The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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Rhodes for a swamp in Illinois and gave two hundred dollars to boot.  This proved to be a very unfortunate speculation for Peter and left him penniless in his old age.  After giving the best years of his life to the service of his country and being brevetted for gallantry on many battle fields, to be thus swindled out of his farm would have driven a weaker man into the Populist party; but not so with Peter; he never censured the Republican party for his misfortunes but assumed the entire responsibility himself without a murmur.  He never had any use for the boodlers and rings that have sprung into prominence at various times in the county, but has always cast his vote the 'way he shot," in the interest of economy and good government. He now resides on the school section one and one half miles east of Norton.

John A. Newell's family, consisting of Mrs. Newell, her mother Mary R. Martin, her sister Louisa Martin, and her two children J. C. Newell and Alice Newell came November 8, 1873.  Mary Martin took up a piece of land now owned by Gross Page; she died in 1886 at the age of 73; she is buried in Norton cemetery.  Louisa Martin took the land now owned by V. Schilling, she died in 1890, and is buried by the side of her mother.  J. C Newell took up the land just east of his father, but lost it for the reason he was not 21 years old; he married Miss Nanny Hunter July 8, 1890 and is at the present time register of deeds and county surveyor elect.  Alice married F. M. Duvall, editor of the Norton Courier, in January 1878.  

John A. Newell sold out his farm and moved to town in 1881; he was a veteran of the late war; he never held any office except president of the Norton Town Company; he died Oct. 3, 1888 at the age of 76 and was buried in the Norton cemetery.  Mrs. Newell is hale and hearty, and in full possession of all her faculties, at the ripe old age of 75; she bids fair to outlive the Nineteenth Century; she makes her home with her children at Norton.

John Fuller who was reputed part Indian - perhaps from his swarthy complexion, was well known at every target shooting match in early times, having been a crack shot with his long muzzle-loading rifle, came from Michigan in June 1872, and settled on land now owned by Sam Jones, one mile from Calvert. He sold his farm in 1879 and returned to Michigan and died there in 1886.

Nels Olson a genial and popular young Swede, took a claim just east of Almena in the fall of 1871, lived here permanently after April 1872: he married Miss Lena Shantz who lived with her parents near Long Island.  In the fall of 1875 he sold his farm and moved to Cloud county, near Concordia, where he now resides.

Shelby D. Reed and Charles S. Stowell came in May 1872; they had been hunting and trapping during the fall and winter of 1871 on the Solomon near Logan; they came here a foot carrying their guns, traps and camp outfit on their backs.  Reed took the land west of town now owned by Mrs. Sarvis.  He soon received financial aid from his father, and at once commenced the building of a town expecting to establish the county seat on his land.  His town was called Norton Center at first; but was soon changed to Reed-town.  Early in 1873 he succeeded in getting a man by the name of Neeves to put up a saw-mill on the land.  Every thing up to this time bid fair for the success of his town, for it grew very fast at first; but, in the language of his later rival in town building, Uncle Dick Williams, '`Reed and Reedtown became too topheavy and fell over by their own weight."

Reed was one of the county commissioners designated by the governor to

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