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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Brown County

1878


Map of Brown County - 1878

First settlements: Irving township, March 13,1855, by Sol. McCall and L. Ashby - the former yet living, an inmate of the Asylum for the Insane at Osawatomie; Padonia township, April 3, 1854, E. R. Carnelison, still a resident of the township; Hamlin township, May, 1854, William and James Metts; Walnut township, fall of 1854, Isaac Swain, near where Carson school house is now located; Robert Rhea also settled in the township during the same year; Hiawatha township, 1854, Jacob Englehart settled on what is now the farm of B. F. Partch, near the city of Hiawatha - he was probably the first settler in the township; Robinson township, May 11, 1854, Thurston Chase and James Gibbons took claims on Wolf river; Washington township, A. B. Anderson settled in 1855, and if not the first, was certainly one of the very first settlers in the township; Mission township, 1855, William Nash and Moses Proctor - the former died in December of that year; a large portion of the township was then included in the Kickapoo Reserve; Powhattan township, fall of 1854, Henry Gragg. From the best information obtainable, Thurston Chase, who settled in what is now a portion of Robinson township, May 11, 1854, was the first settler within the limits of Brown county. - The first house on the site of Hiawatha, the county seat, was erected during the summer of 1857, and occupied the site of the present banking house of Morrill & James. It was used as a hotel by S. Barnum, and the first district court of the county was held in it in 1858. - First church edifices: city of Hiawatha, first organization, 1858, Methodist - in 1866, erected a fine stone building; town of Robinson, township of the same name, Methodist, completed in 1876; Powhattan township, Catholic, two miles from Capioma, Nemaha county, about 1870; Washington township, Catholic, near Marak P. O., 1869; Hamlin township, at Hamlin, Congregational, 1873; Walnut township, Congregational, about to be erected near Fairview P. O. - First school houses: in Irving township, district No. 8, date not given; Padonia township, by the Padonia Town Company, a private corporation, in 1858 - now included in district No. 13, of the public schools; the first public school organized in the county was in Walnut township, district No. 1, March 11, 1859 - the school house was built in 1860, and is still in use; the first school in Hiawatha was in the spring of 1858, by J. A. Stanley, who was afterwards appointed the first County Superintendent. Mission township, first school house built in 1858. - The first business establishment in the county was a small country store, opened by M. L. Sawin, near where the Carson school house, in district No. 1, now stands, in 1857. - First marriages in the county: Hiram. Wheeler and Eliza E. Root, July 30, 1857; Josiah Roberts and Sarah McCready, September 7, 1857; John Schilling and Susan Meisenheimer, November 12, 1857. - First births: Joanna Duncan, September 10, 1855; John Bunn, September 20, 1855; Isaac Short, August, 1855. - First post offices: Claytonville, Mission township, August 8, 1857, George E. Clayton, postmaster; Mount Roy, Irving township, September 2, 1857, Shelton Duff, postmaster; Padonia, Padonia township, October 20, 1857, Orville Root, postmaster; Hamlin, Hamlin township, December, 5, 1857, E. H. Wiles, postmaster; Carson, Walnut township, December 9, 1857, M. L. Sawin, postmaster; Robinson, Robinson township, June 30, 1858, Samuel W. Wade, postmaster; Hiawatha, July 13, 1858, H. R. Dutton, postmaster; Marak, Washington township, August 3, 1870, Franz Marak, postmaster.

The county was organized in 1855.

Population in 1860, 2,607; in 1870, 6,823: increase in ten years, 4,756; population in 1875, 8,928: increase in five years, 2,105; population in 1878, 10,446: increase in eighteen years, 7,839. Rural population, 8,555; city or town population, 1,891: per cent. of rural to city or town population, 81.90.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.

TOWNSHIPS AND
CITIES.
POP. TOWNSHIPS AND
CITIES.
POP. TOWNSHIPS AND
CITIES.
POP.
Hamlin 1,069 Hiawatha 1,265 Hiawatha City 1,000
Irving
743
Mission 1,475 Padonia 1,007
Powhattan 1,044 Robinson 1,028 Washington
877
Walnut
938
       

 

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 2 per cent.; upland, 98 per cent.; forest, (Government survey) 8 per cent.; prairie, 92 per cent. Average width of bottoms, one mile; general surface of the country gently undulating; some portions level, but very little bluffy.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, one-quarter mile. Varieties: walnut, oak, hickory, cottonwood, elm, linn, box elder, soft maple, sycamore, willow, mulberry, cherry, hackberry, buckeye, honey locust, crab apple, plum. Acres of cultivated or artificial timber reported: cottonwood, 173; soft maple, 43; black walnut, 9; other varieties, 16.

