70th Anniversary Edition
The Washington County Register
Friday, Sept. 16, 1938
Part 1 of 3
Contents of Part 1
Foreword -- A Brief History of the Washington County Register -- Washington County from 1850 to 1938 -- Early State History of the Discovery of Kansas -- Washington County -1938 -- Famous Route of the Pony Express -- Cottonwood Station -- Fort Leavenworth Military Road -- Biographies of Pioneers -- Congratulatory Letters --
Jane Timmis Overbury - 104 -- Mr. and Mrs. James Creighton
This Seventieth Anniversary edition of the Washington County Register, published to do honor to those noble men and women, the pioneers, who made possible the growth of Washington County and Washington City, also commemorates the seventy years of service to the community and county by the Washington County Register.
Preparing this seventieth anniversary edition has proven to us the possibility and the need of collecting individual data while it may be had, and getting it on paper for future posterity. We have garnered a wealth of interesting material both pictures and stories that we would liked to have included in this issue but we lack space, money and time. We look forward to the time when, with your assistance, we can produce a 500-page history of Washington county.
Nor is it too much to hope that a museum of some nature may in the near future develop wherein many relics dear to individuals and to the county may be preserved in glass cases, where at the same time their educational value may be extended to the growing children and particular county pride and interest be created among the citizens of the county.
In preserving some account of that sturdy race of men and women who paved the way for the developm.ent of Washington County, we have herein tried to include the names of all who were within the confines of the county in the early days.
We have recorded their names with other matters of interest too valuable to be lost. Most of the pioneers have passed away and with many of them have vanished the scenes in which they individually participated.
Too, with the destruction of the court house in 1869, all official records were burned prior to that date. This unfortunate loss makes it difficult and in some cases impossible to procure earliest official data. However, individual forces have kept many records and the files of the Washington County Register from 1869 become a weekly memoir.
In preparing this edition, we have also included a Who's Who among the business men of our county. As far as possible every business and professional man in the county has been included except for some few who preferred not to be included.
To mention the names of the many men and women who assisted us in preparation of this issue, both with pictures and information, would be an endless task, but we can only say that their assistance is appreciated and it is only by their help that this issue was made possible.
It is our hope that this copy will be retained throughout the years for its historical and pictorial value.
MARGARET C. BARLEY, Editor.
A Brief History of The Washington County Register
Volume I, Number 1, of the Western Observer, the first newspaper in Washington county, was published on March 25, 1869 in the stockade building that served as the first print shop, the first school building, the first court house, the first church, and general all purpose building. Mark J. Kelley was the editor.The Old Stockade
A reproduction of the first page of the first issue is shown on the opposite page. One of our choicest possessions is the complete copy of the first year’s publication, that was carefully preserved by a subscriber, Mrs. E. Wertman.
The first Western Observer was a four column sheet, 9 by 14 inches in size, all hand set, with four pages. The present Register is a seven column page, 17-1/2 by 22-1/2 inches in size, actually about four times as much news material to the page, and the number of pages is usually ten or twelve, often sixteen and sometimes twenty. Observe the old fashioned type on the page although it was probably the last word in typographical effect at that time.
The editor, M. J. Kelley, an alert ambitious Easterner, accepting his western home, and being enthusiastic about the new town, put his thoughts on the pages of the Western Observer which were sent in great numbers throughout the East. It is said that this publication was in a great measure responsible for securing the high class of men and women who sought homes in Washington County.
The Washington County Register now in its seventieth year has been published under many different titles and edited by even a greater number of men. This grown-up child is the direct descendent of that first publication known as The Western Observer, and over the years has been a reliable exponent of the standing and progress of the city and county of Washington.
The coming of a newspaper is an important event to any town but the advent of that little 9x14 sheet in the frontier town of Washington has been generally considered as the turning point in the history of Washington county, for, since that publication on March 11, 1869 the county has never been without a paper to foster its growth and prosperity. And, further, throughout all these 70 years the paper has held that enviable distinction that never an issue has been missed nor has one ever been printed on a half-sheet.
This first newspaper in Washington County, whose first issue was March 11, 1869 was published by Mart J. Kelley, an impartial and very fair man, who came to this county under the influence of David E. Ballard. Though using a hand press with his shop in the old stockade courthouse, and issuing a sheet measuring 9 inches by 14 inches, this first editor, generously devoting the columns of his paper to the advertisements of the county, made his pages so influential that they attracted many substantial persons, and since the Western Observer found its way to all parts of the East, it was the means of settling a large portion of this county and directly responsible for many of the best settlers.
On May 21, 1870 the paper was sold to George W. Shriner and James F. Tallman, who changed its name to The Magnet.
On the 25th of August of the same year, Mark J. Kelley and J. O. Young founded the Washington Republican, and for about a month published a paper a day—the first daily in the county.
On January 9, 1871 Mr. Tallman, having retired, J. O. Young purchased The Magnet from George W. Shriner and the interest of M. J. Kelley in the Republican and consolidated the two papers, retaining the name, Washington Republican.
Early in the winter of 1871 John I. Tallman bought a half-interest in the paper, which on November 2, 1871, he sold to W. P. Day, who, on February 17, 1872, sold it to J. O. Young. On July 25, of the same year J. C. Martin and Perrine Stultz bought a half-interest in the Republican. Later Mr. Martin bought the interest of Mr. Stultz and on January 30, 1874 sold out to John Guinn.
E. N. Emmons who had been associated with Mr. Martin from April 8, 1873 to September 12, of the same year, bought the Republican on June 19, 1874, from Mr. Guinn, and on July 14 enlarged the paper to seven-column paper.
October 6, 1876, J. B. Besack bought the Emmons interest, and enlarged it to an eight column paper. He in turn sold to Ed Knowles. In 1882 Mr. Knowles sold out to H. C. Robinson, who subsequently took L. J. Sprengle as a partner and to whom he later sold his entire interest.
The Republican then passed to L. A. Palmer, who moved the plant to its present home, 101 West 3rd street, and later sold to C. E. Ingalls, who in 1905 also bought the Washington County Register, which had been established by Messrs. Williamson and Clark in 1880. Mr. Ingalls consolidated the two as the Republican-Register.
In February of the year 1915 Paul K. Cowgill took over the management and a year later J. H. Barley became the editor. In 1926 the Palladium was purchased from O. L. Clark and Mary A. Clark and the name of the combined papers became The Washington County Register. In October, 1927, a corporation was formed, known as The Washington County Publishing Company, which company has since published the paper, with Mrs. Margaret C. Barley, the present editor, purchasing the plant and taking over the management on July 1, 1933.
Thus it is with no little pride that we look back over the years of the Register’s publication and find chronicled births, marriages and deaths as well as the deeds of unsung men and women whose daily lives were their benediction. The breath comes a little faster and the pulse beats a little stronger for having known, walked with and followed in the wake of those noble men and women who now are and those who have gone before.
The Register—which has been the speaking voice of the county these seventy years, has kept a watchful eye on former residents and has continued to have an interest in the boys and girls of the county who have moved to other localities. It rejoices that so many have made good. It is gratifying to know that so great a number of these people within the county or wherever they have made their home have received especial honors in their different kinds of work. Whether that person had his start here when he was born or just some assistance during his sojourn in Washington county we like to attribute a bit of the credit of his success to the inspiration received and the encouragement extended by some one or ones within this county.
And—the county paper entering the various homes each week has been a definite medium in bringing together and cementing the friendships, progress and well being of the community and county—the unstinted service of which paper has at no time been reckoned. In the words of historian J. G. Ellenbecker of Marysville the whole truth is told, "A newspaper is the greatest common friend of a community. No other person or institution does so much good, gratis." The Register Is Many Newspapers
Many newspapers in Washington County have been consolidated into the Washington County Register of the present day. The name has been changed several times. Following is a concise history of the newspapers of Washington, other than the Register.
The Washington County Register, founded in 1880 by Williamson & Clarke. The Daily Register, founded 1882 by Clarke & Clarke, discontinued the same year. Washington Post founded by Chas. F. Barrett in 1883. Washington Daily Post founded 1886 by Mr. Barrett, issued during County Fair.
Washington Daily Post founded 1887 by Mr. Barrett; discontinued same year; the Post consolidated with the Register in 1895 and ran as the Post-Register, with J. T. Hole and James Pontuis, editors and publishers. The Watchman, founded 1896 by the Watchman Publishing Company, consolidated in 1898 with the Post-Register; in 1902 the name of the Post-Register changed to the Washington Register, J. A. Totten, editor and publisher, and ran under that name until its consolidation with the Repudlican. The Mahaska Leader was purchased from A. Q. Miller in 1917. The First Issue Contained Many Interesting Items
Volume I, Number 1, of the Western Observer, contained many interesting items. On page four was printed the delinquent tax list for 1868. The list contained the names of Isam Brown, Horace Beamus, Jesse W. Bolt, John Barstow, Louise Ballard, Thomas Clevenger and a great many others. Fully half of the property listed was put in as owner unknown. J. B. Snider was treasurer.
A notice of the Washington township Republican convention listed the following nominations. For Justices of the peace, S. S. Penwell and August Saedeker. For Township Trustee, Frank Lane. Township treasurer, Mat Oswald. Township Clerk, G. T. Thompson. For constables, Lyle Pasko and Andrew Oswald.
Advertisement were included from Dr. Chas. Williamson, Attorney James F. Tallman, Shriner & Tallman real estate, Hoskins of Waterville, Rockefeller’s furniture, Shriner & Tallman Dry Goods, S. A. Williamson drug store, H. Robbins stone mason, Rockefeller & Collins groceries, F. Peters, Chas. Fleiner and R. W. Sholes of Waterville and attorney John W. Williams of Junction City.
A short item thanking the citizens of Washington county for their support is found on page four. The Western Observer started out with a bona-fide paid up circulation of seven hundred.
A ball of flame that lights throughout the skies
And sets on fire all nature; then it dies
And leaves such wonderous colorings of gold
And rose and violet. These gently fold
Each one into the other; then they fade
And over all night draws a deep blue shade.
-- R. CAROLE RICKERT
(This description by a local girl is the more beautiful since this poetess has never seen the light of day.)WASHINGTON COUNTY
Washington County From 1850 to 1938Written in 1876
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following history was written by Dr. Charles Williamson and was published in the Washington Weekly Republican on Friday, July 14, 1876. It is reprinted here and should be an authentic history of the county as it was written by a pioneer of the county shortly after the events occurred.
The history of Kansas, in the last twenty years, of which Washington county is a part, you are all familiar with, and the privations and struggles of its early settlers, in 1856. Whilst the men were under arms to protect their lives and property, our families were often exposed to the inclemency of the elements, hid in the timber or the grass to protect them from insult and from the ruffians that surrounded them. But this theme belongs to the past. And it is enough for us today that the glorious commonwealth was saved to freedom and a glorious future. At Philadelphia, today, in the Kansas building, the agricultural products of our State are unexcelled; the pride of the State and nation.
Washington county, in the northern tier of counties in the State, was organized in 1860, and named in honor of the first President of the United States. It contains 900 square miles, two per cent of which is timber; eight per cent bottom land, the rest upland prairie. For fertility of soil and yield of crops, healthfulness of climate, and good water, it is unsurpassed in the State. It has eight principal streams, whose banks are lined with timber, such as oak, walnut, hickory, elm, cottonwood, ash, locust and box-elder. Also plenty of wild fruits such as plums, strawberries, grapes, raspberries, mulberries and gooseberries. There are five different kinds of native grasses. The tame, such as timothy, clover, blue grass, and alfalfa, are successfully grown. The names of the streams are the Republican, Little Blue, Mill creek, alias south fork of Little Blue, alias Snake creek, Peach creek, alias Pete’s creek, first named after W. Petes, an early settler. Parson creek was named after W. Parson, who settled at Clifton, on section 36, in 1859; Riddle creek, after Mr. Riddle, its oldest settler; Spring, alias Devil named by W. Thomas, who was detained by rain and freshets on its banks during the first settlement is now changed to Spring by the common consent of its inhabitants; Coon creek and Joy creek were named after the first settlers. The streams abound in fish. There is undeveloped water power in the streams of this county, sufficient to run half of the manufacturing interests of the state. One of the first settlements made in this county was by James McNulty and Ostrander, in 1857. James McNulty was hunting stray mules that had wandered from a train. When he came in sight of Mill creek, he selected the same as his future home. Mr. Rufus Darby came to Hardens, now called Ballard’s Falls, in 1858; the Fosters and Mr. Blocker settled on Mill creek, the same year, G. H. Hollenberg came into Hanover township in 1857, on the Fort Kearney road. In Little Blue Mr. Mercer settled, in 1858 Mr. Wm. Hemphill, John Bastow, the same year. In Washington township, E. B. Cook, in 1859; Jesse R. Hallowell, Samuel Lynd, in 1860. S. F. Snyder and sons settled on Mill creek the same year. On Coon creek in Lincoln township, Mr. Brown and Walker were the first, following them were Mr. Smith, Thos. Marshal, McCandless and Wm. Allison; in Strawberry, John Myers, and Mr. Melfelt moved in first; on Peach creek in Clifton township in 1859 there were Geo. Funnell and Mr. Fox; on Parson creek in 1859 came Mr. Bowmaker, Mr. Eslinger, Mr. Kinsley and GeBarr; in Hollenberg, the first was Joel Snyder in 1859; in Union township, Joe Enoch and later W. G. Welch, a native of Yorkshire, England, an energetic farmer who celebrated a few days since his 43rd wedding day. There were present children and grandchildren, all told, fifty persons. There are many privations to undergo in an early day. Caves or cabins were few and far between, and in one instance in 1858, a young man was lost between the head waters of Mill creek and the Republican. He was lost for several days and when found was half demented and wasted to a skeleton.
