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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Butler County

1878

Map of Butler County - 1878

The first settlements in the several localities, were as follows: Benton township, April 13th, 1878, by J. P. J. Nelson; Bloomington township, 1867, Samuel Rankin; Bruno township, May, 1869, V. Smith; Chelsea township, August, 1857; Clifford township, 1859, Mr. Bradley; El Dorado township, May, 1857, William Hildebrande; Fairmount township, 1869, Holland Ferguson; Hickory township, 1869, Mr. Myers; Pleasant township, spring of 1869, Marion Franklin; Plum Grove township, 1860, Joseph H. Adams; Rock Creek township, July, 1868, D. L. McCabe; Rosalia township, July, 1869, Philip Karns; Spring township, April, 1866, H. W. Yates; Towanda township, 1858, Wm. Vain, Davis, Chandler, Atwood, and others; Union township, April 2nd, 1870, A. S. McKee; Walnut township, 1866, George Long. - First churches: Augusta, Augusta township, 1876, Methodist; Chelsea township, no church building; Rev. Mr. Winborg, Baptist, was the first preacher, and service was held in the house of J. C. Lambdin; a Presbyterian society has since been organized; El Dorado township, building commenced in 1872, completed in 1877, Presbyterian; 1873, Methodist; Union township, 1873, Methodist; 1874, Christian. Religious services are held regularly in nearly all the school houses in the county. - First school houses: Augusta, 1869, district No. 13; Bloomington township, 1872, district No. 5; Bruno township, by district No. 72, date not given; Chelsea township, 1860, by district No. 10 - first school taught by Miss Satchel; Clifford township, 1871, by district No. 21 - first school taught by S. L. Roberds, afterwards county superintendent; El Dorado township, first school house built by subscription of settlers, afterwards purchased by district No. 2; Fairmount township, 1872, by district No. 70; Little Walnut township, 1872, by district No. 59; Plum Grove township, 1872, by district No. 53; Prospect township, by district No. 79; Rock Creek township, 1870, by subscription of settlers in district No. 30; Rosalia township 1872, by district No. 35 - there are four school houses in this district; Spring township, August, 1872, by district No. 45; Towanda township, 1863, built of logs, by settlers; Union township, 1874, by districts Nos. 41 and 42; Walnut township, by district No. 64. - First business houses: Augusta township, general merchandise, 1868, Stewart & James; Chelsea, country store, Mr. Kauffman; El Dorado, grocery, Mr. Howland, 1857; Fairmount township, store, S. S. Saunders; Hickory township, dry goods, William Cole; Little Walnut township, at Quito, groceries and drugs, Dr. Pickett; Plum Grove township, general merchandise, 1871, Drake & Lobdell; Rock Creek township, grocery, 1872, A. T. Bittingham; Towanda, general store, J. R. Mead. - First marriages: Jacob E. Chase and Augusta Stewart, El Dorado township, January, 1859; Berge Atwood and Elizabeth Badley, Towanda township, September, 1859, - Goodall and Lizzie Cooper, Chelsea township, 1860. - First births: I. Johnson, Towanda township, August, 1859; Nellie Martin, El Dorado township, and Charles Stewart, Plum Grove township, 1860. - The first post office in the county was established at El Dorado, in 1860, D. L. McCabe, postmaster.

Butler county was organized in 1855.

Population in 1860, 437; in 1870, 3,035; increase in ten years, 2,598; population in 1875, 9,852; increase in five years, 6,817; population in 1878, 14,175; increase in eighteen years, 13,738. Rural population, 11,310; city or town population, 2,865; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 79.80.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Augusta 1,175 Benton 607 Bloomington 506
Bruno 460 Chelsea 208 Clifford 349
Douglas 845 El Dorado 2,106 Fairmount 405
Fairview 361 Glencoe 381 Hickory 258
Little Walnut 409 Logan 318 Milton 318
Murdock 277 Pleasant 527 Plum Grove 315
Prospect 674 Richland 533 Rock Creek 519
Rosalia 469 Spring 600 Sycamore 126
Towanda 557 Union 292 Walnut 580

STATEMENT showing the Acreage of Field Crops named from 1872 to 1878, inclusive.

CROPS.1872.1873.1874.1875.1876.1877. 1878.








