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


[TOC] [part 9] [part 7] [Cutler's History]


HON. MELVILLE J. SALTER, Farmer and Register of the United States Land Office, was born in Sardinia, Wyoming Co., N. Y., June 20, 1834. His grandfather, Peter Salter, was a soldier in the Revolutionary army, and served under Washington in several historic engagements. His father, David N. Salter, was one of the founders of Battle Creek, Mich. The subject of this sketch went from Michigan to California, where he remained from 1852 to 1856, when he returned to Michigan, experiencing many thrilling adventures on the voyage. In 1871, Mr. Salter removed to Kansas, and located on a farm near Thayer, his selection being the northeast quarter of Section 22, Chetopa Township, The year following, he was elected trustee of the township, an office held by him for five successive years. The township had voted $35,000 to a "paper" railroad and, against all manner of denunciation, both by the parties interested and people, who believed that the railroad operators would act in good faith, he persistently refused to sign the bonds or permit their issue, resisting legal processes, and ultimately carrying the point. The wisdom of this course was soon demonstrated, and his constituents re-elected him to office. In 1872, great excitement prevailed among the settlers on the Osage ceded lands. Mr. Salter, although not resident on the lands involved, was chosen chief counsellor of the farmers, and a protective association was organized. During the agitation open outrages were committed against the farmers, and three men were seriously injured. Some of the members of the association favored retaliation, but Mr. S. addressed the exasperated people in so effective a manner that summary vengeance was averted and the law sustained. The farmers succeeded, by peaceful measures in maintaining their rights. In 1874, Mr. Salter was elected Lieutenant Governor of Kansas, and re-elected in 1876. One year later he was appointed Register of the United States Land Office at Independence, which position he still holds. He has also served as chairman of the board of regents of the agricultural college for four years. On the 22d of October, 1856, Mr. Salter was married to Miss Sarah E. Hinkle, a native of Lehigh, Pa. They have three children - Louis A., Albert L., and William E. In political sentiments Mr. Salter is a prominent Republican, and is by religous [sic] preference an active member of the Baptist Church.

L. SHADLEY, Sheriff, was born near Zanesville, Licking Co., Ohio, June 4, 1844. In October, 1848, his parents removed with their family to Davis County, Iowa, where he was reared; and in July, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, Thirtieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Participated in battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Raymond, Miss., Jackson, Miss., Siege of Vicksburg from May 18 to July 4, at seven days battle at Jackson, Miss., Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, Ringgold, the Atlanta Campaign - going with Sherman to the Sea. For a period of nine months during his term of service he was detailed as cannonier for the First Iowa Battery. He was mustered out June 5, 1865, and returned to Iowa, remaining there till he came to Kansas. November 3, 1869, he located on Osage Indian lands, in what is now Drum Creek Township, Section 6, Montgomery County, making that his home since that date. He served as a member of the School Board, being Clerk and Treasurer thereof. He is now serving second term as Sheriff of Montgomery, and is also Deputy United States Marshal. He is a member of A., F. & A. M. Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, and of the A. O. U. W. He was married in Soap Creek Township, Davis Co., Iowa, at the residence of Owen Randolph, February 4, 1866, to Malinda Randolph, a native of Shelby County, Indiana. They have three children - Mary Elizabeth, William Lafayette and Charles Alvin. They lost one daughter - Melvina - who died at the age of three years, and three of their children died in infancy.

THOMAS N. SICKELS, Clerk United States Land Office, is a native of Indianapolis, Ind. Born October 22, 1839. He graduated from Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, in 1860. Studied law while in college and for some time afterward. In November, 1860, went to Vernon County, Missouri. In the fall of 1861 went to Chicago as assistant editor of the financial and commercial department of the Chicago Times . August 5, 1862, enlisted in the Chicago Mercantile Battery, and with it participated in the following engagements: First attack on Vicksburg, Arkansas Post, Grand Gulf, Magnolia Hills, Champion Hills, Black River Ridge, Siege of Vicksburg and Jackson. In December, 1864, was promoted to First Lieutenant Company E, Tenth United States Heavy Artillery (colored), having command of the company most of the time until his muster out in April, 1866. He then located in Franklin County, Mo., as Superintendent of the Equitable Smelting and Mining Company, remaining in that capacity for two years. Afterward resided one year in Vernon County, Mo. Located at Oswego, Kan., in the spring of 1870, and remained there until the following fall, when he became interested in the Town Company of Independence, Kan., and removed to that place. Was engaged in real estate and mercantile business until November, 1877, when he became Clerk in the United States Land Office, in which position he still remains. He was married at Little Osage, Vernon Co., Mo., May 21, 1867, to Harriet E. McNeil, a native of Bates County, Mo. They have four children living - Walter Stoddard, Wm. Norwood, Eva Caroline and Pansy Kate. They have lost three children. Harriet Hosmer, the first child, died at the age of thirteen months; Robert, the second child, at the age of seven months, and Susie Alma, the sixth child, at the age of three years. Mr. Sickles is a member of the K. of H., Equitable Aid Union, G. A. R. and Presbyterian Church, being an elder in the latter, leader of its choir and superintendent of its Sunday school.

