KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


BOURBON COUNTY, Part 24

[TOC] [part 23] [Cutler's History]

OTHER TOWNS.

Mohon.--This town is situated on rolling, timbered prairie, twelve miles southeast from Fort Scott. The first settlement was made here in 1878, by Wesley Calkins. The post office was established the same year, with J. McDonald, Postmaster. Mr. McDonald also opened a store in 1878.

Godfrey is a town on the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, five miles south of Fort Scott.

Glendale is a post office in Freedom Township, three miles west of Hammond Station.

Redfield is a station on the St. Louis, Fort Scott & Wichita Railroad, eight miles west of Fort Scott.

Berlin is a post office about ten miles west of Fort Scott. Clarkesburg and Dayton are also post offices. The latter was originally Sprattsville, and is located in the southern part of Timber Hill Township. Mill Creek post office is in Mill Creek Township, ten miles northwest of Fort Scott.

Hammond is a post office situated seven miles north of Fort Scott, in Osage Township. F. M. Allen was appointed first Postmaster.

Xenia is a small town located in Franklin Township.

Paint Creek is a post office seven miles southeast of Uniontown.

MILL CREEK TOWNSHIP.

GEORGE AMEY, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Glendale, is a native of Wayne County, Penn., born in 1835. During his early life he worked as brakeman on the railroad. This was his occupation till he was twenty-three years of age, when he went to farming. In 1858, he married Miss Saline Minor, of Pennsylvania, and then moved West to Iowa. In 1859, R. A. Williams and himself spliced teams and started for Osage City, which was supposed to be in Bourbon County, Kan., but on arriving found but one or two buildings making up the village. He then located on Section 23, taking a claim of 160 acres, on what was New York Indian land. In 1860, his wife not being able to endure the privations of the dry year, he went back to Pennsylvania. When the war broke out, he enlisted in the Home Guards, and in 1862 re-enlisted in the Sixth Kansas Cavalry, Company E. He was taken sick at Paola and sent back to Fort Scott where his wife nursed him. He then rejoined his regiment, and on the 27th of July, 1864, in the engagement on Mazzard's Prairie, thirty-four men of Company E were taken prisoners and marched to Camp Ford, where they were kept till May 27, 1865, when they were exchanged, and he was mustered out at Duvall's Bluff, Ark., returning home in July. He has since been engaged in farming. He moved from Section 23 to his present location. The last few seasons he has been dealing in hay extensively, but now gives his attention to stock and corn, of which he has a bountiful yield for 1882. They have had eight children, five living and three deceased. His son, George M., was shot through the head by a man named Wyatt who robbed him. George recovered. His daughter Katie is a teacher. The others are Asa, Judd and Clara.

WILEY BOLLINGER, farmer, Section 6, P. O. Mill Creek, is a native of Bollinger County, Mo., born in 1831. This county was named after his grandparents who settled there in 1800. When Wiley was nine years of age, his parents removed to Northwestern Missouri, on what was known as the Fat Purchase. It was here his father died in 1853. The family then removed to Greene County, in the same State, and in 1854 his brothers Joseph and Jake came to Kansas, and selected a location. So with two yoke of cattle and a wagon they moved out in 1855, staying in an unoccupied cabin till theirs was finished. They then moved on their claim. In 1856, they received notice to leave the State, as they were Free-State people. They then went to Missouri, and took refuge with a minister named Redfield, coming back the next month, however, and settling in their home. In 1861, he served as First Lieutenant of the Mill Creek Rifle Company, and in 1863 joined the State Militia going into Capt. J. J. Stewart's company. Here he was Color Bearer and Ensign. Notwithstanding the hardships and perils of the Kansas pioneer, the life in the old cabin was described as very pleasant. They at one period had post office, preaching, singing school, spelling school and literary society there. It was in 1861 that Mr. Bollinger married Miss Lee, of Jasper County, Ill. Since the war they have prospered. He now owns 220 acres of land, farming in grain and stock. He has always been a prominent man in his section, having been Justice of the Peace for fifteen years, Coroner from 1868 to 1872. In 1880, the people sent him to the State Legislature, and he is now giving his aid and support to the public schools, serving as Clerk in his school district. He has five boys and three girls, all of whom he intends shall have a good education. In the M. E. Church he is a Trustee and Steward, and Recording Steward for the circuit.

