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


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


T. K. AITKEN, D. D. S. This favorably known gentleman and skilled dentist, is a native of Scotland, and was born in the town of Haddington, July 24, 1845. His father, William Knox Aitken, was a celebrated dentist, and was the first successful manufacturer of porcelain teeth, his manufacture being generally preferred by European dentists, because of their life-like appearance, strength and durability. He emigrated to America, with his family in 1856, locating temporarily in California, coming to St. Louis, Mo., in 1857, where he resided until 1862, when failing in health he returned with his family to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he died February 24, 1864. In 1865, the subject of this sketch returned to America, and located in St. Louis, practicing his profession, having previously taken instructions from and practiced with his father. While in St. Louis he attended the old McDowell College, and the Dental College, from which he graduated in 1867. In the following year he came to Valley Falls, where he has since resided, doing a prosperous business, his professional services being sought by persons residing in all the neighboring counties. In April, 1867 the doctor married Susannah M. Wolff, niece of Judge Wolff, of St. Louis, and is the father of an interesting family of four children--William Knox, Florence Josephine, Celestia Virginia, and Wallace Andrew.

ALBERT BELAND, druggist, is a native of Switzerland, and was born in Giarus, February 27, 1855, was educated and resided in his native country until 1871, when he came to the United States, taking up his abode in Valley Falls. He engaged in clerking in the drug house of his uncle, John Beland, and in 1877 engaged in trade. In 1879, Miss Ada Hillyer, an estimable young lady of Valley Falls, became his wife. Mr. Beland is a member of the Masonite fraternity, Valley Falls Lodge No. 21.

JOHN BELAND, hardware merchant, is a native of Switzerland, and was born June 21, 1831; was educated and resided there until 1848. Came to America, locating in Baltimore, Md. where he went to school for a time residing for four years, thence to West Virginia, where he followed merchandising until 1857, when he came to Kansas, taking up his abode in Valley Falls. He engaged in hotel keeping, being the host of the Cataract House until after the war. During the Rebellion he was a member of the State Militia, and participated in the Price Raid, in Missouri. For a number of years he was engaged in the drug trade. In 1874, established his present business which has merged into the largest of the kind in the county. For four years has been City Clerk, and has been largely interested in the educational interests of Valley Falls. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity Valley Falls Lodge, 21 A. F. & A. M., and Secretary of the Chapter No. 8. Was married in 1853, to Miss Amanda Meyers. They have six children--Laura, Mattie, Louis, Blanche, John, Jr., and Bertha.

W. T. BOOTH, farmer, P. O. Valley Falls, is a native of Kentucky and was born at LaGrange, Oldham County, September 17, 1842. His father, Thomas, was a native of England. In 1855 the family came to Missouri, locating in Platte County at Parkville, where the senior Booth was engaged in merchandising. In 1861 the family came to Kansas entering a large tract of land in Jefferson County, Mr. Booth trading property in Missouri for a portion of it. He was identified for a few years among the substantial men of the county, when he went to California, where he died. W. T. followed farming and stock raising largely for a number of years, bringing from Kentucky fine blooded horses, and in this respect has done much towards advancing the horse flesh of the county. In 1880 he moved to Valley Falls. For a time was engaged in grain buying. Was burnt out in April, 1882. He was married in Jefferson County, to Miss Leora Wilson, a native of Ohio. They have one child, L. Roco. Mr. Booth is a member of the Masonic Order, Chapter and A. O. of U. W.

W. C. BUTTS, Valley Falls, agent for the A. T. & S. F., and Union Pacific Railroads. He is numbered among the pioneers of Jefferson County and favorably known by all within its boundary lines. He was born in Dutchess County N. Y. August 4 1832, was there educated and reared. In the spring of 1857 he came to Kansas, locating in Valley Falls. He built the Cataract House, which was the first regular hotel in the Falls, and engaged in catering to the wants of the traveling public, containing in this business for upward of three years, when he turned his attention to farming close to town, which he continued until 1872, at which time he became connected with the above railroad companies. Mr. Butts has been officially in Jefferson County by being elected to the State Legislature five terms. Has been County Commissioner several years, and while in that capacity was Chairman three years. Politically he is an old time and staunch Democrat. He is a member of the Masonic Order. He was married in New York in 1856 to Miss Wallermire. They have two sons--Hallock D., and John W.

