1901 History of Republic County Kansas

History of Republic County. 181

holders, and the Belleville Townsite Company, after an eventful career of over five years, was dissolved.

Belleville was incorporared as a city of the second class January 10th, 1878, embracing 1,000 acres, commencing at the northeast corner of the SE 1/4 of section 35, in township 2 south, range three west, thence west 400 rods thence south 400 rods, thence east 400 rods, thence north 400 rods to the place of beginning. This description included the townsite of Belleville, viz., the NE 1/4, section 2, town 3, range 3, and contained a population of 260.

The first election was held January 26, 1878, when the following officers were elected: Wm. H. Woodward, Mayor; William Haskett, Police Judge; Chauncey Perry, Edwin Knowles, Daniel Miller, Ed. E. Chapman and F. N. Munger, councilmen.

The following were the appointed officers: Willis C. Allen, city marshal; A. E. Taylor, city attorney; Charles H. Smith, city clerk; Columbus Taylor, city treasurer; W. C. Allen, street commissioner. Among the first ordinances passed was one relating to dram shops, saloons, taverns and tippling houses, also one to prevent intoxication, so it seems our early city fathers were not unmindful of the existence of these evils and were employing their best talent in legislating against them.

The first dram shop license issued by the city authorities was issued to M. Patrie, February 12th, 1878.

The regular election for city officers was held April 11th, when the first officers were all re-elected.

The mayors, while a city of the third class, have been W. H. Woodward, 1878 and 1879; Chauncey Perry, 1880 and 1881; F. N. Munger, 1882; S. G. Stover, 1883. At the election in 1884 E. A. Hallowell and S. C. Crummer received an equal number of votes for mayor, which was decided by lot, the office falling to Hallowell. S. C. Crummer, 1885; W. C. Allen, 1886; T. R. May, 1887.

At a regular council meeting held November 1st, 1887, Joseph P. Sherer was appointed enumerator to take the

182 History of Republic County.

census of the city with a view of organizing as a city of the second-class. Mr. Sherer performed that duty and reported December 8th that the city contained a population of 2,104. Mr. Sherer must have been an expert, for he found a greater number of people here than any one else has been able to find either before or since. However, the report was accepted and a petition at once forwarded to Governor John A. Martin, asking that the city of Belleville be declared a city of the second-class, which petition was acted upon favorably and on February 14th, 1888, in pursuance of the proclamation of the governor, it was declared by the mayor and city council to be a city of the second-class, its boundaries greatly enlarged and divided into wards as follows: All that portion of the city south of the C. K. & N. Railway and east of Commercial street to be known as Ward No. 1; all that south of the C. K. & N. Railway and west of Commercial to be known as Ward No. 2, and all that portion north of the C. K. & N. Railway to be known as Ward No. 3. The boundaries of these wards have never been changed.

Mayors and clerks of Belleville as city of the second-class:

E. M. Crummer 1888 J. H. Long 1888
Geo. S. Simonds 1889-1890 J. H. Long 1889
T. M. Noble 1891-1892 T. A. Cordry first half 1890
G. E. Knowlton 1893-1894 John C. Hogin last half 1890
    Resigned October 22, 1894. E. B. Towle '91-'92-'93
John M. Doyle, from November R. M. Armstrong 1894
    6, 1894 to April 9, 1895. John C. Hogin, from Novem-
Amos Pierce '95-'96     6, 1894-'95-'96-'97-'98-'99-'00.
James Shepherd '97-'98    
H. T. Crawford 1899    
    Resigned September 4, 1900.    
John M. Doyle, acting mayor until September 28th, when Geo S. Spencer was elected to fill vacancy.
Amos Pierce 1901  

The postmasters at Belleville have been:

A. B. Tutton appointed Feb. 18th, 1870
Volney Vantrump, " Jan. 16th, 1871
History of Republic County.

Belleville Cash Store,
Loomis & Hollandsworth, Proprietors.


