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Kansas State Board of Agriculture
First Biennial Report

Shawnee County

1878

Map of Shawnee County - 1878

TOPEKA TOWNSHIP.---The first white man who cultivated a farm was Clement Shattio, a Frenchman, who came to the county November 15, 1852. This farm is situated one mile northwest of Topeka. Shattio still resides in the county. Among the settlers of 1854 were Horatio Cox, Anthony A. Ward, Robert Matthews, Gilbert Billard, Thomas and J.R. Warren. Thomas Warren died December 15, 1874, aged 104 years. Upon the hundredth anniversary of his birth he visited the House of Representatives, which was then in session, and was formally received by the Speaker, to whose address he responded briefly and pleasantly. The town site of Topeka was located by Charles Robinson and C.K. Holliday, agents of the New England Emigrant Aid Society, in November, 1854. On the 29th of that month, Enoch Chase, M.C. Dickey, J.B. Chase and George Davis settled on this site. A rival town, called Fremont, had been located a short distance east of the present residence of D.L. Lakin, and considerable trouble and ill-feeling resulted between the rival enterprises; but Fremont very soon subsided, and all traces of the infant town were lost. December 4, 1854, a party of nine men, who had just arrived at Lawrence, hearing of the Topeka enterprise, sent a committee to examine the locality and report. That party consisted of D.H. Horne, F.W. Giles, L.G. Cleveland, S.A. Clark, F.L. Crane, W.C. Linniker, T.G. Thornton, Jonas E. Greenwood and Timothy McIntire, and the first four named were the committee. Holliday accompanied them, and they reported favorably to the company. A town association was formed during the winter, of which Col. Holliday was the first president, a position that he has ever since retained. The first store in Topeka was kept by J.W. Jones, early in the spring of 1855. The building is yet standing on the west side of Kansas avenue, between Second and Third streets. The first tin shop and hardware store was by J.C. Miller, who made the first tinware ever made in the Territory, in April, 1855. Guilford Dudley opened the first broker's office in 1859, and the first banking house was established by F.W. Giles in 1864. Enoch Case kept the first boarding house, in the spring of 1855. --- Topeka was incorporated February 14, 1857. The first city election was held January 28, 1858, and the following officers were elected: Loring Farnsworth, Mayor; A.F. Whiting, A.F. Housel, G.S. Gordon, J.G. Bunker and James Hickey, Councilmen. --- The first birth in Topeka was a son of Israel Zimmerman, in the summer of 1855. --- The first school was taught during the same summer by Sarah Harland, and the first school house was built in 1856, by the New England Emigrant Aid Society; it was on the southeast corner of Fifth and Harrison streets. --- The Methodists erected the first church organization March 31, 1855. --- C.K. Holliday was the first Justice of the Peace, appointed in 1855. --- F.W. Giles was the first postmaster. --- The convention which met at Wyandotte, in 1859, and framed the constitution of the State made Topeka the temporary seat of government, and at the general election, held November 5, 1861, it was chosen the permanent Capital by a majority of the popular vote. The literal translation of the Indian word Topeka is said to be "A good place to dig potatoes."

SOLDIER TOWNSHIP.--- The first white settlement was made in 1840 by three brothers, Frenchmen, named Joseph, Ahean and Louis Papan; though French, they were natives of St. Louis. Theirs was the first white settlement made in the county. The Papan Brothers started the first ferry across the Kansas river in 1842, but the great flood of 1844 washed away all their houses and boats, and they went back to Kansas City, soon returning, however, and in 1846 were again at their settlement. During the flood of 1844, the water was twenty feet deep where North Topeka now stands. Quite a number of white settlers moved into what is now Soldier township in 1848, and in 1854 there was considerable immigration. A part of the territory of the present township was first in Calhoun county, afterwards in Jackson, and finally in Shawnee. Calhoun was the county seat of the first named county; it was situated in the extreme southeast part of the township; the town site was located in 1854, and the first court was held Chief Justice Lecompte, September 24, 1854. The town site of Indianola was selected and laid out by H.D. McMeekin, in November, 1854. The town site of Rochester was selected by J. Butler Chapman, author of a "History of Kansas," published in 1854. The town company was formed in August of that year. The town was successively named Delaware City, Whitfield City, Kansopolis, and finally Rochester. The years 1855 and 1856 witnessed large additions to the population of the township. In the spring of 1859, W.T. Sherman, now General of the Army, settled on the S.W. 1/4 of Sec. 4, Town. 11, Range 16. He returned to Leavenworth in the fall of the same year.

