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


[TOC] [part 3] [part 1] [Cutler's History]


It is an almost invariable rule that all localities which have eventually prospered have early commenced the agitation of railroad building. So with McPherson County. In April, 1872, a petition was presented to the Board of Commissioners, asking that the county take $150,000 in stock in the Salina & Sedgwick Railroad Company. At this time, however, the county was young and entirely undeveloped, and the whole taxable property amounted to only $219,000; consequently, the Board refused to submit the petition. In June a proposition was made to vote $150,000 in aid of the Salina, Sedgwick & Southern Railroad Company. The road was to run from Salina through Lindsborg, McPherson, King's City and Lake View. The call for the election was withdrawn, however, and a citizens' petition granted by the Board of Commissioners, proposing to vote $200,000 bonds to the Salina, Atlanta & Raymond line. At the election held July 30, the aid was voted by 275 to 248. Sharp's Creek, Smoky Hill and King's City voted for, and Turkey Creek and Gypsum Creek against. The railroad was never built and the bonds were destroyed in the summer of 1873. The proposed line was from Salina to Lindsborg, New Gottland, King's City, and so on to the south boundary of the count; then west from Lindsborg to above the mouth of Sharp's Creek, on to the west line of the county towards Atlanta. Thus did these schemes come to naught. In March, 1873, the county subscribed $200,000 to the Salina & Southwestern Railroad. By the summer of that year $75,000 of this sum had been issued in bonds and deposited in the State Treasury. But the Company did not live up to its contract, and in August M. M. Collier, on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, went to Topeka and the bonds were cancelled (sic) and burned. Notwithstanding her failures, the progressive element of the county kept the matter of proper railroad communication before the people, and finally in February, 1879, the proposition of the Marion & McPherson branch of the A. T. & S. F. was carried by a vote of 1,549 to 1,251. During the same month the voters in Smoky Hill township decided to allow the building of the line to Lindsborg, the bonds issued being at the rate of $4,000 per mile. The company which finally constructed the line was called the Salina & Southwestern. The Kansas & Southwestern constructed the line from Lindsborg to McPherson, McPherson Township issuing $20,000 bonds. The branch from Salina to McPherson is now known as the Salina & Southwestern, the two construction companies placing the road, when completed, in the hands of the Union Pacific Railroad Company.

To avoid further unimportant details, it may be stated that the Marion and McPherson line was completed to McPherson, in September 1879. On the 23rd of that month a grand celebration was held in the city, attended by citizens of both counties to the number of 6,000 or 7,000. By eleven o'clock the streets were crowded with people, and at noon the first train arrived from Marion County, bringing nearly 2,000 visitors. L. Roberts was marshal of the day, Mayor Pitzer, master of ceremonies, and M. P. Simpson, made the address of welcome; music by the Marquette and Marion Center bands and the McPherson Glee Club. The multitude helped themselves from five long tables, bountifully spread and all went happy as a marriage bell. McPherson was, in fact, married to the outside world.

An unusual feature connected with the history of the Marion and McPherson road is this: That it cost McPherson County not one cent. In the original proposition, it was stipulated that the company should not mortgage the road for more than $7,000 per mile. The management of the road in the East, however, mortgaged the line at the rate of $8,000 per mile and made the transaction a matter of record. So that, although the county voted the bonds they were never issued - and McPherson County is 'a railroad ahead.'

The Kansas & Southwestern line was completed through McPherson Township, January 1, 1880, but as this was not the first railroad of the county, the occasion was allowed to pass without so glorious a celebration as marked the completion of the Marion and McPherson.

The Salina and Southwestern road passes from Salina, where it connects with the Kansas Division of the Union Pacific road through Smoky Hill, New Gottland and McPherson Townships to the county seat - principal station, Lindsborg the most flourishing village outside of McPherson City. The Marion & McPherson road passes through the county, east and west, having as stations, Canton, Canton Township; Galva, Empire Township; McPherson, McPherson Township; and Conway, Jackson Township.


