In January, 1869, a stock company composed of six farmers - Osul Nelson, G. Nelson, Thomas Steanson, N. G. Nelson, Abram Bennett and Tyre Nelson - selected a site for a station on the St. Joseph & Denver City railroad, to be called Norway. The company purchased of John Hoverson eighteen acres of land for $360, and the town plat was made and prepared for record. In 1870, ten acres, belonging to G. Nelson, were bought by the stock company and donated to the railroad company, to secure a depot and side track for their town, which was built in the same year.
The first store, which was kept in the depot, was opened by Abram Bennett & Son, in the spring of 1870. We recollect that the goods were kept on the counter and on the cross braces of the building, there being no shelves of any kind. A very coarse brown paper was used for wrapping all classes of goods, from the best gunpowder tea to the cheapest ten-penny nails. Peaches sold at from 50 to 60 cents a can. Sugar, a very inferior quality of dirty brown, sold for 20 cents a pound. Green coffee cost about 30 cents and other things were proportionately high in price. Even the staple goods for little boys and girls - raisins and candies - commanded extravagant prices, and the little fellows with the sweet teeth soon made the discovery that only five sticks of candy were given for a nickel, while at Doniphan the storekeepers gave six.
Silas Bennett was the first depot agent, in 1870.
In 1871, Abram Bennett erected a large grain house and store room combined. The stock of goods was then moved out of the depot and new goods added to the stock until the interior of the building began to have the appearance of a real town store.
The old parsonage, which still stands on the hill, in the southeast corner of the townsite, was erected during the same year.
A postoffice was established here with C. W. Bennett as postmaster, early in 1871.
About 1873, Tyra Nelson bought Bennett's stock of goods, but he did not long continue in business. When Frank Welton of Blue Rapids, came looking for a location, Nelson sold out to him. Welton continued in the store business until about 1880, after which he gave all his attention to the buying and shipping of grain and hogs.
The town has had, at least, three blacksmiths: T. Nelson, about 1874, Joe Senter, 1875, and A. Ferguson, 1880.
District No. 48, although nearly two miles from Norway, has long been known as the Norway school. It is one of the most widely known schools in the county, and has always employed capable teachers, paying generous salaries. The first school taught there was in a log house belonging to Chris. Turkleson. The teacher was Miss Betty Pry, now Mrs. George H. Robb of Severance, and the time was early in the '60s. The school had many a friendly spelling contest in the early times, with its neighbors, and especially with the Wolf river school near Bayne's bridge. The boys and girls that attended those spelling matches are now wearing looks of gray, but their eyes brighten when the subject of spelling school is mentioned, and the young folks, who are wise enough to listen, are certain to hear of something to their interst and amusement, in the line of a story that is certain to be told.
In 1877, Frank Welton moved his stock of goods from the warehouse into his new building which had been erected on the south.
In the same year, Hardy Brothers erected a store building and engaged in business. A little later fire destroyed their building together with Welton's which was close beside it. Welton did not re-engage in the general merchandise business, but the Hardys built again and continued in business for many years.
About 6 o'clock p.m., May 25, 1877, on the east bound freight train, on the Denver road, Conductor Peter Sharp met his death in the following manner: The train was so heavy that they had to double over the hill between Norway and Troy Junction. Half the train had been brought over the hill and the engine was returning for the other half. Sharp was on the engine and as it neared the train he jumped off on the track to run ahead and be ready to couple the instant the cars were reached. It is supposed that he slipped and fell across the track. Two wheels of the tender passed over his body almost cutting him in two. He gave a scream, but it was too late, the engine could not be stopped. Death was almost instantaneous.
The Norway Gun Club was organized in 1877, with half a dozen members. The practice was glass ball shooting; later clay pigeons were used. The club had a few crack shots that derived a lot of pleasure from the meetings. The grounds upon which the club used to shoot were literally covered with glass, and to this day millions of fragments of green, yellow and blue glass are to be found after the plow.
