William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]


JOSEPH D. CARTER, farmer and stock raiser, Section 28, P. O. Iola, was born in Rush County, Ind., May 30, 1835, where he followed agricultural pursuits. In November, 1866, he came to Kansas, located in Allen County, Elm Township, and has since followed farming and stock raising. In March, 1875, he moved onto his present farm. He has here forty acres and eighty acres in another farm. He has on his place a fine orchard and maple grove. Mr. Carter raises considerable live stock and is gradually branching out into breeding Short-horn cattle. He was married in Morgan County, Ind., November 7, 1854, to Lucinda Hamilton. They have three children.


This town is situated in the northwestern part of the county, north of the Neosho River, and between Martin and Indian creeks. The location is a beautiful one, and the place is surrounded by a thrifty and enterprising class of citizens. The village contains a store, post office and blacksmith shop, and has a population of about one hundred.

The town of Geneva was founded in the summer of 1857. A colony was formed in New York under the leadership of Ephraim Fisk, and another in Michigan under the leadership of Merritt Moore. These united, forming the Union Settlement Association, among the prominent members in which were Dr. B. L. G. Stone, G. L. Wait, S. T. Jones, Rev. G. S. Northrup, I. A. Holman, P. P. Phillips, E. J. Brinkerhoff, J. H. Spicer, A. P. Sain, H. R. Somers, Frank Ureidenberg, J. C. Redfield and J. M. Mattoon.

The colony selected the northwestern part of Allen County for a location, and started out with great expectations. There were about 300 families engaged to settle at once. It was decided to locate and lay out a town comprising not less than 640 acres of land. The present site of Geneva was chosen on account of the fertile prairie land around, as well as the heavy timber so close along the banks of the streams. It was decided to at once begin the building of a large structure and to found a non-sectarian college and academy.

Plans having been made for so much building and so many families having promised to locate, the next thing was to erect a saw-mill. Therefore a contract was entered into with L. L. Northrup that he should build a steam saw-mill, and that the colony should, in turn, give him 160 acres of good timber land and furnish him all the sawing he could do, and pay him $15 per thousand feet. The mill was brought and set up on the bank of Indian Creek, in the summer of the year 1858. But the sawing was not provided in any great quantities and L. L. Northrup soon opened a store.

Though the settlement started with such brilliant prospects, the idea of building a large town was soon give up. Not one-fourth of the projected colony of 300 families ever came, and those who did were rather poor, and through the lack of money and settlement the college was not built, though an academy afterward took its place.

The settlers from the first were an intelligent and enterprising class of people, who regarded the moral and mental culture of the young as one of the first things to be looked to, after opening their farms, therefore churches and schools were established.

There was at first considerable controversy over claims, which resulted in occasional riots, but aside from this the neighborhood has generally been very peaceable.

Geneva continued to exist as a small town, and by the year 1869 it contained two stores, one blacksmith shop, a wagon shop, a hotel, a Congregational Church built of stone, and an academy. This building was a frame structure two stories high, and the school had been established in 1866, and was then as now, under charge of the Neosho Presbytery. The population was then about one hundred. From the above date until 1872 some improvements were made, and several business enterprises were undertaken that afterward fell through. It was expected that a railroad would be built through that part of the county, and when the town failed to secure it, it began to go down, and now it can only be said to be a thriving country village, surrounded by a prosperous settlement.


JOHN J. BLACK, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Iola, was born in Licking County, Ohio, August 5, 1834, and was reared in Illinois. His father was a farmer. The subject of our sketch also resided for several years in Marion County, Iowa. He came to Allen County in the fall of 1857, and pre-empted 160 acres in the township, on which he resided some fifteen years, after which he moved on to his present farm, which consists of sixty-seven and one-half acres of fine bottom land, nearly all of which is cultivated. Mr. Black raises considerable live stock, making a specialty of Poland-China hogs. During his residence in this State he has been several times in Colorado, engaged in freighting, etc. During the late Rebellion he served in the Kansas State Militia. Mr. Black was married in Anderson County, Kan., February 14, 1864, to Sarah E. Stigenwalt, who died January 5, 1873, leaving one son. Mr. Black was married again at this place, April 2, 1874, to Emma C. Luyster. They have four children.

