Sedgwick City, the oldest town in the county, is located ten miles southwest of Newton, on the Caldwell branch of the A. T. & S. F. Railroad, and is the initial point of the St. Louis & San Francisco road in Harvey County. Located as it is, on the Little Arkansas River, and its remoteness from other competing points, it has a large scope of country from which to draw trade. It is now the second city in the county, both in point of population and business.
For the names of the first settlers in Sedgwick and vicinity, and the early events that transpired, we would refer the reader to the pages on which may be found the general county history. Sedgwick City was laid off in June, 1870, by the Sedgwick town Company, T. Floyd, president. The original town site, which consisted of eighty acres, was laid off by John Corgan, in the interests of T. S. Floyd. the first store in Sedgwick, if not in the county, was erected and opened by William H. McOwen, in July of the same year. Judge R. W. P. Muse, his first customer, purchased the first goods sold in the county. The postoffice was established in the summer of the same year, T. S. Floyd Postmaster. After officiating eighteen months he was succeeded by O. Y. Hart, who remained in office until August, 1872, when C. H. Goodell, the present Postmaster, received his appointment. The money order department of this office was established in July, 1877.
In the first schoolhouse erected in the county, September, 1870, C. S. Bullock and wife were teachers. In 1875-6, the present handsome brick school building was erected at a cost of $4,000.
The Sedgwick Gazette, the first paper published in the county, was issued January 19, 1871, by P. T. Weeks. After a few months it passed into the hands of T. S. Floyd, who published the paper up to the thirty-second number when it was discontinued and the office and fixtures sold to parties in Wichita. The first number of the Sedgwick Jayhawker was issued May 20, 1882, by Mark F. Hobson, the present proprietor and editor. The paper, as its name signifies, is a Kansas institution, and is devoted to the interest of Sedgwick and vicinity. It is an eight-column folio and independent in politics.
A building was erected in the fall of 1870 by Mrs. Susan McClung, and opened as a hotel. In the winter of 1871-2 the hotel was destroyed by fire, and afterwards rebuilt, and after passing into the hands of different parties was sold, and is now occupied as a private residence.
The Citizens Savings Bank was organized in 1872 by P. M. Morgan, W. M. Congdon, J. Cox, W. H. Hurd, A. G. Leonard and others, with an authorized capital of $10,000. The first officers were, W. M. Congdon, president; W. H. Hurd, cashier. The institution passed into the hands of T. R. Hazard, the present manager in 1879, from which time it has been operated as a private bank.
In 1871 there was built by the Sedgwick Steam Power Company the first flouring mill in the county. T. S. Floyd, the president, was the prime mover in the affair. The building was a frame structure, and its massive machinery was propelled by a sixteen-horse power engine. Six months later a windmill was substituted for the motive power. In a short time its capacity was increased and a forty-horse power engine purchased. In 1881 the mill was torn down to give place to a new three-story brick structure, 36 x 40 feet, erected by Adams, Foots & Hatfield, at a cost of $10,000. The mill started with four run of buhrs. In the spring of 1882 the firm name was changed to Wier, Foote & Co. Capacity, fifty barrels daily.
Sedgwick was incorporated as a city of the third class, March 18, 1872. Its first municipal election was held April 1, 1872, and was presided over, as a canvassing board, by T. S. Floyd, A. McClung and W. H. Hurd. The following gentlemen constituted the first list of officials: Mayor, T. S. Floyd; Councilmen, M. A. Mathias, W. B. Chamberlain, O. M. Sherman, O. Y. Hart and Chas. Schaefer; Police Judge, F. T. Morris; Clerk, H. Goodell; Treasurer, P. N. Morgan; Marshal, W. H. Hurd. The city worked under the charter granted it until July 17, 1877, about which time it was discovered that on account of a clerical error in making out the charter nearly three quarter sections of land were left out and was not included in the town site. This discovery led to a suspension of the city affairs until February 22, 1881, when a meeting of the old council was held and resolutions adopted to reorganize, and an election of city officers to be held April 3, 1882. At this election S. B. Cretcher was elected Mayor; Jas. Cox, R. W. Hall, E. N. Green, J. M. Massey and P. M. Morgan, Councilmen; N. A. Mathias, Police Judge. The Council subsequently appointed A. G. Stone, clerk; T. J. Miller, Treasurer, and C. E. Green, Marshall.
Plymouth Congregational Church, was organized in April, 1872, by Rev. J. M. Ashley, who remained pastor about three years. He was succeeded in the order mentioned by Revs. John Foster, ten months; John Velter, two years; I. M. Fry, one year and a half; G. M. Dean, one and a half years; M. M. Tracy, the present pastor, from November, 1881, to date --1883. The church edifice, which is a frame, 20 x 36 feet, was commenced in 1872, and completed in the fall of 1873, at a cost of $1,500. Present membership, fifty.
Lakin Congregational Church was organized in 1872 by M. M. Haun, who ministered to the organization two years. He was succeeded by the following in the order mentioned: Revs. John Harris, one year; G. W. Kanavel, two years; I. N. Bundy, one year; J. W. Crane, one year; D. W. Cameron, two years; P. P. Wesley, two years; J. D. Bodkins, the present pastor, from April, 1882. Services were held in the schoolhouse until 1874, when the Congregational Church was occupied for two or three years. the organization then purchased the McClung Hotel, fitted it up and occupied it until the present church was completed, in 1880, at a cost of $2,500. Present membership, 115.
Sedgwick Lodge No. 139 A. F. & A. M. was instituted October 16, 1873. First officers were W. H. Hurd, W. M.; G. P. Schouten, J. W.; P. M. Morgan, S. W.; P. Roff, treasurer; Chas. Schaefer, secretary. Its present officers are Chas. Schaefer, W. M.; F. M. Watts, S. W.; L. J. Adams, J. W.; J. M. Cox, treasurer; A. G. Stone, secretary. Regular meeting are held on Tuesday evenings, on or before full of moon, at Masonic Hall. Present membership, forty.
Sedgwick Lodge No 177, I. O. O. F. was chartered October 13, 1880, with eight members. First officers: Wm Rieman, N. G.; M. Bartley, V. G.; S. B. Cretcher, treasurer; C. Kace, secretary. Present officers: Jos. Rigut, N. G.; J. H. Harvey, V. G.; H. A. Hartman, treasurer; F. George, secretary. Regular meetings are held every Saturday evening Masonic and Odd Fellows' Hall. Present membership, thirty-five.
Cutler's History of Kansas
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