The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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of 1875, Mr. Gilder came with his parents to Norton county where they located upon the south east quarter of section eighteen, town five, range twenty-three.  Their supply of world's goods was not very plentiful.  Willie would get a load of freight occassionly (sic) to haul from WaKeeney, and gather buffalo hones and haul to WaKeeney, Trego and Ellis for the small sum of $2.50 to $5.00 per ton. 

In the summer of 1880 our subject went east to get work as all his effort to raise a living here was blighted by the drouth (sic); he found work in Saline county.  While on this trip east when Kirwin was reached, the United States land office was located at that place, he homesteaded the north west quarter of section twenty, town five range twenty-three June 29?, which he set about to improve: he built a comfortable stone house 14x16 and soon after a frame addition was added, in the mean time the stock was not neglected a frame barn and other convenient buildings were built as soon as means would admit. 

In the year 1881 Mr. Gilder went to Tie Siding, Wyoming, where he went to work making railroad ties and telephone polls, returning two months later.  Mr. Gilder was married March 30, 1883, to Miss Annie Warlie who is a native of Missouri; she was born February 26, 1867 in Mercer county.  She moved with her parents to Decatur county near Oberlin in 1878, in time to witness the Indian raid of that year and see the county nearly depopulated by taking a stampede a short distance east for a few days.  Mr. and Mrs. Gilder reside in Norton county. and made final proof upon their claim in the fall of 1886.  In 1889 he sold his farm and moved to Dellvale on the Rock Island railroad where he built a large store house 22x40 feet also a shop and went to work at his trade, blacksmithing.  He was appointed postmaster at Dellvale and continued to hold the office until the summer of 1891.  Their family consist (sic) of four children.  He is a son of S. B. and Eunice Eldridge Gilder.  His father resides in Norton county and is 78 years old; Mrs. Gilder died in the year 1886 at the age of 70 years.  Mr. Gilder has made a mark in life although not accomplished much financially he struggled hard to stay and help build up this county. 

To such men Norton county owes great credit for its present condition. 

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Stoddard was born January 8, 1838, in Shenango county, New York; he was raised on a farm and attended the common schools.  After he was old enough to do for himself he learned the carpenter's trade.  He was married July 3, 1861 to Delia Earl; six children have been born to them.  He volunteered in company K, 144 New York infantry, September, 1864.  He was on detached service while in the war and was in no regular battle, was mustered out in August 1866.  He came west after the war, lived one year in Illinois and eight years in Macon county, Missouri.  He settled in Norton county in 1878 and took land six miles northwest of Norton; he lived on his land until he made proof in 1882, he then moved to Norton and has remained here continuously ever since following the occupation of contractor and builder.  His eldest child, Caddy, married H. F. Ring; they live on a farm at Delphos, Kansas; they have four children.  Earl, Frank's eldest son, was born in September 1864; he lives in Norton.  Charles N. was born in 1867; he also lives in Norton.  Anna was born in 1874; she married Freeman Nixon in 1893; they live on a farm two miles west of Norton.  Hardie Butler was born September 15, 1876.  Stella Myrtle born in 1880. 

Mrs. Stoddard was born in Delaware county, New York, in 1840.

Mr. Stoddard is a republican and an enthusiastic member of the G. A. R.

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