The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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the legislature in 1875, on the Leota ticket, defeating Joel Simmons but was in turn defeated by John Hamilton in 1876.  He represented this county in the state convention in 1876 and supported George T. Anthony for Governor.  He was elected as delegate to the congressionol (sic) convention at Manhattan in 1876 but was unseated by John Landis who organized a contest against him.  He represented this county in the congressional convention at Concordia in 1878 and supported John A. Anderson.  He moved from this county to McCook, Nebraska in June 1879, where he has since made his home.  He was a member of the Nebraska legislature, representing Hitchcock county in 1886.

Cornelius Decker was born March 12, 1840 in McDonough county, Illinois.  He boasts of royal blood, being of purely American stock.  His ancestors having come from Holland to this country before the Declaration of Independence.  He received a limited district school education; worked on his father's farm until he was of age.  His parents are still living at Plymouth, Illinois, which has been their post office address without change for fifty-five years.  He was married to Miss Mary Ann Johnson on March 28, 1861.  Miss Johnson is of Scotch descent.  After receiving a good district school education she attended the Berean College at Jacksonville, Illinois.  No children have been born to them.

He came to Norton county in 1874 and settled on the Sappa May 20th of that year, bringing with him his wife and adopted daughter, Mary A. Vincent; the daughter afterward became the wife of Simon Dopps.  Mrs. Decker taught the second term of school in district No. 5; also the first term in district 5 as it is now bounded.  The wages for the first term were to be paid by subscription after the public money was exhausted, some of which still remains to be collected.

Mr. Decker enlisted March 8, 1861 in Co. I 14th Illinois Infantry and served seven months.

Mr. and Mrs. Decker are members of the Christain (sic) church.

He always voted the republican ticket until 1893. In that year he became a third party prohibitionist and declares his intention of affiliating with that party hereafter. 

He was elected trustee of Rock Branch township in 1892, the only public office he has ever held.

John M. Cooper came here from Illinois in February 1873 and opened the first drug store in this county, in a small frame building that afterward blew away in a cyclone.  His entire stock on the start was a barrel of whisky; in fact about the only thing that he kept during his four years' residence in this county that resembled a drug store was the sign.  In March 1874 his drug store and Williams' dry goods store were the only business houses in Norton.  One cold day when business was dull and no one in town Cooper proposed to W. E Case that they close up and go swimming in the Prairie Dog.  Case supposing it to be a joke agreed, but when they got to the creek he found Cooper was in dead earnest; after walking up the creek some distance they found a place that was not frozen over and removed their clothes and plunged in.  Of course they did not remain long in the water but dressed and came up to the drug store for refreshments.

When the county seat fight opened Cooper moved to Leota where he remained until November 1876.  He then went to Greenfield, Illinois where he now resides.  A recent letter from him states that he never did anything while here that he is especially proud of; that he was simply sowing his wild oats.  He is still in the drug business but only

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