Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.]


CHAPTER XXXV.

THE PRESS OF THE COUNTY.


CORRESPONDENTS OF LONG AGO - THE FIRST NEWSPAPER - THE "WYANDOTTE REGISTER" - "THE "GAZETTE'S" FOUNDER - A FRIEND OF THE INDIANS - THE "WYANDOTTE HERALD" - THE "ARGENTINE REPUBLIC" - THE "WEEKLY SUN" - THE "PRESS" - CAREER OF MARK DELAHAY.

The first printing outfit brought to Kansas was for the use of the Shawnee Baptist Mission. It was set up by the Rev. John G. Pratt in a log building situated in what is now the southwest corner of the Argentine division of Kansas City, Kansas, in the year 1832. Primarily, the press was used for the printing of religious matters in the language of the Indians, but out of it grew the first newspaper ever issued in Kansas, The Shawnee Light or Sun. Each issue contained such news happenings as were of interest to its Indian readers. Mr. Pratt was assisted by John G. Lykins, a teacher in the school who also was a practical printer. With the settlement of Kansas in the fifties came a rush of Free State men from New England, who not only were statesmen, orators, educators, preachers and fighters, but were also editors and publishers. As Noble Prentis wrote: "In Kansas future governors, senators, chieftains and ambassadors carried printers' rules in their pockets."

Thus began the influence and power of the press of Kansas. From the time those grand missionaries, nearly eighty years ago, brought their little printing outfits from New England the press of Kansas has stood for the highest and best in education, evangelization and civilization. Since the territorial days when the Border Ruffians dumped Mark Delahay's printing plant into the Missouri river at Leavenworth, and at Lawrence sacked and burned the offices of the Free State papers, the press of Kansas has been a herald of freedom and of human liberty. In all the years of that grand struggle upward from a wild and desolate plain, peopled by Indians and bad men and prairie wolves, to the magnificent commonwealth that in our time stands among the first among the states of this Union for intelligent and patriotic citizenship, for peaceful, happy homes, for churches and schools, for farms and ranches and orchards, for a multiplicity of resources, and for wealth and power - the newspapers of Kansas have been in the forefront as champions of Kansas, its laws, its institutions, its people and their interests.

The press of Kansas was preaching the doctrine of temperance and morality, civic righteousness and a square deal in business and politics, fifty years before some of her neighboring states found it necessary, for the preservation of the sacred institutions of society and government, to fall in line. In all the years of adversity, when the grasshoppers came to consume every growing thing, when hot winds turned the fields and meadows from green to brown, when panics left their blight throughout the land, the newspapers of Kansas, with courage undaunted, with faith sublime and with hope eternal, were printing messages of cheer that pointed to the cloud with the silver lining, and the blue sky and the stars beyond. And now in the times of her prosperity, with wealth abundant, with food in store and some to divide among our friends in the rest of the world, the press of Kansas is ever ready with calm counsel for safe and sane policies of business, for just and righteous laws, and for the conservation of her strength and resources that she may be equal to the demands that are to be laid upon her in the years that are to come - for who knows what the future holds in store for the American people?

CORRESPONDENTS OF LONG AGO.

As long ago as 1854 Kansas was overrun with correspondents for the eastern papers, for Kansas, then as now, was saying and doing things to cause the rest of the world to "sit up and take notice." The use of the telegraph - they called it the "magnetic telegraph"was not unknown to newspaper making. Many brilliant young men were sending "stuff" by wire in those early days. William A. Phillips was a correspondent of the New York Tribune. G. Douglas Brewerton, who published a series of letters on "War in Kansas," was correspondent for the New York Herald. Thomas H. Gladstone, a kinsman of William E. Gladstone, England's great premier, was the correspondent of the London Times. When the constitutional convention was in session at Wyandotte, in 1859, members of that body acted as correspondents to keep the world informed as to what Kansas was doing. Philo M. Clark, one of the founders of the beautiful city of Bonner Springs in Wyandotte county, was a telegraph operator in those days and sent the reports of the convention.

THE FIRST NEWSPAPER.

The newspaper first to be published in Kansas was the Leavenworth Herald. There was no building ready and in the haste to get out the first issue an elm tree provided the protection to the printing outfit from sun and rain. John and Joseph Speer and George W. Brown were only a few days behind, for they were issuing papers in Lawrence in the fall of 1854. The Herald of Freedom and the Kansas Free State, issued there, were representative of the type of journals of the period, and their fearless advocacy of freedom's cause made them the objects of special attack in the sacking of Lawrence.

