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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Clay County

1878

Map of Clay County - 1878

First settlements: Grant township, 1856, by Moses Younkin; Union township, in 1860; Highland township, 1868, Samuel Harris; Five Creeks township, about 1863, Russell Allen; Sherman township, 1859, S. C. Chester; Goshen township, 1859, Gabriel Spurrier; Exeter township, 1870, S. A. Spence; Oakland township, 1866, A. J. Gabhart and sons; Chapman township, 1867, John Stewardson; Republican township, 1857, J. B. Quimby; Athelstane township, 1863, John Jones; Bloom township, 1863, J. P. Ryan. - First church buildings erected: Clay Center township, 1870, by the Baptists; Grant township, no date, Methodist; Union township, 1877, Baptist; Highland township, 1877, German Methodist; Five Creeks, 1874, Cumberland Presbyterian; Sherman township, 1871, Baptist; Republican township, 1871, Methodist; in the other townships no churches have been erected, and services are held in the various school houses. - First school houses: Clay Center township, 1864, by District No. 1; Grant township, 1864, on Mall Creek, District No. 5; Five Creeks township, at Republican City, by the Presbyterians, used also for church purposes; Goshen township, 1867, district not numbered; Exeter township, District No. 36; Chapman township, 1869, by public subscription, now owned by District No. 25; Republican township, 1873, district No. 39; Athelstane township, 1873, District No. 45; Bloom township, May, 1871, District No. 15. - First business establishments: Clay Center township, probably A. F. Dexter, general store, 1863; Highland township, 1872, store, E. B. Powell; Goshen township, 1870, store, F. Usher; Oakland township, 1867, store, A. F. Shaber; Athelstane township, 1876, drugs, H. B Jones; Bloom township, 1871, store, W. B. Whittaker. - First marriage in the county: Lorenzo Gates and Lucinda Gill, December 18, 1859. - First birth: Edwin Younkin, July, 1856. - First post office: Clay Center, 1866, Orval Huntress, postmaster. - The first Board of County Commissioners was appointed by the Governor in August, 1866, and consisted of Joseph P. Ryan, William Silver and Lorenzo Gates. Mr. Gates was subsequently twice a member of the Legislature, and Mr. Ryan served two terms as a Probate Judge. George D. Seabury was the first County Clerk, and afterwards served two terms as County Superintendent of Public Instruction. The last buffalo ever seen in Clay county was shot and killed in 1865 by Jonas Kress, who then resided at Manhattan, Riley county.

Clay county was organized in 1866.

Population in 1860, 163; in 1870, 2,942; increase in ten years, 2,779; population in 1875, 6,672; increase in five years, 3,730; population in 1878, 8,759; increase in eighteen years, 8,596. Rural population, 7,573; city or town population, 1,186; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 87.60.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Athelstane 247 Bloom 601 Chapman 311
Clay Center City 1,200 Clay Center 750 Exeter 326
Five Creeks 1,004 Grant 402 Goshen 633
Highland 476 Mulberry 347 Oakland 390
Union 323 Republican 696 Sherman 1,053

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 11 per cent.; upland, 89 per cent.; forest (Government survey) 4 per cent.; prairie, 96 per cent. Average width of bottoms, three-quarters of a mile; general surface of the country undulating.

Timber. - Width of timber belts, from five rods to half a mile. Varieties: cottonwood, elm, oak, black walnut, mulberry, ash, hackberry and locust. Acres of cultivated timber reported: Cottonwood, 61; soft maple, 45; black walnut, 10; box elder, 20. Quite a large number of trees have been planted along the highways, and in scattered patches difficult of estimation.

Principal Streams. - The Republican river, which flows in a southeasterly direction through the entire county. There are numerous small streams - Pete's, Five, Timber, Lincoln, Fancy, Otter, Mulberry, Peach and other creeks. Chapman creek flows southeasterly across the southwest corner of the county. The county has but few springs; good well water is obtained at an average depth of 30 feet on the bottoms, and from 60 to 75 feet on the uplands.

Coal. - Prof. Mudge certifies that a ten-inch surface vein of coal is found in townships No. 6 and 7, in range 1 east, in the northwest corner of the county. It is a very poor quality of lignite coal. Thin veins reported in other localities, but no developments of consequence.

Building Stone, etc. - The magnesian limestone abounds throughout the county, and brown and red sandstone in some of the townships. Gypsum found in considerable quantities in Oakland and Goshen townships; fire clay reported in Oakland and pottery in Goshen township.