The majority of the early settlers came here with but little means; their covered wagons contained their household goods and effects. Lumber was not to be obtained so they dug a cave in the ground, covering the same with grass and sod. In a few hours he moved in and became a squatter. He then had from fifty to seventy-five miles to travel, and that often in the dead of the winter, to the land office to secure his homestead or pre-emption papers. Many of the women that occupied these caves were ladies of education and refinement who had left their homes in the East, sundering all the ties that bound them to the old homestead with all its childhood memories and pleasant associations, to secure in the far West a home for themselves in their declining years, and a brighter future for their children. Having burned some native gypsum on a brush pile, they whitewashed the sides of their caves. With straw and flowers from the prairies and timber they made rustic frames and wreaths to adorn their homes. The buffalo robe occupied an important place in the household as bed and blanket. The table was furnished with buffalo meat, venison, antelope and wild turkey. Trapping the otter and beaver during the winter months, for beaver dams were plenty on all the creeks, the settler managed to obtain means sufficient to satisfy his humble wants. His latch string was always out; his hospitality was unlimited; a vacant seat by his fire and table were ever ready for his friends, and the word stranger was synonymous with friend. Having portrayed one phase of squatter’s life, there is yet another; occasionally the first crop being on fresh ground, it would be cut short. Often without vegetables in the winter, and no money to buy any, they suffered from scurvy and a scarcity of bread stuff. In one instance I was traveling with Mr. Raub, of Ash creek, in February, 1868. At sundown it commenced storming; we came to a solitary cabin and asked permission to stay in the house that night. I saw that he hesitated. I still urged him to let us stay. Finally with tears in his eyes, he said, "You are welcome, but we have nothing to eat. For three days I have traveled to get a little meal. I have been to the Republican and back today -- 25 miles—and you see my sack is still empty." We went with him into the house, dividing our provisions with him. When his hunger was appeased, and his cheerful fire had warmed him, and made him communicative, he told us his story. He had emigrated from Wisconsin, with a family of six children. He was an intelligent, educated and industrious man. He had expended all his means and could get no employment and was destitute of food and sufficient clothing for the winter. His daughter, a girl 15 years of age, as I could see, had nothing to wear but an old dress body with a piece of an old tattered government blanket attached to it for a skirt. He said, "I have been, I hope, a Christian for many years, but this evening it was almost in my heart to say that God had forsaken me, but I will never doubt his Providence again." When I left him in the morning I told him we would return in two days, and to be of good cheer. At Junction City I went to Mr. Houston, receiver of the land office, and told him of this family’s destitution. Through his solicitation amongst the business men of the city, and the kindness of the ladies, our wagon was loaded with provisions and clothing for all the family, and a promise to obtain the necessary grain for his spring planting. To Mr. Raub, late of Ash creek, a poor man himself, must be given the credit of collecting the aid about the city. It was still very cold, and our team was thin, and to haul these goods back we had to walk twenty miles ourselves. The news had gone in advance of us, and we found him waiting to put up our horses, and a cheering fire in the house, ready for our reception. As I watched the happy and grateful faces of that family, I forgot I was tired. You know our old friend, Mr. Raub with his Grecian outline of face, was never a beauty, but as I watched him administering to the wants of this family that night, with his words of cheer, his generous soul and warm sympathies shining in his face, I must admit that his plain face, in the future, will ever look handsome to me. We spent a pleasant night with our host. Today he is a well-to-do farmer and his hand is ever open to the poor. . . .strate that in the development of our county, although all the names are too numerous to mention, each individual and year acts it integral part of the drama of history. The old settler is neither old fogy nor fossil, for what is true of the honeybee is true of society, that drones never swarm. The wide awake, energetic and industrious live American pushed to the West, subduing nature, rearing empires to liberty and free thought and giving new life and impulse to American civilization. And this was not the only trial; the settlers were entirely at the mercy of the Indians who were close to them on the West. The young men had all left and gone into the army, and they might be attacked at any time. In 1863, a band of Sioux, Cheyennes and Arapahoes, armed with bows, arrows, spears and rawhide shields were on their way to the Otoe village on a war expedition. The first place they struck was Mr. Furgeson’s afterwards Mr. Canfields, one of the oldest settlers on the creek, plundering the house and insulting the women. Traveling down Mill creek in the vicinity of Mr. Wertman’s, the Indians took prisoner Rufus Darby. With one on each side of him, armed with spears, they took him down to Washington to the log house of Jesse R. Hallowell, where another band of Indians were plundering his house of bedding (they called it swapping). Leaving there they followed down Mill creek, plundering on their way G. M. Driskell of bedding and blankets. Rich Bond they corralled on the mound above John Bond’s barn. Andy Oswalt was also taken prisoner. After taking them a few miles down the creek they let them go. Many of the citizens took the alarm and started for Marysville in Marshall county. The citizens that were left then held a meeting in Washington at what is now called the Collins stable, the result of which was that Wm. Cummings and D. E. Ballard were appointed to reconnoitre the whereabouts of the Indians, and ascertain their number. Saddling their ponies, armed and equipped with rifles, revolvers and blankets, they started south. Night found them at Parson creek, hungry, tired and cold, but no Indians. By this time the boys found they had no matches. I suppose they rubbed two sticks together, but it wouldn’t work, so they hung up a blanket, shot into it and made it smoke, then raised the wind, took puff about, till they got a fire and got some supper. The next morning bright and early our scouts started south again, but still no Indians. But resting at noon they found what proved to be bituminous coal. Filling a blanket with the same, they returned home showing their treasures, which is now known by the name of the Clyde coal banks.
Still later in the fall of the same year, there were Indian troubles, and J. R. Hallowell, Mort Hallowell, and the women and settlers around, forted up in the Humes log house, in Washington, keeping guard over night. Just at sunrise a dark object was seen crawling up the ravine by the parsonage, some of them wanted to shoot but about that time Elijah Woolbert, sr., raised up, waved his broad brim hat, and shouted at the top of his voice, "Holloa, you wouldn’t shoot a native, would you?"
The following fall scouts brought word from the west, that the Indians were attacking the settlements. The citizens of Mill creek with their cattle, oxen and wagons, pushed to Washington, camping on the high land, on what is known as the George Shriner farm, south of Washington. That night might be heard the lowing of cattle, the lamentation of the women and children, the bleating of the sheep, for they were leaving with their chickens and all their household goods. Some pushed on the next day to Harden’s Ford, returning home in a few weeks, as the excitement subsided.
The first wheat raised in this county was in the year 1861 by Samuel Lynd, M. C. Driskell and E. Woolbert. At that time there were two cradles in the county to harvest the same, and they took turn about until they finished. The entire crop of small grain could have been bought for $200. Now compare that with your crop last year, as furnished by the Kansas report which estimated the value of all small grain raised in Washington county in 1875 at $576,089.
The first officers in Washington county were D. E. Ballard, clerk and recorder, W. Langsdale, sheriff, M. G. Driskell, treasurer, M. Mercer, assessor, Rufus Darby, probate judge, and as such he officiated at the first wedding in the county, the marriage of a Mr. Foster. The first territorial legislator was George G. Pierce. The first after its organization, D. E. Ballard. The first commissioner’s meeting was held on the prairie, and without any remuneration. The first school in Washington county was taught in Washington in 1861, by Agnes Hallowell, now Mrs. P. Darby. The first stove was bought with 15 cent corn, the neighbors subscribing the corn, the same was delivered by E. B. Cook, at Hollenberg ranch. Now there are 108 organized school districts, and 86 school houses. The value of school buildings, furniture and apparatus in 1875, was $75,970. The first preachers that visited this county were Elder Hartford and Elder Robertson of the Episcopal Methodist church. On their first advent to Washington, they called at a house about sundown, to stay all night. The men in the house thought it was some of the boys playing a practical joke on them, so they halloed back some western adjectives. That alarmed our preachers, and they left, starting down Mill creek. By this time, the proprietor came home and told the boys their mistake. They started out forthwith across the fields to call them back or head them off, but this had the effect of scaring the preachers worse, thinking robbers were after them. They rode a few miles out on the prairie, unsaddled their horses and laid down to sleep supperless. In the morning they started again, and soon came in sight of M. G. Driskell’s. After breakfast they went back to Washington, holding a meeting that evening in the log house on the John Penwell farm. This was Brother Hartford’s first sermon as a preacher, and the first religious services in Washington county. The next morning Elder Hartford, with a few biscuits in his pocket, started to his work on the Republican, but sundown found him lost and beyond settlements. Taking the prairie and his saddle bags for a bed that night, he took a fresh start again at early sunrise. After traveling some fifteen miles, he came to a solitary house, the site of which is now the city of Clay Center. From there he went to Little Mill creek, his home. This was in the year 1860.
Going to mill, market and postoffice was no small job in our early history. They traveled often from twenty to forty miles to Marysville or Table Rock, Nebr., and often in the dead of winter, facing the fiercest northwest snow storms, and homeward bound to feed their wife and little ones, they struggled on, cold, benumbed and bewildered. They have often sunk exhausted, and perished in sight of home to be found by their neighbors and buried, as was Wm. Phillips, of Hollenberg township, on Feb. 14, 1870. In 1862, ‘63, and ‘64 the farmers all lived on the creek, raising mostly corn and cattle, taking the corn in the fall to Fort Kearney, to market, a distance of 150 miles, selling their corn at from $1.50 to $3 a bushel. Recollect that was when freighting was in fashion, and any man could get rich that could start a toll bridge or ferry, or lay in a stock of whiskey, sardines or herrings, trade in foot sore stock, and start a ranch. Lawyers and doctors were scarce and not in fashion in those times, for the reason that they were too far off, and if they got mad or sick they usually got in good humor, got well or died before they could ride 30 miles for either. It is said of Northwestern Kansas, jestingly, that the climate is so healthy that somebody had to be killed to start a grave-yard. In Washington county, it was literally true. Three miles southeast of Washington, on the Mormon trail, a man by the name of Sigmun, was found by E. B. Cook and W. Way, murdered. Mr. Cook was on his way to the river. They had been with Wm. Hemphill, on the Republican river, near the bend, assisting Judge Adams, at Atchison, to build a ferry boat so as to make a more direct route of travel between the city of Atchison and Denver, feasting, while there, on buffalo soup and wild onions. Mr. Sigmun was stabbed in several places, and was apparently shot with his own gun. There had been a desperate struggle, the grass was beaten and trodden down for some distance around and covered with blood. Mr. Sigmun was a native of Ohio, and was looking up a claim, expecting to buy one. Mr. Way refused to take the body in the wagon. Some California emigrants then came along and buried him. The same day two bands of Indians passed through on the trail, hotly pressed by the settlers, from Wild Cat creek, where they had stolen horses. They stopped at the house of E. B. Cook, compelling his wife to give them food, and stealing her coffee pot and some blankets. At Camp creek, south of Washington, the settlers were so close to them that they left their horses and plunder, and scattered, one portion of them crossing the creek at Mr. Hemphill’s and the other at James McNulty’s. A citizen of this county was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Mr. Sigmun but was acquitted, and to this day his death remains a mystery.
Where the Mormon trail from Fort Laramie crosses Ash creek, three miles south of the city of Washington, is the favorite Mormon spring and camping ground of the Mormons on their way to Salt Lake. Close to the spring is a high rock of red sandstone. One the face of the rock was carved the names of many of the deluded victims of polygamy, and the date of their visit. Very recently, in breaking the prairie, some of their long bowie knives have been plowed up. Mr. Jackson, of Washington, has one in his possession now. But railroads have turned the tide of immigration and wanton boys and the elements have effaced the names, and all that is left is the heraldic sign of the plainsman and ox driver, a carved wagon wheel.
Mr. Fuller, of Hollenberg, lost a son killed by the Indians during one of their annual trips to Fort Kearney. It was a fashion in those early days to make an excursion west every fall to kill buffalo, and smoke and jerk meat sufficient for their families’ use during the winter. Such expeditions were often attended with great danger to life and property, being often corralled by the Indians. They would then, if in sufficient force, fight it out, but if scattered, it was every one for himself. Often leaving their wagons and contents, they would cut loose a horse from the wagon, jump astride and push for the settlements, returning in a short time with a larger force to gather up their plunder. But occasionally, as in the case of Mr. Tallman and Mr. Roberts, a young man from Greenbush, Fon do-Lac county, Wisconsin, they were killed and scalped by the Indians. Some of the citizens of Clifton township hearing the news, went out west, found their mutilated bodies, and brought them in and buried them on the land of Job Short, in Clifton township. Mr. Reuben Winklepleck, an old soldier of the 13th Kansas, and well known to the citizens of Monrovia, Atchison county, Kansas, and his eldest son were killed on a buffalo hunt. His son was shot standing up in the wagon. Mr. Winklepleck fought bravely killing several Indians before he sank in death, leaving a widow with a large family to mourn his loss.
Our historical incidents bring us up to about 1867, at which time the Central Branch railroad had pushed west as far as Centralia, and many of the citizens of Atchison, Leavenworth and Jefferson counties, in the eastern part of the State were encouraged in prospect of the future advance of the railroad and the favorable accounts given of the Northwest, to visit Washington, view its natural resources, turn pioneer again and grow up with the country. Geo. W. Shriner and Dr. Chas. Williamson visited the county seat in 1867, were pleased with the location, and opened a store there the same year. Their influence and that of the Champion, which was advertising Washington county through its correspondents, caused some sixty families to come to the county. Some of them well known today are Mr. Kelch, W. H. Shriner, Hon. Boaz Williams, Wm. Elliott, Orlando Sawyer, Capt. Heckart, Mr. Allison, Mr. Suber, George Thompson, Mr. Pontium, and many others settling in different portions of the county. The idea then prevailed that the upland prairie would never be settled, but in an article that I wrote for the Champion under the heading of "Where Shall I Build ?" I exposed the fallacy by a description of its soil, its grasses, its healthy location, and adaptation to raising the cereals. An old settler then told me very emphatically, "you will never be.forgiven for the falsehoods told in that article." I told him time would prove my assertion correct. Now look at the result. The prairie is filled with well-to-do farmers. In south Sherman township, in the fall of 1868, came Dr. Randall, W. Cook, E. A. Thomas, Mr. Wilson and F. Currier. In upper Sherman there were M. Williams, M. Whetstine and others. In 1869 came G. M. Parks, J. D. Wilson, J. W. Bell and 100 other families. The other townships were settling in proportion—the Albrights and Ben Clark in Washington township, Mr. Prentiss, McMurray and McConnell in Strawberry township. Settlements were coming in and occupying the high land prairie. Dr. Ballard, McRae, Bruce and C. Hallowell in Little Blue; G. H. Hollenberg, the Oswalds and other influential Germans were locating their friends around them in Hanover township; Mr. Brooks, W. Woody and a number of Swedes were pushing into Clifton township; the Scotch were settling on upper Mill creek; the French in Little Blue and Sherman, and the English and Irish in many portions of the county.
All nationalities and states are represented in this county, including thirteen foreign nations and thirty-two states, the larger portion being from Iowa and Illinois. The population in 1860 was 383, now it is 8,238. There are under cultivation, 80,856.21 acres; 1,020 of the same is devoted to orchards, the oldest of which are laden with fruit this year. The total value of all crops for 1875 was $794,402.19. There is an abundance of limestone on the eastern, northern and western tier of townships, also abundance of potter’s clay and plenty of gypsum. Vacant lands range from two to seven dollars per acre; improved from five to twenty dollars.
There are six different religious denominations in the county. The value of church edifices is $6,090.
NOTE: Dr. Williamson’s history was written in 1876. Following is a description of Washington city as it was about 1900.
Adam Flury’s blacksmith shop was located on north Main Street as was Roderick’s Livery Barn. The elder Sheckler was located near the old opera house and repaired bicycles and guns. There was a grocery store on this side of Sheckler’s which was probably owned by one J. B. Sofield or Jones about that time. Fred Powell had a law office in that vicinity, about where Bill Smith’s garage is situated and next to it was a laundry. The old Central hotel, a fine three story building, E. H. Borner’s Implement house, Jim Dennison’s Wagon Shop and M. R. Hays’ lumber yard were on the north side of the square as nearly as residents of that day can tell us.
On the east side of the square was Tom Mangel’s blacksmith shop, a general store, Landon & Robinson’s Implement Store, Jennie Clark’s millinery store, with Elsie Throop as her chief clerk, a dressmaking establishment run by the Hallowells and Fred Stackpole’s hardware store.
Frank Brick ran the old American house, about where the Davis hotel is now and the Calveret store was also in that part of the block. Charley Williamson’s real estate office and a shoe shop and perhaps another real estate office were in this block and Picard Candy Kitchen was about where the Falls City Creamery now stands. The next building housed the post office with Charley Smith as post master and Ober’s book store occupied part of the same building. Z. R. LaFlesche operated a very good restaurant where McConchie’s implement is now and Mr. Parks had a grocery store in the next building. In a frame building this side of the grocery was the Harry Clark Dry Goods and Ready-to-wear store with an alley running between it and the white stone building west of it which housed the W. E. Wilson drug store. Above the store the elder Dr. N. M. Smith had an office and there was a hardware store where the building now known as the LeRoy building stands. On the corner was the Mary E. Little dry goods store in which the former Miss ‘Teen Whittet, now Mrs. Ray Landon, was a popular clerk. South of the hotel was a dressmaking shop and about where the garage now stands was Wright Wertenberger’s livery barn. Next to it was Sid Bradway’s saloon, with a pool hall next to it. Then came J. R. Pruden’s harness shop with whom was associated one Barney McDonald. Leeman Lee had at that time or very soon after a livery barn in the next location and on the corner was the Pierce Produce house. The old Methodist church stood on the same corner that is now occupied by the new church and at that time the Rev. J. G. Henderson was pastor there. Mr. Whittet had a blacksmith shop in the next block.
Tom Sharp had a shop about where he is now and the Esther Collins building, one of the first frame buildings in town was the boast of the entire community. There was a restaurant about where the present pool hall is, operated by one Shilling, or some such name. Mrs. Obendoffer’s Millinery Store was in about the location of the Sheckler Shoe shop, and the Obendoffer and Kleeman dry goods store was about where the bakery now stands. S. H. Varney had a hardware store in the middle of the block, and Fredendall’s Racket store was in the same vicinity. Barley’s and Algie’s grocery stores were in this block as was Ruben Gile’s butcher shop. Several of these businesses were destroyed by fire some time in June 1900. Jim Owens had a barber shop about where Potter’s Jewelry Store now stands, and J. A. Brown, sr., had taken up a business position in the present location of the Brown Drug Store. C. C. Meader had a grocery store on the corner where the Washington National Bank now stands.
