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


[TOC] [part 20] [part 18] [Cutler's History]


Pawnee is located in the southern part of Bourbon County, on the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, about ten miles south of Fort Scott. It was established in 1871, by the railroad company, the site comprising ten acres. Immediately following the founding of the town, H. B. Brown and Peter Smith each began in business, dealing in general merchandise. In the winter of 1871-72, a man named Conkling put in a general store. The Godfrey Coal & Mining Company began mining operations in the vicinity, and also engaged in general merchandising in 1873. About the same time, the Laidlaw Brothers started a general store. Two years later the Fort Scott Coal & Mining Company began business, dealing in coal and merchandise. A man named Smith began the hardware business about the same time. In 1877, T. D. Harris erected a store and began the general merchandising business. T. M. Grisham bought the Fort Scott Coal Company's store, and continued the business. The Laidlaw Brothers failed in business, and the business was taken up by the Enterprise Company, which also soon closed out, the business passing into the hands of Hugh McKay. Peter Smith sold out to Ryan & Woolf, and T. D. Harris to Hibbard & Sharp. The mercantile business is at present represented by two establishments, viz.: G. W. Barton, and H. B. Brown, dealer in coal, lumber, grain, hay and general merchandise. The population of the town is about 100.

The post office was located here in 1871, H. B. Brown was appointed Postmaster, and he has since acted in that capacity. The name of the office is Pawnee Station.

A man named Harris taught the first school in the town, in the winter of 1871-72, the school being kept in the frame school house which was built in the fall of 1871. The first residence was built by Mrs. Bender, the next by D. T. Brown, and the next by H. B. Brown. A hotel building was erected in 1871, by Crawford & Botsford, who ran it for a time as a public house; it was then taken by Botsford alone, and then by L. G. Griffith, who now runs it as a hotel. The country in the vicinity of the place is nicely adapted to agriculture, and the town is a considerable point in the shipping of grain, hay, live stock and produce.


This town was named after James M. Hiatt, who owned the land upon which the town is located. E. B. Rall was the first settler here in May, 1870. Others were Thomas Hartwell, D. R. Anderson, Jacob Dockter and William Daly. The post office was established in May, 1870, and named Pawnee. Soon afterward, the name was changed to Hiattville. E. B. Rall kept the first store in the town, opening it upon moving into the place from his farm one mile south May 1, 1870. D. R. Anderson was the second storekeeper. Shortly afterward, Jacob Dockter opened a blacksmith shop. The first child born in Hiattville was John Hartwell, in 1874. The first marriage was that of Jacob Dockter to Mrs. Queen Hamlin July 9, 1876. No death has yet occurred in the town.

Hiattville now contains two general stores, the proprietors of which buy grain, and all kinds of produce; one blacksmith and wagon maker; one dealer in lumber and agricultural implements, and a population of seventy-five.

The town is beautifully situated on rolling prairie, and surrounded by a fine, healthful country, well supplied with good water.


J. BARKER, farmer, Section 6, is a native of Indiana, born in 1836; at an early age moved to Missouri and was raised there as a farmer, living in the southern part, near the line. In 1862, he moved to Kansas, and enlisted in the Fourteenth Kansas Cavalry, and was in Arkansas during most of the campaign, being mustered out in 1865. He returned home and having bought his present farm in 1863, he at once moved onto it, and commenced improving, and under his husbandry it has grown to be 270 acres of fertile land, on which we find broad stretches of corn field and numerous herds of stock. Mr. Barker has been married twice, one in 1857 to Miss King and the last time to Miss Nellie Britt; by the first marriage he had six children, and one by the last. In politics he is a Republican.

