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


[TOC] [part 14] [part 12] [Cutler's History]


This town is located in the southern part of Crawford County, six miles west of Cherokee, on the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad. It was laid off in 1866, by L. Manlove, on his own farm. The name Monmouth was given to it after the city of Monmouth, Ill. It is the oldest town in the county. The first house erected on the site was a two-story log building, belonging to Manlove, which he occupied as store-room and residence. This house remains standing as a monument of pioneer days. The next building was erected by Ralph Warner, for a dwelling, which was followed by the erection of a residence by Dr. Moore. In 1869, A. M. Chadsey built a store-room, in which he put a stock of general merchandise. The town has made slow progress from the beginning, and now contains a population of about 400, and five business houses.

The Post Office was established here in 1866. L. Manlove was the first Postmaster. He was succeeded by A. M. Chadsey in 1870, who held the office for several years, and was succeeded by Jacob Miller, the present Postmaster.

The first school was taught in 1870, by Mrs. Van Bibber, and was kept in a schoolhouse that had been erected during the summer of that year. This building was burned, and another one was built in 1880. It is a one-story frame structure, containing three apartments.

The town has three church organizations: the Methodist, Presbyterian and Christian.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1868. As yet this body has no church building.

The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1870. The building was erected in 1873, and is a small frame.

The Christian Church was organized in 1877, and the church house, which is also a small frame, was built in 1882.

A society of the Ancient Order of United Workmen was organized in 1882.

A Post of the Grand Army of the Republic was formed January 11, 1883.

The town is situated in a fine agricultural district, in the supply of which, with the various articles of merchandise, a lively business is sustained. It is also a considerable point in the shipment of grain and produce. With such advantageous surroundings, the permanence, future growth and prosperity of the town is abundantly insured.


JULIUS BRIDEGROOM, of the firm of Bridegroom & Gambill, millers, was born in Germany in 1846. His father was one of the German patriots of 1848, who, like Carl Schurz, Hecker and a host of others, since prominent as lovers of freedom in America, were forced to flee to the United States for refuge from the powers of kingcraft in their native land. The subject of this sketch came to America with his parents in infancy. His childhood was passed on a farm in Illinois, where he received such education as the common schools afforded. He was a resident of that State during the war of the rebellion, and entered the service in 1864 and remained until the close of the war. He carries the scars of four gunshot wounds as proof that he bore himself as a true soldier should. At the close of the war he returned to Illinois and entered the Illinois Soldiers' College, Fulton, Ill., from which he graduated in 1872. He was subsequently in the grain business for a short time, and taught school for five years, three years of which time he was Principal of the public schools at Princeville. He came to Kansas in 1875 and located in Cherokee County, on a farm of 200 acres, where he remained two years teaching mean while[sic] during the winter months. In the fall of 1880, he purchased a half interest in the Monmouth Mills, with which his business connection still continues, the mill doing a large custom and merchant business. He is now a resident of Monmouth, where he owns a fine residence and ten acres of land in connection with his mill. He is also the owner of a fine farm of 200 acres. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. and of the G. A. R., being now Commander of his Post. Both he and his wife are consistent members of the Methodist Church. He was married in 1872, to Miss Corilla Carter, of Ohio. They have two children--Freddie W. and Nellie Grace.

JACOB MILLER, dealer in drugs, groceries and grain, was born in Ohio in 1816, and was raised at the carpentering business. He went to Michigan in his eighteenth year, returned to Ohio for a short time, was then in Vicksburg, Miss., one winter, then to Virginia, where he spent thirteen years at his trade, then to Knox County on a farm two years, then merchandising two years in Illinois, then to Missouri in the mercantile business one year, then to Illinois on a farm until 1860, at which time he went into the grain and grocery business, continuing until 1865, when he came to Kansas and located in Crawford County on a farm of 160 acres, which he opened and improved and ran as a grain and stock farm until 1879, at which time he opened a general store in Monmouth and ran it three years. Mr. Miller owns two farms--one of 160 acres and one of forty acres, with a full line of all kinds of fruits. He owns a fine residence and one business house in Monmouth, also forty acres of coal land. He has been Postmaster at Monmouth for ten years. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, has been for forty-eight years and has been a class-leader for the same length of time. He is a member of the order of Freemasons. He was married to Miss Sarah Adam, of Virginia, in 1839. They have three children--Abigail, Robert H. and George B. He lost his first wife and was again married to Miss Paulina Adam, of Virginia. Mrs. Miller is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