West of the Meader building were three little frame buildings housing in turn the H. C. Hill Insurance Agency, Dolliver Wallpaper and Paint Store, and the C. M. Veatch music store. The Hill Agency was continued in later years by his son, C. W. Hill. Mr. Dolliver married the former Miss Lillie Cox, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Cox who for so many years lived in the block just west of where the shop used to be. Dr. Runkle had an office in the little building now occupied by the E-Z Laundry and was one of the best loved characters in Washington for many years. No ill was too small to Dr. Runkle and his kindly philosophy of life administered along with the medicines he prescribed, were often valuable and effective as the medicines themselves. The Fred Bullis Bottling Works were about where the Dye Cabins now stand and the elder Bullis had a pool hall where the hatchery now stands.
The marble yard belonged to the Root family.
The First National Bank occupied the position now occupied by the same institution, with Oscar Long holding the controlling interest at that time, and the Simon and Spier Clothing Company was in about the location which houses the present Diedrich Clothing Co. Anna Nesbitt had a book store where the Knedlick Barber Shop stands and some time that year Shillings moved their restaurant into that block. E. G. Grindle had a shoe store about the middle of the block and the site now occupied by the Smith Drug Store was then a vacant lot. M. J. Holloway’s Hardware store was in the old Salvany building and Ed Bennett had a law office either just above it or in the second story of a building in that neighborhood. Hoopers Photograph Gallery was directly above the Holloway store and is where the fire that later destroyed the building is said to have originated. The Fox Drug Store was about where Throops grocery now stands and the Darby Department Store stood next to it. Some time that year Reuben Gile probably moved his butcher shop to a location in that part of town.
A man named William Allen owned the building that stood where the Northup Barber Shop is and one A. Stout had a grocery store there, "Bill" Hilton being one of his clerks. About what is now the south part of E. A. Ward’s Furniture Store was then occupied by the Carlysle Restaurant. Alf Ward had a jewelry shop in connection with the Ward Furniture and Undertaking establishment.
J. S. Alsbaugh and Tom Eves held forth in the Washington National and Dr. Gilstrap had an office overhead. The Arthur Barber Shop was in this part of the block. Lew Sprengle and August Soller had a real estate office in the back part of what is now the First National Bank and Dr. O. D. Wells, dentist, had an office about where Dr. LeMaster is.
Where the United Telephone building now stands, stood the Toby and Stackpole Bank and back of that J. W, Rector’s law office. North of the bank was the Boyd Photograph Gallery and where the present Washington Hotel stands was its forerunner, the Nims Hotel which was the last word in hotel splendor at that time. It was owned and operated by W. E. Nims, a brother of Mrs. Eliza Rust and John and Al Nims (recently deceased). Mr & Wi1liam Allen had a rooming house where the Cottage Hotel now stands, the present hotel having been made when the J. G. Shanleps remodeled the old residence after Mr. Shanlep went out of the harness business here.
Rafe Evans built the first telephone system about 1899 and later H. O. Janicke bought and operated the system. The first electric light plant was situated about where the Washington Monument Works are, but finally went out of existence.
Early State History Of The Discovery of KansasWashington County -- 1938
Kansas sod was first trodden on by Europeans 200 years before the settling of Jamestown in Virginia or the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth on the New England coast, for in 1541 and ‘42 Coronado and his Spanish expedition from Mexico marched through the state from south to north in search of the seven fabled cities of Cibola. Strictly speaking the earliest history of Washington County commenced in 1542 for historians contend that these Spaniards crossed the Little Blue river near the northern boundary of Washington County. Can you not see them, the plumed knights mounted on steeds searching for the cities of Gold?
In 1719 Kansas was visited by a Frenchman, M. Dustine who took possession of the country in the name of France.
In 1803 Louisiana, including all of Kansas, was purchased from France by the United States.
The overland commerce between Missouri and Santa Fe was established in 1823 and two years later the Santa Fe Trail was surveyed by the United States government. Fort Leavenworth was established in 1827 and in 1850 the government surveyed the military road from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Kearney. Three years later Fort Riley was established.
In 1845 the Mormons assembled near the present site of Atchison to commence their journey across the plains, and from that time the soil of Kansas has been crossed in all directions by the trails of emigrants bound for the Rockies and beyond. Traders, missionaries and Indian agents were the only white persons to whom the country was open until 1854 at which time the Kansas Nebraska bill was signed by President Pierce.
Washington county, located in the northern tier of counties in Kansas, ha a population of 16, 824 compared with 17, 504 for 1937. The total population in cities is reported as 5,711 and in the townships as 11,113.
The population by township and city follows:
Farm Acreage In 1938 Report
For the year 1938 assessors reports show 521,108 acres of farm land in Washington county. This includes 158,727 acres that were seeded to wheat; 65,155 acres of corn, 33,846 of oats, 6,750 of barley and 17 ,420 acres of alfalfa.
4,010,369 gallons of milk were produced last year in Washington county, 1,704,033 dozen eggs were laid, 380,727 chickens were raised, 18,298 turkeys, 14,420 calves were born, 22,735 pigs, 2,454 lambs, 537 horse colts and 171 mule colts.
County Ticket For 1938 Election
Since 1938 is election year, a list of the county candidates for offices is included:
Register of Deeds—Republican, Herman Worschow. Democrat, Daisy Peeples.
Sheriff—Republican, F. A. Diedrichs. Democrat, John Burnett.
County Superintendent—Republican, Chester Morris.
Clerk of District Court—Republican, Alta Hennon. Democrat, Ray Unfred.
State Representative—Republican, Wilbur Kohlmeier. Democrat, Ed Geistfeld.
County Clerk—Republican, R. M. Landon. Democrat, J. A. Patterson.
County Treasurer—Republican, Sherman Lull. Democrat, Ed Danielson.
Probate Judge—Republican, J. P. Snare. Democrat, Oliver Skipton.
County Commissioner—Republican, J. D. Werner. Democrat, Ed Lohmeyer.
County Attorney—Republican, Loren Rosenkranz.
County Officers In Court House
The new Washington county court house is one of the most attractive court houses in this section of the state. It is surrounded by a large lawn of grass with several small trees.
On the main floor of the Court House the offices of the County Engineer, the Register of Deeds, the County Treasurer, the County Clerk, the Commissioner’s Office and the Probate Judge.
Q. H. Miller is the County Engineer and Mrs. Gladys McLeod is his assistant.
The Register of Deeds is Herman C. Worschow. His deputy is Mrs. Roxy Longwell.
Sherman F. Lull is the County Treasurer. This is his first term as County Treasurer although he served two terms as Deputy. His Deputy is John Schwab. Ruth Griffin also assists in the Treasurer’s office.
The County Clerk is R. M. Landon. Mrs. Veva Bonar is Deputy County Clerk.
R. L. Rust is Probate Judge and County Judge. His deputy is Mrs. Harold T. Barnes.
The County Commissioners are George Wilkins of Linn, Orville Graham of Washington, and Murray Moore of Barnes. Mr. Graham is chairman of the board.
On the second floor of the Court House the offices of the Sheriff, Clerk of District Court, County Attorney and County Superintendent of Schools are located. Also on this floor is found the Court Room and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration office. Judge Tom Kennett of Concordia is Judge of the District Court.
Mrs. Robert Meyer, Miss Hilda Vell, Miss Genevieve Novotny, Miss Zoa Diedrich, Miss Zola Barckley, Miss Helen Evans and Miss Ruth Elaine Wieters work in the AAA office. The Seed Loan office is also located on this floor.
Fred A. Diedrichs is Sheriff of Washington County. Nate Bond is his deputy.
Chester Morris is serving his first term as County Superintendent. Mrs. Nate Bond is deputy.
Mrs. Alta Hennon is Clerk of the District Court. Miss Della Hoerman is deputy.
The County Attorney is Loren Rosenkranz. Miss Nadine Lobaugh works part time in the office.
Several offices are located in the basement of the Court House.
The Farm Bureau office includes two rooms. Leonard F. Neff is County Farm Agent. Miss Eleanor Ehlers is his assistant. Miss Vira Brown is Home Demonstration Agent and O. Willard Kershaw is in charge of 4-H work. Miss Margaret Horner is also in the office.
Mrs. Nettie Shuss is the Poor Commissioner. Miss Mary Henderson and Mrs. Ira Lillibridge, Miss Esther Gressman, Miss Edith Meyer, Miss Maxine Doebele and Mrs. Lula Johnson help in the office which is located just east of the Farm Bureau office.
The Farm Administration office is also in the basement of the Court House with Buford Miller in charge.
James Pifer is the janitor of the Court House.
FAMOUS ROUTE OF PONY EXPRESS
IS DEPICTED IN MAP BY W. R. HONNELL
Months of Research Brings to Light Entertaining and Thrilling Tales of Stirring Days When Riders Dared Indians and Elements to Carry the Mails Over Mountains and Plains
(Reprinted by permission of the Kansas City Kansan)
W. R. Honnell, veteran member of the board of education and a student of early day history of the American frontier has completed a map of the route of the Pony Express which was operated for a period of eighteen months and provided 10-day mail service between St. J oseph, Mo., then the western terminus of the Burlington Railroad, and Sacramento, Calif.
Research over a period of more than six months was necessary for Honnell to finish the undertaking. The map shows the location of every station on the more than 2,000-mile route.
Honnell was familiar with the early day Pony Express, being born at Kennekuk, Kan., one of the stations along the route. Since he was born the same year the express was established, most of his recollections are of hearsay remarks by those acquainted with the band of men who, so valiently carried the mail through to the western coast.
Stories of Old Trail
Honnell’s early day remembrances of the stories of the old trail were further enhanced by the yarns related by two of his uncles who braved the dangers of the unknown trails to the mining fields of California in the gold rush of 1849. The uncles, in company with three other men, made the long trek across the western plains and desert in an old covered wagon. Enroute their two yoke of oxen died of starvation and thirst and the weary band of travelers finally reached their destination some six months later with themselves pulling a crude cart made from the two rear wheels of the wagon.
A year later one of Honnell’s uncles returned after making the homeward trip around the cape in a sailing vessel and with some $9,000 worth of gold dust in his pocket.
The old Oregon Trail over which the adventurous souls made their way in search of fame and fortune was frought with the greatest of dangers. Marauding bands of Indians and renegade whites, took an awful toll among the spirited individuals who left the security of the east to gamble with death in a search for a new home and happiness in the west.
During his lifetime Honnell has owned three farms bordering the old trail and on each of these farms he reports he has discovered unmarked graves where rest the mortal remains of those who flaunted fate and came out loser. According to Honnell an estimated 5,000 persons perished before they reached the foothills of the Rockies, succumbing on the sun-baked plains of Kansas and Nebraska.
Unable to find any authentic data about the early day transportation experiment, Honnell decided to map the route followed by the venturesome riders. This he had done after nearly eight months of study and research, which included correspondence with several score old timers who have vivid recollections of the early express route and its riders.
Start of Pony Express
The idea for the Pony Express was conceived by the members of the transportation firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell. At that time the three men operated the most extensive transportation company in the west. Huge caravans of covered wagons operated by the company made regular trips over the Oregon trail with their cargoes of freight and supplies for those in the western camps and outposts. No firm had a higher or more deserved reputation for integrity. Employees, on entering the service, were required to subscribe to an oath that they would not drink, use profane language, or fight or quarrel with other employees of the firm. Overland freight trains operated by the company always rested on Sundays.
Something of the vastness of the firm can be comprehended by a statement made by Horace Greeley in 1859 when he reported that some 6,000 teamsters, 50,000 oxen and more than 5,000 wagons were in the employ of the company. In 1865, according to Honnell, the firm dispatched from Atchison, Kan., more than 21 million tons of freight, which had been shipped there by boat, bound for points in the west.
Need for Mail Route
The westward migrations of the Mormons in 1847 and the discovery of gold in 1848 brought about the demand and the necessity for the Pony Express which, in Honnell’s opinion saved California to the union. It also proved that permanent lines of communication could be maintained over the dangerous route through all seasons of the year.
When the line was first established it cut the mail time more than two thirds. Prior to the establishment of the express route, the fastest trips took thirty days. The pony riders maintained a regular schedule of ten days. One trip, bearing the news of Lincoln’s inaugural address, was completed in seven days and seventeen hours, according to Honnell.
In establishing the route 190 stations were set up over the hazardous, 2,000-mile unmarked trail. Four hundred station keepers and helpers were employed to care for the horses and riders and an average of 450 of the best horses available were kept by the company. There were forty main division points along the trail.
Riders in Relays
At each division point fresh riders sped the mail on its dangerous trip. Each rider would ride 100 to 110 miles but horses were changed at stations spotted along the trail at twelve to fifteen mile intervals. The stations were little more than tiny shacks with a stable for the fleet horses. Often a rider would come over a small rise, expecting to change to a fresh horse, only to find that Indians had descended on the place, massacred those in the station, driven away the horses and set fire to the buildings. The rider and his mount would then have to go on to the next station before they were allowed a well earned rest, Honnell explained.
The Pony Express riders were chosen with great care from young men who had been reared on the frontier and who were alert horsemen, according to Honnell. No others would have been equal to this arduous task of skill and endurance. They were noted for their bravery and coolness in moments of great danger. They had to be able to think and act quickly, for they were continually surrounded by danger from Indians, from renegade outlaws and horse thieves not to mention severe winter storms and snow filled mountain passes.
Mail Had to Go Through
The mail must go through was the motto of the hardy band of horsemen, according to Honnell. Through sunshine and storm, without even the friendly stars to guide the riders along their lonely journey. They rode on day and night, singing their love songs to the rhythm of their galloping ponies, as they passed through herds of stampeding buffalo, prowling coyotes and lobo wolves.
Many of the dim trails were scarcely more than a bridle path, zigzagging along the streams and the brinks of dark precipes, and the narrow caverns were infested with blood-thirsty savages lying in wait to lift the scalps of the daring riders who had entered their lonely fastness.
Often their ponies stepped into badger holes and prairie dog dens, throwing horse and rider and frequently injuring both, according to Honnell. Often such a fall would break the horse’s leg. Then the rider would remove his precious mail sack and with a sad heart dispatch his pony as an act of mercy rather than leave it to be devoured by the wolves. He would then wend his way on foot to the next station where a new mount would be provided and the mail would be carried even faster in an attempt to make up the lost time.
Death Rate Low
Contrary to popular belief, the death rate among the riders was surprisingly low, according to Honnell. In his investigation he discovered but one rider who had been killed by the Indians while he was carrying the mail. In this instance the horse escaped and made its way to the next station and the precious cargo of mail was saved.
Many were the narrow escapes that the courageous riders had. Numerous tales relate how a dust covered rider on his sweat streaked horse, would gallop to the protection of the station house with blood streaming from one or more arrow wounds.
The riders, with the fleetest mounts the company could buy, had the advantage over the humble redskins with their inferior grade horses. Riders were instructed to out run the Indians and give battle only when there was no other alternative.
Each horseman was armed with two revolvers, a knife and an extra cylinder of cartridges. The entire equipment, including the saddle and bridle, did not exceed thirteen pounds and the weight of the mail sack was never over twenty pounds, according to Honnell. The charge for carrying the letters was $5 for each one-half ounce. To economize letters were written on the finest grade tissue paper.
Riders Well Paid
The regular riders were extremely well paid for those times, with salaries ranging from $100 to $125 a month. Station keepers were paid $50 to $100 per month and were given their board. As a financial success the great transportation venture didn’t fare so well. It was established at a cost of more than $700,000, and the receipts during the eighteen months of operation totaled but $500,000 according to Honnell.
