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: Border Troubles, Part 1
PART 3: Border Troubles, Part 2
PART 4: Border Troubles, Part 3 | Bourbon County In The Civil War
PART 5: County Organization | School And Other Statistics | Railroad History | Fort Scott, Part 1
PART 6: Fort Scott, Part 2
PART 7: Fort Scott, Part 3
PART 8: Biographical Sketches (Ahrens - Burge)
PART 9: Biographical Sketches (Campbell - End)
PART 10: Biographical Sketches (Ferree - Henry)
PART 11: Biographical Sketches (Hepler - Lotterer)
PART 12: Biographical Sketches (Mcbreed - Oulds)
PART 13: Biographical Sketches (Padgett - Prichard)
PART 14: Biographical Sketches (Radell - Shinn)
PART 15: Biographical Sketches (Smith - Ury)
PART 16: Biographical Sketches (Van Fossen - York)
PART 17: Marmaton | Uniontown
PART 18: Bronson
PART 19: Pawnee | Hiattville
PART 20: Memphis | Rockford
PART 21: Barnesville
PART 22: Fulton
PART 23: Mapleton
PART 24: Other Towns


Bourbon County borders on Missouri, and is in the third tier of Counties from the Indian Territory. The northern boundary of the county is three miles north of the 38th parallel of north latitude. It is bounded as follows: On the north by Linn County; on the east by Missouri; on the South by Crawford County and on the West by Neosho and Allen Counties. By the "Bogus Laws," its limits were defined as follows: beginning at the southeast corner of Linn County, thence south thirty miles; thence west twenty-four miles; thence north thirty miles; thence east twenty-four miles to the place of beginning. Within these limits were contained 720 square miles or 460,800 acres.

On February 3, 1867, an act was approved which fixed the boundaries as follows: "Beginning at the southeast corner of Linn County; thence south on the east line of the State of Kansas to the southeast corner of Section 24, Township 27, Range 25; thence west to the southwest corner of Section 23, township 27, Range 21; thence North to the southwest corner of Linn County; thence east to the place of beginning." By this act the extent of the county from north to south was decreased to twenty-five miles, and increased from east to west to about twenty-five and a quarter miles north of the fifth parallel and to about twenty-five and three-quarters south of said parallel, and the area reduced to about 406,000 acres.

The county was named Bourbon, after Bourbon County, Ky. This latter county was organized, with eight others in 1785, by the Virginia Legislature, before Kentucky became a State, and named in honor of the Bourbon family of France, a prince of which family was at that time on the throne, and who had rendered valuable aid in men and money to the American colonies in their struggle for independence.

The general surface of the county is undulating, the highest hills being situated in the northwest part and being about 200 feet above the level of the Marmaton. The bottom lands average about one mile in width, and comprise seventeen per cent of the area of the county, the upland comprising eighty-three per cent. The native forests comprise ten per cent of the area; open prairie ninety-per cent. The timber belts average one-half mile in width, and contain, as principal varieties, hackberry, hickory, oak, pecan, and walnut. But little attention has as yet been paid to forestry, but the disposition to plant trees is being manifested. The varieties planted are the ash, catalpa, cottonwood, elm, hickory, hard and soft maple, poplar, walnut, and willow, all of which do well. Bourbon is also an excellent county for the different varieties of grasses. The soil is deep and fertile, and is underlaid by limestone and sandstone at various depths all over the county. Fire clay abounds and pottery clay is occcasionally found, also hydraulic cement, yellow ocher and other mineral paints, which however exist only in limited quantities. An extensive quarry of fine flagging stone is found about five miles west of Fort Scott. This stone exists in layers from two to five inches in thickness, is known as the Fort Scott stone, and is shipped in all directions and as far eastward as St. Louis. Two qualities of bituminous coal are found, a red quality and a black or gas coal. The most of the county is probably underlaid at depths varying from one to fifty feet, and in veins from one to five feet in thickness. One and a half miles up the Marmaton from Fort Scott is a natural gas well from which escapes about 2,000 cubic feet of gas per day. The well was bored in 1870, and a company formed with the view of supplying Fort Scott with gas from this well, but in reaming out the well, the reamer was broken in the well either by accident or design, and the larger portion of the flow cut off.

