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


[TOC] [part 18] [part 16] [Cutler's History]


East Norway is a small town started in 1869 upon the completion of the road-bed of the St. Joe and Denver City railway to this point. The land of the town site, eighteen acres, was the property of John Hoverson, and was purchased of him for $360, by the town company, consisting of O. Nelson, G. Nelson, T. Steanson, N. G. and P. Nelson, and A. Bennett. A year later G. Nelson sold ten acres adjoining the town to the company, and this was donated (sic) the railway company in consideration of depot and side track facilities. The first buildings were erected in 1871, and consisted of a grain-house and residence, erected by A. Bennett and a parsonage of the Evangelical Lutherans. A postoffice was opened in 1873 with I. W. Bennett as postmaster, and two general stores by F. Welton and Hardy Brothers in 1874. Both of these were burned in 1878, and Welton did not resume business.

A Baptist church was organized at this point in 1874, and meetings were held in the nearest school house. The pastors of the society, D. Waddell, T. Rolfe, and E. Alward, have all been non-residents of the town.

East Norway is rather a shipping point than a town, the majority of those doing business here being farmers of the immediate neighborhood.

The Murder of O'Shea. - One of the most cold-blooded murders ever chronicled in the county was committed on April 5, 1875, near East Norway. The victim of the tragedy was John O'Shea, an intelligent and athletic Irishman, for many years a resident of the county. For some time previous to his death, O'Shea had been indulging his appetite for strong drink to excess, and when drunk indulged his brutal fury in the general thrashing of his family and those who tried to restrain him. Proceedings had been commenced by Mrs. O'Shea for a divorce, and her cause had been actively espoused by her brother, John Morrisey. The case had proceeded so far that the District Judge had issued an order giving to the mother the custody of the children and also some property of the defendant's, and orders had been given the County Sheriff for the enforcement of this decision. On Monday, the day of the murder, Morrisey met the Sheriff in town and stated that O'Shea had abducted the children. Later in the day, O'Shea met the officer and acknowledged the removal of the children, but promised to return them the next day to their home and keep them till the arrival of Sheriff Vanderslice. Whether Morrisey knew of this arrangement is unknown. On the following day Vanderslice, accompanied by Mr. Edward Bowen, started for East Norway, but was met by John Kilkenny, Roger Morley and Frank Dickson, who told him that O'Shea was lying drunk in the path leading to the house. Arriving at the farm, the sheriff found O'Shea not drunk, but dead, with his face horribly disfigured. Leaving a guard with the body, the officer returned to Troy and secured the services of the Coroner and his jury. After the preliminary examination the body was removed to the city and the following facts were developed: The deceased had been shot twice, once from a distance, the shot taking effect in the forehead, and once by a discharge from a pistol held close to his ear. The face had also been mutilated by blows from some blunt instrument. An examination of the premises left little doubt of the method of the murder. Parallel with the road from the public road to O'Shea's house ran a hedge, and behind it were plainly visible the tracks of the assassin. Shots were heard about nine in the evening; the time when O'Shea would naturally have reached home, and shortly after the firing, Morrisey borrowed a pony, saying he was suddenly called to St. Joseph and would return the next day. Later in the evening he was seen to cross the main street of Troy going east, and the following day the pony was sent back from St. Joseph. Morrisey, however, had never been seen in Doniphan County. It is rumored that he was recognized in Colorado, but although a reward of $500 was offered for his arrest, no very vigorous search was made. This is chiefly due to the fact that charges of the vilest character against O'Shea were substantiated in the minds of the people by subsequent events and the opinion that he had received but his just deserts was gradually accepted. Whatever his faults and crimes, he has passed beyond repentance or undoing the past, and his death stands as a blotch on the fair record of the county - an assassination.

Ryan's Station is a flag station on the St. Joe and Western railway one mile east of Severance. It was for a short time in 1869 the terminus of the road, and a town was laid out by Joel Ryan. Ryan and O'Neill built a store here in 1870, and S. L. Ryan a second in 1872.


