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


[TOC] [part 6] [part 4] [Cutler's History]


B. F. BARRETT, merchant, was born in Medina County, Ohio, in 1831; in 1839, located in Trumbull County, remaining there until 1845; then, until 1861, was traveling through New York and Pennsylvania; from 1861 to 1866 was in Ohio; thence to Omaha, Neb., and after a few months located at Kansas City, where he remained until 1869. He then came to Kansas, locating in Howard County, on a claim five miles west of Howard City, on Clear Creek; the survey was not made, and it was eighty-five miles from a railroad. Was among the pioneers of the county, and after improving his place and remaining there two years, sold out and engaged in the stock business in the south part of the county, now Chautauqua County, and was in this business until 1881. He then bought a lot in the new town of Chautauqua Springs, and built the first business house in the place and put in the first stock of goods, consisting of groceries; at the end of six months, closed out his groceries and put in a stock of drugs. Mr. Barrett has built up a good trade and has made a host of friends. His trade has grown 50 per cent during the past year. In 1852, was married to Miss Annie Grenning, of Williams County, Ohio.

ERI BENNETT, merchant, was born in Wayne County, N. Y., in 1844; emigrated with his parents to Knox County, Ill., there working with his father at the wagon-master's trade. In 1862, he enlisted in the One Hundred and Second Illinois Infantry, Company F, and served three years; was in the famous march with Sherman to the sea, serving as a scout most of the time. After coming out of the army he returned to Knox County, and there learned the miller's trade; then in 1871, he came to Kansas and took a claim in Summit Township, Howard County, and improved the place, engaging in farming until the summer of 1881; health failing, he then engaged in the mercantile business with Mr. Binns, of Sedan. In the fall of 1882, went to Chautauqua Springs and laid out forty acres in town lots, and these were known as Binns & Bennett's Addition to Chautauqua Springs. He then put up a store building, and put in a stock of goods and has a good trade; the business is carried on under the firm name of Binns & Bennett. The subject of this sketch expects to erect a steam flouring mill in the near future. Mr. Bennett is a thorough business man, and has been successful in all his business moves. He came to Kansas and settle eighty miles from a railroad point. In October, 1871, was married to Miss E. L. Allen, of Monmouth, Ill.,; they have four children -- Sylvia F., W. Elmo, Walter A. and Edwin D.

JAMES FERGUSON, proprietor of the Eagle Hotel, was born in Scotland in 1836; when twenty-two years of age he emigrated to America, locating at York, Clark Co., Ill., and remained there until 1861; he then enlisted in the Tenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged on account of disability; but in 1862, re-enlisted in the same regiment, serving until the close of the war; he was wounded at Dallas, Ga. In June, 1865, he received his discharge at Chicago, and returned to Clark County and engaged in farming. In the fall of 1870, emigrated to Kansas and took a claim in Belleville Township, Howard County (now Chautauqua); this was before the survey, and he was one of the pioneers of the town. He then improved his place and lived there about ten years, when he sold out and engaged in contracting on the Southern Pacific and Atlantic & Pacific Railroads for about eighteen months. He then returned to his old home and bought lots in Chautauqua Springs and built a fine hotel 40x70 feet, two stories and basement; the house contains twenty-five rooms and in the basement are four bathrooms which are supplied with hot and cold baths, the water of which is supplied from the noted mineral springs of that place; the hotel and goods cost $10,000. The hotel was built as an invalids' hotel and is one of the largest and best hotels in Southern Kansas; Mr. Ferguson is a genial landlord and takes all imaginable pains in making it pleasant for his guests, and all those going there for treatment will receive the best accommodations at reasonable prices. He was married in 1867, at Robinson, Crawford Co., Ill., to Miss Mary A. Brown; they have six children -- Robert, George, John, James, Jr., Colista and Helen.

