The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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Gibbon 37; register of deeds, Sam Newell, 25; county attorney, N. H. Billings 33, and all but Reed were declared elected.

Billings qualified and held both offices and had plenty of time left to do other devilment, as we shall show further along.  All the officers elected at this time qualified and performed the duties of their offices except Sol Marsh; there was no term of court during his term and no litigation started, so he was never sworn in.

There was no township officers elected in Solomon township; in Almena township John Gishwiller was elected trustee, D. W Mills justice of the peace and Geo. W. Cole constable.

In Center township Henry Oliver and S. D. Reed were elected justices of the peace and Oliver has held that office continuously ever since.  Wm. Louk was elected trustee, Wm. H. Hopwood clerk, John M Price treasurer, Mott Wood and Ab Wrager constables and Tom Brown road overseer.

When the election board met in Center township they discovered they had no ballot box.  Sol Marsh remembered he had a box that his father had made which he used to keep trinkets in.  This box was made of pine and nicely finished; Sam Newell bored a hole in the top to receive the ballots; during the day the key was mislaid so that it was necessary to break the lock to get the ballots out.  Sol still retains the box in good state of preservation for an heirloom.

In August 1872 Newell brothers made preparation to start a general store but as there was no building here at that time they came to the very logical conclusion that they would build the cage before they caught the bird.  They employed Sol Marsh to take a log to the Kirwin sawmill, fifty miles distant, and get the dimension stuff for the frame.  At the same time Ed. Newell left for Russell, Kansas, to buy the siding, roof and floor.  They went to the grove south of town on the land now owned by George Wallaesa and cut a fine cottonwood log.  On the 7 of September Sol started for Kirwin with this log and an ox team.  This date is positively remembered as it was Sol's twentieth birthday.  It is not improper to state here that Sol was elected clerk of the court and filled the office of county commissioner by appointment for about six months before he was 21 years old,

Before he got to Logan one of his oxen became affected by the heat so that he was compelled to leave him; he hired another ox from Fred Deaver, a prominent stock man who lived near Logan, and was well known to all the early settlers.  Sol promised to return the ox in good condition or pay $100 for him, pledging the credit of Newell brothers in fullfillment (sic) of the coutract, and proceeded on his way.  When about half way between Kirwin and Logan his wagon pulled apart letting the front end of the log drop to the ground.  The nearest man to him was 15 miles so he cut some poles to pry It up with and after working nearly all day succeeded in loading it.  He went on to Kirwin but found the sawyer absent and the mill shut down.  Sol had worked in a sawmill in New York, and understood running the saw, so he got the engineer to start the mill and he sawed the log. 

The engineer told him he could have gotten as good a log on government land within four miles of Kirwin, a fact that Sol and the Newell's had entirely overlooked.  Sol returned to Logan with his lumber but his ox was still unable to travel; his hoofs came off and he was entirely worthless ever afterward.  While he was looking for a team to bring his lumber home he met George Baeklaar who had settled near Logan.  Sol hired him to haul his wagon home.  Baeklaar while here on that trip selected the farm he now owns; he at once abandoned his claim on the Solomon, returned here

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