I have recently received a "family treasure" in the form of a scrapbook
kept during the 1870's. Most of the contents are newspaper and magazine clippings. Most of the clippings come from The Hutchinson News and an Ohio newspaper. The nature of the clippings is quite varied; most of them are human interest, religious, moral character, and humor columns plus quite a few home remedies and even ads. But there are some news items plus stories of local residents that may be of interest to historians and genealogists.
The book itself is actually an old catalogue from a farming and equipment firm, James L. Haven & Co. of Cincinnati. It has 244 pages, and every one of them, plus the inside covers has had clippings pasted to them--there must be over a thousand of them.
Near the front is written "Elizabeth Garen's Book 1873" and in the back, "Elizabeth Garen's Scrap Book Commenced 1873". A few clippings are older than that, and the last ones added were in 1981. However, they aren't all in chronological order. It appears that some more recent ones were pasted over older ones or used to fill in blank spots on some of the earlier pages. So it's often impossible to determine the dates of the articles.
Elizabeth was the wife of Milton Garen (married 1834), and their home had been along the Ohio River near Pomeroy, Chester, OH. Two of their daughters moved to Hutchinson, Reno, KS, and the parents followed them some years later. One daughter, Amanda, married Dr. J. M. Harsha of Beaver Co., PA. (They're my great great grandparents.) The other, Mary, married Joseph A. Grayson of Hutchinson.
...Incidentally, my KS roots didn't take hold there. All four of my grandparents and their parents ended up in OK before or just after the turn of the century--two families in Stillwater (the Browns and Bullocks) and two in Clinton (the Medberys and Davises).
The grasshoppers have now invaded Kansas, and are devastating thousands of acres. A correspondent of the New York Tribune tells how they come and what they do:
At times they came in such immense clouds, that on the north and west sides of buildings, bushels of them could be gathered, partially stunned by the sudden contact, and the sound produced in striking frame buildings in the range of their flight was similar to that of a moderate hail storm. In an exceedingly short time since they completely covered apple, pear, and peach trees, shade trees and grape vines, and immediately began their destructive work on fruit and foliage. Most of the fruit has the stems cut off, and after falling, is soon covered by a hungry crew. At this writing they have completely stripped a favorite pear tree of its fruit and foliage. They even intrude within the precincts of our houses, and at this moment, one, bolder than the rest, is trying to devour a newspaper by my side. The sound produced by his efforts is similar to that of a wood rasp vigorously applied. The doors and windows are closed to keep the intruders out. It is even unpleasant to be out doors, to have them circle in myriads about your head and feet, and hear the incessant humming. At nights they closed their travels, but do not fail to satisfy their voracious appetite. Their general actions and attitudes in the endeavor to satisfy their hunger forcibly reminds one of a lot of partially starved swine at their first meal after a long fast. It is amusing to watch them while on an ear of corn or a luscious apple, while it is undergoing a change under their mastication powers. For the purpose of examination, I visited a neighboring field of corn, comprising 100 acres, in the afternoon after their arrival, and I must confess I was deeply impressed with a sense of solemn dread as I witnessed the work of destruction going on before my eyes. How insignificant and puny as an individual, yet how mighty and destructive by reason of its powers of rapid propagation! At this writing, the storm still continues, and the number of arrivals is increasing after 14 hours incessant duration, and the end is not yet. If it lasts much longer, a total destruction of crops is open to our view. So upon the whole a dire calamity is impending and has already come upon us in our western and south- western counties. It would be absurd and a sin to attempt to conceal the fact. Aid must be secured from other quarters.
[The above article was from an unknown newspaper of unknown date. Found in Elizabeth Garen's Scrap Book]
[From Hutchinson News in 1870s]
[Probably from Hutchinson News]
BUFFALOES--On Monday Mr. James Munn of Sedgwick county drove into the city with 3 buffalo calves. One he captured near Dodge City, the others near the State line. They were sleek, sprightly looking brutes, and did not hesitate to kick or butt at any one approaching near. Mr. Munn caught them by galloping up on horseback, and using a lasso.
