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


[TOC] [part 14] [part 12] [Cutler's History]


Gardner, so named in honor of Gov. Gardner, of Massachusetts, is beautifully situated on level prairie, ten miles southwest of Olathe, on the Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Kansas Railroad. It was surveyed and platted in 1857 by a Town Company composed of O. B. Gardner, Benjamin B. Francis, A. B. Bartlett and others, who built the first house in the town. This was a frame building, 14X20, and designed merely for temporary purposes. Benjamin Davis kept the first hotel in a small log building; then in a frame one, and in the spring of 1858, J. W. Sponable built and opened a store, the first in town.

The Town Company built the stone hotel in 1857. It was 36X40 feet and two stories high. Daniel O'Sullivan was the first blacksmith, having opened his shop in the fall of 1857. Dr. W. H. Shean arrived in 1857, and was the first physician in the town. In the spring of 1858, S. H. Church and S. G. Sponable started the second store, and for some years both stores in Gardner did a wholesale as well as a retail business. In the same spring W. H. Page started a shoe shop.

The first school taught in Gardner was a private one by Miss Myra D. Shean, now Mrs. L. W. Swan. The school district was organized in the winter of 1858-59, and the first public school taught the next summer by Miss Mary Williams. A stone schoolhouse was built in 1861, and in 1879, a fine two story frame schoolhouse at a cost, including furniture and apparatus if $3,000.

The first church organization was that of the Methodists, a temporary one, in 1857. They were re-organized in 1859, and built their church edifice in 1878, at a cost of $2,200, and dedicated by Rev. J. C. Telford, who was minister at the time. He was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Wolford, and then came Rev. Mr. Osborn.

The first child born in Gardner was a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. O. B. Gardner, July 25, 1858. The first marriage was that of W. J. Ott to Miss Emma Davis, in the fall of 1859, and the first death that of Asa Thayer, in June, 1858.

The Presbyterian was the first permanent church organization in the town, having been effected in 1858. Their church edifice was erected in 1870, at a cost of $3,000. Their ministers have been Rev. Messrs. Beach, William H. Smith and J. N. Rankin, the present incumbent.

The Catholic Church was organized in 1870, after the completion of the railroad to this place, and their church building erected in 1870, costing about $2,000.

The Baptist Church was organized in 1878, and their church built in 1879, at a cost of $2,000. Their ministers have been Revs. W. A. Stewart, A. Jenkins and S. A. Smith.

A Grange store was opened here May 29, 1882, under the auspices of the central store at Olathe, with S. McMillan as manager.

Gardner now contains four general stores, one hardware store, two blacksmiths, one agricultural implement dealer, two drug stores, two hotels, and about two hundred and fifty inhabitants.

Gardner Lodge A. F. & A. M., No. 65, was organized in October, 1871, with eleven charter members, and the following officers: E. Clark, W. M.; I. B. Uhl, S. W.; J. B. Bruner, J. W.; I. D. Clapp, secretary. The present membership is thirty-four. Gardner Lodge I. O. O. F. No. 23, was organized September 21, 1866, with five members, and was the only Odd Fellow Lodge in the county. The charter members and officers were as follows: W. I. Bigelow, N. G.; V. R. Ellis, V. G.: G. M. Waugh, P. G.; Wm. Roy and Isaac Darland. The present membership is is forty-two.

The Good Templars were organized February 6, 1879, with twenty-seven members. The officers were S. F. Wilson, W. C. T.; Miss Tennie Humbert, V. T.; Walter Jones, secretary; Miss Lillie Ott, financial secretary, and Miss Georgie Ott, treasurer. The present membership is ninety-three.

The Gardner Library Association was organized in 1862. The library contains at present 600 volumes.

The town of Garnder was sacked October 25, 1861, by Up Hays' gang. No houses were burned and no murders committed, but about $3,000 worth of goods were stolen from the stores.

At the breaking out of the war Gardner Township had 103 voters, and signalized herself by sending into the army eighty-three soldiers.

