KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


DOUGLAS COUNTY, Part 28

[TOC] [part 29] [part 27] [Cutler's History]

WAKARUSA TOWNSHIP.

The little hamlet of Wakarusa, now but a suburb of the city of Lawrence, was one of the first points settled in the State. One of the colonies sent out by the New England Emigrant Aid Society settled here. The name was conferred by the settlers, and was afterward given to the township including the city of Lawrence, when these divisions of the county were organized. The name also became historic in the Wakarusa war, concerning which the reader will find full account in the general history of the State.

Douglas was situated on the Kansas River ten miles above Lawrence. The first settlement was made here in 1854, by Paris Ellison, who had there several slaves. It never attained to much size. When it was at the height of its prosperity, it contained only about five inhabitants, all of whom lived in one house. It was incorporated by the bogus Legislature in 1855, with the following Board of Trustees: John W. Reid, George W. Clark, Charles E. Kearney, Edward McCarty, Paris Ellison, M. W. McGee, their associates and successors. A ferry was established here during the same year, the same individuals being authorized to keep it, and for the term of twenty years, as were appointed trustees of the town.

In the year 1855, the Legislature authorized James Findlay to establish a bridge across the Wakarusa River at the crossing of the Territorial road leading from the Missouri line to Lawrence and Tecumseh requiring him to complete the bridge within three years.

The city of Lawrence now claims all the commercial importance of the township, but there are several small villages besides Wakarusa, pleasantly situated, and having a more or less distinct individuality; these are Sibley and Franklin in the eastern part, and Grover, Washington Creek and Lake View in the Western.

The Washington Creek German Baptist Church, of Wakarusa Township, was organized in 1858, with the following members: Abraham Rithuck and wife, Jacob Ulrich and wife, Daniel Studebaker and wife, Stephen Studebaker and wife, David Kinzie and wife, Christopher Shank and wife and Isaac Hoover, thirteen in all. Since then the church has grown to 205 members. They first bought a small frame house which was used for a meeting house. In 1878, they erected a large church at a cost of $2,700 on the corner near Samuel Baker's. The same year M. Broombaagh built a meeting house at a cost of $800, and donated it to the society, so that now they own two meeting houses. Recently, about forty members have withdrawn from the church under the influence of what is known as the Miami Resolution, and style themselves the old school, in contradistinction to the more progressive wing of their brethren.

The present officers of the church are: James E. Hilhey, Bishop; Samuel Baker, Thomas E. Winsey, ministers; John Ulrich, Eph Hutchler, John Herr, Deacons; John Herr, Clerk.

Fairview Methodist Episcopal Church, of Wakarusa Township, was built in 1881. The building is 30x50, a stone basement and frame superstructure. The materials were all hauled by "bees," many of the farmers taking part in the work. The church is valued at $2,500, the furnishings all having been brought from Chicago. The present members of the church is forty-five. The trustees are W. B. Kennedy, G. E. Leary, V. S. Reese, Lewis Howard, Andrew Douglass. The present pastor is Mr. Dearborn, of Douglas County.

Pleasant Valley Library Association, Wakarusa Township, was organized in 1879, with twenty-seven members, their first installment consisting of thirty-two books. They have now a membership of fifty-two, and the library contains some 300 books and pamphlets. The present board of officers are: Scott R. Halloway, President; Miss Lorry Chadwick, Vice President; L. J. Kennedy, Secretary; S. H. Carson, Treasurer, A. E. Hitchcock.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (BRACKETT - GROVER).

