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


[TOC] [part 24] [part 22] [Cutler's History]


The first settlement in this township was in October, 1854, and was by William F., Alex., and Thomas R. Bayne, and Jackson Smith, who settled on the Kaw half-breed lands, about two and one-half miles southeast of Williamstown. The township was first part of Kentucky, and was a part of the territory include in Sarcoxie, when that township was organized in 1862. In 1871, the present township of Rural was formed. It had been a separate voting place after 1868.

The Kansas Pacific Railroad extends across the southern part of the township. Williamstown and Buck Creek are the only two railroad stations, and neither of these has a depot.


This is the only village in the township, and is quite pleasantly situated in the valley of the Kansas River, and on Stonehouse Creek. It has two stores, a good schoolhouse, ten dwellings, and population of about seventy.

The first store was opened in 1865, by Sam. Mitchell, who was soon succeeded by Julius Alvord & Bro. Very soon afterward, however, Mapes, Williams & Moore laid out the town, and Charles Williams & Bros. bought the store. The founders of the town owned 900 acres of land in the vicinity, which they had purchased of the railroad company. They built a saw-mill, just south of the railroad track, and endeavored to build up a town here. Another store was soon opened, but the town grew but slowly on account of the antagonism which had grown up between the settlers and the mill company, who had bought land claimed by them, on which they had previously settled. Another cause for the slow growth of the village was the fact that the railroad company laid out the town of Perry, three miles further west, and used its influence in behalf of that place.

The first postoffice was established immediately after the survey of the town, and Charles Williams was appointed Postmaster.

The village school is a good one, and is liberally supported. it has but one department. The schoolhouse cost $1,000, and is a frame structure.

There is no church edifice in the village but the Southern Methodist Episcopal and Christian Church societies are each represented by an organization. The former has about thirty members, and the latter about fifty. The schoolhouse is used for religious meetings. There is also a Union Sunday-school, which is well attended.

There were, during the early history, of the town, three total and most brutal murders committed, which gave it in unenviable notoriety. Neither of the perpetrators of the above crimes was ever brought to justice. The rougher element have now nearly all left the country, and the citizens of the village and vicinity are of a moral and industrious class.


THOMAS R. BAYNE, stock-raiser. Section 22. P. 0. Rural. Among the settlers of Jefferson County of 1854, no one is more deserving of special mention than the subject of this sketch. He was born in Shelby County, Ky. May I6,. 1836. At an early age he moved with his parents to Jefferson County, Ky., where he was educated and resided until he came to Kansas, in 1854. The autumn of 1854 he located permanently where he now resides, being the first on the Kaw bottoms. Included in Mr. Bayne's estate is the historic ground where the Boone family has settled a number of years previous to his coming. He was the first Sheriff of Jefferson County, and has held the office of County Commissioner. At the fall election of 1882, he was elected Representative from his district to the State Legislature. Politically he has been a life-long democrat. Mr. Bayne has paid considerable attention to practical farming in Kansas, and has been eminently successful. He has been an active worker in the affairs Jefferson and Douglas counties, and since the organization of the Bismark National Fair has been identified with that association. During the troubles of 1856, Mr. Bayne took no part, attending strictly to his legitimate business. He was married in Kansas to Miss Susan Hatton. By this union they have five daughters - Maude, Fannie, Nora, Bettie, and Jessie.

WILLIAM G. BAYNE, stock-raiser, Section 23. P. 0. Williamstown. This popular citizen was born in Shelby County, Ky., July 2, 1834; was there educated and resided until seventeen years of age; came to Jackson County. Mo. In 1853 he went, overland route, as passenger to California, requiring l63 days to make the trip. For five years was engaged in mining, when he returned east of the Rockies; located temporarily in close proximity to where he now resides, with his father, Alexander Bayne, Esq.. who had settled there in 1854. William G. did not settle down permanently until 1863, when he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, in which capacity he has been since a close adherent. He has held the office of Justice of the Peace, and Township officer. The years of 1880 and 1881, he made an efficient Sheriff for Jefferson County. He was married in 1860, to Miss Sarah Hatton, of Indiana. They have four children - Minnie Belle, Henry Clay, Polly, and Ray.