O. B. Gardner, after whom the township and town were both named, was killed in the fall of 1864, by Jesse James, when on the way to Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was Chaplain of the Thirteenth Regiment, and had been North with a party of refugees, and was on his return to the regiment.


J. B. ARMSTRONG, M. D., was born in Lee County, Iowa, in 1843, and reared in Appanoose County on a farm. He enlisted in April, 1861, at eighteen years of age, and July 17 of that year was mustered into Company D, Iowa Infantry. At battle of Shiloh wounded in left hip; June 27, 1864, at Kenesaw Mountain he was wounded twice, once in the left knee and again in the left lung. He served in all about four years, being in all the battles of Sherman's army. After the war he began the study of medicine at Cincinnati with Dr. J. M. Sturdivant and attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, graduating in the class of 1867 and 1868. In the fall of 1868 the doctor came to Gardner and at once began the practice of his profession. Since 1873 has off and on carried on a drug store, principally for the accommodation of his patients. He is also interested in farming, owning in all some 320 acres of land in this county. Mr. Armstrong holds the office of Examining Surgeon for the United States government pensions since 1871.

V. R. ELLIS, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Gardner, was born in Virginia, July 2, 1833, and was reared on a farm in Rush County, Ind. He came to Kansas in October, 1857, and located on his present farm in Gardner Township, Johnson County, which he has improved to a high state of agriculture. He owns some 200 acres, seven of which are laid out in a fine orchard. He is also engaged in the breeding of blooded stock. During the late war Mr. Ellis served in the State Militia. He was elected a member of the Board of County Commissioners of Johnson County in 1873 for a term of two years, and was for sixteen years a member of the District School Board. He is a charter member of the Gardner Grange No. 68, organized in 1873, and was the first master of that body, and is the present incumbent. Mr. Ellis is one of the leading farmers of the Township. Was elected a member of the State Legislature in 1882, without opposition.

A. B. FRITZ, farmer, was born in Montgomery County, Pa., January 26, 1828. At the age of sixteen years he learned the trade of carpenter and followed it in that neighbourhood for about three years, and for some time in Philadelphia as a contractor. He came to Kansas in the fall of 1857, and was for a few months employed as a carpenter in Leavenworth and moved on to his present farm in Gardner March 24, 1858, consisting of 160 acres, of which four or five is an orchard. He served in the militia during the war. Mr. Fritz is one of our go-ahead farmers and has his premises well improved. He was elected a Commissioner of Johnson County in the fall of 1880, for a term of three years.

J. HOBART HUNTING, farmer and stock raiser, P. O. Gardner, was born on Mount Desert Island, Me., July 3, 1821. He was in his younger years employed on a farm; also he learned the carpenter's trade. In 1846 he moved to Lake County, Ohio, living there and in Ashtabula County fourteen years. He first came to Kansas in 1858, and purchased the south-east quarter Section 35, Township 14, Range 22 east. He moved his family there in the spring of 1860 and has since resided on the same. Mr. Hunting was married in Guilford, Me., in 1846 to Miss Sarah G. Robbins, daughter of Deacon Chandler Robbins of that place. They have had five children, three of whom are living, namely George Hobart, Charles David and Frank Edward, and engaged in stock raising in Russell County. Born of Puritan stock in both parents, his father a Baptist minister, he has given credit to his ancestry by being a radical in his opposition to slavery, rum, tobacco, secret societies and church gambling, and his children have not degenerated from the old stock.

WILLIAM E. KELLY, farmer and stock raiser, P. O. Gardner, was born in Ireland December 4, 1837, and immigrated to Butler County, Ohio, in 1845, with his mother. Here he was for some years employed at general farm work. In 1857 he removed to Peoria County, Ill., where about for thirteen years he carried on a large farm and was largely engaged in raising stock. He came to Kansas February 27, 1870, and located on his present farm in Gardner Township, Johnson County. This place he has finely improved in the past twelve years. He has a fine orchard of about five acres, and a splendid residence which was built in 1880. His farm is divided up with beautiful Osage hedges. Mr. Kelly now owns about 327 acres of land, and is considered one of the most substantial farmers in the county. He is a member of the Lone Elm Grange. The subject of our sketch was married in Butler County, Ohio, March 11, 1857, to Catherine Dowd. They have a family of fourteen children.

