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


[TOC] [part 4] [part 2] [Cutler's History]


As will be seen elsewhere, Emporia was first incorporated as a village February 6, 1865. In April, 1870, it was created, under the laws of the State, a city of the second class, and, divided into four wards. The first city officers as elected and appointed were: Mayor, H. C. Cross; Councilmen, E. Borton, L. N. Robinson, W. W. Williams, C. V. Eskridge, R. D. Thomas, C. Wheelock, F. Hirth, Geo. W. Fredericks; Police Judge. E. W. Cunningham; Clerk. H. W. McCune; Treasurer. S. B. Riggs; Engineer, - Wilson; Attorney, P. B. Plumb; Marshal, W. A. Randolph. The following named gentlemen have occupied the office of Mayor: 1870, H. C. Cross; 1871-2, William Jay; 1873, No es Spicer; 1974, J. R. Graham; 1815, John Bay; 1875;. Thomas Morrison; 1877-8, J. S. Watson; 1879-80, D. S. Gilmore; 1881-2. D. W. Eastman.

Present city officers: Mayor, D. W. Eastman; Councilmen, J. R. Walkup, J. Bay, T. H. Lewis, N. B. Ireland, J. W. Thacher, J. B. Halleck, J. A. Moore, C. P. Theis; Clerk. E M. Forde; Treasurer, H. Dunlap; Attorney. J. Jay Buck; Police Judge, J. R. Barnes; Marshal, M. Burgle; Constables, T. Johnson, L. R. Vernon.

Prior to the opening of the Holly system of water works in the city, an efficient fire department was organized and a chemical fire engine, hose, reels, etc., were purchased. The department, when occasion demands, is always on duty, and aided with an abundant supply of water, bids defiance to conflagrations.


Holly Water Works. - The first official action taken by the city In relation to a system of water works was June 12, 1879, when the feasibility of the project was discussed. October 25, 1879, a special election was ordered held for the purpose of voting $50.000 in bonds for the water works. The election was not held until November 4, 1879, when the bonds were carried by 464 for to 140 against. A special committee on location, appointed in December, 1879,reported in favor of locating on the Neosho River. The report was adopted by the Council. January 8,1880, it was decided to locate on the Cottonwood River. January 15, 1880, a final decision was made and the works located on their present location. Work on the project was Immediately commenced, and completed and opened June 17, 1880, at a cost of $66.893.17. Number of feet of main used, 62,781; number of gallons of water pumped annually. 62,000,000; estimated daily consumption, winter months, 151,200 gallons; summer months, 240,000 gallons. The city is at present well supplied with the water privilege, which is constantly increasing.

Postoffice.- Was established in the fall of 1857, H. W. Pick being appointed first Postmaster. He was succeeded by Joseph A. Fuller, who held the office until April, 1861, when he was succeeded by Jacob Stotler, In October, 1864, Mrs. E. Trask received the appointment, and was Postmistress until October 8, 1874, when Jacob Stotler, the present official in charge, resumed control. In 1876, the office was reduced from a second to a third class office but in 1877, was reinstated as an office of the second class. Since 1876, the post-office business has steadily increased. It was made a money order office on September 9, 1867,the first order being purchased by the "P. M. S;" 321 orders were issued the first year. In 1881, the total amount of cash received on money orders was $80.225.98; amount of money orders paid, $79.873.73; total of money order business, $160,109.71. The amount of post-office business transacted is an index to the general prosperity of the city.

Masonic Temple.- Prominent among the many handsome buildings in the city, is the new Masonic Temple, for which the foundations were laid in the fall of 1881. A building committee composed of C. V. Eskridge. L. D. Jacobs. F. W. Hirth, J. M. Steele and W. W. Hibben, was appointed, and $8,000 raised by issuing certificates of indebtedness on the faith of the lodges in the city, and by other means. The building, which is a three-story brick, 51x75 feet, was completed in December, 1882, and cost in the neighborhood of $25,000. The hall to be used by the Masons is located on the third floor and has an area of 1,150 square feet.