ABRAM BENNETT, P. O. East Norway, was born in Warren County, Ohio, March 10, 1819. His father, Nicholas Bennett, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., 1793, and died in Warren County, Ohio, August 17, 1854. He was a farmer. His mother, Catherine Innis, was born in Allegheny County, Pa., May 16, 1797, and died in Warren County, Ohio, June 15, 1825. He was educated in Warren County, Ohio. He began life at a farmer. Married in Warren County, Ohio, June 30, 1839. His wife, Rachel Anderson, was born in Clinton County, Ohio, December 6, 1823. Her father was Hiram Anderson, and her mother Mary Mulford. Number of children, eleven - George W., John W. (Deceased), Thomas J., Celinda C. (deceased), Robert N., David W., Silas W., Charles W., Abram E., Mary A., and Ada.

CHARLES CAMPBELL, P. O. Brenner, was born in Jefferson County, N. Y., on July 8, 1835. His parents were William Campbell and Melinda Randall, who are still both living, and residents of this county. He was educated in Milwaukee and Waukesha, Wis. After completing his education he turned his attention to agriculture and has ever since made it his business. He was married in Hamilton County, Ind., on October 30, 1865, to Miss Ida M. Emmons, by whom he had seven children - Charles A., Lucius W., George F. (deceased), Mary M., Hattie C., Ida and John E. He came to the State in 1858, and to Doniphan County in 1865, and took a farm six miles west of Troy. He is a Republican.

CHARLES S. HARDY, farmer, P. O. Troy, was born in Lee County, Va., March 25, 1828. His father John S. Hardy, is a native of Ireland, and his mother, Jane Ewing-Hardy, is a native of Virginia. He was educated in Buchanan County, Mo. He began life as a farmer, having followed that occupation until 1857, when he came to Kansas and opened a general merchandise store at Palermo, in this county, which he continued until 1856. In the same year he settled in this township, on his present home. He married in Buchanan County, Mo., January 21, 1852, Miss Mary Nelson, who was born in Norway, July 9, 1831. They have a family of ten children - John S., Jane E., Georgia N., Mary H., Oswald C., Joshua T., Robert C., Ida M., Charlotte M. And Sarah L. He belongs to the Republican party.

JOHN HOVERSON, farmer, P. O. East Norway, was born in Norway, May 7,1829. His parents were Lars and Christiane Kittleson Hoverson, both natives of Norway. He was educated and commenced life in the rural districts of that country; emigrated with his parents to this country, with four brothers and one sister, in 1846. Worked as a farm hand for three years, in Buchanan County, Mo., went to California, in 1850, and work in the gold mines for three years; returned to Buchanan County, Mo., and engaged in farming for sixteen years. He was married in Buchanan County, Mo., January 17, 1856, to Miss Celia A. Nelson, who was born in Norway, April 19, 1838. He moved to Kansas in 1869, and settled on the place where he now lives. He married for his second wife Miss Annie M. Clemetson, a native of Buchanan County, Mo., born September 29, 1854. He has six children living - Leander, the eldest son, died March 23, 1882; he was born June 21, 1858. One other died in infancy. Those living are Augusta C., Oscar L., Mary H., Annie M., John U., and Andrew A. In politics, Mr. Hoverson is a liberal Republican.

CHARLES LADWIG, P. O. Brenner, was born in Mechlenburg, Germany, July 17, 1822. His father was a dairyman of Mechlenburg, and died there in October, 1834. The subject of this sketch was educated in the Normal School of Mechlenburg. On completing his studies he became a teacher, and followed this profession for twenty-five years, part of the time in his native land, and the rest of the time in the United States. He was married May 23, 1843, to Miss Caroline Riebe, also of Germany, born November 1, 1817. He has seven children - Charles, Paul Caroline (deceased), Albert, Robert, Eliza and Victor. He came to America in 1852, and settled in West Virginia, and went from there to Wolf River Township ten years later. Although he has taught in the county, he has spent the greater part of his time in farming. He is a member of the Lutheran Church and a Democrat.