JACOB GROS, farmer, Section 5, P. O. Mill Creek, is a native of East Tennessee, born in 1830. About 1853, he started West to Arkansas, but stopped in Greene County, Mo. He then came to Kansas in 1854, looking for a location. Having selected it, he built part of a cabin and then returned to Greene County, bringing his family out in 1855, being accompanied by several other families. The only one now remaining is that of Wiley Bollinger. Settling in a wilderness, he has carved out a fine, well-improved farm, but it took almost a miraculous amount of work, and in those unsettled times a great amount of personal danger. In 1864, he was out under Capt. Dan Hall, but took no part in the disturbances, though he was compelled to hide in the timber. In 1853, he married Miss Tipton. They have five children--James, Henry, Tennessee, Charlie and Lila. Mr. Gros has been Township Treasurer for some six or eight years, and is an earnest supporter of the public schools.

D. F. HALL, farmer, Section 2, P. O. Mill Creek, is a native of Portage County, Ohio, born in 1834. He remained at home until he was twenty years of age and then went to work on the Cleveland & Cincinnati Railroad. Having learned the carpenter's trade, he then went to Illinois, where he went to farming in McDonough County, but with poor success, for he first lost his crops and then his farm. In this condition he emigrated to Kansas, locating on Section 2, his present home, stopping with his brother at first until he had built. He arrived February 10, 1859, with little or nothing, and since then has accumulated a little fortune in stock and land, now having some 1,361 acres, all fenced, stocked with about 200 head of cattle and 200 hogs and Norman graded horses. On the homestead piece of land he has put some $8,000 in a fine residence and improvements. He went through all the earlier troubles, losing some property, and serving in the State militia. In 1864, his wife and family were exposed to the guerrilla warfare which raged here at that time. In 1858 he married Miss Stinson. They have four boys and two girls. Being always an earnest supporter of education, he is giving his children the advantages of the State Normal College, located at Fort Scott--William, Clarence, Ellsworth, Effie, Leonard and Maud.

W. H. HARRIS, farmer, Section 1, P. O. Mill Creek, is a native of Lower Canada, born in 1838. His parents were of English descent, and settled there at an early period. In the same year that he was born they moved to Ohio, remaining there until 1843, going thence to Illinois, where they lived until 1860. They then came to Kansas in 1860, the party consisting of his parents (both since deceased), his brothers George, John and William, also one sister, now married and living in Dakota. W. H. located in Mill Creek Township on his present farm, and has succeeded in making a beautiful home for himself and family, farming in stock and grain. In 1860, he married Miss Vineyard. sic They have one daughter. Mr. Harris has held many of the gifts in the power of the people, such as Township Trustee, School Treasurer, etc. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, having joined in 1865.

H. HIXON, farmer, Section 23, P. O. Dayton, is a native of Highland County, Ohio, born in 1828. Most of his youth and years were spent in Illinois, but in 1858 he came to Kansas in search of milder climate and a larger range for stock. At first he settled on Section 10, in the timber, but in 1859 he moved to his present home. He is well known as the pioneer mail contractor, having three different mail routes, and during the years of the rebellion carrying the mail was attended with great danger, especially the route from Dayton to Pawnee, where he only escaped several ambushes by changing his route each time. He carried the mail up to the year 1866, giving his attention to farming. In 1850, he married Miss Wade. They have four children, two boys and two girls. He is a member of the M. E. Church. His farm has increased in acreage, amounting now to 400 acres.