WILLIAM J. McCLINTOCK, farmer, P. O. Gardner, was born in Allegheny County, Pa., March 8, 1838. At the age of sixteen years he removed to Bureau County, Ill., and followed farming as an occupation. He enlisted September 10, 1861, in Company B, Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, and in 1863 was transferred into the United States Army Hospital Department, and served in all five years, after which he was engaged in mercantile business in McDonough County, Ill., until he sold out and came to Kansas in March, 1868. He farmed for about one year at Lanesfield, Johnson County, then moved on to his present farm. Mr. McC. has a well improved farm of 120 acres, and a nice orchard of about four acres. He is a member of Gardner Grange, No. 68. The subject of our sketch was married in Bureau County, Ill., in October, 1866, to Mary A. Bell, a native of England. They have six children - Eliza, Georgia, Austin, William, Ralph and Agnes.

JOHN MEAD, farmer, P. O. Gardner, was born in Ireland in 1831, and at the age of nine years he emigrated with his parents to Lake County, Ill., where he learned the trade of blacksmith, serving an apprenticeship of three years. He then worked at his trade as a journeyman in the States of Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan. In 1866 he came to Kansas, located in the city of Olathe, and for about sixteen years conducted a plow and blacksmith shop, six years of which he was in company with A. E. Moll. In the spring of 1882 he moved on to his present farm, consisting of 100 acres in Gardner Township, all well improved. He also owns considerable property in the city of Olathe. Mr. Mead was married in Winnebago County, Ill., in 1858, to Mary T. Godfrey. This union has been blessed with five children - Thomas, John B., Mary T., Kate A. and Ella A.

REV. WILLIAM J. OSBORN, pastor of First Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, December 20, 1838 and reared in a farm. He followed school teaching several years in Pennsylvania and Indiana, and was for three years engaged in mercantile business in Stark County, Ohio. He began the study of the law in that county in 1868, and two years later commenced studying for the ministry. In 1874 he began as a local preacher. Mr. O. came to Kansas in 1877, had charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Linden for three years, after which he had a church at Auburn, Kas. until the spring of 1882, when he came to Gardner and entered upon his present duties. He was ordained a Deacon of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Salina, Kas., in March, 1878, by Bishop Elder, and Elder in March, 1882, at Abilene by Bishop Warren.

WILLIAM J. OTT, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Gardner, was born in Maryland, October 17, 1827, and reared on a farm in Virginia. He followed farming in that State until 1855, when he removed to Marshall County, Iowa, where for about two years he was employed as a carpenter. In April, 1857, he came to Kansas, pre-empted 160 acres in Gardner, Johnson County, and has since given his attention principally to cultivating his farm and raising stock, making a specialty of breeding horses and mules. Has also, off and on, done considerable work as a carpenter and builder, since his arrival in the State. He owns at present 150 acres of land. Mr. Ott was married in Gardner, Johnson Co., Kas., in 1859, to Amy D. Davis. They have nine children - George A., Lily V., Elsie A., Charles W., Thomas R., Mabel D., Ralph, Harry, and Louisa.

THOMAS E. PEARCE, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Edgerton, was born in Boone County, Ind., August 6, 1831, and during his early youth assisted his father on the farm and in the saw and flour mill. At eighteen years of age he moved to McDonough County, Ill., and was for some years engaged in farming and raising stock. He came to Kansas in March, 1866, and located on his present farm, in Section 3, Township 15, Range 22. He has some 337 acres, 320 of which are improved. On his place he has a very fine residence, which he erected in 1870 at a cost of $2,500. He cultivates 270 acres of his land, and is largely engaged in breeding Short-horn cattle and blooded hogs. Mr. Pearce was elected a Commissioner of Johnson County in the fall of 1877, and held the office three years. He was married in McDonough County, Ill., December 27, 1865, to Sarah Belle Fleming. They have six children - Mina B., John, Edward, Vinnia, Albert, and Allen. Mr. Pearce is a member of Edgerton Grange, No. 435.