WILLIAM CLARK, Justice of the Peace and real estate agent and Notary Public, is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Fayette County, January 24, 1818. He is the son of Samuel and Nancy Clark. They had twelve children, William being the eldest. At an early age he removed to Ohio with his parents, locating in Harrison County. His father was a wagon-maker, and he adopted and learned the trade. In 1838 he returned to Pennsylvania, remaining until 1839, when he again became a resident of Ohio, living in Harrison County until 1849, when he moved to Madison County. He was interested in the wagon manufacturing up to 1871 when he came to Kansas, locating in Valley Falls. For a few years he carried on in a wagon shop, and in 1873 embarked in the real estate business which he has since made a specialty of and has done a large business. For nine years he has been Justice of the Peace, and was Police Judge five years. In Ohio for nine years was also Justice of the Peace. Mr. C. is a gentlemen of good business qualifications and a man of sound judgment. He is a Royal Arch Mason and an Odd Fellow of which he has been District Deputy five years in Kansas. Religiously he is a Methodist. January 2, 1840, Miss Jane McCoy of Cadiz, Ohio, became his wife. By this union they had two children, one of whom is living--Martha M. (now Mrs. Archer, of Valley Falls). In 1866 he moved to Decatur, Ill., thence in 1871 to Valley Falls, Kan. Is now serving his fifth term as Justice of the Peace.

ISAAC CODY, deceased. Among the most outspoken and thoroughly active men who were identified with the Free-state party in Kansas was the subject of this sketch. He was born in Canada, where he was reared until his eighteenth year, when his father emigrated to the states with his family, and purchased tracts of land on which is now situated a portion of the city of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1840 Mr. Cody came West, and concluded to locate in Iowa. Returning to Ohio in 1841 he married in Cincinnati, Miss Mary B. Laycock. With his young wife he returned to Iowa, locating for a time in Davenport, and soon after turned his attention to agricultural pursuits in Scott County, residing a few years at Walnut Grove, these moved to LeClaire, and eventually returned to Davenport. Being a man of learning and an impressive and eloquent speaker, he soon became known among the politicians of the Hawkeye State. He was elected a member of the Iowa Legislature, was Justice of the Peace and held other offices. For a few years he was interested in operating the stage line between Davenport and Chicago. In 1849, with others, he determined to go to California. When the necessary preparations had been made some of the party became discouraged and the project was abandoned. He then located as before mentioned, on a farm on Walnut Grove. In the spring of 1854 he moved with his family to Weston, Platte Co., Mo., where he had a brother residing. A friend of Mr. Cody's, who was a Congressman from Scott County, Iowa, informed him that he would convey him the news privately as to the time of the passage of the Kansas bill, known as the Enabling Act of Kansas Territory, and he could have the honor of pre-empting the first claim, which as far as can be ascertained was carried out in detail. Early in 1853 he located a claim on Salt Creek Valley, four miles from the Kickapoo Agency, where he resided until April, 1854, when the bill passed and he pre-emptied. Mr. Cody was a strong Free-state man, and his troubles commenced as soon as that fact was known to the border ruffians and others of the stripe. On one occasion he was requested by a crowd to make a speech and express his views on the issues of the day, which he undertook to do; but before he had proceeded far a Missourian sprang on him with a knife, stabbing him severely. The third child born to Mr. and Mrs. CODY was a son, who was named William F. His name, or rather his soubriquet, to-day is familiar to every one throughout the Union and a great portion of Europe as Buffalo Bill. At that time, but a mere lad, he was instrumental in saving his father's life, and as he grew older he became a terror to the Pro-slavery party. Mr. Cody found that he could not lie on Salt Creek, as it became necessary for him one night to leave his house in female attire, they were after him so strongly; so he went to Grasshopper Falls and commenced the erection of a saw-mill. It was ascertained by the family that the Pro-slavery party intended to wait and waylay him as he returned from the Falls, to kill him. Mrs. Cody started little Billy to the Falls on a horse, a distance of thirty-five miles. He had gone but a short distance when he was discovered by a party of Pro-slavery men, who recognized him and gave chase, but he displayed the nerve and grit that characterized him as a man afterward, and made his adventurous trip all right. Mr. Cody at once went to Lawrence, where they were organizing the Lecompton Legislature. He was elected a member of that body, and too part in organizing the first Legislature under Gov. Reeder. He was one of the agents sent to Ohio to encourage immigration. He afterward continued his work on his mill at the Falls, and did much in given the town a start. When he visited his home he did under cover of the night, for his life was in continual jeopardy. Thus life was a constant struggle with him, which he bravely bore until April, 1857, when his death occurred, which was largely due to the wound he received a few years previous, and exposure. Mrs. Cody continued to reside on Salt Creek until her death which occurred November 22, 1863. There were seven children in the Cody family--Samuel (the oldest, was accidentally killed in Iowa), Julia M. (wife of J. A. Goodman), William F. (Buffalo Bill), Eliza, Laura E., Mary H., and Charles W. Cody.

