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


[TOC] [part 24] [part 22] [Cutler's History]


The town of Mapleton is situated in the northern part of Bourbon County, about six miles west of Fulton. The site was located in May, 1857, by a company of New Englanders under the direction of William Hutchinson, Rev. Mr. Morton, B. B. Newton, J. C. Burnett, E. P. Higby, S. W. Cheever and D. Scott. The town site was located and laid off by this company, but not pre-empted or improved. After it was apparently abandoned, a new company, composed of Western men, and consisting of Ellis Greenfield, William Baker, S. O. Hinoe, (sic) A. Wilson, John Hawk, James Hoffnagle and M. E. Hudson, formed themselves into a company known as the Eldora Town Company, and pre-empted the same town site. The company was organized by the election of E. Greenfield, President; William Baker, Treasurer; James Hoffnagle, Secretary. Although the town was called Eldora for a time it was soon changed to Mapleton, the post office having been established by that name in 1857, with S. O. Hinoe (sic) Postmaster. The name was given from the beautiful and stately maples that shadowed the waters of Lost Creek on the north, the Osage on the south, and Possum Creek on the west of the town. The first store was started in the fall of 1858, by E. Greenfield, and consisted of a general stock. In 1859, a mill was built on the Osage River, south of the town, the company contributing toward its establishment. The mill was built and run by Mr. Jackson. It is still in operation, now a first-class custom mill with saw-mill attached.

Miss Mary Burnett taught the first school in 1858, and in 1859 a small log building was put up for a schoolhouse, and a school was there taught by Mr. George Wilcox. S. O. Hinoe (sic) started a drug store during the same year, which he soon afterward sold to E. P. Higby, and the Masons organized Eldora Lodge, No. 28, composed of seven members, which now numbers over fifty, and owns a large and commodious hall.

After the completion of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Road and the establishment of the village of Fulton, much of the trade and business of Mapleton was drawn to that point, but it is still sustained by a large and flourishing country trade. It has a fine school building 46x24, built of stone, two stories, well finished, with both rooms occupied for school purposes nine months of the year, and attended by about 114 pupils. The place now contains three general stores, a drug store, boot and shoe store, blacksmith shop, wagon shop and butcher shop. Mapleton Postmasters have been, S. O. Hinoe, (sic) whose office was at his farm residence; E. P. Higby, who was appointed by President Buchanan and has occupied the position since that time.

During 1882 the Christian or Campbellite Society have (sic) erected a handsome church building, and the Presbyterians contemplate building during the coming year.


WILLIAM BAKER, farmer, Section 24, P. O. Mapleton, native of Bourbon County, Ky., born in 1805, and when twenty-five years of age, or in 1830, he moved to Indiana; while there he was called to join a vigilance committee, and while a member, followed a horse-thief into what was the village of Chicago, shooting the thief there. In 1856, he came to Kansas and located on his farm. The first night on his landing, he was informed of the shooting of three men about claim troubles, and from that time to 1865, they were more or less disturbed. In 1859, they found it necessary to organize a vigilance committee, of which he was a member. In 1857, he had sold out and went to Kentucky, but returned to Kansas in a few months, and stood his ground through all of the perils that menaced person and property. In 1857 or 1868, he moved to his present home. He has 200 acres in his farm and reports good crops; he has gone into stock-raising, keeping the best of Durham blood and blooded horses. In 1830, he married Miss Inlow; they have two daughters--Phoebe E., who married Dr. C. R. Clark, and Mary J., who is the relict of M. E. Hudson; he died in 1882. Mr. Hudson was a pioneer, and stood the brunt of most of the troubles in early times. Being a man of more than average intelligence, he was prominent in this section up to the time of his death, having held the office of Grand Master of State Grange, and other offices of trust. He left three children.