DANIEL J. RAMEY, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Spring Hill, was born in North Carolina in 1837, and reared on a farm in Surrey County. In 1860 he came to Kansas, and located in Gardner Township, Johnson County, purchasing at that time 160 acres of land. He is one of the largest farmers in this township; owns 360 acres of land, 225 of which are under cultivation; besides which he is largely engaged in breeding Durham cattle and thoroughbred hogs. Since the spring of 1881, he has been residing on the southeast quarter of Section 8, Township 15, Range 23. In August, 1862 he enlisted in Company I, Twelfth Kansas Infantry, and served three years, principally on detached service. Mr. Ramey is a member of Morning Grange No. 227; has held the offices of master and secretary, and is at present Overseer of that body. He was married in Surrey County, N. C., in 1858, to Matilda Thompson, who died in November, 1878, leaving seven children - Dora, Newton, Charles, David, George, Schuyler, and Mattie. He was married again at Paola, Kas., in December, 1881, to Caroline Reeves.

JAMES SCOTT, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Gardner, was born in Pirthshire, Scotland, March 20, 1830, and educated in the city of Edinburgh. In 1854 he emigrated to America, and for some years resided in Fond du Lac County, Wis., where he followed farming. He came to Kansas in September, 1857, and located on this farm, which is the southwest quarter of Section 13, Township 14, Range 22, and has since given his attention to farming and raising stock. On October 10th, 1863, he enlisted in Company K, Fifteenth Kansas Infantry. He was promoted to Corporal, Sergeant, Second Lieutenant, and when mustered out, in November, 1865, held the rank of First Lieutenant. Mr. Scott is a charter member of Gardner Grange, No. 68. He was married in Fond du Lac, Wis., November 14, 1859, to Ellen O'Hara, a native of Greene County, N. Y. They have eight living children - Mary A., Mahalia M., William J., Isabel, Catherine, Charles, Fred, and Jessie; and two deceased.

W. M. SHEAN, physician and surgeon, was born in Somerset County, Me., September 24, 1818, and reared on a farm, was also for several years employed as a clerk in mercantile business, after which he turned his attention to teaching and followed that occupation about twelve years. At the age of twenty-four years and during a portion of the time he was engaged in teaching; he also studied medicine. In the spring of 1857, he came to Kansas, located in Gardner, Johnson County. For the first five years he farmed and practiced, since then has devoted himself entirely to his profession. The doctor was elected in the fall of 1861, to the State Legislature, and served one term. He is a member of the State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. In 1870, he went to St. Louis Medical College, and graduated in the spring of 1872. The subject of our sketch was married in Somerset County, Me., in November, 1840, to Anstres Dudley. They have three children - Myra D., Chandler M. D. and Edward F., engaged in the drug business at this place.

CLARENCE R. SHEDDEN, farmer, P. O. Gardner, was born in Northumberland County, Penn., in 1854, and reared on a farm, and was for two years engaged in farming in Cass County, Mich. He came to Kansas June 22, 1875, and located in Shawnee Township, Johnson County, where he farmed 160 acres. Early in 1882 he purchased his present farm, consisting of 160 acres, and moved onto the same in April, that year. He has one of the finest and best improved farms in the county. He is a member of Gardner Grange, No. 68. Mr. Shedden was married in Northumberland County, Penn., May 17, 1877, to Jennie M. Tweed. They have two children, William Dean and Tweed R.

