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


[TOC] [part 17] [part 15] [Cutler's History]


CHAS. McCARTHY, druggist, was born 1836, in London, England; was educated there and served an apprenticeship of seven years as a coppersmith and brazier, at which trades he worked in all fifteen years. In 1869 he came to America, with the original colony of English people, who settled in Nemaha County, and for a few years identified his fortunes with that association. He then went East to Chicago, worked about three years for a wholesale house there and five years for the Standard Oil Co. His earnings were wisely invested, and at this writing he has property valued at $4,000 in Chicago, and real estate in Nemaha County valued at $2,000, all acquired in eight years. He came to Wetmore for permanent settlement, and began his present business in June, 1862. His wife was Mary Hollaghan, and they have five children - Charles, Thomas, Eugene, Justin and James Garfield, the youngest born on the day of the assassination of Pres. Garfield, and named by the employees of the Standard Oil Co., for which company his two eldest sons are now working. Mr. McCarthy is a Roman Catholic and a Democrat.

A. J. McCREERY, M. D., farmer, P. O. Wetmore, is a son of Alexander McCreery, deceased, who was the father of eight children, of whom three sons served during the rebellion in the Union Army. A. J. McCreery enlisted in September, 1862, at Holton, Kan., in the Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and served with that regiment throughout the entire war (See sketch of Kansas, Eleventh Infantry, in this volume). He has since been a resident of Kansas, and has recently sold a farm in Wetmore Township. Six of the eight children above referred to are now residents of Kansas. The father died in 1876 in Wetmore Township. Alvin O. McCreery, now postmaster of Wetmore, served in the Ninth Indiana, and Wm. H., in Tenth Regiment Kansas Volunteers.

THOS. MILAM, M. D., OF Wetmore, is a son of M. S. Milam, a native of Franklin County, Ky., who married Harriet Stokes, of Rutherford County, Tenn., and brought his family to Kansas in September 1859, settling on Elk Creek, three miles east of where Holton was afterwards built. Here they began farming on the virgin sod of the Kansas prairie, meeting with but indifferent success for several years. In 1859 then planted thirty acres of corn, but did not harvest a bushel, and in consequence saw some pinching times in 1860. In 1870 M. S. Milam and wife sold out, retired from farming, and have since lived in Holton. Their only son, whose name heads this sketch, was educated in the Holton High School and in Cumberland University. His medical studies were pursued in the University of Louisville Ky., where he graduated in 1877, since which time he has resided and practiced in Wetmore.

NATHANIEL MORRIS, merchant, began business here in September, 1867, the firm of Morris & Bro., flourishing here until the total destruction of their store by fire in 1870. He then formed a partnership with his brothers-in-law, the Messrs. Wolfley rebuilt and resumed business. Having purchased the interest of his partners, he has since 1878 carried on a large and rapidly increasing business, the $1,200 stock of 1867, having increased to one of $25,000 in 1882. Mr. Morris has in process of construction the largest store building in Nemaha County, it being two stories high, 44x112 feet, and is well finished and fire-proof throughout, the second floor to be an opera house. He is a native of Illinois, and married Mary Wolfley, by whom he has three children - Frank, James and Harry. The youngest, Harry, died August 30, 1882, aged six years. While Mr. Morris' business record is above reproach, and well worthy of emulation, it is his military record he most pleasurably remembers. He enlisted July 3, 1861, in the First Illinois Cavalry, and served with that regiment until its capture at Lexington, Mo., with Mulligan. At the expiration of his parole he re-enlisted February, 1863, in the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, and thereafter was engaged in about twenty-five pitched battles; was with Generals Grierson, Wilson and Hatch, in their dashing raids; fought at Somerville, Hatchie River, Moscow, Columbia, Franklin and Nashville, and everywhere the regiment added to the laurels already won. The testimonials of his commanding officers show that Private (afterwards Sergeant) Morris, was ever foremost in all posts requiring cool courage and reckless daring. While near Somersville, Tenn., dressed in citizens clothes, he captured a rebel captain, and near Ripley, Miss., himself and a comrade overhauled and captured two rebel officers. On another occasion he pursued a mounted rebel with only a small revolver, overhauled him and presented his weapon when the rebel exclaimed: "I'll surrender!" almost instantly thereafter, grasping the muzzle of the revolver, and presenting his own shot-gun at Morris, who shot the rebel so seriously that he died the next day. Mr. Morris takes pride in relating the incidents of camp and field life, especially the recovery of his favorite horse, which had been captured by Saul Street, the noted guerrilla, Street himself being captured with the horse, by the One Hundred and Third Illinois regiment, and the steed turned over to his rightful owner. When but a boy seventeen years old, he came to Kansas and settled in Linn County, this being the fall of 1857. At that time John Brown and James Montgomery were stirring up the pro-slavery men in that section. United States Deputy Marshal Russell, of Arkansas, came up and organized two companies in Linn and one in Bourbon County. Nathaniel Morris went into company No. 2, and went through the Jayhawker War. They had two skirmishes with John Brown, both on Big Sugar Creek. There was but one man killed in this war, and that was a captain, who was shot when getting a gun out of a wagon to shoot a prairie chicken.