H. A. COY, druggist, is a native of Ohio, and was born in Portage County, March 4, 1838; when fourteen years of age emigrated to Iowa with parents, locating in Buchanan County at Independence, his father, A. M. Coy, Esq., being one of the pioneer business men in that part, also at Hazelton. In 1858 H. A. became a resident of Kansas, locating at Oskaloosa, and since that date his interests have been in Jefferson County. For a number of years he was in the drug trade at that point. Has carried on business in Valley Falls for ten years. He has also been officially identified during his sojourn in the county. He is a genial gentleman, eminently popular with all. He belongs to the Masonic Fraternity, and is a charter member of Oskaloosa Chapter No. 8. In 1867 Miss Maria Evans, of Kansas, became his wife. They have two children, Walter and Lucy.

R. H. CROSBY, banker, Valley Falls, is a native of Maine and was born in Penobscot County, October 5, 1834. His father, Samuel N., and his mother, Mary A. Hallburton Crosby, were natives of that State. The father was a farmer, and R. H. spent his earlier days in tilling the soil and attending the common schools, he also received the benefits of the academy at Hampden. In 1854 he came West for the purpose of finding a desirable location to engage in trade. He located in Minneapolis, Minn., which was then but a small town, remaining there until the spring of 1855, when he came to Kansas. In company with his brother William they embarked in merchandising in Valley Falls, being the first store in the town. In 1856 they erected a building on the corner of Louisa and Sycamore streets. In September, 1856, the store and entire contents were burned by a company of North Carolinians that were camped at Hickory Point; a full account of which is given in another portion of this work. Mr. Crosby did not propose to discontinue business to accommodate people who differed with him in politics, and six months later he resumed business in a new store which was built, and until 1879 was identified with the mercantile trade of Valley Falls and the development of Jefferson County. For a number of years was largely interested in the cattle trade, the firm of Crosby Bros., being widely and well know. Mr. Crosby was member of of the Topeka Constitutional Convention, and acquitted himself to the entire satisfaction of his constituents in that important body. He was the youngest member in the Convention. In 1872 and '73 he was County Commissioner. Politically he has been a life-long Republican. Is no political aspirant and while he has been somewhat officially before the people, the office sought the man and not the office. He is strictly a business man, a good financier, and his judgment and views on questions relating to the word's traffic are logical and considered authoritative. In 1863 he assumed control and was editor of the Kansas Jeffersonian, continuing to that capacity for one year. In 1879 he established the Valley Falls Bank of Deposit, of which he is now proprietor. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity and the Odd Fellows. In April, 1862, Miss Nettie Kendall, a native of Maine, became his wife. By this union they have one daughter--Lottie.

