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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Bourbon County


Map of Bourbon County - 1878

The first settlements in the several townships named, were as follows: Timber Hill, 1855; Franklin, 1856, by John Van Syckle, Samuel Stephenson and Charles Anderson; Marion, 1855, Cowan, Mitchell and others; Marmaton, 1854, Nathan L. Arnott; Pawnee, 1854, Gideon Terrell, Philander and William Moore, and others; Walnut, 1855, Guy Hinton; City of Fort Scott, April, 1842, by the government as a military post. - First church buildings: Freedom township, 1873, Catholic, Osage, now Fulton; Franklin township, 1876, Methodist, Xenia; Marmaton, 1877, Baptist; in 1863 the Methodists purchased a building, used by them for church purposes; Pawnee township, 1859, United Brethren; also Methodist church, used also for school purposes; Mill Creek township, 1877, Methodist; City of Fort Scott, facts not reported. - First business establishments: Freedom township, Joseph Ray, Raysville, country store; Timber Hill township, Mr. Pipken, Dayton, country store; Franklin township, John Van Syckle, Xenia, general merchandise; Marion township, Wm. Holt, general store; Marmaton township, 1858, Horatio Knowles, general store at Marmaton; Pawnee township, 1867, E. B. Rall; Walnut, 1870, S. F. Atwood, grocery store. - First marriages: Mill Creek township, Wm. R. Morgan and Elizabeth Bollinger, June 15th, 1856; Marion township, James Guttey and Miss Fly, 1856; Marmaton township, C. F. Rucker and Ellen M. Chambers, October 16th, 1856. - First births: Mill Creek township, Mary C. Gross, July 10th, 1855; Marion township, Mary J. Wells; Marmaton township, Henry C. Painter. - First post offices: Fort Scott, June, 1842, John A. Buggy, postmaster; Mill Creek township, first office, July 1st, 1860, E. W. Bollinger, postmaster; Marion township, Turkey Creek, no date; Marmaton township, first office, 1857, three-quarters of a mile south of Marmaton, Ed. Jones, postmaster, which position he still holds. - Col. H. F. Wilson, who is still a resident of Fort Scott, was the second postmaster at that place, and was the first white settler in the county, outside of the military; he came to the place in 1843. Col. Thomas Arnott started the first hotel in 1854, at Fort Scott. The government buildings were sold in May, 1855, and during the fall of that year several business houses were opened by citizens. - The town of Marmaton, Marmaton township, was sacked and burned by the rebels during the "Price raid," on the night of October 22d, 1864, and Maj., Horatio Knowles, Dr. L. M. Shadwick, Postmaster Daniel Brown, Mr. Hawkins, an old man, and a boy named McGonigal, were ruthlessly murdered. In April, 1858, Col. Montgomery, with a small band of his men, had a fight with U. S. troops, under Capt. Anderson, some two miles from Marmaton. The troops were worsted, and, after raising the white flag, were allowed to retire with one soldier killed, one seriously, and Capt. Anderson slightly wounded. Two of Montgomery's men were slightly wounded.

Bourbon county was organized in 1855.

Population in 1860, 6,101; in 1870, 15,076; Increase in ten years, 8,975; population In 1875, 16,829; increase in five years, 1,753; population in 1878, 17,741; increase in eighteen years, 11,640. Rural population, 9,740; city or town population, 8,001: per cent. of rural to city or town population, 54.90.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
Townships and
Pop.Townships and
Pop.Townships and
Drywood 1,343 Franklin 1,474 Freedom 1,017
Fort Scott, City 5,081 Marion 1,676 Mill Creek 789
Marmaton 1,101 Osage 1,093 Pawnee 665
Scott 2,036 Timber Hill 968 Walnut 498

Face of the Country.-Bottom lands, 17 per cent.; upland, 83 per cent.; forest, (Government survey) 10 per cent.; prairie, 90 per cent. Average width of bottoms, one mile; general surface of the country, undulating.

Timber.-Average width of timber belts, one-half mile. Principal varieties: hickory, walnut, oak, hackberry and pecan. But little attention has been paid to the cultivation of timber, the reported estimate being 150 acres. A greater disposition to cultivate is, however, now being manifested. Cottonwood, elm, walnut, willow, catalpa, poplar, hard and soft maple, ash, yellow poplar and hickory all do well.

