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


[TOC] [part 19] [part 17] [Cutler's History]


Political Influence of the Granges - In the elections of 1873, 1874 and 1875, the Grange influence was something of a potent factor in the politics of the State. Among the Grangers elected in November, 1878, were Henry Bronson, of Douglas County, to the State Senate; to the House of Representatives, Samuel Stoner, of Atchison; W. W. Maltby, of Johnson; James C. Cusey, of Miami; John Boyd, of Montgomery, and M. J. Fiery, of Lyon.

In 1874, J. B. Schaeffer, of Jefferson; William Sims, of Shawnee, and W. W. Maltby, of Johnson, were elected to the Senate. George W. Brown, of Nemaha; H. H. Angell, of Cherokee; R. C. Bates, of Marion; S. M. Wirt, of Rice, and W. B. Spurlock, of Jefferson, were elected to the House. In 1875, John P. Davis was elected from Brown; W. H. Toothaker, from Johnson; Eli Davis, from Miami, and John Kelley, of Sedgwick, as members of the House.

At the State Independent Reform Convention of August 5, 1874, at which James C. Cusey was nominated for Governor, the following were sample planks in the State platform:

We favor the repeal of the tariff on lumber, and that the tariff on the necessities of common life be abolished or reduced to the lowest possible figure, and that the tax on incomes be restored.

The railroad corporations should be made subservient to the public good; that while we shall discountenance any action calculated to retard the progress of railroad enterprises, or work injustice to these invaluable auxiliaries to commerce and civilization, yet we demand such constitutional legislation upon this subject, both State and Federal, as will effectually secure the industrial and producing interests of the country against all forms of corporate monopoly and extortion.

John R. Goodin had 725 majority for Congressman in the Second district, carry ten of the fifteen counties. In 1872, Hon. Stephen A. Cobb - who was Mr. Goodin's opponent in 1874 - carried all but two of the fifteen counties.

J. K. Hudson was the Reform candidate for Congress in the Third District, receiving 9,932; Judge Brown, his successful opponent, had 14,581. Butler County which gave Hudson 20 majority, gave a Republican majority in 1872, of 947; Chase, which gave him 232 majority, gave 203 majority in 1872.

The Kansas State Grange has been steadily educating the people within its range through the years. In January, 1881, the Kansas Patron and Farmer, issued at Olathe, by the Johnson County Publishing Association, was adopted by the Executive Committee of the Grange, as the official paper of the order in the State. The President of the association was W. H. Brady; J. D. Walker, Treasurer; B. G. Little, Secretary. Its Directors were G. J. Lightfoot, Henry Rhoades and William Zimmerman. The editor and business manager was R. E. G. Huntington. Its consulting editors were George Black, Secretary of the State Grange, and H. C. Livermore, manager of the Olathe Co-operative Store. Its corresponding editors were William Sims, Master State Grange, and J. S. Barnard, Lecturer State Grange.

The manager of the Patron, in its issue of January 5, 1882, speaking of the work of the paper, said:

It has done a good work during three years or more of its existence, as the condition and prospects of the Order, within the sphere of its circulation and influence, sufficiently attest.

In 1862, the officers of the Kansas State Grange were as follows: Master, William Sims, Topeka; Secretary, George Black, Olathe; Lecturer, S. J. Barnard, Humboldt.

The Executive committee is composed of William H. Jones, Holton, Jackson County; W. H. Toothaker, Cedar Junction, Johnson County; William Rowe, Vineland, Douglas County.

