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: Location and General Features | Map of Harvey County | Population | Early Settlement
PART 2: County Organization | County Schools and Agricultural Society | Newton | General History | Municipal History | The Press and the Schools | Churches
PART 3: Societies | Banks, Hotels, Etc. | Manufactures | Biographical Sketches (Ashbaugh - Burkholder)
PART 4: Biographical Sketches (Campbell - Grove)
PART 5: Biographical Sketches (Hall - Luhn)
PART 6: Biographical Sketches (McCarthy - Norton)
PART 7: Biographical Sketches (Perkins - Yonkers)
PART 8: Sedgwick City | Biographical Sketches (Congdon - Kemper)
PART 9: Biographical Sketches (Massey - Wellman) | Halstead
PART 10: Biographical Sketches (Brown - Philbrick)
PART 11: Biographical Sketches (Ray - White) | Burrton
PART 12: Biographical Sketches | Walton | Biographical Sketches
PART 13: Pleasant Township | Highland Township
PART 14: Darlington Township
PART 15: Richland Township
PART 16: Macon Township (Akin - Owen)
PART 17: Macon Township (Patterson - Vetters) | Lakin Township
PART 18: Lake Township | Emma Township | Garden Township


Harvey County is situated on the eastern line of the central belt of counties in the State, about seventy five miles north of the Indian territory, and about one hundred and ten miles south of the Nebraska State line, being only about thirty miles in a southeasterly direction from the geographical center of the State. It is bounded on the north by McPherson and Marion; east, Marion and Butler; south, Sedgwick, and on the west by Reno County. The county contains fifteen congressional townships, is thirty miles from east to west, eighteen from north to south, and ranks fourth in being one of the smallest counties in the state. Harvey is also the center of population in the "Garden of Kansas" and it chances are favorable that with its superior advantages it will become, eventually, the center of population in the State.

The surface soil of Harvey is similar to that of other counties in the immediate vicinity, being a rich, black sandy loam, strongly impregnated with gypsum and lime, and varies in depth upon the uplands from two to ten feet, and upon the bottoms from three to thirty feet. The subsoil is very porous and underlaid with gypsum, which accounts for its remarkable productiveness. The entire county slopes gently to the southeast, about one half being upland and the remainder being equally divided between first and second bottom.

Harvey is one of the best watered counties in the state. the great Arkansas River flow through the southwestern corner, while the Little Arkansas enters the county from the north and flows southeast through the townships of Alta, Garden, Halstead, Lakin and Sedgwick. Tributary to this stream, and watering various parts of the county, are Turkey, Black Kettle, Kisawa, Sand, Jester, the three Emmets and Gooseberry creeks. In addition to these there are Doyle, Wildcat, Gypsum, Gester and two branches of the West White River, important tributaries of Walnut River. These streams are, in all seasons of the year, fed by numerous springs and minor tributaries. Between the two rivers are found several beautiful lakes, which afford abundance of pure water. from ten to fifteen feet on the bottoms, which never overflow, and from twenty to forty feet on the uplands, is the usual depth for sinking wells.

With an altitude of 1,500 feet above sea level, and its latitudinal location being traversed from east to west by the 38th parallel of north latitude, Harvey County has a climate similar to that of Central Kentucky, Southern Virginia and Delaware. No malaria is noticeable, and with short winters and summers soothed by the everlasting Kansas zephyr, diseases peculiar to damp climates are never contracted. From the nature of the soil and climate, all products common to the North and south can be raised here, including grains, cereals, grasses and fruits.

A few statistical points as to Harvey County's prosperity show that out of 345,600 acres, 208,472 acres are in farms; assessed value on taxable property in county, $2,183,141.64; value of animals slaughtered, 1879 -- $42,141; 1881 -- $120,493; wool clip, 1878, 8,040 pounds;1879, 13,134 pounds; 1881, 32,116 pounds; artificial forest in county, 2,500 acres. In 1874 there were 1,568 acres planted in winter wheat, which yielded 25,068 bushels, and in the same year 3, 590 acres of spring wheat, yielding 48,104 bushels. In 1882 there were 49,748 acres in winter wheat, yielding 1,243,700 bushels, and only 443 acres of spring wheat, yielding 5,316 bushels. In 1874, out of 13,178 acres of corn planted, 65,890 bushels were harvested. In 1882 4,836 acres in cultivation, yielded 337,440 bushels. other products have increased in proportion. Population in 1875, 5,046; in 1880, 11,454; increase in five years, 6,408; in 1882 11,486; increase in seven years 6,440.