WILLIAMSPORT TOWNSHIP. --- The first settlement was made, August 13, 1854, by the Rev. Robert Simerwell, a noted missionary, born in Ireland in 1796. He had acquired the blacksmith's trade, and built the first shop in the township, in the fall of 1854. The log cabin built for his residence is yet standing. He translated the New Testament into the Pottwatomie language. He died December 11, 1868, leaving two daughters, Mrs. Isaac Baxter and Mrs. John Carter, both residents of the township. Other settlements were made in the fall of 1854, and a larger number in 1855, and a still larger in 1856. Two William Matneys, cousins, came in August 26, 1854. --- the first birth in the township was a child to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Herald, February, 1855; the first death, that of Mrs. Joseph Herald, also in February, 1855. --- The first marriage was that of Richard Steward and Polly Matney, 1856. --- The first school house was built by subscription, in 1857, and the first sermon was preached by Rev. James Gilpatrick, December 16, 1854. --- The Williamsport Town Company was organized in 1857, at Williamsport, Pennsylvania; Dr. A.J. Huntoon, T.U. Thompson and Joel Huntoon came out and made improvements. The town site of Wakarusa was laid out in 1858.

AUBURN TOWNSHIP.--- The first white settler, outside of missionaries to the Indians, was J.W. Brown, who purchased of the Shawnees a cabin and the land ever since owned and occupied by him. This was August 12, 1854. About the same time a party of seven men from Jackson county, Missouri, came in and selected claims. They lived in deserted Indian cabins, the collection of which was called Brownsville, in honor of the first actual settler. The first Sabbath school in the State, it is said, was organized here in April, 1855, and the first school taught in the county was in one of the Indian cabins, about the same time. Mr. A. Preston was the teacher. The city of Auburn was laid out in March, 1856, the town company consisting of J.W. Brown, M.C. Dickey, Loring Farnsworth and Henry Fox. --- The first house was of logs, built by the company. --- The first regular school house was built of concrete, two stories high. --- The first church, Methodist, was built in 1856, Rev. J.S. Griffin, pastor. --- The first postmaster was Rev. James Gilpatrick. --- The first township trustee was A.H. Hale, afterwards sheriff of the county, and the first justice of the peace was W.F. Johnson.

MISSION TOWNSHIP.--- The first white settler was Jonas Lykins, who came from Osawatomie, and settled here November 15, 1847. He cultivated a farm, and resided upon it until 1859, when he died. His brother, Dr. Johnston Lykins, built the Baptist Mission, in 1848, which is on the farm now occupied by R.I. Lee. The Mission farm consisted of 320 acres, only a portion of which was in cultivation. The first Indian school was taught here in 1848. The Mission closed about 1859. Abram B. Burnett, a chief of the Pottawatomies, moved into the township in 1848; he died in 1870. In the spring of 1848, a Catholic Mission was established near the Baptist Mission, and in 1860 it was removed from the hill to near the bank of the river, a distance of about half a mile. While here it was under the charge of Father Maurice Guillaud, who was born in France in 1815, and died at St. Mary's Mission, August 12, 1877. Sidney W. Smith moved into the township in March, 1852, and established a ferry across the Kansas river, which he ran for eight years. Until August 4, 1862, two-thirds of the township was included in the Pottawatomie reservation.

TECUMSEH TOWNSHIP.--- The first white settlement was made by Col. N.T. Stinson, March 20, 1853. He came to Uniontown, this county, from Westport, Mo., in 1848. A party of Missourians settled here, May 5. 1854. The first saw mill was built in 1854, and the first store in December of that year. The first Methodist Conference quarterly meeting ever held in the State, it is claimed, was held at the residence of Mr. Naylor, summer of 1855. The Rev. Dr. Still was presiding elder; Rev. James Griffin, missionary in charge. Judge Rush Elmore arrived in December 1, and Gen. H.J. Strickler, December 25, 1854. Among the numerous settlers of 1855, was the Hon. John Martin. The City of Tecumseh was laid out in August, 1854, and the survey was made on the 15th of that month. Among the original proprietors were, Col. Stinson, Judge Elmore, Judge S.W. Johnston, from Ohio, Gov. Reeder, Samuel H. Woodson, J.W. Whitfield and A.J. Isaacs, Territory Attorney General. The first sermon was preached by Rev. J.B. Stateler, in his tent, October 10, 1854. The first Methodist church (South) was built in 1855, and the first school was taught in May of that year, in a log house, by William Ireland. The first hotel was built by the town company in 1855. The town site of Washington was laid out in the spring of 1855; W.Y. Roberts was one of the original proprietors. There is now but one house on the town site. Kenamo and Mairsville were "paper towns" which were laid out, the latter in 1855, the former in 1856. Tecumseh was the first county seat, and a court house was built there, which is now in ruins.