E. KEPLEY, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 27, P. O. Berlin, is a native of Davidson, N. C., born in 1825. In 1835, he moved to Greene County, Mo., and in 1854 came to Kansas. He first located in the southeast quarter of Section 10, Timber Hill Township. They were unmolested here for a while. Mr. Kepley and Tom Whitlock explored all this country before locating, and E. Kepley built the first cabin on the Osage River, claiming all the land they wanted, as there was no one to dispute. In 1856, the family moved to Drywood Township, where they stayed some four or five weeks, and then returned to the farm. In the fall of 1857, a party of eighteen armed men visited the place. Four of them came into the cabin and engaged in conversation, while the others ran off his horses. As soon as he found out his loss, being a man of decision and iron nerve, he at once went to the nearest village, Mapleton, and rallied a force for the purpose of following the robbers. He then proceeded to Fort Bayne, where Col. Montgomery was in command. There Mr. Kepley found two of the men, whom he recognized, but was referred to Gen. Lane, who, when he heard the particulars, said he would help no Democrat. The horses were returned. In 1859, not having any horses, as he could not keep them, his steers were taken. About this time a vigilance committee was organized. Mr. Kepley and a friend, J. B. Dejarnett, at once traced the steers to Osawatomie, but found they were not able to procure the arrest of the thieves, who were supposed to be Pat Devlin and Steele. The cattle were returned to Mr. Kepley's wife, and he gave the man the reward offered, $75. In 1860, the family moved to the State of Missouri, Mr. Kepley being about ruined. But the troubles ceasing, he returned in 1861, and served during the war in the State militia. Mr. Kepley's misfortunes did not cease with the coming of peace in 1865, but in 1866 his house was invaded by two desperadoes, who compelled them to deliver $670 to them at the muzzle of a pistol, but, singular as it may appear, he has continued to prosper, and since his last reverse, has steadily gained, until to-day we find him the owner of 1,200 acres, located in the richest and most fertile portion of Bourbon County, stocked with the finest Durham cattle, premium Poland-China and McGee hogs, which he thinks excel all others. His herd of Short-horns numbers 60, while he handles about 200 head of stock cattle a year, with from 200 to 500 hogs. His corn will average sixty bushels to the acre, and in every respect he is the leading farmer of the county. In 1849, he married Miss Pipkin, of Tennessee. They have nine children living and five deceased. Mr. Kepley belongs to the Masonic lodge.

B. WILTSE, merchant and Postmaster, P. O. Mill Creek, is a native of Erie County, N. Y., born in 1832. He read law with Mr. Thayer, since Governor of Oregon, and finished his law studies at the Genesee Western Seminary, afterward practicing at Bowling Green, Ind., Chippewa Falls, Wis., and on coming to Kansas was admitted to the bar of the State. He located in Mill Creek in March, 1881, and opened a store, and at the same time taking the post office. He has about forty acres of land also, which he farms. He has been married, and now has a son and a daughter. Mr. Wiltse is a member of the Masonic fraternity and a Democrat.

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP.

J. R. ANDERSON, farmer, Section 4, P. O. Xenia, is a native of Virginia. His father, Charles Anderson, moved to Missouri in 1853, then came to Kansas in 1856; located on Section 4, southwest quarter, where they took 160 acres. The family took no part in the early troubles, but when R. Forbes and Dye robbed Scott's store, of Xenia, he was among the number that traced the parties, and afterward when the citizens surrounded Rube Forbes, one of the robbers of the party, he and his two friends, Lieut. Ford and Mr. Vansyckle went into the thicket where the desperado was concealed, and before they came out both his friends had been shot. He had the satisfaction of seeing Forbes brought out dead soon afterward. Mr. Anderson first enlisted in the Third Kansas, but was transferred to the Sixth. He was mustered out in 1862. In 1863 his father died, and in July he enlisted in the Fourteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, Company I, and served until 1865. In 1863, he had homesteaded 160 acres on Sections 4 and 5, and in 1866, he married Miss Williams. They have seven boys and two girls. His farm now consists of 200 acres. He handles about 100 head of cattle a year and 200 hogs. His crop of corn will average forty bushels to the acre, and he has some seventy or eighty tons of millet. Mr. A. has held most of the township offices, and is now County Commissioner; is an A. F. & A. M., having been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1870.