History of Republic County. 183


Eli W. Wagner, " June, 11th, 1877
Volney Vantrump, " Oct. 25th, 1877
William A Brock, " June 11th, 1883
Max J. Alwens, " July 31st, 1885
John McLaury, " March 28th, 1888
William A. Brock, " Feb. 28th, 1891
Charles P. Baldwin, " March 20th, 1895
Joseph H. Long, " April 1st,1899
Madge E. Long, " Sept. 22nd, 1899

Messrs. A. H. Loomis and W. A. Hollandsworth came to Belleville February 27th, 1899, and opened a general store in the south room of the hotel block, which they now use as a flour and feed room. The building shown in the cut was erected especially for them during the summer of 1900. It has a frontage of fifty feet, is eighty feet deep, with a fine basement, making a total floor space in the two rooms of 56,000 square feet. They have more than quadrupled their stock since they commenced business. They have their own light plant and have one of the lightest and best equipped store rooms in Republic county. They are both young men and hustlers, anticipating a bright future in their business. In answer to a question as to their success, said they owe it to selling lots of goods at small profits.

Belleville, with a population of 2000 is beautifully situated on high, gently rolling upland, very nearly in the center of the county. It is the junction for two divisions of the great Rock Island system. The Junction City branch of the Union Pacific terminates here, giving this section another direct line to the east and west. The city has a fine water system and the telephone service is surpassed by none; a large first class flouring mill and elevator combined, and two other large elevators. There are nine church organizations here, with six substantial church edifices, all well sustained and flourishing. A graded school, with three handsome school buildings in which nine teachers are employed at least eight months in the year; a fine opera house, complete in all its appointments; two

184 History of Republic County.

good weekly newspapers, one of which has the best plant of any city of its size in the state; an elegant court house and jail, although the last named building is but little used, as more peaceable and law-abiding people are nowhere to be found.


The first settlement made at Scandia was in the fall of 1868, by the members of the Scandinavian Agricultural Society, of Chicago, Illinois. The first settlers to arrive were M. Johnson, Charles Lesom, P. Walin, — Lundin, John Strom, F. Granstadt, A. Bergren, A. Erickson, J. R. Sandell, John Holmstrom and Peter Johnson. The town was named New Scandinavia.

The first store was built in the fall of 1869, by J. R. Sandell, size 8 feet square, and his first stock of goods invoiced one hundred and twenty-five dollars. This was the first store started in Republic county. The second business house was built by A. B. Whiting, of Milford, Davis county, who kept a stock of general merchandise. The third was Wilson Brothers—Charles and A. D.—who kept a general store, starting in the spring of 1870. The next was a grocery house, by August Weld, who commenced business some time in the summer. A. T. Miller and Amos Coyle built a business house in the summer of 1870, and commenced general merchandising in the fall. Dr. Amos Coyle started a drug store the same fall. L. C. Hanson opened the "Hanson House" early in the spring of 1870, being the first hotel in Republic county.

At the time the settlement was made at Scandia, the nearest settler on the south was one Dutton, in Cloud county, about sixteen miles down the river. The nearest on the east was the Salt Creek settlement, about fourteen miles distant, and S. M. Fisher and a few others had made settlement on White Rock Creek. In the spring of 1869, immediately after the killing of the boy Granstadt, by the Indians, E. B. Pedersen was dispatched to Fort Riley, the

History of Republic County.

United Brethren Church, Scandia, Kansas.

History of Republic County. 185

nearest military post, for assistance, but failed to procure any at that time. A short time after, however, seventy-five men under the command of Col. Weir, were sent to Scandia, where they remained on duty about two months.

The post office was established July 1st, 1869, E. H. Hansen being the first postmaster, and the office was called New Scandinavia. This was the third postoffice established in the county. The mail was brought from Junction City once a week. The postmasters at New Scandinavia have been:

E. H. Hansen, appointed June 24 1869
August Asbjournson, appointed Jan 24 1870
John H. Sandell, appointed Aug 11 1870
Jacob L. Gui, appointed Apr 25 1872
Charles N. Hogan, appointed Oct 11 1872
Jacob L. Gui, appointed Dec 12 1872
John R. Sandell, appointed May 1 1874
Charles Peterson, appointed July 16 1875
Name changed to Scandia June 7 1876
Charles Peterson, appointed June 7 1876
Adelbert B. Wilder, appointed Feb 26 1877
John Hadsell, appointed Feb 21 1878
George L. White, appointed Mch 17 1881
William Walker, appointed July 3 1886
Stoy E. Ware, appointed May 1 1891
William Walker, appointed Mch 29 1893
Albert B. Kimball, appointed May 6 1897

Geo. Lembke was the first Justice of the Peace in Scandia township, being appointed by Gov. Harvey, in the spring of 1870, which office he held for several years. The first school taught in Scandia was in the summer of 1870, by Maria Young, now the wife of Walter Johnson. This was a three months' subscription school, and was taught in the old colony building, afterward purchased by the district, and used for several years as a school house.

