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


[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]


At an early period in its history, several attempts were made to establish a town in the southeastern part of the county, nearly all of which failed of success. The first attempt was made in 1869, when a town called Clymore, named in honor of an Indian chief by that name, sprang into existence, at Lushbaugh's trading store. I. C. Crawford and Eli Dennis, in the spring of 1869, laid out a town a mile or so south of Clymore, which they christened Westralia. These places, however, gave way under the absorbing influence of a town founded by Col. Coffey and N. B. Blanton, called Coffeyville, during the fall of 1869. About a mile and a half south of Westralia, on the east side of the Verdigris, stood the town of Parker, which was started about this time, by D. T. Parker, after whom it was named, assisted by H. W. Martin and others. This town was designed to be the southern terminus of the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad, then building, in consequence of which it was the chief point of attraction and outstripped, in its progress, all surrounding points. For awhile, the town enjoyed a marvelous growth, having within a single year grown to a city of more than 1,000 inhabitants. A change, however, came across the minds of the railroad builders, who concluded to cross the Verdigris at a point a few miles above Parker, which stood upon the east side of the river, and run down on the west, instead of on the east side of that stream, as was previously the intention. In this ungenerous act upon the part of the railroad authorities, Parker read her doom. Here was a new chance presented, and, in 1871, Coffeyville, a town distinct from the one previously started under this name, was established under the favoritism of the railroad company. Being the pet of the railroad was sufficient guaranty of its success. The removal of a few houses from Parker to the place created a "stampede," and, in a short period of time, the city of Parker was completely annihilated; the greater part of it was taken to Coffeyville, and what was left became scattered in other places far and wide, and of the once flourishing city only two or three buildings are left to mark the place whereon it stood. Parker, however, for several months, fought her antagonist vigorously, but when the break was made the dyke was swept away and the resistless flood rushed through.

The present city of Coffeyville is located in the southeastern part of the county, on the west bank of the Verdigris River, about two and a half miles from the north line of the Indian Territory, and is the terminus of what is now called the Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Kansas Railroad.

The first town of Coffeyville, now called "old town," was established about a mile south of the site of the present city bearing this name, by N. B. Blanton and Col. Coffey, for whom it was named. It, too, enjoyed a season of flattering prosperity and prospect, stimulated by the idea of being the probable railroad terminus. Being a border town, and on the cattle trail, much disorder and confusion prevailed, so much so that the main thoroughfare took the name "Red Hot street," and crime and murder were of common occurrence. But this place, too, like many others, was robbed, not only of its population, business and prospects, but, also, of the very name, by the new town which had sprung up adjoining it on the north.

For some time Coffeyville was the terminus of the southern cattle drive, to which immense herds of cattle were driven from the Territory and Texas for shipment by rail to Eastern markets. This had the effect to stimulate the business of the town, on account of the numbers and character of its floating population. Everything was in a constant "hurrah;" men were wild with excitement, and society was a chaos. The wild, reckless "cow boy" knew no restraint; gamblers plied their avocation openly, and at all times; saloon men were hurried to serve customers with liquors, and the streets resounded with the rattle of beer glasses and the clickings of the keno and billiard rooms; quarrels were frequent, and the reports of the pistol, announcing that some unfortunate man had fallen a victim to the well aimed instrument were common; dance halls, filled with lewd women of the most beastly type, lined the streets, in which revelry, debauchery and criminalities ran riot. Gambling became so common, and of such a nature, as to become a nuisance, so that, at one time, the Mayor of the city, A. B. Clark, instructed the police officers to invade the gambling dens and arrest the offenders. The next morning the "lordly magistrate" sat in judgment upon such as had been arrested for violating the laws during the past day, evening and night; but judge of his surprise to find among those arrested in compliance with his instructions, and now arraigned before him for trial, a majority of the city council.