STEPHEN JOHNSON, real estate agent, was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1839; when nineteen years of age, he emigrated to America, locating at Forestville, N. Y., remaining there four years. In 1862, he went to Freeport, Ill., and was there about three years, thence to Waterloo, Iowa, remaining there four years. In 1871, emigrated to Kansas, locating at Arkansas City before the Government survey, located on a claim which he improved, remaining there about six years; coming from there to Chautauqua County, and took a claim on Section 12, Town 35, Range 11, Belleville Township, and remained on this place five years, improving the place and engaged in farming. In 1882, he bought a half interest in the original town site of Chautauqua Springs, consisting of eighty acres, laid out in nearly 500 lots, and at once began to deal in real estate and to try and build up the town. There are seven valuable springs on the town site, six of which contain mineral with great healing properties, they have improved one of the springs at a cost of $600, and are at work on the second, which will cost $300, complete, and will build a bath house 18x24, with four bath rooms, which will be arranged for hot or cold baths, and, as there have been many cases of miraculous cures during the past year, they expect to have a good many patients as soon as they get everything in readiness. Besides these improvements, Mr. Johnson is arranging to build a steam flouring mill in company with Eri Bennett; they will put in two run of wheat buhrs and one of corn which will be the most valuable improvement in the place, and if they do this they will certainly have laid a good foundation for the growth of the town. Mr. Johnson served nearly a year in the Ninety-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry. In 1866, he was married to Miss Jane Helm of Cedar Falls, Iowa: they have one son and one daughter -- William T. and Mandana H. He is a member of the G.A.R.

C. E. MOORE, chief editor of the Chautauqua Springs Spy, was born in Greenville, Bond Co., Ill., February 17, 1856; came with his parents to Kansas in July, 1871, and settled at Oswego; and removed to Peru, Chautauqua County, May 27, 1872, at which place he served as Deputy Postmaster from 1872 to 1880, and also learned the trade of printer during that time. In company with his father and brother, he began the publication of the Chautauqua News at Peru November 20, 1875, which they ran about four years; then went to Cherryvale and published the Cherryvale News, which in about a year was consolidated with the Globe, printed at that place, the new sheet being called the Globe-News. In April, 1882, he sold his interest in the Globe-News, and came to Chautauqua Springs, where, in company with L. G. B. McPheron, he commenced the publication of the Chautauqua Springs Spy, May 19, of the same year.

J. T. PERSHALL, merchant, was born at Knoxville, Marion Co., Iowa, 1850, and was raised there until twenty-one years of age; he then migrated to Kansas and, in company with his father, S. H. Pershall, started a trading post in Belleville Township, and got a post office established, called Golden Gate, they remained in trade about four years, their trade being principally with the Indians; after which he engaged in buying and shipping stock until 1879; he then located at Peru, and, in company with Mr. Sipple, engaged in the mercantile business, and remained there three years; thence to Arkansas, and remained one year; thence to Chautauqua Springs, and opened the first general store in the place. They have worked up a large trade. Was married, in 1870, in Johnson County, Mo., to Miss Sarah L. Hunt; they have four children, viz.: Avery E., Della M., Nellie and Samuel H. He is a member of Peru Lodge, No. 101, I.O.O.F.


On the 20th of November, 1869, J. R. Marsh left the city of Emporia, journeying toward the southwest in the hope of finding somewhere in the southern part of Kansas, a place of settlement and rest.

After several days of wandering he came to the Valley of Big Caney Creek or river, and being impressed with its beauty and fertility he concluded to spend a few days in exploring it. Although much beautiful and unoccupied land lay along the stream, yet he came to prospect for a place that might prove advantageous for selection as a town site, as well as to locate claims for himself and friends. His first idea was that the site where Cloverdale now is was auspicious for his wishes, and he concluded to make settlement at that place. Upon a second review of the matter he became convinced that perhaps a better selection might be made, and after a careful and judicious weighing of the prospects, etc., determined that the country where Cedar Vale now is, offered advantages in point of surroundings superior to any other along the valley; being far enough from the Indian Territory to shut out the building of a town farther down the valley and also near enough to other prospective points above to discourage the establishment of any place between them; thus absolutely securing the trade of a large scope of country. Upon these considerations he selected his claims and awaited patiently further development.

In the meantime a number of enterprising settlers came in and took claims in the vicinity, among whom where Frederick Kantz, Eli Titus A. Halverson, S. Gunderson, David Koogle. The matter of establishing a town was talked of among these parties, and an organization into a town company was made for the furtherance of the project, of which Fred Kantz was made President and Eli Titus, Treasurer. The selection of a site was the next thing to be determined.