In the rivalry between Wyandotte and Quindaro as to which should become the metropolis of the Missouri valley, Quindaro evidently took the lead in journalism, for on February 13, 1857, the Chin-do-Wan made its initial appearance. It was published by Walden & Babb, John M. Walden, now retired after more than one-half century of work as a minister and editor for the Methodist Book Concern at Cincinnati, being the editor of that journal. Its chief mission was to boom Quindaro as a Free State port of entry into Kansas, and right royally did it fulfill it mission. The paper reflected the spirit of the historic old town, but it was doomed to a short life. Mr. Walden ran it until he tired and then the town company assumed the management, Vincent J. Lane, M. B. Newman and Col. George W. Veale being the editors and publishers. When the war came on and about every man in Quindaro went forth to battle, the Chin-do-Wan and the town, for that matter, went down.

THE "WYANDOTTE REGISTER."

In May, 1857, Judge Mark W. Delahay began the publication of the Wyandotte City Register, which was the first paper published in the city. The first number was issued from a tent on the corner of Nebraska avenue and Third street. Delahay sold to Eddy & Patton. It finally passed into the hands of Mr. Abbott, who changed its name to the Citizen and published it but a few months. It was succeeded by the Western Argus, which was printed on the same material and published by the Western Argus Company. J. E. Bennett, was editor and P. Sidney Post commercial editor. The first number of the Argus was issued March 25, 1858, and was continued till March 9, 1861, when the material was sold to R. B. Taylor and was used in the printing of the Wyandotte Gazette. The first number of the Gazette had been issued August 7, 1858, by S. D. McDonald, editor and proprietor. Mr. McDonald continued the paper one year, issued a daily during the sessions of the constitutional convention, and then suspended its publication.

In August, 1860, the publication of the paper, after a suspension of some months, was re-commenced by Messrs. McDonald and R. B. Taylor. The partnership continued but a few weeks, when Mr. Taylor hired the office of Mr. McDonald and continued to publish the Gazette alone. On January 15, 1861, while the editor was in the east on business, the office was entirely destroyed by fire together with the building in which it was located, both belonging to Mr. McDonald. When Mr. Taylor returned in March he purchased the material of the Western Argus, as before mentioned, and continued the publication of the Gazette until the spring of 1867, when Philpott & Brown secured possession of the office and published it three months under agreement to purchase, which they failed to do. Mr. Taylor again took the management of the paper and published it until October 1, 1869, when he leased the office to Kessler & Tuttle. On January 1, 1870, Mr. Tuttle withdrew, leaving Mr. Kessler sole lessee and editor. In July of this year, Mr. Taylor again came into possession of the Gazette, remaining editor and sole proprietor until his death.

THE "GAZETTE'S" FOUNDER.

Richard Baxter Taylor, who for so long a time, was editor of the Gazette, was born in Bucklan, Franklin county, Massachusetts, March 29, 1832, and died at his residence in Wyandotte, Kansas, March 26, 1877. He received a good common school and academical education. When seventeen years of age, he went to Canandaigua, New York, where he was engaged as an educator about five years, and then went to Ellenwood, Ulster county, in the same state, where he commenced the study of law. He became connected with the Ellenville Journal, and so remained until he came west. In 1857 he visited Kansas, and the next year removed with his family to Wyandotte. His purpose in coming to Kansas was to aid in making it a free state. In 1851 he married Miss Rachel Broadhead. Mr. Taylor was a Republican in politics. As a journalist he was able, intelligent and bold. Through his efforts, the Kansas State Editorial Association was organized, and he was president of the first meeting, which was held at Topeka, January 17, 1866. He strongly advocated the writing and printing of words by the phonetic method. The editorial association which Mr. Taylor was so active in organizing, at its annual meeting held at Manhattan, April 7, 1875, suggested the action which led to the organization of the State Historical Society, and Mr. Taylor was one of its first directors.

