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


[TOC] [part 4] [part 2] [Cutler's History]



Frank Playter started the first bank in Girard in June, 1871. In 1872, he erected for the accommodation of his business a two-story brick building, the first brick building in the town. This bank was closed in July, 1877, and in August re-organized and started again on a new basis as the Merchants; and Farmers' Bank, with Frank Playter as President. Mr. Playter retired from the bank in January, 1878, and, in June, 1879, this bank was succeeded by the Bank of Girard, established by E. R. Moffit. The Bank of Girard was succeeded in 1882 by the Girard Bank, a private institution of which Chapman & Adams are the proprietors. It is in the Playter Building.

Citizens' Bank. - J. H. Booth started a bank in May, 1878, and, on February 6, 1882, was succeeded by the Citizens' Bank. This is a private institution, and does a general banking business. The company is composed of four members - J. D. Barker, President; J. T. Leonard, Cashier; H. P. Grund, Vice President, and W. H. Brown. The first newspaper published in Girard was the Crawford County Times, April 16, 1869, by Scott & Cole. Only one number was issued, as the object of its issue was accomplished viz.: the bringing of the Osage Mission people to time.(sic)

The Girard Press was moved by Warner & Wasser from Fort Scott to Girard in November, 1869, the first issue appearing at the latter place on the 11th of the month. The paper took strong ground in favor of the validity of Mr. Joy's title to the neutral lands, and on this account its office and material were set fire to on July 14, 1871, and destroyed. The loss was $4,000. New material was obtained, and the paper, enlarged and improved, re-appeared August 13, and has since been published as a nine-column folio weekly. When Horace Greeley became a candidate for the Presidency, Dr. Warner, the senior editor, supported his candidacy much to the disappointment of the then junior, present senior editor, E. A. Wasser. In consequence of this disagreement of the two proprietors in regard to politics, Dr. Warner sold his interest June 16, 1873, to A. P. Riddle, since which time the Press has been published as a stanch (sic) and able Republican paper by Wasser & Riddle.

The Girard Herald was started July 26, 1878, with J. W. Womack as editor. It is an eight-column folio weekly paper, and is Democratic in politics.

The People's Vindicator was started July 28, 1870, by P. R. Crisp and Charles R. Lindsey, and discontinued in November.

The Girard Pharos was started March 12, 1873, by W. K. Goode. It was sold by the mortagee (sic) in 1874 to J. F. McDowell, and by him moved to Columbus.

The Crawford County News was started August 6, 1875, by T. P. Fulton and C. C. Covell. After passing through numerous hands, it was finally suspended November 21, 1878.

The Girard News was started December 13, 1878, by J. K. Black and W. F. Laughlin.

Summary. - Girard at present contains six general stores, three hardware stores, four drug stores, three grocery and boot and shoe stores, three dealers in agricultural implements, one exclusive boot and shoe store, two exclusive groceries, three hotels, three livery stables, one machine shop and foundry and a population of 2,000 inhabitants.


There are no manufactories in Girard, except on machine-shop and foundry and three flour mills - the Girard Mills, the Crawford County Mills and the Custom Mills. The Girard Mills were built in 1870, and began operations in the spring of 1871. The first building was a two and a half story frame, costing, with the machinery and power, $10,000. The property was owned by Tontz & Hitz. In 1879, Tontz retired from active participation in the management of the business, and in 1882 sold his interest to Hitz. Mr. Hitz thereupon erected a three and a half story brick mill, put in five run of buhrs, and two sets of Gray's patent rollers, thus making it a combined mill, which experience has demonstrated to be best adapted to grinding Kansas wheat. The machinery is propelled by a fifty horse-power engine, and has a capacity of 100 barrels of flour per day. The old building has been converted into an elevator, with a capacity of 6,000 bushels. The entire property is worth $25,000, and is owned by Mr. C. Hitz.

The Crawford County Mills were built in 1870 by a stock company. In 1875, they were sold to Frank Playter, and in 1876 to B. C. Redlow, who, in 1879, sold them to C. D. Patterson. These mills are two and a half stories high, contain three run of buhrs and one set of rollers, thus being also a combined mill, and the machinery is propelled by a twenty-five horse-power engine. The entire property is worth $10,000.

The Custom Mills are located west of the northwest corner of the public square, confine themselves principally to grinding grists, and are worth about $5,000.