In the face of these discouraging features, operating to drive away law abiding and peace loving settlers, the town grew like magic. The cattle trail having long since been removed farther west, society has became organized and settled, so that the town is now quiet and peaceable as any in the State, and although it has lost that which more that anything else made its early growth so rapid, viz: the cattle trade, yet, supported by a wide scope of fertile territory, she has grown to a city with a population of about fifteen hundred, and is the second best town in the county for size and commercial importance. An extensive and flourishing trade is supplied from the Indian Territory, which, perhaps, goes far toward giving Coffeyville, her commercial superiority.

During the year 1872, Coffeyville became organized and incorporated under the laws of the State, as a city of the third class, and, at an election held for the purpose, the following officers were elected: A. B. Clark, Mayor; I. N. Neeld, Clerk; T. B. Eldridge, Treasurer; Luther Perkins, Police Judge; Peter Flynn, Marshall; O. D. Tallman, David Blain, G. W. Curry and Peter Wheeler, Council. Those having held the office of Mayor of the city since its organization are: - A. B. Clark, G. J. Tallman, J. Barricklow, T. B. Eldridge, W. C. Masten, J. M. Heddens and C. M. Hetherington.

A postoffice was first established at "Old" Coffeyville, in September, 1871, where it remained a few months, and was taken to the present city of Coffeyville. The first Postmaster was Col. Coffey, who kept the office in his store room. After the removal of the office, in the spring of 1872, S. B. Hickman became Postmaster, and has since then held the position.


The first school in the town was taught in the fall of 1871, by J. T. Creswell, in what is now called old town, and was kept in a store room. A very excellent and commodious school building was erected in 1872, at a cost to the city, of fifteen thousand dollars. It is a two-story brick, containing four rooms, and is very commanding in appearance. The schools have undergone thorough grading, and comprise six departments, under as many teachers. The enumeration for 1882, was 428, and the enrollment was 401, with an average daily attendance of 172, under charge of M. R. Cook, as principal.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1871, and incorporated under the law of the State in the following year, and during the year 1874, the church house was built. A suitable parsonage building is also provided; the entire church property being valued at about $1,500. The congregation has a membership of about eighty, under the pastorate of Rev. D. T. Sommerville. A Sunday school is also run, under the auspices of the church, with an average attendance of one hundred.

The Episcopal Church, or St. Paul's Church, was organized in March, 1878, by the Bishop of the Diocese, assisted by the Reverends L. L. Holden and Beatty, and was effected in the Methodist Episcopal Church, with five members. The building of a house began in the fall of 1878, the corner stone being laid December 14, and was completed in the spring of 1879, at a cost of $1,500. It is a one-story frame building, with a capacity for seating one hundred and fifty persons. The congregation, now numbering fifty members, is without a regular pastor.

The Catholics also have a small society here under charge of Father Scholls, of Independence, and are without a church building.

There are also churches among the colored population of the city.

Coffeyville has also a fair representation of local fraternities, of which there are three in prosperous existence. These are the:

Keystone Lodge, No. 102, A., F. & A. M. was established under charter, October 19, 1871, with fifteen charter members, and E. Dennis was chosen worshipful master, and Joseph McCreary, senior warden. The lodge, now numbering sixty-five members, is under the official management of Joseph McCreary, worshipful master; J. S. Lang, senior warden, and F. W. Noblett, junior warden.

Star Lodge, No. 117, I. O. O. F., was instituted May 29, 1874, with seven charter members, and T. C. Frazier was elected noble grand, O. P. Erganbright, secretary, and M. M. White, treasurer. The lodge, at present, has a membership of forty-five, and is officered as follows: G. A. W. Faust, noble grand; J. M. Hedges, treasurer, and W. R. White, secretary.

Coffeyville Lodge, No. 1,931, K. of H., became established December 10, 1879, with fifteen members. E. L. Foster was chosen dictator; George Slosson, reporter; and J. T. Isham, treasurer. There are now forty-two members and George Slosson is dictator; T. C. Frazier, reporter; and J. T. Isham, treasurer. The lodge meets in the Masonic Hall.