At the death of Mr. Taylor, his son, William B. Taylor, conducted the Gazette until October, 1879, when Russell B. Armstrong and Asa N. Moyer bought the office with all its appurtenances, and, under the firm name of Armstrong & Moyer, published the paper for a number of years. In the spring of 1888 the Gazette Printing and Publishing Company was formed and took charge of the office and paper, and, in January following, Mr. George W. Martin, now secretary of the Kansas Historical Society, assumed control of the editorial department, while W. L. Witmer and D. W. Witmer assumed the business management. With Mr. Martin, in 1890-3, were associated P. W. Morgan, editor of this historical work; F. D. Coburn, now secretary of agriculture in Kansas; James E. Keeley, managing editor of the Chicago Tribune; J. J. Maxwell and the late Thomas Henchall. After Mr. Martin's retirement the paper was edited for a few years by Josiah Copley and the business management continued by the Witmer brothers. In 1908 the Globe, a daily newspaper which had been organized three years, consolidated with the Gazette and the paper has since been published as the Gazette-Globe. It is the only daily newspaper in Kansas City, Kansas, and has a large circulation.

A FRIEND OF THE INDIANS.

Russell Biglow Armstrong, for many years connected with the Gazette and the editor and founder of the daily edition, was a member of the famous family of Armstrongs who came to Wyandotte with the Indians in 1843. His father, John McIntyre Armstrong was the first school teacher in Wyandotte and his mother, Mrs. Lucy B. Armstrong, the daughter of an early Methodist missionary, was a leader in religious and educational affairs until her death on January 1, 1891. Russell Armstrong was a power in Wyandotte county for many years and did much for the uplift of the people. He was a friend of the Indians, and many times went to Washington to plead their cause. Shortly after he sold his interest in the paper to George W. Martin, he fell under the wheels of a rapid-transit train at Fifth street and New Jersey avenue, losing both legs. He recuperated in a few months and started a job printing shop in Armourdale, which he conducted a few years until it was destroyed by fire. His death on June 9, 1901, was mourned by many thousand men and women of Kansas.

A. N. Moyer, who retired from the newspaper business with Mr. Armstrong, was for many years after engaged in the banking business in Kansas City, Kansas, until obliged to retire on account of illnes. He died, a few years ago, at his residence in Kansas City, Kansas.

The Kansas Post, a German weekly, was removed from Kansas City to Wyandotte in the early part of the war period, and remained one year. It was published by A. Wuerz and John Haberlein, the latter being principal editor. The Kansas Real Estate Herald was issued at Wyandotte, by E. F. Heisler, from November, 1868, to July 1869. The first number of Die Fackel (The Torch), was issued in Wyandotte, September 12, 1866, by Kastor, Fischer & Co., H. W. Kastor, editor. It was first printed on the Gazette press. On January 1, 1868, it was moved to Atchison. The Kansas Pilot was established in Wyandotte, in 1879, by William Caffrey, and published for a season.

From 1861 to 1866 there was no Democratic paper in Wyandotte county, but in the latter year J. A. Berry started the Wyandotte Democrat, issued it about thirteen months and then abandoned it and left the city. The next Democratic paper in the place was the Herald.

THE "WYANDOT HERALD."

The first number of the Wyandot Herald was issued January 4, 1872. Vincent J. Lane and Fred G. Jackson were its founders, the former being its editor. It was first published on the corner of Minnesota avenue and Fifth street. In 1872 the office was moved to the corner of Third street and Minnesota avenue, where it remained a year and a half, until it was removed to Hescher's building, on the north side of Minnesota avenue, between Fourth and Fifth streets, where the paper was published till January 1, 1880. Then it was moved to the Masonic building, on the corner of Minnesota avenue and Third street. In September, 1881, it was removed into quarters belonging to its proprietors, on the north side of Minnesota avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets, No. 512. B. R. Lane, son of the editor, bought an interest in the Herald in April, 1880, and has since been partner with his father. Mr. Lane's last move was to a substantial building on Seventh street adjoining the post office building. He conducted the Herald until January, 1911, when he retired from active work and, rather than suffer the paper to fall into the hands of others - his son having no ambitions as an editor he suspended its publication and ended its career of thirty-nine years.

The Weekly Spy was established in the former city of Kansas City, in 1880, by its proprietor, B. M. Drake. In September, 1882, Charles H. Van Fossen and Felix G. Head bought the material of the office and began the publication of the Daily Evening Globe, which was continued for a time.

The American Citizen, formerly established at Topeka, Kansas, was moved to Kansas City, Kansas, July 26, 1889. It was a six column folio, all home print, and published by the American Citizen Publishing Company, with W. T. McGuinn, editor, and George A. Dudley, business manager. These gentlemen were colored, and looked well to the interest of their race.