DOVER TOWNSHIP.--- A government trading post was established at a point nearly opposite the present town of Rossville, south side of the river, in the spring of 1848. The first house was built in that year, by Col. Thos. N. Stinson, now a resident of Tecumseh. Soon after, several traders arrived and erected buildings, and in the following year the place was called Uniontown. The "California trail" crossed the river at this point, and extensive payments were made to the Indians in gold and silver, the amount in one instance reaching $130,000. About 1850, Uniontown was at the height of its prosperity, there being over fifty buildings in the place, fourteen of them stores. In 1855, the trading post was broken up, and a farm is now cultivated on the old town site. It is owned by James Gillis, and is within the limits of the village of Dover. The next settlers came in in 1856. Dover was made a voting precinct of Auburn township, October 1, 1860, and in the fall of 1867, was erected into a township. E.M. Hewins was the first trustee; Jacob Haskell and George Harden, Justices. The first postmaster was Alfred Sage, appointed in 1862. The village of Dover took its name from Dover, New Hampshire.

MONMOUTH TOWNSHIP.--- The first settlement was made by Charles Matney, who came into the township August 17, 1854, bringing thirty-three yoke of oxen with him. Several other families arrived the same year, and there were large accessions in 1855 and 1856. Richland post office was established in the fall of 1856, W.C. Murray, first postmaster. The first school house was built of hewn logs in the fall of 1857, and is still standing. The first marriage was that of L. Pruden and Eliza Helton; the first death, that of David, son of Charles Matney, April 13, 1855. The first white child born was also a son to Charles Matney, April 6, 1856. The first sermon was preached by Rev. W.A. Cardwell in the summer of 1856. The first Sabbath school was organized in 1857. The only church edifice was erected by the Episcopal denomination, in the north part of the township, in 1870. The town of Carthage was laid out in 1857, but only one house was ever built on the site.

SILVER LAKE TOWNSHIP.--- First settled by the whites in the 1847, although white men had been earlier eimployed to cultivate farms for the Indians. A considerable number of settlements were made during the three or four subsequent years, but we have not space to enumerate them. The first rope ferry ever established across the river above Wyandotte, was in 1852, by Sidney W. Smith. Hiram Wells and John Ogee established the first and only deck ferry boat ever on the Kaw river; they commenced running it in 1853. Joseph and Louis Ogee also established a ferry the same year, which was continued until 1869. These three ferries were maintained within a quarter of a mile of each other. The first store was kept by Sloan & Beaubien, in 1854, the first hotel by C. Palmer, in 1869. J.B. Oliver was the first postmaster at the town of Silver Lake, appointed in 1868. The original proprietors of the town were M.B. Beaubien and A.S. Thomas.

ROSSVILLE TOWNSHIP.--- The first white settlers of what is now Rossville township came in in 1847 and 1848, but none of them now remain. Soon after their arrival, a toll bridge was built over Cross creek, half a mile above the present site of Rossville. The first store was started about 1853, by William Dyer; and Col. Boone, a grandson of Daniel Boone, opened one a year or two after. The first school was taught by Mrs. Gibson Melty, in a log cabin near the creek; she had about fifteen scholars, nearly equally divided between whites and half-breeds. The first postmaster was Jas. W. Dahoney, appointed in 1862. The first justice was R.S. Gabby, appointed in 1867. The first township election was held April, 1871; Samuel Beal was the first trustee. The original proprietors of the town of Rossville were A.C. Sherman, Col. G.W. Veale, H. Wilson and F. Johnson. The Pottawatomie Indians came to their reservation in this State in 1847, and remained about twenty-five years. The yearly payments to the tribe were about $80,000, and after 1859 were made at Cross creek, now Rossville.

IN GENERAL: The members of the first Territorial Legislature, from the territory now comprised in Shawnee county, were H.J. Strickler, chosen to the Council, and Dr. D.L. Croysdale, Representative. The first Representative after the county was organized, was Charles S. McKinney, elected in 1856, who served in the session of 1857. The first County Clerk was Hon. John Martin, who was ex officio Recorder of Deeds. The first deed was recorded by him February 9, 1856. Thomas N. Stinson was the first Treasurer, appointed in 1855. The first County Commissioners were Edward Hoagland and William Yocum, elected by the Legislature of 1855. Wm. O. Yeager was the first Probate Judge. G.W. Berry was the first Sheriff, but he did not qualify, and John Horner was appointed September 24, 1855. The first meeting of the Commissioners was held September 17, 1855. The first Senator elected under the State government was H.W. Farnsworth; the first Representative, W.E. Bowker.

Shawnee county was organized in 1855.

[The facts given here are mainly taken from the "Historical Sketch of Shawnee County," by William W. Cone.]

