produced this selection.

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.


PART 1: Location, Surface and Productions | Map and Population | Early History | Organization and Other County Matters | Schools, Manufacturers and Statistics | Sedan, Part 1
PART 2: Sedan, Part 2 | Biographical Sketches (Arnold - Hogan)
PART 3: Biographical Sketches (Keeny - Webb)
PART 4: Peru | Chautauqua Springs | The Springs
PART 5: Biographical Sketches | Cedar Vale | Biographical Sketches (Appleby - Crocker)
PART 6: Biographical Sketches (Donelson - Tabler) | Elgin
PART 7: St. Paul | Matanzas | Jonesburg | Harrison Township
INDEX: [A-F] | [G-M] | [N-Z]


CHAUTAUQUA County was formerly, in common with Elk County, included in the county of Howard. By an act of the Legislature, which took effect on the 1st day of June, 1875, that portion of Southern Kansas known as Howard County, became divided into two equal parts, and called Elk and Chautauqua Counties, the latter comprising the south half of old Howard County.

Chautauqua County, therefore, lies in the most southerly tier of counties in the State, the north line of the Indian Territory forming its southern boundary, while on the east lies the county of Montgomery, Elk on the north and Cowley County on the west. The county is twenty-one miles from north to south, and thirty-one miles from east to west; having an area of 651 square miles, or 416,640 acres.

The general surface of the county is rough and broken, abounding in rocky ridges and high, bluffy elevations. Toward the north, it becomes more even, and in some places sufficiently smooth to admit of cultivation; but a very large portion of the county is incapable of being cultivated at all. There are, however, rich level bottom lands lying along the streams susceptible of easy tillage and highly productive. It is estimated that the bottom lands comprise about one fourth of the entire county, and from these nearly all the agricultural products are derived.

The county is covered with a rich growth of wild grasses, however, which with its numerous streams and springs of healthful water and abundant growth of timber for shelter, makes this one among the finest stock-growing regions in the State.

The principal of the water courses are the Big and Middle Caney Creeks and Salt Creek, each of which is fed by numerous other streams of varied size and importance. A considerable growth of timber is also found in this county, and although the greater portion and the best quality is found along the streams, yet in some places it covers the hills and draws. The principal varieties of the timber are cottonwood and white oak, and other varieties in limited quantities, while that upon the bluffy lands is made up of a species of oak, vulgarly known as "black jack."

The mineral resources of the county are practically unimportant so far as discoveries have been made. Coal has been found in some parts, but in such limited quantities as to render its development unprofitable, the veins being surface veins of from only three to fifteen inches in thickness.

A few specimens of lead ore were discovered in the south part of the county, but further investigation failed to reveal the presence of the mineral in quantities sufficiently large to justify its development, and the enterprise was abandoned. There is, however, an almost inexhaustible supply of sand, and limestone of excellent quality and valuable for building purposes, which abounds generally throughout the county.

Pottery and fire clays have been found in some localities, but in small amounts, the latter having been utilized to some extent.



(a) Belleville Township ......................1,262
(b) Caneyville Township ........................864
(c) Center Township ............................631
(d) Harrison Township ..........................886
(e) Hendricks Township .........................860
(f) Jefferson Township .......................1,068
(g) Lafayette Township .........................817
(h) Little Caney Township ......................889
(i) Salt Creek Township ........................753
(j) Sedan Township, including Sedan City .....1,476
(k) Summit Township ............................762
(l) Washington Township ........................804

     Total ..................................11,072
Sedan City .....................................665

(a)  Organized in 1875 from Howard County.
(b)  Organized in 1875 from Howard County;
     in 1878, a part attached to Summit.
(c)  Organized in 1875 from Howard County;
     in 1878, a part attached to Summit.
(d)  Organized in 1878 from part of Jefferson.
(e)  Organized in 1878 from parts of Jefferson and Sedan.
(f)  Organized in 1875 from Howard County; in 1878,
     parts attached to Harrison, Hendricks and Summit.
(g)  Organized in 1875 from Howard County.
(h)  Organized in 1875 from Howard County.
(i)  Organized in 1875 from Howard County.
(j)  Organized in 1875 from Howard County;
     in 1878, parts attached to Hendricks and Summit.
(k)  Organized in 1878 from parts of Caneyville, Center,
     Jefferson and Sedan.
(l)  Organized in 1875 from Howard County.


