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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Jefferson County

1878

Map of Jefferson County - 1878

First settlements: Rock Creek township, 1854, by William B. Wade, Aaron Cook and Sidney Stewart; Kaw township, in the spring of 1854, R. P. Beeler, Jeff. Riddle, John Kuykendall and J. T. Wilson; Kentucky township, 1854, John Scaggs; Union township, March, 1855, Andrew Rice and family; Osawkie township, 1854, G. F. and Wm. Dyer; Jefferson township, 1854, T. Lamar and - Crobarger; Delaware township, December 25, 1854, Robert Riddle, James Frazer, A. L. Whitney and H. B. Jolly. - First church buildings erected: Rock Creek township, Meriden, 1877, Methodist; Kaw township, Grantville, 1868, Christian; Kentucky township, Rising Sun, 1858, Methodist; Osawkie township, German Baptist, date not given; Jefferson township, Winchester, 1866, Methodist; Delaware township, Valley Falls, formerly Grasshopper Falls, 1857, Lutheran - Rev. J. B. McAfee was the first pastor; in the townships where there are no church buildings the public school houses are used for religious worship. - First school houses: Rock Creek township, 1859, by district No. 19; Kaw township, 1863, district No. 37; Kentucky township, 1868, district No. 35; Union township, in the fall of 1856, built of logs, the citizens generally contributing in labor and material - it was located in what is now district No. 31; Osawkie township, 1865, districts Nos. 12 and 32; Jefferson township, by public subscription, near the site of the school house in the present district No. 20 - J. Hull taught the first school; Delaware township, 1857, Dr. L. Northrup - old claim house moved upon the town site of Grasshopper Falls, now Valley Falls; Sarcoxie township, 1869, districts Nos. 50, 51 and 70; Fairview township, 1869. - First marriages: Rock Creek township, Peter Stuart and Miss Dunn, 1856; Kaw township, James H. Jones and Martha H. Wilson, January 17, 1856; Kentucky township, J. Little, lady's name unknown, 1857; Union township, Austin Harvey and Miss Marshall, fall of 1856; Osawkie township, John Buzbee and Miss White, 1856; Delaware township, Alfred Corey and Martha Harvey, 1855. - First births: Kaw township, Ellen Morgan, December, 1855; Union township, Nancy E. Rice, December 4, 1855; Jefferson township, Ella Simmons, June 19, 1854; Delaware township, John Considine, Valley Falls, April, 1857. - First business established: Shields & Chubb, groceries, etc., Mt. Florence; Kaw township, general merchandise, J. S. Townsend; Kentucky township, Lutt & Shoner, grocery store, Rising Sun, 1858; Union township, Hugh Cameron, grocery store, 1856; Osawkie township, W. M. & G. Dyer, dry goods and groceries; Jefferson township, W. Reeboe, dry goods, Winchester; Delaware township, Wm. & R. H. Crosby. - First post offices: Mt. Florence, 1857, C. D. Shields, postmaster; Kaw township, Kaw City, James H. Jones, postmaster; Rural township, Williamstown, name since changed to Rural; Kentucky township, Rising Sun, L. Lutt, postmaster; Union township, Middletown, 1855, William Butler, postmaster; Osawkie township, Osawkie, 1854, G. Dyer, postmaster; Jefferson township, Scotland, 1854, - Butts, postmaster. - The first Territorial Legislature divided the Territory into counties, and appointed full sets of county officers. The officers for Jefferson county were O. B. Tebbs and N. B. Hopewell, County Commissioners; Franklin Finch, Probate Judge; W. F. Dyer, Treasurer; G. M. Dyer, Sheriff, and Marion Christison, Register. January 21, 1856, the County Board divided the county into townships. At the March meeting, same year, the first license was granted, that to Jefferson Riddle to maintain a ferry at Osawkie, paying for the privilege ten dollars a year. The first law suit in the county was in March, 1856, at Osawkie, before David R. Sprague, a justice of the peace. The following is an exact copy of the justice's docket entry, with the orthography peculiar to that primitive period:

"Terratory Against
Josef Britton.
Justi's Docket
Josef Britton
  was tride for
      grand Larseny

and I Acquit him of the bea hive but bound him over on the count of the Oxen under bound of five hundred dollars to appeare on the furst day of the Sircut cort and I swore the witnesses to appear on the furst day of the turm and not to depart till regerly discharged."

