the period of five years.


The first settlement of this township has been spoken of iu auother
part of this work. It may be said to have been the first part of the
county settled by the whites, but the settlement was entirely broken up
iu 1863. The settlement as it now exists commenced in the fall of 1865.
Among those who came that season were Thomas King, who settled on
the northeast quarter of section 18, William Busby on the northwest
quarter of section 17, William Puitt on the southeast quarter of section
7, Zephaniah Woolsey on the southeast quarter of section 27; a man by
the name of Baker and his three sons. Berry, John and William, and two
sons-in-law, Dotson and Maxwell, along the Labette creek on sections 22,
23 and 36 ; G. W. Yandel and his sons-in-law, David Lewellin and Chas.
A. Rankin, came in November, 1865, and took claims, but did not bnng
their families until the following spring. These parties and also Mi-.
Tandal's sou, Columbus, settled on sections 6, 7 and 8. About the same
time George W. Kingsbury settled on section 6.

During 1866 many parties came into the township, some coming early
in the spring and others later in the season. In the spring the Rice
brothers, Benjamin, John and James, John Green, Orville Thompson,
John W. Wiley, Gilbert Martin, Samuel Braught, Allen Barnes, Maucil
Garret, Lorenzo Braught, James Smith, and perhaps others, settled in


the northeastern part of the township north of the Labette. In May,
S. R. Southwick settled on the northeast quarter of section 29, William
Shay on the southeast quarter of section 30, John Kinney and sous on
the northwest quarter of section 28, George Lane on the southwest quar-
ter of section 28, Abraham Ewers on the southwest quarter of sectiou 31.
In June, Samuel Gregory settled on the southeast quarter of section 36,
aud in August Mr. Tuulier on the northwest quarter of section 29, and
Mr. Bedicker on the northeast quarter of section 32. On August 12th
Franklin Asbell bought the northeast quarter of section 18 from Thomas
King and became a permanent settler thereon. On October 10th, David
U. Watson settled on the southwest quarter of section 21, and John N.
Watson on the southeast quarter of sectiou 29 ; about the same time Mar-
shall J. Lee settled north of Labette creek, Milton Helm on the northeast
quarter of section 39, and Riley Hawkins on the southwest quarter of sec-
tion 20 ; Stephen Bright bought the southwest quarter of section 7 from
Woolsey ; John and Cass Steel settled on section 8, Salina Grant on the
northwest quarter of section 30.

On January 1, 1867, Moses Powers located on the northwest quarter of
section 21; in April, Isaac Butterworth bought the northwest quarter of
section 30 from Salina Grant, and made his home thereon.


The first store in the township, aside from those located in Chetopa,
was kept by Orville Thompson, a little north of Labette creek, on the
east road leading from Oswego to Chetopa ; it was started in the spring
of 1866. Soon after this the town of Labette was started, on the Neosho.


For many years a large part of the land south of the Labette was cov-
ered with water so great a portion of the year that it was practically
of little use. In 1882 a ditch was dug, draining this swamp into the
Neosho, thereby making a large tract of land capable of cultivatiou.


In April, 1874, John F. Hill deeded three acres of land in section 9,
on which the Pleasant Valley Cemetery was laid out ; George Geunoa
was the first person buried therein. This cemetery has been nicely im-
proved and quite extensively used.


The Commissioners appointed for the organization of the county, in
laying it off into precincts constituted township 34, range 31, a township,
which they named Chetopa. The first official reference we have to this
township is on July 2, 1867, when it was "Ordered, that the township
called Chetopa, the southern township of Labette county, be changed ac-


cordiug to the request of the petitioners, to be called Eichlaud towuship
hereafter." On November 31, 1867, In dividing the county into town-
ships, the Commissioners ordered that "Richland township, No. 4, shall
include town 34, E. 21." While we have no record showing the names
of the persons who were elected officers at the election held April 23,
1867, we soon thereafter And J. N. Watson acting as justice of the peace.
He resigned on October 33, and on November 19 the Commissioners ap-
pointed G. H. English, and two days later they also appointed William
H. Reed justice of the peace. On April 7, 1868, the following officers
were elected : Robert Steel, trustee ; R. B. Wallan, clerli ; Daniel Quinby,
treasurer; George Kiucade and B. B. Baker, justices of the peace; J. W.
Wiley and A. P. Kinkade, constables ; Allison Hasty, road overseer. On
April 14, 1869, an order of the Commissioners was made attaching towu-
ship 35, range 21, to Richland township.




No less than three towns christened Labette have been started in this
county. The first of the three was located in the fall of 1866, by Gilbert
Martin, on the banks of the Neosho, in section 14, Kichland township.
In 1867 Mr. Martin put in a saw-mill, to which was attached a set of corn
buhrs. The mill got quite a trade at this point. A store building was
erected by L. D. Bovee, for Mr. Smith, who put iu a stock of groceries.
This building was afterward sold to School District No. 3, and was moved
from its location on the town-site to the public road, where it now stands,
and is still iu use as a school-house. Another building was erected, for
R. G. Tileston, who put in quite a large amount of groceries. In Janu-
ary, 1868, Martin, Tileston and Bovee put up quite a quantity of ice, fully
eight inches thick. With the cold weather of the spring and winter of
1867 aud 1868 the hopes of this town vanished, and during the spring all
of its business was moved away.