N. L. NELSON, farmer P. O. East Norway, was born in Buchanan County, Mo., November 13, 1851. His father, Lewis Nelson, was born in Europe, in Norway, and died in this county in 1866. His mother, Gurina Nelson, was born in Norway, in 1829, and is a resident of the county. He was educated in this county and married here November 13, 1873 to Tolena Runnings, who was born in Wisconsin March 7, 1855. Her father, O. A. Runnings, and her mother, Bertha Thompson, were both natives of Norway. He has four children - Lewis A., Grace B., Jessie M. and Ella. He is a member of the Lutheran Church and is a Republican.

REV. FELIX F. OTTO, Pastor of the Oakland Church, P. O. East Norway, came to Kansas in January, 1877, and located at Sabetha, where he remained fourteen months. From there he removed to Beattie where he had charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church of that place for three years; and from there he removed to Oakland, of which charge he has been Pastor since. Mr. Otto was born in Allegheny County, Pa., November 21, 1847 and lived in his native place until his fifth year, when his parents moved to Decatur, Iowa, where they lived about eight years, and from there removed to Emporia, Kansas. He was a student for a time at Beaver College, Beaver County, Pa. He did not finish his entire course at his alma mater. Commenced preaching in 1873 in Pennsylvania. He was a local preacher for four years, after which he was admitted to the Kansas Conference. Mr. O. was married March 7, 1882, in Beattie, Marshall County, to Alice E. Sheldon, a daughter of Dr. J. J. Sheldon, a prominent physician and an old settler of Nemaha County. Mrs. Otto was born in Ohio. Mr. Otto is a faithful and devoted pastor, and is beloved and respected by his parishioners.

EBERT SIMON, farmer, P. O. East Norway, was born in Syracuse, N. Y., October 6, 1849. His father, Philip Simon, was born in Germany in the year 1800, and died in Syracuse, N. Y., in 1856. He was foreman of the Egerman Salt Works of that city. His mother, Catharine Jones, was born July 2, 1815 in the city of New York. Mr. Simon was married in this county, November 30, 1870. His wife, Augusta Nelson, was born in Buchanan Count, Mo., May 15, l850 - her father was Osul Nelson. Ebert Simon was educated in Beloit, Wis. Farming has always been his occupation. He has three children - Gertrude A., Charles E., and Howard O. He is a member of the Methodist Church. He has held the office of Township Clerk, and settled in this county June 14, 1867. Mr. Simon is a Republican.

GUTTORM STEANSON, farmer, P. O. East Norway, was born in Norway, October 15, 1833. His father, Ole Steanson, was born in Norway, June 21, 1799, and died in this country October 17, 1866, a farmer. His mother, Ingeborg Olsdatter, was born in Norway July 11, 1798, and died in this country August 20, 1870. Guttorm Steanson was educated in Norway. Farming has always been his occupation. He was married in this county October 3, 1870 to Amelia G. Nelson, who was born in Buchanan County, Mo., July 22, 1849. She was the daughter of Lewis Nelson and Gurine Nelson. They have had six children - Oscar L., born July 4, 1872; Ida G., born September 18, 1873; Silas N., born March 3, 1875; Amelia J., born September 9, 1877; Anna L., born November 12, 1879. Silas N. died August 7, 1881. He is a member of the Lutheran Church. He came to this country July 13, 1850, and settled in this county in the fall of 1858.

C. O. TUCKLESON (sic) should be Turkleson), farmer, P. O. East Norway, was born in Norway, November 18, 1832. His father, Osul Tuckleson, was born in Norway, Europe, 1804 and died in Wisconsin, August, 1874. His occupation was farming. His mother, Asur Christenson, was born in Norway in 1801, and died in Norway in 1850. The subject of this sketch was married in Doniphan County, this State, March 22, 1869. His wife, Rachel D. Speak, was born in Virginia, 1847, and was the daughter of Joseph Speak. He began life as a farmer. He was educated in Norway. They have seven children - Leah A., Mary C., Oscar J., Elizabeth M., Esther, Clarence R., and John. Mr. T. came to this country in 1850, and settled in this county in 1859. He is a member of the Lutheran Church, and votes the Republican ticket.