Four points along the valley stood prominently before the company, viz.: Osrow, Cedar Vale, Cloverdale and a point called Lookout Mountain.

After due consideration the choice was made in March, 1870, and Cedar Vale became the favored spot, being so named from the presence of a few cedar trees which grew not far away, this species of timber being rare in this part of the country. The site was located on unoccupied land which must first be deeded before the company could hold it. Accordingly it fell upon E. W. Davis, one of the company, to file upon the land and to procure a deed for the same, and which he was to turn over to the company as soon as this was done. When it came time for the transfer of the property to be made, some dissensions had been awakened in the company and Davis refused to deed them the land. This refusal caused much indignation among the members who, perhaps, under the circumstances had no legal remedy, and a resort to physical force was determined upon, and threats of hanging Davis were made, through the stern influence of which the company wrung from his hands the coveted instrument.

The legal title to the lands occupied by the town site, was now vested in the company, and everything ready to begin the work of building up the town. The town was advertised in the Eureka Herald, a paper printed at Eureka, Greenwood County, for which the editor received one share of the company's stock, the shares being valued at $10 each.

A proposition to build the first house was made in June, 1870, in which J. R. Marsh agreed to furnish the material, provided some other members would put it into a house. Accordingly, Marsh cut and drew logs to the place, but no one volunteered to erect the building, and after permitting the material to lie unused for awhile, Marsh at length drew them away and made a building of them on his own premises.

In November of the same year, J. R. Marsh, Charles Snyder and O. C. Hill, built the first store room and the first building in the town, in which they opened a stock of goods, and in which the post office was first kept. Immediately following this a company composed of F. Kantz, L. Garrett, A. Holverson and Charles Synder, was formed for the purpose of building a hotel, which was run a short time as a public house, and was sold to D. G. Kenneson for a store room. The next house was built by Riley Brothers, which they occupied with a stock of general goods, and the next was built by three brothers named Grant, and was used as a boarding house by Luke Phelps, and soon afterward as a dwelling by a man named Tubs.

E. W. Davis and E. B. Slocum, as the firm of Slocum & Davis, began dealing in general goods, having erected a house for that purpose.

Previous to these, and immediately following the building of the company hotel, Dr. A. A. Corbin put up a store room in which he kept a stock of drugs, this being the same house now occupied by G. Baird as a hotel, it having since been enlarged by the erection of additions.

Tubs established the first blacksmith shop in the fall of 1870, and in the next spring Woods began the same business. A man named Lynch erected a hall; O. Howard a store room, in which he kept a stock of general merchandise; Mrs. Smith built a hotel, and S. Hill a millinery store; G. Lapp built a room in which he kept a saloon, and is the building now occupied by Dr. Donaldson with a stock of drugs.

These improvements were made during the fall of 1870, and in the spring and summer of 1871. Dwelling houses were erected as the necessities demanded, and the town grew steadily and healthily until at the present time it numbers a population of 250, and contains four general stores, two drug stores, two hardware stores, two blacksmith shops, one wagon shop, one repair shop with turning lathe, two livery barns and two hotels.

A grist and flouring mill was built in 1871 by D. F. Tabler, and was a small "one horse concern" propelled by water-power. In 1880, the old mill was torn away and replaced with a commodious new one, the best of the kind in the county. It is run by both water and steam power, and contains two run of buhrs.

Down the Big Caney Valley a distance of four miles, stood the town of Osrow, which started about the same time as Cedar Vale, and which she aspired to rival. For awhile, the place grew equally rapid with Cedar Vale, and although she did not discourage the founders of that place yet she gave them considerable uneasiness. The nearness of the two places made certain the fact that sure death and extinction was the destiny of one or the other, which served to stimulate exertions on the part of both. At length Cedar Vale secured the ascendency (sic) and outstripped her rival, and Osrow soon was numbered with things that had been.

A post office called Cedar Vale was located at a point about a mile and a half north of where the town now is, and was established in the spring of 1870, with J. R. Marsh, as Postmaster, the office being kept in a house on the claim belonging to David Koogle. The office remained at this point until June, at which time it was taken to a place owned by J. R. Marsh, now known as the "Wheeler farm," about a mile and a half north of the town site.

