CREATIVE ACT - FIRST ELECTION OF COUNTY OFFICERS - MACHINERY IN MOTION - BEGINNING OF ROAD BUILDING - THE OLD SOUTHERN BRIDGE - LAW ENFORCEMENT IN 1859 - THE FIRST JURORS DRAWN - SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES - COUNTY OFFICERS IN FIFTY-TWO YEARS - THE COUNTY SEAT - FIRST TAXES LEVIED - COMMISSIONER DISTRICTS ESTABLISHED - TOWNSHIP ORGANIZATION - WYANDOTTE COUNTY STATISTICS.
In the territorial period of Kansas, previous to 1859, the area that is embraced in Wyandotte county was a part of Leavenworth and Johnson counties. Thus, with the domination of the "Leavenworth crowd," or of the Missourians who came over into Kansas territory, the citizens here at the mouth of the Kansas river had little share in the affairs of government and of politics. In consequence thereof some things happened. The first election in the county, aside from the elections held by the Indians themselves before the organization of the territory, was in June, 1857, to select a delegate to the Lecompton constitutional convention. The polls were guarded by soldiers and the votes were deposited in a candle box, which was afterward found buried in a woodpile at Lecompton and made infamous in history. In October of the same year the county came into notice again, politically, by the stuffing of a ballot box and other frauds, perpetrated at the Delaware crossing, eight miles west of Wyandotte. It is said that many of the names found on the poll list could also be found in a New York City directory, which some enterprising pro-slavery man happened to have in his possession at that time.
The political history of Wyandotte county, however, began with its organization under an act passed by the legislature of January, 1859, the same legislature that authorized the Wyandotte constitutional convention. The act, signed by Governor Medeary January 29, 1859, cut off one hundred and fifty-three square miles from the southeast corner of Leavenworth county and the north side of Johnson county. Since that time Wyandotte county, thus created, has been a free and independent political entity, capable of managing its own elections and governmental affairs without the aid or interference of its neighbors, and an important factor in the affairs of Kansas.
The legislative measure, "An Act Creating and organizing the County of Wyandotte," follows:
Be it enacted by the Governor and Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Kansas:
Section 1. That a county to be called Wyandotte be hereby erected, including that portion of Leavenworth and Johnson counties within the following limits: Commencing at a point in the middle of the channel of the Missouri river, where the north line of the Delaware reserve intersects the same; running thence west on said reserve line to the line between ranges twenty-two (22) and twenty-three (23); thence South of said range line to the south boundary of Leavenworth county; thence eastwardly on said boundary to the main channel of the Missouri river; thence northwardly with the said main channel to the place of beginning. Also that portion of Johnson county lying north of the township line between townships eleven (11) and twelve (12) east of range twenty-three (23).
Section 2. That an election shall be held in the various precincts in said county of Wyandotte, on the fourth Tuesday of February, 1859, for election of county officers, who shall hold their offices, respectively, until the next general election of county officers, as prescribed by law.
Section 3, That it shall be the duty of the present supervisors of each township in said county of Wyandotte to appoint two clerks and provide places to hold said special election and to act as judge of the same, observing the general election laws except as herein otherwise provided, and on the first Friday of the election, the chairman of all the boards of judges shall meet in Wyandotte City, at the Eldridge House, and canvass the votes and issue certificates to the persons duly elected, and transmit to the secretary of the territory a true copy of the canvass showing who were elected to the various offices of said county.
Section 4. That the tenure of all other than county officers within said county shall in nowise be affected by the provisions of this act.
Section 5. That it shall be the duty of the clerk of Leavenworth county, as soon as practicable after the organization of Wyandotte county, to transmit to the clerk of said county the papers in all suits which may be pending in the probate court of Leavenworth county wherein both parties reside in Wyandotte county, together with a certified transcript of all the entries on record in each case, which causes, when so certified, shall be tried and disposed of in the same manner as though they had been commenced in the county of Wyandotte. It shall further be the duty of the clerk of Leavenworth county in like manner to transmit to the clerk of Wyandotte county the papers and documents, together with a certified transcript of all entries in said cause pertaining to probate business, in all cases wherein the decedent's last place of residence was within the limits of said county of Wyandotte, there to be disposed of according to law.
