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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Marion County

1878

Map of Marion County - 1878

Only meager returns received. - First settlements: Centre township, summer of 1860, by William H. Billings, George Griffith and William Shreve; Clear Creek township, July, 1860, Herman Deal; Risley township, March 4, 1869, Alva Woodward, from Iowa; Wilson township, 1870, Wilson Campbell. - First church buildings: Centre township, Marion Centre, Methodist; Clear Creek township, United Brethren; Risley township, at Gnodenau, 1876, Russian Baptist. - First school houses: Centre township, 1862, near Marion Centre; Clear Creek township, at Lincolnville, by district No. 7; Risley township, 1872, by John M. Risley; Wilson township, by district No. 13. - First marriages: Centre township, A. A. Moore and Nancy Waterman, June, 1861; Clear Creek township, Jack Costiller and Abigail Wise, December 28, 1862; Risley township, N. C. W. Risley and Jane Woodward, February 18, 1872; Wilson township, John M. Cline and Emma Finch, April, 1872. - First births: Ira Moore, May 7, 1862; Clear Creek township, Abigail Wise, February, 1863; Risley township, Josie Jane Hale, August 22, 1869; (first death, Charlotte Woodward, wife of Alva Woodward, September 7, 1871); Wilson township, Hans Olsen, born March, 1871. - First business established: Centre township, dry goods and groceries, 1861, W. H. Billings and A. A. Moore; Risley township, grocery store, 1875, John M. Risley. - First post offices: Centre township, Moore's Ranch, 1860, A. A. Moore, postmaster; Marion Centre, 1862, W. H. Billings, postmaster; Clear Creek township, Clear Creek P. O., L. J. Wise, postmaster, Risley township, Creswell, 1873, Charles E. Whitney, postmaster.

Marion county was organized in 1865.

Population in 1860, 74; in 1870, 768; increase in ten years, 694; population in 1875, 5,907; increase in five years, 5,139; population in 1878, 8,306; increase in eighteen years, 8,232. Rural population, 6,611; city or town population, 1,695; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 79.60.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Branch
891
Catlin
436
Centre
1,549
Clear Creek
437
Doyle
862
Fairplay
351
Grant
347
Peabody
906
Risley
1,674
Summit
322
Wilson
531
-----
-----

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 16 per cent.; upland, 84 per cent.; forest (Government survey), 2 per cent.; prairie, 98 per cent. Average width of bottoms, one mile; general surface of the country, gently undulating.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, one-quarter of a mile. Varieties: cottonwood, hackberry, elm, oak, hickory, walnut, box elder and sycamore. A large majority of the farmers are giving attention to the cultivation of artificial timber. The leading varieties are cottonwood, soft maple, black walnut, mulberry, ash and box elder. About 200 acres of growing trees are reported in Clear Creek, Risley, Wilson and Centre townships.

Principal Streams. - The principal streams and their courses are: Cottonwood, northwest to southeast; Doyle creek, southwest to northeast; South Fork of Cottonwood, west to east; French creek, west to east; Clear creek, northeast to southwest; Middle creek, northwest to southeast; Bruno creek, northwest to southeast; Martin creek, northwest to southeast; Muddy creek, northwest to southeast. Springs are abundant; and good well water is obtained at a depth of from 15 to 50 feet.

Coal. - Indications of coal have been discovered, but none of consequence has been developed.

Building Stone, etc. - Magnesian limestone, of white and cream colors, is found in unlimited quantities cropping out of the edges of the bluffs and banks of the streams. Hydraulic cement, mineral paint, fire and pottery clay are stated to exist in considerable quantities, but it does not appear that the extent or value of the discoveries have been systematically investigated. Gypsum is also reported to abound in Doyle, South Cottonwood and French creeks.

Railroad Connections. - The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad runs through the southeastern part of the county, in a southwesterly direction. Principal stations, Florence and Peabody. A branch of the same road runs from Florence, in the southeastern part of the county, in a direct southerly line, to Eldorado, Butler county.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 610,560; taxable acres, 546,262; under cultivation, 112,673.06; cultivated to taxable acres, 20.63 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year 47,326.19.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $2,869.50; poultry and eggs, $5,828.50.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 185,403 bushels, or an average of 112 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 2,220 lbs.; in 1878, 2,080 lbs.; decrease, 140 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 49,428 lbs.; in 1878, 119,898 lbs.; increase, 70,470 lbs.

