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


[TOC] [part 21] [Cutler's History]


Neuchatel. -- This is the name given to a post-office in Neuchatel Township, established early in the history of the county. The settlers in the immediate vicinity are French and Swiss. In 1870, Jules Leroux commenced the publication in this township of the Star of Kansas, an eight page monthly, printed in the French language and devoted to Communism. In May, 1876, he removed to Fremont County, Iowa, taking his establishment with him. There is no village of the name.

Goffs. -- A railroad station of this name, the title being a compliment to Edward H. Goff, of the Union Pacific Railroad, is situated on the Central Branch, a few miles northwest of Wetmore. It is a railroad town, laid out in 1880, and contains a hotel and store, occupying one building, the property of Abbott Brothers.

Woodlawn. -- During the summer of 1881, W. L. Challis selecting a fine, natural site, in Capioma Township, erected a four-story mill with stone basement, in which he placed an engine of one hundred horse-power, and four sets of burrs. This mill, placed in the charge of J. W. Burt as manager, at once became so far popular as to constitute a nucleus around which a little settlement formed, given by the proprietors the name of Woodlawn. A store building was erected, in which was placed a stock of general merchandise, by W. N. Taylor. A private post- office was established early in 1881, converted to a government office, with Paul Challis as postmaster in 1882. A drug store was opened by Dr. J. B. West, and a hotel of nine rooms thrown open to the traveling public, by Albert Yost. The second floor of Taylor's Store Building is fitted up as a public auditorium, known as Woodlawn Hall. Situated as it is, about an equal distance from Wetmore and from Sabetha, and too far from either to interfere with the moderate growth which it asks, Woodlawn has, undoubtedly, unlike so many of its neighbors, a permanent lease of life.

American City is a post-office, situated in Red Vermillion Township. An act, incorporating a town of this name, comprising 380 acres of land, was approved by the Territorial Legislature, February 14, 1857. A store was opened, and in 1861 a Methodist church building erected. Dr. N. B. McKay is the present postmaster.

Dorcas and Clear Creek, are post-offices only, located in farmhouses, the former in Capioma, the latter in Clear Creek Township.

Sother is not a post-office, but is accorded notice as having been for a time the terminus of the C. B. U. P. Railroad. A section house was built, and a store opened by J. R. Pickett. It was named for Hon. Thomas Sother, and is about four miles northwest of Wetmore.


E. C. CHILSON, farmer, Section 7, P. O. Seneca, is a son of Alfred Chilson, was born in 1840, in Geauga County, Ohio; enlisted in 1861 in the Nineteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and later in the Chicago Mercantile Battery; was in the department of the Gulf, and fought at Sabine Cross-roads. Went with Gen Banks to Texas and took part in the Pascagonia raid. On his return from the field, he located with his father and brother in Harrison Township. His school was at the old Geauga Seminary, made famous by the associations of the martyred Garfield; and, with strong religious convictions, he began preaching as a licentiate in 1866; continued for a number of years in Kansas, his theological studies resulting in a serious mental affection, which forced his retirement. He is now living quietly and happily on his Harrison farm. Mrs. Chilson was Caroline Fortney, of Virginia, and a settler of 1860 in Kansas.

W. W. GROVES, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Goffs, was born in 1833, in New Lyme, Ashtabula County, Ohio, and married Josie Chandler, of Orwell, Ohio, in March, 1854. They then removed to Louisa County, Iowa, and after a few year's residence in that State, returned to Ohio, and from there to Goodhue County, Minn. The ill health of Mrs. Groves caused their settlement in Kansas in the fall of 1869. Mr. Groves has done good work here, transforming a raw prairie farm into a tillable and productive one. Built a good farmhouse and planted a grove of forest timber, also an orchard of 250 apple and 300 peach trees. He is a carpenter by trade, and has always followed it. Mr. And Mrs. Groves have four children W. J. Groves, Theresa and Terissa, twins, and Mary A. Samuel Groves died at the age of fourteen, and another pair of twins died in Ringgold County, Iowa. Mrs. And Miss Groves are Methodists, and Mr. Groves is a Baptist.

