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


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


Spearville is distant from Dodge City sixteen miles. It was founded by a colony from Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1878, though George Hall and M. Wear came here in June, 1877. Its hotels are the Summitt (sic) and the United States Center Home. This is quite a business point, and it is considerable of a center for sheep husbandry. In the vicinity are 60,000 head; the flocks ranging in number from 700 to 7,000. This has proved to be a first-class region for sheep-raising. H. M. Clark is the Notary Public and Justice of the peace. This place is 283 miles west of the east line of the State. It is 2,478 feet above sea level. The soil hereabouts is a dry upland prairie, the soil is a dark loam, with stiff clay subsoil. This spot was made an experimental point for tree planting by S. T. Kelsey, forester of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company in 1873 and in 1874. Ailantus planted from seed in the spring of 1874 had attained to the height of six inches, December, 1874; from seed planted in the spring of 1873, it had grown from two to three feet. Black walnut from seed planted in the spring of 1874, reached a height of from six to twelve inches; planted in the spring of 1873, it had a height of from one to one and a half feet; black locust from two and one half to three and one half feet.

There is a Methodist Episcopal Church at Spearville, Rev. Mr. Tooker, pastor.

The Spearville Enterprise. - This paper, independent in its politics, was issued May 18, 1878, J. J. Burns, publisher; E. D. Swan, editor. August 24, 1878, Mr. Burns became sole proprietor, and the name was changed to the News. H. P. Myton became a partner in the establishment, September 7, 1878. It has passed out of existence.


J. M. LEIDIGH, of the firm of T. F. Leidigh & Co., dealers in general merchandise. They opened trade in Spearville in April, 1878, with a stock of $1,800. They now carry an average stock of $10,000. Their store building was erected of stone in 1881 at a cost of $2,000. Size is 25x80 feet. They employ three men in the business. Mr. J. M. Leidigh is also extensively engaged in raising stock. He first came to Kansas in 1870, locating at St. Mary's, and engaged in the lumber trade, and in 1872 moved to Hutchinson, Kan., where he engaged in the stock business until 1878. He was born in Cumberland County, Pa., December 14, 1842, and was raised and educated in that county. He followed agricultural pursuits and stock-raising. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company F, One Hundred and Thirtieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He was wounded in the battle of Antietam and discharged in 1863. He re-enlisted in 1864 in Company F, Two Hundred and Seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and was again wounded in front of Petersburg, when leading his Company. He was mustered out in June, 1865. He was married in 1865 to Miss Kate A. Myers, of Cumberland County, Pa. They have four children, Dora M., Harry J., Florence L, and Emma F. He is a member of a Temperance organization and the Presbyterian Church.

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