The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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enjoyed all the advantages of his native state for an education, which he gladly improved and was preparing for Hiram college when the war broke out.  This changed all his plans and he enlisted, September 23, 1861, in company G, 15 0hio volunteer infantry.  When the regiment became veterans Elder Burns became a member of company A, 163 Ohio volunteer infantry which was mustered out May 18, 1865.  Mr. Burns has taken a full Bible course in Correspondent Bible college, Knoxville, Tennessee, and is finely equiped (sic) for his chosen field of labor.  He burns.JPG (25041 bytes) came west in the fall of 1865 spending 18 years in Iowa, 7 years in Nebraska and nearly 4 years in Kansas.  He is a fine pulpit speaker, stands well with his people and is respected by all.  He is a man of strong and positive convictions, and enforce his views by well chosen and forceful argument as a preacher.  The Bible to him is everything, and he goes to it at all times with perfect confidence.  On all subjects he is an advance thinker and refuses to be tied to theories and mystics.  He is strictly republican in his political faith and a good and loyal man to his country.  His family is an honor to society, and we wish Elder Burns and family may long remain with us. 

During the years 1876, '77 and '78, Elder F. J. McAlroy, who resided in Phillips county, and Elder George E. Branch, living over on the Sappy, did much pioneer work in Norton county, Elder McAlroy especially, he did not despise the day of small things; he called the people together in the dug-out, the sod house, or in the groves and in his peculiar kind way, discoursed to them, breaking the loaf and leading many to a better life.  In the summer of 1873 this godly man came to Norton and held a meeting in the old school house (now the property of J F. Wright).  In this meeting he did much to enlighten and disabuse the minds of the public, on the old chesnuts, told so often, that the Cambellites did not believe in a "change of heart," but believed in "water regeneration," got people into the water and then turned them loose on the public.  The common people heard him gladly, but some let on as though he was a dangerous man and needed watching.  He and his wife both sleep now, that sleep that gives perfect rest, near Phillipsburg, Kansas. 

Elder Branch was a quiet, earnest man of God and while neither his name nor that of McAlroy's can be found on the church records today, they are remembered by the charter members of the church. 

At this time the Christian Sunday school is under the charge of Bert Williams and is in a flourishing condition, and is doing much good. 

The officers of the church are Elders Samuel Means, Wesley Graves and H. L. Burns, Deacons Bert Williams, Roy Williams, T. B. Mathews, W. J. Bower and B. A. Van Meter. 

The first minister to locate permanently in the county was Elder Gibbs who preached for the Baptist church;

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