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


[TOC] [part 23] [part 21] [Cutler's History]


This township is situated in the eastern part of the county, and contains forty-two and one-half square miles. It is a little more than four miles wide, and is ten miles in length from north to south.

This is a wealthy township, and is also one of the oldest settled. the first to settle there was Andrew Rice, with his family, in March 1855. During that year several families located and selected claims. Among them were I. Fowler and family, Dr. R. W. Hosford, W. C. Fowler, S. S. Dark and J. F. Willitts.

The first birth was that of Nancy E., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Rice, on December 4, 1855.

The first postoffice was established in 1855, and was called Middletown. William Butler was the first Postmaster.

The first store was a little grocery, kept in a log cabin, by Hugh Cameron, and opened in the spring of 1856.

The first school was one supported by a subscription from its patrons. The schoolhouse was built of logs, and the material was hauled and the house built by the citizens of the neighborhood, all the work being contributed. The first school was taught in the fall of the year 1856, and was in the locality now included in District No. 31.

The first marriage was in the fall of 1856, and was that of Austin Harvey and Miss Marshall.

From the date of the first settlement, what is now Union Township continued to flourish, and the settlement and improvement kept pace with other parts of the county.

Union Township was organized early in the spring of 1869, from territory which until then formed a pat of Oskaloosa Township. An election was held the following April, at which time Robert Davidson was elected Trustee, and S. S. Dark and W. C. Fowler, Justices of the Peace.

The township still continues to improve. There are now seven school districts within its limits The church societies are well represented.

There was no railroad with the township until the fall of 1881, when the Leavenworth, Topeka & Southwestern Railroad was built across it from east to west, and until that time it contained no village, and now has one. There are three post offices in the township - Grove City, Woodstock and McLouth.


This is a pleasant and thriving little village, situated on the line of the Leavenworth, Topeka & Southwestern Railroad, and not far from the eastern boundary of the county. Its location is an excellent one, being in the midst of a thickly settled and wealthy farming region.

The town was founded in 1881, and was so named from the original owner of the land, and who still owns a portion of the town site. Though so new, it already has a large country trade. Nearly all branches of trade are represented by the business houses, and there are already good grain shipping facilities. The population numbers about one hundred.

The town has a good school, which is liberally kept up by the public-spirited citizens.

The Grange Store of McLouth, I. Pearson, manager, was originally at Dimon, the store being moved when McLouth was laid out. The range was organized, November 16, 1878, and at once was incorporated. Commenced business February 6, 1879. Charter members, thirteen. Among of business done in 1882 was over $10,000. Present membership, forty.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of McLouth was organized December 13, 1882, with the following members: Larkin Rice, chairman; Phillip Cresse, secretary; T. P. Getchel, treasurer. The names enrolled were LArking Rice, Phillip Cresse, T. P. Getchel, C. E. Landon, Rollie Taylor, Dr. J. F. Wetzel, D. N. Daniel and J. W. McFarlane. Several of these were members of the first Methodist Episcopal society of this part, which was organized in September, 1857, in Alexandria Township, Leavenworth County. The first pastor was Rev. Mr. Lovejoy. Services were afterwards held for a number of years in Round Grove schoolhouse. Larkin Rice was one of the leading members of this pioneer church society.

The Methodist Episcopal Church South, or what is known as the Plumb Grove Church, was built in 1871, at a cost of $2,000. the Methodist Episcopal society was organized in that locality in 1857, Rev. Mr. Jones being the first pastor. Among the original members were N. B. Hopewell, Jane C. Hopewell, Margaret Faubian, W. Merideth, Nancy Merideth, J. H. Hopewell and Mary J. Hopewell. The first enrollment numbered thirty-five members. It increased steadily until divided, and a portion merged into the Leverton class. Rev. A. J. Lawless is the present pastor (1883).


B. L. ADDINGTON, farmer and stock-raiser, SEction 30, P. O. Wood stock is a native of Indiana, and was born in Wayne County, March 27, 1838; was there educated and resided until seventeen years of age, when he emigrated to Iowa, locating in Marion County, afterward to Ringgold County, which was his home until 1868, when he came to Kansas, settling in Jefferson County. On the 4th of July, 1861, he enlisted in Company G, Fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He participated at the battle of Pea Ridge; served thirty-eight months, two years of the time being a patient and cook in the hospital. Mr. A. is a Republican; is a member of the I. O. O. F., and of the Grange. he and his family are members of the Free-will Baptist Church.

