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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Cherokee County

1878


Map of Cherokee County - 1878

First settlements: Shawnee township, spring of 1856, by Jeff Pickerell; Garden township, at Lowell, 1842, John Rogers; Spring Valley township, Baxter Springs, A. Baxter, date not given; Lowell township, some time before the war, date and name unknown; Neosho township, 1860; Crawford township, fall of 1875, James Hopkins; Lola township, July, 1865, Alvin Garrison; Ry. Glen, August, 1865; H. E. Durkee, November 1865; Ross township, 1865, H. Corbin, John Whitcraft, Allen Smith and Benjamin Hoskins; Sheridan township, 1865, T. M. and W. G. Halle; Cherokee township, 1866, William Wilkerson; Pleasant View township, 1861, but none permanent until 1865, Rial Skeen. - First churches erected: Baxter Springs, 1866; Lowell township, Empire City, summer of 1877, Union Tabernacle; Galena, fall of 1877, Union Tabernacle; Salamanca township, Columbus, 1870, Baptist; Crawford township, 1868, Society of Friends; Lola township, Cherokee City, September, 1868, Free Will Baptist; Cherokee township, 1871, Catholic. - First school houses: Garden township, Lowell; Lowell township, at Chico, 1867; Salamanca township, Columbus, 1871, by district No. 56; Crawford township, 1868, by A. Capron and J. Hopkins; Lola township, a log house, by district No. 1; Ross township, Millersburg, 1866, log house; Sheridan township, 1868, by subscription of settlers in district No. 21; Cherokee township, 1870, by district No. 59; Pleasant View township, summer of 1868, by voluntary association, district No. 19. - First business houses: Shawnee township, 1865, country store, George Standard; Garden township, 1866, country store, S. Holroyd, at Lowell; Salamanca township, 1868, country stores, C. E. Middaugh & Co. and H. Scovill & Bro.; Lola township, grocery, William Lucas; Ross township, 1866, country store, John Whitcraft; Pleasant View township, general store, Jacob Kline. - First marriages: Shawnee township, Jesse Turner and Martha A. Wyman, May 26,1867; Salamanca township, Clark Johnston and Vina Young, Nov. 6, 1867. - First births: Crawford township, Perie Hopkins, 1866; Cherokee township, Llewelyn Wilkinson, 1867. - First post offices: Shawnee township, Wirtonia. Garden township, Lowell; Spring Valley township, Baxter Springs; Lowell township, Petersville, 1866, A. V. Peters, postmaster - on the old military road, between Fort Scott and Fort Gibson; Salamanca township, Columbus, J. W. Ritter, postmaster; Neosho township, Melrose, 1876, W. H. Brown, postmaster; Crawford township, Tehama, W. Wheeler, postmaster; Lola township, Cherokee City, July, 1865, Wm. Lucas, postmaster; Ross township, Millersburg, 1866, John Whitcraft, postmaster; Sheridan township, Sherman City, A. A. Clarke, postmaster; Cherokee township, Sanfordville, 1870; Pleasant View township, Neutral City, Jacob Kline, postmaster. - About April 3, 1842. Capt. Moore, of the First Dragoons, and Dr. Mott, Surgeon U. S. A., stopped at the present site of Lowell, in Garden township, and determined to locate a fort. They were sent out by Gen. Zachary Taylor, and were escorted by Lieut. John Hamilton and nineteen men. John Rogers, who then owned the site fixed upon, asked more for it than the officers were authorized to pay, when they abandoned the site, and finally located the post at what is now known as Fort Scott, Bourbon county. - The massacre of Gen. Blunt's body-guard by Quantrell's guerillas occurred near what is now Baxter Springs, in 1863. - A national cemetery is located at Baxter. - It is said that lead was discovered many years since, by the Indians, on Shawnee creek, Short creek and Shoal creek. In 1874-5, ore was discovered in considerable quantities at different points on Short creek. In 1876, at Bonanza, on Short creek, and in 1877, one mile above Bonanza, also on Short creek, the great lead mines of that vicinity were opened, creating a great deal of excitement, and rapidly building up Empire City, a city of the second class, and Galena, a city of the third class. - The site of Columbus was surveyed in the spring of 1869; the county seat was located there, February, 1869, having been removed from Pleasant View to Baxter Springs in 1868; the city government was organized April 11, 1870, and the court house was erected in 1870.

The county was organized in 1866.

Population in 1860, 1,501; in 1870, 11,038; increase in ten years, 9,537; population in 1875, 12,223; increase in five years, 1,185; population in 1878, 17,770; increase in eighteen years, 16,269. Rural population, 12,694; city or town population, 5,076; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 72.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.

