The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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I am now.  I was mustered into company A 1st Wisconsin vol. heavy artillery, but was appointed military, or government detective, which position I filled until April 1864, when I resigned from that service and requested to be sent to the front.  Company A was at that time stationed at Battery Rogers near Alexandria, Virginia, where we were stationed until midsummer when we were detailed on extra duty and marched out as infantry.  We served on the infantry ninety days and were then sent, a part of our company, as head quarters guard to Fort Corcoran, then under the command of General D. H. DeRussey.  We stayed there all winter and in the spring of 1865 was again detailed on extra duty and marched out to intercept the rebel general early in his march into Maryland.  We met his advance guard at or near Fort Dempsey, where we succeeded in checking his advance on Washington City.  I was discharged from the army on August 18, 1865, about used up by exposure in the southern climate and with malarial fever.  I had to be carried from place to place being too weak to walk without help.  I arrived home in this condition.  I gradually regained a part of my former strength.  When mustered into the United States service I was six feet and three fourths of an inch tall and weighed 207 pounds and when I was mustered out I weighed 155 pounds.  In 1869 I was elected justice of the peace running against a very popular lawyer named Anderson, who had held the office a number of years.  I ran on the independent ticket and was elected by over a two-thirds majority.  In 1871 I refused to stand for reelection, thinking of moving west.  In the fall of 1882 I moved to Clay county, Nebraska, and helped organize the county.  I was a delegate to the republican state convention for the purpose of sending delegates to the national convention at Chicago when General Grant was nominated for his second term.  I engaged in the mercantile business in Nebraska but on account of too much credit with a limited capital and the grasshopper scourge I bursted up and turned everything I had, except my team of horses, a wagon, one cow and five dollars and thirty cents in money with what household furniture I could haul and started for Kansas where I landed on the North fork of the Soloman [Solomon] river in Norton County about fourteen miles south of Leota.  I here took up a previous claim and went to work to open up a farm.  The nearest post office was at Mr. Davis' and the next nearest was Lenora which was about seven miles west.  I established a post office at my house giving it the name of Modell which was finally moved to Barlow's store one and one quarter miles east.  I was elected county superintendent of public instructions the first election held after I located in the county and was chairman of the first county convention held in the county.

I organized a company of state militia and was commissioned captain by the governor of the state.  I think it was in 1878 or '79, but sure as to the date, I was at least in Norton Center when the noble red men made their raid through a part of Norton county up the Prairie Dog and Sappa creeks.  As soon as I returned home I called as many men as I could get together and started out to find the Indians but the United States soldiers were ahead of us.  The names of my lieutenants were E. S. Perviance [Purviance] first and Henry Watson second.  I took the first census that was taken by the government, of the inhabitants of the south part of Norton county.  I was engaged in the land and law business for over two years and I presume located more people while in that business than any one in that part of the county.  I was 

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