M. BOWERS, farmer, Section 29, P. O. Berlin, native of Pike County, Ohio, born in 1835. When nine years of age, his father took them to Illinois, and in 1855 they moved to Missouri, finally coming to Kansas in 1857. His father, Henry Bowers, located on Section 28, Mill Creek Township, but moved onto Section 29 next year, 1858, Timber Hill Township, and in 1865 Mr. Bowers took 160 acres and started for himself, succeeding so well that he now has 885 acres in stock farm, having raised a good crop every year since starting. He handles about 350 cattle a year, buying, feeding, selling and raising enough corn to supply his stock. During the war he was Commissary Sergeant in the State militia. In 1861 he married Miss Edwards. They have eight children. His father died in 1867, but his stepmother is still alive, aged sixty-five. Mr. Bowers is a member of the Masonic Lodge.

J. B. BRITTON, physician and farmer, Section 27, P. O. Mapleton, is a native of Halifax County, Va., born in 1830. In 1850 he commenced the study of medicine and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1852. Located in Winston, N. C., in 1854, where he practiced his profession up to the spring of 1858, when he returned to Virginia. In the fall of that year he left Virginia for the West, and was on his way to Washington, D. C., when the troops were conveyed to Harper's Ferry to guard John Brown, of Kansas. He located in St. Joseph, Mo., where he remained until June, 1861, when he received the appointment of United States Physician for the Osage Indians from the Indian Commissioner, Dr. Robertson, whose headquarters were then in St. Joseph. He proceeded to the Osage territory, as in August a treaty was to be confirmed between the United States, and the Osage tribe, but owing to the unlooked for magnitude of the Southern rebellion and the fact that a number of Osages were implicated in it, the Government deferred making a treaty at that time. He then returned to Fort Scott, where he remained a short time, when he located at Fort Lincoln, a fort established by Gen. James H. Lane, fifteen miles north of Fort Scott, for the better protection of the border tier counties in Kansas. Dr. Britton remained in practice there until the fall of 1862, during which time he was instrumental in establishing a post office at Fort Lincoln, and was appointed first Postmaster, which he held until September, 1862, when he removed to Mapleton to take the practice of Dr. S. O. Himor, who had been commissioned as a surgeon in a Wisconsin regiment, the regiment having been raised in his native State and at his former home. Dr. Britton lived in the village until 1867, and then located on his present farm, which is located three-quarters of a mile east of Mapleton, and is beautifully improved, containing 220 acres, with an abundance of water. He farms in the most improved style and consequently successfully. In 1858, he lost his first wife in Virginia, which induced him to go West. Was married again in 1864, and has a family of four sons. The eldest, Walter, is at Lawrence, attending the University of Kansas, from which he will graduate in the classical course in 1884. The other sons are at home.

JOHN CROSS, merchant, Mapleton, is a native of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, born in 1837. He was raised in the mercantile business, and tried farming for the first time on going to Missouri in 1859, locating in Dane County; but the life not suiting him, he came to Kansas in 1861, and entered the employ of Dr. Lyon, of Mapleton. In 1862, he clerked for D. L. Campbell, and for Hudson, Campbell & Co. in 1866, and he was with E. P. Higby till 1869, when he opened a store for himself, having a partner for a while George Darling, and since 1873 has been alone, carrying a complete assortment and doing a fair business. During the war, he was with the State militia at the battle of Wilson's Creek. In 1859, he married Miss Blackmore. They have three children. Mr. Cross has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1868, and is now Secretary of the lodge, which was established October 17, 1860.

