The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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264 citizens of the county was presented to the commissioners asking them to accept the court house and public square thereby settle the county seat question.  On motion of Wm. Grant the deed was accepted.  At the same meeting a petition signed by M. W. Pettigrew and 211 others asking the commissioners to call a county seat election was presented.  This petition was laid over until May 3, when Pettigrew presented another petition signed by 42 citizens of the town of Norton making the same request and asked that it be attached to the original petition.  Grant moved that this request be refused which carried, Burroughs voting in the negative.  Burroughs then moved that motion to accept the court house be reconsidered, which motion carried, Grant voting in the negative.  But the deed was already delivered and recorded so no further action was ever taken in the matter. 

The board was in session several days hearing the remonstrances against an election and striking the names of women and non-residents from the petition.  Both sides were represented before the board by attorneys.  Vance and Boyd appeared for Leota and Beaumont, Hamilton and Pratt for Norton.  As soon as the Leota men discovered they had not enough legal names on the petition to call an election they adjourned without taking action upon it.  At several successive meetings Burroughs and Hudsonpillar failed to show up thereby breaking a quorum.  At the regular July meeting they refused to take the matter up so there the matter dropped and the records show that that petition is still before the board as unfinished business. 

The 4th of July of 1878 was celebrated in Norton.  Louis K. Pratt delivered the oration and John C. Newell read the Declaration of Independance (sic).  Leota gave a large ball at night.  Ingall's famous string band furnished the music. 

On October 10, of that year, a petition signed by D. R. Blanding and fourteen others, asking for the formation of a new township to be called Aldine was presented to the board and allowed.  This township was composed of the same territory as Aldine and Harrison at this time. 

The splendid crops raised on the north prairie in 1877 attracted all new settlers to that part of the county as soon as the creek claims had been taken.  The first settler in Aldine township was Abner J. Case.  He settled on Dry creek in 1872 but left in 1874.  J. H. Phillips came in 1873 and settled on Dry creek.  He sold out and left the country in 1880.

D. R. Blanding came in 1874.  Newt Anderson came from Mahaska county, Iowa, in the spring of 1877 and took a homestead in Aldine.  He was a blacksmith by trade.  In 1882 he opened up a shop in Norton which he run (sic) until 1889 when he sold out and moved to Arkansas where he died in 1893.  His family resides in Arkansas at this time.  Nat King came to Aldine from Pacific Junction, Iowa, in the spring of 1877.  He remained here until 1882 when he moved back to Iowa.  Mr. R. Allen and his son Merritt, came to Aldine in 1876.  Mr. Allen died in 1878.  His widow lives in Furnas county, Nebraska, at this time. Merritt, or Doc Allen, as he is familliarly (sic) known, married a daughter of Reuben Rowley and still lives in Aldine township. 

John A. Blauvelt and his father-in-law, Mr. O'Brien came to Aldine in 1877.  Blauvelt was elected county surveyor in 1879 and served one term.  He moved to Nebraska in the fall of 1881.  

Wilson Adams and R. S. Sargent settled in Aldine in 1878.  Mr. Sargent is an old soldier having served in the 12th Iowa infantry.  He was republican nominee for county commissioner in 1890, 

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