Population in 1860, 3,513; in 1870, 13,121; increase in 10 years, 9,608; population in 1875, 15,417; increase in five years, 2,296; population in 1878, 19,114; increase in eighteen years, 15,601. Rural population, 7,646; city or town population 11,468; per cent. of rural to city or town population, 40.

POPULATION of 1878, by Townships and Cities.






TOWNSHIPS AND
CITIES.
POP.TOWNSHIPS AND
CITIES.
POP.TOWNSHIPS AND
CITIES.
POP.
City of Garnett 1,127Indian Creek 208Jackson490
Auburn729Dover579Mission604
Monmouth988Rossville928Silver Lake1,660
Soldier1,671Topeka City9,003Topeka1,321
Tecumseh821Williamsport810----------------






Face of the Country. --- Bottom land, 31 per cent.; upland, 69 per cent.; forest (Government survey) 8 per cent.; prairie, 92 per cent. Average width of bottoms---Kansas river, three miles; Mission creek, one-half mile; Wakarusa, one mile; smaller streams, various widths. General surface of the country undulating; some portions portions adjoining the Kansas river bottoms, bluffy.

Timber. --- The timber is confined to the water courses. Varieties: elm, cottonwood, black walnut, oak, sycamore, box elder, hiscory and ash. Since fires have been kept out, the native timber has increased in some of the townships. Considerable has been done in the way of artificial cultivation, but we have no definite reports. Soft maple has become unpopular, as it is subject to the ravages of worms. Ninety per cent. of the cultivated consist of the following varieties: cottonwood, box elder and black walnut.

Principal Streams. --- Kansas River, flows southeasterly; tributaries from the north, Beaubien, Cross, Soldier and Indian creeks; tributaries of the Soldier, Little Soldier, Moccasin and Half Day creeks; tributaries of the Kansas, from the South, Vesser, Mission, Shunganunga, Deer, Stinson and Tecumseh creeks; tributaries of Mission creek, Haskell and Blacksmith creeks. The Wakarusa flows east; tributaries from the north, Six-Mile and Lynn creeks; from the south, Tow-Head and Berry creeks. The springs are not numerous, but there are some excellent ones; good well water is obtained at a depth of from 18 to 40 feet.

Coal. --- There is no estimate of the area covered. Thickness of veins discovered, from 14 to 20 inches; depth below surface, 15 to 20 feet---crops out in the ravines in some localities; quality, fair; used to quite a large extent for local, domestic and manufacturing purposes.

Building Stone, etc --- Good limestone is found in abundance in all parts of the county; fire clay is found above the coal, but has not been tested.

Railroad Connections. --- The Kansas Pacific Railway runs through the county, on the north side of the Kansas river; stations, Topeka, Silver Lake and Rossville. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad runs through the county from north to south; stations, Topeka and Wakarusa. The Kansas Midland Railroad, operated by the A.T. & S.F. Company, runs east from Topeka, along the south side of the Kansas river, extending to Lawrence and Kansas City; station, Tecumseh.

Agricultural Statistics. --- Acres in the county, 357,120; taxable acres, 340,177; under cultivation, 94,927.38; cultivated to taxable acres, 27.91 per cent.; decrease of cultivated acres during the year, 3,492.99.

Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. --- Garden produce, $11,913.85; poultry and eggs, $11,857.

Old Corn on Hand. --- Old corn on hand March 1st, 1878, 570,017 bushels, or an average of 149 bushels to each family.

Dairy Products. --- Number of cheese factories, 1; capital invested, none reported; manufactured in 1875, 11,840 lbs.; in 1878, 45.700 lbs.; increase, 33,860 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 256,090 lbs.; in 1878, 349, 336 lbs.; increase, 93,246 lbs.

Farm Animals. --- Number of horses, in 1877, 6,101; in 1878, 6,421; increase, 320. Mules and asses, in 1877, 595; in 1878, 605; increase, 10. Milch cows, in 1877, 7,618; in 1878, 7,979; increase, 361. Other cattle, in 1877, 14,283; in 1878, 15,681; increase, 1,398. Sheep, in 1877, 2,238; in 1878, 3,081; increase, 843. Swine, in 1877, 14,764; in 1878, 24,675; increase, 9,911.

Sheep Killed by Dogs. --- Number of sheep killed by dogs, 31; value of sheep killed by dogs, $93.

Wool. --- Clip of 1877, 6,756 lbs.

Value of Animals Slaughtered. --- Value of animals slaughtered, and sold for slaughter during the year, $238,362.83.

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









CROPS.1872.1873.1874.1875.1876.1877.1878.








