Before me a Notary Public in and for Cloud County, Kansas. Personally came the undersigned and says that they are inhabitants and Householders of Norton County and legal Electors of the State of Kansas and that the above are genuine signatures of House Holders and Inhabitants of Norton County and legal Electors of the state of Kansas.
|R. K. Turner,
|| Ottis Cutter,
|| James Jones,
|| A A Ball,
|G. J. Jones,
||J J Jemmison,
||C C Hay,
|| Quimby Pell,
|U S Sumner,
|| S Shurts,
|A H Mapleton,
|| John Jarren,
|H H Short,
|| Joseph Jarren,
||D D Reynolds,
|| Dennis Taylor,
|J S Peterson,
|| W G Willis,
|L S Peterson,
|| A A Letson,
|R E Kemple,
||I L Davis,
||S A Davis,
|G W French,
||S S Davis,
|J Pratt ,
|| James Hart.
H. H. JOHNSON his x mark
Sworn to this 3rd day of July 1972,
N H BILLlNGS, Notary Public.
It will be noticed that this petition does not contain the name of a single individual who ever lived here; it is supposed that Billings secured these names in the vicinity of Topeka, as to whether he forged these names or secured the signatures under some misrepresentation is not known.
The Governor acted at once on this petition and on the 5 of July appointed Richard M. Johnson to take the census.
Johnson was purely a fictitious character and it was always supposed that D. C. Coleman had been appointed as he did the work and was the only person ever known here in connection with the census.
It is evident that he preferred to render his report under the nom de plume of Johnson, as at that time there were not to exceed seventy- five people in the county, and not over ten who had been here long enough to gain a residence.
It is interesting to look over the full census report sent in by Richard M. Johnson, whoever he may be, and read the scores of names wholly unknown to Norton county people of today, or any other day for that matter.
The petition was headed by Peter Young, a veteran of 78 years, and is closely followed by four other Young's of the same family.
One is amazed to see the large number of children in almost all the families of the pioneers.
For instance, Jacob Hoffwime has a wife and nine children. There are nine members of the Bieber family.
E. C. Town with a family of ten, John Kelly with nine children. James A. Thompson, wife and twelve children.
Another productive family of that early day is recorded as follows: J. H. Simmons and Julia Simmons with the following liberal offspring: Annie, Case A., Samuel R, Christopher, William R, Rinie, Silas, Ellen and Mollie.
J. H. Simmons was not even married at this time and was never credited with the offspring named.
From that list may be selected many well known names as: J. A. Gishwiller, Oliver Jones, William Handlan, James Hall, W. E. Case, D. W. Mills, Ed H. Collins, John M. Price, Sol Marsh, Henry Oliver, Mott Wood, Tom Brown, Abram Louk, J. A Newell, George N. Kingsbury, Peter R. Mittan, Morris Atkinson and others, but most of the six hundred and thirty-six names on the list never became generally known to the people of the county.
With the foregoing evidences of population the organization was set on foot.
Coleman completed the census in a very short time. He would go to the