L H. BOUTON. druggist, was born in Cortland County, N. Y., March 4, 1825. At an early age emigrated to Ohio with parents,. locating in the Western Reserve, where he was reared to manhood, educated and learned the blacksmith trade. In 1857 came to Kansas, locating in Douglas County; he opened a Blacksmith shop in Clinton Township, which he operated for over eighteen years. During his earlier experience there he had much to contend with, owing to the guerrillas and other desperadoes. 1n 1877 came to Perry,. opened a shop which he conducted for a time, when he engaged in the drug trade. Is now settled in Williamstown. Few of the earlier settlers are more favorably known. He was married in Ohio, in 18847, to Miss Vira A. Snow. They have eight children - Edwin S., Viola A., Lyman C., Rosa J., James J., Carrie, Agnes, Albert Lee.

G. W. GRAY, farmer, Section 7, P.O Perry, was born in Fleming County, Ky., February I6, 1831. Was there educated. When grown came to Platte County, Mo., where he resided until 1855. When he came to Kansas in 1854. he had come to the State but only temporarily. He settled on what is now known as the Sutter farm, a short distance south-east of Perry, being one of the very first in that locality. He had considerably difficulty with a would-be land agent, who made himself notoriously obnoxious to the settlers. Largely through Mr. Gray's efforts, he was run of the country. He had many difficulties to contend with during the early days, on general principles, and few of the old settlers are more popularly known or more highly respected the G. W. Gray. He has always pursued the vocation of farming, and has an attractive and comfortable home. He was married in Kentucky, to Miss E. A. Markwell. By this union they have four children living, L. J., Elias M., M. A., and Kate. Lost one - F. E.

G. W. HAM, farmer, Section 8, P. O. Williamstown, was born in Fleming County, Ky., April 2, 1823. Was there reared, and lived in Fleming and adjoining counties until 1868, when he came to Kansas, locating where he now resides. Mr. Ham is one of Rural Township's most sterling farmers. He was married in Kentucky, to Miss Dolly Ann Underwood. They have five sons - William F., James M., La Fayette, George L., and Nelson.

JAMES HERD, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Rural. Mr. Herd came to Kansas Territory in April, 1855, settling in Douglas County. Mr. Herd took an active part in the border troubles, being one of the staunch Free-state men. Was at the difficulties at Franklin, Kickapoo and other historic points. With the exception of five years spent in California, where he was farming, he has been a constant resident of Kansas since 1855. Mr. Herd was born in England, August 11, 1826, and arrived at Philadelphia, Pa., when nine months old. Was reared and educated in Fayette County, Pa., and married to Miss Mackey V. Hill, daughter of Isaac Hill. They had seven children - Corinne, the oldest, born in Greene Hill Township, in 1856, and died in Chico, Butte County Cal., in 1882; Samuel C., born in Spring Hill Township, in 1856; Mary A. Herd, born in Douglas County, in 1858, and married to John Canary in 1875, and resides in Fall Leaf, Leavenworth Co., Kan.; Bowen, born in Leavenworth County, in 1860, and died in 1864; James, born in Leavenworth County, in 1863; Nancy E., born in Leavenworth County, in 1868; Isaac T., born in Leavenworth County, in 1870. Samuel C. and Jane reside in California. Mr. Herd was married to Miss Almira Moore, of Gorges Township, Fayette Co., Pa, in 1881.

ASA D. JUDY, farmer and stock-raiser. Section 3, P.O. Oskaloosa. Among the most extensive real estate owners in the county may be mentioned Mr. Judy. He is a native of Kentucky, and was born in Gallatin County, March 14, 1835. Was educated and reared in that State, following agricultural pursuits in early life. In 1860, he emigrated to Buchanan County, Mo., where he resided until 1869, when he came to Kansas. His estate comprises over 800 acres. Stock raising is his specialty, and he has been very successful in that branch, being a practical stockman. He has fine blue grass pastures, and in the propagating of grass has done much towards its advancement in the community. He was married in Kentucky, to Miss Frances Smalley, of Bourbon County. They have five children - Asa G., Alvin J., O. W., Mary F. and H. B. Mr. Judy and family are identified with the Christian Church.

JAMES McKIBBEN, farmer and stock-raiser. Section 22, P.O. Rural. Mr. McKibben came to Kansas in 1858, locating at Mount Pleasant, Atchison County. In 1864 he removed to North Lawrence, where for several years he was engaged in the saw-mill business. In 1870 he located where he now resides. He is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Washington County, in June, 1827. Was educated and reared in his native State, and married Miss Jane Melvin. They have had seven children - Marian, Edwin and Winfred; lost four - Frank, Emma, Ina and Vernon.