The Water Works. - One of the most important institutions in Girard, in a material sense, is the Water Works, a brief history and description of which is subjoined: In the year 1874, it was proposed that a subscription of $15 to $20 each be taken up from several citizens, with the view of prospecting for coal within the limits of the town. A Mr. Calkins was employed to drill down into the earth. After having drilled to a depth of 220 feet, he claimed to have found a vein of coal, but on account of a difference between him and the company that engaged him, about the amount of pay he should receive for his labor, he refused to reveal what strata his drill had penetrated, and the work was given up. The subject was frequently discussed, and in 1881, the season being very dry, it was realized by everybody, that it was of the utmost importance that the city be supplied with water. In July, a fire-engine was purchased, and soon afterward a petition, signed by many of the leading citizens, was presented to the Council, asking that a special election on the proposition of issuing $3,000 in bonds for the purpose of drilling a well. The election, held September 5, resulted in the casting of 115 votes for the bonds to 34 against them. In pursuance of this vote an ordinance was passed authorizing the issuance and sale of the bonds. On the 14th of October the Council made a contract with C. B. Swan to drill a five-inch hole, and put in five-inch cast iron casing. If coal were found before reaching the depth of 600 feet, the drilling was to cease, but payment was to be made for the full 600 feet. A record was to be kept of the number and kinds of strata penetrated, and a report made to the Council as often as required. In accordance with his agreement, Mr. Swan drilled to the depth of 857 feet four inches, when the work was ordered to cease by the Council. At that depth water was found, which rose in the well to within 160 feet of the surface of the ground. A pump was fixed in the well, a fifteen horse-power engine attached, and kept steadily at work up to its full capacity for forty-eight hours, and still the water remained at the same height in the well as at the beginning. From this fact, and from the further fact that when the ear is placed to the top of the tubing which reaches to the bottom of the well, a noise as of running water is heard, it is inferred that the bottom of the well is in a wide and rapidly flowing river. The fact that the water remained at the same height in the well through two full days of steady pumping, led the citizens to solicit the Council for an opportunity to vote bonds for waterworks. The election occurred June 30, 1882, and resulted in the casting of 115 votes for the bonds, $5,000 in amount, to 30 against them. The bonds were issued and sold, and a contract bade with the United States Wind Engine and Power Company for a tank, wind-mill, pump and all necessary piping for the works. As a result of this contract a tower was erected and surmounted by a tank, a pump set up and a wind-mill erected, and the new machinery and apparatus, constituting a complete system of waterworks, went into operation November 15, 1882. The well and works are in the center of the public square. A six-inch water main extends from the tank to one side of, and then all round the public square, to which hydrants are attached, and there is a cistern capable of holding 1,500 barrels at the center of each side of the square. The tower is two stories high, the lower story being used for an engine room, and the upper for the meetings of the fire company. The tank is twenty-four feet in diameter, and eighteen feet in height. The wheel of the wind-mill is twenty-five feet in diameter, and is capable of making thirty-two revolutions per minute. The pump-barrel is three in diameter, and the stroke of the pump is two feet. The strata penetrated in drilling this well wee as follows, according to Mr. Swan's report: Clay, 15 feet; limestone, 14; slate, 4; limestone, 18; soapstone, 104; limestone, 11; slate, 4; soapstone, 130; shale, 97; soapstone, 75; sandstone, 25; gray, white and black flint, 220; green shale, 60; sandy limestone, 20; magnesian limestone, 57.


JOHN W. ALFORD, M. D., was born in Indiana February 5, 1842; he was raised on a farm, and received a common school education. AT the age of nineteen he entered the army and remained in service three years. He then returned to Indiana and began the study of medicine, which he continued for eighteen months, afterward practicing and teaching school until 1868. He then came to Kansas, and located on Big Creek, Allen County, and farmed for two years on 160 acres of land, which he improved and operated as a grain farm. About that time, the settlers pressed him into the practice of medicine, which he continued one year, when he sold his farm under the belief that he needed a better education; took his wife and a little girl, five years of age, whom he had taken to raise, and went on a visit to Indiana, where he left his wife and child with friends, and went to Cincinnati and took a course of lectures, graduating May 11, 1875; then came to Kansas and settled on Big Creek, where he remained one year, and thence went to Neosho County, where he practiced until May 5, 1880, at which time he came to Girard, Kan., where he has continued to practice since that time. He has been a member of the Christian Church since sixteen years of age, and is also a Free Mason, Odd Fellow, Knight of Honor and Good Templar. He was married to Miss Malissa Chandler, of Indiana, February 1, 1866. He lost his wife, May 5, 1880, and he was married to Miss Mary Carrothers, of Illinois, in 1881. They have one child - Wayne