NICHOLAS BLAKE, farmer, Section 17, P. O. McLouth, is a native of Germany, and was born in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, October 12, 1836. When fifteen years of age he came to the United States, locating in Pennsylvania, where he was reared and educated. He traveled over eighteen States, eventually locating in Kansas in 1867. Has since followed farming, in which he has been very successful.

E. U. BOND, Postmaster and merchant, McLouth, was born in Chicago, Ill. His father, John Bond, emigrated to Kansas in 1861, settling on a farm near where McLouth is now located. Here E. U. was educated, reared, and has since resided. For several years he was Postmaster at Dimon, were he was engaged in business. When McLouth was laid out he was among the first to build and engage in trade in the new town. He was married in Kansas, to Miss Jennie Whaley. They have one daughter by this union--Rosa. Mr. B. is a member of the I. O. O. F.

A. J. BOWMAN, farmer and teacher, Section 4, P. O. McLouth, is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Perry County, June 23, 1854. His father, Rev. Abraham Bowman, was a minister of the German Baptist denomination of that part. A. J. after attending the common schools received the benefits of the Bloomfield Academy. In 1874 he removed to Crawford County, Ohio, where he pursued the vocation of school teaching for a time, and two years later located in Sangamon County, Ill. He taught school in Auburn, and resided in that part of the country until the spring of 1878, when he came to Kansas. In connection with carrying on a farm he devotes a portion of his time to teaching. He was married in Illinois, to Miss Sarah E. Kimmer. They have had two children--Benjamin F., and one deceased, Henry War. His wife is a member of the German Baptist Church.

W. CLINKINBEARD, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 9, P. O. Winchester. One of the '55'ers in Kansas who early identified himself with its farm interests, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Kentucky, as was born in Bourbon County. At an early ate he removed to Indiana, were he was educated and reared. When twenty-one years old he emigrated to Missouri, living in the counties of Platte, Buchanan, and Clay, until the spring of 1855, when he located in Jefferson County, Kas., where he has since bee a resident, settling where he now resides in 1856. Mr. C. has been twice married--his first wife, now dead, was a Miss Moore. By this marriage he has one son--Edmond. His present wife, now dead, was Ann Eliza Allen. They have seven children, by this union--Allen, Dora, Garrett, Mary E., Louis, Iona Belle, and Thomas. Mr. Garrett Clinkinbeard is a native of Jefferson County, Kas., born May 28, 1860.

D. W. DANIELS, hardware merchant, McLouth, is a native of Missouri, and was born in Clinton County, January 12, 1848; came to Kansas in 1861, and has since been a resident of Jefferson County. For a time he was in the drub trade in Oskaloosa, and has been engaged in various pursuits. He located in McLouth when the town was laid out, being one of the pioneer business men. Mr. D. has been twice married--first to Miss Lizzie May, now deceased. By this union he has one son--Benjamin F. His present wife was formerly Miss Mar Brown. Mr. D. is a member of the A. O. U. W.

S. S. DARK, farmer, Section 5, P. O. McLouth, is a native of Illinois, and was born in Schuyler County, in January, 1838; was educated and resided in his native county until the autumn of 1855, when he came to Kansas. Mr.. D. passed through much of the troubles of 1856, being in Leavenworth and jefferson counties at that time. He was in Easton when R. P. Brown was murdered, and saw other memorable events of the border war. HE was of Free-state principles, but took no part, except when obliged to for self-protection. He has been a resident since 1855, following farming. He was married, in Kansas, to Miss Elizabeth Bond. By this union they have six children--Annie, S. S. Jr., Edward, Henry, Maggie, and John.

SYLVESTER DAVIS, merchant, McLouth, is a native of Illinois, and was born in Sangamon County, September 15, 1832. His father, George, was one of the first settlers of Springfield, Ill. He was a blacksmith by trade, and Sylvester adopted and learned the same calling. His earlier days were spent in Salem, Ill. Mr. D. came to Kansas in October, 1872, locating at Dimon, where he operated a blacksmith shop for a time, after which he turned his attention to merchandizing. Came to McLouth the season of 1882. Mr. Davis was married in Illinois to Miss Celia A. Tanneyhill. They have four children--Isham, Donny, Laura, and Andrew.