The principal streams are the little Osage and the Marmaton. The former flows from west to east near the northern boundary of the county, and has numerous small tributaries from either side, and the main one being Limestone Creek, in the northwestern part of the county, flowing northeasterly. The Marmaton flows from the west to east through the central portions of the county, and has numerous tributaries--the main ones from the north being Turkey and Mill Creeks, and from the south Yellow Paint Creek. Pawnee Creek is a tributary of Yellow Paint and flows north. Dry Wood Creek is in the southeastern part of the county, flows eastward, and has as branches Walnut and Richland Creeks. Numerous springs are found and good well water at a depth of from ten to forty feet.



                                      |  1870.  |  1880.
Drywood Township..................... |  1,199  |  1,497
Fort Scott (city).................... |  4,174  |  5,372
Franklin Township.................... |  1,207  |  1,538
Freedom Township..................... |    815  |  1,159
Marion Township...................... |  1,182  |  1,811
Marmaton Township.................... |    904  |  1,071
Mill Creek Township.................. |    859  |    894
Osage Township....................... |  1,053  |  1,234
Pawnee Township...................... |    630  |    800
Scott Township....................... |  1,729  |  2,316
Timber Hill Township................. |  1,035  |  1,211
Walnut Township...................... |    289  |    688
          Total...................... | 15,076  | 19,591


In the year 1837, a plan for the defense of the Western frontier was proposed by Charles Gratiot, and published by the Secretary of War. Fort Scott was recommended as a military post. In 1842, Capt. Benjamin Moore of the First Dragoons, and Dr. Mott, Assistant Surgeon U. S. A. were appointed a commission to select a military post to guard Missouri and the frontier, against the depredations of the Osage Indians. This commission was ordered West by Gen. Zachariah Taylor, from Fort Wayne, I. T., under escort of Lieut. John Hamilton and nineteen men, leaving there April 1, 1842.

They at first selected a suitable place at the mouth of Shoal Creek, on Spring River, fifty-five miles south of Fort Scott. The proprietor of the land, John Rogers, a Cherokee Indian--asked $4,000 for the site selected; but the officers had been instructed not to pay over $1,000, hence the Rogers' site had to be abandoned. Proceeding northwestward, they at length arrived at the Marmaton, in Missouri, and camped near the farm of Col. Douglas. The next morning in company with Col. Douglas and Squire Redfield, they visited the present site of Fort Scott. Being satisfied with the location, and the land belonging to the Government, they decided to locate there. Lieut. John Hamilton with his party was left in charge, and immediately proceeded to erect temporary quarters for his command. This was on the 9th of April, 1842. These temporary quarters consisted of a one-story log building, daubed with mud, and without a floor. Capt. Moore returned on the 10th of June, with two companies of the First Dragoons, assumed and held command until the arrival of Maj. William M. Graham, who arrived with two companies of the Sixth United States Infantry, when the latter took command, with Capt. Swords for quartermaster, Rev. Mr. Clarkson, Chaplain, and John A. Bugg, sutler. Mr. Bugg was also Postmaster, and so remained until 1849, when he was succeeded by Col. H. T. Wilson. Within a year from the establishment of the post, its name was changed from Camp Scott to Fort Scott. The first mill in the county was erected by the Government, on Mill Creek, about two and a half miles west of Fort Scott. The lumber for the construction of the Government buildings was sawed at this Mill. These buildings when completed were said to be the finest quarters in the army. They were erected at a cost of upward of $200,000. There was no other military post anywhere near Fort Scott. Fort Gibson was 160 miles southwest, on the Arkansas, and Fort Leavenworth on the Missouri, 140 miles north.

Col. H. T. Wilson who had been in the sutler's department at Fort Gibson for nine years, came to Fort Scott in September, 1843. He purchased of John A. Bugg an interest in the sutlership, and in 1849 purchased the remaining interest and became Postmaster as well as post sutler. Col. Wilson was the first white civilian settler in the county, and still lives in Fort Scott, an honored citizen.

