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


[TOC] [part 9] [part 7] [Cutler's History]


JAMES L. NOAKES, farmer, Section 15, P. O. Fall River, was born in 1828, in Crawford County, Ark., and moved to Missouri with his parents in 1834, locating in Newton County, and was engaged in farming until June 27, 1861, when he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-seventh Regiment Missouri Cavalry, and served until mustered out in 1862, by order of Gen. Halleck. He afterwards served a year in the Missouri State Militia. Came to Kansas in 1871, locating on Section 15, his present residence. Of his 160 acres, one-half is under cultivation; and he raises corn, castor beans, and flax. He has about forty head of cattle, and a good orchard. Mr. Noakes has proven indisputably that the cultivation of the caster upon upland soil can be made remunerative. He is a member of Fall River Post, Grand Army of the Republic.

B. F. PUGH, M. D., was born in Grant County, Ind., in 1842, and in due time attended the Cincinnati Medical College, graduating from that institution in 1867, with the degree of M. D. He at once commenced the practice of his profession in his native county, and remained there until the summer of 1873, when he removed to Charleston, this county, and was one of those who move from there to Fall River upon the building of the latter. April 12, 1864, Dr. Pugh was married to Miss E. N. Taughinbough; but one child is now left them, viz., Lydia E., who was born October 21, 1866. The Doctor resides on Merenants avenue, and has established a lucrative and large practice, which is constantly increasing. He is the examining physician of the F. & M. B. Assurance Company, and a member of the Masonic fraternity.

O. W. ROMIG, pioneer hardware store, is the senior partner of the firm of Romig & Sweet, and, in company with his brother, Me. D. S. Romig, now of Independence, Kan., built the first store in Fall River, in October, 1879, at a cost of $400. He is a native of Waterloo, N. Y., but when six years of age, his parents removed to Indiana, and in 1860 to Muscatine, Iowa, where he acquired his business education, and in which town he remained until locating in Kansas, except six years which he spent in San Francisco, Cal. He first settled in Charleston, this county, in April, 1879, and engaged in hardware business, but upon the formation of the Fall River Town Company, he was among the first to remove here as stated. January 1, 1881, Mr. Anson Sweet became associated with him as partner under the firm name of Romig & Sweet, and in 1883, they have built, almost contiguous to their old stand, a handsome stone store with iron front, at a cost of $1,700, and 24 x 60 feet clear inside. In addition to their large and varied stock of general hardware, they have a full line of agricultural implements and machines, the stock being valued at $4,500 to $5,000, their annual sales being about $16,000 to $17,000. Both buildings and stock are fully insured. Mr. Romig is a member of the I. O. O. F. and A. F. & A. M., and is one of the wide-awake young business men of Kansas.

ISAAC. C. SHARPE, farmer, Section 9, P. O. Fall River, was born in 1847, in Sangamon County, Ill., and after leaving school worked on a farm until nineteen years of age, when he learned the trade of blacksmithing, at which he worked until disabled by a kick from a horse, while showing it. Upon regaining strength, he removed in 1874 to Southwest Missouri, where he resumed farming, and in November of that year he married Miss Tabitha S. Miller. They have three children living-Maggie, born January 11, 1876; Charles, born April 3, 1877, and Willie I., born November 17, 1881. In 1879, Mr. S. moved to Kansas, locating upon 160 acres on above section, to which he has just added forty acres on Section 9. He has about eighty acres under cultivation, raising corn principally. Has now 53 head of cattle, fourteen hogs, four horses and speaks well of the State of Kansas, his health having greatly improved since his residence here.

WILLIAM SHARP, farmer, Section 10, P. O. Fall River, was born in 1805, in Tennessee, and clearly remembers the war of 1812. He removed from Arkansas in 1857 to Tecumseh Township, Shawnee County, and settled upon a farm some five miles from Topeka on the Kaw River, where he remained until 1868, when he removed to his present home. He has 160 acres, of which 70 are now under plow, and he has raised corn, wheat and oats to good advantage. He has had twelve children, ten of whom survive, and he has fifteen grand and four great-grandchildren. During the war two of his boys were in the Union army. Mr. Sharp's mental and physical faculties are still clear and sound, as are those of his aged companion and wife, and from his excellent memory he can recall and tell many interesting reminiscences of frontier life.

