ROGER PYLE and JOHN MATTHEWS produced this selection.

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.


PART 1: Natural Features | Map and Population | Iowa And Sac Mission | Squatters' Association
PART 2: Troubles of '55 | Defunct Towns | Political Organization | County Officers | Fair Association
PART 3: Doniphan
PART 4: Biographical Sketches (Albertson - Hutchins)
PART 5: Biographical Sketches (Kuehl - Winzer)
PART 6: Geary City and Brenner
PART 7: Troy
PART 8: Biographical Sketches (Bailey - Johnson)
PART 9: Biographical Sketches (Miller - Zimmerman)
PART 10: White Cloud | Biographical Sketches (Arnold - Dunkin)
PART 11: Biographical Sketches (Farrow - Wakefield)
PART 12: Highland
PART 13: Biographical Sketches
PART 14: Iowa Point | Fanning
PART 15: Severance
PART 16: Leona
PART 17: East Norway | Wathena
PART 18: Elwood | Union Township
PART 19: Marion Township | Burr Oak Township


DONIPHAN County, situated in the extreme northeast of Kansas, makes but a small showing on the general map, but a great one in the history of the State. It is bounded on the south by the Missouri River, the State of Missouri and Atchison County, Kansas; west by Brown County; north by the State line and the Missouri, and east by the Missouri River and the State of Missouri.

The county has, according to the Government survey, twenty-five per cent of bottom and seventy-five per cent of upland. Forest covers sixteen per cent of the county and rolling prairie and bluffs the other eighty-four per cent.

Timber is found quite plentifully along the Missouri River, and averages one mile in width. Along the minor streams it runs from one-quarter to one-half of a mile. The principal varieties of forest trees are black walnut, hickory, oak and cottonwood.

The land is watered by Wolf River, which passes through the towns of Leona and Severance, then turns northeast and finally north, passing through Fanning, and at last emptying into the Missouri, Clear and Mission creeks, running north through the west part of the county to the Missouri, and Independence, Rock and Brush creeks running south to the Missouri. There are also many small streams which are either nameless or have merely local names not in universal use.

Of the 242,560 acres of land in the county, about sixty per cent is under cultivation. Doniphan County is not rich in minerals, no coal having been discovered, and, although building stone is believed to exist, no quarries have yet been developed.



                                        1870.   1880.
                                        -----   -----
Burr Oak Township                       1,015   1,014
Center Township, including Troy City    2,248   2,177
Iowa Township, incl. Highland City
     and White Cloud City               3,531   3,607
Marion Township                           658     619
(a) Union Township                                816
Washington Township, including
    Elwood City and Wathena City        2,513   1,865
Wayne Township, incl. Doniphan City     2,070   1,961
(b) Wolf River Township, including
    Severance City                      1,934   2,198
                                       ------  ------
                                       13,969  14,257

Troy City                                 639     694
Highland City                             282     441
White Cloud City                          843     825
Elwood City                                       323
Wathena City                                      710
Doniphan City                             528     518
Severance City                                    375

(a) Organized in 1878, from part of Wolf River.
(b) Organized in 1878, from part of Union.


The earliest settlement within the present boundaries of Doniphan was the Iowa and Sac Mission, which was opened under the auspices of the American Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, the work being in charge of Rev. S. M. Irvin, who came to Kansas in 1837, and was the first white man to take up permanent residence in the then unorganized county. His wife accompanied him. Six months after the arrival of Mr. Irvin, Rev. Wm. Hamilton came to the Mission. The first mission buildings were of logs, but before many years the grand old Mission building, part of which is still standing, was erected. It was situated about one mile east of the present town of Highland. This was a monster structure for the times. Its dimensions were 170x37 feet, and it had three stories. The basement was of fine cut stone, quarried near the river, and the brick for the superstructure was made on the spot by men from St. Joseph, Mo. The lumber came from Pittsburgh, Pa., and made an exact steamer load. Starting at Pittsburgh it came down the Ohio and Mississippi to St. Louis, and thence up the Missouri to the river bank opposite the Mission, where it was discharged. Notwithstanding the great size of the building, it was put up quite cheaply, the brick costing but three dollars per thousand and the men's wages averaging ten dollars per month. After serving its purpose for more than a quarter of a century, this historic building was sold in April, 1868, to J. P. Johnson, of Highland. A quarter of it was at once taken down with the intention of using the material in the construction of the University building. This project was not, however, carried out, and the cut stone still lies near the house of J. P. Johnson, in Highland, the other material being scattered. The remainder of the building, which brought $7,500 at auction in New York, is still standing to the north of the road to Highland Station, on the Atchison & Nebraska Railway, and about midway between the two points.

