The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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it was dedicated on July 4, of that year with a big ball; this was the largest and best barn in northwest Kansas at the time.  He sold his hotel to Griffin and Lockard in 1844 but still owns and operates the barn.  The first person sent to the penitentiary from this county was Herod Hopkins who had come in the spring of 1876, and was stopping with his wife west of Leota.  Hopkins and his wife made arrangements to steal the team of horses belonging to John Riley where both lived; so he took the horses and left; his wife was to follow in a short time as soon as he could send her money to come.  The money failed to arrive on time so the wife told that he had gone with the horses.  He was arrested and brought back by Posson.  As the court did not sit for some time and there being no jail Posson kept the prisoner at home with him on the farm.  He would take Hopkins with him to the field and chain him to the wagon wheel, while he plowed.  When court convened Hopkins pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Judge Holt to three years in the penitentiary.  Posson took him overland to Clay Center and from there to Lansing by rail.  This occurred in 1876.  Posson was allowed $1 per day for guarding the prisoner, and 60 cts per day for board in county warrants worth 25 cents on the dollar.  Posson also took Brenneman to the penitentiary in the fall of 1876.  Brenneman had come here in the summer of 1870, and settled near Clayton.  He had two children; a boy 8 years old and a girl 10 years old.  Brenneman was a man near 60 years of age.  He was convicted of incest committed on his daughter and sent up for five years. 

When his little girl told her revolting story on the witness stand it took the utmost diligence on the part of sheriff Posson and his deputies to prevent the angry populace from Iynching Brenneman.  The children were sent to relatives in Missouri and have never been heard from since.

In the spring of 1877 Bud Thomas and Harry Hogleboom stole two horses of Wilson of Wilsonville, Nebraska and came south through Norton, and while on the Solomon traded one of the horses to Hank Gandy for a horse belonging to William Simpson.  They come to Norton with Simpson's horse, and arrived here just as Wilson came up on their trail.  Posson arrested then on the charge of horse stealing.  He kept them in the log hotel until court met by locking their shackles through a ring made fast to the floor.  Hogleboom was convicted but Thomas was dismisssed by the jury.  Posson and Hall Harmonson, deputy sheriff, started for the penitentiary with Hogleboom by way of Hays City; on the way Hogleboom told Posson that Thomas had stolen Bill Simpson's old Bell horse; so at Stockton they run on to Thomas.  Posson arrested him, took him to Hays and left him there in jail until he returned from the pen; but while he was gone Thomas got out on a writ of habeas corpus and made his escape.  In 1879 Thomas knocked a man

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