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


[TOC] [part 7] [part 5] [Cutler's History]

DR. GEORGE SCHOONOVER was born in Champaign County, Ohio, in 1834, and two years later his parents removed to Warren County, Ind., where he was reared on a farm. During his early youth he read many medical works and in 1867 removed to Bonaparte, Iowa, where he studied medicine with Dr. F. A. Steinmeyer, and in 1872 began to practice. In 1873 he removed to Holden, Johnston Co., Mo., where he continued to practice his profession until September, 1876, when he came to Garnett. He at once opened an office at this place and is now considered one of the leading physicians in this section of the country. The Doctor is a member of the Eclectic Medical Society of Kansas.

REV. F. M. SISSON, pastor First Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Bennington, Switzerland Co., Ind., November 21, 1851. He was educated at Morris Hill College, Ind., graduating in 1874 and was admitted to the Southeast Indiana Conference in 1875. He was stationed first on the Connersville circuit for a year; then for a year on the Liberty circuit, and for two years on Arlington circuit, Ind. He was ordained deacon in September, 1877, by Bishop Foster at Madison, Ind., and elder at Hutchinson, Kan., in March, 1880, by Bishop Wiley. The subject of this sketch was transferred to Kansas in March, 1877, and stationed at Eureka, Greenwood County, for two years. There he built the first Methodist Episcopal Church in the county. In March, 1879, he was stationed at Garnett, and at once entered upon his present duties. He has been very successful in his labors and has largely increased the membership of his church.

JAMES H. SLICER, County Treasurer, was born in Cumberland, Md., October 27, 1831, where he was, after reaching the age of manhood, engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1864 he went to Bellefontaine, Ohio, where he followed agricultural pursuits for two years and was then employed in the mercantile business. He came to Kansas in January, 1871; located at Garnett; for two years he carried on the grocery business, after which he was employed as a clerk in the general merchandise business. He was elected Treasurer of Anderson County in November, 1879, and re-elected in 1881.

SLONAKER & PAXTON, dealers in agricultural implements, wagons, etc. This business was established in 1870 by R. T. Stokes, and purchased by the above parties, February 1, 1881. They carry a stock of $15,000 to $16,000, and do a very large business. They represent the Weir Plow Company, John Deere Plow Company, Mitchell wagons, Bain wagons, Buckeye reapers, Aultman & Taylor threshers, Watertown and Columbus buggies, besides many other prominent manufacturers; also deal extensively in barbed wire. They are leaders in their line in Garnett, and extensive dealers in grain, etc. R. M. Slonaker, the senior member of the firm, is a native of Ashland County, Ohio, where he was engaged in sheep-raising on an extensive scale. He came to Anderson County, Kan., in February, 1871; located in Monroe Township and followed agricultural pursuits for about nine years, making a speciality of raising live-stock, after which he embarked in his present business. His partner, N. J. Paxton, is also a native of Ashland County, Ohio. There he followed agricultural pursuits, and was also for some years engaged, in the town of Savannah in that county, in the manufacture of drain tile. He came to Kansas in October, 1880, and located in Garnett, engaging in this business the following February.

MOSES B. SNAVELY, dealer in agricultural implements, wagons, etc., was born in McLean County, Ill., October 16, 1852, and followed agricultural pursuits during his residence in that county. He came to Anderson County in the fall of 1877 and followed agricultural pursuits until May, 1882. In August of that year he established his present business at Garnett. He carries a stock of about $3,000 and represents a large number of leading manufacturers, among which are the Pekin Plow Company, Buford plows, Abbott buggies and Weber wagons.

EDGAR SPANGLE, Clerk of the Fourth Judicial District Court, was born in Seneca County, Ohio, March 4, 1848, and eighteen months after his parents moved to Steuben County, Ind., where he was reared on a farm. He came to Anderson County, March 18, 1871, and located in Rich Township, where he farmed and taught school. He has a fine farm of eighty acres and is an extensive raiser of live-stock. He was elected to his present office in November, 1878, re-elected in 1880 and again in 1882.

JOHN H. SOLLENBERGER, County Surveyor, was born in Starke County, Ohio, in 1836, and reared on a farm. He was for some years employed in the rudiments of surveying and attended the Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N. Y., taking a special course, after which he followed his profession in Starke County until October 1878, when he came to Garnett. He at once established himself in his profession at this place. In the fall of 1880 he was appointed City Engineer, and is the present incumbent of that office. He was elected Surveyor of Anderson County in the fall of 1881.