J. A. SOMERBY, editor and proprietor of the Fall River Times, was born in Berlin, Washington Co., Vt., March 26, 1821, and when eighteen years old went to Montpelier, where he learned the printer's trade, afterward completing it at St. Johnsbury, Vt., and subsequently worked on the Boston Post and Bee. He was in the newspaper business for many years in his native State on his own account, and in 1854 opened a job office in Madison, Wis., and later conducted several newspapers; finally, in 1875, ran the North Star Hotel, in the town of Viroqua, Wis., which he conducted for two years and then sold out, and then opened a drug store, when he ran for two years, when he removed his business to Faribault, Minn. We next find him in Elmwood, Ill., conducting the Herald and Chronicle, which he bought out and again sold in 1876, and came to Kansas, locating at Howard, Elk County, where he started the Kansas Rural as a four column weekly quarto. In July, 1881, he came to Fall River as foreman of the Fall River Times, subsequently buying out the paper. He has greatly improved it. Its tone is independent in politics, and it has 400 subscribers. We have found him an energetic, courteous and educated gentleman, thoroughly up to his business, and are much indebted to him for many facts and data and many courtesies extended to our staff of compilers and agents. By a tornado June 28, 1865, in Viroqua, Wis., all his property, including building and bookstore, newspaper office, etc., was entirely destroyed causing him a loss of several thousands of dollars.

CHARLES SPRINGLE, watch-maker and jeweler, was born in New Orleans, La., in 1846, and removed with his parents to Brownsville, Nemaha Co., Neb., in 1856, and in March, 1863, he enlisted in Company C, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, and engaged in frontier service. Upon one occasion, he, and forty-eight men of his regiment were besieged at Jewelsburg, on the Platte River, Col., by 1,000 Sioux and Cheyennes, and were relieved on the third day by reinforcements from Fort Cottonwood. While in the service he received a gunshot wound in the right knee, which has rendered him a cripple for life. He was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth in June, 1866, and is now a United States pensioner. After leaving the army he engaged for about six years in grist milling in Rulo, Richardson County, Neb., and in 1874 he removed to this State, locating at Neodesha, where he built and ran a grist mill for two years, when he sold out and moved to New Albany, where he opened a general store, which he disposed of in the spring of 1881, and in the same year, locating at Fall River, he opened another store, his interest in which he subsequently sold to Mr. Willett, and has established himself as the only watch-maker and jeweler in the city. His business is good and constantly improving, as the town becomes larger. Mr. Springle is a widower, with one little girl of five years, who resides with his parents at New Albany. He is a member of New Albany Lodge, No. 91, I. O. O. F., and a charter member of Fall River Post, No. 112, G. A. R.

ANSON SWEET, proprietor, Fall River House, is a native of St. Joe County, Mich., and was born June 23, 1844, and in November, 1863, at Mendon, Mich., enlisted in Company C, Nineteenth Michigan Infantry, the regiment being in Second Brigade, Third Division, Twentieth Corps. He participated in the engagements at Resaca, Cassville, Lookout Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, Buzzard's Roost, etc., and at Peach Tree Creek was wounded severely in left temple by a bullet, laying him up for three months. He was mustered out at Jackson, Mich., July, 1865, and soon after he opened a grocery store in Mendon, which he sold out in 1866, and removed to Vernon County, Mo., where he remained until 1869, when he came to Kansas and located upon 197 acres, situated upon Sections 9 and 10, Spring Grove Township. He engaged very successfully in farming and cattle dealing, and in November, 1881, purchased the Fall River House for $2,000. This hotel has been erected in October, 1879, by Mr. Bulkley, and since it has come into the possession of Mr. Sweet, he has enlarged and improved it. It now contains about twenty rooms, and they, with the "cuisine" and general "menage" are excellent. Mr. S. has rented his farm, and in addition to his hotel interests, has, since January 1, 1881, been in partnership with Mr. Romig, in a pioneer hardware store. His cattle and stock interests are also large for this section, his annual shipments being from thirty-five to fifty car loads. December 24, 1868, he married Miss Florentina Klontz. There are three children, viz.: Flora, Lucretia and Ada. In 1876-77-78, Mr. S. was Justice of the Peace, and has been School Treasurer for six years. He is a member of Charleston Lodge, No. 161, I. O. O. F., and of Greenwood Lodge, No. 163, A., F. & A. M.