LEWIS LOGAN, farmer and stock-breeder, P. O. Goffs, is a native of Kings County, Ireland, born in 1838. His parents emigrated to this country in 1846, and settled in Johnson County, Iowa. Lewis Logan grew up here, and in August, 1862, enlisted in the Twenty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry. His was the first brigade on the east side of the Mississippi and the first to open battle at Port Gibson; also did brave service at Champion Hills, Black River bridge, and the siege of Vicksburg. It was then sent to Texas to meet Gen. Banks, then supposedly on his way up Red River. After Banks' failure, the Twenty-second joined the army of the Potomac, and fought under Butler and Phil. Sheridan. Joined Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, from there went to Georgia, and from there to Morehead City, North Carolina, where the brigade did fatigue duty, and from there to Augusta, South Carolina. The company then went to Athena, Capt. A. B. Cree commanding, and established a provost marshal's office. After the discharge of the regiment in 1865, he returned to Iowa, and in 1874 settled in Norton County, Kan., and opened a stock ranch. Dearth of rain and rapid settlement caused his removal to his present farm, which he bought of Peter Mackey. In 1879 the range for stock was almost entirely open from Corning to Wetmore, and with 200 head of cattle and a herd of horses, he rapidly developed a large stock business. He now has 36_ acres of land, a fine residence, and all needed improvements and appliances. It is his intention to breed mules quite extensively hereafter. His registered jack, Prince Albert, was bred by George Jenkins, of Savannah, Mo., and he has a number of very fine brood animals. Few men have more reason to look back with satisfaction upon the past than Lewis Logan, of Harrison. Mrs. Logan was Miss Frances Brenneman, of Lancaster County, Pa., and they have a fine family of seven active, intelligent boys - John E., Lewis, Charles M., Walter S., Fred L., William O. and Elmer E. Mr. Logan is a member, and is chaplain of Wetmore Lodge, A. F. & A. M.

PETER MACKEY, farmer, P. O. Goffs, was born May 4, 1822, in Manchester, England, and came with his parents to the United States in 1831. They located in Patterson, N. J., and in that State he learned the blacksmith's trade. He worked seven years as a machinist, and one year for the Government at Nashville, Tenn., during the war. In 1868 he came to Kansas and settled in Harrison. He began on a 'raw' quarter section, broke it, planted an orchard, etc., and then sold it and settled where he now is. His farm here is a good one, located on Rose Creek, and he is continuing his work as an improver. Mrs. Mackey was Levina Walts, of Brownsville, N. Y., and they have had four children - William, Peter, Anne, and Catherine, who died the wife of C. H. Lane and left two children. Mr. And Mrs. Mackey belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church of Goffs.

J. MORGAN, farmer, Section 6, P. O. Seneca. Mr. Morgan was born in 1839, in Venango County, Pa.; removed to Indiana in 1858, and in June, 1861, enlisted in the Fourteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, it being one of the first on the field, and taking part at Rich Mountain, Cheat Mountain, Greenbriar, and the first Shenandoah campaign. Early in 1868, Mr, Morgan was assigned to the Sixth United States Regular Cavalry, and as one of that regiment he fought at Fredericksburg, Beverly Ford, etc., and harassed Lee's invasion of the North. He narrowly missed capture at Gettysburg, and a few days later was taken prisoner, held three months, and paroled, this of course ending his service. Locating again in Indiana, he married Mrs. S. J. Sappington, and came West. He has 240 acres all under fence, and in a good state of culture. Is a member, with his wife, of the Christian Church, of Harrison. There are three children - Luella and J. P. Sappington, and John E. Morgan.