The first white settler that located in what is now Chautauqua County was Richard Slater, who came in July, 1868, and settled on a claim in Salt Creek Valley, in Salt Creek Township, in the northeast corner of the county. The land, however, was not open to settlement at that time, being owned by the Big and Little Osage Indians, from whom it was obtained by the Government under a treaty made with the Indians while holding their grand council on the Verdigris River in 1870. In July, 1869, William Bowcher settled in Lafayette Township, and, in the fall of the same year, settlement was first made in Harrison Township by O. Hanson; in Sedan Township, by H. S. Hallady; Caneyville Township, by Alexander Shawver; in Summit Township; by George M. Ross, and in Belleville Township, by John W. Morris and John Sutton.

O. Hanson, the first settler to enter what is now Sedan Township, having limited means and no vehicle, was compelled to transport his worldly goods to his place of settlement on a "stone-boat."

The population of the county, given for various periods, shows more plainly the rate of increase and degrees of development of the county in point of settlement.

IN 1870, the population of Howard County numbered 2,794, and in 1875, just prior to the division of the county, it was 13,632. Just following the creation of Chautauqua County, in 1875, its population was 7,417, and in 1878 it was 9,246, or an increase in three years of 1,829. In 1879, it was 10,537, or an increase in one year of 1,291. In 1882, the population numbered about 12,000.

The first term of the Eleventh Judicial District Court convened at Belleville, Howard County, May 15, 1871; W. P. Campbell, Judge, and Daniel Carr acting as Clerk. The first case docketed for hearing was that of the State of Kansas, ex rel, against Daniel Carr and others. It was a mandamus case to compel the county officers to remove from Elk Falls to Peru.

On the 4th day of June, 1870, M. Smith, Probate Judge of Howard County, issued the first marriage license to J. M. Cole and Margaret J. Comer, and on the next day united them in the legal bonds of matrimony.

The first marriage in Salt Creek Township was that of Ebenezer Horton and Martha Starks, February 14, 1869; in Caneyville, John C. Johnson and Helen Cooley July 2, 1871; in Harrison Township, Hiram Winter and Mary Conklin, March, 1871; in Sedan Township, J. M. Culver and C. Helms, February 15, 1872.

The first birth in Harrison Township was that of Grundy White, March 9, 1870; in Salt Creek Township, Abigail Slater, February 20, 1869; in Lafayette Township, Robert Narrow, July 5, 1870.

The only Democrats that have been elected to offices of importance on a square political fight were Col. Donaldson, County Attorney; Eli Titus, Sheriff, and E. S. Cummings, Representative.

L. P. Getman established the first store in the county, at Elgin, and John Lee, William Gamble and Beadle Welsh started the first saw mill at the same place, and which they brought from Wisconsin in 1870.

It was at this place that the first preaching in the county was held by Rev. S. Records, in the first schoolhouse that was erected; and W. C. Watkins was the first class-leader. Watkins, it is claimed by some, was the first settler in the county.

In 1875, two men by the name of John Bybee and Jesse Peterson, living in what is known as "Hell's Bend" in the southwest part of the county and who had been long-time friends, got into a quarrel which almost resulted in the loss of life. On the 4th of July of that year, Bybee, in company with others, went to Peterson's residence, a log house, and shot at Peterson through a crack between the logs, but without effect. Bybee was arrested and brought to trial, which was delayed by one means and another, lasting through a period of between two and three years, and was finally acquitted. The old feud, however, stood unabated, and in 1877 the parties again came in contact at Cedarvale, and operations began. Bybee shot at Peterson without effect, who in return shot his antagonist through the jaw. Peterson was held for trial and was discharged, and soon afterward left the county, going to Texas. Following this escapade, Bybee fell a mortal victim to a shot fired by a man named Fell, whom Bybee had accused of stealing his horses.

Another instance of a murderous character was that which took place between a sporting man by the name of Jack McCallister, familiarly known as "Happy Jack," and L. M. Finch, the two having become involved in a difficulty, whereupon Finch shot McCallister.

In 1871 is recorded the murder of Jones by one McClarning.

The trouble arose at a dance that was held south of Sedan, a short distance, at which Jones made some remark concerning some of the ladies which the other in resenting, caused a disturbance, resulting as above related. McClarning was arrested, tried and found guilty, and is now serving out the penalty of his offense in the penitentiary.

In the spring of 1872 took place the murder of one Harper, by his brother, the scene of the affray being in the vicinity of Peru.

The quarrel from which the murder took place arose concerning a water bucket.


The incorporation of Chautauqua County was provided for in the act under which its formation took place, taking effect June 1, 1875. Upon that day M. B. Light, as Clerk of the county of Chautauqua, removed to Sedan, the place appointed to be the county seat by the terms of the division act. The other county officials were detained at Elk Falls by injunction, until the constitutionality of the act should be tested by the Supreme Court, the matter having been brought before that tribunal.