At the old Mission, from 1842 onward, a number of grammars and text books in the Indian language were set up and printed, the work, both literary and typographical, being done by Rev. S. M. Irvin and William Hamilton. The title of one of these books, still in the possession of Rev. S. M. Irvin, runs as follows

"AN IOWA GRAMMAR, illustrating the principles of the language used by the Ioway, Otoe and Missouri. Prepared and printed by Rev. Wm. Hamilton and Rev. S. M. Irvin under the direction of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions Ioway and Sac Mission Press 1848."
This book is interleaved with, white pages for the convenience of annotation. It is a 16 mo of 152 pages. The old press upon which it was printed is still in the possession of Rev. S. M. Irvin, at Highland.

After the opening of the Territory and the sale of the Iowa trust lands, the Indian reservation was made to embrace a narrow strip on the north of the county, where the remnant of the once powerful tribe is now located. They have there a small village called Nohart, after a famous warrior of the tribe in the days of Indian supremacy.


The following account of the first meeting of this noted association is furnished by Benjamin Harding, an old resident and a member of the association.

"Immediately after the treaty with the Kickapoos, in 1854, a meeting of the squatters was called, and held at J. R. Whitehead's, June 24, and organized a Squatters' Sovereign Association. A. M. Mitchell, of St. Joe, was chairman. J. R. Whitehead, secretary. An executive committee was appointed, consisting of John H. Whitehead, H. Smallwood, J. B. O'Toole, J. W. Smith, Sr., Sam. Montgomery, B. Harding, J. W. Smith, Jr., J. J. Keaton, T. W. Waterson, C. B. Whitehead, Anderson Cox and Joseph Siciliff.

"A committee on resolutions, consisting of W. Broadus Thompson, C. B. Whitehead, B. Wharton, J. R. Custine, reported the following, which was adopted as the basis of the organization:

"Whereas, We, citizens of Kansas Territory, intending to fix our homes on its fertile soil, have this day met at Whitehead for the purpose of taking measures to secure safety, certainty and fairness in the location and preservation of our claims

"Therefore be it Resolved:

1. That we are in favor of bona fide Squatter Sovereignty and acknowledge the right of any citizen of the United States to make a claim in Kansas Territory, with the ultimate new of occupying it.

"2. That such claims, when made, should bee held inviolate so long as a bona fide intention of occupying it is apparent and for the purpose of protecting and defending such claims, we agree to act in concert if necessary, to expel intruders.

"3. That any person of lawful age, or who may be the head of a family, who shall mark out his claim of 160 acres, so that it may be apparent how the claim lies, shall be deemed to have made a proper claim.

"4. That any person marking out his claim shall be deemed to have forfeited it unless be commences his cabin or pitches his tent within thirty days thereafter, unless the same shall be on such land as prohibited by military or Indian reservations.

"5. That all persons now holding claims shall have thirty days from this day in which to make the improvements contemplated by the foregoing resolutions.

"6. That no person shall be protected by the Squatter Association who holds in his own right more than one claim.

"7. That any person building his cabin, or tent, within less than a half-mile of another shall be deemed an intruder.

"8. That a citizen of the Territory be appointed register of claims. who shall keep book in which he shall note the name and description of all squatters and their claims, for which he shall be allowed the sum of fifty cents for each claim, to be paid by the claimant.

"9. That a bona fide purchase of a claim located and registered be recognized as entitled to the same under the laws of this association, provided his intention be to become a citizen of the Territory.

"10. That we will afford protection to no Abolitionist as a settler of Kansas Territory.

"11. That we recognize the institution of slavery as already existing in the Territory and recommend to slave-holders to introduce their property as soon as practicable.

"12. That a vigilance committee be appointed by the chair., consisting of thirteen members of this association, whose duty it shall he to inquire into all disputes in relation to claims, and to the execution of their judgment in regard to rightful claimants, they shall have power to call together the entire Squatter Association.

"13. That all persons who wish to become members of the Squatter Association shall subscribe to the foregoing preamble and resolutions"

The first record upon the books of the County Commissioners of Doniphan County records the meeting "of the Squatter Association of Kansas Territory, held at Whitehead on the 22nd of July, 1854, in accordance with a resolution passed by an adjourned meeting of the 24th of June." The proceedings of their meeting are spread upon the records as follows:
Thomas W. Waterson was called to the chair, and James R. Whitehead appointed secretary of the meeting.

On motion of A. Larzelere, the proceedings of the previous meeting were read and unanimously adopted.

On motion of Major D. Vanderslice, the fourth resolution of the previous meeting was amended so as to read as follows:

Resolved, That any person marking out his claim shall be deemed to have forfeited unless he commences his cabin or pitches his tent within thirty days thereafter, unless the same shall be on such lands as prohibit it by military or Indian reservations. Provided that any Indian agent, officer or employe of the United States, who shall have marked out his claim and has been deterred from commencing his cabin, or otherwise improving his claim, on the ground that it was a violation of the law, but have in all respects complied with the third resolution, then such claims shall be deemed good.

