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


INDEX
TOWNSHIPS


Third Settlement,
And Some Incidents Connected Therewith --
another Victim to Savage Hate

After the bloody incidents recorded in the preceding chapter, which culminated in the breaking up of the settlement, the Indians left for about one year.

February 29, 1868, Richard Stanfield homesteaded the sw /14 Section 9, Township 2 south, Range 6 west. Commuted June 30, 1869. March 18, 1868, Carl G. Smith homesteaded the s 1/2 s-1/2 and w-1/2 se-1/4 Section 7, Township 2 south, Range 6 west. Commuted July 16, 1870. June 26, 1868, Allen D. Woodruff homesteaded s 1/2 se 1/4 Section 12 and e 1/2 ne-1/4 Section 13, Township 2 south, Range 6 west. This is the same claim that William Harshberger settled on in 1862, being the first claim taken in the county.

In the spring of 1868, Gordon Winbigler and Adam Rosenberg took claims on White Rock creek, the former taking the claim now owned by Thomas E. West, near Rubens, and the latter taking a claim a short distance west of Rubens. Winbigler was

Killed by an Indian

on the 12th day of the following August, on the east side of the Republican river, opposite the mouth of White Rock creek, wither all the settlers in that section of country had congregated for the purpose of fortifying a camp, and preparing for winter. A number of men were out cutting hay, when they were suddenly attacked by a body of mounted Indians. All ran for the camp and escaped except Winbigler, who stopped to pick up his hat which fell off on the way. His anxiety to save his head gear cost him his life, for in stopping to pick up his hat, he was overtaken by an Indian, and was killed by a thrust of his lance, which struck him in the neck, severing the jugular vein. This took place in plain view of all assembled at the camp, including quite a number of women and children.

Indian Superstition

Winbigler had a little dog, that, after the death of its master, set up a terrible howl. Now the Indians have a superstition that the spirits of those who are killed take the form of animals, and when this little dog set up its mournful howl, they, after several ineffectual attempts to kill it, [line missing] Winbigler's spirit, and was there to torment them for his death; to escape which the entire band suddenly withdrew, leaving this whole section free of their presence. This attack on the White Rock settlers was made on the same day that White was killed and his daughter taken prisoner on Granite creek in Cloud county. On this day the Indians made a simultaneous attack on all the settlers along the frontier, from the Saline to the Republican river, murdering about forty men, women and children, indiscriminately.

Adam Rosenberg is still living in the county, though in 1862 he enlisted at Manhatten in the 9th Kansas Volunteers, and was with Gen. Custer on his famous expedition to the Canadian river, in the Indian Territory where Mrs. Morgan and Miss White were rescued from the Indians. As his name would imply, Adam Rosenberg is a Dutchman, and is something of an odd genius, commonly called "Old Adam." Adam was present at the death of Winbigler, and afterwards got his hat, and it is thought got an Indian about the same time, he having fired several shots at them, one appearing to have taken effect. After the killing of Winbigler, Thomas Lovewell and Adam were the only two settlers who remained on the creek that winter, from its head to its mouth, and they employed their time in numerous

Hunting Expeditions

some of which we will briefly notice, on account of the part taken in them by the Indians. In September, 1868, one of these hunts was taken on the Republican river, near the present town of Superior, Nebraska. They were accompanied by James Reed, his son and Robert Watts, from Lake Sibley, in Cloud county. They had just killed their first buffalo, when they discovered a band of 35 Indians making directly for them. The team was sent down a ravine out of sight, while Lovewell and Reed went in another direction to mislead the Indians. This ruse was successful. After getting the Indians far enough [ ... ] ravine, and after several miles of pretty fast traveling, again rejoined their friends with the wagon. The last seen of the Indians, they were on the north side of White Rock, near the mouth of John's creek, which was in the direction that Lovewell and Reed first started.