J. W. BOWLUS, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 28, is a native of Frederick County, Md. He was born March 28, 1837, and when eight years of age went to Fremont, Ohio, where he was raised and educated. In 1857 he graduated from Oberlin Commercial College, afterward farming and lumbering; then in partnership with Capt. Totten, a ship-carpenter, built a schooner for the grain trade between Chicago and Buffalo. But when the war broke out he enlisted in the three months' service, under Capt. Writter; then he was elected First Lieutenant of Company E, Twenty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In 1861, he joined the army in West Virginia, and was stationed under Col. Milroy, at Cheat Mountain summit, which they fortified. Being surrounded by Gen. Lee's army, he describes a remarkable scout on which he was sent in order to open communication with Gen. Reynolds. With sixty picked men, in gray uniform, he proceeded to run the rebel camp, which he did by entering their camp as the picket-guard was forming, and in the dim light marched through and out by a bridle-path. When approaching a house on Becky Creek, at daylight, they were discovered by the rebels and fired at; Capt. Coon, of the Fourteenth Indiana, wanted to have an engagement; Lieut. Bowlus put his men in cover, while Capt. Coon went forward to reconnoiter. The rebels fired, shooting down the advance, consisting of a Sergeant and five men. Lieut. Bowlus advanced to the support of Capt. Coon, but the rebels advancing at the same time, the two commands were separated; Capt. Coon made for Cheat Mountain summit, while Lieut. Bowlus made for a canyon, where he kept the enemy at bay from 7 A. M. until 11 A. M. This was a remarkable engagement, for here was the lieutenant with a handful of brave men contending with the whole force of Col. John A. Washington's command, and when one of the Union Surgeons returned, who had been called by the wounded rebels who were left on the field, his escort reported eighty-three rebels killed and wounded; the dead were found buried in the canyon covered with logs and leaves. After the Lieutenant reported to Gen. Reynolds, at Huttonville, he returned to Cheat Mountain. He was shortly after sent on another successful scout after a band of guerrillas called the Dixey Boys, on Seneca Creek, where he remained until the entire band was broken up, and then joined Gen. Milroy at Monterey, and advanced with the army to McDowal. From here he was sent on a scout to Pocahontas County, Va., for the purpose of destroying a mill, the rendezvous and source of supplies of a band of guerrillas infesting that county. This expedition was successful and practically put an end to guerrilla warfare in that part of the State. It was while on this expedition that Gen. Joseph E. Johnson engaged and defeated the Union forces under Gen. Milroy, at McDowal, forcing Milroy to fall back in the direction of Franklin, leaving the country between Lieut. Bowlus and the Union forces in possession of the rebels. The rebel cavalry being informed by the natives of the Lieutenant's expedition, lost no time in finding his whereabouts. Then commenced a series of skirmishing and bushwhacking which lasted five days. By keeping the mountains and marching by bridle-paths and changing from one spur of the mountain to another, during the night, the Lieutenant finally joined the Union forces under Gen. Fremont, at Franklin, without the loss of a man. After the battle of Cross Keys he was promoted to Captain of Company C; was on the skirmish line that opened the second battle of Bull Run, and with the rear guard that covered the retreat from the field. Stationed at Fort Ellsworth, in front of Washington, that winter, laying at Stafford Court House. The spring campaign of 1863 opened with the battle of Chancellorsville. In this engagement his regiment lost out of a total of 700, nearly 500 men, and from being the seventh Captain in rank, he was left in command on the field of the handful of surviving soldiers of his regiment. Soon after he was commissioned Major, and in July following, he received his commission of Lieutenant Colonel. His health was so impaired that shortly after the battle of Gettysburg he was compelled to resign, leaving the army August 4, 1863. He then went north to the lakes; recovering somewhat his health, he returned to Fremont, Ohio, where he married Miss Annie B. Rice, and went into the mercantile line, but sold out and came to Kansas in 1866, and located on Section 28, taking 160 acres of raw prairie, from which he has produced a well-arranged farm. In 1876, he visited Nevada and California. Col. Bowlus has held offices of trust for the public and is an earnest worker and believer in the principles of the Republican party as enunciated and practiced by Abraham Lincoln. His orchards have produced fruit that can be equalled sic nowhere but in Kansas. They have but one child--Ella R.

