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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Sumner County

1878

Map of Sumner County - 1878

First settlements: Oxford township, 1871, Binkley Bros., who sold out to the Oxford Town and Emigration Company, March, 1871; Jackson township, 1870; Gore township, June, 1870; Guelph township, June, 1872, John Mason, a Canadian; Illinois township, September 19, 1871, Palmer Wright; Caldwell township, November 1870, John E. Reid; Palestine township, June 15, 1870, James Wells and C. C. Shore; Sumner township, March, 1870, Charles Russell; London township, June 10, 1870, John Holms; Dixon township, 1872, F. M. Shore; Falls township, 1870, J. S. Gillett; Walton township, December 25, 1871, O. I. Ward; South Haven township, 1870, Joseph Towsley; Avon township, 1870, William Lemasters; Seventy-Six township, no date, George Clark; Belle Plaine township, 1871. - First church buildings: Oxford township, at Oxford, 1873, Presbyterian; Belle Plaine township, 1872, Methodist and Presbyterian; there are church organizations in all the townships, and services are regularly held in many of the school houses. - First school houses: Oxford Township, 1871, by the Oxford Town Company and popular subscription; Jackson township, 1874, district No. 43; Guelph Township, 1874, district No. 38; Illinois township, 1877, district No. 60; Caldwell township, February, 1872, district No. 20; Palestine township, 1871, district No. 5; Sumner township, December, 1872, by district No. 7; London township, district No. 40; Dixon township, district No. 78; Falls township, district No. 22; Walton township, 1873, district No. 28; South Haven township, at South Haven, 1873; Avon township, district No. 23; Belle Plaine township, 1872, by subscription, at Belle Plaine. - First marriages: Oxford township, Joseph Low and Patsy Smith, December, 1871; Jackson township, Levi Thraelkill and Theodocia Atterbury, August, 1874; Gore township, Jas. L. Cheatham and Ruhama Graves; Guelph township, John McFarline and Miss Peters, April 1, 1875; Illinois township, James Holliday and Anna Spar, April 1, 1875; Caldwell township, J. M. Thomas and Fannie De Vore, November, 1872; Palestine township, Sidney Smith and Mary Daley, February 10, 1872; Sumner township, George W. Clark and Mary C. Wright, November 18, 1871; London township, C. H. Holms and Mary Troup, May 10, 1871; Falls township, W. A. Bartholomew and Matilda Strous; Walton township, I. H. Archer and E. I. Belknap, May, 1873; South Haven township, William Molden and Sarah Back; Avon township, George Armstrong and Alice Grigson. - First births: Oxford township, Oxford Dufit, June, 1871 - also the first person buried in the Oxford cemetery; Gore township, a daughter to John Turner, April, 1871; Guelph township, Ann Hazen, November, 1872; Illinois township, Ollie Vester Roberts, May 15, 1874; Caldwell township, Frankie Jones, August, 1872; Palestine township, Frank Hunt, August, 1871; Sumner township, Addie Wright, July 25, 1871; London township, William Turner, May 16, 1871; Dixon township, Andrew Jackson Shore, 1873; Falls township, N. Thaddeus Smith, November, 1872; Walton township, Anna E. Hall, March, 1873; South Haven township, Clinton N. Hicks; Avon township, - Lemaster, March, 1870. - First business established: Oxford township, general store, 1871, Binkley Bros., an Indian and settlers' store, at the "Big Cottonwood" ford; they, with A. Morrill, formed the Neptawa Town Company, and sold to the Oxford Town Company; Gore township, hotel, R. Freeman; Guelph township, general merchandise, at Guelph, John Mason; Caldwell township, groceries, Stone & Dagner; Palestine township, store, 1870, C. C. Shore; Sumner township, groceries, Charles Thompson; Dixon township, grocery, 1877, J. L. Pitts; Falls township, grocery, Samuel McReynolds; Walton township, grocery, - Keesler; South Haven township, grocery, F. F. Meister; Belle Plaine township, grocery, - Sherman. - First post offices: Oxford township, Neptawa, afterward changed to Oxford, February, 1871, C. P. Binkley, postmaster; Jackson township, Rome, January, 1875, T. A. Hubbard, postmaster; Gore township, Littleton, 1871, G. V. Little, postmaster; Guelph township, at Guelph, no date; Illinois township, Sunny Slope, February 1, (year not given), John McFarline, postmaster; Caldwell township, Caldwell, C. H. Stone, postmaster; Palestine township, 1870; Sumner township, Sumner City, 1870, E. H. Doyle, postmaster; London township, London, J. H. Turner, postmaster; Dixon township, Milan, October, 1874, Francis Shore, postmaster; Falls township, Alton, Enos Blair, postmaster; Walton township, Remanto, July, 1872, O. I. Ward, postmaster; South Haven township, South Haven, F. F. Meister, postmaster; Belle Plaine township, Belle Plaine, James Hamilton, postmaster. - The first wheat sown west of the Arkansas, in Sumner county, was sown by Victor Bousard, two miles north of Oxford, in 1871; one acre yielded thirty bushels, of excellent quality. The first bridge built was across the Arkansas, at Oxford, in 1873, at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars. It was washed away in April, 1877. The first stone school house was built at Oxford, at a cost of five thousand dollars. In Jackson township, buffalo were killed during the summer of 1873. Our report states that there was much trouble in South Haven township, in 1870-71, between the Texas cattle drovers and the new settlers. The former desired the exclusive use of the country for stock purposes, which, with the contagion engendered, was deemed fatal to the agricultural interests. Threats of violence on the part of the stock men were frequent, and finally an attempt was made to pull down the cabin of Mr. R. H. Dodson, who resisted and shot one of the assailants, but not fatally, when the others fled. The farmers soon gained the ascendency, and, in 1872, adopted the herd law, thus expelling the stock into the Indian Territory, south of Sumner county.