Castle Elberon, No. 183, Knights of the Golden Rule, was instituted November 11, 1881, with twenty members, with A. C. Keifer, commander; J. W. Glass, secretary; and W. H. Lewark, treasurer. The present officers are O. P. Erganbright, commander; J. W. Glass, secretary; W. H. Lewark, treasurer. The lodge, numbering twenty-six members, meets in the Odd Fellows' Hall. The Masons and Odd Fellows each are provided with large and comfortably furnished halls.

The Coffeyville Journal, now the only paper in operation in the place, was established October 25, 1875, by W. A. Peffer, who, in October, 1881, associated with him his two sons, W. A., jr., and D. M. Peffer. The sheet is a five-column quarto, is Republican in politics and has a circulation of 500 copies.

The Banking House of Ayres & Steel was established May 18, 1880, by T. G. Ayres and Samuel Steel, and is the only monetary institution in the city at the present time.

Since the burning of the large flouring mill, in June, 1882, the manufacturing interests of the city are confined to the less important establishments, such as wagon and carriage factories, etc. Speedy effort, however, is being made to rebuild the flour mill, and it is only a question of short time when that concern will be replaced by a larger and better one.

In the vicinity of Coffeyville are a number of manufacturing establishments of various kinds. Thayer & Gordon own a cheese factory; Barnes and Cooper, a steam saw mill; A. Montgomery a water flour mill; A. Blake, a steam fanning mill; Long & Crum, a steam corn-grinder; Morgan Brothers, a steam saw and corn-mill.


RICHARD ANDERSON, dealer in agricultural implements, was born near Taylorville, Christian Co., Ill., June 10, 1848, and lived there until October 24, 1880, when he came to Kansas. In November of that year he located near Fredonia, Wilson County, and was engaged in farming there until March, 1883, when he formed a partnership with James Smith, of Wilson County, and I. Olinger, of the same county, for the purpose of dealing in agricultural implements at Coffeyville, where Mr. Anderson now resides, although he still owns his farm in Wilson County. He was married in his native county, December 29, 1870, to Frances A. McCabe, also a native of that county. They have four children, Walter F., Emma F., Effie E. and Floyd J.

THOMAS G. AYRES, banker, came to Coffeyville in May, 1880. He engaged in banking the 25th day of that month, in partnership with Samuel Steel under the firm name of Ayres & Steel. They continued together until January 15, 1883, when Mr Steel disposed of his interest in the business to Mr. Ayres; since then bank has been conducted by Thomas G. Ayres & Co. Mr. A. is a native of Andover, Henry Co., Ill., educated in his native place and in Kentucky. Read law with W. H. Sheppard, at Cambridge, Ill., and was admitted to the bar in 1872; began the practice of law at Cambridge, continuing to give his attention to that profession until he came to Kansas.

J. J. BARNDOLLAR, merchant, was born in Everett, Bedford Co., Pa., May 5, 1842. In 1868 he removed to Lanark, Ill., where he resided until the spring of 1870, then came to Kansas, locating at Humboldt; in the summer of 1871 he settled at Coffeyville where he has since carried on a wholesale and retail business, dealing in general merchandise. His brother, George I. Barndollar, has been associated with him in the business for the last six years. Mr. B. is a member of the A., F. & A. M. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company C, One Hundred and Thirty-third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry; served nine months being First Sergeant of his company.

HON. JOHN BARRICKLOW, merchant, and Mayor, is a native of Ohio County, Ind., born May 24, 1835. In May, 1855, he came to Lawrence, Kan., soon afterwards locating at Baldwin City, taking a claim first, and about 1864 he embarked in mercantile trade there, remaining at that place until March 1, 1871, when he came to Montgomery County, settling at Parker, where he continued merchandising for two years, thence to Coffeyville, where he has been continuously in trade to the present time, being one of the oldest merchants in the county. He has held the office of County Treasurer, and was the second Mayor of Coffeyville, again serving in the same position, making a judicious and popular city executive. He does quite an extensive wholesale business, dealing largely with parties living in the Indian Territory. In addition to merchandising, he is a prominent buyer of wool, hides, furs, etc. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M., and I. O. O. F. Mr. B. was married in this city in January, 1881, to Sadie D. Kent, a native of Kent, Ill.

