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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Coffey County

1878

Map of Coffey County - 1878

First settlements: Avon township, February, 1855; Burlington township, March, 1855; California township, March, 1856; Hampden township, March, 1860; Key West township, April, 1864; Le Roy township, March, 1855; Liberty township, March, 1864; Neosho township, March, 1855; Ottumwa township, June, 1856; Pleasant township, 1865; Pottawatomie township, June, 1856; Rock Creek township, 1865; Spring Creek township, 1866; Star township, 1867. - First church buildings: Burlington, 1855, Methodist; Le Roy, 1855, Methodist, - First school house: Burlington, district No. 1, 1858. - First business established: Burlington, O. Walking & Brother. - First marriage: John Bowen and Miss Crail, April, 1856. - First birth: John Whistler. - First post office: Burlington, O. Walking, postmaster.

Coffey county was organized in 1859.

Population in 1860, 2,842; in 1870, 6,201; increase in ten years, 3,359. Population in 1875, 7,235; increase in five years, 1,034. Population in 1878, 8,599; increase in eighteen years, 5,757. Rural population, 6,690; city or town population, 1,909; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 77.80.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Avon 425 Burlington 2,102 California 615
Hampden 543 Key West 332 Le Roy 721
Liberty 532 Neosho 505 Ottumwa 651
Pleasant 714 Pottawatomie 351 Rock Creek 400
Star 340 Spring Creek 368    

Face the Country. - Bottom land, 13 per cent.; upland, 87 per cent.; forest (Government survey) 8 per cent.; prairie, 92 per cent. Average widths of bottoms, two miles. General surface of the country, undulating.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, 1 1/4 miles. Varieties: hickory, walnut, ash, oak, sycamore, hackberry, etc.

Principal Streams. - The Neosho river is the principal stream, running from northwest to southeast; its tributaries are Spring, Long, Wolf, Turkey, Big, Rock, Lebo, Crooked, Hickory, Eagle, Otter and Crow creeks; general direction, southwardly, southeasterly or southwesterly. There are, besides, Pottawatomie and other small streams. Good well water obtained at a depth of twenty feet.

Coal. - Coal is supposed to underlie nearly the entire area of the county. Thickness of vein, 15 inches, ranging from the surface to a depth of 100 feet; quality, good; mainly used, as yet, for domestic purposes, but some is shipped on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad.

Building stone, etc. - Lime and sand stone, of good quality, throughout the county; fine flagging stone reported in Rock Creek and Neosho townships. Ochre reported in Hampden, and lead in Liberty township; both undeveloped.

Railroad Connections. - The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad enters the county on the west, running in a southeasterly direction, leaving the county near its southeastern corner. Principal station, Burlington, the county seat. The Kansas City, Burlington & Santa Fe road enters the county near the northeast corner, and runs in a southwesterly direction to Burlington, the county seat, connecting at that point with the M., K. & T. road.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 414,720; taxable acres, 385,117; under cultivation, 65,424.01; cultivated to taxable acres, 16.99 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 7,557.51.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $2,241.25; poultry and eggs, $5,064.75.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 250,380 bushels, or an average of 146 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 2,974 lbs.; in 1878, 4,656 lbs.; increase, 1,682 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 174,515 lbs.; in 1878, 304,066 lbs.; increase, 129,551 lbs.

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

CROPS.1872.1873.1874.1875.1876.1877. 1878.








