The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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share through pride and because they had consciencious (sic) scruples against taking the required oath.  The Fourth of July, 1874, was celebrated in a bowery prepared near the Briggs' building, on the north side of the square, where Renoe & Williams' meat market now stands.  A basket dinner was served and an enjoyable time was had.  D. M. Robinson was president of the day, John R. Hamilton delivered the oration, J. H. Simmons read the Declaration of Independence and Mrs. W. B. Rogers and her daughter, Mrs. B. F. Williams, furnished the music.  The festivities closed with a ball at night, Morris Atkinson playing the fiddle; violinest (sic) was an unknown term here at that time. 

The republican county convention met on September 9, 1874, in the Briggs building at Norton.  David Close was made chairman and W. E. Case secretary.  There bad been some doubts expressed by the Norton boys as to the loyalty of C. C. Vance to our town, and an effort was quietly inaugurated to defeat him at the convention, but it soon developed that a majority of the delegates were for him; so they permitted him to be renominated by acclamation.  C. C. Page was nominated for sheriff and A. F. Harmer for clerk of the court, both by practically a unanimous vote.  The candidates for probate judge were John P. Dopps and William Gibbon, on the first ballot they were tied.  Close as chairman declined to vote and thus make the nomination but called for a new ballot.  The result was the same so Mr. Close gave his vote to Mr. Dopps and nominated him.  M. J. FitzPatrick was nominated for county superintendent and James W. Vance for county attorney.  This ticket was all elected, but some of the Norton boys headed by John Landis, W. E. Case, Sol Marsh, Wm. Simpson and others got together and put out another ticket which was called the independent republican ticket, but as a fact was simply an anti Leota ticket, as follows: Representative Peter Hansen, probate judge William Gibbon and county attorney Capt. Wm. D. Jarvis.  But the fight was made for the election of Hansen but he only received 59 votes while Mr. Vance got 100.  Mr. Dopps received 89 votes and Judge Gibbon 64.  Jim Vance for county attorney received 97 votes and Capt. Jarvis 58.  Mr. Page, Harmer and FitzPatrick were elected without opposition.

The total valuation of property as returned by the assessors for 1874 was $24,662.65 and the total tax collected was $147.97.  Winter opened with a gloomy outlook for many but considerable aid was sent in and distributed so that no one actually suffered for the necessaries of life.  The most of the aid was distributed by the township trustees, but the county seat fight was brewing and a great deal of complaint was heard that it was not distributed fairly.  When the Leota men were in charge they were accused of giving it out to their friends, and when Norton men got hold the same charge came from the opposition.  This matter progressed until January 6, 1875, when a petition signed by M. A. Morrison and 149 others, asking for an election to relocate the county seat of Norton county was presented.  The board of county commissioners promptly called an election to he held on February 23, 1875.  The call was signed by Kingsbury and Logan commissioners; they also received a petition signed by 0. M. Dannevik and others, charging Peter Hansen the other member of the board with being a non resident of the county, which was laid over; but at the next meeting they declared the seat of Mr. Hansen vacant.  They also declared the office of county clerk vacant, which was held by J. H. Simmons, and appointed M. J FitzPatrick 

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