Section 6. That it shall be the duty of the clerk of the district court of the United States in and for Leavenworth county, as soon as practicable after the organization of the county of Wyandotte, to transmit to the clerk of the district court in and for said county of Wyandotte a certified transcript of the record and of all the papers in each and every case pending in said court wherein the parties thereto reside in said county of Wyandotte, to be disposed of in the same manner as though the same had originally been commenced in the county of Wyandotte.
Section 7. That is hereby made the duty of the recorders in the counties of Leavenworth and Johnson to make out and transmit to the recorder of Wyandotte county as soon as practicable a true copy of the records of all deeds, mortgages, deeds of trust, bonds and other writings in relation to real estate or any interest therein being within the limits of Wyandotte county as above described, and the said recorders are authorized to procure suitable books for that purpose, and such clerks and recorders shall be entitled to compensation for said service from the county of Wyandotte at the usual legal rates.
Section 8. The city of Wyandotte shall be the temporary county seat until a permanent county seat shall be established,
Section 9. That at the next election for members of the territorial legislature, the people of said county shall vote for permanent county seats, and the place receiving the highest number of all the votes cast shall be the permanent county seat of Wyandotte county.
Section 10. That portion of any precinct divided by the county lines, and being within Wyandotte county, shall be attached to the precinct adjoining in said county of Wyandotte for election and other purposes until otherwise ordered.
Section 11. That the county of Wyandotte shall be liable for all the money appropriated by the county of Leavenworth to be expended within the limits of said county of Wyandotte, and that all taxes now assessed within said county of Wyandotte shall be paid into the treasury of said county.
Section 12. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
Under the provisions of this act the first election of county officers was held, as directed, on February 22, 1859. Three days later, February 25th, the board of supervisors to canvass the votes cast at the election met at the Eldridge House in the city of Wyandotte. On the board were George Russell and George W. Veale, the latter acting for Alfred Gray. Myron J. Pratt was acting secretary. The board declared the following county officers elected:
Probate Judge, Jacques W. Johnson; sheriff, Samuel E. Forsythe; clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Marshall A. Garrett; register of deeds, Vincent J. Lane; county attorney, William L. McMath; treasurer, Robert Robitaille; surveyor, Cyrus L. Gorton; coroner, Dr. George B. Wood; and superintendent of common schools, Jacob B. Welborn.
Jacques W. Johnson, the probate judge, died in the summer of 1859 and at a meeting of the supervisors, on September 2nd, Barzillai Gray was elected to the vacancy.
The new officers duly elected and installed, the supervisors lost no time in setting up their organization and within a month the machinery of the county government was in motion. The supervisors, on March 5th, resolved to lease "the room on the corner of Nebraska avenue and Third street," from S. D. McDonald for the county officers. The county attorney was then established in a room over the postoffice. The salary of the clerk was fixed at $400, of the probate judge at $800, and the County attorney at $600. An appropriation of $200, "or so much thereof as may be required," was made "out of the first moneys received in the county treasury" to pay Samuel Doddsworth of Leavenworth for county books. Alfred Gray was delegated "to correspond with some person competent to build an iron jail." A license of $50 was fixed for each dramshop.
As soon as the white settlers in considerable numbers began to come into the county outside of Wyandotte and Quindaro the supervisors began to lay out roads, establish ferries and build bridges. Among the earliest and best thoroughfares that had been built previous to this time were the military roads from Leavenworth south through Wyandotte county to the Delaware ferry near Muncie, and a road that was opened in 1857 from Quindaro to Lawrence. Early in the summer of 1859 the supervisors appointed Delos N. Barnes, Monroe Salisbury and Francis Kessler as commissioners to survey and locate a county road from some point on a line dividing sections 31 and 32, township 10 south, range 25 east, extending in a southerly direction to the bridge across the Kansas river.
The bridge across the Kansas river to which this road ran was the first bridge in the county. It was built in 1858 by private subscription. It cost $15,000 and was located three miles above Wyandotte. In 1860 a tornado took out one span and the balance of the structure soon disappeared.