Principal Streams.-Little Osage river flows along the northern boundary from west to east. Limestone creek, a tributary of the Little Osage, in the northwestern part of the county, flows northeast. Marmaton river runs through the centre of the county from west to east; tributaries on the north, Turkey Mill, Wolverine and Shiloh creeks; on the south, Yellow Paint, Pawnee, Rock and Moore's Branch creeks. Drywood, on the south line of the county, with Walnut creek flowing into it from the north. Numerous springs are found, and good well water is obtained at a depth of from 5 to 25 feet.

Coal.-It is reported that one-third of the county, or ten miles east and west by twenty-five miles north and south, contains coal from one foot to fifty feet below the surface, and in veins from one and one-half to three feet in thickness. Aggregate yield not stated by the assessors, but it is estimated that 2,000,000 bushels are annually taken out in this county. It is of two qualities; red or rusty bituminous or surface coal, and black or gas coal, also bituminous.

Building Stone, etc.-Lime and sandstone of good quality is found in all localities. Traces of lead have been discovered. Fire clay is plenty, also pottery clay in some localities. Hydraulic cement in great abundance in the vicinity of Fort Scott. Yellow ochre and other mineral paints abound in the same locality, which have been thoroughly tested and extensively manufactured.

Railroad Connections.-The Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad enters the county on the north, midway between the centre and northeastern corner, and runs south entirely through the county. Principal stations, Fort Scott, Godfrey and Pawnee. The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad crosses the centre of the eastern boundary of the county, and runs across the county in a southwesterly direction. Principal station, Fort Scott, where connection is made with the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad.

Agricultural Statistics.-Acres in the county, 407,680; taxable acres, 385,306; under cultivation, 146,157.26; cultivated to taxable acres, 37.93 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 5,219.64

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year.-Garden produce, $7,905.36, poultry and eggs, $7,395.20.

Old Corn on Hand.-Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 347,469 bushels, or an average of 98 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products.-Cheese manufactured in 1875, 4,100 lbs.; in 1878, 5,355 lbs.; increase, 1,255 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 256,943 lbs.; in 1878, 335,556 lbs.; increase, 78,613 lbs.

STATEMENT showing the Acreage of Field Crops named from 1872 to 1878, inclusive.


Winter Wheat 11,292.0011,290.0013,330.002,829.602,916.001,586.009,164.00
Rye 332.00331.00509.00134.00135.0031.00330.00
Spring Wheat 36.00136.0025.00-------- 8.0082.00
Corn 38,661.0042,092.0044,365.0065,662.0062,970.0072,339.0065,338.00
Barley 5.0048.0029.0015.00 ----22.0048.00
Oats 15,148.0013,574,0011,273.006,914.008,835.006,046.0011,192.00
Buckwheat 278.00129.0044.0083.00184.25112.00305.25
Irish Potatoes 912.001,494.001,111.00975.451,470.251,082.001,342.00
Sweet Potatoes 39.00109.0090.0063.6259.5032.0040.38
Sorghum 178.00215.00253.00610.00403.00551.00575.38
Castor Beans 18.00105.00195.502,104.001,397.003,850.001,514.00
Cotton .603.0069.006.00.8728.0025.63
Flax 2.0047.0071.002,103.002,170.001,302.001,530.50
Hemp --------.
Tobacco 1.20116.0012.006.9139.2520.0017.12
Broom Corn ----------22.00194.00216.0074.00142.75
Millet and Hungarian 288.00292.00353.001,640.001,933.501,832.001,838.00
Timothy Meadow 576.00924.00932.00875.00262.50361.00627.25
Clover Meadow 124.00256.00229.00160.25204.00122.00909.00
Prairie Meadow 18,701.0018,700.0017,461.0037,895.0026,346.0034,051.0031,134.00
Timothy Pasture 67.0066.00110.0034.007,345.0082.0031.50
Clover Pasture 51.0950.0058.0012.002.0015.5016.00
Blue-Grass Pasture 121.00120.0075.0012.0026.5036.0082.00
Prairie Pasture 12,605.0012,605.008,897.0025,360.0023,215.0017,354.0019,867.00

Total 99,435.80102,602.0099,513.75147,689.08140,131.74140,937.62146,157.26
Increase in six years, 46+ per cent. Average increase per annum, 7.66 per cent. RANK of Bourbon County in the Crops named below, as to Acreage, and in Cultivated Acreage, for the years mentioned in the foregoing table.