Townships and
Cities.
Pop.Townships and
Cities.
Pop.Townships and
Cities.
Pop.
Baxter Springs935Cherokee1,237Crawford803
Empire City1,847Garden1,093Lowell2,050
Lyon727Lola751Neosho1,224
Pleasant View1,040Ross876Sheridan1,413
Salamanca1,580Shawnee981Spring Valley1,213

Face of the Country. - Bottom lands, 20 per cent.; upland, 80 per cent.; forest (Government survey) 10 per cent.; prairie, 90 per cent. Average width of bottoms, 1 1/2 miles; general surface of the country undulating. The dividing ridge between the Neosho and Spring rivers forms a water shed; general direction of water, east and west.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, one-half mile. Varieties: oak, elm, hickory, pecan, black walnut, sycamore, cottonwood, hackberry, mulberry, ash, hard and soft maples, etc. Artificial timber cultivated to a very limited extent, confined mainly to scattering shade trees. Soft maples much injured by worms. Heavy growth of timber along the Neosho and Cherry creek.

Principal Streams. - Spring river, running from northeast to southwest, through the southeast part of the county, tributaries on the east, Shoal, Short and Turkey Creeks, running west; tributaries on the west, Willow, Brush, Shawnee and Cow creeks; general direction from northwest to southeast. Neosho river, in the western part of the county, running south; tributaries on east side, Tar, Fly, Cherry, Lightning and Limestone creeks, running from northeast to southwest. The county is tolerably well supplied with springs, and good well water is found at a depth of from 18 to 75 feet.

Coal. - Prof. B. F. Mudge certifies that coal is found at the surface, and at a depth not to exceed 50 feet, in townships 33 and 34, of ranges 23 and 24, covering half of those townships. It is in strata from 12 to 24 inches in thickness. It is bituminous coal, is used only locally, and is delivered in the towns at from $2 to $2.50 per ton, it is also found in townships 31 and 32, of ranges 23, 24 and 25, in veins of from three to four feet in thickness. It is frequently shipped under the name of Fort Scott coal.

Building Stone, etc - Sandstone is found on the prairies, and limestone along the streams, both in abundance. Lead and zinc ores have been discovered in Lowell, Spring Valley and Shawnee townships; also fire clay in the northern part of the county, and pottery clay in Lowell, Spring Valley, Salamanca, Shawnee and Crawford townships. Extensive lead mines have been developed on Short Creek, with smelting furnaces in operation. The Chicago Zinc and Mining Co. have established smeltng works at Cherokee. The pottery clay, which is of common quality, is being utilized at the town of Cherokee, it is reported that a very fine quality has recently been discovered.

Railroad Connections. - The Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad enters the county upon the north, and runs nearly through the centre, by Coalfield, Columbus and Baxter Springs. The Missouri & Western Railroad runs through the centre of the county from east to west, via Columbus, to Oswego, Labette county.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 376,960; taxable acres, 366,982; under cultivation, 147,776; cultivated to taxable acres, 40.27 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 18,193.67.

GOOD YIELD. - Statement of Jacob Farneman, of Columbus

Yellow Corn. - I planted forty acres the middle of April, 1878, and harvested same in October, Soil was black upland. Corn was plowed three times. Yield was 80 bushels per acre. Location, Section 8, Township 33, Range 24.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $11,49.35; poultry and eggs, $9,390.27.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 326,506 bushels, or an average of 92 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Number of cheese factories, 1; capital invested, $350; manufactured in 1875, 4,119 lbs.; in 1878, 5,758 lbs.; increase, 1,639 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 143,026 lbs., in 1878, 2,46,949 lbs.; increase, 103,923 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 3,839; in 1878, 5,423; increase, 1,584; mules and asses, in 1877, 997; in 1878, 1,530; increase, 533. Milch cows, in 1877, 3,878; in 1878, 4,657; increase, 779. Other cattle, in 1877, 4,787; in 1878, 7,030; increase, 2,243. Sheep, in 1877, 4,235; in 1878, 4,066; decrease, 169. Swine, in 1877, 13,078; in 1878, 26,143; increase, 13,065.