Present board of Officers. - At the eleventh annual meeting of the State Grange of Kansas Patrons of Husbandry, held at Olathe, December 12, 1882, the following named persons were chosen as officers: Master, William Sims, Topeka, Shawnee County; Overseer, J. F. Willits, Grove City, Jefferson County; Lecturer, W. H. Toothaker, Cedar Junction, Johnson County; Steward, A. P. Reardon, McLouth, Jefferson County; Assistant Steward, John Rehrig, Fairfax, Osage County; Treasurer, Thomas White, Topeka, Shawnee County; Secretary, George Black, Olathe, Johnson County; Chaplain, Arthur Sharp, Girard, Crawford County; Gate Keeper, Samuel McPherson, Olathe, Johnson County; Ceres, Mrs. J. O. Henry, Olathe, Johnson County; Pomona, Mrs. M. H. Black, Olathe, Johnson County; Flora, Mrs. S. A. Hovey, Belleville, Republic County; Lady Assistant Steward, Miss C. V. Willets, Grove City, Jefferson County.

The following form the Executive Committee: W. H. Jones, Holton, Jackson County; W. B. Scott, Oakwood, Linn County; Henry Rhoades, Gardner, Johnson County. The counties of Allen, Barton, Brown, Bourbon, Chase, Cloud, Coffey, Crawford, Douglas, Greenwood, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Linn, Lyon, Miami, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic and Riley were represented in this Eleventh Annual Session of the State Grange.

Present Management of the Patron. - D. L. Hoffman became editor and manager, November 1, 1882, and on the 1st of February, Henry M. Rochester, formerly of the Olathe Mirror, became one of the Patron staff. The officers of the Johnson County Publishing Association for 1883, are as follows: President, W. H. Brady; Secretary, W. R. Walker; Treasurer, J. D. Walker; Directors, Henry Rhoades, J. C. Lovett, G. J. Lightfoot.

The Patron has a department for the Master of the State Grange, for the State Lecturer, and one for the Knights of Labor.

Annual Address of the Master. - Hon. William Sims in his address said:

The order in whose interest we have assembled to-day is based upon well known principles of equality, equity and fairness. It is founded upon the necessity of husbandry, and was called into existence by a well formed general demand on the part of those in whose interest it was instituted. The great purpose of our organization is to unite farming to one grand fraternal association, through which, by the popular and intelligent application of the underlying principle of our order - co-operation - we may advocate and elevate our class, secure to agriculture its just rewards, and to labor employed and capital invested therein compensation equal to that accorded to like investments in other legitimate industries.

In the absence of organization no co-operation can be secured, and the people are powerless to redress wrongs and advance in any proper direction. Indifference or neglect of duty on the part of the masses, or stronger party, often enables minorities to control, and well-organized combinations having interest in conflict with the rights of those whom they serve to oppress the people. I especially urge upon all the Patrons and farmers generally, the importance of organization and earnest co-operation, not only in buying and selling, but in educating for the more important duties devolving upon us as citizens, and in giving that general direction to public affairs which the importance of agriculture and the signs of the times seem to require. The people should hold their representatives to a strict accountability for their actions and votes upon the question of transportation. In concluding this, my last address, as your presiding officer, permit me to return to you, worthy Patrons, and through you to the membership throughout the State, my heartfelt thanks for the many fraternal greetings, uniform kindness and hearty support extended to me in my every effort to promote the welfare of our Order, and advance the interests of the industry we represent.

Report of the Committee on Education. - F. G. Adams, E. M. Shelton and S. A. Felter, members of this committee in their report, say:

Patrons of Husbandry cannot too greatly magnify the importance of attention to the improvement of the schools for the education of the children of the farming class.

Co-operation in some form or other is so universal; its power so great, and its effect so apparent as to need no argument to prove its efficacy when properly applied. If the farmers and laborers will cordially and harmoniously unite and adopt co-operative principles, no party or power can prevent their success. We would teach to the creators of wealth, the toilers of our land, the practice of principles of co-operation in our civil affairs.

The official paper of the Patrons of Husbandry, the Kansas Patron and Farmer, $1.00 a year, says:

By reading our paper, at the end of the year 1883 your Grange will be so permanently established, that all fear of dormancy will have disappeared, and you and your families and your community will be found advancing socially, intellectually, morally and financially.

