produced this selection.

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


PART 1: Introduction | Map and Population | Topography, Geology and Streams
PART 2: Early Indian Residents | Early Settlements | The Pottawatomie Rifle Company
PART 3: The Pottawatomie Massacre | John Brown's Cabin | The First Free-State Legislature
PART 4: Horse Thieves | County Organization | Franklin County in the War | Patrons of Husbandry | Schools and Railroads | General Statistics
PART 5: Ottawa, Part 1
PART 6: Ottawa, Part 2 | Biographical Sketches (Adams - Clark)
PART 7: Biographical Sketches (Coe - Guy)
PART 8: Biographical Sketches (Haley - Potterf)
PART 9: Biographical Sketches (Robbins - Young)
PART 10: Centropolis | Williamsburg | Silkville
PART 11: Ransomville
PART 12: Wellsville | Le Loup
PART 13: Princeton
PART 14: Pomona
PART 15: Lane | Greenwood
PART 16: Peoria | Berea
PART 17: Cutler Township | Hayes Township | Lincoln Township | Harrison Township


Franklin County is located in the second tier of counties west from Missouri, and also in the second tier south from the Kansas River. It is bounded on the north by Douglas County, on the east by Miami, on the south by Anderson, and on the west by Coffey and Osage counties. The first Territorial Legislature passed an act defining the boundaries of the county as follows: Beginning at the southeast corner of Douglas County; thence south twenty-four (24) miles; thence west twenty-four (24) miles; thence north twenty-four miles; thence east twenty-four miles to the place of beginning. The county as thus organized was, and is, twenty-four miles square, containing an area of 576 square miles or 368,640 acres.

The county is divided into townships as follows, the area of each in square miles being in parenthesis: Appooanse sic (51); Centropolis (39); Hayes (30); Franklin (36); Peoria (36); Cutler (43); Pottawatomie (40); Richmond (34); Williamsburg (72); Greenwood (36); Ottawa (48); Harrison (29); Ohio (46), and Lincoln (36).



                           |  1870.  |  1880.
(a) Appanoose Township.... |   ...   |  1,061
(b) Centropolis Township.. |  1,034  |  1,057
(c) Cutler Township....... |   ...   |    901
    Franklin Township..... |  1,021  |    942
(d) Greenwood Township.... |  1,115  |    785
(e) Harrison Township..... |    923  |    668
(f) Hayes Township........ |   ...   |    690
(g) Lincoln Township...... |   ...   |    719
(h) Ohio Township......... |    575  |    798
(i) Ottawa Township....... |    877  |  1,236
(j) Ottawa City........... |  2,941  |  4,032
(k) Peoria Township....... |  1,160  |  1,165
(l) Pottawatomie Township. |    695  |    817
(m) Richmond Township..... |   ...   |    681
(n) Williamsburg Township. |   ...   |  1,245
               Total...... | 10,341  | 16,797
(a) Organized in 1870, from part of Centropolis.
(b) In 1870, part detached to form Appanoose.
(c) Organized in 1872, from parts of Ohio, Peoria
    and Pottawatomie.
(d) In 1871, part detached to form Williamsburg;
    in 1874 part to Lincoln.
(e) In 1874, part detached to form Lincoln.
(f) Organized in 1871, from part of Ottawa.
(g) Organized in 1874, from parts of Greenwood
    and Harrison.
(h) In 1872 part detached to form Cutler;
    in 1874, part to Richmond.
(i) In 1871, part detached to form Hayes.
(j) Since 1870, South Ottawa Township merged.
(k) In 1872, part detached to form Cutler.
(l) In 1872, part detached to form Cutler;
    in 1874, part to Richmond.
(m) Organized in 1874, from parts of Ohio and
(n) Organized in 1871, from part of Ottawa.


The bottom lands comprise about sixteen per cent of the surface. In the valley of the Marais des Cygnes they average about two miles in width, in that of the Pottawatomie about one mile, in those of Middle and Ottawa creeks about one half mile.