The land upon which this town is situated was entered by Leroy Akers in 1869. The farm soon afterward was sold to Isaac McCune, who was engaged in its cultivation for some years prior to the establishment of the town. The town is situated in the southwestern part of Crawford County, on the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, on the divide between the Neosho River and Lightning Creek. In this part, there was a wide and fertile district, measured from a central point by a radius of about fifteen miles, more or less, to Girard on the northeast, Cherokee on the east, Columbus on the southeast, Oswego on the southwest, and Parsons on the west. The country surrounding the place is filled up and well cultivated by thrifty and enterprising farmers. From such circumstances, it was plain to be seen, not only that it was a favorable point for the establishment of a town, but also that the demands of the country required it. In May, 1879, Isaac McCune laid out a town which was named McCune, in honor of its enterprising founder.

The survey and plat was made by the railroad civil engineer. The original site comprised sixty acres. Since then, R. N. Canada made an addition of ten acres on the north, C. Crank, made one of ten acres on the west, and Isaac McCune made a third addition of ten acres on the south, making a total area in the town site of ninety acres.

The first building erected on the site was a dwelling belonging to J. Z. Sherfic. It was afterward used as a hotel, and now forms a part of the Western Hotel.

I. V. McCune built a store house which J. D. Rogers occupied with a stock of general merchandise. This was the second building in the town, and was erected in August, 1879. The next was a store house built by Thomas Stutterd, in which he kept drugs and dry goods. In about two months, it was purchased by Dr. E. P. Davis. In the spirng of 1880, W. W. Gibson erected a building and opened a general store, and later in the fall F. M. McCaslin put up a house, putting in a stock of miscellaneous merchandise. This house is now occupied by Wilson & Son. The next business house established was a grocery, by Davidson & Granthum.

For the short period since the starting of the town, it has made surprising progress. In less than four years' time, it has grown to a city with a population of 500, and contains eight general stores, three hardware, two drug, two grocery, two millinery stores, two hotels, one billiard hall, two blacksmith shops, one cabinet shop, three carpenter shops, two lumber yards, two coal yards, two livery stables, one flouring mill, one grain elevator, and nine grain buyers.

Pursuant to a petition to the District Court of the Eleventh Judicial District, signed by Isaac McCune, E. L. Ball, and sixty-three others, the town became incorporated as a city of the third class, October 8, 1881. Isaac McCune was elected the first Mayor, and was succeeded by J. L. Ward who was elected in April, 1882.

The first City Council was composed of I. V. McCune, R. O. Harris, M. Casey and K. P. Minard.

A post office called Time, was established in this vicinity in 1875. It was kept by W. Welch, about half a mile east of where the city now stands. In 1878, it was moved to the town and was given the same name. At the time of the change of location. J. F. McCune became Postmaster, and has held the position up to this time. When J.F. McCune first became Postmaster, the office consisted of a small box containing fifteen pigeon holes, which he was accustomed to take under his arm and move about, taking up his quarters in stores with such merchants as were agreeable.

It soon became necessary to supersede this box with one considerably larger. Both of these pieces of post office furniture are retained in the office, which has been greatly extended, and is now a considerable point for the distribution of mail matter, and in the registry business.

The first school in this district was taught in 1869 by Miss Mary Ball. The school building in which it was kept afterward fell within the town limits. The first school after the town was laid out was taught by Daniel Hollinger. The schoolhouse was a small frame building, to which an addition was built in the fall of 1881. The school population numbers about two hundred. The schools comprise three departments under as many teachers.


In July, 1881, D. A. Burton started a paper called the McCune Standard. It subsequently came into the hands of his son. J. A. Burton, who, after running it a short time, sold out to W. W. Liggett, in the fall of 1882. Liggett, out of the material, presses, etc., of the Standard office, brought out a six-column folio paper, called the McCune Times, the first issue being made September 9, 1882.

W. W. Ligget, editor and proprietor of the McCune Times, was born in Greene County, Ohio, February, 1857. When he was yet of tender age, his parents moved to Livingston County, Ill., from where they moved to Warren County, that State. He attended school at Monmouth, Ill., finishing his education at Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa. For some two or three years following this, he was engaged in learning the printer's trade. In 1878, he went to Kansas City, and was engaged upon the Times, Journal, Star and Mail. He became foreman on the Kansas City Indicator, which position he held up to February, 1882. After this he came to Girard, then went to Walnut, where he worked at this trade until August, at which time he came to McCune, bought the McCune Standard office and began the publication of the McCune Times, in which he is now engaged.

The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1879, with seven members, by Rev. Mr. Hill, of Kansas City. The organization took place in the schoolhouse, in which services were held until the church house was built. The house was built in 1880, and dedicated in 1881. Rev. Mr. Thayer was the first regular pastor.

