The city of Miltonvale, situated in the southeast corner of the county, in Starr township, section 20, town 8, range 2, was founded by Milton Tootle of St. Joseph, Missouri, who owned the townsite and in whose honor the place was named. Tootletown was first suggested, and Tootleville, but Miltonvale seemed more pleasing and was subsequently adopted. Mr. Tootle gave every other lot to the railroad. The original plat was eighty acres, followed shortly afterward by another eighty, and there have been some additions since. The population of the town is about four hundred and fifty inhabitants. The city owes its origin to the railroad bonds issued by the township to the amount of ten thousand dollars, for securing the narrow guage railroad, then called the Kansas Central and which ran from Leavenworth, Miltonvale being the terminus. About thirteen years ago the road was changed to a standard guage and is now under the control of the Union Pacific.
C.E. McDaniel and J.W. Mathews were the first to erect buildings and opened stocks of general merchandising and groceries, respectively. The township voted $13,000 and the city $7,000 in railroad bonds in 1889, and secured a line of the Santa Fe. The town was made a city of the third class in 1883 and C.E. McDonald was its first mayor. Miltonvale was at one time a city of eight hundred and forty-five population.The Santa Fe gave it better shipping facilities, but the building up of other towns in close proximity has been a detriment to the growth of Miltonvale. It has also been retarded by disastrous fires. A flourishing mill was once operated there. It burned to the ground In 1886. There was no fire company and the people were compelled to stand with folded arms and witness the destruction of one of their best properties.
Prior to the birth of Miltonvale, Wilson Mathews was postmaster at Star Center. The office was in the building with his stock of goods at that point, which constituted" about all there was of Star Center. When the new town sprung up Mr. Mathews moved his store into Miltonvale and became the first postmaster there. He resigned the following summer and C.M. Phelps was appointed, but when a change of administration took place H.P. Flora was placed in charge and served through Ex-President Cleveland's first term. I.E. Dawes succeeded Mr. Flora when President McKinley was elected. L.O.S. Clary was commissioned to serve under Cleveland's second administration but resigned before his term expired and the postoffice was removed to the store of B.E. Hubbell and remained under his supervision until the second election of President McKinley, when Dr. James Hall received the appointment. The office was conducted by James Hall, Jr., and Miss Charlotte Hall to the entire satisfaction of the public for four years. Another son, Bruce Hall has succeeded to Miss Hall's place and the popularity of the office continues under the efficient management of these young men.
Miltonvale newspapers have had a varied and checkered career. as will be seen in the resume of Cloud county newspapers on page 172. The Miltonvale Record, until recently edited by J.V. Honey, has been purchased by A.B. Swift. His daughter, Miss Zella Swift, is local editor, while Ed Hill, formerly of Concordia, is manager of the mechanical department.
MILTONVALE PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDING.
A GROUP OF MILTONVALE CHURCHES.
l=Methodist Episcopal Church.
The congregation of the United Presbyterian church of Miltonvale was partially organized June 7, 1882, With seven members, two men and five women, and the work of erecting a house of worship begun and was at once completed in the same year; the board of Church Erection donating $700 and loaning $200. The entire cost of the church building was $1,250.
In January, 1883, meetings were held in the new edifice for four weeks conducted by the Reverend Thomas McCague, and seven members were added, making a membership of fourteen. The congregation had occasional preaching but no further additions until September, 1884.
In June, of 1884. T.M. Bartlett having previously been chosen elder along with John L. Hubbard, was ordained and installed. In September the organization was completed by the ordination and installation of John L. Hubbard.
July 1, 1884, Reverend A.J. Hanna took charge of the congregation as stated supply, remaining one year, and twenty-three members were reported at the close of his labors; also the installation of James Clithero (now of Concordia) as an additional elder. Reverend W.J. Brooks then became stated supply until September 21, 1886, when he accepted a call to become their pastor and was installed as such. At the close of the year ending June, 1886, forty-six members are reported. The two hundred dollars borrowed from the erection board was paid and a parsonage built. At the close of the following year fifty-two were reported as the membership.
When the parsonage was built three hundred and fifty dollars was borrowed from the Church Erection Parsonage Fund, which was to be paid in five annual payments with six per cent interest. In February, 1886, twenty members were added to the congregation, and in January. 1887, thirteen more were received; 1888 was a year of failure in crops but it brought many blessings. The church was able to reduce the amount of its individual subscriptions, promptly remitted payment for note due on parsonage, and twelve members were admitted to the church - ten of them by profession.