JOHN TRACY CORNELL, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Iola, was born in Fountain County, Ind., October, 1826, and reared on a farm. After reaching the age of manhood he carried on a farm of his own, of 173 acres. He came to Allen County in the fall of 1858, pre-empted 160 acres in Iola Township, where he resided some twelve years, and then moved into Geneva Township. About ten years ago he settled on his present farm, which consists of 130 acres of fine bottom land, all improved, and on which he has erected a handsome home and farm buildings. He is quite an extensive raiser of cattle, etc. During the late war he served in the Kansas State Militia, and was for three years deputy under Sheriff A. Brown. Mr. Cornell was married in Fountain County, Ind., in the fall of 1848, to Phoebe Jane Booe. They have a family of eight children.

EPHRAIM FISK, farmer, Section 23, P. O. Geneva, was born at Strafford, Orange Co., Vt., September 10, 1811, and spent his youth on a farm. In 1842, he moved to Wyoming County, N. Y., where he was employed in agricultural pursuits, and also worked in woolen mills in that and Seneca County. In March, 1857, he came to Kansas and located on this farm. He conducted the farm until lately, when he turned it over to his step-son, Alroy B. Curtis. Mr. Fisk took up 160 acres of raw land on his arrival here, and made a highly improved farm of it. He has been a deacon of the Congregational Church in this locality since 1858.

ALONZO W. HOWLAND, dealer in live stock, Section 29, P. O. Geneva, was born in Saratoga County, N. Y., in 1834, and reared on a farm in Calhoun County, Mich. He has earned his own livelihood since thirteen years of age. Mr. H. was employed for some time in grocery business, and also learned the trade of stone mason in Calhoun County. He came to Kansas in April, 1859; located in Allen County, pre-empting 160 acres in this township, on which he resided some five years. In 1864, he moved on to his present farm, Section 29, Township 23, Range 18. Mr. H. had very small means on his arrival in this State. He worked some at his trade, and farmed, and by industry and energy, has made himself one of the representative men of Allen County. He owns about 440 acres of land, and is an extensive raiser and dealer in live stock. On his place is a fine stone residence, which he built some fourteen years ago, and an orchard of about 500 fruit trees. Mr. H. was elected a member of the Board of Commissioners of Allen County, in 1872, and re- elected in 1874. He was married in Calhoun County, Mich., when twenty years of age, to Miss Eveline Gardner, who died here in May, 1873, leaving three children. He was married again, in Allen County, Kan., in December, 1874, to Miss Emma Harlow.

REV. SALATHIEL M. IRWIN, Section 25, P. O. Geneva, was born at South Salem, Ross Co., Ohio, November 23, 1836, and received his preparatory education at the Presbyterian Academy of that place, after which he attended Hanover College, Ind., graduating in 1861, and then taught Hanover High School for two years. Mr. Irwin attended Princeton Theological Seminary for three years, graduating there in April, 1866. He was licensed to preach in 1865, and ordained a minister in the following year, at Little Osage, Mo., where he had charge of the Presbyterian Church for one year. In September, 1867, he came to Allen County, Kan., and has since resided at Geneva. He has charge of the Presbyterian Church here, also the Liberty Presbyterian Church, and the church at Carlyle. During his first six years' residence at this place, he was principal of the Presbyterian Academy. Mr. Irwin has a nice farm here of about 135 acres, and has also eighty acres in Woodson County.

CHAS. L. KNOWLTON, merchant, Geneva, was born in Clark County, Ind., June 23, 1849. His father was a doctor and also carried on a farm, and the subject of our sketch assisted him in the latter business. The doctor resided for four years in Cumberland County, Ill., and in April, 1867, moved to Allen County, Kan., locating at Geneva. His son, Chas. L. accompanied him, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits in this township until January 15, 1882, when he embarked in general merchandise business. He carries a nice stock of about $3,000, and is building up a good trade. He also has a small farm of fifty-three acres. Mr. Knowlton is a member of the order of A., F. & A. M., and is one of the trustees of Tuscan Lodge, No. 82, at Neosho Falls.

