The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

Page 174

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Star, and is worthy matron of that order at this time.  Mr. Wheeler is a republican in politics and has been a member of the city council for the last four years.  He has been a prominent member of the Masonic lodge for several years, and was worshipful master of this lodge in 1890. 

Mr. and Mrs. Sumner Smith came to Kansas in the spring of 1876; they were both born in York state.  Mr. Smith was born in 1828 and Mrs. Smith in 1832; married in 1851 they had six children born in Wisconsin, the eldest, Mrs. Ina Stotts is living in Denver; she was born in 1852, the next, Charley, was born in 1854, he died when one year old; the next were twins Herbert and Herman, born in 1857, Cassius born in 1860, Edgar in 1864 and Ray born in Iowa in 1871.  Herbert is a blacksmith and lives in Coon Rapids, Iowa.  Prof. H. W. Smith lives in Norton county.  Cassius is married and lives near Blackfoot, Idaho.  Ed and Ray are also living at Blackfoot.  Mr. Smith took the land on which the town of Densmore now stands.  The following is from a letter received from Mrs. Smith. 

"Our claim joined Bill Worthington and Bill Landis on the south.  When we first went there the settlers were very anxious for Mr. Smith to build a dam in the Solomon river and put in a saw mill, so the first year he rented fifteen acres of ground and put in corn.  Just as the corn commenced to get big enough to eat the grasshopper lit.  In two days we had no corn, then Mr. Smith and the boys commenced to cut timber to build a dam in the river, then the settlers concluded they did not need a saw mill for Bill and Lish Worthington and Hendricks came and forbid him cutting timber, and when the Cummings came there to live in Bill Landis' house our troubles commenced.  When Bill Landis' wife left him she came to my house to stay a few days till her father, Mr. Fry, came after her, and when Landis shot Mr. Fry he (Fry) came to my house and I bound up his head. 

I suppose Bill Landis thought we took up against him for while Cummings was living in his house our horses got away or were run off.  Mr. Smith while hunting them went to Landis' house and Bill Landis jumped on him and beat him badly. I t seemed the settlers, or the Molly McGuires, as Tom Beaumont called them, had found out that we were republicans and they wanted us out of there for they threatened us and wrote warning letters for us to leave the second year we lived there.  After Mr. Smith and the boys had got the mill race dug Lish Worthington pursuaded (sic) the dutchman, Cregher, to sue Mr. Smith for cutting timber.  Mr. Smith beat him so the cost was figured on the dutchman, then Lish Worthington and Bill Worthington's wife went out on the prairie and drove my cattle in their corral and I went and got them, she then swore out a warrant and had me arrosted (sic), took me before Tom Beaumont, 

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