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


[TOC] [part 10] [part 8] [Cutler's History]


This city is situated in the southeastern part of Crawford County, thirty miles from Joplin, Mo., and twelve miles from Girard. In 1876, the firm of Moffett & Sargent built the Girard & Joplin Railroad, a short line connecting those two points. This road passed through the extensive coal fields in the southeastern part of Crawford County. The coal interests in this section had already been tested in a small way but as yet had no convenient outlet until the building of this line of road. The extent of the coal interests and the probability of its being the site of manufacturing enterprises were the chief reasons for the founding of the town. In the spring of 1876, Col. Ed. H. Brown, working in the interest of Moffett & Sargent, established and laid out the site. Prior to this however, this firm had purchased two tracts of coal land from the K. C., F. S. & G. Railroad Company. One of these tracts lay in the immediate vicinity of the town site, and the other a short distance from it, both tracts comprising an area of 25,000 acres.

The land upon which the site was located was originally the property of Jacob Pugh. It comprised one hundred and sixty acres, made up from adjacent forty-acre tracts in Sections 19, 20, 29 and 30, in Township 30, Range 25. At the time the site was laid out there was but one building upon it which belonged to Jacob Pugh, and stood where J. R. Lindburg's drug store now stands. It was moved away June 5, 1876. G. W. Seabury & Co. built the first business house in which they put a general stock of merchandise. It was a one-story frame house twenty feet square. J. T. Roach erected the first dwelling July 18, 1876. From the time the town was laid out until October of the same year, the population increased to about 100, and it contained three stores, two blacksmith and wagon shops, a hotel and post office.

The Cherryvale Division of the K. C., F. S. & G. R. R. was constructed through the town in the fall of 1882. The Girard and Joplin Railroad was sold in the summer of 1880 to the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Company for $300,000, and the land owned by Moffett & Sargent was sold to the Pittsburg Town Company for $50,000.

The Town Company was composed of C. M. Condon, President, and B. F. Hobart, who thus became owners of the town site. These parties also comprised the Oswego Coal Company, and were engaged in the development of the coal interests upon their land. Subsequently they sold about fifty-five per cent of the stock to the St. L. & S. F. R. R. Co. and a new coal company became organized under the name of the Rogers Coal Company.

The capital stock of the company is $200,000. The operations at this place is that of two shafts, and the production is about fifty cars of coal per day, employing a force of four hundred men. The sale of the coal is confined mainly to points along the St. L. & S. F. R. R. in Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas.

The business of the town company is in the hands of Maj. J. J. Rochusen as agent. Additions of forty acre tracts have recently been added to the site, one on the north and one on the east side. Another addition of forty acres is soon to be made, which is to contain a park. The company have a large number of lots on sale at prices ranging according to the quality and location. Business lots of 170 feet depth are held at from $8 to $24 front foot; residence lots vary in price according to the size and location from $100 to $225 per lot.

The Pittsburg Coal Company are engaged in the mining of coal. The entire shipment of coal from this point is from seventy-five to 100 cars per day.

The manufacture of zinc is also an important industry in the place. There are already three large zinc smelters in operation and another extensive one is in process of construction. The zinc ore which is smelted in these works is shipped from mines in Missouri, since it is cheaper to ship the ore to this point where coal is abundant than to ship the coal to points where zinc ore is mined, as it takes about three tons of coal to smelt one ton of zinc. Both the coal mines and the zinc smelters give employment to a large force of men and are the chief support and incentive to the building up of the city.

Pittsburg was incorporated as a city of the third class in the fall of 1879. M. M. Snow was elected first Mayor. He was re-elected and was succeeded in office by H. C. Willard.

The first City Council was composed of the following named persons: J. R. Lindburg, W. McBride, F. Kalwitz, P. A. Shield and D. S. Miller. The present Councilmen are J. R. Lindburg, A. J. Georgia, C. S. Jennings, E. N. Aikin and J. W. Braidwood.

The first school was taught in the town in the fall of 1877; A. J. Georgia was teacher. It was kept in a schoolhouse that was erected during the summer. The building is a two-story frame, containing two departments. A second school building was erected in 1881, and is a one-story frame. The first school numbered an attendance of forty. The attendance at present is about 600, and the school population of the city is 850. The schools were graded in the summer of 1880, and was made to comprise three departments. Since then they have been divided into four departments, under charge of D. Hollinger, Principal, and Miss Ida Bromback, Miss Cora Edson and Mrs. James Officer, teachers.