WILLIAM D. DEEDS, farmer, Section 10, P. O. Mapleton, is a native of Madison County, Ill., born 1819. While in the State of Illinois he was engaged in farming, and for a number of years was in the lead mines of Georgia. Coming from that State, he arrived in the State of Kansas in November, 1857, at once locating on Section 10, buying 160 acres of John Pitkin. This farm was unimproved, having only seven acres in corn, Mr. Deeds building his own cabin. At this time there was peace among the people of this part of the State, but it was not lasting, for in 1859 there was a party of men who came to his cabin one night intending to take his life, but, as it unfortunately happened, his son-in-law, Benjamin Bishop, was in the adjoining cabin, and, not suspecting danger, went to the door of the cabin and was shot by some of the marauders. He died six days afterward. Mr. Deeds went to Fort Scott that night, and after hunting the parties with help he obtained there he went to Missouri. This was in 1859. Soon afterward, his wife was induced by these same parties to abandon their home and follow her husband. It was while living in Missouri and trading back and forth that he was accused of carrying dispatches to the rebels, and was imprisoned in the guard house at Fort Scott. He sees in this act an attempt to deprive him of character as a loyal citizen of the United States, but it miscarried, for he found a strong friend in the Government scout, Jeff Denton, who at once cleared him of all suspicion, and related how Mr. Deeds, at a great risk to himself, had preserved, not only his (the scout's) life, but the Government dispatches also, at his home in Missouri. These scenes are still vivid in the mind of this pioneer case although the actors have all disappeared from the country. Mr. Deeds returned to his farm in 1864, and took part in the closing action of the war in this State, that of Westport; since then he has given his whole attention to farming, succeeding in accumulating a competence, and being blessed with plentiful harvests has prospered, and now has some 320 acres of well-improved land, raising stock and corn. He has been married five times, living with his last wife since 1857, formerly Miss Lawhorn. They have eleven children; there were four by the former marriages. Two of his sons were in the Union army.

E. P. HIGBY, merchant, native of Essex County, N. Y.; born in 1831; he grew to manhood, having the ordinary advantages of the farm boy, and at the age of twenty-one, changed his course of life by entering a mercantile house in Burlington, Vt., that dealt in hardware. Here he applied himself for four years, and, in 1857, came to Kansas in company with Sheaver, Byington, and others. He located on Section 21, in Timber Hill Township, Bourbon County, and the same year laid out the village of Mapleton, being one of the Town Commissioners. In 1858, he opened a general merchandise business in company with S. O. Himoe (sic); in 1861, his partner entered the service as Surgeon of the Fifteenth Wisconsin; his brother, J. E. Himoe, (sic) entered the firm in 1863. M. Wilson took his place. Mr. Higby, however, has conducted the business since 1865, himself carrying a stock of $3,000, and doing a business of $6,000 a year, also carrying on a farm. In 1863, he married Miss Baldwin, daughter of S. D. Baldwin, of Neosho, Newton County, Mo. They have three children.