(Organized in 1872)

(a) Alta Township                                          593
(b) Burrton Township, including Burrton City               714
(c) Darlington Township                                    472
(d) Emma Township                                          528
(e) Garden Township                                        528
(f) Halstead Township                                      870
(g) Highland Township                                      538
(h) Lake Township                                          375
(i) Lakin Township                                         455
(j) Macon Township                                         574
(k) Newton Township                                        728
      Newton City                                        2,601
(l) Pleasant Township                                      587
(m) Richland Township                                      372
(n) Sedgwick Township, including Sedgwick City             939
(o) Walton Township                                        674
Burrton City                                               386
Sedgwick City                                              415
(a) From McPherson County              (i) From Sedgwick county
(b) From Sedgwick County               (j) From Sedgwick County
(c) From Sedgwick County               (k) From Sedgwick County
(d) From McPherson County              (l) From Sedgwick county
(e) From McPherson County              (m) From Sedgwick County
(f) From Sedgwick County               (n) From Sedgwick County
(g) From Marion County                 (o) From Marion County
(h) From Sedgwick County


From various sources it has been shown that H. Nieman, who took up a claim on the West White Water in the present township of Richland, in June 1869, was the first bona fide settler in what is now known as Harvey County. It has also been shown that certain parties had located claims prior to that date but were not actual settlers. Mr. Nieman was followed in July of the same year by Wm. Lawrence and Hubbard Wilcox, who settled in the immediate vicinity. In the fall of 1869 Wm. McOwen, Charles Schaefer, John N. Corgan, W. T. Wetheral, John Wright and S. Decker located on and in the vicinity of what is now Sedgwick City.

The early settlement of Harvey County by townships, as given by Judge R. W. P. Muse, in his history of Harvey County, is to the effect that Lakin Township was settled early in June 1869, by Messrs. Kimball and Howard, who located on Section 7;Macon Township, at the mouth of the three Emma creeks in the summer of 1869, by Geo. F. Perry, Wm. Cleveland, M. Alexander and Seth Goodley, who established a cattle ranche(sic);Richland Township was inhabited by Messrs. Nieman, Lawrence and Wilcox until June 1870,when A. G. Richardson, present County Commissioner, came and purchased the claims of Lawrence and Wilcox, and made a permanent location. Other settlers in the township were C. S. Fink, July 3, 1870; R. W. Denny September 18, 1870, and Joel and Jesse Parker, H. W. Bailey, B. P. Parks, S. Saylor, T. Ezra, R. Smith in October, 1870;Darlington Township -- Edward Doty, Thomas Winn, July 1870; C. E. Berry, August 1870; E. Marks, O. B. Hildreth, Wm. Geary and I. Stockwell on Section 4, in October, 1870; they were followed by O. B. Gingress and Jas. Allen and others in the fall of the same year; Garden and Alta Township were first settled by a French colony of ten persons, who located in Alta Township on Turkey Creek, in 1869-70. In the fall of 1870 the settlement was augmented by Palmer and Daniel Heath and others. On the Little Arkansas River in Garden Township, an Irish settlement was formed early in 1870, and increased September 12, 1870 by F. P. and A. E. Munch; Newton Township -- in February, 1871, A. W. Baker, Miles Davids and Joshua Perkins;Highland Township -- in March, 1871, by John Hengst, C. W. Patterson, J. V. Sharp, H. Beery and F. Livingston, followed in April by J. S. and F. W. H. Hackney, J. C. W. E. and J. M. Johnston, R. T. Elwood, J. C. Caveny, W. Davis and others; Lake Township -- in March 1871, by Jas. McMurray, Jas. Patterson, John Gorgas and others;Burrton Township -- by John W. Blades and others in April, 1871; Emma Township -- in April, 1871, by Wm. and Chas. Bean, E. C. Munger, G. Webster and others; Walton Township -- in March 1871 by Theodore Kline and family; Halstead Township -- in September, 1870, by John N. Corgan, who had sold his claim where Sedgwick City now stands, and located near present town of Halstead. He was followed in October by G. L. Cooper, J. Schoonover, A. Olson, Allen Miller, L. D. and A. Brewer; Pleasant Township -- in January, 1871, by John Harlan, J. and P. Ray, L. B. Owen, D. E. Sheldon; in February, H. D. and C. Kettle, D. Denny, S. Chamberlain, S. A. Powell.

