The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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The Norton convention nominated the following ticket: Representative John R Hamilton, clerk of court A. F. Harmer, probate judge Reuben Bisbee Sr., superintendent J. E. Simmons, county attorney Thos. Beaumont, surveyor D. W. Mills, coroner J. E. Morris, register of deeds B. A. VanMeter. 

The Leota ticket was nominated the same day as follows: Representative S. L. Green, clerk of court A. F Harmer, probate Judge G. C. Post, superintendent J. W. Langford, county attorney C. C. Vance, surveyor J G. Porter, coroner John Story Briggs, register George Hood.

The principal fight was on representative, but Hamilton won by a vote of 123 to 98 for Dr. Green.  Harmer was on both tickets and received all the votes.  G. C. Post was elected probate judge by a vote of 157 to 76.  Mr. Post enjoyed the distinction of being the only man elected who was nominated by the Leota convention.  J. H. Simmons received 135 votes, J. W. Langford 89, Beaumont 112, Vance 104.  Mills for surveyor received 118, Porter 91. 

A great deal of sport was had among the boys about coroner.  Briggs did not want the office and declared he would not qualify if elected and worked openly all day at the polls for his opponent.  The vote stood Morris 105, Briggs 112.  For register of deeds Baker VanMeter received 131, Hood 65. 

The assessed valuation of Norton county for 1876 was $44,081.44.  The amount of tax collected $242.44. 

Grasshoppers came about August 1, 1876 and destroyed most of the crops.  About one-third of a crop was harvested. 

The year 1877 opened in Norton county with bright prospects for the settlers.  Hamilton had secured the cancelation (sic) of the relief bonds which left the county without any bonds and but little floating debt.  The fourth of July was celebrated in Norton.  John R. Hamilton was president of the day, W. E. Case read the Declaration of Independence and Hon. Charles Aldrich of Smith county delivered the oration. 

Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin of Logan were guests of Norton on that occasion and assisted in making the celebration one long to be remembered.  The best crop that had ever been raised up to that time was produced in 1877.  There was a dry spell in June and July but a good crop of wheat, and a fair crop of corn were raised.  The assessed valuation for that year was $90,621.02, amount of tax collected $496.92. 

On October 1, 1877 the commissioners on a petition signed by Jack Conarty and 25 other citizens of Center township, organized the township of Cactus, which practically included the present township of Grant and Lincoln. 

On April 9 a petition asking for the organization of Cactus township signed by Wm. Grant and thirteen others had been presented to the board and rejected for the reason that it embraced territory in separate congressional townships. 

The county convention for 1877 met in Norton, October 30.  At this time and for several weeks previous the county seat matters bad been agitated.  Petitions and remonstrances had been in circulation so that the result of the county convention was considered by both sides to be a test of strength on that important question.  The township caucuses had been held one week before and both sides were out in full force, end every delegate had expressed himself publicly on the county seat fight before his election, and some of them had even pledged their support to both sides.  So when the county convention was called to order both sides were sanguine of success.  The Leota delegates at once elected Dr. Green for chairman.  As soon as the Norton delegates found themselves in a minority.
 

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