KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


LYON COUNTY, Part 20

[TOC] [part 21] [part 19] [Cutler's History]

AGNES CITY.

This postoffice and country trading point is located twenty-five miles nearly due north of Emporia, on Rock Creek, and is surrounded by a good class of farmers. The first settlement in the vicinity of Agnes City, was made in 1858, by Henry Closing, the Anderson Bros., the noted desperadoes, A. I. Baker, who was afterwards killed by Bill Anderson, ------- French, and a few others.

A postoffice was established and named Agnes City, in honor of the wife of A. I. Baker, who was appointed Postmaster. Baker also kept the conventional country store. In 1860, more settlers came in, but owing to the drought, of that year many of them left. In 1868-69, W. B. Edwards, A. L. North, E. C. Edwards, H. P. McMillan and others, made settlements on the creek. Not much progress was made until 1878, when the country around rapidly settled up. The nearest railroad station is Dunlap, Morris County, eight miles distant. The community is supplied with a good district school, in the schoolhouse of which is held religious services by different denominations.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES - AGNES CITY TOWNSHIP.

WILEY BLOUNT EDWARDS, farmer, Section 17, Township 16, Range 10, P. O. Dunlap, was born in Sullivan County, Tenn., December 8, 1808. He received a common school education in his native county, where he was raised upon a farm, and resided until the fall of 1830, when he removed to Madison County, Ky. He remained here two years, then removed to Paris, Edgar Co., Ill., and engaged in blacksmithing. Two years later he entered into commercial life, operating a grocery store for about four years. He was then elected Constable, which office he held for several years, after which he was appointed Deputy Recorder, and Deputy Clerk of the Court, which position he held for several years. He was elected Justice of the Peace and served several years. He then removed to Douglas County, and farmed for three years, and in the spring of 1867, he came to Kansas. He bought a quarter section of unimproved land, situated on Bluff Creek, in Agnes City Township, and afterwards bought of he Government a quarter section of Trust Land, adjoining the first purchase. He has improved these lands, built a dwelling, barn and other farm buildings, and continued to operate his farm until 1877, since which he has rented the farm and devoted his time only to his stock. Has an orchard of 100 apple trees, besides peach and cherry trees. He married December 8, 1829, Miss Matilda W. Jenkins, of Carter County, Tenn., by which marriage he has had ten children, of whom Selina S., Elbert C., Margaret A., Ann E., and Cerilda, are living. Mr. and Mrs. Edwards are members of the Baptist Church. He has held the office of Justice of the Peace two years, during his residence in Agnes City Township.

JESSE W. GRAY, farmer, Section 30, Township 15, Range 10, P. O. Council Grove, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., January 29, 1844. He received a common school education in his native county, where he resided, engaged in farming until Mary 4, 1862, when he enlisted as a private in Company E. Fifty-seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers for three months. He took part in the movement to repel the raid of the Rebel, John Morgan, into Ohio, and was with the troops that effected his capture. He was then discharged, and re-enlisted as a private in Company I. One Hundred and Eighty-sixth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers for three years. After four months service in camp at Philadelphia, he was examined by the United States Examining Board at Washington, D. C., receiving a first-class certificate, and in the fall of 1863, he was commissioned as Second Lieutenant of Company B. Thirty-seventh Regiment United States Colored Troops. The regiment was raised in North Carolina, Lieutenant Gray being for some time on recruiting service in New Berne and other points in North Carolina. The regiment was assigned to the Army of the James, and was engaged in digging the great Dutch Gap Canal, near Richmond. It afterwards formed part of the expedition against Fort Fisher, N. C., under Gen. A. H. Terry, and took part in the actions resulting in the capture of that Fort and the city of Wilmington. His regiment was then stationed at Fencing Station and at Goldsboro, on the Wilmington & Weidon Railroad, and afterwards ordered to Raleigh, at which point they were at the time of the surrender of Johnston. From there the regiment was ordered upon garrison duty at Wilmington, Fort Fisher, Smithville, Fort Caswell and Morehead in North Carolina. Mr. Gray was promoted to First Lieutenant, after the Fort Fisher engagement. His company was stationed at Fort Caswell, and remained in the service until February, 1867, when he was mustered out at Raleigh. He returned to Pennsylvania and engaged in farming, in which he continued one year. In 1869, he came to Kansas, but returned to Pennsylvania the next year to make preparations for his final location here. In the spring of 1871, he located in Lyon County, his father buying a farm of 160 acres, situated on Rock Creek, in Agnes City Township. He has improved this farm by the erection of two dwelling houses, barn and other buildings. Has an orchard of 100 apple trees, 50 peach trees, 20 pear trees and other fruits. He has since purchased 240 acres of Trust Land adjoining the home farm, and has it all fenced. His principal crop is corn. He also raises cattle and hogs. Mr. Gray is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is also a member of the Council Grove Lodge, A. O. U. W., and a member of the I. O. O. F. He married Miss Marion W. Welsh, of Westmoreland County, Pa., February 16, 1871, by which marriage he has four children - Anna J., Dora A., Josie A., and Hattie A., all living.