The location of the county made it a convenient skirmishing ground during the political troubles of the early years of the Territory, and a number of minor actions were fought by partisans of either side. Perhaps the most noted one was that at Hickory Point, which occurred on Sunday, September 14, 1856, in which the Free-State forces, under Gen. J. H. Lane, engaged with about one hundred Pro-Slavery men, South Carolinians and others. The engagement was more a skirmish than a battle, and resulted in one man killed and several slightly wounded on the Pro-Slavery side, and three or four wounded on the Free-State side. Finally the combatants fraternized by mutual agreement, and all drank peacefully out of the same demijohns. A large number of Free-State men were taken prisoners and conveyed to Lecompton, where they were held for the murder of Newhall, the man killed at Hickory Point. Nothing serious resulted, however. In the summer of 1857, an enumeration of the inhabitants of the county showed an aggregate of 1,962. At that time there were 69 slaves in the county. The first public land sales in the Territory were held at Osawkie, beginning in July and ending in August, 1857. Pursuant to an act of the Legislature a county seat election was held in 1858, a plurality of votes being sufficient to a selection. Grasshopper Falls, Oskaloosa, Hickory Point, Fairfield and Osawkie, competed, Oskaloosa winning by four votes, over Grasshopper Falls. Under legislation obtained the ensuing winter, the contest was re-opened the next year, a majority being necessary to a choice. At the first trial there was no selection, and on the second, Oskaloosa won by 43 majority. At the first of these two elections 841 votes were cast. The assessment rolls of 1858 showed the total taxable property of the county to be $570,000. In. 1864, two more votes were taken on the county seat question; at the first there was no choice, but at the second, Oskaloosa was again chosen over Grasshopper Falls, by a vote of 579 to 335.

Jefferson county was organized in 1855.

Population in 1860, 4,459; in 1870, 12,526; increase in ten years, 8,067; population in 1875, 11,716; decrease in five years, 810; population in 1878, 12,471; increase in eighteen years 8,012. Rural population, 10,002; city or town population, 2,469; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 80.20.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Delaware 2,100 Fairview 617 Jefferson 2,084
Kaw 747 Kentucky 1,546 Oskaloosa 1,594
Osawkie 858 Rock Creek 626 Rural 879
Sarcoxie 645 Union 772 ----- -----

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 15 per cent.; upland, 85 per cent.; forest (Government survey). 5 per cent.; prairie, 95 per cent. Average width of bottoms from half a mile to one mile; general surface of the country, undulating.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, one half mile. Varieties: oak, hickory, walnut, hackberry, elm, maple, cottonwood, etc. Tree planting has not been prosecuted to any considerable extent; but a fair start has been made in some of the townships, and the usual varieties found in eastern Kansas do well.

Principal Streams. - The Delaware river flows through the county, west of the centre, from north to south, and empties into the Kansas river at Perry; Muddy creek, in the western part of the county, flows south into the Kansas river. The Kansas river forms nearly all the southern boundary of the county. There are also numerous smaller streams. Springs are not very abundant; good well water obtained at from 20 to 40 feet.

Coal. - Three veins of coal have been discovered in several localities at a depth of from 5 to 20 feet. Quality, medium; used to a limited extent for local domestic purposes. It is found in Townships 8 and 9, of Ranges 17, 18 and 19 east. In Valley Falls and Jefferson townships some 7,000 bushels were mined during last year.

Building Stones, etc. - Good limestone is found in all parts of the county, and sandstone in several localities.

Railroad Connections. - The Kansas Pacific Railway traverses the extreme southern portion of the county, along the valley of the Kansas. Principal stations, Perry and Medina. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad runs through the western and northwestern part of the county. Principal Stations, Delaware Falls and Meriden. The Kansas Central (narrow gauge) Railroad, starting from Leavenworth, runs through the northern part of the county, leaving it at the northwest corner. Stations, Winchester and Valley Falls.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 425,600; taxable acres, 351,515; under cultivation, 139,622.13; cultivated to taxable acres, 39.72 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 4,041.13

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $3,620; poultry and eggs, $15,837.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 347,749 bushels, or an average of 139 bushels to each family.