The second town of this name was located on parts of sections 20 and
31, In Elchland township, just south of Labette creek. In May, 1868, a
number of parties, among whom were G. A. Cooper, R. G. Tileston, L.
D. Bovee, Allen Barnes, Gilbert Martin, and Isaac Butterworth, formed
themselves into a company for the purpose of laying out this town, and
on June 1 8 their charter was filed in the office of the Secretary of State.
Mr. Tileston put up quite a large two-story building, and removed his
stock of groceries from the former old town of Labette, lying to the north-
east of this, and added thereto so that he had quite a respectable store.
Moses Powers had a blacksmith shop, and quite a number of parties built
small dwelling-houses; so that during the summer of 1868 thei'e were
probably twelve to twenty buildings of all descriptions on the town-site.
The town was also known by the name of Soreseo as well as by the name
of Labette. Its proprietors supposed that they were in the line where
the M. K. & T. Rly. would necessarily be located. With the close of



1868 the prospects of an important town being built up at this point dis-
appeared. Mr. Tileston became interested in Chetopa, to which point he
moved his stock of groceries, leaving his store building, however, as a
watch-tower in the desert to mark the spot which had been the scene of
so many bright anticipations.

The town of Labette having been started in the southeastern part of
Liberty township, it was thought by some that a more desirable location
for a town would be farther up Labette creek, and in May, 1870, J. F.
Newlou, E. K. Currant, Peterson Cherry, W. H. Porter, and a number of
others, became incorporated, the charter being filed June 30, 1870, and a
town-site was selected upon the west bank of the Labette, below the
mouth of Bachelor creek, on sections 9 and 16, township 32, range 20.
But few houses were ever erected on the town-site. William H. and
John 1. Sipple put up a fair store building and opened up a store. E. K.
Currant put up a building and opened a branch of his main store, which
was at Montana. There were two or three other business houses. In
November following the town was moved to Parsons.


This town was located in four counties, but principally in Neosho
county. It embraced, however, a part of section 3, township 31, range
31, in Labette county. On December 33, 1867, a paper purporting to be
a charter for the incorporation of the town was filed in the olBce of the
Secretary of State, but there was no pretense of complying with the law.
On January 23, 1868, a new charter was filed. Among the incorporators
were "William Logan, G. D. Dement, David Evans, and Samuel Correll.
After the first two or three years there was little left to indicate what
this town once was.


On January 30, 1869, the charter for the town of Cherryville, incor-
porating James H. Beggs, James McMains, John Oliphant, and others,
was filed in the office of the Secretary of State. The town was to be lo-
cated on the south half of section"13, township 32, range 17. The pro-
prietors seem to have soon become satisfied that they were not going to
be able to build up a town at this point, and concluded to abandon it.

A town with this name was proposed to be located on section 13, town-
ship 32, range 17, in Osage township. R. I). Hartsorn, John W. Claspill,
W. 0. Hartsorn, Lionel A. Whitney and Samuel C. Hockett were charter


members of the town company. Tlie charter was filed with the Secretarj'
of State Jime 16, 1869.


The above uame was chosen for a town that was to have been located
on the northeast quarter of section 30, in Osage township, if the line of
the L. L. &, G. K. K. had run through that quarter as it was expected to.
Mr. Kingsbury, one of the surveying party, assured the owners of claims
in that vicinity that the road would surely be located on that line. Per-
haps it would have been had not the general course of the road been
chauged so as to pass through Montgomery instead of Labette county.
On the strength of these assurances a town company was organized, of
which W. H. Carpenter was president and L. F. Dick secretary. When
the line of the railroad was located west of them the project of building
this town was abandoned.


A company consistiug of Alexander W. King, Mahlon A. King, J. H.
Beatty and others, was incorporated April 13, ] 869, for the purpose of
laying off the town of Timber Hill. It was located on the south half of
the northeast quarter and the north half of the southeast quarter of sec-
tion 34, township 31, range 18. About the middle of September, 1869,
George W. Blake and William Blake opened a store at this place ; they
continued to sell goods till the spring of 1871, when they closed and
moved on their farms.


Joseph McCormick, David Stanfleld, John A. Helpingstine, Thomas
Harrison and Jesse Bishop, became incorporated February 22, 1870, for
the purpose of laying off the town of Big Hill, on parts of sections 23 and
24, township 33, range 17.


Was intended to cover 330 acres in section 35, township 32, and section
3, township 33, both in range 30. Gilbert Martin, John N. Watson, David
C. Lowe, Julius S. Waters, Chas. A. Kelso, Benjamin A. Rice, and others,
became incorporated for the purpose of laying off the town. The charter
for the same was filed in the office of the Secretary of State December
24, 1867. By the most liberal construction of its language it can hardly
be said to contain any of the statutory requirements for a charter, but it
is probable that this Is not the reason why the town never succeeded in
acquiring any more growth than one store and a blacksmith shop.



