produced this selection.

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.


PART 1: Location And Natural Features | Map And Population | Early History
PART 2: Land And Political Troubles | War Record | Calamities | County Organization And First Elections
PART 3: Early County Affairs | County Seat Contests And Public Buildings | Land League And Railroads | Statistics Of Growth
PART 4: Humboldt
PART 5: Biographical Sketches (Adams - Long)
PART 6: Biographical Sketches (Mcelroy - Young)
PART 7: Salem Township | Cottage Grove Township | Iola
PART 8: Biographical Sketches (Acers - Hubbard)
PART 9: Biographical Sketches (Jones - Zike)
PART 10: Elm Township | Geneva | Deer Creek Township
PART 11: Moran | Marmaton Township | Osage Township | Elsinore Township


ALLEN County is located in the southeastern part of the State, in the second tier of counties west of the Missouri River, and about fifty miles north of Indian Territory. In extent it is twenty-one miles north and twenty-four miles east and west, containing 504 square miles, or 322,560 acres.

The county is divided into ten townships as follows: Osage, Deer Creek, Geneva, Iola, Elm, Marmaton, Elsinore, Salem, Humboldt, Cottage Grove.

The county is well watered by numerous streams, which abound with springs of clear, cool water. Good well water is obtained in most parts of the county at a depth of from twenty to thirty feet.

The largest stream is the Neosho River, which enters the northern part of the county from the west, flows southeast, then nearly south through Geneva, Iola, Humboldt, and Cottage Grove townships. The principle tributaries on the east are Indian and Martin creeks in Geneva Township; Deer Creek, flowing through the township of the same name; Elm Creek, flowing through Elm Creek and Iola townships; and Coal Creek, flowing through Salem, Humboldt, and Cottage Grove townships. The principal western tributaries are Onion Creek, flowing through Iola and Humboldt townships; Owl Creek, in Humboldt Township; and Scatter Creek, in Cottage Grove Township.

The Marmaton River rises east of the center of the county, and flows southeast through Marmaton and Elsinore townships.

Big Creek rises in Marmaton Township and flows southwest across that, Elsinore and Cottage Grove townships.

Little Osage River rises not far from the head of the Marmaton and flows northeast. Its tributaries are Middle Creek on the north and the South Fork on the south.

The general surface of the country is slightly rolling, though much more level than the greater portion of eastern Kansas. The bottom lands along the streams average one and one-half miles in width, and comprise one-tenth the area of the county. The remainder is the gently rolling or level upland prairie.

Along the Neosho River is a heavy belt of timber which runs through the entire county. There is also good timber along the Little, Osage and Marmaton rivers, and Scatter, Big, Owl, Coal, Elm, Rock, and Deer creeks, and along the other streams of the county. The average width of timber belts is one mile. The principal varieties are hickory, oak, hackberry, elm, sycamore, cottonwood, and black walnut. There is also a large acreage of cultivated timber.

It is believed that coal underlies the greater part of the county at a great depth, though this has not been fully demonstrated. Only surface coal has been found in paying quantities, and only enough of this for local domestic purposes, and not of a very good quality. The most coal has been found in Townships 25 and 26, of Ranges 18 and 19, and Township 24, Range 20, and along the Little Osage River.

Every township of the county is well supplied with a good quality of stone, and in abundant quantities. The principal kinds are blue and red limestone, and red sandstone.



                                          | 1870. |  1880.
Cottage Grove Township....................|   794 |    999
Deer Creek Township.......................|   614 |    953
(a)  Elm Township.........................|  .... |    630
(b)  Elsinore Township....................|   452 |  1,054
Geneva Township...........................|   634 |    673
Humboldt Township, including Humboldt City| 2,035 |  2,528
(c)  Iola Township, including Iola City...| 1,759 |  2,307
(d)  Marmaton Township....................|  .... |    712
(e)  Osage Township.......................|   463 |    769
Salem Township............................|   271 |    678
                                          | 7,022 | 11,303
Humboldt City.............................| 1,202 |  1,542
Iola City.................................|  .... |  1,096
(a)  In 1871, detached from Iola.
(b)  In 1876, Marmaton set off.
(c)  In 1871, Elm and Osage set off.
(d)  Detached from Elsinore and Osage in 1876.
(e)  In 1876, Marmaton set off.


