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


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


This township formed a part of Kentucky until the year 1862, when the territory now comprising the township and Rural, was set off as a separate one, and named Sarcoxie, after the Delaware Indian Chief of that name, who lived on the bank of the Kansas River at the time when it formed the southern boundary of Jefferson County. The first settlements were made in 1859. Among the settlers of that and the following year, were W. C. Ross, J. Stewart, W. A. Williams, Edward Canovan, J. W. Byram, R. G. Elliott, and H. W. Williams. The first township officer was Oliver H. Hanscomb, who was appointed Justice of the Peace, in August, 1863.The settlement for the first few years was slow, as it was on the railroad land over which there was so much controversy, and the settlers were afraid they would not secure the land, as the railroad company had no title until after the building of the Kansas Pacific Railroad. The first man to buy his land from the railroad company was J. W. Byram. The first school was taught in a small log house built by John Large, and was located on the southwest quarter of Section 36, Township 10, Range 19 east. In the above-named house, the first Free Will Baptist Church organization in the State of Kansas was effected. This was in May, 1866, and was the result of a series of prayer meetings, which took the place of ordinary revival meetings. But little preaching was done, but many professed conversion. There was no minister of that denomination anywhere in the State nearer than Hiawatha, and as the converts wished to be baptized, Jules L. Williams stated to see him to procure his services. He walked all the way, a distance of seventy-five miles and slept out on the prairie every night. The minister, Rev. A. Curtis, returned with him, baptized the converts, and organized a church, which was the first one of any domination in the township. The first postoffice was Chester, established soon after the settlement of the township. The next postoffice was Woodstock, established in 1870, with Jules L. Williams, postmaster.

The second schoolhouse was in District No. 51, and as built of logs on the banks of the Muddy, and near the site of the present schoolhouse in that district.There is no town within the limits of the township, but it is well settled by a thrifty and well-to-do class of farmers, the most of whom are natives of Iowa and Illinois.During the hard times in years when crops were a partial failure, the settlers made a livelihood by hauling wood to Lawrence, and selling it for $2.00 and @2.50 per cord, and paying fifty cents toll over the Lawrence bridge out of that.


J. W. DAVIS, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Lawrence; was born in Shelby County, Ky., April 7, 1828; was there educated, and learned the carpenter's trade. From Kentucky he came to Illinois, where he resided for a time; thence he went to Missouri, opening a farm in Cass County. He also sojourned temporarily in Texas, and came to Kansas in 1862, taking up his abode at Franklin, residing there until 1865. In 1866 he moved to Lawrence and soon after to his present home, being among the first in that part of the State. He took an active interest in educational matters, and was one of the original organizers of the Valley Grove School. He has been Township Clerk and otherwise officially honored. For several years he operated a saw mill in Sarcoxie Township. Mr. Davis is a well-read gentleman, and a man of good judgment and thoroughly conversant with the topics of the times. He is a Mason and charter member of Valley Lodge, No. 6, North Lawrence. He has been twice married; first to Miss Rebecca Lind (now deceased). By this marriage he has four children living - William R., James N., Harvey E. and John M. His present wife was formerly Miss Mary A. Landsdown; they have three children - Charles, Edward and Rosa B. J.

H. ROBERTS, Postmaster, at Chester P. O., and farmer, Section 23. This gentleman came to Kansas in 1863, settling in Sarcoxie Township, where he was identified as a farmer until 1869, when he located where he now resides. In 1870 he was engaged in contracting in the southern part of the State, furnishing railroad ties. The autumn of that year was appointed Postmaster for the Chester office, which he has since held. He has also been Justice of the Peace two terms, and identified with the school interests of his district. During the war was n the State militia and participated in the Price Raid. Mr. R. is a native of New Hampshire, and was born in Strafford County, December 8, 1828; was there educated and reared. In 1856 emigrated to Muscatine County, Iowa, where he resided until coming to Kansas. He has been twice married, first to Miss S. J. Blaisdall, now deceased, of York County, Me. By this union had three children - Ida, Francicene, and Milton. His second wife was Mrs. Jane G. Good; her maiden name was Hill. By this marriage they have one daughter - Sarah. Mr. Roberts belongs to the Grange.