[Hutchinson News in 1870's]
PRAIRIE FIRES.--Nightly we notice the horizon lit up with prairie fires. These are the scourge of prairie regions in Fall and Spring. Yet they need not neccessarily destroy property. We hope that the farmers of Reno County will bear this in mind, and by the exercise of care, avoid losses which they cannot well afford. Those who did not make themselves secure last Fall should attend to the matter now. And our citizens generally should see that the fire laws are enforced against all violators.
[Probably from Hutchinson News after 1872]
HUTCHINSON, the "Gate City" of this magnificent valley and the county seat of Reno county, is 216 miles west of Atchison, and is situated on the Arkansas river, where the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad strikes the river, and debouches to the north-west, leaving the town at the great bend in the river. Geographically it could not be better located. It commands a large and lucrative trade, and is also the objective point of quite a number of railroads. It will permanently be the county seat. The first house was commenced November 13th, 1872. The third building erected in the city of Hutchinson was a school house, and the district has just decided with great unanimity to establish a public school, which in its appointments shall be second to none in the State. $15,000 in bonds of this large district have just been voted and sold for this purpose.
The custom of taking to themselves Indian wives still prevails among the hunters and trappers of our Western Territories, and a correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, writing from Wyoming, says: It is no uncommon thing, in the mountain region, to find a white man and a squaw who have a numerous progency of half-breed children growing up around them. These children are active and quick-witted, and their descendants will go toward making up our highland population. The squaws make good and faithful wives, and, so far as their knowledge goes, good mothers. They seem to enjoy life, and in their gambling games, get thoroughly excited. The women have games of their own, and no man interferes with them in any way. The game seems to be somewhat like the old play of the children called "button, button, who's got the button?"
During the whole game, all the women sing together the most lively air I have ever heard among the savages, and all are eager for the possession of the grand prize, which consists of beads and beadwork, scissors, money, needles, thread, and a hundred other things dear to the feminine heart. The children, too, are anxious lookers-on; and he who supposes the Indians do not enjoy themselves, ought to see them engaged in this game, where their whole soul appears to be absorbed in pleasurable excitement. It is called Ni-u-witz, the Game of Hand, and while it is going on, a woman at either end of the two rows of players beats on the poles which seperate them with all their might, keeping time to the music, and increasing the enthusiasm as much as possible. Some of the young squaws are handsome, black-eyed creatures, with masses of raven hair, which would attract attention anywhere. Their bright-colored blankets set off their charms to the great advantage, and they appear modest and decorous enough. For a long time I was of the opinion that there was no such thing as a handsome Indian girl but in this I was greatly mistaken--some of them being very fair to look upon. They break early in life, and the old women look like the veriest hags. The young girls have all the playful little ways of their fairer sisters, and the little ones have their dolly papooses, the same as white children. Human nature, after all, is a good deal the same everywhere, and a little observation among savages shows that they are governed by the same passions and impulses that we are, though untamed. A love of ease and a contempt for hard work are by no means confined to the redskins.
[Not specifically about Kansas, but probably somewhat telling about the attitudes of the time (1870s). I have left spellings, e.g. "seperate", and punctuation as they appeared in the article. The newspaper and date are unknown.]
Between two pages of Elizabeth Garen's Scrap Book are three "tickets"
to be for some sort of lottery. The left end, or stub, of the ticket
[Some samples of local news from the Hutchinson News (Dr. J. M. Harsha was my great great grandfather. J. A. Grayson was his brother-in-law. They married the Garen sisters, Amanda and Mary, daughters of Elizabeth & Milton Garen.)]
While returning from a trip to Troy township a few days ago we had the
testing the hospitality of Dr. J. M. Harsha, and his excellent lady, of
township, to the extent of a first class dinner. The Dr. is living at
home, and if
there is anything in Kansas soil, he will get it out. His prospect for
crops is good.
Mr. Jos. A. Grayson proposes to build a residence on Second Avenue, east, this fall.
J. A. Grayson, at the Blue Scales, near the depot, has a car load of Eureka coal for blacksmith's use.
Williams and Grayson's "Blue Scales" have been removed to near the depot. Call and see them
R. T. Cassidy, Esq., of Hancock county, West Virginia, wife and little daughter arrived here on last Friday morning, and visited his father-in-law, Dr. J. M. Harsha, of Lincoln township. He left for home on yesterday, but will locate here soon.
