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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Nemaha County

1878

Map of Nemaha County - 1878

First settlements: Capioma township, 1855, James McCalister, Robert Rea, and others; Granada township, January 17, 1855, David M. Locknane; Home township, 1858, Armstrong Brothers, William Myers and J. Barnes; Illinois township, October 9, 1858, Alex. McCutcheon, Hugh Hamilton and J. W. Teller; Red Vermillion township, May 25, 1856, Garrett Randel and D. Arnold; Clear Creek township, 1853, John O. Laughlin; Neuchatel township, spring of 1857, Charles Adolphe, Amis E. Bonjour and D. S. Veale. - First church buildings: Capioma township, 1860, Methodist; Neuchatel township, 1871, Presbyterian, or Swedish National Church; Valley township, no date, Methodist; Home township, Centralia, Methodist and Congregational; Granada township, at Granada, 1856, Christian; Richmond township, Seneca, 1866, Universalist; Rock Creek township, Sabetha, 1870, Congregational. - First school houses: Capioma township, at Capioma, 1859; Red Vermillion township, America City, 1857, by the settlers; Neuchatel township, a log house, built by the settlers, date not given; Clear Creek township, 1866, district No. 27; Illinois township, by district No. 1 and Home Association; Valley township, at old Centralia; Granada township, 1856, by Granada school district. - First marriages: Capioma township, 1858, Samuel Magill and Miss Whooper; Red Vermillion township, G. W. Randel and L. A. White, September 6, 1857; Neuchatel township, Charles Auguste Bonjour and Louise Zwicher; Clear Creek township, Matthew Martin and Mary Azier, March 29, 1858; Richmond township, Samuel Crozier and L. A. Newton, July, 1855; Illinois township, George Case and Clara Howe; Granada township, Joseph Brown and Elizabeth Haigh, 1857. - First births: Capioma township, Samuel Magill, 1860; Red Vermillion township, H. M. Randel, October, 1856; Neuchatel township, Charles Amis Bonjour, September 20, 1857; Clear Creek township, Rebecca Tatlow, 1858; Illinois township, Ella Hamilton, May, 1859; Granada township, Elizabeth Locknane, 1857. - First business established: Capioma township, at Capioma, country store, J. H. H. Ford & Brother; Red Vermillion township, America City, two stores in 1856 - one by G. W. Randel, the other by A. G. Channel; Neuchatel township, general store, 1867, A. Bonjour & Co.; Clear Creek township, Ash Point, John O. Laughlin; Valley township, steam saw mill Granada township, at Granada, general merchandise, 1857, M. H. Terrill. - First post offices: Capioma township, Capioma, W. R. Gage, postmaster; Red Vermillion township, America City, 1858, G. W. Randel, postmaster; Neuchatel township, Neuchatel, 1861, Alfred Bonjour, postmaster; Clear Creek township, Ash Point, John O. Laughlin, postmaster; Richmond township, Central City, 1856, H. H. Lanhan, postmaster; Illinois township, (Home was formerly a part of Illinois,) Centralia, G. L. Squire, postmaster; Harrison township, Hayes, D. B. Mercer, postmaster; Valley township, Lincoln, 1860, or 1861, L. B. Jones, postmaster; Granada township, Pleasant Spring, D. M. Locknane, postmaster.

Nemaha county was organized in 1855.

Population in 1860, 2,436; in 1870, 7,339; increase in ten years, 4,903; population in 1875, 7,909; increase in five years, 570; population in 1878, 8,876; increase in eighteen years, 6,440. Rural population, 7,216; city or town population, 1,660; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 81.30.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Clear Creek 549 Capioma 647 Granada 394
Harrison 343 Home 874 Illinois 385
Nemaha 471 Neuchatel 392 Richmond 947
Rock Creek 1,128 Red Vermillion 540 Seneca City 841
Valley 487 Wetmore 522 Washington 356

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 10 per cent.; upland, 90 per cent.; forest (Government survey), 3 per cent.; prairie, 97 per cent.; average width of bottoms, one mile; general surface of the country, undulating.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, half a mile. Varieties: hickory, oak, hackberry, elm, walnut, cottonwood, ash, locust and sycamore. Nearly all the farmers have planted trees to a greater or less extent. It is estimated that there are 1,200 acres, in small tracts, in the county, of the usual varieties, but mainly cottonwood and soft maple.