Undoubtedly the venture would have proved successful were it not for the fact that telegraph lines were strung to the coast and the railroad lines completed. When it was seen that the schedule of the Pony Express could be maintained, the telegraph and train service was installed. The hardy riders were unable to cope with the speed of lightning or the charge of the "iron horse" across the prairies and what was probably the most courageous transportation experiment in the history of the world was disbanded.
Riders Were Famous
Many famous figures in frontier history were at one time or another employees for the Pony Express. "Wild Bill" Hickock, "Buffalo Bill" Cody as well as others whose lives were devoted to opening a new country over which American civilization was ultimately to spread, have their names firmly entrenched in the annals of Pony Express history.
Among the famous riders was Jack Keetely, whose regular run was from the eastern terminus of the route, westward to Seneca, Kan. This was later extended to Rock Creek, Neb., and the leathery rider performed one of the most remarkable rides in the history of the service. He rode from Rock Creek to St. Joseph, returned to Rock Creek and then doubled back over the route to Seneca without so much as taking time enough for a good meal. In all he covered a total of 340 miles by spending thirty-one continuous hours in the saddle. When he entered Seneca at the completion of the record breaking run he was taken from his saddle fast asleep, according to Honnell.
"Wild Bill" Hickok
Another of the famous pioneers of the west who was an employee of the company was "Wild Bill" Hickok, who was placed in charge of the station at Rock Creek, Neb., on the ranch of David C. McCanles, a virile character of questionable standing. McCanles was quarrelsome and domineering, according to Honnell. One day he came over to the station to take charge of the place with his henchmen. In the fight that resulted Hickok was alleged to have killed the band of four men. "Wild Bill" and his associate at the station house were arrested and tried on a murder charge, but were acquitted.
Hickok was reputed to be the most successful peace officer that the frontier ever had and the most deadly and unerring shot. When he was appointed marshal of Abilene, he had already killed forty-three men in the line of duty, not including the men or the Indians while scouting, according to Honnell.
One interesting tale demonstrating his prowess as a marksman is told about Hickok. When marshal of Abilene, two men committed murder and fled, pursued by Hickok. They went into a saloon at Solomon and "Wild Bill" followed them. They escaped by a rear door, each taking a different direction. When Hickok emerged from the saloon with a revolver in each hand, he killed both men, but the bystanders said they heard but one shot. He could place objects fifty feet away and widely apart and shoot both at the same time, Honnell said.
"Buffalo Bill" Cody
William F. Cody, who later gained the title of "Buffalo Bill’ was the most widely known of all the Pony Express riders. His route was the most perilous of any along the long trail, lying between Red Butte and Three Crossings in Wyoming. It was in the center of the hunting grounds of the Sioux nation and a rendezvous of outlaws and horse thieves, Honnell relates.
Escapes from Indians
His numerous escapes from skirmishes with the Indians fill many of the pages in his Biography. One day when he arrived at Three Crossings, his home station, he discovered that the rider scheduled to relieve him, had been killed the day before in a drunken brawl. Without the slightest hesitation, he obtained a fresh mount and pushed on to the next station, Rock Ridge, eighty-five miles away over extremely hazardous trails. Arriving there he obtained the eastbound mail, turned around and made the trip back to Red Butte. In all he covered a total of 322 miles over the roughest trails of the Pony Express route. This and the ride of Keetely stand out as the longest rides made by any of the hardy riders, Honnell explained.
The mail was carried in a "mochila" which fitted over the saddle and contained four 12 by 9 inch pouches in which the mail was secreted. Another interesting tale told by Honnell concerning "Buffalo Bill" has to do with an instance when he carried a large amount of money on his run. Knowing that numerous bad men were in the region, the courageous rider used two "mochilas," placing the one containing the valuables under his saddle and another, containing worthless papers over the saddle. Sure enough, after he was a few miles on his journey, two men jumped from behind a clump of trees and covered him with their rifles. "Buffalo Bill" gave them the worthless sack, but they relaxed their vigil for a moment and he shot and killed one of the men and the other fled. Thus he was able to recover the second "mochila" although its contents were of no value.
A Saga of the Old West
Without doubt the short history of the early day Pony Express is firmly imprinted in the saga of the romantic old west. The venturesome riders with their fleet steeds certainly composed the "air mail" of the nineteenth century. The 10-day communication facilities with the Pacific coast probably did more to open the country for civilization than any other enterprise until the completion of the first rail track which was rushed after the express riders started their regular runs. The Pony Express is firmly entrenched in the annals of the history of the American frontier and the riders did much to pave the way for the rapid spread of civilization over the wide expense of fertile plains, through lofty crags and mountains to the western slopes of the Rockies that gently dip into the waters of the Pacific.
by John G. Ellenbecker of Marysville
One mile northeast of the present Hanover, on the west bank of Cottonwood creek, still stands the old station house of Cottonwood or Hollenberg station. This building built out of native sawed lumber, was erected by G. H. Hollenberg in late 1857 and '58, where the Oregon and California Trail crossed Cottonwood creek, a tributary of the Little Blue river from the northeast.
The main structure was about 20x70 feet, a story and a half high. It was the first frame house, if not the first house, built in Washington county. It was and still is situated on a sightly knoll overlooking a rich wooded bottom of the creek after which it was named.
Built for Commerce
The old Trail, used ever since 1827, came from Westport, Mo., up along the Kaw, crossing this stream at various points above, on and below the present site of Topeka, bearing northwestward, crossed the Black Vermillion and the Big Blue in Marshall county; then ran on northwest past Hollenberg’s ranch, on along the Little Blue to Fort Kearney and to the Pacific ocean.
On that site G. H. Hollenberg saw an opportunity to make money by supplying the needs of the immigrants moving in wagon trains along that Trail into the great West.
So hauling the lumber from the Barrett saw mill, he constructed this ranch building so large that it would house himself and family and furnish quarters for a general store and post office and hostlery.
When G. H. Hollenberg came west in 1854 he first settled on the Black Vermillion near where now is Bigelow, on this old Trail. There he also operated a store and a farm. Here on May 15, 1858, he was married to Miss Sophia Brockmeier and took his bride at once to his recently built Cottonwood Station.
Saw Heavy Travel
In those years there was heavy travel over the Oregon Trail. The gold rush of the early ‘50’s had barely subsided. Each year during 1858 and ‘59 and the ‘60’s perhaps 15,000 immigrants went westward over this trail.
A station like this did a great deal of business. There were always people there for meals or for lodging or in camp. The store was called on for clothing and food stuffs by these people, as flour, bacon, coffee, sugar, butter, milk and eggs. Many other things had to be freighted from St. Joseph or Atchison by wagon.
Then the large number of animals driven to the emigrants’ wagons and stage coaches required oats, corn, and hay, especially in winter. Then at a ranch like this there was always a demand for horses and cattle; and herds of each of these were raised on the fine bluestem pastures and kept for sale at the station.
Pony Express Starts
So in those spacious bottoms of Cottonwood creek a large amount of corn was raised by Mr. Hollenberg and considerable hay also for the trade was put up each autumn.
In the spring of 1860, just before the Pony Express was started, A, E, Lewis of Atchison, the superintendent of the Eastern division, came along and made arrangements for Mr. Hollenberg to house and feed three or four fleet ponies to run the beats eastward and westward on and after April 3.
Below the hill from the station house was a long stable that could house and shelter perhaps 100 head of horses and oxen; and this was always in demand, especially during cold weather. There was a large corral to hold loose stock and ricks and ricks of hay stood on the windward side shouldering each other. Nearby were also corn cribs and grain bins.
At the beginning from April 3, the Pony Express mail passed here both ways once a week. After June 1, 1860, twice a week until July 1, 1861. From then it passed daily eastward and westward until the enterprise was discontinued on October 24, that year.
One of the faithful stocktenders of the Pony Express horses at Cottonwood Station was the late Henry Brochmeyer of Hanover. His grave as well as the monument erected to the memory of G. H. Hollenberg in the Hanover public cemetery was decorated by the Hanover Boy Scouts on May 30th of this year (1938). This was part of the program carried out by the Oregon Trail Memorial Association through the United States -- to decorate the graves of all persons connected with the Pony Express.
The Stage Coaches
On July 1, 1861, when the daily Holladay Stage Line was started, Mr. Hollenberg saw new and added activity come to his place. This line ran from Atchison on the Missouri to Sacramento in California. Every day two stages passed -- one going east and one going west. Horses were kept here to make changes. These stages carried always a driver and an express messenger and could accommodate nine passengers.
These people all were apt to take meals at Cottonwood Station, if they did not stay there over night. So that old station house saw many people daily of that moving throng; and sometimes as many as two dozen men were sleeping in the upstairs loft. And this stage business continued until Mr. Holladay rerouted his stages over the Oketo Cutoff.
A Famous Hostlery
Early the U. S. government gave the Cottonwood station a post office. Hollenberg’s principal clerk, George Perkins, was duly sworn in as post master and there was the first post office in Washington county.
So in this old building, still in a fair condition of preservation, are all the rooms wherein were discharged the various duties of post office, store, dining hall, kitchen, and sleeping quarters.
In the heyday of its opulence and activity thousands of people annually shared its hospitality. The king of the staging business, Ben Holladay, and secretary quaffed at its bar and board many a time; also David Street, the general paymaster, who passed over the route quarterly; Bela M. Hughes, the general counsel of the stage company, and scores of other important personages graced and enjoyed its dining hall.
The Camp Grounds
It is said that in those boon days of overland travel it was a common thing to see the people of 100 or more wagons camp over night or over Sunday around Cottonwood station; and that to stand near the station house on the knoll and see almost numberless campfires gleaming east and south through the bottoms of Cottonwood creek, was a sight never to be forgotten. And so was the noise and bustle in the morning at "catching-up time." Likewise were those camps as well as the old station house in the evening scenes of merriment and laughter.
It should be borne in mind that four miles east of Cottonwood station the St. Joseph feeder joined the Oregon Trail and this combined traffic passed Mr. Hollenberg’s door; and during the 50’s and 60’s both roads saw heavy travel.
Frank J. Marsha1l, the founder of Marysville, in 1895, from Denver, wrote to J. S. Magil at Marysville telling of the heavy travel when he operated the ferry on the Big Blue. He wrote that "on some days from 5,000 to 10,000 people passed here." Let us also keep in mind that in some emigrant trains were over 1,000 people.
In 1857 and '58, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston went over this road with 5,000 troops from Fort Leavenworth to Utah. Russell, Majors and Waddell hauled the army supplies for these troops. They had over a dozen wagon trains hauling frieght during these years, and for years had part of their equipment, which consisted of 6,000 wagons and 75,000 oxen, on this Oregon Trail.
A Witness To Progress
The old station house that witnessed all these old-time activities still stands, unaltered, inchanged save for the wear and tear of the years that have flown. But how eloquent it becomes under the sway of the reminiscent tongue and the retrospective pen! O, that its walls could speak! It is a rare relic of the pioneer days.
This old structure, though plain and humble now amid modern surroundings, witnessed the drama that changed a wilderness and solitude into a garden and a park. It saw the Indian and the buffalo vanish from the plains. It saw the prairie breaker change the bluestem vistas into our golden wheat fields. It saw the sumac and wild cherry thickets on the rich creek bottoms give way to our fields of emerald corn.
It looked upon a drama of progress such as would take a Dickens to describe; and a conviviality and a hospitality as only a Mark Twain could picture; and this last named genius of the quill even tread its door steps.
I am certain that ten times as many people passed its doors during those epochal years as now dwell in populus Washington county. Hence is it such a historic shrine on that storied old Trail.
It has seen the regeneration of many vernal springs; it has seen four score of snowy winters, and basked in as many sun-kissed summers. But may it survive onward still through countless future years.
'Cottonwood' Station, A National Shrine
Deeply entrenched in the hearts of the appreciative people of the nation is the realization of what the Pony Express really did and its corresponding effect on the people as a binding link to what was to follow immediately and later.
Time has placed into discard all of the 190 stations in the 2000 mile route between St. Joseph, Mo., and Sacremento, Calif., save one, and that is "Cottonwood Station" in Washington County. After a lapse of 78 years we awaken and find the treasure is ours and that the nation’s eyes are focused on it.
Anew the men, women and children from near and far seek this historic knoll with its modest frame building and its nearby small barn made of native stone. Already they view the adjoining lowlands on the east and south, beyond which was a hollow in the bluffs, a natural opening in the hills, through which the numberless ox-team, horse-team, and mule-team caravans came. Almost do they see that robust young man on his dashing steed bugle his approach to the station that the change of horses should take the fewest seconds so that he might be "on with the mail" -- the care-taker being left to rub down and treat the faithful horse that, wet with sweat or even white with foam, had covered its period of miles.
Constantly increasing interest in the old Oregon Trail and the Pony Express has been centering more and more in this old ranch house. The recent visit to Hollenberg Ranch by Dr. Howard Driggs of New York, president of the Oregon Trail Memorial Association; Major Arthur Proctor, secretary-treasurer; Perry Driggs, office manager; and John Ellenbecker, Marysville, historian and a director of the organization was instrumental in creating. a more vivid picture of the importance and historic value of the Ranch. Speaking at the dedication of a marker that was being placed on a road near the Ranch, Dr. Driggs said in part:
"You people of Washington and Marshall counties are the possessors of one of the most precious historic spot in the United States today. We of the Oregon Trail Memorial Association in the past several years in our national study of the Trail and historic spots in connection with it have found nothing equal to it in historic importance. Having gone over the trail several times we have found foundations of old stations, here and there a fallen down barn, and ruins of old stations and barns. It is the outstanding pleasure of the entire trip for me to stand here today before this building -- the only original, unaltered Pony Express station standing in the United States today -- and take part in the dedication of this marker. Surely this is one spot that should be preserved for the inspiration of future generations."
From a historical standpoint that old building and the ground on which it stands is sacred ground. The younger generation and the generations yet unborn should be given the opportunity to visit this station. It should be their privilege "to thrill to the thundering of hoofbeats of the riders" as they dashed across an unsettled country amid thousands of dangers unheard of today.
In this streamlined age of speed in transportation we are prone to forget the accomplishments of the Pony Express in 1860 and 1861 and its glorious achievements of the opocal expansion and widening civilization of our great nation. A glimpse at this old relic of the past and a walk over the grounds where every inch has been gladly of sadly trodden upon in the early day would call us from our reverie and ignite that spark of appreciation due these active, valiant men. As we stand on this hallowed ground, we might even absorb some of their genius, their courage, their perservance, their devotion to duty and utter disregard for hardship.
Cottonwood Station should be kept intact. It should by all means be preserved. An immediate reconditioning of this national historic spot is urged that all may be in readiness when the great groups of people visit it. The time is ripe for the development of a national park to include these memorable grounds. The time is here for a few acres of ground to be set aside for beautification that a return as nearly as possible to its original appearance might be made.
The Old Pioneer’s Story
There child, put back the little faded sheet
Of yester-years. Come here and quietly sit down.
Those memories are so very dear to me,
The prairie and the little scattered town --
Just one lone store within its house of frame
And six or eight log cabins weathered brown;
As soon its I arrived, I stood and watched
The stockade’s smoldering ruins -- just burned down.
They told how it had housed a tiny print-shop --
A county paper in that early day.
Yes, young Mark Kelley did a lot to bring
Such men as me from states so far away.
Ten thousand families -- so that paper said
Was what we needed in this country then;
And how they came, yes, by the score,
Good, kind, brave-hearted, valiant men.
It was in eighteen seventy the rush began
From the Eastern states. The town was plotted by them.
Many new buildings swiftly went up round the square
And numberless homesteads were filed by dozens of men.
In winter, our larder was well supplied with game
And prairie chickens made the best of pie,
Turkeys, buffalo and deer still roamed at will
But not for long for their demand was high.
Many a man of the trail remembers the house
Of logs with its inviting well in the midst of the road
Where so often they paused to quench the thirst
Of man and beast, and rest from the dust and the load.
Though it followed the ridge, the road was long;
For supplies, be they meager or much, must be brought to the claim.
Be man rich or poor it mattered not,
The gait of horses and oxen was much the same.