In the record of the proceedings of the first board of supervisors, September, 1859, is the following: "The county attorney is hereby instructed to strictly enforce the requirements of the act to restrain dramshops and taverns and regulate the sale of intoxicating liquors, approved February 11, 1859, and he is hereby directed to indict, at the next term of the district court, those persons who fail to take out license and in other respects neglect to comply with the, provisions of said law."
The board of supervisors organized Monday, April 2, 1860, with William McKay as chairman. On Tuesday the matter of the selection of grand and petit jurors was taken up, and the following names from the assessment rolls of the county, for the year 1859, were chosen: For grand jurors, Charles H. Chapin, Francis Kessler, Landon Lydon, Albert S. Corey, Thomas McIntyre, Fielding Johnson, Charles E. Sawyer, Abelard Guthrie, Arad Tuttle, James C. Zane, Silas Armstrong, S. P. Bartlett, O. S. Bartlett, Chester Colburn, P. Clingaman, William Curns, Louis M. Cox, John M. Chrysler, Emmanuel Dyer, A. P. Day, A. D. Downs, James H. Hassis, Joseph Hanford, Ed. Hovey, A. Huntington, William Hood, Sterling Hance, Leonard Leake, Valentine Lucas, John McAlpin, Thomas Merry, W. C. McHenry, James McGrew, William Millar, James R. Parr, W. Y. Roberts, George Russell, Samuel Stover, Berry Swander, Martin Stewart, Milton Sabers, Hiram Wright, A. G. Walcott, Gustavus Leitz, Samuel M. Stephens, Charles H. Suydam, G. B. Terrill, E. T. Vedder, C. H. Van Fossen and Isaiah Walker; for petit jurors, Eli McKee, Joseph H. Bartles, Jacob Kyle, John H. Mattoon, Charles Morasch, C. H. Carpenter, Isaac R. Zane, Samuel Merchant, John Stewart, Robert Anderson, Fred Blum, Stephen S. Bradley, E. S. Barche, John M. Blockly, Frank H. Betton, James Clifford, James D. Chestnut, R. Chalk, J. A. J. Chapman, R. G. Dunning, Thomas Downs, Michael Gorman, G. K. Grinrod, Bat. Griffin, Joseph Greible, Malcolm Gregory, Theodore Garrett, M. A. Garrett, James Hennepey, Robert Halford, William D. Jones, N. A. Kirk, Daniel Killen, Claudius Kiefer, Henry Kirby, H. C. Long, William Lovey, Charles Lovelace, Anthony McMahon, Joseph McDowell, J. M. Mather, H. W. McNay, David Powell, E. J. Pedigo, Ed. Purdam, George Roof, J. D. Simpson, Ebenezer Smith, C. Stapleton and Fred Schoup.
In her fifty years of statehood Wyandotte county has had twelve state senators. The first election for state senator was in 1862 and James McGrew, afterwards lieutenant governor, was chosen. He had previously served Wyandotte county as a representative, under election in 1861. William Wear was chosen senator in 1864, Isaac B. Sharp in 1866, Charles S. Glick in 1868, George P. Nelson in 1870 and Byron Judd in 1872. Mr. Judd was re-elected in 1874 and in 1876. He was succeeded by William J. Buchan, who was state senator fourteen years and was defeated in 1892 by Edwin Taylor, who served one term of four years. Following Senator Taylor came Henry T. Zimmer, James K. Cubbison, James F. Getty and T. A. Milton, each for a term of four years.
The first representative chosen from Wyandotte county after its organization was William L. McMath, in 1859. The next year, 1860, W. Y. Roberts was chosen. They served in the territorial legislatures. Since Kansas has been a state the following have been chosen as representatives at the elections in the years indicated:
1861 - W. W. Dickinson and James McGrew.
1863 - W. W. Bottum.
1864 - Charles S. Glick.
1865 - Isaiah Walker.
1866 - Thomas J. Barker and Daniel Killen.
1867 - Richard Hewitt and Vincent J. Lane.
1868 - H. W. Cook and Thomas Feeney.
1869 - Vincent J. Lane and John T. McKay.