The Kansas State Grange is, in 1883, having a fresh impetus, and the tillers of the soil will be more and more banded together in the future in this state. The farmers are asking for the passage of a bill by Congress that will solve the problem of Inter-State commerce, and create a new Cabinet officer among the President's advisers, to be known as "The Secretary of Agriculture."

The Tariff - the Granges are discussing which of the two tariffs the American people shall have: the one to raise revenue for the expenses of the general Government, or the one to protect certain industries form foreign competition. They demand that the tariff law be explained to our people form a scientific standpoint, unbiased by party politics.


Under the auspices of the State Board of Agriculture a State Fair was held at Leavenworth in September, 1874. There had for some time (sic) existed in the minds of a majority of the board, a feeling that it was not the mission of the board to hold public shows, their public statement concerning the same, closing as follows:

We are convinced that the business of holding fairs legitimately belongs to associations organized for that specific purpose, and the duty of a State Board of Agriculture to foster and encourage, and the State Legislature to aid by wise legistation (sic), these local industrial organizations. Then there will be a relation of confidence, a systematic co-operation, which will enable the State Board to gather, collate and send back to the people an annual harvest of facts and experiences of immeasurable value to the State.

Western National Fair Association. - An organization of the above name was formed early in 1880, with James F. Kenney, of Trego, President; Joseph E. Riggs, of Douglas, Secretary, and a successful fair was held at Bismarck Grove, one mile northeast of Lawrence, on the Union Pacific Railway, September 13-18, 1880.

The association was re-organized in 1881, with the following named persons as a Board of Directors: From Leavenworth County, H. M. Aller, Levi Wilson; Wyandotte, W. W. Dickinson; Johnson, L. W. Breyfogle; Linn, O. E. Morse; Bourbon, J. H. Rice; Allen, J. W. Scott; Coffey, S. J. Carter; Franklin, L. C. Wasson; Douglas, O. E. Learnard, William Evatt, George Leis, Samuel A. Riggs, Charles Robinson; Shawnee, George W. Veale; Greenwood, William Martindale; Riley, N. A. Adams; Saline, Thomas H. Cavanaugh; Trego, F. H. Collier, James F. Kenney. Its President was O. E. Learnard; its Secretary, Thomas H. Cavanaugh. There was $25,000 offered in premiums, and a Second Annual Fair was held at Bismarck Grove, September 5-10, 1881. The fair was in every way a great success.

The Kansas State Fair Association. - In 1880, this association was organized; and it held its first Annual Fair at Topeka, September 12-17, 1881, on the Shawnee County Fair Grounds, increased by twenty-four acres that were owned by the association. Its Board of Directors was as follows: Matthew Quigg, of Atchison; G. H. Rushmore, Jefferson; P. I. Bonebrake, M. Bosworth, A. S. Johnson, Joab Mulvane, William Sims, of Shawnee; L. Severy, Lyon; William Griffenstein, Sedgwick; W. H. Gill, Pawnee; E. B. Purcell, Riley; Perry Hutchinson, Marshall; T. C. Henry, Dickinson. Mr. Henry was President; Joab Mulvane, Treasurer; George Y. Johnson, Secretary.

Coeval with this was the first annual exhibition of the Kansas Wool Growers' and Sheep Breeders' Association; the first annual exhibition of the Kansas State Horticultural Society; County Agricultural Society displays; County and subordinate Grange displays; Farmers' Alliance displays; re-unions of veterans of the late civil war. The special exhibit made by the Land Department of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad attracted universal attention.


An act authorizing the appointment of a Commissioner of Fisheries, and for the protection of fish in the waters of the State of Kansas, and making an appropriation for the salary of the Commissioner, took effect Mary 10, 1877.

By its provisions the Governor was empowered to appoint a Commissioner to hold office for two years, and whose salary should be $3 per day, for a time not exceeding fifty days in a year, and 10 cents a mile for travel actually made. Appropriations of $500 were made for the years 1877, 1878 and 1880; $485 for the year 1979.