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

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 5,323.00 5,322.00 9,937.00 6,211.70 11,432.00 14,401.00 25,616.00
Rye 353.00 353.00 645.00 464.80 2,198.00 2,279.00 1,554.00
Spring Wheat 174.00 463.00 1,181.00 80.75 153.00 160.00 341.00
Corn 55,107.00 53,337.00 57,604.00 73,837.40 66,216.00 67,625.00 61,575.00
Barley 1,079.00 140.00 143.00 207.73 459.00 628.00 361.00
Oats 7,123.00 8,783.00 10,644.00 7,742.00 11,947.00 8,617.00 8,912.00
Buckwheat 334.00 233.00 57.00 1,683.25 331.00 123.00 32.00
Irish Potatoes 336.00 1,046.00 1,034.00 1,724.35 1,274.00 982.00 1,059.00
Sweet Potatoes 139.00 32.00 58.00 50.36 55.00 26.00 32.45
Sorghum 123.00 152.00 240.00 434.24 533.00 326.00 277.75
Castor Beans ----- 1.00 7.00 107.50 77.00 60.00 61.00
Cotton 7.00 1.50 2.00 1.36 0.75 ----- -----
Flax 9.00 158.00 349.00 101.38 695.00 573.00 713.12
Hemp 58.00 235.00 100.00 8.50 108.00 83.00 21.00
Tobacco 6.00 19.00 27.00 9.87 37.00 14.00 17.06
Broom Corn ------ ----- 82.00 61.00 73.00 18.00 13.50
Millet and Hungarian 1,222.00 1,970.00 4,537.00 6,348.50 7,498.00 4,956.00 3,431.00
Timothy Meadow 736.00 741.00 1,313.00 867.50 435.00 721.00 1,480.50
Clover Meadow 625.00 620.00 612.00 275.00 116.00 87.00 132.50
Prairie Meadow 13,612.00 11,911.00 17,802.00 23,472.50 22,566.00 20,949.00 18,633.00
Timothy Pasture 55.00 55.00 117.00 63.00 74.00 144.00 166.00
Clover Pasture 133.00 33.00 261.00 41.00 4.00 57.00 115.50
Blue-Grass Pasture 448.00 554.00 410.00 727.50 784.00 848.00 1,103.75
Prairie Pasture 12,797.00 10,652.00 12,028.00 15,403.00 18,313.00 11,904.00 13,974.00








Total 99,799.00 96,811.50 119,190.00 139,924.19 145,378.75 135,581.00 139,622.13

Increase in six years, 40- per cent.
Average increase per annum, 6.66- per cent.

RANK of Jefferson 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 23 26 27 39 33 27 25
Corn 2 2 2 4 4 8 9








Total Acreage in all Crops 9 11 4 5 7 9 14

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. 25,616.00 11,215.00 in. 512,320.00 296,305.00 in. $353,500.80 $137,485.80 in.
Rye - bu. 1,554.00 725.00 de. 31,080.00 3,105.00 de. 9,324.00 2,640.75 de.
Spring Wheat - bu. 341.00 181.00 in. 3,410.00 850.00 in. 1,875.50 428.50 de.
Corn - bu. 61,575.00 6,050.00 de. 2,463,000.00 242,000.00 de. 492,600.00 48,400.00 de.
Barley - bu. 361.00 267.00 de. 56,400.00 3,504.00 in. 4,386.15 738.33 de.
Oats - bu. 8,912.00 295.00 in. 311,920.00 1,708.00 in. 49,907.20 273.28 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 32.00 91.00 de. 672.00 558.00 de. 537.60 446.40 de.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 1,059.00 77.00 in. 79,425.00 5,775.00 in. 31,770.00 23,467.50 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 32.45 6.45 in. 4,056.25 1,456.25 in. 3,042.19 442.19 in.
Sorghum - gall. 277.75 48.25 de. 31,941.25 5,548.75 de. 15,970.63 2,774.37 de.
Castor Beans - bu. 61.00 1.00 in. 915.00 315.00 in. 1,143.75 543.75 in.
Cotton - lbs. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Flax - bu. 713.12 140.12 in. 8,557.44 2,827.44 in. 8,557.44 2,540.94 in.
Hemp - lbs. 21.00 62.00 de. 19,320.00 57,040.00 de. 1,159.20 3,422.40 de.
Tobacco - lbs. 17.06 3.06 in. 12,624.40 2,264.40 in. 1,262.44 226.44 in.
Broom Corn - lbs. 13.50 4.50 de. 10,800.00 3,600.00 de. 405.00 135.00 de.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 3,431.00 1,525.00 de. 10,293.00 3,336.00 de. 41,172.00 13,344.00 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons 1,480.50 759.50 in. 2,220.75 1,139.25 in. 11,103.75 5,696.25 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 132.50 45.50 in. 225.25 77.35 in. 1,126.25 386.75 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons 18,633.00 2,316.00 de. 26,086.00 3,242.60 de. 71,736.50 8,917.15 de.
Timothy Pasture acres 166.00 22.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres 115.50 58.50 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 1,103.75 255.75 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 13,974.00 2,070.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 139,622.13 4,041.13 in. ----- ----- $1,100,580.40 $42,881.00 in.