There is a Methodist Episcopal congregation here and also a Methodist organization. The former has a church building which was erected in 1882, but the latter is without a house of worship.

The Christian congregation was organized in 1881 and the church was built in 1882.

The United Presbyterians and Baptists have flourishing organizations, but neither is supplied with a church building.

McCune Lodge No. 193, I. O. O. F., was instituted October 24, 1881, by D. G. M. A. P. Riddle, assisted by a number from lodges in various surrounding towns. The following were elected as officers: J. A. Gasey, Noble Grand; G. T. McCaslin, Vice Grand; S. L. Minard, Recording Secretary; J. T. Smith, Permanent Secretary; C. E. Metcalf, Treasurer.

McCune Lodge No. 70, A. O. U. W., was organized in February, 1882, with twenty-six members.

The only manufacturing establishment in the town is the McCune flouring mills. This mill was built in May, 1882, by the firm of Carter & Allen. Subsequently, Carter sold out to a man named Galyon, and the firm became Allen & Galyon. The mill contains three run of stone and turns out an excellent brand of goods.


This organization was formed in 1882, and is composed of Isaac McCune, I. K. Vance and Jonathan Rigney. The object of the company was to prospect for coal in the vicinity of the town. In the summber of 1882, a prospect shaft was sunk to a depth of four hundred feet, which passed through five veins of coal of varying thickness. A vein five feet thick was reached at a depth of about three hundred and fifty feet. The shaft was sunk within the limits of the town, showing that beneath it lies a wealth of this mineral. The design of the company is to develop this interest in the immediate future, and thus the city will receive another great impetus to her progress.

The surroundings of this young city are fovorable, and its prospects of growth in the future are to an extent certain. The country around is rich in the growth of agricultural products of all kinds, and McCune is thus rendered an important shipping point. During the year 1882, there were shipped from this station twenty-eight cars of oats, eighty-eight of wheat, ninety-one of corn, eighteen of castor-beans, five of flax seed, twenty-eight of hogs, and two of cattle.

The men of the town are live and energetic, and an extensive and prosperous business is sustained.


WILLIAM ANDREW, farmer, Section 12, P.O. Girard, was born in Scotland, January 12, 1838; came to the United States in 1855, and located on a farm in Illinois, where he remained until 1872, at the end of which time he came to Kansas, and located on his present home of 400 acres, which he improved, and has since been raising grain and stock. Mr. Andrew has his farm handsomely fenced with wire and hedge. Has five wells, and good running water on his farm. Carries from 300 to 400 head of stock, and raises, feeds, buys and ships stock. His farm contains a splendid line of all kinds of fruit. Is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and is Deacon in the same. Was married to Miss Elizabeth B. Keyes, of Philadelphia, February 23, 1860. Have three children--Adam H., James H. and Alfred.

L.P. ALLEN, of the firm of J. Allen & Galyers, millers was born in Missouri in 1844. He was raised on a farm and received a common school education. He joined the army in 1862, and was mustered out in 1865. Returned to Missouri, and was farming and in the saw mill business fourteen years, then to Cherokee County, Kan., 1879. He was on a farm three years, during which time he was engaged in raising grain and stock. He came to McCune, built the mill in 1882; in the meantime run a threshing machine in Kansas three years. He belongs to the Order of Odd Fellows. He was married to Miss Rebecca Young, of Missouri, in 1866. They have two children--Sarah E. and Mary E. He lost his wife in 1876, and he was married again to Miss D. Perry of Missouri, 1878.

WILLIAM BUSBY, manager for C. E. Benedict & Co., Osage Mission, dealer in grain, was born in New Jersey in 1854; came to Kansas in 1868, and located in Labette County on a farm; remained with his father nine years, at the end of which time he took control of his father's farm and ran it two years; then went into the grain business at Mathewson one year, and then in the same line at McCune, as manager for C. E. Benedict & Co. He owns residence, business and other property in McCune. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He was married to Miss Sarah L. Bell, of Kentucky, in 1877. They have two children- L. M., E. M. Mrs. B. is also a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

M. CASEY, of the firm of Kennedy & Casey, land loan and insurance agents, was born in Iowa in 1851; at the age of twenty-one, began farming for himself and continued for one year; then was in Montana Territory, in the freight business eighteen months. Came to Kansas in 1875, locating in Crawford County, on a farm, where he remained four years. He came to McCune in 1879, and taught school two terms; was then in merchandise one year, then in his present business in 1881. He is a Clerk of the School Board and City Clerk. He is a member of the Christian Church, and belongs to the A. O. U. W. He owns residence and other city property in the town of McCune. In 1879, he married Miss Minnie L. Fleming. They have one child--Myrtle. Mrs. Casey is a member of the Christian Church.

