produced this selection.

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


Location and General Features | Map and Population | Early History | County Elections and Officers | Statistics | Kinsley


EDWARDS County when created contained Township 23 of Ranges 19 and 20; Townships 24, 25 and 26, of Ranges 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, aggregating seventeen Congressional Townships. Pawnee County was its northern boundary, and also lay east of its two northwestern townships. Stafford and Pratt were on the east; Kiowa on the south; Ford and Hodgeman on the west. The Legislature of 1875 enlarged its territory by taking the north one-half of Kiowa County, and making it the south part of Edwards County; the south one- half of Kiowa became the northern part of Comanche County. The present area of the county is twenty-seven Congressional Townships, embracing 972 miles.

There is next to no timber in the county. The Arkansas River runs in a northeasterly direction near the northwestern part of the county. The head waters of the Little Coon and the Big Coon creeks are in Trenton and Jackson townships. The Little Coon enters the Big Coon about midway between Kinsley and Nettleton, and the Big Coon empties into the Arkansas at Garfield, Pawnee County. The Rattlesnake, the main stream of Stafford County, has its head waters near the central portion of Franklin Township, and has only about six miles length in Edwards County. The country away from the Arkansas is an undulating upland prairie. The river bottom along the Arkansas is about three miles wide, and sand hills are open to view on the river, for many miles, at Kinsley. There are several cattle and sheep ranches in the county.



(Organized in 1874, from part of Kiowa County.)
                               |  1880. |
(a) Brown Township.............|   360  |
(b) Franklin Township..........|   263  |
(c) Kinsley Township, including|        |
    Kinsley City...............| 1,082  |
(d) Trenton Township...........|   233  |
(e) Wayne Township.............|   235  |
(f) Jackson Township...........|   286  |
                               |        |
    Total......................| 2,409  |
    Kinsley City...............|   457  |

(a) Organized in 1874, from original territory;
    in 1879, detached to form Franklin.
(b) Organized in 1879, from part of Brown.
(c) Organized in 1874, from original territory;
    in 1879, part detached to form Wayne.
(d) Organized in 1874, from original territory;
    in 1878, part detached to Jackson.
(e) Organized in 1879, from part of Kinsley.
(f) Organized in 1878, from part of Trenton. 


W. C. and R. E. Edwards were among the very earliest settlers. They built the first brick building in the county, and it was occupied as a court house for many years. After them, this county is said to have been named. The county offices in 1883, are held for the most part in a frame building, south of the Edwards County Bank Building, which was the one formerly used for county purposes. H. M. McCaddy & Son carry on the banking business, in the building now occupied by the county, and the County Treasurer's office is held in the banking room. A robbery of the bank occurred in December, 1882, but the funds stolen therefrom were shortly after recovered. In April, 1873, there were settlers in the county who came from Maine. N. L. Humphrey, Beza Blanchard, F. C. Blanchard, a son-in-law, and two or three daughters made up the number. E. K. Smart started a lumber-yard at Kinsley, in March, 1873; T. L. Rogers opened a general store there in April, 1873; N. C. Boles, now of Holton, Jackson County, was the first postmaster at Kinsley -- then Peters -- in May, 1873. A daughter was born to Simon Cass, in August, 1873; William Emerson and Nellie Chase were united in marriage, April 11, 1874. The first church edifice -- the Congregationalist -- was completed early in 1875, and it was largely the gift of E. W. Kinsley, of Boston, Mass., after whom the town of Kinsley was named. Its cost was about $2,000.

In 1874 occurred the memorable grasshopper raid, which did much damage in Edwards County. The first meeting of the County Commissioners occurred on September 5, of this year, and an order was passed authorizing the Commissioners severally, and in person to ascertain the effects on the grasshopper raid in the county, and to report the number of persons rendered destitute thereby, with a view of making the facts known to the Legislature, which had been called to meet in special session, September 15. In October this report was sent in to Governor Osborn, and was as follows:

