The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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hired men returned east after supplies, and on May 12, Briggs bought Newells store and building, and next day made settlement on a quarter of land which was then held as part of the townsite.  This land includes the quarter section west of State street and north of section line road north of the Rock Island depot.  The Newells had agreed to relinquish the land as part of the trade on the store, but when on the 15th he moved the building to Reedtown, they then refused to let him have the land, the Newells claiming Briggs was to put his goods in the building where it stood.  Briggs claimed nothing was said about where the building was to stand.  Briggs paid $400 for the store and building.  When they made the invoice on May 13, the following goods were in stock:
One Tea Canister (no tea) $1 25
3 Bushels Potatoes  4 50
3 Papers Soda  45
1 Bottle of Expectorant 1 00
Total  7 20

One stove and a box of stationery were reserved.

Briggs had in the meantime moved into a dugout built by Oscar Bass, a trapper, which stood near the creek on the west side of the land, about where Jim Overholt's house now stands.  Briggs afterward contested this quarter of land from the town company, an account of which will be given later on.

June 29, 1873, Reed and Briggs got an attorney by the name of J. R. Linville, of Beloit, to come up and dissolve the school bond, but Reed and Briggs always thought he sold them out.  Briggs remained in the mercantile business but a short time.  He contested a part of the townsite that he claimed he bought of the Newells that they refused to relinquish to him.

Mrs. Briggs commenced practicing medicine at once.  Her first patient was W. E. Case, who was sick at Mott Wood's dugout in May, 1873.  In January and February, 1874, Briggs again sold supplies to the Otoe Indians near Dodge City, coming back to Norton about March 1.  In July of that year Briggs contracted with Cook and Simpson to carry the United States mail from Norton to Hays City, and from Norton to Oberlin and return, once a week for $50 a month and "find himself."  Early in the winter he discovered that $50 a month would not buy his horse feed.  At Stockton they took a good mule from his hired man for a $14 board bill.  Briggs froze his feet and was laid up for some time.  No amount of persuasion on the part of Mrs. Briggs would cause him to budge in the direction of saving something out of his "Star Route" contract; he did not even inquire after the mule, but abandoned the whole business.  While he was confined with frozen feet he feed (sic) everybody that came along, until those who fed for a fee called Briggs' dugout "a county poor house."

Mrs. Briggs and Dick Felton were the only guests at the first wedding in this county, Jim Kinyon's.  Their "menu" 


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