The county was organized in 1871.

Population in 1870, 22; in 1875, 4,925; increase in five years, 4,903; population in 1878, 12,078; increase in eight years, 12,056. Rural population, 11,112; city or town population, 966; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 92.

* POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Avon 440 Belle Plaine 1,071 Caldwell 1,006
Chikaskia 443 Dixon 425 Falls 579
Gore 492 Guelph 718 Illinois 719
Jackson 495 London 647 Osborn 361
Oxford 732 Palestine 511 Seventy-Six 347
Sumner 711 South Haven 635 Val Verdi 335
Walton 497 Wellington 914 ----- -----

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 20 per cent.; upland, 80 per cent.; forest (Government survey), 3 per cent.; prairie, 97 per cent. Average width of bottoms, 2-1/2 miles; general surface of the country, undulating.

Timber. - The streams are skirted with narrow belts of timber, ranging from 5 to 40 rods in width. Varieties: cottonwood, elm, hackberry, walnut, box elder and ash. Almost all the farmers cultivate trees to a greater or less extent, and the prospects of the county in this respect are very good indeed. Cottonwood, box elder and black walnut are the leading varieties. Some cultivate the peach tree, both for fuel and fruit, and, on account of its rapid growth and desirable qualities for the stove, it is claimed to be the equal of any other variety.

Principal Streams. - The Arkansas and Ninnescah rivers; Slate, Chikaskia, Fall, Bluff and Cowskin creeks. The course of these streams is from northwest to southeast. The county is not largely supplied with springs; well water is obtained at a depth of from 10 to 40 feet.

Coal. - None has been developed.

Building Stone, etc. - Plenty of limestone in every township; sandstone less plenty in several localities. Salt springs in numerous localities, notably in Val Verdi and Walton townships. The latter township has the Salt Creek spring, also a mineral spring close to Salt City. The latter is said to possess valuable medicinal properties. Preparations are being made to manufacture salt on a large scale. Fire clay abounds generally throughout the county, but sometimes at great depth; the same is true as to gypsum.

Railroad Connections. - No railroads have yet been constructed in the county.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 760,320; taxable acres, 441,181; under cultivation, 164,637.82; cultivated to taxable acres, 37.32 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 64,017.69.

A REALLY GOOD YIELD. - Statement by Forney & Brother, Belle Plaine:

Wheat. - Blue Stem, beardless, variety. We raised ten acres of this wheat on sandy loam, bottom land, in Section 7, Township 31, Range 2 east, planting September 10, and harvesting June 2, getting an average of 41 bushels to the acre. The ground was stirred after the harvest of 1877, then cross-ploughed the first week in September, and the seed drilled in east and west. The cost of production was about $3.62-1/2 per acre.

Very LARGE YIELD. - Statement by William Gifford, Belle Plaine:

Wheat. - I sowed the Walker wheat on 12 acres in Section 23, Township 31, Range 1 east, September 15, and harvested it May 28; the ground was upland, a black, sandy loam. The crop averaged 41-1/4, bushels to the acre. I drilled in 1-1/4 bushels of seed; the ground was ploughed early and thoroughly harrowed. The cost was $3,62-1/2 per acre.