JONATHAN M. MATTOON, Postmaster, Geneva, was born in Jefferson County, N. Y., December 17, 1813, and worked on his father's farm until twenty-one years of age. He then learned the trade of machinist and worked at it in New York and Detroit, Mich. He came to Allen County, Kan., in the spring of 1857, located at Geneva, and was employed as a carpenter. He was Deputy Postmaster under Dr. Stone, from 1858 until 1861, when he was commissioned Postmaster, an office which he has filled ever since. He also carries a small stock of goods and has a small farm. Mr. M. has been Justice of the Peace since 1859, and is also Notary Public. He served a two years term on the Board of Commissioners for Allen County, during the war. The subject of this sketch was married in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., in 1837, to Lucy Hancock, she died in 1859, leaving six children and two of these, sons died in the late war. Mr. Mattoon was married again in Allen County, Kan., in January, 1861, to Nancy Dickey. They have two daughters.

JONATHAN H. SPICER, farmer, Section 24, P. O. Geneva, was born in Plymouth, N. H., April 12, 1816, and reared principally on farms in the State of New York. His father Jabez Spicer was a medical doctor and a missionary of the Presbyterian Church, but also engaged in agricultural pursuits. The subject of our sketch was, during the years of 1851 and 1852, in the employ of the Panama Railroad Company, in charge of a body of men engaged in building a railroad across the Isthmus. In 1853, he went to California, where he remained one year engaged in mining pursuits. Returning east he carried on mercantile business at Wacousta, Clinton Co., Mich., for three years. Mr. Spicer came to Kansas, in the spring of 1857, and located on his present farm in Allen County. He has 167 acres of land all improved, has a nice orchard, and is quite an extensive raiser of cattle, horses, etc. On October 16, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, serving three years and three months. He was Quartermaster Sergeant of the regiment. He was for some years Justice of the Peace and Notary Public, at this place. Mr. S. was married at Watertown, Mich., September 3, 1839, to Miss Emily Phinney. They have one son, Duane D.

J. C. THOMAS, farmer, Section 17, P. O. Iola, was born in Shelby County, Ind., in 1842, and in 1858 came to Kansas, locating in Coffey County. He in company with others built a saw mill in Neosho City. About two years later he moved to Madison County, but remained only a short time. In 1861 he built a flouring mill at Burlington, Kan., and afterwards returned to Indiana on a vessel; while there he enlisted in July, 1862, in the Seventy-sixth Indiana Infantry and served thirty days. Returning to his mill at Burlington he conducted the same until 1863, when he sold out and moved to Iola, where he ran a steam saw and grist mill. In 1865 he sold his interest, and in 1866 moved on to his present farm. He has 125 acres of fine bottom land and raises some stock, etc. In 1876 he purchased a saw mill which is now located on his farm on the banks of the Neosho River. This mill has a capacity of 2,000 feet of lumber daily and gives employment at times to five men. Mr. Thomas is a practical sawyer and machinist.

DEXTER L. WARNER, proprietor of the Geneva House, was born in Franklin County, Mass., March 12, 1842, and reared on a farm. He enlisted May 6, 1861, in Company D, Twelfth Massachusetts Infantry; was shot in left hip joint at Groveton, Va., August 30, 1862, and discharged May 26, 1863. Returning to Franklin he remained until 1871, when he moved to Worcester, where he was employed as a painter and also worked in boot factory. Three years later he moved to Oxford where he was engaged in the capacity of a clerk in general merchandise business. In July, 1879, he came to Allen County, located in Geneva Township and followed agricultural pursuits. In April, 1882, he engaged in his present business and also continues to farm same. Mr. Warner was elected Trustee of Geneva Township in February, 1882, and again in February, 1883.