MARK BOULWARE, farmer, Section 29, P. O. Xenia, native of Parkersburg, W. Va., born in 1830. While at home he learned the carpenter trade and then took a tramp across Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to Iowa, where for his work he took a yoke of oxen and wagon and went to a place on the boundary line between Saline and Lafayette Counties, Mo. In 1851, his cousin, William Chapman, and himself, came to Kansas, but were not suited with the looks of the country, so went back, but came in 1858 and located on Section 24, where he opened up a farm and then sold to M. and A. Wilson, moving to his present farm during the years 1858 and 1859, and during the war, although he was out several times on military duty, he engaged in only one battle, that of Westport, or the Big Blue. In 1862, he married Miss Brockman, and they have one boy and three girls. His farm consists of 312 acres, growing stock, fruit and grain; he has twenty-eight acres in apples of seventy-five varieties, also peaches and pears, having 500 pear grafts on apple trees; he handles fifty head of cattle a year, and reports forty bushels of corn to an acre. His cousin, William Chapman, returned to Kansas and died here in 1868; he had served during the war under Jackson and Early, and finally came to his friend and cousin's home and died. Mr. Boulware has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1861.

J. M. DAVIS, farmer and stock-dealer, Section 24, P. O. Xenia, native of Pennsylvania, born in 1837. He comes of English and Scotch ancestors, the Davis line are English and the Bartletts are Scotch. The family moved to Ohio in 1853, where he was educated, and in 1857 he went to the north shore of Lake Superior for his health, and went to teaching school among the Manx, a curious people from the Isle of Man. In Lake County, Minn., he bought a one-quarter section of land, and in 1858, took a tramp of five days, and arrived at St. Paul, looking for work, and after getting it, found he could not get paid, so went to teaching again; taught near Northfield and also near Hastings, Minn., going to Illinois in 1859, where he taught and then went to farming. In 1861, he married Miss Holeman, and in 1866, he came to Kansas, having sold his land in Illinois. He bought on Section 23, and opened up a small farm that has grown to such grand proportions since in 1868 he had a poor crop, and in 1875 had lost money on cattle; but notwithstanding these back-sets sic he now has 2,000 acres in his farm, handling some 150 head of cattle, between 400 and 500 hogs; he has some forty horses and mules, his horses of Norman blood. Around 1,600 acres he has five miles of hedge fence, and seven miles of barb wire fence, as well as stone and rail fences. His residence was erected at the cost of $3,500; he has also a fine orchard of 600 apple trees. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have seven boys and one girl. The daughter is away at school. Mr. Davis is a Mason, and is now Township Trustee, having held numerous other township offices. He is a Democrat.

J. H. DECKER, manufacturer and dealer in furniture and coffins, Xenia, is a native of Germany, and was born in 1847. He emigrated to America in 1868, and came to Kansas in 1869, where he was employed in the Government works at Leavenworth; then coming to Xenia he bought property, and since has put up store buildings and improvements to the amount of $1,500. He is now doing a business of $5,000 a year. He married in 1876, Miss Johnston. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1874. He is Secretary now of the Xenia organization.

L. E. COLLINS, merchant, Xenia, native of Michigan, born in 1848. He came to Kansas in 1869 and located with his brother on Mill Creek Township, on a farm where he remained until 1875, when he sold his farm to his brother and removed to Xenia; there he married Miss Love, taking his father-in-law's farm until 1879, when he bought out Mr. W. F. B. Griggby, who was doing business as M. E. Griggby. Mr. Collins now carries about $4,000 in stock and does from $11,000 to $12,000 per year. Mr. and Mrs. Collins have two children--a boy and a girl.

HILLEARY & JONES, general merchants, Xenia, established in 1880. They carry about $2,000 in stock and do a business of $6,000 a year, expecting to improve their place and double their sales the coming year. Mr. Hilleary is a native of Vermillion County, Ill., born in 1848. He came to this State in 1867, and settled on a farm adjoining the village, with his father; then they opened the store. Mr. Hilleary took charge and Mr. Jones conducts the farm, handling stock and raising grain.

