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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Neosho County

1878

Map of Neosho County - 1878

First settlements: The townships of Big Creek and Grant were settled in 1859 and 1860, by J. L. Fletcher, S. Barbee, H. Schooley, and S. and L. Hadden; Tioga township, in 1859, by Thomas Jackson; Erie township, 1870, by E. F. Williams, R. Leffo and P. Walters; Chetopa township, 1869, John Post and M. J. Salter; Ladore township, 1867, W. C. Dickerson. - The first church building was erected at Osage Mission, by the Catholics, in the fall of 1847; it is still standing. - The first school building was also erected, at Osage Mission, by the Catholics, in 1847. - The first business established in 1837, by Edward Choteau, Gerald Pappin and John Mathers, who traded with the Indians at their Mission. - The first marriage in the county, and claimed to be the first ever solemnized in the territory now included in the State of Kansas, was that of Francis Daybeau, a halfbreed, and Mary, an Osage woman, 1830; a Catholic priest named Van Quickenbone performed the ceremony, at or near Osage Mission. - The first post office established was at the Catholic (now Osage) Mission, in 1851, John Shoemaker, postmaster; Erie, April, 1866, A. H. Roe, postmaster; Thayer, December, 1871, George T. Shepherd, postmaster. - In 1822, the Catholic church of St. Louis, Missouri, sent a priest by the name of Charles De La Croix, to organize churches in Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas. In May, of that year, he baptized, at Osage Mission, two Indians, named James and Francis Choteau - the first persons to whom the rite of baptism was administered in the Territory. After this the Indians were visited occasionally by priests from St. Louis, until May, 1847, when J. J. Bax, John Shoemaker, and Paul Ponziglonia, came here for the purpose of establishing schools and churches among the Great and

Little Osage Indians. They found here at that time, E. Choteau, Gerald Pappin, and John Mathers, who had been for ten years trading with the Indians. In September, 1847, the first school was opened, with J. J. Bax and John Shoemaker as teachers. They had ten pupils, all Osage Indians. From 1855 to 1865 this school averaged one hundred and fifty Indians in attendance. In October, 1847, Bridget Hayden commenced a school for girls at the Mission, and has been either teacher or principal in the same school ever since. Father Shoemaker, Paul Ponziglonia, and Bridget Hayden still reside at Osage Mission - probably the oldest white settlers in Kansas.

Neosho county was formerly known as Dorn, and the name was changed June 3, 1861. The county was organized in 1864.

Population in 1860, 88; in 1870, 10,206; increase in ten years, 10,118; population in 1875, 11,076; increase in five years, 870; population in 1878, 11,055; increase in eighteen years, 10,967. Rural population, 7,993; city or town population, 3,062; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 72.30.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Big Creek 853 Canville 783 Centreville 817
Chetopa 927 Erie 1,215 Grant 918
Ladore 1,004 Lincoln 1,005 Mission 2,188
Shiloh 745 Tioga 1,442 Walnut Grove 1,158

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 20 per cent.; upland, 80 per cent.; forest (Government survey), 9 per cent.; prairie, 91 per cent. Average width of bottoms, about 2 1/2 miles; general surface of the country, undulating.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, one-half mile. Varieties: black walnut, oak, cottonwood, hackberry, elm, hickory, pecan and maple. There are a great many small groves of cultivated timber, numbering from 50 to 3,000 trees each. Box elder, willow, elm, black walnut, soft and hard maple, cottonwood, etc., all do well with proper care.

Principal Streams. - The Neosho river enters the county at the northwest corner, and traverses the county in a southeasterly direction. Tributaries on the east, Vegetarian, Big Creek, Canville, Four-Mile, Flat Rock and Walnut, all running southwest; on the west, Village, Turkey, Elk and Ogee's, running southeast. In the southwest part of the county, Labette creek runs nearly due south. Chetopa and Big Hill creeks are in the southwestern corner of the county. The county is not well supplied with springs; good well water is obtained at a depth of 20 feet.

Coal. - Coal has been discovered, underlying 10 per cent. of the area of the county. Thickness, 18 inches; quality, good; used mainly for domestic purposes. Mines, near Thayer, in Chetopa township, are being worked, and a considerable amount of coal is shipped.

Building Stone, etc. - An excellent quality of blue limestone is abundant in each township, and good sandstone, easily accessible, is found in different portions of the county. Excellent grindstone reported near Osage Mission. Good fire and pottery clay reported, but not utilized. Mineral paint reported in Mission township. In sinking a well in Osage Mission, salt water was struck at a depth of sixty feet. Small quantities have been evaporated and found to contain a large per centage of salt, but no analysis has been made.

