One of the most enterprising towns on the main line of the A. T.
& S. F. Railway is the city of Burrton, located eighteen miles west of Newton,
and one and one-half miles east of the Reno County line. With a population of
400 inhabitants and its well earned reputation as a shipping point, Burrton has
a bright future.
Burrton was laid off as a town site in the summer of 1873, by the Arkansas Valley Town Company, the town plat being filed for record, September 6 of that year. Before the town was laid off, J. H. Gresham opened a store in a building adjoining the town site on the east. Immediately after the town was laid off, A. W. Ballard erected a blacksmith shop, this being the first building on the town site. The next building was erected by Messrs. Hunt and Moore, in October, 1873, and opened as a general store. J. H. Gresham then moved his store on the town site. These two stores were the only ones in the place for a period of two years. In the spring of 1874, Dr. J. L. McAtee built the first residence and was the first actual settler. He was followed by G. A. Thompson and J. E. Howard, in the order mentioned. The first hotel was opened by A. A. Woodruff, in 1874, in the building now known as the Burrton House. The first birth was that of Bert, a son of A. A. Woodruff in 1874. The first death occurred in the spring of 1875, being that of R. Dunlap, who died from natural causes.
The postoffice, which was established July 1, 1873, J. J. Hunt, Postmaster was first located in the store of J. H. Gresham, and on the completion of Hunt & Moore's store it was moved on the town site. Mr. Hunt officiated a Postmaster until December 24, 1879, when the present incumbent, John Goodwine received the appointment. Money order No. 1, was purchased by C. P. Taylor, July 27, 1879. The building known as the "old schoolhouse" was erected in the winter of 1873-74 at a cost of $1,2000, J. G. Lane being the first teacher. In the spring of 1880, the new building was completed at a cost of $1,500. Both buildings are in use.
In the winter of 1877 the Burrton Mills, a three-story frame, was erected by a stock company. Six months later the mills passed into the hands of Kinney & Hubbard, the present proprietors, who equipped the structure with three runs of buhrs and a forty horse-power engine. The mills now have five run of buhrs, which give it a capacity of 100 barrels daily.
The private banking enterprise of G. A. Vanderveer was established July 8, 1881, and continued under his management until May 19, 1882, when J. E. Howard assumed its management, under the name of the Bank of Burrton.
The Burrton Telephone was established November 2, 1878, by J. A. Collister, of the Harvey County News Mr. Collister transferred his interest to A. C. Bowman, who in turn sold his interest to G. F. White, who run it until the spring of 1881, when it became defunct. The Burrton Monitor was established and the first number issued May 20, 1881, by a stock company, G. Vanderveer, editor. January, 1882, Miles Taylor assumed the editorial chair, and remained as editor in that capacity until January 1, 1883, when he purchased the paper, and is its present proprietor and editor. The Monitor is a seven column folio, is Independent in politics, and has an extensive circulation in Harvey, Sedgwick and Reno counties.
Burrton was incorporated as a city of the third class September 3, 1878. At the first city election, held September 11 of the same year, W. H. Kinney was elected Mayor; J. A. Moore, W. H. Riggs, Thomas Praster, H. C. Palmer and Joseph Jarrett, Councilmen; J. J. Hunt, Police Judge. The Council subsequently appointed John Goodwine, Clerk; R. W. Weymouth, Treasurer; and J. L. McAtee, Marshal. The officers for 1882 are J. A. Moore, Mayor; W. L. Dailey, James Cross, Thomas Collins, A. G. Provine, and W. H. Wilson, Councilmen; A. Perry, Police Judge; Miles Taylor, Clerk; H. Emerson, Treasurer; and Charles Horn, Marshall.
First Presbyterian Church -- was organized February 13, 1874, by Rev. R. M. Overstreet, who held service in Burrton early October, 1873, with eight members. The church organized three miles east of Burrton, in the Page schoolhouse. Mr. Overstreet remained as pastor until May, 1877, when he was succeeded by Rev. J. T. Phillips, who ministered unto the church until November, 1878. He was succeeded by Rev. D. Kingery, the present pastor. Regular services are held in the new schoolhouse, at Burrton.
Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in June, 1873, with seven members, at the then called Ballenger schoolhouse three miles west of Burrton, in Reno county, by Rev. John Harris. Six months later the organization moved to Burrton and held services in the schoolhouse. The following pastors have officiated to date: Rev. John Harris, one year; G. W. Kanabel, one year; _____ Presby, six months; M. M. Haun, one year; W. W. Woodsie, two years; S. Ward, one year; C. B. Mitchel, one year; H. G. Hamilton, one year; and G. H. Matthews, the present pastor, since March, 1882. Present membership seventy.
Christian Church was organized in 1874 by Rev. J. Ellet, who has remained pastor up to date, with eighteen members. Service were held in the old schoolhouse until the fall of 1879, when the present church edifice was completed. the building is a fine structure, 36 x 48 feet and cost $1,200. Present membership forty-five.
Baptist Church was organized in the Boss schoolhouse, two and one-half miles west of Burrton, in Reno County, September, 1876, with sixteen members. In the fall of 1877 the membership had increased to forty-two members. Old Father Camp, the organizer of the church remained two years. He was succeeded by Rev. D. Rowe, who remained two years. Rev. A. Post, the next pastor, officiated one year. Rev. J. H. Howgate, present pastor. In 1877 a frame building was erected and in 1880 was moved to Burrton. Present membership twenty-three.
The Universalists have an organization here, but owing to absence of records, the sketch is withheld. Rev. T. W. Woodrow, of Hutchinson, present pastor.
Burrton Lodge, No 182, A. F. & A. M. was organized in March, 1879, and a charter granted in the winter of 1879-80, with eighteen charter members. First officers were, F. W. Calkins, W. M.; J. R. Parker, S. W.; R. W. Weymouth, J. W.; L. A. Sawyer, Treas.; J. H. Mills, Sec., Present officers -- Wm. Hyde, S. W.; S. J. Atkins, S. W.; W. L. Hamlin, J. W.; C. T. Haines, S. D.; F. M. Payne, J. D.; Wm Harmon, Treas.; J. R. Rogers, Secretary. Regular meeting are held on the first and third Saturday evenings at Masonic Hall. Present membership, thirty.
Farragut Post, No. 37, G. A. R. was organized under dispensation, March 2, 1882. A charter was granted February 14, 1882. Present officers (1883) -- J. S. Elder, P. O.; C. A. Tracy, S. V. C.; D. Kramer, J. V. C.; J. R. Phillips, C. M.; Wm. Sigerson, O. of D.; F. M. Payne, O. of G.; J. S. Collins, Sec.; D. Henselman, Chap.; S. D. Leonard, Adj't. Regular meetings held on first Saturday afternoon of each month at G. A. R. Hall. Present membership, forty-seven.
Burrton Lodge, No 103, A. O. U. W. Was instituted May 2, 1882, with eighteen members. Present officers, 1883, J. D. Sweeney, P. M. W.; O. M. Melet, W. M.; S. J. Wales, F.; P. W. Easting, O.; B. E. Kies, Rec.; J. E. Guy, Fin. Regular meetings are held every Thursday evening at Masonic Hall. Present membership, twenty-three.
Burrton Cornet Band was organized October, 1882, with sixteen members, W. H. Sheppard, leader. A $500 set of instruments was purchased. Officers, J. D. Sweeney, Pres., J. E. Gay, Tres.; Miles Taylor, Sec
William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
Burrton Township's PAGE SCHOOL - DISTRICT 8 (1928) Photo taken Feb. 2006