1870 - Rufus E. Cable and Joseph K. Hudson.
1871 - Stephen A. Cobb and Hiram Malotte.
1872 - William J. Buchan and W. S. Tough.
1873 - Richard B. Taylor and Sanford Haff.
1874 - William J. Buchan and Sanford Haff.
1875 - Henry W. Cook and Sanford Haff.
1876 - Henry W. Cook and Sanford Haff.
1877 - Henry L. Alden, L. E. James and G. W. Greever.
1879 - Russell B. Armstrong, L. E. James and G. W. Greever.
1881 - E. S. W. Drought, Thomas J. Barker, and B. L. Stine.
1882 - E. S. W. Drought and James F. Timmons,
1884 - E. S. W. Drought and B. L. Stine.
1886 - Porter Sherman and James F. Timmons.
1888 - G. L. Coates and W. H. H. Young.
1890 - J. O. Milner and A. A. Burgard.
1892 - J. K. Cubbison and A. A. Burgard.
1894 - J. K. Cubbison, C. H. Allen and D. S. Hains.
1896 - J. K. Cubbison, Frank J. Armstrong and Edwin Taylor.
1898 - David D. Hoag, J. S. Edwards and 11. A. Bailey.
1900 - David D. Hoag, J. A. Butler and J. L. Landrey.
1902 - E. A. Enright, H. W. Broadbent and J. L. Landrey.
1904 - S. S. Glasscock, E. K. Robinet and C. D. Dail.
1906 - E. A. Enright, W. H. Martin and W. W. Gordon.
1908 - George R. Allen, John B. Hutchinson and J. L. Landrey.
1910 - George R. Allen, W. B. Thomas and J. 0. Emerson,
In the fifty-two years since Wyandotte county was organized under the act of the territorial legislature the following have held county offices, many of them serving several terms:
County Attorneys - W. L. McMath, S. M. Emerson, Thomas P. Fenlon (District Attorney), Moses B. Newman, Charles S. Glick, John B. Scroggs, Henry W. Cook, Henry L. Alden, James S. Gibson, Nathan Cree, Winfield Freeman, Alfred H. Cobb, Henry McGrew, Samuel C. Miller, Thomas A. Pollock, E. A. Enright, James Meek and Joseph Taggert.
Sheriffs - Samuel E. Forsythe, Luther H. Wood, Silas Armstrong, Edward Riter, Harvey Horstman, E. S. W. Drought, William H. Ryns, Thomas B. Bowling, James Ferguson, Samuel S. Peterson, A. W. Peck, Jacob W. Longfellow, Harry A. Mendenhall, Alexander Gunning, James E. Porter and Albert Becker.
County Treasurers - Robert Robetaille, Byron Judd, John M. Funk, Joseph C. Welsh, Nicholas McAlpine, E. S. W. Drought, William Albright, Benjamin Schnierle, Martin Stewart, M. George McLean, William H. Bridgens, D. E. Cornell, John Spaeth and Samuel Stewart.
Registers of Deeds - Vincent J. Lane, James A. Cruise, Allison Crockett, J. S. Clark, William H. Bridgens, Almus A. Lovelace, C. S. McGonigal, O. W. Shepherd, Albert C. Cooke, Ed. F. Blum, Thomas Southerland and William Beggs.
County Clerks - M. A. Garrett, Moses B. Newman, James A. Cruise, Jesse J. Keplinger, Patrick Kelly, Andrew B. Hovey, David R. Emmons, William E. Connelley, Frank Mapes, Charles E. Bruce, Leonard Daniels and Frank M. Holcomb.
Probate Judges - Jacques M. Johnson, Barzillai Gray, Isaac B. Sharp, William B. Bowman, David R. Churchill, R. E. Cable, R. P. Clark, George Monahan, H. M. Herr, J. P. Angle, K. P. Snyder, Winfield Freeman, Van B. Prather and John T. Sims.
Judges District Court - O. L. Miller, H. L. Alden, E. L. Fischer and McCabe Moore.
Judges Common Pleas Court - T. P. Anderson, W. G. Holt, L. C. True, Richard Higgins and H. J. Smith.