Maple Wood Cemetery. - Is located one and one-half miles northwest of the city on a commanding elevation, from which a beautiful view may be had in all directions. In 1859, this site for a cemetery was purchased by the Odd Fellows and Masons. In 1867, the Odd Fellows caused a survey of fifteen acres to be made. Since the first purchase was made, additional land has been secured, making the present site consist of forty acres. About $2,500 has been spent in improvements by the Order, and it is estimated that $20,000 has been laid out in improvements by private individuals. The grounds are now controlled by the Odd Fellows' societies of Emporia.


The Kansas News was established by Hon. P. B. Plumb, its first number being issued June 6, 1857. At this time Emporia had but three unfinished buildings. The News was one of the pioneer papers of the then Territory of Kansas, and was twelve years in advance of any other paper in Emporia. During the first season of the paper's existence there was no regular mail service to Emporia, and the making of a news-paper was a task attended with many difficulties. At the end of the first volume, Jacob Stotler bought a half interest in the paper. and was associated with Mr. Plumb in its publication. In January, 1859, Mr. Stotler became the sole editor and proprietor, and changed the name to the Emporia News. Messrs. P. B. Plumb and Dudley Randall became the owners and editors, August 1, 1859. Mr. Stotler connected himself with the paper again by purchasing the interest of Mr. Plumb. It was enlarged from a six to a seven-column paper. Becoming sole proprietor on September 1, of the same year, Mr. Stotler continued as such until October 1, 1864, when he sold to J. H., 0. J. and E. L. Hunt. In July, 1865, Mr. Stotler purchased the paper, with David S. Gilmore, and in March, 1866, Mr. Stotler became sole proprietor. He enlarged the News, continuing its publication alone until January 1, 1870, when he sold a half interest to W. W. Williams. At this date the paper was again enlarged, and in November the firm commenced the publication of a morning daily, receiving regular telegraphic reports. It was afterwards changed to an afternoon paper. June 16, 1871, Mr. Stotler again became sole proprietor, and discontinued the daily August 8 following. Messrs. J. R Graham and E. E. Rowland purchased the Emporia Tribune May 17, 1872, and it was consolidated with the News, under the firm name. Stotler, Rowland & Graham. In October Mr. Stotler bought his partners interests. The next change in the management was made April 1, 1875, by the purchase of half the establishment by J. R. Graham. In November, 1878, the Daily News was again started as an afternoon paper. March 1, 1880, Mr. Graham sold out to Alex. Butts and Frank P. MacLennan, who, with Mr. Stotler, continued to publish the paper under the firm name, "News Company. " The daily has been three times enlarged, and enjoys a liberal patronage.

The Emporia Republican succeeded the Ledger, a weekly paper, which had been established in June, 1871, by John Maloy, in 1881. C. V. Eskridge purchased this office, (which had also consolidated with the Journal a Greenback paper). W. P. Chalfant's job printing establishment and Graham & Ross' book bindery, consolidated these three establishments; he added new material to the publication of a newspaper. The first number of the Republican appeared January 21, 1882. C. V. Eskridge editor and proprietor. The paper is published daily and weekly. The daily is a thirty-two column morning paper, being a full member of the Associated Press, and publishing full telegraphic reports. It ranks among the enterprising and leading dailies of the State. The Weekly Republican is a thirty-six column paper, first class in every respect. Both daily and weekly have a large circulation at home, and in the southern and south western portions of the State.

The circulation of the Republicanis rapidly extending. Its able editor and proprietor is now erecting a large three-story brick building to accommodate its increasing business. A gilded American Eagle soars above the handsome cornice work of the structure, and beneath the Bird of Freedom, in raised letters, appears Emporia Republican.

The name of the "Republican indicates its politics. The paper is ably conducted, and a sketch of its editor and proprietor appears in the biographical department. In fact, both editorially, and considered In a business light, the Republican is one of the most prosperous journals in the State. December 14, 1882, the Emporia Republican Publishing Company was formed and incorporated with a capital stock of $50,000. Directors: C. V. Eskridge, Charles Harris, D. J. N. Ross and A. W. Stubbs.

The Emporia Democrat was established March 1, 1879, as the Kansas Sentinel, by W. F. Hetherington. T. McCown purchased the establishment, August 16, 1882, and is its present editor and proprietor. When he assumed the management, the name was changed. It is a weekly paper, the only Democratic journal in the county.

Emporia Tribune was established in the summer of 1869, by Mains & Nixon. In 1871 it was purchased by W. W. Williams. In 1872 it was consolidated with the News, and its publication discontinued.

