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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Linn County

1878

Map of Linn County - 1878

The reports from this county are very incomplete. - First settlements: Scott township, fall of 1854, by Samuel Scott, Sr., Liberty township, 1854, William Kirk; Lincoln township, first house built in La Cygne, 1869, by B. S. Heath. - First church buildings: Scott township, 1856, at a place then called Brooklyn, Methodist Episcopal Church South; Lincoln township, 1871, at La Cygne, Presbyterian, and shortly after, the Methodist; Valley township, the first church was of the Old School Baptist denomination, and was known as the "Swayback" - First school house: Scott township, spring of 1858, in what is now known as district No. 23; Liberty township, district No 49. - First marriages: Scott township, Robert Osborn and Miss Clark, spring of 1855; Liberty township, Ansel Hulburt and Lucinda Cottle, 1855. - First births: Scott township, Mary Turman, summer of 1855; Liberty township Fanny Kirk, 1854. - First business established: Scott township, fall of 1855, general store at Brooklyn, Sibbet & Cannon; Lincoln township, J. A. Chetlain established the first business house in La Cygne, a grocery, clothing and general store. - First post offices: Scott township, Brooklyn, fall of 1855, David Sibbet, postmaster; Liberty township, Jackson, 1857, D. Underhill, postmaster. - A battle, or skirmish, was fought in Liberty township, in the summer of 1856, between fifty-six Missourians, under the command of Capt. Fox, and thirty-two Free-State men, under John Brown and Capt. Anderson. Two of the Missourians were wounded, and one, who was taken prisoner, died at Osawatomie a day or two after. There were no casualties in Brown's command. The Missourians were routed and driven out of the Territory. A local chronicler writes that the authorities knew so little about boundary lines that they exercised jurisdiction over a three-mile strip of Miami county territory up to 1858, and held elections upon it, and made their returns to the county seat of Linn county!

Population in 1860, 6,336; in 1870, 12,174; increase in ten years, 5,838; population in 1875, 11,974; decrease in five years, 200; population in 1878 13,228; increase in eighteen years, 6,892. Rural population, 9,921; city or town population, 3,307; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 75.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Blue Mound 618 Centreville 1,347 Lincoln 1,808
Liberty 755 Mound City 1,411 Potosi 2,114
Paris 1,264 Scott 1,328 Stanton 619
Sheridan 1,033 Valley 931 ----- -----

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 20 per cent.; upland, 80 per cent.; forest (Government survey), 10 per cent.; prairie, 90 per cent.; general surface of the country, undulating.

Timber. - This county is comparatively well timbered, but the width of belts is not returned. The principal varieties are black walnut, elm, sycamore, box elder, cottonwood, mulberry, ash, oak and hickory. The Marais des Cygnes river, and its tributaries in Scott, Lincoln, Valley, Potosi and Paris townships, are heavily timbered. The comparative abundance of native timber has tended to limit artificial planting and cultivation.

Principal Streams. - Marais des Cygnes, flowing southeast across the northeastern portion of the county. Big and Little Sugar creeks, east. Elm creek, south. Middle creek, south. Lost creek, east. Mine creek, east. The county is well supplied with springs; good well water reached at an average depth of 20 feet.

Coal. - Coal crops out of nearly all the hills and streams in the east part of the county. It is of good quality, and is quite extensively mined for local purposes in Valley township, and to some extent in Lincoln township.

Building Stone, etc. - Fine limestone is found in almost every portion of the county; it is in layers and is easily worked. Near La Cygne and at Barnard excellent sandstone abounds, and shipments have been made to Kansas City and other points. Near La Cygne, in the mounds, it is reported that a good quality of pottery clay and mineral paints has been discovered.

