The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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after he was so badly shot that he could not walk.  Deery also implored Brinton not to kill him but to no effect.  He shot him fifteen times before Cross died.  Brinton did all this shooting with Cross's gun; he dug a hole in the ground and rolled him in, after going through his pockets, and taking his boots off.  Brinton put the boots on himself and wore them out. 

Cross was killed and buried on the land now owned by Jim Hall.  Cross's friends and relatives are probably in ignorance of his fate and whereabouts, until this day.

This killing, the first known in the county, was very much regretted by all the people.  Brinton had very few sympathizers, and from that day was a marked man.  What friends he had made up to this time deserted him.  He was illiterate, of a low order of intellect, and of brutal instincts.  He soon became dispondent [sic] and it was often remarked that his conscience troubled him.  He left the county in 1877 and lived for a time in Council Bluffs.  His whereabouts for the last ten years are unknown.

The following letter received by J. W. Graves, addressed to the postmaster,
is by some credited to Brinton.  It was postmarked, 'Insane Asylum, Lincoln, Nebr:"
"If you want a plat I can give it
1888
Aparil 24
Norten co KanSaS
dear Sir mr poSt maSter pleas Se Some
expert Some of the John Baptis raCe
See Elmer tell him to go 12 miles East
of the 200 hundred paCes North miles 2
paCes 40 w See A Bout diging up 2
corkes (corpses) there is 15 in that NaBor
hood Se A Bout this mater at once the
Nate Baptice carcas lays 15 paCes A
part or there Bouts the land Britens
(Brinton) calls for themCorpes (corpses
to Be raiSed yours very respeCfuly
Wm hixson."

The place described in this letter is near where Cross is buried. The general opinion afterward was that the stranger was the only horse thief mixed up in this unfortunate affair.  McGavren located on the land now owned by George Smith; he remained here but a short time, his whereabouts are unknown.

Reuben Stevens, Wm. Aiken and Oliver Gross came in February 1872 from Cloud Co. but did not remain permanently until after they came in Oct. the same year.  Reuben Stevens settled at that time on land that is now included in the city of Almena; he sold most of his land at fancy prices and is well fixed financially.  He was married in Cloud county December 27, 1874 to Miss Ella Bunton.  They have four children.

Wm. Aiken settled at that time where he now lives; is considered one of the
substantial farmers of Almena township.

Oliver Gross settled just west of Almena; he married Miss Laura Fellows Feb. 14, 1875.  He now resides in Almena.

Joseph Stevens came later the same season and took a claim at the mouth of
the North Fork.  He now resides at Cripple Creek, Colo.  They were all Leota men during the county seat contest.

William Gibbon and Martin Kelty arrived here in June 1872 and settled five miles east of Norton.  Gibbon was an Englishman of superior education: his great fault was that he was addicted to drink; he was sometimes called old "Compos Mentis," having used that
term when asked whether he was drunk or sober when he was a witness in a

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