No military reserve was secured here by the Government, hence when a few years later it was decided by the authorities at Washington to abandon the post, the buildings were offered for sale "without land." In 1853, all the movable property was sold, and in May, 1855, the buildings were advertised for sale. When Maj. Howe came down with his auctioneer to sell the buildings, Col. Wilson, by permission, read a protest to the sale; claiming the land upon which the buildings stood, as a preemption; but despite the protest the sale proceeded. But as there were only a few persons who desired to buy such large buildings without the land, there were very few bidders, and but a small amount was realized from the sale. The improvements that had cost upward of $200,000, sold for less than $5,000. Col. Wilson bought the large, double, two story house, in which he still resides, for $300, selling one-half of it immediately for $150. During the residence of the military, but little was done toward building up a town, and but little military service was required of the soldiers. Social pleasures, trading with the Indians, fishing in the Marmaton and its branches, and hunting turkey and deer comprised the round of duties and daily life from 1842 until 1854.

In this latter year, the Territory of Kansas was organized, and settlers began to enter what is now Bourbon County. Among the earliest of these, whose names are now ascertainable, were the following: In 1854, Nathan L. Arnett, in Marmaton Township, and Gideon Terrell, William and Philander Moore, in Pawnee Township; in 1855, Guy Hinton, in Walnut; Cowan Mitchell, James Guthrie, John and Robert Wells, and David T. Ralston, in Marion; in 1856, John Van Syckle, Samuel Stephenson, and Charles Anderson in Franklin; D. D. Roberts and Joseph Ray, in Freedom; H. R. Kelso, A. Ward and Col. Bullock, in Scott; Ephraim Kepley, the Stewarts, Bowers and Halls, in Mill Creek; Gabriel Endicott, David Claypool and others in Drywood. David Endicott assisted the Government in the survey of the neutral lands, and Edward Jones, one of the earliest settlers in Marmaton Township, built the first saw mill in the county, except the one built by the Government, already mentioned. Mr. Jones' mill was erected in 1856, on the Marmaton, near the present site of Marmaton Village. At first it was only a saw mill, but later a grist mill was attached. In Timber Hill Township, the earliest settlers were T. K. and T. B. Julian, father and son, June 4, 1854; F. D. Myrick, in November, 1854; and M. E. Hudson, in 1855.

The first marriage in Mill Creek Township was that of William R. Morgan to Miss Elizabeth Bollinger, June 15, 1856; in Marmaton Township, C. F. Rucker to Miss Ellen M. Chambers, October 16, 1856. The first birth in Marmaton Township was that of Henry C. Painter,
March 15, 1855.


The following bill of sale is the first of the kind on the records of Bourbon County:

"Know all men by these presents that we, James M. Rucker and Minta E. Rucker, of the State of Illinois, Macon County, for and in consideration of $500 to them in hand paid by Wiley Patterson, of the county of Bourbon, Kansas Territory, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do by these presents, bargain, sell, transfer, assign and deliver unto the said Wiley Patterson, his executors, administrators and assigns, a negro woman slave, called and known by the name of Lucinda, now at the age of thirty-six years, of a yellow complexion, rather slender made, about or a little above "(medium height?)" together with all our right, title and interest in and to the said negro woman slave, to have and to hold the said negro slave above bargained and sold, or intended so to be sold to the said Wiley Patterson; and the said James M. Rucker and Minta E. Rucker, for themselves, their heirs, executors and administrators do hereby covenant to and with the said Wiley Patterson, his executors, administrators and assigns, that said negro woman is a slave for life, and that she is perfectly sound both in body and mind.

"In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals this 8th day of August, 1857.

James M. Rucker,
"Minta E. Rucker,
"William Wasson, Attorney.

"Witness: C. B. Wingfield,
J. D. Wingfield,

"Recorded this 10th day of August, 1857.

"James J. Farley,
"Clerk and Ex Officio Recorder."

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