AUSTIN BLAKE, of the firm of Grisham & Blake, proprietors of the State Line Flouring Mills. Mr. B. was born near Olive, Noble Co., Ohio, September 4, 1838, removing from his native place to Missouri, in 1860. In 1860 he went to Illinois, and April 15, 1861, he responded to the first call for troops by enlisting in Company B, Twenty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He served as Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant and Captain of his company. He participated in all engagements of his command, and was never wounded or taken prisoner. He was mustered out January 22, 1866, being Captain of the company at that time; returning to Illinois, he resided at Tuscola, Douglas County, until 1868, when he came to Kansas, and located in Shiloh Township, Neosho County, farming there until 1873, then removed to Oxford, Sumner County, and was engaged in milling at that place and vicinity till February, when he came to Coffeyville, continuing in the same business here, having at present one of the most compact and perfect mills in the State, provided with the most approved New-process machinery - with a capacity of eighty barrels every twenty-four hours. Mr. Blake is a member of the I. O. O. F. He was married at Paris, Ill., January 23, 1864, to Annie Brooks, a native of that place. They have five children - Almond C., Elwood L., John, Eugene Austin and Maud.

HON. A. P. BOSWELL, capitalist and President of the Board of County Commissioners, was born near Decaturville, Decatur Co., Tenn., June 29, 1837, and that was his home until he located in Parker Township, Montgomery County, Kan., in July, 1871. He settled on the east half of the northeast quarter of Section 10, living there one year, then on the west half of the northeast quarter of Section 9; later on Sections 10 and 11. In 1877 he removed to Coffeyville, where he has since been engaged in loaning money. He was Trustee of Parker Township in 1876, and was elected County Commissioner the same year, and has been continued in that office, by re-election, since that time. He is President of the Board, having held the same position once before. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. He was married in Decatur County, Tenn., October 24, 1854, to Melissa D. Kelley, a native of that county. They have five children - George F., Sarah Semantha, Tiney Colea, Andrew, Alexander and William Arthur. Mr. Boswell first visited Kansas in 1857. He was at that time visiting several of the States and Territories.

J. S. H. BUMP was born at North Bend, Hamilton Co., Ohio, October 9, 1819; lived there about six years, then at Cincinnati until 1834, at Terre Haute, Ind., from 1834 to 1837, then two years at Dayton, Ohio, returning to Terre Haute, where he remained until 1845. He was afterwards Postmaster at various places until he came to Kansas in 1870. He was two years in California. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. In April, 1870, Mr. Bump lived at the old town of Coffeyville, and followed various kinds of business while there - farmer, boarding-house keeper, auctioneer, etc. In the spring of 1872 he removed to the present site of Coffeyville, and for several years was engaged in mercantile business for himself. For the last six years he has been connected with the mercantile establishment of W. S Upham. He has served as Justice of the Peace and Alderman. He was married at Terre Haute, Ind., in April, 1843, to Ann Frances Cole, a native of the city of New York. They have five children - Josephine, now Mrs. David Pollock, of Sterling, Kan.; Henry C., a resident of Coffeyville; Katie R., now Mrs. M. M. White, of this city; Scott E., and Fannie, now Mrs. Wm. H. Lape, of Sterling, Kan.

W. H. CLARK, photographer, is a native of Monroe, Butler Co., Ohio, born November 24, 1836. He enlisted September 4, 1861, in the Eleventh Ohio Independent Battery, serving until November 5, 1864. He participated in all engagements of his command during his term of service. After leaving the army he returned to Ohio. April 15, 1870, he located at Burlington, Coffey Co., Kan., where he was engaged in the photographic business until October, 1878; afterwards at Chanute one year, Osage Mission six months, coming from the latter place to Coffeyville. He has constantly engaged in business since 1868. He was located at Galva, Ill., for a short time prior to his removal to Kansas. Mr. Clark is a member of the K. of H., and K. of P. He was married at Middletown, Butler Co., Ohio, March 14, 1867, to Rebecca Jane Marshel, a native of Preble County, but raised in Butler County, Ohio. The have two children - William Marshel and Ray Hamilton.