Principal Streams. - The Nemaha flows north 20 miles, through the centre of the county. Deer creek, flowing west; Harris, northwest; Illinois, northeast; Grasshopper, southeast; Pony creek, east; Rock, northeast; Vermillion, west; French, south, and Turkey creek, east. The county is very well supplied with springs, and good well water is obtained at a depth of from 35 to 40 feet.

Coal. - Small quantities have been found along the Nemaha and its tributaries. Thickness of veins, from four to thirteen inches; depth below surface, from six to twenty feet; quality, medium; very little has been developed, and its use is altogether local.

Building Stone, etc. - A good quality of limestone is found in every township, except Illinois and Harrison; sandstone in Red Vermillion and Neuchatel townships.

Railroad Connections. - The St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad runs east and west through the county, north of the centre. Principal station, Seneca. The Central Branch Union Pacific Railroad runs east and west through the county, south of the centre. Principal stations: Wetmore, Corning and Centralia.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 460,800; taxable acres, 446,566; under cultivation, 82,667.58; cultivated to taxable acres, 18.51 per cent.; decrease of cultivated acres during the year, 1,789.42.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $1,422; poultry and eggs, $7,356.65.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 391,998 bushels, or an average of 221 bushels to each family.

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

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 3,340.00 3,341.00 3,104.00 1,753.25 1,345.00 253.00 1,093.00
Rye 407.00 409.00 688.00 1,023.00 3,089.00 1,163.00 2,866.00
Spring Wheat 3,680.00 7,056.00 10,081.00 5,575.75 9,061.00 3,377.00 8,717.00
Corn 24,520.00 23,511.00 25,693.00 36,906.00 34,928.00 47,004.00 37,556.00
Barley 895.00 683.00 568.00 503.00 1,282.00 724.00 692.00
Oats 7,171.00 7,037.00 5,693.00 5,325.45 7,602.00 6,593.00 8,317.00
Buckwheat 432.00 481.00 150.00 1,146.25 105.75 144.00 133.50
Irish Potatoes 575.00 718.00 669.00 536.50 707.37 769.00 658.00
Sweet Potatoes 4.00 12.00 6.00 0.37 12.00 3.25 9.83
Sorghum 186.00 160.00 162.00 218.00 216.75 171.00 186.75
Castor Beans ----- 38.00 48.00 23.00 ----- 19.00 2.50
Cotton 14.00 0.74 ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Flax 12.00 279.25 348.00 1,512.27 1,307.50 59.00 72.50
Hemp 4.50 ----- ----- ----- ----- 0.50 0.17
Tobacco 4.50 3.75 2.00 3.50 3.13 3.25 12.08
Broom Corn ----- ----- 32.00 52.75 112.00 23.00 20.50
Millet and Hungarian 330.00 596.00 1,017.00 1,804.75 1,935.25 1,829.00 2,041.00
Timothy Meadow 284.00 82.00 131.00 121.25 103.75 38.00 160.75
Clover Meadow 68.00 69.00 110.00 27.25 16.00 12.00 108.50
Prairie Meadow 14,927.00 4,181.00 9,011.00 15,835.00 16,641.00 13,519.00 13,737.00
Timothy Pasture 6.00 6.00 9.00 36.00 30.50 13.00 31.50
Clover Pasture 9.00 9.00 8.00 17.00 4.00 20.00 10.00
Blue-Grass Pasture 44.00 44.00 ----- 104.00 44.00 14.00 107.00
Prairie Pasture 9,671.00 9,641.00 3,254.00 11,190.00 10,047.00 8,706.00 6,135.00








Total 66,584.00 58,357.74 60,784.00 83,714.34 88,593.00 84,457.00 82,667.58

Increase in six years, 26+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 4.33 per cent.