GEORGE H. B. HOPKINS, farmer, Section 15, P. O. Prescott, is a native of Logan County, Ohio. He was born April 12, 1825. In the fall of 1829, his father moved to Carroll County, Ind., setting near the Tippecanoe River, two and a half miles west of Pittsburgh, where he followed farming until 1840. He then moved to Missouri, living for a time in Jasper County, and then in Taney County, where he bought a mill. In September, 1847, G. H. B. Hopkins, his brother Josiah and four others left Carthage, Mo., on a tour of exploration to Iowa. On the second night out they camped at Fort Scott, where were stationed two companies of United States troops, the only whites they saw in the Territory. Passing on through Bourbon, Linn and Miami Counties, they crossed the Missouri River at Kansas City, which then consisted of only a few log houses. They then passed through Platte City, Mo., and Council Bluffs, Iowa, and finally reached Des Moines at the time when the first frame house in that town was being erected. In 1849, Mr. Hopkins moved his family to Iowa, settling in Polk County, and learned the carpenter's trade. In 1851, he sold his farm and moved to Polk City, and engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1854, he sold his mercantile business and moved to Swede Point, where he was engaged in carpentering until the summer of 1857, when he sold this business, and in the fall, in company with his brother, moved to Bourbon County, Kan., settling on the Little Osage, September 19. In December, he bought the claim where he now lives, and moved on it in February, 1858. During the troubles that followed between the Pro-slavery and Free-State men, Mr. Hopkins was in active sympathy with the Free-State men. He lived neighbor to Hedrick at the time the latter was called from the bedside of his wife, who was supposed to be dying, to the door, and shot dead, as detailed in the county history. After the killing of Hedrick and Denton, on account of the threats of the Pro-slavery men that the Free-State men should raise no crops, nor stay upon their claims, Mr. Hopkins and his neighbor Denison, rode out among the citizens and suggested the organization of a protective society. Accordingly, a meeting was called to meet at Osage City. A large crowd collected and organized by the election of Squire Jewell, Chairman. Mr. Hopkins, Jewell and Denison were chosen a committee to draft resolutions and by-laws to govern the association. At a second meeting held three days later at the same place, James Montgomery was present, but declined to speak or to define his position until the citizens had defined theirs. The resolutions prepared by the committee were submitted to the meeting, only the third eliciting any discussion. It was as follows: "That we, the members of this organization, pledge ourselves to protect all good citizens in their rights of life and property, irrespective of politics." A long and heated discussion followed on this resolution, the question being on striking out the phrase, "irrespective of politics." When, at length the resolution was adopted as originally reported, Montgomery arose and said: "I am now with you, and will be to the end." Many similar organizations were formed throughout the country, the settlers took fresh courage and went to work with a sense of security they ad not felt for months. In 1861, Mr. Hopkins enlisted in Company C, Home Guards, and furnished horses to two comrades in the same company. He was afterward transferred to the Fourth Regiment under Col. Wier. He was mustered out March 12, 1862, and paid off together with the balance of his company. When on his way home from Wyandotte, near Paola, narrowly escaped being robbed by Quantrill's men. In the latter part of March, 1862, he moved to Fort Lincoln and engaged in mercantile business. He was soon appointed Postmaster. In the organization of the militia in the winter of 1863, Hopkins was elected and commissioned First Lieutenant of Company E, Sixth Regiment. He was afterward made Captain of the same company, and at the battle of the Big Blue was entrusted with the command of an important reconnoitering expedition, upon which he learned that Gen. Pleasanton had attacked Gen. Price. After the escape of Price from Gens. Pleasanton and Curtis, Capt. Hopkins returned to his home. He found everything destroyed, and his wife and family at Fort Lincoln. Price's forces had taken $450 from his wife, and destroyed property to the value of $2,100. In 1866, he moved onto his farm where he lived until May 18, 1875, when, on account of the grasshopper raids, he became discouraged, and, with his family and stock, moved to Swede Point, Boone County, Iowa. In the fall of 1876, he returned to his farm in Kansas, and has lived thereon ever since. Mr. Hopkins was the first Postmaster of Fort Lincoln in 1862, and was Justice of the Peace from 1862 to 1867. He was one of the distributing committee of 1860. He was married to Miss Martha Denison December 27, 1846. They have nine children living, nine others having died. Henry S. and Martha M. have taught school; the others are farmers.

R. M. D. FEEMSTER, farmer, Section 17, P. O. Fulton, native of Lowndes County, Miss., born in 1838. His father moved from South Carolina to Mississippi in 1836, bringing his family with him. He was a Congregational minister, being a graduate of Washington College, East Tennessee. In locating in Mississippi, he took the pulpit of the church in that neighborhood, and as early as 1842 introduced the slave question. He also built a schoolhouse on his land, at his own expense, and for twelve years taught in it, giving his sons and daughters an education fitting them for the Senior year in college. When the war broke out, Robert and some thirteen other men started for the North, their sympathies being there. They traveled at night and rested in the daytime for 100 miles. They reached Tuscumbia, and there took the railroad, going to Illinois, to relations at Decatur, in Macon County. Here he engaged in farming, and in the spring of 1864 attended Wheaton College, in Du Page County. Here he married, in 1864, Miss Ferguson, and in 1866 returned to his native State and county. He became then one of the leaders of Republican principles of that part of the State, and in 1871 was sent to the House of Representatives. He was re-elected in 1873 and in 1873 was on the ticket for Senator, but the organization of their Solid South leagues defeated him, in common with all Republicans, though they did not intimidate him. In 1875, he commenced preaching, and in 1878 he was ordained. He took his brother's place in the pulpit, and when he moved to Kansas part of the society came with him. So they organized here, and chose him pastor, and have regular weekly meetings in the Oxford schoolhouse, and a flourishing Sabbath school. He came to Kansas in 1879, and selected a location, and in 1880 moved his family to their present home, where he owns 176 acres well watered and fertile soil. He is prospering, having a fine family growing up around him, all of whom he is educating in the principles of his father before him.