Dairy Products. - Number of cheese factories, 6; capital invested, $17,000; manufactured in 1875, 2,487 lbs.; in 1878, 47,432 lbs.; increase 44,945 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 245,065 lbs.; in 1878, 395,162 lbs.; increase, 150,097 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 5,861; in 1878, 6,319; increase, 458. Mules and asses, in 1877, 797; in 1878, 834; increase, 37. Milch cows, in 1877, 6,272; in 1878, 7,575; increase 1,303. Other cattle, in 1877, 13,256; in 1878, 15,323; increase 2,067. Sheep, in 1877, 2,010; in 1878, 1,319; decrease, 691. Swine, in 1877, 22,421; in 1878, 31,692; increase 9,271.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 122; value of sheep killed by dogs, $366.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 4,301 lbs.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $276,357.96.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 149.87. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 59,724; pear, 1,067; peach, 88,814; plum, 657; cherry, 20,348. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 76,124; pear, 2,197; peach, 31,950; plum, 1,056; cherry, 18,834.

Herd Law. - No herd law in this county. Public sentiment is divided respecting it, but a large majority are opposed to it. Those who favor the law claim that it would encourage immigrants to settle in the county, greatly lessen the cost of improving farms, and be of decided benefit to society. Those opposed, that it would greatly decrease the value of improved farms; that it would be a nuisance when driving stock to market, and that it would encourage, if not compel, special instead of diversified farming.

Fences. - Stone, 41,943 rods; cost, $62,914.50. Rail, 303,097 rods; cost, $409,180.95. Board, 124,632 rods; cost $175,731.12. Wire, 37,323 rods; cost, $26,499.33. Hedge, 213,819 rods; cost $106,909.50. Total rods of fence, 720,814; total cost, $781,235.40.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 979; pounds of honey, 11,834; wax, 155.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $81,796.

Manufactures. - Delaware township: water power elevator, capital, $8,000; water power flouring mills, 3, capital invested, $45,000; furniture factories, 2, capital invested, $1,500; wagon and carriage factory, capital $1,000; water power woolen mill, capital, $15,000. Jefferson township: elevator, capital, $6,000; furniture factory, capital, $1,000; wagon and carriage factories, 2, capital invested, $2,000; cheese factories, 2, capital, $8,500; broom factory, capital, $500. Kentucky township: steam elevator, capital, $5,000; water power flouring mills, capital, $11,000; harness manufactory, capital, $400; wagon and carriage manufactory, capital, $500. Osawkie township: steam saw mill, capital, $500; water power flouring mill, capital, $10,000. Okaloosa township: furniture manufactories, 2, capital, $2,200; harness manufactories, 2, capital, $1,700; wagon and carriage factories, 2, capital, $1,500; cheese factories, 3, capital, $6,500. Rural township: steam saw mill, capital, $500; steam grist mill, capital, $1,200.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $392,663; railroad property, $414,319.72; total assessed valuation of all property, $3,209,975.59; true valuation of all property, $5,349,959.32. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $79,988.28; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .02+.

