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


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


Sedgwick City, the oldest town in the county, is located ten miles southwest of Newton, on the Caldwell branch of the A. T. & S. F. Railroad, and is the initial point of the St. Louis & San Francisco road in Harvey County. Located as it is, on the Little Arkansas River, and its remoteness from other competing points, it has a large scope of country from which to draw trade. It is now the second city in the county, both in point of population and business.

For the names of the first settlers in Sedgwick and vicinity, and the early events that transpired, we would refer the reader to the pages on which may be found the general county history. Sedgwick City was laid off in June, 1870, by the Sedgwick town Company, T. Floyd, president. The original town site, which consisted of eighty acres, was laid off by John Corgan, in the interests of T. S. Floyd. the first store in Sedgwick, if not in the county, was erected and opened by William H. McOwen, in July of the same year. Judge R. W. P. Muse, his first customer, purchased the first goods sold in the county. The postoffice was established in the summer of the same year, T. S. Floyd Postmaster. After officiating eighteen months he was succeeded by O. Y. Hart, who remained in office until August, 1872, when C. H. Goodell, the present Postmaster, received his appointment. The money order department of this office was established in July, 1877.

In the first schoolhouse erected in the county, September, 1870, C. S. Bullock and wife were teachers. In 1875-6, the present handsome brick school building was erected at a cost of $4,000.

[Picture of T. S. Floyd] The Sedgwick Gazette, the first paper published in the county, was issued January 19, 1871, by P. T. Weeks. After a few months it passed into the hands of T. S. Floyd, who published the paper up to the thirty-second number when it was discontinued and the office and fixtures sold to parties in Wichita. The first number of the Sedgwick Jayhawker was issued May 20, 1882, by Mark F. Hobson, the present proprietor and editor. The paper, as its name signifies, is a Kansas institution, and is devoted to the interest of Sedgwick and vicinity. It is an eight-column folio and independent in politics.

A building was erected in the fall of 1870 by Mrs. Susan McClung, and opened as a hotel. In the winter of 1871-2 the hotel was destroyed by fire, and afterwards rebuilt, and after passing into the hands of different parties was sold, and is now occupied as a private residence.

The Citizens Savings Bank was organized in 1872 by P. M. Morgan, W. M. Congdon, J. Cox, W. H. Hurd, A. G. Leonard and others, with an authorized capital of $10,000. The first officers were, W. M. Congdon, president; W. H. Hurd, cashier. The institution passed into the hands of T. R. Hazard, the present manager in 1879, from which time it has been operated as a private bank.

In 1871 there was built by the Sedgwick Steam Power Company the first flouring mill in the county. T. S. Floyd, the president, was the prime mover in the affair. The building was a frame structure, and its massive machinery was propelled by a sixteen-horse power engine. Six months later a windmill was substituted for the motive power. In a short time its capacity was increased and a forty-horse power engine purchased. In 1881 the mill was torn down to give place to a new three-story brick structure, 36 x 40 feet, erected by Adams, Foots & Hatfield, at a cost of $10,000. The mill started with four run of buhrs. In the spring of 1882 the firm name was changed to Wier, Foote & Co. Capacity, fifty barrels daily.

Sedgwick was incorporated as a city of the third class, March 18, 1872. Its first municipal election was held April 1, 1872, and was presided over, as a canvassing board, by T. S. Floyd, A. McClung and W. H. Hurd. The following gentlemen constituted the first list of officials: Mayor, T. S. Floyd; Councilmen, M. A. Mathias, W. B. Chamberlain, O. M. Sherman, O. Y. Hart and Chas. Schaefer; Police Judge, F. T. Morris; Clerk, H. Goodell; Treasurer, P. N. Morgan; Marshal, W. H. Hurd. The city worked under the charter granted it until July 17, 1877, about which time it was discovered that on account of a clerical error in making out the charter nearly three quarter sections of land were left out and was not included in the town site. This discovery led to a suspension of the city affairs until February 22, 1881, when a meeting of the old council was held and resolutions adopted to reorganize, and an election of city officers to be held April 3, 1882. At this election S. B. Cretcher was elected Mayor; Jas. Cox, R. W. Hall, E. N. Green, J. M. Massey and P. M. Morgan, Councilmen; N. A. Mathias, Police Judge. The Council subsequently appointed A. G. Stone, clerk; T. J. Miller, Treasurer, and C. E. Green, Marshall.