The Emporia Ledger was established in 1870, as a Democratic paper. It was owned by a stock company, and edited successively by R. M. Ruggles, John Maloy, and Mr. Walker. It afterwards fell into the hands of H. W. McCune, and was published successively by W. F. Chalfant and Albert Pheanis. It was finally merged with the Emporia Journal a paper started by Mr. McCune, the latter paper being discontinued in January, 1882, after an existence of something over a year.


After the erection of the old Constitution School Building, in 1862-63, it was occupied and is still in use. In 1869-70 a new building was erected, known as the Union School. After the incorporation of the town as a city of the second class, in 1870, the public schools of Emporia were classified and graded. At the first city election, held in May, 1870, the following named gentlemen were elected as members of the first Board of Education: S. B. Smith, A. N. Hanna, J. M. Steele. R. M. Overstreet, H. Bancroft, D. E. McMurtine, George Smith, and E. W. Cunningham. At the first session of the Board, R. M. Overstreet was elected president; S. B. Riggs, vice-president; E. W. Cunningham, treasurer; A. N. Hanna, clerk.

Prof. P. J. Carmichael was elected Superintendent of city schools, which office he held two years, and was succeeded by Robert Milliken. In August, 1877, John A. Reynolds was elected to the office for one year. He was succeeded by B. T. Davis, who held the office two years. In 1880, P. J. Carmichael, the present incumbent, was elected.

The district now embraces the entire city and a few outlying districts, and owns seven buildings, namely: The Constitution, erected in 1863; the Union, erected in 1869-70; the Garfield a magnificent brick structure, erected at a cost of $20,000, in 1879-80; the South Avenue and Eighth Avenue, two brick structures erected in 1882, at a cost of $11,188; and two frame structures.

At the establishing of the present school system, in 1870, seven teachers were employed, two buildings, occupied, and 650 pupils enrolled. Statistics for 1881-82, show twenty-two teachers employed., at a consideration of $8,424 annually; seven buildings in use; school census shows 1,909 persons under school age, and an enrollment of 1,497 pupils. The total current expenses amount to $9,790.27.

The present Board of Education is composed of the following named gentlemen: R. Cordley, S. B. Riggs, R. M. Mills, W. J. Jones, N. T. Nix, D. W. Morris, D. C. McMurtrie, T. P. Hall, and H. B. Morris.

State Normal School. In 1863 Hon. C. V. Eskridge, as a Representative to the Kansas introduced a bill providing for the establishing of a State Normal School at Emporia. The bill was passed, and became a law, March 7, 1863. An endowment of 45,680 acres of land was made from lands granted to the State under the "act of admission" in connection with the Salt Springs. At the time the Salt Lands were set apart as a permanent endowment, the sections upon which the Salt Springs were located were reserved by the State, from the belief that they would prove of commercial value. It has since been definitely ascertained that the so-called Salt Springs have no value. February 16, 1864, an act was passed providing for the appointment, by the Governor, of a Board of Directors to consist of nine members. On the 29th of the same month the Legislature made the first appropriation of $1,000, for teachers' wages.

The District School Board of Emporia, having donated the use of the second story of the old stone school building, on Constitution Street, the first term of the Normal was opened by L. B. Kellogg, February 14, 1865, with nineteen students. During that year an appropriation of $10,000 was made by the Legislature for the purpose of erecting suitable buildings. In 1866 a stone building was completed on a site of twenty acres, donated by Giles F. Filey, of St. Louis, Mo. A site of twenty acres had been previously donated by H. W. Fick and the buildings were to have been erected on it, but the arrangement was afterwards changed , and the building erected In the rear of the site of the present one, at a cost; of $15,000. At this time the school numbered 100 students, and employed three Instructors. The general progress of the school during the next five years was so rapid that the building became inadequate to the demand. In the fall of 1871, 215 students were enrolled. In 1872 the Legislature appropriated $50,000 for a new building, which was completed in 1873, at a cost of $68,000. The new structure was much superior to the old stone building, both in architectural beauty and size. Up to 1878 the institution was supported by the State at an expense of from $10,000 to $15,000. In October, 1878, both the new and old buildings were destroyed by fire, nothing being saved. To erect a new building was next in order, and, after some delay, the Legislature, in 1879, appropriated $25,000. on the conditions that the county of Lyon and the city of Emporia would give $20,800, the estimated cost of the new building. This was done, and work on the new building commenced. The structure, which was completed May 11, 1880, was erected on the foundation of the burned building, and is almost an exact counterpart of it. It contains a laboratory 3Ox53 feet; a gymnasium; an assembly room, with a seating capacity of 600; recitation, and library rooms, etc., etc. It is one of the handsomest structures of its kind in the State, and is a credit to Emporia.

