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1878 History of Jewell County, Kansas


The following is a transcription of a history of Jewell County, Kansas published in 1878. It reflects the attitudes of the time. This is taken from a microfilmed copy. Some of the print was difficult to read and I have indicated with a question mark in brackets ([?]) when I was unsure of the spelling, particularly of names. Submitted by Patricia Seitas.

History of Jewell County, Kansas, with a Full Account of the Early Settlements and Indian Atrocities Committed Within Its Borders; Its final Settlement, Organization and Progress, Its Present Society, Churches and Schools, Its Towns, Streams; Topography; Soil and Products, Its Population; Township Organization and Officers, Its Industries; Business, Resources, Etc. by M. Winsor and James A. Scarbrough, Jewell City, Kansas, Diamond Printing Office, 1878


Organization of the County

Early in July a petition was circulated by Col. E. Barker and Orville L. McClung for an organization of the county, which after being numerously signed was presented to Gov. James M. Harvey at Topeka by Col. Barker, who carried the same there in person. The prayer of the petitioners was grated on July 14, 1870, on which day C.L. Seeley, F.T. Gandy and A.J. Davis were commissioned County Commissioners of Jewell county; James A. Scarbrough was commissioned County Clerk, and Jewell City was designated as the county seat. July 29, 1870, Col. Barker returned to Jewell City, and presented the newly appointed officers with their commissions. Col. Barker was commissioned Notary Public of Jewell county on the 16th day of June, 1870, being the first officer, either elected or appointed, in the county.

Swearing Them In

On the 4th day of August, 1870, the newly appointed county officers called on Col. Barker at his shanty on Middle Buffalo, one mile and a half north of Jewell City, and there and then, standing out in the open air, on the bank of the historic Buffalo, they were duly sworn into office by Col. Elden Barker, the first Notary Public of Jewell county. Returning to town they effected a temporary organization of the Board, and instructed the County Clerk to give public notice of their first formal meeting, which was set for August 22, 1870. In accordance with said notice

The first Meeting

of the Board of County Commissioners, in and for Jewell county, Kansas, was held at the office of the County Clerk, in Jewell City, on Monday, August 22, 1870. At this meeting, C. L. Seeley was elected Chairman of the Board, and the county was divided into three Commissioners' District, of equal size, and five municipal Townships, as follows: Vicksburg, comprising Township 3, 4 and 5 south, Range 6 west; Buffalo, comprising Townships 3, 4, and 5 south, Ranges 7 and 8 west; Limestone, comprising Townships 3, 4 and 5 south, Ranges 9 and 10 west; White Rock, comprising Townships 1 and 2 south; and Ranges 9 and 10 and west half of Range 3 west, and Big Timber, comprising Townships 1 and 2 south, Ranges 6 and 7, and east half of Range 8 west, with the voting precinct designated in each. At this first meeting, an order was made for an election for the purpose of electing County and Township officers and

Locating the County Seat,

to come off on the 27th day of September 1870. Notice of the approaching election was given by written notices posted up in each Township, and come off on the day designated. The result of this first election was as follows:

For County Commissioners: First District, Dennis Taylor; Second District, Thomas Coverdale, Third District, Samuel C. Bowles. For county Clerk, James A. Scarbrough; for County Treasurer, Henry Sorick; for county Surveyor, N. H. Billings; for Register of Deeds, S.O. Carman; for Probate Judge, Charles L. Seeley; for Sheriff, A. J. Davis; for Coroner, William Cox; for County Superintendent, S.R. Work; for County seat, Jewell City. An imaginary town on the divide between White Rock and head of East Buffalo, called Springdale, received 24 votes "for the county seat." It is almost useless to add that Springdale never had an existence in this county, and was never heard of after the county seat election of 1870.

The Second Election

in Jewell county was held on Tuesday, November 8, 1870, at which Felix T. Gandy was elected Representative to the State Legislature; John Hoffer, County Commissioner, First District; Thomas Coverdale, County Commissioner Second District; Seth Houg, County Commissioner, Third District; James A. Scarbrough, County Clerk; A.B. Kellogg County Treasurer; N. H. Billings, County Surveyor; S.O. Carman, Register of Deeds; A. J. Davis, Sheriff; Abraham Jackson, Probate Judge; Thomas R. Comstock County Superintendent; R. F. Hudsonpeller, County Attorney, and William Cox, Coroner.


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