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

CROPS.
1872.
1873.
1874.
1875.
1876.
1877.
1878.
Winter Wheat
1,709.00
1,709.00
4,301.00
12,101.00
21,091.00
18,141.00
28,748.00
Rye
46.00
129.00
370.00
2,007.50
2,518.00
1,222.00
1,895.00
Spring Wheat
815.00
1,916.00
3,155.00
1,581.25
1,766.00
2,246.00
4,990.00
Corn
6,487.00
10,063.00
12,013.00
10,942.87
10,611.00
26,769.00
26,669.00
Barley
27.00
27.00
38.00
628.32
1,029.00
2,996.00
2,024.00
Oats
1,031.00
1,694.00
1,882.00
4,975.50
6,354.00
7,264.00
8,270.00
Buckwheat
18.00
-----
28.00
5.50
13.00
4.00
13.08
Irish Potatoes
176.00
318.00
399.00
371.14
534.50
571.00
665.00
Sweet Potatoes
18.00
5.00
22.00
6.20
32.50
7.37
18.00
Sorghum
36.00
40.00
108.00
82.39
65.00
199.00
217.75
Castor Beans
-----
13.00
2.00
-----
-----
0.25
6.50
Cotton
-----
-----
-----
1.25
-----
0.25
0.25
Flax
-----
-----
0.25
20.53
21.12
264.00
146.00
Hemp
-----
0.50
-----
-----
-----
-----
0.25
Tobacco
-----
0.50
-----
-----
1.00
2.00
2.92
Broom Corn
-----
-----
5.00
18.31
4.25
21.00
0.12
Millet and Hungarian
-----
9.00
150.00
94.75
828.50
1,306.00
690.00
Timothy Meadow
-----
12.00
13.00
3.00
42.00
94.00
285.63
Clover Meadow
-----
22.00
25.00
-----
80.25
14.00
79.56
Prairie Meadow
425.00
7,813.00
1,269.00
211.00
1,200.00
2,159.00
18,989.00
Timothy Pasture
-----
-----
6.00
-----
-----
1.50
23.00
Clover Pasture
-----
-----
5.00
1.00
2.00
-----
22.50
Blue-Grass Pasture
-----
12.00
6.00
10.25
0.50
3.50
120.50
Prairie Pasture
4,136.00
4,166.00
883.00
1,823.00
5,700.00
2,062.00
18,797.00








Total
14,924.00
27,949.00
24,680.25
34,884.76
51,893.62
65,346.87
112,673.06

Increase in six years, 655+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 109.16 per cent.

RANK of Marion 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
42
43
39
20
18
17
24
Corn
47
42
49
53
54
44
44








Total Acreage in all Crops
48
39
48
52
45
40
27

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.
28,748.00
10,607.00 in.
546,212.00
437,366.00 in.
$316,802.96
$229,726.16 in.
Rye - bu.
1,895.00
673.00 in.
24,635.00
2,639.00 in.
7,390.50
1,407.90 de.
Spring Wheat - bu.
4,990.00
2,744.00 in.
34,930.00
1,240.00 in.
17,465.00
7,802.50 de.
Corn - bu.
26,669.00
100.00 de.
1,066,760.00
4,000.00 de.
213,352.00
20,615.20 in.
Barley - bu.
2,024.00
972.00 de.
48,576.00
8,348.00 de.
14,572.80
5,350.60 de.
Oats - bu.
8,270.00
1,006.00 in.
339,070.00
84,830.00 in.
54,251.20
16,115.20 in.
Buckwheat - bu.
13.08
9.08 in.
261.60
221.60 in.
209.28
177.28 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu.
665.00
94.00 in.
66,500.00
32,240.00 in.
26,600.00
4,234.00 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu.
18.00
10.63 in.
2,700.00
1,963.00 in.
1,620.00
661.90 in.
Sorghum - gall.
217.75
18.75 in.
25,041.25
2,156.25 in.
12,520.63
1,078.13 in.
Castor Beans - bu.
6.50
6.25 in.
58.50
55.50 in.
73.13
70.13 in.
Cotton - lbs.
0.25
-----
42.50
-----
3.83
.42 de.
Flax - bu.
146.00
118.00 de.
1,314.00
1,326.00 de.
1,314.00
1,458.00 de.
Hemp - lbs.
0.25
.25 in.
230.00
230.00 in.
13.80
13.80 in.
Tobacco - lbs.
2.92
.92 in.
2,160.80
680.80 in.
216.08
68.08 in.
Broom Corn - lbs.
0.12
20.88 de.
96.00
16,704.00 de.
3.60
626.40 de.
Millet and Hungarian - tons
690.00
616.00 de.
2,070.00
1,521.50 de.
12,420.00
9,129.00 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons
285.63
191.63 in.
428.44
287.44 in.
2,570.64
1,724.64 in.
Clover Meadow - tons
79.56
65.56 in.
159.12
131.12 in.
954.72
814.72 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons
18,989.00
16,830.00 in.
34,180.00
30,293.80 in.
111,085.00
98,454.85 in.
Timothy Pasture acres
23.00
21,50 in.
-----
-----
-----
-----
Clover Pasture - acres
22.50
22.50 in.
-----
-----
-----
-----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres
120.50
117.00 in.
-----
-----
-----
-----
Prairie Pasture - acres
18,797.00
16,735.00 in.
-----
-----
-----
-----







Total
112,673.06
47,326.19 in.
-----
-----
$793,439.17
$339,511.27 in.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 2,664; in 1878, 3,242; increase, 578. Mules and asses, in 1877, 238; in 1878, 311; increase, 73. Milch cows, in 1877, 1,836; in 1878, 2,195; increase, 359. Other cattle, in 1877, 4,162; in 1878, 4,048; decrease, 114. Sheep, in 1877, 2,980; in 1878, 3,034; increase, 54. Swine, in 1877, 5,811; in 1878, 12,763; increase, 6,952.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 31; value of sheep killed by dogs, $93.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 14,701 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $39,866.40.