HON. WILLIAM MORRIS, was born in 1820, in Edwardsville, Ill. He came to Kansas in 1854, from Galesburg, Ill., and made a claim near Mound City, Linn County, only eighteen miles from the Kansas home of John Brown, with whom he became well acquainted. Brown used to call the three Morris brothers, George, William and James, the 'three suckers.' William Morris returned to Illinois in 1858, and lived in Knox County, till March, 1863, when he brought his family again to Kansas, and settled on a farm three miles east of Wetmore, where he located in 1868, and built the third store in the town, his brother Nathaniel and himself doing business together as 'Morris & Bro.,' until they were burned out in 1870. Each then built a store, and resumed business for himself. At the end of four years William Morris bought a farm northwest of Wetmore, which he sold in 1877. And packing all his earthly possessions returned with his family to Illinois, which State he traversed thoroughly without finding a location that suited him as well as in Kansas. Returning to Wetmore he bought a number of lots and built the store now occupied by Frager & De Forest, and was in business with Mr. Frager two years, then sold out and built two adjoining stores to the north. For the past three years Mr. Morris has lived quietly enjoying the comforts of his elegant home in the town. He came to the State in 1854, a staunch Democrat, but became a Republican within a fortnight, thanks to the Missouri Democracy then dominant. In 1869 he represented his district in the Kansas Legislature, and prior to that was a Commissioner of Brown County. Mrs. Morris was Eliza Stump, of Knox County, Ill. They have one daughter now with them in Wetmore.

JOHN RADFORD, JEWLER, was born in 1836, in Devonshire, England, went to London in 1846, and for a few years was glad to subsist by doing anything to which he could honorably turn his hand, and by which he could turn a penny. Determined to secure an education he attended night schools, lyceums, and mechanics' institutes, etc., and his conversation and writings to-day show that the time was not misspent. For seven long years he was apprenticed to an enameler and engraver, at which trade he worked twelve years in all. Liberal ideas, socially, politically and religiously, early found lodgment in his brain, and a ready and energetic champion in his tongue and pen. "Bronterre O'Brien" was a coworker and intimate friend. 'The Mutual Land Emigration and Co-operative Colonization Company (Limited),' was the rather pretentious name of an organization formed by the labors of James Murray and John Radford in London, in 1868. One pound shares were issued, and each member allowed to won not to exceed fifteen shares. The idea briefly stated, was for the company to buy land in one of the new American States, and to lease the same to actual settlers, who were to be reasonably well paid for developing the raw land into farms. A tract of 729 acres was bought in Harrison Township, Nemaha County, Kan., and in 1869 six families, most of whom are now counted among our wealthiest and best people, like the Fullers, Stowells, Edgingtons, Radfords, etc. The grasshopper plague of 1874 'wound up' the colony affairs; a Mr. Willson, a liberal-minded English gentleman taking the land off the hands of the embarrassed colonists. Mr. Radford came over in 1874 as Organizing Agent, by special vote of the Association, but his efforts availed but little, "land was too cheap all around us" he says. After a few years of hard struggling, working at gardening, farming, engraving, and as a jeweler, he has finally located his large farm in Harrison (bought of Mr. Wilson), and opened up a very fair jewelry business in Wetmore. He had eight children by his deceased wife, Mary Days, who died in 1878. The present Mrs. Radford was Maria Slark.

