1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


Frontenac.

Frontenac, located three miles north and one east of Pittsburg, is a flourishing town of two thousand inhabitants. The Santa Fe Railroad furnishes transportation to the people, while the Pittsburg Railroad trolley cars carry people to and from Pittsburg. Frontenac is the outgrowth of the Devlin or Santa Fe Coal Company. Here are located the coal shafts and offices of said company, and here most of the people employed in and about the mines live. They have built comfortable cottages for themselves and families. Excellent schools are maintained, and churches are well patronized. Several stores, a postoffice, hotels and boarding houses are well represented. The coal shafts are one hundred and twenty feet deep, where they mine forty inches of excellent coal. The Santa Fe Coal Company own several thousand acres of coal lands about Frontenac and the vicinity of Chicopee.

Chicopee.

Chicopee lies southwest of Pittsburg, and about the same distance as Frontenac on the northeast. Here is another mining village, of about one thousand population. The street cars from Pittsburg reach this town, and the Missouri Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads pass through this place. Several stores, a postoffice, boarding houses and other conveniences accommodate the people. Most of the inhabitants are of foreign birth, the Italian race predominating. The people are nearly all coal miners, and work for the several coal companies operating about Chicopee. They have good schools, which are well attended, and the children of these foreign born people are quick to get learning, and soon become excellent business men and women.

Beulah.

Beulah is located on the main line of the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad, about five miles south of Girard. This road is now operated by the Frisco. In the year 1874 some members of the Methodist Episcopal church formed a company for the purpose of establishing a colony, to be composed exclusively of Methodists. Among those who entered heartily into the scheme, were Rev. D. P. Mitchell, C. S. Jennis and Thomas J. Crowder, also C. A. King, H. T. Potter, Henry Brown, J. S. Schofield, R. G. Hermance and many others. Some of these lived in Iowa, some in Illinois, while others lived as far east as Pennsylvania. A committee was chosen to select a site for the company. After much travel, and examination of various locations, the lands in the vicinity of Beulah were chosen, and the members began moving to the new country, and by the close of the year two hundred persons were living in the village. Time has proved the good judgment of the committee who selected the lands. They are rich, of black, deep soil, slightly rolling, and make the very best of farms. As might have been expected the first enterprise was the erecting of a schoolhouse, and then a church. Both were large and commodious, but have been added to from time to time as necessity required. Beulah has not grown to be a big city, but as a village of good moral homes she has no superior in the county. A large number of her promoters have joined the great majority, but a few still live to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Mulberry Grove.

On the north side of the ridge, which is partly in Lincoln and partly in Washington townships, and near the state line, in the early days of the settling up of Crawford county stood a beautiful grove of wild mulberry trees. Here the Osage Indians frequently camped when on their hunting expeditions. From the top of the ridge, back of the grove, the red men could look far away to the northeast and south, and no enemy or wild game could approach without being discovered. When the military road was established between Fort Scott and Fort Gibson it passed within a few rods of this beautiful grove, and the place became the camping ground of the frontiersman in his lonely journey. When white men began to settle the county the land where the grove stood was taken by N. W. Taylor, who secured a large tract of the richest of lands. In 1866 a stage line was established on the military road, and a postoffice granted the people, which was named Mulberry Grove. When the Cherryvale division of the Gulf Railroad was built, a town was laid out and named Mulberry. Among the first to locate in the town were A. M. and Jesse Brown, two brothers, who came from Ohio. Churches, schools, a mill, several stores, hotels and all the things that serve to make a town have been established at Mulberry. About 1871 mines were opened near the town, and have increased in volume of business until extensive mining is carried on, and Mulberry has become an extensive shipping point. The Miller brothers are extensive dealers in coal, merchandise and farm implements. Excellent farms surround the town, and grain and stock-raising are the principal work of the farmers.

Englevale.

Englevale, located near the west line of Lincoln township, on the Fort Scott and Southern Railroad (now the Missouri Pacific), was laid out in the fall of 1890, on land belonging to David Dick and Jerry Ingals. Frazier & Baysinger built the first store building and put in a stock of general merchandise. W. L. Baysinger was appointed postmaster, which office he has continued to hold, with the exception of four years during President Cleveland's administration. The first school was taught by Charles Finley, and the first child born in the town was Pearl Swain. Two neat churches, the Methodist Episcopal and Church of God, supply places for worship. Three other general stores, one drug store, one grain house, and one lumber yard constitute the largest part of commerical activity. A coal shaft, employing about one hundred men, is in constant operation, and produces the very best quality of bituminous coal. The coal measure is from thirty to forty-two inches. The farming lands surrounding Englevale are very productive, and are occupied by an intelligent, industrious people.

Early Postoffices.

Among the postoffices that were established in an early day, and which have long since been discontinued, by reason of the advent of railroads, we mention Iowa City, which was kept by George Hobson, two miles south and one-half mile east of Pittsburg.

Hope was the name of another postoffice kept by Joseph Lane, two miles west and one-half mile north of Pittsburg. Strongtown, kept for a while by Alfred Williams, was located five and a half miles north of Pittsburg. Lacoy, first located six miles northeast of Pittsburg, was kept by a Mr. James, and was afterward moved to the farm of John Magie, five miles north of Pittsburg, his wife Elizabeth being appointed postmistress. The removal of Lacoy discontinued Strongtown. Carbon was located five miles northeast of Pittsburg; afterward the name was changed to Litchfield, but the moving away of the mines and the company store has nearly depopulated the town.

Cato.

On the north line in Lincoln township is one of the oldest towns in the county. As early as 1866 there was a store kept by Peter Smith, who also sold some drugs. A postoffice was also established in the same year. In 1867 a saw-mill was built, where corn was also ground. About this time a blacksmith located in the village. Then came George and Robert Fowler. They put up a good mill and built a store-room and filled it with goods. The farms of Isaac K. and Chad Brown adjoin the town. These men lived here with their father before the war, and both went into the Union army, serving in a Kansas regiment. Many of their neighbors were in the Confederate army, and during the war life and property were not safe in and around Cato. But all that is changed, and those who wore the blue and those who wore the gray live side by side in peace, enjoying the blessings of a stable government.

Brazilton.

Located about half way between Girard and Walnut, on the Santa Fe Railroad, is the village of Brazilton. Considerable stock, grain, hay and poultry are shipped from this point. The town is supplied with postoffice, stores, hotel, blacksmith shops, schools and churches. Farming is extensively carried on around the town, the soil being of excellent quality. The town is growing slowly.

ARMA, on the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Lincoln township, is but little more than a station and shipping point. A depot and one or two houses are all there is of the town.

MIDWAY is a mining town in Baker township, on the line of the Arcadia and Cherryvale branch of the Gulf Railway (now Frisco). A postoffice was established here in 1871. The Pittsburg and Midway Coal Company have a large store here to supply the wants of a large number of miners who work in their mines. Good schools are also provided. Large quantities of coal are shipped daily.

Other towns are FULLER, three miles south of Mulberry Grove; YALE, two miles south of Fuller; and NELSON, southwest of Yale two miles, all mining towns with about five hundred population in each town. Yale and Nelson are on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, while Fuller is located on the Kansas City Southern. Each town has a postoffice of the name of the town, also stores, schools and other conveniences. The people are nearly all engaged in mining. The coal is of excellent quality, and finds a ready market. Farming is also carried on, the soil being rich and well adapted to raising wheat, corn, oats, potatoes, hay and other farm products.


Pages 46-51 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Anthony Roberts and Chelsea Clark, students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, in September, 2002.


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