The uplands, comprising about eighty-four per cent of the surface, are generally level or gently undulating prairie. The most uneven portion is in Pottawatomie Township, which occupies the southeastern corner of the county. Here the highest hills rise about two hundred feet above the level of Pottawatomie Creek, and are sometimes precipitous and difficult of ascent. There are some hilly sections about four miles southwest of Ottawa, about the same distance southwest, and also about two miles west of Richmond.

The soil is a sandy loam, is generally exceedingly fertile, and on the uplands ranges from one to two feet deep, while in the valleys of the streams it averages three feet in depth. In the latter it is in places immediately underlaid by gumbo soil, superposited upon clay, which latter is the subsoil of the uplands, and being of a porous nature, forms excellent drainage.

At an average depth of from twelve to twenty feet, good limestone is found, well distributed throughout the county, and in some portions sandstone, which, however, is generally too soft to be of much value for building purposes.

In Peoria and Pottawatomie townships, more particularly the latter, a species of granular limestone, or statuary marble, is found. On the Pottawatomie it is about one hundred and twenty feet above the creek, in the bluff which is here almost perpendicular.

It is located on the Southeast quarter of Section 5, Township 19, Range 21. It has been named "coralline marble," being the same as the coralline marble which has attracted so much attention in the Derbyshire quarries in England. It is overlaid by five feet of dirt and three strata of common limestone, averaging about twelve inches in thickness. The average thickness of the coralline layer is about twenty inches, texture fine, and very tenacious. The color is a light chocolate, and the marble when polished makes beautiful furniture, mantels, window sills and monuments.

Coal underlies about twenty per cent of the area of the county. It is found most plentiful in the western and southwestern parts, and also about six miles northwest of Ottawa. It crops out in the ravines, and attains in places a depth of twenty feet. The vein averages two feet in thickness, and the quality is good. In 1881 about five thousand tons were mined, mostly in Williamsburg Township.

About eight per cent of the county is covered with timber. The timber belts are confined to the streams. Along the Marais des Cygnes the belt averages a mile in width, along the smaller streams the belts average about one-fourth of a mile in width. The native varieties are the cottonwood, elm, hackberry, hickory, honey locust, mulberry, oak, soft maple, walnut and willow. The principal stream is the Marais des Cygnes (Marsh of Swans), which enters the county from the west, and flows easterly through it into Miami County. Pottawatomie Creek is second in size. It enters near the southeast corner and flows northeastward into Miami County, uniting at Osawatomie with the Marais des Cygnes. Middle Creek rises in the west part of the county and flows north-eastward into the Marais des Cygnes near Peoria. Ottawa Creek rises in Douglas County and flows south into the Marais des Cygnes near Peoria. Appanoose Creek rises in Osage County and flows southeast into the Marais des Cygnes, four miles west of Ottawa. Eight Mile Creek rises in Douglas County and flows south into the Marais des Cygnes one mile west of Ottawa. Hickory Creek rises in the east part of the county and flows south into the Marais des Cygnes, three miles west of the east county line. Turkey Creek rises in Miami County and flows southwest into the Marais des Cygnes a little east of the mouth of Hickory Creek. Walnut Creek rises near the north-east corner of the county and flows southwest into Ottawa Creek, four miles northeast of Ottawa. Wolf Creek rises in the north part of the county and flows south into Walnut Creek near its mouth. Coal Creek rises near Williamsburg and flows north into the Marais des Cygnes, eight miles west of Ottawa. Rock Creek rises in the southwestern part of the county and flows northeast into the Marais des Cygnes, two miles east of Ottawa. Sac Creek rises near Williamsburg and flows southeast into the Pottawatomie, in Anderson County. Sac Branch rises in the southeastern part of the county and flows into the Pottawatomie, near Lane. The county is well supplied with springs, and good well water is obtained at a depth of from twenty to forty feet. The water obtained from wells is made hard by the presence in it of carbonated lime.

[TOC] [part 2] [part 1] [Cutler's History]