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


[TOC] [part 15] [part 13] [Cutler's History]


Lawrence possesses educational culture and social refinement that is unsurpassed by few Eastern cities and is the Athens of Kansas, built and settled as it has been by a class of people largely composed of the best educated and highest cultured classes of New England and New York, it well deserves its sobriquet, the 'City of Learning' Its people, in order to pursue social and literary advantages, have, as of yore, organized societies by which more rapid progress could be made in the advancement of science, art and literature.

Lawrence Business College an institution for the theory and practice of commercial business, was established in Lawrence by H. W. McCully, in 1869. Mr. McCully was succeeded in 1878, by Bridge & Barringer, who remained in charge until the spring of 1882 when the present proprietors, Boor & McIlravy, assumed control. Since the college was first established it has been in successful operation, and today ranks among the best in the country. The student can here become familiar with all the branches pertaining to a business education. Faculty for 1882 are E. L. McElravy, Superintendent of Actual Business Department and Professor of Penmanship; V. R. Boor, Principal of Book-keeping department; W. H. Ames, Principal of Telegraphic Department and Professor of Commercial Law; M. A. Rankin, Principal of English Training Department; W. Hoys, Principal of Phonographic department. Accommodations for 175 students may be found in the college. From forty-five students in 1881, its membership is constantly increasing, now numbering 125 members.

Old and New Club In 1875, a company of gentlemen met and formed what was known as the 'Old and New Club. 'A peculiarity of the organization is that since its first meeting no officers have been elected, the club at each meeting going in a 'committee of the whole. ' Meetings are held from October to April of each year. Average membership fourteen. Social science, in all its phases forms the principal subject of discussion.

Names of present members: Judge S. O. Thacher, Col. W. A. Harris, Col. O. E. Leonard, B. W. Woodward, Prof. D. H. Robinson, Prof. G. E. Patrick, Prof. F. H. Snow, Hon. Edward Russell, Dr. F. D. Morse, A. Beattie, J. S. Emory, J. D. Bowerstock. Among the honorary members are Hon. D. C. Haskell and Hon. T. D. Thacher.

Friends and Council, No 2 - An organization composed of the ladies of Lawrence, was organized in 1871, by Mrs. E. P. Leonard, a member of the Quincy, Ill., Society, No. 1, as the oldest literary organization in the city; it ranks second to none from a literary point of view. The society is in possession of a fine library, which includes many of the best works on English literature.

Present officers: Mrs. S. A. Brown, President; Mrs. J. G. Haskell, Vice President; Mrs. Dr. Marvin, Treasurer; Miss M. Thacher, Secretary; Mrs. P. R. brooks, Librarian. Average membership, twenty-five.

Ladies Liberal Club A literary and social society composed of members of the Unitarian Church, was organized in 1877 with twenty members. Mrs. S. A. Brown, first President of the society. Present officers: Mrs. S. A. Brown president; Mrs. M. Rice, Secretary; Mrs. F. Gleason, Vice President; Mrs. O. P. McAlaster, Treasurer.

The nucleus for a public library was formed in the summer of 1865, by J. S. Broughton, who, with sixty volumes, opened and established what was then known as the Lawrence 'circulating Library' it occupied a small back room on the second floor of the Hortman Block and was opened to the public Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. The books were loaned out at 15 cents per week and such was the demand for them that frequently the supply was inadequate to the demand. In the fall of the same year the library was moved and occupied rooms over Leis' drug store. A free reading room supplied with the leading periodicals of the day was established in connection and donations made to the library to the extent of 1,000 volumes. During the winter of 1865-66, a society composed of some of the leading citizens was formed and called the 'Lawrence Library Association,' with a view of purchasing the library and fixtures and extending its usefulness. The purchase was made in 1866.

In the fall or winter of 1871, the association transferred it to the city, in consideration of which the city agreed to liquidate a debt of $600 and keep the library in running order. In 1876, elegant and commodious rooms were obtained on the first floor of the National Bank Building, corner of Massachusetts and Winthrop streets.

Additions have been made to the library from time to time until it now contains upward of 6,000 volumes, embracing many works by the most eminent authors. The reading room in connection is supplied with all the leading American magazines and a large number of daily and weekly papers, and is largely patronized by students and others. Present Librarian, Mrs. J. C. Trask.

