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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Elk County

1878

Map of Elk County - 1878

ELK COUNTY. First settlement: Richard Graves, made the first settlement in the county, in 1856; he was twice driven away by Indians, and when last heard from, resided in Texas. Of the first five that settled in the county, Isaac Howe and Eliza Lewis are the only ones remaining; they reside in Liberty township. - The first church was organized in Liberty township, 1886 by the Missionary Baptists. - First marriage: D. M. Spurgeon and Sarah Knox. - First birth: Sarah F. Shipley, December 8th, 1866.

Elk county was organized in 1875, having up to that time constituted a part of Howard county.

Population in 1875, 6,215; population in 1878, 8,218; increase in three years, 2,003. Rural population, 6,985; city or town population, 1,233; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 85.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.

TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Elk Falls 1,313 Greenfield 709Howard 1,008
Longton 1,595 Liberty 721Painterhood 587
Paw Paw 673 Union Centre 920 Wild Cat 692

Face of the Country. - Bottom lands, 25 per cent.; 8 per cent. of timber, and the remainder upland prairie. The northern portion of the county is level; the rest is undulating and broken.

Timber. - Considerable attention has been given to the cultivation of artificial timber, but mainly in small patches, widely distributed, and no estimate of the area has been made. The principal varieties are cottonwood, mulberry, soft maple, box elder, elm, hickory, hackberry, etc.

Principal Streams. - The Elk river flows from northwest to southeast through the county; Rock, Paw Paw, Hutchins, Painterhood, and numerous small streams are tributaries on the north; Wildcat and others on the south. Big Caney creek rises in the western part of the county, and Indian creek in the northeastern. Good well water obtained at a depth of from 15 to 20 feet.

Coal. - Some coal has been discovered, but to what extent or where located is not stated. It is used exclusively for local domestic purposes.

Building Stone. - There is plenty of good lime and sandstone; it is found in layers and is easily quarried. The white sandstone is used for store fronts, etc.; and is said to be very handsome.

Railroad Connections. - No railroads have been constructed in the county.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 416,640; taxable acres, 185,123; under cultivation, 53,644.17; cultivated to taxable acres, 28.98 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 2,370.67.

VERY LARGE YIELD. - Statement by J. T. Chapman, Boston: Winter wheat. - John Hugg, living near Howard, raised 20 acres of wheat on section 23, Township 30, Range 10, from which he harvested a crop averaging 45 bushels to the acre. It was raised on bottom land, sown in September, and harvested in June. It would average seven feet high.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $2,156; poultry and eggs, $3,022.

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

CROPS 1872 1878 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878
Winter Wheat ----- ----- ----- 6,182.50 12,962.00 8,932.00 9,465.00
Rye ----- ----- ----- 138.00 726.00 132.00 361.00
Spring Wheat ----- ----- ----- ----- 8.00 6.00 2.00
Corn ----- ----- ----- 21,295.75 20,245.00 29,235.00 28,683.00
Barely ----- ----- ----- 75.00 7.00 16.00 93.00
Oats ----- ----- ----- 12.00 79.25 19.00 12.00
Buckwheat ----- ----- ----- 1,065.25 3,667.00 1,743.00 2,476.00
Irish Potatoes ----- ----- ----- 425.16 696.87 512.00 452.00
Sweet Potatoes ----- ----- ----- 5.99 36.86 15.00 37.00
Sorgum ----- ----- ----- 508.12 229.25 374.00 304.50
Castor Beans ----- ----- ----- 134.12 120.75 752.00 481.00
Cotton ----- ----- ----- 10.62 8.37 8.50 0.75
Flax ----- ----- ----- 13,156.00 322.25 300.00 360.00
Hemp ----- ----- ----- 8.00 32.25 1.00 -----
Tobacco ----- ----- ----- 10.50 17.36 14.00 10.68
Broom Corn ----- ----- ----- 29.37 68.50 33.00 48.37
Millet and Hungarian ----- ----- ----- 758.74 1,714.00 3,008.00 3,086.00
Timothy Meadow ----- ----- ----- 130.00 39.00 47.00 144.00
Clover Meadow ----- ----- ----- 33.00 102.00 18.00 66.75
Prairie Meadow ----- ----- ----- 7,384.00 3,390.00 3,353.00 3,584.00
Timothy Pasture ----- ----- ----- 118.00 ----- 3.00 41.00
Clover Pasture ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- 1.00 0.75
Blue-Grass Pasture ----- ----- ----- 15.25 20.50 161.00 47.37
Prairie Pasture ----- ----- ----- 9,421.00 2,626.00 2,570.00 3,888.00
Total ----- ----- ----- 48,071.93 46,818.21 51,273.50 52,644.17