Judges Circuit Court - F. D. Hutchings (1908) and W. M. Whitelaw.
Judges Second Division District Court - L. C. True, F. D. Hutchings.
Clerks District Court - James A. Cruise, (1862) and George W. Betts, L. C. Trickey, John Warren, E. W. Towner, William Needles, Alexander Gunning, August Anderson, F. T. Hoffman, J. Will Thomas and Robert McFarland.
Clerks Common Pleas Court - C. S. McGonigal, J. W. Howlett, C. W. Litchfield, George H. Jenkins, James Beggs, Frank L. Kenney and E. F. Blum.
Clerks Circuit Court - E. R. Callender (1908) and Roman Kramer.
Coroners - Dr. G. B. Wood, Peter Julian, Charles Morasch, Charles H. N. Moore, Thomas W. Noland, Bryant Grafton, David R. McCable, William G. Scott, L. T. Holland, G. W. Neville, T. C. Baird, A. H. Vail, George AT. Gray, H. M. Downs, Russell Hill, J. O. Millner, V. S. Todd, D. M. Shively, A. H. Stephens, Frank M. Tracy, J. A. Davis and E. R. Tenney.
County Surveyors - Cyrus L. Gorton, D. C. Boggs, John A. J. Chapman, Rynear Morgan, Samuel Parsons, Samuel F. Bigham, Robert A. Ela, Francis House, Walter Hale, J. H. Lasley, Park Williamson, William Barclay and J. Milton Lindsay.
County Superintendents of Public Instruction - J. B. Welborn, Fred Speck, Michael Hummer, Benjamin F. Mudge, Emanuel F. Heisler, William W. Dickinson, L. C. Trickey, H. C. Whitlock, D. B. Hiatt, C. J. Smith, Frank M. Slosson, E. F. Taylor, Mrs. Fannie Reid Slusser, Miss Melinda Clark, Henry Mead, Charles E. Thompson, H. G. Randall and George W. Phillips.
By vote of the people at the November election in 1859 Wyandotte was made the permanent county seat. On July 11, 1860, a proposition was submitted by Isaiah Walker to sell to the county lot 46, in block 93, on Nebraska avenue, in the city of Wyandotte, "with the frame building thereon" for a court house site. For this the county paid $50 in scrip and $1,750 in bonds to run ten years at ten per cent interest. The proposition was accepted and the land then purchased was used for the first Wyandotte county court house and jail.
At the meeting of July 11, 1860, it was ordered that the register of deeds be authorized to record the plat of the Wyandotte lands, and the description of the allotment of the same, from the copies thereof in the office of the county clerk and $25 was appropriated for such use. The demand of William McKay for the use of the court room for the May (1860) term of the district court was allowed. The amount was $20. The matter of a new county jail was considered, and, there being neither plans nor propositions on hand satisfactory to the board, it was ordered that the clerk post up notices in not less than three conspicuous places in the county, calling for further plans and proposals for a county jail to be presented to the board May 30, 1860, at which time it was decided to further consider the matter.
It was further ordered that the notices above referred to should also invite proposals for removing the court house to the front part of the court house lot. At the appointed time, a plan proposed by J. R. Parr, to build the jail of planks laid and spiked together, was adopted by the board. The structure was to be twenty feet square, each story to be eight feet in the clear. The first story was to be divided centrally by a four-foot passage, and into five cells - three on one side of the passage, two on the other. The upper story was to be divided into three rooms, approached by an outside stairway. The bid of J. L. Hall, being the best and lowest, to complete the jail for $2,000, was accepted, and the chairman of the board was authorized to enter into a contract with him on that basis, and also to contract for the removal of the court house.
On January 8, 1861, in the matter of the report of the grand jury, made to the last October term of the district court, recommending certain improvements in the county jail, it was ordered by the board that the county clerk advertise proposals to be received, for consideration at the April term of the board, to erect a plank fence around the jail, to underpin the jail with stone, and fill underneath its floors with broken stone.
The first levy of taxes in Wyandotte county was ordered by the board of supervisors September 2, 1859. The rate thus fixed was one and one-fourth per cent of the assessed value of taxable property, real and personal. The board at the same meeting appropriated $1,500 for roads and bridges from Quindaro to the Wyandotte bridge.