WILLIAM A. GRAY, farmer, Section 19, Township 15, Range 10, P. O. Council Grove, Morris County, was born in Westmoreland County, Penn., April 23, 1842. He received a common school education, and remained in his native county until April, 1861, when he enlisted as a private in Company I, Eleventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve, Col. Galagher. The regiment was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and participated in the battle of Malvern Hill, in which Mr. Gray was twice wounded, and taken prisoner. He was held a prisoner in Libby prison, Richmond, for two months and was then exchanged and sent to hospital at Philadelphia, from which he was discharged for disability four months later. He returned home, and in June following enlisted as a Sergeant in Company A, Fifty-seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania State Militia, in which he served during the Morgan raid into Ohio. He was discharged after sixty days' service. On the 1st of September, 1864, he re-enlisted as a private in Company H. Fifth Regiment, Pennsylvania H. A. He was stationed on the forts around Washington, and while on duty guarding and repairing a railway had two engagements with the guerrilla band of Col. Mosby. He was discharged June 30, 1865, and after a month spent in Pennsylvania, came to Kansas. In August, 1865, he settled at Lawrence, where he worked at the carpenter's trade for a time. He then removed to Topeka, working at his trade there, and at other points on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas R. R. In 1868 he bought eighty acres of unimproved land on Linn Creek, five miles from Topeka. This he improved and farmed until 1871, when he removed to Lyon County. He bought 160 acres of Trust Land, situated on Rock Creek, in Agnes City Township, and has since purchased 120 acres adjoining the home farm. He has made valuable improvements, including a dwelling house, barn, and farm buildings, an orchard of 100 apple and 100 peach trees, besides other smaller fruits. His principal crop is corn. He raises cattle and hogs and is also engaged in buying and selling cattle. Mr. Gray is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He married Mrs. Margaret S. Littick, of Shawnee County, August 15, 1868, by which marriage he has had seven children, of whom Herbert C., Lillie B., William H., Rosa D., Frank H., and Turley B. are living.

JOHN S. GRISMSLEY, farmer, section, Township 16, Range 11, P. O. Allen, was born March 7, 1837, in Morgan County, Ill. When he was three years old his father removed to Keokuk County, Iowa, where his youth was spent upon a farm and where he received a common school education. His father, William Grimsley, Sr., was one of the earliest settlers of Lyon County, locating on Allen Creek, in Americus Township, in the spring of 1856, where the subject of this sketch remained until he attained his majority, and in 1858 he pre-empted 160 acres of land situated on Allen Creek, in Americus Township, which he improved and farmed about three years. He then sold this farm and bought 160 acres of Trust land, partly improved, also situated on Allen Creek, about five miles north of the original farm. This farm he further improved and operated until 1871, when he sold it and bought 180 acres of unimproved land, situated on One Hundred and Forth-second creek, in Agnes City Township. This farm he has since improved by the erection of a good dwelling house, barn, sheds, corn crib and other farm buildings. Planted an orchard of 50 apple, 100 peach, and 40 cherry trees, besides other small fruits. He has 60 acres under cultivation and 100 acres fenced. He raises cattle and hogs, feeding all his crops, principally corn, to his own stock. Mr. Grimsley is a Justice of the Peace for Agnes City Township and has held other local offices. He is a member of Eminence Lodge, No. 205, A., V. & A. M., and a member of Ivy Grange P. of H. He married Miss Catharine Drake of Americus Township, October 27, 1860. He has one child, George I., born October 27, 1867.

JAMES C. HUME, farmer, Section 19, Township 15, Range 10, P. O. Council Grove, Morris County, was born in Painesville, Ohio, October 7, 1841. When about seven years old he removed with his parents to Indiana, and three years later removed to Quincy, Ill. He afterward lived in different parts of Missouri until he came to Kansas in August, 1862. He engaged in freighting, going twice over the old Santa Fe trail to Fort Union, New Mexico, and afterwards between Kansas City and Leavenworth and different points in central and western Kansas. In 1865 he bought a farm of 120 acres, situated on Rock Creek, in Agnes City Township, Lyon County, upon which he located in 1867. In 1870 he built part of his present fine residence, finishing it in 1874. He has since added by purchase 320 acres, adjoining his first purchase. About eighty acres is under cultivation, forty acres timber, and the remainder grazing land. His principal crop is corn. He also raises cattle and hogs. Mr. Hume is a member of the Church of Christ. He married Miss Mary K. Richardson, of Keytesville, Mo., January 1, 1871, by whom he has two children, M. Ollie and Emma A., both living.

