The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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contest case in 1873 between Briggs and the Norton Town Company.  It was during the same trial that he gave birth to the expression that afterwards became famous in the county, when cross questioned as to his being duly sober.  There was considerable banter between the attorney and Gibbon; when the attorney finally asked him "Is it not a fact, sir, that you had on that day one gallon of whisky?" Gibbon's reply was: "Yes. sir; but what is a gallon among one?"  At the special election of 1872 he was elected coroner, and at the regular November election he was elected probate judge; but was defeated
in 1874 by John P. Dopps.  In 1873 he was defeated for county superintendent by one vote by D. W. Mills.  

He delivered the first 4th of July oration ever delivered in the county; that was in 1872.  The celebration was held in the grove west of town, near where 0le Jones afterward built his farm house.  Mrs. James Hall, Mrs. D C. Coleman, Mrs. John Price and about twenty-five men attended.  

Judge Gibbon was found dead in his dugout June 12, 1875, by Albert Curry, who called on an errand.  An inquest was held by David Close, then justice of the peace.  The verdict of the coroner's jury was that death was caused by heart disease.  He was buried just north of his dugout on his homestead.  Since that time a public road has been laid out through the farm which road passes directly over the grave.  Eli Dopps administered on his estate, which was small; the proceeds were sent to his two daughters who lived at that time in Minnesota.  An old quotation that many of the judge's friends will remember hearing him recite now seems applicable to his condition:

"Wealth and glory and place and power,
What are they worth to me or you?
For the lease of life runs out in an hour,
And death stands ready to claim his due:
Sounding honors or heap of gold,
Where are they all when all is told?"


Martin Kelty was accused of stealing a horse in 1873 from Oscar Bass, a hunter and trapper, who lived on the Sappa, near the mouth of Long Branch.  He escaped from the officer after his arrest, stole another horse from Bass and made his escape.  Some years afterward word was received that he was in Minnesota.  Bass had in the meantime left the country and no attempt was ever made to recapture Kelty.

In the spring of 1870, Isaac Newton Cope left Wisconsin for Kansas.  He stopped for a short time in Nemaha county where he was married, came on to Jewell county and remained there until June 1872, when he settled on the land he now owns.  He made the first proof before the U. S. land office from this county on Dec. 12, 1872, on the NE 1/4, S 18, T 3, R 23.  He built a log house in July 1872. on the land and put a shingle roof upon it, the first in this county.  He brought the first mowing machine to this county.  The press on which was printed The Western Locomotive, the first newspaper published in Norton county, is now in his possession.  He started the town of Weston on the land where he now resides in 1873, and gave it its name.  He saw hard times in the winter of '70 and '71 in Jewell county.  He and his wife were often without bread; at several different times they lived for several days on buffalo meat.  In the spring of 1872 he sold his Jewell county claim for $1,000.  After making a few good trades he settled here in June with about $1,800 in money and property.  He is now one of our most extensive cattle feeders and is well supplied with this world's goods.  He has never been a candidate for public office.  He was the leader of the Leota forces in the county seat contest; he led a remarkable and brilliant fight for his town and came out of the contest without an

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