Since the opening of the institution, the following named gentlemen have officiated as President: L. B. Kellogg, G. W. Hoss, C. R. Pomeroy, R. B. Welch. and A. R. Taylor. The first Board of Regents was composed of G. C. Moorse, C. V. Eskridge, T. S. Huffaker, J. M. Rankin, James Rogers, T. W. Roberts and Gov. S. J. Crawford; William Spriggs, State Treasurer; I. T. Goodnow, Superintendent of Public Instruction - ex officio. Board of Regents (1882): Hon. Edwin Tucker, President; lion. J. R. Crichton, Secretary, Hon. J. W. Loy, Treasurer; Gen. D. E. Clapp, Hon. William Goss. Hon. G. D. Orner. The Faculty for 1882 is composed of A. R. Taylor, M. A. George Fowler, B. A., B. T. Davis, H. E. Sadler, B. A., L. F. Hoxie, V. V. Price, B. Ph.,- S. E. Crichton. Present enrollment, 320.


The First Congregational Church was organized July, 1858, with five members, by the Rev. G. C. Morse. Prior to its organization. Mr. Moorse held services in 1857, at different localities in the then new town of Emporia. In 1859 the erection of a frame building, 22x30 feet, was commenced and completed on the site of the present edifice at a cost of $800. The church was dedicated July, 1860. Mr. Moorse remained as pastor until 1867, when he was succeeded by Rev. M. S. Coswell, who remained eighteen months. During the pastorate of Rev. Coswell the church building was enlarged to 22x60 feet. Membership at this time was fifty-nine, From 1869 to 1871 the church had no regular pastor. In 1871 Rev. Charles Melvine was called and accepted the pastorate, remaining four years. The pulpit was then supplied by Prof. Norton, of the State Normal School. Rev. O. J. Shannon was the next regular pastor, and remained in charge of the organization until April, 1878, when he was killed by the accidental discharge of a gun in the hands of a soldier, during the railroad strikes of that year. Prof. C. R. Pomeroy of the State Normal, supplied the pulpit for six months, when the present pastor, Rev. Cordley. D. D., took charge September 1, 1878. In the winter of 1879-80 the foundations were laid for the present church edifice. The building is a Gothic structure, with extreme dimensions, 72x86 feet, built of gray magnesia limestone, and was completed in the summer of 1881, at a cost of $13,000, It was dedicated to the services of Almighty God January 9, 1882. A flourishing Sabbath school is connected with the organization, having 225 members. Present membership of the church organization, 144.

Second Congregational Church (Welsh). - In the spring of 1866 an organization, with thirty-seven members, of this denomination, was formed by Rev G. C. Morse. and Mr. Fox. Services were held in the First Congregational Church for one year, when a stone building, 24x40 feet, was erected at a cost of $1,800, Rev. H. Reese, the first regular pastor, took charge of the church In 1868 and is the present incumbent. The congregation held services in the old building until the spring of 1882, when it was torn down and the foundations laid for a new structure. The new building is built of brick and stone and will be completed during the winter of 1882-3, at an estimated cost of $10,000. The main building will be 34X65 feet in size, with a lecture room 18x32 feet, and will have a seating capacity of 400. Present number of communicants, 125.