Our crops are totally destroyed; not one bushel of vegetables or grain being saved for man or beast. Our people are mostly poor people, without wealthy relatives or friends to assist them in their extremity. We are the furthest west of any agricultural settlement in the State. We have personally and carefully investigated each case and find six families, containing twenty- two persons, totally destitute; five families, containing eighteen persons, partially destitute. The above are the only persons in the county that will need aid to carry them to another crop. We believe $500, judiciously expended, will be sufficient with what they can earn, to keep them in the necessaries of life. If not considered out of place for the junior county of the State, we would suggest that if money is appropriated by the forthcoming extra session of the Legislature for the relief of the destitute, the Commissioners or the Committee, who will by law have the expending of the funds, be instructed to employ all able-bodied, destitute persons, to whom relief is to be granted, to work on public improvements, such as highways, bridges, etc., paying them reasonable wages therefor, thereby encouraging industry and self- reliance, to say nothing of the benefits in the way of improvements. The really worthy would prefer that mode to gratuitous charity, which often encourages laziness and pauperism. We have not included those people having stock, etc., upon which they can realize money to help themselves till more prosperous times. All of which is respectfully submitted.
County Commissioners.
School District No. 1, was organized November 14, 1874, and the school house was completed in Kinsley in 1877. In 1883 there are twenty-two School Districts in the county; one of which is a joint one with Pawnee County. The County Superintendents have been W. C. Knight, W. F. Blanchard, George W. Milner, and Joseph Ferguson. There are graded schools at Kinsley, and at Offerle.

The Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodist Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics are the religious denominations of the county. The Catholics have two church edifices, and have the greatest number of communicants. The Methodists and Presbyterians are the next strongest. The Congregationalists, Methodists, and Catholics each own church edifices in Kinsley.

On September 16, 1873, the Kinsley Reporter was issued as a monthly; in April, 1874, it became a semi-monthly; in January, 1875, a weekly publication. Two years later it passed into the hands of W. T. Bruer, and was united with the Edwards County Leader, the first number of which was issued March 29, 1877, with W. T. Bruer as editor and proprietor. It was Republican in politics. The Valley Republican, Charles L. Hubbs, proprietor, issued its first number November 3, 1877. It became the Kinsley Graphic, May 4, 1878; Werter R. Davis, proprietor, and M. M. Lewis, editor. As a party organ it was Republican. June 1, 1878, Mr. Hubbs started the Kinsley Republican. These papers became united as the Kinsley Republican-Graphic, under the management of C. C. Sellers, editor; L. A. Sauber, local editor; C. C. Moore, business manager. It is an eight column paper, and is well patronized in Kinsley and the surrounding country. July 13, 1878, Dr. L. Rick ventured on the Staats Zeitung, a German paper. It had ceased to be in 1880.


By virtue of a proclamation issued by Gov. Thomas A. Osborne, in August, 1874, Charles L. Hubbs, Nicholas L. Humphrey and George W. Wilson were appointed special County Commissioners of Edwards County, and James A. Walker was appointed special County Clerk. These men met at the Buffalo House, in Kinsley, September 3, 1874, and Charles L. Hubbs was appointed chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. One of the first acts of this Court was to divide the county into the municipal townships of Kinsley, Trenton and Brown, and designate places for holding elections therein at the regular State election, November 3, 1874. At the Commissioners' Court meeting held October 5, 1874, W. C. Knight was chosen County Superintendent of Public Instruction; an order was passed providing for a vote on the location of the permanent county-seat, and for a loan of the credit of the county for $1,000 for the purchase of books for county records, seals, et . These matters were voted on at the general election, November 3, 1874. Kinsley received 69 out of the 74 votes cast. The vote on the loan was 47 for, 23 against, and George W. Crane, of Topeka, furnished the necessary records for the county. At this election Thomas A. Osborn received 71 votes for Governor, and James C. Casey had 1 vote. Charles L. Hubbs was elected Representative; F. C. Blanchard, J. A. Brothers and T. L. Rogers, County Commissioners; William Emerson, County Clerk; E. A. Boyd, County Treasurer; V. D. Billings, Sheriff; J. L. Perry, Coroner, L. W. Higgins, Register of Deeds; J. H. Woods, Clerk of the District Court; Taylor Flick, County Attorney; Massena Moore, Probate Judge; W. C. Knight, Superintendent of Public Instruction; Frank A. White, County Surveyor.

Kinsley Township cast 44 votes. J. A. Walker was chosen Trustee; N. D. Humphrey and V. D. Billings, Justices of the Peace. Trenton Township cast 22 votes. Emmett. Dickens was elected Trustee; Marion Soward and David P. Daniels, Justices of the Peace. Brown Township cast 8 votes; elected William Williams, Jr., Trustee; B. Blanchard and E. A. Boyd, Justices of the Peace.