The constitutionality of the measure, however was upheld by the judgment of the court; the entire matter was put to rest, and the necessary changes were made.

The sentiment of the people of Chautauqua County upon the location of the county seat was put to the test in the general election of 1875, and by this mean all the disagreeable and expensive features of a county seat election were happily avoided. As a further inducement to allow the matter to remain quiet, a proposition was made by the town of Sedan, to donate a court house, in an uncompleted state, to the county, in case the county seat be allowed to remain with them, which offer was accepted. According to the terms of the promise, the substantial stone walls of a court house were at once erected, and turned over into the hands of the county authorities for the completion of the building.

By this means the county was provided with a suitable building for all needful purposes, at the minimum expenditure of only $2500, which otherwise would have cost the county not less than $8,000. The first corps of officers elected in Chautauqua County were: Representative, H. Berry; Sheriff, J. L. Mattingly; District Clerk, T. N. King; County Clerk, E. B. Hibbard; Probate Judge, N. Wheeler; County Attorney, J. D. McBrian; Superintendent Public Instruction, J. C. Ross; Treasurer, W. Jones; Register of Deeds, W. F. Lemmon; Surveyor, A. Ellis; Commissioners, John Lee, E. M. Hewings, J. W. Springer; District Judge, W. P. Campbell; State Senator, H. C. St. Clair.

The present (1882) county officials are: William Boyd, Sheriff; C. M. Knapp, Clerk; E. W. Davis, Treasurer; M. B. Light, Attorney; A. Kilmer, Register of Deeds; R. G. Ward, Clerk of the District Court; N. H. Merrill, Probate Judge; D. E. Shartell, County Superintendent; A. D. Woodman, County Surveyor; C. B. Sipple, Coroner; J. E. Lewis, J. M. Short, S. Holroyd, Commissioners.

Subsequent to the organization of Howard County, the finances of the county suffered very materially from a number of causes, until the people became loaded with a weight of indebtedness, which even yet weighs upon them heavily. This indebtedness was brought about in several ways, beginning as early as 1871, when Elias Lovett, Sheriff of Chautauqua County, swindled it out of $500, and during the same year C. P. Douglas, County Treasurer, from some unknown cause, could not balance his cash account by exactly $1,662.41.

Following this, in 1874, E. D. Custer, County Treasurer, proved a defaulter to the amount of $10,000, making a total sum of $12,000 that had been stolen from the people of the county. In 1873, the records had been stolen, requiring heavy expenses in obtaining their recovery; the tax roles had been destroyed, and had to be duplicated and legalized by the Legislature, by reason of which, parties in some instances were called upon to pay levies that had already paid. This, with the continued drain upon the treasury upon the county seat contests, all served to pile upon the people of the county an enormous indebtedness, which at the time the division was made, amounted to nearly $60,000.

When the division of Howard County was effected, an equal division of its indebtedness was also made between the two counties into which it was formed. Thus the new county of Chautauqua sprung into existence, under the unfavorable condition of being weighed down with a debt of almost $30,000.

On the 1st day of July, 1876, the county issued bonds to the amount of $18,060, to fall due at dates ranging from 1885 to 1891, at ten per cent interest, with which the county indebtedness became funded. Later, in October of the same year, another issue of bonds was made, to the amount of $7,560, which were given in exchange for bonds already due.

The bonded indebtedness of the county in 1882 was $26,493.50, and the amount of outstanding county warrants was $873.50. The amount expended for county purposes during the last year was $15,840.92. Funds received during year, $26,343.18, and the total disbursements for the same time aggregated the same amount.

The total liabilities for the county is $37,289.37, while the assets, including the values of such properties belongs to the county in its corporate capacity, amounts to $27,843.60, or $9,445.77 less than the liabilities. The amount of outstanding school bonds at this time, and which were issued by the several school districts, amount to $16,980. From this it will be seen that the bonded indebtedness upon the people of the county for all purposes amounts to $43,473.50.

Directly upon the erection of the county, and the establishment of the county seat, it become supplied with a commodious court house. The promptness with which this want was supplied, was occasioned by the fact that one of the conditions upon which the town of Sedan was made the county seat, was that she should donate the unfinished walls of the court house to the county. The proposition was submitted to the town, and upon its being accepted by the county, no time was allowed to intervene until a compliance was made on the part of the city. Accordingly, in 1875, the substantial walls of the building were prepared and turned over into the hands of the county authorities upon completion.

It is a two-story stone structure, the lower floor being occupied by the several county offices, and the upper as a court room.