G. C. BRACKETT, Secretary of the Kansas State Horticultural Society, Section 27, P. O. Lawrence, was elected to his present position at the first organization of the society in 1867, and has since been unanimously elected at the meetings. Mr. Brackett was born in Unity, Me., near the eastern line of the State, October 26, 1832. His parents afterward resided for short intervals in different parts of the State. About 1837, they moved to Lynn, Mass., and about five years later settled in Lee County, Iowa. They subject of our sketch received a preparatory education at the Denmark Academy, taking a full course, and in September, 1854, entered Amherst College, Mass. On account of inflammation of the eyes, caused by over-study, he was obliged to resign in his Sophomore year and return home. In 1856, he left home with the intention of making an overland journey to California. He landed in Leavenworth April 1, and the next day proceeded to Lawrence and decided to settle there. His first intention was to engage in Government surveying, but the political enmity of the officers in charge of that department prevented the realization of this plan. He then, in company with O. A. Bassett, engaged in surveying and land speculations. In 1859, he bought twenty acres of raw prairie west of the city and started his experimental fruit farm; since that time has tried all the hardy, large and small fruits as they appeared with a view of finding those adapted to Kansas culture. He now has forty acres entirely devoted to fruit culture. About one-fifth is in small fruits, the balance in apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes, etc. In addition to the regular horticultural studies, etc., Mr. B. has also made a careful study of entomology so far as it applies to insects, etc. that are injurious to fruit. Mr. B. married, in Dundee, N. Y., in 1859, Harriet Gabriel, a daughter of one of the participators in the battle of Lundy's Lane. They have three children Millie E. (now Mrs. J. E. Pearson, of Douglas County), Edith E. and Harold G.

WILLIAM BROWN, proprietor Pleasant View farm, Section 1, P. O. Lawrence; the home farm comprises sixty acres, and other parcels of land bring up the aggregate of 260 acres. The principal business is the breeding of full-blood Jersey cattle. His herd consist of forty to fifty head of all ages; with few exceptions they are all registered stock. The heads of his herd are "Island Lord" (A. J. C. C. Reg. 3322) and "Allandale" (A. J. C. C. Reg. 6307). At the Topeka and Bismarck fairs of 1882, the herd took $600 of the $1,200 offered in premiums, also premiums at both fairs on domestic and premium butter. William Brown was born in Cavin County, Ireland, November 16, 1839. In 1854, he moved west, stopping for a time in Illinois and Wisconsin. In 1859, he settled in Douglas County, Kan., was at first working on farms, then rented for a time, and finally became owner of a small farm; this he sold, and in 1865 bought present place. During the war, he was connected with Capt. Hineman's company of militia. He was married in Sharon, Wis., January 8, 1859, to Miss Jane Shields, of Sharon. They have four children - Thomas R., Elmer E., Willard and Emma. Mr. Brown has been Township Treasurer a number of years, and a member of the District School Board.

HUGH CAMERON, farmer, southeast quarter Section 14, Town 12 and Range 1? (named Glen Burn), P. O. Lawrence, was born in Perth, Fulton County, N. Y., October 29, 1827, son of Allen Cameron and Catherine Frazier. He grew up in his native State, educated himself without going to school. Went to Washington, D. C., in 1849, was employed as Professor of Mathematics in the Rittenhouse Academy, and while so employed accidentally formed the acquaintance of Gen. William L. Chaplain, of Albany, N. Y., the oldest champion of human liberty of that day. Mr. Champlain was taken in the act of abducting the body servants, slaves of Stevens and Tombs, of Georgia. He had them in a hack completely closed which he was driving by way of the underground railroad, Maryland and Pennsylvania, to the land of liberty. The Marshal of the city of Washington, was on the alert and caught him and the slaves when only a few miles from the city. Chaplain was lodged in jail to await preliminary examination. As soon as young Cameron heard of his being in jail, he visited him there, and for this he was promptly discharged from the professorship he held in the academy, and being regarded as Champlain's accomplice, he was mobbed by Pre-slavery men in the streets of Washington, D. C. Some time after this event, the Hon. Thomas Corwin, Secretary of the Treasury, appointed him to a clerkship in that department, which he held for several months, and then on account of his health resigned and engaged in canvassing for Harper's magazine with marked success. He came to Kansas in July, 1854; is one of the earliest settlers located near Lawrence, where he still remains. He was deeply interested in all the struggles of the young Territory for freedom. Was free to condemn outrages, no matter by whom perpetrated. He denounced the lawlessness of the Free-State men on the one hand, and the outlawry of the slavery party on the other, for which he was at times mobbed and robbed by the Free-State men, because he would not indorce (sic) all their acts; and also by the border ruffians, because he condemned their infamous conduct. His property was freely taken by both parties and his life was constantly in danger. Gov. Reeder appointed him a Judge at the first Territorial election, and when the polls were surrounded by more than 1,000 ruffians, he did not abandon his post, although the others fled. In making out the returns, he secured a certificate from the two Judges (elected by the ruffian invaders, that the votes cast at his precinct were not all by legal resident voters; and the returns being made in this form, furnished the Governor valid ground on which to declare the election void, which he did. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace by Gov. Shannon and issued one warrant for the arrest of Jacob Branson, a noted Free-State outlaw; Branson was rescued by a mob, and Squire Cameron was menaced and threatened, but did not leave the country. He was finally arrested and taken before Lane and Robinson; the former demanded that he resign his office and apologize to the drunken mob, which had arrested him for having accepted the appointment; this he refused to do, and was again taken into custody by the mob and subjected to many and gross indignities. He escaped from them by strategy, and claims that in this instance bad whisky saved his life. After the battle of Wilson's Creek, in 1861, he volunteered, was mustered in as a private soldier and ordered on the recruiting service by Col. R. B. Mitchell. He served for about two years in the Second Kansas Cavalry, as First Lieutenant and Captain; was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel Second Arkansas Cavalry, and was honorably discharged at LaGrange, Tenn., in 1865, after a service of about four years, and after the close of the war. He has since been brevetted and uncompromising temperance man, and is now a prominent Prohibitionist. Mr. Cameron is a man of decided opinions, and a fearless, outspoken advocate of the right, almost always with the minority, politically. He is now engaged in an earnest effort to establish the Useful Worker, a journal devoted to sobriety, equality and equity. The name of his journal is new and suggestive, and with it he will stand as unflinchingly for the cause of humanity as he has ever stood in former years. As a writer, his style is bold and aggressive, traits which have always characterized his career in life.

