The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

Page 27

back

next

table of contents

 
and killed it.  They soon discovered that they had killed one of Zimmerman's horses.  Zimmerman exacted of them the best horse they had, which they cheerfully gave to settle the criminal prosecution threatened.  This broke their team and was the reason assigned by them for stopping there and taking their homesteads.  Snyder took land east of DeMott, he returned to his old home in New York in the fall of 1873, and died shortly afterwards.  John DeMott was elected county commissioner from district No. 1 at the November election of 1873, he left in August, 1874.

On Nov. 27, 1874, the board met.  Commissioners Kingsbury and Hansen declared DeMott's seat vacant and appointed Lewis Logan to fill the vacancy, who was immediately sworn in.

William DeForest came from New York and settled on the Sappa two miles east of Devizes, on the land now owned by Mr. Simmonds, he left the country with DeMott in August 1874, and the last known of them they were in Silver Plume, Col.

Albert Wrager came here from Iowa in June 1872 with his brother-in-law, John M. Price, and Edgar Page.  He at once adopted the profession of buffalo hunter, he wore long hair and early assumed the air of a ranger; he was the owner of a span of mules (Jack and Button) which afterward were used for some years on the mail route between Norton and North Platt, Neb.; he had been a soldier and drew a pension for a gun shot would through the chest, received in front of Atlanta.  He was elected constable of Center township in 1872 and served for one year.  After the buffalo left he adopted the profession of a cowboy; he was the proud possessor of the most ravenous appetite that ever impoverished this country.  In 1873, on a ten dollar wager with Sol Rees, he ate twenty pounds of buffalo meat and drank on sic) gallon of black coffee at one sitting; this feat he accomplished in 70 minutes, broiling the meat over a fire as he ate it, and according to his own story, told years after, quit hungry.  He was a man of kind disposition, joyful and full of mirth (when he had a full stomach) but ill-natured and could scarcely speak above a whisper when he was out of meat.  He never accumulated any property, and when he left here in 1882, his possessions as far as known, were a needle gun and his historic dog, Bummer.

George Washington Wrager (familiarly known as Little Dick) and William Hopwood came in September 1872.  Billy Hopwood was a relative of Edgar Page; he took the claim west of George N. Kingsbury's homestead, afterward known as the Ralph Patrick land.  He was elected township clerk in 1872, also in 1873; he returned to Iowa in 1874.  Little Dick took the land south of John A. Newell's, which he sold to Charles W. Posson in December, 1873; he then took a homestead on Turkey creek, the land known as the Spencer farm.  He opened a butcher shop in 1877 on the south side of the public square, on the lot where Mrs. Roth's millinery store now stands.  He used his back yard for a slaughter pen.  In the summer of 1879, the good housewives of Norton discovered an odor coming from the direction of Dick's meat market that bore some relation to carrion.  Louis K. Pratt, who lived with his family at that time in a law office on the corner, brought an action against him for maintaining a nuisance.  The presiding magistrate, Peter McCrea, after sending a smelling committee, with Henry Oliver as chairman, to investigate, decided that the disagreeable effluvia complained by Judge Pratt were probably caused by the bad condition of the sewer which existed south of Norton at that time.  In 1880 and 1881 Dick invested the entire proceeds of his butcher

Page 27

back

next

table of contents

 


US GenWeb Home Page


KS GenWeb Home Page



Home Page for Kansas



Search  KS GenWeb Project

KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by Tom & Carolyn Ward for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.  Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page. 

web design 2003 by Ardie Grimes,
Norton County, Kansas GenWeb coordinator
Text and photos from this 1894 book are within the public domain