DON C. RISING, the eldest son of N. H. Rising, deceased, was born in 1844, and came to Kansas with the family in 1858; crossed the prairies in 1860; rode pony express for the stage company in the winter of 1862; was made assistant wagon-master in the United States service, and in 1862, was a Isle No. 10, Pittsburg Landing, Shiloh, Tuscumbia and Corinth; Kansas, and that year went with a train of 185 wagons from Ft. Leavenworth to Mexico; was then in Granada, Kan., until 1866, part of the time in mercantile business, then in same occupation in Wetmore till 1871. That year he began railroading again, and followed it as brakeman and conductor on the Santa Fe & Missouri Pacific roads till 1875, and since that time in the stock business in Wetmore. From October, 1879, to April, 1882, he kept the Wetmore Hotel. Mrs. Rising was Mary C. Shuemaker, daughter of Peter Shuemaker, a very early settler of Granada, Kan.; and they have three children.

N. H. RISING, deceased, an honored Kansas pioneer, was born in 1824, in Herkimer County, N. Y., and reared in Steuben County, where he learned surveying and held various public offices. In April, 1857, he came to Kansas and made a claim adjoining Sabetha on the west. His wife and four children joined him in August, 1858. His plank house was one of the first built here. During 1858-'59, Messrs. Rising and George Lyons kept a store in Sabetha. In 1859, Mr. Rising leased the hotel at Granada, which he ran during 1859-'60. In 1861 he built the noted 'Log Chain' ranch, at the crossing of the old military road over the creek of that name. It may be noted here that when General Albert Sidney Johnston was sent with United States troops to quiet the impudent Mormons, he had great trouble in crossing this creek, and scores of heavy chains were broken by the teams of twenty-four and thirty-six yoke of oxen hitched to the heavily-laden government wagons, and that the broken chains piled on the bank of the creek gave it the name of Log Chain Creek, when the country was first settled, Mr. Rising's 'ranch' was a house 24x40 feet, and a barn seventy feet long, and his business was most lively here for about eighteen months, at the end of which he built the 'Reserve Station' on Plum Creek, and flourished here about five years, the men and teams f the old stage companies being regular patrons. In 1867 he settled in Wetmore, and engaged in mercantile business until his death May 3, 1878. Mr Rising was highly esteemed by all; was a man of few words, but imbued with much honor and good sense. He was buried by the Masonic fraternity, of which he was a valued member. Mrs. Rising, who still lives in Wetmore, was Mary E. Smith, of Tioga County, Pa., and the four children - Don C., Clara (Mrs. A. Huff, of Wetmore) Frank S., and Alma M. (Mrs. Dr. Graham, of Wetmore) were all born in Steuben County, N. Y.

DAVID SCOTT, farmer, P. O. Ontario, Jackson County, was born in 1836, in Case County, Michigan. Removed to Calhoun County, Iowa, in 1857/ to Mahaska County soon after, and there enlisted as a Second Lieutenant in the Third Iowa Infantry; served in Missouri for some time, guarding the line of the Hannibal & St. Joe Railroad, and at Quincy, Ill., was taken sick and resigned. On his recovery, he enlisted in the Twenty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, as color- bearer. Served under Curtis and Hurlburt in Missouri, and under Grant at Vicksburg, and after the surrender of that stronghold, he again went home on sick leave, recovered and enlisted again- -this time in the Ninth Iowa Cavalry, and after an exciting and dangerous campaign in Arkansas and Missouri, against guerrillas like Price and Marmaduke, he came out at the collapse of the Rebellion with a Second Lieutenant's commission Mr. Scott has resided in Kansas since 1868, and is farming in Wetmore. He married in Leavenworth, Sophia Keyser, and they have two sons - Virgil and Franklin - born in Kansas.

ROBERT SEWELL, of Wetmore, was born in 1827, in Glenn's Falls, Warren County, N. Y. In his younger days he traveled with a circus company about four years in the Southern States. About 1857 he located in Iowa City, Iowa, drove stage a year for the Western Stage Company and in 1858 located in Leavenworth, Kan., and drove stage for the Kansas Stage Company for a year. In 1859 he located in Seneca, Kan., and for about ten years was in the employ of the Overland Stage Company, driving stage, buying and selling stock and grain, and making himself generally useful. About 1868 he went to Monument Station in the Smoky Hill region, and remained about a year, and then engaged in farming for a few years in Granada, and in 1873 bought of W. W. Letson the property which he has since converted into the Overland Hotel, which has become a most popular hotel under his judicious management. Mr. Sewell was a charter member of Wetmore Lodge, No. 53, A. F.& A. M. He relates that Gerneal Lane and prominent Pro-slavery and Anti-slavery magnates of that day were frequently his passengers, stage-bound for various parts of the Territory. Mrs. Sewell was Miss Cicely, daughter of David M. Locknane, one of the very first settlers of Granada Township, now deceased.

