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


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


This is the name of a town situated on the south bank of the Smoky Hill River, six miles east of Abilene. The name is very appropriate, because, although a small place, the people are full of enterprise and energy. The townsite was surveyed and platted in 1872 by G. R. Wolfe, at that time, County Surveyor. In January, 1873, a town company was organized, of which V. P. Wilson was president; John Johntz, vice-president; C. Hoffman, treasurer, and T. C. Henry, secretary. The plat of the town and the necessary certificates were duly filed in the office of the Register of Deeds, and Enterprise took its place as one of the towns of Dickinson county. The town is beautifully located. Between it and Abilene the Smoky Hill River makes a very sudden turn to the northeast, and after flowing in this direction about two miles turns almost due south for a half or three-fourths of a mile, when it again bears to the east. It is on the south bank of the river where this second bend occurs that the town is located. Opposite the town, on the north side of the river, the bank is low and heavily timbered, but on the south side and west of the iron bridge that spans the river at this point, the bank is about forty feet high, and south of this is all beautiful rolling prairie. Some 200 or 300 yards east of the bridge, on the north side of the river, is a large elevator, erected in 1882 by C. Hoffman, the capacity of which is 50,000 bushels. Directly across from the elevator, on the other side of the river, is a frame grist mill, and between this and the bridge the dame is built. This mill was built by Mr. C. Hoffman in 1868, four years before the town of Enterprise was started. Its dimensions are 40 x 60 feet with an L 12 x 16 three stories high and a basement. It has three run of buhrs, and its capacity is 100 barrels of flour per day. The river here makes a curve, and contiguous to the frame mill, and only a few feet from it, is a large stone mill. This is one of the finest mills in the State. This also was built by Mr. Hoffman, in 1873, but then it was the purpose of the owner to use it as a woolen mill, and it was used as such until 1881, when it was re-modeled and refitted for a flouring mill, and supplied with all the latest improved mill machinery. The dimensions of the mill are 40 x 80, and four stories high. It has seven run of stone, and its capacity is 200 barrels of flour a day. The first person to erect a building in town after the site was surveyed and platted, was John Latto, who put up a building on Factory street, one part of which he used for a store and the other for a dwelling. This was in the spring of 1873. Prior to this, however, in 1869, the year after Mr. Hoffman erected the frame mill, a store was built and opened by Senn & Ehrsam, but this was before there was any such town as Enterprise. Two miles north of Enterprise, on the K. P. Railway, is Detroit, a village containing a few houses, a store, and a small depot. In 1878, the railway company built a switch from Detroit to Enterprise, and this switch constitutes all the railway facilities of the town. It is the mills that give vitality to the town as they draw trade from a large stretch of country, and so excellent is the water power, that no matter how dry the season there is always an abundant flow to keep the mills running the year round. In 1878, a very handsome brick schoolhouse was erected in town at a cost of $7,000. The building stands on quite an elevation at the head of Factory street, and can be distinctly seen from Abilene. There are two church buildings in town, one Methodist and one Lutheran. Both are frame, the former of which was built in 1877, and the latter in 1881. The town has two hotels, the Pacific and Travelers' Home, both frame. The former was built in 1873 by Edward Parker, and was then known as the Central House, and the latter was built shortly after by Jacob Schneider, and was opened under the name of the Union House. For a town located away from the mail line of a railway, it gives evidence of wonderful enterprise and progress. There are eighteen stores of one kind or another in town, five of which are built of brick. The first brick stores in town were erected in 1878 by C. Hoffman and G. R. Lamb, on the east side of Factory street, and these were followed in 1880 by C. F. Staatz, J. R. Buhrer and A. J. Logback, who erected similar buildings on the west side of the street. The business of the place is divided into seven retail mercantile houses, one furniture store, one drug store, two millinery shops, two harness shops, one boot and shoe store, two tin shops, one book and stationery store, one paint shop and one carpenter shop. Besides these there are two lumber yards, one wagon factory, a cooperage in which are employed several men, two good livery stables and a printing office. In the manufacturing line, aside from the flouring mills, there is the machine works of J. B. Ehrsam, where steam engines and mill machinery are manufactured. The building of these works is 20 x 80 feet, located on the bank of the river and operated by water power. From ten to twenty men are constantly employed in the shops. Then there is the establishment of Teats Bros., or the "Monarch Windmill Company", but recently established. In this establishment is manufactured the "Monarch Windmill", the making of which gives employment to thirty men. This institution is also located on the bank of the river and is operated by water power. It is the live, prosperous, thriving town with a population of 500, who seem to be determined by their energy and go-ahead-ativeness to make the place in reality, whit its name indicates, one of Enterprise.


Methodist. - This church was organized in 1872, with a very small membership, by Rev. Mr. Eichenberger. In 1877, they built a very handsome frame church in which to worship. The church has now a membership of sixty, and the pastor is Rev. E. Eberhart. The church property is valued at $1,800.

Lutheran. - Was organized in 1880, by Rev. Albert Vogel, with about thirty members. In 1881, they erected a small frame church. It has now a membership of forty-five, but at present is without a pastor. The property of the church is valued at $700.