JOHN H. WYNKOOP, P. O. Brenner, was born in La Porte, Ind., on January 21, 1854. His parents were David Wynkoop, born in Pennsylvania in 1819, and Sarah Hoover, born in Dauphin County, Pa., in 1825. Both parents are still living, and residents of this county. He received his education in LaPorte, Ind., and shortly after came to this county, arriving in 1871. He was married on November 6, 1877, to Miss Nannie Robinson, who is a genuine Kansan, having been born in this county on September 20, 1859. He has one child - Edna M. Wynkoop. Since his arrival in Kansas he has been engaged in farming.

JOHN C. ZIMMERMAN, farmer, P. O. Troy, was born in Frederick County, Md., February 10, 1830. His father, John P. Zimmerman, and his mother Sophia Eichelberger, are both natives of Maryland. The subject of this sketch was educated in Maryland, and at the age of thirty years was married in Doniphan County, Kas., May 24, 1860, to Miss Catherine Lee, who is the daughter of David Lee and Catherine Finney Lee. Mr. Z. is the father of nine children - Walter L., Josephine C., Fannie B., Annie S., Effie G., Issac M., Frederick S., Katie E., Lillie M. Mr. Z. is one of the leading farmers of the township, and is an old settler of this county - 1856. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and is a Mason and a Democrat.


Wathena is located on Peter's Creek, four miles from the Missouri River and ten from Troy. At a point just north of the town commences one of the great bends which make the river boundary of Doniphan County so irregular. A short distance east of the town the river has cut through the famous stone road to St. Joseph, and threatens to, some day, meet the return curve, now only removed by half a mile of bottom land. Back of the town lie the wooded bluffs and upon them many of the finest residences of the city. The first settler on the town site was Peter Cadue, an interpreter of the Kickapoo Indians, who removed in 1847 to the Cadue Reserve. In 1852 Wathena, a Kickapoo Chief from whom the city takes its name, settled here. In 1856 the town was laid out by M. E. Bryan, P. Morse, and W. Ridenbaugh who bought the land of S. Cox for seven hundred and fifty dollars, paying Wathena a considerable sum for his improvements. At different times several additions have been made to the original one hundred and sixty acres of the town site. These are known as, North Wathena, Constantinople, Wilson's, Seaman's, and Smallwood's additions; Douglass addition was also surveyed but never recorded.

The first building on the town site was a log cabin, begun by Mr. Cox and finished in 1854 by M. E. Bryan. Some time before this Benjamin Harding had a house in what is now North Wathena. The first general store was built in 1856, and occupied by Thompson Kemper. It is still standing, a little back from the main street, and bears the still legible sign, "St. Joe Store." The first hotel was established by Albert Heath, who was also the first lawyer in the town. The first drug store was opened in 1863 by G. Miller, who still runs it. In 1865 H. D. Hunt started a hardware store. D. B. Jones opened the first stock of tinware. The first physicians of the town were Drs. Smith and Crossfield. A blacksmith shop was started in 1854 by F. Leber.

Wathena was incorporated as a city in 1873, when O. Craig was elected Mayor and James Mitchell City Clerk. Since that time the Mayors of successive years have been as follows: O. Craig, 1874; C. Nahrung, 1875-76; Reuben Knopp, 1877-78; A. E. Campbell, 1879-8o; Reuben Knopp, 1881; Robert Perigo, 1882. During this period the Clerks of the city have been E. F. Dixon, 1874; S. Gurney, 1875; J. S. Spaulding, 1876- 77; E. F. Dixon, 1878; J. P. Knopp, 1879; F. H. Drenning, 1880-81-82.

A postoffice was established in 1854, with M. B. Bryan as postmaster, and was called Bryan's postoffice. The name was changed to Wathena on the laying out of the town. Since then the following have acted as agents of the postal service: P. Kemper, Albert Heath, M. E. Bryan, J. T. Braidy, Edward Downard, Aug. Miller, Aug. H. Fuelling, and W. W. Carter, who is now postmaster.