A post office was established here in 1876, soon after the site was located. George Richey was the first Postmaster. He was succeeded in March, 1877, by A. J. Georgia, who has since occupied the office. It was made a money order office July 1, 1879, and the first order for $2.50 was issued on the 7th of that month to Dr. W. W. Watkins in favor of C. C. Archer, of St. Louis, Mo. The whole number of orders issued up to this time is 6,684. The office began the issue of foreign money orders July 1, 1882, and up to the present has issued 200 of these orders. The office does an important business in money orders. On the first day after it became authorized, $72 in orders were issued. Since then the business has greatly increased, so that from the 1st to the 15th of January the issue of orders amounted to $1,800.


The first paper started in the town was the Pittsburg Exponent. This sheet was begun by L. C. Hitchcock in June, 1879. After running about one year it was sold to the Flint Brothers of Girard, who began the publication of a paper called the Pittsburg Smelter. The paper began in March, 1881. It is a five-column quarto; Republic in politics.

Pittsburg Lodge, No. 187, A., F. & A. M., was instituted December 27, 1879, with sixteen charter members. The first officers of the lodge were C. W. Long, W. M.; J. W. Jennings, S. W.; A. E. Baxter, J. W.; J. R. Lindburg, Secretary; J. W. Spicer, Treasurer. There is a present membership of fifty, and the following are officers; M. M. Snow, W. M.; A. C. Fowler, S. W.; J. R. Lindburg, J. W.; F. W. Lanyon, Secretary; C. W. Long, Treasurer.

Black Diamond Lodge, No. 65, K. of P., was instituted December 20, 1882, by P. G. C. J. H. Lyon, of Leavenworth. The lodge began with twenty-two charter members, and now has thirty-two. The first officers were G. F. Keener, P. C.; S. Barrett, C. C.; C. W. Long, V. C; T. C. Malloy, K. of R. and S.; Charles Dyer, M. of F.; N. Coughnour, M. of Ex.; J. A. Nuttman, M. at A.; M. Lyden, I. G.; H. W. Black, O. G.

Pittsburg City Lodge, No. 196, I. O. O. F., was instituted February 1, 1882, under a dispensation with twenty-four charter members. The first officers were J. R. Wells, N. G.; H. L. James, V. G.; P. Webber, R. S.; J. W. Striker, P. S.; A. A. Fletcher, Treasurer; J. W. Striker, S. P. G. The lodge received a charter in October, 1882, and the following were chosen officers: A. A. Fletcher, N. G.; J. C. Gaines, V. G.; A. Durham, R .S.; G. F. Keener, P. S.; F. G. Flint, Treasurer. The lodge was instituted by S. D. D. G. M. A. P. Riddle, of Girard. There is at present a membership of thirty-three. J. W. Striker was made D. D. G. M. at date of institution, and again in July, 1882. He was also elected a Representative to the Grand Lodge in June, 1882.

Pittsburg Lodge, No. 56, A. O. U. W., was instituted in September 1880. The lodge is well supported and enjoys a large membership.

The city contains five religioius societies, all in flourishing condition. These are the Methodist, Episcopal, Christian, Catholic and Baptist.

Only the Methodist and Episcopal denominations are supplied with buildings. The Methodist church house is a neat brick structure, and the Episcopal is a small frame.

The city at present has a population of 3,500, and contains eight general stores, one exclusive grocery, three hardware, four drug, and two shoe stores, one clothing store, four meat markets, two shoe shops, two blacksmith shops, three millinery stores, one furniture store, three lumber yards, six hotels, one merchant tailor, two livery stables, two churches, one harness shop, etc. The Pittsburg flouring mills were established in 1881, by Bruner & Warren. The building is a three-story frame building, and contains three run of stone. The capacity of the mill is fifty barrels of flour per day. The power is a twenty-five horse power engine.

The advantages for manufacturing enterprises are superior, and it awaits only a lapse of time when the city will become a large and important manufacturing center.


JOHN H. ANDERSON, grocer and proprietor of hotel and mill, was born in Scotland in 1843. He was raised in mercantile business, and educated for the ministry, graduating at Edinburgh College in 1868. He came to the United States in 1869, and located in Maryland, where he remained eight years in the ministry and coal business. He came to Kansas in 1877, and located in Pittsburg, where he preached and carried on the coal business, dealing in coal until 1880. He is a Baptist missionary and an Odd Fellow. He was married to Miss Agnes Sneddar, of Scotland, in 1862. They have six children living--Rachel, Robert, Agnes, John, Henry, and William. They have buried four--James, Elizabeth, Arminta and Henry.