Sunday night, September 23, 1877, two stores - Hardy's and Welton's - were destroyed by fire. Welton who was sleeping in the store, broke a side window with his boot-jack and made his escape; not, however, without singing his luxuriant beard.
About 1879, a large section house was built some distance down the railroad from the depot. The building was burned a few years later. The house was occupied by Aaron Root, who gave many a gay ball for the young folks.
In April, 1879, a telegraph office was put in here with W. H. Smith operator.
In March, 1882, Leander Hoverson, station agent, fell under the cars and his leg was so severely injured that amputation became necessary. His injuries caused his death, March 23.
About 1884, the Lutherans erected a handsome church on the hill just north of town, adjoining the cemetery, which had been located there for many years.
The first and last regular saloon was opened in the winter of 1884-5. It was a small building and a very tough place. Before the doors bad been opened for a second or third week's trade, the boys "shot up" the "chebang" and then overturned it. The keeper, from his retreat in a corn-shock, witnessed the ceremonies of inversion, and the next day, without protest or farewell, he went away in sackcloth and ashes.
During the '80s, buyers and shippers of grain did a well paying business, the town being situated in the heart of a farming and stock raising community.
A boy named Surenson was accidentally shot, while attending target for some shooters, and died a few days later. This occurred in the winter of 1881-2.
November 4, 1887, Winfield Earhart attacked Andrew Delaney, stabbing him in the breast with a knife, inflicting a serious wound.
We can't close this sketch of Norway without mentioning Joe Howland, the pioneer carpenter, who came to Kansas more than a third of a century ago, and who has built more stores, dwellings and school houses than any other carpenter in the county. Mr. Howland is still a master of the saw, and square, and level, and never thinks of taking a rest. People trust an old carpenter as they trust and cling to an old and honored physician, We are proud of Mr. Howland's work and record.
Leona is situated in the northwestern part of Doniphan county. It was laid out June 15, 1873, by a stock company of which J. W. Shock was president. This land was part of the farm owned by David Kercher, and was selected as the central point from which to ship the products of this fertile neighborhood. To secure railroad facilities, the company gave the St. Joseph & Denver railroad the land for a depot and about $1,000 cash. The following year the stock company sold out to Henry Gregg, he assuming the part of the road in its contract with the town.
The first building in the town was the house of D. Kercher, which has since been purchased by Henry Edwards and by him remodeled.
The first business house was the combination store room and depot of Henry Gregg.
The first postmaster was D. Kercher, who, prior to the building of the store, had the postoffice in a cracker box in his house. Robert Mailler was the next postmaster, and he was followed by J. B. Brooks, J. A. Myers, E. B. Gatchell, George Schofield and Dr. Hoover.
The first death in the town was that of Ray Carpenter, a child of D. L. Carpenter.
The first wedding was that of P. A. Floodin and Ida Shock.
The first physician was Dr. S. H. Blakely. He was followed by C. B. Channel, R. W. Lewis, E. Walters, R. C. Pierce and C. E. Hoover.
The second store was built by Reed & Wilson.
The first drug store was that of C. B. Channel.
The first hardware store was that of P. A. Floodin, who also owned the first blacksmith shop.
The first Notary Public was D. L. Carpenter.
The first harness shop was operated by Frank Case.
The first meat market was opened by Kopietz & Marak in 1875.
The first school house, near Leona, met with a tragic and unique end. School was taught in it in 1867, and when the fall term of the next year was to begin it was discovered that some enterprising spirit had stolen the house bodily. It was tracked to a point near Padonia, in Brown county, but was never recovered. In the fall 1868, what was then known as the old school house, was built, and in it school was taught up to 1879, when it was sold to John Kaufman to be used as a barn. The third school house was completed in October, 1879, at a cost of $2,300. Its size is 28x48 feet. The first teachers, in the new building, were R. L. Teague and Miss Nannie Nesbit. In 1880-81, Charles Bowers and Miss Emma Plank were the teachers, and in 1882, Misses Nannie Nesbit and Augusta Parsons were engaged; the same teachers taught in 1883. In 1884, Miss Francis Katner and Miss Parsons. In 1885, there was only one teacher, R. W. Norris, who had nearly sixty pupils enrolled. In 1886, Oliver Sarber and Miss Alice Brown were the teachers. In 1887, G. Watkins and Miss Ida Gouglar. In 1888, W. H. Speck and Mrs. C. E. Hoover. In 1889, W. H. Speck and Miss Mary Hill. In 1890, W. H. Speck and Miss Lizzie Brown.