McPherson County is without doubt the banner wheat and broom corn county of the State of Kansas. Situated as it is, 175 miles west of the Missouri River, between the Smoky Hill and Arkansas rivers and the Kansas Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe roads, there is no section of the State better fitted for grain raising or more abundantly supplied with railroad facilities to get the produce to market. The county lies upon the great divide or water shed between the Smoky Hill and Arkansas. The water supply is adequate to the wants of a grain and stock-raising country. The soil of the county is easily worked. It is naturally dry and so quickly absorbs a heavy rain as to be always at the command of the cultivator. A six days' rain does not check the plow ten hours after a heavy storm. The soil is loose and quite flexible in its character - so much so, that grain of all kinds is easily raised. Wheat, rye, Indian corn, broom corn, barley, oats, beans, peas, sorghum, millet, Hungarian and all grasses, vegetables and fruits are raised. In 1878 the number of acres of winter wheat in the county amounted to 83,727; in 1879, to 86,210; 1880, 116,997; 1881, 133,478; 1882, 105,362. During the prolific harvest of 1878, the following statements were made regarding winter wheat. Turkey Red variety, John Peterson, residing on Section 12, township 19, Range 5 west, his postoffice being Eden Prairie, planted twelve acres of wheat, on upland, form which he harvested fifty-seven and half bushels per acre, costing $9.30 per acre. James B. Darrah, whose postoffice address is Marquette, raised twelve acres of wheat on Section 30, Township 17, Range 4, bottom land, black loam, which was planted in the middle of September, and harvested early in June, yielding thirty-six bushels per acre. The crop was cultivated with harrow and cultivator, going over it three times. The total cost of producing the crop was $4.65 per acre. From twenty-eight to thirty-five bushels, in fact is not an unusual yield. The number of acres of spring wheat, throughout the county was: 1878, 4,251; 1879, 4,985; 1880, 2,348; 1881, 2,967; 1882, 1,492.

Broom corn: - 1874, 1,156 acres; 1875, 3,741 acres; 1876, 3,895 acres; 1877, 7,762 acres; 1878, 7,152 acres; 1879, 5,146 acres; 1880, 6,039 acres; 1881, 10,891 acres; 1882, 14,337 acres.

Oats: - 1872, 906 acres; 1873, 989 acres; 1874, 2,211 acres; 1875, 6,082 acres; 1876, 9,680 acres; 1877, 12,173 acres; 1878, 16,696 acres; 1879, 26,535; 1880, 17,049; 1881, 12,101; 1882, 20,178.

In March, 1882, there were 90,392 bushels of old corn on hand.

The growth in the live stock business of the county has been almost as great as the agricultural development. In 1882, there were 8,421 horses in the county; 1/135 mules and asses; 5,108 milch cows; 8,787 other cattle; 5,035 sheep and 17,738 swine.

For the past eleven years, the increase in he acreage of the principal grains raised, is represented by the following figures.

Winter wheat: - 1872, 1,819 acres; 1873, ditto; 1874, 4,572 acres; 1875, 16,434 acres; 1876, 36,902 acres; 1877, 58,844 acres; 1878, 83,729 acres; 1879, 86,210 acres; 1880, 116,997 acres; 1881, 130,456 acres; 1882, 105,362 acres.

Corn: - 1872, 4,854 acres; 1873, 4,454 acres; 1874, 15,872 acres; 1875, 17,738 acres; 1876, 16,403 acres; 1877, 32,800 acres; 1878, 36,552 acres; 1879, 54,646 acres; 1880, 57,435 acres; 1881, 67,861 acres; 1882, 87,643 acres.

McPherson County has raised as high as 37 per cent of the total amount of broom corn grown in the State of Kansas. In 1878, 7,152 acres were under cultivation; 1879, 5,146 acres; 1880, 6,039 acres; 1881,10,891 acres; 1882, 10,891 acres. F. G. Hawkinson had, during the season of 1878, 150 acres of broom corn, which was planted on bottom land, a sandy loam, and cultivated three times, producing three-eighths of a ton per acre; the total cost being $5.75 per acre, which includes the cost of pressing.

There are still from 5,000 to 6,000 acres of land in market, along the line of the A., T. & S. F. Road, in the southwestern part of the county, and about 15,000 in the northwestern and northern portions, near the Kansas Pacific. Raw lands sell at from $4 to $8 per acre; improved, at from $8 to $15.