The Atchison, Republican Valley, and Pacific Railroad company was organized in April, 1878, and work commenced in June of the same year. The first train ran into Scandia, December 24th, 1878.

The Hanson House was destroyed by fire, October 22,

186 History of Republic County.

1879; was rebuilt the same fall, and reopened in just three months from the date of the fire.

The order of incorporation of Scandia as a city of the third class, was made March 28th, 1879. First election held on the 15th of April, 1879, at which A. D. Wilson was elected mayor, C. W. Gulick, D. F. Longnecker, T. A. Nelson. L. C. Hanson and A. B. Wilder, councilmen. R. L. Whitney was elected police judge. A. D. Marble was appointed city clerk; Isaac McClun, treasurer, and M. J. Sigsbee, marshall and street commissioner.

The first sawmill was brought to the county by the Scandinavian colony in the fall of 1868. It was hauled from Waterville on a wagon with six wheels, drawn by five yoke of oxen and was set up in Scandia on the river bank just south of where Pinney's elevator now stands. The mill was owned by the colony and remained at Scandia until the spring of 1870, when it was moved three miles down the river to the quarter section which afterwards became the homestead of Charles Nordmark, where it was operated until the fall of that year by Rasmusson brothers and L. Ellingson, these parties having rented it of the colony. It was then moved some three and one-half miles further down the river to the homestead of Joseph Merica, the farm now being owned by Joseph Blosser, where it remained until the spring of 1871, when it was moved back to Scandia and a grist mill attached. William Bell, late county commissioner, being the foreman and boss miller in the grist mill department for the years 1871 and 1872. The mill was remodeled and considerably improved in 1873 by the addition of a new engine, two runs of new burrs, new bolting machinery, etc. The dam across the river, one-half mile above the old site of the mill, was built in 1876, at an expense of $5,000, and the mill moved and rebuilt. Excellent water power was obtained, with a fall of six feet, Leffel's Turbine wheel running four burrs, two for wheat, one for corn, and one for middlings. Capacity of the

History of Republic County. 187

mill, 150 barrels of flour per day besides corn and middlings; size of mill, 30x40 feet, two and a half stories high besides basement. This mill was successfully operated by C. F. Ericson until it was destroyed by fire and has not been rebuilt.

Scandia is the second city in population and commercial importance in Republic county, pleasantly located in the Republican valley at the intersection of the Rock Island and Missouri Pacific, has a graded school in which the higher branches are taught, a fine city hall, a good weekly newspaper, several churches and ample elevator facilities for handling the immense quantity of grain which finds a good market there.


The old town of Cuba was located on the NW 1/4 of section 4, in Richland township, and on the SW 1/4 of section 33 in Farmington township, on the main road leading from Belleville to Washington. John Swan built the first business house there in 1873 and for several years it was a place of considerable trade.

When the B. & M. Railroad was built it missed the place and a new town also called Cuba was started about three miles southwest at the intersection of the Burlington & Missouri and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroads. The town was laid out in the spring of 1884, and N. O. Danefer built the first general store and for several years was the leading merchant in the town. John D. Bennett published the first newspaper, "The Cuban," in the summer of 1885, it being the first paper published in the eastern portion of the county. It is now a flourishing little city of about 600 people, the population being about equally divided between native and foreign born, the foreigners being principally Bohemians, several of whom are leading business men of the city. It has two newspapers, a graded school, several churches, many first-class business houses and ample facilities for handl-

188 History of Republic County.

ing the grain and live stock of the county tributary to the place, making it the third city in the county in population and the amount of business transacted.


Courtland, in the west part of the county, located at the crossing of the Rock Island and Santa Fe roads, is an enterprising little city, with a weekly newspaper, a good bank, schools and churches, good facilities for handling grain and is justly noted as being one of the best grain markets in the county, as it is located in one of the best agricultural centers in the state, and no farming community in Kansas is more substantial, intelligent or prosperous. Its history from the first has been one of steady growth, all its citizens working in harmony for the upbuilding of the city.

It was incorporated as a city of the third-class July 18th, 1892, on the petition of A. A. Burk and fifty-nine others.