Railroad Connections. - The Junction City & Fort Kearney Railroad, operated by the Kansas Pacific Railroad, runs up the valley of the Republican to Clay Center.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 422,400; taxable acres, 282,536; under cultivation, 99,423.63; cultivated to taxable acres, 35.19 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 17,671.63.

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

CROPS.1872.1873.1874.1875.1876.1877. 1878.








Winter Wheat 4,420.00 4,420.00 4,844.00 11,733.00 14,739.00 18,010.00 22,449.00
Rye 702.00 702.00 665.00 3,885.50 7,663.00 5,780.00 7,650.00
Spring Wheat 3,234.00 6,746.00 13,405.00 13,684.50 10,956.00 9,184.00 14,077.00
Corn 13,300.00 13,344.00 17,698.00 21,495.00 21,948.00 31,408.00 34,671.00
Barley 140.00 460.00 474.00 2,568.25 4,306.00 3,200.00 1,285.00
Oats 1,879.00 3,158.00 3,382.00 4,831.25 3,270.00 3,860.00 5,867.00
Buckwheat 74.00 58.00 9.00 9.00 47.00 26.00 21.50
Irish Potatoes 496.00 657.00 638.00 388.81 625.25 491.00 566.00
Sweet Potatoes 4.00 2.00 8.50 21.00 7.75 1.75 10.25
Sorghum 181.00 161.00 225.00 233.50 113.50 149.00 124.00
Castor Beaus 0.25 27.00 97.00 121.75 70.50 314.00 166.50
Cotton 0.25     1.75 52.62 2.00  
Flax   2.00 103.00 1,338.75 120.00 231.00 187.00
Hemp       4.25 28.00    
Tobacco 2.00 1.00 8.00 2.25 2.13 3.25 1.63
Broom Corn     9.50 111.25 391.50 283.00 325.00
Millet and Hungarian 606.00 606.00 689.00 946.25 1,645.00 2,131.00 1,689.00
Timothy Meadow   27.00 26.00 53.00 8.50 9.00 29.75
Clover Meadow 17.00 15.00 54.00 82.75 2.00 2.00  
Prairie Meadow 9,471.00 3,205.00 278.00 2,717.00 3,522.00 1,862.00 3,301.00
Timothy Pasture         0.50    
Clover Pasture 80.00            
Blue-Grass Pasture     30.00 21.00   98.00 30.00
Prairie Pasture 5,357.00 6,749.00 5,494.00 14,426.00 7,465.00 4,707.00 6,973.00








Total 39,963.50 40,340.00 48,137.00 78,675.81 76,983.25 81,752.00 99,423.00

Increase in six years, 148+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 24.66 + per cent.

RANK of Clay 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 13 10 12 8 13 12 16
Corn 33 36 39 38 37 39 36








Total acreage in all crops 30 33 36 29 32 36 33

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. 22,449.00 4,439.00 in. 516,327.00 336,227.00 in $330,449.28 $15,354.00 in.
Rye - bu. 7,650.00 1,870.00 in. 145,350.00 29,750.00 in 43,605.00 8,925.00 in.
Spring Wheat - bu. 14,077.00 4,893.00 in. 154,847.00 7,903.00 in. 83,617.38 48,632.22 de.
Corn - bu. 34,671.00 3,263.00 in. 1,386,840.00 130,520.00 in. 235,762.80 34,751.60 in.
Barley - bu. 1,285.00 1,915.00 de. 32,125.00 44,675.00 in. 9,316.25 12,955.75 de.
Oats - bu. 5,867.00 2,007.00 in. 258,148.00 65,148.00 in. 38,722.20 9,722.20 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 21.50 4.50 de. 258.00 54.00 de. 206.40 43.20 de.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 566.00 75.00 in. 56,600.00 12,410.00 in. 16,980.00 7,324.50 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 10.25 8.50 in. 2,562.00 2,300.00 in. 1,921.88 1,685.63 in.
Sorghum - gall. 124.00 25.00 de. 14,260.00 2,875.00 de. 7,130.00 1,437.50 de.
Castor Beans - bu. 166.50 147.50 de. 2,331.00 1,437.00 de. 2,913.75 854.25 de.
Cotton - lbs.   2.00 de.   340.00 de.   34.00 de.
Flax - bu. 187.00 44.00 de. 2,618.00 308.00 in. 2,618.00 192.50 in.
Hemp - lbs.            
Tobacco - lbs. 1.63 1.62 de. 1,206.00 1,198.80 de. 120.62 119.88 de.
Broom Corn - lbs. 325.00 42.00 in. 260,000.00 33,600.00 in. 9,750.00 1,260.00 in.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 1,689.00 442.00 de. 5,067.00 1,326.00 de. 19,254.60 5,038.80 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons 29.75 20.75 in. 35.70 24.90 in. 178.50 124.50 in.
Clover Meadow - tons   2.00 de.   2.80 de.   14.00 de.
Prairie Meadow - tons 3,301.00 1,439.00 in. 5,282.00 2,302.80 in. 13,205.00 5,757.00 in.
Timothy Pasture acres            
Clover Pasture - acres            
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 30.00 68.00 de.        
Prairie Pasture - acres 6,973.00 2,266.00 in.        







