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


[TOC] [part 18] [part 16] [Cutler's History]


There have been three town sites by this name, with a slight variation in the spelling, and two towns or villages. The first Marmaton was located on Section 33, Township 25, Range 24. A town company was organized and incorporated by the Legislature, by an act approved February 6, 1858, the incorporators named in the act being William R. Griffith, W. B. Barber, William H. Krotzer, Horatio Knowles and their associates. The town company was permitted by this act to pre-empt land not to exceed 320 acres.

A town company under the name of Marmiton was incorporated by an act of the Legislature, which act was approved February 11, 1858. This town was located on Section 31, Township 25, Range 24, about three miles west of Marmaton. The incorporators named in statute were: T. R. Roberts, James E. Jones, Orlando Darling, Charles Dimon and their associates and successors. This spelling of the name Marmiton is found frequently in the county records, and was the favorite method of spelling it of James E. Jones, a somewhat noted editor of those days. The town site consisted of 320 acres. The first building erected on it was for a store by the town company, and the second building was built also by the town company for a hotel. It was a large three-story frame structure now standing near the railroad station of Marmaton on the St. Louis, Ft. Scott & Wichita Railroad. The first general store was opened at Marmiton by Horatio Knowles, in 1858. The firm became Aiken & Knowles during the year, and in 1859, Edward Jones opened a store. The first school was taught by Miss Frances Barrett. Horatio Knowles built the first dwelling house on the town site in 1858. During the winter of 1858-59, about twelve other buildings were erected, and by 1860, the town contained a population of seventy-five persons. In 1860 or 1861, a flouring mill was built within the limits of the town site. In 1862, the town probably reached its greatest prosperity, at which time it contained a cabinet shop, two blacksmith shops, a furniture store, and a three-story store building containing $14,000 worth of goods.

The town was sacked and burned by rebels October 22, 1864, during the time of the Price raid, but not by Price's men. These raiders were from Newton County, Mo., about eighty in number and under command of Maj. Courcey. At this time there were burned two stores, one dwelling house and the Methodist Church. The store building of Cobb & Jones, valued at $1,500, was consumed together with $13,500 worth of goods. The store building of Aiken & Jones, worth $1,500, containing $15,000 worth of goods was also burned. The house burned belonged to Mrs. Shane, widow of a Union lieutenant of the Tenth Kansas Regiment. It was worth $500, and the church $800, making a total loss of property amounting to $32,800.

Ten citizens of Marmiton were taken prisoners by the rebels, marched out about one-half a mile, arranged in a row and fired upon. Six were killed, the rest escaping by running into the woods. The killed were Horatio Knowles, Joseph Stout, Daniel M. Brown, Abner McGonigal, Dr. L. M. Shadwick, and Warren Hawkins. Abner McGonigal was a mere boy, Mr. Hawkins sixty years old, and Mr. Brown was Postmaster at the time. The murder of these men was utterly ruthless and inexcusable, except it can be excused on the ground that they favored the Union cause, and had it occurred in time of peace and instead of time of war, when human life is considered of little value, this Marmiton massacre was have been considered equally atrocious and would have caused as great a sensation as did that of the Marais des Cygnes. Some of the survivors who had not before known fear, were so affected by its atrocity that now even after the lapse of eighteen years, they have not recovered from the shock.

In 1882, after the building of the St. Louis, Ft. Scott & Wichita railroad, which passed about three-fourths of a mile north of Marmiton, it was abandoned, the buildings being moved to the railroad. The buildings moved consisted of the hotel, two stores, four dwellings and schoolhouse. The new town site consists of thirty-four acres, and was platted and filed November 18, 1882, by Francis Tiernam, President of the railroad. Edward Jones is Postmaster, having served in that capacity continuously since his first appointment in 1857, at Marmiton, except about a year, during which time the office was filled by Daniel M. Brown. In the spring of 1882, by petition of the citizens, the spelling of the name was changed back to the original spelling, Marmaton. At the present time the town contains about twenty-five inhabitants.


A. J. BROWN, M. D., farmer, is a native of Fremont, Sandusky Co., Ohio, born in 1847. Here he was raised and educated, attending the city high school, also the schools of Ann Arbor, Mich., Hudson, Ohio, and the University of Michigan, graduating in medicine in the Charity Hospital of Cleveland, Ohio, 1868. He commenced to practice in his old home at Fremont, Ohio. In 1866, his health failed, and he went to Salt Lake, and returned home only to come to Kansas in 1869, stopping in Fort Scott a few months, but buying a home on his present location. Here he attends to his practice and farm, dealing in stock and raising grain, now owning some 160 acres of improved land. In 1870, he married Miss White. They have three children, two girls and one boy, having lost two. Dr. Brown has held offices and joined the Masonic Order when he was in Fremont. He is a Democrat in politics.