In March, 1888, J.W. Taylor and H.B. Dutton were elected ruling elders. At a meeting held in May, 1889, J.W. Taylor was appointed chairman and D.B. Dutton secretary; opened with prayer by J. Clithero, and adopted resolutions whereas they applied to be transferred to the Presbytery of Solomon in connecting with the Presbyterian church in the United States of America, and after an interim, or soon as proper arrangements could be made, were admitted.
The highest membership was in 1888, when it reached eighty-nine. They were constantly changing like all western churches - on wheels as it - were. Reverend G.H. Clymer took charge of the work in July, 1900, and added seven members to the congregation. They have a flourishing Sabbath school with an enrollment of seventy pupils. A.J. Culp is superintendent. The church is more flourishing than for some time. Mr. Clymer is a student of the Dayton Theological School, a graduate of the class of 1889, and ordained the following year. He is engaged in missionary work and is not a permanent pastor.
For a number of years the Presbyterians had a church in the Catholic settlement called Mulberry, which burned down. They also had a church organization called Plum Creek church with Mr. Laruex as pastor, who preached in the French language. Later they centralized and organized a congregation at Aurora, have the grounds and contemplate building a church the present year. The church was organized in 1897 by Reverend W.A. Course. They worshipped in the school house for a short time but since the removal of the Methodist Episcopal church to Aurora have held services there, and since said time the congregation has been under the charge of the pastor of Miltonvale.
They have an excellent Young People's Christian Endeavor in good condition with a membership of fifty-nine, and a union Sabbath-school doing an excellent work. The church has twenty-seven members with services every Second Sabbath, alternating with Miltonvale.
The Church of Christ of Miltonvale was organized April 17, 1884, under the pastorate of G.S. Smith, now postmaster of Delphos, Kansas. The first elders were John Squires and W.J. Hayes. The first deacons were J.B. Johnson and A.V. Stepp, with a charter membership of twenty-six, including the officers; many of them coming from the country districts, worshipping in the school house.
The people of this congregation assisted in building the Methodist Episcopal church, and held meetings there alternately every other Sunday, but returned to the school house later, owing to some misunderstanding among the members.
In the autumn and winter of 1886, they built a brick church 30x50-feet, which is one of the best church edifices in the town of Miltonvale. It is seated with two hundred and sixteen chairs. The church was erected at a cost of $3,300, but before all their payments were met there was a total of about $4,000. The church was built by popular subscription and some outside donations, but the greater part of it, by a few individual members.
Of the first organization there are only four remaining in Miltonvale - Mr. and Mrs. John Squires and Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Hayes. Mr. Squires has been the standby of the church and has given more of his worldly goods, than any one member toward the keeping up of the church. They have about one hundred members enrolled.
The first meeting held prior to the organization was conducted by Reverend Kinney, followed by G.S. Smith, R.L. Downing, H.E. Ballou, J.T. LeBaron, J.N. Beaver, Melvin J. Duncan, J.K. Ballou, J.H. Harris and J.W. Payne, who is the present retiring pastor.
The church was dedicated by the Reverend Morgan Morgans. The church has had several successful revivals: one conducted by O.E. Brown under Reverend Downing's pastorate is deserving of special mention and others by J.W. Garner, W.W. Blalock and J.W. Bryant.
In the winter of 1887-8 a successful union meeting was held in connection with the United Presbyterian church. A Sunday school has been kept up since the organization of the church, and their reading meetings, either with or without a pastor. There is also an active Christian Endeavor society. Nicolas Goodreaux is serving his third year as Sunday-school superintendent and has only been absent once during this time. Joseph Neill is assistant superintendent.
The ladies have an aid society which has been in vogue almost since the organization. The present elders of the church are J.B. Dawes, John Squires, W.J. Hayes; deacons, S.P. Smith, L.M. Trudell, and deaconesses M.S. Squires, Elizabeth Smith and Mrs. Woodworth.
The First Methodist Episcopal church of Miltonvale, was chartered April 27, 1883; the Bishop presiding at the Northwest Kansas conference having sent Reverend W.S. Morrison to organize the Miltonvale circuit. The first board of trustees were R.S. Phelps, L.E. Phelps, H.T. Olmstead, J.T. Gentry, James W. Mathews and E.S. Bower. During the year of 1883 lots were purchased and the parsonage erected. The following year lots eleven and twelve of block eight were chosen as a suitable location for the church edifice and were purchased.
