Pages 586-588, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.


586 HISTORY OF ALLEN AND  

Railroads, Towns, Etc.

As early as 1867 the question of a railroad for Woodson County began to claim the attention of the people. Beginning then and continuing down, to the summer of 1881 there were many bond propositions submitted to a vote of the people in behalf of as many different companies for lines of railroad across the county from almost every cardinal and semi-cardinal point. All these propositions were voted down except the one to aid the St. Louis, Ft. Scott and Wichita Railway which asked of Center and Toronto townships an aggregate of $50,000 in bonds. There was little opposition to the proposition, and in the summer of 1881 the first railroad for the county became a reality. This line became a part of the Missouri Pacific system a few years later, which company built a line from Leroy southwest through Yates Center where it farmed a junction with the Wichita road for points west.

In 1887 the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway constructed a feeder from its line at Colony southwest through Neosho Falls to Yates Center, a distance of twenty-six miles, and there terminated the branch. The same system built a branch line from Madison, Kan., in 1884, down the Verdigris River, crossing the southwest corner of Woodson County, and called the Chicago, Kansas and Western railroad. This, with the Missouri Pacific line, gave Toronto two railroads and aided much in the development of the west side of the county.

The Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad built a line from Junction City, Kan., in 1870 down the Neosho River, passing across the northeast corner of Woodson County to Parsons. For many years this was an important line of road and heavy trains of Texas cattle were shipped over
XXXroad to northern connecting points. With the construction of com-
XXX lines, and directly to the markets of Chicago and St. Louis, through
XXX sought other channels and the Junction City branch dropped into
XXX soley for local traffic.

XXXtowns of the county are Yates Center, Neosho Falls, Toronto
XXXXernon and Rose. The mere postoffices are Burt, Finney Griffin,
XXXna, Lomando, Cookville and Conger. The histories of Neosho
XXX Toronto appear under separate heads in this work while that
XXX towns recorded below.

XXXXter, the County Seat of Woodson County, is located upon
XXXX14 and 15, township 25, range 15, and includes, with its
XXXXething over a section of land. The fact that this location

  WOODSON COUNTIES, KANSAS. 587

is in the geographical center of the county, and that its original owner's name was Yates led to the christening of the town as "Yates Center." When the election had decreed that this spot was to be the seat of government of the county Mr. Yates purchased a two story building and moved it to the townsite—the first building in the town. This building was for a long time used not only for a county building but for holding religious services and for other public gatherings. George Wille was the first general merchant. T. W. Wilson opened the second store and J. M. Wolfer came with the first stock of drugs. E. V. Wharton was the first physician and was followed by Dr. J. W. Turner. Jesse Pickett was the first lawyer in the town, but Judge W. H. Thurber and Alexander Stewart were on the ground almost as early. The first hotel, moved from Kalida, was run by C. W. Wilson, who was also the first liveryman. J. B. Fry was the first blacksmith. In 1878 the court house was moved from Defiance to the new County seat and was located at the northeast corner of the public square. In 1884 the town was incorporated and became a city of the third class. The town is supported almost entirely by an agricultural district and has maintained a steady and continuous growth. The population has increased from year to year, the census showing a population of 500 in 1880; of 1,370 in 1890 and of 1,638 in 1900.

Piqua is situated at the junction of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas and the Missouri Pacific Railways, and is one mile from the east line of the county. It grew up hurriedly to a town of a couple of hundred souls and has remained at that stage—a good country trading point. The place is not incorporated and its chief educational and denominational institutions are conducted by the Roman Catholics. Other churches maintain organizations there and a public school is conducted in the district several months in the year.

Vernon is a modern village situated on the Missouri Pacific Railway, nine miles northeast of Yates Center. A population of a hundred or more gathered together in a bunch near the head of Cherry Creek and in the midst of a fine rolling prairie country constitutes Vernon. J. N. Shannon is the leading general merchant, and all the enterprises usually found in the smaller towns are represented there.

Rose consists of a store, blacksmith shop, a church and a large hay market. It is on the Missouri Pacific Railway eight miles southeast of Yates Center and in the very heart of a fine agricultural and hay region. Less than a hundred souls number its population but its importance as a trading and shipping point is second to none of its size in the state. Dumond Brothers and William M. Patterson are the leading shippers of the place, and the postmaster and merchant is Tuttle.

The Neosho Falls Post is the oldest paper in the county, and has had many editors; W. W. Sain, if we mistake not, was its founder and first editor, while H. D. Dickson, now of Emporia, was the first typesetter of the sheet J. N. Stout, now postmaster, has for the past dozen years

588 HISTORY OF ALLEN AND  

been publisher, but he transferred the title the first of April last to H. C. Sticher, who is now its editor and proprietor.

The Yates Center News was the next paper established. It was founded at the county seat by Ret Baker in May, 1877. It had several owners and publishers up to July, 1886 when the business management came into the hands of R. H. Trueblood, who has had charge of the paper ever since. The owners of the News to-day are R. H. Trueblood and F. L. Stephenson. The former is editor and publisher, and the latter simply owns an interest, being engaged in the banking business which requires all of his attention. The News is the official county paper, Republican in politics and for the best interests of its town and county all the time.

The Argus was established in the winter of 1882 by W. H. Jones who conducted it a short time and sold it to N. B. Buck, who a short time afterwards sold the paper to J. P. and J. H. Bell, who in a very few days sold the plant to the Yates Center News. That ended the Argus.

Next came the Sun, at Yates Center, by J. A. Overby, that was afterward converted into the Independent-Sun, and a few months later was absorbed by the Yates Center News.

This was followed along about 1888 by the Tribune, at Yates Center, by the irrepressible W. H. Jones, and later Jas. H. Hale was taken in as a partner. This paper lasted the usual length of time and was then gathered in by the Yates Center News.

The Woodson Democrat should have been mentioned before the Tribune. It was established in 1884 by Dr. E. V. Wharton, and through its columns he rode into the postoffice after Grover Cleveland was elected President. He then sold the paper to H. H. Wells who conducted it until it burned up along with the block on the east side in 1893. It remained dead.

With the Alliance in 1890 came the Advocate at Yates Center, by A. E. and N. S. Macoubrie. They stayed with the paper until 1896 then sold it to Hudson & Faught, of Eureka. A little later Faught sold out to B. G. Kinyon, who in turn sold to Fred Wilkinson, and the firm to-day is Hudson & Wilkinson.

Along about 1894 the Woodson Republican was established by Harve Bristow. That had a short life, and was in due time moved to Altamont Kan., and the subscription list turned over to the Yates Center News.

A few months later this outfit was moved back to this place and another weekly paper, the Republican, was started and had a brief experience, but it did not survive long and was gathered into the folds of the Yates Center News.

Toronto has one paper, the Republican, conducted by Mrs. M. M. Buck, widow of the late N. B. Buck. Another paper was established there last year but was discontinued in a few months, after demonstrating ing[sic] that Toronto was not large enough to support two weekly newspapers (The editors are indebted to Mr. R. H. Trueblood, for many years editor of the Yates Center News, for the foregoing sketch).

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Pages 586-588, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.


Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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