PETER SHAVEY, Wetmore, was born in 1836, in Columbia Fountain, France, and came to America in 1846, with his parents who settled in Whitley County, Ind. Peter Shavey left here in 1857, and located at Grasshopper Falls, Kan., then but a hamlet. After about a year he came to Brown County and worked there as a farm laborer until 1861, when he enlisted in Company F, of the Eighth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, and thereafter identified his fortunes with that regiment. (See history of Eighth Kansas in this book.) On his return from the army he again located in Powhattan, Brown County, and by several shrewd 'deals' in real estate acquired a capital that enabled him to form a partnership with William Morris, of Wetmore, in the mercantile business, the firm of Morris & Shavey doing business about two years - 1971-'72 During the next four years, Mr. Shavey ran a market, where he how is, and then built his present residence, one of the finest in Wetmore. It is 18x24 feet, with a wing 16x18 feet, well finished throughout, and stands over a cellar admitted to be the best in Souther Nemaha County. His next move was to build the store building lately occupied by Vilott & Co., sell it and then build his billiard hall, which he has since managed. Beginning as a day laborer, he has earned every dollar of his property in Kansas. He married in Hiawatha, Kan., Sarah A. Garvin, by whom he has three children - Mattie, Ida and Blanche; all born in Nemaha County.

DANIEL SMITH, deceased, an early settler and farmer of Granada, was a native of Chautauqua County, N. Y.; married Harriet Gage in Crawford County, Pa.; lived for a few years in Columbia County, Wis., and in 1858, bought and located upon the claim of Joseph Eldredge, in Granada, Kan. Mrs. Smith died here in 1857, and the husband and father in 1860. Six children survived them - Julia, Elmira, Mary, H. E., Ellen and Sylvia. H. Eugene Smith, the only son, enlisted August 29, 1862, in Company I, Thirteenth Kansas Volunteer Infantry. He was at this time not quite fourteen years of age; undoubtedly the youngest soldier who ever enlisted in either the Union or Rebel armies. He carried his musket and served out his three years term of service, and has since lived in Nemaha County with the exception of about three years spent in the mountains of the West. His wife was Mary Graham, of Granada. Mr. Smith by trade is a plasterer, and his home in Wetmore is a pleasant one.

JOHN G. SPENCER, now among the oldest settlers of Nemaha County, was born December 18, 1818, in Pulaski County, Ky. His father, Samuel, born in Mercer County, Ky., was a son of Amasa Spencer, one of New York's soldiers in the revolution. John G. Spencer removed to Jennings County, Ind., where his father settled in 1832, and in the summer of 1839 he visited the Platte Purchase on a hunting frolic with a party of young men and rode as far west as Fort Riley, Kan., then Indian Territory. Westport, Mo., was then the Kansas City of the West, as Atchison, Leavenworth, St. Joseph and Kansas City had no existence. Returning to Indiana, Mr. Spencer stayed there until 1855, when he came West again for permanent settlement in Kansas. He was accompanied by his son William, now a farmer in Granada Township, and John T., who was killed in the Union Service at Fort Smith, Ark. His first location was on the northeast quarter of Section 18, Township 4, Range 15, on what is now known as Walnut Creek. Here he built a hewed log house with a puncheon floor and roof, and for several years saw much of frontier life in this border territory. His neighbors were Caleb Magill, Henry Gregg, D. M. Locknane and Barney Gentry, all of whom had settled a few weeks or perhaps months before him. Gentry and Locknane are dead, and Gregg and Magill are in Oregon. About 1860, Mr. Spencer engaged in the mercantile business until the purchase of Mr. Letson's interest by H. C. De Forest, who finally, in 1877, bought out Mr. Spencer, who has since been in the stock business. Mr. Spencer has been thrice married, and has three children - William, Eliza and Hattie; the two eldest children born in Jennings County, Ind., and Hattie in Brown County, Kan.