Dr. J. M. Harsha, of Lincoln township, has a copy of "Wilkinson's Sermons," printed in 1681, one hundred and ninety four years ago. It retains its original binding and is in a good state of preservation yet. The Dr. says he has read it and the sermons are orthodox.
Dr. J. M. Harsha and wife, of Lincoln, were in the city on monday, the guests of Mr. A. Ellsworth and lady.
Mr. Jos. A. Grayson's Irish potatoes took the premium at the fair. They were of the "Peerless" variety, and Mr. Grayson is of the opinion that they will yield three hundred bushels to the acre.
Dr. J. M. Harsha, of Lincoln township, was nominated for surveyor, by the democratic mass (?) convention on Saturday. The Dr. has always led us to believe he was a republican and we will be much surprised if he accepts this nomination. There is nothing in the office to pay a man to sacrifice his principles, even if he could be elected and there is not a shadow of a possiblility of that.
Mrs. Harsha has a water melon vine, bearing twenty melons. Beat that if you can.
Mrs. Chapman raised a double cucumber that weighed five and a half pounds. One of the sides was fourteen and the other fifteen inches in length and it measured eighteen inches in circumference.
Lincoln lost one of her girls. Mr. Collier, of Sidwick county , carried off Miss Kittie Pearse. Rev. S. Dilley performed the cermony at her fathers residence. Her many friends will miss her much.
The melon party at Dr. Harsha's was a sucess. Tableaus, charades, and music made the evening pass off very pleasantly. We eat melons all night "and went home with the girls in the morning." There will be another party there Friday night next, and you, Mr. Editor, are invited, for this one will be for old folks as well as young. Do not forget to come.
[HUTCHINSON, KAS., OCT. 8, 1874]
During the past week the land department of the A. T. & S. F. railroad Company have perfected the sale an aggregate of one hundred and fifty thousand acres of land in this valley to a large party of Russian Mennonites, who have recently come from Europe, a large number of whom have been quartered in Topeka for some time past. There are said to be about nineteen hundred of them, and the lands purchased are in the counties of Harvey, Marion, McPherson and Reno. This is the largest sale ever made west to one people. They bring a large amount of money with them, and are buying principally for cash. These are said to be the advance guard of nearly the whole people, a majority of who will soon follow. In the first mentioned delegation are eight hundred who were first induced to go to Lincoln, Neb. by the B. & M. R. R. Company with the hopes of getting them to settle there, but their friends being so well pleased with the Arkansas Valley telegraphed them, before they had purchased, to wait a few days, and in the meantime went to Lincoln and brought them all, bag and baggeage to Topeka, where they purchased farms in this valley. The A. T. & S. F. R. R. having agreed to transport all their freight over the road free until Christmas. They are bringing much of their stock, implements, furniture &c., from the northern part of the State, and are already pushing out to their farms, several large trains having already passed over the road.
We have before given some history of this people, from time to time, in order that our people may full understand their nativity, religion and modes and customs. The following is a very good description:
The Mennonites are a denomination of Baptists who first organized in Holland under, or by Menno Simonis (hence their name.) There are some doubts, however, whether they were founded by him, church historians differing in opinion on the question. It is claimed again that they can be traced to the Waldenses. For a long time they were persecuted in Holland, and suffered accordingly. In 1581 they at last found a protector and advocate in William of Orange and were permitted to hold an assembly. They were only tolerated, however, and it was not until 1672 that they were allowed full liberty of worship. They finally quarreled among themselves. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the sect increased wonderfully in Holland in consequense of the fugitive Mennonites from Switzerland and Germany, and it was estimated that toward the middle of the eighteenth century they numbered 160,000. Since then they have increased considerably.
