The first settlements were made in Walker township, in May, 1854; Monroe, September, 1854, Jackson, spring of 1865; Putnam, fall of 1864; Reeder, spring of 1855; Ozark, spring of 1855; Rich, spring of 1857; Indian Creek, fall of 1857; Washington, spring of 1855; Lincoln, fall of 1857. --- The first settlement in this county was made by Valentine Gerth and Francis Myer, in Walker township, in the early part of May, 1854.--- The first church edifice in the county was built by the Catholics, in Putnam township, in 1859; United Brethren, Greeley, 1859; United Presbyterian, Garnett, 1859; Methodist, Garnett, 1859; First Baptist, Garnett, 1860; New School Presbyterian, Garnett, 1868; Christian, Garnett, 1872. --- First business established, dry goods and groceries, by Preston Bowen, place not stated. --- First marriage, Oliver P. Rand and Patsie Sutton, Walker township, May, 1856. --- First birth, Lucinda Sutton, fall of 1855. --- First post office in the county, established spring of 1857, named Walker, Jacob Benjamin, postmaster. --- The Territorial Legislature of 1855, defined the boundaries of the county, and elected George Wilson probate judge; he was the first commissioned officer of the county. William R. True and John C. Clark were appointed county commissioners, and A.V. Cummings, sheriff; they refused to qualify, and subsequently Gov. Shannon appointed Francis Myer and F.P. Brown county commissioners, and Henderson Rice, sheriff. Francis Myer's house was designated as the temporary county seat. The commissioners, appointed for the purpose, selected a point and named it Shannon, where the county business was transacted until April 5, 1859. The first term of the district court was held on the fourth Monday in April, 1856, Sterling G. Cato, one of the United States district judges, presiding. The Pottawatomie rifle company was organized in the fall of 1855, John Brown, Jr., was the captain. The town of Garnett was laid out in 1856, and named in honor of W.A. Garnett, president of the town company; and on August 1st, 1857, a plat of the town was filed in the office of the probate judge.
The county was organized in 1855.
Population in 1860, 2,4000; in 1870, 5,220; increase in 10 years, 2,820; population in 1875, 5,809; increase in five years, 589; population in 1878, 6,000; increase in eighteen years, 3,600. Rural population, 4,542; city or town population 1,458; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 75.90.
| ||TOWNSHIPS AND|
|City of Garnett||1,127||Indian Creek||208||Jackson||490|
Face of the Country. --- Bottom land, 10 per cent.; upland, 90 per cent.; forest (Government survey) 6 per cent.; prairie, 94 per cent. Average width of bottoms, about two miles; general surface of the country undulating.
Timber. --- Average width of timber belts, three-quarters of a mile. Varieties: walnut, white oak, burr oak, hickory, hackberry, elm, sycamore, cottonwood, hard and soft maplewood, etc. There are numerous small groves of artificial timber in different portions of the county, consisting of elm, soft maple, walnut, hackberry, honey-locust, catalpa, cottonwood, willow and Lombardy poplar.
Principal Streams. --- The Pottawatomie is the principal stream; the north fork runs east and the south fork northeast through the county. The following are the smaller streams: Cedar creek, running north; Sac creek, southeast; Iantha, southeast; Kenoma, southeast; Thomas, northeast; Indian, southwest; Deer, southwest; Little Osage, southeast; Big Sugar, east; Little Sugar, east. There is also a moderate number of springs, and good well water is reached at from fifteen to twenty-five feet.
Coal. --- Area in Reeder township, 10 per cent; in Rich township, 20 per cent; quantity mined in the former during the past year, 2,000 bushels; in the latter, 5,000 bushels; thickness of vein from eight to twenty-two inches; depth below surface from two to four feet; quality good and free from sulpher; used exclusively for domestic purposes.
Building Stone, etc --- Good building stone abundant and of the best quality, consisting of lime and sandstone, easily obtained, varying from eight to twenty-eight inches thick, and smooth on surface of stratum. There is some shale, an excellent fire-proof stone, used for building furnaces for steam engines. A good quality of whetstone has been found. A mass of fire clay, about seven inches thick, is found between the layers of mountain limestone, which contains considerable quantities of pyrites of iron, or sulphuret of iron. Pottery clay is found in the western part of the county. Mineral paint has been discovered, but of an inferior quality, containing too much iron.
Railroad Connections. --- The Leavenworth, Lawrence &am Galveston Railroad enters the county from the north, and runs south through the entire extent of the county. Stations: Garnett, Weldon [sic] and Colony.