ROBERT B. ARNOLD, Superintendent of the County Poor Farm, P. O. Carlyle, was born in Gibson County, Tenn., August 6, 1839. He was reared on a farm, but at the age of eighteen years entered an apprenticeship to learn the carpenter's trade. This trade he followed in his own neighborhood until March, 1863, when he removed to Hadley, Ill., to keep from being conscripted in the Rebel Army. He remained there until 1866 when he returned to West Tennessee, where he followed his trade until 1874, when he removed to Reno County, Kan. In September, 1877, he located at Humboldt, Allen Co., Kan., where he continued work at his trade until the following January, when he established a grocery store at Carlyle, which he carried on for two years. On March 5, 1880, he took charge of the County Poor Farm as Superintendent, which position he has since retained. He was married February 23, 1868, to Miss Mary Eckley, of Kenton, Tenn. They have seven children - Sophia, Flora, Martha, Ephraim B., Harvey E., Mary M. and Robert B. Mr. Arnold is a member of the Presbyterian Church, also of the Masonic fraternity.

JAMES C. COFFIELD, farmer, Section 29, P. O. Colony, was born in Grant County, Ind., November 15, 1845, and came to Allen County, Kan., in July, 1860, with his father, Samuel Coffield, who located in this Township. In November, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, was shot through the left leg at Netonia, Mo., September 30, 1862; he served until mustered out January 16, 1865, after which he followed agricultural pursuits. In 1868 he was appointed Clerk of the District Court at Iola and served eighteen months, then for two years acted as Treasurer of the county for his brother-in-law, John Francis, who held that office. Mr. Coffield then follower mercantile pursuits at Iola. In 1878 he turned his attention to farming and in the spring of 1882 moved on to his present farm, which consists of some eighty acres. He was Deputy United States Marshal at Iola for four years. Mr. Coffield was married in Allen County, Kan., July 4, 1872, to Sarah J. Fulwider, and they have a family of four living children - Fred C., Clifford F., Lewis E. and Nellie E.

WILLIAM DAVIS, farmer, Section 2, P. O. Humboldt, was born in Johnson County, Ind., January, 1838, and reared on a farm. In 1859, he entered a store at Franklin, that county, as a clerk, and was engaged in that capacity several years. In April, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Seventh Indiana Infantry, served three months, and re-enlisted in Company F, of the same regiment; was promoted to Second Lieutenant, early in 1863, and mustered out, September 20, 1864, after which he followed mercantile pursuits at Franklin, Ind. He came to Kansas in 1869, located at Iola, and engaged in mercantile business in the firm of Davis & Van Nuys, continuing in that business until October, 1875. Was then for three years employed in traveling for the Presbyterian Board of Publication. In the fall of 1878, he was elected Clerk of District Court, at Humboldt, and re-elected in 1880. Mr. Davis has 157 acres of improved land, and has quite recently given his attention to agricultural pursuits.

HON. LEWIS EDMUNDSON, farmer and stock raiser, Section 10, P. O. Iola, was born in Allegheny County, Penn., July 10, 1831, and reared in Lawrence County, where he learned the trade of plasterer. In 1856, he moved to Champaign County, Ill., where he worked at his trade. Mr. E. came to Allen County, Kas., in the spring of 1860, and pre-empted his present farm, which consists of 160 acres. This he has improved, has built a nice home, and has a good orchard of about four acres. He also has a fine residence and orchard in Iola, where he at times takes up his residence. In October, 1861, he enlisted in Company E, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, and, having passed through the various grades, was promoted to First Lieutenant, early in 1865, serving until July 17, of that year. In the fall of 1868, he was elected to the State Legislature. Mr. E. was married in Champaign County, Ill., in 1858, to Annie A. Thrasher, who died in 1862, leaving one child, Annie E. He was married again, in 1872, at Deer Creek, Allen Co., Kas., to Alice M. Wisner. They have four children - Nellie V., Eugene S., Margaret N. and Lewis A.

