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


[TOC] [part 21] [part 19] [Cutler's History]


The town of Memphis, located in the southeastern part of Bourbon County, was laid off in the fall of 1874. The land upon which the town is situated belonged to D. N. Phelps, the site comprising an area of forty acres. It was established under the auspices of a town company, composed of D. N. Phelps, W. R. Clybourn and T. Woodard, and was laid off by M. M. Hellman. The names of the streets are Clybourn, Woodard, Phelps, McDonald, Main and Kansas avenue.

The first house upon the site was a store house which had been brought to the place by the firm of Sweeny & Benson, in which they engaged in the sale of general merchandise, in the fall of 1874. About the same time, Keith & Henry moved a store room upon the site, in which they put a stock of general goods. During the winter, they were joined by J. M. Terry with a general store, and B. Daily with a boarding house and restaurant, and the firm of McLean & Linn also began dealing in miscellaneous merchandise. At this time it was the terminus of the railroad which was projected to run from Kansas City to Memphis, Tenn. For some time the people had little hope of the road ever being completed to its projected destination, since it remained completed only to the little town of Memphis, Kan., for several months. During this time the immense coal fields in the vicinity were developed, and this became important as a coal shipping point.

It was a question with the town company what the name of the village should be. After the proposal of sundry names, none of which were chosen, they concluded, from the dearth of hope that the railroad would ever be brought to its destination, at Memphis, Tenn., that, if the railroad could not be taken to Memphis, they would bring Memphis to the railroad. They accordingly named the terminus Memphis. The building of the road was again taken up, and is fast approaching the projected point, which will soon demand a change of the name of this station.

The town, being the terminus of the road for so long a time, and the development of the coal interests, caused it to spring up with great rapidity, so that, at one time, it was considerable of a business point, and contained a population of about 350. After the extension of the road was begun, the town began to go backward. It now contains a population of about 100, six general stores, two drug stores, two blacksmith shops, a corn mill, school house, post office, two churches and several residences.

The town of Appleton had been established in 1866 by Capt. Stevens. It was just near the State line, between Kansas and Missouri, and was called Wheeling on the Missouri side. The town contained a post office, three stores, blacksmith shop, etc., but after Memphis was started Appleton became absorbed by it and is now no more.

The post office was established at Memphis in 1874. W. R. Clybourn was commissioned Postmaster, and he has since occupied that position.

The first school taught in the town was a select school, taught by Miss Adelia Moore, in 1878, and was kept in a private residence. During the next summer, a school was taught by Mrs. James in the school building that had been erected in the early part of the year.

The first religious services were held in the depot in the summer of 1875 by the Baptists. During that summer a Sunday school was organized, and T. Woodard was chosen Superintendent. The Baptist church building was erected in 1881, and the Methodist in 1882, both being small frame structures.

The county surrounding the town is excellent for agricultural purposes, and is underlaid with vast coal fields. The development of these important industries will, in time, insure the growth and importance of the town.


B. BAUGUESS, farmer, is a native of North Carolina, was born in 1824. The family first moved to Indiana and from there they came to Dade County, Mo. Coming to Kansas and locating on their present farm in August, 1855, being considered the earliest settler now in Drywood Township. His father-in-law, George Holliday, came with him but returned to Indiana in the fall of 1856. During the border warfare he was not molested, giving his attention to improving his farm. In 1862, he was captured by a party of about eighty men belonging to the Livingstons band, taken from his house, robbed of $90 or $100 in cash and was released finally to return home, though they killed his neighbors Southerd and H. Howard, wounding Charlie Howard. During the latter part of the rebellion, after his capture, he was in the State Militia. The same year he was called out to make a raid into Missouri with Capt. Bray's command. In the meantime, between his militia services and avoiding the bushwhackers, his farm did not develop; it was not till afterward that he had the fine place he has now. Mr. Bauguess married Miss Holliday, and they have five children living, four deceased. He was Justice of the Peace for twelve years, being elected in 1858. He was appointed Chairman of the Township Board by Gov. Denver, then elected by the people for a second term. He is Deacon in the Predestinarian Baptist Church, was ordained in 1876.