Agricultural Statistics. --- Acres in the county, 368,640; taxable acres, 332,082; under cultivation, 60,882.64; cultivated to taxable acres, 18.33+ per cent.; decrease of cultivated acres during the year, 1,098.61.
|Millet and Hungarian||104.00||480.00||521.00||612.00||1,271.00||1,597.00||1,571.00|
|Total Acreage in all Crops||29||31||37||46||41||43||49|
| || || || || || || |
| || || || || || || |
|Winter Wheat - bu.||2,903.00||2,029.00 in.||49,351.00||36,241.00 in.||$32,078.15||$18,968.15 in.|
|Rye - bu.||390.00||284.00 in.||5,460.00||3,658.00 in.||1,638.00||1,097.40 in.|
|Spring Wheat - bu.||197.00||92.00 in.||2,364.00||1,314.00 in.||1,182.00||289.50 in.|
|Corn - bu.||29,265.00||9,324.00 de.||1,024,375.00||326,240.00 de.||184,387.50||58,723.20 de.|
|Barley - bu.||17.00||1.00 de.||272.00||88.00 de.||108.80||.80 in.|
|Oats - bu.||4,952.00||2,208.00 in.||148,500.00||55,264.00 in.||22,284.00||8,289.60 in.|
|Buckwheat - bu.||146.25||134.75 de.||2,632.50||1,582.50 de.||2,106.00||1,267.00 de.|
|Irish Potatoes - bu.||514.00||46.00 in.||35,980.00||10,240.00 in.||17,990.00||5,120.00 in.|
|Sweet Potatoes - bu.||9.69||15.31 de.||969.00||1,906.00 de.||969.00||1,906.00 de.|
|Sorghum - gall.||248.45||32.45 in.||28,571.75||3,731.75 in.||14,285.88||1,865.88 in.|
|Castor Beans - bu.||63.00||369.00 de.||650.00||4,124.00 de.||812.50||3961.50 de.|
|Cotton - lbs||......||1.50 de.||......||255.00 de.||......||25.50 de.|
|Flax - bu.||318.50||197.50 in.||3,185.00||1,975.00 in.||3,185.00||1,914.50 in.|
|Hemp - lbs.||......||26.50 de||......||24,380.00 de||......||1,462.80 de.|
|Tobacco - lbs.||6.75||......||4,995.00||......||499.50||.....|
|Broom Corn - lbs||30.25||17.25 in.||24,200.00||13,800.00 in.||907.50||517.50 in.|
|Millet and Hungarian - tons||1,571.00||26.00 de.||4,713.00||1,119.75 in.||18,852.00||4,479.00 in.|
|Timothy Meadow - tons||212.75||210.25 de.||319.12||315.38 de.||1,595.60||1,576.90 de.|
|Clover Meadow - tons||193.50||154.00 in.||387.00||308.00 in.||1,935.00||1,540.00 in.|
|Prairie Meadow - tons||12,017.00||2,715.00 in.||14,420.00||3,257.60 in.||43,260.00||9,772.80 in.|
|Timothy Pasture - acres||23.00||2.00 in.||......||......||......||......|
|Clover Pasture - acres||15.00||7.00 in.||......||......||......||......|
|Blue-Grass Pasture - acres||140.50||34.50 in.||......||......||......||......|
|Prairie Pasture - acres||7,647.00||1,191.00 in.||......||......||......||......|
| || || || || || || |
|Total -||60,882.64||1,098.61 in.||......||......||$348,076.43||$15,067.77 de.|
| || || || || || || |
Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. --- Garden produce, $3,404.75; poultry and eggs, $5,524.22.
Old Corn on Hand. --- Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 174,351 bushels, or an average of 145 bushels to each family.
Dairy Products. --- Cheese manufactured in 1875, 40,628 lbs.; in 1878, 5,624 lbs.; decrease, 35,004 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 141,927 lbs.; in 1878, 216,165 lbs.; increase, 74,238 lbs.
Farm Animals. --- Number of horses, in 1877, 2,7789; in 1878, 2,984; increase, 195. Mules and asses, in 1877, 421; in 1878, 440; increase, 19. Milch cows, in 1877, 4,344; in 1878, 4,594; increase, 250. Other cattle, in 1877, 8,887; in 1878, 9,921; increase, 734. Sheep, in 1877, 2,988; in 1878, 3,743; increase, 755. Swine, in 1877, 4,909; in 1878, 16,090; increase, 11,181.