In November, 1870, the office was removed to the town and was kept in the store-room of Marsh, Hill & Co. Marsh held the position of Postmaster until January 1872, at which time he was succeeded by W. P. Lynch, who in turn gave way to Charles R. Pollard, the present incumbent.

The first celebration held in the town was on the Fourth of July, 1870, at which it was estimated there was in attendance a crowd of not less than one thousand people, gathered in from all surrounding points. This, for the time and place, was regarded as a large number of people to assemble on such an occasion. Dr. William Stover was orator of the day. Amusements of a primitive and rude character were indulged in, and the day passed off as one of pleasant and peaceful enjoyment. Great solicitude was felt at Cedar Vale as to what should be done for a flag for the day, none being at hand, nor no place near where it could be secured. But to hold a celebration of this kind without a flag would be no celebration at all. So thought many of those interested in the affair, and a part was dispatched to Eureka, where the material was procured, and a few of the zealous ones spent the previous night in making a flag to be used at the celebration of the next day. The significant emblem was completed and in readiness, and the dawn of the famous day witnessed it waving in the breezes, and, although hastily and crudely prepared, the each recurring Fourth of July sees it floating over the wooden buildings of the little town.

A school district for the town of Cedar Vale and the immediate vicinity was organized May 30, 1871. A preliminary meeting or convention was held to elect a School Board, of which J. R. Marsh was President and A. A. Corbin, Secretary, and a board was elected, consisting of G. W. Dale, Director; O. C. Hills, Clerk, and E. W. Davis, Treasurer. A petition was circulated for signers, asking that an election be called for the purpose of taking a vote on the question of whether bonds should be issued by the district for the building of a schoolhouse. The election was called to be held September 21, 1871, of which five notices were posted in different parts of the district, resulting in favor of the bonds by a majority of twenty-one votes, the vote being twenty-six for, to five against, the bonds. Bonds were at once issued and their sale negotiated at 85 cents on the dollar. The contract for the erection of a schoolhouse to cost $700 was awarded to Bennett & Smith. The building was erected during the winter and spring, and on the 30th of April, 1872, after some caviling over the defects in the construction of the house, it was received by the board.

The first school in the village was taught by Miss Lizzie Conkling in the summer of 1872, and was held in the new school building, with an attendance of thirty-three pupils, fourteen of whom were boys, and nineteen girls. The district now contains 151 pupils of school age, 126 of whom attended school during the past year.

A commodious new school building was erected bin the fall of 1882, at a cost, including furniture, etc., of $1,500, and is a very handsome building, constructed of unchiseled sandstone. It is one story high, comprising but a single large room.

The first religious meeting in Cedar Vale was in 1872, services being held by "Old Father Record" at that date, in the school building. At intervals following this, other itinerant preachers held services in the town. A congregation was organized by the Methodists, as the first in the town, and held their worship in the schoolhouse until the erection of a church in 1878. The building is a one-story stone structure and remains yet unfinished, the congregation being weak and the raising of funds a matter of difficulty.

The Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Free-Will Baptists and Universalists have also organizations, but are extremely weak, both in membership and finances.


JOHN APPLEBY, farmer, P. O. Cedar Vale, was born in Marshall County, Tenn., 1825; when seven years of age, his parents settled in Wayne County, Mo., and were there a short time; thence to Greene County, where he remained until 1865; thence to Kansas, locating in Cherokee County, and was the first settler in the county before the treaty with the Indians, and soon after the town site of Columbus was partially laid out on his claim, he becoming a member of the town company, and built the first house on the town site. In 1868 the grasshoppers and drouth starved him out, and he went to Texas, and from there to Arkansas, and in 1873 returned to Kansas and located in Howard County, and took a claim on Section 10, Township 34, Range 9; it was then fifty miles from a railroad; he has 160 acres, with seventy acres in cultivation, the entire place fenced, and good bearing orchard of 150 apple and 200 peach trees, 200 grape vines, and a variety of small fruits; has the place stocked with forty-two head of cattle. In 1865, was married to Miss Sarah Wade, of Lexington, Mo. They have five children -- Kate, Addison, Sidney G., Euphenia and Solomon.