A. C. SILER, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 20, P. O. North Lawrence, is a native of Ohio, and was born in Muskingum County, April 21, 1840; was there educated and reared. At the breaking out of the rebellion he tendered his service to the Union, enlisting in 1861 in the Sixty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He participated in a number of general engagements with his regiment, and at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain. In June, 1864, received a gun-shot sound through the left knee, which resulted in the amputation of the left leg above the knee; was discharged by reason of the same, at Columbus, Ohio, August 17, 1865. Mr. S. came to Kansas in January, 1871, locating where he now resides. He is a genial gentleman and a progressive citizen. He was married at Zanesville, Ohio, in 1867, to Miss Lizzie Snite. They have four children - Eddie, Frank, Lillie, and Nora.

SAMUEL SILLIK, M. D., farmer and stock-raiser Section 33, P. O. North Lawrence. One of the representative citizens of Sarcoxie Township, is the subject of this sketch. he is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Washington County, July 4, 1817; when twelve years of age removed with his parents to Ohio, where he was educated and resided until he attained his twentieth year, when he became a resident of Livingston County, Ill. Early in life he took up the study of medicine, more for an accomplishment than to practice as a profession, however he has pursued the calling to a considerable extent, and has been eminently successful. The doctor is a staunch member of the Christian Church, and an untiring worker in the cause temperance. He was married in Ohio to Miss Esther Miller. They have seven children - Sarah H., David A., Cornelia M., Mary E., George F., Eleitha J., and Luella; lost one, Harrison. The family came to Kansas in October, 1878, locating in Linn county; became residents of Jefferson County in the spring of 1880.

ANTHONY SNOW, farmer and sorghum manufacturer, Section 33, P. O. Stanwood. This gentleman is a native of England, and was born in Devonshire, August 27, 1838. In 1857 he went to Canada, where he resided until 1863, when he came to Kansas, locating in Lawrence, where he resided for a few years, working at his trade, that of masonry; he also did considerable of the work on the asylum at Topeka. He was married in Kansas to Miss Eldora Fulton. They have six children - Henry W., Lanoa, Grace, Mary A., George, and Ethel L. Mr. Snow makes a specialty of manufacturing sorghum molasses, an industry he has been very successful in.

H. W. WELLMAN, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 1, P. O. Lawrence, is a native of Kentucky, and was born May 8, 1833; was reared and educated in his native State. After becoming of age, he emigrated to Iowa, residing for a time, thence to Missouri, from which State, in December, 1861, he came to Kansas, locating where he now resides. Mr. W. is one of the most extensive stockmen of the county. Officially he has been County Commissioner one term, and has been identified with the school interests. He was married in Iowa to Miss Mary A. Davidson; her death occurred in Kansas in 1878. The children born to them were nine in number - Failies K., D. Augustus, Lillie A., Sarah A., Harrison W., William W., Worthy A., Besiora P.; lost one, Cammencia V. Mr. W. is a member of the I. O. O. F., Laurence Lodge, No. 4.

MILO A. WOOD, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 36, P. O. North Lawrence. Among the early settlers of Anderson County, Kan., was Mr. J. A. Wood, who with his family settled there in the autumn of 1858; his son, Milo A., is a native of Virginia, and was born May 15,1852. Came to Kansas in 1858, where he was educated and reared. In 1866 the family settled in Jefferson County on the farm now occupied by Milo A. Mr. J. A. Woods was identified with the agricultural interests or the county up to the time of his death, the autumn of 1878. The subject o this sketch spent several years in California engaged in various pursuits. He was married in Kansas to Miss Annie E. Stone. They have two children - Walter Scott and James Fuller.