RANK of Elk County in the crops named below, as to Acreage, and in Cultivatef Acreage for the years mentioned in the foregoing table.

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Wheat       41 27 37 50
corn       39 39 42 43
Total acreage in all crops       44 48 49 53








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







CROPS 1878 1877 1878 1877 1878 1877
Winter wheat 9,465.00 533.00 189,300.00 82,116.00 117,366.00 15,541.20
Rye 361.00 209.00 6,498.00 3,762.00 1,949.00 1,073.88
Spring Wheat 2.00 4.00 22.00 38.00 11.00 40.00
Corn 28,683.00 522.00 1,003,905.00 165,495.00 200,781.00 9,700.00
Barely 93.00 77.00 1,767.00 1,367.00 618.00 502.45
Oats 2,476.00 733.00 99,040.00 29,320.00 15,846.40 4,691.20
Buckwheat 12.00 7.00 240.00 64.00 192.00 51.20
Irish Patatoes 452.00 60.00 36,160.00 5,440.00 18,080.00 1,184.00
Sweet Patatoes 37.00 22.00 3,700.00 1,825.00 2,775.00 1,087.50
Sorghum 304.00 69.00 35,017.00 7,992.50 17,508.75 3,996.25
CastorBeans 481.00 271.00 5,291.00 3,733.00 6,613.75 2,410.25
Cotton 0.75 7.75 127.00 1,317.50 11.48 133.02
Flax 360.00 60.00 3,600.00 300.00 3,600.00 135.00
Hemp   1.00   920.00   55.20
Tobacco 10.68 3.32 9,703.20 2,456.80 790.32 245.68
Broom Corn 48.36 15.37 38,696.00 12,296.00 1,450.10 461.10
Millet&Hungarian 3,086.00 78.00 9,258.00 1,738.00 34,717.50 6,517.50
Timothy Meadows 144.00 97.00 216.00 145.50 972.00 654.75
Clover Meadows 66.75 48.75 100.00 73.12 450.54 329.04
Prairie Meadows 3,584.00 231.00 5,018.00 323.80 13,799.50 890.45
Timothy Pasture 41.00 38.00        
Clover Pasture 0.75 0.25        
Blue-grass Pasture 47.37 113.63        
Praririe Pasture 3,888.00 1,318.00        







Total 53,644.17 2,370.67     437,531.19 16,425.47

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 149,631 bushels, or an average of 91 bushels to each family.

Dairy products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 3,420 lbs.; in 1878, 10,777 lbs.; increase, 7,357lbs.; Butter manufactured in 1875, 122,833 lbs.; in 1878,140,700 lbs.; increase, 17,867 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 2,755; in 1878, 3,088; increase, 333 Mules and asses, in 1877, 418; in 1878, 577; increase, 159. Milch cows, in 1877, 3741; in 1878, 3,953; increase, 212. Other cattle, in 1877, 6,567; in 1878, 9,159; increase, 2,592. Sheep, in 1877, 5,984; in 1878, 6,430; increase, 446. Swine, in 1877, 10,410; in 1878, 17,349; increase, 6,939.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 16; value of sheep killed by dogs, $48.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 21,877 lbs.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $68,552.10.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 50.12. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 8,585; pear, 501; peach, 139,886; plum, 793; cherry, 2,616. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 49,330; pear, 1,058; peach, 60,290; plum, 1,415; cherry, 7,443.