LEONARD R. SANDERS, farmer and stock raiser, Section 8, Township 16, Range 11, P. O. Trail, was born in Windsor County, Vt., August 8, 1825. He was brought up on a farm, receiving a common school education and shortly after obtaining his majority engaged in farming on his own account. In 1855 he removed to Knox County, Ill., but remained here only one year, then settled in Morgan County, where he resided about eight years, engaged in farming and stock raising. His next move was to Andrew County, Mo., where he was quite extensively engaged in stock dealing and shipping. He remained here four years, then removed to Atchison County, Mo., where he remained over two years. He had a farm containing a section of land which he improved, and also engaged in stock dealing. While in this county he served a term of two years as a member of the Board of County Commissioners. In August, 1872, he came to Kansas, locating in Doniphan County, where he engaged in farming and stock raising. Remained here about four years, then removed to Mitchell County. After about four years in Mitchell County, where he engaged in farming and stock dealing, he came to Lyon County. Located on Allen Creek in the spring of 1881, at the head of the creek, in Agnes City Township, and bought 178 acres of unimproved land, which he has since improved by the erection of a commodious frame dwelling, barn, corn-crib, etc. Has about thirty acres under cultivation, suing the remainder for hay and grazing. His principal business is raising cattle. Mr. Sanders is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. He holds the office of Postmaster of Trail, having been appointed in March, 1882, when the office was established. He married Miss Laura C. Marsh, of Windsor County, Vt., September 17, 1847, by whom he has three children, Clara L., Mary M., and Charles A., all living.

EMIL H. SCHELLACK, M. D., and farmer, Section 23, Township 15, Range 10, P. O. Agnes City, was born in Berlin, Prussia, November 14, 1848. He first came to the United States in 1861, locating in Lynn, Mass., from which place he enlisted as a private, in Company C, Eleventh Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers. He married Miss Harriet Fatum, of New York City, February 7, 1873, by which marriage he has had five children, of whom Louise M., George C., and Ralph C., are living.

GEORGE H. THOMPSON, farmer, Section 9, Township 16, Range 10, P. O. Agnes City, was born in Guilford, Chenango Co., N. Y., August 2, 1826. He received his education in the common schools of his native town and at the Norwich Academy, N. Y., and when eighteen years of age began teaching in the schools of Chenango County. In 1848 he removed to Illinois and taught school one year in Dilion, Tazewell County. He then returned to New York and was engaged in teaching and in farming there until 1855. He was Postmaster of North Guilford three years during this time. He then removed to Bureau County, Ill., and for the next four years was engaged in commercial life, and as deputy Postmaster at Malden. He then removed to Ford County, where he bought a farm of 160 acres, which he operated until 1865, when he sold his farm, and in the spring of 1866 engaged in general merchandising at Onarga, Iroquois Co., Ill., where he remained until the fall of 1871. He then disposed of this business and embarked in the hardware and lumber business at Roberts, Ford County. He built the first store at this place, and was appointed Postmaster here at the same time the office was established and held the office until he resigned it to remove to Kansas. In June, 1873, his store was destroyed by fire, causing a loss to Mr. Thompson of over $5000. He rebuilt and continued his business until the spring of 1879, when he sold out and came to Kansas. Was Justice of the Peace for nearly eight years in Roberts. He located on Bluff Creek, in Agnes City Township, Lyon County, upon 160 acres of trust land, bought of the government and 160 acres of improved land. He has since rebuilt the dwelling house and improved the barn and other buildings. About 150 acres of his farm is under cultivation. The principal crops are corn and millet. He also raises cattle and hogs. Mr. Thompson has held the office of Justice of the Peace two years and Township Trustee one year. Was Postmaster at Agnes City one year, then resigned the office. He is a member of the Congregational Church, and of the orders of A., F. & A. M.,, and the I. O. O. F. He married November 7, 1849, Miss Adella L. Gibbs, of Norwich, N. Y., who died February 14, 1870, leaving one child, William C., born March 18, 1851. He married January 25, 1871, Miss Mary E. Gibbs, of Norwich, N. Y., a sister of his first wife. Mr. T. is an intelligent, progressive and worthy citizen, possessing the respect and esteem of all who know him.