On motion of John H. Whitehead, it was resolved that all persons having marked claims in Kansas Territory, within the following boundary to wit: beginning at the mouth of Cadew Creek and running due west to the western boundary of the Kickapoo lands, thence north along said boundary to the Iowa and Sac lands, thence north along the western boundary of said lands to the Nehama (sic), thence down the Nehama and Missouri Rivers to the place of beginning, shall be constituted members of, within the limits and under the jurisdiction of this Squatter Association.

On motion of James M. Tegarden, it was resolved that there be but one register of claims within the limits of this Squatter Association.

On motion of Samuel Penn Blair, James R. Whitehead was appointed said register.

It was further resolved that all claims registered previous to this meeting by a regular appointed register be considered valid, but such as are registered after this date by any other than the register appointed by the meeting, be considered invalid.

On motion, it was resolved that all claims made and properly registered since the first day of January, 1853, be considered valid.

The meeting then adjourned to August 19.

Following this record comes the filing of claims by the squatter settlers. Many of these bear date July 1st, and give the time of taking possession of the land at various dates, the earliest being that of James R. Whitehead, who "claims the above described parcel of land by right of actual settlement and peaceable possession of the same from the first day of November, 1851." This claim is also stated to be "composed of two fractional quarter sections supposed to contain 160 acres," and is located by giving the names of adjoining claimants, and also by stating that it is opposite the southwest quarter of Section 34, Township 58, Range 36, in Missouri.

Entry number eighteen, bears date of July 4, and states the time of residence of the claimant, Andrew J. Branson, as beginning March 28, 1854. Across the face of this entry appear the significant words, "The above claim was awarded to Mewer on the 15th day of July by the Vigilance Committee, J. R. Whitehead, recorder."

On August 19th, 1854, the Squatter Association met at Whitehead, and the following business was transacted: James B. O'Toole was appointed chairman, and James R. Whitehead. secretary. It was resolved,

"That from and after this date all disputes in relation to claims, shall be referred to a committee of three to be appointed by the Vigilance Committee, who shall be authorized to settle all disputes so referred. Provided, however, that any persons feeling themselves aggrieved, have the right of appeal to the Committee of Vigilance previously appointed, which shall hold its meetings on the first Monday of each month, at Whitehead."

Then follow resolutions fixing the pay of the members of the Vigilance Committee at fifty cents each for each service, and of the Secretary at twenty-five cents for each notice, and also requiring each contestant to deposit five dollars to secure costs of investigation. It was also decided that each person holding an unrecorded claim, be required to record the same within thirty days, "and if there is no house upon the same, to erect one, or a flag staff, or put four posts in the ground and lay a foundation of four logs thereon, or plough at least one acre of ground somewhere on his claim."

On October 15, 1854, the Squatters' Association met and proceeded to the consideration of the first case of forcible ejection of a claim holder who had "jumped" the land of another. A committee was appointed to draw up appropriate resolutions which were at once reported, and were as follows:
Whereas it appears from the records of this association, that George Jameson on the --- day of --- 1854, took possession of a claim owned by W. K. Richardson, which was in Kansas Territory, within the jurisdiction of this association, and that on the --- day of --- 1854, said Jameson at the instance of said Richardson was duly notified to appear before the Vigilance Committee of this association for the purpose of contesting the validity of his claim if he had any, and whereas he failed to appear before said committee, and judgment was in consequence thereof rendered against him by default, and the Marshal of this association was required to notify said Jameson of said judgment, and to require him to leave said claim before the 5th inst., and whereas he refuses to leave said claim and is still thereon in defiance of the judgment of the Vigilance Committee and the notice to leave,

Therefore, resolved by this association that the members of this association this day present being determined to enforce their rules and judgments, will forthwith proceed to this claim in controversy, and require said Jameson leave the same and surrender the possession to said Richardson, and if upon said request he refuses to leave said claim, we will remove him therefrom, peacefully if we can and forcibly if we must, and put said Richardson in possession of said claim.

The committee further state that the records of this association show that Hamilton J. Johnson on the --- day of --- 1854, recovered a judgment before the Vigilance Committee of --- against --- McAshan for a claim of 160 acres in Kansas Territory, lying within the jurisdiction of this association, and whereas it appears from satisfactory evidence before the committee, that after the rendition of the judgment said McAshan abandoned said claim, and has put said Jameson in possession of the same as his agent, or otherwise, and that said Jameson is now residing on the same and refuses to deliver the same to said Johnson, according to the judgment of the Vigilance Committee. We therefore recommend the same proceedings to be adopted against said Jameson as is provided in the foregoing resolutions for the purpose of putting W. K. Richardson in possession of his claim.

At the December meeting of the Vigilance, but little of moment occurred. The only resolution offered being one calling for total disregard of complaints from persons not residents of the Territory, unless they should make oath of their intentions to become bona fide settlers. With this entry closes the record of the Squatters' Association, and the next proceedings were those of the Court of County Commissioners called on September 17, 1855, at the town of Whitehead.

[TOC] [part 2] [part 1] [Cutler's History]