WILLIAM CROSBY, farmer, Section 17, P. O. Valley Falls, is a native of Maine; was born in Penobscot County, town of Hampden, October 13, 1832. When he attained his twentieth year he came to Illinois, and was employed for three years on the topography of the Illinois Central R. R., which was being constructed at the time. I 1854 went to Minnesota, in company with his brother R. H., contemplating to locate there; concluding to try a warmer climate he came to Kansas, and settled on a claim in Atchison County near Pardee, where they proposed to start a town. The following year came to Grasshopper Falls, which was just starting; they erected a building and put in a stock of general merchandise, the first in the place. In 1866 was burned out by the border ruffians and had other serious difficulties to contend with; continued in business however and made it a success. During the war he served for a time in Company K. Seventeenth Kansas. Mr. Crosby was honorably known in mercantile circles for a number of years; for the past fifteen years has devoted his time to agricultural pursuits. He has been three times married, his two former wives being dead; the first was Mary A. Whitcomb, the second Jennie Wyman; his present wife's maiden name was Maria H. Prentice, a native of Ohio.

G. W. CROTZER, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 3, P. O. Valley Falls, is one of the largest farmers in the township. He is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Clinton County, August 15, 1815, was reared and educated in his native State, following agricultural pursuits. In 1857 he went to Illinois, locating to Stephenson County, where he was prominently identified for a number of years, and from which point he came to Kansas. Mr. Crotzer estate consists of 352 acres. He has one of the finest brick residences in the township, and everything indicates good management. He has been closely identified with the school interests of his district, and is a pleasant and intelligent gentlemen. He has been twice married, first to Miss Mary Lohr, now deceased, by this union had six children--William Andrew, Luther, Mary, Caroline, and lost one, Emma. His present wife was formerly Miss Emma Gast. By this marriage has one daughter, Maggie. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. Crescent Lodge, Valley Falls.

ISAAC J. DAVIS, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 6, P. O. Valley Falls. Is a native of Ohio and was born in Monroe County, July 22, 1843. At an early age was deprived of his father by death, and removed to Iowa with his mother, locating at Story County, being among the early settlers there; here he remained until the breaking out of the war in 1861, when he enlisted in Company G, Fourteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving through until the close, participating in a number of general engagements, was under Gen. A. J. Smith on the noted Red River expedition where he saw hard service. Returned from the army he located in Story County, Iowa, residing there until 1871, when he emigrated to Butler County, Kansas, where he farmed until 1878, at which time he took on his abode where he now resides. He has a very desirable home, convenient to Valley Falls, his farm is well adapted for stock-raising, of which he makes a specialty. Mr. Davis is a gentleman of wide views, is a great reader, has a good memory and is an entertaining conversationalist. He was married in Iowa, to Miss E. A. Hunter, an estimable lady, who is an excellent manager of household affairs. They have one son by this marriage, James Bard.

G. T. DEERING, Justice of the Peace, is a native of Kentucky, and was born in Franklin County December 20, 1810. Was educated, reared and learned the blacksmith's trade in his native county. In 1838 he emigrated to Clay County, Mo., where he plied his vocation, and in 1842 removed to Jackson County, Mo., locating at Independence. In 1844 came to Jackson County, Kan. and was employed as foreman in the Labor Manuel School at Shawnee Mission. The institution was conducted under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the object being to educate the Indians in mechanism as well as in literature and other branches. Mr. Deering remained at the Mission two years, when he opened a blacksmith shop between Topeka and St. Mary's Mission, where he was employed by the Government, for a few years, as blacksmith for the Pottawatomie Indians. The autumn of 1850 he returned to Jackson County, Mo., and engaged in farming, in connection with keeping a hotel and blacksmithy at New Santa Fe, continuing there six years. He then went to Leavenworth, and was employed as foreman in the wagon establishment of Mayors. Russell & Waddels for two years for two years, when he engaged in business at White Church, Wyandotte County, continuing for ten years, when he became a resident of Valley Falls, and embarked in the blacksmithing business and farming. In 1879 was elected Justice of the Peace, which office he still holds. Was also Justice of the Peace in Jackson County, Mo., for four years. Mr. Deering is thoroughly a Western man, and has been one of untiring industry. To such sturdy pioneers as he Kansas is indebted for it rapid growth. Although past the meridian of life, he bears his age well, and takes great pleasure in recounting his Territorial memoirs. He was married in Kentucky, May 16, 1833, to Miss Lettia Ford, of Kentucky. By this union they had thirteen children, three of whom are living--Theodore, Leon and Emma.

