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    Establishment of Towns

ZIONVILLE__located on S16-T36-R37, was established in 1885. M.M. Wilson was one of the early settlers and erected a store building which became the center of activity of the town. Sunday school and church services were held in the Wilson home. The present day site is marked by a cemetery on the Virgil Mawhirter farm about 10 miles south of Ulysses. Some of the business men from 1885 to 1887 were as follows: M. M. Wilson, general merchandise; Taggart Bros., well boring; J. E. Elwood, livery, feed and sale stables; Brollier and Doze, real estate and loans; J. E. Elwood, proprietor Elwood hotel; M. M. Wilson, real estate and locator; M. Offill, contractor and builder; Mullen and Ledgerwood, flour, feed and grain; S. S. Taggart, money to loan; Wm. H. Storms, restaurant; L. A. Stanwood, attorney at law; W. C. Calhoun, agent for nursery stock; W. B. Riney, stone mason and plasterer; Calhoun and Skadden, real estate and loan agents; Neely hotel.
SPURGEON__located on S28-T27-R35, had a population of fifteen. The town lasted but four years. Early day citizens who lived in Spurgeon were W. W. Pearce, S. S. Stanley, W. F. Collins, Vigil McCracken, Charles LaFleur, G. C. Underwood, L. C. Reynolds and H. H. McNutt.
GOLDEN__located on S34-T29-R38, was established in 1886 with a population of fifty. The Golden cemetery now marks the spot. Business men of Golden were, Harmon and Son, manager The Golden Land and Loan Co.; B. E. Morris, real estate; T. S. Hurd and Co., Loan Agents; Clarence Vorhees, The Golden Lumber yard; J. Lash and Co., General merchandise; Frank Byers, blacksmith; Clarence Vorhees, contractor and builder; J. A. Harmon, Western Supply store, merchandise.
SHOCKEY__located on S29-T27-R38, was established 1886 and grew to a town of fifty inhabitants. Business men of Shockey were Spivey and Holmes Bros., lumber, hardware, agriculture implements; Shockey, Struthers and Co., real estate and locators; A. L. Houston, watchmaker and jeweler; John Chamberlain, proprietor, Chamberlain House; L. Shockey, general merchandise; J. G. Klein, general merchandise; S. F. Klein, dealer in pumps and windmills; W. W. Little, blacksmith. Other residents were Wm. Shockey, after whom the town was named, T. R. Hornaday, J. w. Plunkett, David Holmes, A. W. Snyder, F. W. Rider, George Rider, Karl Gall, T. W. Swinney, Peter Kiistner, Peter Molz, L. Binney and Wm. Easton Hutchison.
GOGNAC__located on Sec. 36, TWp. 28s, Range 39w, was established in 1886 in Stanton County. Later the post office was moved to Grant County. The town consisted of one building and a store and post office combined. Citizens who lived in the vicinity were Brownlee, B. H. Berry, W. J. Cross and C. C. Pell.
SURPRISE__located on See. 16, Twp. 28s, Range 37w, was established in 1885. John Arthur, E. R. Watkins, Frederick Ausmus. Henry H. Cochran, and George W. Cook were some of the early day settlers.
LAWSON__located on Sec. 27, Twp. 29s, Range 35w, was established in 1886. The population of the town was twenty-five. Settlers living around Lawson were Dr. E. H. Burks, J. E. Hickok, W. D. Pierson, C. H. Stain and E. O. Smart. Some of the business firms were, Ingersol and Kittle, general merchandise; E. L. Burks, manager of Lawson Lumber Yard; J. V. Cover and Co., Real Estate and Loans.
WATERFORD__located in Southeast Grant County on Sec. 33, Twp. 30s, Range 35w, was established in 1886. It was an Irish settlement on the border of the Grant and Stevens Counties line near the cimarron river. Early day citizens of Waterford were Timothy Nihill, Larry O'Keefe, Mike Keegan, John Butler, Mathew O'Dea, Johnnie O'Dea, Wm. McCall, James Lahey, Johnny Lahey St., Thomas Lahey, and Johnny Lahey Jr.
SURPRISE-TILDEN__located on S16-T28-R37, Surprise was established in 1885. John Arthur, E. R. Watkins, Frederick Ausmus, Henry H. Cochran, and George W. Cook were some of the early day settlers. The name of the post office was changed to Tilden in 1887.
CINCINNATI-APPOMATTOX__Located on S28-T28-R37, Cincinnati was established in 1887. The name was later changed to Appomattox. It had a population of about one thousand and was the chief contender for the county seat. Business men of that town were: Merchants, James a. Neff, J. S. Davis, Alexander Smith, B.P. Mitchell, J. A. Gillespie and Co., Tom Elliot-t, James Elliott, E.S. Snow, Robert and Dougherty, Roswell, L.S. Jones, Baker and Co., Luce Bros., A.H. Huston, B.D. Williams, Fred Besser, John Benning, J.L. Buskirk, Brrett and Worley, F.M. McNeely, S.D. Huffman, Tracy Boirs., Potter and Davis, Lee and Horn, Reed and Ballard, J.W. Jamison, v.s. Creveling.

        The builders were W.A. Pender, Perry ;and Co., J.T. Cursman, W.F. Stover and Son. There was one bank, The Peoples Bank. The physicians were Drs. S.C. Bell, J.A. Hooe, O. Stiles,.

        There was one hotel, The Grand Hotel, owned and managed by Jacob Elliott. The land agents were Charles Melloan, Richardosn, Benett and Co., Craig and Miller, J.C. Colin.

        The names of the saloon keepers were not available. Kansas, supposedly a dry state, openly sold liquor in some of the frontier towns.

        Part of the Ulysses high school ground is on the old site of Cincinnati, later Appomattox. To clear up the confusion over why one town should have four names, Surprise, Tilden, Cincinatti, and Appomattox, Mr. Wilson gave this explanation:
        The town of Surprise was started about the same time as Ulysses. It was intended that these two towns should oppose each other for the county seat. A number of men living close to Surprise were interested in making Surprise the county seat and were opposed to Ulysses. They were, however, unable to make a satisfactory arrangement with the Surprise Town Company for an interest in Surprise, so they decided to locate a People's town under the Federal land laws, and entered a tract of land two miles south of Surprise as a town site, which they called Cincinnati, early in 1887.

        As the county was named Grant and the town of Ulysses being named for General and President Grant, it seemed that the new town of Cincinnati wished to be equally patriotic, so after Surprise and Cincinnati had consolidated, they changed the post office of Surprise to Tilden. Samuel J. Tilden was a candidate for president of the United States on the Democratic ticket in 1876 against Rutherford B. Hayes.
        In 1887, Grover Cleveland was the President. The new town wished to be even more patriotic than before, so Colonel T. T. Taylor, who lived in Hutchinson, Kansas, and was president of the Surprise Town Company, and had served in the Civil War under General Sheridan, wrote to him and asked him for an appropriate name for a town to be made county seat of Grant County. General Sheridan wrote and suggested the name of Appomattox, as that was where General Lee had surrendered to General Grant in the Civil War. The name of the consolidated towns became Appomattox. The County seat election was between Appomattox and Old Ulysses.

Adapted from
Grant County
A Look At Our History

Published by the Grant County Chamber of Commerce
Used by permission

Grant County Chamber of Commerce
(620) 356-4700
206 E. Grant Avenue / Ulysses, KS 67880
June 11, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas /

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