Plymouth Congregational Church, was organized in April, 1872, by Rev. J. M. Ashley, who remained pastor about three years. He was succeeded in the order mentioned by Revs. John Foster, ten months; John Velter, two years; I. M. Fry, one year and a half; G. M. Dean, one and a half years; M. M. Tracy, the present pastor, from November, 1881, to date --1883. The church edifice, which is a frame, 20 x 36 feet, was commenced in 1872, and completed in the fall of 1873, at a cost of $1,500. Present membership, fifty.

Lakin Congregational Church was organized in 1872 by M. M. Haun, who ministered to the organization two years. He was succeeded by the following in the order mentioned: Revs. John Harris, one year; G. W. Kanavel, two years; I. N. Bundy, one year; J. W. Crane, one year; D. W. Cameron, two years; P. P. Wesley, two years; J. D. Bodkins, the present pastor, from April, 1882. Services were held in the schoolhouse until 1874, when the Congregational Church was occupied for two or three years. the organization then purchased the McClung Hotel, fitted it up and occupied it until the present church was completed, in 1880, at a cost of $2,500. Present membership, 115.

Sedgwick Lodge No. 139 A. F. & A. M. was instituted October 16, 1873. First officers were W. H. Hurd, W. M.; G. P. Schouten, J. W.; P. M. Morgan, S. W.; P. Roff, treasurer; Chas. Schaefer, secretary. Its present officers are Chas. Schaefer, W. M.; F. M. Watts, S. W.; L. J. Adams, J. W.; J. M. Cox, treasurer; A. G. Stone, secretary. Regular meeting are held on Tuesday evenings, on or before full of moon, at Masonic Hall. Present membership, forty.

Sedgwick Lodge No 177, I. O. O. F. was chartered October 13, 1880, with eight members. First officers: Wm Rieman, N. G.; M. Bartley, V. G.; S. B. Cretcher, treasurer; C. Kace, secretary. Present officers: Jos. Rigut, N. G.; J. H. Harvey, V. G.; H. A. Hartman, treasurer; F. George, secretary. Regular meetings are held every Saturday evening Masonic and Odd Fellows' Hall. Present membership, thirty-five.


W. M. CONGDON, lumber dealer and real estate, came to Kansas and located in Sedgwick City in June, 1871, and engaged in the lumber business with a capital of about $5,000; his capital invested in the business in 1883 is probably about $20,000. He also owns 400 acres in Sections 22 and 23 in Sedgwick Township, 220 acres in cultivation where he has eighty head of fine cattle and 150 head of sheep. He also owns a timber claim in Lakin Township of 160 acres, where he has a large grove of cultivated timber and fifteen acres in orchard. Mr. Congdon was born in Rutland Co., Vt., October 8, 1829, and came from native place to Kansas. Was married in February, 1854, to Miss Rachael H. Sherman, also a native of Vermont; they have three children -- William M., Eliza J. and John Sherman. He has erected a number of buildings in Sedgwick city, among others his fine brick where he resides, adjoining Capt. Hurd. Has represented Harvey County in the State Legislature two terms, 1876 to 1878, and is a member of the Congregational Church. While in Vermont he held a variety of offices, having been Sheriff, Superintendent of Public Instruction for a number of years, Collector of Taxes, and various other offices.

J. M. COX, merchant, born in Kentucky, September 20, 1835, and was raised on a farm until he was seventeen years of age, when he went to clerking in a store and remained in that business until 1856, when he moved to Illinois and engaged in farming. In 1868 he sold his farm and engaged in merchandising until he came to Kansas in March, 1873, and located here and started his present business with a capital of $2,000, which he has increased by close application to business to over $10,000. His stock consists of dry goods, millinery, boots and shoes, hats and caps, notions, groceries, etc.; he also owns eighty acres of land in Cowley County and has just built a nice dwelling at a cost of $3,000; two store buildings $4,000. He was married December 10, 1868, to Miss Florence L. Hurd, a native of Keene, N. H. He is a Mason and a member of the Congregational Church, is also a member of the City Council, which position he has held for four years.