Winter Wheat 1,506.00 4,274.00 8,147.00 4,408.00 3,519.00 1,333.00 3,371.00
Rye 103.00 451.00 389.00 298.50 547.00 342.00 973.00
Spring Wheat 221.00 1,205.00 972.00 123.50 212.00 155.00 261.00
Corn 13,511.00 17,799.00 20,619.00 26,765.00 28,852.00 32,947.00 33,118.00
Barley 68.00 34.00 6.00   63.00 41.00 85.00
Oats 4,366.00 5,281.00 5,467.00 5,366.00 6,247.00 3,715.00 6,147.00
Buckwheat 76.00 223.00 5,445.00 14.50 50.87 69.00 115.25
Irish Potatoes 358.00 699.00 626.00 576.34 688.50 505.00 599.00
Sweet Potatoe 12.00 10.00 31.00 15.39 18.62 13.00 21.03
Sorghum 81.00 210.00 235.00 447.12 246.25 284.00 252.88
Castor Beans   0.75 245.00 420.12 44.00 364.00 144.75
Cotton   2.75 3.00 2.37 6.25 16.50  
Flax 12.00 248.75 324.00 2,090.00 1,768.00 165.00 82.25
Hemp         1.00    
Tobacco 0.75 13.00 4.00 10.75 40.38 12.00 7.35
Broom Corn     15.00 104.22 132.00 31.00 22.88
Millet and Hungarian 36.00 132.00 507.00 685.25 1,142.00 1,263,00 719.00
Timothy Meadow 321.00 619.00 546.00 369.50 145.25 264.00 248.12
Clover Meadow 38.00 49.00 196.00 213.50 78.75 79.00 53.00
Prairie Meadow 9,541.00 5,879.00 12,136.00 11,395.75 13,304.00 10,320.00 12,223.00
Timothy Pasture   29.00 34.00 95.25 29.25 115.00 18.00
Clover Pasture   10.00 21.00   10.25 1.00 13.00
Blue-Grass Pasture 182.00 182.00 250.00 218.25 10.75 131.00 176.50
Prairie Pasture 3,006.00 5,466.00 4,599.00 6,148.80 6,931.00 5,701.00 6,773.00








Total 33,438.75 42,817.25 60,817.00 59,768.11 64,087.12 57,866.50 65,424.01

Increase in six years, 82 - per cent.
Average increase per annum, 13.66 - per cent.

RANK of Coffey 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 45 28 33 48 54 62 64
Corn 32 29 36 29 26 37 37
Total Acreage in all Crops 33 32 29 38 37 46 47








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. 3,371.00 2,038.00 in 74,162.00 58,166.00 in $ 47,463.68 $ 31,467.68 in
Rye - bu. 973.00 631.00 in 21,406.00 15,250.00 in 6,421.80 4,267.20 in
Spring Wheat - bu. 261.00 106.00 in 2,349.00 24.00 in 1,291.95 800.55 de
Corn - bu. 33,118.00 171.00 in 1,324,720.00 157,895.00 de 264,944.00 31,579.00 de
Barley - bu. 85.00 44.00 in 2,380.00 1,273.00 in 952.00 619.90 in
Oats - bu. 6,147.00 2,432.00 in 252,027.00 77,422.00 in 42,844.59 16,653.84 in
Buckwheat - bu. 115.25 46.25 in 2,305.00 787.00 in 1,844.00 629.60 in
Irish Potatoes - bu. 599.00 94.00 in 55,108.00 23,293.00 in 27,554.00 8,465.00 in
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 21.03 8.03 in 2,439.00 489.48 in 3,049.35 1,099.35 in
Sorghum - gall. 252.88 31.12 de 29,081.00 3,578.80 de 14,540.60 1,789.40 de
Castor Beans - bu. 144.75 219.25 de 147.50 1,828.50 de 1,809.38 1,466.52 de
Cotton - lbs.   16.50 de   2,805.00 de   280.50 de
Flax - bu. 82.25 82.75 de 904.75 910.25 de 904.75 1,001.00 de
Hemp - lbs.            
Tobacco - lbs. 7.35 4.65 de 5,439.00 3,441.00 de 543.90 344.10 de
Broom Corn - lbs. 22.88 8.12 de 18,304.00 6,496.00 de 686.40 243.60 de
Millet and Hungarian - tons 719.00 544.00 de 2,157.00 1,000.50 de 8,628.00 4,002.00 de
Timothy Meadow - tons 248.12 15.88 de 372.18 23.82 de 1,860.90 119.10 de
Clover Meadow - tons 53.00 26.00 de 79.50 39.00 de 397.50 195.00 de
Praire Meadow - tons 12,223.00 1,903.00 in 18,335.00 2,855.00 in 55,005.00 8,565.00 in
Timothy Pasture - acres 18.00 97.00 de        
Clover Pasture - acres 13.00 12.00 in        
Blue-Green Pasture - acres 176.50 45.50 in        
Prairie Pasture - acres 6,773.00 1,072.00 in        