O C. BENDER, M. D., is a native of Overton County, Tenn., born in 1836. His father, who was a leading physician and native of Maryland, moved to Dade County, Mo., in 1842, and here O. C. was educated and received his first lessons in medicine. He also attended the High School of Fidelity, Jasper County, and then took a course of lectures in McDowell's College in St. Louis, Mo. The war breaking out he continued his studies by entering the Sixth Missouri Cavalry in 1862, but was displaced on account of order from the War Department returning Brigade Surgeon to regiment. And in 1864 was surgeon in the Sixth Kansas Militia; after the war he took the final course of lectures and graduated in 1866 from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. The Doctor had moved to Kansas as early as the winter of 1855-56, locating on Mine Creek near Pleasanton. In 1863 he opened an office in Mound City, Linn County, and practiced until 1869, then moving to Fort Scott practiced until 1875, when he moved to his farm where he now lives, having a beautiful home and well improved farm, where he gives his attention to farming, horticulture and medicine. While in Mound City he married Miss Lowe; they have a family of four girls and one boy.

T. B. DARK, farmer, is a native of Schuyler County, Ill., born in 1842. His father died in 1852, and in 1857, the family moved to Kansas locating on what is known as the Nelson farm; there were five brothers and four sisters. When Mr. Dark was eighteen years of age he took a claim where the Crane farm now is, but abandoned it and took a timber claim in Marmaton Township, but when the war broke out he sold and went to Fort Smith, Ark., and went into the livery business. Returning to Kansas in 1868, and buying 160 acres where he now lives, he settled down in his farming enterprise. He handles about eighty head of cattle a year, and raises grain in abundance. In 1867 he married Miss Van Syckle; they have five children.

ALVAN DODGE, M. D., and farmer is a native of Buffalo, Erie Co., N. Y., born in 1840. In 1859 he commenced reading medicine with Dr. Campbell, of Mount Morris, Livingston County, attending the Michigan University in 1861, and graduated from the New York City College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1865. From there he entered the United States Navy as Acting Assistant Surgeon. He resigned his position there and next opened practice in Hannibal, Mo. He then returned to Erie County, N. Y., and went to practicing which he continued until 1880, when he came to Bourbon County, Kan., locating on his farm where is now located the village-site of Marmaton, taking forty acres from the quarter section. Besides his practice he is tending a fine farm, using the most progressive ideas and going into thoroughbred horses, and having improvements to the amount of $5,000 on the home farm. In 1877 he married, now living on one of the finest places in Marmaton Township.

FAHS & STOWER, merchants, Redfield, established in 1882, putting up their building in April, 20x40, and in August opening with a stock of $4,500 in general merchandise. In connection with the store they farm and buy, sell stock and deal in coal, grain and lumber, G. W. Fahs taking the Express Agency and the station for the Fort Scott & Wichita Railroad. Mr. Fahs is a native of Illinois, and raised on a farm, marrying in Quincy, Ill., Miss Harris. When the war broke out he enlisted in the Fiftieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, but was transferred to the Forty-fourth United States Regulars, as Quartermaster. While Mr. Fahs was in Missouri, he was appointed Deputy United States Marshall. (sic) In 1876 he came to Kansas and went to farming, but his wife died in 1880 and he has been trading up to the time he entered his present business. His family consists of two boys. In 1882 he was elected Justice of Peace.

MRS. J. A. GRIFFIN, residence on Section 10, Township 26, Range 23, native of West Virginia, the widow of the late Senator W. R. Griffin, who was a native of Pennsylvania. With his family he came to Kansas in 1868, and bought the farm on which his widow and younger children now reside; was a consistant (sic) member of the Mount Orum Baptist Church, taking an active part in religious, social and political matters of the State. Engaged while in Kansas in stock raising and farming, during which time he held numerous minor offices, and in 1876 was elected to the State Senate for a term of four years as a Republican, which colors he always bore, serving one term, closing a life of noble deeds and usefulness August 14, 1879, leaving his wife and family, consisting of seven sons and two daughters, a competency as the result of his own efforts. The eldest son, Dr. U. M. Griffin, is now a practicing physician of note in Girard, Kan., while the second and third sons, D. B. and L. W., are now in college studying for the profession. The older daughter, Lizzie F., is known as one of Bourbon County's educators. The younger daughter and sons are with Mrs. Griffin on the farm, which consists of 300 acres well stocked and improved.