RUFUS THORN, farmer, P. O. Gardner, was born at Sanbornton, N. H., in 1813, and at the age of fourteen years he was apprenticed to the trade of cabinet-maker, and was employed at it there and in Boston for several years. In 1834 he removed to Warren County, Ill., where he resided for about twenty-three years and engaged in farming; was also for some years in the furniture and general merchandise business at Berwick that county, and held the office of Justice of the Peace for several years. He came to Kansas in the spring of 1857, locating on his present farm. He owns 160 acres of land, and is engaged in breeding Durham and Jersey cattle and Poland-China hogs. Mr. Thorn was Justice of the Peace for several years, also a member of the District School Board, and is at present clerk of that body. He was married at Portsmouth, N. H., to Abby A. Bowen, who died early in 1855, leaving two children, George A. and Rufus F. Mr. T. was married a second time in Henderson County, Ill., in the fall of 1855, to Ruth L. Cross; she died October 11, 1869, leaving five children - Laura R., Charles A., Mary E., Emma and Ruth O. He was married again June 25, 1870, at Olathe, to Elenora A. Anderson.

ISRAEL R. UHL, farmer and stock raiser, P. O. Gardner, was born in Somerset, County, Pa., September 8, 1834, and was reared on a farm in Holmes County, Ohio; here he was employed in farm and carpenter work until 1863, when he moved to St. Joe County, Ind., and was employed in a like manner. In March, 1866, he came to Kansas and purchased his present farm in Gardner Township, moving to the same in the following November. In the spring of 1869 he moved to Olathe, where he followed the trade of carpenter until the spring of 1873, when he returned to his farm. He owns 240 acres of land all well improved, has a fine orchard of some four acres and a beautiful residence. Mr. Uhl was married in Holmes County, Ohio, in 1858, to Margaret Moore, who died in 1869, leaving two children, William A. and Emery S. He was married again in Holmes County, in 1872, to Margaret Gieselman, a native of Wayne County, Ohio. They have three children - Frank E., Harvey L. V. and Elsie. Mr. Uhl is a member of the Gardner Grange, No. 68, and is the present secretary of that body.

R. W. VICTOR, farmer, P. O. Gardner, was born in Green County, Ky., in 1844. In 1848 he removed with his parents to Platte County, Mo., and March 3, 1857, accompanied them to Gardner Township, Johnson County, Kan. His father Jacob Victor, located on the southeast corner of Section 18, Town 14, Range 23, and there died, June 7, 1858, since which time Robert has conducted the homestead, except for a few years while absent from the county. February 28, 1879, Clara Victor, his mother, died, and, according to previous arrangement, the homestead was divided between himself and his two brothers. He, having bought the interests of one brother, gave him ninety acres. November 18, 1881, he disposed of his share, and purchased eighty acres three miles northwest of where he is now living, and at this time is farming the remaining seventy acres belonging to his brother. During the late war he served, for a few days only, in the State militia. Mr. Victor was married in 1864, to Louisa E. Wilson, of Gardner Township. In August, 1874, his wife died, leaving five children - Lizzie, Walter, William, Clara, and Nellie. September, 1876, he was married again; has one child by this marriage, Earl. Mr. Victor, for seven years, has been a member of Gardner Lodge, No. 23, I. O. O. F.

COL. G. M. WAUGH was born in Oswego, N. Y., September 12, 1822. His parents emigrated to Lorain County, Ohio, in 1832. He remained on the farm until eighteen years of age, and then for three years attended the Oberlin College, after which he read law with Messrs. Tiffany & Wakefield, at Elgin, Ohio. In 1844 he removed to Ozankee, Wis., and was, in the fall of that year, admitted to the bar. Then practiced there until 1852, when he took his family across the plains and settled in Placerville, Cal. A year later, removed to San Francisco, where for four years he was engaged in the practice of law. In 1857 he came to Kansas, locating in Gardner, on the southwest quarter of Section 6, Town 15, Range 23, where he still resides. In 1858 he was elected a commissioner of Johnson County, and in 1859, County Attorney, filling the former office one year, and the latter two years. In 1861 he enlisted in Company G, Second Kansas Cavalry, and was subsequently promoted to Second Lieutenant of his company, and for a year served as Judge Advocate of the army of the frontier, and for eight months as Judge Advocate of the district of Southwestern Missouri. In 1863 he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel of the Second Arkansas Infantry, and was in command of that regiment until the close of the war. In 1870 he engaged in the grain business at Gardner, following it for some four years. The subject of our sketch was married in 1844, to Harriet L. Sherman, of Wakeman, Ohio. They have three children - Sarah E., Alida M. and Hattie M.