Principal Streams. - Walnut creek runs northeast; then north and northwest, and empties into the Nemaha river. Delaware runs a southeastern course, and empties into the Kansas river. Wolf river, a southeasterly course, and empties into the Missouri river. Roys' creek, a northeast course, and empties into the Nemaha river. Gregg's creek, in the southwest corner of the county, runs south and cast into the Delaware. Little Delaware river, a tributary of the Delaware, runs southeast, leaving the county about the center of the south boundary. Spring creek, runs southeast, and empties into Walnut creek. Mulberry creek runs in a southeasterly course, and empties into Walnut creek. Pony creek runs east and northeast through the northwest corner of the county. The county is very well supplied with springs; good well water obtained at a depth of from 25 to 40 feet.

Coal. - Coal has been. discovered to a small extent in Irving, Padonia, Hamlin, Robinson and Washington townships, but what portion of the area it underlies is not known. Thickness, from 16 to 22 inches; found near the surface; quality, soft and not very good; used locally for fuel to a considerable extent. About 50,000 bushels reported to have been mined during the year.

Building Stone, etc. - Abundance of sand and limestone along the banks, north and south, of Pony creek, in Hamlin township, found in inexhaustible quantities near the banks of Walnut, Spring and Mulberry creeks, also Delaware creek, in Walnut township; good quantities near banks of Bunn's creek; good sand and limestone on south fork of Wolf river, also in other portions of Robinson township; limestone found in different portions of Mission township; both sand and limestone are found near all the banks of the streams in Powhattan township.

Railroad Connections. - The St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad enters the county on the east: traverses the entire extent of the county in a general westerly direction. Principal station, Hiawatha.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 368,640; taxable acres, 328,822; under cultivation, 176,639.72; cultivated to taxable acres, 51.89 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 18,324.64.

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

CROPS.
1872.
1873.
1874.
1875.
1876.
1877.
1878,
Winter Wheat
12.056.00
12,35.5.00
17,547.00
9,540,50
13,573. 00
2,536.00
11,261.00
Rye
909 00
909.00
855.00
1,892.75
5,425.00
1,961 . 00
5,059.00
Spring Wheat
3,382 00
11.552.00
13,978. 00
3,711 50
8.651.00
5,437.00
14,519 OD
Corn
47,773,00
40.504.00
46,664.00
63,610.00
62,798.00
88,706.00
71,398.00
Barley
4.418-00
5.886 00
5,789 00
3,517.25
13.889.00
8,565.00
5,166.00
Oats
14,010.00
9,677 00
8,233.00
9,177. 15
10,387.00
9,113.00
10,698.00
Buckwheat
245 00
163.00
15,00
1,741,60
74 75
146. 00
81.75
Irish Potatoes
541.00
649.00
587.00
541.17
725.25
683.00
736.00
Sweet Potatoes
4 00
5 00
9 00
8.84
7 87
3.00
5.86
Sorghum
86 00
61.00
77.00
246.10
205.62
309 00
254.37
Castor Beans
5.00
4.00
4,00
96.00
1.00
169.00
Cotton
1.00
Flax
875 00
1,931.00
1,305.00
1,545.00
138.00
159.25
Hemp
74 00
10.00
3.50
6.00
26.00
43.00
20.00
Tobacco
3.00
2.00
9 00
2.88
6.08
7.12
Broom Corn
301 00
1,308.25
443.75
265.00
111.37
Millet and Hungarian
206.00
176.00
566.00
1,309.41
972.00
1,088 00
511. OD
Timothy Meadow
335.00
334 00
1,013.00
605.25
507.00
1,269.00
1,678. 00
Clover Meadow
126.00
126 00
191.00
35,00
19 00
41.00
1 142.00
Prairie Meadow
11,050.00
11,050.00
17,817.00
26,063 50
21,940.00
17.371.00
28,172.00
Timothy Pasture
28.00
28.00
65.00
157.00
67.00
94.00
430.50
Clover Pasture
41.00
41.00
28.00
6.00
8.00
31 00
55.00
Blue-Grass Pasture
82.00
74.00
103.00
138 00
10.00
70.00
327 50
Prairie Pasture
6.087 00
9,454.00
7,564 00
12,012 00
14748 00
14271 00
19847 00
 
Total
101,491.00
103,935.00
123,350.50
137,028.87
1,560,035.12
152,315.08
170,639.72

 

Increase in six years, 68+- per cent. Average increase per annum, 11.33+ per cent.