RANK of Nemaha 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 20 13 21 36 38 51 49
Corn 20 23 25 20 21 26 29
Total Acreage in all Crops 18 22 31 26 25 33 40








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. 1,093.00 840.00 in. 20,767.00 18,237.00 in. $13,498.55 $10,968.55 in.
Rye - bu. 2,866.00 1,703.00 in. 63,052.00 42,118.00 in. 18,915.60 11,588.70 in.
Spring Wheat - bu. 8,717.00 5,340.00 in. 95,887.00 41,855.00 in. 55,614.46 12,388.86 in.
Corn - bu. 37,556.00 9,448.00 de. 1,577,352.00 302,808.00 de. 283,923.36 129,711.04 de.
Barley - bu. 692.00 32.00 de. 17,992.00 6,408.00 in. 6,836.96 2,782.56 in.
Oats - bu. 8,317.00 1,724.00 in. 332,680.00 75,553.00 in. 49,902.00 11,332.95 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 133.50 10.50 de. 2,670.00 366.00 in. 2,136.00 292.80 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 658.00 111.00 de. 62,510.00 4,835.00 in. 18,753.00 18,735.75 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 9.83 6.58 in. 983.00 625.50 in. 1,211.36 516.64 de.
Sorghum - gall. 186.75 15.75 in. 21,476.25 1,811.25 in. 10,738.13 905.63 in.
Castor Beans - bu. 2.50 16.50 de. 25.00 165.00 de. 31.25 158.75 de.
Cotton - lbs. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Flax - bu. 72.50 13.50 in. 797.50 266.50 in. 797.50 239.95 in.
Hemp - lbs. 0.17 .33 de. 156.40 303.60 de. 9.38 18.22 de.
Tobacco - lbs. 12.08 8.83 in. 8,939.20 6,534.20 in. 893.92 653.42 in.
Broom Corn - lbs. 20.50 2.50 de. 16,400.00 2,000.00 de. 615.00 75.00 de.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 2,041.00 212.00 in. 6,123.00 2,465.00 in. 24,492.00 9,860.00 in.
Timothy Meadow - tons 160.75 122.75 in. 257.20 196.40 in. 1,286.00 982.00 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 108.50 96.50 in. 217.00 193.00 in. 1,085.00 965.00 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons 13,737.00 218.00 in. 24,727.00 392.80 in. 74,181.00 1,178.40 in.
Timothy Pasture acres 31.50 18.50 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres 10.00 10.00 de. ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 107.00 93.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 6,135.00 2,571.00 de. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 82,667.58 1,789.42 de. ----- $564,692.11 $83,935.24 de.

Dairy Products. - Number of cheese factories, 5; capital invested, $6,500. Manufactured in 1875, 798,850 lbs.; in 1878, 207,075 lbs.; decrease, 591,775 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 270,275 lbs.; in 1878, 461,446 lbs.; increase, 191,171 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 4,653; in 1878, 5,350; increase, 697. Mules and asses, in 1877, 273; in 1878, 322; increase, 49. Milch cows, in 1877, 8,108; in 1878, 9,398; increase, 1,290. Other cattle, in 1877, 15,547; in 1878, 18,117; increase, 2,570. Sheep, in 1877, 2,346; in 1878, 831; decrease, 1,515. Swine, in 1877, 16,151; in 1878, 25,541; increase, 9,390.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 58; value of sheep killed by dogs, $174.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 4,298 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $260,190.56.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 195.75. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 14,941; pear, 2,496; peach, 68,570; plum, 728; cherry, 4,892. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 52,741; pear, 1,178; peach, 45,122; plum, 889; cherry, 8,725.

Herd Law. - There is no herd law in the county, and the general sentiment is strongly against it. It is believed that the law would be ruinous to the stock-growing interest.