W. H. STEIN, carpenter and builder, was born in Lehigh County, Pa., in October 1838, and reared on a farm in Pickaway County, Ohio. In 1866 he began work as a carpenter and in 1868 he emigrated to Garnett, Kan., where he has since conducted business as a carpenter and builder. In March, 1882 he built a shop which has machinery run by steam-power for wood-turning, scroll-sawing, rip-sawing, planing, etc. He also manufactures a wash-machine, which he patented April 16, 1878. Mr. Stein has a residence property of twenty-two acres east of Garnett which he has improved and set out in all kinds of fruit-trees, grapevines, berries, etc., making his place one of the best producing fruit-farms in this locality.

R. T. STOKES, undertaker and dealer in furniture, carpets, etc., was born in Putnam County, Ind., in 1840, and eight years later his parents emigrated to McDonough County, Ill., where he was reared on a farm. In August 1861 he enlisted in Company B, Tenth Missouri Infantry. One year later he was promoted to the Quartermaster's Department, and in October 1863 he was made Quartermaster of his regiment, serving in that capacity until September 1864. In August 1865 he came to Kansas and was employed as a clerk in the United States Commissary Department at Leavenworth. In the following spring he went to St. Louis, Mo., where he was employed as a traveling salesman. Returning to Kansas in March 1869, he located at Garnett. He established an implement business and carried it on for twelve years. In 1879 he purchased an interest in Garnett Mills. In October 1880 he bought out his partners, conducting the mills alone until October 1881, when he sold out and went to Kansas City, where he was employed as a traveling salesman. Returning to Garnett in 1882, he embarked in his present business. He has the leading trade in this line in Garnett, to supply the demands of which he carries a large stock of goods.

HON. ISCO P. SUTTON, was born in Osage County, Mo., in 1844. In June 1855 his father, James Sutton, emigrated to Anderson County, Kan., and located in Walker Township. The subject of this sketch assisted him in farming. On March 19, 1865, he enlisted in Company L, Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry, and served eighteen months, after which he gave his attention to farming in Sutton Valley, Anderson County, where he still owns a farm of 165 acres. In January 1878 he removed his place of residence to Garnett, and in February 1881 became associated with Geo. L. Putnam in livery business, and is still a partner in this concern. He was elected Sheriff of Anderson County in 1877, and re-elected in 1879. In the fall of 1882 he was elected Representative on the Greenback ticket from Anderson County.

WILLIAM WAGSTAFF, merchant, was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, May 22, 1834. He learned the trade of harness-maker at Uhrichsville and followed that occupation for several years. At the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion he enlisted in Company I, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was elected Second Lieutenant. On April 22, 1863, he was promoted First Lieutenant and made Captain of Company F in February 1863, serving until mustered out February 15, 1865. Returning to Uhrichsville, he carried on a grocery business for several years. In 1871 he came to Kansas, resided one summer in Bourbon County and came to Anderson County in 1872. He located in Rich Township and carried on a farm of eighty acres for two years; then in the same capacity in Jackson Township. He located in Garnett in August 1876 and established his present business with a stock of $800. He has built up a nice trade and now carries a thoroughly assorted stock of clothing, hats and caps, boots and shoes, etc., worth $5,000 or more.

M. L. WHITE, dealer in groceries and queensware, was born in Stark County, Ill., November 27, 1846, and came to Anderson County, Kan., with his father, James E. White, in May 1857. He assisted him on the farm in Walker Township until 1867, when he came to Garnett. For four years he was employed as a clerk in the mercantile business, after which he engaged in this business in the firm of Meeker & White. This firm dissolved in 1874, and Mr. White embarked in the grain business, buying and shipping. This he ceased in September 1876, and once more embarked in groceries, queensware, etc. He started with a stock of about $600. His trade has increased and he now carries a fine stock of about $3,500. He is well known throughout the county and is popular.

DR. JAMES H. WHITFORD was born at Circleville, Pickaway Co., Ohio, in April 1822, and for some years assisted his father in wool-carding mills. After reaching the age of manhood he was for a time engaged in contracting for and in the construction of public works through Ohio and Virginia. In 1852 he went to California, where for two years he followed gold-mining. In 1856 he began the study of medicine, attended Starling Medical College, Ohio, and graduated in the class of 1858. He then practiced his profession at Royalton, Ohio, for three years. In August 1861 he was appointed Assistant Surgeon to the Thirty-sixth Ohio Infantry, and was commissioned Surgeon in March 1862, which position he filled until July 29, 1865. After the battle of Antietam he acted as Brigade Surgeon. After the battle of Chickamauga he acted as Medical Director of the Fourth Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, and was for some months Medical Director of the Wheeling district. After the war he practiced at Circleville. The Doctor came to Garnett in May 1867, and has since followed the practice of his profession in this locality.