C. A. ALLEN, of the firm of Allen Bros., dealers in hay, grain and general merchandising. The hay and grain business was established by the brothers in 1874, upon a trade of about $5,000 per annum. They have carried it on very successfully since, adding merchandising to their already extensive interests in 1881, and now do a business of about $80,000 a year. They give employment to about forty workmen and twenty-five teams, and run four perpetual presses, in the pressing of hay. Their trade in this article already extends through this State, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Colorado. A. Allen was born in Davis County Iowa, in 1849; received his education in the public schools of his nativity; in 1869, he located here and engaged actively in the farming and stock-raising industry, which he carried on successfully till investing in his present industry. He married in 1874, Miss Ella Underhill, who was born and reared in Carroll County, Ind. They have a family of two sons and one daughter - Stanley Clare, Guy and Jessie. He is a member of the Board of City Aldermen for the city; has worked actively in the growth of the public, social and industrial life of this place since coming here. From 1872 to 1878, he was prominently identified with surveying through this locality.

THEODORE W. ATKINS, druggist, was born in New York State December 24, 1855. He lived on a farm and attended the district school until he arrived at the age of fourteen, when he entered as clerk in a general merchandise store, where he continued two years, and then went to college; when through with his education, he taught school one year, then went to New York City and kept books for a large grocery house; there he remained until the fall of 1877, at which time he came to Kansas and located at Girard, and engaged in the drug business, which he still continues. He owns his business house and his residence, with some other town property. He belongs to the Order of A. O. U W., of which he is a Select Knight. He was married to Miss Mary F. Hull, of New York, December 11, 1877, and has one child, Lina H., born August 14, 1881. Mrs. Atkins received an academic education, and is an active member of the Methodist Church and President of the Ladies' Aid Society.

J. Q. BELL, of the firm of Bell & Crawford, dealers in lumber, lath, shingles, sash, doors and blinds, was born in Mercer County, Penn., in 1846, and was identified in native State as a mechanic, contracting and building for several years. In 1874, he located in Girard, and has carried on his present industry successfully since. In 1876, he married Miss Jennetta Crawford, who was born in Coles County, Ill., in 1855. They have two daughters - Lillie and Annie. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. society here.

WILSON BOYLE, merchant tailor, was born in Ohio, 1828; learned his trade in Cincinnati, and worked at the business in Ohio fifteen years; went to Kentucky in 1859; remained eighteen months, at the end of which time, enlisted in the army; was mustered out in 1863; returned to Illinois; remained three years; came to Missouri in 1870; thence to Coffeyville, then Fort Scott, and to Girard, 1877, and opened his present business, which he has since actively prosecuted.

WILLIAM H. BRADEN, livery, and bridge-builder, was born in Richland County, Ohio, August 21, 1846. He received a business education while living on the farm. Joined the army at the age of nineteen, and was in the service three and a half years. he was then on a farm in Illinois two years. he came to Kansas in 1869, and located on a farm in Crawford County, and farmed seven years. He was raising grain and stock. He was elected Sheriff in 1877, and came to Girard and built a barn in 1878, and began the livery business. He was Sheriff two years, since which time he has been running a livery and building bridges. He was Trustee of Crawford Township four years, and is now President of the Agricultural Society of Crawford County, and is also a member of the A. O. U. W. He was married to Miss Wealthy E. Lott, of Illinois, in November, 1876. They have two sons - Samuel B. and William O.

J. D. BRALEY, farmer, sheep and hog grower, Section 2 P. O. Girard, was born in New York in 1834, and raised on a farm; received a business education; continued on the farm with his parents until the age of thirty; at which time went to Iowa; remained one winter; came to Kansas in 1867. Located on his present farm of 480 acres, which he improved, and has since raised grain and stock. Has 280 acres under cultivation, and eighty acres in tame grass. Handled cattle, sheep and hogs until 1881. Since then, principally carrying 600 head of sheep, and 150 head of hogs, raising the Poland-China hogs, and a fine grade of sheep. His wool clip is annually 3,500 pounds. The farm has five miles of hedge fence, and one mile of wire; 800 apple trees, a fine assortment of pears, peaches and berries of all kinds. Mr. Braley has eighty acres of land in Lincoln Township, and two-thirds of 160 acres in Crawford Township.

