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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Morris County

1878

Map of Morris County - 1878

First settlements: Diamond Springs township, at the commencement of the Santa Fe Trail trade; Council Grove township, about 1847, S. M. Hays; Clark's Creek township, 1856, John Warnecke; Parker township, 1858, William Black. - First church buildings: Council Grove, 1868, Methodist; same place, 1871, Congregational. - First school houses: Council Grove, 1860, by district No. 2; Parker township, Parkerville City, 1871, district No. 9; Rolling Prairie township, White City, 1873, district No. 27, same township, Skiddy, 1873, district No. 12. - First business established: Council Grove, general store, 1847, by S. M. Hays; Parker township,

general store, 1870, Eastman & Thomas; Skiddy, general store, 1870, College & McDaniels; White City, hotel, 1871, Thomas Eldridge. - First birth: Lucy Columbia was the first white child born in the county, in 1852. - First post office: Council Grove, date not given, T. S. Huffaker, postmaster. - The town of Council Grove was incorporated by the Legislature in 1858; T. S. Huffaker, Christopher Columbia, S. M. Hays and Hiram Northrop, incorporators. The first white woman who resided in the county was Mrs. Mitchell, the wife of the Government blacksmith among the Kansas Indians. The first county officers were Charles Columbia, Treasurer; S. N. Wood, County Attorney; A. J. Collier, Sheriff; Richard Utt, Assessor; A. C. Stewart, Coroner; M. Conn, County Clerk; W. B. Harold, Jas. H. Ritchie and John Hammond, County Commissioners.

Morris county was organized in 1858.

Population in 1860, 770; in 1870, 2,225; increase in ten years, 1,455; population in 1875, 4,597; increase in five years, 2,372; population in 1878, 5,656; increase in eighteen years, 4,886. Rural population, 4,242; city or town population, 1,414; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 75.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Council Grove 1,107 Clark's Creek 152 Daimond Valley 223
Elm Creek 646 Highland 338 Neosho 636
Ohio 368 Parker 693 Rolling Prairie 492
Valley 1,001 ----- ----- ----- ----

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, one mile, well defined water sheds, having an east and west direction; general surface of the country, undulating; there are, however, valuable limestone bluffs and fine bottom lands.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts, one-quarter mile. Varieties: walnut, oak, cottonwood, hackberry, elm and sycamore.

Principal Streams. - The Neosho river rises in the northwest and flows through the county in a southeasterly direction; Munkres, Little John, Big John, Sands, Slough and Rock creeks are its tributaries from the north; and Elm, Four-Mile and Kahola creeks from the south. Clark's creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill, rises in the west and flows ten miles through the county in a northerly direction; and Diamond creek rises in the southwest and flows through it in a southerly direction. The county has many very fine springs, among them the famous Diamond Springs and Hill Springs; good well water obtained at a depth of from 10 to 40 feet.

Coal. - None has been developed.

Building Stone, etc. - Fine magnesian limestone is found on nearly every quarter section. Red ochre in abundance is found in several localities in the county; it has been tested, and is said to be excellent. Fire and pottery clay said to be found in quantities, but it has not been tested; gypsum found in several bowlders in limited quantities, but not pure.

Railroad Connections. - The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad traverses the county from northwest to southeast. Principal stations: Skiddy, Parkerville and Council Grove.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 448,000; taxable acres, 284,630; under cultivation, 48,640.13; cultivated to taxable acres, 17.09 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 8,467.89.

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

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 1,721.00 1,721.00 3,156.00 8,947.50 8,689.00 3,959.00 7,747.00
Rye 200.00 200.00 260.00 1,698.75 1,832.00 1,541.00 1,216.00
Spring Wheat 1,482.00 3,041.00 3,644.00 3,039.25 3,647.00 3,660.00 9,304.00
Corn 5,610.00 5,651.00 6,270.00 11,248.25 7,883.00 15,999.00 14,396.00
Barley 151.00 163.00 91.00 712.00 894.00 2,544.00 923.00
Oats 1,994.00 2,033.00 1,574.00 3,718.75 4,641.00 5,639.00 4,708.00
Buckwheat 115.00 38.00 6.00 16.00 6.50 13.00 21.25
Irish Potatoes 250.00 365.00 238.00 210.36 342.50 404.00 459.00
Sweet Potatoes 4.00 3.00 6.00 8.00 65.50 7.50 9.25
Sorghum 119.00 107.00 137.00 168.75 102.00 167.00 182.12
Castor Beans ----- ----- 4.00 126.75 13.50 2.00 15.00
Cotton ----- 1.25 0.75 5.25 ----- 0.12 -----
Flax ----- ----- 0.50 109.00 11.50 45.00 102.00
Hemp ----- ----- 10.00 ----- 9.30 27.00 0.50
Tobacco 0.25 0.50 3.00 2.12 5.75 9.62 2.38
Broom Corn ----- ----- 266.00 617.00 406.25 228.00 100.00
Millet and Hungarian 870.00 995.00 802.00 1,301.25 2,010.75 2,749.00 1,648.00
Timothy Meadow 5.00 15.00 16.00 53.00 15.00 34.00 43.00
Clover Meadow ----- 25.00 13.00 4.00 1.50 25.00 14.63
Prairie Meadow 4,884.00 9,397.00 1,852.00 8,627.00 491.00 362.00 1,681.00
Timothy Pasture ----- ----- ----- 5.00 3.12 3.00 7.50
Clover Pasture 1.00 1.00 1.00 2.00 ----- 4.00 2.00
Blue-Grass Pasture 4.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 17.50 14.00 12.50
Prairie Pasture 1,134.00 981.00 764.00 19,493.00 3,389.00 2,736.00 6,046.00