The first settlement in the county was undoubtedly that of Richard J. Fuqua, who is said to have settled in January, 1855. He located in the valley of the Neosho River, in the northwestern part of the county. He was accompanied by his family, consisting of his wife, two boys, and three girls. He also had sixty head of cattle. He at once built a cabin, started a post, for the purpose of trading with neighboring tribes of Indians, and the next summer opened a farm. This post became a favorite resort of the Sac and Fox Indians, and often a very large number of them were camped in the timber along the river. Fuqua always strove to please them, gave dog feasts and other entertainment, and sold flour, groceries, calico, beads, and other articles to them at a very high price. Fuqua made money rapidly, and kept up the post for a number of years, but finally abandoned it, and still later, in 1863, sold his large and well improved farm and immigrated to Oregon.

The second settlement in the county was made by B.W. Cowden and H. D. Parsons, who arrived in March, 1855, and selected claims in the valley of the Neosho River, near the mouth of Elm Creek. At that time there were about four hundred Osage Indians camped in the heavy timber along the river in the immediate neighborhood. Parsons had formerly been a trader among the Osages, therefore the pioneers were well received by the Indians, who insisted on their settling in the immediate neighborhood. They therefore made the lodges of the Indians a temporary home until their claims were selected, when they at once began the erection of a cabin on Parsons' claim. It was completed the latter part of the month, and the two pioneers left the country for a short time. Parsons soon returned, however, to find his cabin occupied by a band of Missourians, who proposed locating in the neighborhood. They refused to give up the cabin or claim, whereupon he appealed to Little Bear, Chief of the Osages, who at once summoned a council of his braves, and it was determined that the Missourians were bad men and should be driven from the country. A band of warriors started to carry out this decree, and on their appearance the rascals were so thoroughly frightened that they appealed to Parsons to intercede that their lives might be spared, promising to leave the country at once. Parsons doing so, the party started immediately for Missouri, and never returned.

The next settlement was made near the mouth of Deer Creek, the same spring, by Major James Parsons, and his two sons, Jesse and James, and Mr. Duncan. The creek on which they settled was so named from the large number of deer found in the timber along its banks.

During the spring and summer settlement progressed quite rapidly, the most of it being along and near the Neosho River. Among the first settlers were H. H. Hayward, W. C. Keith, Henry Bennett, Elias Copelin, James Barber, Barnett Owen, A. W. J. Brown, J. S. Barbee, Thomas Day and Giles Sater. On Martin Creek the prominent settlers of that summer were Thomas Norris, Jesse E. Morris, Anderson Wray, George Hall, Dr. Stockton, A. C. Smith, Augustus Todd, Michael Kiser, Hiram Smith and Mr. Martin. The creek was so called in honor of the last named.

Though many of the early settlers of the county were Pro-slavery men, but few slaves were brought into the county. Henry Sater owned two or three, Giles Sater one, who was soon set free, his master being opposed to slavery; James Galbreath owned one; Hurlston, five or six, and Dunbar several. The Free-state people showing so much antagonism toward slave-holders, it was not long until most of the slaves were either liberated or taken from the county by their masters.

During the summer and fall of 1856, immigration continued, though not in very large numbers. Prominent among the settlers of that year were Nimrod Hankins, William M. Brown, Carlyle Faulkner, Carroll Prewett, Henry Doren, G. A. Gideon, William Mayberry, Thomas Bashaw, M. W. Post and Joseph Ludley. The two last named came in February, 1856, being engaged in the survey of the standard parallels. They finished this survey with the fifth parallel through Allen County, and concluded to locate at or near Cofachique. Some time during the following summer, Ludley brought a small saw mill from Westport, Mo., and set it up in the timber near Cofachique and began operations at once. The mill was run by horse power, and was the first mill or other machinery to be put in operation in Allen County. After running it for some time Ludley sold the mill to Drury S. Tye.