J. B. CALDWELL, farmer, Section 23, is a native of Washington County, Penn., was born in 1839. In 1854 the family moved to Ohio, but the location proved unhealthy so they started for Kansas in 1858. Arriving in Kansas City, they met Judge Fairwell, who directed them to Rockford Valley, Bourbon County, but they stopped in Fort Scott, and bought property there consisting of four lots, then reaching from the Gulf Railroad to the town limits, but now described by the lots owned by H. Collins. In taking the property, his father also took the mail contracts which was carried by himself and sons. He had three, John B., T. A. and A. B.; besides these there were two daughters. The town property was bought for $800 of Thomas Roberts, and was sold for much more in later years. They being early settlers of Fort Scott, were acquainted with all the history of this section belonging to those times, and J. B. served in the militia in the war of the rebellion. In 1868, the boys John B. and A. B. bought the farm where they live, of 320 acres and moved on it in 1869, where they carry on a first-class grain farm, being among the few that raise good wheat. Mr. Caldwell was married to Miss McKay. Both parents are deceased, his father died in 1876 and mother in 1879.

W. R. CLYBOURN, farmer, Section 36, is a native of La Porte County, Ind., born in 1835. He was raised on a farm, and he did not leave his native State till 1858, when he came to Kansas, locating on the Drywood for a while. In 1861, moving to his present location where he has a farm of 400 acres, owning 320 in Missouri. In 1875, the town company of the village of Memphis was organized, consisting of himself, D. N. Phelps and T. Woodard, each taking a one-third of the forty acres from their farms. It was his misfortune to be called out with Jennison in his raid into Missouri in 1862, and he also served in the militia in 1864 under H. Coffein, Captain. He is now giving his attention to his farm, raising large quantities of grain and handling some stock. In Indiana he married Miss Metcalf; they had two children, and this year, 1882, she died. Mr. Clybourn was the first Postmaster of Memphis; he is Township Trustee, and a member of the M. E. Church and Superintendent of the Sunday school; he is trustee of the church and on the building committee, putting up a building that will cost some $10,000 to $12,000.

W. C. CUSTARD, farmer, Section 14, is a native of Erie, Penn. In the old State there were quite a number; the family there were some twelve of them in the Presbyterian Church choir, well-known for their musical talent, singing there for some twenty years. In 1857, they left Pennsylvania and came to Jasper County, Mo., where they stopped till they located their claims, three brothers taking 160 acres apiece, locating on the same section on which they now live. William now has a farm of 240 acres, and is farming it successfully in stock and grain. The family in early days braved many perils, and on account of open and avowed Free-State principles ran many risks; his sisters making the first Union flag for the soldiers of this section. William married Miss Mary J. Coffein, in 1860; married by Parson Dr. Hogan. Mr. Custard has served on the School Board for eight years. They are members of the Presbyterian Church, and were members while in Pennsylvania.

F. M. DRUMMOND, farmer and merchant; farm in Vernon County, Mo.; native of Greene County, Ill. Born in 1844, he was raised on a farm, and in 1869, located in Missouri, where he now lives carrying on a farm there till 1881, when he bought out T. Woodard's business and stock of hardware and general merchandise, now carrying about $1,200 in stock, and doing a business of some $5,000 a year. He has 220 acres in his farm, well improved, and raising stock and grain. In 1871, he married Miss Anderson. They have four children.

JAMES S. DURBORAW, farmer, Section 26. Mr. Durboraw's ancestors were Scotch and Irish; his grandfather was Capt. Isaac Durboraw, of the Revolutionary Army, and his father Maj. John Durboraw, of the war of 1812. He claims Pennsylvania as his native State, and 1813 the year of his birth. In 1827, he started to learn printing as his trade, but ran away after serving two years, and went to Cincinnati, taking a trip on the steamer, Bonnets of Blue; there was one other boat on the river called the Rising Sun. After working in the printing office and finishing his trade he went back home; beginning about this time a series of wanderings that covered a space of about eighteen years. In 1837, he married Miss Nancy Smith, of Chambersburg, Penn. In following his trade they moved to Pittsburgh, when after remaining two years, he moved to St. Louis. He had previous to this made two trips to New Orleans, visiting important cities on the route; then the last trip was in 1839, when he was recalled by his brother-in-law to take charge of a foundry, but arriving too late he waited for his bride in Chambersburg, Penn.; then in company with several other families moved to Bartholomew County, Ind., where after a stay of eight years moved to Illinois in 1855, and in 1859, moved to Kansas where he entered 160 acres; he sold it in 1869 and moved to Section 26, where, from time to time, he has purchased land, having a farm of 280 acres, which he runs as a grain farm. In early years here, many of the farmers of this section stopped at his house before locating their farms. His family consists of five children, all grown and married but one--Fillmore S. James, who went to California in 1857, and has not been heard from since. Mr. Durboraw is a member of the I. O. O. F., and his son John was in the Sixth Kansas Regular Army, under Capt. Greenoe.