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

CROPS.1872187318741875187618771878
Winter Wheat 2,833 00 2,838 00 25,746 00 26,232 50 24,224 00 15,435 00 19,251 00
Rye10 0010 00138 00126 25161 00113 00300 00
Spring Wheat ............34 0014 0076 0046 0026 00
Corn7,584 009,011 0034,232 0042,322 0047,477 0062,455 0068,244 00
Barley............4 0024 006 0046 00225 00
Oats3,772 005,189 0010,414 009,194 5013,049 0010,863 0015,512 00
Buckwheat374 00......60 0065 5071 00100 00273 00
Irish Potatoes141 00143 00698 00603 88969 50690 001,065 00
Sweet Potatoes10 0049 00105 00113 27123 8767 00139 00
Sorghum79 00144 00516 00950 51515 25838 001.040 00
Castor Beans............115 00266 50207 501,154 00723
Cotton1 122 00120 00194 00131 1296 0029 00
Flax5019 00741 003,600 004,307 001,847 003,778,00
Hemp ............1 005 50......90 33......
Tobacco1 301 0010 5021 1114 1215 0028 00
Broom Corn............82 50230 50233 00297 00425 00
Millet and Hungarian179 00177 001,756 002,335 623,480 254,110 003,103 00
Timothy Meadow68 0068 005 00274 50162 50350 00387 00
Clover Meadow1 502 00162 0052 1288 0031 00123 00
Prairie Meadow 3,126 0097 006,494 006,364,004,464 0010,648 0010,469 00
Timothy Pasture ............77 00162 0056 0030 00113 00
Clover Pasture ............6 002 503 501 0026 00
Blue-Grass Pasture5 00......105 0098 3798 0072 00383 00
Prairie Pasture6,100 003,744 0017,816 003289219,299 002018822,114 00
Total 24,290 42 21,494 0099,438 00126,165 13119,216 61129,582 33147,776 00

Increase in 6 years, 508+ per cent.

Average increase per annum. 84.66+ per cent.

RANK of Cherokee 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 40 46 7 7 16 24 32
Corn 41 45 16 15 15 11 3
Total Acreage in all Crops 42 46 9 11 13 13 12

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. 19,251 00 3,816 00 in. 231,012 00 107,532 00 in. $154,778 04 $31,298 04 in.
Rye - bu. 300 00 187 00 in. 4,200 00 2,618 00 in. 1,260 00 706 30 in.
Spring Wheat - bu. 26 00 20 00 de. 234 00 272 00 de. 117 00 338 40 de.
Corn - bu. 68,244 00 5,789 00 in. 2,388,540 00 15,250 00 in. 477,708 00 3,050 00 in.
Barley - bu. 225 00 179 00 in. 5,625 00 4,613 00 in. 2,250 00 1,946 40 in.
Oats - bu. 15,512 00 4,649 00 in. 573,944 00 139,424 00 in. 86,091 60 20,913 60 In.
Buckwheat - bu. 273 00 173 00 in. 4,914 00 3,414 00 in. 3,931 20 2,731 20 In.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 1,065 00 375 00 in. 58.575 00 17,175 00 in. 23,430 00 2,730 00 in.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 139 00 72 00 in. 13,900 00 6,195 00 in. 11,120 00 3,415 00 in.
Sorghum - gall. 1,040 00 202 00 in. 119,600 00 23,230 00 in. 59.800 00 11,615 00 in.
Castor Beans - bu. 723 00 431 00 de. 9,399 00 987 00 de. 11,748 75 1,362 75 in.
Cotton - lbs 29 00 67 00 de. 4,930 00 11,390 00 de. 443 70 1,188 30 de.
Flax - bu. 3,778 00 1,931 00 in. 34,102 00 15,632 00 in. 34,102 00 4,708 50 in.
Hemp - lbs. ...... 90 33 de ...... 83,103 60 de ...... 4,986 22 de.
Tobacco - lbs. 28 00 13 00 in. 20,720 00 9,620 00 in. 2 072 00 962. 00 in.
Broom Corn - lbs 425 00 128 00 in. 340,000 00 102,400 00 in. 12,750 00 3,840 00 in.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 3,103 00 1,007 00 de. 9,309 00 61 50 in. 37,236 00 246 00 in.
Timothy Meadow - tons 387 00 37 00 in. 580 50 55 50 in. 2902 50 277 50 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 123 00 92 00 in. 184 50 133 00 ill. 922 5 690 00 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons 10,469 00 179 00 de. 14,657 00 250 20 de. 43,971 00 750 60 de.
Timothy Pasture - acres 113 00 83 00 in. ...... ...... ...... ......
Clover Pasture - acres 26 00 25 00 in. ...... ...... ...... ......
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 383 00 311.00 in. ...... ...... ...... ......
Prairie Pasture - acres 22,114 00 1,926 00 in. ...... ...... ...... ......
Total - 147,776 00 18,193 67 in. ...... ...... $ 966,634 29 $93,228 17 in.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 96; value of sheep killed by dogs, $288.