Wathena has possessed at various times three schoolhouses, of which the first and last are still standing and in use. A frame school was erected as early as 1857, and school taught in it for several years, but it has long since disappeared and its records, if it had any, have shared its fate. In 1867 the frame house now used by the colored school was built and in it were taught all the children of the neighborhood. In 1870 the fine brick structure now used for the white school was erected at a cost of $10,000, A. Larzelere being the contractor. The town has now ample accommodation for all its school children, and employs four teachers. If the young idea does not learn how best to shoot, it can be no fault of the town people or their provision for education.


The First Baptist Church of Wathena was organized in 1858 by Elder William Price and Rev. E. Alward, now of Leona. At that early day the society showed a membership of eight. The building of a house of worship was necessarily out of the question, and services were held in schoolhouses until 1871. At this date the society had become strong enough to bear the expense of their present church building. This is forty by sixty feet, of brick, and cost $5,000. Since the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Alward, the following pastors have been connected with the society: D. Waddell, T. J. Cook and E. Alward. The church now numbers forty-three members.

The First Methodist Church of Wathena was organized in the summer of 1858 by T. McK. Munhall, and D. H. May was appointed its pastor. On his special request he was allowed to resign, and Rev. Mr. Blake, of Iowa, accepted the pastorate for a short time. In 1860, O. B. Gardner was assigned to the charge, which he held for two years in spite of vigorous opposition growing out of the slavery question. It is related of this stalwart Christian, that in his second year, while residing at Elwood, he discovered near his house a rebel flag, with the curt notice that death would reward the man who removed it. Nothing daunted, Mr. Gardner climbed the staff and tore down the flag. In 1862, H. F. Bowman supplied the pulpit, remaining through 1863. In 1864 and 1865, Rev. James Lawrence was pastor, and in 1866 Rev. J. Paulson entered the field. It was during his service that the present church was erected. This edifice is forty by sixty feet, and both substantial and commodious. The exodus from Wathena, which is the result of the rapid settlement of lands further west, has operated most unfavorably on this society, and it became badly in debt. During 1881 this state of affairs was partly remedied by the energy of Rev. F. M. Pickles; the building was repaired and the debt provided for. Under the present pastor, Rev. J. Biddison, this good work bids fair to be continued. The society now numbers something over twenty.

The Roman Catholic Church at Wathena was organized in 1869 by Father Thomas, O. S. B. The same year a church edifice was built at a cost of $5,500. This structure is thirty-five by sixty-five feet and of brick. At this time the membership of the church was not far from one hundred. At the present time this number has increased to five times that number. In 1880 a building was erected by the church for the Benedictine Sisters, who have a parochial school of about fifty scholars. In the latter part of this year a parsonage was built, at a cost of $1,500. It is twenty-four by thirty-six feet. All these buildings stand on the wooded slope west of the town and beyond the railway, and from the tower of the church the hours of morning, noon and evening are sounded to mark the beginning and closing of the hours of labor. From its organization, until 1878, the church was in charge of the Benedictine Fathers. From 1878 till the appointment of the present priest, J. H. H. Timppans, it was in charge of Rev. L. Shreiner.

The German Methodist-Episcopal Church - This society was organized in October, 1867, by Rev. H. M. Meniger who after a service of three years, was succeeded by Rev. G. J. Shultz. In 1871, Rev. J. G. Kost accepted the pastorate, which he held until 1872, when Rev. J. P. Hanst had charge of the society for one year. He was succeeded by Rev J. A. Reitz, who remained two years, Rev. C. Hawnns, three years, Rev. C. Ott, three years, and Rev. C. Stuckeman, who came to the church in 1882, and is still its pastor. The church has had, since 1868, two missions, supplied by the Wathena resident pastors, one on Section 26, Township 3, Range 21, and the other on Section 29, Township 2, Range 22.