Leona has but one church which was built in 1886, at a cost of $2,000. Before it was built church was held in the upper room of the school house, every two weeks, by Reverend Kloss.
In 1885, Leona had a good library of nearly two hundred volumes. The library was open every Tuesday and Sunday evenings. Miss Ida Gouglar was librarian. The books were free to those living in town, the institution being supported by entertainments.
The I.O.O.F. have a lodge of about thirty members. They hold their meetings in the town hall every Saturday night.
Leona has bad several literary societies. She also had a skating rink in the fall of 1884, but the building association found that it was ruining the floor, and it was closed.
The first fire in Leona was a small affair, destroying only the residence of Mr. Hartzell, in 1879. The second fire caused a serious loss to the town, and at one time threatened the destruction of the entire town. It broke out in the hardware store of P. A. Floodin, between 11 and 12 o'clock on the night of May 1, 1882. The third fire occurred in March, 1883, and resulted in the entire destruction of the grain elevator of J. B. Price. The elevator was an entire loss as there was no insurance. January 7, 1896, four buildings were destroyed by fire. The buildings burned were the hotel, Scott's drug store, the postoffice building and Dr. J. I. Hartley's office.
The pride of Leona, is her Farmers' State Bank, organized in 1895. The present officers are: J. D. Hazen, president; George Kimmel, vice president; A. O. Delaney, cashier; P. M. Leonhard and O. Larsen, directors.
Business houses represented in the advertising columns of the Hustler: McCormick Brothers, grain dealers; Farmers' State Bank of Leona; R. G. Harper, live stock dealer; E. A. Kinsley, blacksmith; J. I. Hartley, M.D.; J. W. Robinson, contractor and builder; Leonhard Brothers, druggists; J. Ritterbush, general merchandise; Hendren's harness shop; E. Moyer, hardware; C. N. Willis, lumber; Gregg Brothers, grain; W. F. Cook, restaurant. The population is about 250.
Leona is an excellent grain market, and the merchants are wide-awake and progressive. Scores of the wealthiest farmers in the county have their homes in this neighborhood. A number of the best Fourth of July celebrations ever held in the county are to the credit of this energetic little town.
The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska railroad was graded through the county in the summer of 1886. Early in the fall tracklaying was finished and people began riding on the new road. Three stations were located in Wolf River township, Albers, Denton and Purcell. The first of these, of which we now shall give a history, received its name from John Albers, a most worthy pioneer in the neighborhood, who owned the land on which it was located, and who marked off about twelve acres in the southwest corner of the southeast quarter of section 33, town 3, range 20, and divided it into lots to be sold at $25 each. For a short time only was the town known as Albers. When Uncle Sam was asked to establish a postoffice here, he rejected the name "Albers", for the very good reason that there were other names of postoffices in the state of Kansas that might be easily confused with Albers. Many names were suggested, but a young man named Morgan, who was the first telegraph operator at the station, crept into the good graces of the "powers that be", and was permitted to immortalize the name of his sweetheart by having the town and postoffice named for her. The name being a beautiful one, full of sweet vowels, it was well reaceived, and the young operator ascended to the top notch of mundane bliss; but the romance did not end romantically, for the agent married another woman.