Enterprise Lodge. No. 140, I. O. O. F. Of Enterprise, was organized in 1875, with seven charter members. The first officers of the lodge were, V. P. Wilson, N. G; John Wagner, V. G., and R. S. Holesworth, secretary. The present membership is twenty-five, and the present officers are O. C. Price, N. G.; J. Woodward, V. G.; F. R. Price, secretary and S. Holesworth, treasurer.


J. F. BUHRER, merchant, born in Switzerland, December 20, 1846; was reared and educated in his native country. In 1863, came to America and settled in Fulton County, Ohio, where he engaged in boring artesian wells for five years. In 1871, he came to Kansas and settled in Dickinson County, where he engaged in farming for some time. His landed estate consists of 320 acres of fine farming land. In 1877, he came to Enterprise, where he engaged in the hardware and grocery trade. He carries a stock of $3,000, and does a business of $13,000 per year. He has been twice married, first in Fulton County, Ohio, April 20, 1871, to Miss Harriet Weckerly; she was a native of Ohio; died in Dickinson County, this State, November 17, 1879; to Miss Sophia Staatz, she is a native of Kansas, born April 8, 1862. They have two children - Charley and Harriet.

A. G. EYTH, druggist, born in Germany, May 16, 1848, where he was educated. After completing his studies, he learned the drug business, which he has since pursued. He came to America in 1868, and first located in Cincinnati, Ohio, for two years. In 1870, came to Kansas, and settled in Junction City, where he engaged in the drug trade for eighteen months, and in 1872, moved to Enterprise, where he opened a drug store; carries a stock of $1,500, and is doing a business of about $7,000 per year. Married in Junction City, Kan, July 3, 1872, to Miss Emily Staatz. She was born in Prussia, Germany, August 15, 1850. They have six children - Carrie H., Pauline a., Augustus L., Sophia E., Adolf J. And Emil.

C. HOFFMAN, miller, born in Switzerland, August 1, 1826, where he was educated and soon after learned the art of milling, which he pursued in his native country until 1855, when he came to America, and first located in Washington County, Wis., where he worked at the carpenter's trade for some time. He came to Kansas in 1857, and settled in Leavenworth, where he pursued the trade of carpenter for three years, when he came to Dickinson County, and engaged in farming until 1868. He then moved to Enterprise, and erected a mill, four stories, 30 x 50 feet, propelled by water, which is now used for custom work. In 1881, he began operations in the Enterprise Mills, a stone building, five stories, 38 x 80 feet, propelled by water, capacity 200 barrels per day, with elevator capacity for 40,000 bushels. He was married in Switzerland April 30, 1850, to Miss Elizabeth Senn, born in Switzerland, November 30, 1830. They had two children - Christian B. and Leohart. Heonhart died in 1855. Christian B. Is now Representative of the Seventy-fifth District. He was County Treasurer for Dickinson County a number of terms, and represented his county in the Legislature in 1870 and 1871.

WILLIAM LAMB, retired, born in Randolph County, N. C., December 28, 1806. He was educated in his native State, and soon after learned the trade of wagonmaker, after which he moved to Butler County, Ohio, where he worked at his trade for sixteen years. In 1855, he came to Kansas and located in Shawnee County, where he engaged in various pursuits for two years. He then returned to Ohio, where he remained for one year, when he returned to Kansas and settled in Dickinson county, where he engaged in farming for a number of years. In 1869, he represented Dickinson County in the Legislature. He was County Commissioner for nine years, and Postmaster for twelve years. He was married in Butler County, Ohio, December 31, 1830, to Miss Jane Wilson, a native of Ohio, born in Butler County, October 3, 1811. They have seven children - Nancy A., John W., A. H., Greene R., William H., Jane and Charles W.

CHARLES LEWIS, merchant born in Hernford, England, March 29, 1849. He was educated in his native country, after which he engaged in the mercantile trade until 1870, when he came to America and settled in Dickinson County, Kan., where he turned his attention to farming and milling for quite a while, when he engaged as traveling salesman for three years. In 1881, began merchandising at Enterprise, where he is doing a good business. Married in Enterprise, Dickinson Co., Kan., Miss Amelia C. Myer. She was born in Jefferson, Kan., September 10, 1855. They have three children - Amelia, J. Llewellyn and Hallan. Mr. Lewis is a member of the A. F.& A. M.

J. F. STAATZ, merchant, is a native of Germany, born April 5, 1837. Was reared in his native country until fourteen years of age. In 1851, came to America, and located in Watertown, Wis., where his time was occupied, as engineer, for six years. In 1857, he came to Kansas, and settled in Dickinson County, where he engaged in agricultural pursues for about fifteen years. In 1863, was elected County Treasurer, and was the first County Assessor of Dickinson county. He located in Enterprise, in 1874, where he is engaged in general merchandise. Carried a stock of $12,000, and has a trade of $20,000 a year. He has been twice married; first to Miss Catherine Biegert, April 8, 1861. She was born May 16, 1840, and died March 28, 1871. By this union they had four children - Sophia C., William H., Llewellyn and Edward J. The second marriage occurred in Dickinson County, Kan., October 7, 1871, to Miss Mary Gantenbein. She was born in Switzerland, March 1, 1847. By this marriage they have four children - Anna W., James H., Adelalde and Olivia.