JOHN STUART WHITFORD, County Attorney, was born at Circleville, Ohio, December 20, 1852 and came with his father, Dr. J. H. Whitford, to Anderson County, in May, 1867. He attended school at Garnett for a year, and assisted his father on his farm in Jackson Township, where he resided up to 1875. During the school terms of 1874-75, and 1876, he taught district school. In 1874, he began the study of law with Judge A. Bergen. In 1876 he went to the State University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and graduated in the class on 1878. He was admitted to the bar at Garnett in September, 1878, and was associated in the practice of law with A. Bergen until the judge removed to Topeka, in October, 1882. Mr. Whitford was elected County Attorney of Anderson County in the fall of 1880.

J. R. WHITNEY, dealer in drugs, wall-paper, etc., was born in Essex County, N. Y., in 1847. He was educated there and at the Middlebury Academy, Vermont. He came to Kansas in April, 1868, located in Lawrence, and was employed in the drug store of B. W. Woodward. In 1870 he came to Garnett and worked in the branch store of Mr. Woodward at this place for some time. He was then in the employ of W. R. Judson, dealer in drugs, for about three years. In 1875, he embarked in the drug business on his own account. He had very little means--about $50--but has by energy and close application to business, accumulated quite a little property, and built an extensive trade. He owns his brick store, dwelling-house, and has some $4,000 in stock and fixtures. He has been Clerk of Monroe Township, which includes the city of Garnett, for the past four years, and is a prominent member of the I. O. O. F.

GEORGE E. WITTICH, retired merchant, was born in Circleville, Pickaway Co., Ohio, where he followed mercantile business as a clerk. In the spring of 1870, he came to Garnett, and at once established a grocery business in company with M. A. Crouse, under the style of Crouse & Wittich, in the same year, Isaac Knouff was taken in and the firm name changed to Knouff, Wittich & Co., which was dissolved in the spring of 1871, at which time George E. Wittich bought Henry Moler's stock of general merchandise, taking in M. A. Crouse, under style of Wittich & Crouse. This firm built up a large and lucrative business which they disposed of in August, 1882, to Pollard & Pierce. Mr. Wittich has considerable real estate in Kansas City, and gives the greater portion of his time to the management of the same in connection with his mining interests in Colorado, where he is interested in several different mines. He is also a stockholder in the Clay County Cattle Company, Texas, which concern has 15,000 acres of land, and over 6,000 head of cattle. He served one term in the City Council.

J. D. WOODWORTH, retired merchant, was born in Greene County, N. Y., September 13, 1835, and reared in Chautauqua County. In 1856, he emigrated to Hancock, Ill. For three years he was employed as a clerk in mercantile business, then he engaged in the dry goods business, which he continued to conduct until he sold out and came to Garnett, in September, 1873. He brought a portion of his stock with him, and was for several months engaged in the disposal of the same. In 1874, he embarked in the lumber business. In the fall of 1876 he purchased a hardware stock, and conducted both businesses alone, up to the spring of 1878, when he admitted to a partnership, C. F. Henson. In August, 1882, he sold out his interest in both businesses, and to some extent is now engaged in dealing in real estate. He was appointed a County Commissioner in 1876, and elected in 1877. He was elected Mayor of Garnett in the spring of 1881, and re-elected in 1882. Mr. Woodworth is one of the leading, enterprising citizens of Garnett.

JOHN C. WOOSTER, fruit grower, Section 30, P. O. Garnett, was born in New Haven County, Conn., in 1824, and nineteen years later removed to Wood County, Ohio. He engaged in agricultural pursuits, accumulated a section of land and cultivated 400 acres of it, besides growing large quantities of fruit. In 1850 he sold his farm and moved to Bowling Green, the county seat, where for five years he conducted a hotel, afterward followed agricultural pursuits. In the fall of 1862, he was elected Treasurer of the county and served two years. He then returned to New Haven County, Conn., and purchased 200 acres of land, and again followed farming. Mr. Wooster came to Anderson County, Kan., in November, 1873, and engaged in the manufacture of cheese, at Garnett, but only continued that enterprise for a few months. In March, 1874, he purchased his present property, consisting of about seven acres, near the city of Garnett. This he has improved and set out in fruit trees, etc. He has 400 trees of various kinds of fruit, one acre in grapevines, and large quantities of all kinds of berries.