MICHAEL SWORD, farmer, Sections 12 and 13, P. O. Fall River. This gentleman was born in Kentucky, in 1815, and is the pioneer settler of this region. He, with two of his brothers, located in Jasper County, Mo., in 1839, and he assisted in the removal of the Osage Indians, upward of 5,000 in number, from Osage River, Mo., to their reservation in Kansas. This being successfully accomplished, he returned to Missouri, and engaged in farming, trading and milling, and in 1857 built a mill on the site that is now owned by Mr. Allen on the banks of Fall River, Kan., he having secured the lands for that purpose from the Indians with consent of the Government. Returning to Missouri in order to close up his affairs there, ere bringing his family and effects to his new location, he was taken ill, and his health remaining poor, he was unable to return to Kansas until 1860, when he found his buildings had been destroyed by fire. He rebuilt the house and, locating here, remained until shortly after the breaking-out of the rebellion, when finding himself isolated, and in consideration of his family's wishes, he removed to Coffey County, where he engaged in milling until the close of the war, when he returned to Fall River and built the mill which he ran until it was rented to his son Josiah, and after this sold to Mr. J. D. Allen. He has been thrice married, and has been the father of twelve children, and has been made the grandfather of twenty-nine and the great-grandfather of four representatives of the human race; his first marriage occurred in Kentucky, 1835, and he was united to his present helpmate in 1862. At present he has only sixty-five acres of his farm under cultivation, yielding an average for past ten years of fifty bushels of corn, and twenty-two of wheat. Mr. Sword was Justice of the Peace from 1866 to 1872, his present residence having been built in the latter year; he has always lead a life of vigorous activity, and yet bears his years as if he was still intent upon outliving many more of his descendants.

CHARLES TIBBITS, farmer, Sections 7 and 12, P. O. Fall River, was born in 1852 in Waushara County, Wis., his father, Mr. William Tibbits, being one of the early settlers of that region, and who removed to Kansas with his family in 1869, locating upon a 200-acre farm on above sections. Since his decease the farm has been worked by the subject of this sketch, his widowed mother residing with him; one hundred and twenty acres are under cultivation, with an average wheat yield of twenty-three bushels per acre, and corn fifty bushels. About sixty head of cattle are usually kept. The orchard contains upward of 100 fruit trees; the residence, a well built two-story house, is situated on the slope of a hill. Mr. Tibbits is married and has two children; he has been Treasurer of the School District for several years and in 1881 was elected Treasurer of the township, and informs us that the receipts for 1882 have been $750, and expenditures $608. Mr. William H. Tibbits is a painter, is married and resides in Fall River.