HENRY F. SMITH, farmer, P. O. Independence, was born in Rockingham County, Va., November 21, 1821. He was raised in the town of Mount Crawford, and learned the business of harness-making and saddlery. In 1852 he moved to Champaign County, Ohio, located at Millerstown and engaged in manufacturing harness, saddles and leather. He enlisted, May 3, 1864, in Company H of the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry and served four months. He was mustered out at the expiration of term of service, August 30, 1864. He returned to his home, where he lived until 1871, when he came to Kansas, arriving in Montgomery County April 8. He bought a farm five miles west of Independence, where he still resides. He was married February 1, 1844, in Rockingham County, Va., to Miss Harriet Jane Jones. They have five children - Elizabeth, Mrs. H. M. Mundy, of Texas; William E., John R., Margaret Jane, Mrs. Goode; and Evaline O., Mrs. Samuel Croft.

L. T. STEPHENSON was born near Pittsburgh, Pa., May 28, 1837; was educated in the city of Pittsburgh and Jefferson College, Pa.; removed to Illinois in 1857, locating in McLean County; lived in Central Illinois until 1865; enlisted three times, but was rejected on account of a crippled arm. He began the practice of law in 1862, removed to Minnesota in 1865, and taught school until 1866; removed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in October, 1866; established a commercial college there, which he conducted until he was burned out, in April, 1867. He then returned to Bloomington, Ill., where he practiced law, and was identified with other interests until May 1, 1869. He then started for Kansas in a buggy, driving the entire distance, arriving at Oswego in July, and in the ensuing month of August, he, with Dr. R. W. Wright and others, organized the Independence Town Company. He drew the charter, and on August 21, 1869, they located the town-site. The corner-stone of the first building, a hotel, was laid August 28, 1869, and the hotel was opened by Mr. S. the first of the following October. He kept it one month, and then sold out to Owen Parkhurst. Mr. S. brought a small stock of merchandise to Independence before any store was started; the stock consisted of such articles as tobacco, quinine, etc., all contained in a box four by eight feet. About the same time he started a hack line between Independence and Oswego, carrying passengers and the first mail. The post office was in the crown of his hat, and when he had a call for mail, the post office was always handy for examination. The Town Company consisted of twelve men. At their first meeting nine of the twelve voted to make the streets seventy-five feet wide, and Mr. Stephenson was instructed to make the plat accordingly, but instead of obeying orders, he laid the streets off on the plat 100 feet wide, and took the responsibility on himself. Mr. G. A. Brown, one of the Company, and the surveyor, together with Mr. S., took charge of the buildings and management of the Town Company's affairs. They made a treaty with the Osages, by which they leased eight by twelve miles of country around Independence, for which they paid $300, thus saving the early settlers from being taxed from five to ten dollars by each roving band of Osages. In November, 1869, he moved to his claim, adjoining the town site on the south, and he now resides within forty rods of his original location. He gave his attention to public affairs, his professional duties being farming and stock business until 1876. He then went to Rush County, Kan., and located the town site of La Crosse in the geographical center of the county, four miles from anything but prairie; called an election; voted the county seat to La Crosse, and in the spring of 1877 sold out his interests advantageously, and returned to his family at Independence, and has remained here since that time, attending to his real estate and other interests. At the first organization of the District Court, May 9, 1870, he was appointed by Hon. W. C. Webb, Clerk of the District Court, and in the fall of 1870 he was elected to same office, but in consequence of his professional interests he resigned the office in June, 1871, at which time he had a large practice in contested land cases. He opened the books of the office of Register of Deeds, and as Deputy he did the recording in the county. He also assisted in opening the books of the Probate Court, and organized that office. He is now serving his sixth year as a member of the Board of Education, being secretary of the Board. He has been twice married, and has two sons, Wylie W. and Starrett L., both living in Independence Kan.