JOSEPH H. WRIGHT, grocer, was born in Warren County, Mo., October 20, 1839, and educated in St. Louis. In 1849, his parents moved to Osage County, Mo., where he was reared on a farm. He came to Anderson County, Kan., in the spring of 1860, and farmed in Monroe Township, until 1878. In February of that year he came to Garnett, and established his present business. He carries a nice stock of about $800. During the Rebellion Mr. Wright served in Company B, Tenth Kansas Militia.


Greeley is one of the oldest towns in Anderson County, and is situated in Walker Township, in the northeastern part of the county, and on Section 30, Township 19, Range 21 east. The location is a pleasant and favorable one, on the east bank of the Pottawatomie River.

The population of the town is about 400. Almost all branches of business are represented, and with a trade extending far out into a country well settled by a thrifty class of farmers and stock-raisers, the business interests receive a liberal support.

The railroad communications are by the Arizona division of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Since its building in the fall of 1879, the shipping interests of Greeley have developed very rapidly, it now being the best point between Paola and Garnett.


The first settlement where Greeley now is, was in May 1854, when two young men, Valentine Gerth and Francis Myer, came with an ox-team and a few horses and cattle, and pitched their tent on the present town site. It was then an Indian field and had just been left by the Indians. After planting and raising the crop, they during the following October built a log cabin on the bank of the river near where the bridge now is. For the next two years the principal settlements of the county were made in the same neighborhood.

The town site of Greeley was selected in the spring of 1856, but was not surveyed and laid out until 7, 1857. On November 21, 1857, Jacob Benjamin, August Bondi, and Fred. Weimer, associates of the Greeley Town Company, filed their plat of the town and petition in the office of the Probate Judge, and on the fourteenth day of the following October it was pre-empted by George Wilson, the Probate Judge, for the benefit of the occupants of the town site.

In the spring of 1857 several buildings were erected and business was lively. The houses were generally built of logs, until a saw-mill could be erected, and timbers sawed. The first store was opened in the spring, by B. F. Smith. A post-office was established about that same time, but as the town was named in honor of Horace Greeley, to whom the Administration was not friendly, the office was named Walker, after Governor R. J. Walker, for whom the township was named the same year. Jacob Benjamin was appointed postmaster. A mail-route was established from Osawatomie to Neosho City, via Walker and Hyatt. In the spring of 1858 the Greeley Town Company built a saw and grist-mill, which was operated for several years afterward.

The town of Mt. Gilead having started up, the post-office was removed to that place in 1858, and soon almost all there was of Greeley was moved over to the new town. For some years Mount Gilead took the lead, but it finally died out, having many disadvantages to contend with, and the post-office was moved back to Greeley, since which time that has been the only village in the township, though for many years its population was less than one hundred.

The first marriage in the vicinity was in 1856, and was that of Oliver P. Rand and Patsy Sutton. This was the first marriage in the county.

The first school taught in the neighborhood was by T. Wadsworth, in a cabin on the claim of M. E. Mitchell. This was the first school in the county and was taught for a term of three months, beginning in November, 1856. There were twelve pupils in attendance, some coming from a distance of five miles from the schoolhouse. The salary paid the teacher was $30 per month, with free board among the pupils. The next fall and winter a four months' term was taught in the same cabin by Allen Jaqua, with an average attendance of twenty pupils.

Until after the close of the War of the Rebellion in 1865, Greeley was but a very small village, with a store, post-office, blacksmith-shop, and a few other buildings. About the above date some improvement began and continued slowly until 1874, when it again came to a stand-still, owing to a failure of crops, incident to the grasshopper raid. After one or two dull years the village again began to improve, though not very fast until the railroad was built in 1879. At that time it was a prosperous country town and has ever since improved steadily, until it is now on of the most thriving towns in the county, and is a shipping point of considerable importance.


Greeley was incorporated as a city of the third class, and the first election held July 5, 1881. The officers elected at that time were: Clark Decker, Mayor; D. W. Smith, Police Judge; J. E. Calvert, J. K. Gardner, A. D. McFadden, A. Kincaid, and A. J. Frank, Councilmen. In April, 1882, the first regular election was held and resulted as follows: Clark Decker, Mayor; A. B. Benson, Police Judge; S. F. Stowe, Clerk; Chris. Bouck, Marshal; T. Z. Stevenson, Treasurer; A. Kincaid, W. Frank, J. E. Calvert, T. Z. Stevenson, and W. G. Roth, Councilmen.

As soon as the country was settled schools were established by the enterprising and intelligent settlers. This was one of the first school districts formed and has always had a good school. The present house is rather small, but it is expected a new one will soon be built. The school has now two departments. The teachers are A. D. McFadden and Belle Judy.