Total 18,544.25 24,741.75 19,117.25 60,114.98 34,476.67 40,172.24 48,640.13

Increase in six years, 162+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 27+ per cent.

RANK of Morris 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 36 34 42 25 31 44 37
Corn 49 51 55 52 57 54 56
Total Acreage in all Crops 46 43 54 37 53 55 56








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. 7,747.00 3,788.00 in. 162,687.00 131,015.00 in. $102,492.81 $72,404.41 in.
Rye - bu. 1,216.00 325.00 de. 21,888.00 2,768.00 de. 6,566.40 2,063.20 de.
Spring Wheat - bu. 9,304.00 5,644.00 in. 83,736.00 25,176.00 in. 41,030.64 5,817.36 de.
Corn - bu. 14,396.00 1,603.00 de. 604,632.00 83,325,00 de. 96,741.12 27,091.14 de.
Barley - bu. 923.00 1,621.00 de. 18,460.00 40,052.00 de. 5,907.20 11,646.40 de.
Oats - bu. 4,708.00 931.00 de. 155,364.00 36,362.00 de. 24,858.24 3,900.66 de.
Buckwheat - bu. 21.25 8.25 in. 425.00 295.00 in. 340.00 236.00 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 459.00 55.00 in. 45,900.00 21,660.00 in. 13,797.00 1,986.00 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 9.25 1.75 in. 925.00 175.00 in. ----- 1,947.00 de.
Sorghum - gall. 182.12 15.12 in. 20,943.80 1,738.80 in. 10,471.90 869.40 in.
Castor Beans - bu. 15.00 13.00 in. 135.00 111.00 in. 168.75 144.75 in.
Cotton - lbs. ----- .12 de. ----- 20.40 de. ----- 2.04 de.
Flax - bu. 102.00 57.00 in. 816.00 366.00 in. 816.00 343.50 in.
Hemp - lbs. 0.50 26.50 de. 460.00 24,380.00 de. 27.60 1,462.80 de.
Tobacco - lbs. 2.38 7.24 de. 1,761.20 5,357.60 de. 176.12 535.76 de.
Broom Corn - lbs. 100.00 128.00 de. 80,000.00 102,400.00 de. 3,000.00 3,840.00 de.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 1,648.00 1,101.00 de. 4,944.00 1,928.50 de. 19,776.00 7,714.00 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons 43.00 9.00 in. 64.50 13.50 in. 322.50 67.50 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 14.63 10.37 de. 29.26 20.74 de. 146.30 103.70 de.
Prairie Meadow - tons 1,681.00 1,319.00 in. 2,353.00 1,846.20 in. 7,059.00 5,538.60 in.
Timothy Pasture acres 7.50 4.50 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres 2.00 2.00 de. ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 12.50 1.50 de. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 6,046.00 3,310.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 48,640.13 8,467.89 in. $334,595.58 $13,466.10 in.

A LARGE YIELD. - Statements by H. S. Day, of Parkerville:

Winter Wheat. - W. D. Kohl, whose post office is Council Grove, living on Section 20, Township 15, Range 8 east, planted 10 acres with Red May wheat on the 10th of September, he harvested it on the 10th of June. The crop averaged 41 1/4 bushels to the acre. It was raised on Neosho river bottom land, and was drilled in with a horse drill on corn ground. The cost per acre was $3.75.

