The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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W. McDormet, Peter Kanlen, Clem Sterner, Joseph Stenger, Rev. Augustin Reichert, J. Homan, Anton Bantz and Herr von Bantz; in 1879, Peter Miller, Frank R. Schmitt, J. Meyers, N. Hahn, Sr.; A. Sternfast, John Sternfast, J. Hammel, Peter Ludwig, A. Revis, J. MEnroe, Sr. 

M. Linden came from Germany, October 12, 1867 to New York, from there to Tinesville, Wisconsin, thence to Chicago, from there to Vollo, Wisconsin, and in 1879 to Norton county. 

J. J. Reichert came here in 1887 from Mercer county, Ohio. He was postmaster at Almelo from 1890 to 1893.  He moved to Dresden in Decatur county in 1892 and is in the mercantile business there at this time.

Father Reichert celebrated mass in Norton in the old court house in 1879; these were the first Catholic services held in Norton.  Father Reichert continued to hold services here at regular intervals until his death. 

The church bought the old school building in 1889 and moved it to its present location and fitted it up for a church.  Father FitzPatrick was stationed here some time that same year as resident priest and remained here until 1890 when he was succeeded by Father Winsel, who remained one year.  Father Burnes, of Jewell City, succeeded him for a time.  Father Healey was here for a time in 1893.  Father Horgan of Colby, was engaged for this work and has been coming here once a month ever since. 

The church here is in a prosperous condition and its membership is made up from more than forty families. 

The German Baptist church, known also as the Dunkard church, was organized in May, 1879.  There existed in Montgomery county, Iowa, a congregation of this church, named the Maple Grove church.  In 1878 it appears that almost the entire membership became anxious to migrate to some new country, so in the fall of this year they dispatched a committee of four of their congregation to drive over Nebraska and Kansas to look up a location on government lands on which to locate the Maple Grove church as a colony.  This delegation consisted of Elder N. C. Workman, George Workman, Levi Shaffer, and C. C. Plowman.  After spending some time in both Nebraska and Kansas, they decided on Norton county, on the high divide between the Sappa and the Prairie Dog, thirteen miles northwest from Norton.  Accordingly each member of this committee, by the courtesy of J. R. Hamilton, put papers on a quarter section of land.  As soon as the committee reported the location many members of this church, and also members of other congregations, hastened to the site and secured land.  In the spring of 1879 immigration of these people to this place was strong and on May 23, 1879, the membership was called together to effect an organization.

From letters of membership it was ascertained that a full set of church officers were already here, headed by N C. Workman, elder, (or bishop): assisted by M. Lichty, also an authorized minister and several deacons and helpers.  In honor of the leaders of this move, this organization was named the Maple Grove Church of Norton county, Kansas. 

Zeal and ambition prevailed from the beginning, and by October, 1879, a good sod building was erected as a place of worship.  Immigration continued and neighbors were converted, so that in the course of three years this congregation consisted of about one hundred members.  In the meantime Elder N. C. Workmen moved from here to Missouri, leaving the charge to his former assistant, M. Lichty.  On account of rigid church government 

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