The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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between school teaching and farming. 

James Kenyon came here in the spring of 1873.  His was the first marriage in this county, which has been previously referred to.  He ran a blacksmith shop here until 1879; when he went to Colorado but afterward moved to Missouri.  He lives at this time some place in southern Iowa. 

Ransom Smith came here in the spring of 1874.  During that summer he built a store on the corner now owned by Dr White.  This is the only building in Norton that was here in 1874. 

Mr. Smith entered into partnership in the merchantile (sic) business with G. H. Griffin which they continued about two years under the firm name of Griffin and Smith.  He was for a time a member of the board of teachers' examiners.  He moved to the Pacific coast in 1877. 

M. Heaton's advent into this world was March 13, 1849, in Green county, Pennsylvania.  He was raised on a farm and followed the various pursuits of a farmer's life, attending district school in winter.  Moved with his parents to Douglas county, Illinois in 1866; spent the summer of 1870 in Montgomery county, Kansas, the summer of 1872 was in Iowa, and the summer of 1874 in California.  The intervening time he remained at home in Illinois attending his farm where he always succeeded in raising good crops. 

He was married December 25, 1879, at Tuscola, Illinois, to Mattie J. Moore, who was born September 18, 1847, in Green county, Pennsylvania, where she received a common school education.  She taught school in winter and attended college in Waynesburgh in summer till she graduated in 1873; she continued teaching till the spring of 1880, at which time they emigrated to Norton, Kansas, where they have since resided, and now have five children, first Charles F., February 27, 1881, and Morgan was surprised when informed that it was absolutely necessary that he should "set 'em up," but promptly complied with the requirement.  On February 7, 1884 they were surprised with twins, Jester and Josie, and then Morgan informed his friends that it was their turn to "set 'em up;" they agreed with him and he took it in candy.  Again October 21, 1885 twins, William and Thomas.  This called for more candy, and was a scheme of Mr. Heaton's to get rid of "setting 'em up." 

Mr. Heaton opened up the Norton County bank on June 11, 1880, which was the first bank in the county and at that time there was no bank west of it in the state.  On November 1, 1890, the bank was reorganized as the Norton County State Bank.  On December 2, 1893, the bank was put into the hands of a receiver on account of disagreement. 

Nat L. Baker came to Weston and started the first paper in the county in 1875, The Western Locomotive.  This paper was run in the interest of Weston for the county seat, with the following motto: 'We'll keep up steam or bust our biler." 

Nat stayed here until 1878 and was identified with several newspaper enterprises at Norton and Leota, but they were all failures from a financial standpoint. 

Baker was a man of positive convictions but when he espoused the cause of any man for office or any town for the county seat "it was for what there was in it."  He had no opinion on any question that was not purchasable, and the market price of his support on any proposition was within the reach of the impoverished town companies of his day.  This accounted for the fact that his paper was moved back and forth several times between the rival towns, and when his paper would appear roasting a town or ticket the beneficiaries of his libelous sarcasm were not sure that

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