|KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS|
|PART 1:||Location and Natural Features | Map and Population | Border Troubles | Early Land Troubles|
|PART 2:||Organization of the County | Early County Elections, Etc. | Early Town Sites | Floods, Drought, Grasshoppers, Etc.|
|PART 3:||War Record | Statistics | Garnett, Part 1|
|PART 4:||Garnett, Part 2 | Biographical Sketches (Ayres - French)|
|PART 5:||Biographical Sketches (Gregg - Row)|
|PART 6:||Biographical Sketches (Schoonover - Wright) | Greeley, Part 1|
|PART 7:||Greeley, Part 2 | Welda | Colony, Part 1|
|PART 8:||Colony, Part 2 | Westphalia | Mont Ida | Jackson Township|
LOCATION AND NATURAL FEATURES.
ANDERSON County is situated in the second tier of counties west from Missouri, fifty miles south from the Kansas River, and seventy miles north from the Indian Territory. It is in extent twenty-four miles square, and is bounded on the north by Franklin County, on the east by Linn, on the south by Allen, and on the west by Coffey.
The county is well watered by numerous streams. North Pottawatomie Creek enters the county from the west and flows east and northeast, crossing the northern boundary about on Range line 21. Its principal southern tributaries are Thomas and Cedar creeks. On the north are Kenoma, Iantha, and Sac creeks.
The South Pottawatomie Creek rises in the central part of the county, and flows northeast, entering the North Pottawatomie at Greeley. Of the other streams, Sugar Creek with its branches, in the eastern part of the county, flows northeast. Little Osage River with its numerous tributaries, in the southeast, flows southeast through Bourbon County. Deer and Indian creeks flow south into Allen County. Some of these streams abound with fine fish.
Of bottom land there is 10 per cent, of upland, 90 per cent. The average width of the bottoms is about two miles. The general surface of the country is a gently rolling prairie, though this is in many places diversified by steep hills and bluffs, which add to the picturesque appearance of the scenery. The soil is very rich, and well adapted to growing the cereals, flax, hemp, tobacco, castor beans, broom corn and vegetables.
According to the Government survey, about 6 per cent of the county is forest, but this as been largely increased, as the timber which generally borders the streams from year to year, grows further out on the prairie. Besides this, large groves of trees have been planted on the farms. The principal varieties of trees are: Black walnut, burr oak, read oak, hickory, elm, hackberry, sycamore, hard and soft maple, basswood, cottonwood, cherry, locust and mulberry.
Coal is supposed to underlie all the area of the county. In the southeastern and in the northwestern parts, good coal, free from sulphur, has been found in shallow veins, at a depth of from two to four feet. This coal is used only for local domestic purposes. Prospecting is now going on at Garnett.
Good building stone is abundant, of the best quality of lime and sandstone, and is obtained very easily, in layers, varying from eight to twenty-eight inches in thickness, and smooth on the surface of the stratum. There is some shale, an excellent fire-proof stone used for building furnaces for steam engines. A good quality of whetstone is plentiful. A mass of fire clay about seven inches thick, is found between the layers of mountain limestone, which contains considerable quantities of sulphuret [sic] of iron. Pottery clay is found in the western part of the county. Mineral paint has been discovered, but is of poor quality, containing too much iron.
MAP OF ANDERSON COUNTY.
(a) Detached from Ozark in 1873.
Previous to the settlement of the county by white men, it was occupied by the Pottawatomie Indians, who were removed from Indiana to their Kansas Reserve in 1837, by the United States Government. This principal village was just across the northern boundary of what is now Anderson county, at the place known as Dutch Henry's crossing, on the Pottawatomie. That stream derives its name from the above named tribe of Indians, and was so called about the time of their arrival.
Soon after they located, they extended their settlement south and west along the various streams. In 1838 they made some improvements on the present town site of Greeley, building bark shanties, planting peach trees, and cultivating small tracts of land. This was the first settlement of any kind in what is now Anderson County.
The first white settlement in the county was commenced early in May, 1854, on the present town site of Greeley, by Valentine Gerth and Francis Myer. They came from Missouri, were young men without families, and as soon as they arrived, they planted a crop of corn on an old Indian field, and raised a good crop the first year. A few days after the location of the two young men, Henry Harmon, with his family, located just north of where Greeley now is. Next came Oliver P. Rand, who settled in Sutton Valley. During the summer and fall they were joined by a few more settlers, among whom were Henderson Rice, J. S. Waitman, W. D. West, Thomas Totton, Anderson Cassel, and Dr. Rufus Gilpatrick.