J. B. COREL, farmer, Section 4, P. O. Lawrence, was born in Tazewell County, Va., February 16, 1832. In 1849, his parents moved to Missouri, settling near Kansas City, where J. P. assisted his father in farming until the latter's death. In 1854, the subject of our sketch moved with his mother and two brothers to Kansas, all making claim on the edge of town. During the border ruffian trouble, he took a leading part on the Free-State side. During the years 1855-56-57, was connected with Col. Williamson's regiment. During the late war, he was connected with the Kansas State Militia. In 1857, he settled on present place, the claim having been bought for him by Mr. Joseph McGhee, his father-in-law. He has since that time been engaged in farming, now operating 150 acres, devoted to both grain and stock. Mr. Corel was married in Douglas County, Kan., August 20, 1857, to Miss Susannah, daughter of James McGhee, Esq. They have seven children living - Jennie, Olive (now Mrs. S. W. Sperry), Ella, Kate, James H., Charles W. and Anna.

WILLIAM CROZIER, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Lawrence; bought and settled on present place in the spring of 1882. He has in his home eighty acres of land under a high state of cultivation. The buildings erected in 1882, costing some $5,000. Is engaged in raising grain and the propagation of fine stock. William Crozier was born in Tyrone County, Ireland, December 25, 1827. His parents came to the United States when he was an infant, settling at Ithaca, N. Y., where he was brought up. His father died when he was still young, and the care of the family devolved on him. In 1846, he settled in Schuyler County, Ill., where he engaged in farming until 1857. In the later year, he moved to Linn County, Kan., and pre-empted a claim. In 1862, he sold this farm, and bought another on the Shawnee reserve in Johnson County; here he engaged actively in farming until 1882. He was married in Linn County, Kan., April 22, 1858, to Miss Mary Lloyd, of Douglas County, a member of the pioneer families. They have no children of their own, have brought up four adopted children. Mr. Crozier is a member of the A., F. & A. M., of Johnson County.