H. B. BROWN, merchant, Pawnee Station, a native of Eaton, Madison Co., N. Y., born in 1831; he went to Indiana with his parents in 1837, and they removed to Illinois in 1841, where they remained until 1859, when he came to Kansas, locating on a farm in Section 31, Marion Township, living there until 1862. In 1865, he was called out to serve in the Home Guards and State Militia, holding the position of Commissary Sergeant. In 1871, he opened the first mercantile establishment in the village of Pawnee, commencing in a building 14x20 feet. He has in the intervening time, with characteristic perseverance, increased his business until 1882 we find him with a stock of merchandise amounting to $5,000; in a large building; also dealing in lumber, stock and baled hay, doing a business of about $30,000 a year. Mr. Brown has had the post office since 1871. He married and has one daughter.

J. G. CLAYFIELD, farmer, Section 5, native of Illinois. His father, J. G. Clayfield, Sr., was a native of Prussia, and followed the sea for some years, bringing a family to America and locating in Tennessee; from there he came to Illinois, and then to Kansas in 1866, locating on the farm they now possess. They have made an excellent home out of the raw, unimproved prairie, but in 1880, Mr. Clayfield died. Since then the boys have carried on the farm. In 1878, J. G. Calyfield, sic Jr. married and settled on part of the estate now consisting of 260 acres. They give their attention to raising stock and grain, of which corn is the staple. Mr. Clayfield has been in public office and is a Republican in politics.

L. GRIFFITH, hotel, Pawnee Station, a native of Genesee County, N. Y., was born in 1826; his parents were early settlers in that country, his father building the first bridge on Perry Creek. Mr. Griffith left New York in 1870 and went to Michigan; having lost his wife, he married in this State, and in Decatur he learned and worked at butchering. In 1877, he came to Kansas and went to farming, but sold, and took a hotel in Hepler, Crawford Co., Kan.; leaving there he came to Pawnee, and bought the Pawnee House of Mr. Botsford; after fitting it up he rented and went into hotel business in Cherokee; from there he went to Indian Springs in McDonald County, but has since moved back to Bourbon County, having bought a farm in Pawnee Township, and farmed the summer of 1882, moving into the hotel in October, 1882. He has one daughter by the first marriage. In 1870, he married Miss Raymond, who is a teacher, having followed the profession for twenty years, teaching in New York, Michigan, Kansas and Missouri. She was a native of the same county as her husband, and was born in 1842.

WILLIAM DUNN, farmer, Section 34, a native of Wexford County, Ireland, was born in 1844. He came with his mother to America in 1856; they located in Pennsylvania; from there they moved to Wisconsin. His father having died in Ireland in 1856, the boys supported the family, and William's experience has been varied. In 1867 we find him employed on the Burlington Railroad, and afterward on the Union Pacific. While working on this road he lived for eleven months in Utah, where his first child was born. Here he made money; then moved to Omaha. He then pre-empted a farm on the Big Blue, but abandoned it and returned to Omaha working there for Dick Whitney. He then went to Texas and contracted on the Little Rock & Fort Smith Railroad, making money there and then returned to Kansas, December 31, 1873, and located on his present farm, where he has 320 acres of improved land. Here he handles about 100 head of cattle, from 300 to 400 head of sheep and some fifty hogs a year; reporting for 1882 a yield of forty bushels of corn to the acre on his farm. In 1866, he married, but has lost all his children but one boy--George J. Mr. Dunn is a Democrat in politics, and is a member, as is his wife, of the Catholic Church.

THOMAS HARTNETT, Hiattville, employee of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, a native of Ireland, was born in 1842. His parents moved to Canada in 1844; from there to New York in 1846, and came West to the State of Missouri in 1852. Mr. Hartnett has been a railroad man for some sixteen years. He came to Kansas in 1865, and in 1878 he married Miss Jury. They are the second family that settled in Hiattville, where he owns property. They have a family of two children. Mr. Hartnett was engaged in freighting during the war for the Government.