Total 99,423.63 17,671.63 in.     $815,751.66 $145,368.61 in.

AN EXTRA GOOD YIELD. - Statement by W. J. Woodside, Clay Center:

Winter Wheat. - I cut and threshed twelve acres of Red May wheat on my farm on Section 3, Township 8, Range 2 East, in Five Creeks township, which by actual weight yielded 515-9 bushels to the acre. This crop was raised on upland and the seed drilled in.

Mr. Woodside makes an affidavit before a notary of the above statement.

Value of Garden, Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $1,270.70; poultry and eggs, $5,138.05.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 416,107 bushels, or an average of 237 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 520 lbs.; in 1878, 1,300 lbs.; increase, 780 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 79,424 lbs.; in 1878, 176,941 lbs.; increase, 97,517 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 3,530; in 1878, 4,301; increase, 771. Mules and asses, in 1877, 297; in 1878, 346; increase, 49. Milch cows, in 1877, 2,831; in 1878, 3,549; increase, 718. Other cattle, in 1877, 4,939; in 1878, 4,400; decrease, 539. Sheep, in 1877, 1,447; in 1878, 1,363; decrease, 84. Swine, in 1877, 7,902; in 1878, 16,501; increase, 8,599.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 38; value of sheep killed by dogs, $114.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 5,566 lbs.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $45,201.20.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 83.25. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 1,475; pear, 270; peach, 58,952; plum, 3,029; cherry, 988. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 12,671; pear, 376; peach, 50,681; plum, 2,998; cherry, 5,790.

Herd Law. - The herd law has been in force throughout the whole county since May 13, 1872. A majority of the farmers think the law has been a great benefit in protecting crops, but that it has had a tendency to cripple the interest of stock-raising. It has not promoted fencing and hedge-growing, as the farmers regard fences as useless while the law stands, but has stimulated the growth of small grains. The popular argument pro and con is, that the law serves as a protection to growing crops, but is detrimental to stock-raising - that it would cost a farmer with six head of cattle as much to herd them as it would were he able to own a hundred head.

Fences. - Stone, 6,158 rods; cost, $9,237. Rail, 4,125 rods; cost, $6,381.25. Board, 2,904 rods; cost, $4,210.80. Wire, 40,108 rods; cost, $29,679.92. Hedge, 63,293 rods; cost, $41,140.45. Total rods of fence, 116,588; total cost, $90,649.42

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 2.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $68,951.

Manufactures. - Clay Center township: water power grist mill; steam grist mill.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $236,418.50; railroad property, $171,972.76; total assessed valuation of all property, $1,370,928.26; true valuation of all property, $2,284,880,43. Total indebtedness of county, township, city, and school districts, $173,822.96, per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, 13-.

Newspaper History. - The Clay County Independent, published at Clay Center, was the first paper established in the the county. It was started August 20, 1871, by E. P. Huston and David Downer, under the firm name of Huston & Downer. The ownership was in a joint stock company. It was purchased by J. W. Miller, in 1873.

The Clay County Dispatch succeeded to the Independent, the new owner changing the name from the latter to the former. He conducted the Dispatch until some time in 1874, when it was sold to O. M. Pugh, formerly of Galena, Ill. Mr. Pugh continued in the paper until the following year, when he sold out to J. B. Besack, who conducted it until October, 1876, when J. P. Campbell, the present proprietor, became the purchaser. The paper is, and ever has been, Republican in politics.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 90; school population, 4,037; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $27.05; females, $22.28. School houses built during 1878, 17; frame, 14; stone, 3. Total number of school houses, 72; log, 3; frame, 59; stone, 10. Value of all school property, $48,101. No report on shade trees.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 5; membership, 187. church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,500. Congregational: organizations, 3; membership, 89. Episcopal: organizations, 1; membership, 53; church edifices, 1; value of church property, 1,540. Lutheran: organizations, 1; membership, 150; value of church property, $2,000. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 14: membership, 393; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $4,500. Presbyterian: organizations, 2; membership, 100; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,800. Roman Catholic: organizations, 2; membership, 200. United Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 26.

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. Transcribed by John Derfelt, September 17, 2001.


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