In the winter of 1854-1855 a number of Germans from St. Louis located south of Greeley, and made some improvements, but in the spring of 1855, they left the Territory never to return, and their claims were soon taken by other new settlers.
When Gov. Reeder, on November 8, 1854, appointed the first election, the territory, now Anderson County, was made a part of the Fifth District, and the election was ordered held at the house of Henry Sherman, near what is known as Dutch Henry's crossing, on the Pottawatomie, just across the line in Franklin County. At the election, November 29, Henderson Rice, J. S. Waitman, W. D. West and Thomas Totton voted from Anderson County.
At an election for members of the First Territorial Legislature, A. M. Coffey, David Lykins, Allen Wilkerson and H. W. Younger were elected. There were about fifty legal voters in the precinct, though but few of them went to the polls. The Missourians went over, however, and cast 199 Pro-slavery votes. Those voting from Anderson County were: A Cassel, V. Gerth and Henry Harmon. The election was held at the same place as before.
At the election of a delegate to Congress, in October, 1855, George Wilson was the only person voting from Anderson County. Samuel Mack was one of the judges, but refused to vote, regarding the election, as conducted, only a farce.
Owing to the outrages committed upon Free-State settlers, a military company was organized in the fall of 1855, and was made up of Franklin and Anderson County men. It was called the Pottawatomie Rifle Company. John Brown, Jr., was elected Captain. Among the men from Anderson County were: Jacob Benjamin, James Townsley, Allen Jaqua, Frank Ayres, D. G. Watt, Samuel Mack, August Bondi, H. H. Williams, W. Ayres, M. Kilbourne and Dr. Rufus Gilpatrick. This was one of the John Brown Companies that made itself feared by the border ruffians.
Noted Settlers of 1855 and 1856, etc.--Among the prominent settlers of 1855 were: Darius Frankenberger, M. M. Minkler, C. E. Dewey, H. H. Williams, E. Reynolds, James Sutton, Benjamin Davis, J. H. Wolken, J. H. Rockers, H. M. Rumley, Samuel Mack, John McDaniel, Zach Schutte, Charles Backer, James Townsley, C. H. Price, Jesse Sutton and Henderson Rice.
At the election of delegates to the Topeka Constitutional Convention, forty-nine votes were polled at Pottawatomie precinct, by Free-State voters. At the election for its adoption or rejection, fourteen persons from Anderson County voted.
At the election of State officers under the Topeka Constitution, on January 15, 1856, eighteen persons from Anderson County voted at Pottawatomie precinct. Among others voting there were: John Brown, Jr., Fred Brown and Owen Brown, sons, and Henry Thompson, son-in-law of Old John Brown. The poll book and tally-visit of this election are signed by Frederick Brown, S. B. Moore and William Partridge, as judges; and H. H. Williams and Ephraim Reynolds, as clerks.
Among the prominent settlers of 1856 were: W. C. McDow, A. Simons, Samuel Anderson, Jacob Benjamin, August Bondi, James Y. Campbell, John S. Robinson, Solomon Kauffman, C. W. Peckham, William G. Hill, R. D. Chase, Samuel McDaniel, G. W. Yandall, William Tull, A. G. West, C. G. Ellis, R. Porter, John Kirkland, William Dennis, J. F. Wadsworth, H. Cavender, Frederick Tochterman and W. G. Nichols.
First Fourth of July Celebration.--Though suffering so many privations and dangers during the summer of 1856, the settlers concluded to celebrate the Nation's Birthday, and therefore assembled, for the purpose, at the cabin of W. L. Frankenberger, about two miles east of Garnett. Though the attendance was small, it numbered most of the Free-State settlers of the county, and a more enthusiastic celebration was never held. C. E. Dewey read the Declaration of Independence; H. H. Williams, Capt. Samuel Anderson and J. Y. Campbell delivered orations, and the ladies sang patriotic songs. This was the first Fourth of July Celebration in the county.
During the summer and fall of 1856, the county was overrun by bands of lawless Pro-slavery men from Missouri and other Southern States. The Free-State men were robbed of their property, their cabins burned, and they were often ordered to leave the Territory at once, or suffer death.
Of the officers of the county, George Wilson, the Probate Judge and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Francis Myer and John S. Waitman, the other members, had been chosen to these offices on account of their loyalty to the slave power. When the difficulties culminated in 1856, they all took an active and leading part in behalf of the border ruffians, who were committing outrages on the Free-State settlers.