SAMUEL BARRATT, book-keeper, was born in England, February 3, 1838, came to United States in 1869, located in Missouri, and worked in saw-mill two years; then worked two years in store; then clerked in railroad office until 1879; was then in railroad office two years in Carthage, and one year as general agent; then came to New Pittsburg, and has since been keeping books.

W. C. BECK, retired, was born in Illinois in 1827, where he was raised on a farm, and received a business education. He began farming at the age of twenty-one in his native State, and continued until 1871, at which time he went to Missouri, settled on a farm and remained there until 1879. He then came to Pittsburg, Kansas, and run a grocery business a short time, also building a number of residences and business houses, which he now rents. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was married to Miss Jane C. Lynn, of Kentucky, in 1868.

JOHN W. BREWER, of the firm of Brown & Brewer, dealers in groceries, was born in Wisconsin, October 28, 1849; was raised on a farm, and received a business education. At the age of twenty-two, he started a cheese and butter factory in McHenry County, Ill., which he run two years. He came to Kansas in 1875, and located in Crawford County, on a farm of 240 acres, which he improved, and run as stock and grain farm five years. He opened present business in 1881. He is a Freemason, and belongs to K. of P. He was married to Miss Ida Holden, of Illinois, September 10, 1873. They had one child--Edmond D. (deceased).

J. B. BROWN, proprietor of blacksmith and wagon shop, was born in New York, June 22, 1849. He was bred a farmer, and at the age of twenty-two commenced that occupation for himself and continued until 1877. He came to Kansas and located in Crawford County, beginning his present business in 1877, which he has actively prosecuted since. Mr. Brown owns a residence and other real estate in the town of Pittsburg. He was married to Miss Alma L. Hamblin, of Lee County, Ill., in 1872. The have two children--Eli B. and Gertie N.

H. C. BRUNNER, of the firm of Brunner & Rorer, proprietors of the Pittsburg Flouring Mills, was born in Bucks County, Penn., in 1845, and was reared to his present industry, his father having been prominently identified with that industry in his native State. After carrying on his business in Indiana for four years, he located in Kansas in 1870, and has been actively identified with his present industry in the State since. In 1871, he married Mis May Gilmore, of Indiana. They have a family of two sons and one daughter--Eva, Burroughs and Justin. The family are members of the Presbyterian Church. During the war, Mr. Brunner did service in Company F, Thirty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, from which he was honorably discharged. Since locating here he has worked actively for the development of the social and industrial life of his locality. The mill is a two-story and basement structure, run by steam power, with a capacity of turning out fifty barrels of flour a day. Their business in confined to merchants and custom trade. Process stone.

WILLIAM BURGER, of the firm of L. Burger & Co., grocers and confectioners, was born in Pennsylvania in 1862, and learned his present business when a boy. He came to Missouri at the age of six years, was there three years and then came to Fort Scott, Kan., where he lived ten years. He was then in Parsons, Kan., two years, at Eureka Springs eight months, again at Parsons six months, coming from there to Pittsburg, where he started his present business.

ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, of the firm of Campbell Bros., livery, feed and sale stables, and of the firm of Campbell Bros. & Heatwole, furniture dealers, was born in Ontario, Canada, September 13, 1853, and removed to Illinois with his people, who subsequently located in Neosho County, Kan., in 1867. He engaged at farming in Neosho County, and carried on coal mining operations there for seven years, locating in Bourbon County, Kan., afterwards. He spent two years there in farming. In 1879, he came to this county and engaged at farming and coal mining, which he very successfully carried on till 1882, when he joined his brother Kenneth, and engaged in the livery business, which they have successfully carried on since, the brothers joining Mr. Heatwole in the furniture business the present year. Alexander Campbell was married to Miss Mary E. Jones in Neosho County, Kan., in 1873. She was born and reared in Logan County, Ill. They have one son and three daughters--John L., Velma Maud, Sarah Phoebe and Viola Kate. The brothers have always worked actively in all measures tending toward the development of the industries of this city. Alexander is a member of the Board of Alderman of Pittsburg, Daniel Campbell, father of the above, was born in Nova Scotia, in 1822, his people having but recently located there from Scotland. He came to Illinois from Canada, in 1859, having spent six years in that country in the hotel and livery business. He identified himself with farming in Illinois. After locating in Kansas, he married Miss Ann Findleson, of Nova Scotia, her people came over from Scotland with his people. On February 7, 1872, he departed this life, and in March of the following year, his wife followed him to the grave. They are buried in Walnut Cemetery, Neosho County, together with one son, Murdock, and a daughter, Georgie Ann. The family living are, Alexander, Kenneth, Isabel, now Mrs. Gus Cummings, merchant of Walnut, Kan., and Mary Jane, now Mrs. Franklin Inman, farmer of Walnut Township, this county.