The Kansas Catholic was established at Leavenworth and published there until April, 1890, when it was moved to Kansas City, Kansas, where it was issued weekly for several years by the Kansas Catholic Publishing Company. It was a very neat six-column quarto, containing much reading matter which embraced general, local and foreign news.

THE "REPUBLIC."

The first issue of the Argentine Republic appeared December 8, 1887. It was established by Joseph T. Landrey. When the paper was first published it was printed in Kansas City. Two years later Mr. Landrey put in a well equipped plant and the paper, as well as all kinds of job work, were printed here. Mr. Landrey was an honest and fearless man. He stood for everything that was good for Argentine. He accomplished much by his pen for this city. He died of paralysis August 30, 1905. After Mr. Landrey's death, his son, Joseph L. Landrey, took charge of the paper. He sold the plant October 1, 1907, to E. P. Curran. The paper is now edited by Grant Landrey, a son of the founder.

THE "WEEKLY SUN."

In the month of February, 1888, Mr. E. F. Heisler, a pioneer citizen who had been connected with the educational and journalistic affairs of Wyandotte since the organization of the state, began the publication of the Weekly Sun in Kansas City, Kansas. The Sun has been a persistent advocate of the best interests of the people, its editor working day and night for the public good. It has been a valuable medium for the publication of accurate local history. Many of the facts appearing in the two volumes of this work were obtained from the files of the Sun, and some of the illustrations herein are from that paper. Mr. Heisler is associated in the publication by a son, Will Heisler. Another son, Fred Heisler, is employed in the government printing office in Washington. The Sun is Democratic and has been a valuable aid to William J. Bryan in his presidential candidacies.

THE "PRESS."

In July, 1889, John B. Hipple came out from Pennsylvania and established the Weekly Press in the Armourdale district of Kansas City, Kansas. The paper has been published continuously since the date of its first issue. In 1903, when the Armourdale district was flooded to a depth of eight to ten feet on Kansas Avenue, the enterprising editor of the Press published his paper on Minnesota avenue and did not miss an issue, although his submerged and wrecked printing plant was not fit for use for several weeks. The Press is independent in politics and is a stanch upholder of the interests of the county and the city. Its championship of the interests of the drainage district had much to do with the victory of the Drainage Board over the corporate interests, which led to the expenditure of $1,750,000 for flood protection. The Press is the official organ of Wyandotte county.

Among other newspapers in Kansas City, Kansas, is the Labor Record, the organ for several years of the Central Trades Union in the city, published weekly by W. S. Orr.

Of the newspapers that once were published in Kansas City, Kansas, was the News, daily and weekly, which flourished from 1901 to 1904 under the management of Charles M. Dunham.

The Bee is a weekly paper published in Rosedale.

The Bonner Springs Chieftain, established fifteen years ago, is an influential weekly paper under the editorial management of Emri Zumwald. It reflects the life of the enterprising city in the western part of Wyandotte county and has proved valuable as an aid to its. development. It has a large circulation.

THE CAREER OF MARK DELAHAY.

Judge Mark W. Delahay was one of the heroes of journalism in Kansas during the territorial days. He was a native of Maryland, born to slave-ownership and the only white child on three plantations, yet in his young manhood he proved to be a tower of strength to anti-slavery movement and his career in Kansas makes him one of the most conspicuous leaders of his time.

Miss Mary E. Delahay of Leavenworth, a daughter, contributes the following sketch of her father and his career to the Kansas State Historical Society, published in Volume X, page 638: "My father's maternal ancestors were Friends, and he, too, was averse to buying and selling slaves. His paternal grandfather was the first person to manumit slaves in Maryland. My father had scarcely attained his majority when he was imbued with the spirit of emigration and wended his way to Illinois. Having inherited quite a fortune for those days, he embarked in numerous enterprises, and from all accounts Colonel Sellers did not surpass him in the number of his speculations, or meet with greater success. After investing his money he turned his attention to journalism, solicited for the Battle Ax, and wrote articles for the paper while traveling. Then he studied law, was admitted to practice in the various courts of Illinois, and was soon taken into partnership with Edward D. Barker, the eminent jurist, statesman, and soldier. He spent a portion of the winters at Springfield during the session of the legislature, and associated with such men as Jesse K. Dubois, Lyman Trumbell, Gen. James Shields, Gen. John A. McClernand, Stephen A. Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Judge Henry E. Dummer, Judge Nathaniel Pope, Richard Pope, Richard Yates, Murray McConnel and many other old timers I cannot now recall. In 1853, at the solicitation of his cousin, R. D. Hopkins, he moved to Mobile, Alabama, formed a partnership and entered upon the practice of law. During his residence there, Mr. Douglas paid a visit to Mobile, and was banqueted by the lawyers of the city at the old historic Battle House. (Mobile has wakened up and rubbed off the moss at an astonishing rate in the past few years, thanks to Kansas money and energy).