A. M. KIRKPATRICK, M. D., Xenia, native of Holmes County, Ohio, born in 1838. He was raised on a farm and commenced the study of medicine in 1859 with Dr. Wagner, then with the firm of Drs. Lerome & Rose, of Effingham. In 1861, he enlisted in the Ninety-Eighth Illinois Volunteer Mounted Infantry, Company K. He was First Lieutenant of this company, but on account of the absence of the Captain was acting as Captain and received that officer's pay. He resigned this post for one in the hospital at Murfreesboro, in company with a Dr. Groves. This gave him an opportunity in practical surgery. After leaving there he attended Rush Medical College in 1864-65. He the commenced practice in Effingham County, Ill., going to London City and from there to Kansas in 1869 and locating in Xenia. His first case, a difficult one, was treated successfully, and he has built up an excellent practice over a circuit of ten miles. In 1867, he married Miss Alvira Kelly. They have two boys and two girls. The Doctor keeps on hand an excellent stud of roadsters, of Morgan blood.

T. J. LOVE, merchant, Xenia, native of Morgan County, Ohio; born in 1848. His father's family moved to Missouri in 1854, and, in 1860, they came to Kansas, locating on Section 3. In 1862, his father made a venture in the mercantile line, but went back to the farm again. Mr. Love also tried farming, but sold his farm on Section 6, and bought J. W. Neil out, now carrying on a general merchandise business, with a stock of $3,000, and doing about $6,000 per annum in business. In 1870, he married, now having four children. Mr. Love has been a member of the Masonic Lodge since March, 1882.

S. O. MARKHAM, farmer, Section 21, P. O. Xenia, native of Cattaraugus County, N. Y., born in 1842. In 1851, his family moved to Illinois, where he remained until 1860, when he came to Kansas, locating on his present farm. During the dry year of 1860, he took the opportunity to go out on the plains and shoot buffalo, providing the family with plenty of meat. He also helped bring relief from Atchison that year. He was a Free-State man from the first, and joined the Wide Awake association. He took part in the capture of the desperado Rube Forbes, and served in the regular volunteer service, afterward in the militia at Westport. In 1860, he started his farm by homesteading 160 acres, and now has a large stock and grain farm, handling from 100 to 200 head of cattle a year. His corn crop is good, going forty bushels to the acre. In 1868, he married Miss Gragg. They have two girls. Mr. Markham has been always active in the Republican committee here, and has been a Mason since 1873.

EDWARD MURPHY, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Xenia, native of Limerick, Ireland; born in 1832. He came to America in 1846, landing in New York. He went to Maine, where, as he grew up, he worked in the pineries and learned the trade of bellows-making; afterward the trade of cracker baker. In 1851, he enlisted in the regular United States Army, but left that and went to Arkansas, going to farming there, and in 1861, he enlisted in the First Arkansas Battery. When they organized the Home Guards, he went into that as a Major, but this was in 1865, and they broke up, he coming to Kansas and locating on his present farm. It was wholly unimproved at this time. He put up his cabin and broke up the rich bottom lands that have since yielded him such abundant harvests, not differing ten bushels of corn to the acre one year with another since 1865, the average being sixty bushels. His method of farming is similar to others of this section--stock and corn. He married in Arkansas, having a family of nine children. He lost his wife in 1881. Mr. Murphy is a Greenbacker and a Catholic.

CHARLES MURROW, farmer, Section 24, P. O., Xenia, native of Clark County, Ind.; and while he was still very young the family moved to Iowa, living in Polk County till 1859. When he was twenty years of age, his father offered him $100 a year, and then for the next year he got $12 a month. He and his brother started with a calf. He traded his for a colt, and on coming to Kansas in 1859, he traded a sack of flour, a gun and the colt for his claim of 160 acres. He has since so prospered that he has 800 acres on his farm, and handles 200 head of cattle a year, with 200 hogs. This year he reports forty bushels of corn to an acre. In 1865, he married, and has a family of six children, two girls and four boys.

