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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Woodson County

1878

Map of Woodson County - 1878

First settlements: Neosho Falls township, (town of Neosho Falls), March 2, 1857, by John Chapman, Jack Cavin, John Woolman and others; Liberty township, spring of 1857, by Thomas Sears and - Ewing; Toronto township, 1856, David Cooper; Centre township, 1857, William Stockalrand, August Kateman and August Lauber; Belmont township, 1856, Reuben Daniels; Eminence township, 1860, - Dudley; Owl Creek township, 1856, John Coleman; Perry township, March, 1866, Dana, Devore, Milligan, Foland and Nurse. - First church buildings: Neosho Falls township, at Neosho Falls, 1870, Methodist; Liberty township, no church building - Methodists and Baptists organized in 1859; Centre township, 1877-8, Christian; Belmont township, at Belmont, 1859, Christian; Owl Creek township, 1868, Catholic; Perry township, 1869, United Brethren. - First school houses: Neosho Falls township, Neosho Falls, by district No. 8; Liberty township, 1859, district No. 1; Toronto township, 1858, district No. 3; Centre township, 1862, district No. 13; Owl Creek township, 1862, district No. 5. - First business established: Neosho Falls, 1857, dry goods and groceries, Peter Stevens; Centre township, at Chellis, in 1860; a trading post was established at Fort Belmont about 1856, by B. F. Foster, who traded with the Great and Little Osages; Perry township, 1870, grocery store, G. W. Grebb. - First marriages: Dr. S. J. Williams was the first man married in the county under the marriage license act; Liberty township: - Stolsing to - Pappenhousen, 1858; Toronto township, George Babb and Minerva Macey; Centre township, August Lauber and Augusta Stockalrand, December 27, 1860. - First births: Eliza Jane Tassel, 1857; Liberty township, May Humphrey, 1858; Centre township, Louis Johnson, May 15, 1860. - First post offices: Neosho Falls, 1857, Peter Stevens, postmaster; Liberty township, Colony, Thomas Sears, postmaster; Toronto township, Toronto, 1870, S. R. Kellogg, postmaster; Centre township, Bath, August, 1857, Chris. Taylor, postmaster; Belmont township, Fort Belmont, 1860. - Yates Center is the county seat of Woodson county. It was laid out in 1876, by Abner Yates, of Jacksonville, Illinois, and was settled by the old inhabitants of Kalida and Defiance. The town is located in the geographical centre of the county. Neosho Falls, the former county seat, is on the Neosho river, in the northeast part of the county, has a good utilized water-power, and is an important point on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad.

Population in 1860, 1,488; in 1870, 3,827; increase in ten years, 2,339; population in 1875, 4,476; increase in five years, 649; population in 1878, 5,514; increase in eighteen years, 4,026. Rural population, 4,687; city or town population, 827; 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.
Belmont 451 Centre 366 Eminence 347
Everett 574 Liberty 778 Neosho Falls City 603
Neosho Falls 577 Owl Creek 628 Perry 449
Toronto 478 Yates Center 263 ----- -----

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 10 per cent.; upland, 90 per cent; forest (Government survey), 6 per cent.; prairie, 94 per cent. Average width of bottoms, from one-half mile to two miles; general surface of the country, gently undulating.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, one-half mile. Varieties: oak, hickory, black walnut, hackberry, honey locust, pecan, sycamore, elm and cottonwood. The Neosho in the northeast, the Verdigris in the southwest, and Owl, Cherry and Sandy creeks traversing the interior of the county, supply a fair amount of native timber. Artificial cultivation is carried on to a liberal extent, and small groves are found all over the county. Principal varieties: cottonwood and box elder.

Principal Streams. - The Neosho river enters the county near the northeastern corner, and runs across the corner of the county in a southeasterly direction; the principal tributaries are Owl and Cherry creeks. The Verdigris river runs across the extreme southwestern corner of the county in a southeasterly direction; principal tributary, Big Sandy. The county is not well supplied with springs; good well water at a depth of from 20 to 40 feet.

Coal. - There is a good supply of surface coal in the central and western portions of the county, of fair quality, which is mined sufficiently to supply all local demands.

Building Stone, etc. - Stone abundant and well distributed; mainly sandstone, which is soft when taken out, but hardens by exposure, and makes an excellent building stone. There is some pottery and fire clay, but neither has been put to practical use.

Railroad Connections. - The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad runs across the northeastern corner of the county in a southeasterly direction, following the valley of the Neosho.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 322,560; taxable acres, 277,319; under cultivation, 57,762.25; cultivated to taxable acres, 20.86 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 11,576.50.