JOHN C. CRETCHER, farmer, Section 27, P. O. Sedgwick, owns 134 acres, fifty in cultivation, with good bearing orchard, dwelling 14 x 24 with an L 12 x 14, one and a half stories high; barn 16 x 20, and all necessary outbuildings. Was born in Ohio, November 9, 1836, where he resided until 1862 when he enlisted in Company G, Ninety-fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was with his command in the Army of the Tennessee, and in the engagement at Richmond, Ky., was captured and paroled. In the engagement at Gun Town, Miss., was again captured and taken to Andersonville Prison, which he entered June 10,1864, and remained there until November 25, when being sick he was paroled with 10,000 and sent to Annapolis, Md. His ideas of the horrors of Andersonville Prison is that the English language is inadequate to describe it. After exchange he returned to his command at Selma, Ala., where he remained until the close of the war, and was mustered out September 12, 1865. Was married September 26, 1867, to Miss Mary J. Hornbeck, a native of Ohio; they have three children -- McPherson, Hattie Pearl and Frank. Is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and has been on the School Board in some capacity ever since the organization of the district.

L. M. FINCH, hotel-keeper, farmer and stock dealer, was born in Indiana, June 25, 1836, and in 1866 moved to Illinois and came from there to Kansas in June, 1867, and located at Baxter Springs and engaged in the hotel and real estate business for three years when he went to Chautauqua County and engaged in farming and stock-raising; and came to Sedgwick and located here in October, 1881, and bought this hotel and also a farm in Illinois Township, Sedgwick county of 320 acres, 260 in cultivation, with dwelling of four rooms, barn and stable combined 16 x 40, double corn crib. Is engaged in addition to hotel in farming and dealing and shipping stock. Raised in 1882, 4,000 bushels wheat and 2,000 bushels corn, has also 125 head of stock on the range. Was married June 1, 1857, to Miss M. E. Study, a native of Indiana; they have four children -- Francena, Mary J., Ozro and Harry. Is a member of the I. O. O. F.; has taken quite an active part in educational matters, being a member of the School Board in different localities for a period of twelve years.

WILLIAM FINN, merchant and grain dealer, of the firm of Schafer & Finn was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., July 4, 1848, and was sent to Rockford, Ill., in 1859, under the auspices of the Children's Aid society. In 1864, he enlisted in Company E., First Illinois Battery, and with his command participated in the engagements at Guntown, Tupelo, Miss., and Nashville, Tenn., from the latter place his battery was sent to Chattanooga, where they remained to the end of the war, and was mustered out at Chicago in 1865. In the fall of 1869, he came to Kansas and located at Wichita, Sedgwick County and taught the first school in the county, which was a subscription school in a dug-out. When his school was out he engaged in surveying, and made the first plat of Wichita, and was the first County Surveyor of Sedgwick County; he came here in the spring of 1870 and laid out this town and was also employed to locate parties on their lands. In the fall of 1871, he associated with Mr. Scaefer in the organization of their present business, and as soon as the farmers commenced raising grain for market, commenced handling grain. In 1878, they erected their present elevator, at a cost of $6,000, its capacity is 25,000 bushels and they now are doing a large and increasing business. Was married march 20, 1872, to Miss Mary P. Hazen, a native of Maine, who graduated from Andover Female Academy with honors, and who is authoress of note. They have four children -- Hazen W., Arthur N., Adeline and Muriel, and an adopted child, Katie. Is a Mason and a member of the Congregational Church. Was Treasurer of the School Board for several years, also City Council.

FREDERICK GEORGE, clerk, born in England in 1850, and came to the United States with his parents when a child, and located in New Hampshire. When only fifteen years of age he went to Boston, Mass., and entered a store where he remained until 1867, when he joined the navy and was assigned to the frigate "Sabine" which made a cruise to Annapolis, Cuba and other points. He was then sent to the North Pacific Squadron, at San Francisco, and was shortly afterward discharged and employed in various ways until March, 1869, he shipped for Baker's Island for guano, touching at Honolulu for supplies; from Baker's Island, they went to Falmouth, England. In 1870, he shipped on a coaster and went to Shanghai, Hong Kong and other points and back to Calcutta and from there to the Isle of France and shipped on a whaler and was in the whaling services eighteen months, touching at Aden in Persia and points on the east coast of Africa, at Capetown and St. Helena, and returning to Boston in May, 1872, after which he went to work for a railroad running out of Keene, N. H., and got to be a conductor, left the road and came to Kansas in May, 1876, and took a homestead.