A substantial stone jail with steel cages was built in 1877. In connection with the jail is also a residence for the Sheriff of the county.


The first schoolhouse in Chautauqua County was erected in 1870, at the village of Elgin, in Hendricks Township, and houses in other Townships were erected as follows: Salt Creek, May, 1872; Summit, Summer of 1872; Caneyville, October, 1872; Harrison, Summer of 1873; Lafayette, 1870; Belleville (Peru), 1875; Sedan (Sedan City), 1872; Jefferson (Cedar Vale), Spring of 1872.

Since the first settlement was made in the county, the establishment and improvement of the educational department has kept even pace with the physical and material development. Schools became established in localities as rapidly as the settlements would justify, and no means were spared nor delay suffered to interpose, until suitable and convenient school privileges were accrued in every part of the county. There are, at the present time, eighty-seven school districts in the county, an increase of forty-five in the last two years, each of which is supplied with a comfortable building.

The census of 1880 shows the school population of the county to be 2,097, while at present (1882) it is 4,421; or more than double what it was in 1880. The number of teachers employed in 1880 was 54, in 1882, 100. The estimated value of school property in 1880 was $4,550; in 1882, $52,200. The tax raised in 1881 for school purposes aggregated $71,242.48.

J. C. Ross was the first County Superintendent, R. G. Ward second, J. T. Bradley third and D. E. Shartel the fourth and now in office.

There are three graded schools in the county, and are located in Sedan, Peru and Cedar Vale, these being the highest order of educational institutions in the county. Considerable attention is given to the educational interests by the people of the county, great care being taken in the selection of competent and judicious men for the position of Superintendent, under whom the grade of the schools have been advanced as rapidly as practicable, and the schools will compare in point of efficiency with those of older and otherwise more advanced communities.

Chautauqua County boasts of ten manufacturing establishments, aggregating a capital of $21,900. These, however, are mostly flouring and saw mills, there being one cotton gin and a few other unimportant establishments. These are as follows:

At Cloverdale -- flouring-mill, Frank Clark proprietor, capital $3500; cornmeal, W. N. Hall, proprietor, capital $600; flour mill, Tabler and Maxwell, proprietors, capital $3500. At Sedan -- Steam flour mill, M. Liebenburg and Co., proprietors, capital $3000. At Harts Mills -- flour mill, William Vail, proprietor, capital $1000; Peru steam and water, flour and saw mill, P. Norris, proprietor, capital $7000. At Mantanzas -- steam saw mill, J. Pennington, proprietor, capital $800. At Peru -- cotton gin, horse power, Logan, Fairfax and Co., proprietors, capital $500; saw and grist mill, H. Brauen, proprietor, capital $1000. Harts Mills -- a water-tower flour mill, Maim and Kyger, proprietors, capital $1000.

A careful attendance upon the facts exhibited from the following comparisons of statistics for the years 1878, 1880 and 1882, will show the progress of development and the increase of the material wealth and prosperity of the county. In 1878 the number of taxable acres of real estate in the county was 179,108, the assessed value of which was $633,568; the value of town lots was $34,353 and of all personal property $277,786.35, or a grand total of $945,907.35. In 1880, there were 206,966 taxable acres, valued at $659,037; town lots valued at $48,849, and the aggregate value of the personal property was $319,595, making a total value of all the property in the county, amounting to $1,027,481, an increase of that over 1878 of $81,573.65. In 1882, the taxable acreage of real estate was 268,901, of which there were 68,377 acres in cultivation. The assessed value of the taxable farm lands was $773,363; of town lots $73,521; of personal property, $417,921, making, as the aggregate value of all the property in the county, the sum of $1,264,805.15, an increase over 1878 of $318,897.80, and over 1880, $237,324.15.

From these figures it will easily be determined that the value of property for the two years between 1880 and 1882 exceeds that for the same period between 1878 and 1880 to the amount of $155,750.50.

The increase in value of the live stock in 1880 over 1878 was $31,952.25; of 1882 over 1880, $113,027.75, and the increase of the same for the four years from 1878 to 1882 was $144,980.

In 1882, the number of acres planted to wheat was 1,796, rye, 44; corn, 46,430; barley, 6;[sic]513; cotton, 456; flax, 348; tobacco, 5; broomcorn, 19; millet and Hungarian, 6,936; timothy, 42; clover, 5.

Of fruit trees, there were in bearing 28,435 apple; 888 pear; 131,729 peach; 2,546 plum, and 8,160 cherry.

The number of fruit trees not bearing were, apple, 46,140; pear, 2,213; peach, 46,539; plum, 3,883; cherry, 10,873.