Small school houses went up, first one then another,
And they housed entertainment as well as the "rule."
Home talent plays were given and granges were held
As well as spelling bees and singing’ school.
Anon, the little county paper came
A welcome guest within each household there
And "stranger" was synonymous with "friend"
And given place within the fireside chair.
Happy the youngster who happened to spend the night
Within the crude home of the old pioneer; for oft
They would play in the bluestem till dark, or help with the chores.
Then after the wee tots were all put to bed in the loft
They would pop corn over a crackling hot fire,
Or make candy of home-grown sorghum molasses
But usually managed to save out a bit for next day
Just to lazily munch on at recess from classes.
One calm fall night when the moon was riding high,
A group of young people made straight for the old south mill;
A party they called it, with post-office and love-in-the-dark,
And other such games. Yes, I remember it still,
There were dancing clubs with a small orchestra:
A violin, organ and old bass viol. But say --
They do the same things now that they used to do,
Except that they’re done in a slightly different way.
There child, my story is about complete
For seventy years have almost come and gone;
And, though we old men linger by the road,
The younger generation hurries on.
But still, the greatest game in life, you'll find
Is building a home, that harbors a love so pure,
So clean, that nothing e'er can shake your trust --
That's the kind that always will endure.
--Anita Welch Fletcher
Fort Leavenworth Military Road
The old Military Road was the first and most important transportation line across Northeast Kansas, and from there to the Far West. White men followed the Indians over its original trace. Pioneer settlers of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington plodded over its weary length to open up half a continent.
We are indebted to George A. Root of the Kansas Historical Society for the following story. He searched through 150 volumes of Western books and many manuscripts for his material. We consider it so vital to an understanding of how the original settlers arrived in this and other Western territory, that it is printed in the forepart of this edition.—Editor.
Written by George A. Root of the Kansas State Historical Society
Threading its way over the hills to the northwest from Cantonment Leavenworth in early days ran a trail no doubt used by the plains Indians from time immemorial. This trail was laid out by no surveyor. It was a natural highway to the mountains, the Pacific, and Oregon, and ultimately developed into the most important highway of the trans-Mississippi region.
Several military roads were laid out from Fort Leavenworth. One ran to Fort Gibson; one connected with the Santa Fe Trail; another ran to Fort Riley; another led to the Platte river and on west. This last one was variously known as the "Military Road" and "Salt Lake Trail." It was primarily a military road, and was laid out to facilitate the transportation of supplies to the two newly established posts on the Platte river—Fort Kearney and Fort Laramie.
From the New York Tribune, on June 28, 1854, we condense the following regarding this highway: The old military road, into which the road from St. Joseph entered, was abandoned on account of the large streams, swamps, barrens and hills, and its general crookedness. By the new road the table of distances to the Big Blue was as follows: To Salt Creek, or Kickapoo creek, 3 miles; Rock creek, 33; Willow Brook, 5; Millbrook, 4; Grasshopper, 7; Muddy Brook, 15; Turkey creek, 14; Vermillion, 18; Big Blue, 29, this being a distance of 131 miles from Fort Leavenworth.
(Edit. Note—As Grasshopper was the crossing west of Kennekuk, the distance from Leavenworth to that point was 52 miles.)
Fort Leavenworth Most Popular
On account of its central position Fort Leavenworth early became the most favorable point of departure for expeditions to the far west. Among those via the Platte route was that of Gen. Joseph Lane for Oregon in 1848, and Capt. Howard Stansbury for Utah in 1849, and Fremont on an exploring tour the same year.
For a number of years prior to the establishment of Cantonment Leavenworth in the fall of 1827 a trail led to the southwest from near the mouth of the Kaw river, and on to Santa Fe. This highway had been used for years before being surveyed by the U. S, government in 1825-‘27, and was a recognized highway before there was any sort of government military establishment within the confines of present Kansas.
During the period to the 1840’s, few white men, other than hunters, trappers and occasional exploring parties had ever passed over the northern trail. Following the start of emigration to Oregon, the route up the Platte river became a popular one, and the erstwhile trail used by the Indians became a well-defined, busy highway.
By this time a road had been laid out from Fort Leavenworth running northward paralleling the Missouri river for some miles, no doubt to connect with an emigrant road running westward from St. Joseph, as considerable Oregon travel was departing from that city for the far west. For many years a great portion of the Oregon travel was by way of the Oregon Trail from Independence, Mo., which followed the divides on the south side of the Kansas river and crossed that stream at one of the various ferries operating within present Shawnee County. The Trail then headed up the Kaw and Big Blue valleys into what is now Marshall County. About five or six miles below present Marysville, the Mormons crossed the Big Blue river at a point close to the mouth of the Little Blue. This point took the name of Independence Crossing, the name attaching on account of Latter Day Saints driven out of Independence, Mo., crossing the Blue at this point. A noted camping place was situated close to this crossing, known as Alcove Spring, where there was an unfailing supply of good water. This spring is said to have been visited by Fremont in 1842, and used by the ill-fated Donner party in 1846, while on their way to California. From here the road bore up the valley of the Little Blue and into Nebraska.
Traffic Increased Rapidly on Route
Following the Oregon and Mormon travel of the late 1840’s, traffic on this route had increased by leaps and bounds. One trapper making his way down the Platte from Fort Laramie, counted no less than 4,000 wagons all headed westward. Another authority recorded over 6,000 wagons loaded with freight passing Fort Kearney going west, within a short space of time, over 900 going by during the last three days of the count. Paxson, in his "History of the American Frontier -- 1763-1893" states that "upwards of 70,000 men, women and children, with wagons, and flocks and herds innumerable passed over this road in 1849-50."
On account of this increasing travel westward from Fort Leavenworth, Capt. Howard Stansbury in 1849-50, surveyed a route to Salt Lake. This survey located the crossing of the Big Blue at present Marysville, a few miles up stream from old Independence Crossing, which proved to be a more advantageous point for freighters to cross the river.
Traveling as it did the buffalo range, the road also ran through the heart of the plains Indians’ country. The Indians naturally resented the long trains of white-topped wagons, creaking along this trail through their favorite hunting grounds, and now and then committed some overt acts intended to show their resentment. For the protection of these travelers the government built a post on the south side of the Platte river in 1849, which was first known as Fort Child, and shortly afterwards changed to Fort Kearney, in honor of the general of that name. This was the first military post established by the United States on this route between the Missouri river and the Pacific coast. Fort Kearney’s early buildings were constructed of sod and adobe, but officers’ quarters were said to have been built of lumber, and were up-to-date for those early times.
Noted Travelers Traveled This Route
The Platte river ran along to the north of the fort stretching for many miles to the east and west. In many respects this stream is much like the Arkansas river to the south—making up in width what it lacks in depth. Washington Irving wrote of the Platte in 1832: "It is the most magnificent and most useless of streams." Artemus Ward, the humorist, crossed the plains in 1864 by the Platte route and wrote that "the Platte would be a good river if set up on edge." Having a shallow channel, the waters are more or less roily at times, which fact prompted some wag of earlier days to remark that catfish navigating the stream were obliged to come out of the water ever so often to sneeze, in order to rid their lungs of sediment accumulated.
It was some undertaking to get ready for an overland journey in those early times, and required not only much time in preparation but the expenditure of large sums of money as well. All staple supplies were to be found at the large outfitting houses at Missouri river points, and were to be had at reasonable prices. When bought at any of the trading posts farther west such articles cost double or triple what they did at Missouri river points.
Indians were a hazard at all times and had to be reckoned with. Frequently they held up a wagon train. If they refrained from making warlike attacks to get what they wished, they got what they wanted by more subtle methods—by begging—making such outrageous demands for eats and tobacco that the travelers were practically "cleaned out." The most serious of these disturbances were those which occurred along the Platte route during the summer of 1864, participated in by Cheyennes, Sioux, Kiowas and Arapahoes.
Lost Half a Million in Six Weeks
All traffic for a distance of 300 miles suddenly stopped, and no freighting or stage service was carried on for six weeks. The Overland Stage line lost heavily by these depredations, its losses amounting to more than half a million dollars. From a few friendly Indians who straggled into the forts it was learned that they had met and conversed with marauding bands of these hostiles, from whom the information was gleaned that the Indians were fearful of the paleface emigration westward and feared that they (the Indians) would soon lose all their land. The land, they declared, belonged to them exclusively and it was their intention to again get possession of it and hold it, even if they had to kill every man, woman and child to accomplish their purpose.
Cholera was scarcely less to be feared on the plains than Indians in the "Forties" and "Fifties." This scourge is said to have been introduced on the plains by travelers who came up the Mississippi and Missouri by steamboats. At practically every camping place along the trail from Missouri river points to out along the Blue and Platte rivers freshly dug graves marked the spot where some unfortunate pilgrim had been laid away.
Immensity of the Freighting Business
Following the discovery of gold in California in the late 1840’s, immigration received a great impetus. Wagon trains along the trail increased by the thousands. Many of these started from St. Joseph and Westport, but the greater portion left Fort Leavenworth. Some idea of the freighting business by oxen which grew out of this overland traffic may be gleaned from the following taken from an address by Alexander Caldwell, an early day freighter of Leavenworth:
"Before the Civil War Kansas City, Independence and St. Joseph were the great outfitting points for freighting across the plains, but during the war and afterwards, Leavenworth, Atchison, Nebraska City and Omaha were the principal points of departure. Leavenworth, however, being far in the lead in account of the vast quantity of military stores concentrated at that point for distribution to points in the West. One company having headquarters at Leavenworth, estimated that supplies required annually for the military alone, amounted to from 35 to 50 millions of pounds. A train of 25 wagons started from the Missouri river on the first day of May, required about five months to reach Salt Lake City. A wagon train usually consisted of 26 wagons, with 300 head of cattle; 25 drivers; a ‘captain’ (or wagon master); an assistant; and 3 extra men; in all 30 men. To transport 50,000,000 pounds of freight by wagon train, required 10,000 wagons; 12,000 men and 120,000 head of stock.
"These prairie schooners, if placed end to end in one continuous line in the ordinary way of freighting, would have formed a column more than 1,000 miles long. This was an expensive method of transportation, for the equipment necessary to ‘carry on’ ran into big money. A single train of 26 wagons represented an investment of about $35,000, and equipment and stock necessary to transport 50,000,000 pounds of freight would cost more than $5,000,000. The cost of subsisting and moving these caravans was enormous, and therefore large rates of transportation were paid. As late as 1865 the Government paid $2.25 per 100 pounds per 100 miles. The distance from Leavenworth to Salt Lake City being 1,200 miles, made the cost per 100 pounds $27, or $540 per ton. At this rate a wagon train of 25 wagons would earn $45,000. Today the same amount of freight is taken by rail at a cost of $1,500."
The Bull Whacker Knew His Business
The early day professional "bull whacker" was a hard citizen. Profanity was a part of his nature, and it is said that the cattle did their best pulling in proportion to the energy and fluency with which the driver delivered himself of his most vigorous efforts in that line. In wet weather wagons would become mired in the mud up to the axle and the cattle in the mire almost to their backs. The late Thomas A. Scott, railroad magnate, having a moneyed interest in a freighting outfit, passed by one wagon mired down to the axle, addressing the driver said: "Well, my man, you are in a bad fix." "Oh, no," he replied, "I am all right, but there are two wagons below mine, and those fellows down there are having a hell of a time."
While passing through territory where Indian attacks were likely, most thorough precautions were taken. Corraling live stock at night was one of the time-honored chores for the safe guarding of live stock. Capt. Howard Stansburg, setting out from Fort Leavenworth for Salt Lake City, in June 1852, describes corraling which he had seen for the first time. "The wagons were drawn up in the form of a circle and chained together, leaving a small opening at one place, through which the cattle were driven into the inclosed space at night, and guarded. The arrangement is an excellent one, and rendered impossible what is called a ‘stampede’—a mode of assault practiced by Indians for the purpose of carrying off cattle or horses, in which, if possible, they let loose some of the animals and so frightened the rest as to produce a general confused flight of the whole. To a few determined men, wagons thus arranged for a breastwork, made them exceedingly difficult to be carried by any force of undisciplined savages."
Ox-drawn wagons made slow progress across the plains making a speed of about two miles an hour. On days when everything went right, they made 20 miles. Contrast this with modern trucks on paved highways, hauling loads of two tons or so, and making from 35 to 40 miles an hour.
With the opening of Kansas and Nebraska and the increased traffic westward, a brief mention of the new towns and settlements which sprang up along the route in Kansas might be interesting.
Military Road Through Kennekuk
The highway from Fort Leavenworth bore to the westward over a portion of what was later known as the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Riley road, to a point known as the "Eight Mile House," a popular early day inn and tavern, which stood a short distance southeast of the present village of Lowemont, Leavenworth County. Here the road branched off sharply to the northwest, while the Fort Riley road veered to the southwest, towards present Easton. The north branch entered Atchison County a few miles farther on. Among noted stopping’ places along the road in the Salt Creek valley, Leavenworth County, were taverns and hotels kept by Merrill Smith; Isaac Cody, father of Buffalo Bill; and H. P. Rively; besides the Eight Mile House operated by Dave Kelsey.
Entering Atchison County the military road continued on to a point a few miles west of Atchison known as "Mormon Grove," which had been a popular camping place for Mormons who were journeying west; thence on in the same direction through present Huron and on to Kennekuk, where the road from St. Joseph intersected it. The road from St. Joseph was known as the St. Joseph emigrant road. The Pony Express also traveled this road.
The Famous Pony Express
This enterprise was established in 1860 by the freighting firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell, Wm. H. Russell being president. Its mission ws to carry letters and dispatches from the Missouri river to California within the shortest practicable time, estimating the distance between the Missouri River and Salt Lake City could be covered in ten days, and from there to the Pacific coast in another five days.
The first trip westward from St. Joseph to Sacramento was made in nine days and 23 hours, while it took 11 days and 12 hours to complete the initial trip eastward. By the "pony" route the time previously required for letters between New York and San Francisco was reduced to 13 days, formerly requiring nearly a month. Nearly 500 saddle horses were purchased and used in the enterprise; 190 stations had to be maintained, and a force of about 200 men employed as station keepers and attendants, in addition to about 80 riders.
Among the more noted of these were Alex Carlylee and Johnny Frey, each credited with being the first rider out of St. Joseph, and Harry Roff, the first rider starting east from the Pacific Coast. Wm. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) was also one of the riders, on one occasion covering one of the longest "runs" ever made on the line, 320 miles in all, at one time, while another rider Robert Haslam ("Pony Bob") in 1860 covered 380 miles. These rides were necessitated on account of the death of riders who should have relieved them. Riders rode night and day, covering about 200 miles a day.
The Pony Express charges originally were $5 an ounce for letters, and the riders were limited to 20 pounds. The Pony Express lasted less than 18 months, being abandoned on the completion of the Pacific Telegraph.
The Overland Stage Line
The Holladay Overland Stage line, running out of Atchison, also intersected the military road at Kennekuk. This line was the successor of the C. O. C. & P. P. Express organized by Russell, Majors and Waddell, which had started the Leavenworth & Pike’s Peak Express and the Pony Express lines. Holladay had advanced large sums to the projectors of these enterprises and had taken over the properties on a mortgage. He reorganized the line and added much in way of new equipment. The line originally ran out of St. Joseph, but the point of departure was changed to Atchison in January 1860, and operated from there to Sacramento, Calif.
There were 125 stations including Atchison to Placerville, Calif., and the fare was $225; and $150 to Salt Lake. Passengers were allowed 25 pounds of baggage, all excess being charged at rate of $1 a pound. Meals along the line were extra. This line did an enormous business during the Sixties, which was offset to a considerable extent by losses from Indian depredations at various times and points along the route, the most serious of which occurred during 1864 along the Platte river route. Holladay had a competitor in the Butterfield Overland Despatch line which operated along the Smoky Hill to Denver. Butterfield becoming heavily involved financially, Holladay took over his line.
