1878 History of Jewell County, Kansas

The following is a transcription of a history of Jewell County, Kansas published in 1878. It reflects the attitudes of the time. This is taken from a microfilmed copy. Some of the print was difficult to read and I have indicated with a question mark in brackets ([?]) when I was unsure of the spelling, particularly of names. Submitted by Patricia Seitas.

History of Jewell County, Kansas, with a Full Account of the Early Settlements and Indian Atrocities Committed Within Its Borders; Its final Settlement, Organization and Progress, Its Present Society, Churches and Schools, Its Towns, Streams; Topography; Soil and Products, Its Population; Township Organization and Officers, Its Industries; Business, Resources, Etc. by M. Winsor and James A. Scarbrough, Jewell City, Kansas, Diamond Printing Office, 1878



A Complete history of any county is one of the Impossibilities, but in this little book, we flatter ourselves that we have come as near perfection as is possible. In the preparation of a work of this kind, we are not unmindful of the fact that in gathering information from so many different sources, inaccuracies are liable to creep in, but in this instance, we have carefully weighed and proved each item, rejecting what seemed to be chaff, and admitting only the bare unvarnished facts. Of the incidents relating to the early history of Jewell county we have only given place to few of the most interesting, rejecting, of necessity, many that have come into our possession, for want of space. The early history of this county is most intensely thrilling, not a stream or section within its borders but what hears record of the fierce and bloody strife waged by barbarism to beat back the every advancing tide of civilization.

Citizens of Jewell county, this little work is your friend and co-laborer. In its production, the authors have recognized and acted upon the theory that every dweller on our lovely prairies, and by our timber-belted streams, are, while laboring to plant their own homes in the sunshine of prosperity, also laboring to advance the material interests of the county, at large. In this spirit has this work been conceived, nourished, brought forth, and finally offered to you to be a friend and companion at your firesides, and a messenger of good, by disseminating a better knowledge of the county we all think is the best.

Buy one, take it home and read it to your family, and then come back and buy five more copies to send to your friends "Back East." In this way you can help us make a fortune, and very materially assist in building up and enriching one of the fairest counties in all the great New West.

M. Winsor,
James A. Scarbrough,
Jewell City, Kansas, April, 1873.

First Settlement
"Too much Indian"

In the Spring of 1862 William Harshberger and wife, John Furrows and Asberry Clark, wife and child, from Knox county, Ill. settled on White Rock creek; the first two in Jewell county and the later just in the west edge of Republic county. Harshberger took the claim now owned by Al Woodruff, adjoining the town of White Rock. Furrows took one-half of what is now William Nixon's farm, and one-half of the farm now owned by Mrs. Frazier, adjoining Harshberger on the west. All built cabins, broke ground and make preparations for making this beautiful valley their future home. But two incidents in connection with this "first settlement" had the effect to cause them to change their minds and seek a land where their associations were more congenial. These incidents are briefly related as follows:

One day, after having built their cabins, and while resting in fancied security, Mrs. Clark went to visit her sister, Mrs. Harshberger, leaving her little five year old boy at home with his father. During her absence a band of "noble red men," arrayed in all the paraphernalia of savage life, suddenly made their appearance at Clark's cabin. this unexpected and wholly unlooked for "call" so completely embarrassed [?] Clark that, feeling his utter inability to appear to advantage in such august company, he very abruptly and unceremoniously excused himself, and beat a hasty retreat, leaving his almost infant son to do the hospitalities of the mansion alone.

It must be remembered that this little incident occurred two years prior to the great Indian outbreak, which afterwards drenched this fair land in innocent blood and caused the death of so many of our brave and hardy pioneers, and when all the Indians of the Plains were at peace and friendly with the white settlers. therefore when a settler, living a few miles down the creek, and who was better acquainted with the nature of the "call," came up and found Indians there, he was not at all alarmed, but on entering the cabin he was not a little surprised to find Clark absent and his innocent little son doing the honors of the shanty, and showing his red visitors everything it contained, much to their amusement. The Indians left shortly afterwards without doing any mischief, but it is an admitted fact that their visit, however friendly, was not appreciated by the Clark family, as they extended no invitation to "call again."

Desperate Indian Battle

The second incident was a desperate Indian battle between the Sioux and Pawnees near this settlement but a short time subsequent to the incident above narrated, in which the former were victorious. A Pawnee, pursued by two relentless Sioux, sought shelter in Clark's cabin and begged to be hid. Clark refused, telling him that he dared not comply with his request for fear of his own life. His pursuers coming up almost immediately, were about to tomahawk their defenseless victim in the cabin, when Clark interfered, telling them not to kill him there, but to take him away, which they did, taking him a short distance from the cabin and litterally [sic] cutting him all to pieces. On this visit the Indians told the settlers that they had better leave, as a big war was about to break out, and when it did, the White Rock Valley would not be a very desirable locality in which to reside. By this time it may be imagined that the settlers were getting into a proper frame of mind to take that kind of advice, believing, as they doubtless did, that the country was too new for them to remain. They left.

This was the first ripple of the ever-flowing tide of civilization that unceasingly moves westward, flooding and subduing nature's wildness. Though it receded, it was soon followed by another, more strong, which in turn, was succeeded by a third, and a fourth, and finally, in 1870, the great tidal wave came along and swept the last vestage [sic] of savage power a hundred or more miles farther west.

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