WILLIAM CRUTCHFIELD, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Lawrence. The home farm consists of 140 acres, devoted principally to dairy interests. He keeps twelve cows, disposing of the product in Lawrence. Mr. Crutchfield was born at Jamestown, Province of Quebec, May 22, 1829. He received his early education in Canada, but finished in the New England States. He was brought up to farming, and has always followed that pursuit. After residing in New England until February, 1856, he determined to emigrate to Kansas. He started for Kansas with Dr. Calvin Cutler, celebrated for his capture of a Santa Fe train belonging to a Pro-slavery man, and was one of the party with Maj. Starr Hoyt; the party started from Springfield, Mass., with 100 Sharp's rifles. At St. Louis, it was arranged to separate the slides or lock of the guns, and Dr. Cutler and Mr. Crutchfield were selected to carry the slides overland, while Maj. Hoyt started by boat with the remainder of the guns, fearing their capture if they were all caught together. And they were afterward captured on the boat at Lexington, Mo. Much of the way through Missouri he traveled on foot, but arrived safe in Kansas with his portion of the guns, soon to learn that Maj. Hoyt had been robbed of the remainder. Hoyt was murdered on the Wakarusa the ensuing summer. It is worthy of special note, that twenty years afterward, through the instrumentality of Mr. Crutchfield, a handsome monument was erected to the memory of the noble martyr, in Oak Hill Cemetery, at Lawrence. On the arrival of Mr. C. at Lawrence, he entered into various occupations, built the first bridge over Stranger Creek in 1857, and in 1865 purchased a quarter section in Wakarusa Township, where he has made one of the best farms in Douglas County. Has an orchard of 1,000 apple trees, and has a good assortment of every variety of fruit trees suitable to the climate. Has a fine dwelling, commodious barn and outbuildings, and is surrounded by all the comforts of a happy home. In 1856, he was among the most active prominent Free-State men. He was an efficient soldier in Capt. Bickerton's Artillery Company, and participated in the capture of Fort Saunders and Fort Titus. He served in the Free-State ranks in 1856, until peace was restored around Lawrence. He witnessed the destruction of the Free-State Hotel, the printing presses and Gov. Robinson's house, and other property in Lawrence May 21, 1856. He was present and participated in the defense of Lawrence, Sunday, September 14, 1856, when 2,700 Pro-slavery men from Missouri besieged Lawrence, he took position with a company of ten men under Caleb Pratt, in Massachusetts street. When the enemy appeared in sight, the whole town appeared in consternation. There was not organization at this juncture. John Brown, afterward the martyr of Harper's Ferry, arose and addressed the people, as near as Mr. C. and recollect; "Gentlemen, I have no authority, no command. The prospect is we will have a fight. I want you all to keep cool. Keep your eye on the hind sight of your gun, and fire low. If the Pro-slavery men had done that, I would have been riddled with bullets long ago. Those who have Sharp's rifles will volunteer as skirmishers, and go out upon that hill," pointing to the elevation upon which now stands the Friend's Yearly Meeting House. Then he organized a company by parties of ten, and assigned them positions. As fast as ten men were entered, he would say, "Now choose your Captain." When this was done, he would assign each a position, placing all those who had Sharp's rifles on the hill, and assigning the others to the earth forts, redoubts or rifled pits, and to stone houses and other places of defense. There, not over 150 men defended the town until the arrival of United States troops, under the order of Gov. Geary. He participated in the hottest of the battle of Westport, and was also in the battles of Big Blue and Little Blue. He has held various local offices, especially in schools, for several years. He was Township Trustee, and was at one time United States Assistant Assessor. He has belong to the Patrons of Husbandry from their organization. He was married in Lawrence, January 26, 1865, to Miss Annie, daughter of Dr. Robert Ironside, of Thorold, Ontario. They have an adopted daughter, Miss Jessie Crutchfield, born April 11, 1866.

ANDREW DOUGLASS, farmer, and Trustee, Wakarusa Township, Section 20, P. O. Lawrence, settled on present place in the spring of 1867. There are ninety-seven acres in the home farm, devoted to grain and stock. Mr. Douglass was born in Allegheny County, Penn., September 2, 1832. He was educated in his native county. After leaving, he engaged in farming, managing, for a number of years, his father's farm. In 1863, he enlisted in Company A, Sixty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry, after one year, the regiment returning home, was transferred to the One Hundred and Fifth Regiment, Company F. He was connected with the Second Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, and took part in all the battles of that corps, but one; was after the disbandment of the Second Army Corps, transferred to the Third, and with that organization took part in the closing scenes of 1864. Then he returned to Pennsylvania, and from there moved to Kansas. Mr. D. was elected Township Trustee February 6, 1883. Has been Justice of the Peace last seven years. He is a member of the United Presbyterian Church of Lawrence, being one of the elders. Is also a Trustee of the Fairview Methodist Episcopal Church.

