The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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for $1.50 per day.  In the fall of 1880 he was nominated by the greenback convention for county superintendent, but was defeated by Samuel Means, the republican nominee.  In the fall of 1881, while working on the railroad grade and with no intimation that his name would be mentioned, he was nominated by the "low salary" convention for register of deeds, and was elected by 156 majority.  Two years later he ran as an independent candidate for the same office and was re-elected, receiving 602 votes while the regular republican nominee received but 262 votes.  Early in the year of 1884 he announced publicly that he had once more anchored his faith in the republican party, and has ever since labored in season and out of season for the success of that party. 

In March, 1884, he purchased the material with which the Norton CHAMPION was first printed, and continued to publish that paper until the great fire of January 1886, after which he sold his good will to John W. Conway, who had been editor and joint proprietor since the fall of 1884. 

During the years of 1884, '85 and '86 he engaged in the real estate business, first by himself, then with J. L. Miller, then with J. L. Miller and G. K. Anderson and afterward with C. D. Jones.  During the summer of 1884 he bought and sold thirty-three quarter sections of land. 

In the spring of 1887 he passed an examination in open court and was admitted to the bar and has ever since practiced law.  In the spring of 1887 he made his first bad financial move since coming west, selling his homestead for $2,800 and taking his family and removing to Nonchalanta, Ness county, where he in company with H. C. Notson, founded a newspaper.  Here he only remained three months, when he removed to Imperial, Garfield county, and attempted to build a town there; but crops have been a failure two years out of three at his new home and his town went down carrying a large slice of his Norton county accumulations with it.  He then removed to Eminence, the county seat of Garfield county, bought the only newspaper there and conducted it in connection with a law practice.  He also put the remainder of his cash into town property and now the county seat has been reorganized leaving him with about a third of the townsite and a lot of tenantless, saleless buildings on his hands.  However he is not discouraged, but has secured a fine creek bottom claim in the 'strip' ten miles south of the Kansas line, near a station on the Hutchinson Southern rail road, where he expects to remove in the spring and once more engage in business.  He was also chairman of the Garfield county delegation to the republican state convention of Kansas in the summer of 1892.  There was born to him on December 4, 1889, a girl.  His wife always had feeble health which gradually failed until the winter of 1890, when her disease, St. Vitus dance, assumed such a form that he was compelled to send her to a hospital in Topeka for treatment, where she remained until she died, April 24, 1891.  His third child also died on October 14, 1887, of mountain fever. 

The remainder of his children he has always kept with him.  He was married again on March 19, 1894, his second wife being a widow with one child, a daughter ten years old. 

hicks_w.JPG (45146 bytes) Wright Hicks was born on a farm near Georgetown, Brown county, Ohio; April 18, 1828. When six years old his father moved to Highland county, Ohio, where his first schooling was by subscription: when he free school system was introduced he attended common district school until he was sixteen, then

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