Wheat ------------------ 6 9 19 53 56 61 51
Corn ------------------- 9 6 8 7 5 6 7
Total Acreage in all Crops 10 9 8 3 8 7 13
STATEMENT showingthe Acres, Product and Value of Principal Crops for 1878, together with the Increase and Decrease as compared with 1877.
FROM 1877.
IN 1878
FROM 1877.
IN 1878.
FROM 1877.

Winter Wheat - bu. 9,164.00 7,578.00 in. 109,968.00 86,178.00 in. $ 80,276.64 $56,486.64 in.
Rye - bu. 330.00 299.00 in. 3,300.00 2,711.00 in. 990.00 783.85 in.
Spring Wheat - bu. 82.00 74.00 in. 738.00 658.00 in. 442.80 370.80 in.
Corn - bu. 65,338.00 7,001 00 de. 2,090,816.00 658,066.00 de. 418,163.20 131,613.20 de.
Barley - bu. 48.00 26.00 in. 720.00 82.00 in. 252.00 60.60 in.
Oats - bu. 11,192.00 5,146.00 in. 391,720.00 149,880.00 in. 62,675.20 23,980.80 In.
Buckwheat - bu. 305.25 193.25 in 5,494.50 3,814.50 in. 4,395.60 3,051.60 In.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 1,342.00 260.00 in. 93,940.00 12,790.00 in. 46,970.00 6,395.00 in.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 40.38 8.38 in. 6,057.00 2,537.00 in. 7,571.25 4,051.25 in.
Sorghum - gall. 575.38 24.38 in. 66,168 70 2,803.70 in. 33,084.35 1,401.85 in.
Castor Beans - bu. 1,514.00 2,336,00 de. 13,626 00 28,724.00 de. 17,032.50 25,317.50 de.
Cotton - lbs. 25.63 2.37 de. 4,357,10 402.90 de. 392.14 83.86 de.
Flax - bu. 1,530.50 228.50 in. 15,305.00 983.00 in. 15,305.00 266.90 in.
Hemp - lbs. 5.50 4.38 in. 5,060.00 4,029.60 In. 303.60 241.78 In.
Tobacco - lbs. 17.12 2.88 de. 12,668.80 2,131.20 de. 1,266.88 213.12 de.
Broom Corn - lbs. 142.75 68.75 in. 114,200.00 55,000.00 in. 4,282.50 2,062.50 in.
Millet and Hunagarian - tons 1,838.00 6.00 in. 5,514.00 934.00 in. 27,570.00 4,670.00 in.
Timothy Meadow - tons 627.25 266.25 in. 1,191.77 505.87 in. 5,958.85 2,529.35 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 909.00 787 00 in. 1,545.90 1,337.90 in. 7,726.50 6,689.50 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons 31,134.00 2,917.00 de. 49,814.00 4,667.60 de. 199,256.00 18,670.40 de.
Timothy Pasture - acres 31.50 50.50 de. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres 16.00 .50 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 82.00 46 00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 19,867.00 2,513.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----

Total ---- 146,157.26 5.219.64 in. ----- ----- 933,915.01 $62,855.66 de.

Form Animals.-Number of horses, in 1877, 6,031; in 1878, 6,162; increase, 131. Mules and asses, in 1877, 930; in 1878, 1,039; increase, 109. Milch cows, in 1877, 7,041; in 1878, 7,465; increase, 424. Other cattle, in 1877, 14,438; in 1878, 15,050; increase, 612. Sheep, in 1877, 4,453: in 1878, 4,767; increase, 314. Swine, in 1877, 17,698; in 1878, 29,701; increase, 12,003.

Sheep Killed by Dogs.-Number of sheep killed by dogs, 177; value of sheep killed by dogs, $531.

Wool.-Clip of 1877, 12,643 lbs.

