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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Washington County

1878

Map of Washington County - 1878

First settlements: Union township, March 26, 1866, by Joseph Enock; Little Blue township, March, 1858, William Tarbox; Clifton township, July 7, 1859, Peter Esslynger and family, and others; Strawberry township, April, 1861, Peter Gieber; Hollenberg township, 1859, Joel Snider; Hanover township, spring of 1858, John and Mortimer Lott. - First church buildings: Clifton township, 1872, Roman Catholic; Strawberry township, no date, Catholic; Lincoln township, 1877, Catholic; Hanover township, spring of 1871, Catholic; school houses generally used for religious worship - the reports from this county are very incomplete. - First school houses: Union township, 1870, by district No. 25; Little Blue township, 1871, district No. 65; Clifton township, in 1865, by the Catholics, on Section 18, Town. 5, Range 2; Strawberry township, 1876, district No. 18; Hollenberg township, 1867, district No. 9; Mill Creek township, 1875, district No. 19; Hanover township, first school district organized April 29, 1868. - First marriages: Little Blue township, - Kearney to Nancy Deere, September, 1860; Strawberry township, John Gieber and Susan Keifer, January 1, 1868; Clifton township, George Funnell and Bridget Kingsley, 1862; Hanover township, O. Martin and Mary Story, date not given. - First births: Little Blue township, Virginia Bruce, March 19, 1861; Strawberry township, Josephine Millfet, April, 1863; Clifton township, Elizabeth Esslynger, August 1, 1860. - First business established: Hollenberg township, country store, by Charles A. Fuller; Clifton township, general merchandise, E. M. Howell; Little Blue township, March, 1875, Maplewood Grange store, by patrons of the Grange; Strawberry township, 1871, general store, James McUrray; Hanover township, spring of 1858, general merchandise, G. H. Hollenberg. - First post offices: Union township, Doane, John C. Green, postmaster; Clifton township, Clifton, 1862, James Fox, postmaster; Hollenberg township, Joy Creek, John T. Palmer, postmaster; Little Blue township, Ballard's Falls, 1868, Chockley Hallowell, postmaster; Strawberry township, Strawberry, Peter Gieber, Sr., postmaster; Lincoln township, Donald, J. B. Giles, postmaster; Hanover township, 1859, George Perkins, postmaster. - Mr. Peter Gieber of Strawberry township, relates that he was on his way from Missouri to "Pike's Peak," early in 1861, and that he met a great many people returning from that country with discouraging reports. He was determined not to return, and settled on Parson's creek. He was surrounded by Indians who were generally peaceable, but more or less troublesome at all times. Buffalo, elk and other game were plenty; the last he saw of buffalo was in 1863. The Indians also disappeared in that year. In 1870, the immigration was large, and by the fall of 1872 all the lands in the township were taken under the homestead and pre-emption acts. Mr. Gieber reports a gradual but constant increase in rainfall, or rather a more equable distribution. The creeks run in a larger volume, and creeks that were formerly dry during the summer months, except after heavy rains, have not stopped running for several years. He thinks the restraining of prairie fires and the cultivation of the land are the chief causes of this important change.

Population in 1860, 383; in 1870, 4,081; increase in ten years, 3,698; population in 1875, 3,621; increase in five years, 4,540; population in 1878, 10,319; increase in eighteen years, 9,936. Rural population, 9,287; city or town population, 1,032; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 90.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop. TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES. Pop.
Clifton 1,349 Charleston 289 Hollenberg 556
Hanover 1,402 Little Blue 963 Lincoln 1,241
Mill Creek 782 Sherman 1,364 Strawberry 934
Union 279 Washington 1,160 ----- -----

Face of the Country. - Bottom land, 8 per cent.; upland, 92 per cent.; forest (Government survey), 2 per cent.; prairie, 98 per cent. Average width of bottoms, one-half mile; general surface of the country, undulating.

Timber. - Average width of timber belts - on Mill creek, one-quarter mile; others, narrow. Varieties: elm, cottonwood, walnut and oak. The farmers generally have planted trees, but not to a large extent in any particular case. The young trees, scattered over the country in small patches, give a picturesque appearance to the landscape. The varieties which succeed best are cottonwood, box elder, soft maple, black walnut and elm.

Principal Streams - The Little Blue, direction southeast; principal tributaries, Mill and Coon creeks, flowing east. Pete's creek, Parson's creek, etc., flow south into the Republican.

Coal. - None of consequence has been developed; the little that has been discovered is of inferior quality.

Building Stone, etc. - There is an abundance of limestone and some sandstone in the eastern, northern and western tiers of townships; an abundance of pottery clay, which is being utilized at Hanover; gypsum reported to be plenty on the Blue and on Mill creek.