The first marriage to take place in the county was that of James Johnson to Marinda Barber on August 14, 1856. The ceremony was performed by A. W. J. Brown, the Probate Judge of the county.

The second marriage in the county was that of George W. Young to Sarah Bennett, October 1, 1856. One of the County Commissioners, B.W. Cowden, officiated and in the acknowledgment of the ceremony signs himself as Associate Judge.

The first death to take place was that of James Barbee, at Cofachique, in 1856, and the second was that of a young daughter of Isam Brown, which took place a short time after.

In the spring of 1855 a party of Pro-slavery men from Fort Scott formed a town company and laid out a town on the high land east of the Neosho River, a short distance went of the present railroad track, and about on the north line of Section 10, Township 25, Range 18 east. The town was named Cofachique, and James Barbee was elected the first president of the company. The first to settle on the new town site was James Barbee. The Legislature in July, 1855, passed an act incorporating the Cofachique Town Association. The incorporators were Daniel Woodson, Charles Passmore, James S. Barbee, Samuel A. Williams and Joseph C. Anderson. The Legislature also empowered the Association to locate and hold a tract of land not to exceed nine hundred acres, around the proposed town site, and passed an act making Cofachique the permanent county seat of Allen County.

During the summer of 1855 the town was located and staked out. The first store was opened by James Galbreath. This was soon followed by another, owned by H. D. Parsons and Mr. Lynn. The next store was opened by Johnson & Owens.

For about two years this was the only town in the county, and as a new town was for a time quite successful. Several stores had been opened and Cofachique was known far and near. There was a heavy trade with the neighboring tribes of Indians, and for a time the town had good prospects.

Until the summer of 1857 there was no post-office nearer than Fort Scott, and all mail was brought over by a carrier employed by the citizens for the purpose. The first mail route established by the government extended from Fort Scott to Cofachique, and regular mail service began July 1, 1857. Cofachique was established as a post-office in the spring of 1857, and Aaron Case was appointed Postmaster.

Until 1857 this was the only town of the county, but during that year other towns were started and Cofachique began to decline. In 1858 the county seat was removed, and the next year the greater part of the town was removed to Iola, that town having just been started. The old town site of Cofachique is now covered with farms, and nothing remains to show that a town ever existed there.

The principal cause of the failure of the town was that, being in a hilly region it was difficult of access, besides which it was almost impossible to obtain good well water. Another reason for its failure was that it was settled by Pro-slavery men, generally, and during the early political troubles a company of Pro-slavery men, generally, and during the early political troubles a company of Pro-slavery men was stationed there, which caused some excitement, and created a feeling of enmity toward the town, and when the towns of Iola and Humboldt were started on either side it was not long until Cofachique became entirely depopulated. During the more prosperous years James Faulkner and Aaron Case were the principal business men.

During the year 1857, there was quite a heavy immigration to the county, yet as in previous years, most of the settlements were made along the valleys of the streams, or on the adjacent upland prairies. The greater settlements formed that year were along and near the Neosho River and its tributaries. The town of Geneva was laid out in the northwestern part of the county, and Humboldt in the southwestern part. Both of these towns prospered and still exist. Their complete history will be found in the description of the towns of the present.

In the spring of 1858, a heavy immigration again commenced. The settlers of that year were of an exceptionally good class, and the growth and development of the county was healthy and natural.

A great part of the settlement of the year 1858, was in what is now Deer Creek Township, along and near Deer Creek. In the fall of 1857, a small colony had been formed in Parke and Johnson counties, Indiana, for the purpose of making a settlement, and building up a town, which was to be named Carlyle. After the selection of the site north of Deer Creek, in 1857, two young men, P. M. Carmine and R. V. Ditmars were left to build cabins. In the spring of 1858, the colonists began to arrive. Among the first were T. P. Killen, J. M. Evans, S. C. Richards, J. W. Scott, David Bergen and H. Scott.