Fences. - Stone, 789 rods; cost, $1,578. Rail, 203,549 rods; cost, $274,791.15. Board, 108,666 rods; cost, $154,305.72. Wire, 129,160 rods; cost, $92,995.20. Hedge, 125,059 rods; cost, $81,288.35. Total rods of fence, 567,223; total cost, $604,958.42.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 121; pounds of honey, 2,046; wax, 61.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $47,160.

Manufactures. - Home township: steam flouring mill, capital, $5,000; steam power cheese factories, 2, capital, $3,500. Neuchatel township: steam and water flouring mill, capital, $5,000. Red Vermilion township: cheese factory, capital, $1,000. Richmond township: steam flouring mill, capital, $25,000; cheese factory. Rock Creek township: steam flouring mill, capital, $6,000; harness manufactories, 3, capital, $800. Washington township: steam saw mill, capital, $1,200.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $406,970.78; railroad property, $257,512.32; total assessed valuation of all property, $2,780,011.40; true valuation of all property, $4,633,352.33. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $5,986.79; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .002+.

Newspaper History. - The Nemaha Courier was the first paper published in the county, the first issue dating Seneca, November 14, 1863, John P. Cone, editor and proprietor. February 10, 1871, Frank A. Root and West E. Wilkinson purchased the establishment, changing the name to Seneca Weekly Courier. Mr. Root withdrew from the paper March 29, 1872, since which time Mr. Wilkinson has continued its publication as editor and proprietor. It is a Republican journal.

The Mercury was started at Seneca, September 18, 1869, by the Mercury Printing Company, and was edited by Thomas S. Kames. It lived but a few weeks.

The Independent Press was established at Seneca, January 1, 1870, by the Nemaha County Printing Association, George W. Collins, editor. Paul Conner assumed charge of it June 18, 1870, and continued until December 25, of the same year. March 3, 1871, it was revived and published by L. A. Hoffman; in August, by L. A. Hoffman & Co., and in January, 1872, again by Hoffman alone. January 19, 1872, W. D. Wood purchased the Press, and changed its name to the Nonpareil, March 14, 1873. It ceased to exist February 6, 1874.

The Sabetha Advance was established May 7, 1874, by George W. Larzalere and James H. Wright. Mr. Larzalere withdrew November 6, following. February 4, 1875, William L. Palmer joined Mr. Wright in its publication, but remained only six weeks. J. L. Peltier was connected with the paper for a few weeks, dating from August of the same year. July 28, 1876, Mr. Wright sold the Advance to E. A. Davis, who continued its publication until January 18, 1878, when it was discontinued. The Advance was a Republican paper.

The Nemaha County Republican was started at Sabetha, October 5, 1876, by James F. Clough, and June 1, of the following year, J. C. Hibbard, of Seneca, became associate editor. The paper which, as its name imports, is Republican in politics, still exists.

In May, 1878, Daniel C. Needham commenced publishing a line of co-operative local papers along the Central Branch Railroad, two of which are in Nemaha county; the Acme at Wetmore, and the Phonograph at Centralia. Both are Republican.

In 1870, Jules Leroux, a Frenchman, started the Star of Kansas, a paper in Neuchatel township, devoted to Communism. It was an eight-page monthly, printed in the French language, and with miscellaneous contributors. In May, 1876, Mr. Leroux removed to Fremont county, Iowa, taking his establishment with him.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 82; school population, 3,618; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $38.62; females, $29.46. School houses built during 1878, frame, 2. Total number of school houses, 80; log, 4; frame, 67; stone, 9. Value of all school property, $74,505. No report of the ornamentation of school grounds.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 5; membership, 250; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,500. Congregational: organizations, 5; membership, 204; church edifices, 3; value of church property, $10,000. Episcopal: organizations, 1; membership, 10. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 15; membership, 485; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $12,300. Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 35; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,200. Roman Catholic: organizations, 2; membership, 500; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $500. Universalist: organizations, 1; membership, 25; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $9,800.

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 Darrel C. and Alisha Allen, November 2001.


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