The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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to fill the vacancy.  E. R. Worthington was appointed commissioner for the third district in place of Hansen.  This put the board in close touch with Weston, which was the name of the opposing town at that time, as none of the hoard was in favor of Norton.  The campaign for the relocating of the county appeared and every known device by the partisans of each side to carry the day.  Election day came and with it the most severe snow storm and blizzard of that year which made it nearly impossible for men to travel.  Some of the voters lived twenty miles from the voting place, but the excitement ran high and nearly every man was at the polls.  When the board met on February 27, to canvass the votes they announced the vote as follows: Norton 95 and Weston 86.  The victory for Norton was won by reason of the fact that this town had promised to build a court house free of expense to the taxpayers.  A bond for $1,200 had been filed with the county clerk on February 16, which was six days before the election, although the commissioners did not accept the bond until February 27. This bond provided that they should build a court house within ninety days 24x30 feet, two stories high, etc., and was signed by Wm Simpson, Henry Oliver, W. W. Robinson, E. Fisher, W. B. Jones, John and I. Williams, R. Williams. Wm. D. Jarvis, B. F. Williams, Albert Graves, W. E. Case, D. M. Robinson, Louis Pendleton, John Diefenbach, J. R. Hamilton, J. A. Newell and J. P. Cook. 

As soon as this bond was accepted a party was sent over to Skull creek to cut cottonwood logs to build the frame work of the new building, but a severe storm drove them home without accomplishing anything.  Wm. Simpson, B. F. Williams and others made the trip.  J. D. Hope and Joe Wade were caught in this storm with ox teams and nearly perished.  Early in March another party, viz: Sol Marsh, Henry Oliver, W. W. Robinson, A. S. Curry, John Beiber, J. S. Wright, Jim Mittan, J. S. Hnmphrey and others went over to Skull and Buck creeks and cut cottonwood logs, hauled them to Pete Hansen's sawmill at Logan, where they had them sawed on the halves and thus secured the lumber for the frame work.  E. Fisher and John Diefenbach went to Kearney, Nebraska, and hauled in pine lumber to finish it; so that early in April the new court house was enclosed. 

The board of county commissioners refused to accept the building and threw every obstacle possible in the way of a final settlement of the county seat matter in favor of Norton.  The Leota fellows were active at this time in securing another petition calling a new election.  This engendered a very bitter feeling and every man in the county was seen and talked to by the friends of both towns.  A great many men signed both the petition and the remonstrance. 

The Norton men expressed the opinion that all question of doubt as to the legality of the petition was decided by the board in favor of the petitioners, and where the same name was found on the petition and remonstrance they assumed that he had signed the petition last.  While the Weston people accused the friends of Norton with corruption in securing their remonstrance, and thus the fight went merrily on until September 25, when the following petition, presented by Professor Boyd and signed by 170 men, was received and a new election called.

"To the commissioners of Norton county: We, your petitioners, respectfully pray that your honorable body call an election to be held in said county, for the removal of the county seat from Norton to Weston, or such other place as the electors may choose."

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