Newspaper History. - The first newspaper published in Jefferson county, was established by J. A. Cody, in May, 1858. It was called the Grasshopper. It only lived four months. The paper was revived for a few weeks by H. Rees Whiting; but he gave way to David W. Guernsey, who re-named the paper, calling it the Crescent. This paper only lived a few months, and in 1864, Mr. Cody sold the material to F. G. Adams, of Atchison.

In 1862, the Gazette was established by P. H. Hubbell, who only continued it a short time, and was succeeded by R. H. Crosby in 1863. Crosby, at the end of six months, sold out to S. H. Dodge, who continued the publication till 1864, when he sold the establishment to the Jeffersonian Publishing Company.

The new paper, under the name of Jeffersonian, appeared in September, 1864. R. K. McCartney was editor. At the end of a year the company sold the office to J. B. McAfee, who run the paper till the fall of 1866, with I. T. Isbell as editor, when A. W. Moore bought the material, and moved it to Holton.

In 1867, Mr. Hubbel again started a paper, but after a few weeks suspended, and moved the office to Ellsworth.

The New Era was moved from Lecompton in March, 1867, to Medina, by S. Weaver, the editor and publisher. In September, 1871, Mr. Weaver moved the office again, this time to Grasshopper Falls, publishing the first number there, September 28th, 1871. Mr. Weaver continued to publish the New Era till May, 1874, when he sold to Hoffman & Lord.

The Perryville Times was established December 12th, 1870, by H. G. Evans. In November, 1872, David Rorick bought an interest in the office, and the paper was conducted by Evans & Rorick till November 1874, when Rorick bought the whole of it, and then sold out to O. Leroy Sedgwick, who moved the material to St. Mary's.

In January, 1873, George W. Hoover and George A. Huron issued the first number of the Grasshopper. In a few weeks Hoover withdrew, and Huron continued the publication alone. In September, 1874, Mr. Hoover bought the New Era and consolidated it with the Grasshopper, calling the paper by the former name. In October, 1876, Mr. Huron sold the paper to the "New Era Printing Company," L. B. Wilson assuming the editorial control. In October, 1877, the company sold the establishment to A. G. Patrick, who changed the name to Valley Falls New Era. Mr. Patrick sold his interest, in October, 1878, to Mr. G. D. Ingersoll, who still continues the publication of the paper.

The Oskaloosa Independent was established in 1860, the first number being issued the second week in July of that year, by J. W. Roberts, who has continued to publish it regularly from that time until the present, the only change in ownership being the association of Mr. Roberts's eldest son with him in the publication of the paper. During the first two years of its existence, Judge J. W. Day was in charge of the editorial department.

The Oskaloosa Sickle and Sheaf was started on the 9th of October, 1873, by Williams & Wilson. Mr. Williams died in July, 1878, leaving the paper in the hands of Mr. Wilson, who is now its editor and proprietor.

In September, 1867, P. H. Hubbel revived the Gazette, at Grasshopper Falls, but soon removed the office to Ellsworth.

In 1867, Stafford & Nesbitt started the Jefferson County Democrat, at Oskaloosa, but they published it only about two months. On the 25th of September, 1867, B. R. Wilson resuscitated the paper and changed the name to the Statesman, and published the paper, in connection with L. A. Heil, till December, 1868.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 89; school population, 5,183; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $39.15; females, $32.06. School houses built during 1878, none. Total number of school houses, 89; log, 3; frame, 72; brick, 3; stone, 11. Value of all school property, $96,432. A large number of districts have ornamented their grounds by planting trees; the varieties used are maple, cottonwood, box elder, walnut and poplar. One school is shaded by a natural grove of trees.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 4; membership, 210; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,000. Congregational: organizations, 1; membership, 67; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,500. Episcopal: organizations, 1; membership, 8; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,000. Lutheran: organizations, 1; membership, 20; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $600. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 16; membership, 833; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $15,550. Presbyterian: organizations, 5; membership, 200; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $5,900. Roman Catholic: organizations, 4; membership, 1,200; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $2,500. United Presbyterian: organizations, 3; membership, 80; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $2,500.

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 Laura Kaufmann and Stefanie Taylor, October, 2001.


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