The first election was ordered held at the office of the Courtland Register on Monday, July 25th, for the purpose of electing a mayor, police judge and five councilmen. The election was held as ordered, 112 ballots being cast, which being canvassed resulted in the election of C. Everest, mayor; C. F. Litsinger, police judge; A. N. Smith, L. F. Bradley, W. W. Stewart, T. L. Freeland, C. N. Elliott, councilmen.

The mayors have been: C. Everest, 1892, L. F. Bradley was elected in April, 1893 and served until June 7th when he resigned, W. S. Conaway acting as mayor until November 13th, when A. A. Burk was elected and served until the end of the term.

A. A. Burk 1894 and 1895
A. N. Smith 1896
A. A. Burk 1897
Wm. Bateman 1898 and 1900
Paul Smith 1900
C. M. Gevrey 1901
History of Republic County. 189


The original plat of the townsite of Narka was filed for record by M. A. Low, president, and C. J. Gilson, secretary of the Kansas Town and Land Company, Sept, 8th, 1881. A corrected plat was filed Oct. 13th, same year, comprising 14 blocks, being all that part of section 16, town one south, range one west, which lies south of the right of way of the C. K. and N. Railway. Reeder's addition to Narka, containing blocks one and two, situated in the SW 1/4 of section 15, town one, Range one, was filed for record, April 4th, 1889. Brenneman's addition, containing three blocks in the NE corner of section 21, was filed for record Feburary 6th, 1894.

Narka was incorporated as a city of the third class, April 9th, 1894, and the first election held May l4th, when the following officers were elected: J. V. Campbell, mayor; H. Beck, police judge; J. E. Walker, D. W. Doskin, S. H. Bacon, A. L. Brandon, A Brosh, Councilmen.

The city council organized May 18, 1894. The mayor's have been: J. V. Campbell, 1894; B. H. Speer, 1895, '96, '97; R. A. Larabee, 1898; J. E. Arnold, 1899: G. E. Moore, 1900; S. M. Hunt, 1901.

Population in 1901, 275, ranking as the 5th city in the county in population. The first hotel in the town was built in the fall of 1887 by James Foreman. The first buiness house was built by U. B. McIntyre, a drug and grocery stores the same fall. The first physician was Dr. Edward Stone, who built the store now ocupied by Wm. Thomas. The first postmaster was S. M. Edwards. The Narka News, a live and bright paper, is published weekly by Howard E. Moore.

Narka is surrounded by a fine farming country; is an excellent trading and shipping point, where all branches of trade are well represented.


Republic City is located on section 36, in Big Bend

190 History of Republic County.

township. In March, 1878, A. B. Young purchased the SW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of said section at a public sale of school land, with the view of starting a town. Mr. Young had associated with him, Milton Grim, H. S. Stone, T. F. Marlett, J. B. Pollard, Fred and Wm. Elliott each contributed ten acres of land, making seventy acres in all, with seven members as a town company. The company was chartered immediately and in May twelve blocks were laid off and lots offered free to any person who would build on them. About the first of October E. B. Duncan moved a small dwelling house from his farm, three miles away, and built a blacksmith shop about the same time. These were the first buildings on the town site.

Gomeria postoffice was moved from Mr. Pollard's, in October, to Duncan's, and Mr. Duncan appointed postmaster. In May, 1879, Mr. A. Capers erected a business house, the town company donating him two lots. The postoffice was then moved from Duncan's to Capers, and the latter appointed postmaster, holding the office until in 1882, when H. Stone was appointed.

In June, 1879, Wm. Spotts built a small blacksmith shop and dwelling house combined. Mr. Spotts opened the first boarding house in the city. In September, E. Kerns erected the second business house, keeping dry goods and groceries. His building was blown down and Mr. Kerns soon after left. At the close of the year there were eight or nine buildings on the town site.

In June, 1879, the town was surveyed, and lots offered for sale. In the fall, the extension of the Central Branch from Scandia to the state line was commenced, and some grading done. In the spring of 1880 the railroad was completed, depot built and trains commenced running in June. C. W. Gulick built the famous New York store, 20x50 feet, in May of the same year. The Chicago Lumber Company opened a yard in June, with D. S. Zanker as manager. In the fall, George Michel erected his large

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From A history of Republic County, Kansas : embracing a full and complete account of all the leading events in its history, from its first settlement down to June 1, '01 ... Also the topography of the County ... and other valuable information never before published. by I. O. Savage.; Illustrated. Published by Jones & Chubbic, Beloit, KS : 1901. 321 p. ill., plates, ports., fold. map ; 23 cm. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, July 2006.

Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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