This is the name of a small town on the Kansas Pacific Railway, and situated on the north bank of the Smoky Hill River. It is two miles north and ten miles east of Abilene, and about one-half mile west of the point where Chapman Creek empties into the Smoky Hill River. The town site comprises the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter, and lot No. 2, in Section 32, and a part of lot No. 1 in Section 31, Township 12, Range 4 east. The land thus described belonged to James Streeter and S. M. Strickler, who, in 1871, had it surveyed and platted into blocks, lots, streets and alleys, the surveying and platting having been done by E. C. Smeed. To the place thus described and platted was given the name of Chapman. During the eleven years of its existence its growth has been exceedingly slow, the present population not being more than between two and three hundred. It is surrounded by a beautiful and well settled country, but in a business point of view its location is bad. Twelve miles west of it is Abilene, the county seat of Dickinson county, and the same distance east is Junction City, the county seat of Davis County, with other smaller towns about midway between these points. The place, however, has several stores, and, considering the number of competing points surrounding it, does a very fair business. About three-fourths of a mile northeast of this town, on Chapman Creek, and about a mile and a half from the mouth of the creek, there is a grist mill, known as Jackman's mill, which was erected in 1868. If a good surrounding country makes a good town, then Chapman ought to be it, the trade of which is contended for by other points. Before the present town of Chapman had an existence, there was a place known by that name, although to give it a definite location is difficult, as the name applied to all the territory bordering on the creek of that name. Evidence, however, seems to establish the fact that the name applied to the high ground north of the present town-site, as there were a few houses there, and in fact, a small store, the present town not having been located until some years after the advent of the railway. This town has four mercantile retail stores which do a general business, neither of which is confined to any one particular line of goods. It has also a drug store, a hardware store, a lumber yard, one hotel, and one good livery stable. It has an elevator with a capacity of about ten thousand bushels. About three years ago a very fine stone schoolhouse was built in town at a cost of about $4,000, and while it is not a large building, it is sufficiently commodious for the wants of the community. In the town proper there are two churches, one Methodist and one Catholic, the latter, however, not yet quite finished. In 1880 the Methodists erected a church which was blown down and completely destroyed in the spring of 1882, with considerable other property in town. They lost not time, however, but immediately commenced to erect another which has been very recently completed, and was dedicated on Sunday, November 26, 1882, Rev. E. W. Van Deventer of Abilene preaching the dedicatory sermon. The Catholics have nearly completed a magnificent stone church, which will be ready for occupancy early in 1883. It is a grand edifice and a great improvement to the town and has been erected at a cost of $20,000. The place never could have been very pretentious, because in all the contests that have taken place for the county seat, the records fail to show among the contestants the name of Chapman. While the place is known as Chapman by the people of the county, and is always referred to by this name, it is not the name given to it by railway officials, and when announcing the place on the trains, conductors and brakesmen call out Hazleton, but no such place as Hazleton appears either on the map or the records of the county.


F. B. LILLIE, druggist, was born in Erie County, Pa., May 19, 1855. He was reared and educated in his native State, after which he taught school for one year in Erie county, Pa. In 1878 he came to Kansas and located in Abilene where he was employed as teacher for some time. In 1880, he settled in Chapman, where he also taught school for two years. In 1882 purchased a stock of drugs and opened a first-class drug store. He was married in Chapman, Kas., December 29, 1880, to Miss Elizabeth Tyler, a native of England. She was born in May, 1858.

GEORGE SNYDER, merchant, born in Philadelphia, Pa., June 2, 1816; was reared and educated in his native city, after which he became clerk in his father's store for some time. He was a merchant of Philadelphia until 1842, when he moved to Crawfordsville, Ind., where he engaged in the mercantile business for quite a while. He then located at Lafayette, Ind., where he still continued in merchandising until 1865, when he came to Kansas, and first located at Fort Riley, where he was clerk in the Quartermaster's Department for one year, after which he moved to Ellsworth, where he remained for one year; thence to Chapman, and in 1867 began general merchandising, and is doing a business of $15,000 per year. In 1867 was appointed Postmaster, which position he still holds. Married in Crawfordsville, Ind., March 3, 1844, to Miss Mary L. Scott, a native of Virginia; born in Fairfax County, July 29, 1815. They have four children - Annie L., George E., Julia M., and James E.

O. L. THISLER, farmer, Section 36, P. O. Chapman, was born in St. Joseph County, Mich., October 8, 1849. When young moved with his parents to Iroquots County, Ill., where he was reared and educated; after which he engaged in farming and stock raising until 1872, when he came to Kansas and located in Dickinson County, on his present place of 1,000 acres of land, where he is engaged in farming, breeding Short-horn cattle, and the celebrated Norman horses. He was married in Dickinson County, Kas., January 1, 1874, to Miss Flora E. Jackson, a native of Fulton County, Ill.; born October 29, 1859. They have one child - George R. Mr. T. Is identified with the Republican party.

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