W. F. HIATT, farmer, P. O. Hiattville, Sec. 36 is a native of Indiana. He was raised a farmer, and from his native place moved to Iowa in 1866, then to Kansas, arriving in 1868; he then located in Scott Township, Bourbon County, farming the land owned by Mr. Westervelt; moving in 1869 to his present home in Pawnee Township, where he bought 160 acres and opened a farm that has since developed into one of the finest farms in the section, and with the best of improvements, making it one of the most valuable places in the township; he handles nearly 100 head of cattle yearly; his corn for 1882 will average forty bushels to the acre; his stock is thoroughbred cattle, Durham, and his horses Norman. He has a thoroughbred called Bob Havier, that took the premium at the Bourbon County Fair for 1882. Mr. Hiatt has been an active partisan in the leading public issues, and has served at home in local offices. He has a family of four boys and one girl. In 1862, he enlisted in the Eighty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, serving three years. At the battle or siege of Nashville he had nine bullet holes in his clothing, and his knapsack shot away, yet escaped unharmed. He married in 1866.

R. J. MORRISON, farmer and mechanic, Section 15, is a native of Indiana, was born in 1831. While still young his parents moved to Illinois, and from there he went to Iowa, where he remained from 1862 to 1869, then came to Kansas, locating in Section 15, buying a farm of 160 acres, which he has increased to 280, farmed to stock and grain, his fertile acres turning out forty bushels of corn to the acre for 1882. Mr. Morrison married in 1859, and has five children. He is prominent in local politics, being Township Trustee. He attends, as does his family, the Methodist Episcopal Church.

E. B. RALL, merchant, Hiattville, was born at Macomb, McDonough Co., Ill., in 1838. He came to Kansas in 1859, located at Raysville, and engaged in farming. In 1861, he returned to Illinois, and enlisted in the Second Illinois Cavalry, and afterward in the Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry, in a company of which he served as Sergeant. In 1863 he returned to Illinois, married and in 1866 again emigrated to Kansas, locating on Mill Creek. Here for a time he followed farming, but on account of failing health moved to Section 11, Pawnee Township, opened a trading post, kept the stage line then run by William Smalley, and the post office at Pawnee. Upon selling his farm on Section 11, he moved to Section 15, and in 1869, moved to Hiattville and opened the first mercantile establishment in that town. Originally his investment in business amounted to about $800, with a proportionate annual trade; at present his investment in the store is $6,000, with an annual business of $3,000. Mr. Rall also deals in stock, grain and hay. He has three hay presses and a large barn in which he stores his baled hay, of which he presses on an average twenty tons per day. The mother of Mr. Rall died in 1875. His father lives with him at Hiattville. Mr. Rall has been married twice. By the first marriage he had one child, a boy named Eddie; and by the second marriage six children. He has held several offices, and has taken an active interest in the success of the Republican party. He belongs to the G. A. R., and to the Temple of Honor.

G. W. ROMSPERT, merchant, Hiattville, established his business in August, 1882; buying the lots and building a large store room, he opened with a stock of some $8,000--the largest establishment in the village; he handles stock, grain and produce, doing a probable business of $25,000 a year. He is a native of Greene County, Ohio, born in 1857, and was raised and educated there, having read law with the noted firm of Sprigg & Vallandigham, of Dayton. He opened his law office in Xenia, Ohio, where he practiced until 1882, when he came West, having been through the wildest part of the Western life and wilds during the years 1877-78. He published a book entitled "Romspert's Travels Through the West" of which he sold a large number. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., of Xenia, Ohio.

J. H. WILLIAMS & SON, agricultural implements and lumber, Hiattville, established in March, 1882. Mr. J. H. Williams is a native of Kentucky, born in 1816, from there he moved to Ohio, then to Missouri, then coming to Kansas in 1874. While in Missouri he married Miss Stone; they had seven children. The youngest, R. Tillard Williams, is the junior partner of the firm; he is a native of Missouri, and was born in 1854. He was raised and educated in that State and married Miss Wilcox, of Miami County. When they first came to Kansas, they located in Miami County, Kan., in 1874, in 1877, Scott Township, Bourbon County, where they farmed and in 1882 sold out coming to Hiattville and establishing themselves.

[TOC] [part 20] [part 18] [Cutler's History]