J. E. WALTERS, Assistant County Surveyor and Principal of Fall River School, was born in 1849 in Scotland County, Mo., and is descended paternally from an old English family of that name, who came to America with the celebrated Daniel Boone. Mr. Walters' father was a large slave-holder in Missouri, and came to Kansas with his family in 1854, locating in Bourbon County, and shortly afterward, owing to his well known Pro-slavery principles, his house and other buildings were burned by the Free-State men in 1856. The elder Walters returned to Missouri, and in 1861 entered the rebel army, but his son, the subject of this sketch, remained in Kansas, and during the winter of 1858-59 worked for his board, although but nine years of age, and having early imbibed a strong antipathy to slavery (having once been severely punished for teaching a slave to read), he enlisted when only thirteen years of age at Davenport, Iowa, May 13, 1862, in Company G, Twelfth Iowa Infantry, and continued in active service throughout the entire war, re-enlisting almost immediately upon the expiration of each term of service, and being successively in company and regiment named above, also in Company F, Thirty-sixth Iowa Infantry, Company F, Eighth Iowa Cavalry and Company G, Forty-sixth Iowa Infantry, being finally mustered out at Duvall's Bluff, Ark., October 28, 1865. He was wounded at the battle of Peach Tree Creek, by rifle ball, in right shoulder, and with exception of the short time which he was thereby compelled to spend in the hospital, was constantly in active service, participating in upward of thirty regular engagements. The course taken by his father in espousing the lost cause, entailed the loss of his property in Missouri and Kansas, which was confiscated by the United States Government, and upon leaving the army Mr. Walters at once proceeded to teach school in Appanoose County, Iowa, where he remained upward of four years. With the exception of what assistance he had received from his mother in his early childhood he has been entirely self-taught studying while in the army, and also while teaching others. In 1870, he located in Washington County, Kan., and engaged for several months in teaching and surveying, then removing to Eureka, where he was employed as clerk in the drug store of Wassam & Smith, and in April, 1876, was elected County Superintendent of Public Instruction, and upon the expiration of his term of office resumed teaching, becoming Principal of the school here, and also Assistant County Surveyor in 1882. Mr. Walters has been thrice married, and has been the father of nine children, four of whom are now living. His family reside in Madison Township, this county, where he has property. He is a charter member of Fall River Post, No. 112, G. A. R., and also member of the Odd Fellows and Masonic bodies. He has recently been appointed as United States Surveyor, and during the summer of 1883 will probably be engaged in the survey of the land appropriated by the government for a reservation for the Ute Indians. Mr. Walters is an enthusiastic student of the natural sciences, and has made some rare discoveries in Kansas fauna. In the American Journal of Arts and Sciences of February, 1880, on pages 156 and 157, Prof. Williams, of Cornell University, he has an interesting article on a rare species of "Proetus, P. longicaudus," found by Mr. Walters on the banks of West Creek in Greenwood County. Mr. Walters also discovered in the Eastern portion of Greenwood and the northwest of Woodson Counties, covering hundreds of acres, a species of tree fern, the "Sigillaria" of naturalists, some of which were six feet in diameter, which are, according to Prof. Hay of Junction City, the largest specimens yet known to the world of science. Mr. W. has contributed to Cornell University (Ithica, N. Y.), and to several Kansas institutions, many fine and rare geological and mineralogical specimens. In addition, to which he has a cabinet of over 2,000 fine specimens.

WILLIAM Q. WICHERSHAM, farmer, Sections 18 and 13, Range 12, P. O. Fall River, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1836, and shortly afterward removed his parents moved to Stark County, the same State. In 1859, he removed to Kansas, locating upon a farm in Anderson County, and in September, 1862, he enlisted in Company G, Twelfth Kansas Infantry, at Paola, and was mustered in as a private. The regiment was detailed to escort duty in Kansas and the Indian country, and he, with his company, participated in all its active service, including the Camden campaign and the engagement at Prairie De Anne and Jenkins' Ferry. He was mustered out as Sergeant in Lawrence in July 1865. Soon after this Mr. W. took a trip to Ohio, and spent the winter of 1867-68 with a surveying party on the plains, and in the spring of 1868 he settled upon his present farm in this county. He has eighty acres on Section 18, Township 28, Range 12, upon which he resides, and sixty acres of which are under cultivation. His orchard contains upwards of 300 fruit trees, on Sections 7 and 12; he owns 160 acres improved, fifty acres being under cultivation, and a residence and orchard. This latter farm he purchased in 1877, and is now rented. In addition to these two farms he has fifty acres on Section 13, and Mr. W. owns eighty acres in Elk County. Me. W's. tax receipts for 1882, was $112. His corn yield is 45 to 60, wheat 20 to 30, and oats 40 bushels per acre. Flax he finds does not pay. His stock at present consists of 11 horses, 60 head of cattle and as many hogs. There are forty acres of excellent timber on his land; as the Fall River runs through his farm, it is well watered. May 27, 1874, he married Miss Kate Gilbreath, a native of Ohio, by whom he has four children, all living. Mr. W. was the first Treasure of Salt Springs Township. He was also elected Justice of the Peace in 1869, and has been Clerk of School District No. 31 for many years. He is a charter member of Fall River Post, No. 112, G. A. R., and was its first Adjutant, and is one of the leading agriculturists of this section.

[TOC] [part 9] [part 7] [Cutler's History]