A. J. ENDICOTT, farmer, Section 21, is a native of Pike County, Ky., and was born November 22, 1836. Came to Kansas in 1859, locating on a claim now owned by William Ewing. In 1863, he enlisted in the Fourteenth Kansas Cavalry, and in a battle at Mons Mills, was taken prisoner and marched to Tyler, Texas, where for eight months he was exposed to untold suffering, having his clothes taken from him, and starved; he finally escaped in 1864, with a comrade named Kilbourn, but were so near exhausted that they were close to the bugle-call in the moving, but they succeeded, and in recruiting and getting clothes he was some time, not getting well until 1866, when he took a farm in Drywood, now owned by Dr. Hildreth, and in 1868 located on his present farm, buying 160 acres, which has since increased to 320. He is engaged in grain and stock-farming. In 1865, he married, and has one son alive and one deceased.

SAMUEL ENDICOTT, farmer, Section 20, native of West Virginia, was born in 1824. His parents moved to Jasper County, Mo., in 1834; there he was raised. In 1854, his father came to Kansas and located in Drywood Township, but he did not come to the State until 1855, when he selected his claim, and in 1856 moved onto it; at this time it was nothing but a wilderness, and the Indians were numerous, Osages, Pottawatomies and Kickapoos, often stopping at his cabin; the border-ruffians also stopped there, but he was in the bushes concealed; they robbed him and afterward took him prisoner while visiting a sick neighbor, but released him, taking away his horse and saddle. In 1864, he was called out in the militia, and was stationed at Fort Scott, afterward following Price into Missouri. He also had a chance to make a raid with Jennison into Missouri, but the style of warfare carried on by him was not to Mr. Endicott's liking, so he returned home. He has been married three times, but has only two children living. His present wife is Miss McDonald, of Tennessee. He is a grain farmer, and owns 200 acres.

AMOS HILDRETH, M. D., and farmer, Section 22, native of Lewis County, N. Y., was born in 1824. His parents moved to Illinois in 1836; here he read medicine, and in 1848 took his first course of lectures; then entering on his preliminary practice, he graduated in 1869, from the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical Institute, and then came to Kansas and entered practice in Fort Scott, where he remained till 1873; then buying his present farm and retiring from active practice. He is now giving his attention to stock, dealing primarily in horses. In Illinois, he married Miss Hardcastle. They have now two children--a son and daughter. Dr. Hildreth has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1864.

J. T. HOLEMAN, M. D., is a native of Weston, Henderson Co., Ky., born in 1847. His early life was spent on the farm. In 1866 he commenced studying medicine with Dr. Whittledge, taking his first course of lectures in Missouri, Medical College of St. Louis in 1872. He in 1876 moved to Kansas and located at Memphis. In 1879-80, he graduated from the Eclectic School of Homeopathy in St. Louis, and in 1881, from School of Midwifery of American Medical College at St. Louis. He returned to his practice in Memphis, and is handling successfully a large practice; he was also interested in a mercantile venture here, but sold in October, 1882, to Mr. Huffine. He married Miss Phelps. The Doctor is also a member of the Masonic fraternity.

HUFFINE & ANDERSON, merchants and farmers. They established the business in October, 1882, buying out Dr. Holman & Co., now carrying a stock of $2,500, and doing a business of some $9,000 a year. Mr. Huffine is a native of Missouri, and now farms some 200 acres in grain and stock; his land is located in that State. Mr. Anderson is a native of Tennessee, and has a fine farm of 280 acres in this township, Bourbon County, raising fine crops of grain on its fertile tracts and grazing cattle on its pasture land.

L. S. HUMPHREYS, farmer, Section 17, P. O. Godfrey, native of Albemarle County, Ind., born in 1816. His father had emigrated to the Territory of Indiana in 1812 and lived in the blockhouse while he was clearing his land, having two men to guard him while he worked. From there they moved to Illinois, locating in Hancock County, and farming. In the wet year of 1859 they emigrated to Kansas. A man named Boydston then owned the place Mr. Humphreys now lives on, and asked $1,200 for it, but being a Pro-slavery man, he was warned to leave, and sold for much less. He just escaped, for a number of men, armed, were looking for him a few days afterward. One night a force of men came to the house and called him out, but as they could not give the pass-word of Free-state men, he fired into them and drove them away. Such was the state of affairs, and when the war broke out two of his sons, Cornelius and James, enlisted, so that he was almost alone, and to save his scalp, he joined the Second Battery, Blair's, where his boys were. He was stationed at Fort Scott during the war, and got home to the farm so as to attend and look after things, and on one of these visits was visited by bushwhackers. Mr. Humphreys now owns 240 acres of good land, farmed in grain and stock. He has eleven children alive--two born since coming to the State. He has been Justice of the Peace and Constable. His son, J. M., is School Treas., while Cornelius is Township Trustee. The family are all Republicans and are representative citizens. In 1839, December 26, he married Miss Juliette B. Lockett.