Chamber of Commerce was organized under a charter, granted December 12, 1878, the following named gentlemen being its corporators: I. N. Hoesan, G. Leis, S. Steinberg, J. Walruff, J. D. Bowerstock. First officers: J. N. VanHosen, President; J. D. Bowerstock, Vice President; A. B. Warren, Secretary; G. Leis, Treasurer. Board of Directors: I. N. VanHosen, J. S. Crew, G. Hume, A. B. Warren, J. D. Bowerstock, John Walruff, H. J. Rushman, G. Innes, George Hunt, S. Steinberg, G. Leis, H. J. Canuff.

Present Officers: J. D. Bowerstock, President; G. Innes, Vice President; A. B. Warren, Secretary; G. Leis, Treasurer. The present membership includes sixty-five of the prominent business men, who are always foremost in promoting the best interests of the city.


In pursuance to a call made by the Mayor, the Fire Department of Lawrence was inaugurated by the organization of Republican Engine Company No 1, February, 1859, with forty three applicant members. First officers were A. J. Sutten, Foreman; A. Love, First Assistant; G. L. Chandler, Second Assistant; W. W. Woodruff, Third Assistant; A. J. Miller, Secretary; M. D. Baldwin, Treasurer.

Prior to the organization of the company, the city purchased in the winter of 1858, the fire engine,'Washington,' and a hose cart,'the Lady of the Lake' from the city of St. Louis. The engine and apparatus not giving satisfaction, was returned.

After an existence of a few years, the 'Republican'Company No 1 was disbanded. Hook, ladder and bucket companies were organized at different times and constituted the fire department of the city until 1869, when the 'Head Center Hose Company' was organized. During the year prior to 1869, the city purchased a 'steamer' hose cart and other fire equipment at a cost of $6,625.

Head Center Hose Company was organized in March, 1869, by E. B. Chadwick, twelve members, under the following officers: E. B. Chadwick, Foreman; H. Lonara, First Assistant; G. Thomas, Second Assistant; H. D. Whitman, Secretary; R. Johnson, Treasurer. Headquarters for the department were in what was then known as the old engine room In June, 1869, the station moved to its present quarters - City Hall.

The company is at present composed of sixteen members, who are under the leadership of the following chief officer, E. Manter, Foreman.

Lawrence, in proportion to its size, had had but few serious conflagrations, the principal one of which was the destruction by fire of every building on Massachusetts street, with one exception, in August, 1863.


Owing to the peculiar facilities for transportation, combined with its close proximity to the raw material, and its superior water-power, Lawrence is destined to become a leading manufacturing city in the Missouri Valley. The cable 'system' of transfer power is largely used, it being claimed by competent authority that the power may be transferred a distance of five miles with a loss of power not exceeding two per cent.

The total power approximates 1,500 horse-power, 350 of which being in daily use. Three flouring mills, two elevators, four wire fence factories, one shirt factory, two machine shops, one paper mill and the chemical works, use the cable system, with the exception of one flouring mill which receives its power direct. Power is now successfully carried more than one-half mile, by means of the'cable system'.

Douglas County Mills The only mills using the water-power direct, were erected in 1878, by a company composed of J. H. Gower, J. Gower and J. W. Houghtellin. Owing to the death of the three partners, the mill passed into the hands of J. D. Bowersock, its present proprietor, in 1880. The mill is a stone structure, 50 X 60 feet, four stories high, and with its eleven runs of buhrs and five sets of rolls, has a capacity of four hundred barrels of flour every twenty-four hours. In connection with the mill, a three-story warehouse, 40 X 50 feet, and an elevator 30 X 100 feet, with a capacity of 50,000 bushels of grain, have been erected, the total outlay exceeding $74,000. This mill is one of the largest in the West, and controls a large per cent of the grain shipped into the city.

Pacific Mills The Pacific Mills originally occupied the building now used by the Kansas Basket Manufacturing Company, but in 1879 moved their machinery into the building now occupied by them, which was originally used as a box factory. This building, a three story stone structure, 40 X 40 feet, was erected in 1874 at cost of $20,000. In September, 1880, a stock company was incorporated, five names appearing on the charter. The mill has five runs of buhrs and one set of rolls, with a capacity of one hundred barrels every twenty-four hours. Four grades of flour are manufactured among which are several popular brands. Under its present officers, H. Tisdale, President; W. F. March, Secretary, and J. Bowersock, Treasurer; the mill is one of the successful business enterprises of the city.