RANK of Brown County in the Crops named below, as to Acreage, and in Cultivated Acreage for the years mentioned in the foregoing table.

CROPS.
1872.
1873.
1874.
1875.
1876.
1877.
1878.
 
Wheat
4
1
2
22
19
43
26
Corn
5
9
5
8
6
2
2
Total Acreage in all Crops
7
8
3
8
2
4
4

 

STATEMENT showing the Acres, Product and Value of Principal Crops for 1878, together with the Increase and Decrease as compared with 1877.

CROPS.
ACRES IN
1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.
PRODUCT
IN 1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877
VALUE OF
PRODUCT
IN 1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.







Winter Wheat - bu.
11,261.00
8,725.00 in.
236,481.00
206,049. 00 in.
$153,712.65
$121,759.05 in
Rye - bu.
5,059.00
3,098.00 in.
80,944.00
51,529.00 in.
24,283.20
13,987.95 in
Spring Wheat - bu.
14,519.00
9,082.00 in.
1,30,671.00
54,553.00 in.
67,948.92
557.28 de
Corn - bu.
71,398.00
17,308.00 de.
2,713,124.00
83.5,116.00 de
542.624.80
237,988. 00 de
Barley - bu.
5,166.00
3,339.00 de.
123,984.00
47.316.00 de.
44,634.24
15 320.76 de
Oats - bu.
10,698.00
1,585.00 in.
353,034.00
11,486.00 de.
52,955.10
1,722.90de
Buckwheat - bu.
81.75
64.25 de.
1,635.00
1,285. 00 de.
1,308.00
1,028. 00 de
Irish Potatoes - bu.
736.00
53.00 in.
69,920.00
15.280.00 in.
24,472.00
11,044.00de
Sweet Potatoes - bu.
5.86
2.86 in.
732.50
432.50 in.
915.63
615.63 in
Sorghum - gall.
254.37
54.63 de.
29,252.55
6,282.45 de.
14,626.28
3,141.22 de
Castor Beans - bu.
169.00 de
1,690.00 de
1,690.00de
Cotton - lbs
Flax - bu.
159.25
21.25 in.
1911.00
807.00 in.
1,911.00
751. in
Hemp - lbs.
20.00
23,00 de
18,400,00
21,160.00 de.
1,104.00
1,219.60 de
Tobacco - lbs.
7.12
1.04 in.
5 .268 80
769.60 in.
526.88
76.96 in
Broom Corn - lbs.
111.37
153.63 de.
89,096.00
122,904.00 de.
3,341.10
4,608.90 de
Millet and Hungarian tons
511,00
577.00 de.
1,533.00
1,187.00 de.
6,132.00
4,748. 00 do
Timothy Meadow - tons
1.678.00
409.00 in.
3,188.20
777.10 in.
15,941.00
3,885.50 in
Clover Meadow - tons
142.00
101.00 in.
355.00
252.50 in.
1,775.00
1,262.50 in
Prairie Meadow - tons
28,172.00
10,801.00 in.
42,258.00
16,201.50 in.
126,774.00
48 604.50 in
Timothy Pasture - acres
430.50
336.50 in
Clover Pasture - acres
55.00
24.00 in
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres
327,50
257.50 in
Prairie Pasture - acres
19,847.00
5,576.00 in







Total
170,639.72
18,324.64 in
1,084.985.80
$ 92,174.77 de

 

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $3,594.70; poultry and eggs, $9,552.06.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 865,654 bushels, or an average of 414 bushels to the family.

Dairy Products. - Number of cheese factories, 1; manufactured in 1875, 2,051 lbs.; in 1878, 11,421 lbs.; increase, 9,370 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 210,223 lbs.; in 1878, 304,315 lbs.; increase, 94,092 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 6,037; in 1878, 6,354; increase, 317. Mules and asses, in 1877, 819; in 1878, 967; increase, 148. Milch cows, in 1877, 6,040; in 1878, 6,896; increase, 856. Other cattle, in 1877, 11,792; in 1878, 13,764; increase, 1,972. Sheep, in 1877, 1,441; in 1878, 899; decrease, 542. Swine, in 1877, 24,972; in 1878,36,217; increase, 11,245.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 79; value of sheep killed by dogs, $237.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 510 lbs.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $316,853.08.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 11.25. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 34,799; pear, 871; peach, 158,352; plum, 1,854; cherry, 13,986. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 103,858; pear, 1,794; peach, 68,423; plum, 2,816; cherry, 10,462.