This township contains thirty-five square miles and is situated directly south of Osawkie, of which township it formed a part until October 6, 1871, when, on a petition of J. H. Saylor and fifty others, the Board of County Commissioners cut off this territory, and organized it as a separate township. The first election was held on November 17, at the Pleasant Valley schoolhouse, and D. B. Baker was chosen Trustee, Jacob Metsger, Treasurer, and Samuel Metsger, Clerk. This township contains no towns. The Delaware River and Big Slough Creek, with numerous tributary streams, cross it. The surface of the land is generally very rough and broken, but along the streams it is a great deal of good timber land. Back from the streams the land, though rough, is devoted to crop-raising and pasturage. Stock-raising is an important industry of the township. The first school district in what is now Fairview Township was organized in the year 1869.


D. C. ADAMS, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 20, P. O. Thompsonville, was born in Johnson County, Mo., August 7, 1839. Came to Kansas with his parents in 1854, his father Calvin being one of the pioneers of Douglass County, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, and in which county D. C. resided for several years. During the war he enlisted in the Kansas First. Not being mustered into the ranks, he engaged in teaming, and was Wagon-master in Government employ until the close of the war. Mr. Adams has desirable home, and is one of the most progressive farmers of the county. He was married in Kansas to Miss Emily Roberts. She died, leaving one son, Carl. His second wife was Miss Rachel Chetwood. They have three children - Harvey C., Addie and Ernest J.

C. BAKER, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 20, P. O. Thompsonville. This well-known citizen was born in Franklin County, Pa., July 19, 1830. When young removed with parents to Warren County, Ohio, where he was educated, reared and learned the wagon-making trade, which vocation he nursed as a journeyman for a time, and afterwards carried on manufacturing for a number of years in Ohio and Indiana very successfully. He was married in Indiana to Miss Mary Lacedig, of that State. They have ten children - Charles T., Clinton A., Margaret E., Mary J., Flora B., Minnie O., George S., Joseph H., John D., and Matilda G. Mr. Baker came to Kansas with family the spring of 1867, locating where he now resides.

BENJAMIN BOWLBY, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 23, P. O. Thompsonville, one of Jefferson County's most substantial citizens, is the subject of this sketch. He is a native of Ohio, and was born in Williams County, October 10, 1844. At an early age removed to Iowa, locating in Boone County, where in 1863 he enlisted in Company E., Third Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He participated in the battle of Peach Tree Creek and other general engagements, serving until the close. After the war located in Macon County, Ill, where was his abiding place until 1867, when he came to Kansas, and has since devoted his energies to developing the resources of Jefferson County, and few men have been more successful. Mr. Bowlby is at present (1883), and has been for several years, one to the County Commissioners, and largely through his instrumentality Jefferson county was placed in its present solid financial condition. He was married in Kansas to Miss Sarah C. Hubar.

W. C. BRUNTON, farmer, Section 4, P. O. Osawkie, is a native of Indiana, and was born in Tippecanoe County, February 4, 1834. At an early age emigrated to Illinois, and for number of years resided in McDonough and Adams counties; also resided for a time in Missouri, removing from there to Marshall County, Iowa, which was his abiding place until 1865, when he dame to Kansas. Mr. B. is one of the representative agriculturists of Fairview Township. He was married in Missouri to Miss Sarah J. Bise. By this union they have twelve children - John T., George W., Edna, Grant, Rosa, Minnie, Mattie, Walter, Eddie, Sherman, Delbert and Nellie. During the war, Mr. B. served three months in Company E., First Missouri, enlisting in 1861.

WILLIAM CARR, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 11, P. O. Osawkie. This gentleman is a native of Ohio, and was born in Montgomery County, February 22, 1826. When young removed to Butler County, where he was educated and reared. In 1854 he emigrated from the State of Indiana to Iowa, settling in Tama County, and for eighteen years was identified with its agricultural interests. Also for a time resided in Wapello County, coming from there to Kansas in 1873. Has been a resident of Jefferson County since. Mr. Carr was married in Indiana to Miss Nancy Arnold Her death occurred in Tama county, Iowa, in 1870. They had nine children, six of whom are living - Alexander, died in 1860; Mary E., John F., Nancy J., Clarissa A., Sarah M., died in 1879, Josiah, E., George W., and Maria E., died in 1870.

