The first settlement was made on Chapman creek, in 1855. The German Methodists erected a log building, as a place of worship, on Lyon creek, in April, 1861; this was the first church building. The first marriage in the county of which there is any official record, was between Luther Hall and Elmira Frost, November 7, 1861. No other data concerning the early history of this county has been given by our correspondent.
The county was organized in 1857.
Population in 1860, 378; in 1870, 3,043; increase in ten years, 2,665; population in 1875, 6,841; increase in five years, 3,798; population in 1878, 10,850; increase in eighteen years, 10,472. Rural population, 8,669; city or town population, 2,181; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 79.90.
|TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES.||Pop.||TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES.||Pop.||TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES.||Pop.|
Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 20 per cent.; upland, 80 per cent.; forest (Government survey) 3 per cent.; prairie, 97 per cent. Average width of bottoms, two miles; the general surface of the country, undulating.
Timber. - Average width of timber belts, one-half mile. Varieties: cottonwood, elm, hackberry, oak, walnut and ash.
Principal Streams. - Smoky Hill river runs nearly through the centre of the county, in an easterly direction; principal tributaries, Holland's, Turkey, Deer, Swenson and Lyon's creeks on the south; Mud and Chapman on the north; the Solomon river joins the Smoky Hill near the west line of the county. The county is not well supplied with springs; good well water is obtained at a depth of from 20 to 60 feet.
Coal. - Prof. B. F. Mudge, and also T. C. Henry, of Abilene, state that no coal worth working is found in this county, though some thin veins of a very poor quality are found on Chapman's creek and on Holland creek.
Building Stone, etc. - Large quantities of good quality of limestone found near Enterprise; plenty in other portions of the county, cropping out along the banks and bluffs of streams. Fine qualities of pottery clay near Enterprise. Gypsum is found in the southwestern part of the county.
Railroad Connections. - The Kansas Pacific Railway traverses the county from east to west along the valley of the Smoky Hill. Principal stations: Abilene and Solomon City.
Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 544,640; taxable acres, 459,246; under cultivation, 166,002.06; cultivated to taxable acres, 36.14 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 32,491.60.
EXTRAORDINARY YIELD. - Statement of Hon. J. S. Hollinger, of Chapman:
Winter Wheat. - Variety, Fultz grown on Section 27, Township 13, Range 4, east; 100 acres, sown September 3d to 5th, 1877; harvested June 15th to 20th, 1878, with an average yield per acre of 46 1/2 bushels. The soil was upland, plowed early and about eight inches deep; thoroughly harrowed and seed drilled in, 1 3/8 bushels per acre. This wheat graded No. 1 at Kansas City, just as it came from the thresher.
The expenses of this crop were not kept separately, but the cost probably did not exceed twenty cents per bushel. I had in all 500 acres of fall wheat, (all Fultz) which averaged 34 bushels per acre. The cost of production of my whole crop of 17,000 bushels did not exceed $2,500.
Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce $1,777; poultry and eggs, $9,416.
Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 383,271 bushels, or an average of 177 bushels to each family.
Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 160 lbs.; in 1878, 2,000 lbs; increase, 1,840 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 115,402 lbs.; in 1878, 212,514 lbs.; increase, 97,112 lbs.
STATEMENT showing the Acreage of Field Crops named from 1872 to 1878, inclusive.
Increase in six years, 332 - per cent.
Average increase per annum, 55.33 - per cent.
|Total Acreage in all Crops||33||30||35||34||23||11||8|
|Winter Wheat - bu.||76,395.00||13,351.00 in.||1,680,690.00||987,206.00 in.||$1,025,200.90||$366,411.10 in.|
|Rye - bu.||3,895.00||590.00 in.||77,900.00||18,410.00 in.||23,370.00||5,523.00 in.|
|Spring Wheat - bu.||19,203.00||12,112.00 in.||172,827.00||31,007.00 in.||86,413.50||27,042.50 de.|
|Corn - bu.||30,197.00||4,514.00 de.||1,207,880.00||354,115.00 de.||217,418.40||48,120.75 de.|
|Barley - bu.||1,848.00||1,572.00 de.||55,440.00||47,160.00 de.||22,176.00||8,604.00 de.|
|Oats - bu.||9,252.00||335.00 in.||416,340.00||29,510.00 de.||62,451.00||8,885.00 de.|
|Buckwheat - bu.||65.00||51.00 in.||1,300.00||1,118.00 in.||1,040.00||894.40 in.|
|Irish Potatoes - bu.||927.00||127.00 in.||92,700.00||4,700.00 in.||32,445.00||29,155.00 de.|
|Sweet Potatoes - bu.||16.00||2.00 in.||3,200.00||1,100.00 in.||1,920.00||180.00 de.|
|Sorghum - gall.||64.00||36.00 de.||7,360.00||4,140.00 de.||3,680.00||2,070.00 de.|
|Castor Beans - bu.||4.00||16.00 de.||36.00||204.00 de.||45.00||195.00 de.|
|Cotton - lbs.||0.06||.27 de.||10.20||45.90 de.||0.92||4.69 de.|
|Flax - bu.||10.00||2.00 in.||100.00||28.00 in.||100.00||24.40 in.|
|Hemp - lbs.|
|Tabacco - lbs.||2.75||.38 de.||2,035.00||281.20 de.||203.50||28.12 de.|
|Broom Corn - lbs.||49.25||388.75 de.||39,400.00||311,000.00 de.||1,477.50||11,662.50 de.|