J. S. JUDD, farmer, Section 30, is a native of Grant County, Wis., born in 1837. He was raised on a farm, and after trying the agricultural line, he entered a mercantile establishment, soon buying an interest in the business. When the war broke out, he enlisted in the Ninty-fifth (sic) Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company I, and served as First Lieutenant. In 1864, we find him in the Thirty-seventh Illinois, in command of Fort Montgomery, at Brownsville, Texas. He was mustered out in 1865. Returning to Illinois, he located at Whitehall, where he had gone in 1858, going into the mercantile line. He continued at this till 1875, when he went to work as excursion agent on the M. K. & T. R. R., and afterward over the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf R. R. In 1881, he located on his present home farm, where he has improved and developed the natural resources of the land, solving in most satisfactory manner the question of "tame grasses in Kansas." He has married twice, once in 1858, and the last time in 1870. His first wife was the daughter of William McColtish, the last the daughter of Dr. Culver. While in Whitehall he was Mayor of the city, and did good temperance work there. His family attend the M. E. Church. Mr. Judd in politics is a Republican.

J. R. McBAY, farmer, Postmaster of Redfield, is a native of Dauphin County, Penn., was born in 1819, and remained in Pennsylvania until 1856, when he went to Illinois, and came from Illinois to Kansas. In the year 1868, he was in Linn County a few days and then located in Bourbon County, Kansas. He bought a farm on Section 27, in December, 1868. Continues farming in the same place, and in May, 1882, took charge of the post office. This office was established in 1872; was first kept by Mr. Hopkins. Mr. McBay has been married twice; has four children living and three deceased.

I. N. MILLS, farmer, Section 5, is a native of Alaska County, Ky., born in 1830; his parents moved to Missouri in 1837; he was raised there, and in November 11, 1854, he came to Kansas in company with James Arnot and located where he now lives. He is one of the earliest settlers of this section, and passed through all the early troubles comparatively unmolested; belonging to the Free State party, he was with Montgomery and others noted in the early history of this part of the State, all this time giving his attention to his farm, leaving only for four days, when everyone was ordered away. Out of the 160 acres he has made 294, improving year by year until he is now the possessor of an excellent farm, that for the year 1882 is covered with abundant harvests. Mr. Mills' parents were married in 1826, living together till 1870 when his mother died, his father dying only three months afterward in 1871. Mr. Mills married in 1853; they have six boys and three daughters.

JOSEPH OLIVER, farmer, is a native of Carroll County, Ind., born 1832. The first move he made he went to Cass County, and then in 1857, he loaded his wife and one child into the ox wagon and started for Kansas. On arriving at Scott he went out to where he located his claim and soon had a cabin built. During the border troubles he was engaged in running a mill for E. M. Jones, and in this mill the Free State men held their first convention, at which he was present. When the war opened, on the 24th of July, 1861, he joined the Tenth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, Company E, and under Capt. John F. Broadhead and Lieut. David Schoen, he went through the campaign in Arkansas, the heaviest engagements of which were Prairie Grove, December 7, 1862, and Van Buren, December 28, 1862; after this he was on duty at St. Louis, returning home in 1864. His farm is considered one of the best in the county; though only 160 acres, the large crops and fertile soil as well as his prolific apple orchard make it a valuable farm. In 1854 he married Miss Ramsey; they have one son and two daughters.

W. I. SMITH, farmer, is a native of Smith County, Va., born in 1833, and with his father and the rest of the family moved to Illinois, where he remained until he married. He then came to Kansas, together with B. R. Wood, in 1859, when he took a claim on Section 28, and Mr. Wood took claims on Section 21, and though Virginians by birth they were Free State men. Mr. Smith at once went to work improving and cultivating his farm, not being disturbed by the border troubles. When the war broke out, he served in the militia, and belonged to Capt. Smith's company. The first year he was on the farm, he broke twenty-three acres. About the beginning of the dry season 1860, the ground became very dry and the air very hot, so that they had to go to their houses and quit work. In the years that have followed he has prospered, and now has 320 acres, raising grain and handling stock to the amount of from 200 to 300 a year, and his corn for 1882 will average forty-five bushels to the acre. Mr. Smith has served his public friends in the Legislature of the State, being elected in 1878, and in school offices has been treasurer of his district for some thirteen years. In the Missionary Baptist Church he has been ordained Deacon. He has been married twice; by the first marriage, he had eight children, and by the second, one daughter.