R. M. JONES, nursery, Section 6, native of McCoupin County, Ill., born in 1835. He was raised in the nursery business, his father carrying it on in Illinois. When he came to the State there was a train made up of some dozen wagons, and on arriving he located on his present place in 1866, buying 160 acres; he has been busy improving and propagating; he has fine buildings on the farm, some twenty-five acres of orchard, containing 1,600 bearing trees; his nursery stock is in fruit and ornamental trees, making a specialty of the Baker peach tree, which is an early bearer and of fine quality. His nursery business will amount to some $3,000 or $4,000 a year. In 1857 Mr. Jones married and has five children. He has been Township Treasurer and in some other offices of public trust. In 1872, he became a member of the Masonic Lodge.

D. N. PHELPS, farmer, Section 1, is a native of Birkshire sic County, Mass., born in 1824. When he was quite young his parents moved to New York, locating in Erie County. Was married to a Miss Sarah Woodard in 1844. Although raised on a farm Mr. Phelps sought other pursuits and moved to Wisconsin, opening the Kingston House at Kingston in Marquette County, sold out and moved to Packwaukie, twenty miles from Kingston, remaining four years, sold his claim, then returned to Kingston, engaged in the grocery business until 1858, when he was again found in the hotel business. During his period of stay in Wisconsin, he served eight years as Deputy Sheriff. In 1861, he enlisted in the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, Company C., under Col. Barstow. They were sent to Kansas where they established a post on the Drywood. He was mustered out in 1865. Selling his property in Wisconsin he brought his family to Kansas. His wife visited relatives in the East in 1868, returning in 1869. He rented his farm and moved to Fort Scott, where he remained four years, returning to his farm in 1874, where he remained ever since; has visited the East. He owns one-third of the village plat in part with the Town Company. Has five children--Ambrose, Frank, Barnett, Emma, now Mrs. Dr. Holeman; Clara, now Mrs. Irvin. Mr. Phelps has belonged to the Masonic fraternity and I. O. O. F. since 1852.

ROUSEY & MILLION, merchants; business was established by J. I. Million August 13, 1879, and in 1880 the firm became Rousey & Million. Besides general merchandise they deal in grain and coal, doing a business of $20,000 a year. Mr. Million is a native of Morgan County, Ill., born in 1851. He went to Missouri in 1876, where he farmed and taught school. He had attended in Illinois the Jacksonville College, and had married in Morgan County; he has four children. Mr. W. M. Rousey is a native of Morgan County, Ill., and was a playmate of Mr. Million's through youth. He came to Kansas with his father and family in 1879, where they engaged in farming, his father dealing in stock here. Mr. Rousey is not married. He has been a member of the I. O. O. F. since 1875.

WILLIAM SIMPSON, farmer, Section 24, is a native of Fulton County, Ill., born December 1, 1837. Fulton County was settled by his parents and relatives. In 1860 he came to Kansas and bought his farm of a man named Scaggs who settled it in 1858. When the war broke out Mr. Simpson enlisted in the Second Kansas Battery, "Blair's," and was sent to Arkansas; he was at the battle of Cane Hill; afterward detailed to escort Col. Jewell's body to Scott; from here his company were sic sent to Baxter Springs. While in their warfare with the bushwhackers and guerrillas he saw the hardest service of the war. They returned to Scott and he was put on detached service. Finally was mustered out and returned to his farm, which he has now in wonderful degree of development, farming 400 acres in grain and stock; he goes more largely into hogs, raising Poland-China blood and handling about 200 a year; his orchard is large and productive. In 1859 he married Miss Mathews, they have eight children. Mr. Simpson has held offices high in trust besides township; he was elected to the Lower House of the Kansas Legislature in 1868 and to the Upper House in 1872.