HENRY GILES, farmer and stock raiser, Section 23, P. O. Sedgwick, rents and farms 180 acres on this place, and owns eighty acres in Section 26. Makes a speciality of raising stock, has at this time 101 head of cattle, 330 sheep and 25 hogs; buys and sells all kinds of stock. Born in England, April 10, 1830, and came to Canada in 1854, where he remained two years, going from there to the State of Michigan, where he lived until he came to Kansas in January, 1876, buying his eighty acres and locating on this farm. Was married in 1853 to Miss Mary Foster. They have six children -- Charles H., John F., Sarah A., Job, Ellen J., and Arthur.

H. S. HALL, is associated with A. J. Wellman in livery business, firm name Hall & Wellman. In addition to the livery business he makes a speciality of farming, raising and trading in stock. Owns 240 acres in Section 12, Sedgwick County, 100 acres in cultivation with one and one -half miles of hedge; five acres in orchard, good frame dwelling, stable and stock corrals; he also owns eighty acres in Section 8, same county; twenty acres in cultivated timber, and fifty acres in cultivation, with good frame dwelling and out houses for stock and grain, and two wells, with wind pumps. Was born in Polk County, Mo., May 11, 1850; moved to Illinois in 1865, and came from there to Kansas in May, 1870, and located on Section 12, Sedgwick County and came to Sedgwick City in 1880; has at present 200 head of cattle. Was married in November, 1874, to Miss Loue Anderson, a native of Illinois. They have three children -- Robert S., Eva J., and Mamie. Has been Treasurer of School Board one term.

T. R. HAZARD, banker was born in Boston, Mass., April 4, 1843, and received a good business education. In 1864 engaged in business in the West Castleton Railroad and State Company. In 1876 he dissolved his connection with the company and came to Kansas, locating here and engaged in the banking business. In addition to his regular banking business he is engaged in placing money for parties in the East, and since 1876 has loaned over $250,000 for eastern parties, and has never closed a real estate mortgage. He was married May 20, 1868, to Miss Ida G. Shattuck, a native of Boston. They have one child -- Grace R. He is a Mason, member of the Blue Lodge, Royal Arch and Knights Templars.

CAPT. W. H. HURD, proprietor of Aberdeen Stock Farm, situated two and one half miles west of Sedgwick City, is extensively engaged in raising "blooded" cattle; his present herd consists of 225 head, including two imported Angus bulls, some fine thoroughbred Short-horn cattle, and a very large flock of sheep. His farm is well improved and well fitted up for the business in which he is engaged. Capt. Hurd is a native of New Hampshire. Was born May 19,1843, attended the graded and high schools of his native city, Keene, till he was sixteen, when he entered a printing office to learn the printers trade. When the War of the Rebellion broke out, although but a boy of seventeen, he enlisted; first for three months, and then for three years, in Company A, Second New Hampshire Volunteers, and was constantly with his regiment in all the principal engagements of the Army of the Potomac till the battle of Savage Station, when he was wounded and taken prisoner. After lying in Libby Prison a few weeks, he was taken to Belle Isle, where he remained until November 14, 1862, when he was exchanged and returned to his regiment in time to participate in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettsyburg, where he was complimented in general orders for bravery and gallantry in action. In November, 1863, on recommendation of his company and regimental officers, he was ordered before an examining board for promotion. In December he was commissioned First Lieutenant and placed in command of the first camp of colored troops enlisted in the District of Columbia. He aided materially in the organization of the Twenty-third United States Colored Troops, and to him was due in no small degree the efficiency and excellent discipline of this regiment. When Grant made his advance across the Rappahannock, Capt. Hurd's regiment was ordered to the front and continued actively engaged in all the great battles of that army. While in front of Petersburg, he was commissioned Captain. At the battle of the Milne where his command acted with great coolness and bravery, sustaining great loss, he was severely wounded. After a short leave of absence he returned to his regiment, and was on the first skirmish line to enter Richmond, after the head of the Confederacy had fled. After Lee's surrender, this command was sent to Texas where Capt. Hurd was recommended for promotion to Major and was acting as such when his regiment was ordered to Washington and mustered out of service early in 1865. He returned to his old home, where he married and then started West, as he said "to grow up with the country," stopping three years in Illinois. He finally located on the Little Arkansas River just below where Sedgwick City now stands, in the early summer of 1869; here he took a claim and under adverse circumstances began to make a home. He early interested himself in the location and improvement of Sedgwick City. Was one of the incorporators of the Citizens' Savings Bank and Cashier for four years. In 1876, his health failing, he retired from the bank, and since then has turned his attention to stock raising. In 1872 he built the first brick residence in Harvey County. It is delightfully situated at the head of Commercial avenue, where with the sharer of his life work and three bright children, can be found one of the pleasantest homes in the Arkansas Valley. He also owns a summer residence at Geuda Springs.