W. J. WILSON, wagon and blacksmith shop, was born in Washington County, Ohio, September 12, 1843, and some years later removed with his parents to Iowa, and thence to Missouri. In March, 1859, he came to Gardner, Kan., and was employed in farming. In January, 1862, he enlisted in the First Kansas Battery, Independent Light Artillery, and served over three years. When mustered out he held the rank of Sergeant. Returning to Gardner, he again for some time gave his attention to farming. Then served two years as an apprentice to the blacksmith trade. In March, 1871, he purchased his present shop and business, and now has the leading trade and oldest shop in this place. Mr. W. was married at Olathe, Kan., in January, 1872, to Elizabeth R. Jack. They have four children - Carrie J., Elinore E., Joseph D. and Jessie L.

CLARK WYRICK, of Ward & Wyrick, dealers in grain, etc., was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1852, and came with his father, H. Wyrick, to Kansas, in 1860. The family settled on a farm in Gardner, Johnson County, and the subject of our sketch followed farming as an occupation until the winter of 1878, when he engaged in the grain business in company with J. B. Ward. This firm does a large business, handling during the season of 1880 over 100,000 bushels of grain. Mr. Wyrick is a member of I. O. O. F. Lodge No. 23, at this place and at present is Vice Grand.


Edgerton is situated in the southwestern part of the county, near the junction of two branches of Bull Creek. The land here is of excellent quality, the surface of the country is gently undulating and considerable building stone is found along the creeks. The town is located on the farm of Judge David Martin, one of the oldest settlers in this part of the county, he having come here in June, 1857. The railroad was completed to this place in July, 1870, and the station named Edgerton, after the chief engineer of the road, hence the name of the postoffice and town.

The first building erected other than the railroad station, was a dwelling by Creel & Morse in the fall of 1870. The first store was built by S. C. Rankin about the same time, and the second by Dr. Rezon Addy; shortly afterwards Reuben Perkins built the first hotel in 1871; D. C. Dewyer moved his blacksmith shop from Lanesfield to Edgerton in July, 1871. The first family that moved into the town was that of A. V. McKim, in the fall of 1870. The Presbyterian Church built in Lanesfield at a cost of nearly $2,000, was moved to Edgerton in the summer of 1871. Rev. J. N. Rankin was pastor at the time and continued to minister to the church until 1881, when he removed to Gardner, being succeeded in Edgerton by Rev. Mr. Stout, present incumbent.

The United Presbyterian Church was organized here and built their church in 1871, at a cost of $2,400. Their ministers have been, Rev. J. W. Martin, until 1874; Rev. J. N. Smith from 1875 to 1881; and Rev. W. A. Anderson commencing in 1881.

The Methodist Church was moved from Lanesfield to Edgerton in 1873 and rebuilt at a cost of $1,200. The ministers of this church have been: Rev. J .C. Telford, Rev. Mr. Havermill, Rev. J. O. Roberts, and the present pastor Rev. Mr. Osborn.

The schoolhouse was built in 1871. It is a two-story frame and cost $2,100. The first school taught in it was by Robert B. Quay, in the winter of 1871-2.

Edgerton Mills, Larrick Bros. proprietors, was built in the fall of 1879. The building is a three-story frame, and with the machinery cost $9,000. It contains three run of buhrs and a pony, propelled by a steam engine of forty-horse power, and has a capacity of 200 bushels in twenty-hour sic hours.

A grange store was started November 1, 1880, with S. B. Barker manager. In addition to this store there are three general stores, two drug stores, one hardware store, four agricultural implement stores, two hotels, and a population of about 350.

Edgerton is the home of S. M. Crockett, whose father was a nephew of David Crockett of historic fame. Mr. Crockett moved into the county January 24, 1847, with his father who, at that time, came to the Methodist Mission to assist Rev. Thomas Johnson in teaching the Shawnee Indians. Mr. Crockett bears the distinction of being the earliest resident of the county now living within it.

[TOC] [part 14] [part 12] [Cutler's History]