R. T. FORBES, farmer, Section 1, P. O. Fulton, native of Jefferson County, Ill., born in 1833. He was raised on the farm, and in 1853 started for Kansas, but stopped one year in Missouri, near Sedalia. Coming to this State in 1854, together with his brother Dave, he at first took a claim on the forks of the Creek. This was given to Dave. He then took a claim of 1,000 acres, of which he has sold some five quarters. He finally located on the present farm. There were but few in this section of Kansas at that date, and as they came in and settled, Robert was looked on as an old settler, and looked up to. Although living here through the border troubles, he was not molested. He saw all the men that were shot or hung in this neighborhood, and being well versed in the geography of the country, was guide for both Montgomery and Jennison at times. He also belonged to the Home Guards during the war. In 1859, he and his brother Dave took a trip to Pike's Peak, but made nothing. Losing their summer's work, they returned to Missouri. In 1863, Robert married. His father and sister lived with him. His father died in 1864. His wife was a Miss Banks, of Missouri. They have six children alive, two dead. He now farms in stock and grain, reporting good crops for 1882.

J. R. MYRICK, farmer and miller, Section 31, P. O. Mapleton; native of Henry County, Tenn., born in 1843. He came to Kansas with his father in 1857, and located on Section 32. He has three brothers. His father died in 1863. In the troubles of this section they took no part, their father was too old and the boys too young, so they were unmolested. His father was away from the State in 1858 and again in 1861, but then settled down. Mr. Myrick farmed until 1878, when he bought the Mapleton Flour and Saw Mills, running them since in connection with his farming. He is doing well. This season he has completed a fine residence and improved the mill greatly. In 1865, he married, and now has six children.

WILLIAM M. NESBITT, farmer and hotel proprietor, is a native of Greensboro Township, Orleans Co., Vt., born in 1832. In 1858 he first came to Kansas and located a claim in the northern part of the State, but was taken sick and returned to Vermont, where he remained until 1861, when he enlisted in the Fourth Vermont Volunteer Infantry and served until May 12, 1864. He had his left arm shattered by a musket-ball in the battle of Spottsylvania Court House. He was conveyed to Fredericksburg, where his arm was amputated at the shoulder. On the 21st he was moved to Alexandria, and July 1, taken to Brattleboro Hospital, Vermont, from there he returned home and as soon as he recovered reported to the same place. From there he got transferred to Burlington. While there he attended Bryant & Stratton's College. In 1865 he came to Kansas again, where he located on a farm in Linn County just north of Mapleton. In 1866 he started back to Vermont, but stopped in Iowa and taught school for awhile. In 1867 he returned to Kansas and married Miss Tout; she was a native of Indiana. He farmed here until 1877, when he moved to Mapleton and repaired his hotel, still owning the farm. In 1871 he was elected Clerk of Linn County, and served one term. They have four children--Mary A., Leafy J., Lizzie G. and Vina E.

JOHN REESE, farmer, Section 17, P. O. Mapleton, native of Lebanon County, Penn., born March 28, 1816. In his migration westward he stopped first in Ohio and then in Northwest Missouri, but not being able to procure a farm to suit him he came to Kansas and located on his present farm, taking a claim of 160 acres in 1859. When he came to the State he was a Democrat, but did not want to take any side or part in the troubles of this section; after losing a steer and a valuable horse, he concluded to save the rest of his property by joining the ruling party, and after doing so, was not molested. He served in the State Militia, and has prospered so in his farming industry that his farm of 160 acres has increased to 600. Since the year 1860 he has not wanted, raising good crops since. In 1857, he married Miss Burkholder. They have four children--two sons and two daughters. His wife died in March, 1881. Mr. Reese has been a member of the I. O. O. F. since 1852.