The Commissioners elected November 3 met on the 14th, and made choice of T. L. Rogers for Chairman. At the session of December 17, 1874, W. C. Reed and Miss Florence G. Blanchard were appointed School Examiners. A contract was made with W. C. Edwards for three rooms in the second story of his brick building, to be leased for one year to the county at $30 per month.

At the time of the organization of Edwards County it was included in the Twenty-fifth Senatorial district, and Henry Clay St Clair, of Sumner County, represented it in the Senate of 1875 and 1876. By the Apportionment Act of 1876 it was located in the Thirty-seventh Senatorial district, and Thomas F. Taylor, of Reno, represented it in the Senate of 1877 and 1879; J. C. Strong, of Pawnee, in the Senate of 1881; Simon Motz, of Ellis, in the Senate of 1883. By the Legislative Apportionment Act of 1881 it becomes a part of the Thirty-fifth Senatorial District in 1884, which then elects a Senator for four years, the term commencing in January, 1885.

Charles L. Hubbs was admitted as a member of the House from Edwards County, January 12, 1875. On the 21st of January, Atty.-Gen. Randolph gave an opinion that the members from Edwards and eleven other counties were not legally entitled to seats, because of the smallness of the votes cast in their respective counties at the election of 1874. The House declared the seat of Mr. Hubbs vacant on the 28th of January, and adopted the resolution that he have the per diem pay of the members and mileage in coming to and returning from the Legislature. On February 10 the House seceded partially from its former action, and adopted the following preambles and resolutions:

WHEREAS, Hon. C. L. Hubbs was duly returned as elected to this House form Edwards County, and subsequently his seat was declared vacant under the constitutional amendment; and

WHEREAS, There is no person entitled to represent the people of that county; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Hubbs has remained here, and is engaged in attending to the wants of his constituents; therefore, be it

Resolved, That Mr. Hubbs be allowed the privileges of this House, but without the right to vote, and that he be allowed the per diem of a member during the session.

Mr. Hubbs is the only member of a Kansas Legislature whose failure to secure a title to a seat in the Legislature has not deprived him of his right to draw his pay as a member. There were 74 votes cast for Representative at the election in 1874 and in 1875. In the former year C. L. Hubbs had 46; A. L. Kendall, 28. In 1875 Taylor Flick had 52; A. L. Kendall, 20; scattering, 2. The county was not represented in the House in 1876, but Mr. Flick was the Representative in 1877. The vote cast in 1876 was 338; in 1878 it was 546; in 1880, 416; in 1882, 429.

Edwards County was not included in the legislative apportionment of 1876. It is District No. 117 in the apportionment of 1881. Its Representative in 1877 was Taylor Flick, in 1879 it was John E. Willey, in 1881 it was C. H. Kirkpatrick, in 1883 it was Dr. B. R. Mosher. From 1875 to 1880 changes were made in the boundaries of the townships, and the number has been increased from three to six. There have been but a few long term men in the offices of the county. The following shows who have been in possession of the offices from the time of the county organization:

County Commissioners--C. L. Hubbs, N. L. Humphrey and G. W. Wilson, 1874; F. C. Blanchard, J. A. Brothers and T. L. Rogers, 1875; F. C. Blanchard, George Bell and William Plag, 1876-77; J. R. Lovell, E. H. Hough and George Bell, 1878; H. H. Fritz, E. H. Hough and George Bell, 1879; H. H. Fritz, J. W. Edwards and George Bell, 1880; H. H. Fritz, J. W. Edwards and W. A. Johnson, 1881; T. K. Stedham, M. D. Hatzel and G. B. Hampton, 1882; T. K. Stedham, D. K. Iliff and G. B. Hampton, 1883.

County Clerks--James A. Walker, 1874; William Emerson, 1875-77; R. L. Ford, 1878-82; C. C. Sellars, 1882-83.

County Treasurers--E. A. Boyd, 1874-75; N. L. Humphrey, 1876-77; A. L. Kendall, 1878-79; J. W. Crawford, 1880-82; Edwin Bartlett, 1883.

Sheriffs--V. D. Billings, 1874-75; Robert McCause, 1876-77; J. W. Fuller, 1878-81; V. D. Billings, 1882-83.

Clerks of District Court--Taylor Flick, 1874-76; J. E. McArthur, 1877-83.

Probate Judges--Morsena Moore, 1874-77; J. A. Freeland, 1878; Jacob Shapley, 1879-80; N. L. Humphrey, 1881-83.