The only newspaper published in the town is The Greeley News, which was established June 9, 1881, by Major Samuel E. Rankin. In October, 1881, Rev. S. W. Gilkey became editor and proprietor. In April, 1882, J. H. Gilkey became a partner, and it is now published under the firm name of S. W. & J. H. Gilkey. It is a weekly newspaper, independent in politics, and in size an eight column folio.

The United Brethren in Christ.--As early as the year 1859, W. H. McClure, B. D. Edwards, Henry Hamler, and others began making arrangements for the building of a house of worship for the above named denomination. In 1860, the building of this church was commenced. It was soon enclosed but was not finished for several years. This was the second church edifice in the county. A Union Sabbath-school was organized at the church in the spring of 1860, with W. H. McClure, superintendent, and with about thirty attendants. In 1874, it became a United Brethren school, with L. Champe, superintendent. The church society has always been in a prosperous condition. The present membership is thirty-five. Rev. William Strope is pastor.

The Methodist Episcopal Church.--A society was organized by this denomination, soon after the settlement of the country, and services held at the homes of the different members of the congregation. In the spring of 1857, a Methodist Sabbath-school was organized by W. C. McDow, at his claim near Greeley. This was the first Sabbath-school in the county, and was well-attended. In the summer another Sabbath school was organized in Sutton Valley with R. Robinson, superintendent. The church society now has about seventy members, and Rev. N. P. Teddrick is pastor. Arrangements are now being made to erect a house of worship.

The United Presbyterian Church.--This church society was organized March 25, 1880, with twenty-one members. The Trustees then were: R. H. Calvert, T. L. Calvert, Jas. W. Lyon, G. G. McFadden, and W. C. Calvert, Sr. The church was built in the summer of 1880, at a cost of $1,300. The society is in a prosperous condition. The pastor Rev. S. W. Gilkey, assumed charge in July, 1881, and became settled pastor in July, 1882.

The Catholic Church.--Church services are held here by the Roman Catholics, but they have no place of worship.

Greeley Lodge, A. F. & A. M.--This lodge was instituted under dispensation, on March 27, 1882. The officers were J. D. Wait, W. M.; Clark Decker, S. W.; L. U. Harrison, J. W.; J. M. DeBall, Sec.; Jesse N. Sutton, Treas.; Henry Boucher, S. D.; S. F. Stowe, J. D.; T. Z. Stevenson, T.; Samuel Rankin, T. The other members were: John Weaver, J. F. King, J. G. Reese, J. Griffith, and J. A. Poyer. The lodge now numbers sixteen members, and starts out with good prospects.

Knights of Pythias, Greeley Lodge, No. 55.--This lodge was instituted September 4, 1882. The first officers were: Robert Sutherland, P. C.; A. B. Benson, C. C.; John Weaver, V. C.; John Villhard, M. of F.; R. G. Blunt, M. of E.; George Holley, K. of R. & S.; E. R. Stevenson, M. at A.; J. H. Asher, I. G.; and W. E. Carpenter, O. G. The other members were: V. M. Benson, J. S. Goodrich, John Glaze, M. Stanley, James Sutton, G. Sutton, S. Latham, C. Bouck, Thomas Cattle and Arthur McCoy.

United Order Ancient Templars, Greeley Temple, No. 2.--This temple was instituted in June, 1880, with twenty-one members. Following are the names of the officers: U. S. Hickman, P. T.; J. H. Asher, T.; Jennie McFadden, V. T.; Mrs. E. Benson, L.; H. Walker, Rec.; John Ranzenberger, F.; John Watt, Treas.; D. McFadden, Mar.; Ella McFadden, I. G.; Robert Wood, O. G. The present membership is about the same as on its organization. Though not increasing in numbers, it is in a prosperous condition.

In the spring of 1858, a saw and grist-mill was built by the Greeley Town Company, which after being operated several years was abandoned. In 1867, another mill was built by Robinson & McLaughlin, which for several years did a good business. The present Greeley Mills are located in the western part of the town and are owned and operated by Clark Decker. The mill was commenced in 1874, by Chris Bouck, who, lacking means to complete it, in the fall of 1875, associated with himself J. K. Gardner and John Weaver of Albany, N. Y., and the building was soon completed. After being operated until 1877, by the above firm, it was purchased by the present proprietor, Clark Decker. The mill is built of stone, and is valued at $13,000. It contains four run of burrs, and is operated by an engine of forty horse-power. Its average grinding capacity is twenty barrels of flour, and 10,000 pounds of meal and feed per day.

[TOC] [part 7] [part 5] [Cutler's History]