Some 140 varieties of native grass flourish, the most nutritious being the Buffalo and Grand grasses. The coarser grasses make as good hay as the best timothy, and grow luxuriantly. Fully three-fourths of the country is covered with wild grasses, the domestic varieties, also, doing well. In portions of the county, the blue grass has been successfully cultivated. McPherson County is a royal stock country.

Fencing is chiefly done by growing the Osage orange, and there are probably 1,000 miles of this hedge now growing in the county, much of which has come by three, four and five years' growth to almost a state of perfection. The white willow and honey locust are also used with success in hedging, but the orange hedge is more popular, and nowhere succeeds better than here. The herd law is in force, and as fencing is not obligatory, a majority of the farmers are really giving very little attention to fencing. Among the Swedes along the Smoky Valley, and some of the older and thriftier American farmers, however, it is not an unfrequent (sic) thing to find from one to four miles of superb hedge upon a single farm.

Also, for the year 1882, McPherson leads all the counties of Kansas in acreage and total yield of winter wheat. Her acreage is put down by the State Board of Agriculture, at 105,362, and total yield, 2,739,412 bushels. The yield per acre is twenty-six bushels. Three other counties - Butler, Dickinson and Saline - report a yield of twenty-six bushels per acre. In oats, too, McPherson leads in acreage and in total yield. The report gives 20,178 acres, with a yield of 908,010 bushels. In broom corn, too, in acreage and total yield, McPherson leads with 14,337 acres, and yield 7,168,500 pounds.

In 1879 the assessed valuation of McPherson County was $1,452,771; 1880, $2,068,882;; 1881, $2,411,038; 1882, $3,263,087.14. In the county are 456,812 acres of taxable land; 6,270 unimproved town lots, and 839 improved, valued in the aggregate at $251,873. The aggregate value of personal property was $573,926; railroad property, $292,641.14. Total value of all property, 3,263,087.14.

Population of county in 1877, 9,417; 1878, 11,291; 1879, 13,196; 1880, 15,520; 1881, 16,092; 1882, 15,526. It may be remarked, parenthetically, that the figures of population, as returned by the assessors, are not considered perfectly reliable. For instance, the United States census for 1880 makes the population of the county 17,143, as against 15,520, the figures returned by the assessors. It is claimed by those best informed that there has been a continual increase in population, as there has been an advancement in every other particular.

Upon the organization of McPherson County, in 1870, it was divided into districts by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Olof Olsson. School District No. 1 commenced at the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 17, Range 1 west and running south three and one-half miles; thence east six miles to the place of beginning. During the same year the southern boundary was located one and one-half miles north, leaving the district 3x6 miles. In 1872, Sections 1, 12 and 13 were attached on the west. Other alterations were made in 1874, 1876, and 1881. Districts No. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 were organized in 1870, No. 8 in 1871; No. 9 in 1871; Nos. 10 and 11 in 1872; No. 12 in 1874. The last district No. 106 was formed in August, 1881, by A. J. Myers, present Superintendent.

From Superintendent Myers' annual report for 1882 the following figures are taken: Number of school districts in McPherson County, 106; school population, 5,742; enrollment, 3,852; average daily attendance, 2,473; number of teachers employed, 116; average monthly wages, males, $33.40; females, $28.80; amount of school bonds issued during the year, $1,820.91; value of school property, $75,000; receipts for 1882, $47,837.77; expenditures, $40,379.55; balance in treasury, $7,458.22.