JOHN W. STANLEY, farmer, Section 21, is a native of New York; he was raised on a farm, and the first move he made was to Knox County, Ill., and while there he married Miss Caldwell. In 1867 he came to Kansas, buying eighty acres, giving $12.50 an acre. The first season he raised 43 bushels of wheat to the acre, and the next season a crop of corn that netted him $3,700, and the year of 1882 his corn will average 50 bushels to the acre. He is a farmer purely, not raising stock, illustrating the fact that a grain farm is a paying enterprise in Kansas. He has a family of four boys and four girls, all industrious. His son William, a lad of twelve, plowed 100 acres of land this last year. Mr. Stanley has not been in public office, and in politics he is a Republican.

T. J. TOLER, farmer, Section 18, is a native of Logan County, Ky., born in 1827. He remained on the farm till he was sixteen years of age, then learning a trade, "that of carpenter," in 1855, he moved to Jasper County, Mo., where he worked at his trade, he then moved to Bourbon County and farmed with his brother, and worked at his trade also till 1864, when, with his sister and a crippled brother, he started for Kansas in a wagon, when he was waylaid and robbed by bushwhackers, but was finally helped by the Union forces, and arrived in the State and located in Bourbon County. He joined the militia in 1864, and was called out to defend the village of Marmaton, and saw the attack and also the shooting of his comrades by the enemy after they were taken prisoners. He located his farm of 160 acres, having enlarged and improved the claim until he now has 235 in cultivation, some ninety-five in a fine timber land and prairie. In 1858, he married, having five children living and two deceased. Mr. Toler has been treasurer of school district, and in faith he is a Christian Adventist.


This town is situated on the St. Louis, Fort Scott & Wichita Railroad in the valley of the Marmaton, fifteen miles from Fort Scott. The valley here is about two miles wide. A post office was established in 1856, about four miles north of the present site of Uniontown, William Holt being appointed Postmaster. This post office was named Turkey Creek. A few years afterward it was moved to the Marmaton Valley, about two miles east of Uniontown, and in 1862 moved to Uniontown. At this time K. C. Kirby became Postmaster, and held the office until 1865, in the spring of which year he was succeeded by L. P. Foster.

About the beginning of the year 1865, a town company was formed consisting of the following gentlemen: Aleph Goff, President; B. F. Gumm, Secretary; K. C. Kirby, W. W. Wright, George P. Eaves, John W. Wells, Robert W. Wells, Nelson Griswold, L. P. Foster, James Wright and John P. Guttry. The town company purchased twenty acres of John L. Guttry for a town site, and preparations for the building up of a town were made. The year before a store had been opened near the town site by Dr. John E. Grant and A. J. Mounce. This store was purchased in the spring of 1865 by L. P. Foster. It stood a little to the southwest of the town site. The first building on the town site was erected for a store by K. C. Kirby in 1866; the second by L. P. Foster, in 1867; the third by B. F. Gumm, in 1868; the fourth by James Patterson, in 1870. Mr. Patterson is the only one of the four now doing business in Uniontown. The first dwelling house on what was afterward the town site was built in 1863 by L. P. Foster; the second by Francis Ramsey, the third by B. F. Gumm. A hotel was built by Gumm in 1868. This has since been remodeled and improved, and is now the Howard House. The first hardware store in the town was opened by H. A. Hill. The first physician in the vicinity was Dr. R. Anderson, who came into the township in 1866, and into Uniontown in 1867. The first lawyer was Columbus Sprague in 1878. The first school in the township was taught by William Kirby, in 1860. A schoolhouse was erected just off the town site in 1864. The present two-story frame school building was erected in 1871, and the school was graded in 1872. The house cost $2,000. The first birth was that of Mary J. Wells, January 15, 1856; the first marriage that of A. J. Fly to Miss Lydia Holt, April 27, 1856, and the first death that of Mrs. John J. Buckman, in April, 1856. The first blacksmith was John Hartman, who opened his shop in October, 1864, the next was James G. Oliver, who came in 1868.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1865. Some years afterward the organization was discontinued, and in 1882, a re-organization was effected with eight members. They have thus far used the church building erected by the Protestant Methodist Church which was organized in 1878, with forty members, by Rev. Mr. Grant, their first preacher. The church building was erected in 1880. It is a neat frame, and cost, including the furnishing and grounds, about $2,000.

The Uniontown Mill was erected in the spring of 1871 by L. P. Foster & H. Smith. After changing hands a number of times it was finally purchased by Dr. Fulton and T. B. Julian, who are conducting a successful business. The mill is two and a half stories high, contains two run of buhrs, with a capacity of 125 bushels of wheat per day. The engine is thirty-five horse power, and the whole property is valued at $7,000.

Uniontown now contains five general stores, one drug store, one hardware store, furniture and agricultural implement dealer, two blacksmiths, one wagon shop, two hotels, one lumber yard, one livery stable, and a population of about 300.

[TOC] [part 18] [part 16] [Cutler's History]