At a meeting of the board, October 2, 1860, the amount of taxes to be levied for county and other purposes for the current fiscal year was considered. It was determined that, for the purpose of redeeming the outstanding orders on the treasurer of the county and to meet the ordinary current county expenses, $15,000 would be required. The county clerk was authorized to make a levy of taxes on the total amount of taxable property on the assessment roll of that year, at such a rate, in mills on the dollar, as would produce most nearly such an amount. The further amount of $2,500 was required to pay the interest on bonds issued by the county and to redeem such bonds as would become due within the coming year, and an additional levy was ordered to meet this demand.
It may also be recorded here that the taxes levied in Wyandotte county were contested. At a meeting of the first board the county attorney was authorized to draw up papers stating an agreement of facts and enter into the same, on behalf of the county with the Wyandotte Indians, for the purpose of testing the legality of taxes assessed on the lands in the county allotted to that tribe.
A board of county commissioners composed of William McKay, J. E. Bennett and Samuel Forsythe was elected on the first Monday in March, 1860. At the same election Benjamin W. Hartley was chosen assessor. The new board organized Monday, April 2, 1860.
The division of the county into three commissioner districts, on which the first board of supervisors failed to agree, was accomplished by the new board. It was ordered that all that part of the city of Wyandotte south of the center of Kansas avenue and all that portion of Wyandotte township south of the section line dividing sections 5 and 6 from 7 and 8, in township 11 south, range 25 east, and east of the township line dividing ranges 24 and 25 east, be erected into district No. 1. All of the remainder of Wyandotte township and Wyandotte city was erected into district No. 2, and all of Quindaro township formed district No. 3.
Byron Judd was the first trustee of Wyandotte township and V. J. Lane was the first trustee of Quindaro township. The following township officers were chosen by election in March, 1862: Wyandotte township - Byron Judd, trustee; H. W. McKay, P. S. Ferguson, John Kane, constables; Gottleib Kneipfer and J. M. Barber, overseers of highways. Quindaro township - E. L. Brown, trustee; Arad Tuttle, justice of the peace; E. O. Zane and J. Leonard, constables; Charles Morash, J. Leonard and John Freeman, overseers.
Previous to 1869 all of Wyandotte county was embraced in two townships, Wyandotte and Quindaro. The settlement of the outlying districts had been so rapid that it became necessary to organize smaller townships, which the county board proceeded to do.
On January 4, 1869, J. M. Michael appeared before the board and presented a petition signed by himself and fifty-two other persons, praying that the board set off and organize a new township to be composed of the following described territory: "Commencing at the Kansas river at a point where the east line of township 11, range 23 east of the sixth principal meridian in Kansas, intersects the same; thence north on said line to the second standard parallel; thence west on the said standard parallel to the northwest corner of said township 11, range 23; thence south to the Kansas river; thence along said river to the point of beginning." After due consideration thereof the board found that said petition was signed by fifty electors, resident therein, and that the territory proposed by said petition to be organized into a township was a part of the territory embraced in the township of Wyandotte; that said proposed township contained an area of at least thirty square miles of territory and that the territory so proposed to be organized into a township contained the number of electors and inhabitants required by law. It was therefore ordered by the board, that the territory as above described "be and is hereby organized into a township to be known and designated by the name of Delaware township, and that the first election for town officers in said Delaware township be held at the Peter Barnett store-room, in Edwardsville, so called, on the first Tuesday in April, 1869. It is further ordered by the board, that J. J. Keplinger, the county clerk of the county, make out a plat of said Delaware township and place the same on sale in his office, and that he deliver to the proper township officers a certified copy of said plat and record. It is further ordered by the board, that the county clerk make out and transmit to the secretary of state the name and boundary of Delaware township, and the boundary of Wyandotte township, as it now remains except for portions on the east annexed to Kansas City, Kansas."