Winter Wheat 3,514.00 3,514.00 7,167.00 5,054.53 10,867.00 4,807.00 7,734.00
Rye1,352.001,352.00815.002,458.805,127.002,779.001,710.00
Spring Wheat 530.001,543.002,212.00601.50302.00239.001,431.00
Corn39,7964.0035,758.0043,504.0041,240.0042,249.0061,539.0052,006.00
Barley44.00418.00224.00652.25635.00287.00206.00
Oats4,519.006,446.006,595.005,742.046,334.00 2,758.005,127.00
Buckwheat265.00215.0025.0037.00129.0071.0061.75
Irish Potatoes980.001,370.00954.00761.061,146.58970.001,136.00
Sweet Potatoes24.0035.00187.0083.5462.3849.0066.50
Sorghum35.0065.0080.00167.91148.25240.00177.63
Castor Beans............26.0036.522.0069.001.00
Cotton..........................................
Flax......444.001,277.00625.30558.0056.00241.00
Hemp ......1.0025.0013.008.0044.004.00
Tobacco1.124.001.004.629.757.875.25
Broom Corn............71.00143.75114.2589.0041.50
Millet and Hungarian381.00769.001,969.002,686.753,929.505,580.004,189.00
Timothy Meadow301.00301.00348.00405.705146.50207.00412.25
Clover Meadow509.00509.00352.0068.75221.50366.00108.00
Prairie Meadow 30,051.0011,268.00 12,899.0015,297.7511,370.0011,444.0012,223.00
Timothy Pasture 16.0016.0063.00686.51.00256.00181.00
Clover Pasture 49.0049.0071.0027.005.009.50......
Blue-Grass Pasture173.00173.00139.00597.7593.50292.00341.50
Prairie Pasture5,881.005881.004,916.009,876.005,939.006,261.007,529.00








Total 88,441.12 70,131.0083,920.0087,268.1489,418.2198,420.3794,927.38









              Increase in six years, 7+ per cent.
              Average increase per annum, 1.16- per cent.

RANK of Shawnee 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 32 30 31 46 34 49 52
Corn 8 11 9 17 17 13 16
Total Acreage in all Crops 14 18 19 23 24 28 37








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. 7,334.00 2,927.00 in. 161,414.00 113.344.00 in. $103,304.96 $55,234.96 in.
Rye - bu. 1710.00 1,069.00 de. 37,620.00 15,181.00 de. 11,286.00 7,194.35 de.
Spring Wheat - bu. 1,431.00 1,192.00 in. 14,310.00 10,725.00 in. 5,724.00 2,856.00 in.
Corn - bu. 52,006.00 9,533.00 de. 1,976,228.00 793,027.00 de. 395,245.60 269,375.60 de.
Barley - bu. 206.00 81.00 de. 4,532.00 2,356.00 de. 2,266.00 489.20 de.
Oats - bu. 5,127.00 2,369.00 in. 205,080.00 94,760.00 in. 32,812.80 12,955.20 in.
Buckwheat - bu. 61.75 9.25 de. 1,296.75 231.75 in. 1,037.40 185.40 in.
Irish Potatoes - bu. 1,136.00 166.00 in. 102,240.00 44,040.00 in. 61,344.00 17,694.00 in.
Sweet Potatoes - bu. 66.50 17.50 in. 6,650.00 1,750.00 in. 4,322.50 577.50 de.
Sorghum - gall. 177.63 62.37 de. 20,427.45 7,172.55 de. 10,213.73 3,586.27 de.
Castor Beans - bu. 1.00 68.00 de. 10.00 749.00 de. 12.50 746.50 de.
Cotton - lbs ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ......
Flax - bu. 241.00 185.00 in. 2,892.00 2,220.00 in. 2,892.00 20186.40 in.
Hemp - lbs. 4.00 40.00 de. 3,680.00 36,800 de. 220.80 2,208.00 de.
Tobacco - lbs. 5.25 2.62 de. 3,885.00 1,938.80 de. 388.50 193.88 de.
Broom Corn - lbs 41.50 47.50 de. 33,200.00 38.000.00 de. 1,245.00 1,425.00 de.
Millet and Hungarian - tons 4,189.00 1,391.00 de. 12,567.00 2,778.00 de. 59,693.25 13,195.50 de.
Timothy Meadow - tons 412.25 205.25 in. 618.37 307.87 in. 3,091.85 1,539.35 in.
Clover Meadow - tons 103.00 263.00 de. 195.70 499.70 de. 978.50 2,498.50 de.
Prairie Meadow - tons 12,223.00 779.00 in. 18,335.00 1,169.00 in. 64,172.50 4,091.50 in.
Timothy Pasture - acres 181.00 75.00 in. ...... ...... ...... ......
Clover Pasture - acres ...... 9.50 de. ...... ...... ...... ......
Blue-Grass Pasture - acres 341.50 49.50 in. ...... ...... ...... ......
Prairie Pasture - acres 7,529.00 1,268.00 in. ...... ...... ...... ......