Pierson's Roller Mills These mills, comparatively a new venture, were erected in 1880-1881 by S. P. Pierson, and started February, 1882, under the management of Pierson Bros. The building, a four-story stone structure, 50 X 60 feet, is one of the most completely equipped institutions in the State. Its machinery is one of the most costly and latest design, and embraces fourteen sets of rolls and four run of buhrs, which gives the mill a capacity of two hundred and fifty barrels every twenty-four hours. Four grades of flour are manufactured, each one securing an enviable reputation In the autumn of 1882, a brick building, 34 X 50 feet was erected, in which a 100 horsepower engine was placed, to be used as a 'reserve' motor.

Hamilton Straw Lumber Factory The manufacture of lumber out of straw was first investigated and experimented upon, by S. H. Hamilton, of Lawrence, who discovered that by a peculiar process straw lumber could be manufactured successfully. After many discouragements and difficulties, one of which was the burning of his building and mew machinery, an incorporated stock company with a capital of $150,000 was organized under New York laws in September, 1881; one half the stock is owned by New York and Chicago parties. The new building which is a stone structure, 30 X 125 feet, was erected in 1881-82. An addition 30 X 50 feet made of straw lumber, is used for storage purposes. The factory at present, has a capacity of 10,000 feet of 'four-ply' per day. The straw lumber is not susceptible to atmospherical influences and can be treated the same as natural lumber. The manufacture of this lumber, yet in its infancy, is constantly on the increase, and is becoming a valued substitute for the natural woods. Present officers: S. H. Hamilton, President, and General Manager; C. W. Hillard, Secretary and Treasurer.

Lawrence Paper Mill An important industry t the list of the manufacturing institutions of the city, commenced operations under the management of Messrs. Edwards, Gardner and Higley, in the summer of 1882. A brick and stone structure was erected, the main building being 40 X 60 feet, with a wing 35 X 90 feet at a cost of $5,000. In October, 1882, a stock company was incorporated with a capital stock of $30,000, with the following officers: J. D. Bowersock, President; H. K. Edwards, Vice President; L. C. Gardner, Secretary and Treasurer. Board of Directors: H. K. Edwards, W. F. March, L. C. Gardner, H. E. Benson and J. D. Bowersock. The mill has been supplied with the latest and most improved machinery at a cost of $20,000 and has a daily capacity of four tons of wrapping paper.

Lawrence Foundry and Machine Shops were established in the summer of 1858, by the Kimball Bros., consisting of Samuel, Franklin and Edward Kimball. Prior to 1858, S. Kimball erected a saw mill and commenced preparations for establishing a machine shop. A planning machine, an iron lathe, and some other machinery was purchased and put in operation until 1858. In 1870-72, the present buildings were erected and new machinery purchased, causing an outlay of $30,000. The machine shops, or main building, is a two story brick structure 40 X 45 feet. The foundry, which is also built of brick, has an area of 2,300 square feet. A force of from fifteen to twenty-five men is constantly employed.

Douglas County Iron Works was established in the spring of 1882, by Messrs. Savage & Lightcap, two machinists of experience, who erected on the corner of New Hampshire and Pinckney streets, a two-story brick building, 30 X 84 feet, and fitted it with the latest improved machinery, at an expense of $12,000. A foundry is in process of erection. All kinds of general machine work and repairing is done and special attention paid to boiler work. Comparatively a new firm, it is rapidly building up an immense trade.

Lawrence Barb Wire Manufactory - This establishment was the first to manufacture barb wire in the State. Commencing operations under a company representing a capital of $20,000 organized in 1878, it soon had the control of an extensive business. The company under the management of A. Henley, manufactures the celebrated Henley four-pointed steel barb, and operates nine machines, which have a capacity of 10,000 pounds per day. With its recent addition to buildings and machinery, the institution is becoming a successful business enterprise.