In June, 1872, L. G. Skancke was Chief Clerk in the Land Office at Salina. Being informed by T. J. Wickersham, an old settler of Salina County, that a colony of Kentuckians intended to settle upon what was then known as the 'McPherson Flats,' he conceived the idea that it would be a good plan to lay out a town in this vicinity. After examining the maps in his office Mr. Skancke selected the west half of Section 28 and the east half of Section 29, as the center of the 'Flats,' and decid (sic) to locate a town there. After having made a map of the different townships, including the plat designated, for a town site he ought a few friends in Salina and laid the proposition before them. The scheme was thought plausible by them, and several of them decided to go down the following Sunday to examine the land. They hired an old stage, driven by one Mr. Huebner, and loading up with crackers, cheese and 'et ceteras,' they dashed out of Salina bright and early (4 a. m.) Sunday morning, June 4, 1872. Resting at Lindsborg, where they arrived at 8 a. m., they breakfasted, rested their horses, and proceeded to cross the Smoky Hill at its best ford. The party consisted of James Marlin, who sat outside with the driver, and Oscar Seitz, L. G. Skancke and R. H. Bishop, inside passengers. Besides the 'eatables' and 'drinkables' they were loaded also with guns and ammunition. Well, while crossing the Smoky Hill River, about one mile and a half east of Lindsborg, just as the old stage left the bank over it tipped, and men, horses, crackers, cheese, etc., were in confusion. Mr. Marlin and driver, who were on top of the coach, were dumped into the river, and escaped by floundering around a little, up to heir waists in the water. The inside passengers, however, were in considerable of a predicament, for the old vehicle filled with water and Mr. Bishop had fallen on top of Mr. Skancke. Mr. Seitz crawled out of the back window of the coach, and after a serious struggle with the watery element the other two passengers effected an exit. This was the only accident that marred the harmony of the journey to McPherson. After shaking themselves and taking an inventory of their cargo to see that nothing was lost the party proceeded on to Point Creek, where their number was increased by J. R. Fisher and T. E. Simpson. Then journeying eastwardly across the hills They (sic) struck the section line, north and south, between sections 28 and 29. township 17, Range 3, west, about six miles north of the present site of McPherson. Tying a handkerchief to the front wheel of the old coach, to mark its revolutions and compute the distance, they followed the line south and at noon found themselves in the center of the proposed town flat. They called the place McPherson Center and proceeded to organize the Town Company, with Mr. Marlin as president; Mr. Skancke, secretary; Mr. Bishop, treasurer. The next thing to be done was to make 'improvements.' So Mr. Skancke dug a hole where the four quarters of land met; Mr. Seitz broke ground where the McPherson House now stands (Smith's hotel); Mr. Bishop excavated his pit where Lintner & Wheeler's hardware store now is; Mr. Fisher made his 'improvement' where the new Farmers and Merchant's Bank is now building; and Mr. Simpson improved a bit of the land now composing the site of Mr. Barne's (sic) store. The improvements having been completed and dinner finished J. U. Fellows, of King City, came riding up on horseback and asked the founders of McPherson what they were doing. They informed Mr. Fellows that they had just laid out a town, and that gentleman replied that he had selected one of the quarters in the plat but would take the one to the northeast, which he accordingly did. In behalf of the company and for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of the town the first filing on the site was made by James Marlin. In July learning that one Crum intended to lay out a town on Section 16, and that parties from King City also were bent upon establishing a town in the immediate vicinity, the original town company received Messrs. Woodside, Hendry, John W. Hill (president of the King City Company) and others as members of the consolidated organization. J. R. Fisher was chosen president, secretary and treasurer remaining the same as in the original company. The number of directors was increased from six to twelve. During this month (July) H. Bowker erected the first building on the town site for a store. In December the foundation of the Town Hall was laid. It was not until April, 1873, however, that a postoffice was established and C. L. Raff was appointed Postmaster.

But within two years from the time of its organization as a town, McPherson had grown so rapidly that a municipal form of government was deemed necessary. It was incorporated as a city of the third-class, March 4, 1874, upon a petition, present by T. E. Simpson to Judge J. H. Prescott. The first election, at which about thirty ballots were cast, took place March 16, 1874, and resulted as follows: Mayor, Sol. Stephens; Councilmen, H. Bowker, C. E. Pierce, Wm. West, W. B. McCord and M. P. Simpson.