E. P. DAVIS. M.D., general store and durggist, was born in Indiana in 1840, raised in the drug business; received a collegiate education, graduating from Rush College; in the meantime, had practiced with his father while reading medicine; joined the army, May 22, 1861, as Hospital Stewart for a short time, was then transferred to the Tenth Iowa, and was appointed Assistant Surgeon September, 1862, where remained until February 4, 1865, at which time returned to Des Moines, Iowa, and engaged in general practice for a short time, was next at Adell, Iowa, for one year; then to Dennison, Iowa, in practice and drug store one year; then at Perry, Iowa, eight months, at the end of which time, came to Bourbon County, Kansas, 1868, and settled in Marmaton, and practiced medicine in connection with a drug store for a short time; was then in Missouri for a short time in drugs and medicine; then to Marmaton three years; then on a farm in connection with the practice six years; then came to McCune in 1878, and opened his present business; was elected to the Legislature from Bourbon County, in 1875; was School Director in Bourbon County, and is now School Director; is a member of the A. O. U. W., and is examining physician for same order; is a member of the Freemasons; belongs to the G. A. R. Was married to Miss Nellie Miller, of Pennsylvania, in 1866. Lost his wife in 1868; was married to Miss Carolina Schoen, of South Carolina, in 1870. Have three children--Henry S., Richard T., Catherine S.

GEORGE W. ELERICK, farmer, Section 10, P. O. McCune, was born in Ohio in 1831; was raised a mechanic; went to Iowa, where he remained until 1878, engaged in the carpenter and joiner's trade, at the end of which time he came to Kansas and located of his present home of 400 acres, which he improved and ran as a grain and stock farm; has about 205 acres under cultivation. His farm is under wire and hedge fence. Buys, raises, feeds and ships stock. Also owns 240 acres in Neosho County, 80 acres in Coffey County, and 140 acres in Iowa. He belongs to the Order of Good Templars. He was married to Miss M. J. Vanansdeln, of Ohio, in 1856. They have six children--Minnie B., Marian A., Nettie L., Leon, Victor and George.

W. W. GIBSON, of the firm of W. W. Gibson & Co., general merchants and dealers in grain and coal, was born in Pennsylvania in 1851; was raised in the mercantile business; received a business education. Came to Kansas in 1873, and located in Columbus, Cherokee County, where he clerked a short time, then to Cherokee, Crawford County, as clerk eight months; was then on a farm in Star Valley eight years in the stock business. Came to McCune in 1880, and opened the present business; was Postmaster at Star Valley; was railroad agent a McCune a short time. Is a member of the M.E. Church. Was married to Miss Mollie Graves in 1879; have two children--Dora and Rachel. Mrs. Gibson is a member of the M.E. Church.

ALBERT GADDIS, farmer, Section 10, P. O. McCune, was born in Indiana in 1843; raised on a farm. Enlisted in the war, after which he returned to Indiana and farmed until 1868, at which time he came to Kansas and located on a farm of 160 acres in Crawford County, which he improved and has since cultivated, raising grain and stock and a fine line of all kinds of fruits. Now owns two farms of 160 acres each. Was School Treasurer of Crawford County one year. Was School Clerk of District No. 58 two terms. Was married to Miss T. Rose, of Indiana, in 1870; have six children--Ira, Bruce, Frank, Josephine, Bertha, Hugh. Is a member of the Freemasons. Belongs to the G. A. R. Is also a member of the M.E. Church. Mrs. Gaddis is a member of the same church.