Southwestern Barb Wire Manufactory The establishment now operated under this name was first established by Messrs. Mackey & Warren, but in a short time an incorporated company was organized with a capital stock of $10,000. The names of M. W. Warren, A. D. Mackey, J. D. Bowersock, Charles Chadwick, and Mrs. C. M. Warren, appear on the charter. The institution employs an average fifteen hands and is licensed to manufacture three hundred tons or 300,000 pound of plain or galvanized wire per year. The wire manufactured by this company is widely known throughout the country and gives satisfaction.

Western Steel Fence Factory - In November, 1881, A Partnership formed by Messrs. J. W. Harbaugh, J. N. Shimmons And DG. Alford, For the purpose of manufacturing the Harbaugh Steel Fence. The fence material is a Bessemer steel band one-half inch in width and contains three longitudinal ribs. The barbs are formed by cutting and bending on either edge and are cut in pairs, one each way every two and one-half inches. The advantages of this fence are appreciated by those who have it in use.

The Frye Combination Fence Works were established in June, 1882, by G. N. Denning & Son, with capacity of one hundred rods per day. The fence is composed of five two strand cables of steel wire, firmly interwoven with lath, at a uniform distance of three inches apart. The laths are saturated with alkalies, making them equally durable with the wire, which is supplied with 588 barbs to the rod. This fence, since the time it was introduced, has met with remarkable success, and is rapidly growing into universal use.

Lawrence Canning Factory - A company known as the Lawrence Canning Company was incorporated February 22, 1881, with a capital of $50,000 and purchasing the buildings owned by the Lawrence Packing Company, commenced canning all kinds of perishable fruits and vegetables. Among the principal stockholders are, S. O. Thacher, O. E. Leonard, George Noble, A. Lewis, and D. H. Robinson. The officers of the company are, O. E. Leonard, President; Mr. Atkins, Vice President; A. Lewis, Secretary; J. M. Wood, Treasurer. They have every facility for doing as large a business as any factory in the United States, their machinery having all the latest improvements. In the year 1882, twenty-five thousand cases, or six hundred thousand cans of fruit and vegetables were put up.

Kansas Fruit Vinegar Factory - company was incorporated with a capital stock of $15,000, May 10, 1882, for the purpose of manufacturing pure cigar vinegar. its board of directors are, D. B. Hunnicutt, President; F. H. Osborne, secretary; R. Carpenter, Treasurer; M. Flora, Superintendent. The company employ twenty men, and manufacture one hundred barrels of cider vinegar per day. The building in use is a three-story frame structure, 40 X 100 feet, and was formerly used as a soap factory. Tanks have been built with a capacity of two hundred thousand gallons. The latest improved machinery is used, with a Plummer evaporator that has a capacity of one hundred bushels every twenty-four hours.

Kansas Baskets Manufacturing Works - This immense manufacturing establishment is an outgrowth of the efforts of J. N. Roberts, who in 18709 commenced the manufacture of baskets from native cottonwood. In November, 1881, a stock company was organized with a capital of $50,000, its incorporators were C. W. Babcock, G. W. E. Griffith, J. N. Roberts, S. . Gillette and N. E. Russell. A three story stone building, 50 X 100 feet formerly occupied by the Pacific Mills, and complete machinery was purchased at an outlay of $24,000. New machinery has been added with which three car loads of black walnut veneering is turned out each week. From a small beginning, the business has rapidly built up until now the company manufactures 50,000 dozen baskets and 2,000,000 berry boxes each year. The mill employs fifty skilled hands, and consumes $30,000 worth of raw material every year, the greater part of which is obtained in Douglas County. With constantly increased facilities, the mill is turning out more wooden ware each succeeding year. its present officers are: G. E. Griffith, President; C. E. Tuthill, Treasurer, and C. W. Babcock, Secretary.

Lawrence Agricultural Works In 1863, Messrs. Wilder, and Palm established what is now known as the Lawrence Agricultural Works. The motive power is a genuine Holland wind mill, erected in the same year by mechanics brought here from Sweden by Mr. Palm. This mill, which has to be seen to be appreciated, is an octagon-shaped building four stories high, with stone basement and a frame superstructure, the wind mill proper having an eighty foot sweep. At an outlay of $9,700 the mill was completed and put in operation as a grist mill, with two run of buhrs, or a capacity of twenty bushels per hour. The mill proper is still operated as a flouring mill and does a general custom business. Additional buildings were erected for the manufacture of agricultural implements. The building in which the wood is prepared is a two story stone, 40 X 60 feet; a blacksmith shop, one story stone, 30 X 70 feet, and an iron room, one story frame, 26 X 40 feet.