An event which created excitement throughout the county was the robbery of the County Treasury, on the night of March 1, 1875. The day before a committee had been busy in examining the books, at the office of the Deputy Treasurer, C. B. Bowker. David Stephens, the County Treasurer, was at his home on the Smoky, the county had no safe, and the funds were placed in charge of H. Bowker. The Examining Committee found that the books were not posted up to date and gave the deputy until the next morning to complete his work. The same night Mr. H. Bowker's house was entered and $3,300 in county funds taken. On March 9, H. and C. B. Bowker were examined, charged with robbery, but the prosecution was looked upon a malicious and no evidence of a damaging character could be produced.

Since the date of its incorporation as a city of the third-class, McPherson has had five Mayors - Sol. Stephens, C. E. Pierce, Wm. McClintick, W. F. Pitzer, M. D. Grimes and E. P. Williams, the present incumbent. Present officers (1882-'83): E. P. Williams, Mayor; O. Heggelund, W. W. Murphy, F. E. Barber, J. B. Darrah and J. C. Hamilton, Councilmen; C. F. Nichols, Police Judge; John Wright, City Treasurer; D. C. Welch, City Clerk and Attorney. The city has no fire department.

McPherson is now a city of about 2,000 people, and is considered one of the most flourishing towns of Central Kansas. It is the center of trade of an unrivalled (sic) agricultural country, settled by an industrious and intelligent class of people, many of whom are of foreign birth. It has railroad communication from the north over the Salina & Southwestern road, a branch of the Kansas Pacific. The Marion & McPherson branch of the A. T. & S. F. road gives it free communications east and west. And not only is McPherson growing in a business point of view, but its educational, social and religious advantages are yearly becoming more perfect. A fair index of McPherson's prosperity is the fine school building which was completed in the winter of 1881 and 1882. It is a substantial brick edifice, two stories in height, and was erected at a cost of $12,000. The population is so rapidly increasing that it is proposed to erect another building in the southwestern part of the city. The attendance is now about 425, following being the corps of teachers: Principal, E. W. Hulse; Mr. C. W. Carter, Miss Millie Hodges, Mesdames S. L. Whitzel, H. L. Myers, D. D. Davison, and Miss Lyde Chatterton. The old frame schoolhouse was built in October, 1875, B. S. Bonney being the contractor.

The postoffice was established April 1, 1873, L. Raff being the first incumbent. He was succeeded by H. Bowker, (1874), Geo. W. McClintick, (1876), Noah C. Mathews, (1877), Charles C. West, (1878), John R. Wright, (1880) and the present postmaster. In July, 1877, a money order department was opened, and up to November 20, 1882, 12,508 orders had been issued and 3,997 paid. The office is now well conducted, and will shortly be placed in the list of second-class offices.

Section I, Chapter XIX of the Revised Statutes, provides that 'when any city, shall have obtained a population exceeding two thousand inhabitants, and such facts shall have been duly ascertained and certified by the proper authorities of such city to the Governor, he shall declare, by public proclamation such city subject to the provisions of this act.' Although the figures of population returned by the assessors in the spring of 1882, place the population of McPherson at only 1,561, it is claimed that the returns are defective, and consequently that an application will soon be made for its incorporation as a city of the second-class.


The Baptist Church was organized in 1873, and a frame building erected in 1874. Its size being 30X45 feet. The corner stone was laid September 30, 1874, by Elder Gunn, of Lawrence. A parsonage was built in 1878. The value of property, including parsonage and three lots, is $2,000. The pastors have been, Rev. D. McGregor, Rev. J. R. Prophet, Rev. G. W. Metton and Rev. William D. Shields. The latter is now settled over a growing organization of eighty-two members.

D. B. Holsington, one of the earliest settlers of the county, and its first blacksmith (located at King City), gives the following additional church history: 'In 1871, Mr. H. and his brother moved to McPherson County, Kan., then a frontier country. Two years afterwards (at Milton Williams' house, Lone Tree Township), they helped to organize a little society, with Elder McGregor as preacher, D. B. Holsington, deacon, and D. D. Carpenter, clerk. The members consisted of Byan Williams and wife, Hannah C. Holsington, Henry B. Wright and wife, Julia Holsington, Nathan S. Holsington and Charles Howard. Meetings were first held over a dry goods store in King City. Soon after the town of McPherson Center was located the society erected a little building, the first religious structure erected in the city.'