R. M. DUNNING, farmer, Section 28, P. O. Lawrence, was born in Burnes, Allegany County, N. Y., May 17, 1854. Son of Humphrey Dunning and Caroline Bailey, where he grew up to manhood, receiving such an education as Rogerville Academy and Rochester Business College afforded, and was engaged most of the time in teaching school. Mr. D. was united in marriage in Almond, N. Y., July 9, 1879 to Miss Delia J., daughter of Hiram McIntosh and Jane Easterbrooks. Mr. D. came to this state in 1879, and settled in Wakarusa Township, near Blue Mound, where he owns a farm containing 240 acres, which is under cultivation and well stocked. He is a member of Blue Mound Presbyterian Church.

ASA DUTTON, farmer, Section 23, P. O. Lawrence, settled on present place in 1858. He has 160 acres in the home farm, and some timber land in addition. His principal attention is devoted to grain and stock, though he has considerable fruit, the principal being seven acres of apples and three acres of raspberries. Mr. Dutton was born in Brown County, Ohio, March 25, 1816. He was born and raised on a farm, and followed that in his native county until 1843. He then moved to Clay County, Ill; thence, one year later, settled in Fulton County, Ill., where he remained engaged in farming until he removed to Kansas, in 1858. He was married in Brown County, Ohio, August 10, 1837, to Miss Mary A. Watson, a native of Maine. They had seven children, of whom three survive - Daniel P., of Johnson County; Elvira C., now Mrs. William Main, of Johnson County; John W. Mr. D. is a member of the Christian Church, and of Kansas Lodge, No. 6, A., F. & A. M.

GEORGE GILBERT, farmer, Section 2, P. O. Lawrence. The home farm consists of 200 acres, devoted to stock. He raises about 100 acres of corn, which he feeds to his stock. The balance of the farm is pasture and meadow. Has a herd of forty head of cattle. Mr. Gilbert was born in Suffolk County, England, December, 1824. He was educated there, and taught the tailor's trade. In 1850, he came to the United States, and settled in New York City, where he worked at his trade. Afterward moved to Victor, Ontario County, N. Y., thence to Cayuga County. In 1854, he joined a party going to Kansas, under the auspices of the Emigrant Aid Society, and landed in Lawrence September 15, 1854. After the survey was completed, he pre-empted the quarter-section on which he now resides, and settled on it the following spring. During the early troubles, he was connected with the Free-State organizations, and during the late war was a member of Capt. Wilder's militia company. Since his settlement on the homestead, he has been engaged in farming continuously, with the exception of one summer he went to Pike's Peak. He was married in Victor, Ontario County, N. Y., to Miss Elizabeth C. Smith, of Victor. Mr. G. is a member of the Congregational Church. Has been a member of the School Board.

J. T. GRANT, farmer, Section 24, P. O. Lawrence; settled on his present place in 1864. Has 110 acres on his farm devoted to grain and stock. Was born in Schenectady County, N. Y., on November 29, 1810. He learned the tailoring business in Schenectady, when he moved to Oneida County, in 1831, where he followed his trade until 1854, when he moved to Kansas. He pre-empted and settled on the quarter section of land eight miles southwest of Osawatomie, on Pottawatomie Creek, in Miami County, and there engaged in farming until he moved to Douglas County, in 1864. Mr. G. was identified with the Free-State organization of the early days. Was intimately acquainted with John Brown and his sons. Had one son in Brown's command at the battles of Middle Creek and at Osawatomie. Mr. G. was married to Miss Clementine Smith, of the town of Paris, Oneida County, on the 14th day of April, 1833. Mrs. Grant died in 1878, leaving six children - George, William, Charles, Henry, John and Mary.

A. H. GRIESA, proprietor Kansas Home Nursery, Section 25, P. O. Lawrence; fruit and ornamental trees, vines, roses shrubs, forest trees, seedlings and hedge plants. The business was established in 1867. There are eighty acres in the farm, twenty-eight acres of which are at present in nursery, though constantly increasing. In addition to his present business, will build a green-house in 1883. A. H. Griesa was born in Bielefelt, Westphalia, Germany, January 14, 1845. In 1856, he emigrated to the United States, where his parents had preceded him, and settled in Ontario County, N. Y. Commenced learning the nursery business in 1857, in Ontario County, and continued in it there until he moved to Kansas in 1867. He was married in Douglas County, Kan., in 1869, to Miss Amelia Beebe, a native of Lima, Livingston County, N. Y.