"The winter of 1854-5 my father went to Washington, where he had cases in the supreme court and a claim in congress for clients. Mr. Douglas' Squatter Sovereignty bill, cutting off the territories of Kansas and Nebraska from the Indian territory and opening them to settlement, had then become a law. Illinois friends argued with my father that he was too young a man to settle down in a staid old town like Mobile. He had better 'go west and grow up with the country.' Being fond of pioneer life he readily contracted the 'Kansas fever,' and wrote to my mother to get ready to emigrate to Kansas in March, 1855. Like the good wife she was and a true pioneer's daughter, she proceeded to buy of muslin and other goods and set to work sewing early and late by hand, to get her little family ready for the long trip by boat up the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to Kansas. The family embarked in April, at New Orleans. On reaching St. Louis, after a two weeks' journey, friends there who were more familiar with the new country told my father that if he took his family with him he would have to camp, as there were no houses to be had; that Leavenworth contained only a few dozen shanties and one barn-like hotel. So he sent the family up the Illinois river by boat to the home of my grandfather, Joshua Hanks, in Scott county, Illinois, while he proceeded up the Missouri river with a printing press and other requisites for a printing office. ('Twas while fishing on the banks of the Illinois river that Mr. Lincoln and my grandfather Hanks traced and claimed relationship.) The first issue of the paper appeared July 7, 1855.

"Father was then a Douglas Democrat, and through his paper, the Kansas Territorial Register, was to espouse the cause of slavery in the new territory on these lines, i. e., the settlement of the territory by emigration from all quarters of the country, then to abide by a vote of the people as to whether it should be a slave or a free state. But the south was not so minded. My father then came out flat-footed for a free state. On October 23, 1855, he, with other free state men, met at Topeka to frame a state constitution to present to congress, and he was chosen delegate to congress under that constitution. From Leavenworth there was also at this convention Marcus J. Parrott and S. N. Latta. During his absence from Leavenworth to attend a convention at Lawrence for the nomination of officers under the constitution, December 22nd, and very cold weather, our neighbors on the east side of the Missouri river, being highly incensed at the position my father had taken in politics, crossed over the ice, mobbed the office of the Territorial Register, demolished the press, carried it to the river, cut a hole in the ice and slid it into the Missouri. They then strewed the type in the street, and would have burned the office but for the friendly intervention of Colonel William Russell, of the firm of Majors, Russell & Waddell, overland freighters, who claimed the building as his own. On the return of the delegates from Topeka they were warned to leave the territory. Five hundred dollars was the price offered for my father's head. These brave men were in the minority, and, while the river was bridged with ice, had a poor show for holding their own; so, concluding that prudence was the better part of valor, they departed New Year's eve in a wagon by night, all armed to the teeth, to drive overland, traveling by night and spending the day at Indian huts, until they reached Jefferson City, Missouri, where they could take the railroad to St. Louis, thence east. The family could not follow until navigation was open on the Missouri river.

"The winter was one of the longest and most rigorous in the history of the state, and we were isolated from our neighbors weeks at a time. My mother was brave and fearless, and did not want to give up her new home. As it was not safe for my father to return, the family had to go to him. Accordingly, we left in July for Alton Illinois, the nearest point to St. Louis and the Missouri river, where we sojourned nearly three years. In the meantime the fury of the border war had abated, and my father returned to Kansas in the spring of 1857, with another printing press and located in Wyandotte. Here he published a new paper, the Wyandotte Reporter, practiced law and ran a hotel for a year or two, while the boom lasted there. When it waned, he removed to Leavenworth.

"During the Fremont and Dayton campaign, my father returned to Illinois as frequently as he could, to take a hand, as it were, on the old stamping-ground. He once took my eldest brother and me up to Springfield to a grand Fremont and Dayton meeting. There was speaking in the open air during the day, and at night in one of the legislative halls of the capital. We were seated in the gallery for safety while my father went below in the hall. While the band played and the cheering was going on, we children were entertained, but when the political argument was in progress we soon wearied, grew sleepy, and wanted to go home. Suiting the action to the longing, we left the gallery and found a way out to the street, but did not know the way to the home of our host, Dr. Lord. Someone seeing our dilemma, conducted us to our abode. My father found us safely tucked in bed when he returned home with his friend.