Winter Wheat 1,737.00 1,737.00 5,827.00 14,958.75 27,298.00 29,679.00 41,994.00
Rye 515.00 515.00 706.00 2,050.50 3,935.00 889.00 1,225.00
Spring Wheat 1,013.00 4,131.00 6,713.00 444.00 502.00 683.00 2,596.00
Corn 19,855.00 24,817.00 34,144.00 34,878.50 27,172.00 50,811.00 54,553.00
Barley 121.00 123.00 139.00 69.50 240.00 520.00 205.00
Oats 4,005.00 5,746.00 6,201.00 11,823.83 10,702.00 8,440.00 10,980.00
Buckwheat 143.00 168.00 50.00 38.50 34.50 38.00 60.00
Irish Potatoes 590.00 1,177.00 1,321.00 753.34 194.25 917.00 1,131.00
Sweet Potatoes 35.00 18.00 134.00 27.37 32.50 39.00 87.65
Sorghum 276.00 368.00 412.00 575.12 316.50 603.00 729.70
Castor Beans 0.20 4.00 32.00 89.00 8.00 29.00 4.00
Cotton 5.00 32.00 19.00 14.11 3.00 1.00 1.25
Flax ----- 4.00 9.00 131.11 100.25 193.00 92.38
Hemp ----- ----- 4.00 0.66 ----- ----- 4.00
Tobacco 3.00 5.00 8.00 29.62 8.13 20.00 21.63
Broom Corn ----- ----- 22.00 104.95 46.50 159.00 66.31
Millet and Hungarian 288.00 544.00 2,670.00 2,567.50 5,556.50 7,173.00 6,397.00
Timothy Meadow ----- 11.00 10.00 77.00 56.75 60.00 196.12
Clover Meadow 5.00 30.00 166.00 74.50 190.50 158.00 168.50
Prairie Meadow 14,387.00 8,918.00 715.00 3,739.00 3,733.00 3,871.00 3,398.00
Timothy Pasture ----- ----- 12.00 0.62 14.50 11.00 44.50
Clover Pasture ----- ----- 13.00 4.75 10.25 2.00 11.00
Blue-Grass Pasture 43.00 43.00 248.00 134.00 84.25 3.25 232.63
Prairie Pasture 7,354.00 7,354.00 12,006.00 22,587.00 17,655.00 10,016.00 14,706.00








Total 50,375.20 55,745.00 71,581.00 95,173.23 97,893.38 114,315.25 138,904.67

Increase in six years, 175+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 29.16+ per cent.

RANK of Butler County in the Crops named below, as to Acreage, and in Cultivated Acreage for the years mentioned in the foregoing table.

CROPS.1872.1873.1874.1875.1876.1877. 1878.
Wheat 41 23 25 17 12 9 8
Corn 24 22 17 21 30 21 15








Total Acreage in all Crops 26 23 21 19 21 21 15

STATEMENT showing the Acres, Product and Value of Principal Crops for 1878, together with the Increase and Decrease as compared with 1877.

CROPS.ACRES IN
1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.
PRODUCT
IN 1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.
VALUE OF
PRODUCT
IN 1878.
INCREASE
OR
DECREASE
FROM 1877.







Winter Wheat - bu 41,994.00 12,315.00 in. 881,874.00 733,479.00 in. $520,305.66 $364,490.91 in.
Rye - bu 1,225.00 336.00 in. 24,500.00 12,943.00 in. 7,350.00 3,536.19 in.
Spring Wheat - bu 2,596.00 1,913.00 in. 28,556.00 21,043.00 in. 14,278.00 6,915.26 in.
Corn - bu 54,553.00 3,742.00 in. 2,182,120.00 48,058.00 in. 392,781.60 34,030.80 de.
Barley - bu 205.00 315.00 in. 7,790.00 2,610.00 de. 3,116.00 204.00 in.
Oats - bu 10,980.00 2,540.00 in. 450,180.00 95,700.00 in. 72,028.80 16,591.20 de.
Buckwheat - bu 60.00 22.00 in. 1,260.00 576.00 in. 1,008.00 460.80 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu 1,131.00 214.00 in. 79,170.00 24,150.00 in. 31,668.00 12,348.00 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu 87.65 48.65 in. 13,147.50 9,247.50 in. 9,860.63 5,960.63 in.
Sorghum - gall 729.70 126.70 in. 83,915.50 14,570.50 in. 41,957.75 7,285.25 in.
Castor Beans - bu 4.00 25.00 de. 32.00 258.00 de 40.00 250.00 de.
Cotton - lbs 1.25 .25 in. 212.50 42.50 in. 19.13 2.13 in.
Flax - lbs 92.38 100.62 de. 923.80 620.20 de. 923.80 697.40 de.
Hemp - lbs 4.00 4.00 in. 3,680.00 3,680.00 in. 220.80 220.80 in.
Tobacco - lbs 21.63 1.63 in. 16,006.20 1,206.20 in. 1,600.62 120.62 in.
Broom Corn - lbs 66.31 92.69 de. 53,048.00 74,152.00 de. 1,989.30 2,780.70 de.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 6,397.00 776.00 de. 19,191.00 2,328.00 de. 76,764.00 9,312.00 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons 196.12 136.12 in. 294.18 204.18 in. 1,470.90 1,020.90 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 168.50 10.50 in. 252.75 15.75 in. 1,263.75 78.75 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons 3,398.00 473.00 de. 5,437.00 756.60 de. 16,311.00 2,269.80 de.
Timothy Pasture - acres 44.50 33.50 in.        
Clover Pasture - acres 11.00 9.00 in.        
Blue Grass Pasture - acres 232.63 229.38 in.        
Prairie Pasture - acres 14,706.00 4,4690.00 in.        