An incorporated stock company with a capital of $100,000 was formed June 11, 1880, by the following gentlemen: J. H. Wilder, A. Palm, P. J. Peterson, Mr. Reese and H. N. J. Sherwood. Its present officers are, A. Palm, President; J. H. Wilder, treasurer; W. H. Kemmerer, Secretary.

The Holland wind mill, furnishing a power equal to eighty-horse -power, has proved a success in every particular. Th agricultural works employ a force of twenty-five men, and turn out $50,000 worth of wagons and agricultural implements annually.

Carriage Works - The manufacture of carriages in Lawrence has been in operation since the year 1866, when O. Carlson, turned his attention in that direction. In 1867, he erected a substantial two-story brick building, 45 X 60 feet, in which he carried on his business until 1878, when he enlarged his storage capacity by an addition, 25 X 50 feet. The works employ ten to fifteen skilled mechanics, and manufacture one hundred carriages of all grades annually.

Shirt Factory - The manufacturing firm of J. E. & C. E. Wilder was established in the spring of 1873, they then employing eight hands. Their present buildings were completed in 1882, at cost of $9,000. The main building is a massive stone structure, three stories and basement, 50 X 80 feet, with a wing, 18 X 36 feet, two stories high. The machinery is run by water-power, transferred from the dam by a wire cable. During the busy season, twenty-five machines are in use, employing sixty-five hands. From a small beginning this institution has grown to be one of the most important manufacturing enterprises in the State. Their business extends all over Kansas and into Texas, Colorado and New Mexico and is rapidly increasing.

Lawrence Coal, Coke ad Gas Works The introduction of gas into the city of Lawrence occurred in 1869-70, when on the 19th day of August, 1869, a stock company was incorporated with a paid up capital of $100,000. Its incorporators were, W. Hadley, J. W. McMillen, E. L. Aikins, F. G. W. Reynolds, S. O. Thacher, E. E. Gray, and J. C. Horton. The buildings used by this company, were completed in 1869-70 and consist of a retort room, 40 X 60 feet; purifying room, 40 X 50 feet, and a gasometer, sixty feet in diameter, with a capacity of 60,000 cubic feet of gas. The company controls ten miles of pipe, and manufactures 500,000 cubic feet of gas per month. Present officers of the company are G. W. Griffith, President; R. C. Johnson, Secretary, Treasurer and Superintendent. Board of Directors: G. W. E. Griffith, E. Russell, W. N. Bangs, B. W. Woodward, E. Thompson, P. Faust, and W. I. Gilbert.

Leis Chemical Works - This gigantic manufacturing establishment has grown to its present proportions many through the efforts of George Leis, who as a druggist, commenced the manufacture of chemical preparations. For several years, he continued their manufacture, when, February 4, 1880, a stock company of the prominent business men of the place was organized with a a capital of $50,000. Its first officers were, J. P. Usher, President; I. N. Van Hoesan, Vice President; George Leis, Secretary and Manager; H. Benson, Treasurer; W. J. Leis, Superintendent Manufacturing and Assistant Manager.

Patent Medicines - The manufacture of patent medicines was commenced in a small way, by Dr. S. O. Himoe, in 1867. According to the demand, the business increased until the sales amount to $15,000 annually. His medicines embrace ten different varieties of chemical preparations for the manufacture of which the establishment employs eight experienced hands. Himoes Popular Medicines are known throughout the great West for their purity and efficacy. Directors: H. C. Smith, W. G. Hills, C. E. Wilmoth, and J. D. Bowerstock. In the autumn of 1882, a brick laboratory, four stories high, 50 X 85 feet, was completed at cost of $18,000. Employing twenty-five skilled operatives, the Leis Chemical Manufacturing Company manufactures Leiss standard medicines, pharmaceutical preparations, perfumery, fruit extracts, baking powder, etc. Three hundred thousand gross of different preparations are manufactured annually. The establishment is one of the most successful business enterprises in the State.