ANOTHER LARGE YIELD:

Winter Wheat. - Norman Parker, living on Section 14, Township 14, Range 7 east, planted one acre to Odessa wheat on the 19th of September, harvesting it on the 12th of June, and getting 45 bushels. The ground was upland prairie, and two bushels of seed were planted, being double-shoveled in corn ground. The cost was $4 per acre. This acre was sown with this new variety of wheat as an experiment.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $751; poultry and eggs, $1,661.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 200,361 bushels, or an average of 177 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 6,006 lbs.; in 1878, - lbs.; decrease, 6,006 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 68,040 lbs.; in 1878, 121,274 lbs.; increase, 53,234 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 2,371; in 1878, 2,650; increase, 279. Mules and asses, in 1877, 271; in 1878, 275; increase, 4. Milch cows, in 1877, 2,750; in 1878, 2,899; increase, 149. Other cattle, in 1877, 6,761; in 1878, 6,212; decrease, 549. Sheep, in 1877, 2,511; in 1878, 3,303; increase, 792. Swine, in 1877, 4,436; in 1878, 9,784; increase, 5,348.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 11; value of sheep killed by dogs, $33.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 8,449.25 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $45,439.48.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 134.88, number of trees in bearing: apple, 3,133; pear, 149; peach, 41,053, plum, 1,620; cherry, 2,479. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 24,177; pear, 1,135; peach, 25,323; plum, 2,979; cherry, 5,183.

Herd Law. - The herd law was put in force throughout this county in September, 1875. One writer says: "The effect is good," and he anticipates large benefits from it. Another writer says: "The people had become accustomed to the township herd law, and it seemed to work well; but I do not think the county herd law will do well at present."

Fences. - Stone, 14,293 rods, cost, $28,586. Rail, 58,987 rods, cost, $82,581.80. Board, 20,618 rods; cost, $29,688.48. Wire, 14,593 rods, cost, $10,662.89. Hedge, 58,243 rods; cost, $34,945.80. Total rods of fence, 166,734, total cost, $186,464.97.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 100, pounds of honey, 375; wax, 20.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $16,677.

Manufactures. - Council Grove township: water power saw and grist mill; steam and water grist mill, capital, $10,000, steam grist mill, capital, $9,000. Parker township: steam saw and grist mill. Valley township: steam saw mill, capital, $1,000.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $209,610; railroad property, $164,272.53, total assessed valuation of all property, $1,505,742.53; true valuation of all property, $2,509,570.88. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $156,556.90; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, 10+.

Newspaper History. - The first newspaper published in Morris county, was established by S. N. Wood, in 1859, and was called the Kansas Press, A. J. Baker purchased the paper and published it a short time in 1861, having changed the name to the Council Grove Press. The publication was then suspended until 1863, when the Press was resuscitated by S. N. Wood, who continued it until 1865, when it passed into the hands of Rev. J. E. Bryan.

In 1865, E. F. Campbell purchased the Press establishment, and with the material started the Council Grove Democrat, and conducted it about one year, when the publication was suspended.

In March, 1869, W. H. Johnson established the Council Grove Advertiser, which continued for about eighteen months. It was Radical Republican in politics.

The Council Grove Democrat was re-established in 1870, by S. M. Hays. He sold it in 1871 to Maloy & Dyer, the latter only remaining on the paper one year. John Maloy was the sole proprietor until January 1, 1876, when F. W. Dunn became half owner. January 1, 1877, Dunn became sole owner, and in October of the same year it was consolidated with the Republican under the name of Republican and Democrat, and so continues. Moriarty & Dunn are the editors and proprietors, and the consolidated paper is Republican in politics.

The Chronicle, Republican, was started in 1871, by H. R. Gregory. It survived about one year.

The Morris County Republican was established in 1872, by J. T. Bradley, who was succeeded by P. Moriarty. After Mr. Moriarty's death, in 1875, the paper was taken charge of by F. A. Moriarty, by whom it was continued until consolidated with the Democrat, as stated above.

The Morris County Enterprise was started at Parkerville, about January 1, 1878, by McCray & Clark. In July, following, they were succeeded by V. C. Welch, who is the present editor and proprietor.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 51, school population, 2,243; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $31.97, females, $28.21. School houses built during 1878: frame, 2. Total number of school houses, 45; log, 1; frame, 87; brick, 1; stone, 6. Value of all school property, $40,564. To a limited extent school grounds are artificially ornamented with shade trees.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 2; membership, 75. Congregational: organizations, 4; membership, 135; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $4,000. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 10; membership, 167; value of church property, $400. Presbyterian: organizations, 3; membership, 60. Roman Catholic: organizations, 3; membership, 500; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $500. United Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 20.

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 Jacob Edmondson, Brett Houser and Darrell C., November 2001.


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