The Free-State men did not submit tamely to the wrongs, but fought manfully for the defence [sic] of their principles, their families, and their homes. Late in the spring, Francis Myer, John S. Waitman, David McCammon and George Wilson, having been concerned in several of the Pro-slavery atrocities, fled from the country, fearing retaliatory measures by the Free-State men. Wilson returned again the next year, but the two Commissioners and Sheriff never again appeared in the county.
About the same time Wilkinson, Sherman and the three Doyles were killed on Pottawatomie Creek, just across the line in Franklin County. They had been committing outrages on Free-State men in the vicinity, and the latter being refused protection by the United States troops, felt that they had to resort to lynch law to protect themselves. After this there was a great deal of trouble all along Pottawatomie Creek, and the Free-State people were in great danger. About twenty of the Anderson County men were members of the John Brown Company.
Soon after the Pottawatomie tragedy, the Government ordered a company of United States soldiers to the neighborhood. They camped for several weeks at a spring a short distance northeast of Greeley. They were also stationed just across the Franklin County line for some time. The company was commanded by Capt. De Sancer, a hot headed Pro-slavery man, and had been recruited in South Carolina. The Captain made frequent efforts to capture leading Free-State men, especially James Townsley. Whenever he was to make his night raids on the citizens, they always learned of the intended attack from one or two of the soldiers, who were really in sympathy with the Free-State cause. Therefore not a single arrest was made while the company remained in the neighborhood. De Sancer afterward figures in the first Rebel attacks on Forts Moultrie and Sumter.
In the spring of 1856, a company of Maj. Buford's Georgians camped in the timber on the Franklin county line, and remained some time, stealing all the cattle and horses they could find belonging to the Free-State men, and committing other depredations. One morning Wilber D. West was riding along the road near Greeley, when he met a Georgian, who drew a pistol and commanded him to dismount. He did so and the Georgian took the horse, and proceeded a little further, when he met Hardy Warren and I. P. Sutton with a two-horse team and wagon. The latter was then a mere boy, but is now a member of the State Legislature from the county. The Georgian said: "Are you a Free-State man?" Warren answered: "I am a Free-State man." The Georgian then rode a short distance to consult with John S. Waitman, when he again followed the wagon, demanding that it and the horses should be given to him. Warren refused, but the ruffian being reinforced, he was compelled to submit. One of the horses being useless to him he let Sutton go with it, but kept the rest of the property and detained Warren as a prisoner for some time.
When Warren was taken by the ruffians to their camp, Capt. Wood then in command of a company of soldiers stationed near, was present, and Warren appealed to him for protection, but he simple laughed and walked quietly away. Thus it will be seen that the settlers had a hard time with both the robbers and soldiers to contend with. Troops were kept in the neighborhood all summer, and saw such outrages committed daily without any attempt to interfere.
In order to protect themselves against the invasions of the border ruffians, who were committing so many atrocities, the Free-State men, in the summer of 1856, met at the house of W. L. Frankenberger, on the South Pottawatomie, and organized a military company called the Pottawatomie Guards, and elected Samuel Anderson Captain. The drill grounds were at the farm of Frankenberger, and the company numbered about thirty men, including all the able-bodied Free-State men living south of Greeley. The company participated in many of the expeditions of 1856-7, and did valuable service in protecting the settlers against the depredations of raiding parties from the Slave States. During the summer and fall of 1856, the invasions from Missouri were so frequent that it was unsafe for the settlers to remain at home over night with their families. For several months the families of the settlers would collect at night at Frankenberger's claim on the Pottawatomie, the women and children shelter themselves in the cabin, while the men kept guard outside. Such was the state of the country all summer, that the men would work on their claims during the day with arms within their reach, and at night stand guard, or march to the defense of some neighboring settlement.
In the month of August, 1856, the struggle between the contending parties was rapidly approaching a crisis. It was plain that the Pro-slavery party was fast gaining the advantage. Blockhouses were erected and fortified, and well supplied with provisions. On the other hand it was a serious question among the Free-State men how their wants should be supplied. Everything had to come from Kansas City, by way of Westport, and the roads were guarded by the ruffians. At last, pressed by want, the Free-State men, in council assembled, resolved to appropriate to their own use enough of the Pro-slavery men's cattle, to furnish them with food. There were many large herds ranging on the prairie, and it was not long before their owners advocated the opening of the roads, that provisions could be brought in to the settlers.
The most discouraging period for the Free-State men was when Governor Woodson issued a proclamation, declaring the territory in a state of insurrection and rebellion, and calling out the militia. Several left the county for this reason. The southern division of the Pro-slavery militia was commanded by Gen. Coffey. About this time a force of about 200 Missourians camped on Middle Creek, at Battle Mound. Here they waited for reinforcements along the Pottawatomie, and many were the outrages committed in the corners of the counties of Anderson, Linn, Miami and Franklin.