CHARLES N. BROWN, Agent of the "Frisco" Railroad, was born in Schoharie County, N. Y., in 1844, and removed with his people, who settled at Chicago, Ill., in 1845. At the age of ten he engaged as a messenger boy in connection with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, but soon after learned telegraphy and took charge of a station in his present capacity, in which he remained with the railroad for several years. After this, he filled engagements with the Union Pacific, Texas, Pacific & Western, Hannibal & St. Joseph, and Northern Pacific; accepting his present position with the "Frisco" in 1877, and located here in September, 1879. In 1871, he married Miss Frances Nebergall of Illinois. They have one little girl - Nancy Ada. He is an active member of the A., F. & A. M. society, and of the Chapter Royal Arch Masons.

H. W. BROWN, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Girard, was born in Illinois in 1837. Received a business education. At the age of eighteen, went to learn the carpenter's trade, and continued at that business until 1861, at which time he joined the army four years and four days. Went in as a private and came out as First Lieutenant. Returned to Illinois in 1865, where he remained on a farm three years. Came to Kansas in 1868, and located on his present home of 160 acres, which he has since run as a grain and stock farm in connection with the carpentering business. has over 100 acres in cultivation; has hedge fence, good water and fruits of all kinds. Belongs to the order of Free Masons. Was married to Miss Annie Fuler, of Pennsylvania, in 1866. Have seven children - Lillie M., John C., Arthur N., Sarah A., James H., Hitter, Maud M.

LORAN BROWN, dealer in lumber and all kinds of building material; was born in Whitby, Ontario County, Can., in 1829, and was identified there with farming and stockraising till 1864, when he engaged at merchandising, which he carried on actively there for several years. In 1869, he came to Kansas and engaged at his present industry here, which he has operated very successfully since. He married, in 1851, Miss Martha Playter, a native of York County, Can., who departed this life in 1878, and is buried in Girard Cemetery, aged forty-nine years. In 1879, May 4, he married Miss Emma Low, a native of De Kalb County, Ill. They have a family of two little girls - Myra and Cora. Mr. Brown has worked actively in the development of the social and industrial life of this city since coming here. Is an active member of the A., F. & A. M., I. O. O. F. and I. O. G. T. societies, and an active supporter of the Presbyterian Church.

D. W. BURNET, farmer, Section 18, P. O. Girard, was born in Ohio in 1824. He was raised on a farm. He went to Iowa in 1854, and carried on a farm until 1860. In 1861, he entered the army and remained in the service four and a half years, and then came to Kansas, and, in 1868, located at Girard on his present farm of 160 acres, which he opened and improved, and on which he now raises stock and grain. He has about thirty acres in orchard, and also owns two lots in town partly improved.

A. G. BUSH, dealer in real estate, was born in Montgomery County, Mo., in 1835; was raised on a farm, and continued farming until 1858; then taught school in Missouri nine years. He was then in the mill business in Missouri six years; came to Kansas in 1871, and located in Neosho County, on a farm, where he remained two years; then to Girard in the sewing machine and music business five years, at the end of which time he went into his present business. He owns fourteen town lots in Girard, and a good farm in Crawford County. He owns two nice residences in Girard. He is a member of the Good Templars. He was married to Miss Carrie M. Whiteside in 1868. They have four children living - Olline S., Zella M., Fannie F., Walton G., and Willie, deceased. He lost his wife June 28, 1880. Mrs. Bush was a graduate of Danville Female Academy, and taught school six years. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was a Sunday school teacher.

T. P. BYRN, farmer, P. O. Girard, was born in Pennsylvania in 1833; raised to the agricultural pursuit; was taken by his parents in infancy to Ohio; to Illinois in 1851, where he remained on a farm until 1866, in the grain and stock business, at the end of which time he came to Kansas, located on a farm of 160 acres in Crawford County, which he improved and run (sic) for seven years; then went one and a half miles west, on a farm of eighty acres, which he improved. Has a fine line of fruits of all kinds, wells and cisterns. April 2, 1880, Mr. Byrn met with a great loss, a destructive cyclone taking his house and every article of furniture, never having heard of the same, also killing two horses, one cow, and carried away eight fat hogs, from which he never heard. Was Constable two years, and is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Was married to Miss Mary A. Stevens, of Maine, in 1856. Have ten children - George W., Martin F., Harriet A., Mary O., John S., Ennis L., Sylvester J., James R., Jefferson A., Cora. Mrs. Byrn is a member of the Baptist Church.