WILLIAM A. CHAPMAN. City Marshal, was born in West Virginia March 23, 1849. He moved to Iowa at the age of five years, and remained in that State ten years, then resided in Missouri until 1870, at which time he went into the mercantile business with his father, remaining in that position until July, 1873, having been employed as a clerk six months of this time in different places. He went to Parsons, Kan., in the fall of 1873, and was in the stock business one year, then clerked in a hotel in Missouri eight months, then in a hotel in Iowa a short time, and then was agent for a nursery until 1876. He then was employed as clerk in a hotel in Lincoln, Neb., was then in the same employment at Topeka, Kan.; was next in Missouri with a patent right, then in Joplin in the lead mines a short time, then in Carbon, Kan., in the mines, then clerk in a store a short time, and then in Stetson, employed as clerk nine months. He came to Pittsburg in 1880 and worked in the coal mines until 1882, at which time he was appointed Marshal of Pittsburg. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., A. O. U., W. and K. of L. He owns two houses and lots in Pittsburg. He was married to Miss Mary M. Tangye, of Maryland, in 1878, and has one child living, Minnie. Laura, deceased.

C. S. CLANTON, general merchant, was born in Missouri in 1853. He was raised in town and received a business education. He was in Arkansas seven years, and in Texas, engaged in the stock business five years. He came to Kansas in 1876 and started in his present business. Mr. Clanton is a member of the Christian Church and is a Good Templar. He owns a residence and business property in New Pittsburg.

E. P. DYER, contractor and builder, was born in Missouri in 1836. He was bred to his present business, and at the age of twenty-one engaged in saw mill business in Kansas, to which State he moved in 1849. He was engaged in sawmill two years; was then in wagon shop one year, then in mill business five years, and moved from Marshall County to Council Grove, Morris County, in 1871, following the carpenter's business until 1881, when he came to Pittsburg, Crawford County, and opened his present business. Mr. Dyer has built more than two hundred houses in this town and county, owning both residence and business property in the city. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, also, A., F. & A. M. and Knights of Pythias. He was married to Miss Margaret Hanna, of Virginia, in 1860. They have five children living--Charles W., James A., Robert F., George E. and Della.

E. W. EAKIN, Superintendent of No. 2 Furnace in R. Lanyon & Co.'s Zinc Factory, was born at Greenville, Bond Co., Ill., July 29, A. D. 1855; went to Cairo in 1864, here he was in the employ of J. R. Kittenburg's Tobacco Manufacturing Co.; the first week's work he did for the company he received $1, the first he ever earned. He told the boss $1 was not enough; he gave him a job in the finishing room at $3 a week. He remained in their employ till the spring of 1867, when he went to Murphysborough, the county seat of Jackson County, was in the employ of Dobshuttz, Aubend & Co. Bankers and Coal Dealers of Belleville, prospecting for coal on Big Muddy coal lands; was next employed by engineers that laid out the Cairo & St. Louis Narrow Gauge Railroad, and afterward took contract that lasted one year. Left Murphysborough September 4, 1873; was in the employ of Dr. Ross, of Mascoutah, St. Clair County, it was his intention to go to a German school at this place, but not finding things as represented to him, only remained till the 25th of September; came to Kansas November 18, 1873; went to school at Baxter Springs that winter; in the spring he found employment in the first zinc factory built in Kansas; this was a Chicago company, superintended by J. A. C. Thompson; worked on No. 1 Furnace on 14th day of February, 1874; that day the first zinc flame was made in Kansas; was in their employ for three years; the zinc company failed to pay and then shut down in May, 1876; went to Joplin June 21, 1876, where he was in the employ of Granby & Co., for a short time. He prospected for lead, but was not successful. During his stay in Joplin, he was member of the first Presbyterian Church, also one of Trustees; superintended Sabbath school in Second Ward of Joplin. Failing to get sufficient mineral to pay, he was obliged to leave, intending to go to Arizona, but finding how times were in Arizona he changed his mind, and after going as far as Medicine Lodge, Kan., turned back and stopped at Wichita, Sedgwick County; was in the employ of the Wichita Elevator Company, also in the employ of J. B. Carey Lumber Co. Left Wichita, and came back to Weir City January 1, 1878; was again employed by the Consolidated Zinc Mining & Smelting Company. This company failing to pay their men in June, he brought suit against them, also against J. A. C. Thompson for $147. The suit lasted three years, during which time he was in the employ of R. Lanyon & Co. He came to Pittsburg July 21, 1878, and has been in the employ of R. L. & Co. for five years. He was married to Rose A. Fundenberger, of Weir City, Cherokee County, on February 2, 1879. Their first child--Jacob Walter, born October 23, died March 9, 1880; they have one living child--Lou Jennie, born February 10, 1881. Mr. Eakin owns four houses and lots, and controls considerable other city property in Pittsburg. He was elected City Councilman in the spring of 1882. He is also a member and stockholder of the Building and Loan Association of this place; member of A. O. U. W., and stockholder in Pittsburg Water Works.

