The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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with his family shortly afterward and has remained here continuously ever since.

The Newells built their store building a little north of where the Rock Island stock yards now stand; they finished it and opened up a stock of general merchandise late in October; this was the first general store opened in the county; this was also the first frame building put up in the county.  The Newell Bros. sold this building to John Storey Briggs in May 1873, who moved it to Reedtown, or Norton Center.  Briggs about this time espoused the cause of Norton Center in the county seat contest, and at once opened up a general store in this building a little south of where Mrs. Samuel Sarvis' farm house now stands.

This was the only building in Norton at the time, and court was to meet the next Monday.  Briggs and Reed hoped to gain a point in the county seat fight, which was then brewing, by compelling the officials to hold court in Norton Center.  They argued to their friends that if court was held there and Norton Center declared the county seat by the judge, that the friends of Norton would abandon the contest; but on Friday Ed Newell started out to get a building.  A log building was secured on the claim of Edgar Page, on land now owned by Emanuel Fisher, and on Saturday, Geo. N. Kingsbury, John and Charlie Bieber, Uncle Robert and Albert Curry and others moved it to Norton, so that on Monday they found it in good shape to hold court in.  This building was used for many years as a hotel and cut no unimportant figure in the history of Norton; it will be referred to again.  Briggs had obtained the old building by holding out the inducement that he would not move it; so when he failed to get court held in Norton Center, he abandoned the town and in December moved the building, this time back to Norton and put it on the lot where Reno & Williams' meat market now stands.  The building was sold by Briggs to Port Cook in 1886, was occupied by Crane & Beach as a drug store in 1878, and it was burned in February, 1879.  Aside from its being the first frame building in the county, it furnished the material for the first conflagration in the city of Norton.

George Bakelaar was born at Goedereede, Holland, Feb. 20, 1835, came with his parents to New York in 1853, went to Trenton. N. J., worked for some time in Roger's locomotive works, from there went to New York, where he worked for two years in the Lodi printing works, from there he went to Fond du Lac, Wis., where he was married in 1864, to Miss Mary Haftieger.  She was born in Holland, Nov. 20, 1845.  They had nine children, Jennie, born Feb. 22, 1865, died in Dec., 1865; John, born May 12, 1866; Nellie, born July 5, 1868, died in Norton county, Kansas, Oct. l9, 1880.  In 1870, Bakelaar moved with his family to Leavenworth county, Kansas, lived for a time at Tonganoxie, worked on the railroad.  Mamie, his fourth child, was born there, she died of diptheria at Norton, Oct. 29, 1880.  In the spring of 1872, he moved to Phillips county, near Logan; came to Norton that winter.  On March 13, 1874, Cora was born.  She being the oldest daughter living, has kept house for her father and taken care of her younger brothers since her mother's death.  Willie was born April, 6, 1876; Linnie, July 22, 1878, died, March 20,1880; Minnie, Aug. 30, 1880; Maude, July 2l, 1884.  Mrs. Bakelaar died Feb. 20, 1888, and was buried by the side of three of her children in the Norton cemetery.  During the hard times and crop failures, George never lost confidence in the country, although compelled to go away and work at times for money to support his family.  He now has 4,000 bushels of surplus corn, has no mortgage on his farm, and is considered in comfortable circumstances.

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