L. G. PORTER, merchant, Xenia, native of Franklin County, Ohio, born in 1840, attended the common school in Columbus, Ohio, but did not receive much benefit until he attended the High School at Springfield, Ill. From school, after some experience with his father, who was a merchant, he went to buying cattle for a Springfield firm in Missouri, and bringing them to Illinois. he was at this business four years, and then tried agricultural implements for a year; he then entered the mercantile business, and in 1868 opened a store in a little place in Kansas called Mount Florence; selling out there he came to Xenia, and bought Mr. Etna Ecart's sic mercantile establishment, carried on in a building, room 20x30, and a stock of $1,800. In 1874, he carried all that his shoulders would hold, the farmers raising no crops that year; he now carries a stock of $4,000, and does a business of $10,000 a year. In 1870 he moved into his present stand, which has made quite extensive, and in 1869 he married, having now four children. Mr. Porter has been Township Treasurer, and has held school offices, but the people have this year asked him to represent this district in the State Legislature. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1871.

FRANK M. SMITH, farmer and hotel proprietor, Xenia, is a native of Tennessee, and was born in 1827; he was raised in Illinois, and came to Kansas in 1858 from that State. He located on the Osage River on Section 27, Franklin Township, which farm he still has. In the early troubles he endeavored to take no part, but finally found himself working in the Free-State party, though taking no part in the wild and thrilling adventures of Jayhawkers. He was conversant with the facts, and when the war broke out he went into the fourteen days of service under T. S. Brockman, and afterward into Capt. O. P. Boynes' company, being in the Westport battles. He is now living in the village of Xenia, in the hotel business. In 1855 he married Miss Stover. Mr. Smith has two brothers living in Kansas. His wife's father died in 1881, aged seventy-five years.

J. S. W. STEVENSON, farmer, Section 33, P. O. Xenia, native of Illinois, born in 1840. His father, Samuel, moved to Kansas in 1857, July 4, and located on Section 33. The next year John Van Syckle and his father laid out the village plat of Xenia. When they first arrived on their claim, there seemed to be no party line, but a family trouble arising between two families, Stone's Free-State, and Southwood's, Pro-slavery, the settlers at once organized and the Stevensons were on the Free-State side, and John afterward joined the Wide Awakes, a Free-State organization, and from this time to the end they were actively employed in maintaining their own against aggressors. His father died in 1862, and John was then in the field, present at most of the raids and excursions undertaken by the citizens or settlers of this section. In June, 1861, John enlisted in Jennison's company. They disbanded and his father recruited them into Company I. John joined Company L, under Capt. Van Syckle. They were attached to the Third Kansas, but in 1862 transferred to Sixth Kansas, and then disbanded on account of illegal enlistment, and in 1863 John veteranized, and served to the end of the war. The family of three boys--John, S. A. and W. C., and some of the girls and their mother, now sixty-eight years of age, are engaged in farming and handling stock. Only one of the brothers is married, S. A., to Miss Abbey. Mr. Samuel Stevenson was Captain of Company I when he died, and had been through some hard fighting on Paint Creek, being also at Scott, where Little was shot. John was foremost in tracing and capturing Rube Forbes in 1862.

J. A. WILLETT, farmer, Section 21, P. O. Xenia, native of McNary County, Tenn., born in 1832. When he was three years of age, the family moved to Texas, remaining till 1842, then going to Arkansas, where he staid sic till 1851, then to Illinois, and from there, in 1854, to Arkansas, and in 1857 he went to Texas, where he staid sic till 1859, when the questions or issues arising that led to the war of the rebellion, they moved to Arkansas, but here it was as dangerous, for they were notified to leave the State, and he was attended part of the way by the vigilance committee. On arriving in Kansas in 1860, he bought a claim of Mr. Cassell, and afterward pre-empted a piece, now having about 320 acres, which is farmed in stock and grain. He handles 100 head of cattle a year, and his corn crop of 1882 will average forty bushels to an acre. In 1854, he married Miss Parsons. They have one daughter, Eldora, whom they have given a finished education, and who will graduate this year from the Lawrence University, in the department of music. Mr. Willett was the first Master of the Xenia Masonic organization, and charter member.

[TOC] [part 23] [Cutler's History]