Register of Deeds--L. W. Higgins, 1874-83.


The presidential vote of Edwards County in 1876 was: Hayes, 183; Tilden, 155; in 1880, Garfield, 313; Hancock, 102. Its gubernatorial vote in 1876 was: Anthony (Republican), 178; Martin (Democrat), 156. In 1878: St. John (Republican), 413; Goodin (Democrat), 99; Mitchell (National), 33. In 1880: St John (Republican), 306; Ross (Democrat), 108. In 1882: St John (Republican), 147; Glick (Democrat), 190; Robinson (National), 89. The vote on the constitutional amendment in 1880 stood 121 votes for, 194 against.

The assessed valuation of Edwards County for 1876 was $419,318, for 1877 it was $452,928.97, for 1879 it was $598,123.15, for 1880 it was $607,552.72.

The cultivated acreage of the county is continually increasing. In 1878 there was 2,205 acres in winter wheat, and in 1880 there was 4,465. There was an increase of 681 acres of oats, 1,618 in broom-corn, 2,377 of sorghum, over the acreage of 1878.

In 1875 the population of the county was 234; in 1878 it was 1,700; in 1880, 2,409; in 1882, 1,570.


At one time, W. C. Edwards and Taylor Flick held about all the real interests of the place. The city is now spread out over a large area, extending for a long distance each side of the railroad track. It has been afflicted with famine, pestilence and fire; it has had two boldly planned train robberies, and a bank robbery on December 9, 1882, in which the County Treasurer, J. W. Crawford, was seemingly implicated, and the duties of his office have since been performed by another; yet with these calamities it has risen Phoenix-like from its ashes, and is now indeed a thriving business town. It is abundantly supplied with stores of the different kinds, with banks, mills, lumber-yards, and here are mechanics of almost every kind. It has the Ohio House, the Carlin house, and the pleasant and spacious eating house of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, situated a few rods west of the station, where the noonday meals are furnished eastern and western passengers. Here are three resident clergymen, and the Rev. William M. Honnell, an early Kansas Missionary, ministers to the Presbyterian organization at stated intervals. The legal and medical professions are well represented, and from their ranks have men arisen here of quite some marked distinction. Kinsley has a Masonic Lodge, known as Mount Moriah. Its last elected officers were installed by Capt. Henry Booth, of Larned, December 26, 1882. They are: Robert McCause, W. M.; W. I. Nichols, Secretary; J. E. McArthur, S. W.; W. D. Erwin, J. W.; E. A. Noble, Treasurer.

Kinsley is a city of the third class, and its city officers can be enrolled as follows: Mayor, L. G. Boies; Police Judge, P. C. Clapp; Clerk, H. C. Bingham; Treasurer, W. D. Erwin; Attorney, J. W. Crawford; Marshal, W. A. Snow; Councilmen, S. F. Griffith, John Fulton, George Grassell, I. V. Lewis, and Charles Reitler. Several secret organizations exist here in a prosperous condition. The robbery of the bank before referred to, has proved to be but a small loss, all of the $12,000 supposed to have been taken therefrom has been recovered, excepting about $400. The matter comes before the court at the March term.

Kinsley is about centrally located on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, between Nettleton on the northeast, and Offerle on the southwest. Nettleton is a little trading point, near the line of Edwards and Pawnee counties. Offerle is near the boundary of Ford County. In 1876, Lawrence Offerle, a native of France, accompanied by a number of the settlers from Geneseo, Ill., bought land at Offerle and vicinity; he had the town site surveyed, and put up the first building in April, and opened a store there in May, and had a post-office established in June. Here is a church where there is preaching both in English and in German. The town is nicely located on the grand western plateau of the Upper Arkansas Valley. Mr. Offerle's sons, Abner and E. E., have a general store here, and Henry F., is an extensive cattle-raiser and finds a large range.


L. G. BOIES, Cashier Edwards County Bank. The above bank was opened for business, October 17, 1882, chartered September 18, of the same year, with an authorized capital of $50,000, and paid up capital of $30,000, R. E. Edwards, President; E. Howard, Vice- President. Eastern correspondents are First National Bank, of New York City, Bank of Kansas City, Mo., and First National Bank, of Emporia, Kansas. Mr. Boies came to Kinsley in August, 1877, and kept books for Edwards Brothers until he became the Cashier of the above bank. He was born in Homer, Cortland County, N. Y., March 20, 1847, and was raised and educated in his native county. Lived in Marengo, McHenry County, Ill., for two years previous to emigrating to Kansas. He was educated at Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y., graduating in the class of 1873. Being educated for the law profession he entered the law office of A. B. Coons, of Marengo, Ill., and remained some time as a student. Then followed agricultural pursuits until he came to Kansas. He was married in 1876 to Miss Ella Stone, of Homer, N. Y. They have two children, Emma Kate and Bessie Alice. He is the present Mayor of Kinsley, Kansas.