The Congregational Church of McPherson was organized in June, 1873, by Rev. Henry Hoddle. Among its first members were H. Bowker and wife, J. Richey and wife, George Summerville and wife, C. B. Bowker and wife, Mrs. George Shepard, D. C. Hawn and wife, J. W. Hill and wife, H. A. Hendry and wife, Lucy N. Scofield, Mrs. A. Allen (deceased), Samuel Allcock and wife, Mrs. Mary E. Miller and Mrs. Alex. Petrie. Rev. Mr. Hoddle served until the spring of 1877, being succeeded by Rev. George C. Claflin, who remained until the fall of 1879. During his ministry (1878) a church building was commenced, and was completed in 1879, at a cost of $3,500. Rev. G. S. Bradley, the last settled pastor of the church, served from the fall of 1879 until the spring of 1882. At present, November, 1882, the society has no settled pastor. The membership is about sixty-five.

The Methodist Church was organized in 1874, Rev. J. A. Simpson being its first pastor. In the spring of 1875, Rev. Mr. Clark took charge of the society and remained one year. He was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Rose, who remained as pastor until 1879. Next came Rev. Mr. Martindale, who assumed the pastorate during that year, and remained until 1880. Rev. Mr. Buckner, his successor, remained six months, or until the fall of 1880, when he was succeeded by the present incumbent, Rev. D. D. Akins. The society has a membership of about 150. The church building was erected in 1880, at a cost of about $5,000. The society is one of the most flourishing in the county.

The Presbyterian Church was organized in June, 1879, by Dr. Timothy Hill, of Kansas City, with the following members: John A. Myers, Mrs. Hattie L. Myers, Joseph McDermid, John Connell, Mrs. Lorena Connell, Stella E. Myers, J. A. Flesher, James Connell, G. B. McGranahan, S. M. Boehn, F. E. Barber, Mrs. Victoria McMillan, Mrs. H. A. Barber, William Snedden, J. L. Allen, Mrs. Martha Allen and Mrs. Mary Bradbury. John A. Myers, was elected the first elder, and Rev. W. H. Honnell, served as the first pastor. He was succeeded in October, 1880, by Rev. H. M. Shockley, who remained until September, 1882, when he was followed by the present Pastor, Rev. J. C. Burt. The society have no building, but expect to build during the coming spring. Membership of the society is about seventy.

Christian Church (Disciples) - The society in McPherson was organized in the winter of 1880-81, by the Rev. Mr. Sevy. The present pastor is Rev. David Witzell, and the membership about fifty. The organization own no church buildings, but have a neat parsonage in the eastern part of the county. In the county there are about 600 members of the denomination, and but one church building, which is owned by the Groveland congregation. During the coming year, however (1883), three church buildings will probably be erected. In the county are five regularly organized congregations, and as many more places where monthly or semi-monthly meetings are held. Elders Levi McCash, J. C. Sevy and David Witzell are preaching in different portions of the county. Present officers of the McPherson City organization: Elders - Geo. H. Harvey, Levi McCash, Theo. Boggs; Deacons - J. W. Stable, Ely Barnes, Jerome Bennett and L. H. Thompson.

The United Brethren Church of McPherson was organized May 14, 1882. The church building was completed in the fall of 1882, the day of the dedication being fixed for December 17, 1882, The value of the church property, including three lots, is $2,000. Rev. W. H. Myers is pastor; membership about twenty.

In December, 1881, the Society in Conway was organized, and a building erected during the fall of 1882. Mr. Myers also has charge of this society, which has a membership of seventeen. Eighteen miles southwest of McPherson is the Liberty Church, organized in July, 1879; Rev. Mr. Myers, pastor; membership fifteen. Six miles southwest is an organization - the Mount Zion Church - organized in January, 1879, presided over by Rev. R. W. Parks and having a membership of twenty-seven. Victory Church was organized in March, 1882, and has seventeen members. Emma Valley Church formed in January, 1879, with twenty-seven members. Both are in charge of Mr. Parks.