The next day they tried hunting in another direction, going southwest to the forks of marsh creek. Here the team was left in the thick timber, while Lovewell and Reed started for a herd of buffalo, which could be seen about five miles distant, Adam and the rest of the party remaining on the guard near the team. After the hunters had proceeded a part of the way in the direction of the supposed game, they discovered, that instead of buffalo, they were after a party of Indians, who immediately proceeded to hunt them. The hunters took to their heels, and ran about two miles in a southeasterly direction, avoiding the camp, and secreted themselves in the tall grass. The Indians hunted faithfully for them for several hours, sometimes coming rather uncomfortably near them, but failing to find them, withdrew before night. The maneuvers of the Indians were in plain view of the guard left with the team, who supposed that they had killed Lovewell and Reed, and were hunting about for their companions. After dark the hiding hunters returned to camp and rejoined their friends. They remained there all night, and the next morning, having come to the conclusion that there was no chance to kill buffalo, where, as Adam expressed it, they all turned to "Inchins," the party broke up, Adam and Lovewell returning to White Rock, and Reed and his party starting for Lake Sibley, which they finally reached in safety, after again encountering Indians, and being corralled in a ravine for nearly a whole day.

Adam Kills An Indian

A short time after the hunt above noted Lovewell and Adam took one alone. When near the present town of Holmwood Lovewell left the wagon [line missing in my copy], heard of which he had seen a short distance off, leaving Adam with team. He had proceeded but a little ways when he discovered three Indians on horseback, riding at a furious speed, directly towards the wagon. He immediately turned and ran to the assistance of his friend. But before coming with gun shot, what was his surprise, without seeing the smoke or hearing the report of a gun, to see one of the Indians suddenly fall from his pony, shot through the heart, the other two Indians only stopping long enough to recover their dead comrade's fire-arms, and then dashing away across the prairie. Lovewell, on coming up to the wagon, said: "Adam, did you see any Indians around here, just now?" Adam replied: "You yoost petter bet I dit my pest; I took goot aim." "Well," said Lovewell, "there's a dead Indian lying up here in the ravine, who tumbled off of his pony a little while ago." This was the first intimation that Adam had that his shot had taken effect, the Indians having passed out of his sight directly after he fired. They then went up to where the dead Indian lay. On approaching him Adam's joy knew no bounds. He fairly danced around his fallen foe with the liveliest manifestations of delight. In the wagon were two guns--one a Spencer carbine, that fired eight times, and the other a Star, that only fired once, without re-loading. In his hurry to fire on the Indians Adam had picked up the Star instead of the Spencer. On discovering his mistake Adam was furious with rage, and thus relieved himself: "If I had only not been one tam fool, and had took the Spencer, instead of tat tam Star, I coot haf got two, in place of this tam one."

Lovewell thought it best to leave this vicinity, but Adam insisted on remaining and killing a load of buffalo, remarking: "Who's afraid of two tam Inchias?" Lovewell, however, carried his point, and they returned home, much to Adam's disgust, but it was no doubt for the best.

[line missing in my copy] party of Indians came down White Rock and camped near White Rock City. They appeared extremely friendly, and manifested no disposition to harm any one. They were no doubt taking in the "situation" preparatory to the general massacre which took place all along the frontier just one month later, already described. Although they showed no disposition for blood, it was impossible for them to entirely resist their ruling passion -- horse stealing. Consequently they picked up all the loose horses that they could lay their hands on, without resorting to violence.

Fighting for his Team

In the month of June 1868, a short time before the "friendly visit" above narrated, two brothers by the name of Catlin, and another man from Manhattan, Kansas, came up to contest the claims of some of those who had been killed in 1867, and took possession of the house in which Mrs. Sutzer and Bartlett were living at the the time they were killed. This house stood on the identical sport where Peter Tanner's house now stands, and in which he now lives. The party generally stayed, further down the creek, but made occasional trips up to their claims to work. One day George Catlin went with his team up to the cabin after some things. While there a party of "friendly Indians" came up and began to talk "swap." He stood in the door, somewhat dubious, and parleyed with them. Presently one of the Indians commenced to unhitch the team, and Catlin commenced to shoot. The Indians returned the fire, filling the door jamb full of bullet holes. Catlin would shoot and then dodge back out of the way. The Indians finally retired, leaving plenty of blood on the ground, where they had stood, showing the accuracy of Catlin's aim. Catlin was unhurt, but one bullet struck his watch, smashing it all ot pieces. These young men, however, concluded not to farm in Jewell county, and packing up their "traps," they changed their place of residence without delay.