GEORGE W. FULTON, proprietor of the Anchor Steam Flouring Mills, of Kinsley. These mills were erected in the spring of 1878 at a cost of $20,000, the size of which is 30x50 feet, three stories high; engine room 23x30 feet, one story. Forty horse-power engine; capacity, 300 bushels of wheat every twenty-four hours. He employs five men in the business. He first came to Rice County, Kansas in 1873, and farmed until he came to Kinsley. He was born in Fayette County, Pa., November 23, 1821. His parents moved with their family to Perry County, Ohio, in 1833, where he was raised as a farmer. He enlisted in the spring of 1861 in Company E, Twenty-first Regiment Missouri Volunteer Infantry. He was afterward commissioned to raising a company, and after completing the full quota was made captain of the same. He was a conspicuous Union man. He was assigned to the Twenty-first Missouri Regiment, and was soon promoted to Major. He was a participant in the battles of Shiloh, Tupelo, siege of Corinth and battle of Corinth, and many skirmishes, and finally resigned in November, 1864. He had the promotion of Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment but declined on account of being elected Sheriff of Knox County, Mo. In the fall of 1864, after serving one term, he was re-elected to the same office. He afterward followed the milling and mercantile business until he came to Kansas. He was married in 1847 to Miss Hannah Sycks, of Perry County, Ohio. They have eight children, John A., Francis E., Phoeba S., Dora A., George W. Jr., Margaret W., U. S. Grant and Charles L. He is a member of the Masonic Order and is a Republican.

JOHN F. MARSH, member of the firm of Edward Bros., Noble & Marsh, first came to Kansas in the spring of 1878, locating in Kansas. He clerked in a store for some time and thence became a partner in the above business, December 1, 1879. He was born in Tompkins County, N. Y., February 8, 1852, and was raised and educated in his native county. He married in September, 1882, to Miss S. Bidwell, a native of Illinois.

E. A. NOBLE, dealer in general merchandise, of the firm of Edward Bros., Noble & Marsh. They carry an average stock of $15,000, and employ six men in the business. They opened trade in 1876. The above is the most extensive store in Edwards County. Mr. Nobles became a partner in 1878. He first came to Kinsley, Kansas, in 1877, and prospected and clerked in a store for some time. He was born in Summit County, Ohio, October 19, 1842, and was raised and educated in Pittsburg, Pa. He followed the milling business early in life. He enlisted August 9, 1862, in Company E, One Hundred and Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and re-enlisted in Company D, Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

He was promoted to First Lieutenant, and served on Gen. N. Kimball's staff of the First Division Fourth Corps, and he participated in all the principal engagements of his command. He was mustered out December 6, 1865. He is a member of the Masonic Order.

JOHN E. WILLEY, dealer in hardware and groceries. He opened trade in April, 1877, at Kinsley, in a general hardware line, and added groceries in August, 1880. His store building is 20x44 feet front, and 24x40 feet back part, making a total of 84 feet in length; erected April, 1877, at a cost of $1,000. He carries an average stock of $4,000 and employs two men. He first came to Kinsley in December, 1876. He was born in Sussex County, Del, January 21, 1842, His parents moved to Eastern Maryland in 1852. He enlisted in the spring of 1861 in Company H, First Regiment Delaware Volunteer Infantry, and re-enlisted in the following January in Company F, Third Regiment Delaware Volunteer Infantry, and was promoted to First Orderly Sergeant sand afterward to Second Lieutenant. He participated in all battles in his command, and was wounded in front of Petersburg in June 1864, and discharged by special order of the War Department. He lived afterward in Philadelphia, Pa., and was a bookkeeper. He was married in 1876 to Miss Sallie Seaman, of Philadelphia, Pa. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He has served as Justice of the Peace of Kinsley Township. He represented Edwards County in the Kansas Legislature of 1879. He is a member of Corinthian Lodge, A. Y. M., Philadelphia, Pa., No. 368.

[TOC] [Cutler's History]