HEAVY YIELD. - Statement by W. B. Stines, Yates Center:

Corn. - I planted 8 acres with Early Surratt White corn on the 20th of April; the ground was rich alluvial bottom land surrounded with limestone and sandstone bluffs on the south, and timber on the north; it is located in Section 14, Township 24, Range 14 east. The corn was gathered the last of October, and the yield was 80 bushels to the acre. It was cultivated twice with a two-horse cultivator and one hoeing. The cost per acre was $2.12-1/2.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $1,332.25; poultry and eggs, $2,157.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 104,872 bushels, or an average of 95 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 4,184.00 4,184.00 4,433.00 2,363.00 1,680.00 1,306.00 2,455.00
Rye 332.00 332.00 355.00 274.00 110.00 263.00 465.00
Spring Wheat 54.00 80.00 186.00 9.00 13.00 9.00 33.00
Corn 12,289.00 12,541.00 11,155.00 14,009.50 16,943.00 20,782.00 20,943.00
Barley 1.00 21.00 8.00 ----- 17.00 12.00 7.00
Oats 4,743.00 5,091.00 4,325.00 3,295.00 4,190.00 2,536.00 3,896.00
Buckwheat 192.00 92.00 73.00 39.50 65.50 56.50 131.50
Irish Potatoes 510.00 640.00 517.00 483.95 542.50 499.00 420.00
Sweet Potatoes 7.00 19.00 21.00 20.74 16.62 17.00 21.61
Sorghum 174.00 232.00 322.00 387.75 135.50 238.00 167.50
Castor Beans 4.00 16.00 183.00 126.75 62.00 312.00 105.50
Cotton 2.00 14.25 12.00 5.62 1.60 3.50 -----
Flax 8.00 14.00 138.00 1,510.50 1,158.25 176.00 82.00
Hemp ----- 1.00 ----- ----- ----- 0.50 -----
Tobacco 5.00 12.00 12.00 9.75 19.62 2.25 4.50
Broom Corn ----- ----- 30.00 54.00 93.00 41.00 23.64
Millet and Hungarian 126.00 152.00 535.00 881.50 1,642.25 2,414.00 1,796.00
Timothy Meadow 194.00 193.00 138.00 90.00 45.00 127.00 39.75
Clover Meadow 38.00 38.00 34.00 62.00 7.00 235.00 16,732.00
Prairie Meadow 23,103.00 8,292.00 14,505.00 16,480.00 16,105.00 11,144.00 7.00
Timothy Pasture 5.00 5.00 ----- 4.00 2.00 ----- 14.00
Clover Pasture 13.00 13.00 4.00 ----- 4.00 ----- 57.25
Blue-Grass Pasture 11.00 11.00 ----- 42.00 21.00 30.00 10,361.00
Prairie Pasture 5,037.00 5,037.00 5,116.00 7,715.25 12,919.00 5,982.00 -----








Total 51,032.00 37,030.25 42,102.00 47,863.81 55,792.84 46,185.75 57,762.25

Increase in six years, 13+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 2.16+ per cent.

RANK of Woodson 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 30 39 55 54 60 64 67
Corn 36 38 51 50 44 49 50
Total Acreage in all Crops 25 35 40 45 42 51 51








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. 2,455.00 1,149.00 in. 44,190.00 28,518.00 in. $25,630.20 $11,525.40 in.
Rye - bu. 465.00 202.00 in. 7,440.00 2,443.00 in. 2,232.00 732.90 in.
Spring Wheat - bu. 33.00 24.00 in. 330.00 240.00 in. 165.00 93.00 in.
Corn - bu. 20,943.00 161.00 in. 733,005.00 98,275.00 de. 146,601.00 3,029.40 de.
Barley - bu. 7.00 5.00 de. 126.00 162.00 de. 44.10 42.30 de.
Oats - bu. 3,896.00 1,360.00 in. 155,840.00 54,400.00 in. 23,376.00 8,160.00 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 131.50 75.00 in. 2,761.50 2,027.00 in. 2,209.20 1,621.60 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 420.00 79.00 de. 37,800.00 7,860.00 in. 18,900.00 3,930.00 in.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 21.61 4.61 in. 2,161.00 461.00 in. 1,728.80 198.80 in.
Sorghum - gall. 167.50 70.50 de. 19,262.00 8,107.50 de. 9,631.25 4,053.75 de.
Castor Beans - bu. 105.50 206.50 de. 1,055.00 2,377.00 de. 1,318.75 2,113.25 de.
Cotton - lbs. ----- 3.50 de. ----- 595.00 de. ----- 59.50 de.
Flax - bu. 82.00 94.00 de. 820.00 588.00 de. 820.00 658.40 de.
Hemp - lbs. ----- 0.50 de. ----- 460.00 de. ----- 27.60 de.
Tobacco - lbs. 4.50 2.25 in. 3,330.00 1,665.00 in. 333.00 166.50 in.
Broom Corn - lbs. 23.64 17.36 de. 18,912.00 13,888.00 de. 709.20 520.80 de.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 1,796.00 618.00 de. 5,388.00 647.00 de. 20,474.40 2,458.60 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons 39.75 87.25 de. 67.57 148.33 de. 317.58 697.15 de.
Clover Meadow - tons ----- 235.00 de. ----- 399.50 de. ----- 1,877.65 de.
Prairie Meadow - tons 16,732.00 5,588.00 in. 16,732.00 5,588.00 in. 46,013.00 15,367.00 in.
Timothy Pasture acres 7.00 7.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres 14.00 14.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 57.25 27.25 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 10,361.00 4,379.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 57,762.25 1,576.50 in. 1,049,220.07 ----- $300,503.48 $26,256.80 in.