Total - 94,927.38 3,492.99 de. ...... ...... $760,251.89 $204,747.49 de.







Horticulture. --- Number of acres nurseries, 37.50. Number of trees in bearing: apple, 45,063; pear, 2,149; peach, 62,612; plum, 1,949; cherry, 18,480. Number of trees not in bearing: apple, 91,079; pear, 4,683; peach, 34,942; plum, 1,779; cherry, 14,509.

Herd Law. --- The general herd law is not in force in the county, and the popular sentiment is rather averse to it. The usual argument as to the cost of fencing is urged in its behalf, while its opponents say that the law would ruin the stock-raising interest.

Fences. --- Stone, 61,765 rods; cost, $108,088.75. Rail, 82,316 rods; cost, $111,226.60; Board, 94,514 rods; cost, $133,319.60. Wire, 81,894 rods; cost, $57,325.80. Hedge, 250,311 rods; cost, $150,186.60. Total rods of fence, 570,800; total cost, $560,147.35.

Apiaculture. --- Number of stands of bees, 336; pounds of honey, 4,398.

Value of Agricultural Implements. --- Amount invested in agricultural implements, $73,958.

Manufactures. --- Mission township: cheese factory. Rossville township: steam and water flouring mill, capital, $2,525; steam flouring mill, capital $15,000. City of Topeka: steam flouring mills, 2, capital, $43,000; carriage manufactory, capital, $4,000' steam-poer foundry, capital, $6,000; hand-power foundry, capital, $2,000; cabinet manufactory, capital, $2,000; brick kilns, 2, capital, $8,000; pottery, capital, $1,500; steam-power cracker factory, capital, $10,000; rolling mill, steam-power, capital, $50,000; repair shops, steam-power, capital, $50,000.

Valuation and Indebtedness. --- Assessed valuation of personal property, $1,191,033; railroad property, $509,825.05; total assessed valuation of all property, $5,618,927.22; true valuation of all property, $9,364,878.70. Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $714,847.94; per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, 13-.

Newspaper History. --- The Kansas Freeman was founded July 4, 1855, by E.C.K. Garvey, editor and proprietor. It was Free-State in politics, and was published up to the time of the meeting of the Topeka Constitutional Convention, when a daily evening edition was published during the session of that body. The paper suspended sometime in the spring of 1856.

The Kansas Tribune was first issued in Lawrence, September 15 1855, by John Speer, S.N. Wood soon becoming one of the editors and proprietors. After continuing till December, the paper suspended for a few weeks, when it was removed to Topeka, and its publication continued by Speer and W.W. Ross, until February, 1857, when Speer sold out to Ross Bros. March 5, 1856, a daily edition was commenced, but lasted only a short time. In September, 1858, the Messrs. Ross retired from the paper, Shepherd & Cummings continuing the publication. Afterwards, Cummings was the sole proprietor. Late in 1863, or early in 1864, Andrew Stark became the editor and proprietor, publishing a daily edition during the Legislative session of 1864; and on May 5, 1865, it was purchased of him by E.C.K. Garvey and C.K. Holliday. After a brief interval, they sold to John P. Greer, and a daily was issued for a short time, beginning October 27, 1866. Greer retired from the paper February 23, 1867. December 6, of the same year, the daily Tribune was reissued, under the management of Greer and A.L. Williams, and continued during the Legislative session of 1868. The Tribune expired.

[It is difficult to trace the history of this paper accurately, owing to the absence of files, and the frequent changes of proprietorship.]

The Kansas State Record was founded by E.G. & W.W. Ross, October 1, 1859. In the spring of 1861, W.W. Ross sold to his brother, and August 19, 1862, the latter sold to S.D. Macdonald and F.G. Adams. February 1, 1863, Adams sold to F.P. Baker, and on February 6, 1868, Macdonald also sold to Baker, who was sole proprietor till the spring of 1869. The Daily Record was commenced June 3, 1868, and on April 3, 1869, the office was destroyed by fire. On the 20th of the same month, Henry King bought a half interest. A half sheet was issued for a month, when new material arrived, and the paper was reissued in its former proportions. February 15, 1871, King retired from the Record. From 1870 to December, 1871, the paper was published by a joint stock company, of which Henry King was the first president, and F.P. Baker, secretary and business manager. Upon the retirement of King, G.D. Baker became president of the company, and so remained until the Record was consolidated with the Commonwealth, December 7, 1871. The Weekly Record was continued by G.D. Baker for a few weeks, when the Commonwealth Printing Company sold the material to G.D. Baker and S.D. Macdonald, who continued the publication till May25, 1875, when it was also absorbed in the Commonwealth.