J. F. RANDEL, farmer, Section 7, P. O. Corning, was born in 1838, in Decatur County, Ind. In 1846, his father, Garrett Randel, removed the family to Schuyler County, Ill., and in 1953 to Marion County, Iowa. The Randel Colony, in Red Vermillion, Nemaha County, Kan., was founded in 1856, by the settlement of Garrett, Harvey and G. W. Randel, with their families and those of eleven others, only four or five of the heads of the families being now alive. The removal of the said colony was an interesting event, as the train comprised seventeen ox-teams, three horse-teams, fifty yoke of work oxen, twenty-seven head of horses, and 252 head of cattle. J. F. Randel resided as a quiet farmer colonist until early in 1864, when he enlisted in the Twenty-second Kansas, and served six months. Mr. Randel married Melinda Thompson, September 6, 1857, and a noteworthy fact is that of their having seven children, four of whom were married under the same roof that sheltered the nuptials of their parents, Mr. Randel having purchased the estate of his father-in-law, John Thompson, who settled among the colonists in 1857. Another historical fact is that G. W. Randel, son of Garrett Randel, and Miss Lydia White, were the first couple married in Nemaha County, the date of the event being May 18, 1857, and the result, seven lively healthy children.

CHARLES W. ROMINE, farmer, Section 7, P. O. Corning, was born in 1830, in Jackson County, Ohio, and is an early Kansas settler. His parents removed in 1839 to Champaign County, Ill., returning to Ohio in 1846. C. W. Romine lived in Champaign, McLean, DeWitt, and Hamilton Counties, Ill., and came to Kansas with his family in 1857. He bought the claim which comprises his present fine farm of C. M. Allison, who had built a log- house and made slight improvements. This house burned down with contents in 1863, entailing of course a severe loss upon Mr. Romine. Upon the ashes, however, he built his present frame- house, and by good management and hard work has secured a valuable 200-acre farm and good home. His wife was Catherine Young, of De Witt County, Ill., and they have three living children - Joseph, Nancy and Henry H. James Romine died June 2, 1875, in Republic County, Kan. Mr. And Mrs. Romine are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.

C. ROSEL, farmer, Section 10, P. O. Goffs, born 1837, in Greensburg, Ind. He accompanied his father, Wesley Rosel, to Keokuk County, Iowa, in 1849; he then, in 1858, removed to Marshell County, Kan., went to Denver in 1860, and during the Civil War was part of the time in Fort Larned, and part of the time in Iowa. He has lived in Brown, Doniphan and Jefferson Counties, and settled on his present farm in 1868. Has eighty acres in good state of cultivation, a good and substantial farmhouse, a grove of 500 trees, an orchard, etc. In 1875 he lived in Republic County, Kan., called there by the unsettled affairs of his father, who had settled and died there. Mr. And Mrs. Rosel have two children - William L. and Edward, and are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

JONATHAN SPRINGER, farmer, Section 10, P. O. Goffs, born 1834, in Shelby County, Ind. Is of Swedish ancestry, his fore-fathers being among the founders of Delaware. He grew to manhood and received such schooling as was attainable in Holt County, Mo. From there, in June, 1854, he came to Kansas with nine others and located in Doniphan County. These men were, David Martin and his sons, Thomas and James, George McIntyre, Charles Millermon, Robert Davis, --- Gouge and himself. Of these, only Messrs. James Martin, Davis and Springer are now residents of Kansas. After visiting various parts of the county, the Fox and Sauk Villages, Mission, etc., Mr. Springer made a claim on Wolf River, where Severance now stands. He held the best water-power on the river, which he sold, in 1869, to a company that have built a $25,000 mill upon it. Since his first location in the State, Mr. Springer has been a firm advocate of the Republican party, and was in early times a subscriber to the New York Tribune, then classed as an incendiary publication by the Pro-slavery Code, then in force. He, with a few adherents, carried side-arms, and at all times spoke their sentiments. In those days, and in 1857, when they won their first victory, every man went to the polls armed to the teeth, Mrs. Springer was Mary H. Ploutner, born near Harper's Ferry, Va., and married March 20, 1860, in Holt County, Mo. They have had a very large family of children. Since 1880 Mr. Springer has resided in Harrison Township, where he owns a well-improved farm.