Horticulture. - Number or acres nurseries, 6.37. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 2,135; pear, 385; peach, 46,292; plum, 574; cherry, 1,129. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 30,649; pear, 1,546; peach, 91,273; plum, 2,894; cherry, 9,056.

Herd Law. - The herd law has been in operation since 1872 throughout the whole county, and the general sentiment is in its favor, though there is some opposition. It is said to have the effect to encourage hedge growing, and stimulates grain growing more than stock raising at present, but it is thought this will be reversed when the hedges become old enough to turn stock.

Fences. - Stone, 9,072 rods; cost, $18,144. Rail, 3,304 rods; cost, $4,625.60; Board, 13,012 rods; cost, $18,737.28. Wire, 6,814 rods; cost, $4,974.22. Hedge, 198,746 rods; cost, $119,247.60. Total rods of fence, 230,948; total cost, $165,728.70.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 6; pounds of honey, 20.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $49,390.

Manufactures. - Centre township: water-power grist mills, 2, combined capital, $14,000; wind-power stock feed mill, capital, $800. Doyle township: water-power flouring mill, capital, $9,000. Risley township: wind-power grist mill, capital, $300.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $236,040.32; railroad property, $228,038.60; total assessed valuation of all property, $1,895,947.83; true valuation of all property, $3,159,913.05. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $126,121.52; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .06+.

Newspaper History. - The Western News was the first paper issued in the county, commencing in September, 1869, at Marion Centre. An organization of citizens arranged with A. W. Robinson to remove his office from Detroit, Dickinson county, which he did. Robinson continued the publication until April, 1871, when he sold the office to John E. Murphy, who changed the name to the Western Giant, which he published until September, 1871, and in turn sold to C. S. Triplett, who again changed the name to the Marion County Record.

The Marion County Record was published by C. S. Triplett, from September, 1871, to October, 1874, having been greatly enlarged and improved, when it was sold to E. W. Hoch, the present editor and proprietor. The Record is Republican in politics.

In April 1871, W. M. Mitchell and John McReynolds removed the material of the Miami County Advertiser from Paola to Florence, and on the 22d of April began the publication of the Florence Pioneer. They continued to publish the paper until the fall of the same year, when C. H. and J. A. Kurtz came into possession, and retained the same until the spring of 1872, when the property fell into litigation. The Kurtz Brothers were ejected, and a Mr. Aller, a banker, assumed the control, and continued in the position until the spring of 1873, when he absconded. E. W. Hoch, upon solicitation of the people of Florence, continued to issue the paper for six months, awaiting the result of the litigation, and then discontinued the publication. In the spring of 1874, the Messrs. Kurtz recovered possession of the property, and removed it to Augusta, Butler county, where it is now used in the publication of the Southern Kansas Gazette.

The Peabody Gazette was first issued May 1, 1873, by J. P. Church. At the start it was wholly printed in the office of the Atchison Globe, but on the demise of that concern, in December, 1873, the Gazette was suspended until April, 1874, when it again made its appearance under the management of Church & Morgan, the original proprietor having associated with him W. H. Morgan, now proprietor of the Osage City Free Press. In November, 1874, Mr. Morgan retired from the Gazette, leaving Mr. Church as editor and sole proprietor, a relation which he still retains. The Gazette is a Republican paper.

The Florence Herald made its first appearance June 23, 1876, under the management of Isaac Howe and H. D. Morgan. It is still published, and it is a seven-column, Republican paper.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 65; school population, 2,913; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $35.45; females, $29.20. School houses built during 1878, 2; frame, 1; stone, 1. Total number of school houses, 64; frame, 50; stone, 14. Value of all school property, $72,918. A few districts have planted maple and cottonwood trees in their school grounds.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 8; membership, 208; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $1,000. Lutheran: organizations, 1; membership, 40; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,000. *Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 23: membership, 610. Presbyterian: organizations, 3; membership, 110; church edifices, 3; value of church property, $7,500. Roman Catholic: organizations, 3; membership, 500; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $500. United Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 18.

* Returns for 1876. No returns for 1878.

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 Ryan Allen, Lindsay Henderson, and Laura Kauffman, October, 2001.


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