Dairy Products. - Number of cheese factories, 1; capital invested, $1,600; manufactured in 1875, 1,795 lbs.; in 1878, 10,100 lbs.; increase, 8,305 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 113,361 lbs.; in 1878, 137,060 lbs.; increase, 23,699 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 2,006; in 1878, 2,545; increase, 539. Mules and asses, in 1877, 239; in 1878, 325; increase, 86. Milch cows, in 1877, 3,427; in 1878, 3,820; increase, 393. Other cattle, in 1877, 8,726; in 1878, 10,117; increase, 1,391. Sheep, in 1877, 5,736; in 1878, 8,230; increase, 2,494. Swine, in 1877, 4,728; in 1878, 10,237; increase, 5,509.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 64; value of sheep killed by dogs, $192.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 29,315 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $77,395.22.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 6.62. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 10,836; pear, 348; peach, 81,696; plum, 687; cherry, 5,316. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 43,027; pear, 781; peach, 27,842; plum, 790; cherry, 8,872.

Herd Law. - The herd law is not in force in the county, and public sentiment is against it. This is a stock county, and fencing material is cheap and abundant in the farming portion. Our correspondent says that "the absence of the herd law has a salutary effect on stock raising and growing small grain, and may be said to stimulate the latter." It is urged that the law would be detrimental to stock raising, the leading industry of the county, prevent farm improvements, etc.

Fences. - Stone, 5,503 rods; cost, $11,006. Rail, 112,149 rods; cost, $151,401.15. Board, 18,923 rods; cost, $26,681.43. Wire, 20,539 rods; cost, $14,582.69. Hedge, 134,610 rods; cost, $67,305. Total rods of fence, 291,724; total cost, $270,976.27.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 139; pounds of honey, 1,266; wax, 78.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $23,013.

Manufactures. - Centre township: harness manufactory, capital, $200; wagon manufactory. Neosho Falls township: steam saw mill, capital, $1,500; water-power saw and grist mill, capital, $4,000; furniture factory, capital, $300; horse-power grist mill, capital, $1,000; water-power woolen mill, capital, $3,000. Toronto township: steam saw and flouring mill, capital, $4,000; cheese factory, capital, $1,600.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $244,974; railroad property, $65,591.97; total assessed valuation of all property, $1,325,666.97; true valuation of all property, $2,209,444.95. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $34,557.13; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .03-.

Newspaper History. - The Frontier Democrat was started in October, 1869, by J. B. Boyle, who continued to publish it till about January, 1870, when its name was changed to Neosho Falls Advertiser, and sold to W. H. Slavens. In the spring of 1871, Mr. Collins purchased the paper, and run it about three months, when it was purchased by a company, and leased to Jones & Clark. Jones retired early in the following winter, and it was leased to Slavens & Pettit in 1872. In December, 1872, Sain & Dow bought the material, and on the first day of January, 1873, issued the first number of the Woodson County Post. On the 8th of September, 1873, Dow retired, and W. W. Sain became editor and proprietor, continuing its publication till July 13, 1877, when J. Mickle & Son leased it. They published the paper till December 13, 1877, when it again fell into Mr. Sain's hands. It was published by him till January 13, 1878, when the office was purchased by Nathan Powell, who associated with him Hon. H. D. Dickson, and changed the politics of the paper from Republican to Democratic. Mr. Dickson retired in July, 1878, and the paper is now published by Mr. Powell.

The Woodson County Advocate was started in February, 1872, by W. H. Jones, and the initial number was issued at Neosho Falls, February 14, 1872. The office was then removed to Kalida, and the second number was issued at that place February 28. In the fall of 1873, Mr. Jones sold the office to R. F. Engle, who removed it the next spring to Le Roy, Coffey county, where it was again sold, and transferred to Burlington, the press and a portion of the fixtures being now used in the office of the Burlington Independent.

The Weekly News, published by Steinbarger & Baker, was established at Yates Center in June, 1877. Steinbarger shortly afterward retired, and Baker became sole proprietor. In May, 1878, Mr. E. W. Baker sold the office to W. H. Jones. The name of the paper was changed to the Yates Center News, and Mr. Jones associated Mr. G. W. Fry with him as publisher. The News is the only Republican paper in the county.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 57; school population, 2,236; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $33.55; females, $27.66. School houses built during 1878, none. Total number of school houses, 56; log, 1; frame 51; stone, 4. Value of all school property, $25,227. The school grounds are generally without any shade or ornament. A few are fenced, but most of the houses stand on the open commons.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 3; membership, 120. Congregational: organizations, 5; membership, 144; value of church property $200. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 9; membership, 225; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $4,500. Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 75; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,400. Roman Catholic: organizations, 2; membership, 200; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $800. United Presbyterian: organizations, 3; membership, 40. Universalist: organizations, 1; membership, 11.

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 Angie Bennett, March 2002.


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