Total 65,424.01 7,557.51 in     $ 480,741.80 $29,946.70 in

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 3,548; in 1878, 3,766; increase, 218. Mules and asses, in 1877, 513; in 1878, 597; increase, 84. Milch cows, in 1877, 5,184; in 1878, 5,883; increase, 699. Other cattle, in 1877, 11,214; in 1878, 12,849; increase, 1,635. Sheep, in 1877, 9,158; in 1878, 10,568; increase, 1,410. Swine, in 1877, 8,968; in 1878, 19,031; increase, 11,063.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 49; value of sheep killed by dogs, $147.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 39,809 lbs.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $114,941.97.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 25.50. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 37,127; pear, 974; peach, 97,423; plum, 6,023; cherry, 13,057. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 78,638; pear, 2,409; peach, 30,619; plum, 2,291; cherry, 11,236.

Herd Law. - The herd law is not in force in the county, and public sentiment is against it. It is claimed that the absence of the law encourages fencing and hedge-growing, stimulates the growth of small grains, and that to have a herd law is "a curse to the poor man."

Fences. - Stone, 6,460 rods; cost, $12,920. Rail, 127,756 rods; cost, $178,858.40. Board, 63,997 rods; cost, $90,875.74. Wire, 33,234 rods; cost, $22,596.14. Hedge, 193,435 rods; cost, $124,732.75. Total rods of fence, 424,882; total cost, $429,983.03.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 322. Pounds of honey, 2,623; wax, 75.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $55,893.

Manufactures. - Avon township: steam saw mill, capital $1,200. City of Burlington, steam saw mill, capital, $2,000; water power flouring mill, capital $60,000; steam flouring mill, capital, $12,000; furniture manufactory, capital, $300; wagon manufactories, 2, capital $400. Hampden township: oil mill, capital, $100. LeRoy township: steam saw and grist mill, capital, $7,000; water power saw and grist mill, capital, $12,000. Pleasant township: steam saw mill, capital, $2,500.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $411,864; railroad property, $131,085.94; total assessed valuation of all property, $2,282,809.50; true valuation of all property, $3,804,682.50. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $211,952.36; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .09+.

Newspaper History. - In September, 1859, S. S. Prouty removed the material of the Champion office from Lawrence to Burlington and started the Neosho Valley Register. In December, 1862, being then Lieutenant and Quartermaster in the army, he leased the office to Isaac E. Olney, who published the paper for one year, when it was again issued with Mr. Prouty's name as publisher, H. N. Bent being the editor. In March, 1864, Wm. Payne leased the office, and about a month afterward bought it of Mr. Prouty, the latter being still in the army. Mr. Payne died in July following, and the paper was suspended, the material being purchased by Silas Fearl.

The Hampden (Coffey county) Expositor was started by I. E. Olney, in June, 1864. In the spring of 1865 he removed his office to Garnett.

September 3, 1864, S. S. Prouty commenced the publication of the Kansas Patriot, at Burlington and continued to publish it till April 15, 1869, when he sold it to J. F. Cummings. Six weeks later the latter sold to A. D. Brown. In January, 1870, Mr. Brown changed the name to the Burlington Patriot, and under this name it is still published by Mr. Brown. It is Republican in politics.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 69; school population, 3,209; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $33.38; females, $26,06. School houses built during 1878, frame, 3. Total number of school houses, 67; frame, 54; brick, 2; stone, 11. Value of all school property, $75,898. Nearly all of the school grounds have been ornamented with shade trees. Varieties not given.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 8; membership, 248; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $6,000. Congregational: organization, 1; membership, 50; church edifice, 1; value of church property, $1,200. Episcopal: organizations, 1; membership, 50; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,500. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 13; membership, 350; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $7,000. Presbyterian: organizations, 3; membership, 105; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $3,500. Roman Catholic: organizations, 2; membership, 300; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $500. United Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 35; church edifices, 1; value of Church property, $800. Universalist: organizations, 1; membership, 17.

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 William Snider, September 17, 2001.


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