The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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children, Harlan T. born May 11, 1868, died May 22, 1873, Inez born September 8, 1873, Jennie born September 3, 1878 and youngest child born in 1887, dying in infancy.

He was married to Mrs. Lizzie Webster, February 11, 1890.  He was elected mayor of Norton in 1888 and reelected in 1889.  During his term of office the city water works were built and the fire department organized.  He has always taken an active part in politics as a republican; he was again erected mayor in 1894.

shoemaker.JPG (29815 bytes) William Townsend Shoemaker was born near Oakland, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, on March 21, 1852; lived on a farm, enjoying the common school privileges of that section in winter and the labor of the farm in summer; began teaching in the schools of that county when 16 years of age; in 1868 attended an academy at Corsica, Jefferson county; in June 1874 came west and located at Lincoln, Nebraska, but removed to Falls City in that state the same year.  The grasshoppers having deposited their eggs in that county that fall, they hatched out in the spring of 1875 and not being fond of grasshopper meat he left for Illinois where he attended the high school of Mt. Corroll taught by Dr. J. H. Ely.  He taught in that county during the winter of 1875-6, and in the spring went to Ohio and entered Mt. Union college where he in company with E. M. Lichty, Albert Saylor and John D. Meese boarded themselves and were known in that institution as the "notorious four."  In the fall of 1877 he graduated from the commercial department and came back to Illinois where he taught another year and attended one term at the State Normal school at Normal, Illinois.  In the spring of 1879 he came back to Falls City, Nebraska, just in time to catch the Norton fever, which had broken out in that locality.  M Lichty and several others having become affected and gone on before, he with U. W. Miller, Philip Meyers and his two sons, Dave and Sol, J. D Wicks, Stan Wicks, Levi Nedrow and John Ashenfelter hooking up four good horses to a wagon that would have done credit to a circus procession the box having done duty as a band wagon for the Falls City band, and painted up in gorgeous colors and started for the then far west in quest of homesteads.  All except Joe Wicks, Nedrow and the subject of this sketch, declaring they would get land, live and die in Norton county.  This threat was carried out, and on the first Sunday of May they rolled into Norton, having been eleven days on the way and it is very doubtful if ever any other outfit came to the county with a better rig or had more fun in coming.  The original plan was to take land and then go back and raise crops, and come again in the fall.  But when they got ready to go Shoemaker concluded to remain.  All having located in what is now Garfield township. 

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