MATT. EDMONDS, stockman, Section 5, P. O. McLouth, is a native of England, and was born in Monmouthshire. When eight years of age came to America with his parents, locating in Chicago, Ill., where they resided until 1859, when his father, Thomas Edmonds, with family, emigrated to Kansas, settling in Jefferson County, where Matt. has since been a resident. He located on his present farm in 1869, previous to that resided on Wild Horse Creek and Oskaloosa. Mr. E. has represented his district in the State Legislature, and has otherwise been prominently identified. Politically he is Republican. In point of stock-raising and dealing he is among the most extensive in th county. During the war he was in the Quartermaster's Department at Fort Leavenworth. He was married in Kansas to Miss Cynthia E. Level. They have seven children--Ida, Maude, Annie, Dora, Emma, Henry, and an infant.

JOHN FIDLER, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 28, P. O. McLouth. Few of the pioneers in eastern Kansas are more familiarly known than John Fidler, Esq., who took up his abode in Jefferson County, in April 1855, building a cabin a short distance from his present residence. Mr. F. passed through all the early difficulties, which were numerous has been identified with the farming interests of the community, from 1855 to the present, and has contributed his ample share generally to the progress of the State. He has been Justice of the Peace; identified with the school interests of his district. Mr. F. is a native of Kentucky, and was born in Spencer County, January 22, 1816. From his native State he emigrated to Indiana, and eventually to Buchanan County, Mo, from which point he came to Kansas. He was married in Indiana to Miss Mary A. Crawford. They have five children living, Nancy, Robert, James, Martha A., and William; two dead, Mary E. and John.

A. J. GARRETT, merchant, McLouth. The pioneer business man of McLouth, and one who has figured prominently in the development of the town, is the subject of this sketch. He came to Kansas in December, 1868, locating in Jefferson County, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, and for several years held the office of Justice of the Peace; also for four years was the Grove City Postmaster. When McLouth was proposed as a new town on the L. & S. W. R. R., Mr. Garrett came on the ground with a house, December 27, 1881, and let the building down from the wheels; this was before the town was laid out. On the 7th of January, 1882, he commenced selling goods; ;the building was 14x24. Besides being the pioneer merchant, he was the first butcher, and kept the first place o accommodate the traveling public. He erected the first sign and killed the first beef here May 25, 1882, and dug the first well. The latter part of 1882 he built a large store, which he now occupies. Mr. Garrett is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Washington County, March 16, 1838; was educated, reared and resided in his native county until coming to Kansas. He was married in Pennsylvania to Miss M. E. Reese, a native of Washington County. By this union they have five children living--Zada B., A. J. Jr., Nora S., Martin R., and Daisie; lost one, Allen, the fifth in the family. Mr. Garrett and family are closely identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

THOMAS P. GENLSER, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 8, P. O. Winchester. Among the pioneers of Lyon County, Kan., was the subject of this sketch, locating twelve miles north of Emporia in 1856. He became a resident of Jefferson County in 1868. Mr. G. spent a number of years in Colorado, Montana, and other portions of the far West, engaged in mining and various pursuits. He is one of the substantial pioneers of Union Township. Perry County, Pa., is the place of this birth; he was born December 25, `835; at an early age removed to Ohio, where he was educated, reared, and resided until he came to Kansas, with the exception of a temporary sojourn in Iowa. He was married in Kansas to Miss Art Ann Varber. By this union they have four children--Harry, Grace, Russell, and Naoma. They family are identified with the Missionary Baptist Church.

O. W. GLYNN, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. McLouth. One of the leading real estate owners of Jefferson County, is Mr. Glynn. He is a native of New York; came to Illinois when young, and was educated and reared in Sangamon County. In 1856 he came to Kansas; saw considerable of the trouble in that year, being at Lecompton and other points where the border difficulties were in vogue; his sympathies were strongly with the Free-state party. During the rebellion he was a soldier and in the Quartermaster's department. In 1866 Mr. Glynn located permanently in Kansas, turning his attention to farming; he has been adding from time to time to his possessions, and the amount of land he now (1883) controls will compare favorably with any in northeast Kansas. Officially he has served the people as County Commissioner, for a number o years and still retains that position, being endorsed by both parties. The healthy financial condition of Jefferson County speaks favorably for its County Commissioners. He has also served several terms as Trustee of Union Township. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. Mr. G. was married in Illinois to Miss Caroline Davis, of Sangamon County. They have two children--Eugene and James M.

