The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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Henry Thomas Atterbury was born in Kentucky, September 30, 1829.  He came to Norton County in September 1872.  His wife Margaret Neete was born December 18, 1833; seven children were born to them, their eldest child, James Lunzey, was born April 16, 1849.  He came to Norton county in May 1874, and was married to Agnes Wamuck, November 21, 1875, settled on Big Timber, one mile south of D.E. Stevens; bought a farm two miles northwest of Norton; moved on it in 1882; sold it in the fall of 1892 and bought a farm on Otter Creek, near Edmond, where he now resides; he has five children.  Thomas Atterbury's eldest daughter, Nancy, was born November 18, 1852, was married to James McKay at Logan, Nov. 2, 1874; they now reside in Oklahoma and are engaged in the hotel and livery business.  His second daughter, Francis, was born in 1859; was married to Jessie Griffin, they had two children; she died June 4, 1889.

Anna was born February 2 1863 married to Jack Conarty, February 2, 1878.

Minnie was born May 10, 1865 and was married to W.A. Rose, February 8, 1887; they had three children only one of them living.  They reside at Phillipsburg.  He is in the employ of the Rock Island railroad company.

Orin Benjamin born February 17, 1868; lives in Phillips county on Bow Creek, is a farmer.  Florence born April 11, 1860.  She married a man by the name of Charles Bass but they have since separated.  She now lives with her parents.

Thomas Atterbury came to Kansas with his family in 1861; settled on Indian Creek in Linn county, west to Lawrence in 1862 and from there to Carroll City, Iowa the same fall, where he lived until he came to Norton county.  Previous to this he lived in Macon county, Missouri for many years where he was married and where all his children were born.  His family did not come to Norton county until 1874.  He in the mean time kept bachelor hall on the land where Jack Conarty now lives on Cactus Creek.  A good many quaint stories are told of him by the early settlers.  One of the runs something like this and was told by Ab Wrager who had come up to Tom's dugout in the winter of 1873 and stopped to stay all night.  A species of pack rats was thick here at that time; they had made their winter quarters in the roof of Tom's dugout which was of sod supported by poles.  Tom had a bunk in the corner.  Wrager had lain down on his blankets near the fire; after they had gone to sleep the rats began to run along the ridge pole, rattling dirt down into Tom's face which woke him; rising up in bed and peering up into the darkness, he said:
"Prophet said I, thing of evil,
Prophet still if rat or devil," -
Down came the dirt;
"Rats, by Gad!" says Tom,
"I wish to Gad I had a thousand cats"

- Down came another hat full of dirt -
"Yes, and by Gad! I'll have 'em."

In 1882 he and Pat Conarty came to Norton to do some trading.  Mrs. Atterbury came along as far as Charlie Hillsinger's place, where she stopped to stay the night; during the evening Tom told Charlie of his gambling exploits in California and Colorado mines, stating that if Charlie would advance him a little money he would come up to Norton that evening and win some money from Bill Simpson; he also stated that he had never been beaten playing single handed poker.  Mrs. Hillsinger and Mrs. Atterbury being apprised of their scheme entered a protest, but after supper the men started for town, Tom putting in the time on the road telling thrilling incidents of his career as a gambler.

When the three came to town they found the willing William and the four went to Posson's hotel, secured a light,

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