BARBARA RENTENBACH and ROSANA J. WHITENIGHT 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 | Early Settlers
PART 2: Squatter Associations | Incidents of Pioneer Life
PART 3: County Organization | County Buildings and Societies
PART 4: Lawrence
PART 5: Claim Troubles
PART 6: Early Newspapers
PART 7: Events of 1855 | First Free State Society
PART 8: First 4th of July, (1855), in Lawrence
PART 9: The Lawrence Massacre
PART 10: Early Schools | The University of Kansas
PART 11: State Asylum | Pioneer Temperance Movements | Municipal Organization | North Lawrence | City Elections and Official Roster | Bridges and Water Power
PART 12: Churches | City Cemeteries
PART 13: The Press | Secret and Benevolent Societies
PART 14: Literary and Other Organizations | Fire Department | Manufacturing Industries | Hotels and Other Interests
PART 15: Biographical Sketches (Abdelal - Bayless)
PART 16: Biographical Sketches (Beard - Casey)
PART 17: Biographical Sketches (Chadwick - Cutler)
PART 18: Biographical Sketches (Dailey - Ford)
PART 19: Biographical Sketches (Fuel - Hase)
PART 20: Biographical Sketches (Haskell - Hutchings)
PART 21: Biographical Sketches (Innes - Marvin)
PART 22: Biographical Sketches (Melvin - Osmond)
PART 23: Biographical Sketches (Palm - Reynolds)
PART 24: Biographical Sketches (Riggs - Snyder)
PART 25: Biographical Sketches (Speer - Tosh)
PART 26: Biographical Sketches (Trask - Warne)
PART 27: Biographical Sketches (Warren - Young)
PART 28: Wakarusa Township | Biographical Sketches (Brackett - Grover)
PART 29: Biographical Sketches (Harvey - McCreath)
PART 30: Biographical Sketches (Peterson - Winslow)
PART 31: Lecompton | Big Springs
PART 32: Eudora
PART 33: Biographical Sketches - Eudora Township
PART 34: Baldwin City | Black Jack | Vinland | Biographical Sketches - Palmyra Township (Allen - Baskerville)
PART 35: Biographical Sketches - Palmyra Township (Bell - Iliff)
PART 36: Biographical Sketches - Palmyra Township (Jacot - Willett)
PART 37: Belvoir | Clinton | Globe - (Marion)
PART 38: Lapeer
PART 39: Kanwaka Township | Willow Springs Township
PART 40: Grant Township | Addenda


Douglas County is in the second tier west from Missouri. It is bounded on the north by Jefferson and Leavenworth Counties: on the east by Leavenworth and Johnson, on the south by Franklin, and on the west by Osage and Shawnee. The Kansas River runs along the northern boundary of Lecompton, a part of Wakarusa and Eudora Townships. The boundaries of the county as organized by act of the First Territorial Legislature, July, 1855, were defined as follows:

Beginning at the main channel of the Kansas River, at the northwest corner of Johnson County; thence south to the southwest corner of said Johnson County; thence west twenty-four (24) miles, to a point equidistant between the limits (embraced in the original plats) of the towns of Lecompton and Tecumseh.

The present boundary of Douglas County is as follows: Commencing at the northwest corner of Johnson County, in the middle of the main channel of the Kansas River, thence up the main channel of said Kansas River to the southwest corner of Leavenworth County; thence north on the west boundary line of Leavenworth County to the north line of Township 12; thence west on said north line of Township 12 to the middle of the main channel of the Kansas River; thence up the main channel of said river to the point where the line between the second and third tiers of sections in Range 17 crosses said river; thence south on the section lines to the corner of Sections 14, 15, 22 and 23, in Township 15 south, of Range 17 east; thence east on section lines to the southwest corner of Johnson County; thence north along the west line of Johnson County to the place of beginning.

The Wakarusa River runs through the central part of the county from west to east, turns to the northeast in Eudora Township and empties into the Kansas River. The county is well supplied with springs, good well water bring obtained at a depth of twenty-five feet.

About twenty per cent of the surface bottom land and eighty per cent upland, the general surface of the country being gently undulating but occasionally breaking into abrupt hills. The average width of the bottoms is one mile. Ninety-four per cent is open prairie, six per cent forest, the timber belts ranging in width from a few rods to one mile.

The principle varieties of native timber are the ash, cottonwood, elm, hackberry, oak and walnut. The principle minerals found in the county are an excellent quality of building stone in great abundance, and of fire and pottery clay. Coal is believed to exist in fair quantity and quality at moderate depth; but little or none has yet been mined. The area of the county is 300,160 acres and there is very little waste land. The soil is exceedingly fertile, and produces all the cereals, timothy, clover and prairie grasses and fruit and forest trees in great luxuriance.



