The first permanent settlers in the Solomon valley in the vicinity where Glasco is now situated were John Hillhouse, Robert Smith and his father-in-law, John Hendershot, the latter now living just across the line in Ottawa county. John Hillhouse is dead (see sketch); the Hendershots and Robert Smith still live on their homesteads. They settled in the Solomon valley in 1865. The following April H.H. Spaulding and U.D. Teasley, settled in the same locality, both of whom, are deceased, but their families are numbered among the useful citizens of that community.
In the summer of 1866 the Dalrymples, H.H. and I.N., and L.W. Jones were added to the settlement. I.N. Dalrymple lives on his old homestead; H.H. has gone to his "eternal home." H.C. Snyder, E.J. Calhoun and J.A. Potts came in November of that year.
There was an Indian village of Pawnees, a hunting party quite friendly to the whites who held in their possession a full stock of arms and amunition - a wholesome dread to the wild Indian. The village was located on the main river at a point just east of the north mouth of First creek and about one mile from Glasco. In early years this was a favorite camping place for wandering tribes and many times the trappers would gather around the campfire and smoke the "pipe of peace," but never without their fire arms and both eyes open.
The settlers who came prior to 1868 were mostly driven back by the Indian uprisings. The year 1867 was noted for disasters and evil omen. Indian massacres, drouth, etc. At this time the settlement was confined along the streams. The summer months were noted for drouth and hot winds. Near the last day of June it was hot, hot as it only can be in Kansas during the hot wind and drouth season; not a particle of air stirred, nor a cloud in the sky, when from a point nearly overhead came the loudest clap of thunder which was heard by the settlers from the Republican to the Saline, from the forks at Waconda to Solomon City; not a cloud was visible and no rain fell.
As the traveler wends his way up the Republican river valley he is quite ready to believe he has found Utopia, the land of his dreams. His soul rejoices at the marvelous beauty of this broad valley, and feels that he has found the fairest country under the sun. Later, perhaps, he finds his way to the Solomon valley, where another Arcadia, just as rich in material resources and beauty greet the eye and in justice to both of these charming valleys it is but fair to say that each have their particular points of excellence and surpass the power of pen to describe.
The Solomon valley is surrounded by an elevation of plateaus and further back a more hilly region. The pure air, and water, genial and salubrious atmosphere produces a sense of rest and restoration. There is a feeling of content among the people of the Solomon valley seldom seen in any country and there is something restful in coming in contact with them. The standard of intelligence is above the average.
The toils and hardships have all passed away, and they are permitted to spend their days under the trees they have planted and look with pleasure over the broad acres of waving grain and herds of cattle, and as they watch them increase, with each succeeding year, become unmindful of the unhappy past and are lost in the harmony and content of "Home, Sweet Home."
The people of the Solomon are not of the migrating class, but have built permanent homes surrounded by flowering shrubs, grass covered lawns and groves of trees, in whose bowers the birds build their nests and sing in the branches; here their children have been born and grown to manhood and womanhood to become successors to the homestead. The old ranks are thinning out, but the foundations laid, and solid walls reared by these pioneers; the real permanent homes that will pass from them to their children, and from generation to generation, is what gave strength and dignity to this great commonwealth.
In the southwest corner of the county, midway between the towns of Beloit and Minneapolis, nestled in one of the most fertile spots of the Solomon valley, is the little city of Glasco. The town was first known and platted as "Dell Ray." Its founders were H.H. Spaulding, J.M. Copeland, Captain H.C. Snyder, Captain J.A. Potts and A.H. Spaulding, in the summer of 1870. The town is situated in Solomon township, about one-half mile east of Fisher creek, and about the same distance south of the Solomon river. The first postmaster was Captain H.C. Snyder. The postoffice was established in 1869, but when Glasco, sprung into existence, Isaac Biggs opened a store and was appointed postmaster, Captain Snyder resigning. The name Glasco was then adopted and retained by the Solomon Branch Railway as the name of their station at that point. The little store building erected by Isaac Biggs in 1871 is still standing and is looked upon as the only remaining relic of pioneer days in their town.
After the usual fights incident to such affairs, the branch of the Union Pacific Railway reached Glasco in 1878 and this was practically the beginning of the general growth of the town and from that date it became an assurance. Glasco has superior facilities for business. They have direct communication east and west and thus find a ready market for their produce. The bridges over the Solomon in this vicinity are among the best and most substantial structures in the county. They were, like the railroad, obtained after a series of contentions. There were two propositions before the people prior to the building of the bridge that spans the river one and one-half miles from town, one for Simpson and the other for Glasco. The former was voted down, the latter carried by a doubtful majority, which necessitated being settled in the courts in 1884. The bridge one mile south of the city was built in 1899.