By consulting the biographical department of this work the reader will find many other names of the early settlers of this county who joined the hardy class of pioneers and left their Eastern homes to face the disadvantages and hardships of a frontier life. This county was then but a "wild sea of waving grasses" the monotony of which was now and then relieved by the sight of immense herds of cattle, controlled by Texan cow-boys, on their way to the nearest shipping point -- Abilene. At this time large herds of buffalo -- controlled by no one -- were found in the western portion of the county, especially in the rivers. The last one was killed in the county in 1875, in the Prouty neighborhood, in Macon Township. Harvey County has been largely settled by that thrifty class of foreigners, the Mennonites. The immigration commenced to this county early as 1872. To induce this, committees were sent here from various counties and States to ascertain facts necessary for a future settlement. they are found in almost every portion of the county, but particularly in Halstead township. As a class, they are valuable additions towards promoting a steady growth in all business pursuits, but more so from an agricultural point of view. The first birth in Harvey county was that of Rosa A., daughter of Charles Schaefer, August 12, 1870 in Sedgwick Township. The first male birth in the county also occurred in Sedgwick, February 13, 1871 being that of Henry, son of P. M. Morgan. Sedgwick, being the oldest settled town in the county, claims the first school building, erected in 1870; the first flouring mill, erected in 1871 by the Sedgwick Steam Power Company, and the first death, that of an unknown man, by shooting, in the fall of 1870. The first celebration of our nation's independence occurred at Richardson's Grove on the West White Water, July 4, 1871. Seventy persons were present. Religious services were held early as July, 1871, at Newton, by Rev. Mr. Overstreet, of the Presbyterian denomination. The first passenger train entered Newton, July 17, 1871. June 16, 1871, a severe wind and rain storm swept over Harvey County, and assuming the violence of a hurricane, destroyed much property. October 30, of the same year, a terrific storm of hail, sleets and now passed over the county from the North, destroying hundreds of cattle and occasioning much suffering. The gloomiest period in the history of Harvey County occurred in August, 1874, at which time that terrible scourge, the grasshopper, made its appearance. this pest in countless millions were first noticed August 7, and but a few days had passed when not a vestage(sic) of vegetation of any kind was to be seen, Many were obliged to abandon their hard earned homes and seek employment, to support their families. All business was practically suspended. But with the retreat of the insect came renewed determination by the people not to falter in the advancement of the county, and to-day the result is noticeable by the intelligent observer.

The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad was completed through the county during the summer of 1871. the road enters the county in the northeast corner and runs in a southwesterly direction to Newton, from which place its course is nearly due west. It passes through the townships of Walton, Highland, Newton, Macon, Halstead and Burrton, and leaves the county eight miles north of the southern boundary. its principal stations are Walton, Newton, Halstead and Burrton.

Early in June, 1871, the Wichita & Southwestern Railroad Company was organized with the following officers and directors: J. R. Mead, Pres; William Griefferstein, Treas; H. C. Sluss, Sec'y; S. H. Kohn, J. M. Steele, F. J. Fulton and R. W . P. Muse. At an election held August 11, 1871, bonds to the amount of $200,000 were voted for and carried by 330 majority. Newton being made the initial point, the contract was let, and the road completed to Wichita in a few months. Sedgwick City, in Harvey County, is the principal station.

The Memphis & Newton Railroad Company was incorporated August 15, 1872 but at this point the corporation became defunct. September 1, 1872, the Newton, King City & Ellsworth railroad company was organized. In 1873 a preliminary survey was made from Ellsworth to Newton, after which the road followed the fate of its predecessor. The St. Louis & San Francisco railroad enters the county at Sedgwick City, and running northwest strikes the main line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway at Halstead.

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