Total $138,904.67 24,589.42 in.     $1,194,957.74 $312,016.34 in.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 913,920; taxable acres, 639,119; under cultivation, 138,904.67; cultivated to taxable acres, 21.73 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 24,589.42.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $4,745.13; poultry and eggs, $8,750.93.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 446,557 bushels, or an average of 158 bushels to the family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 1,060 lbs.; in 1878, 20,058 lbs.; increase, 18,998 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 206,053 lbs.; in 1878, 356,239 lbs.; increase, 150,186 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 4,970; in 1878, 6,007; increase, 1,037. Mules and asses, in 1877, 762; in 1878, 987; increase, 225. Milch cows, in 1877, 4,611; in 1878, 5,369; increase, 758. Other cattle, in 1877, 10,287; in 1878, 11,531; increase, 1,244. Sheep, in 1877, 3,101; in 1878, 3,829; increase, 728. Swine, in 1877, 15,856; in 1878, 33,521; increase, 17,665.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 22; value of sheep killed by dogs, $66.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 5,923 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $152,792.48.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 503.75. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 9,050; pear, 189; peach 236,743; plum, 7,512; cherry, 5,735. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 70,077; pear, 2,947; peach, 152,629; plum, 7,619; cherry, 19,523.

Herd Law. - The herd law has been in force throughout the county since May 6, 1872, and the sentiment of a great majority of the people is favorable to it. "We could not get along without it," is the general expression. It probably retards fence building and hedge-growing. Farmers are giving more attention to fencing their pastures, (mainly with hedge), believing that the law will not soon be repealed. It stimulates the growing of small grains. Those engaged in growing grain believe the county never could have been generally settled and cultivated without the law, and that the cost of herding stock or fencing pastures is less than that of fencing corn and wheat lands. Stock raisers claim that the law has driven stock and stock men from the county, and that it would be better to have more stock and less grain.

Fences. - Stone, 22,222 rods; cost, $35,999.64. Rail, 64,621 rods; cost, $90,469.40. Board, 23,022 rods; cost, $32,921.46. Wire, 18,109 rods; cost, $13,219.571. Hedge, 460,132 rods; cost, $299,085.80. Total rods of fence, 588,106; total cost, $471,695.87.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 6.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $86,152.

Manufactures. - Augusta township: steam flouring mill, capital $5,000; water power flouring mill; capital, 5,000. Chelsea township: steam saw mill, capital, $1,000. Clifford township: wind-power grist mill. Douglas township: steam saw mills, 2 - capital invested, $1,500; water power flouring mills, capital, $6,000. El Dorado township: steam saw mills, 2 - capital invested $4,000; water power flouring mill, capital, $8,000; furniture factory, capital invested, $2,500: cheese factory. Fairview township: sorghum mills, 2 - capital, $200; cheese factory. Rosalia township: broom factory. Springs township: steam flouring mill, capital, $2,000. Towanda township: steam flouring mill, capital $5,000.

Valuation and Assessment. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $395,112; railroad property, $111,045.50; total assessed valuation of all property, $2,514,466.50; true valuation of all property, $4,190,777.50, Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $131,699.50; per cent. of indebtedness to valuation, .07 -

Newspaper History. - The first paper published in the county was the Walnut Valley Times, established at El Dorado, March 4, 1870, by T. B. Murdock, by whom it has ever since been published. It is Republican in politics.

The Crescent was established at Augusta during the summer of 1870, by Putnam & Perry. Mr. Putnam afterward became sole proprietor. J. B. Davis purchased the paper and changed its name to the Augusta Republican. It was subsequently purchased by W. A. Albin, who removed the office to McPherson county.

The Southern Kansas Gazette was started at Augusta in 1873, by C. H. & J. A. Kurtz, by whom it has ever since been published. It is a Republican paper.

The El Dorado Press was established by J. M. Satterthwaite in February, 1877. He is still the editor and proprietor. The Press is Republican in politics.

Schools. - Number or organized districts, 125; school population, 5,043; average salary of teachers, per month, male, $31.80, female, $26.65. School houses built during 1878, frame, 9. Total number of school houses, 123; log, 1; frame, 103; stone, 19. Value of all school property, $74,473. No report on shade trees.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 7; membership, 312; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,000. Congregational: organizations, 1; membership, 13. Episcopal: membership, 10. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 31; membership, 892; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $6,700. Presbyterian: organizations, 5; membership, 100; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,500. Roman Catholic: organizations, 6; membership, 2,000. United Presbyterian: organizations, 1 membership, 15.

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. Transcribed by Janessa Duree, September 17, 2001.


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