EDWARD L. CARTER, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 2, P. O. Oskaloosa. Among the pioneers of Jefferson County was MR. Thomas Carter, who in 1857 settled with his family one mile and a half west of where the subject of this sketch now resides. Ed. L., his son, is a native of Indiana, and was born in Tippecanoe County, January 21, 1843. This family came to Kansas from Wapello County, Iowa. In 1862, Mr. C. enlisted in Company D., Eleventh Kansas, participating in most of the general engagements of the "Old Eleventh." For several months was in the far West among the Indians, where he was wounded. Was honorably discharged in September, 1865. He was married in Kansas to Miss M. J. Du Pea. They have five children - Harry, Annie, Josie, Luella and Eddie.

B. F. COOK, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 3, P. O. Osawkie. One of the first settlers on Big Soldier Creek, in Jackson County, was Mr. George Cook, who settled there with his family in the spring of 1855. He was identified with the early development and troubles during the dark days. He kept a small stock of groceries and provisions at his place to supply the wants of the people int hat locality. In 1857, he moved to Big Soldier, Jackson County. Mr. Cook was a staunch Free-state man, and his house was converted into a fort, where the people assembled to defend against the border ruffians. On one occasion a party of armed men were seen coming in upon them, which created a great furor among the little party, and they at once prepared for the defensive. It was soon discovered that it was Jim Lane and his men, and they were agreeably disappointed. Mr. Cook accompanied Gen. Lane to Hickory Point. this affair occurred while Mr. Cook was living on Rock Creek, three miles north of Mount Florence, having settled there in 1855. After an active career in Kansas his death occurred in June, 1858. His son, B. F., was born in Pulaski County, Ind., February 25, 1850; came to Kansas with his father in 1855, and has since been a resident, pursuing the vocation of farming and stock-raising. He was married in Jefferson County, Kansas, to Miss Capitola Ball. By this union they have one daughter, Elsie.

THOMAS FITZSIMMONS, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Oskaloosa, is a native of Ireland, and was born in the County Cavin, April 25, 1838. Came to the United States in 1851, settling in New York City, where for a number of years he was engaged in the grocery trade. In 1858 enlisted in the Third United States Regiment, and served until the 18th of May, 1863 and was honorably discharged. During his term he was on duty in Kansas, Texas, Florida and the far West. In 1879, settled permanently in Kansas. For over three years was clerk in the Jefferson House, at Oskaloosa, and is well known to the traveling public. He was married in New York to Miss Rosa A. Conway. They have one son, a blacksmith.

JOHN JAMES, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 2, P. O. Oskaloosa. One of the pioneers of Jefferson County. He is a native of England, and was born in Somersetshire, in 1818; was educated and reared in his native country. In 1850 came to America, locating in New York State, where he resided until the spring of 1857, when he emigrated to Kansas, and settled in the locality where he now resides. Mr. James was in limited circumstances at the time of his coming; his first purchase of real easter embodied fifteen acres; he kept adding from time to time, until his farm at present in size and value will compare favorable with the majority in the county. In 1858 he assessed Osawkie Township, and has been closely identified with the educational interests of his district for a number of years. He was married in England to Miss Jane Emmery; by this union has three children - Elizabeth, Josephine and W. J. Mrs. James' death occurred in Kansas a few years ago.

M. G. JUDY, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 21, P. O. Perry. This prominent farmer and stockman is a native of Kentucky, and was born in Boone County, March 15, 1833. Was educated and reared in his native State, his early days being spent in tilling the soil. For a number o years was a resident of Buchanan County, Mo., where he followed farming. Came to Kansas in 1869, locating where he now resides. Wa married in Kentucky, to Miss Margaret Sleet of Boone County. They have six children - Isabelle, Asa, Benjamin S., Aleck, Dosia and Ada.