Herd Law. - The herd law is not in force in this county, except the night herd law. There is a difference of opinion as to its utilities, and proprieties, but no reliable expression has been given on the subject.

Fences. - Stone, 24,861 rods; cost, $37,291.50. Rail, 137,045 rods; cost, $191,863. Board, 7,813 rods; cost, $11,250.72. Wire, 10,430 rods; cost, $7,718.20. Hedge, 194,874 rods; cost, $116,924.40. Total rods of fence, 375,023; total cost, $365,047.82.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 12; pounds of honey, 25 wax, 5.

Value of agricultural implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $21,012.

Manufactures - Elk Falls township: water power flouring mills, capital, $2,000, Howard township: cabinet manufactory capital, $150. Longton township: steam saw mills; 2, capital, $900; water and steam saw and grist mill, capital, $13.000; steam saw and grist mill, capital, $1,600; water power grist mill, Capital, $2,700. Union Center township: water power flouring mill, capital, $1,800.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $157,929.15: total assessed valuation of all property, $792,094.70 ; true valuation of all property,792,094.70 True valuation of all property 1,320,157.83.Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $35,995.58; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation.

Newspaper History. - The Elk falls Examiner was established by C. L. Goodrich in the fall of 1870. It was published a little over a year, when it suspended, and the office was removed to win field.

The Howard County Ledger was established in September, 1870, at Longton, by Adrian Reyrrolds, where it was published until the spring of 1874, when it was removed to Elk Falls, and continued there until the fall of 1876, when it was removed to Howard.

The Howard County messenger was started at Howard City, in the winter of 1872, by Kelly & Turner, and was continued for something over a year, When it was purchased by A. B. Hicks and removed to Boston, Mr. Hicks soon after sold the paper to a stock company, who continued the publication at Boston for a few months, when it ceased to exist.

The Journal was first issued at Elk Falls in the fall of 1873, by Ward & Pyle, and was soon after purchased by Kelly & Turner, and published by them Until the division of Howard county, when it was removed to Sedan, the county seat of Chautauqua, where it is still published. It was and is Republican in politics.

In November, 1874, the Courant was removed from Elk City to Longton by A. B. Steinberger, where it was published for about year, and then removed to Howard. It was Republican in politics.

The publication of the Beacon was commenced by Steinberger, at Howard City, in the spring of 1875, and continued until December of the same year. It was a Republican paper.

In the spring of 1875, W. E. Doud purchased the material of the Boston Messenger and removed it to Eureka, where he established the Censorial, which continued for about six months, when be removed it to Eureka, Greenwood county, where it is still published by its founder.

In the fall of 1876, the Elk County Democrat was started at Elk Falls by Charles A. Gitchell, as a campaign sheet, and suspended after an existence of six weeks.

In the summer of 1877, J. A. Somerby commenced the publication of the Kansas Rural, all agricultural paper, which continued for about four months.

January 22,1878, C. A. Gitchell commenced the publication of the Weekly Examiner, at Elk Falls, and removed it to Howard City, March 11, 1878. It suspended publication July 12, 1878.

November 22, 1877, the Courant and Ledger, at Howard City, were consolidated into the Courantan Ledger. It is now edited and published by A. B. Steinberger and is Republic politics.

The Industrial Journal was established at Howard, July 24, 1888, by Van Hyatt & Somerby. It is Independent in politics.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 72; school population, 3,008; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $33.33; females, $25.09. School houses built during 1878, frame, 5. Total number of school houses, 62; log, 3; frame, 56; stone, 3. Value of all school property, $38,224. No shade trees reported.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 10; membership, 327. Congregational: organizations, 1; membership, 38. Episcopal : membership, 8. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 11; membership, 600; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $2,400. Roman Catholic: organizations, 2; membership, 200; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $500.

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 organized 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 Samantha Price, September 2001.


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