Bendena lies in the heart of one of the richest farming tracts in the Missouri valley. The townsite is an ideal one, situated as it is on the crest of a range of hills of splendid elevation, and commanding an almost unobstructed view of more than half the county. From the first it has been an enterprising grain and stock market, and now is made up of energetic business men and a good class of citizens. The trade line is not limited, the merchants being alive and ambitious, reaching far and wide for patronage that is retained by methods of fair dealing and the exchange of honest goods at living prices. There is no citizen of Bendena, who may not be justly proud of the town, and no neighbor whose love and praise are not for it.
A man named O'Brien, who lived in a shanty on what now is the Wm. Schwab farm, near Bendena, kept a barrel of whiskey for the boys in the dry days of 1857-60. He had a very good looking young wife who used to help him dispose of his far famed elixir at a handsome profit. It was said that their marriage had been a romantic one; that they had eloped on a mule by the light of a summer moon, he on the saddle holding her bridal dress, she behind on a gunny sack holding to her future husband. At any rate O'Brien's wife was a fortunate possession. Because of her winning way and her fair face she was a good drawing card. She could sell a dozen pints and get the money for them while her husband was convincing one customer that the stuff was equal in quality to that to be had in St. Joseph.
In 1859, or thereabout, David Morse, now of Oklahoma, began the manufacture of brooms at his farm house, half a mile west of Prairie Grove, on the farm which is now the property of Wm. Webb, jr. He made very good brooms for which he charged 25 cents each.
The pioneers of the Prairie Grove country used to tell a good story of the absentmindedness of Charley Phillips, the planter of the famous grove that shaded his home from the parching sun of the '60s. Mr. Phillips owned a store in Doniphan during the early days, and all the settlers of eastern Wolf River township were customers of his, with their accounts on his books. One day a number of them were gathered in his store. Phillips was sending out statements of accounts. Rising from his desk he came back to the stove where his customers were seated absorbing the genial smiles of the big and generous tempered wood stove and conducting with more or less vigor a political debate. "Can any of you. gentlemen tell me," he asked absentmindedly, "what Jeremiah Dooley's first name is?" Instantly the laugh was on him, and there was nothing left for him to do but set out the glasses and work the spigot.
Along in the middle '60s, one of the most treacherous mud-holes along the Pottawatomie trail from St. Joseph west, was in the hollow just southwest of town, where the cross-roads are now located. Many an ox-driver swore himself hoarse at this place, and stood for a moment on the brink of despair, while his animals floundered in the mire. Another infamous mudhole was on what is now the Schwab farm, one-half mile east of town. A. B. Dickens, who lives south of town, was a freighter along this trail along about 1866, and well remembers these mudholes and the difficulties encountered by the early plainsmen.
A Bendena man has in his possession the sole of a shoe worn by him when he was a five-year-old baby. The shoes were made in Doniphan in 1869, by F. C. Hahan. The sole is exceedingly thick and heavy, and the heel, broad and high, is filled with large, long, zinc nails which made the shoe a load to carry.
According to the testimony of men of veracity the largest snake ever killed in the county, was found by a party of hunters on the prairie some distance southwest of Praire Grove, in the summer of 1861 or 1862. When straightened out alongside a sixteen foot rail, the snake was found to be only a few inches shorter than the rail. It was a bull snake.
The first play ever given on an erected stage in the Bendena neighborhood was "The Charcoal Burner", presented Saturday night, January 15, 1881, at the Prairie Grove school house with John J. Baker as manager, and the cast of characters as follows:
|Edmund Esdale,||Willie Kilkenny|
|Valentine Verdict,||James H. Ryan|
|Matthew Esdale,||Pat Gray|
|Foynet Arden,||John J. Baker|
|Caleb Brown,||Dennis Delaney|
|Godfrey Harrington,||Victor Ladwig|
|Edith Harrington,||Kate E. Delaney|
|Old Mother Grumble,||Etta Robins|
|Barbara Jones,||Maggie, Delaney|
In addition to this drama two farces were given - "Turn Him Out" and "Poor Pillicody" - in which the following named girls together with some of the above named, took part: Celia Kilkenny, Rosa Lyons, and Mollie Delaney. A second series of plays was given February 25 and 26, in which all of the above and a few new players took part. The new plays rendered were, "We're All Teetotalers", "Michael Earle," and "Sarah's Young Man". The new players were, John M. Robbins, George Campbell, in "Teetotaler"; John Kirwin, in "Michael Earle," and Nancy Gray in "Sarah's Young Man".