M. M. HART stock dealer, Section 15, P. O. Iola, was born in Greene County, Ill., in 1839, and reared on a farm. In the fall of 1859, he came to Allen County, Kas., located on a farm near Iola, and has since followed farming, dealing in live stock, etc. In the fall of 1861, he enlisted in Company E, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, and was mustered out as Sergeant, three years later. For the past twelve years, has been largely engaged in buying and shipping live stock, in company with Nimrod Hankins. Mr. Hart was, also, for some time, engaged in grocery business at Iola, with I. S. Welsh. This interest he sold out in 1883, and now resides on his farm in this Township, which consists of 227 acres of well improved land.

SAMUEL G. JORDAN, farmer and stock raiser, Section 12, P. O. Carlyle, was born at Gloucester, N. J., March 24, 1849, and came to Allen County with his parents in the spring of 1857. He owns 120 acres of land on Deer Creek, on which are a large orchard and good farm buildings. He was married, October 29, 1872, to Miss Jennie D. Demaree of Waveland, Ind. They have four children, and are both members of the Presbyterian Church. Robert B. Jordan, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Mexico, Perry Co., Pa., in 1811, and moved to Appanoose County, Iowa, in 1850. In the spring of 1857 he moved to Allen County, Kas., and settled in Deer Creek Township, where he lived until his death , February 22, 1876. His widow, Mrs. Emeline Jordan, survives him and lives with her son, Samuel G. She was born in Juniata County, Pa., December 9, 1817, was married September 6, 1836, and had eight children, four of whom are now living. Both she and her husband united with the church at an early period of their married life.

BARTHOLEMEW A. LONGSTRETH, farmer, Section 21, P. O. Colony, was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, August 19, 1833, was reared on a farm and followed agricultural pursuits for a livelihood after reaching the age of manhood. Mr. I., first came to Kansas in 1857, but did not engage in any business. Was for a short time employed on the Government survey. In the spring of 1869, he closed out his farming interests in Ohio and located on his present farm in Allen County. He has 240 acres of land, sixty of which are in cultivation, and he is quite an extensive stock raiser. His place is well improved, has a good residence, stone fences, and an orchard of six acres. Mr. L. has filled several of his school district offices, such as Treasurer, Director and Clerk. He was married in Muskingum County, Ohio, Sept. 10, 1864, to Lorena Stoneburner. Their family consists of six children, four of whom were born in this State.

REV. EPHRAIM K. LYNN, now a retired clergyman residing on a farm, Section 35, Allen County, Kas., P. O. Carlyle, was born in Jefferson County, Ky., in 1814; while young, he moved with his parents to Washington County, Ind. In the spring of 1833 he entered college at South Hanover, Ind., and graduated in the fall of 1839. In 1840 he was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of West Lexington, Ky., and in the spring of 1841 was ordained to the full work of the gospel ministry by the Presbytery of Louisville, Ky. He was at first stationed at Bridgeport, in the vicinity of Frankfort, Ky., where he remained until 1844, when he went to Georgetown and supplied the pulpit there until the year 1848, when he returned to Washington County, Ind., spending six years of labor in New Philadelphia, when he went to Hopewell, in Johnson Co., Ind., and labored for two years. In 1854 he removed to Champaign County, Ill., where he lived until 1856, when he went to Mercer County, Ills. In the fall of 1860 to Allen County, Kas., and located on the farm on which he now resides, in Deer Creek Township. He has been actively engaged in the ministry for forty-two years. He has been twice married; first, to Miss Harriet Briggs, in 1839, and next to Mrs. S. M. Thompson, in 1874.