The Auburn Docket was started at Auburn, June 20, 1860, by D.B. Emmert, editor and proprietor, and was continued for about one year.

The Truth-Teller, a sort of campaign paper, was published daily, by Trask & Lowman, during the first session of the State Legislature.

The Kansas Farmer, devoted to agriculture and kindred topics, was established May 1, 1863, as the organ of the State Agricultural Society, and published monthly, at Topeka, under the immediate charge of F.G. Adams, Secretary of the Society. The paper was transferred to J.S. Brown, January 1, 1865, who removed it to Lawrence, and continued it till August 1, 1867. It was then purchased by George T. Anthony, and published by him at Leavenworth, with George A. Crawford as associate editor and traveling agent, till May 15, 1872, when it was issued as a semi-monthly. In January, 1873, the Farmer was sold to M.S. Grant, who employed as editor Dr. A.G. Chase, who had latterly been assistant editor under Anthony. Grant continued the publication to November 15, 1873, when the establishment was purchased by J.K. Hudson, who removed it to Topeka, January 1, 1874, and first issued the paper as a weekly, on the 7th of the same month. The publication was continued by Hudson to May 1, 1878, when a half interest was sold to E.E. Ewing, and the firm is now Hudson & Ewing.

The first number of the Kansas Educational Journal, monthly, was published in January 1, 1864, and continued about nine years in book form, and one year as a quarto. It ceased to exist in the latter part of 1874. It was supported by persons interested in educational work, aided by appropriations from the State treasury. It was edited by the Rev. Peter McVicar, with numerous contributors.

The Topeka Leader was established December 9, 1865, by J.F. Cummings and Ward Burlingame, the latter being the editor. He withdrew in a few weeks, and the paper was continued by Cummings till March 4, 1869, when it was absorbed in the Commonwealth. The Leader was revived in September, 1876, by Cummings & Johnson, and ran a few months, when it was again absorbed in the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth, daily and weekly, Republican, was established May 1, 1869, by S.S. Prouty and J.B. Davis. Ward Burlingame was the chief editor. July 1, 1869, Prouty sold his interest to A.W. Edwards and George W. Crane, but re-purchased Edwards' interest in the latter part of the same month, when the firm became Prouty, Davis & Crane. Subsequently Davis and Crane sold their interests to F.L. Crane and S.D. Macdonald, the firm being known as S.S. Prouty & Co. The Daily State Record and the Commonwealth were consolidated December 7, 1871, the consolidated paper taking the name of the Commonwealth, and being published by a stock company, Henry King, managing editor. In November, 1872, W.H. Rossington became one of the editors of the paper, and April 1, 1873, managing editor, August 17, 1873, Prouty severed his connection with the establishment, and Kind became both publisher and managing editor. October 20, of the same year, the Commonwealth building, with all its material, was destroyed by fire. For a few weeks the paper was printed in the Blade office, when new material was procured, and the paper assumed its old proportions, George W. Veale, a member of the old printing company, being the proprietor. He continued the publication until January 1, 1875, when the paper was sold to F.P. Baker, who did not take charge till March 7, 1875, when he assumed the control, with N.L. Prentis as local and news editor. On June 1, 1876, Mr. Baker associated his three sons with him as partners, and since that time the paper has been published by F.P. Baker & Sons.

The American Young Folks, a sixteen-page illustrated monthly for boys and girls, was established by J.K. Hudson, at Topeka, Kansas, in 1875, as a quarterly. In 1876, it was issued as a monthly, and is continued by the firm of Hudson & Ewing.

The Topeka Tribune, a campaign paper, was started by the Topeka Greenback Publishing Company, as a tri-weekly, October 15, 1878.

The Tanner and Cobber was published by M.R. Moore and J.L. King, during the fall of 1872, as a campaign paper.

The Topeka Bulletin, a daily evening paper, was published for one week by L.M. Crawford, at the time J.M. Harvey was elected United States Senator. F.G. Adams was editor.

In the fall of 1870, a weekly paper, called the Independent, was issued by J.F. Cummings, but it lingered only for a few months.

The Kansas State Zietung was founded September 15, 1871, by George Tauber. It was published about a year, when the material was purchased by A. Thomas and others, who continued the publication of the paper during the campaign of 1872, in the interest of Mr. Greeley. The material was then employed in printing a Swedish paper, called the Kansas Monitor, which survived about a year, when the material was removed to Nebraska.