PROF. M. R. COOK, Principal of the Coffeyville Schools, is a native of County West Meath, Ireland, September 29, 1841, but at the age of five years he was brought by his parents to America, and was raised and educated in the State of New York. He graduated from the State Normal School at Albany, and also from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and in 1863, he entered the New York State Department of Public Instruction as an Institute Conductor and Lecturer, continuing in that department one year and a half. He was then elected to the chair of Mathematics in the Utica Free Academy. About six months later he accepted a responsible position in the public schools of the city of New York, being connected therewith until May, 1879, when he came to Kansas, taking charge of the department of Natural Science, and teaching collateral branches in the State Normal School at Emporia. After one year's connection with that institution he took charge of the Coffeyville schools. When he came here there were only 175 pupils in the schools. Under his management the educational interest has been wonderfully promoted, having now an attendance of over 400 pupils in the schools. There are nine grades below the High school. Each department, Primary Intermediate and Grammar, having three grades. Since the Professor came here the schools have been raised from a low state of discipline and instruction to a standard which ranks among the best, for which he has a just title to the approbation of the community. He is a contributor to the "Popular Science Monthly," and other like publications. All his contributions for those journals are of a scientific character. He also writes for the newspapers on various topics. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery. He is a charter member of the K. of P., and is also a member of the Episcopal Church.

JOHN W. CUBINE, boot and shoe manufacturer, was born in Withe County, Va., November 4, 1844, lived there until 1866, then removed to Missouri, where he resided until 1873, when he located at Chetopa, Labette Co., Kan., remaining there until the spring of 1876, when he engaged in farming in Howard Township in the same county. In September, 1876, he came to Coffeyville. He has worked at his trade of boot maker since 1859, and is one of the most accomplished workmen in the State. He is a member of the K. of H. He was married to his present wife, Alice D. Wright, at Regency, Gentry Co., Mo., March 29, 1871. She is a native of Worth County, Mo. They have four children - Claude D., Gracie G., Zoe Georgia Vivian and Flora. Mrs. Cubine is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

DAVID DAVIES, brick manufacturer, was born in Wales in 1830, and came to America in 1850, and settled in Wisconsin, where he learned the trade of bricklayer in Oshkosh, where he carried it on for ten years. In 1861, he went to Pike's Peak, and after a year located in Pioneer City, Idaho, where he remained connected with mining for several years. He then spent some time in connection with his business in San Francisco Cal. In 1870, he came to Kansas and located here the following year, where he has carried on his trade successfully since. In 1880, he established his present manufactory, which turns out about 300,000 brick per annum. He married in 1880, Mrs. Margaret Sweetman, formerly Hollingsworth, a native of Indiana. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has been a member of the Cambrian Mutual Aid Society for several years.

DAVID A. DAVIS, saddler and harnessmaker, was born in Cortland County, N. Y., September 4, 1840. He enlisted in September, 1861, in Company G, Eighty-first New York Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged in August, 1863, on account of disability, caused by wounds, received at the battle of Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862. After leaving the army, he remained in New York until April, 1865, then for five years he worked as a journeyman harnessmaker at various places in different States. In the spring of 1870 he located at Parker, and in the fall of 1871 came to Coffeyville, being the first harnessmaker in both places. He is a member of the Christian Church, and of the I. O. O. F. He was married in this place, in November, 1871, to Florence E. Oppy, a native of Illinois. They have one child - J. Valentine, born at Coffeyville, February 14, 1874.

C. C. ECKERT, tinner, with J. T. Isham, was born at Allegheny City, Pa., December 29, 1854, lived in his native city and at Pittsburgh, Pa., till he came to Ottawa, Kan., in 1868, resided in the latter place until seven years ago, when he located at Coffeyville, working at his trade since coming here, first with C. W. Munn, and later with his present employer. He has worked at the tinner's trade for the last twelve years. He is a member of the K. of P. His father, Christian Eckert, is now a resident of Ottawa, Kan.