Number of acres in raspberries, 19; blackberries, 21; strawberries, 2. Number of acres in vineyard, 28, and the number of gallons of wine made, 17.

Artificial forestry has received but slight attention, there being cultivated 33 acres of walnut, 9 acres of maple, 18 of cottonwood and 43 acres of other varieties of trees.

Of dairy products, there were produced 246,865 pounds of butter and 4,830 pounds of cheese.

The value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter, $228,308, and the production of wool amounted to 30,171 pounds.


The city of Sedan, the county seat of CH co, is situated near the geographical center of the county on the middle of Caney Creek, in Sedan Township.

Until the establishment of the county seat in 1875, Sedan was an unimportant pint, at which there was a store, blacksmith shop, a district school building and one or two residences. In 1873, Capt. Ferris started a small store which proved unprofitable and was taken away. He was followed by M. C. Web and C. Thiophene, who established a business, dealing in general merchandise.

The property upon which the town was founded belonged to F. G. Bowers. When the location of the county seat was fixed, it at once became the busy site of a rapidly growing town. All attention throughout the county was centered at this spot and the process of building was brisk and continuous. Business men became established, and men of other avocations flocked in to obtain the advantages of being first established, and to hold a place, as it was destined to be the first the chief town in the county. Every effort to assist in its growth was made. A town company, of which L. L. Turner was made President, was formed for the purpose of furthering the project of the building of the town. The leading lights in this organization were Mr. Hewins, Titus Donaldson, Turner and Boweres. As a means of hastening the progress of the place, lots were gratuitously donated to any one who would build upon them.

After the laying off of a town, the first business house was established by L. G. Getman in the fall of 1875, followed in the spring of the next year by J. I. Crouse, who started a general store.

Those who had located at other points in the county, attracted by these flattering prospects, removed thither, and new firms became established. Indeed so rapid was the filling up of the town that in the short period of seven years since 1875 to the present time, the town has grown form an unimportant country trading point to a city of 1,00 inhabitants. Large business houses supply the demands of a wide, extended and flourishing trade. Substantial brick and stone business blocks adorn the streets, while numerous tasteful residences embellish the outskirts, and back grounds. An air of neatness, thrift and enterprise is everywhere everything speaks favorable for the future of the city.

A post office under the name of Sedan Post Office, was established in April 1871, and James Dasher held the appointment of Postmaster.

Shortly following this the office was discontinued, there not being sufficient demand for it, and the office was kept at Ross City, about eight miles west of Sedan. On the 1st of October, 1874, however, it was opened under a re-establishment, under the official management of S. U. Stearns.

A. H. King succeeded to the appointment of postmaster, and began the exercise of his official duties January 1, 1876, which he held until the regular installment of J. T. Hamar, April 1, 1878. Hamar's cupidity was equaled only by his necessities, and being unable to resist the self-appropriation of the pelf he was called upon to handle officially, and after collecting the sum of $1,000 together, absconded, leaving the office to take charge of its self, and the Government Department so much money behind. His whereabouts, however, was discovered and the authorities held communication with him, the arrangement being such that he is permitted to make up the deficit.

Following the defaulting and dethronement of Hamar, D. J. Moore took charge of the office on May 31, 1880, and has since that time occupied that position. The office is now graded as a fourth-class office.


By an order made by W. P. Campbell, then Judge of the District Court, pursuant to a petition presented as required by law, the town of Sedan became incorporated by a city of the third class on the 16th of March, 1876, and an election for the choosing of officers was oredered to be held on April 3 following, and J. I. Crouse, R. S. Turner and G. W. Mullinix were appointed Judges of Election. Frank Addleman and E. B. Lansing, Clerks, and J. D. McBrian, L. P. Getman and R. M. Ross as a board to canvass the votes:

The election was held upon the appointed day, and the following persons were elected to the various official places: A. H. King, Mayor; R. S. Turner, J. P. Rhoads, J. W. Sitton, C. S. Tiffin, J. I. Crouse, Councilmen; F. P. Addleman, Clerk; J. I. Crouse, Treasurer; W. H. Tibbits, City Attorney; G. W. Mullinix, Police Judge; W. D. Jolly, Marshal.

The present city officers are L. L. Turner, Mayor; James Milton, Police Judge; T. N. King, J. K. Tulloss, R. S. Turner, M. Liebenberg, H. H. Albright, Councilmen; M. C. Webb, Treasurer; T. T. Ball, Clerk; C. J. Peckham, City Attorney; C. M. Ellis, Marshal; Dexter Wade, Assistant Marshal.

[TOC] [part 2] [part 1] [Cutler's History]