Holladay finally disposed of his Overland Stage interests to Wells, Fargo & Co. The Overland Stage route is said to have been the longest mail and passenger route in the world. The Overland went out of business on the completion of the Pacific railroad. Kennekuk was about 35 miles from St. Joseph, about the same from Fort Leavenworth and approximately 21 or 22 from Atchison. The Kickapoo Agency was also located there.
One Station in Brown County
Kickapoo, on the Overland Stage line, was the next station on the road, 12 miles distant. This was an eating station on the line, kept by H. N. Rising, a Kansas pioneer and surveyor. (Edit. Note—The Kickapoo station was about six miles west of the present site of Mercier.)
Log Chain, 13 miles farther, was the next station. This was the home of Robert Sewell, an Overland driver, better known as "Old Bob" Ridley, who lived close by. Bob was noted for his propensity for panhandling chewing tobacco, and was said to have kept all the stock tenders and others on his run supplied with the "filthy weed." The road at this point crossed a stream which had a quick sand bottom, and 1oaded wagons frequently mired so deep that help was needed in getting out. This was usually accomplished by hooking a log chain to the axle of the mired wagon, and then hitching extra yokes of oxen to the chain. Extra chains were kept at the station for such emergencies, this giving an excuse for the name applied to the station. A wonderful spring was situated at this point also. The old station site is now a part of the farm of Dr. Samuel Murdock of Sabetha.
Seneca, 11 miles distant, located on the headwaters of the Nemaha river, was the next stop. The station was kept by John E. Smith, a New Hampshire man. His hotel was built of lumber hauled in from the Missouri river, and was the first building erected on the townsite. Mr. Smith, in his time, is said to have entertained more public men who were crossing the plains than any other living person of his day.
Laramie Creek, 12 miles beyond Seneca, was the next station, and among the employees of the Overland line had been dubbed "Frogtown."
Guittard’s, 12 miles beyond, was the next station, kept by a Frenchman named George Guittard who had settled there with his sons in September, 1857. A son, Xavier, was the business man of the family, speaking both French and English fluently. He was appointed postmaster by President Lincoln, and held the office till after the year 1900.
A Famous Crossing at Marysville
Marysville, 10 miles beyond, was the next stopping point. Marshall’s trading post and ferry, originally established at Independence Crossing, were moved to this point about 1850, after the new military road had been surveyed and the crossing located there. This was the last point within present Kansas where a letter could be mailed for eastern points, and this privilege cost the writer a dollar in addition to the postage, as the missive had to be sent by freighters to some Missouri river point for mailing. Later a company of South Carolinians laid out a townsite called Palmetto City, adjoining Marshall’s claim. Marysville, started later by Marshall, soon outstripped and absorbed its rival. The Big Blue river at this point was fordable only during low water, and Marshall’s ferry did a thriving business, especially during spring and early summer when hundreds of wagons and thousands of people awaited their chance to cross. By 1852 traffic was so great that Marshall was charging $5 for crossing a wagon, and he would only ferry people and wagons, compelling owners of livestock to swim their animals across.
Holladay, owner of the Overland Stage line, had a grudge against Marysville for some reason, and to get even made a change in the Overland route which left Marysville off the route for a time. The new route ran to Oketo, some ten miles north of Marysville, then across the Otoe reserve and into Nebraska. This change was made in the fall of 1862, and stages were run over the new cut-off beginning with the middle of October until early in March, 1863. The cut-off was a few miles shorter than the road via Marysville, but freighters could not be prevailed to travel by the new route, and even the stage employees considered the old road the better one. After a few months the differences between Holladay and Marysville were amicably adjusted, after which the stages again stopped in Marysville.
Hollenberg, on the Little Blue, was the last station in Kansas. It was about 20 miles from Marysville and kept by George H. Hollenberg.
Between this point and the Platte river there were a number of small stations, one of which was Rock Creek, where Wild Bill Hickok had his encounter with the McCanless outfit.
Fort Kearney and Beyond
Fort Kearney on the Platte was the first station on that river going west, the military road following up the valley on the south, which was the most universally traveled route, although there was a road on the north side of the river.
There were several noted stations beyond Fort Kearney, one of which was Old Julesburg, at the junction of the North and South Plattes. Here the South Platte was forded by those who were headed for Laramie and Salt Lake. The crossing at this point was quite wide and had a shifting sandy bed which made fording extremely hazardous, especially with heavy loaded wagons. A grandfather of the writer in the spring of 1852 crossed here while on his way to California, and his description of the difficulties encountered in crossing was a most vivid one, the air resounding with the bellows of cattle hauling heavy wagons, the creaking of the white topped vehicles, and the dusty swearing of the various teamsters and wagon bosses, all urging their cattle and mules to "do their durndest."
Court House Rock and Chimney Rock, further on in Western Nebraska, were two noted landmarks seen from the road, each towering high above the plains and visible for a number of miles.
Historic Old Fort Laramie
Fort Laramie, Wyoming, was the next important point on the road. The fort was built on Laramie River about one-half mile above its junction with the Platte river. This early day post had been built by trappers in 1834, and it passed into the hands of the American Fur Company in 1835. In 1849 the United States added this post to its list of frontier defenses, troops occupying the fort on June 16, the government taking formal possession on June 29.
Independence Rock, to the west of Fort Laramie, was another well known land mark that could be seen from the road, a few miles distant. The front face of the "Rock" was covered with the names and dates of many visitors, which included traders, trappers, freighters, emigrants, and others. The Oregon Company arrived at this point on July 26, 1843, and chiselled the date of their arrival on the big rock. According to Inman, the Rock derived its name from the visit of the first party of Americans who crossed the continent by way of the Platte valley, under the leadership of a man named Thorpe, and who celebrated their Fourth of July at the base of this historic granite landmark.
The trail through Wyoming previous to 1847 followed the Platte to near its source and then followed up the Sweetwater, crossing South Pass. According to Bancroft, emigration previous to 1847 was "through South Pass to Big Sandy river. Then to avoid a desert stretch, down the Big Sandy to its junction with Green river and across, then up Black’s fork to Fort Bridger. The Mormons here took the road made by Hastings and the Donner party in 1846, bearing almost due west. . . .In 1847 when the Mormons entered the valley, there were three wagon roads into it." During the Mormon trek thousands of the Latter Day Saints who left Independence, Mo., followed the Santa Fe Trail as far as 110 Creek, turned to the northwest and crossed the Kansas river at a point between Fort Riley and Junction City known as "Whiskey Point." From there the trail ran towards the north between the Blue and Republican rivers, an on to the Platte river in vicinity of Fort Kearney. Other Mormons crossed the Kansas river in the vicinity of Topeka, followed up the Kaw valley and turned northward in Pottawatomie County, crossing the Blue river below present Marysville as before mentioned.
South Pass Discovered in 1823
South Pass was the point where the military road crossed the Rocky Mountains. This opening through the mountains was discovered by a party under Gen. William Ashley, in 1823. A grandfather of the writer, John H. Clark, crossed South Pass with a company of California-bound gold seekers on June 20, 1852, and wrote in his journal at the time: "About two in the afternoon we passed through the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains. There was snow on every hand. The wind blew a winter’s gale, drifting the loose sand in clouds through the cold air. The Pass is quite level, so much so that it is hard to say where the highest point lies, but after traveling a few miles we began to descend gradually until we came to the Pacific Springs, and from there the water flowed westward."
Fort Bridger was the next important point on the trail going west. James Bridger, trapper and frontiersman, had discovered Great Salt Lake during the winter of 1824-‘25, while with a party of trappers. Some years later he took a claim on Black’s Fork and established a trading post, and built a large stockade. This was located on a route used later by Oregon travelers and Mormons. Bridger carried a large stock of dry goods, groceries, liquors, tobacco, ammunition and other supplies needed in overland travel. Mormons camped at his place a short time to rest while on their way west.
Gen. Johnson and the "Mormon War"
In 1857, when trouble developed between the Latter Day Saints and the United States government, the Mormons took possession of the post and erected a stone fort for the protection of the property. That year Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston was sent to Utah to look after the situation, and his army encamped on Black’s Fork, about three miles south. In the fort about 2,700 Mormons were snugly housed and intrenched, while Johnston’s army were housed in tents and subjected to all the rigors of a hard winter as they encamped in the open.
Supply trains sent out from Fort Leavenworth with provisions and forage for his army and stock, were captured by the Mormons, who ran off their stock, looted their trains and destroyed what they could not use. Such animals as the army had been able to hang onto, slowly starved to death, as there was no forage to be had. The cold was intense, the thermometer at times registering 30 degrees below zero. Early in June, 1858, the Mormons evacuated Bridger’s post and retreated towards Salt Lake City, burning the fort before leaving. Johnston and his army followed the retreating Mormons and entered Salt Lake City on June 10, 1858. On this date Fort Bridger was taken possession of by the army and became an important military center, though of little importance now. This was the third military post established on the Overland route.
Salt Lake City was the next point on the trail leading to Oregon and California. The town was laid out by the Mormons in 1847, who entered the valley under the leadership of Brigham Young. At the time of their arrival these pioneers were desperately poor. Everything in the way of crops planted needed to be irrigated in order to grow. The first crop was practically a failure, and the next one was almost entirely devoured by a plague of locusts. Succeeding years brought good crops, and the surplus was disposed of to good advantage to emigrants journeying to Oregon and California, as the city was located on the road leading to the Pacific coast. The city is the headquarters of the Mormon church, and the Mormon temple and tabernacle are outstanding buildings of the church and the city.
Oregon or California at Last!Biographie’s of Pioneers
Beyond Salt Lake City was Oregon and California. The road leading to these territories ran around the east and north side of Great Salt Lake to the west for some distance. The road to Oregon then branched off to the northwest while the road to California continued over the mountains to the headwaters of the Humboldt, and followed down that stream to the sink of the Humboldt, then over the Sierras to California. The Oregon country, under a treaty with England in 1837, was held in joint occupation by the United States and England for a few years, but the influx of settlers during the next few years resulted in its being added to the domain of the United States.
The route to Oregon by 1842 was indelibly marked by those early pilgrims, the trail being strewn by broken down wagons, discarded household goods of every description, bones of oxen and livestock, and graves of those unable to stand the hardships of the long journey. This year and for several years following, larger parties left Missouri river points for that promised land, and Fort Leavenworth became the strategic point for setting out on the journey. No definited figures of the Oregon emigration have ever been compiled. The rush to California, beginning in the late 1840’s and continuing for the next six or eight years, kept the old trail into the Golden State one of the busiest highways of all time.
This sketch does not pretend to give anything like a complete history of the Military Road. Its limitations forestalled that. However, it does attempt to make brief mention of some of the more important events that occurred along its course, and to give short sketches of some of the more important commercial enterprises that played so important a part in the redemption of the wilderness.
David E. Ballard
David E. Ballard was born in Franklin, Vt., March 20, 1836, the third child of Appleton and Epiphena Ballard. He was reared in Sparea, Ohio, acquiring his education in the common schools. There also he took his first lesson in the mercantile business and was also thus engaged with his uncle at Mt. Gilead, and later again with his father at Lansing, Mich. He remained a resident of Michigan state until 1855 and then determined to seek the farther West. We next find him in Tama County, Iowa, where he was occupied as a clerk in Toledo until 1857. Then crossing the Missouri River into the Territory of Kansas he was located for a time in Lawrence and in the meanwhile had a hand in the troubles of that period, operating under James Lane.
In 1858 he came to Washington, Kan., and was made Secretary of the first company organized to layout the town. Subsequently he assisted in the organization of Washington County and at the first election of county officers was chosen Register of Deeds and County Clerk. Later further honors were bestowed upon him as he was chosen by the Free State party as their first Representative in the Legislature. He served his full term with great credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents.
During the first year of the Civil War he entered the army as a private, but soon afterwards, by the urgency of friends and officials, left the ranks and raising a company joined the 2nd Kansas Infantry as First Lieutenant of Company H. This regiment was soon afterward transferred into the 2nd Kansas Cavalry, in which Lieutenant Ballard served until 1865 when he was obliged to send his resignation on account of disability. In the meantime his services received their just recognition by the presentation to him of a Captain’s commission.
In May, 1865, he was appointed Quartermaster General of the Kansas State Militia. In 1866 he was commissioned Deputy United States Surveyor of public lands in Kansas. In 1867 he was commissioned Deputy United States Marshal in his district and in 1868 was commissioned Assistant Assessor for Division No. 4.
In 1865 he married Miss Louise Bowen of Leavenworth, Kansas. The ten children born to Mr. and Mrs. Ballard were named Ernest F., Louise, Frank C., Mabel, Miriam, David C., Winifred, Mark A., Anna A., and Stella L. Louise died when six days old.
The two years following the war found the Ballards in Manhattan where Col. Ballard was a land agent for the Kansas Pacific Railway. Then Mr. and Mrs. Ballard returned to Washington county and they lived on their farm on the Little Blue about 10 miles southeast of Washington until 1901 when they moved to Washington city.
Mr. Ballard died in Florida in January, 1927, and was laid to rest in the Washington city cemetery.
G. Henry Hollenberg
Honorable G. Henry Hollenberg was one of the most noted of the German settlers of Kansas, and contributed very largely to the upbuilding of Hanover and the country round about in Washington County. He was the first settler in the township and came to the county in the fall of 1858, settling on the Old Fort Kearney Road at a point which he called "Cottonwood Ranch." Here he kept a small stock of groceries and general store, and also obtained an appointment for his clerk, George Perkins, and established a postoffice at this point. He continued this ranch during the time of the immense travel and transportation to California and the mountains by overland stage and freighting trains.
It was near this point that the road crossed the Little Blue on the trail to Marysville, thence to the Big Blue, from there following the valley to near Fort Kearney. Mr. Hollenberg had his ranch here during the raid made by the Indians upon tavelers and ranchmen further up the valley. During these troubles he was Colonel of a regiment of state militia and an expedition was soon in pursuit of the Indians, but did not accomplish anything more than to drive them towards the headwaters of the Republican.. Travel was soon resumed and the settlers came back to their homes. There were other raids, but this was the most disastrous.
Mr. Hollenberg was born in the Province of Hanover, Germany, on the 19th of December, 1823. His father, Rudolph Hollenberg, was a farmer, and his means being small, his son received but a common-school education, and spent his early years assisting his father on the farm. In 1849, at the time of the gold excitement in California, he left his native land, and sailed for this country. He was then twenty-six years of age. He tarried for three years in California, working as a common laborer in the mines, and accumulated about $3,000, when he joined a mining expedition and sailed for Australia. In Australia he mined quite successfully, and then a mining excitement in Peru, South America, caused himself and sixty-five others to go to Peru. During their stay there they suffered untold hardships; they crossed the Andes Mountains, and also crossed at great peril a branch of the Amazon, and on account of the hostility of the Indians, having almost every day to fight with them, their ammunition was soon exhausted, as well as their provisions. They occupied seven months on the trip, each man being provided with two mules, or burros, one to ride, and one to use as a pack animal. On Mr. Hollenberg’s return from that trip to Lima, he took passage for New York via the Isthmus of Panama. At New York he was sick for a time. Becoming convalescent, his physician advised that he make a trip for the benefit of his health. Desiring to see the States, he started westward, at St. Louis took passage on a steamboat, and made his way up the Missouri to Weston, above Leavenworth, and in the early spring of 1854, he came to Marshall County, Kan., and settled on the Black Vermillion, at what is now Bigelow, a station on the Chicago, Burlington & Union Pacific Railroad, now known as the Missouri Pacific. There he kept a general store and also farmed, his store being at the ford on the old Independence and California trail. In the fall of 1858, he removed to, and established the "Cottonwood Ranch" near Hanover as above stated. While residing on the Black Vermillion, he was married on the 15th of May, 1858, to Miss Sophia Brockmeyer, in Marshall County.