T. G. FUQUA, gunsmith and dealer in game, furs, etc., was born in Greenup County, Ky., November 25, 1831. After the age of five years he lived in Morgan, Benton and Jackson Counties, Mo., until March 1, 1860, then located between Geneva and Neosho Falls, in Allen County, Kan., living in that county until 1864, then removed to Leroy, Coffey Co., Kan., remaining there eighteen months, six months in Riley County, Emporia two months, then at Neosho Rapids, until he came to Coffeyville. Prior to coming here, he had been engaged in teaching school, photographic business, gunsmith's trade, etc. Since locating here he has kept a gun shop, and during the winter seasons dealt in game and furs. He was married in Morgan County, Mo., December 10, 1856, to Sophronia Stoddart Washburn, a native of Ashtabula County, Ohio. She died October 29, 1869, leaving three children - Roxanna Eugenia, now Mrs. Joseph Reeder, Richard James, and Thomas Washburn. Mr. F.'s father, Richard J. Fuqua, a native of Kentucky, built the first house in Allen County, Kan., during the winter of 1854-'55. He removed from there to Oregon in 1864, where he died. His widow survives and still resides in Oregon; she also was born in Kentucky.

CHARLES F. GENTNER, owner of Sunny Sight Farm, P. O. Coffeyville, was born in Gasconade County, Mo., January 29, 1844 and was reared and educated there. At the age of twenty-one he went to Washington, D. C., and engaged at merchandising until 1867, when he returned to Fulton, Calloway Co., Mo., and was identified with the milling business until 1869, when he came to Kansas and engaged in merchandising in Lenexa for two years. He then came here, and after carrying on mercantile business in Parker a year, retired from it and engaged in his present industry, which he has successfully carried on since. He married in 1967, Miss Blanch Leonhardt, a very estimable lady, and a native of Missouri. They have three sons and three daughters - Lillie, Addie, Edward, Harry, Katie and Charlie, and have buried their seventh child, Virgie, in the family cemetery here. He and wife are members of the Lutheran Church. He is an active member of the I. O. O. F. society. Sunny Sight, his farm is located two and one half miles southwest of Coffeyville, and contains 160 acres of choice land. Ten acres of it is devoted to a variety of fruit trees, vines, etc., five acres in handsome fruit trees; the balance is devoted to grain tillage and pasturage. It has handsome dwellings and and[sic] outbuildings located upon it, and is otherwise nicely improved. Mr. Gentner's speciality is cattle and hogs, stock raising and breeding.

JOHN W. GLASS, grocer, was born in Bedford, Ind., August 4, 1857. When he was an infant his parents removed with their family to Carthage, Ill., removing from there to Lawrence, Kas., in 1869. After four years residence in the latter place they returned to Carthage. In October, 1878, J. W. Glass came to Coffeyville, engaging in mechanical pursuits here till April 1, 1883, when he engaged in grocery trade in partnership with C. M. Hetherington, his present partner. Mr. G. is a member of the I. O. O. F., and Knights of the Golden Rule. He was married in this city March 23,1881, to Lillie M. Lape. They have one child - Harry W.

RICHARD COLLEONS GRISHAM, of the firm of Grisham & Blake, proprietors, of the State Line Flouring Mills, is a native of Brown County, Ohio, born August 19, 1833, lived there till 1855, then removed to Fulton County, Ill., living there and in Schuyler County, in the same State, until he came to Kansas. In the spring of 1874, he came to Parker Township, Montgomery County, locating on Sections 10, 11, and 12; still owns the farm, and resided on it until February, 1883, when he came to Coffeyville to live. In March, 1883, he and Austin Blake built one of the most complete flouring mills to be found anywhere. It is furnished with the Great Western Manufacturing Company's purifiers, bolters, etc., and all the other appurtenances, are of the most approved kinds. They do exclusively merchant milling. Their mill has a capacity of eighty barrels per day (twenty-four hours). Mr. G. is a member of the A., F. & A. M. He was married in Scott Township, Brown Co., Ohio, in 1853, to Orpha Ralstin, a native of that county. They have five children - Viola Artimeca, Lilly Bell, Eugene and Florence, twins, and Victoria Jane.

[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]