According to their Mennonite "Year Book" of 1850, they had then in Holland about 127 congregations, and 140 ministers. In Germany they were very numerous in the seventeenth century, when in Moravia alone they amounted to about 70,000. Incessant persecution greatly reduced their number, however, and it was not until the Revolution of 1838 that the most of the German States granted them the civil rights. Since then they were again deprived of some rights in several German States as in Hannover, which in 1858 annulled the election of a representative because he was a Mennonite. Among the most distinguished German Mennonites was H. Van Beckerath, who, in 1848, was minister of finance of the German empire. Toward the close of the eighteenth century several thousand German Mennonites found a quiet retreat in the south of Russia, obtained a charter from the Emperor Paul, granting them freedom from military service forever. Under this favorable charter their numbers augmented rapidly. The Mennonites settled in the United States as early as 1683 around Germantown, Pennsylvania, where they built a school and meeting house. As their religious views were but partially known they were frequently misrepresented. The sect has since that time spread over a large portion of Pennsylvania, and are also found in Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, New York and Canada; in 1811 a number of Mennonites seceded from the main body, which they consider as having fallen off from the original faith, and founded the Reform Mennonite society. Another body of rigid Mennonites are called the Ormish or Armish church, after Jacob Amen, a Mennonite preacher of Switzerland in the 17th century, as also Hooker Mennonites, because they wear hooks on their clothes instead of buttons. The number of Mennonites in 1859, according to the leading Mennonite journals were America, 128,000; Netherlands, 29,727; Russia, 28,770; Germany, 17,716; France, 5,000; Switzerland, 3,000; Java, 26; total 222,237 [sic]. A confession of faith which is still regarded by the Mennonites as their standard was adopted at Dort in 1682. In doctrine and usages they agree in general with the other Baptist churches. But
[Large section of article clipped out until the end which follows.]
The land department of the A. T. & S. F. railroad, have made a sale of land along the line of their road, to a large party of Russian Mennonites who have recently come from Europe. This is the largest land sale ever made in the west to one people. There are now about 1,900 of them. The lands sold are in Marion, Harvey, McPherson and Reno counties, in the Arkansas valley. The tract taken is in the aggregate of 150,000 acres. They bring a large amount of money with them, and are buying for cash. They are the advance guard of their whole people, who are now following them.
Special Dispatch to the Commonwealth.
Hutchinson, Kansas, October 18.--A sad accident occurred here to-day. Walter Courtright, son of Mrs. Courtright, postmistress at Arlington, was so mangled by the cars that he died in a few minutes. It seems that the boy was climbing on the cars of a detached part of the train, and was knocked by the train coupling. He fell under the train, the wheels crushing his left limb and the left side of his body to a jelly. His right limb was broken in two places.
The Coroner empaneled a jury, and held an inquest at once. The
verdict exonerates the railroad company from all blame, and pronounces
it an accidental killing.
The Reno County Fair closes to-day. It has been a grand success.
[Articles from Hutchinson News January 1, 1880.]
Miss Mary Travis, a lady who attained the advanced age of one hundred
years a few weeks age, has recently been baptized by the Vicar of
Cottingham. This event is said to be without parallel in the history of
the church of England.
Our friends in Rice county are going to try to have Hon. Ansel R.
Clark, of that county nominated by the republican state convention for
lieutenant governor. Mr. Clark is a good man and has many friends here
who will help him boom.
The democratic program for stealing the state of Maine is being carried out to the letter, and there is to be no postponement on account of weather. We are glad of it. There is nothing like solidifying the north. It creates a demand for Grant.
There will be a general feeling of regret over the country at the destruction of Best's great brewery at Milwaukee.--"Champion" Yes. It is to be expected that all the beer guzzlers will wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days. Decent people will only be sorry that it is to be rebuilt.
A couple of youngsters in Livingston county, Illinois, took advantage of thanksgiving-day to get married. The bridegroom was Mr. V. M. Darnall, aged eighty-one, one of the first settlers in the county, and the bride was Mrs. Frances K. Cummins, also an old settler, aged sixty-one. Their combined ages are one hundred and forty-two years.
The men who declared in 1858 that wheat culture in Kansas was a failure because grain sown broadcast and harrowed over superficially amounted to nothing, little thought that twenty years later the same soil in the same despised state, under intelligent methods of cultivation, would advance Kansas to the first wheat growing state in the union.
Mrs. Hannah Simpson Grant, the mother of the general, is now, at the age of eighty living with her daughter, Mrs. Corbin, in a small retired house on the heights above Jersey City. She is a quiet and dignified old lady, with a small, straight figure and regular features. She has bright dark eyes and a kindly smile, and she moves about with unusual vigor and activity.