Sheep Killed by Dogs. --- Number of sheep killed by dogs, 93; value of sheep killed by dogs, $279.
Wool. --- Clip of 1877, 9,615 lbs.
Value of Animals Slaughtered. --- Value of Animals slaughtered, and sold for slaughter during the year, $110,408.20.
Horticulture. --- Number of acres nurseries, 24.50. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 37,050; pear, 925; peach, 77,613; plum, 3,468; cherry, 11,118. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 61,133; pear, 2,067; peach, 28,355; plum, 1,850; cherry, 9,969.
Herd Law. --- The herd law is not in force in the county, and public sentiment seems to be opposed to it.
Fences. --- Stone, 28,558 rods; cost, $49,976.50; rail, 138,149 rods; cost, $193,408.60; board, 26,354 rods; cost, $36,895.60; wire, 19,639 rods; cost, $13,943.69; hedge, 150,532 rods; cost, $82,803.60. Total rods of fence, 363,232; total cost, $377,027.99.
Apiaculture. --- Number of stands of bees, 342; pounds of honey, 1,602; wax, 621.
Value of Agricultural Implements. --- Amount invested in agricultural implements, $30,798.
Manufactures. --- Greeley township [sic]: steam say and grist mill; capital, $8,000. Monroe township: steam flouring mill; capital, $3,000. Reeder township: steam saw mill; capital, $500.
Valuation and Indebtedness. --- Assessed valuation of personal property, $302,752; railroad property, $163,873.60; total assessed valuation of all property, $1,898,662.06; true valuation of all property, $3,164,436.77. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $225,952.20; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, 10-.
Newspaper History. --- The first paper published in the county was the Garnett Plaindealer . It was established by I.E. Olney, in January, 1865, and continued to be edited and published by him until his death in the fall of 1866. After that event, it was conducted by his widow, Mrs. Olney, until the spring of 1870, being edited at different periods by William Duncan, George W. Cooper and Adrian Reynolds. Early in 1870 the establishment was purchased by Leslie J. Perry, who edited and published the paper for about one year, when he sold it to John S. Wilson, who conducted it for about two years. At the expiration of that time it was transferred to W.R. Spooner, who edited the paper until the latter part of September, 1874, when it was sold to Messrs. Kauffman & Iler. Shortly thereafter S.H. Dodge became the editor, continuing in that capacity until the fall of 1876, when Kauffman purchased the interest of Iler, and assumed the editorial management, which he has since retained. The Plainedaler [sic] is Republican in politics.
In October, 1868, the Anderson County Expositor was established at Garnett by W.H. Johnson. Only four numbers were published, its proprietor moving to Council Grove. It was Republican in politics.
The Journal was first published at Garnett in January, 1873, by G.W. Cooper, who still retains the management. It has generally opposed the Republican party, and during the late campaign advocated the theories and supported the candidates of the Greenback party.
Schools. --- No. of organized districts, 68; school population, 2,635; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $32.36; females, $23.43. School houses built during 1878, 3; frame, 2, stone, 1. Total number of school houses, 67; frame, 55; brick, 1; stone, 11. Value of all school property, $72,617. Nearly all of the grounds are enclosed, and a large number have been ornamented with trees. Of the varieties, elm, oak, maple and cedar predominate. There is a growing interest among the pupils in regard to shade trees, and many are learning the art of propagating from cuttings.
Churches. --- Baptist: organizations, 2; membership, 115; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,000. Episcopal: membership, 10. Methodist Episcopal, organizations, 19; membership, 625; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $4,000. Presbyterian: organizations, 6; membership, 200; church edifice, 3; value of church property, $6,600. Roman Catholic: organizations, 4; membership, 2,000; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $8,000. United Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 126; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,000.
Transcribed from First Biennial Report of the State Board of Agriculture to the Legislature of the State of Kansas, for the Years 1877-8 embracing statistical exhibits, with diagrams of the agricultural, industrial, mercantile, and other interests of the state, together with a colored outline map of the state, and sectional maps, in colors, of each organizaed county, showing their relative size and location, railroads, towns, post offices, school houses, water powers, etc., etc. Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Board of Agriculture. Rand, McNally & Co., Printers and Engravers, Chicago. 1878.
Material transcribed and © 1999 by Teresa Lindquist for the KSGenWeb Internet Genealogical Society; original HTML source code ©1999 by Tom & Carolyn Ward, used with permission; modifications © 1999 by Teresa Lindquist. We thank Blue Skyways for their generous donation of space to house this transcribed document.
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