The First Presbyterian Church was organized November 9, 1867, by the Rev. James P. Gordon, with twelve members. The organization at first had no regular pastor, but held irregular services In the Christian Church in the spring of 1869. Rev. R. M. Overstreet took charge of the church, and remained as pastor until July, 1870. He was succeeded by Rev. D. McMillan, who remained but a few months. In September, 1870, work on the church edifice was commenced, and progressed rapidly until the spring of 1871, when it was completed at a cost of $7,000. The edifice, which is a brick structure, 38x60 feet, with seating capacity of four hundred, was dedicated September 3, 1871. October 16, 1870, Rev. A. McCalla took charge of the church and remained as pastor one year, and was succeeded in March, 1873, by Rev. W. C. Harding, who remained until April 30, 1874. The pulpit was then temporarily supplied by Rev. M. J. Firey until October of the same year, when Rev. James H. Clark officiated as pastor until April, 1879. He, was succeeded in July, 1879, by Rev. A. S. Dudley, who remained until January, 1881, when the present pastor, Rev. J. F. Hendy, took charge of the organization, April, 1881. Present number of members, 200.

Salem Presbyterian Church( Welsh).-An organization of this persuasion was perfected at Salem, three miles south of Emporia, 1869, by Rev. R. Overstreet, with eighteen members. The next year a frame building, 25x45 feet, was erected at a cost of $2,500. Pastor, Rev. J. Jones.

In 1871 the Second Presbyterian Church (Welsh) was organized at Emporia, by the Rev. J. Jones, with from eighteen to twenty-five members. During the same year a frame building was erected on the corner of Fourth avenue and Market street, at a cost of $2,500, but was destroyed by fire October, 1871. The foundations for a new building on the same site were immediately laid, and the structure, which was built of brick, was completed in 1872 at a cost of $8,000. The church has had but one pastor during the eleven years of its existence - Rev. J. Jones - Present membership of the Salem Church, 32; of the second Presbyterian, 110.

The First Baptist Church was organized, October, 1859, by the Rev. R. C. Brant, with seven members. The first services were held in a frame building that stood on the west side of Commercial street, between Sixth and Seventh. Owing to the lack of interest, combined with the uncertain condition of affairs at that time, the organization went down and was not revived until 1870, when it was reorganized by Rev. Mr. Wickson. Meetings were first held in the court house, until the next year, when a church edifice was completed on the corner of Merchant, between Fourth and Fifth avenues. The building is a frame structure, 36x50 feet, and cost $3,100. The church now has a membership of 100, and a flourishing Sabbath-school, with an average attendance of 140 pupils. Rev. A. B. Thomlinson, pastor.

First Methodist Episcopal Church.- Early as 1857, religious services were held by pastors - Revs. H. Moyes and J. P, McElfresh, - of the denomination, in the old hotel office, and in a carpenter shop, located on Commercial street, between Sixth and Seventh. In 1860, under the pastorate of - Rev. J. C. Fraker, the foundations for a stone church, 35x60 feet were laid, on the site of the present edifice. During that year the walls were built to the height of ten or twelve feet: In 1861, Rev. John McAnuity, took charge as pastor. He was succeeded in 1862, by Rev. J. W. Stewart. Work was resumed on the building, which was enclosed in the summer of 1863, temporary seats put in, and services held, June 29, 1864. It was dedicated by Rev. D. P. Mitchell. In 1865, Rev. F. D. Loy officiated as pastor; 1866, Rev. J. H. Leard; 1867, Rev. S. E. McBurney; 1868-69, Rev. L. M. Hancock; 1870-72, Rev. B. Kelly; 1873-74, Rev. Charles Lewis; 1875-76, Rev. A. H. Walker; 1877-78, Rev. G. W. Pyle; 1879. Rev. C. R. Rice; 1880-81, Rev. John Kirby; 1882, James T. Hanna. During "Hancock's Administration," the church was struck by lightning, and damaged to the amount of $800. The old building was used until June, 1881, when it was torn down, and the foundations laid for a new edifice, which was completed in December, 1882, at a cost of $18,000. The new building is a handsome commodious structure, with extreme dimensions of 60x96 feet; is built of gray magnesia limestone, and has a seating capacity of 800.

Free Methodist Church. - An organization of this branch of the Methodist persuasion, was effected in 1879, by Rev, J. P. McElfresh, with seven members. Services were held at private houses, until present church was erected. Mr. McElfresh was succeeded in 1880, by Rev. L. C. Ebey, who remained one year; 1881, Rev. W. W. Hullet, seven months; Rev. E. L. Ebey, five months; 1882, Rev. W. N. Hibbard, the present pastor. In 1881, a brick edifice, 28x40 feet, was erected on the corner of South avenue and Commercial streets, at a cost of $1,489.32. It was dedicated October 29, 1882. Present number of members, eighteen.

