|The VIDETTE, Havana, Kansas - Jan 4, 1886, Transcribed from Kansas Historical Society microfilm #1826
Caney Township is situated in the south-west corner of Montgomery county Kansas and is 8x9 miles square and its South line is the North line of the great Indian Territory. It was sparcely settled by squaters(sic), in 1869, and by the spring of 1870 nearly all the land was claimed, but little emprovement(sic) made aside from the building of cabins, during the summer of 1870 at least, wolves and deer were a common sight on the prairies. The first surveyors entered the town-ship on the 8th day of February 1871 but the land was not in the market for entry for several months afterward, during the summer of 1871 a vast amount of prairie was broken and thousands of bushels of sod corn raised, also a good crop was raised on land that was broken the year previous, as a result of which corn was worth only about 12 1-2 to 15 cents at gathering time.
The town-ship was organized in 1870 and the first election was held in April which resulted as follows; 46 Republicans and 2 Demacratic(sic) votes. The leading men of the Republican party, were J. E. Stone, Geo. W. Riply, O. P. Cauffman, Davis Foster and a few others, while the opposition was with out form and void. We do not remember the names of all the officers elected at said election, John Cranor was elected Justice of the peace and we believe Dr. A. M. Taylor of Caneyville was elected Trustee. To look back upon those primitive times it would seem as though we had no need of officers, as we had nothing to assess, and generaly(sic) our judges were lynch. If a man had (?)ught against his neighbor it was apt to be settled at the muzzle of the shot-gun or the revolver, if one settler jumped another settlers claim the aggrieved one would lay his case before his friends and after mature consulation they would wait upon the intruder and state the object of their visit, and give him a certain number of minutes to decide what he would do, and if he decided to go they would give him so many days in which to get off the claim, which he seldom failed to do. We heard of one case which was something like this; a widow lady took possession of a claim whilst the man was gone for his family, and upon his return she refused to vacate the shanty, he called in the neighbors as was the custom, but she still presisted(sic) in holding the claim, where-upon the crowd fell to work and tore down the log shanty from around her and left her sitting in her rocking chair, rebuilt the cabin near by and domiciled the man and his family in good shape. Owing to the fact that a good majority of the population were rough's and came here to evade the law, it seemed to be necissary(sic) to use the vigilance in some cases; for instance; the squire Land case. In the fall of 1870 Mr. Land took one hundred head of Texas cattle to winter on the share of one; Rainard; of the Indian Teritory(sic), now it seemed that Land had a thouroughly(sic) trained gang under his control, and by the following spring he or they had managed to get away with all the cattle by 59 head; and the night before he was to turn them over to Rainard he and his gang ran them off into the Nation; doubtless with a view of stealing them, whereupon a company of vigilanters follwed(sic) the trail and found the cattle corralled in a bend of the Caney river with some timber felled across the only means of exit. The cattle were brought back into the state; and the next night Mr. Land came back also and was taken by unknown parties about one mile south of Havana on Colton creek, and hanged to a limb; upon which he hung all the next night, when he was cut down and indecently buried. But was afterward taken up by his relatives and buried more decently. It was rumored that one or two others of the gang were taken else-where and disposed of, but this is not certainly known. One thing is certain; the theiving(sic) that had been going on so long among the settlers was immediately and completely broken up.
Saddles by the dozen, and logchains, iron wedges, axes and numerous other articles were found in thickets, hollow logs, hay stacks and elsewhere, appearently(sic) with the intention of all being collected at a specified time and moved to the Nation. But the plan was frustrated as above stated and comparative quiet has reigned ever since.
In the spring of 1872 the heard(sic) law was voted on, and became a law in Montgomery county which enabled the settlers to more fully develop their farms, those who hither-to could not fence their entire farm, build pastures for their few head of stock and broke prairie more extensively than they could have done under any other circumstances.
Since that time the seasons have been alternately; good and bad. In 1874 the grasshoppers invaded the county, which caused some suffering and a call for aid, which was liberally heeded by the people of the East, some of which was distributed in Montgomery county but I believe none ever reached Caney township. In 1876 or 1877 the grasshoppers again visited the county, but to(sic) late to injure the corn crop to any great extent they ate up all the early sowing of wheat, and the following spring they did some damage before they got large enough to emigrate, which they did at the earliest possible moment.
During the present season we have experinced(sic) severe calamities, in the shape of too much wet weather, also higher waters than was ever known here, and the cotton or web worm which ate up thousands of acres of corn as clean as though the ground had been fresh plowed. Some farmers planted as often as four times, and as a result, we have a large per cent soft corn this year, and some farmers have little or none. But owing to the extreme mild and open weather we are having, one can not fail to recognize the providence of the All Wise in tempering the wind to the shorn lamb. The most of the weather being similar to that of May the boys play in their shirt sleeves and some actualy(sic) go bare-footed.