Value of Animals Slaughtered.-Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $215,317.44.

Horticulture.-Number of acres nurseries, 99.50. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 83,048; pear, 1,881: peach, 135,828; plum, 2,100; cherry, 24,689. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 130,415; pear, 5,247; peach, 29,998; plum, 1,749; cherry, 15,985.

Herd Law.-The night herd law is in force in some eight townships of the county. No test vote has ever been taken, but a large majority of the people are believed to be opposed to a general herd law. The principal objection is that it interferes with stock-raising.

Fences.-Stone, 66,914 rods; cost, $117,098.62. Rail, 303,884 rods; cost, $410,243.40. Board, 20,951 rods; cost, $29,330. Wire, 9,728 rods; cost, $6,809.60. Hedge, 380,570 rods; cost, $171,256.50. Total rods of fence, 782,046; total cost, $734,738.12.

Apiaculture.-Number of stands of bees, 1,305. Pounds of honey, 10,160; wax, 163.

Value of Agricultural Implements.-Amount invested in agricultural implements, $65,928.

Manufactures.-Franklin township: furniture factory, capital, $1,000. Freedom township: steam and grist mill, capital, $1,000; steam elevators, 2; capital invested, $7,000; steam flouring mill, capital, $2,000. Marion township: steam grist mills, 2; capital invested, $5,500. City of Fort Scott: steam flouring mills, 3; capital invested, $90,000; steam brewery, capital, $15,000; steam woolen mill, capital, $5,000; steam foundry, capital, $25,000; steam cement works, capital, $10,000; horse-power drain, tile and pipe works, capital, $6,000; castor oil works, capital, $5,000.

Valuation and Indebtedness.-Assessed valuation of personal property, $598,038; railroad property, $509,804.18; total assessed valuation of all property, $3,569,151.38; true valuation of all property, $5,948,585.63. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $373,723.48; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, 10+.

NEWSPAPER HISTORY.-The first paper published In this county was established at Fort Scott about August, 1855; proprietor unknown. It was a Democratic sheet, called the Southern Kansan.

During the winter of 1857-8, J. E. Jones began the publication of the Fort Scott Democrat, and on July 14,1859, was succeded in the publication by E. K. Smith.

In the spring of 1862, E. K. Smith established the Western Volunteer, which, after a few months, was enlarged and the name changed to the Fort Scott Bulletin. The Bulletin was soon after sold to Charles Hayward, and in 1863 was consolidated with the Monitor.

July 15, 1862, the Monitor, a weekly Republican paper, was established at Marmaton by D. B. Emmert. In August, 1863, it was removed to Fort Scott and consolidated with the Bulletin, under the name of the Union Monitor, Emmert & Hayward, publishers, D. B. Emmert, editor. Mr. Hayward withdrew in the fall of 1864.

The Daily Monitor was first issued May 16, 1864, and was continued for about eighteen months, when its publication was suspended. During a portion of that time J. P. Taylor was associated with Mr. Emmert in the paper. In the fall of 1865 the office was sold to Hayward Brothers (afterwards publishers of the Fort Scott Press), who discontinued the Monitor. In January, 1866, it was revived by W. H. Johnson, Mr. Emmert being the editor. In March of the same year Messrs. Cormany & Edwards purchased the establishment, Mr. Emmert continuing as editor until the fall of that year, when he was succeeded by W. C. Webb. The latter withdrawing, Mr. Emmert, A. Danford and W. J. Bowden had editorial charge at different periods until the spring of 1867, when S. A. Manlove became the editor. In the latter part of 1867, or in the spring of 1868, J. W. Harris was associated with Cormany & Edwards in the proprietorship of the paper. In October, 1868, Cormany sold his Interest to Col. Hawley, who, a few months subsequently, sold to Edwards & Harris. In 1869 Edwards & Harris sold the establishment to George A. Crawford, who erected the building now occupied by the paper, and added to it a job office and bookbindery. August 4, 1869, the Monitor was admitted to the Associated Press, and became entitled to receive telegraphic dispatches; and on the 10th of November following the daily edition was re-established. January 1st 1871, D. W. Wilder became the editor, and continued as such until chosen Auditor of State In the following year. In October, 1878, B. J. Waters and W. C. Douthett purchased the establishment from Mr. Crawford, and in July, 1874, they sold an undivided one-half interest to Flannery & Tice. Mr. Waters retired in 1875, and Mr. Douthett sold his Interest to John B. Campbell, who re-sold to Douthett within one year. In September, 1876, D. T. Elson and G. F. Darrow purchased the office, and conducted the paper during the Presidential canvass of that year. January 7, 1877, Capt. T. H. Anable, the present owner and editor, purchased the establishment. Besides those named above, George A. Crawford and J. R. Morley occupied the editorial chair of the Monitor at different periods. About November 1, 1878, Capt. Anable sold the Monitor to George H. Nettleton, who purchased It in the interests of the M. R., Ft. S. & Gulf R. R. Leslie Winter Is the editor, and W. C. Perry, business manager.