The board of trustees in June, 1884, elected R.S. Phelps and Reverend W.S. Morrison to superintend the building of the church. The contract was given to Mr. William Modrell. The foundation of the church was laid In the spring of 1885, but Reverend Morrison being called to other fields of labor the erection of the church building then devolved upon his successor, Reverend S.L. Semans. The church building was finished during the year, being fifty feet in length and twenty-eight feet in width. The Church Extension Society of the Methodist Episcopal church granted the trustees a loan of $300, which aided them in building. The church cost about $1,600, the balance of which was raised among the members and friends.
The Sulphur Springs class was added to Miltonvale In 1886; this society possessed a new church edifice which was built in 1885. In the spring of 1887 Reverend Semans was succeeded by Reverend G.W. Winterburn. The following April the trustees deemed it advisable, and the parsonage was sold. Reverend H.M. Mayo, B.A., in the spring of 1888 followed Reverend Winterburn. Reverned Mayo labored three years among the people of Miltonvale and did much toward building up the church. He was succeeded in the spring of 1891 by Reverend C.V. Penn, who, after two years of patient labor, was called to other fields and Reverend J.H. Laird succeeded. A revival wave swept over the community during his pastorate and many were united to the church.
Reverend G.B. Warren came to the work in 1890. In 1897 the Sulphur Springs church edifice was removed to Aurora, an organ was soon added and Charles Rogers gave a bell for which the members provided a tower.
In 1898 Reverend R.E. Dunham, B.A., was assigned to Miltonvale; and during his stay the church debt of $300 was paid. He labored faithfully three years; when he left the Miltonvale charge was free from debt.
Reverend A.S. Warriner, B.A., took charge of the work in April, 1901. Again a revival swept over the community and twenty-one were received into the church.
The membership of the church of Miltonvale now numbers forty-five and eighteen probationers; the membership at Aurora is twenty-five, making a total of eighty-eight. A wide awake Sunday-school under the supervision of Mrs. Blanche Lowry now numbers seventy. At Aurora, the Sunday-school is a union school under the supervision of Sidney H. Domoney. At Miltonvale a Junior League with fifty-five members is under the superintendency of Mrs. Alice S. Warriner, who instructs the juveniles, while the Senior Epworth League is doing work among the young people. J.W. Honey is president of the Epworth League.
The Pioneer Bank of Miltonvale was established by Hathaway & Stowe. The business was afterward succeeded to by A.A. Stowe. The bank was opened in 1882 at the settlement of the town, and was discontinued by Mr. Stowe in 1888; capital stock $5,000.
The banking house of W.R. Davis & Company, in charge of S.A. Walker, of St. Joseph, Missouri, was organized and began business in 1883 and continued until 1888, when they went into voluntary liquidation and suspended business. Their capital stock was $5,000.
The Miltonvale State Bank was organized under the then new state law and began business in 1886 with a capital stock of $5,000, and the following officers: W.P. Rice, of Clyde, Kansas, president; W.E. Bush, of Orwell, Vermont, vice-president; Edward Weck cashier and I.G. Cushman assistant cashier. They continued until 1890 when they were forced into the hands of a receiver.
The Bank of Miltonvale was organized in 1891 with C.E. McDaniel, president; F.H. Beekman, vice-president; John B. Morris, cashier. They continued until 1897 when they liquidated and business was suspended. Their capital stock was $12,000.
There was an interval of about one year elapsed when there was no bank at Miltonvale on account of failure of crops and losses in the cattle business, making it an unprofitable undertaking. In 1898 the present Drovers' State Bank was organized with a capital of $5,000 and began business which continues in successful operation with Frank Koster, president; Samuel Watson, and C.C. Burress, vice-president, and John B. Morris, cashier and secretary.
The bank history of Miltonvale is a somewhat checkered one, but the present improved condition of financial affairs has tendered them more sound and also induced the second establishment of a banking institution in their town.
The State Bank of Miltonvale promoted by the officials of the Concordia First National Bank, opened this fast growing enterprise June 3, 1002, with the following well known men installed as officials: F.J. Atwood, president; W.W. Bowman, vice-president: C.M. Walker, cashier. Directors: F.J. Atwood, C.E. Sweet, W.W. Bowman, D.H. Atwood; and C.M. Walker.
