and Plaster Work.
Osage Grain and Elevator Co.
Jas. S. May.
Thompson Hardware Co
S. B. Easter.
J. T. Bliss.
Harveyville is a town of about 450 people, in an excellent location. For miles around are the rich flats of the Dragoon, where the country population has become wealthy. The cattle and hog business is the principal money-making occupation, although large shipments of produce and cream are continually being made. There are two "cream days" each week, and on these days the trade is very heavy at Harveyville, and there isn't room on the streets to accommodate the teams of the patrons.
Although the town of Harveyville was not founded until the coming of the Santa Fe Railroad, the history of Harvey settlement dates back to 1854, when Henry Harvey and his two sons took land on the Dragoon. The next year a claim was taken up by I. M. Harris not far from the present site of Harveyville. The Pitman and Gilbert families and Morris Walton also settled in the vicinity about this time. The Harveyville territory was settled along the rich bottoms where there was plenty of moisture and little danger of destructive high water.
In these days it was a custom to winter in Missouri, because there was nothing to eat in Kansas. The Indians were a great annoyance, not that they were dangerous, but they pestered the settlers continually with their begging. Even with the excellent natural conditions in this section it was hard getting a start. The outlook for good crops was often spoiled by drouth, grasshoppers, or prairie-fires.
In 1857 the slavery question was warm and there was a general influx of settlers to Kansas. A number of people came to Harveyville settlement. Among them was Joseph Johnson, who took a claim on the Dragoon where he is still located. For many years he was the only carpenter, and he built all the first houses in Wimington and Harveyville. He manufactured all the window- and door-casings, flooring and finishing material from rough lumber by hand.
The first Fourth of July celebration in this vicinity was held in 1857.
There were no railroads west of the Mississippi. Goods were hauled to Kansas City and the settlers went there to buy. In summer it was bad enough, but in winter these trips were perilous. Gradually the market become more convenient. First it was moved to Leavenworth, where there was no longer necessity of crossing the river, next to Atchison, then Lawrence and Topeka, and finally to Burlingame. Ox teams were used exclusively, as the ox is a better pioneer than the horse or mule. Aside from the fire and floods, and the natural hardships attending the settlement of a new country, the tenor of the Harveyvillits way has been tolerably even. The Undergound[sic] Rail-way ran through the Harvey settlement and the good housewives were often called out at night to get supper for two men and ask no questions.
In 1858 a mail station was established on the Dragoon and was kept at Dodge and Saunders. The stage coach of 1858, such as traveled the Santa Fe Trail south of Harvey Settlement, is described as a massive affair with a large boot attached behind for baggage. It was generally drawn by mules.
Sod corn was the principal crop. It was planted by chopping a hole in the sod of fresh-broken prairie and dropping the seed in. Those who were fortunate enough to have cows, made money by selling butter in Kansas City.
What little progress was made by 1860 was given a serious set-back that year by the drouth. No rain fell for a year and six months. Many settlers were discouraged and returned home.
War broke out and took the strength of the country to the front. Those who remained at Harveyville joined Company A of the Osage Battalion. Company A drilled at Wilmington. This battalion was not ordered into service till 1865, when it was sent to Missouri. They marched to Kansas City and took part in the "Battle of the Blue," where the advance orders were not to shoot, whatever happened.
After the war came the grasshoppers, whose visit is described in another part of this book. When the pest arose the third day, leaving barren desolation behind, starvation stared the people in the face. Henry Harvey went to Ohio to solicit aid and was successful. Provisions and clothing were sent to Atchison and hauled from there to the settlers.
The next stirring event was the Pike's Peak gold fever. The Santa Fe Trail was alive with traffic. Men came in all manner of conveyances, and even on foot, pushing wheel-barrows or carrying grips.
In 1874 there was another serious drouth. Ohio was again appealed to, and responded generously. Mr. Joseph Fields did the soliciting and managed the distribution of the goods.
This brings us down to the time when the Santa Fe Railroad came to the place of the trail at Harveyville - in 1880. The day the bonds were voted in Harvey Settlement, a wagonload of hop-tea was sent by the railroad company as a gentle persuader. Then the town was laid out. Some years before this a townsite had been located about a mile north of the present site, called Lexington, but no lots were sold.
The land where Harveyville stands was first taken under military law, as a bounty from the Government to Te Par Kee, minor child of Eme Eman Thluseca, Corporal of Captain Hopie Haarjus, Company A, Creek Volunteer of Seminole War. Samuel B. Harvey obtained the land from the child's guardian, and it was granted to him as a patent, which was signed by President Buchanan in 1860. Later it was sold to Morris Walton and this deed is one of the earliest on record in the country.
The first man to start into business in the new town was Alpheus Glasscock. John Thompson soon followed Glasscock was a store building. George Woods and Eli Henderson operated an elevator and hay-baling establishment. George Woods built a store and put in a fine stock of hardware. Walton Bros. kept a general store.
This was the beginning but it was ten years before Harveyville was able to hold her own trade which was going to Burlingame, and it is only within the last few years that people have ceased to consider an ocasional[sic] shopping trip to Burlingame necessary.
Transcribed from Business directory and history of Wabaunsee County pub. by The Kansas directory company of Topeka, Kansas, 1907. 104 p. illus. (incl. ports.) 21 cm. Advertising matter interspersed.
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