A. C. FOWLER, dealer in furniture, and undertaker, was born in Pennsylvania, 1846, was raised on a farm and received academic education; enlisted in the army July 15, 1861, and came out December 19, 1865. then went to Ohio in wool business nine months, then was engaged in building until 1870; worked for the National Iron Company at carpenter's work until 1874, was next at asylum, at carpenter's work, until 1876, at which time came to Kansas and located in Girard, at carpenter's trade, three years. In the meantime was operating at Short Creek in lead and zinc mines. Came to New Pittsburg, 1879, as contractor and builder, and was engaged in that line eighteen months, and opened present business in August, 1881. Mr. Fowler took active part in securing a right-of-way for Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad. He is a member of Freemasons, Blue Lodge and Chapter and Commandery; is a member of Knights of Pythias, and belongs to Grand Army of Republic and Knights of Labor. Mr. Fowler was married to Miss Sarah Koons, of Pennsylvania, in 1879. They have two children--John J. and Olive.

JUDGE J. M. HAMLIN, was born in 1835; raised on a farm; received an academic education and began teaching school in Indiana at the age of sixteen, continuing that occupation two and a half years. He then learned the carpenter's trade at which he worked until 1862, at that time enlisting in the Ninety-ninth Indiana as Second Lieutenant Company B. On being mustered out in 1865, he went to Missouri, and remained until 1878; was then in Nebraska two years, and then came to Crawford County, Kan., and engaged in business as contractor and builder. He was appointed Justice of the Peace and Notary Public by Gov. St. John in 1882. He is a member of the United Church and of the Knights of Labor. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Smith, of Ohio, in 1855. They have six children--Ida, Carlin, Minnie, Lovel, Garfield and Elmer.

DR. E. E. HILLIS, of the firm of Hillis, Stryker & Fisher, dealers in drugs, etc., etc., and practicing physician, was born in Knoxville, Marion Co., Iowa, October 23, 1851, and received his rudimentary education in the public schools of his nativity, and his literary education in the high schools of Knoxville, and afterward at the high school of Ann Arbor, Mich., his father, Jefferson D. Hillis, having been a regular practicing physician. Dr. E. E. Hillis was reared to his present profession, although he had learned the printer's trade which he utilized in the intervals of his collegiate course. He began the study of his profession in his father's office at the age of sixteen, and continued the study until he began his practice in 1874. In the meantime he had taken lectures in the Bennett Medical College of Chicago, and later in the medical department of the University of Michigan. In 1874, he located in practice at Elk Falls, Kan., having come to this State six years previous, and continued in practice for two years, when he abandoned it on account of the grasshoppers and returned to Independence, where he continued in practice until 1879, when he went to Leadville and carried on his practice for one year, in the meantime operating in mining. While in Leadville he lost his oldest child, a bright little girl, with whose body he returned to Independence, where he buried it in Mount Hope Cemetery. He then located here, and has been connected with the practice of his profession since. He had upon his return been appointed on the State Board of Medical Examiners for Colorado by Gov. Prikin, but declined to act as he did not return there. He married July 15, 1874, Miss Eva Clark, in Ann Arbor, Mich., a lady of fine literary attainments and a graduate of one of the leading schools of Ann Arbor. They have one son and a daughter living--Arthur B. and Ottie M. He is an active member of the Knights of Pythias Society.

J. M. HOLLIBAUGH, saddle and harness maker, was born in Ohio, in 1855; was raised in saddle and harness business; received business education; came to Kansas in 1874; located in Girard in harness business, and worked until 1881, at which time he came to New Pittsburg and opened his present business. He is a member of Knights of Pythias. He was married to Miss Emma Freed, of Kansas, in 1872. Mrs. Hollibaugh was educated in Illinois and taught school six years in Kansas.

[TOC] [part 10] [part 8] [Cutler's History]