Railroad Connections. - The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad enters the county near the northwestern corner, and traverses its entire extent in a southeasterly direction. A branch of the same road, extending from Parsons, Kansas, to Sedalia, Missouri, via Fort Scott, runs in a northeasterly direction across the southeastern portion of the county. The Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad traverses the entire extent of the county from north to south, nearly through the centre of the western tier of townships. Principal stations on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas: Chanute, Urbana, Galesburgh and Ladore; on its branch road, Osage Mission. On the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston: Chanute, Earlton and Thayer.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 368,640; taxable acres, 350,063; under cultivation, 166,454.52; cultivated to taxable acres, 47.55 per cent.; decrease of cultivated acres during the year, 11,259.23.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $2,966; poultry and eggs, $5,945.55.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 263,193 bushels, or an average of 119 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Number of cheese factories, 2; capital invested, $1,550; manufactured in 1875, 2,094 lbs.; in 1878, 9,712 lbs.; increase, 7,618 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 187,721 lbs.; in 1878, 325,305 lbs.; increase, 137,584 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 4,744; in 1878, 5,187; increase, 443. Mules and asses, in 1877, 804; in 1878, 945; increase, 141. Milch cows, in 1877, 4,796; in 1878, 5,058; increase, 262. Other cattle, in 1877, 8,712; in 1878, 8,827; increase, 115. Sheep, in 1877, 2,419; in 1878, 3,127; increase, 708. Swine, in 1877, 27,680; in 1878, 24,388; decrease, 3,292.

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

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 1,721.00 1,721.00 3,156.00 8,947.50 8,689.00 3,959.00 7,747.00
Rye 200.00 200.00 260.00 1,698.75 1,832.00 1,541.00 1,216.00
Spring Wheat 1,482.00 3,041.00 3,644.00 3,039.25 3,647.00 3,660.00 9,304.00
Corn 5,610.00 5,651.00 6,270.00 11,248.25 7,883.00 15,999.00 14,396.00
Barley 151.00 163.00 91.00 712.00 894.00 2,544.00 923.00
Oats 1,994.00 2,033.00 1,574.00 3,718.75 4,641.00 5,639.00 4,708.00
Buckwheat 115.00 38.00 6.00 16.00 6.50 13.00 21.25
Irish Potatoes 250.00 365.00 238.00 210.36 342.50 404.00 459.00
Sweet Potatoes 4.00 3.00 6.00 8.00 65.50 7.50 9.25
Sorghum 119.00 107.00 137.00 168.75 102.00 167.00 182.12
Castor Beans ----- ----- 4.00 126.75 13.50 2.00 15.00
Cotton ----- 1.25 0.75 5.25 ----- 0.12 -----
Flax ----- ----- 0.50 109.00 11.50 45.00 102.00
Hemp ----- ----- 10.00 ----- 9.30 27.00 0.50
Tobacco 0.25 0.50 3.00 2.12 5.75 9.62 2.38
Broom Corn ----- ----- 266.00 617.00 406.25 228.00 100.00
Millet and Hungarian 870.00 995.00 802.00 1,301.25 2,010.75 2,749.00 1,648.00
Timothy Meadow 5.00 15.00 16.00 53.00 15.00 34.00 43.00
Clover Meadow ----- 25.00 13.00 4.00 1.50 25.00 14.63
Prairie Meadow 4,884.00 9,397.00 1,852.00 8,627.00 491.00 362.00 1,681.00
Timothy Pasture ----- ----- ----- 5.00 3.12 3.00 7.50
Clover Pasture 1.00 1.00 1.00 2.00 ----- 4.00 2.00
Blue-Grass Pasture 4.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 17.50 14.00 12.50
Prairie Pasture 1,134.00 981.00 764.00 19,493.00 3,389.00 2,736.00 6,046.00








Total 18,544.25 24,741.75 19,117.25 60,114.98 34,476.67 40,172.24 48,640.13

Increase in six years, 54+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 9+ per cent.

RANK of Neosho 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 55 57 26 26 40 55 55
Corn 11 10 28 12 9 14 4
Total Acreage in all Crops 5 6 22 7 3 1 7








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. 8,367.00 5,533.00 in. 142,239.00 115,600.00 in. $95,300.13 $69,993.08 in.
Rye - bu. 161.00 58.00 in. 3,220.00 1,778.00 in. 966.00 533.40 in.
Spring Wheat - bu. 40.00 38.00 in. 400.00 390.00 in. 200.00 184.00 in.
Corn - bu. 66,539.00 5,577.00 in. 1,996,170.00 137,500.00 de. 379,272.30 4,788.30 de.
Barley - bu. 28.00 23.00 in. 672.00 562.00 in. 235.20 202.20 in.
Oats - bu. 8,576.00 4,551.00 in. 308,736.00 147,736.00 in. 49,397.76 25,247.76 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 215.83 55.17 de. 4,316.00 251.60 in. 3,453.28 201.28 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 994.00 99.00 in. 44,730.00 22,395.00 de. 24,601.50 12,317.25 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 23.31 22.69 de. 2,564.10 3,185.90 de. 2,564.10 3,473.40 de.
Sorghum - gall. 619.92 174.92 in. 71,290.80 20,115.80 in. 35,645.40 10,057.90 in.
Castor Beans - bu. 8,225.75 4,533.25 de. 74,031.75 53,558.25 de. 92,539.68 35,050.32 de.
Cotton - lbs. 40.25 23.75 in. 6,842.50 4,037.50 in. 615.83 335.33 in.
Flax - bu. 1,256.00 843.00 in. 12,560.00 8,430.00 in. 12,560.00 8,223.50 in.
Hemp - lbs. 6.00 4.00 de. 5,520.00 3,680.00 de. 331.20 220.80 de.
Tobacco - lbs. 14.09 .91 de. 10,426.60 673.40 de. 1,042.66 67.34 de.
Broom Corn - lbs. 186.25 155.25 in. 149,000.00 124,200.00 in. 5,587.50 4,657.50 in.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 2,318.00 204.00 in. 6,954.00 2,197.50 in. 27,816.00 8,790.00 in.
Timothy Meadow - tons 179.75 131.75 in. 269.62 197.62 in. 1,348.10 988.10 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 554.50 543.75 in. 1,109.00 1,087.50 in. 5,545.00 5,437.50 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons 26,429.00 1,167.00 in. 34,358.00 1,517.40 in. 99,638.20 4,400.46 in.
Timothy Pasture acres 60.50 59.50 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres 8.00 3.50 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 343.37 203.37 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 41,269.00 26,032.00 de. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 166,454.52 11,259.23 de. ----- ----- $838,659.84 $83,334.60 in.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 183; value of sheep killed by dogs, $549.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 10,082 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $156,250.28