The McPherson County Agricultural Society was formed in August, 1875, the first fair being held October 11-12 of that year. Since 1880 no fair has been held. On account of some disagreement between different sections of the county, the society is not in the most flourishing condition, although the books show a membership of 250. The grounds are located about one mile north of McPherson, and are forty acres in extent, with but few improvements. As McPherson is one of the banner agricultural counties of Kansas, however, there is little doubt of t he society ultimately growing into a strong organization. Present officers: President, John Richey; secretary, J. B. Darrah; Treasurer, J. F. Hughes.

Garfield Commandery No. 18 (K. T.), was organized in November, 1822, with ten charter members, the commandery being named in honor of the late Sir James A. Garfield. Officers chosen, under dispensation: M. L. Grimes, E. C.; J. W. Charles, Gen.; W. W. Gamble, C. G.; W. W. Murphy, P.; A. A. Irvin, S. W.; W. Scott Bukey, J. W.; W. S. Keyte, S. B.; E. Annabil, St. B. ; I. O. Day, treasurer; S. G. Mead, recorder. Present membership, thirty-one.

McPherson Chapter, No. 48 (R. A. M.), was organized in the fall of 1879, with twelve charter members. Officers chosen under dispensation: W. W. Gamble, M. E. H. P.; I. O. Day, E. K.; J. B. Bennett, E. S.; W. W. Murphy, C. of H.; S. G. Mead, P. S.; A. L. McWh(??)k, R. A. C.; H. W. Murdock, G. M. 3d V.; C. G. Muller, G. M. 2d V.; O. Heggelund, G. M. 1st V.; W. Scott Bukey, secretary. Present Officers: W. W. Gamble, M. E. H. P.; W. W. Murphy, E. K.; O. Heggelund, E. S.,; A. L. McWhirk, C. of H.; S. G. Mead, P. S.; C. Aug. Heggelund, R. A. C.; A. A. Irvin, G. M. 3d V.; H. H. Bixby, G. M. 2d V.; N. H. Morrison, G. M. 1st V.; W. H. Annis, secretary; I. O. Day, treasurer. Present membership, fifty-four.

McPherson Lodge, No. 172 A. F. & A. M., was organized December 27, 1876, with twenty-eight charter members. Officers chosen under dispensation: W. W. Murphy, W. M.; George J. Beach, S. W.; C. E. Pierce, J. W.; Joseph Von Atchen, S. D.; H. W. Murdock, J. D. ; E,. C. Minton, Sec.; I. O. Day, Treas. Present officers: D. C. Welch, W. M.; W. A. Annis, S. W.; Joseph Von Atchen, J. W.; C. Aug. Heggelund, S. D.; H. H. Bixby, J. D.; W. W. Russell, Sec.; I. O. Day, Treas.; Rev. W. D. Shields, chaplain. Present membership, 160.

James B. McPherson, Post No. 87, G. A. R., was organized July 17, 1882, with 100 members. Present officers: M. P. Simpson, post commander; Fred Jackson, S. B. C.; D. B. Jeffers, J V. C.; J. Q. Barnes, Q. M.; D. D. Akins, chaplain; George E. Harvey, surgeon; A. F. Waugh, officer of day; George W. Freelove, officer of guard, John R. Wright, adjutant; John F. Hughes, sergeant major; J. A. Flesher, Q. M. sergeant.

Red Cross Lodge, No. 26, K. of P., was organized in May, 1880. Present officers (November, 1882): James B. Darrah, P. C.; R. Whitmer, C. C.; C. A. Waller, V. C.; William C. Rathbun, prelate; Joseph R. Fisher, M. of F.; Gust. Carlander, M. of E.,; John F. Hughes, M. at A.; R. A. Allison, K. of R. and S.; Wallace Gleason, I. G.; J. W. Stabler, O. G. Number of members twenty-three.

Centennial Lodge, I. O. O. F., was organized July 4, 1876. The first officers were installed in August. Present officers: Isaac Creek, N. G.; D. L. Burgauer, V. G.; W. J. Iliff, Sec.; John F. Hughes, Treas. The lodge has a membership of about seventy.