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

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 502.00 503.00 3,505.00 15,276.00 29,192.00 52,138.00 83,231.00
Rye 87.00 86.00 145.00 1,282.50 2,123.00 763.00 1,532.00
Spring Wheat 15.00 359.00 1,305.00 7.00 33.00 9.00 4.00
Corn 7,606.00 14,492.00 22,938.00 18,853.00 17,816.00 34,195.00 41,343.00
Barley ----- 1.00 24.00 4.00 35.00 293.00 460.00
Oats 171.00 581.00 2,643.00 2,863.90 6,709.00 4,771.00 11,621.00
Buckwheat 5.00 5.00 17.00 9.00 18.00 1.00 14.00
Irish Potatoes 128.00 401.00 689.00 245.00 583.59 442.00 767.00
Sweet Potatoes 10.00 9.00 35.00 16.04 29.12 15.00 65.89
Sorghum 39.00 164.00 396.00 303.15 183.87 389.00 469.81
Castor Beans ----- 124.00 205.00 5.50 ----- 43.00 16.00
Cotton 14.00 213.25 47.00 1.62 0.25 1.88 0.75
Flax ----- ----- 10.00 76.00 17.12 0.12 4.00
Hemp ----- 0.25 ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Tobacco 0.25 5.25 5.00 0.25 1.87 2.88 2.25
Broom Corn ------ ----- 34.00 65.00 4.25 86.00 204.25
Millet and Hungarian 10.00 33.00 164.00 721.00 1,734.75 3,457.00 4,573.00
Timothy Meadow 11.00 11.00 32.00 ----- 9.50 58.00 388.50
Clover Meadow 2.00 2.00 27.00 ----- 14.00 3.25 75.50
Prairie Meadow 3,943.00 937.00 703.00 ----- 40.00 217.00 9,551.00
Timothy Pasture ----- ----- 7.00 ----- 19.00 95.00 65.50
Clover Pasture ----- ----- 9.00 ----- 10.00 ----- 12.00
Blue-Grass Pasture ----- ----- 303.00 ----- ----- 2.00 18.37
Prairie Pasture 881.00 737.00 2,120.00 ----- 1,267.00 3,638.00 10,219.00








Total 13,424.25 18,663.75 35,363.00 39,728.96 59,840.32 100,620.13 164,637.82

Increase in six years, 1126 + per cent.
Average increase per annum, 187.66 + per cent.

RANK of Sumner 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 51 52 53 18 9 5 5
Corn 43 34 31 41 42 35 25
Total Acreage in all Crops 50 47 43 49 40 26 9








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. 83,231.00 31,093.00 in. 1,664,620.00 1,143,240.00 in. $948,833.40 $531,729.40 in.
Rye - bu. 1,532.00 769.00 in. 32,172.00 14,623.00 in. 9,651.60 2,632.00 in.
Spring Wheat - bu. 4.00 5.00 de. 40.00 68.00 de. 16.00 65.00 de.
Corn - bu. 41,343.00 7,148.00 in. 1,653,720.00 285,920.00 in. 330,744.00 11,206.00 de.
Barley - bu. 460.00 167.00 in. 13,340.00 6,015.00 in. 5,336.00 2,772.25 in.
Oats - bu. 11,621.00 6,850.00 in. 488,082.00 ???0.00 in. 97,616.40 47,520.90 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 14.00 13.00 in. 294.00 280.00 in. 235.20 224.00 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 767.00 325.00 in. 76,700.00 45,760.00 in. 34,515.00 3,575.00 in.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 65.89 50.89 in. 9,883.50 8,008.50 in. 9,883.50 8,008.50 in.
Sorghum - gall. 469.81 80.81 in. 54,028.15 9,293.15 in. 27,014.08 4,646.58 in.
Castor Beans - bu. 16.00 27.00 de. 160.00 313.00 de. 200.00 273.00 de.
Cotton - lbs. 0.75 1.13 de. 127.50 192.10 de. 11.48 20.48 de.
Flax - bu. 4.00 3.88 in. 44.00 42.68 in. 44.00 42.62 in.
Hemp - lbs. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Tobacco - lbs. 2.25 0.63 de. 1,663.00 466.20 de. 166.50 46.62 de.
Broom Corn - lbs. 204.25 118.25 in. 163,400.00 94,600.00 in. 6,127.50 3,547.50 in.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 4,573.00 1,116.00 in. 13,719.00 4,212.25 in. 48,016.50 14,742.87 in.
Timothy Meadow - tons 388.50 330.50 in. 660.45 561.85 in. 3,302.25 2,809.25 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 75.50 72.25 in. 151.00 144.50 in. 755.00 722.50 in.
Prairie Meadow - tons 9,551.00 9,334.00 in. 13,827.00 13,501.50 in. 41,481.00 40,504.50 in.
Timothy Pasture acres 65.50 29.50 de. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres 12.00 12.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 18.37 16.37 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 10,219.00 6,581.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 164,637.82 64,017.69 in. ----- ----- $1,563,949.41 $651,866.77 in.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $2,074.50; poultry and eggs, $4,442.85.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 118,406 bushels, or an average of 49 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, - lbs.; in 1878, 1,100 lbs.; increase, 1,100 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 56,800 lbs.; in 1878, 180,484 lbs.; increase, 123,684 lbs.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 3,386; in 1878, 4,748; increase, 1,362. Mules and asses, in 1877, 936; in 1878, 1,353; increase, 417. Milch cows, in 1877, 2,373; in 1878, 3,178; increase, 805. Other cattle, in 1877, 4,921; in 1878, 4,887; decrease, 34. Sheep, in 1877, 1,525; in 1878, 1,433; decrease, 90. Swine, in 1877, 9,672; in 1878, 15,010; increase, 5,338.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Only 2 reported.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, only 20 pounds reported.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $44,498.80.