ELIJAH JONES, physician and surgeon, was born in Buchanan County, Missouri. His parents were among the pioneers at the Platte purchase. Elijah was educated and reared in his native State, graduating in medicine, in the Medical Department of the State University at Columbia. He came to Kansas in 1878, where he has since pursued his calling. He was the first physician to locate at McLouth, and has a large practice. He was married in Missouri, to Miss B. H. Boggs, of that State. The doctor is also the senior member of the firm of Jones Brothers, dealers in general merchandize, established July 5, 1882. R. B. Jones, the junior member of the firm, is a native of Buchanan County, Mo.

LYMAN T. NELSON, agent for the L. T. & S. W. R. R. McLouth. This popular young gentleman is a native of Kansas, and was born in Osage County, December 15, 1859; was educated and reared in his native State. He became proficient in telegraphy and railroad business generally with the A. T. & S. F. Company. In November, 1882, assumed control of the McLouth office for the L. T. & S. W.

DR. I. PEARSON, McLouth, manager of Grange store. This very popular gentleman is a native of Indiana, and was born in Randolph County, June 30, 1824. At an early age removed to Henry, Inc., where he was educated and reared, commencing early in life the study of medicine, in which he took a regular course, graduated, and practiced for a number of years. For a number of years he was a resident o Howard County, Iowa, coming from there to Kansas in 1867. he located at Dimon, Jefferson County, and was favorably known throughout that section as a practitioner until 1878, when he turned his attention to merchandizing, managing the Grange store at Dimon, until its removal to McLouth. The doctor is a genial gentleman commanding the respect of all.

ANDREW RICE, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 28, P. O. McLouth, came to Kansas in March, 1855, and was ther first settler of Union Township, Jefferson County, and has since that date been identified with its interests. He passed through all the early troubles and had many serious drawbacks to contend with, as he came to the State in limited circumstances, having but $10. To such men as Mr. R. the people are indebted for the sacrifices they made in enduring the struggle for an existence in the pioneer days. Mr. R. was a Free-state advocate, and was given considerable trouble by the opposing party on that account, which was incidental to the times. Mr. R. is a native of Missouri, and was born in Boone County, March 13, 1831. At an early age removed to Buchanan County, with parents, where he was educated, reared and resided until coming to Kansas. HE was married in Missouri to Miss Rhoda Morris. They have ten children--John, Tabitha, James, Louisann, Amelia A., Mary A., Emma V. Amanda V., William H., and Rhoda L. The family are identified with the Baptist Church.

LARKIN RICE, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 4, P. O. McLouth. Few of the pioneers of Eastern Kansas are more favorably known than Larkin Rice. He is a native of Missouri, and was born in Boone County, August 28, 1829. His parents were among the first settlers of that county. Larkin was there principally educated and reared, living for a time in Buchanan County. In the spring of 1855 came to Kansas, locating three miles east of Winchester, where he resided two years, thence to the farm which is still his home. Mr. Rice was prominently connected with the early advancement of the educational and religious movements, and his ardor in that direction has not yet ceased. He has never been a political aspirant, preferring the quiet of farm life. He was married in Missouri to Miss Nancy E. Morris. By this union they have ten children--Sarah F., Lucy J., Mary A., Martha A., John W., Elizabeth, Larkin E., Leonora, Wilson, George A., Mr. Rice and family are identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

J. F. WETZEL, physician and surgeon, McLouth, is a native of West Virginia, and was born in Lewis County, June 13, 1853. After receiving the benefits of the common schools of Lewis County, he attended the State University at Morgantown. His medical education he received first term in the Louisville Medical College, of Louisville, Ky.; second term in the Kentucky School of Medicine, in the spring of 1878. Commenced his professional career in Lewis County, continuing for one year. He next went to Wisconsin, locating at Rock Bridge, Richland County, where he pursued his calling until coming to Kansas, in the spring of 1882, taking up his abode in McLouth. The doctor has been eminently successful in his practice, never losing a patient over which he had exclusive charge. He is a genial gentleman, well-read in various works outside of the medical, and is an enterprising conversationalist. He was married in West Virginia, to Miss Lizzie J. Fishback, of the Valley of Virginia. By this union they have three children--Benton, Gaillard and Louis Asbery. Lost one, their second born, Frankie Lieurance. The father of Dr. Wetzel, Lewis S., is a native of West Virginia. For a number of years he has been largely interested in the oil wells and oil business generally in West Virginia. The subject of this sketch is a member of the I. O. O. F. The season of 1882 he built a store in McLouth, where he carries a large line of drugs and stationery, and follows his profession.

[TOC] [part 23] [part 21] [Cutler's History]