Railroad Connections. - The St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad runs across the northeastern corner of the county. Station, Hanover. The Central Branch Union Pacific road runs through the county, leaving it at the southwest corner, and also runs a branch from the main line to Washington, the county seat, near the center of the county.

Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 576,000; taxable acres, 438,096; under cultivation, 95,777.45; cultivated to taxable acres, 22.11 per cent.; decrease of cultivated acres during the year, 60,334.55.

GREAT YIELD. - Statement by A. W. Boynton, Palmer:

Winter Wheat. - I raised a crop of Michigan White wheat, on Section 21, Township 5, Range 3 east, the ground being upland, and a black loam. I sowed 28 acres and 140 rods, broadcast, using 1-1/4 bushels of seed to the acre, planting from August 30 to September 3, and harvesting from July 1 to 4. The yield was thirty-eight bushels to the acre. The ground was ploughed early in August, and rolled in the spring. The cost of production was $8.92 per acre.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $2,423; poultry and eggs, $6,499.80.

Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 486,693 bushels, or an average of 235 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 1,250 lbs.; in 1878, 2,492 lbs.; increase, 1,242 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 197,698 lbs.; in 1878, 254,643 lbs.; increase, 56,945 lbs.

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

CROPS. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878.
Winter Wheat 3,571.00 3,576.00 5,617.00 7,823.00 5,280.00 6,628.00 3,825.00
Rye 1,453.00 1,453.00 1,275.00 5,398.75 8,743.00 11,219.00 9,736.00
Spring Wheat 3,393.00 4,648.00 20,284.00 25,945.00 23,781.00 33,438.00 26,187.00
Corn 12,482.00 9,233.00 19,293.00 20,309.00 25,347.00 90,095.00 37,254.00
Barley 259.00 249.00 723.00 2,596.33 3,257.00 2,773.00 1,567.00
Oats 2,646.00 3,599.00 5,913.00 7,387.25 6,978.00 4,937.00 8,241.00
Buckwheat 64.00 13.00 61.00 57.12 82.00 300.00 56.25
Irish Potatoes 351.00 415.00 876.00 655.24 959.00 406.00 959.00
Sweet Potatoes 11.00 2.00 8.00 6.65 7.67 16.00 6.38
Sorghum 155.00 74.00 151.00 345.26 248.00 216.00 292.75
Castor Beans ----- 0.25 ----- 40.75 9.25 30.00 39.50
Cotton ----- ----- 0.75 ----- 0.50 ----- -----
Flax 0.66 0.33 76.00 827.00 204.50 ----- -----
Hemp ----- ----- 0.12 ----- ----- ----- -----
Tobacco 1.75 15.50 9.00 10.99 23.75 ----- 6.19
Broom Corn ----- ----- 23.00 252.37 183.88 75.00 76.88
Millet and Hungarian 56.00 92.00 317.00 408.50 814.00 1,179.00 909.00
Timothy Meadow 4.00 5.00 90.00 108.25 116.75 116.00 150.50
Clover Meadow 3.00 3.00 9.00 12.25 31.50 38.00 18.75
Prairie Meadow 6,092.00 7,072.00 353.00 200.00 ----- ----- 23.00
Timothy Pasture ----- ----- ----- ----- 3.00 ----- 20.00
Clover Pasture 5.00 ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture ----- ----- 6.00 ----- 1.07 55.00 335.25
Prairie Pasture 4,872.00 4,872.00 11,020.00 8,472.50 4,591.00 4,591.00 6,074.00








Total 35,419.41 35,322.08 66,104.87 80,856.21 80,661.87 156,112.00 95,777.45

Increase in six years, 170+ per cent.
Average increase per annum, 28.33+ per cent.

RANK of Washington 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 17 18 6 3 10 7 22
Corn 35 43 38 40 33 1 31
Total Acreage in all Crops 36 36 25 28 31 3 36