St. Andrews Church (Episcopal). - Preliminary steps were taken towards organizing a church of this denomination, at a meeting held in the Court House, February 14,1870. A charter was procured under the name of St. Marks Episcopal Church, which name was subsequently, changed to its present appellation. Its organization was effected by the Rev. L. L. Holden, who remained as pastor from the spring of 1870, to October, 1872, and was succeeded by Rev. D. W. Coxe, who remained one year. The pulpit was then irregularly supplied until December, 1875, when Rev. Dr. A. Beatty, supplied the church until October, 1879, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Burrows. Mr. Burrows was succeeded in October, 1882, by the Rev. EL MacKay. the present pastor. The present church edifice - a brick structure, was commenced In 1811, and completed in 1874, at a cost of $3,500. A rectory was built in 1879, at a cost Of $1,000. Present number of communicants, sixty.

Society of Friends. - A meeting of this denomination was organized in 1861, with forty members. Services were held in private residences until 1864, when a meeting house was built on the corner of Sixth and Sylvan streets. This building was a frame structure, 20x24 feet, and was used until the summer of 1881, when it was sold and moved away. A new building 28x40, was immediately built on the site of the old one, at a cost of $1,200. In the fall of 1879, a division occurred among the Friends, by reason of which many of the old, original members left and formed a new organization. The old organization had no regular pastor until the spring of 1878, when Mrs. M. H. Rogers took charge, and remained worthy of being the present pastor. Rev. A. Kenworthy succeeded her, and remained five months, Rev. O. N. Kenworthy being the present pastor. Present membership, 100.

The Cottonwood Monthly Meeting of the society of Friends was opened in 1860, and services held at the house of John Moon until 1862, when the meeting house was built.

The Cottonwood Quarterly Meeting of Friends was opened at the meeting house in 1868. The division among the members of the Emporia meeting caused the dissenters to form anew meeting among themselves, and erect a meeting house.

St. Paul's Reformed Church was organized in the summer of 1878, by Rev. J. G. Shoemaker, with thirty-one members. Rev. Shoemaker remained until February, 1881. The pulpit was then without a pastor until December, 1882, when Rev. D. B. Shuey took charge. The present church edifice, on the corner of Ninth and Constitution streets, is a commodious brick structure, 40x60 feet, and was erected in 1880, at a cost of $3,000. Present membership, forty.

Evangelical Church (German), a temporary organization, was effected in June, 1882. July 22, 1882, the organization was made permanent, with eleven members, by Rev. C. F. Erffmeyer. Regular services were held in the Free Methodist Church. A church edifice is in contemplation, to be built in 1883.

Church of the Sacred Heart (Catholic) was organized in 1874, by Father Jos. Perrier, with twelve families. A brick church edifice, 30x40 feet, was built the same year, at a cost of $2,000. Father Perrier remained until 1880 when the church passed into the hands of the Order of St. Francis, Rev. D. Mier, priest. In 881, a two-story brick edifice, 50x80 feet, was built, at a cost of $8,000, which is used by the order for religious services. In 1882, another two-story brick building, 40x60 feet, was completed, at a cost of $4,000, and is to be used as a parochial school. Present number of scholars attending, ninety-five. A hospital is in process of erection, which, when completed, will be a two-story brick or stone 30x54 feet, with two wings, and will cost $10,000. Present number of families, 100.

The United Presbyterian Church was first organized by Rev. J. A. Collins, in 1869, with thirteen members. Mr. Collins remained in charge until spring of 1871. The church then had no regular pastor until 1875, when Rev. James Barnett, D. D., occupied the pulpit until 1880, when the organization became defunct. In 1881, it was again organized by Rev. J. A. Collins, who is the present supply. The organization has no church edifice, but expects to build in 1883. Present number of communicants, twenty-two.

Christian Church - Of this church, although one of the oldest in the city, but little can be said as to its general history, on account of the failure o f parties in responding to demands made for sketch. It was organized in 1856, with six members, by Elder S. G. Brown, and an edifice was completed in 1858. It is the intention of the body to erect a handsome edifice in 1883. Elder Lotz, present pastor.

Image of Whitley Opera House

[TOC] [part 4] [part 2] [Cutler's History]