JOHN B. GRAHAM, of the firm of Graham & West, saddle and harness-makers, was born in Washington County, Penn., in the year 1834. His father was a blacksmith, lived and carried on his trade at Burgettstown, Penn, until 1841, when he with his family removed to Guernsey County, Ohio. There he lived on a farm. John B. helped his father on the farm; received a business education, and at the age of seventeen he went to Washington, Penn., learned the harness trade, and worked at it six years. He then returned to Ohio to his father's and attended school nearly a year. In 1867, moved to Monmouth, Ill., and as a journeyman worked at his trade two years. Moved again to Mercer County, Ill., bought and improved a farm of eighty acres. In 1862, was married to Miss Mary L. Marshall, of Illinois, in 1866; sold his farm and moved to Labette County, Kan.; entered and improved 160 acres of land and lived on the farm fifteen years; became involved in debt, lost his farm under a mortgage, and about the same time lost his wife in 1880, and, in 1881, with the fragments of a broken fortune, Mr. Graham, in September of said year, moved to McCune, Kan., built a residence and business house, and forming a partnership with Mr. West, are now carrying on the saddle and harness trade, doing a good business. He has four children living--William, John, Frank and George. In November, 1882, was married to Mrs. Mary E. Hudson, of Kansas, and has four step- children--Mattie, Annie, John and Harry. He was one of the first Justices of the Peace in Labette County after its organization as a county. He is strictly temperate in all of his habits, and is a member of and a regularly ordained Elder and preacher in the Church of re-organized Latter-Day Saints, but an open and avowed enemy of polygamy and the Salt Lake Mormons. He is a member of the Patrons of Husbandry and of the Good Tempiars, a lover of liberty and republican institutions, "not in name but in fact," is an advocate of temperance, good morals, and a firm believer in and an advocate of the doctrines of Jesus Christ and His apostles.

H. GRANDLE, farmer, Section 1, P. O. Monmouth, was born in Ohio in 1836; was raised on a farm and went to Iowa in 1856, where he remained on a farm twelve years engaged in the grain and stock business. He came to Kansas in 1868, and located on his present farm of 240 acres, on which he has since remained, raising grain and stock. He has eighty acres of timber and running water on his farm. He has a fine assortment of apples, peaches and small fruits. He is School Director, a member of the Presbyterian Church and Trustee of the same. Is a member of the A. O. U. W., and is Receiver of the same. He was married to Miss Marie Shields, of Iowa, in 1864. They have seven living children--Harvey M., Hattie E., Charlie E., George L., Frank P., J. Milton, Harry and Ida F. (deceased). Mrs. Grandle is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

AARON GREENFIELD, of the firm of Greefield & Vawter, dealers in hardware, queensware, farm implements, etc., was born in Ohio in 1844. Received a common school education; went to Iowa at the age of twelve; remained on a farm. Came to Kansas in 1867; located in Crawford County on a farm on 160 acres, which he improved and run as a grain and stock farm twelve years. Also a full line of fruits of all kinds. The farm has 900 rods of hedge, two wells and a pond. Came to McCune in 1880. Built a residence, and was in the real estate business till August, 1881, at which time he engaged in his present business. Built a store of stone and brick 24x70. Is a member of the Council. Was Township Treasurer of Osage Township. Is a member of the A. O. U. W. Married to Miss Elizabeth Ferrel, of Iowa, in 1866. They have three children--Hattie E., Della M., Katie P. Mr. and Mrs. Greenfield are members of the M. E. Church.

J. M. KING, farmer, Section 31, P.O. Monmouth, was born in Kentucky in 1835, raised to agricultural pursuits; received a business education; farmed in Indiana fifteen years. Came to Kansas in 1867 and located in Crawford County, on his present farm of 200 acres, which he improved and ran as a grain and stock farm. He has his farm under hedge and wire fence; also has a full line of fruits and berries of all kinds. He was in the mercantile business eight months in Pittsburgh. He owns business and residence property in the town of Monmouth. He was Township Clerk one year and Township Trustee six years. He belongs to the order of Freemasons and A. O. U. W. He was married to Miss Rebecca Coffman, of Indiana, in 1854. Their children are Elizabeth Y, Mary S., Nancy A., Sylvester M., Louis J., William W. and Frances M.

WILLIAM LUCAS, farmer, Section 12, P.O. Monmouth, was born in Muscatine, Iowa, in 1839. He was raised to agricultural pursuits and received a common school education. He farmed in Iowa until 1866; in the meantime was in the army two years. He went to Montana in 1866, and remained one season. He came to Kansas in the winter of 1866, and located on his present, which he has run as a grain and stock farm to the present time. He built a mill in 1867, which he operated for five years. He owns three farms--one of 160 acres, another of 90 acres, and one of 160 acres. He owns 60 acres of coal land on Brush Creek, Cherokee County; owns 160 acres of land in Woodson County, and town property in Cherokee and Columbus. He was County commissioner three years, and is a member of the Presbyterian Church; an Elder. He belongs to the A. O. U. W., G. A. R. and Good Templars. He was married to Miss Abbie M. Dickinson, of Ohio, in 1865. They have six children living--Laura E., Arthur S., Samuel O., Abbie F., Emma V. and Nancy G.; deceased--George A., and Charles. Mrs. Lucas is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Lucas has interests in gold, silver and lead mines in Colorado.

[TOC] [part 14] [part 12] [Cutler's History]