As the various engravings demonstrate, Glasco has some of the best business houses in the county, and we think it would be safe to assert there is not a city of its size in the state that excels. They are generally structures of massive stone, handsomely dressed, of modern architecture and most of them two stories in height. The stranger visiting Glasco invariably expresses surprise at the character and solidity of these buildings. The fine stone building now occupied by R.G. Bracken's furniture stock was erected by M.L. Hare in 1890, at a cost of three thousand dollars. It is of native sandstone and is twenty-four by eighty-four feet in the clear, with a basement of the same dimensions. The second floor is used as a lodge room. The first building of any importance erected in Glasco was the Bigg's block, in 1880 - a stone structure twenty-four by ninety feet, one story, with a basement. The Glasco State Bank building is a handsome stone structure, with modern bank fixtures. The Davidson's business block of massive stone and plate glass front, would attract attention in a city many times larger than Glasco. The walks of stone pavement extend over all parts of the town, and the homes are made attractive with beautiful trees, flowering shrubs and well-tended lawns. The Oakes House is one of the best hotel buildings in the country, and few cities of three thousand population can produce as handsome a structure. Glasco is also favored with a most desirable private boarding house, conducted by Mrs. Sarah J. Luckinbill, who has been a resident of the Solomon valley country since 1880. Her house is a model of neatness and her table would please the most fastidious.
The pioneer paper of Glasco was the Glasco Banner, founded by V.C. Post, in February, 1880, but was short lived, as it was discontinued the following 10th of July. The second paper was the Glasco Tribune, published by J.W. Burroughs, from 1881 to 1882. The Glasco Sun was established by Bond & Fisher. The first issue was made January 20, 1883. August 4, 1883, it passed into the hands of Ferd Prince, formerly associate editor of the Cloud County Critic, a Concordia paper. Mr. Prince sold his interest to Miss Kate Hubbard in January, 1889. In 1893 George Wright assumed control and sold to Ferd Prince in October, 1899. The paper reverted back to Mr. Wright, its present owner, in the spring of 1902. There was an interim of short duration between the time of Miss Hubbard's control and that of Mr. Wright in 1893, when the Sun was in charge of E.M. Throckmorton and L.E. Frankforther, respectively.
In the autumn of 1869 Senator Ross came to the Solomon valley from Washington, District Columbia, and established a postoffice, with Captain Snyder as postmaster, and a mail route as far as Beloit. Isaac Biggs, the next postmaster, was removed upon the petition of the people, and A. Ott was appointed and held the position until the first election of Mr. Cleveland to office, when Noah Welch was designated official in charge and served four years. He was succeeded by M.L. Hare, under President Harrison's administration. Owen Day was the appointee during Cleveland's second reign. William A. Hillhouse was appointed by President McKinley during his first term of the presidency and is the present incumbent.
Glasco has an efficient fire company, which was organized under Honorable L.E. Davidson's administration as mayor of the city, at a cost of $700. A large proportion of the people of the Glasco vicinity have experienced the rugged paths of a new country with its ups and downs, sunshine and cloud, who are now almost unreservedly in the possession of landed estates that insure them a future of tranquility and peace. Glasco is charmingly situated on the Solomon river. For miles in either direction it is surrounded by scores of the best and most highly cultivated farms in the county, by one of the finest stock raising and grain growing countries on the continent and by one of the fairest and most fertile valleys the sun as the earth revolves, has ever looked upon. Nestled in one of "nature's dearest dimples" and viewed from the uplands which encompass the little city of Glasco with its five hundred inhabitants, a singular air of peace is suggested. Her people are broad and generous, and a liberal spirit prevails. They support good schools, good churches, and give encouragement to every good and useful enterprise within their midst.
The first school taught in Glasco held forth in a little log house provided for that purpose. It was situated a short distance west and north of the present town site. Here in the summer of 1868 the heroic Jennie Paxton taught the first school in the township, the remembrance of which will ever be inscribed in the memory of the patrons and scholars, especially will there be a distinct retention of the memorable last day of school which closed August 13, 1868. On that event during the afternoon the Indians made their first raid In that part of the Solomon valley as told. Here in this modest cabin, with its dirt floor and sod roof, the settlement also congregated for worship and it is quite apropos of the subject to relate an amusing occurrence that tanspired at one of their weekly prayer meetings, The offering of a good Methodist sister, who was called upon to pray, became more and more animated until her shouting aroused the emotions of a little dog that chanced to be in the audience, whereupon he hurriedly took a position directly behind her, and the more earnestly the petitioner cried out, the more vehemently the canine clamored for supremacy, until the assembly gathered there, almost lost their decorum. Neither of the characters in this peculiar proceeding revealed any tendency to desist until the petitioner had finished her supplication and arose from her humble position, when with distinctive canine qualities "Fido" gracefully withdrew and retired to his former place under the bench, with a countenance which exhibited inward satisfaction. Early in the 'seventies a stone building of crude masonry was erected. For an Interval of several years the author could not obtain an accurate account of the school's proceedings, but in 1879 Ed. Hostetler was installed as principal, and the same year the building was partitioned to accommodate two grades in the growing community. Mrs. Emma (Haddock) Biggs recalls having been reprimanded for "peeping" through the cracks of the board wall, which were about an inch wide. The pupils of grade two had to file through the first, to gain an entrance to the rear room. The enrollment increased until in 1880 it was necessary to rent a down town store room for the primary department. Several among the teachers who have been employed in the Glasco schools have later distinguished themselves, and the services of some of the best talent in the country have been engaged there.