Six Hunters Killed
No One Left to Tell the Sad Story
of Their Tragic End

About the middle of May 1868, a party of buffalo hunters, six in number named Lewis Castle, Walter Haines, and two Roberts brothers, of Clifton, Kansas, and two brothers by the name of Collins from near Lake Sibley, Cloud county, Kansas, went on a hunting expedition in the southern art of Jewell county. As they did not return within the expected time, their friends becoming solicitous of their fate, organized a party to go in search of them. The searching party, after two days' hunt, finally struck their trail and followed it to the fatal end, where their sad fate was only too vividly and horrifying apparent. There, in a heap, in the bed of the Little Cheyenne, lay their putrefying bodies, a most melancholy and sickening sight to behold. The trail leading to this "Valley of Death" was still painfully visible and, though silent, was a true witness to the particulars of this horrible Indian butchery. The first four hunters named had a horse team and were hunting on Brown's creek, four miles west of where Jewell City now stands. When attacked, they started east, and after going about two miles, were joined by the Collins boys, who had an ox team, which the Indians killed near where the two trails came together. The running fight was continued east to the near crossing of West Buffalo, where the Indians supposing the hunters would cross, had laid an ambush. The hunters, evidently becoming aware of this, suddenly changed their course due south, thereby gaining ground and safely crossing Dry creek, one mile and a half south, and reaching the divide south of Buffalo creek. Here their trail again turned east, giving every evidence, along its entire course, of a desperate conflict. One of the hunters had evidently been shot before reaching the fatal crossing on Little Cheyenne, and had been carried along in the wagon. When found, the bodies were so far decayed and emitted such a sickening odor that the most that could be done for the dead was to throw a few shovelfuls of dirt and lay some stones over them, until the following spring, when their bones were carefully gathered up and properly interred. Whether any Indians were killed will never be known. Thomas Lovewell, wife, and Dan Davis (Mrs. Lovewell's brother) and wife were camped on the day this occurred, three miles northwest of Jewell City, on what is now Oliver Smith's farm, also on a hunting expedition, and distinctly heard the sound of voices calling, probably the first party calling the Collins brothers to apprise them of the danger.

An Inscription
A Few Words that Tell
A Whole Story

In connection with the foregoing tragedy, there is evidence that leaves little or no doubt but that on the same day, a still greater scene of blood was enacted. While searching for the missing hunters, an inscription in pencil was found on a small black walnut tree on Buffalo creek, just above the mouth of Dry creek, which read as follows:

"Had a fight with Indians; 6 of us killed, and 4 taken prisoners."

The tree had been blazed in order to receive the inscription, and attract attention, and if not a most wicked and foolish device to deceive, it told a sad tale in a few words. Now for the corroborating circumstances. On the day previous to the killing of the hunters, a party of six young men, in a spring wagon, crossed the Republican river just above the mouth of Buffalo creek, at the same time the Lovewell party crossed. These young men were form the East, and were in gay spirits, and appeared quite contented with their own company. After crossing the river, these two parties took slightly different courses, Lovewell bearing farther north than the others, but keeping them in view until nearly dark. About 4 p.m., another wagon was seen to join the spring wagon party. Nothing was ever seen or heard of these two wagons, or the men who were with them, except that the irons of a spring wagon were afterwards found near the forks of the Buffalo. If the second wagon contained four men, making ten, the number named in the inscription, four of whom were taken alive, it is reasonable to suppose the prisoners were taken west to the Indian villages in their own wagon, and there suffered death, probably at the stake. Another link in this chain of evidence, is the fact that, several years after this time, the frame of a violin was found near the bluffs, west of Jewell City, where it had apparently lain for years. How came this violin there? It must have been either dropped in flight by the whites, or thrown away as useless, by an Indian, after he had taken it from the whites. What more natural than that this gay party, who seemed bent on having a good time, should have had a violin along to while away the hours? In all human probability, the soil of Jewell county drank on this day, the blood of twelve white men, four more being reserved for torture.


Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.

©2001


Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
including
The KSGenWeb Project
KSGenWeb
Archives
Return to
Jewell County