Eldrige House After the destruction of the Free-state Hotel by Sheriff Jones and posse, May 21, 1856, nothing was done toward the erection of a new building, until the early part of the 1857. During this year, Col. S. Eldridge, with his brothers, Thomas M. and Edward S. erected a brick structure, four stories high, 100 feet X 117 feet, at a cost of $80,000, furnished. Col. Eldridge conducted the hotel until 1863, when it was destroyed by Quantrell. During its comparatively brief existence, it was the headquarters for the Free-state men.

In 1865, a new building was erected on the site of the old one by Col. Eldridge. The new structure-the present Eldridge House- is a three story brick 100 X 117 feet and was erected at a cost of $52,000. On its completion, Col. Eldridge sold his interest to Gen G. W. Deitzler who leased it for a term of ten years to E. A. Smith. Mr. Smith, after managing the hotel for few years, sub-leased it to a I. S. Kalloch, who remained its manager two years and was succeeded by M. S. Beach. H. H. Ludington then resumed charge for several years, when J. R. Pearshall, the present manager, became its lessee.

The Merchants' Bank was established March 4, 1878. its first officers were, J. B. Watkins, President; Theodore Poehler, Vice President; G. W. E. Griffith, Cashier; R. G. Jamison, Assistant Cashier. G. W. E. Griffith succeeded to the Presidency of the bank March 1, 1881, and R. G. Jamison, to be Cashier. The business is that of a legitimate private banking and has been profitable from the start. The bank has a good reputation, both at home and abroad. Capital $100,000; surplus, $18,000.

The National Bank of Lawrence, certificate dated September 5, 1865; opened for business January 1, 1866; capital $100,000, privilege of $500,000; capital all paid in, April, 1866. The first board of officers were: Washington Hadley, President; G. Grovenor, Vice President; E. A. Smith, Cashier; A. Hadley, Assistant Cashier. The present board of officers is as follows: S. O. Thacher, President; J. S. Crew, Vice President; A. Hadley, Cashier, T. E. Newlin, Assistant Cashier. The bank building is 110 X 50 feet, having four stories and basement, with mansard roof, cut stone front. This bank never suspended payment for an hour and always met demands in full. Its directors are: S. O. Thacher, J. S. Crew, M. H. Newlin, W. Hadley and L. J. Worden.

G. R. Gould & Co. (G. R. Gould, J. K. Hemphill) dealers in agricultural implements, hardware, wagons, etc. are also agents for the 'New American' sewing machine. They represent W. A. Wood harvesting machinery, Moline Plow Company, J. I. Case Plow Company, Mitchell farm and spring wagons. Are transfer agent for the State, for the J. I. Case Company, The business was established in 1867, by Mr. Gould, dealing at that time in wagons along. The present firm was reorganized in 1879. They carry a very complete stock in their line, doing an annual business of about $80,000. They sell about 150 farm and spring wagons yearly.

Theodore Poehler & Co, wholesale grocers and proprietors of 'Kaw Valley' elevator. This firm is composed of Theodore Poehler, A. H. Whitcomb and S. S. Whitcomb. The business was established by Mr. Poehler in 1866. The present firm was organized in 1870. They employ about twenty-two men in both departments; keep one man 'on the road' and do a business of about $200,000 annually.

Lawrence Sugar and Syrup Refinery, incorporated April, 1883, under State laws. Incorporators: J. H. Wilder, President; S. J. Churchill, vice President; E. Stanley, Secretary; W. W. Cockins, Treasurer. Authorized capital, $100,000. Will erect mills in all parts of this and adjoining States, the syrup produced being all gathered into Lawrence and there reduced to sugar at the main works, the Superintendent being an expert in the process.

Western Farm Mortgage Company, F. M. Perkins, President; J. T. Warne, Vice President; N. F. Hart, Auditor; L. H. Perkins, Secretary; C. W. Gillette, Treasurer. Incorporated under the State laws, May, 1880. The company have sixty-three agencies in the State of Kansas; are also doing business in Iowa, Missouri, Dakota and Nebraska. They have now out about 1, 705 loans, representing an investment of $500,000 to $600,000. They make a speciality of the first mortgage bond on improved farms, guaranteeing payment of interest and principal.

[TOC] [part 15] [part 13] [Cutler's History]