H. C. RAINES, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 20, P. O. Osawkie. He is one of the most prominent farmers of Fairview Township. He was born in Pettis County, Mo., September 13, 1830. Was there educated and resided until he attained his twenty-fourth year, when he removed to Mills County, Iowa. The spring of 1866 came to Kansas, locating where he now resides. He was married in the State of Missouri, to Miss Hesther A. Stringfield. They have ten children. William R., the eldest, is living in Fairview Township, and is engaged in the same occupation as his father, and is the present Trustee of Fairview Township, which position he has held for two years. James and John are in California, pursuing the vocation of school teaching; George is also in California, went for his health; David is attending school at the State University, at Lawrence; Mary is married to F. G. Stark, a farmer and stock-raiser in Fairview Township; Oscar, Emma, Grant and Ernst are at home.

I. C. SMITH, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 15, P. O. Oskaloosa. This pioneer came to Kansas in 1856, and settled in Nemaha County, residing for a time, returned to Iowa and remained until 1858, when he came again and located in Jefferson County. For nine years he operated a blacksmith shop in Oskaloosa, being one of the early Vulcans of the County. Mr. S. is a native of Tennessee, and was born in Bedford County, December 2, 1816; was reared and educated in his native State, where he learned the blacksmith's trade. Previous to coming to Kansas he resided in Kentucky, Missouri, and Iowa, being among the early ones in the Platte Purchase, Mo., and in Madison County, Iowa. In Missouri, he married Miss Catherine Bledso. By this union he has had twelve children, seven of whom are living - George W., Granville A., Elizabeth, Mary, Isaac, Abraham and Henry. Lost five - Lucina, Armilda, James F., William C., and Sarah E. Mrs. Smith died September 7, 1882.

THOMAS WIELAND, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 4, P. O. Osawkie. This gentleman is a native of Switzerland, and was born August 24, 1824; was educated and reared in his native country. In 1846 he came to the United States, taking up his abode in Virginia, where he resided until 1870, when he came to Kansas. During the war he was in the Virginia State militia. Mr. W. is one of the representative farmers of his township. He was married in Virginia, to Miss Christina Miley. By this union they have had seven children, four living - Edward S., J. B., Albert, and Walter. Lost three - Anton L., Peter, and Amelia. Mr. Wieland and family are members of the Presbyterian Church.

J. M. WILEY, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 6, P. O. Osawkie, was born in Clinton County, Ohio, January 11, 1848; was there educated and reared. His father, Charles Wiley, was a farmer, and emigrated to Kansas with his family, including J. M., in 1861, locating in Jefferson County, where he was identified up to the time o his death, in 1870. J. M. has been a resident of the county since 1861, following agricultural pursuits, and stands among the substantial representative ones in that branch. He was married in Kansas to Miss Martha Gray.

WILLIAM WORKMAN, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 30, P. O. Thompsonville, was born in Miller County, Mo., July 17, 1852; came to Kansas in 1862 with his parents, his father, Jacob, locating in Atchison County, near Monrovia. In 1864 the family removed to Jefferson county, where William has since bee a resident, following agricultural pursuits. He was married in Kansas, April 27, 1879, to Miss Roana Fry. They have one daughter - Myrtle; and one son - Eugene. Mrs. W. is a daughter of Mr. C. Fry, who located in Jefferson County, Kas., in 1868, and is still a resident of Fairview township. He was born in Owen County, Ind., in June, 1830, and was married in that State, in 1851, to Miss E. Halcher. By this union they have had eleven children, eight of whom are living. Mrs. W. being the sixth in the family. Mr. Fry moved to Iowa in 1853, and to Kansas in 1868, where he has since lived, engage in farming and charcoal-burning. The latter business is carried on by the firm of Fry & Workman.

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