On September 8, 1860, there was filed in the office of the Secretary of
State a charter incorporating John Elstou, John T. Weaver and others
into the Elston Town Company, for the purpose of laying off a town on
section 6, township 33, range 30. During that summer this town had
ijiiite a growth. The parties composing this company were men of some
means, who came from Johnson county and wanted to build a town
nearer the center of the county than any other town had then been
located, with the avowed purpose of making it the county seat. They
erected quite a large hotel and a number of store buildings, and for a
time had considerable trade, and the town seemed to be on the road to
prosperity, but its growth was of short duration, and in a few years not
a single building remained to mark the site of this once ambitious place.


Kingston was located on sections 31 and 33, in township 34, and sec-
tions 5 and 6, in township 3.5, range 19. It was started in the summer
of 1877 by the erection of a flour mill by Eastwood &, Reamer. Soon
after, Mr. Jones started a blacksmith shop ; Thomas Bruner put in a drug
store ; Aaron Humes a broom factory ; Anderson & Weaver a. general
merchandise store ; C. W. Campbell was postmaster, as well as physician ;
S. E. Ball was the only lawyer. In 1879 the engine was sold out of the
mill, and thereafter was not put in again. The place continued more or
less prosperous until the construction of the railroad through the southern
portion of the county, in 1886, when it was abandoned and united with


Named from the abundance of deer that were found in that vicinity by
the early settlers. It was located by the Willie brothers on the north
half of section 20, township 34, range 18, on the line between Howard
and Canada townships. The first store in Deerton was opened in 1880,
by Aaron Humes, who was soon after appointed postmaster. Charles
M. Keeler next followed with another store of general merchandise.
Blacksmith shops, a wood-worker and a broom factory were among the
industries of this town. On the completion of the railroad through
Howard township, in the fall of 1886, the town was all moved to Valeda.



C. H. Kimball, Lee Clark and others filed a charter in the office of the
Secretary of State on November 29. 1886, authorizing them to lay off a
town-site and dispose of lots on the northeast quarter of section 8, town-
ship 34, range 18. The plat was filed February 12, 1887, acknowledged
by Lee Clark, president of the town company. There has never been
much growth — only two or three business houses of any kind, and the


Is a station on the P. & P. Rly., located on the northeast quarter of sec-
tion 37, township 33, range 18. This location was formerly called Bar-

Is located on the line of the Parsons & Pacific Rly., on sections 16 and
17, in Labette township. It was surveyed in August, 1887. The first
store was started in the spring of 1888, by Samuel Jameson. Mrs. Ella
B. Wilson is proprietor of the town, and has devoted much energy to its
development and upbuilding. It has received its principal amount of ad-
vertising by the distribution of the Wilsonton Journal, which is published


Is a station on the Parsons & Pacific Railroad south of Parsons.

Was laid out by Emanuel Mortimer, on the north half of the northeast
quarter of section 25, township 31, range 17. The plat was filed Janu-
ary 7, 1883.


The first house in Dennis was the railroad depot, erected in the fall of
1880. In the spring of 18S1 William Current put up a store building, in
which he placed a stock of groceries; this was the first store in town.
John Webb and John Milligan put in another store in the spring of 1883,
their stock consisting of general merchandise. A second stock of gen-
eral merchandise was put in by W. H. Thorne, iu the fall of 1883. Mr.
Thorne also put in a coi'n elevator and shipped grain, and put up the first
substantial residence house in town. Subsequently John Mason put in a
harness shop, L. Pedan a lumber yard, Wm. Cllue a drug store, J. L.
Wilson it hardware store, and Nelson Dunn a livery stable. The first


hotel was put up by Mr. Acre, in the summer of 1885. It was not till
December 21, 1883, that the plat of the town was filed in the ofiSce of the
Register of Deeds, locating the town on sections 14 and 15, on the line
of the Gulf Railroad, in Osage township. Lee Wilson was born to L. J.
Wilson and wife December 24, 1884 — the first child born in town.

Is a station on the Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, located on the southeast
quarter of section 20, in Neosho township. It was started just after the
building of the railroad, and has one store.

The plat of this town located it on section 15, township 31, range 21,
and was filed in the office of the Register of Deeds April 30, 1879. The
first house in Matthewson was built in the spring of 1879, by William
Downs ; in this he had his residence, the store, and postofBce. The next
store building was put up by G. W. Watson and C. Hamilton, who put
in a fair stocli of goods and did a good business until McCune was started,
when they moved to that town, leaving but one store-house in Matthew-


Is a station on the Frisco, located on section 15, in Fairview township.
The only business that has been conducted here has been one store,

Online LibraryNelson CaseHistory of Labette County, Kansas, from the first settlement to the close of 1892 → online text (page 13 of 40)