ARCHIBALD A. STEWART, editor and proprietor of the Independence Kansan , was born in Champaign County, Ohio, April 23, 1836, and was reared on a farm. His father James Stewart, a man of great physical power, had the honor of having a personal set to with Jefferson C. Davis, of Confederate fame, in which he gave the latter a severe drubbing. Davis, at that time, was just fresh from West Point, and held the commission of Lieutenant at Fort Winnebago, Wis. Stewart was engaged as boat builder at that place, and one day, chancing to walk across the parade grounds, was peremptorily ordered off by Lieutenant Davis, upon whom he turned, telling him to go to h--l. Such defiance was too much for the chivalrous soldier and officer, who, confident of his abilities, thought to resent the dishonor in a physical combat. But the native agility and brawny arms of the boat builder were more than odds against the science of the West Pointer, who, worsted in the encounter, shrunk away in chagrin and mortification. The educational advantages of A. A. Stewart, the subject of this sketch, were such as were afforded by the common schools, supplemented by one year's attendance at Antioch College, subsequent to which he followed school teaching for some time. When he arrived at majority his father and mother both died, leaving upon him the charge of two younger sisters and three brothers aged seven, nine and eleven years, over whom he acted the part of a father, until the marriage of the sisters and the arrival of the brothers to manhood. In 1860, he married Margaret Rebecca Henderson, a native of Champaign County, Ohio; enlisted in Company E, of the Forty-fifth Ohio Infantry, in 1862; he passed through the several steps of promotion as Orderly Sergeant, Sergeant Major, Adjutant, Quartermaster and Lieutenant in command of a company. The chief of his experience on the field, was in the engagements at Dutton Hill, Kenesaw Mountain, Resaca, Franklin, Nashville; in the pursuit of Gen. Morgan's raid through Indiana and Ohio; in Burnsides' campaign, in East Tennessee; in the engagements at Philadelphia and Knoxville; and in Sherman's famous Atlanta campaign. After a service in the war, of about three years, he resigned and came home, in February, 1865. In 1866, he emigrated with his family to Illinois, and in June, 1869, came to Kansas, locating on a claim in Sycamore Township, Montgomery County, and for about ten years, he was chiefly engaged in the improvement and cultivation of his land and in the breeding of fine stock; having brought the first Norman horse, Berkshire boar, and Short-horn bull into the county. At the first election in Sycamore Township, he was chosen Trustee; was president of the County Agricultural Association for two years, of which he has been a director since its organization, and was elected State Representative, in 1873, as an independent candidate, the district being Republican by a majority of 250, and he a Democrat. In 1869, he gave up farming on account of failing health, and took up his residence in Independence, where, in February, 1882, he began the publication of the Independence Kansan , in which he is now engaged.

WATSON STEWART, real estate, loan and insurance agent, was born near Troy, Miami Co., Ohio, February 25, 1827; lived there until 1848, and then removed to Attica, Ind. In 1849, he located at Lafayette, Ind., living there until 1856, when he came to Kansas, locating in what is now Cottage Grove Township, Allen Co., in May 1856, and settled upon what was known as the Osage Indian lands, and improved a farm. In May 1865, he was appointed Register of the U. S. Land Office, at Humboldt, Kan., holding that position until October 1866, and then engaged in real estate and hotel business at Humboldt, having removed to that place the previous fall. He was re-appointed Register of the land office in April, 1869, and remained in that office until 1871, when it was removed to Independence. In April, 1877, he established a real estate, loan and insurance office in this city, although retaining his family residence in Humboldt, Allen Co. He was elected Justice of the Peace for Cottage Grove Township in 1858 being at that time the only Justice in the county. In 1859 he was elected to represent the southeastern part of Kansas in the Territorial Council, serving as a member thereof until after the admission of the State in 1861. He was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives during the session of 1864-65. He served several years as Alderman and Member of the School Board at Humboldt. He was one of the original members of the Chetopa Town Co. He served for about one year during the War of the Rebellion, as Major of the Allen County Battalion. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church and of the A., F. & A. M. He was married at Lafayette, Ind., October 30, 1851, to Elizabeth Tipton, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. They have seven children living - Frank, Fred E., Joseph, Oliver H., Edwin, Arthur and Allan. Lost three children - Cynthia died at the age of twelve years; Alice was only two years old at the time of her death, and Ella was six years of age when she died.