HON. JOEL GROVER, deceased, was born in Springwater, Livingston Co., N. Y., August 5, 1825. He was educated at the Geneseo University, Geneseo, N. Y., and graduated with honors in that institution. His natural taste was for farming, and leaving school he pursued that occupation first in New York, and afterward in Iowa, until 1851, when he emigrated to California and engaged in the purchase of stock and in running pack trains from San Francisco to the mines. There he remained two years, and returned stopping only to visit relatives in New York. The passage of the Kansas Nebraska act awoke his anti-slavery feelings and prompted him to fall in with the tide of Free-State men then headed toward Kansas. He came with what is known as the second party, and arrived where Lawrence now stands September 13, 1854. One of the first outbreaks in Lawrence, was the removal of a tent by some Pro-slavery men which Mr. Grover and others resisted, taking the tent from a wagon, setting it up in the same spot and preparing for its defense. This led on the following evening to the organization of the first military company in Lawrence, of which Mr. Grover was made Captain. He was one of the most active Free-State men, and participated in all the conflicts of Free-State times. He was one of the men who volunteered to go to Shawnee Mission to defend Gov. Reeder in canvassing the vote on the election of March 30, 1855, and was in the Pro-slavery caucus until they passed a resolution excluding all who did not sympathize with the Pro-slavery men, and although alone among a large party of bitter political opponents, he made a strong speech denouncing their action in the face of such men as Dr. Stringfellow, B. F. Stringfellow, Atchison, Richardson and all the noted Southern fire-eaters of that period, and on his speech the caucus adjourned informally with great excitement. He actively participated in command of the company in the defense of Lawrence in the Wakarusa war of 1855, and was promoted to Major and placed in command of one of the forts. In 1856, he was one of the safety committee, and after the raid of Lawrence, May 21, 1856, he rode to Kansas City in the night, took a steamer and carried the first intelligence to St. Louis of the sacking and burning of Lawrence, and had an extra issued of the Missouri Democrat. Pursuing his way in the first steamboat to Alton and thence to Chicago, he also there gave the first news, getting ahead of all Pro-slavery reports. He spent about two weeks organizing a company in Chicago, and returned up the Missouri River to Leavenworth. The company, except Mr. Grover, was disarmed at Lexington, and afterward turned back at Leavenworth, being refused the liberty of land. On the return, however, of the boat from Weston with this company, on the assurance of the aid of some Leavenworth men to protect the company in leaving the boat, Mr. Grover was on the wharf to assist in the work, but the Leavenworth men failed in their promises and he was overpowered and driven onto the boat, but allowed by the Captain to get off at Kansas City, where he escaped to Kansas. He commanded his company and participated in the battle of Franklin, Fort Saunders, Fort Titus and all other Free-State engagements. He located a farm claim in 1854, about three miles southwest of Lawrence, and improved it. In 1858, he was elected one of the county Commissioners, and held that position for four years; also held local positions, such as Trustee and member of the School Board, etc. In 1867, he was elected a member of the House of Representatives, and re-elected in 1868, making one of the best working members in that body. In 1869, he was elected County Commissioner and made chairman of the board, and again re-elected in 1871, holding the office four years. He was for years a director of the St. Louis, Lawrence & Western Railroad Company. He had command of a company in the Price raid, October 13, 1857. He married Miss Emily J. Hunt, daughter of George W. Hunt, Esq., one of the most earnest anti-slavery pioneers of Kansas, and one of the best men of the early times. Mrs. Grover is a lady of culture and refinement, and was one of the truest of the courageous guard ladies of the troublesome times in Kansas. When Lawrence was sacked and burned in 1856, she had all her wearing apparel, except that in use, destroyed in the burning of Gov. Robinson's house. Mr. Grover departed this life July 28, 1879, leaving his widow and seven children - Frank G., Helen A., Charles R., Cora E., Earnest J., Lillie L. and Jay G.

[TOC] [part 29] [part 27] [Cutler's History]