After only five months duration the deposits of this new banking firm have reached $25,000. This institution was organized with a capital of $5,000 and is controlled and operated by well known men. Miltonvale citizens should feel great pride in this enterprise for the men at the helm are tried and trustworthy citizens whom success is sure to follow.
Once upon a time Miltonvale had the champion base ball team of Central Kansas. For years they were undefeated and were the pride of the town and community. Then there was nofence around the ground, no admission was charged and no purses were played for.
When they began to play for money, outsiders and professionals were "run in" and of course brought an occasional defeat; this together with the hard times for several years broke up the team.
In its palmy days the base ball club was known as the "Miltonvale Light Weights," and later, as they grew in proportion, the "Miltonvale Heavy Weights." Their uniforms were of bright colors, and every effort was put forth to make the game popular and draw great crowds to the town. James Neill was their first manager. The merchants were liberal in their support and encouraged the boys in every way.
Clay Center and Oak Hill were their chief antagonists and were defeated with unfailing regularity. Miltonvale will probably never have another team to compare with them.
September 9, 1898, large number of the leading citizens and church people of Miltonvale made a raid on the "joints" of their town. They visited the place conducted by Joe Benoit, where they proceeded with axes to demolish things generally. In a moment the beer was running in torrents over the whole building, the owner offering no resistance, but was ordered to leave town which he proceeded to do.
The next place of attack was run by Peter Hammerli who had locked himself in the building, but the ladies who were leading the crowd broke open the door with axes. As the door flew open a gun was discharged by Hammerli but no one was hurt. A moment later a second shot was fired which was received full in the face of Frank Miller, editor of the Miltonvale Press, who had come upon the scene to protect his sister - one of the participants. He fell heavily to the sidewalk and for a time his life was despaired of. He was seriously wounded and lost an eye as the result and his face was otherwise disfigured.
Hammerli was captured and on January 27th found guilty and convicted of manslaughter in the third degree. This is a dark chapter in the history of Miltonvale, and came near costing the life of a very excellent and worth young man.
The well appointed hotel In their town undoubtedly affords as much satisfaction to the people of Miltonvale as it does to the traveling public. The building now known as the "Burdick Hotel," an engraving of which accompanies this mention - was erected about one year subsequent to the arrival of the railroad in their city, by Mr. Eaves, of Concordia, who was the landlord for several years, until he sold the property, which later fell into the hands of some eastern speculators. The management of the "Merchants' Hotel," as it was then known, changed annually and sometimes semi-annually, often dropping low in the scale of prosperity, until the house was closed indefiniteIy, much to the inconvenience of the public. During this period Mrs. E.A. Burdick opened a first-class restaurant which met the demands and requirements of the inner-man, and to the wayfarer who was compelled to linger In the city over night, a week or a month, the situation sometimes became complicated. But in such instances, Mrs. Burdick, who is well known for her disinterested kind-heartedness, would dispatch a runner over the town, until places of lodging were secured, although the chances often seemed dubious. Early in the spring of 1902 the Merchants' Hotel was purchased by Stinson Hanson, the prosperous son of James Hanson (see sketch), and proprietor of a livery barn in Miltonvale. The house was repaired, given a fresh coat of paint, made in good condition throughout and opened to the public by Mrs. E.A. Burdick, who continues its management and conducts the business in a manner that occasions all the guests who patronize her hotel to proclaim its merits.
The name of the house was changed to Burdick Hotel, and has become one of the most prosperous hostelries in the county. It is admired for its homelike atmosphere, and Mrs. Burdick's capable methods of catering to her guests. She is not only gifted as a business woman but is possessed of many admirable traits. Mrs. Burdick is the daughter of Lewis M. Truedell (see sketch), and was practically reared in Clay county near the Cloud county line and has been associated with the people of the Miltonvale vicinity all her life. She is the mother of four children, all of whom but one are married and have homes elsewhere. Dora, her youngest child, a charming little girl of fourteen years, is a general favorite, winning the hearts of all by her simplicity of manner and unusual degree of amiability.
A very necessary adjunct and interesting character around the Burdick Hotel is "Jim" who from the sombre blackness that is indelibly printed on his features, must have been born in the dark of the moon, near the hour of midnight. "Jim" has been a citizen of Miltonvale nearly as long as the town is old, and is the only individual of color in the city; which condition be evidently enjoys.
Soon after the opening of the hotel under its present management he was installed as porter, and the way he caters to the guests is entitled to some consideration for its popularity.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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