M. S. STAHL, proprietor of the Main Street Hotel, was born in Belfast Township, Bedford Co., Pa., December 10, 1826, lived there until 1839, when his parents, with their family, moved to Blackford Co., Ind., which county he made his home until 1870. He was educated at the University of New York City, and Rush Medical College, Chicago, Ill., graduating from the latter institution, he began the practice of medicine at Hartford City, Blackford Co., Ind. He went to Texas and remained two years, being surgeon of the Texas Rangers. After this he spent about three years in Kansas, Missouri, and in the Rocky Mountains as far west as the Rio Gila, and the land of the Apache. Becoming tired of this nomadic life, he returned to the States in 1875, and located in Independence, Kan., where he has since been engaged in the hotel business. He was married at Hartford City, Ind., March 20th, 1856, to Mary A. Ransom, a native of Ohio, but reared in Indiana. They have two children, May W., and Florence V. Mr. S. is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

F. W. SWAB, merchant tailor, was born in Quincy, Ill., July 12, 1856. He learned tailoring, and in 1876 went to Chicago, where he worked a year and a half for H. A. Koehn & Co., manufacturers of clothing and wholesale dealers, the last year having charge of a department. He returned to Quincy, where he was in business for a year, and then moved to Mendon, Ill. In 1878 he came to Kansas and located at Independence. In partnership with J. W. Don Lavy he was in business until March 1, 1883, when he sold out and opened another house with F. A. Bellman, firm name Swab & Bellman. They carry a nice stock of cloths, suitings, trimmings, etc., and are very artistic workmen, doing a good business. He is a member of the Masonic order and of the K. of P. He was married, December 23, 1880, at Independence, Kan., to Miss Lou Shank.

JOHN THIBUS, hardware merchant, was born in Prussia, January 1, 1845. His parents removed with their family to Cooper County, Mo., in 1848, living there three years, then to Moniteau County, Mo., where both his father and his mother died. Their names were Mathias and Anna Mary (Vogel) Thibus. John Thibus removed to Lawrence, Kan., in 1869, lived there eight months, six months at Topeka, and afterwards at Chanute till February 26, 1872, when he came to Independence. For about two years after coming here was employed as a tinner, that being his trade. For over eight years he has been engaged in business for himself. He deals extensively in hardware, stoves, tinware, wagon woodwork, etc. Mr. T. was married, at Garnett, Kan., to Jennie Vogt, a native of Germany. They have four children - Katie, Charles, Fred and Oscar.

L. M. TROTTER, farmer, P.O. Independence, was born in Guilford County, N.C., July 10, 1852. In 1865 he removed to Knox County, Tenn., with his parents, where he lived until 1869, when he moved to Henry County, Ind., thence to Parke County, whence he came to Kansas in 1880. He bought a farm in Independence Township, five miles west of the city, where he resides, engaged in farming and stock raising. He was married, August 10, 1873, in Parke County, Ind., to Miss Harriet Wineland. They had three children - Mary Elizabeth, Julia Anna and Lydia. Mrs. Trotter died February 4, 1883.

JOHN TRUBY, watchmaker and jeweler, was born in Stark County, Ohio, August 26, 1830. When seventeen years of age he went to Elkhart, Ind., where he lived three years. From thence to South Bend, where he learned the jeweler's business. In 1854 he removed to Lincoln, Ill., where he was engaged in business until 1873, when he came to Kansas, locating at Independence, where he has been in business since. He carries a good stock of watches, clocks, jewelry and sundries. In 1878 he was elected a member of the city council, serving a short term of one year. Again, in 1883, he was elected from the Fourth Ward for the full term of two years. He was a member of the city council of Lincoln, Ill., four years while a resident of that city. He is a member of the Masonic order. He was married at Lincoln, Ill., to Miss Sarah L. Duff. They have six children - Juliette Elizabeth, now Mrs. W. W. Martin, Marvin L., Lilffy A., Irene and Daisy.

[TOC] [part 9] [part 7] [Cutler's History]