On August 27th, the ruffians took George Partridge from his bed, when sick, and carried him away a prisoner. The same day they burned the house of Kilbourne and Cochran, near Greeley. Dr. Rufus Gilpatrick was visiting a patient on Middle Creek, and discovering the Pro-slavery camp, at once gave warning to his neighbors. Capt. Stewart, of Lawrence, with his company, Capt. Samuel Anderson, with the Pottawatomie Guards, and Capt. Cline started to make an attack upon the enemy. They were accompanied by Capt. John Brown until near the camp, when he learned that a party of ruffians were moving up the Pottawatomie, near Greeley. He, therefore, started in pursuit of the marauders.
The attack on the camp of the enemy was made on the morning of August 28, 1856. The Missourians were preparing breakfast and did not discover the Free-State men until they were close upon them. A sudden dash was made and the enemy fled in confusion, some leaving their horses. Most of them did not stop until they got to Missouri where they reported that they had been attacked by 10,000 jayhawkers, armed with Sharps' rifles and many cannon. The attacking party numbered about 100 men. John Brown joined the main force just after the capture of the camp. A large quantity of commissaries and other property was captured, but destroyed for want of transportation. George Partridge was rescued. Two Pro-slavery men were wounded, one mortally. Fifteen prisoners were taken, and kept over night, when they were admonished by John Brown as to their fate if caught again, and released.
EARLY LAND TROUBLES.
Among the first settlers of the county came a class who had kept in advance of civilization, and made their living in speculating in claims on Government lands. These men selected the finest timber and valley lands along the streams, and after having formed an actual settlement, they would select many other valuable tracts, drive stakes, and put up some fictitious names, as owners of the land. When a man desirous to settle would come to look for lands, he would generally be told by these speculators, that these tracts marked by stakes had been selected by claimants, but that they could be bought of some man in the neighborhood who was an agent for the claimant. The stranger naturally supposing that the land had been honestly selected, would in most instances buy the claim rather than go farther West. The prices generally ranged all the way from one hundred to two thousand dollars. The settlers would many times after the purchase of these claims, erect cabins, and go East after their families, and on their return would find some one else occupying the cabin, the claim having been sold twice by the rascally speculator. These claims caused much trouble in the United States Land Office, and many quarrels and contests among the different claimants of the land, each of whom had bought it in good faith. Whenever the claims were contested, the costs became so great, that whichever party got the land, had to borrow money to pay for it, paying an enormous rate of interest, and was obliged to give a mortgage on the land as security, which generally resulted in the money-lender getting the land.
So serious had the troubles between the settlers become, that in November, 1858, a Free-State Squatters' Court was organized in the counties of Linn, Anderson and Bourbon, for the trial of land claims, and the settlement of difficulties arising therefrom. In order to secure more ready obedience to its mandates, the Judge of this court was called "Old Brown," though Capt. John Brown was not in the territory at that time. Dr. Rufus Gilpatrick was elected Judge of this court. As no Bible could be found in the neighborhood, witnesses were sworn on Dr. Gunn's "Family Physician." The action and degrees of the court were generally satisfactory to the settlers. Major Abbott and Rev. Stewart (the fighting preacher) went about with the court to enforce its orders.
First Mail Routes.--On January 11, 1858, a mail route was established from Leavenworth to Humboldt, via Hyatt, in Anderson County. The route was staked out in March, and service commenced on April 24. There was also a road from Carlyle, and another from Fairview to Hyatt. Zack Squires was the first carrier and expressman. The mail was first weekly, but was soon changed to tri-weekly. In the spring of 1859 the route was changed to extend through Garnett.
Early County Roads.--In November, 1858, the County Board of Supervisors received petitions for the opening of five Territorial roads. W. F. M. Arny* was the projector of these and all centered in the town of Hyatt, and are so shown by the old maps of the territory, with none at Garnett or Shannon.
First Tax Levy.--On September 25, 1858, the first tax levy for county purposes was made. It was six mills on the dollar, according to the tax rolls of 1858, for county purposes; two and one-half mills for schools; one and one-half mills for roads. The total value of taxable property of the county by townships was as follows: Monroe, $69,568.50; Walker, $36,888; Reeder, $26,355; Jackson, $24,737, and Washington, $20,610. Total, $178,158.50. There had been assessments before, but this is the first one recorded.