Prairie township was organized March 8, 1869, upon the following petition describing its boundaries: "We, the undersigned petitioners, would respectfully pray your honorable body to establish a new township out of the following territory, towit: All that portion of township N. 10, range 23, in said county, said township to be known as Prairie township. We would further represent that the territory described contains an area of at least thirty square miles and has a population of two hundred inhabitants, and would further ask that the first election for township officers be held on the first Tuesdy[sic] in April, at the Prairie and Connor precinct."
The petition was signed by S. S. Kessler, Henry H. Evarts and sixty-two others. The territory described was formerly embraced in the township of Quindaro. It was ordered that "the first election be held at Connor's station and at the school house near the John Connor place, the place where the fall elections were held in Prairie precinct, on the first Tuesday in April, A. D., 1869."
Quindaro township was re-established April 5, 1869, upon a petition then presented to the board praying that the boundary of Quindaro township be established as follows: "All that portion of township No. 10, ranges 24 and 25, in Wyandotte county." This petition was signed by fifty residents of the proposed township. After due consideration the board found that the petition was signed by the number of electors and residents required by law; that the territory proposed to be erected into a township comprised in part the territory then embraced in the township of Wyandotte and all the territory therefore contained in Quindaro township after Prairie township had been organized from its territory; and that the proposed township would contain the area required by law and the requisite population and number of voters; and it was ordered by the board, that the territory, as above described, be organized into a township to be known and designated by the name of Quindaro township, and that the first election for township officers be held at the usual place of holding elections in Quindaro precinct and Six-mile precinct on the first Tuesday in April, 1869.
The record of the establishment of Shawnee township, also on April 5, 1869, is as follows: "And now, on this day, a petition was presented to the board, signed by John M. Ainsworth and seventy other persons residents of Wyandotte township and county, south of the Kansas river, praying that all that portion of Wyandotte county lying south of the Kansas river, and not included in the corporate limits of Wyandotte City, be set off and organized into a new township, to be known and designated as Shawnee township. After due consideration thereof, the board do find that said petition is signed by the number of electors and residents therein required by law; that the territory proposed by said petition to be erected into a new township is a part of the territory now embraced in the township of Wyandotte; that said proposed township contains the territory requisite to form a township, according to an act of the legislature of the state of Kansas, approved 1869, and the territory so proposed to be organized into a new township contains the number of electors and inhabitants required by law. It is, therefore, ordered by the board that the territory above described be and is hereby organized into a township, to be known and designated by the name of Shawnee township, and that the first election of township officers in said Shawnee township be held at the junction of the Wyandotte and Shawnee road with the Shawnee and Kansas City road, on the first Tuesday in April, 1869."
Since the organization of Wyandotte county there has been a growth of population, slow at times, rapid at others, but always a growth. The United States census bureau's figures for the six decades follow: In 1860, 2,607; in 1870, 10,015; in 1880, 21,342; in 1890, 54,407; in 1900, 73,237; and in 1910, 100,068.
The assessed value of all property subject to taxation in Wyandotte county for 1910, based on what is supposed to be its full cash value, was $100,848,560. The total assessed value of the railroad properties, fixed by the state board, was $10,876,482, and of other public utility corporations $5,027,035.
Wyandotte county now has fifty-six miles of macadam roads out of a total mileage of one hundred and sixty-five miles of all roads. Under a law enacted fifteen years ago, permitting a tax levy of two mills on the dollar under the old plan of assessment on all taxable property in the county, this system of roads has been built. The main roads leading out from the cities through the county which, in recent years, have been macadamized are: Leavenworth, Parallel, Reidy, Kansas avenue and Turner boulevard, out of Kansas City, Kansas, and the Shawnee road and Southwest boulevard, from Rosedale. Under the system, from five to ten miles of macadamized road are added each year.
Spanning the Kansas river, in Wyandotte county, are twenty bridges, costing from $40,000 to $500,000 each. Of these, nine are county bridges erected at a cost of $900,000, a portion of which was paid by the street railway companies for joint use of four of them. The other bridges are owned by the railway companies, except the Intercity viaduct bridge which is owned by the viaduct corporation. In the flood in the Kansas river, in 1903 every bridge over the river in Wyandotte county except the Missouri Pacific railway bridge was wrecked. They have all since been rebuilt.
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