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 481.37. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 5,045; pear, 530; peach, 115,148; plum, 1,448; cherry, 1,326. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 48,443; pear, 2,020; peach, 138,858; plum, 7,012; cherry, 9,488.

Herd Law. - The herd law has been in force since 1872, and there is little or no sentiment against it, although many think it should be repealed, to take effect at some future date, when the hedges shall have grown sufficiently to turn stock. It is said that it encourages hedge growing, as, if there were no law, a large proportion of the farmers would not be here at all, and, now that they are here, they plant hedges for protection against their own stock. It is urged, for the law, that it has settled the county with good farmers; and against it, that it prevents stock raising on a large scale.

Fences. - Stone, no report. Rail, 9,725 rods; cost, $14,587.50. Board, 9,305 rods; cost, $13,492.25. Wire, 1,262 rods; cost, $946.50. Hedge, 320,070 rods; cost, $224,049. Total rods of fence, 340,362; total cost, $253,075.25.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 7; pounds of honey, 55.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $108,971.

Manufactures. - Belle Plaine township: water grist mill, capital, $200. Caldwell township: steam saw mill. Oxford township: water flouring mill. South Haven township: steam saw mill, capital, $2,000.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $316,451; total assessed valuation of all property, $1,852,398; true valuation of all property, $3,087,330. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $53,302.44; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .03-.

Newspaper History. - The Oxford Times, established in June, 1871, by Mugford & Hughes, was the first paper printed in the county. In December, 1871, E. R. Trask purchased the office, and continued the publication of the Times until March, 1872. During that year J. H. Folks succeeded Trask, and changed the name of the paper to the Oxford Press. In May, 1873, he removed the establishment to Wellington, and again changed the name, this time to the Sumner County Press. It is still published under that name by Folks & Bishop, and is Republican in politics.

The Oxford Independent was started May 27, 1876, John Blevins, editor and proprietor. In November of the same year, Blevins sold out to Kelly & Benjamin, who continued the paper for a few months only, and were succeeded by the present editor and proprietor, J. L. Abbott. In the fall of 1878 it was removed to Harper county.

The Sumner County Democrat was started in August, 1876, at Wellington, by Crawford & Edmoncy, afterwards L. C. Crawford, one of the original proprietors. It is now conducted by Crawford & Leonard, and, as its name implies, is Democratic in politics.

The foregoing are all the papers now published in the county. Several others have been started from time to time, namely, the Belle Plaine Herald, Belle Plaine Democrat, Wellington Herald and Oxford Enterprise, none of which survived more than a few months.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 120; school population, 4,198; average salary of teachers, per month, males $30.35; females, $20.70. School houses built during 1878, frame, 10. Total number of school houses, 86; log, 3; frame, 82; stone, 1. Value of all school property, $46,818. Very few districts have ornamented their school grounds with shade trees.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 5; membership, 201. Congregational: organizations, 1; membership, 10. Episcopal: membership, 6. Methodist Episcopal; organizations, 30; membership, 834; church edifices, 3; value of church property, $5,700. Presbyterian: organizations, 7; membership, 150; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $2,000. Roman Catholic: organizations, 3; membership, 900; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $500.

*Bluff and Eden township have been organized since census was taken.

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 organized 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 TJ Carter, March 2002.


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