PROF. HENRY A. ATTWATER, was born in Allegany County, N.Y., 1842, when nine years of age, his parents located in Berkshire County, Mass., remaining there about three years; thence to Litchfield County, Conn., remaining there until 1859, and then he attended the State Normal School at New Britain; for the next five years, was private tutor, located on the Hudson River; thence to Chicago, and was employed in the Chicago & Rock Island Railroad ticket office for a few months, and in the fall of 1871, migrated to Kansas, locating in Howard County, and took a claim on Section 35, Township 33, Range 8; was among the first settlers, and at that time was about eighty miles from a railroad. He improved his place by fencing eighty acres, putting fifty acres in cultivation, planted three acres of orchard, built a house and various other improvements; after the first three years of his residence here, began teaching, and has taught several terms in the county, and for the past two years has been Principal of the Cedar Vale schools. In 1880, his residence was destroyed by fire, losing all his household goods and a library worth $200, belonging to his father. In 1872, was married at Fort Scott, Kan., to Miss Mary A. Coon, of New York. They have one son -- Henry Clarkson. Is a member of the Episcopal Church.

ALEXANDER BELL, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Wauneta, was born in Westmoreland County, Penn., in 1818, living there until 1850, going from there to West Virginia, remaining there about five years. In 1856, he emigrated to Kansas, locating in Douglas County; was there during the border troubles, and served in the militia, which was raised there for the protection of the settlers. He located a claim near Lawrence, and commenced to improve his place, but was obliged to leave it on account of the troubles with the border ruffians, they burning his house and taking his team on one of their raids. In 1862, he enlisted in the Twelfth Kansas Infantry, serving three years; a part of the time was on detailed duty acting as guide for Government trains through Louisiana. During a skirmish on Cow Creek, in the Indian Territory in 1864, was severely wounded, and was captured, but was paroled on the field. In 1869, he came to Howard County (now Chautauqua) and settled on Grant Creek, his wife being the first white woman on the creek. It was 175 miles to a railroad point, and 100 miles to a point where supplies could be had, and about sixty miles to a post office. The Indians still claimed the land where his claim was located, and there was a camp of 500 near his place the most of the time during the first summer, but they were friendly, and made little trouble. His claim is on Section 34, Township 33, Range 9. He now has a farm of 240 acres watered by the creek, with plenty of timber, and it is one of the best stock farms on the creek. He has the entire place fenced; eighty acres under cultivation, and has planted a good orchard of 700 peach, and 100 apple trees, besides a variety of other fruits. He has erected a good residence 24x24 and good stables. Mr. Bell has been in the stock business for some time, and raises about fifty head of cattle and the same number of hogs annually. He was married in 1862, in Leavenworth, Kan., to Miss Mary C. Betts. they have two boys -- Albert B. and George. He is a member of Cedar Vale Post, No. 99, G. A. R.

A. B. BENNETT, farmer, P. O. Cedar Vale, was born in the County of Kent, Eng., 1832; in 1854, emigrated to America, and for one year was located in St. Louis, thence to Iowa, locating in Scott County, where he remained for twelve years; from there to Illinois, and in December, 1870, migrated to Kansas, locating in Chautauqua County (then Howard) and located a claim on Section 4, Township 34, Range 9. At that time, it was 100 miles from a railroad, and for a time, that was the nearest pint where supplies could be had. The subject of this sketch at once began to improve his farm, and has a deed [???} to the original claim of 160 acres, until he has 320, 200 of which is fenced, fifty acres in cultivation; two acres of orchard, good house and stables, forty acres of timber on the place, watered by several fine springs, making a very good stock farm. The place is stocked with about forty head of cattle, twenty-five head of hogs, and four head of horses. Mr. Bennett has done well here, as he as he started without anything, but by pluck and hard work, has made a good property. He was married in 1857, at St. Louis, Mo., to Miss Summner. They have no children of their own, but have adopted a daughter -- Mary E. He is a member of the Free-Will Baptist Church.