The Fort Scott Press, a Democratic paper, was started by the Hayward Brothers in 1866. They subsequently sold out, and the publication was continued by W. H. Warner and Leslie Winter until the completion of the railroad to Girard, when it was moved to that place and published by Warner & Wasser as the Girard Press.

The Fort Scott Evening Post was established as a tri-weekly by Edward Schiller, In 1869, and was soon thereafter issued as a daily, having secured the telegraph franchise. It was sold early in 1870 to William Coffrey.

The Fort Scott Telegram was established in the early part of 1870, by William Coffrey, with the material of the late Post, which he had purchased. It was discontinued In 1871, the proprietor removing to Nebraska,

The Fort Scott Democrat was started by the Goode Brothers in 1870. J. W. Allain and W. F. Sargent became the purchasers August 21, 1873, when the name was changed to the Pioneer. June 1, 1874, Allain sold his interest to Sargent, and In December of the same year the establishment was destroyed by fire. February 1, 1875, W. F. Sargent purchased a half Interest in the Border Sentinel from Nat. G. Barter, and the name of the paper was changed to the Pioneer and Sentinel. September 1, 1875, Warren K. Larkin purchased Barter's interest, when the name was again changed to the Pioneer, which it has since retained. It is now the property of David E. Caldwell and W. K. Larkin, and is published weekly. It represents the Greenback party.

The Little Foot Light was established in 1870, but was short-lived.

The Occasional was owned and edited, in 1870-71, by Edwards & Winters.

The Evening Echo was established by John Shorton, In 1872, and was a "Greeleyite" In politics.

The Bourbon County Democrat, John Faber, publisher, was started in October, 1877, and sold to, Caldwell In March, 1878.

The Emigrants' Guide was conducted by C Rollin Camp in 1875-6.

The Rays of the Cross, a Baptist publication, by Judson Slade, survived during 1875-6.

The New Country was started about January, 1877. It Is a temperance paper, and is under the management of Rev. J. Paulson.

The Colored Citizen, a Republican weekly, published by Eagleson Brothers (colored), was first. started October 1, 1877, and, after a temporary suspension, was again resumed In March, 1878. It was removed to Topeka in the summer of 1878, where it Is now published.

Schools.-Number of organized districts, 91; school population, 6,683; average salary of teachers, per month, male, $37.75, and female, $28.83. School houses built during 1878, frame, 1. Total number of school houses, 91; log, 1; frame, 81; brick, 2; stone 7. Value of all school property, $112,154. No report on shade trees.

Churches.-Baptist: organizations, 6; membership, 535; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $14,000. Congregational: organizations, 1; membership, 72; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $14,000. Episcopal: organizations, 1; membership, 63; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $9,200. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 24; membership, 900; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $10,000. Presbyterian: organizations, 4; membership, 225; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $6,000. Roman Catholic: organizations, 3; membership, 1,000; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $4,000.

Transcribed from First Biennial Report of the State Board of Agriculture to the Legislature of the State of Kansas, for the Years 1877-8 embracing statistical exhibits, with diagrams of the agricultural, industrial, mercantile, and other interests of the state, together with a colored outline map of the state, and sectional maps, in colors, of each organizaed county, showing their relative size and location, railroads, towns, post offices, school houses, water powers, etc., etc. Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Board of Agriculture. Rand, McNally & Co., Printers and Engravers, Chicago. 1878.

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