ADAM MAIER, farmer, Section 21, P. O. Colony, was born in Germany, January 1, 1839, and in 1855, immigrated to Michigan, where for three years he was employed at farm work; then in same capacity in Logan County, Ills. In the fall of 1866 he came to Allen County and located on his present farm. He has 400 acres of land, 200 of which are in cultivation, and two acres in orchard. His place is well improved, and he is an extensive stock raiser. Mr. M. was for three years engaged, also, in conducting a meat market at Iola, and was in grocery business for two years in company with Emanuel Richards, to whom he sold his interest early in 1883. The subject of our sketch was married in Logan County, Ills., in the spring of 1862, to Johanna Green; their family consists of five children, three of whom were born in this State.

C. G. MULL, farmer, Section 36, P. O. Carlyle, was born in Washington Township, Parke Co., Ind., October 3, 1842, and was reared on a farm. Leaving his parents home at the age of twenty-one, he enlisted in Company F, Eleventh Indiana Cavalry, being mustered in November 9, 1863. He served in the army of the Cumberland, under Gen. Thomas, and was in active service until his discharge in July, 1865. He then returned to Parke County, where he lived until the following spring, when he went to Vermillion County, Ills., and in the fall of 1866 came to Allen County, Kas., and located at Iola, where he worked at the carpenter trade until the fall of 1868, when he enlisted in Company C, Nineteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, to serve on the plains against the Indians. In the spring of 1869, he was discharged, and in June returned to Allen County and located in Deer Creek Township, where he worked at his trade. In 1871 he purchased a farm and the next year began farming in connection with other pursuits. He now owns 200 acres of land, one-half of which are under cultivation, and on which are two houses and other suitable farm buildings. For the past five years he has been a contractor, working taxes for the K. C., L. & S. K. R. R., employing a number of men and teams. He is one of the leading men of his township in public affairs. He was married September 21, 1871, to Miss Laura P. Adams, of Deer Creek Township, who was born in Kentucky. Both are members of the Presbyterian Church.

ROBERT HARVEY STRICKLER, Postmaster and merchant, was born in Parke County Ind., November 22, 1852, and came to Kansas with his father, Moses Strickler, who located in Deer Creek Township, Allen County, in the fall of 1866. The subject of our sketch assisted him on the farm for about seven years, then conducted a farm on his own account. In the spring of 1882 he purchased a merchandise stock at Carlyle, and has since carried on business at that point. He was appointed Postmaster in March, 1882. Mr. S. was married at Iola, Kas., March 24, 1881, to Martha Martin; they have one child - Burton E.

Z. J. WISNER, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Iola, was born in Niagara County, N. Y., February 7, 1825. When eleven years of age he removed with his parents to Fayette County, Ind., where he was reared on a farm. In 1841 he removed to Rush County where he lived for twelve years when he went to Iowa, where he resided on a farm until 1857, when he removed to Allen County, Kas., and located on a claim adjoining the town-site of Cofachique, where he remained for eight years, when he removed to his present farm on Deer Creek. He owns 213 acres of land which is all fenced. Of this land 100 acres are cultivated; 30 acres, meadow; 40 acres, timber; 5 acres, orchard, and the remainder, pasture. He has 43 head of cattle, 75 hogs and 5 horses. Mr. Wisner was married in February, 1850, to Miss Nancy Davis, of Rush County, Ind. They have five children, all living in Kansas, of whom, Kansas Lily, Ruby O., and Carl A., are still at home. Mr. W. has been for two terms Superintendent of schools of Allen County, and two terms County Commissioner, and three terms Trustee of his township. In October, 1861, he enlisted in Company G, Fourteenth Kansas Cavalry, and served until August, 1865, when he was discharged and mustered out.

JOHN W. WISE, farmer, Section 33, P. O. Iola, was born in Saline County, Ill., October 1, 1846, and came to Allen County, Kas., in June, 1857. In the spring of 1858 his father, W. H. Wise, pre-empted this farm and the subject of our sketch assisted in conducting the same until 1870, since which time he has farmed on his own account. He has 160 acres, principally fine bottom land, and is also engaged in raising livestock. He has an orchard on his place of about two acres. Mr. W. held the office of Justice of the Peace for a term. He was married in Anderson County, Kas., April 4, 1872, to Julia F. Price, and they have a pleasant family.

[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]