FRANK CLARK, grocer, P. O. Sedan, was born in Broome County, N.Y., 1841; when six years of age, his parents migrated to Lenawee County, Mich., where he lived until 1861, when he enlisted in the Fourth Michigan Infantry, serving until July, 1863; he lost his left leg during the battle of Gettysburg, and was left for dead on the field, and was taken by the rebels, and had his wounds dressed, and soon after was recaptured by the boys in blue; was mustered out in 1864, and returned to Lenawee County, and served as Town Treasurer for two or three terms, and then received the appointment as Postmaster at Morenci, which position he filled until 1871, when he migrated to Kansas, locating in Howard County, and took a claim in Caneyville Township. In 1872, was elected on the Republican ticket as County Clerk, the first County Clerk by election in the county; in 1874, returned to his farm, and at the end of two years, sold out and purchased the Cloverdale Flouring Mills, and was engaged in milling until 1882. He then located at Sedan, and engaged in the grocery business for a short time; also bought a farm in Jefferson Township, consisting of 240 acres, which is well improved, and is now engaged in farming and stock raising, and his grocery. He was married in 1870, in Lenawee County, Mich., to Miss Nellie C. Lowe, of that place. They have two children -- Mamie and Robert. He lost his wife in 1874, and was married again in 1876 to Miss Ada Church, of Adrian, Mich. Mr. Clark is a member of Stone River Post, No. 74, G.A.R., and Sedan Lodge, No. 141, I.O.O.F.

J. L. COX, merchant, was born in Hollis, N. H., 1835, where he lived until sixteen years of age; thence to Manchester, where he remained two years, going from there to Massachusetts, and learned the upholsterer's trade, remaining there about three years, thence to Burlington, Iowa, and at the end of eighteen months, returned to Manchester, N. H., and engaged in the mercantile business for the next seven years. In 1870, migrated to Kansas, locating in Howard County (now Chautauqua County), and took a claim near Cedar Vale; was among the early settlers in this part of the county, and was over 100 miles to the nearest railroad point; there were a number of people who came here with him, and they founded a colony, but the most of them returned East. Mr. Cox secured a fine farm on the Caney River; he at once began improvements, and at the end of five years sold out and engaged in the mercantile business with Mr. Kenneson. At the end of three years, Mr. K. sold out, and the firm was known as Cox & Baloo for one year. Since then, Mr. Cox has been carrying on the business alone; he has a store 22x56, with ware-room, and handles a fine line of goods, and has built up a large trade, his present sales being nearly double the first year's trade. He was married in 1859, at New Hampton, N. H., to Miss Martha Harris. They have two children -- Estella N. and Lumni M. He is a member of the Masonic order.

PHILIP CROCKER, farmer, was born in Burlington, Vt., 1838, where he lived until 1854, thence to Illinois, locating at Rockford, remaining there until 1861, when he enlisted in the first company which volunteered in the State, and served in the Eleventh Volunteer Infantry, under the first call for 75,000 troops, and served four months then enlisted in the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, and served about thirteen months. After coming out of the army, took a trip to the mountains, stopping in Salt Lake, Montano and Idaho, and in 1869 went on to the Union Pacific Railroad, and engaged in freighting and contracting. In the fall, returned to Illinois, and the following spring went to Iowa and took a homestead; then in the fall of 1870, migrated to Kansas, locating in Coffey County, and for a time was contracting on the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad, and the following spring locating near the southern line of Howard County and located a claim, but when the survey was made, found he was in the Indian Territory, and in September, 1871, located a claim near the present site of Cedar Vale. His place was on Section 2, Town 34, Range 8, on the Big Caney River; he then went to Texas, and bought and drove the first cattle into the county ever brought from the South. Since then, has been buying, raising and dealing in stock, and has a fine stock farm of 600 acres, 320 inclosed by fence, 170 in cultivation; has a fine orchard, plenty of timber and water, the place well stocked with 100 head of cattle, 100 head of hogs, and ten head of horses. Mr. Crocker is a thoroughgoing stock man, and has been very successful in his business. In 1870, was married at Homer, Iowa, to Miss Samantha Hoverly. They have three children -- Willy, Frank and Mabelle. He is a member of Cedar Vale Post, No. 99, G.A.R.

[TOC] [part 6] [part 4] [Cutler's History]