The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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all was largely providential; and after they got to the timber and had a good fire they almost perished.  It was a long time before John could be made believe that it was possible for anyone to survive that was camped on the open prairie.

Ed Collins and Charles Brinton were caught in this same storm on the divide between Yellow Springs [Phillips County, Kansas] and Almena.  Collin's team froze to death and he and Brinton saved their lives by abandoning their wagons and riding Brinton's horses home.

Uncle Dick Williams and party were camped, during this same storm, at Yellow Springs which has previously been discribed (sic).

After the storm was over they started for Norton.   They found the abandoned wagons of Brinton and Collins, also some chickens and pigs which they had left which the Williams party fed and watered, not knowing at the time whose they were.

All the settlers in the country suffered more or less from this storm.  A great deal of live stock that was unprotected perished as well as thousands of Buffalo and other wild animals.

June 5, 1873 was the date of the first Indian scare.  Sam Newell claimed to have received a dispatch from Ft. Hayes signed by Captain Hines of company D to the effect that Indians had crossed the K. P. coming north, warning the settlers to take care of themselves.  The courier who brought this dispatch was seen by nobody but Sam and was reported to have passed through at eleven o'clock at night.  Several of the settlers gathered in Norton and began preparations to defend themselves.  Billings suggested that they build a stockade and dig a well.  Some of the settlers began to think it was a ruse on the part of Billings and other Norton fellows to get some cheap work done, and they quietly dispersed.  No Indians ever came and it was afterward learned that there was no such a person as Captain Hines and a great many doubt that any such a dispatch was ever received.

The fourth day of July was celebrated in a bowery near where Oliver Jones' livery barn now stands.  Ed Newell read the Declaration of Independence, John A. Newell offered prayer and Col. N H. Billings delivered the oration.  The festivities were wound up with a ball at night.  The dancing was done on a platform prepared in the open air, Morris Atkinson played the violin.  Two days previous to this on July 2 the two new stores that were being built by the Newell brothers were blown away, which left the town without any buildings except a small one occupied by Billings as a law office.

The county convention was held about October 1 in 1873; it was held at Reedtown or Norton Center.  Shelby D. Reed was chairman of the committee at the time and when he issued the call for the mass convention he sought to give his town a little prominence by locating the convention there.  The Norton men had a clear majority and carried everything their way.  The convention organized by electing John Madden chairman and Joel H. Simmons secretary.  The following ticket was nominated: representative, C. C. Vance, county treasurer B. F. Wllliams, county clerk Joel H. Simmons, clerk district court W. E. Case, register of deeds Thos. Beaumont; sheriff John W. Bieber; surveyor, John Landis; coroner, John Kelly; commissioner first district, John Demott; second district, O. N. Kingsbury; third district, Peter Hansen.  This ticket was all elected at the November election, although a few of the malcontents, headed by Billings who was sore over not being renominated for the legislature, and Shelby D. Reed who was displeased at the action of the convention at not nominating some of the friends of Norton Center on the ticket, put up the following which

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