CAPT. E. R. STEVENS, farmer and merchant, Section 12, is a native of Erie County, N. Y., born in 1824. He lived on the old home farm till 1848, then going to Wisconsin, he located in Marquette County, opening a mercantile establishment in Kingston. He enlisted in 1861 in Third Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry, Company C, under Col. Barstow. They were sent West and located in Kansas, Bourbon County, on the Drywood. He was Captain of the company. He was mustered out in 1865, and in 1866 he located his farm, opened a store and got the post office appointed as Appleton, then building up the village which at one time was larger than is Memphis now. A town company was formed of Capt. E. R. Stephens sic, Adam Hoffman and Eugene Goss, who laid out the plat in 1868. When Memphis was platted on the railroad, most of Appleton moved over and the Captain moved over in 1879, opening a store of general merchandise, which he sold to E. H. Weddle in 1882. He then opened a drug store and now carries it on in connection with farming. The Captain married in 1854 to Miss Goss; they have three children. He was United States Marshall sic in Wisconsin, and is a member of the Masonic and I. O. O. F., having joined about 1856.

E. H. WEDDLE, merchant, is a native of Vernon County, Mo., born in 1847. He was raised on the farm, coming to Kansas in 1881, he bought an interest in the merchandise establishment of Capt. E. R. Stevens, and in the all of 1881 bought his partner out, establishing the business in his own name, now carrying a stock of $700 or $800 and doing a business of some $1,500 a year. In 1878 Mr. Weddle married Miss Manzer; they have one daughter; his parents live in Texas.

T. WOODARD, merchant and farmer, Section 36, P. O. Memphis, native of Erie County, N. Y., born in 1832. He remained on the farm till 1848, when he learned millwrighting, and in 1861 he helped to raise a regiment in his native county, in which his brother Henry served till the time of his death, which occurred in 1862. His body was brought to their home for interment. He started West and for awhile worked at his trade in Sac and Cedar Counties in Missouri; then coming to Kansas, he was employed in the Goodlander mill. In 1868 he bought 140 acres of E. Dugan, in Sections 36 and 1, and in 1872 located there. In 1872, when the village of Memphis was platted out, being one of the Town Company, owning a third. He has established a large mercantile venture; has the Town Hall; has put up tenement houses and donated lots for public buildings; has held the post office here, and in fact made the village. Besides his store he deals in grain and coal, doing a business of $30,000 a year. Mr. Woodard has been married twice, having five children. He has been Justice of the Peace seven years, and is Notary Public now. He is a Mason and an I. O. O. F. since 1854. Took part in the Grange movement, and was a Greenbacker; now a Democrat.


This town is situated on rolling prairie adjoining timber. It was named after Rockford, Ill. The first settlement was made in 1858, by Guy Hinton. Others early on the ground were William E., B. and J. Mason, and William Jackman. The first death was that of Emma Hinton in this year. The first school taught here was by Edith E. Mason, in 1858. The first marriage was that of William Jackman to Edith E. Mason December 9, 1859. Guy Hinton preached the first sermon in 1858. The post office was established in 1859, with Ezekiel Brown, Postmaster. A saw-mill was built this year, on Paint Creek, by Farwell & Stadden, and a store was opened also by Mr. Donahue. A schoolhouse was built in 1866, in Rockford Valley. At the present time, there are three religious denominations in the town--Methodist Episcopal, Protestant Methodist and Cumberland Presbyterian. The present town and post office is three and a half miles west of the original town site.


M. V. HAM, farmer, Section 32, is a native of Calloway County, Mo., born in 1840, he was raised on a farm and received his education there. In 1857 he moved to St. Clair County, Mo. In 1861, he enlisted and served till 1865; he then went to Illinois, where he engaged in farming. In 1867 he married Miss Hollis, of Pike County, Ill. In 1873 he came to Kansas and located on Section 5, starting in stock; he is now giving more attention to that line than to grain farming; at present owns 640 acres of land, of which 125 are cultivated; having good crops with the exception of that section injured by the hail-storm that passed here this spring. They have a family of nine children, two boys and seven girls. Mr. Ham joined the Masonic order in 1862; he has never been in public office, not having cared for it.

W. E. MASON, farmer, Section 20; he is a native of Greene County, Pa., born in 1828. In 1832 he went to Ohio, and then to Southwest Missouri, where he started in 1857 with D. Henton for Kansas, via Kansas City; he came into the county, past Mapleton. When he arrived in Rockford Valley they bought what was known as the Louisiana Groves for $300, consisting of about two sections of fertile soil. At first he settled on Section 20, but in 1875 he married Mr. D. Henton's widow, and moved to Section 28; they live on a farm of 600 acres; his family of four girls and four boys are on the old place, as is his mother; his father died in 1872. In 1862, he enlisted in the Twelfth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, Company K, serving till 1865. Mr. Mason has not sought office, but was Township Treasurer for twelve years, and is a member of the Cumberland Church, Presbyterian. He and his boys carry on a stock farm.

[TOC] [part 21] [part 19] [Cutler's History]