|Millet & Hungarian - tons||2,803.00||579.00 de.||8,409.00||1,737.00 de.||33,636.00||6,948.00 de.|
|Timothy Meadow - tons||247.00||142.00 in.||444.60||255.60 in.||2,223.00||1,278.00 in.|
|Clover Meadow - tons||47.25||31.25 in.||94.50||62.50 in.||472.50||321.50 in.|
|Prairie Meadow - tons||1,013.00||548.00 in.||1,823.00||986.00 in.||6,380.50||3,451.00 in.|
|Timothy Pasture - acres||16.00||69.00 de.|
|Clover Pasture - acres||6.75||6.75 in.|
|Blue-Grass Pasture - acres||3.00||3.00 in.|
|Prairie Pasture - Acres||19,938.00||12,366.00 in.|
|Total||166,002.06||32,491.60 in||$1,520,673.72||$234,998.84 in|
Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 4,826; in 1878, 4,922; increase, 96. Mules and asses, in 1877, 573; in 1878, 630; increase, 57. Milch cows, in 1877, 3,365; in 1878, 3,192; decrease, 173. Other cattle, in 1877, 5,819; in 1878, 5,005; decrease, 814. Sheep, in 1877, 4,742; in 1878, 8,209; increase, 3,467. Swine, in 1877, 7,316; in 1878, 17,297; increase, 9,981.
Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 92; value of sheep killed by dogs, $276.
Wool. - Clip of 1877, 15,488 lbs.
Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $59,736.30.
Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 64.25. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 3,908; pear, 250; peach, 135,549; plum, 7,671; cherry, 1,815. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 31,060; pear, 3,331; peach, 95,975; plum, 9,582; cherry, 11,623.
Herd Law. - The herd law is in force.
Fences. - Stone, 14,287 rods; cost, $30,252.25. Rail, 8,079 rods; cost, $11,310.60. Board, 12,608 rods; cost, $18,155.52. Wire, 24,587 rods; cost, $17,948.51. Hedge, 294,306 rods; $147,153. Total rods of fence, 356,867; total cost, $224,819.88.
Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 9. Pounds of honey, 40.
Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $82,415.
Manufactures. - Center township: water power flouring mills, capital, $25,000; water power woolen mills, capital, $10,000. Grant township: water power flouring mill, capital, $1,500. Newbern township: waterpower flouring mill, capital, $1,500. Noble township: water power flouring mill, capital, $3,000. Sherman township; water power flouring mill, capital, $3,000. City of Abilene: harness and saddle manufactories, 2, capital invested, $3,000; wagon and plow manufactory, capital, $2,000; steam grist mill, capital, $1,000.
Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $391,763; railroad property, $199,077.75; total assessed valuation of all property $2,600,646.75; true valuation of all property, $4,334,411.25. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $135,234.67; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .05+.
Newspaper History. - The Abilene Chronicle was established in February, 1870, by V. P. Wilson. It was consolidated with the Journal in 1873, under the joint name of Chronicle-Journal it is still published by the Dickinson County Publishing Company, and is known as the Dickinson County Chronicle; Republican in politics.
The Western News was started at Detroit, in February, 1870, during the pendency of the last county seat contest, but it was continued only a few weeks.
Several papers have, from time to time, been started at Solomon City; among them the following: The Pioneer, which lasted one week; the Times, by J. T. Bradley, which continued for several months; and the Newspaper, by H. N. Farey continued about one year.
The Solomon Gazette, established January, 1874, by Campbell & Fuller, was purchased of A. Campbell, April, 1876, and removed to Enterprise in the same month. In May, 1878, it was removed to Abilene, and is now known as the Abilene Gazelle, published by V. P. Wilson & Sons; Republican in politics.
The Journal was started at Abilene, in February 1873, by W. H. Johnson. In May of the same year it was consolidated with the Chronicle.
Schools. - Number of organized districts, 97; school population, 3,926; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $36.83; females, $30.00. School houses built during 1878, frame, 2. Total number of school houses, 83; frame, 73; brick, 4; stone, 6. Value of all school property, $89,640. Some of the school grounds are fenced, and ornamented with trees of both natural and artificial growth. The school grounds of Abilene and Pleasant Valley are worthy of special mention.
Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 4; membership, 120; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $1,500. Episcopal: organizations, 1; membership, 20. Lutheran: organizations, 5; membership 250; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $7,000. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 15; membership, 472; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,500. Presbyterian: organizations, 6; membership, 150; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $10,000. Roman Catholic: organizations, 3; membership, 1,500; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $1,200. Universalist: organizations, 1; membership, 15; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $1,800.
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 Travis Luckinbill, September 17, 2001.
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