D. B. Long, of Ellsworth, who was a member of the House in 1877, was commissioned for this office, March 10, 1877, and on the 8th of February, 1883, Gov. Glick appointed W. S. Gile, of Ellsworth, as his successor.

Commissioner Long, in his report for the year, ending June 30, 1878, referring to the vast resources of Kansas, said:

The large territory comprising the State of Kansas, larger than all the New England States, with its long streams and numerous branches, gives to the fish culturist a vast field for labor. If (sic) requires time, patience, perseverence and money - with which there is no doubt of ultimate success in stocking our streams with a better variety of fish. Although an experiment to the people of Kansas, it is a reality to the people of the Old World. Fish farming has been in practice for over 2,000 years in China. While I have endeavored to make my investigations as thorough as possible, and to gather such facts as will be of interest and use to the State, the time allowed has been far too short to meet all the requirements and demands made upon the Commissioner.

Kansas Rivers and Creeks. - Passing somewhat into detail, the Commissioner says:

Our waters in Kansas are bountifully supplied with food, both vegetable and animal, to sustain life and the growth of millions of fishes, native and migratory. There can be no just reason why our numerous streams may not be made as productive of wealth to our State as the fertile valleys through which they flow. It is estimated by good authority, that every acre of living water is capable of being made far more profitable and productive, and to contribute more to the support of mankind, than an acre of the best land in the world.

Our waters in Kansas, like our plains, are undergoing a change. Twelve years ago the country west of Manhattan was considered by many as fit for nothing but the buffalo and Indian. But how is it to-day? We find for a distance of 250 miles west of Manhattan the finest wheat country in the world - and in other cereal productions equal to any State in the Union. Many of the streams contained little or no water, and but few springs could be found.

But a change, grand and sublime, as if the Ruler of the Universe had said: "Let this barren desert be made the garden of the world; let these streams with poison waters be made pure; let the dry streams be supplied with running, pure water; let living streams come forth from rocks and hills" - and it was done. This may appear strange, but it is nevertheless true, that our land, said to be once sterile, is now productive; in our waters, once said to contain alkali, none is now found; streams once dry now contain running, pure water; and to my own personal knowledge, springs of living water, where there were none to be found before, now exist. These are facts that cannot be contradicted, and are arguments in favor of stocking our streams with a better variety of fish. Our people, when once convince that ":the fish business" is no humbug, will take hold of it with their accustomed persevering energy, which knows no failure.

Fish-ways. - The Commissioner, with the close observation of a pisciculturist in descanting upon the importance of giving the fish freedom to go to their natural spawning grounds, the head-waters of streams, says this concerning fish-ways:

Upon the proper construction of fish-ways, more than anything else, depends the increase of the fish now occupying our streams, and will materially aid in stocking our waters with a better class of fish. The high waters of 1877 prevented many owners of water power from placing fish-ways in their dams, while others without the necessary faith, and in the absence of any plan adopted by law, have constructed fish-ways, many of which will be wash-aways. The fact of there being no plan adopted by the Legislature, and the Commissioner not having authority to furnish a plan, and desiring to have a fish-way in reality - not in name - is my excuse for not prosecuting parties making expense and trouble, and in the end doing an injury to the "cherished cause." I decided to wait, with the hope that the Legislature would take an interest in the helping and perfecting of the art of fish culture in our great State, the cost of which is very small compared to the benefits arising therefrom.

The Native Varieties of Fish. - It has been ascertained that of the fish families in the State are the varieties of cat-fish, the eel, herring, the perch, the sucker and black bass. The Commissioner regards the last named fish, "the King of the finny tribes of fresh water - the noblest, the gamiest of them all." Judge John T. Morton, of Topeka, has caught this variety in the Wakarusa, twelve miles south of Topeka. In a letter to the commissioner, June 19, 1878, he says:

They first appeared there about 1868, evidently coming up the Missouri and Kansas and locating in the clear water. I have the authority of Uncle Joe Irwin, an enthusiastic fisherman of Leavenworth, that they appeared in the Stranger, in Leavenworth County a year or two before. They do not seem to have reached any tributary of the Kansas above the mouth of the Wakarusa. That they are the genuine "black bass" there is no doubt. They bite only at "live bait," minnows. There are plenty of black bass in the Marais des Cygnes, and even in Dragoon Creek, in Osage County, and I believe also in the Neosho. I think the Lawrence dam will prevent their coming up the Kansas, and indeed they never will stay in the Kansas River. They prefer clear and still water. But they will undoubtedly flourish if put in the Delaware, the Soldier, the Vermillion, and the Blue.