                                               1870   1880
                                               ----   ----
Clinton Township............................. 1,030  1,005
Eudora Township, including Euudora City...... 1,901  2,029
Grant Township...............................   583    576
Kanwaka Township.............................   913    919
Lawrence City................................ 8,329  8,510
Lecompton Township...........................   971  1,004
Marion Township..............................   879  1,417
Palmyra Township, including Baldwin City..... 2,431  2,478
Wakarusa Township............................ 2,401  2,388
Willow Springs Township...................... 1,163  1,374
                                             ------ ------
                                             20,592 21,700

Eudora City                                            572
Baldwin City                                           325


Previous to May 15, 1854, the county was not open to settlement by white people, being held by the Shawnee Indian as a part of their reservation under the treaty between them and the Government in 1825. On the former date a new treaty went into effect, by the terms of which the Shawnees reserved 200 acres to each member of the tribe, or 200,00 acres in all, most of it in Johnson County. The most of that lying in Douglas County selected by them under the treaty was embraced in Eudora Township, in the northeastern part of the county. As soon as the land was thrown open to settlement, "squatters" came in from Missouri and from the Western and Northwestern States to secure claims, the region, now Douglas County, having been long known as a desirable location, from the fact that one of the great highways of travel between the East and California traversed its entire width. It was also the route over which the Pottawatomie trade mainly passed, one of the great crossings of the Kansas River being at the trading post of Uniontown, in what is now Shawnee County. These, however, were not the first white men in Douglas County. In 1842, Gen. John C. Fremont, on his first tour of exploration to the Rocky Mountains, after leaving Cyprian Chouteaus's trading house on the Kansas River, six miles west of the Missouri line, on June 10, which trading house was in latitude 39 degrees 5' 57" longitude 94 degrees 39' 16", elevation above the sea, 700 feet - encamped near the present location of Lawrence on the 12th, and describes the spring near the residence of the late Bruce. He says of the location:

"We encamped in a remarkable beautiful situation on the Kansas bluffs, which commanded a fine view of the river valley, here from four to five miles wide. The central portion was occupied by a broad belt of heavy timber, and nearer the hills prairies were of the richest verdue."
Many other California emigrants passing over this route were particularly struck with the beauty of the scenery, and the magnificence of the view in the vicinity of Lawrence - among them Dr. Charles Robinson, who afterward became one of her pioneer settlers and most honored citizens. Along the California road, the first settlers located. This road entered Douglas County at the eastern line of what is now Eudora Township, at the crossing of the little stream then called Captain's Creek, and near the Methodist Mission of Dr. Still. Passing two miles west, Dish's Hotel was reached-a stopping place to which the Free-State settlers were always cordially welcomed by the Shawnee proprietor. The road crossed the Wakarusa at the house of Blue Jacket, a Shawnee chief, about a mile east of the reserve line. Two miles from the crossing of the Wakarusa, the town of Franklin was afterward laid out on the claim of Mr. L. B. Wallace, formerly of Indiana. Associated with Wallace was a Virginian - Mr. Church, a famous violinist. Mr. Wallace's house was one mile west of the site of Franklin. About four miles further west, the road wound up a sharp prominence and "Hog Back Point" was reached, the future Lawrence lying just to the north. Six miles further was another rise in the prairie, the table-land then reached being near the locality of a famous spring, near where Judge Wakefield afterward settled. Eight miles further on - the road still passing over the high prairie with a full view of the Kansas and Wakarusa Valleys to the north and south - the "forks" of the road, the future site of Big Springs was reached, and, a mile beyond, the road passed out of Douglas County. Among the settlers who came into the county and settled along and in the vicinity of this road in the spring and early summer of 1854, were the following: J. W. Lunkins, of South Carolina, April 13; A. R. Hopper, May 9; Clark Stearns and William H. R. Lykins, May 26; A. B. and N. E. Wade, June 5; J. A. Wakefield, June 8; Calvin and Martin Adams, June 10; J. J. Eberhart, June 12; Brice W. Miller, June 6; J. H. Harrison, June 124; H. S. and Paul Eberhart, June 15; S. N. Wood, June 24; Mr. Rolf, June 24; L. A. Lagerquest, July 4; James F. Legate, July 5; William Lyon, and Josiah Hutchison in July.

On the Wakarusa, south of the road, Joel K. Goodwin settled in May, and William Breyman, July 18.

T. W. and R. F. Barber settled near the site of Bloomington in 1855, and Oliver Barber at the same place, June 1. 1857. During the same month, John A. Bean, N. Alquine and M. Albin settled a little further west, where now is the village of Clinton, and a store was opened by the latter. As early as May, Napoleon N. Blanton was at Blanton's Bridge, which crossed the Wakarusa four miles directly south of Lawrence, and G. W. Zinn, A. W. and A. G. Glenn, M. S. Winter and William Shirley, were among the settlers of 1854 on the site of Lecompton. In the southeast of the county on the present site of Vinland, Jacob Branson, Charles W. Dow, Franklin N. Coleman, George Cutler, F. B. Varnum, William White, Josiah Hargus and Harrison W. Buckley, took claims during the year, and a little further south, at Baldwin City, was Robert and Richard Pierson, Jacob Cantrel and L. F. Green. Douglas, two miles south of Lecompton, was laid out on the claim of Paris Ellison, G. W. Clarke and others being associated with him as town proprietor; and late in the year, William Harper and John Chamberlain settled at the forks of the California road at Big Springs.

The account of the arrival of the Eastern emigrants and the settlement of Lawrence is given in that sketch of that city.

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