Wool.- Clip of 1877, 11,796 lbs.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of Animals slaughtered, and sold for slaughter during the year, $112,326.42.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 34. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 67,988; pear, 2,885; peach, 131,306; plum, 2,086; cherry, 17,558. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 173,622; pear, 9,837; peach, 36,434; plum, 3,689; cherry, 22,976.

Herd Law. - The herd law has been in force in the entire county since 1872. The reports as to public sentiment respecting it are conflicting. Some of the townships report that it is regarded as indispensable; while others condemn it as a "fraud" and a "nuisance." Judging from the opinions expressed in our reports, the people are pretty evenly divided on the subject, with a slight majority, perhaps, in opposition. Those favoring it urge that it stimulates fencing, hedge growing, the production of small grains, and that it is the "poor man's friend;" while those opposing claim that it deprives settlers of the use of the wild grass which grows rank and luxuriant, represses stock raising, and compels farmers to raise small grain, which, owing to the distance from market, is not remunerative.

Fences. - Stone, 2,708 rods; cost, $3,655.80; rail, 196,634 rods; cost, $265,455.90; board, 9,623 rods; cost, $13,572.20; wire, 9,786 rods; cost, $6,850.20; hedge, 383,640 rods; cost, $164,965.20. Total rods of fence, 602,391; total cost, $454,499.30.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 1,344; pounds of honey, 16,424; wax, 399.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $47,400.

Manufactures. - Lowell township: water power flouring mills, 3; capital invested, $4,700; water power grist mill, capital, $500; steam saw mills, 2, capital, $1,000. Neosho township: water power saw mill, capital, $700. Salamanca township: steam flouring mills; broom factory. Shawnee township: water power saw and grist mill; cheese factory, capital, $350.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $234,848.33; railroad property, $319,161.84; total assessed valuation of all property, $2,170,667.52; true valuation of all property, $3,617,779.20. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $102,790.04; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .05-.

Newspaper History. - The Cherokee Sentinel was started at Baxter Springs, in October, 1868, by M. W. Coulter and D. C. Holbrook. In April, 1869, W. E. C. Lyons became connected with the paper, and in December, 1869, Lyons & Coulter bought out Holbrook. Lyons was editor, and Coulter business manager.

The Baxter Springs Herald was started in October, 1867, by B. R. and N. J. Evans. It suspended publication in the summer of 1868.

The Workingman's Journal was established at Columbus, October 29, 1869, by the Neutral Land Printing Company. In August, 1870, Amos Sanford purchased the paper, and continued the publication until September, 1871, when the Printing Company again purchased it, and conducted it until January, 1872, when C. D. Nicols and J. F. McDowell became the purchasers. In July, 1872, Nichols retired, and it was published by McDowell & Higgins until October, 1874, when McDowell retired and the paper was continued by Higgins & Co., as the Columbus Journal, until February, 1875, when it was suspended.

The Columbus Courier was established by J. F. McDowell, In October, 1874. In the spring of 1876, he sold it to S. 0. McDowell, who, In the winter of 1877, consolidated it with the Republican, which had been removed from Baxter Springs. The Courier is still published, and is Republican in politics.

The Columbus Avalanche was started by J. N. Lee, in the fall of 1875. During the same fall it was sold to a company, which started the Columbus Democrat. In January, 1877, the Democrat was transferred to Webb City, Missouri.

The Columbus Vidette was started by G. W. B. Hoffman, in 1877. In May, 1878, he sold to James Wilson, who changed the name to the Border Star, which is still published. It is Democratic in politics.

The Baxter Springs Examiner was started by Mr. Simmons, in 1871.

The Baxter Springs Republican was established in 1874, but was subsequently removed to Columbus, and in the winter of 1877 was consolidated with the Courier.

The Galena Miner was started by Lee & McDowell, in 1877. It is still continuing, under the management of McDowell Brothers.

The Mining Echo was started at Empire City, In 1877, by Hadley & Murphey, by whom it is still published.

The first number of the Short Creek Daily Banner was issued November 4, 1878; Harry H. Webb, editor and publisher.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 93; school population, 6,581; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $32.75; females, $26.46. School houses built during 1878, frame, 3. Total number of school houses, 91; log, 5; frame, 84; brick, 1; stone, 1. Value of all school property, $87,654. A few of the school houses are situated in natural groves of oak and hickory. A few more have planted shade trees. The great majority are not shaded. Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 7; membership, 327; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $2,000. Congregational: organizations, 2; membership, 40. Episcopal: membership, 6. Methodist Episcopal, organizations, 26; membership, 700; church edifices, 3; value of church property, $6,000. Presbyterian: organizations, 5; membership, 100; church edifice, 1; value of church property, $4,000. Roman Catholic: organizations, 4; membership, 410. United Presbyterian: organizations, 2; membership, 20.

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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