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. 3,825.00 2,803.00 de. 80,325.00 19,095.00 de. $54,621.00 $39,828.00 de.
Rye - bu. 9,736.00 1,483.00 de. 184,984.00 106,710.00 de. 55,495.20 40,763.82 de.
Spring Wheat - bu. 26,187.00 7,251.00 de. 392,805.00 142,203.00 de. 227,826.90 200,179.50 de.
Corn - bu. 37,254.00 52,841.00 de. 1,564,668.00 2,499,807.00 de. 281,640.24 529,214.76 de.
Barley - bu. 1,567.00 1,206.00 de. 45,443.00 23,882.00 de. 14,541.76 5,255.74 de.
Oats - bu. 8,241.00 3,304.00 in. 329,640.00 107,475.00 in. 52,742.40 17,196.00 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 56.25 243.75 de. 1,237.50 3,562.50 de. 990.00 2,850.00 de.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 959.00 553.00 in. 95,900.00 57,330.00 in. 23,972.00 1,095.50 de.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 6.38 9.62 de. 606.10 1,393.90 de. 606.10 1,393.90 de.
Sorghum - gall. 292.75 76.75 in. 33,666.25 8,826.25 in. 16,833.13 4,413.13 in.
Castor Beans - bu. 39.50 9.50 in. 395.00 35.00 in. 493.75 133.75 in.
Cotton - lbs. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Flax - bu. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Hemp - lbs. ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Tobacco - lbs. 6.19 6.19 in. 4,580.60 4,580.60 in. 458.06 458.06 in.
Broom Corn - lbs. 76.88 1.88 in. 61,504.00 1,504.00 in. 2,306.40 56.40 in.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 909.00 270.00 de. 2,727.00 810.00 de. 10,908.00 3,240.00 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons 150.50 34.50 in. 225.75 51.75 in. 1,128.75 258.75 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 18.75 19.25 de. 37.50 38.50 de. 187.50 192.50 de.
Prairie Meadow - tons 23.00 23.00 in. 32.00 32.00 in. 96.00 96.00 in.
Timothy Pasture acres 20.00 20.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Clover Pasture - acres ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 335.25 280.25 in. ----- ----- ----- -----
Prairie Pasture - acres 6,074.00 1,483.00 in. ----- ----- ----- -----







Total 95,777.45 60,334.55 de. ----- ----- $744,847.19 $802,401.63 de.

Farm Animals. - Number of horses, in 1877, 3,374; in 1878, 4,448; increase, 1,074. Mules and asses, in 1877, 210; in 1878, 402; increase, 192. Milch cows, in 1877, 3,425; in 1878, 4,409; increase, 984. Other cattle, in 1877, 5,148; in 1878, 7,191; increase, 2,043. Sheep, in 1877, 1,453; in 1878, 2,389; increase, 936. Swine, in 1877, 5,596; in 1878, 21,488; increase, 15,892.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. - Number of sheep killed by dogs, 42; value of sheep killed by dogs, $126.

Wool. - Clip of 1877, 3,983 pounds.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. - Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $61,414.24.*

Horticulture. - Number of acres nurseries, 11. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 3,469; pear, 160; peach, 86,916; plum, 898; cherry, 1,951. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 28,396; pear, 1,176; peach, 28,772; plum, 1,043; cherry, 8,044.

Herd Law. - The herd law has been in force since 1872, throughout the entire county. The general opinion is strongly in its favor. Many believe, however, that it should be repealed, to take effect at some future period. It tends to retard fencing and hedge growing, and stimulates grain raising. It is urged by its friends that the cost of fencing would drive out the poorer class of farmers.

Fences. - Stone, 2,957 rods; cost, $5,174.75. Rail, 30,338 rods; cost, $42,473.20. Board, 12,305 rods, cost $17,596.15. Wire, 12,430 rods; cost, $9,073.90. Hedge, 56,168 rods; cost, $39,317.60. Total rods of fence, 114,198; total cost, $113,635.60.

Apiaculture. - Number of stands of bees, 20; pounds of honey, 50; wax, 30.

Value of Agricultural Implements. - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $51,467.

Manufactures. - Charleston township: water-power saw mill, capital, $1,000; water-power grist mill, capital, $3,000. Hanover township: water-power grist mill, capital, $10,000. Mill Creek township: steam saw mill, capital, $1,800. Washington township: water-power grist mills, 2, capital, $8,000.

Valuation and Indebtedness. - Assessed valuation of personal property, $217,838; railroad property, $277,107.35; total assessed valuation of all property, $1,971,370.31; true valuation of all property, $3,285,617.18. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $147,516; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .07-.

Newspaper History. - The Washington Observer was started by Mark J. Kelly, in March, 1869, and sold to James F. Tallman, August 4, 1869.

Schools. - Number of organized districts, 110; school population, 4,123; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $29.97; females, $24.71. School houses built during 1878, frame, 3. Total number of school houses, 100; log, 6; frame, 77; brick, 17. Value of all school property, $54,816. School grounds not ornamented as yet.

Churches. - Baptist: organizations, 6; membership, 250. Episcopal: membership, 10. Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 16; membership, 317; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,300. Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 60; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $3,000. Roman Catholic: organizations, 5; membership, 1,200; church edifices, 3; value of church property, $2,000. United Presbyterian: organization, 2; membership, 30.

* Estimated.

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 Ben Ferraro, March 2002.


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