FAYETTE TURNEY, farmer and preacher, Section 36, Township 16, Range 10, P. O. Americus, was born in Wayne County, Ill., July 3, 1828. He was educated in the common schools of his native county, and after attaining his majority engaged in farming. In 1847 he enlisted in Company B. of Col. Newby's Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry (Gen. John A. Logan was his First Lieutenant). He served in said regiment eighteen months at various points in New Mexico, but most of the time being stationed at Santa Fe. At the close of the war he marched with his regiment over the plains to Fort Leavenworth, thence to Alton, Ill., and was honorably discharged. Mr. Turney was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1859. Was licensed to preach and ordained a deacon, and then an elder in the church. He served said church in the local and itinerant ranks up to 1875, when he transferred affiliations to the Methodist Protestant Church. He removed to Kansas in 1876, first locating in Americus where for two years he preached in Emporia Township Methodist Protestant Church. He then bought a farm four miles north of Americus. Selling this farm after one year's occupancy he bought a tract of 160 acres wild land seven miles from Americus, improved it, and by purchase has added 360 acres more, making a desirable and valuable farm. He has a large commodious dwelling, outbuildings, corrals, etc., and an orchard of 200 apple, 300 peach, cherries and all the small fruits. Has in cultivation 100 acres of choice bottom land. Principal crop is corn. Has a herd of 40 cattle, 20 hogs and 10 horses. In addition to the farm duties and labors he is filling his Sabbaths in preaching in "Macedonia" the free and liberal principals of the Methodist Protestant Church. He married Miss E. J. Whitson, of Wayne County, Ill., September 1, 1849. They have five children, viz: Ettie B., Lincoln L., Fayette L., Virginia V. and Mary E., all living. Mr. Turney has recently been honored by receiving from the Governor of Kansas a commission as Justice of the Peace for the township.

JOHN WINGFIELD, farmer, Section 9, Township 16, Range 10, P. O. Agnes City, was born in Cuba, Clinton Co., Ohio, November 20, 1848. When he was eight year old his parents removed to Williamson County, Ill., where the subject of this sketch was brought up upon a farm, receiving a common school education. He remained there until the spring of 1872, when he came to Kansas, locating upon 160 acres of trust land situated on the Bluff Creek in Agnes City Township. He has improved his farm by the erection of a dwelling house, barn and other farm buildings; planted an orchard of 800 peach trees, 50 apple trees, 150 grapevines, and other small fruits. His principle crops are corn, potatoes and millet. He also raises cattle and horses. He married Mrs. Maria M. Paterson, of Lyon County, October 15, 1876. She was a widow with one child - Mary Alice, born March 17, 1872. He has held the office of Constable of Agnes City Township three terms. Mr. and Mrs. Wingfield are members of the Church of Christ.

GEORGE E. WITHINGTON, farmer, Section 26, Township 15, Range 11, P. O. Allen, was born August 23, 1844, at Des Moines, Iowa. His father, Charles H. Withington, was the first actual settler within the territory now embraced in Lyon County. He went to Council Grove in 1851, and there kept a store for the Santa Fe and Indian trade. In June, 1854, he located upon One Hundred and Forty-Second Creek, at the crossing of the old Santa Fe Trail. This was before the lands of the Territory were open for settlement, the land upon which he located being situated between the Shawnee and Kaw Indian lands, and in dispute between those tribes. As soon as the lands were open to settlement, Mr. W. pre-empted 160 acres. Here was established a station on the stage line between Independence, Mo., and Santa Fe, N. M. Mr. W. built a small log cabin (which is still standing, and forms part of the present residence of George E.) and opened a house of entertainment for travelers. He also opened a general store, which was the first establishment of the kind in southern Kansas away from the Indian posts. He was appointed Postmaster by President Pierce, the office being the first in the county, and the only one in 1855-56. His store was robbed in September 1856, by a party calling themselves Free-State Men. Mr. W. was away from home at the time of their arrival, but returned after they had cleaned out his store, taking about $3,000 worth of goods. He drew his revolver upon the leader of the party, but before he could use it, so many firearms were pointed at him that he considered discretion the better part of valor, and submitted to the inevitable. After making him take off and surrender his spurs, the party departed. Mr. W. continued to run this store and station until 1866, when the stage line was discontinued. He then devoted his attention to the cultivation of his farm. In July, 1881, he went to California to visit his brothers, and while there, November 4, 1881, he died, and was buried in Sacramento City. His wife died in May, 1880. They left four children - Ellen, married to D. J. Haden, and residing in Colorado; George E., Albert P. and Kate J., married to Hon. Charles Unfug, and residing in Colorado. George now owns the old home farm, which he operates. He is a member of Emporia Lodge No. 12, A., F. & A. M., and a member of Ivy Grange P. of H. He is a Deputy Sheriff of Lyon County, and is also serving his second term as Treasurer of Agnes City Township. He married Miss Anna B. Sheetz, of Agnes City Township, November 14, 1880, and by this marriage has one child - Margie E., born October 11, 1881.

[TOC] [part 21] [part 19] [Cutler's History]