"Then came the famous campaign of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Douglas. They came to Alton while we were still sojourning there and held their last joint debate from the balcony of the new city hall October 15, 1858. My father was in Kansas at the time. Mr. George T. Brown, editor of the Alton Courier (later sergeant-at-arms of the United States senate during Mr. Lincoln's administration), was master of ceremonies on that occasion. He was a warm personal friend of the family, and, knowing that the speakers also were our friends, he invited me to accompany him to the speaking, which I did, being the only little girl in the balcony. While Mr. Douglas spoke, Mr. Lincoln held me in his arms, and while Mr. Lincoln spoke Mr. Douglas held me in his arms. I remember, also, that Mr. Lincoln received the largest number of bouquets. In the spring of 1859 we returned to Leavenworth. On May 14th of the same year Mr. Lincoln wrote to my father at length on the formation of the Republican party in Kansas. This letter I have in my possession. In December of 1859, at the earnest request of my father, Mr. Lincoln came to Kansas, the only time he ever was west of the Missouri river, and was my father's guest for one week. He spoke at Elwood, Doniphan county, in Atchison, also in Leavenworth, on the political situation, and met many politicians of the state during his stay. One day there were invited half a dozen gentlemen to dinner to meet him. Among them were Judge Pettit, Marcus J. Parrott, S. N. Latta, Gen. J. H. Lane, and others I do not recall. In keeping with those early days, the maid of all work took care of the baby in the kitchen, while I assisted my mother in the dining room. I remember an incident during the meal while conversation waxed warm on the subject of politics. My father rose to carve, as was his habit, and pausing, knife in hand, remarked 'Gentlemen, I tell you Mr. Lincoln will be our next president.' Mr. Lincoln replied 'Oh, Delahay, hush.' My father retorted 'I feel it, and I mean it.' After this prediction was verified, in Kansas it was spoken of as Delahay's prohecy.[sic]

"In 1864, when the nominating convention met in Baltimore, my father was one of the Kansas delegates. A little incident occurred at this time. In his room at the hotel one evening, with his son Willie and a number of his friends after an arduous day, he proceeded to remove one of his shoes (they were congress gaiters and of ample size), remarking to his son he felt like there was something in the toe of his shoe. Willie tapped the heel of the shoe on the floor and shook out a full grown mouse, much to the amusement of all present.

"After the nomination of 1860 my father visited Mr. Lincoln at Springfield and received instructions for campaign work. He and Gen. J. H. Lane spent several weeks in the autumn working like Trojans in the doubtful districts of Indiana and Illinois, and carried them in November for Mr. Lincoln. The election over, my father came by Springfield to congratulate him in person. In acknowledgment of my father's service, Mr. Lincoln presented him with the largest and finest banner he had received in the memorable campaign with Mr. Douglas. This banner is now in one of the rooms of the State Historical Society of Topeka. He offered my father the Chilian mission, which he declined. Then he appointed him surveyor general of Kansas and Nebraska, and later to the United States district judgeship, to succeed Judge Archibald Williams.

"The portrait of Mr. Douglas in my possession was painted in Illinois before the Civil war, by an artist named Lasseur. Uncle Johnnie Wilson, as he was familiarly called, kept a hotel in a small town in Illinois where the artist boarded, and in lieu of the money for his board left the Douglas portrait with Mr. Wilson, promising to redeem it sometime, but never did so; so Mr. Wilson brought the portrait to Topeka, Kansas, and my father bought it from him about thirty-five years ago.

"Early in the unpleasantness between the north and south in 1861, before troops could be brought to Washington, Gen. J. H. Lane formed a military company of men from Kansas then in the city, under the name of 'The Frontier Guard,' of which he was captain. My father was first lieutenant and Col. J. S. Stockton was second lieutenant. They guarded the White House, sleeping with their arms in the east room, also doing guard duty at the Chain bridge and other points in and around Washington, until troops were sent from New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, etc.

"Also, in 1844, my father was interested in raising a regiment of soldiers in Illinois to help drive the Mormons from Nauvoo, whence they emigrated to Salt Lake, Utah."


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