In the last fifteen years, astonishing changes have taken place. What was then a vast paririe(sic) is now solid farms, with good fences, hedge and wire and while there are a very few residing in their primitive huts, the most part have built neat and comodious houses and barns, a few of which we will notice, Dr. Lamb; W. H. Smith; Thos. Bell; J. G. Sevier; Geo. Eakes and David Dalby, living near Havana and who were among the earlest(sic) settlers, have all recently built splendid dwellings. James Bell; V. Bowersock and D. H. Smith have each built both houses and barns. Many other nice houses dot the paririe(sic) but for the want of space we refrain their discription(sic). Also the many orchards here would be a credit to older settled states. C. C. Robinson; T. Kelso. John Cranor; Jas. Bell (No. 2) W. B. Dana; G. S. Carrinder and many other have large apple and peach orchards, as well as grape and other small fruits. Some of these orchards already produce hundreds of bushels of fruit annually.
Two towns, viz. Havana and Caney, have developed recently into quite moderate proportions. Havana is just one mile from the West line of the towship(sic) and two and one-fourth miles from the North Line. Was first located by Calou and Myers, on the farm now owned by D. Dalby. Afterwards Lines and Cauffman, bought the only stock of goods in the place and moved them to the present sight on the East bank of Bee Creek. Soon after their removal Mr. Lines sold out to Mr. Cauffman, who was the sole proportion for over two years, and sold out to one L. D. Cotrill, who only ran the business a few months and was closed out by J. S. Brown and W. T. Bishop, of Independence Kansas. Mr. Bishop then opened up with a general stock of merchandise, but sold out to Share brothers a few years afterward. In 1880 Share Bro's. sold to Loy and Bates and they soon afterward sold to Lockwood and Son, the present occupants.
We have about 35 houses with a population of about 150 persons. Almost every branch of business is represented here. The drygoods, groceries, boots and shoes and furnishing goods are represented by Lockwood and Son, Moore & Mendenhall and Knock & Robinson. The hardware by Vore & Pittman and Lockwood & Son. The first named firm dealing exclusively in hardware. The drug business is represented by Lockwood & Son and John Wright. Wright dealing exclusively in drugs, paints and oils. Hotels, F. W. Fralic and L. F. McCulley. Each keep a good house. The black-smith trade is represented by three firms as follows. Cols & Pearce, L. D. Frazier and B. R. Hubbard, W. R. McMurray makes and mends harness; also cobbles shoes.
Messrs T. A. Stephens and F. Reynold M. D's. administer to the efflicted to the satisfaction of all. Dr. Reynolds, also tinkers watches and clocks. F. M. Freeman is the fahionable barber and hair dresser.
Blackmore and Brewer are the principle wood butchers; with a half-dozen minor workmen, and occasionaly we are compelled to send to Harrisonville for carpenters. W. F(?)ltodimel caters to the wants of the traveling public, in the shape of good turnouts and feed and stabling for teams. L. H. Vore, keeps constantly on hand a full line of coffins and undertakers goods. Also will cry public sales in any part of the state. Bryson and Freeman runs a billiard hall, with two tables.
Craddock and Cranor keep a full fledged eating establishment, also fine confectionaries. L. A. Lockwood and R. B. Knock each have Notary Public commissions, and will draw deeds and other legal papers on short notice.
Reynolds and James represent law, loan and insurance. R. B. Knock, represents loan and insurance. A good milliner shop would do well here. The Independence and South-western R. R. is now in coarse(sic) of construction, which will run through Havana and doubtless will be completed in the near future, in fact Havana may be the terminus for a time.
The village of Caney, is in the extreme South-west cornor(sic) of the township. We have not visited Caney in person, but gathered our items from the Caney Chronicle, published by Miss Rettia Reynolds.
Owing to the length of our article, we will only mention the names of the several firms. H. J. Foot & Co. general merchandise. Braden & Co. general meachandise(sic). Boothe Patterson & Co. general merchandise. Louis Epstein general merchandise. J. R. Anglin, grocer. Godden & McGee, grocers. Tate & Taylor, black-smiths. Wiltse & Todd, hardware. J. N. Davidson, drugs. Reynolds & James, insurance, loan and law agents. D. H. Mitchell, hotel. J. A. Summers, hotel. W. H. Juby, restaurant. J. J. Stone, physician J. G. De Vere, physician. A. M. Taylor, physician. R. W. Higgins, physician R. A. Howard, livery. Henry Hanson, stone mason, Allen & Means, contractors and builders. J. H. Foot, contractor and builder. E. S. Nobles contractor and builder. G. N. Summer barber. E. Y. McLarning, jeweler. J. W. Hodgs(sic), real estate and notary public.
At present Caney is very hopeful of a railroad, in such an event she would indeed be a city set upon a hill, which can not be hid. We neglected to mention the fact that Davidson & Beagles, have a new store building nearly completed. We also omitted an ac't of the notorioue(sic) Caney robery(sic), in which two innocent persons lost their lives.
|Transcribed and Contributed by Sullivan, Donald L|