Knight of Honor, Hesperian Lodge No. 1722, was organized in August 1880. Present officers: J. B. Darrah, dictator; C. E. Dunn, V. D.; H. E. Pyle, A. D.; F. E. Barber, P. D.; Frank Vandeventer, reporter; J. A. Myers, Fin. Rep.; Joshua Leonard, Treas.; J. R. Wright, chaplain; D. B. Jeffers, guide. Membership about 150.


The first paper in McPherson and the county was started by Yale Brothers, in November, 1872. It was called the McPherson Messenger, and was Republican in politics. In December, 1873, the paper was purchased by Clark and McClintick, and in May, 1874, George W. McClintick became sole editor and proprietor. He changed the name of the paper to the McPherson Independent, which remained a Republican journal.

Upon this was founded the McPherson Republican, the first number of which was issued by Mead & Presbrey, December 4, 1879. It was thus published until June of that year, when H. E. Watkins bought a half interest in the establishment. In June, 1881, H. M. Conklin purchased Mr. Watkin's interest, and the Republican has since been published under the firm name, Mead & Conklin - S. G. Mead, editor; H. M. Conklin, business manager. The Republican is an 8-column folio, 26X40, home print, its name implying its politics. S. G. Mead is a veteran editor. He began the publication of the McPherson Republican in 1879. He is an enterprising, able editor, and ranks among the most successful journalists of the State.

H. M. Conklin, business manager of the McPherson Republican, came from Washington Co., Pa., about four years ago. He is a practical newspaper man, industrious and promising.

The McPherson Leader (Greenback), was published in the spring of 1880. Its first number being issued in March by G. W. McClintick. It was discontinued in July, 1881.

The Comet, Independent Republican in politics, was started in July, 1881, by Clark & Hall. In January, 1882, its name was changed to the Industrial Liberator (Greenback). This was published by Sheldon & Hall until August 30. On the first of September, 1882, the journal became known as the McPherson Independent G. W. McClintick, editor and proprietor. It is independent in politics, and has a good local and county circulation.

The McPherson Freeman was established in McPherson as a Republican paper, August 1, 1878. Messrs. Clark & McCray, proprietors. On the first of February, 1879, D. O. McCray sold his interest to H. B. Kelly. Messrs. Clark & Kelly published the paper until January 1, 1881, when A. L. Clark sold his interest to Mr. Kelly, who became, as he is now, sole editor and proprietor.

The Farmers' and Merchant's Bank was chartered March 21, 1882, and commenced business on the 27th. Capital stock, $30,000; deposits, $50,000. Officers, W. J. Bell, Pres.; A. L. McWhirk, cashier.

The Central Bank of McPherson, C. G. Clarke, proprietor, was organized April 22, 1879. It remained under the management of Clarke & McWhirk until January, 1880, when Mr. Clarke became sole proprietor.

The McPherson Bank was organized in March, 1878, by Messrs. Williams & Cottingham, its present proprietors. Capital, $30,000. The firm own their bank building and are prosperous.

McPherson Mills were built in the spring of 1880. They are three stories in height, 36X40 feet, and the capacity of the manufactory is 100 barrels of flour per day. The proprietors are Colburn & Hamilton. They operate an elevator in connection with the mills. Value of property, $18,000.

The McPherson Elevator was erected in 1879 at a cost of $13,000. H. Hinckson & Co., proprietors. The size of the building is 30X62 feet, and has a storage capacity of 30,000 bushels.

The 'Little Giant' Elevator was erected in the fall of 1879. Ed. Berg & Co., Proprietors. Capacity 10,00 bushel (sic) value of property, $4,000.

D. W. Heath & Co., also operate an elevator - the 'People's' - which was built in September, 1881. Capacity, 20,000 bushels; value of property, $9,000.

The fourth elevator is operated by W. C. Putt.

McPherson has several good hotels and boarding houses. The Merchant's and the Commercial hotels lead the list. Benjamin Robinson took charge of the Merchant's Hotel in May 1881. It contains thirty-two rooms is well patronized by the travelling (sic) public. The Commercial House was opened in July, 1882, by J. S. Keller, its present manager and proprietor. It contains twenty-two rooms; size of building, 50X125 feet, and is owned by the estate of H. F. Graper.

[TOC] [part 3] [part 1] [Cutler's History]