Wilson County Kansas
Township Histories

Fall River Township


The township history material was taken from the Historical Atlas of Wilson County Kansas published in 1881, and submitted by Bill Bentley.


Fall River Township. - Drury Lee, Robt. Redmond, John Craig, Robt. Craig and Thos. Rhoads were the first actual settlers of Fall River tp. Redmond and Lee came together, in the summer of 1863, the former taking as a claim the C. W. Hickox place and the latter the farm C. B. Jackson is living on. Lee broke some prairie on his claim the same season and in December moved on the claim with his family. He was murdered near his home by some one unknown, in 1864. Thos. Rhoades took the claim which is now Wm. Hall's farm, adjoining New Albany, in Dec. 1863. Both of the Craigs first claimed on the south side of Fall river, the fall of 1863, but John Craig afterward settled on a claim on the north side - now the Greenzil Whiteside farm. A man named Shepherd, familiarly called "Shep," kept a store and traded with the Indians on the Jas. McGivney farm, in the fall of 1863. He died there the following spring of small-pox. John Steel and Bill Brazel opened a trading post in the fall of '63, on the north side of river, three miles below New Albany, closing out the next spring. They had a big trade with the Union refugee Indians from the Territory, thousands of whom wintered in Wilson county. Saml. Combest settled on the north bank of Fall river April 6th, 1864, on what is now W. S. Lafferty's place. He was then below all other settlers on the river. An election was held at Combest's house in Dec. '64, when county officers were chosen. Jno. L. Elliott and John Endsley took claims near the site of New Albany in 1864. George Cottingham, Thos. Dane and John Sanders came from Illinois together and took claims just below New Albany in the summer of 1864. Cottingham became County Commissioner. M. E. Wilson came from Coffey county and settled on the river where Wilson's ford is, in Aug. 1864, and his brother, W. W. Wilson, followed that fall and took a claim. J. E. Childs, who was elected first County Superintendent, came with M. E. Wilson. Wm. Fiske took a claim south of Fall river near the west line of the county in the fall of '64. In Jan. 1865, Dr. Wm. Brown settled on a claim in this county, on Fall river. He was County Commissioner that year. A goodly number took or bought claims on Fall river in 1865 and settled. C. B. Jackson, C. W. Hickox, M. G. Williams, Geo. Burrous, John Jeffers, Wm. Hall, Robt. Mooney, Justus and Elihu Fellows, H. Reeves and Wm. Griffin, were among the pioneers of that year. Hall and Mooney came in July, 1865, opened a store and afterward named the place New Albany. Wm. Fiske and __ Locke hauled the first goods for them in August. Mooney entered the claim on which New Albany is situated. Hall and Mooney carried on an immense trade with the Indians for several years, making money. New Albany was on the line of what was known as the Big Trail, or Little Bear's Trail, which ran from Osage Mission westward to the Arkansas, hence was traveled a great deal by the Osages. Hall and Mooney also carried on an extensive and permanent trade with the settlers. Their town of New Albany has become a thriving, pleasant village and they are among the most substantial and prosperous men in the county. A post-office was established at New Albany May 2, 1866, Wm. Hall, P. M. Mail was supplied from Belmont, Woodson Co., the cost of carrying it being defrayed by private subscriptions. The Masonic Lodge, No. 81, was instituted Oct. 22, 1869. C. B. Jackson and C. W. Hickox set up the first saw mill on Fall river in Wilson county, in the spring of 1866. A corn buhr was attached. Logs were hauled to the mill from places ten miles distant. Mr. Jackson has been a County Commissioner three terms. In Aug. 1866, J. T. Heath and A. Tucker opened a stock of goods on the Burrous place, but quit business after a few months. Wm. McBrown and Dennis Fitzmorris sold goods at Jackson & Hickox's mill in 1866. Brown was chosen County Treasurer in 1869.


Additional histories included are:


Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

tcward@columbus-ks.com


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©1998
Last updated 12/20/1998


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