Their History--Customs and Belief--A peculiar People.
For the information of the TOPEKA TIMES we have hunted up the history of the Mennonites, over a thousand of whom have already setteled in Kansas, to be followed by other thousands who will find, we hope, thrifty, happy homes in the Garden State of the "New West."
The Mennonites derive their name from Menno Simon, who was born in Witmarsum, Friesland, A. D. 1495. He was educated a Catholic, and at the age of 24 became a priest, but examining the New Testament closely his mind under-went a change, and he became an independent public teacher, traveling from place to place amisdst great persecutions. He was a man of probity, zealous in promoting practical piety, and possessed, says Mosheim, "the inestimable advantage of a natural and persuasive eloquence, and his learning was sufficient to make him pass for an oracle in the eyes of the multitude." He was cotemporaneous with Luther, OEolampadius, Bueer, Melanethou, Bullinger, Calvin, Zwinghus and other leaders of the Reformation. He founded many communities, or churches, and labored assiduously until the close of his life which took place at Fresenburg near Oldeslohe, January 31, 1561. His labors were principally confined to East and West Fresland, the province of Groningen, Holland, Gulderland, Brabant, Westphalia, and some of the German provinces on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
From the year 1537 to the beginning of the present century many of the Mennonites were sorely persecuted in Europe. They were compelled to flee from country to country. Some went to Russia, Poland, Denmark, and on the invitation of William Penn many of them with their families settled in Pennsylvania. Before the year 1835 there were over 500 families of Mennonites in Lancaster county alone. There are Mennonite settlements now in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Kansas and Dakota--aggregating in all perhaps 200,000 people.
Those who have recently settled in Kansas are from Russia. The government formerly granted them certain immunities which have recently been taken from them: immunity from military duty and the privilege of speaking their own language--which is German. It is said that in consequence of the severity of the Czar's government 30,000 will seek homes in America as soon as they can sell their property and emigrate.
In religious belief they may be classed with the Christian sects claiming to be "orthodox." According to "The leading Articles of the Christian Faith of the United Flemish, Friesland, and other Mennonites, and those in America, adopted A. D. 1632," now before us, the Mennonites believe in "one eternal, omnipotent and incomprehensible God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; and in no more or none other." They believe in the fall of man through Adam, in repentance, baptism and the salvation of those who believe and become Christians in this life. They believe in a personal devil and endless punishment. They baptize by pouring water on the head of the person baptized--and are not baptists in the common acceptation of the term. They yield obedience to the laws of the country in which they live, but it is against their principles to vote or hold office. They believe that members of the church are not at liberty to marry with unbelievers, hence they marry within their own church. If by chance some thoughtless member violates this rule, excommunication follows inexorably.
The Mennonites will not bear arms or take an oath. They think that Christians should not take the sword, and that a simple affirmation is sufficient in a civil court. They are distinguished for their plainness in dress, economy in their domestic arrangements, and their industry, thrift, and frugality. They are hospitable to strangers, take them in and treat them kindly without compensation. They suffer none of their members to become a public charge. The same is true, we believe, with a baptist branch of the Mennonites, called Tunkers or River Brethren, as also of another branch called Omish or Hooker Mennonites, many of whom are to be found in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The Mennonites expend very little money in the erection of meeting houses, their religious services being generally held at the houses of the brethren. They have Bishops, Pastors, Teachers, Deacons and Deaconesses in their church--but their teachers or ministers receive no salaries. They observe feet-washing as a religious ceremony and sign of true humility. If a member is for any cause ex-communicated, they have no intercourse or dealings with him, "whether in eating or drinking or other temporal matters," to the end that he may be brought to repentence and return to the fold of Christ. If an ex-communicated member, however, is poor and needy they cheerfully render him necessary assistance in his distress.
The Mennonites now settling in Kansas are a healthy, robust, plain looking people, speaking the German language and observing the form of worship instituted by their fathers more than three hundred years ago. They come from the steppes of Russia, a treeless region, and they will no doubt succeed well in their temportal affairs on the rich plains of the best State New West [bottom line obscured]