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 78.55. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 30,959; pear, 813; peach, 169,879; plum, 1,370; cherry, 10,124. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 120,308; pear, 2,255; peach, 75,929; plum, 3,195; cherry, 24,599.

Herd Law. - The herd law has been in force since 1874, throughout the county. Public sentiment appears to be about evenly divided in favor of and against the law. It is claimed that the law encourages hedge growing, and stimulates grain growing rather than stock raising; but it is claimed that the farmers have a better grade of stock than if permitted to run at large. The friends of the law hold that its repeal would remit the business of stock raising wholly to rich men; while its opponents claim that its operation is destructive of stock raising, which is at least as important as grain growing.

Fences. - Stone, 4,075 rods; cost, $7,131.25. Rail, 195,675 rods; cost, $254,377.50; Board, 32,459 rods; cost, $45,767.19. Wire, 16,594 rods; cost, $11,781.74. Hedge, 446,406 rods; cost, $267,843.60. Total rods of fence, 695,209; total cost, $586,901.28.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 279; pounds of honey, 3,643; wax, 57.25.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $46,495.

Manufactures. - Canville township: water-power flouring mill. Centreville township: steam flouring mill; water-power grist mill, capital, $2,500. Chetopa township: steam flouring mills, 3, capital employed in two, $10,000, capital of the other not given; furniture factory, capital, $500; cheese factories, 2, capital, $1,550. Erie township: steam saw mill, capital, $500. Lincoln township: steam saw mill; steam saw and grist mills, 2, capital, $8,000. Mission township: steam saw mills, 2, capital, $2,500; steam flouring mill. Tioga township: steam flouring mill.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $334,021.66; railroad property, $422,902.09; total assessed valuation of all property, $2,301,262.13; true valuation of all property, $3,835,436.88. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $76,981.21; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .03.

Newspaper History. - October 24, 1868, B. K. Lamb started the Neosho Valley Eagle at Jacksonville, and continued it until May 25, 1869, when it was purchased by Kimball & Barton, who, on the 27th of February, 1871, sold the same to the Erie Publishing Association, with J. A. Wells as editor. The establishment was removed to Erie, and the name changed to the Erie Ishmaelite. June 5, following, it was again sold to Scott & Perry, of Osage Mission, who continued the publication at that place, under the name of the Neosho County Journal. The Journal is a Republican paper, and is still published.

The Osage Mission Journal was published by J. H. Scott, from August 5, 1868, to May 1, 1871. It was then sold to Lily & Martin, who converted it into the People's Advocate. Subsequently sold to Crowther & Walker, and merged into the Transcript - suspended.

The New Chicago Transcript, Republican, was published by George C. Crowther, from September 23, 1870, to April 30, 1872, when it was suspended.

The Thayer Criterion was published by Perry & Olney, from February 27, 1871, to August 16, of the same year, when it suspended.

The Thayer Headlight, Republican, established, August 16, 1871, by C. T. Ewing. It is still published.

The Tioga Herald, started by E. B. Hains, May 13, 1871, and continued until May 1, 1872, when it suspended.

The Chanute Times, Republican, established by A. L. Rivers, October, 19, 1872, and is still continued under the same management.

The Neosho County Record, established by G. W. McMillan, at Erie, May 5, 1876, is still published.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 95; school population, 5,480; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $35.28; females, $27.56. School houses built during 1878, stone, 1. Total number of school houses, 92; log, 3; frame, 83; brick, 3; stone, 3. Value of all school property, $87,341. The school grounds of about sixty districts are ornamented with shade trees, mostly of artificial growth; many varieties are employed.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 3; membership, 147; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $1,500. Episcopal: organizations, 1; membership, 16; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $900. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 23; membership, 912; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $12,200. Presbyterian: organizations, 4; membership, 60; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,000. Roman Catholic: organizations, 5; membership, 3,000; church edifices, 3; value of church property, $30,000. United Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 22.

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 Alisha Allen and Lisel Kraft, November 2001.


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