The Second Colored Baptist Church of Wathena was organized in September, 1873, by a council composed of Revs. D. Lee, of Lawrence, John Bourn, of Fort Scott, Williams and Clarkson, of Elwood, and S. Jackson, of Wathena. A church building was erected the same year, the members of the society doing most of the work. It is valued at between four and five hundred dollars. The society now has a membership of seventy, and is in charge of Rev. S. Jackson.

Wathena Lodge, No. 64, A. F. & A. M. was organized on January 27, 1868, with the following charter members: T. Higgins, C. Nahring, C. C. Carson, W. B. Craig, W. P. Black, C. Poirier, H. S. Creal, W. H. Wilson, J. Suter, J. Brown and J. Grady. The first officers of the lodge were as follows: S. Hatch, W. M.; W. H. Smallwood, S. W.; O. Craig, J. W.; A. E. Campbell, secretary; M. E. Bryan, treasurer. The lodge now has twenty-four members. Its present officers are: S. Hatch, W. M.; W. W. Carter. S. W.; R. H. Larzelere, J. W.; C. Poirier, secretary; A. E. Campbell, treasurer.

Phoenix Lodge No. 41, I. O. O. F., was organized under a dispensation on February 26, 1869, with the following officers: J. T. Wheeler, N. G.; J. C. Gordon, V. G.; W. H. Wilson, R. S.; J. Robertson, P. S.; P. M. Sturgis, treasurer. A charter was granted the lodge in October, of the same year, the members making application being D. B. Welding, H. A. Dempsey, J. C. Gordon, J. T. Wheeler, E. Moedinger, J. A. Hackley, H. H. Frazer, B. Harding, P. Higgins, P. M. Sturgis, J. G. Robertson, A. Straub, W. H. Witting, J. W. Noe and J. Wynkoop. The society now numbers twenty-six members. Meetings are held every Wednesday in Odd Fellows' Hall. This hall is a two-story brick, used on the ground floor as a store and above as a lodge room, and with three town lots constitutes the property of the lodge, all together valued at $1,000. It was purchased of T. M. Hamilton. The present officers of the society are: Peter Berger, N. G.; J. Davis, V. G.; B. Harding, secretary; Aug. Miller, treasurer.


The mill now owned and operated by Snively & Hedges was built in 1860 at a cost of about ten thousand dollars. After running ten years it was purchased of Barr, Craig & Co. by its present owners for ten thousand five hundred dollars. The building is forty by fifty feet, and has three stories and a basement. Three run of buhr stones are used, two on wheat and one on corn. Power is furnished by an engine of seventy-horse power. Under this arrangement a capacity of sixty barrels daily is secured. It is proposed, however, to change the machinery to a full-roller mill, when a capacity of one hundred and twenty-five barrels per day is expected.

The Wathena water mill was built on Peters' Creek, by S. Cox, in 1862. It had two run of buhr stones and cost, with its machinery, about two thousand five hundred dollars. It was burned in March, 1881, while the property of J. W. Johnson, of Iowa, The present mill was built in 1881, at a cost of three thousand dollars, by J. W. Cook, who still operates it. The building is two stories in height and twenty by fifty-four feet. It has one buhr stone, used on corn only. Power is furnished by a thirty-inch turbine wheel.

In 1881 Chili & Perigo started a small corn mill, having one buhr stone. This mill, which with its fixtures cost not far from $1,000, is located near the railway.

Wathena has, in 1882, the following business establishments and professions represented: Dry-goods stores, four; grocery stores, six; hardware and tinware store, one; furniture store, one; billiard halls, three; hotel, one; feed stable, one; millinery and dressmaking establishments, four; tailor shop, one; meat-market, one; drug stores, two; restaurant, one; barber shop, one; boot and shoe shops, two; wagon and carriage shop, one; blacksmith shop, one; harness shop, one; grist mills, four; paint shop, one; carpenter shop, one; physicians, four; lawyers, two.

A grain elevator was built at this point in 1877 by Snively & Hedges, and operated until 1880, when it was destroyed by fire. The present elevator was built in 1880.

[TOC] [part 18] [part 16] [Cutler's History]