The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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Vermont until 1875, and after brief stops on the way settled in Phillips county in the spring of 1877, where he remained until fall when he came here.  Mr. Knapp remained on his farm in Aldine township until 1890, when his eldest son, Elliott, died; on October 7 of the same year his wife died, they were both buried in the Sheley cemetery.  Mr. Knapps two youngest sons Willie E. and Elbert J., live on the old homestead in Aldine.  On October 20, l892, at Hendley, Nebraska, Mr. Knapp was married again to Mrs. Mary Pe???s, since that time he has lived most of the time in Norton. 

The first election in Aldine was held at the residence of J. J. Allen.  They used a cigar box for a ballot box.  The township election in 1879 was held at the residence of H. A. Knapp.  They used an axle-grease box for a ballot box.  The first township officers were: trustee, L. C. Havlin, justices of the peace, L. S. Sheley and R. B. Sargent, constables M. G. Sheley and G. W. Greenwood. 

When the county convention met in 1878, John R. Hamilton was nominated for representative; the principal contest was on county attorney.  Thomas Beaumont, L. K. Pratt and M. W. Pettigrew were the candidates.  Beaumont received the nomination.  George Post was nominated for probate judge, A. F. Harmer, clerk of court, and J. H. Simmons for superintendent.  Hugh Lindsay was nominated for commissioner from the first district. 

On Saturday, October 27, a mass convention was held in Leota for the purpose of nominating another ticket.  They entirely ignored the previous convention and proceeded to nominate a peoples ticket.  The mass convention was called to order by Dr. S. L. Green; J. W. Langford was made chairman.  They nominated George Hood for representative, M. W. Pettigrew for county attorney; John Wallace, probate judge; A. F. Harmer, clerk of the court, and J. W. Langford for superintendent; R. F. Hudsonpillar was nominated for commissioner.  Louis K Pratt announced himself an independent candidate for county attorney, but withdrew before the election and supported Pettigrew. 

John Hamilton received 260 votes, Hood 164, Pettigrew 233, Beaumont 195, John Wallace 243, George Post 201, A. F. Harmon 329 and Simmons 411. 

Langford withdrew before the election.  For commissioner Hugh Lundsay [Lindsay] received 78 votes, R. F. Hudsonpillar 44.  The friends of Beaumont charged that Pettigrew had been unfair in the campaign.  He, Pettigrew, having printed tickets with his name on headed by John Hamilton.  His name was printed on the other tickets in the regular way.  A good many thought that it was this sharp practice that secured him so many votes. 

A great many important events occured (sic) during the fall of 1878.  On September 2nd John Landis was murdered, and on October 4th the celebrated Indian scare occurred.  The people of the Solomon nearly all left, a great many going a far east as Beloit, most of the settlers from the Sappa came to Norton while nearly all the settlers on the Prairie Dog came to Norton and some of them went on east.  On September 5th the republican county convention occurred, but the people had their minds on the Indians and but few of them paid any attention to politics.  There were some skeptics here at the time who pretended to disbelieve that there was any danger from Indians, but on the evening of the 5th Uncle John Wallace came in just after dark with the story that the prairie just west of town was covered with them.  Mr. Wallace being a reputable citizen and having with his own eyes seen them,

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