The first man to open a store here was Bill McLin, of Brenner, who built a small "shack" in the summer of 1886. It was located on the lot now occupied by the store building belonging to Mrs. J. B. Severin. One night in the fall of the same year, this building was burned, the fire being caused by the upsetting of a lamp. McLin, whose custom it had been to sleep in the building, narrowly escaped being burned to death, his life having been saved by some young men who broke in the door and dragged the helpless man out, but not a moment too soon. The store and all its contents were destroyed. Thus ended the business career in Bendena, of the town's first merchant.
The first building was the depot, erected in the summer of 1886.
The first dwelling was erected by Peter Pillods in the fall of 1886. He had his choice of lots and selected two of the best in the townsite.
The next improvement was the erection of scales by J. W. Howard, the pioneer grain man. These scales stood a few rods southwest of the depot. For a time there was not a great quantity of grain shipped, but the scales were not permitted to rust. The boys and girls came up from school every day through the tall grass and weeds of the townsite to be weighed, and they always found Mr. Howard accommodating.
In the fall of 1886, Victor E. Ladwig and John B. Severin erected the store building now occupied by J. P. Severin, and put in a thousand dollar stock of merchandise. The firm instantly won a good patronage, drawing considerable trade from the country south of town, which had been tributary to Atchison. It was an inspiring sight to see a score of grain and hog wagons in town and this single store filled with eager customers. Mr. Ladwig soon withdrew from the firm and Dennis P. Delaney became the partner of John Severin. Late in the fall of 1888, Delaney & Severin moved their stock of goods to Severance, and Bendena had its first attack of blues. There was little business in town that winter, the blacksmith shop of Jake Bastian being the only headquarters for visitors. It was feared for a short time that Uncle Sam would discontinue the postoffice, it being a difficult matter to secure a man who would assume the responsibilities of attending to the distribution of the mail. Jake Bastian, the good natured blacksmith, accepted the position for a short time, and we distinctly remember the big, black thumb-marks he left on the letters he handed out to Uncle Sam's patrons. A few months later, in March, 1889, John Albers was appointed postmaster. Pat Gray put in a stock of goods in the Ladwig & Severin building, and Mr. Albers made him assistant postmaster. In August, 1889, Gray & Morgan - storekeeper and depot agent - established the Bendena Echo, which soon reached a circulation of about seventy-five or eighty, The paper was soon discontinued, but the types were not left to rest in idle repose. Gray printed and bound his book, "Butterflies and Roses", between calls of customers. In 1890, J. M. Wilson bought a half interest in the store, but soon sold out to E. Morgan. Gray & Morgan operated the store until July, 1891, when it passed into the hands of Morgan & Campbell. About 1893, it again changed hands, coming into the possession of J. B. Severin, who operated it until the time of his death, in October, 1899. For a short time afterward Mrs. Severin had charge, but not desiring to continue the business, she disposed of the stock of goods to J. P. Severin, who is the president proprietor with an encouraging patronage.
Councilman & Company erected an elevator about 1890. It soon changed hands, passing into control of C. E. Miller. In 1893, it became the property of John B. Severin, a man of great energy and courage, whose labors for the advancement of the town will ever be remembered with gratitude by the citizens and the town's neighbors. In October, 1899, John Severin died and his wife sold the elevator to Peter Severin, the present owner.
A postoffice was established at Albers Station and named Bendena February 20, 1887, with V. E. Ladwig postmaster.
The first blacksmith was Jake Bastian, from Atchison. He came in 1887 and did a lively business for a few years. His shop stood just west of Severin's store.