Railroad Connections. - The Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad traverses the eastern portion of the county from north to south; direction a little east of south. Principal stations: LaCygne, Barnard and Pleasanton.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 407,680; taxable acres, 359,570; cultivation, 137,696.26; cultivated to taxable acres, 38.29 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 15,785.51.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry, and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $3,393; poultry and eggs, $6,774.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 440,480 bushels, or an average of 166 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 40,555 lbs.; in 1878, 1,210 lbs.; decrease, 39,345 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 189,081 lbs.; in 1878, 325,745 lbs.; increase, 136,664 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Numbers of horses, in 1877, 4,922; in 1878, 5,850; increase, 928. Mules and asses, in 1877, 700; in 1878, 956; increase, 256. Milch cows, in 1877, 6,112; in 1878, 6,730; increase, 618. Other cattle, in 1877, 12,706; in 1878, 16,126; increase, 3,420. Sheep, in 1877, 4,077; in 1878, 3,063; decrease, 1,014. Swine, in 1877, 16,258; in 1878, 29,906; increase, 13,648.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 122; value of sheep killed by dogs, $366.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 7,385 lbs.

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

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 2,307.00 3,652.00 7,956.00 739.60 1,369.00 2,035.00 8,444.00
Rye 249.00 365.00 401.00 57.00 92.00 78.00 431.00
Spring Wheat 14.00 89.00 62.00 13.00 18.00 20.00 189.00
Corn 28,314.00 30,262.00 46,550.00 65,791.00 69,725.00 72,955.00 64,456.00
Barley 3.00 11.00 ----- ----- 2.00 21.00 12.00
Oats 8,098.00 8,600.00 10,104.00 1,407.60 4,144.00 3,777.00 9,910.00
Buckwheat 75.00 79.00 29.00 295.50 301.00 109.00 139.00
Irish Potatoes 335.00 519.00 713.00 536.00 982.42 734.00 865.00
Sweet Potatoes 5.00 9.00 13.00 13.63 15.81 14.00 13.38
Sorghum 222.00 545.00 389.00 810.00 561.50 558.00 546.75
Castor Beans 16.00 ----- 264.00 945.00 771.00 790.00 333.00
Cotton ----- 8.50 14.00 3.50 1.79 5.50 0.25
Flax ----- 12.00 92.00 84.00 950.00 392.00 509.00
Hemp ----- ----- ----- ----- 2.00 15.25 6.00
Tobacco 113.00 10.00 8.00 7.25 36.25 29.00 2.88
Broom Corn ----- ----- 13.00 101.00 179.87 74.00 124.00
Millet and Hungarian 124.00 523.00 746.00 1,183.00 2,676.00 2,060.00 2,924.00
Timothy Meadow 859.00 1,238.00 1,745.00 761.00 148.00 318.00 884.00
Clover Meadow 301.00 301.00 512.00 272.00 56.00 250.00 391.00
Prairie Meadow 7,239.00 3,635.00 14,167.00 19,154.00 26,359.00 25,124.00 30,407.00
Timothy Pasture 50.00 30.00 162.00 19.00 19.00 260.00 176.00
Clover Pasture 44.00 71.00 84.00 19.00 13.00 16.00 247.00
Blue-Grass Pasture 41.00 61.00 599.00 36.00 101.00 202.00 278.00
Prairie Pasture 5,229.00 4,906.00 10,283.00 13,541.00 12,733.00 12,014.00 16,408.00








Total 53,638.00 54,926.50 94,906.00 105,789.08 121,256.64 121,850.75 137,696.26

Increase in six years, 157+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 26.16 per cent.

RANK of Linn 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 43 42 37 60 64 60 53
Corn 17 18 6 6 3 5 8