A. H. TANNER, farmer, Section 7, P. O. Mapleton, is a native of Huron County, Ohio, born in 1837; was raised in Lorain County and educated at Oberlin College, leaving there in 1855; coming to Kansas in 1856, with a party of other men, they met a small party of Missourians, who ordered them back, until meeting a larger force near the Nebraska line, they were compelled to return to Iowa. In March, 1857, he got to Lawrence and from there went to Linn County, where he located on a farm and took an active part in Free-State proceedings, being nominated as one of the delegates to frame the Wyandotte Constitution. He was the recipient of one of the hundred Sharpe's rifles that were sent to John Brown and distributed at that time, and was with Montgomery on numerous raids. He was in Fort Scott under his command when Mr. Little was killed, and in 1861 joined Col. Jennison's Sharpe's rifle corps, imperiling his life in many instance under that daring leader. In 1860, he took a trip to Colorado, returning in the fall of the same year, he went back to Ohio, in 1862, but came to Kansas again in 1865, where he has been since. In 1860, he located his farm of 160 acres on Section 7, in Bourbon County. It was not until within the last few years that he was able to make farming pay, but since then he has made giant strides, perfecting his seed corn in a manner peculiar to himself; has succeeded in raising over one hundred bushels per acre, and raising and handling 100 cattle a year and about 150 hogs. His farm is now 250 acres. In 1859, he married Miss Wilson, of Kalamazoo, Mich. He has two children by his first wife, and a son by the second. His eldest son is attending school in Topeka. Mr. Tanner has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1870. His father was a member for fifty-six years, and died at Newburg, Ohio, in 1879.

D. VAN BUSKIRK, farmer, Section 36, P. O. Mapleton, native of Appanoose County, Iowa, born in December, 1849; he was raised in Davis County, and thinks there is no place like this section of Iowa, for in 1869 he came to Kansas, going to Wichita, from there to the State of Texas, then to Missouri and back to Iowa. This same year, however, he took a claim in Chautauqua County, Kan., where he farmed until 1872, when he returned to Iowa, seeming to be able to breathe freer; but Kansas offering better opportunities for stock raising, he came to his present location in December, 1877, buying eighty acres and opening up a farm, clearing and improving; his crops are good. In 1877, he married, and has one child--a girl. Mr. Van Buskirk is a Greenbacker.

HANSON WARD, farmer and teacher, Section 1, P. O. Fulton, native of Morgan County, Ohio, born in 1840. He was educated there and commenced teaching in 1859 or 1860. When the war broke out he enlisted in the First Ohio, Heavy Artillery, and did not leave the service until 1865, when he was mustered out at Louisville, Ky. He at once went back to his profession in 1867. He moved to Missouri, and taught school there until 1872, when he came to Morris County, Kan., and taught school in Parkerville. However, he returned to Missouri; thence to Ohio, where he remained until 1882, coming to Bourbon County, Kan., with his father Hiram Ward, who had never moved from his native place, until coming here. They located on their present farms 11th of March, owning 280 acres, farming, in stock and grain, and doing well.

REV. WILLIAM YOUNG, farmer, Section 1, P. O. Fort Scott, is a native of Orange County, N. Y., born in 1810, December 7. In 1827, he went to Pennsylvania, where he learned his trade, shoemaking. While in this State, he became acquainted with, and married Miss Setzer, who is a descendant of an old family who settled in Pennsylvania in 1632, locating in Northampton County, Hamilton Township. Mr. Young lived in Monroe County. In 1845, he was ordained Deacon by Bishop Wall, of Pennsylvania, and has since filled the pulpit, where he has lived, still continuing in the ministry in Kansas. He lost his eldest son in Kansas in 1855. In 1864, he moved to Kansas, bringing his family with him, and located on his present farm, where he owns 200 acres, besides eighty in Linn County. They have had eight children; his sons, W. C. and J. S., were both in the service during the war of the rebellion. W. C. is now in business in Rich Hill, Mo. J. W. is a Methodist minister in the Newark Conference. His daughter has been married three times, is now Mrs. H. S. Jennings, a prominent lawyer of Cincinnati, Ohio. His youngest son, Charles W. is farming in the neighborhood. Mr. Young has been living in Fort Scott, and on account of advancing age intends there to reside.

[TOC] [part 24] [part 22] [Cutler's History]