One of the most distressing fatalities that ever fell upon a family in this county came in December, 1890, when four members of the Delaney family passed away at Bendena. John Delaney, the father, passed away on the 18th. His wife died a few days later, and on the 31 st of the month two of the older sons, John and Daniel, followed their parents to the grave, thus making four deaths in the family within twelve days. Maggie Redmond, a relative of the family, lay sick in the house during and after the sickness of those that died, but she finally recovered. Typhoid-pneumonia was the cause of the deaths.
In 1890, a pleasant party was had at the school house on May day. Two queens, Myrtle Brown and Evie Kirwan, were chosen to reign. The pupils marched from the school house to the shade of Mr. Howard's grove, and there in the beauty and quiet of the noon hour did they assemble to make preparations for the double coronation. Myrtle received a crown of plum blossoms and Evie, her sister queen, wore one composed of apple blossoms. After the coronation of the pretty little queens all sat down on nature's carpet of grass to eat a royal dinner. After dinner followed singing, dancing, marching and homage paying to the fair little crown bearers, until 1 o'clock when the teacher, Mr. Clem, rang the bell for school.
James Aylward was an early property owner in the town. He purchased lots in 1890, and erected a store room, which was rented to different parties. In 1903, he opened a restaurant which be still owns and operates.
Early in the fall of 1890, the Bendena Dramatic Company was organized to produce "Psyche, the Beggar Venus". The company was composed of six young men and three young ladies, who came together almost every night to rehearse the play and erect air castles in the land of the future. On the night of November 15, the company broke the ice at Severance, playing to a $96 house and giving great satisfaction. Thus encouraged, the troupe decided to visit other towns. The play was reproduced at Troy, Wathena, Brenner and Doniphan, with the best of results. Three or four years later, responding to the urgent and repeated requests to reproduce the play, the company again went the rounds, meeting with the most gratifying success. This company was a party of jolly good girls and boys, each possessing a fair share of real stage talent, not stage struck, but going in for a share of fun, glory and - well, the company earned something like $300 within two weeks! From an old programme we reprint the cast of characters.
|Psyche, the Beggar Venus,||Clara Brown|
|Roger Buckingham,||P. L. Gray|
|Lady Shirley,||Mamie Campbell|
|Lady Romelda,||Florence Albers|
|Viscount St. Aubrey,||L. W. Campbell|
|Ivan,||A. O. Delaney|
|Baron Wilanski,||J. Z. Clem|
|Father Alphonse,||J. B. Severin|
In the summer of 1890, a 25-foot boat was built here by J. F. Bastian, for use on Independence creek during the fish-fry-picnic season. About that time there was a big fish pond on the Ladwig farm a mile east of town; this was the scene of the launching and christening of the "Minnehaha". Fully a hundred people, old and young, were there that beautiful moonlight night, and a more pleasant evening never was spent in this neighborhood. The boat, ladened with some fifteen or twenty passengers, was capsized in the middle of the pond, where the water was nearly chin deep, and many a young fellow took advantage of the opportunity to perform the heroic act of saving the life of his sweetheart, only to have some other fellow marry her in after years.
In the early '90s, the town had an Indian inhabitant - Sam Jewett - who could tell as good corn-husking stories as any white man. He belonged to a Dakota tribe of Indians, and went up to that country about 1896 to claim a share in their lands.
The first death in town was that of John Kosman, a Prussian, who lived just across the street from where the hotel is now located. The first child born in town was Gracie Bastian, in 1887. This is the little girl whose life was saved by the heroic act of W. J. Edwards, who snatched the child up from the railroad track where she was playing, just in time to prevent a freight train from mangling her.
Gabriel Gerardy opened a blacksmith shop about 1894. He was a first class machinist and had the instinct and ambition of an inventor. An invention of his, a disc sharpener, is now about to be patented.
In 1896 a hotel was built, and the town began to feel the first aspirations of ambition. For a time F. W. Reipen was proprietor of the place. In 1905 it became the property of J. C. Albers. During the summer it was operated by Mrs. Callaway, but Mr. Albers expects to take charge early in the fall.