C. CADWELL, dealer in hardware, groceries and agricultural implements, was born in New York March 1, 1825. He was early engaged in hardware business, and received a business education. He was in business in Chicago over twenty-seven years, in Leavenworth, Kan., a short time, and was afterward in Denver two years in quartz mill and mining business. He came back, in 1862, to Leavenworth, and was in tin and stove business four years, going to Girard in 1871, where he opened his present business. In 1882, he made a large amount of brick, and has also bought and sold cattle and hogs. He is a member of the Order of Odd Fellows. He was married to Miss Marion J. Greenfield, of Connecticut, in 1850. They have three children - George T., Lottie and Emma. Miss Lottie Cadwell received a collegiate education, and has been teaching school nine years, and is now teaching in Girard High School. Mr. George Cadwell received a collegiate education at Leavenworth, Kan.

ROBERT E. CARLTON, Clerk of the District Court, was born in Kentucky in 1844. He was raised on a farm, received a business education, and at the age of twenty-one commenced business for himself in his native State. He continued in general merchandise trade for two years, and then removed to Illinois, and worked on a farm four years, coming thence to Kansas in 1872. He located in Crawford County, where he bought and improved a farm on which he resided until December 14, 1876, when he was elected to his present office, having held by re-election three terms. Mr. Carlton owns three improved farms in Crawford County, and his city residence. He is a member of the Church of Christ, and also of K. of H., and A. O. U. W. He was married in 1870, to Amanda G. Taylor, of Indiana, and has three children - Minnie, Louella and Cassius E. Two of their children, Nellie and Ola, deceased.

H. W. CAUBLE, real estate agent, is a native of Indiana, born in 1862. He lived on a farm in his native State until he came to Kansas, receiving a literary and business education in the same State. On coming to Kansas, he remained a short time at Baxter Springs, and came thence to Girard in 1882, where he became associated in the real estate business with Mr. J. A. Dawson, November 3, 1882. Mr. Cauble taught school in Indiana in 1879-80-81 and 1881.

R. S. COOK, farmer and stock-dealer, P. O. Girard, was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1852; was reared in the railroad business, received a business education, was check-boy for J. B. Shay, in Chicago, for one year; was then in the woolen mills in Massachusetts seven years; went to Missouri in 1871, remained until 1876, at the end of which time he came to Kansas and located in his present home. Owns residence, with three acres of land, in town. Owns eighty acres of land in Baker Township, which he improved. has good wells, ponds, running water. Runs his farm as a grain, stock and hay farm; carries from thirty to fifty head of stock. Belongs to the Order of Odd Fellows. Was married to Miss Amanda Best, of Illinois, in 1875.

GEORGE W. CRAWFORD, of the firm of Bell & Crawford, was born in Champaign County, Ill., in 1852. In 1868, he located in this county, and in 1876 joined the present partnership in the lumber industry, with which he has been connected since. He also caries on an active business in the lumber industry at Walnut. He married, in 1876, Miss Imogene Folliard, a native of Minnesota. They have a family of two daughters and one son - Nina, Georgie and Loyal. Mr. Crawford is a member of the A. O. U. F. and I. O. O. F. societies here.

W. B. CRAWFORD, real estate, loan and insurance, was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1834, and came to America with his people in 1840, who settled in Randolph County, Ill., where he was identified with farming and stock industry till 1870, when he came here and followed mercantile business until 1877. In 1876, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and has been elected to that position for each consecutive term since. In 1856, he married Miss Agnes T. Stevenson, who was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1836. They have a family of five sons and three daughters - Harry G., associated with his father in business; Michael P., farmer; Robert J., telegraph operator, William J., Jennette C., Jane B., Benjamin A. and Agnes M. From 1864 until the end of the war, Mr. Crawford did active service in Company F, Twenty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was honorably discharged. Mr. Crawford is a member of the I. O. O. F. and I. O. G. T. societies here. Himself and family are members of the Presbyterian Church.

J. H. CUSHENBERRY, M. D. and dealer in drugs, was born in 1843, in Simpson County Ky. He received an academic education and began the study of medicine at the age of twenty-one with Dr. Bryant, of Kentucky. He attended two courses of lectures in Louisville, Ky., and graduated in St. Louis in 1872, and came to Kansas in the same year and located in Girard, where he practiced medicine until 1876. He then went to Nashville, Tenn., and attended one course of lectures. He returned to Kansas and Girard and continued business at the same place. In 1878, he opened a drug store in connection with his general practice. Dr. Cushenberry is a member of the K. of H., also a member of the State Medical Society, Southeast Medical Society and County Medical Society. He was married to Miss Cora A. Wickware, of Tennessee, March 16, 1869, she was born June 19, 1850. They have one child, Lennie H., born May 4, 1870.

[TOC] [part 4] [part 2] [Cutler's History]