Another fish, the "crappie," has made its appearance within three or four years in the Wakarusa. This fish is very prolific, and is a fine pan fish, but rarely exceeds a pound or a pound and a half in weight. Its slang name in the West used to be the "Campbellite," because it made its first appearance in the tributaries of the Ohio about the time Alexander Campbell first began to achieve a reputation. It has been moving steadily north, since, reaching Quincy, Ill., about 1848, I think. This fish only bites at minnows, and small minnows are the best bait. Last Fourth of July, Col. Holliday and I caught about a dozen fine black bass in the Wakarusa, and about sixty "crappies."

Shad. - The general opinion, when the shad was introduced into the Kansas waters, in June, 1877, was that the scheme might be a failure, on account of their great distance from the sea. But the Commissioner, referring to their migratory habits, said:

When planted in a stream when young, they remain for a time, until they grown to be four or five inches in length, when they go to the sea, and remain in salt water until matured (four or five years) when they return to the place of birth, to deposit their spawn, and again return to the sea, making annual visits to the place of birth. The Arkansas and its tributaries (the Neosho, Fall River and the Walnut) are streams that can be successfully stocked with shad and salmon, as they are in more direct communication with the Gulf of Mexico than the Kaw and its tributaries, although I do not doubt the success in either case.
German Carp. - In his last report, the commissioner says of the carp:

There is a growing demand for them. One hundred and twenty-five applications were received by the State Commission during the month of December, and the applications for January will reach that number or more. Of the ponds stocked in Kansas two years ago and one year ago, a number have reported that the carp have made from two to three pounds' growth in one year and a number of them had spawned. They will spawn the second year if located in a proper pond. A fish weighing five pounds will produce 500,000 spawns. They spawn from April to August, the eggs being small and of a glutinous nature, and hatch in from five to twenty days, according to temperature.

I expect to commence stocking the public streams with carp next year. The carp is well adapted to the waters of Kansas, and I predict a very favorable result from this introduction.

Through the United States Fish Commissioner, S. F. Baird, 100,000 young shad arrived at Topeka, June 5, 1877, for distribution, in charge of Mr. Quinn, an agent, who neglected to give Commissioner Long notice in time to receive them on their arrival. To the great disappointment of Mr. Long, who had made several promises for their destribution (sic), they were all deposited in the Kaw at Topeka. Mr. Quinn claimed they were to unhealthy to bear further shipment.

There was received by Commissioner Long, October 10, 1877, a crate containing 100,000 California salmon eggs, which were shipped from Redding, Cal., in a refrigerator car, to Chicago, Ill., and from Chicago to Ellsworth by express. They were put in hatching boxes in the Kaw River, and were carefully tended for two weeks, but a sudden rise in the river washed the eggs away.

Fish Hatchery. - On this the Commissioner submitted the following:

I would recommend and urge that an appropriation of not less than $2,000 be made for the purpose of erecting a fish hatchery. The necessity of such a building is apparent to every person who will give the subject any notice.

I would recommend that the Commission be increased to three members, one of whom to be Superintendent and to have a fixed salary, and that his whole time be devoted to the fish interest of the State.

I would further recommend an appropriation of $3,000 for the year 1880, and $3,000 for the year 1881, to be used by the Commission in paying the necessary expenses in collecting fish, spawn, etc., for the State.

[TOC] [part 19] [part 17] [Cutler's History]