GEO. W. KANAVEL, real estate, was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, January 27, 1844, and received a good academic education. In 1861, he enlisted in Company F, Eightieth Regimental Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was engaged with his command in the engagements, of Iuka, seige of Corinth, Jackson, Miss., Champion Hills, siege of Vicksburg, Mission Ridge, and was on duty at Huntsville, Ala., during the Atlanta campaign, after the fall of Atlanta, joined the command of Sherman and was on the march to the sea, and the Carolinas Campaign and the march to Washington D. C. and the Grand review, after which they were ordered to Little Rock, Ark., and mustered out in September 1865, and returned to his home in Ohio, and came from there to Kansas, in 1872, locating on Section 10, in Sedgwick Township and engaged in farming. In 1873, he entered the ministry in the Methodist Episcopal Church as local preacher and took a ministerial course and was stationed at Sedgwick, Halstead and Florence, but was compelled to retire from the ministry on account of an affection of the lungs, and in 1878, engaged in real estate, and for the past two years has made a specialty of buying and selling real estate, and in the last two months of 1882, his sales has amounted to over 1,200 acres. Was married August 28, 1868, to Miss Mary A. Paugh, a native of Ohio; they have three children -- Edward J., Allen B., and Thomas M. He now resides in Sedgwick City, having located here in 1880, and is still connected with the ministry as a supernumerary, and a member of the Masonic fraternity.

J. E. KOUNTZ, farmer, Section 25, P. O. Sedgwick, owns 160 acres, 135 under cultivation, all enclosed with good hedge fence and cross hedges, making four forty acres fields; small orchard and grove of cultivated timber; good frame dwelling 14 x 32 with good cellar. Stable and granary combined 32 x 36, with driveway, coal and hen house 10 x 12, with sheds, corrals, etc., has two horses, three cows and fifteen hogs. He was born in Indiana, October 3, 1849, and came from native place to Kansas, September, 1882, and bought present farm. He was married, January 4, 1876, to Miss R. J. Harland. They have two children -- George M. and Ina C. He is a Master Mason and resigned the chair of Vesta Lodge, No. 136, Indiana, when he came West.

DR. A. D. H. KEMPER, farmer and gardener, also practicing physician, Section 3, and 4, P. O. Newton, owns 240 acres, 165 in cultivation, ten acres of bearing orchard with all kinds of fruit; dwelling of four rooms, grain and corn crib 22 x 22, wind pump and feed mill. His wheat average in 1882 was twenty-five bushels to the acre, and his corn fifty to sixty bushels. Has five horses, three milk cows and thirty hogs. He will make market gardening a speciality hereafter, as he has arrangements with tangage and piping to irrigate a large portion of his farm. Came to Kansas in January, 1865, and located in Eudora, in Douglas County and came from there to his present location in 1871. He was born in Lancaster County, Pa., February 25, 1828, and when a child obtained a good common school education and commenced the study of medicine when only fifteen years of age, and when seventeen years of age opened an office in Cumberland County, Pa., and commenced practice, which he continued for four years, when he went to Cincinnati, and took a course of lectures in the Eclectic School. He then located near Harrisburg, Pa., and continued the practice of medicine for two years, he then removed to Union County and was there for seven or eight years, whence he went to Indiana, and from there, came to Kansas. He was married in 1849 to Miss Sprogle, and has three children by his first wife, P. M., E. J., and Newton A. He was married again July 22, 1867, to Mrs. Charlotte S. White, a native of St. Lawrence County, N. Y., who has two children -- Harvey and William White. They have one child -- C. H. He is a Mason and has occupied the position of Township Trustee, Clerk and Treasurer, and has been on the School Board for a number of years. The doctor has been raising the Chinese Yam, for a period of eight years. It requires no replanting but will grow year and year, from the same planting, continually producing a fine crop, and growing larger each year. The cold weather will not kill it or cause it to rot, and it is considered the most nutritious vegetable extant. The technical name is Dioscorea Batatas.

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