ALEXANDER A. MAYHEW, Section 17. P.O. Rural, is a native of Allen County, Ky., Mr. Mayhew being the youngest but one of a family of fourteen children, whose father was a soldier of the Revolution. Removed to Johnson County, Mo., in early life. Was there reared and educated, and in 1861 enlisted in Company D. Twenty-seventh Regiment Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, and being captured and paroled by the rebels, was discharged by United States, and came to Leavenworth County, Kansas, in 1862, and in 1865 settled his present home in Jefferson County, where he now resides with his wife and family.

VALENTINE C. MAYHEW, farmer, Section 17. P.O. Rural, is a native of Kentucky, and was born in Allen County, February 15, 1828. When young came to Johnson County, Mo., where he was a resident for number of years. Mr. M. came to Kansas, locating where he now resides, the spring of 1865. He was married in Missouri to Miss Emmeline Smith. By this union they have six children - James S., John W., Giles S., Livingstone G., Mary E. and Martha E.

WILLIAM R. MAYHEW, farmer, Section 20, P.O. Rural, is a native of Allen County, Ky., and was born in 1840. For a number of years was a resident of Johnson County, Mo., coming form there to Kansas in 1865. Has been a resident of Jefferson County. He was married in Kansas to Miss Nancy M. Barner. By this union they have two children - Livingstone and Ida Belle.

DAVID MAY, farmer. Section 8, P.O. Rural, is a native of Indiana, and was born in Davidson County, in December, 1837. When young came to Missouri, his parents being among the pioneers of Buchanan Country, where David was educated and reared. He came to Kansas in 1855, locating in Atchison County, where he resided until August, 1861, when he enlisted in Company B, Fourth Kansas, until 1862, at which time the Third and Fourth was consolidated into the Tenth. He was at the battles of Cane Hill and Prairie Grove, and served thirty-eight months. In 1865 settled in Jefferson County. He was married in Kansas to Miss Fannie Jones (now dead). By this union has six children - William, Martha, Minnie, Margaret, Eddie and Charlie. His present wife's maiden name was Mary J. Meredith, also of Kansas. They have four children - John F., Thomas G., Simon C. and Philip H.

W. A. MISHEY, farmer and stock-raiser, section 17. P.O. Rural, is native of Ohio, and was born in Knox County, February 15, 1835. Was there educated and reared. In 1856 he came to Kansas Territory, locating in Douglas County. For nine years he was in the Government employ, teaming on the plains, after which he settled in Jefferson County. Mr. Mishey is one of the substantial and representative farmers of Rural Township. For several years has been Township Clerk and otherwise identified. He was married in Kansas to Miss Mary L. Roberts, an estimable lady of Mahaska County, Iowa. They have five children - Ora O., Zomoro B., Cora L., Fred G. and Loduska V.

C. O. THOMPSON, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 3, Town 11, Range 19, P.O. Oskaloosa, a of native Massachusetts, was born in Lowell, March 21, 1829. Was there educated learned the painter's trade. After attaining his majority, went to California in 1849, by the way of Cape Horn; was there two years, returning to Lowell, and remained a few years, and came West, eventually locating at Waukon, Iowa, where he opened a shop and worked at his trade for several years. In 1862, he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer infantry, serving until the close of the war. Was with Gen. Banks on the Red River, and participated in a number of general engagements. In 1867 he located at Lawrence, Kan. He secured his present farm about that time, and set about making improvements. His time has been divided since then between Lawrence and the farm. Mr. Thompson is a member of the A., F. & A. M., Valley Lodge, No. 30, Lawrence.

CALVIN WEBB, farmer and stock-raiser. Section 17, P. O. Rural. Mr. Webb came to Kansas in the autumn of 1857, locating in Allen County, where he resided until 1861. On the 7th of August of that year, in company with his brothers D. R. and D. W., enlisted in Company H, Tenth Kansas. Participated at the battles of Cane Hill, Prairie Grove and other engagements, serving two years. His brothers served until the close. Came to Jefferson County after the war. Mr. W. is a native of Illinois, and was born in Franklin County, September 3, 1835. Was married in Jefferson County, Kan., to Miss Elizabeth J. Hunter. They have five children - Amelia B., William D., Chester V., Cora M. and Philip. One infant dead.

[TOC] [part 24] [part 22] [Cutler's History]