JAMES F. DUNCAN, farmer, Section 3, P. O. Valley Falls, is a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in Perry County, September 17, 1834. When two years of age removed with parents to Maryland, afterwards to West Virginia, and eventually to Illinois. In after years was a resident of Iowa for a time, agricultural pursuits being his vocation in life. August 9, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois Volunteer Infantry; participated in twenty-four open field engagements; among these were Franklin, Nashville, Atlanta, Lost Mountain and Rocky Face. Served until June 20, 1865, and was honorably discharged. Mr. Duncan came to Kansas in 1872. He is one among the substantial farmers of Jefferson County. He was married in Illinois to Miss Sarah J. Miller, a native of that state. By the union they have three children--C. W., A. F., and E. E.

STEPHEN H. DUNN was born in Miami County, Ohio, January 27, 1821. His father was born in Carlise, Cumberland Co., Pa and moved to Ohio when quite young. Here Stephen H. was born and raised and learned the blacksmith's trade. In 1843 he went West to Goshen, Elkhart Co., Ind., where he remained one year. Then moved to Kosciusko County; he lived there till 1847, then moved back to Goshen, where he was burned out. In the fall of 1848 moved to Bristol, in the same county, and lived there until August, 1854. Then moved to Weston, Mo., and March 16, 1855, to Valley Falls (then called Grasshopper Falls), Kan. Here he erected a small shop and did the blacksmith work of a company who were building the mill now owned by J. M. Piazzek. From that time until 1879 he carried on blacksmithing. In 1865 he also engaged in the livery business, owning and operating the first establishment of this kind in the town. He remained in this business until 1873. Soon after coming he built a residence, and there being no regular hotel he kept and catered to the wants of the traveling public, so that he is virtually the first hotel-keeper of the place. Mr. Dunn has seen the growth of Valley Falls, and there are but few if any citizens in the county that are more popularly known. For the past few years he has been engaged in the confectionery business. He was married to Miss Sarah Adams. Her death occurred in Valley Falls, July 20, 1879. They reared a family of three children - Lucella E., Mary E., and Homer A. Mr. Dunn is a member of the I. O. O. F.