ISAIAH THOMAS, deceased, a pioneer farmer and settler of the present town of Wetmore, was born December 19, 1819, in Ohio, and removed to Noble County, Ind., and there, October 3, 1839, he married Martha Dallas, who survives him. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas came to Kansas in the summer of 1856, and made a claim on Elk Creek, their only neighbors being John and Green Campbell. A log house was built and various improvements started prior to the enlistment of Mr. Thomas in the Union Service in the Kansas Eleventh. He died November 13, 1862, in Pineville, Ark., leaving eight children - A. Elwood, Ruth A., Patience, Susan J., Ephraim, Ellen, Emma and Manning. Since 1876, Mrs. Thomas has resided on her small but valuable farm east of Wetmore, on which she has planted many shade and fruit trees. Of her children, the eldest was a volunteer in the Fifth Kansas Regiment, and was for ten months a rebel prisoner, and is now in Utah; Ruth is Mrs. John Williams; Emma, Mrs. William Poston; Patience, Mrs. Henry McCrary; Ellen is dead; Susan in Michigan, and Ephraim in the Far West; Manning is with his mother. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were Methodists, prior to his death, and were attendants and among the organizers of the Pioneer Sabbath-school, on Elk Creek, supported by the Woodburn, Thomas, Steele and Campbell families, to whom Rev. Messrs, Steele (an Indian missionary, but at that time and itinerant) and Lawrence were the first preachers in Kansas.

EVERSON WHITED, carpenter and joiner, m is a son of Oliver Whited, of Orange County, N. Y., who is likewise a carpenter. He (Oliver Whited) brought his family to Rock County, Wis., then to Jones County, Iowa, and thence, in 1874, to Kansas, locating in Granada. Of his eleven children, three are dead, the others being now residents of Kansas. Everson Whited married in Jones County, Iowa, Miss Melissa J. Cain, of Wapello County, Iowa, and is prospering at his trade in Wetmore.

AUGUSTUS WOLFLEY, deceased, the first settler in what is now Wetmore township, was born March 23, 1802, in Middletown, Dauphin County, Ps., and died on his Wetmore farm, May 2, 1882. He married Mary Cudney, of Tompkins County, N. Y., who was born September 3, 1810, and died May 28, 1881. They had eight children - Augustus, John, Reuben, Jacob, James, Theodore, Mary (Mrs. N. Morris,) and Annie (Mrs. W. P. Buzan,) all residents of Kansas, except James, who was murdered in Iowa. Augustus Wolfley, Jr., settled at this time in Brown County, Kan. John Wolfley came in the spring of 1856, and actually settled on Spring Creek a short time before his father, who removing to the same creek, built his first log house near an enormous spring that still gushes out near a substantial frame house built in 1861. During 1856, Mr. Wolfley and his son Reuben visited Atchison on business, where they were arrested by a Pro-slavery mob, tried and sentenced to be shot, but were respited on condition that they cross over into Missouri and remain there till the next election and vote, in Kansas, the Pro-slavery ticket. According to this, they were put across the river, but made their way to the St. Joe Ferry, re-crossed into Kansas, and walked sixty-five miles across the uninhabited prairie to their home. Mr. Wolfley came to Kansas with considerable means, and in a few years, by good management in loans and investments in lands and stock, he accumulated a tract of about 5,000 acres of land, mainly in his own township. Prior to his death, he deeded each of his children a section of land. Mr. Wolfley was a member of the Church of God, and was in early life a preacher of that faith.

ELIAS WOODBURN, farmer, Section 18, P. O. Wetmore, was born in 1827, in Preble County, Ohio. Is a son of John Woodburn, of Kentucky, and Elizabeth Telley, of Ohio. He was reared in Randolph County, Ind., where his parents settled in 1834. Mr. Woodburn came to Kansas with a wife and three children. In July, 1857, after a six weeks' tour of observation, he closed the claim which has since been his home, built a 14x16 foot log house, roofed with clapboard. And began his pioneering with only the Campbell, Thomas and White families as neighbors. To-day we find him on a well-improved farm, fenced with hedges and wire, a good frame house, a stable, etc., 300 apple trees, and with his native timber and plentiful water supply, can easily envy him. His wife was Sarah J. Odle, a native of Randolph County, Ind., and they have four children - Anna R., now Mrs. J. Helsby; Mary, Mrs. T. C. Overhulse; William T., born in Kansas, and a teacher; and Mattie. Two daughters - Millinda E. and Emma E., died at the ages of Twenty and twelve, respectively.

[TOC] [part 17] [part 15] [Cutler's History]