Herd Law. - The general herd law is not in force. The night herd law is in operation in three townships. Irving township reports the law as " gaining friends." Padonia, Hamlin, Mission and Powhattan townships report 11 against." Walnut, Hiawatha and Robinson express no opinion, and there is no report at all from Washington township. A large majority in the county are believed to be in opposition to a general herd law. It retards stock-raising, the building of fences, and hedgegrowing. The argument in its favor is that it would confine stock-raising to wealthy people, who could own a large number and afford to herd them, and thus prove oppressive to the poor man. Those farming on a small scale would be obliged to fence their pastures, or dispose of their stock, and thus deprive themselves of an important source of revenue.

Fences. - Stone, 593 rods; cost, $1,186. Rail, 73,195 rods; cost, $95,153.50. Board, 260,524 rods; cost, $364,733.60. Wire, 135,307 rods; cost, $96,067.97. Hedge, 301,901 rods; cost, $150,950.50. Total rods of fence, 771,520; total cost, $708,091.57.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 323. Pounds of honey, 4,782; wax, 104.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $96,595.

Manufactures - City of Hiawatha: steam flouring mill, capital $8,000; harness and saddlery manufactories, 2; capital invested, $2,000; carriage and wagon manufactories, 3; capital invested, $4,500; cabinet works, 2; capital invested, $2,500; horse-power turning mill, capital, $500; broom manufactory, capital, $500. Irving township: steam cheese manufactory. Mission township: horse-power sorghum mill, capital, $150. Padonia township: water-power flouring mill.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $673,710; railroad property, $140,525; total assessed valuation of all property, $3,136,052.65; true valuation of all property, $5,226,754.42. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $119,650.57; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, 04-.

Newspaper History. - All the newspapers published in Brown county have been published at the county seat, Hiawatha.

The first paper in the county was called the Brown County Union, and was established by Dr. P. G. Parker, in the spring of 1861. It had a hard struggle for existence, and in the following winter the office was destroyed by fire, and no effort was made to revive the paper.

The Union Sentinel, a Republican paper, was established on the 20th of August, 1864, by H. P. Stebbins, who continued the publication until August 16th, 1866, when he transferred the same to Ira J. Lacock and J. W. Oberholtzer. November 7th, 1867, they sold the establishment to David Downer, who continued the publication of the Sentinel until October let, 1870, when it was discontinued and consolidated with the Dispatch.

The Hiawatha Dispatch was started April 30th, 1870, by A. N. Ruley, and is still in existence. It Is Republican in politics. April 6th, 1878, Mr. Ruley sold the Dispatch to W. T. Stewart, late of the Wathena Reporter, by whom it is still published.

In June, 1874, Davis & Watson commenced the publication of the Brown County Advocate. July 23d, Mr. Watson retired, and S. L. Roberts became the editor of the paper, and was associated with Mr. Davis in its publication. About February 20th, 1875, Davis retired, and D. S. Burger became interested in the concern. In October, 1875, the name of the paper was changed to to the Kansas Herald, which it still bears. A. F. McCreary became a member of the firm, but retired in April, 1876, and the paper was published by Burger & Roberts. In August, 1877, Burger sold his interest to M. E. Foote, and the firm is now Roberts & Foote. The Herald is Republican in politics.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 69; school population, 3,969; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $40.67; females, $30.00. School houses built during 1878, frame, 3. Total number of school houses, 77; frame, 69; brick, 1; stone, 7. Value of all school property, $71,197. A few of the school grounds have been planted with shade trees, the varieties of trees being mostly soft maple, cotton. wood and box elder. One school ground (Irving township) is shaded with a natural growth of timber. The grounds in Hiawatha are planted with 200 poplar and 2,000 cottonwood trees, which are promising well.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 5; membership, 237; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $5,000. Congregational: organizations, 4; membership, 148; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $7,500. Christian, or Disciples: or. ganizations, 5; membership, 316; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,000. Episcopal: organizations, 1; membership, 20. German Baptist (Dunkard): organizations, 1; membership, 130. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 7; membership, 255; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $8,000. Presbyterian organizations, I; membership, 55; church. edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,500. Reformed: organizations, 3; membership, 100; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,00O. Roman Catholic: organizations, 2; membership, 800; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $2,500. United Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 13. Universalist: organizations, 1; membership, 20. Wesleyan Methodists: organizations, 2; membership, 54.

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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