The first telephone line, owned by the Northwestern, reached the town in 1896. Shares were owned by the merchants and farmers. In 1902, the first Farmers' line was extended out of town. Within a few months other lines were extended. At present there are twenty-five lines connected with the board. The very first telephone line in the town was one constructed of two cigar boxes and a coil of binder wire connecting the postoffice with the depot. It was put up by Gray & Morgan in 1889, and did very good service.
In 1896 the merchants and the farmers built a creamery. The Continental Company soon took control and operated it for some time. At first it seemed a paying business, but poor management made it unprofitable. In 1903, J. C. Albers, purchased the building and was rebuilding it to be used as a dwelling when, in December of the same year it was burned. The origin of the fire is not known.
"Bound by an Oath," a second play by the Bendena Dramatic Company, was presented in many of the county towns, in April, 1896, with unusual success.
In the summer of 1899 the big railroad well was dug here. It is one of the largest railroad wells on the line, the dimentions being: diameter, 24 feet; depth, 80 feet. It is substantially walled with brick and the tank has a capacity of about 55,000 gallons. The supply of water is inexhaustible. The water is pure and sweet. The tank stands on the divide between the headwaters of Wolf River and Independence creek.
A big celebration was held here July 4, 1899, with about 2000 people in attendance. This was the little town's first Fourth celebration, and she did herself much honor. All visitors were well entertained and cared for, and many friends were made for the town.
One of General Grant's relatives sleeps beneath the sod of this county - John Valmore Hudson - who died at this place December 12, 1899. He was the general's first cousin, and had been a resident of the county for more than 26 years. He had seen trouble and his life had been full of adventure. He served in the Mexican war. From Mexico be went to the California gold fields, but finding no fortune awaiting him there, he wended his way eastward until he reached Kansas where he was satisfied to remain. He was extremely modest in speaking of himself or his doings, but occasionally when in good humor he would give glowing accounts of his experiences in the "Greaser war." He was present at the capture of Santa Anna, and was one of the boys that kicked poor old Santa up out of the grass where he had been hiding. Although nearly blind from the effect of a wound on the nose received in battle, he was an enthusiastic reader. He was not especially proud of his illustrious relative, because of some trouble he had had with him. Hudson lies in a neglected grave in the cemetery at Moray, with "only a wooden slab at his head," but those who knew him as "old Uncle Johnny" will long remember him as a good and honest old man, who had a long and weary march through life with not a relative to help him on the way.
December 27, 1900, a big fire started in the lumber yard of Rappelye and Brother. A strong wind was blowing from the north and within a short time the shed and some small office buildings were reduced to ashes. Rappelye's loss was estimated at about $5000, about two thirds of which was covered by insurance. The Rappelyes were wide awake business men. This blow to them was the prime cause of their leaving town.
In 1902 a side track half a mile in length was built for the accommodation of passing trains. It is no unusual sight to see three or four trains at this place, at the same time.
Rural Route No. 1 was established in 1902, with George Swartz carrier. This was a great convenience to the farmers south of town who for many years had been obliged to depend on neighbor mail service by which the entire neighborhood received mail through the kindness of some man who had business in town.
The Rock Island road has many a small but pretty grass plot under the windows of its depots, but few of them are more attractive and beautiful than the tiny park laid out and lovingly cared for by agent O. B. Monroe.
The present business men of Bendena are: J. P. Severin, general merchandise; H. L. Vanverth, hardware; O. C. Hardy, drugs; R. R. Clutz, M.D.; W. C. Albers, lumber; Tony Schroeder, general merchandise; James Aylward, confectioner; W. J. Edwards, barber shop and notions; Tilbury and Son, blacksmiths; J. C. Albers, livery; The Bendena State Bank, and The Roycroft Shop, P. L. Gray.
Transcribed from Gray's Doniphan County history: A record of the happenings of half a hundred years. By P. L. (Patrick Leopoldo) Gray. Bendena, Kan.: The Roycroft Press, 1905. 3p. l. -84, 166,  p. front., plates, ports. 24 cm.
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