Total Acreage in all Crops 24 25 11 16 12 16 16

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. 8,444.00 6,409.00 in. 118,216.00 81,586.00 in. $78,022.56 $41,392.56 in.
Rye - bu. 431.00 353.00 in. 8,620.00 7,216.00 in. 2,586.00 2,024.40 in.
Spring Wheat - bu. 189.00 169.00 in. 1,701.00 1,501.00 in. 850.50 690.50 in.
Corn - bu. 64,456.00 8,499.00 de. 2,255,960.00 443,375.00 de. 451,192.00 88,675.00 de.
Barley - bu. 12.00 9.00 de. 264.00 156.00 de. 92.40 54.60 de.
Oats - bu. 9,910.00 6,133.00 in. 376,580.00 244,385.00 in. 60,252.80 40,423.55 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 139.00 30.00 in. 2,502.00 867.00 in. 2,001.60 693.60 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 865.00 131.00 in. 69,200.00 21,490.00 in. 34,600.00 1,182.50 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 13.38 .62 de. 2,167.56 627.56 in. 2,427.67 887.67 in.
Sorghum - gall. 546.75 11.25 de. 62,876.25 1,293.75 de. 31,438.13 646.87 de.
Castor Beans - bu. 333.00 457.00 de. 499.00 3,695.00 de. 6,243.75 2,446.25 de.
Cotton - lbs. 0.25 4.25 de. 42.50 892.50 de. 3.83 89.67 de.
Flax - bu. 509.00 117.00 in. 5,599.00 2,071.00 in. 5,599.00 1,894.60 in.
Hemp - lbs. 6.00 9.25 de. 5,520.00 8,510.00 de. 331.20 510.60 de.
Tobacco - lbs. 2.88 26.12 de. 2,131.20 19,328.80 de. 213.12 1,932.88 de.
Broom Corn - lbs. 124.00 50.00 in. 99,200.00 40,000.00 in. 3,720.00 1,500.00 in.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 2,924.00 864.00 in. 8,772.00 3,622.00 in. 35,088.00 14,488.00 in.
Timothy Meadow - tons 884.00 566.00 in. 1,326.00 849.00 in. 6,630.00 4,245.00 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 391.00 141.00 in. 782.00 282.00 in. 3,910.00 1,410.00 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons 30,407.00 5,283.00 in. 42,570.00 7,396.40 in. 127,710.00 22,189.20 in.
Timothy Pasture acres 176.00 84.00 de. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres 247.00 231.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 278.00 76.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 16,408.00 4,394.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 137,696.26 15,785.51 in. ----- ----- $852,912.56 $36,300.71 in.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $207,930.16.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 70. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 59,465; pear, 1,450; peach, 113,104; plum, 2,862; cherry, 25,728. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 106,543; pear, 2,218; peach, 27,592; plum, 1,613; cherry, 11,260.

Herd Law. - The herd law is not in force in the county. Public sentiment is generally opposed to it, as there is a reasonably good supply of fencing material. But little is urged in favor of the law, and in opposition it is held that the use of all unoccupied and uncultivated lands for free pasturage is more valuable than the advantage of protection to crops without fences.

Fences. - Stone, 38,359 rods; cost, $57,538.50. Rail, 399,803 rods; cost, $519,743.90. Board, 30,325 rods; cost, $42,455. Wire, 12,357 rods; cost, $8,773.47. Hedge, 318,593 rods; cost, $175,226.15. Total rods of fence, 799,437; total cost, $803,737.02.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 796; pounds of honey, 3,576; wax, 27.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $71,475.

Manufactures. - Blue Mound township: wind-power grist mill, capital, $400. Lincoln township: steam saw and grist mill, capital, $3,000; water-power grist mill, capital, $1,000; steam woolen mill, capital, $1,500. Mound City township: steam and water flouring mill, capital, $3,000. Parish township: water-power saw and grist mill, capital, $300; steam saw and grist mill, capital, $2,000. Potosi township: steam saw mill, capital, $1,000; steam flouring mills, 2, capital, $4,500. Valley township: water and steam saw and grist mill, capital, $1,500; water-power saw and grist mill, capital, $2,500.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $622,568; railroad property, $237,987.82; total assessed valuation of all property, $2,620,551.82; true valuation of all property, $4,367,586.37. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $47,607.45; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, 02-.

Newspaper History. - The first paper established in the county was the Linn County Herald, publish at Mound City, by Jonathan Lyman, editor and publisher. Its publication was commenced on the first of April, 1859, and continued one year, when the name was changed to the Mound City Report. J. F. Broadhead had charge of the editorial department, and the publication was continued until the spring of 1861, when the press was sold to Robert Mitchell, afterward General Mitchell, and moved to Mansfield, where a new paper was started, called the Mansfield Shield and Banner, which was published by Mr. Lyman until the spring of 1862, when its publication was suspended, and the press was sold and moved to Baldwin City in the fall of 1863.