In politics, Mr. Hollenberg was a staunch Republican, and a member of the Lutheran Church. He was three times elected to the State Legislature of Kansas, and was for several terms County Commissioner and always Chairman of the Board. He was a man of the strictest honesty and integrity combined, and stood like a stone wall in favor of right and justice. Chicanery and fraud had no chance to commit any wrong against the county while he was in office. As the founder of Hanover and Hollenberg he will always be remembered by the citizens of Washington County. His whole soul was in the effort to build up the county he had selected as his future home. He was ever ready to assist his poorer neighbors, on many occasions giving them corn and provisions, and in not a few cases furnishing them seed for spring or fall planting. As elsewhere mentioned, he established the city of Hanover in 1869, and his time and means are devoted to the development of that city.
In June, 1874, Mr. Hollenberg being in poor health decided to visit his native land with the double purpose of regaining his health and inducing emigration. He reached New York in the latter part of June and sailed from that harbor on the steamer "Bolivia" on the morning of July 1, 1874. The steamer was but four hours at sea when Mr, Hollenberg was taken violently sick with hemorrhage of the lungs. Every effort was made by those around him to relieve his sufferings, but without success. He breathed his last about midnight, July 1, 1874, in his fifty-first year. He was buried in the Atlantic ocean the next day, the funeral service being read by the Captain. He was identified by the papers on his person, and after the steamer had made the trip to Glasgow and return, the papers and an official notice of his death were mailed to his friends.
In Hanover cemetery a monument contains a brief biographical sketch of his life, and names him the founder of Hanover and the father of Washington County. May his many virtues be ever cherished in the memory of the citizens of the county as a bright oasis in their history. At his death he left a large estate.
"These are good years."
He set his brave words up like bowling’ pins,
Exactly balanced, knowing I would challellge him.
Good years, because the elements had not defeated him,
Because his crops would feed his family and his flocks,
And leave a little over for the mortgage.
Last spring it was so windy and so cold
He slept out in the brooder house
To watch the fire.
And earlier, the night old Baldy had twin calves,
He faced a blizzard all the way from town,
Finished the chores with hands that ached and stung,
And then spent half the night
Saving old Baldy and the calves.
There was a late frost, killing the peach crop;
A sudden hail shattered the wheat on the east forty.
Floods took the corn, and now
The second planting,
With the drouth already lurking in a cloudless sky
Like a great burnished copper kettle
His gaze was clear. He looked down clean-plowed furrows,
And thought his horses better friends than men.
"These are good years."
I think that he was thinking of the time
His mother walked four miles to bring him
Fresh-baked bread and the first butter they had had since fall.
Or of the day she set a breakfast
Of cornbread and molasses and strong’ tea,
And kept from crying. He rode alone that day
And all that night to meet the stage that brought
Provisions from the East.
Gray, gnarled and twisted like a prairie tree,
He lifted up a thankful heart.
"These are good years."
-- Lois Thompson Paulsen.
THE ROMANCE OF DAVID AND LOUISE
It has been said that "love laughs at locksmiths," and finds a way to overcome all barriers. The desert and the wilderness cannot prevent, nor can war terrify "love’s young dream." Verily, thus it seems.
The Civil War, in which hundreds of thousands of the flower of American manhood had been slain, cast its pall over the nation, when one summer night a steamboat, wending its way up the Missouri river, stopped at Fort Leavenworth, and a slip of a girl, after a long journey from New England, alighted. Pausing but for a moment, the whistle blew, and the boat moved on and presently disappeared in the darkness.
There stood the young woman, all forlorn, surrounded by bag and baggage.
Now a kindly Providence had ordained that a young Lieutenant, for reasons perhaps he could not have explained even to himself, was there at the landing hard by the Fort; and, noting the helpless figure, apparently quite out of place, and evidently not knowing what to do about it, the Lieutenant, being a gentleman as well as a soldier, inquired if he could be of assistance. Whereupon the young woman told him that she had expected her sister and husband to meet her, as they had been informed of her intended arrival. Some further information developed the fact that the agent "down east" who issued her ticket, evidently because he thought that Leavenworth and Fort Leavenworth were one and the same, had issued transportation to the latter point, whereas the desired destination was the former.
The Lieutenant, who was none other than David Ellenwood Ballard, a citizen at the time and one of the founders of Washington county and of the State of Kansas, procured a "rig" and took the girl, who was Louise Bowen of Vermont, to the home of her relatives in Leavenworth, through which town she had sat tight and was whisked on to the Fort, as the train bearing her had passed along.
Well, like the first man, who glimpsed a beautiful being amid the trees of a garden and chose her for his mate, our hero, the Lieutenant, having found a daughter of Eve who was no less winsome than her historic mother, in a setting however drab, was captivated by her gentle charms, and won her for his bride. And, true to the best traditions of romance, to the certain knowledge of this writer, David and Louise lived happily ever after.
MEMORY’S SACRED PLAQUE
On the right wall at the entrance of the new Washington County court house is a heavy bronze tablet on which are heavily embossed the names of the men from Washington County who made the supreme sacrifice in the World War: Ira Austin, Lawrence K. Young, Lawrence Ernest Young, Walter W. Shaw, Clark R. Frost, William Happ, George Wesley Hood, Harry Richmond James, Elmer S. Jennings, Henry H. Kasha, William Willis Cummings, John Doer, Paul S. Dee, Ben Schultz, Leo F. Featherkyle, Lyle A. Derrick, Carl Marion Cole, George Kohlmeyer, Fred Keene, Harley Gano, Perry Dodd, William Frederick Reinecke, Neil Hillabrant, Elbert Harrison Taylor, Clement T. Farrell, John W. Brei, Clyde Virgil Martin, Charles McHugh, William Short, Charles Graves, Herman Prellwitz and Wade Priest.
Two things all soldiers sought was a cold drink of water and to know the time of day.
It is altogether fitting and proper that a lasting memorial be erected to all soldiers, living or dead.
In the 15 ft. clock tower memorial to be placed on the southwest corner of the Washington County court house lawn, the lower part will be a drinking fountain. Time and thirst will both be satisfied.
The memorial is being erected by contributions. The cost is $2,000. Already better than $300 have been sent in for this construction. The name of each donor in his own handwriting has been preserved and will be placed in the wall of the tower as will be the names of all who contribute toward this useful memorial.
It is hoped that every man, woman and child in the county or out of the county who has not already contributed will do so in the near future. Let Washington County do homage to the American soldiers of all wars be they living or dead.
Any coin, bill or check is accepted. Bring, send or address your contributions to John J. Barley, who is treasurer of the Memorial Association or to the Register office.
Hallowell Came in 1866
Thomas Chalkley Hallowell made a trip to Kansas in 1866 to see if he liked the country. He then returned to Champagne county, Ohio, for his family. That same year all the direct kin moved to LeRoy, Ill., where they lived until May of 1867 when they started for Kansas. In four covered wagons called prairie schooners they came. Each wagon was drawn by a team of horses. With Mr. Hallowell was his wife and their five children who were in the home -- Tom, Ann (later the second Mrs. John Barley), Eva, later Mrs. Stewart Beckwith, W. C. (Billy who was nine years old) and Lincoln. With them were two married daughters, Sarah Eugene, her husband Henry Cox, and their tiny daughter, Lillie -- now Mrs. Wm. Dolliver; and Etta and her husband Frank Cox. (One daughter Elizabeth and her husband John W. Barley with their four small children, Virginia (later Mrs. John Dixon), Charles P., Callie (later Mrs. Jud Stevens) and Alta May, later Mrs. Thomas Eves -- remained in LeRoy until the spring of 1869 when they joined their family in Kansas.)
At this time it was very unsafe for wagons to go overland across Missouri on account of the horse thieves and bushwhackers so the Hallowell party and their belongings went by the steam boat "The Great Westerner" from St. Louis to Western, Mo. The families were six days on the river, two of which the crew.(negroes) unloaded iron for the Union Pacific Railroad for which roads, the rails were being laid between Topeka and Manhattan.
The families stopped two weeks at Wathena which is a short distance out of St. Joseph, then treking westward they picked up the trail known as the Military Road that went from Fort Leavenworth to Ft. Kearney in reality a part of the old Oregon Trail. The Hallowells did not pass a house as they journeyed from Wathena to Marysville.
Upon reaching Marysville the Big Blue river was out of its banks and the Hallowells were obliged to remain there ten days before they could get across the swollen river. Continuing on the trail they reached Cottonwood Station 1 mile northeast of the present Hanover. Getting across the Little Blue at what was known as Limestone crossing they reached Washington on the 14th day of June 1867, and driving across the town they halted at the home of Chalkley’s brother, Jesse Hallowell. As they crept out of the wagons, each breathing deep of the invigorating fresh Kansas air they received a taste of their new home -- for Washington County was to be their future home -- and it proved to be -- for now, seventy-one years later, after they had spent long useful lives in helping develop this new home most of the ones in the party are asleep on the silent hill overlooking the city to which they came.
Dear Mrs. Barley:
I am happy to join with other Kansas friends in congratulating the Washington. County Register on the occasion of the celebration of its 70th anniversary. In the life span of a city and state this is but a short time but those 70 years in Kansas history have seen some dynamic eras. The constructive part played by the Register in the development of this period is real cause for sincere felicitation. It has promoted the best traditions of journalism and as a consequence has served well and faithfully the community of which it is a part. I regard the Register as one of the best county weeklies in Kansas.
It is an honor and pleasure to join with your readers as well as with other citizens of Kansas in wishing the Register many more years of continued success.
Dear Mrs. Barley:
My hearty congratulations go to you for carrying on the good work so well performed by the Washington County Register. I well recall how we looked forward to its coming when I was a small boy fifty years ago. It kept us in touch with our friends and activities in parts of the community which were then far more distant than they are now. The phrase "I see by the Register" was always the start of a good conversation.
My best wishes go to you and to the Register on its 70th anniversary that it may bring joy and happiness and useful information to the people of Washington County for many years to come.
K. P. ALDRICH, Washington D. C.
To the Editor -- a Former Pupil,
And to Old-Time Kansas Friends:
A request for a brief letter for the Special Edition gives me a long-sought opportunity to extend greetings and express my best wishes to all of you. "There are no friends like old friends" is a truism that becomes more impressive as years add their force and experience develops our philosophy of life.
Washington and Washington County! What a flood of memories crowd upon each other for recognition! It was there I first saw the light of day; it was there I attended my first school, chewed my first paper wad, had my first fight. I learned to swim in waters of Myers Branch that were so infiltrated with good Kansas soil that I could not sink. It was there I had my first puppy love, I might add my lasting romance as well. My boyhood friends and pals were Washington County products. It was in Washington high school that I first met Caesar, Euclid and Demosthenes and football. Nannie Nesbit, E. L. Enochs, Cortez Brown, H. M. Charles were outstanding teachers. The old school building and its adjacent grounds are precious memories. The first separate high school building was a product of hard labor and long planning on my part as superintendent of schools. Oh, what’s the use! All of these and hundreds of other scenes, events, people and ideals are the items that go to make up what we as humans have named HOME. And Washington was and is Home. My father, a pioneer, spent his active life in Washington County, is consecrated in a Washington County grave. My mother who is with my brother and me here in Idaho at present spent sixty-five years in Washington County and is a loyal Kansan today. Why go on; once a Kansan always a Kansan! The trials, the tribulations, the promises, the failures and defeats, the victories -- all go to make Kansas -- Kansas. And even as we Kansans wander the world over, we know each other and love each other because of Kansas.
A personal note: We are happy and prosperous in Idaho. At present I am Superintendent of the public schools of Boise, the capital city -- the best educational job in the state. Idaho has been kind to me. We came to Blackfoot, Idaho in 1909 as Superintendent of Schools, was there ten years with an increase in salary each year, then went to the State Industrial School as Superintendent for eight years, was then made Commissioner of education for the state of Idaho and moved to Boise and four years ago became Superintendent of the Boise schools. This all sounds like hard work, and it was and still is, but I hunt pheasant, grouse, deer each fall, fish the sparkling mountain streams in summer and play with friends during the winter for diversion. Work and play -- that’s life and I am happy to say that I am living and enjoying every day of it. Mrs. Vincent is likewise happy and healthy.
Our very best regards are hereby extended to old-time friends and acquaintances. May the Lord bless and prosper all of you.
W. D. VINCENT, Boise, Idaho
Former Editors Speak
Of the numerous men who through the past 70 years have been editors of the Register, but four remain. Each of these has been asked to speak again in the columns of his erstwhile sheet and each in turn has responded.
H. C. Robinson of this city was editor from 1885 to 1890. L. A. Palmer of Atchison, Kansas, from 1895 to 1905, C. E. Ingalls of Corvallis, Ore., from 1905 to 1916, and J. H. Barley of Rifle, Colo., from 1916 to 1933.
Hardy C. Robinson, long recognized as "the grand old man" has watched Washington county grow and develop from early primitive conditions to its present resourcefulness and has, himself, been a potent factor in its material growth and progressive achievement. Now in his 91st year, in a clear, round, legible hand, he writes a descriptive message for the Register’s special issue telling of his advent into this frontier city which since that day has been his home.
Washington, Kans., August 25, 1938
Dear Mrs. Barley:
April 6th, 1869, Washington, Kansas, was not much of a city, just one small house and a few log houses built 8 or 10 years before. With a friend we rode up from Waterville, a new town at the west end of the railroad, with John Rockefeller in a two-horse lumber wagon, a mail sack, and a few packages for the small store run by his father, Phillip. He, with us two as passengers, made the 20-mile trip across the bare prairie, not a dwelling of any kind in sight -- the prairie had been burnt over the fall before. This county was the frontier. The rush to homestead this vast tract began in ‘69 and continued through the ‘70’s, the population going from about 300 to nearly 20,000 in a few years.
George W. Shriner was county clerk, James Tallman was county attorney and J. B. Snider was county treasurer.
The courthouse was an old stockade to protect from Indians, who never came. The courthouse burnt in the spring of 1870 and was replaced by a frame building which also was burned two years later and another frame building was built which stood until replaced by the brick building which, in 1932 was destroyed by the tornado. This, in turn, was replaced by the fine $100,000 building that does credit to the town and county.
H. C. ROBINSON.
P. S. I admire your courage in getting out a special in the great depression.
It is very thoughtful of you to ask me to contribute a word for your 70th anniversary of your splendid newspaper. You will pardon me in preluding these few remarks with an apology and correction of statement. I never was an editor for the Register.
During our stay in Washington, 1895 to 1905, I had the privilege of editing the Republican and was somewhat jealous for that name as a title for a partisan newspaper. The Register was under several managements during that time, and had I stayed on the job and accomplished what was later accomplished, consolidation of the Republican and Post-Register, there would have been noncontinuity of the latter name, but just "Republican." But Shakespeare has said: "What is in a name?" not much so far as the appalation for a newspaper. The most vital thing after all is, what message does the newspaper have for its readers?
If you are giving the readers of Washington county and its tributary surroundings the unadulterated truth, as best that can be assembled by an editor and a competent corps of correspondents your mission is well filled and the future of the early child that has survived seventy summers will reach its century mark and still keep on growing in usefulness. Three score and ten years is the common span of man, and I happened to have been born three years before the Register began its existence, crying out on the western plains for liberty, justice and equality of human rights. Possibly but few people are now among the living who were the first subscribers to that early pioneer newspaper. Another generation is on the stage of action, one not so determined with the early pioneer spirit. That generation, "in the horse and buggy days," was on foot or on horseback, carried on by sheer physical endurance and with a tremendous courage. This generation is on wheels and relief and exists on gasoline and governmental appropriations and will endure as long as the credit of the government is good and the equity keeps up on exchange of a second-hand car for a new one.
Mrs. Palmer and I look back forty-three years when we first established a home soon after our marriage, and Washington was where we established that home. Many pleasant days we enjoyed with the good people in Washington. Sorrows came, of course, and we found a sypathetic people who knew our heart aches and we shall never forget them as long as memory lasts. Many of those kind and generous people "have gone the way of all earth," leaving good deeds to be emulated by the following generations.
I have not had the daring to take a prophetic peep three score and ten years in the future, if there be that much time left in this dispensation, but suffice it to say, if the changing tide is in keeping with the past seventy years, there may not be a need for newspapers. News will be transmitted electrically as it happens or before. People will not wait for such a slow process as printing. But be that as it will, we will not be in the picture but a few years longer. May your good newspaper continue to be a benediction to an appreciative people for many years to come. It is my sincere wish.