ELI EVANS, capitalist. Among the pioneers of Jefferson County was Mr. Joseph Evans, who came with his family to Kansas in April, 1856, locating in Leavenworth. His son Eli is a native of Ohio, and was born in Richland County, July 19, 1840. On arriving in Kansas, still but a boy, he was fired with the Free-state principles, and at once identified himself with that party, and his career during the border ruffian troubles and the Rebellion, for bravery and daring are without a parallel. When John Brown was agitating the question the strongest, in 1856, he tendered his services to the cause, and as First Lieutenant under Gen. James Lane, participated in the first struggle. Among his exploits may be mentioned his being captured by the border ruffians, and after being tried by court martial, was released under penalty of death should he ever again take issue with the Free-state faction. He at once conveyed the news to Phillips and other Free-state men of Leavenworth that there was a conspiracy to annihilate them. Through Mr. Evan's warning some made their escape. The tragic death of Phillips is mentioned in another portion of this history. Evans, having stirred the ire of his combatants, well knew what the result would be. He was again captured, but made his escape from Leavenworth to Lawrence under cover of night. He took many changes also as dispatch bearer for General Lane, his route being from Leavenworth to Oskaloosa and Lawrence, and later from Flat Rock to Fort Gibson and Fort Leavenworth. In 1861, with forty men, made a raid on Harry, Mo. one of the main points of the Confederates, and the successful capture of over forty-five head of horses, which were taken to Kansas City, and the owners duly notified to come and take the oath of allegiance and their property would be returned, which the greater portion of them did. While a dispatch bearer he had a guard of seven men, and on one occasion, when, when they were fording Cottonwood River, in the Indian Nation, six of the party were shot dead by guerrillas in ambush. Lieut. Evans' horse was severely wounded, and after escaping some distance from the scene, he released the horse and walked and walked to Fort Scott. He repaired to Lawrence immediately after the memorable massacre there and took an active part in adjusting matters and taking care of the sufferers. During the warmest period it was discovered that one Hogan, on Salt Creek Bottom was used, his house as a retreat for the bushwhackers. Lieut. Evans determined that institution must succumb. So one night, about 10 o'clock, with nine men, he invaded the premises. However, he had not fully estimated the strength of the enemy, as there were upwards of twenty-five well-armed men and fortified in the house. With that sublime presence of mind which is characteristic of his whole career, and only other thing that saved himself and party in this case, he sent up a rocket, and in commanding voice called out to one of his men to have Gen. Lane send on the cannon and they would blow the house to atoms. The result was an immediate surrender of the occupants, and the cream of the joke was that Gen. Lane and the cannon were down at Lawrence. At the first Free- state election in Leavenworth he was in command of a company under Capt. Fisk, in Moore's regiment, to see that order was preserved at the polls and to regulate the voting. He was also a participant in the noted Price raid and numerous other stiffing events of the late unpleasantness. In 1857, under command of Capt. Dixon, he visited Kickapoo, where the border ruffians had a 73-pound gun which formerly belonged to the Government. They captured it at daylight in the morning, and took the custodians unawares. That cannon is now in charge of the Turners at Leavenworth City. There was also a certain physician in Delaware City, of Pro-slavery proclivities, who had a stand of twenty-five rifles. Lieut. Evans thought they would be as safe in other hands, and one day, when the doctor returned from a sang-froid call in the country, he found his arsenal non est. For a considerable length of time when the war was was in its zenith, he was in the Quartermaster's Department at Fort Leavenworth, and afterward was in the employ of Fuller, McDonald & McKey, of Fort Gibson, Government supply agents. To recount all his episodes and thrilling adventures during those days would make a volume in itself. Suffice it to say that there are but few who contributed more amply and did it in sympathy with the cause in putting down the American Rebellion than Lieut. Evans. After the war he engaged in agricultural pursuits for several years, when he embarked in general merchandising in Oskaloosa, continuing until 875, when he was engaged to represent the wholesale boot and shoe house of Buck, McCown & Co., of St. Joseph, Mo., and he has since been on the road in their and their successors' interests up to the present time. Since 1879 his home as been in Valley Falls, where he has one of the finest residences to be found in northeastern Kansas. He is the owner of the Valley Falls fair ground, and is prominently identified among the solid of me of Jefferson County. He was married in 1865 to Miss Josephine R. Coy. By this union they have two children--Joseph A. and Elizabeth Maud.

FINLEY FERGUSON, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 21, P. O. Valley Falls, is a native of Indiana, and was born in Wayne County, September 20, 1824, and was three educated and reared to manhood. In 1855 he came to Kansas, taking up his abode in Salt Creek Valley, in Leavenworth County, being one of the first in hat locality. In December, 1856, he pre-empted the farm on which he now resides. There are but few citizens, if any, who have contributed more toward the development of Jefferson county than has Mr. Ferguson. He is an industrious citizen and has been amply repaid for his labors in Kansas, being one of the largest farmers in his locality. He was married the autumn of 1869 to Miss Annie Armstead. They have three children--Cora, Bertha and Robert.

G. W. FLEISCHER, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Valley Falls, is a native of Indiana, and was born in Davis County, December 9, 1839, and was there partially reared. In 1954 his father, M. G. Fleischer, with the family, emigrated to Iowa, locating in Story County, where they resided until 1862, when they moved to Nebraska, locating in Lancaster County, four miles south of Lincoln. In 1870 Mr. Fleischer came to Kansas, locating were he now resides, which is a very desirable home. He was married in 1862 to Miss Anna Booth, a native of England. By this union they have four children--Lida, Estella, Walter and Charles. Mr. R. is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Winchester Lodge, and his Grange.

I. FRIEND, merchant, is a native of France, and was born in Lorraine, September 26, 1836. His early days were spent in Champagne, here he lived until 1865, when he came to the United States, locating in Atchison, Kansas. Here he was in trade for several years. In 1874 he embarked in trade in Valley Falls. He is one of the leading business men of this county. He was married in France to Miss Roselie May, of Champagne. They have three children---Edward M., Pauline and Ida. Edward M. is the junior member of the firm. Mr. Friend is a member of the Masonic Order, and belongs to the Chapter. In the season of 1882, with his wife and two daughters, he paid a visit to their former home in France, and made quite an extended tour of the Old Country.

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