The publication of the Border Sentinel was commenced at Mound City on the first of April, 1864, by John T. and James D. Snoddy. John T. Snoddy died on the 21st of the same month, after which James D. Snoddy continued its publication until March 25th, 1865, when Frank B. Smythe became associated with him. On the 25th of May following, Mr. Smythe took full control of the paper and run it until the 13th of October of the same year, when James D. Snoddy again took control of it, and continued its publication until August 24th, 1866, when he sold to Joel Moody, who conducted it until March 28th, 1868, when he sold it to Nat. G. Barter, who continued its publication until the 6th of January, 1874, when it was moved to Fort Scott.

On April 1st, 1875, the first number of the Linn County Enterprise was issued at Mound City by J. J. McCallum, editor and proprietor, and was conducted by him until the 4th of July, 1875, when he sold a half interest to W. C. Hanchett, and it was published by Hanchett & McCallum until the 11th of November following, when the press was sold to T. L. Darlow, of Pleasanton, and the publication discontinued. In the latter part of January, 1876, before the press was moved from Mound City, it was purchased by J. C. Cannon and T. B. Van Buskirk, and on the first day of February they commenced the publication of the Linn County Clarion, under the firm name of Cannon & Van Buskirk, with Dr. S. M. Brice in charge of the editorial department. On January 1, 1877, J. C. Cannon sold his interest to S. M. Brice, and the firm name was then changed to Brice & Van Buskirk, and the publication of the Clarion continued by them till the present time.

The La Cygne Weekly Journal was the first newspaper published at La Cygne. The first number of the Journal was issued on Saturday, June 18, 1870, by Cary & Kenea. It has been Republican in politics from the time it was started. It continued under the management of Cary & Kenea until the death, on September 17, 1872, of the senior editor and proprietor, Mr. Cary, after which time it was published by the surviving member of the firm, Mr. Kenea, and his sister, Mrs. E. B. Cary, widow of L. C. Cary, under the same firm name as before. The paper was published from March 22, 1873, until March 14, 1874, by Mr. Kenea and Rev. Albert Gore, the firm name being Kenea & Gore. The paper then appeared with the names of Kenea & Cary as publishers, until November 28, 1874. It was then again published by Kenea & Gore until March 20, 1875. Kenea & Cary were its publishers from that time until July 17, 1875. From July 24, 1875, up to this time, the Journal has been published by Kenea & Lane (J. P. Kenea and Ed. C. Lane).

The first number of the Pleasanton Observer was issued at Pleasanton, August 24, 1871, by Leander K. Zook. In the spring following, E. H. and J. A. Bacon assumed control of its publication, and were associated until July 1, 1876, when E. H. sold his interest to Dr. Henry Plumb. On the 1st of April, Dr. Plumb sold out to J. A. Bacon, who is at present editor and publisher.

The Linn County Press was established in 1869, by A. B. Bowman, who sold it in a short time to Winfree and Lewis. From their hands it passed into the possession of the Press Publishing Company, H. Plumb, editor, who run it about a year, when it was leased to J. H. Rogers & Co., who issued a few numbers of the paper. The company then took the office back, and it was run a short time by Mugford & Hughes, who then bought it, and removed it to Sumner county, Kansas, in the spring of 1871.

The publication of the Linn Country Tribune was commenced at La Cygne on the 20th of September, 1878, by J. T. Trickett and T. M. Johnson, as an advocate of the Greenback Labor party. The Tribune was published as a daily during the Fair of the Linn County Agricultural Society, in October, 1878. On the 4th of October, Mr. Johnson retired from the paper, Mr. F. W. Ward taking an interest, and since then the paper has been published by Trickett & Ward.

With the exception of the Tribune all the papers in Linn county are, and always have been, firmly Republican.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 98, school population, 5,725; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $35.21; females, $26.76. School houses built during 1878, 6; frame, 5; stone, 1. Total number of school houses, 94; log, 6; frame, 80; brick, 2; stone, 6. Value of all school property, $93,626. A small proportion of the school grounds are ornamented by trees planted for shade.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 5; membership, 278; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,000. Congregational: organizations, 1; membership, 13; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $1,500. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 28; membership, 1,000; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $6,000. Presbyterian: organizations, 6; membership, 100; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $6,200. Roman Catholic: organizations, 1; membership, 200; church edifices, 1. Universalist: organizations, 1; 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. Transcribed by Virlynn Chapmond and Hayle Woods, October, 2001.


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