The Star of Empire was published by the National Land Company, with Dr. W.E. Webb as editor, during the years 1869 and 70. It was a monthly, and was printed at the Record office, a very large edition being issued.

The Advertiser, a monthly real estate paper, was published by Mills & Smith, commencing about 1868, and subsequently by J.P. Ennis & Co.

The North Topeka Times, Republican, was founded by C. Maynard, March 16, 1871. May 30, 1872, he sold to J.V. Admire, who, in turn, sold to V.P. Wilson, January 1, 1874. Mr. Wilson continued the Times as a weekly till the spring of 1875, when it was published as an evening daily (having been removed to the south side of the river), by Wilson & Sons, till May 25, 1876. At that time it was purchased by N.R. Baker, who continued it, with S.S. Prouty as editor, for about six weeks, when it was merged into the Commonwealth.

The Wood-Chopper was a campaign paper, which was run through the Presidential canvass, in advocacy of the election of Horace Greeley, by F.P. Baker.

The Kansas Magazine Company was incorporated November 8, 1871. S.S. Prouty, Henry King, D.W. Wilder, C.W. Babcock, T.A. Osborn, John A. Martin, D.M. Valentine, M.W. Reynolds and W.H. Smallwood were the incorporators. The first number of the Kansas Magazine was issued January, 1872. Henry King was the editor, and was succeeded by James W. Steele. The last number of the Magazine was published in October, 1873.

The Topeka Blade, a daily evening Independent paper, was founded August 1, 1873, by J. Clark Swayze, and was discontinued January 31, 1874. The publication was resumed by Swayze, January 7, 1875, who continued it till March 27, 1877, when he was killed in a street encounter by J.W. Wilson. The paper was continued by Mrs. Swayze till February 28, 1878, when it was purchased by George W. Reed, by whom it is now published, as an Independent Repuplican paper.

The Kansas Democrat was first issued at Topeka, with material brought from Independence, Kansas, January 20, 1875, by Peacock & Sons, by whom it is still continued. It is, as its name implies, Democratic in politics.

The Church Journal, monthly, was established at Topeka, by ------. It is devoted to the interests of the Protestant Episcopal church, and is edited by Rev. H.H. Loring.

The material of the Kansas Magazine was purchased by Frank A. Root and removed to North Topeka, where, June 8, 1876, he commenced the publication of the North Topeka Times, a weekly Republican paper. September 22, 1877, he sold a half interest to George A. Irwin, and the paper is now published by Root & Irwin.

The Commmerical Advertiser was published at Topeka for some months in 1877, by E.F. Campbell. It was mainly devoted to advertising.

The Capital City News, was issued September 30, 1872, by an association of printers: L.H. Hascall, James W. Fox, W.H. Johnson and W.P. Newhart, being the company. J.G. Waters was editor. The News supported Mr. Greeley for the Presidency. It was published till November 9, 1872, when it suspended.

The Note Book was published at Tecumseh, in 1857 and 1858, or a part of those years. It was owned by Sam G. Reid, who was the editor. It was an intense Pro-Slavery sheet. Mr. Reid is now publishing a radical Republican paper at Montgomery, Alabama.

Der Courier, an independent Republican paper (German), was started at Topeka, January 1, 1878, by Edward Fleisher, and still continues.

The Colored Citizen, a weekly Republican paper, was removed from Fort Scott to Topeka, and the first number issued at the latter place July 26, 1878. Eagleson Brothers are the publishers, Rev. T.W. Henderson, editor.

Schools. --- No. of organized districts, 78; school population, 6,522; average salary of teachers, per month, males, $38.50; females, $31.50. School houses built during 1878,: frame, 1. Total number of school houses, 83; frame, 47; brick, 8; stone, 28. Value of all school property, $178,949. A few districts are reported as having ornamented their school grounds with shade trees.

Churches. --- Baptist: organizations, 8; membership, 520; church edifices, 5; value of church property, $25,000. Congregational: organizations, 4; membership, 315; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $23,000. Episcopal: organizations, 2; membership, 168; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $17,000. Lutheran: organization, 2; membership, 95; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $5,000. Methodist Episcopal, membership, 1,036; church edifices, 5; value of church property, $27,860. Presbyterian: organizations, 8; membership, 425; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $14,000. Roman Catholic: organizations, 4; membership, 1,000; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $10,000. United Presbyterian: organizations, 1; membership, 30; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $4,000. Universalist: organizations, 1; membership, 15.


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 organizaed 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.


Material transcribed and © 1999 by Teresa Lindquist for the KSGenWeb Internet Genealogical Society; original HTML source code ©1999 by Tom & Carolyn Ward, used with permission; modifications © 1999 by Teresa Lindquist. We thank Blue Skyways for their generous donation of space to house this transcribed document.



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