The Carlyle colony selected 320 acres for a town site and proposed to build a church, schoolhouse and make other improvements calculated to insure the speedy building up of the proposed town. Finding many difficulties in the way of making a prosperous town, the project was abandoned, and the site cut up into farms, which were soon opened.

Though not successful in building a town, the colony prospered. A post-office was secured, and a postal route established from Leavenworth via Hyatt, in Anderson County, Carlyle and Cofachique to Humboldt, in 1858.

A church and schoolhouse was afterward built, a high school kept up, and part of the time there has been a store, while it has always retained the post-office. The place is well known and it has always been a prosperous and progressive neighborhood.

When the Levenworth, Lawrence and Galveston railroad (now the K. C., L. & S. K. R. R.) was built, Carlyle was made a station, but has not yet become a town, and is only known as a prosperous country place.

Florence was the name of a town site which was projected in the year 1858. Its location was east of Carlyle and north of Deer Creek. It was started as a rival to Carlyle, and it was expected that it would some time secure a railroad. Among those interested in the project were Harvey Allen, J. B. Justus, D. C. Van Brunt, D. Rogers, M. M. Hann, W. E. Eastwood, F. M. Powers and R. B. Jordan. As a town the project was a failure, and the site is now covered with farms, while the name of Florence lives only in history.

A Vegetarian Settlement. -- In the year 1855 a colony of vegetarians organized in the Northern States for the purpose of forming a settlement in Kansas Territory. C. H. DeWolf, of Philadelphia, was elected president; Dr. McLauren, treasurer, and H. S. Clubb, of New York, secretary. This colony refused to indulge in the use of any kind of meat, tea, coffee, tobacco, or other stimulants, and lived only on weeds, vegetables and fruits. Though each colonist was to own his own property, the colony was to be cooperative to a certain extent. In the fall of 1855 Dr. McLauren was sent to select a location. The place chosen was on a small creek about six miles south of Humboldt. In the spring of 1856 the secretary arrived with a number of the colonists. The most of them came during the months of April, May and June. Among the members were Watson and S. J. Stewart, who arrived on May 19, 1856. They camped on Capt. Coffin's land adjoining Humboldt, and the next day went to the colony, where they found about one hundred persons camped in tents. But not being satisfied with some of the arrangements of the colony, they located claims elsewhere.

During the summer and fall of the year 1856, there was much sickness and the greater number of the colonists left the country. Of those left who settled permanently were Charles Baland, Z. J. Witzner, Watson and S. J. Stewart. The only remembrance of this colony is the fact that the stream on which they settled is still known as Vegetarian Creek.

First Mail Routes. - The first mail route established in the county was from Fort Scott to Cofachique, and service commenced July 1, 1857.

On January 11, 1858, a mail route was established from Leavenworth to Humboldt, via Hyatt, in Anderson County, Carlyle and Cofachique. In April the contract for mail service was let, and commenced on the 1st of the following July. Just before the service began, Dr. J. W. Scott, H. Scott and J. M. Evans took a load of poles and marked a trail between Carlyle and Hyatt. The first mail was carried by Zack Squires, on a little mule. The trail, in Allen County, extended nearly along the line now followed by the K. C., L. & S. K. R. R. It was not long until the business along the route was sufficient to put on a two-horse hack, after which passengers and light freight were carried. The hack was followed by a two-horse stage, or "jerky," and as business increased, this was in turn followed by a four-horse stage, which was kept on the route until the completion of the railroad in 1871. Squires is favorably remembered by all the old settlers along the route on account of his doing so many errands in Lawrence and other places for them, free of charge. The mails on the route were first weekly and afterward changed to tri-weekly.

[TOC] [part 2] [part 1] [Cutler's History]