L. A. PALMER, Atchison, Kan.
The editor of the Washington County Register has asked me for a contribution to the paper’s 70th anniversary edition. The request comes because for a short time, it was under my tender care and I was both father, mother and midwife at the accouchement wherein was born the Republican-Register. It might be more appropriate to say I was the editorial cleric who united the two papers in journalistic wedlock. Without access to the files, it will be difficult for me to give any accurate historical data, but no doubt that will be covered by other writers. I believe however that I am the only living soul who knows how I accidently got into the newspaper business or why the two papers were soon consolidated.
The thought of it all awakens a flood of recollections concerning the newspaper game in Washington at that time. In order to give the story the proper background, it will be necessary to be somewhat personal for which I ask pardon in advance. My own connection with the newspaper history of Washington began when I was a youth in high school. The Friends Academy was in operation then and the Republican, under L. A. Palmer, was carrying weekly items of news from that place. To my mind, the items were extremely silly and so, one day I wrote a quarter column of high school items in imitation. They were a satirical take-off and I took them to Sam Clark, who was running the Palladium. Sam chuckled when he finished reading them and wanted to know if I wanted to do a similar stunt every week. I was elated and told him I did. He gave me some copy paper and that was my induction into the job of reporter. I guess the items must have been pretty hot, at least the Academy people were sore about them and demanded of Mr. Clark to know who was the author of "those ridiculing remarks." Sam was a good sport and told them rather plainly that it was none of their business. They then appealed to Superintendent Charles who passed the buck to principal Enochs who did his full duty in quizzing the students. Nobody knew but me and I lied like a gentleman. I had good reason to aside from not wanting to satisfy the curiosity of the head of the academy, who, it seems to me, was a man named Fellows. The other reason I had for being modest about it was that I occasionally took shots at the high school teachers. But through it all, Mr. Clark stood pat and so far as I know nobody ever found out the truth.
Began Newspaper Work
After that I was a frequent contributor to the Washington press. After finishing high school I taught there, and one day word came to me to call on Mr. Clark at his home. He was ill and wanted me to get out the paper for him. Oscar was even at that early date a mechanical and typographical expert. I knew nothing about the mechanical end but was glad of the chance to help with the editorial.
The Sunday mail was a big affair in those days. Crowds filled the post office where Charlie Smith and Sadie Clark got out the mail. It was necessarily a long wait. Hardie Robinson had the book store in the lobby and some of the crowd passed away the time reading the Kansas City and Topeka papers. Not so W. J. Tobey’s bulldog nor another owned by Lou Fredendall. They got into a big row and cleaned out the house. It amused me and I wrote it up in what thought was a humorous vein, describing the Sunday crowd, the village post office and the dog fight. I gave it to Sam. To my surprise it ran double column on the front page in ten point. My name was not attached to it. A week or so later he showed me a letter he had received from Barney Sherridan, famous Democratic politician, and, I believe, an editor, in which Mr. Sherridan congratulated Mr. Clark very warmly on the article. Sam chuckled and said, "you damn fool, next time sign your stuff."
You may wonder what all this personal mention has to do with it. I went into Fred Powell’s office, studied law and was admitted to the bar. Roosevelt I was president. The progressives were beginning to raise political chaos in Kansas. Jim Totten was running the Register and flirting with the the New Dealers. Lew Palmer had the Republican. Mr. Palmer had to leave town on account of his wife’s health and the "Old Guard" was worried about who would get hold of the paper. This faction was headed by Cal Morrow. The New Dealers of that date were headed by Walter Wilson. I had already lined up with the Morrow element, so Mr. Morrow came to me and asked me to buy the Republican. I had just hung out my shingle and didn’t want to be diverted. Besides, I had no money and, more than that, knew nothing about the newspaper business. We went down and talked it over with Mr. Palmer. He agreed to lease it. I feared that might result in disputes when the lease expired, and declined the offer. Finally, Lew agreed to take a small balance down, and a mortgage for the remainder. I had saved about $500 and Cal Morrow loaned me the rest that I needed to make the down payment and took my note for it without security. And I became an editor and business man! My experience with Mr. Clark had given me confidence as to the writing end of it or I never would have undertaken the proposition. That’s why I have had to tell that part of it.
The Republican-Register Begins
Well, I worked long hours and finally paid off the Morrow note. As soon as I came into possession, Mr. Clark wrote the political obituary of the Register saying that thereafter the political patronage would come to me. Jim got discouraged and made a proposition to sell out. I plunged again after consulting with Sam as to the value of Jim’s plant, borrowed more money and consolidated the two papers giving them the name "Republican-Register" because it sounded more euphonious than "Register-Republican," though that would have been good advice to voters and still is.
At the completion of my term as postmaster in your city (in the meantime having sold the Republican-Register to Mr. Cowgill) I went to the Pacific coast, where, after looking around for a month I bought out a daily paper in Corvallis, Oregon, home of the state college with an enrollment of 4500.
Last Sunday I was the speaker at a Kansas day picnic in a neighboring city. Several formerly of Washington county were there, but the only one I remember now was one of the Boston girls from near Spring Valley. I ate dinner with her family though I had no idea they were in this section of the country. And I learn by a Republican-Register that has just reached me that Ed Howard lives near by in Portland. So do Prof. and Mrs. Charles and Mr. and Mrs. Will Tobey. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Totten (she was Grace Meader and both went to school to me) called on me last week. They were on vacation from their home in Long Beach. John Algie and wife called this spring. Avis Ingalls and her husband were also callers. They live in New Mexico. As I look over the pages of the Republican-Register, I find few names there that I know. Hyland, Maxwell, Soller, Kiger, Mueller, Barley, McKelvy, Diedrich, Landon, Rust and a few others are found in the business and professional directory. I have watched the ones who made history in my time, die away one by one. In the summer of 1936 I had intended to spend a week in Washington. Coming from the Cleveland convention I got as far as Topeka where it was so hot it made me sick. I stopped off to see Gov. Landon and got back into an air conditioned train as quickly as I could and returned to air conditioned Oregon. I still have pleasant and tender memories of the place where I spent my youth and close by sending my kindest regards to them all, and my best wishes for another 70 years of prosperity for the Republican-Register and congratulations to its fair editor for the success she has made of it.
C. E. INGALLS, Corvallis, Oregon.
The opportunity as a former editor, to congratulate the Washington County Register on the seventieth anniversary of its founding is greatly appreciated. Seventy years seems a long time, longer than the writer has lived on this earth -- yet. During the 70 years many things have happened and many changes have taken place. In the newspaper library at Topeka I once looked over a copy of the Western Observer as it was called when first started. The Register of today does not look much like its ancestor that was started seventy years ago. During that time there have been many consolidations and even arbitrary changes in name.
While the writer was publisher from February 1916 to June 1933 he consumated two of the consolidations. When A. Q. Miller sr. of Belleville decided to dispose of the Mahaska Leader, the writer bought it and for some time afterwards, carried the name Mahaska Leader as a sub-head to the Republican-Register as the newspaper you are now reading was known at that time. On the first of March 1926, the writer purchased the subscription list, good will and part of the equipment of the Washington Palladium, edited so ably for so many years by the late Sam Clarke. This consolidation seemed to call for a change in name and that of the Washington County Register was chosen, which name this publication still bears.
The writer was born only about a hundred yards from where the Register is now published and lived the first 45 years of his life in Washington. Having been away only five years he reads the Register every week, even the locals and ads. I mention this because locals are something a publisher seldom reads in his own newspaper. I enjoy keeping up on the news about old friends and acquaintances. The present publishers have been good enough to send me the Register as a former editor and I wish to express my thanks for the courtesy.
I hope a personal remark may be accepted for I wish to say that I am very proud that my two sons are engaged in newspaper work with prospects of becoming real newspaper men. While the life of the publisher of a country newspaper is a life of service to his community, yet it has its rewards for no work is more useful than that of serving others. It is my wish that my sons may become better newspaper men than their father, for only by one generation excelling the former can the world progress.
In closing permit me, as one of the former editors, to again congratulate the Washington County Register on its seventieth birthday and to wish it many more long years of service to the people of Washington County, Kansas.
J. H. (HARRY) BARLEY, Rifle, Col.
JANE TIMMIS OVERBURY -- 104
Came the call of prairies primeval, on winds, and on waves of the sea:
And those who responded were heroes, who came, our ancestors to be.
Sam Walter Foss has well and truly written of the house by the side of the road; but this is a story concerning a house by the side of a hill. The hill, a landmark of creation, stands six miles south and one mile east of Greenleaf, Kansas. Near the foot on its southern slope overlooking a valley, stands a sturdy redstone house.
For the present we hark back to a time when the hill stood, as it had stood since the world was formed, houseless, and in imagination cross the sea to Merry England.
The story has to do with a boy and a girl. All stories worth considering do. Thus the story of our race began. The boy was Frederick Overbury. Fred worked in what we call a drug store, but then and there they called it an apothecary’s shop. The boy was short of stature, but he had a Roman nose -- and the writer of this story was sorely tempted to head it "Romance and a Roman Nose." Romance, and the daring which is reputed a characteristic of those who possess the type of nose known as Roman, are not wanting in the adventures we shall review.
Fred was in love with a sweet and gentle girl, and, having known the girl, who is now over 100 years old, for more than half of her years, the writer thinks Fred showed mighty good taste; for Jennie Timmis had character, and was cultured and refined, having been educated at a girl’s finishing school, where she was taught good manners and good English, as well as some Latin and French. So, the story commences, in the city of Birmingham, England.
When Fred and Jennie were married, they could possibly have managed to exist on the meager stipend of an apothecary’s clerk, and to have fitted into the humdrum life of a city of the Old World, and thus melted into oblivion; but these two possessed the resilient exuberance of youth and in their hearts hope of spring dwelt eternal. Moreover word had come from across the Atlantic that in the midst of the North American continent there were lands for homesteads, and that shortly before, to-wit, on May 20, 1862, an Act of Congress had been approved, the purpose of which read: "To secure homesteads to actual settlers on the Public Domain."
Thus, it came to pass that our hero with his heroine by his side, severed home ties and crossed an ocean for a home upon the plains of Kansas. None but the strong of heart thus came. The others remained, to die in their shells.
The Overburys were somewhat better off than many who settled in Washington County. They had a team of horses, something few had, and this possession exposed them to the cupidity of a desperate gang of horse thieves which had rendezvous in a well nigh impenetrable region in Clay County, known as Five Forks.
One evening, shortly after their settlement by the side of the hill, Fred and Jennie were seated at their evening meal, when the barking of a dog and the trampling of horses were heard, and looking out they beheld a rider making off with one of their horses. Without a moment’s hesitation, Fred seized his rifle, sprang on the remaining horse, and gave chase! It may be said here that it was common knowledge that to follow a horse thief to his hideout was tantamount to suicide. Few would have dared what Fred did.
Over the rise the thief disappeared in the gathering darkness, and swift as a falcon, Fred pursued! Apprehension must have tortured the heart of Jennie as she kept vigil through the long watches of that night and of the day following, but as evening fell, with its tranquil benediction, over hill and vale, Jennie’s prayers for her mate were answered, for Fred, in the flesh, unscathed, came back with the horse he had ridden away, LEADING THE STOLEN HORSE!
The countryside was thoroughly aroused. A man’s team was his life. Thus its theft was akin to murder; and it was so deemed. Law and order were in their infancy at the time, and the constabulary but partially functioned. There was, therefore, a feeling reminiscent of a saying in the old Russian regime to the effect that "Heaven is high, and the Czar far away." So the citizenry took matters in their own hands, and the ultimate outcome was the Anti-Horsethief Association, which numbered in its membership some of the most distinguished citizens of Kansas.
In the instant case, a survey was made, and it was found that certain strange men had been seen at the home of one of the settlers, and that they had disappeared simultaneously with the theft of Overbury’s horse. It was believed, therefore, that the settler who had harbored these scouts from Five Forks, was a fence. Promptly this man was waited upon by a delegation from a vigilance committee, and escorted to a spot where trees with gibbet limbs in conjunction with a coil of new rope, left no doubt as to the purpose of the meeting.
The Committee gave the man an opportunity to testify in his own behalf, and he did so with such evident sincerity that he convinced those highly tense settlers that he was innocent; that while the thieves had lodged at his home, he was unaware of their character or purpose in the community. The man, who lived many years in the neighborhood, highly respected, might have lost his life because of his hospitality on that occasion, for while "some have entertained angels unaware" he had, unwittingly, entertained devils instead.
The sun shone thereafter on the pathway of Fred and Jennie. Although unacquainted with farming, their intelligence and versatility enabled them to adapt themselves to their tasks, and the larks which sang their cheerful lay in the meadows at peep of day, were not more happy than were they. Plenty rewarded their labors, and to the homestead was added an adjoining farm. They were ever a kindly pair, friendly both to man and beast, Christian folk of the highest type.
Fred, after a long and useful life, bid good-bye to his faithful wife, with whom he had traversed the ways of life on two continents, and was laid to rest in the Chepstow cemetery on another hill, from which the crest of the hill above his earthly American home may be seen. His beloved Jennie lives still, in her second century.
Reminiscent of her earliest recollections, is the historic event of the coming of the first steam railway train into Birmingham, over 100 years ago, when, as a small child, she waved her little hand at the exciting spectacle of an iron horse drawing a string of carriages.
In thinking of Jane Timmis Overbury, the words of a king, written in honor of his mother, come to mind as being quite as true of the subject of this sketch as they were of the mother of Lemuel:
"She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness!"
-- J. A. Maxwell.
Since the foregoing article was written, Jane Timmis Overbury closed her eyes upon the scenes of Time, and her gentle spirit returned to the God who gave her being. Her passing was peaceful on March 5,1938, at the home of her daughter near Greenleaf, Kansas, and loving hands laid her body to rest beside the remains of her beloved Fred at Chepstow.
Requiescat in pace
Mr. and Mrs. James Creighton
James Creighton, who was born in the Highlands of Scotland in 1832, left the little town of Aberfeldy when but a lad of 19 and sailed for America going to Fon du lac, Wisconsin, where his sister, Mrs. Susan McLaren and family had located. After working for a time in the lumber woods the call of the California gold fields lured him westward. However, he did not get across the mountains but spent several years freighting on the plains, principally between Westport, Mo. (now Kansas City) and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thru those years Mr. Creighton was associated with and personally knew William Cody (Buffalo Bill) and William Hickok (Wild Bill), many times riding, eating and "bunking" with them.
At no time did Mr. Creighton wear the uniform of a soldier but during the war he carried provisions for the soldiers in the great ox-team trains and thereby suffered the privations and underwent the hardships of the soldiers, in being captured by the enemy as well as by the Indians, and held prisoner at different times.
He, in company with a Scotch friend, William Cummings settled in Washington County in 1859 taking their claims side by side on the Mill creek bottoms. Their primitive abode was a mile southeast across lots from the Rufus Darby cabin and about three miles northwest of the James McNulty cabin. Years later the town of Morrowville sprang up within half a mile of where the log cabin stood in which the Scotties batched. This farm with the accumulated acres was henceforth the Creighton farm.
In the middle sixties Mr. Creighton married Miss Beatrice Canfil of Haddam. To this union was born five children, Minnie, Lucy, Laura, Carrie and James. Carrie and James died in infancy. Lucy was drowned in the flood waters of the Cimarron river at Folsom, New Mexico in 1908. Minnie lives in Colorado and Laura in New Mexico.
Mr. Creighton married Miss Margaret McCallum of Grant, Mich. in 1884. They came directly to the farm. Here their three children, Cyrus J., Margaret C. and Alex E. were born and reared. From this home Mr. Creighton was borne to his final resting place in the Morrowville cemetery in January of 1916. Mrs. Creighton retains the home but resides with her daughter, Mrs. Barley.
Among the priceless heritages that descended to the Creighton children from their pioneer parents are: a sincerity of purpose, an inherent fortitude and a love of humanity.
(End of Part 1)