Tully Scott and his sister had charge of the school work in the springtime of 1881. In 1882-3 the primary grade was held in the school building and the higher grades were quartered in the Christian church, with John Stackhouse, principal and Miss Emma Haddock (now Mrs. Biggs), assistant. In 1883-4 the present school building, a two-story frame structure, was erected. They had razed the old building to the ground and no session was held that year except in June, July and August, in the new house, with Noah Welch, princicipal; Jessie Oatman, intermediate, and Emma Haddock, primary. In the autumn a Mr. Mitchell was appointed principal, with the same assistants. Mrs. Mary Brierley was engaged to assume the principalship the first of the new year, Mr. Mitchell having resigned. The school had become somewhat demoralized, for instance the first morning after Mrs. Brierley's labors begun there were fifteen tardy students, some of them not arriving until intermission. She at once devised methods to correct this tendency. As an inducement she set aside twenty-five dollars to be distributed through all the rooms to those who were neither absent nor tardy. At the end of the year the teachers reported twenty-eight winners, consequently she added three dollars to the standing fund and gave them one dollar each. Little Adah Biggs was neither absent nor tardy for three whole school years. In 1885-6 there were primary, intermediate and grammar grades. The following year introduced a new teacher and a new department. The grades below the high school have remained the same. At the end of Mrs. Brierley's work for that period, the spring of 1884, the first commencement was inaugurated, six girls graduating from the common school course - Susie Jones, Lily Spaulding, Cora Frankforther, Inez Burnett, Martha Bond and Ota Studt.
Mr. Watson was employed as principal in 1887, and under his jurisdiction planted trees and celebrated their first Arbor day. However, they did not flourish, and most of the tiny trees planted on this event died. J.R. McCollom was in charge from 1880 to 1890, and the following year, W.S. Simpson was succeeded by F.J. Emmick as principal, who succeeded himself the ensuing year. Mr. Emmick was one of the most proficient teachers Glasco ever had. In 1894 Mrs. Brierley was elected to replace Mr. Emmick, who resigned, and much to the credit of the retiring principal she reports the pupils received from Mr. Emmick as being superior to any that had ever been transferred to her, with the exception of those from Mrs. Belle V. Huston's room in Concordia, who were equally as well trained. The high school work began with this period, a class of seven boys and twelve girls. Mrs. Brierley was elected to the office of county superintendent and resigned her position in the school to assume the duties of her office. She was re-elected the following year and made one of the most efficient officers Cloud county has ever had in that capacity.
The principalship changed rapidly for a few months. Mrs. Brierley was succeeded by J.M. Pierralt, and he by Ed. Hostetler, who resigned to accept a position elsewhere. The place was then filled by L.M. Duvall for six months. In September, 1896, when Guy H. Bernard entered the Glasco schools, as teacher in the grammar grade, there were ten grades, and the following year the high school was introduced and he became principal, with Miss V.E. Butler in the grammer[sic] grade, Miss Ada Palmer, intermediate, and Mrs. Haddock, primary. During the five years Mr. Bernard was associated with the Glasco schools many important changes took place. The stoves were changed to furnace heat and many appliances and equipments added. Mrs. Haddock is deserving of special mention for her efforts in collecting funds by entertainments, the receipts of which were applied toward the purchase of the organ. Miss Helen Morton succeeded to Mr. Bernard's position when he resigned to accept a position in the Glasco State Bank. In 1900-01 C.B. Taylor was principal, followed by Mr. Dean, who died suddenly in the winter of 1903. Mr. Duvall, who was formerly associated with the Glasco schools and favorably known in educational work in Clyde, is the present principal. Glasco has spent considerable money in lecture courses and employs such excellent talent as Dr. Quayle, who first appeared there in 1898. Dr. James Hedley, Dr. Copeland, Dr. McCleary, Dr. McGirk and Dr. DeWitt Miller. They spend from two hundred and fifty dollars to three hundred dollars annually for this literary feast. This enterprise was instituted by the high school to obtain funds for the purchase of books for their library.
At the annual meeting of the board in 1893 Dr. Courtney was elected treasurer, and he was very enthusiastic in the matter of tree culture, and the charming avenue of trees that grace the pavement in the front of the school grounds is the result of his interest. Mr. Emmick also deserves credit, for he and his pupils nurtured and cared for them while young and tender.
For not getting "panicky" and reducing the teachers' wages during the memorable hard years, Glasco stood almost as a unit. They averaged one dollar more than any school in the county, not excepting Concordia. There has been no prejudice shown against employing female principals in Glasco, and seemingly give no preference. The record made by Miss Delle Colwell is perhaps the most extraordinary in the county. In the eight years she was a pupil in the Glasco schools she missed but two days. For a period of five years she was neither absent nor tardy, and much of the time drove to and from her home in the country, a distance of five miles. Miss Colwell graduated in 1901 with the highest honors in her class. The educational advantages of Glasco have been maintained in a superior degree, and the facilities, for the youth acquiring knowledge and mental training, will find no better discipline in the public schools of the county.
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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