EDWIN CAPSEY, farmer, P. O. Smithland, Jackson County, was born May 24, 1850, in Shropshire, England, and grew up to the age of twenty in that county. He came to America in 1870 with a company of three others - Allen Brisbourne, Thomas Dickin and William Stanway; went into partnership with Ed. Davis. This party came at once to Kansas and located on a farm on Soldier Creek, Jackson County, where they spent the summer of 1870. One summer satisfied his three companions, who returned to 'Merry England,' Mr. Capsey alone having to stay in the 'Land of the Free.' In 1872 he married Mrs. Charity E. Clime, who inherited a farm by her deceased husband in Nemaha County, where they now reside. Her maiden name was Rule, and her birthplace Pennsylvania. Mr. Capsey bought a farm adjoining hers, and there we find them in a substantial frame house, 24x18 feet and 22x18 feet, owners of a good barn and orchard and a well-improved farm. They have seven children - Mary E., Sarah B., William H., Nellie C., Frank L., George E., and Nettie I., all born in Kansas, on the homestead. Mr. And Mrs. Capsey attend the united Brethern Church.

PATRICK REILLY, farmer, P. O. Smithland, Jackson, is the pioneer of this large family of brothers in Kansas. The four brothers, Patrick, Francis, John and James Reilly, are all of Irish birth. Their father died in the old country, the widowed mother and the sons coming to America and locating in Philadelphia about 1850. Patrick Reilly was the first to strike West, as he locating in 1854 in Bureau County, Ill., began first as a day and 'by-the-month' farm hand; later rented the farm on which he worked, an ran it until 1859, when he came to Kansas and bought the southwest quarter of Section 21, Township 5, Range 13. In March, 1860, the brothers all settled in this neighborhood, where the two eldest, 'Pat' and 'Frank,' as they are best known, have become large land-owners and stock-feeders. The mother joined the boys in 1864, and died in 1880. During the first six years Patrick Reilly engaged in freighting across the plains, then settled, and for the next fourteen years was engaged in farming and stock business, on a farm partly composed of the original quarter bought in 1859. Mr. Reilly was elected a county commissioner in 1873, and re-elected in 1875. He was first a Douglas Democrat, then a was Democrat, and finally severed his alliance with any party and acts for himself. Reilly Township was set apart and named in honor of the brothers in 1880. Frank Reilly has about 2,000 acres of land, and feeds annually about 200 head of cattle. The family are Roman Catholics.

W. T. WILCOX, farmer, P. O. Wetmore, was born in Wilson County, Mo., and early left an orphan; he lived during his boyhood near Palyra, Mo., and one year in Mississippi, later residing on the Platte Purchase in Missouri. He came in 1854 to Kansas, and lived two years on Stranger Creek, then in 1856 settled on Straight Creek, Jackson County. He was reared in Missouri by a family named Elliott, and one of this family, Jesse Elliott, located with him on Straight Creek, in 1858. Other settlers there were Robert Mitchell, Thomas Davis, A. B. Owen, and J. Sneider, or Snyder. Mr. Wilcox was one of the first married here, as he and Lucretia F. Green were united by Squire, Afterward Rev., Abner Channell, February 24, 1858. His wife Lucretia died May 23, 1872, and he was married March 20, 1873 to Cassandra M. Morgan, who died February 17, 1876, and he was married to his present wife, Sarah W. Tinemore, February 15, 1877. By his first wife, Lucretia, he has three children, James E., Susan J and Jesse G.; by his present wife, Sarah, he has three children, Minnie J., Julie M and Joanna M. During the Rebellion Mr. Wilcox served as a volunteer in the Eleventh Kansas (see history of the same on another page in this volume), and has since been a resident of Nemaha and Jackson counties, and is now farming on Elk Creek.


F. F. FISHER, farmer, Section 7, P. O. Centralia. The subject of this sketch has a record of more than ordinary interest. Born in 1843, in Jefferson County, N. Y., his parents settling six years later in Dodge County, Wis., he grew up there, and in 1862 enlisted in the Twenty-third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, a regiment that proudly holds that it was never defeated, though in the difficult and dangerous service of the Southwest. Its first work was at Vicksburg, the Yazoo Swamps and Arkansas Post, then through the siege of Vicksburg to the surrender. The regiment, however, won its brightest laurels during Gen. Banks disastrous Red River Expedition, the whole route being a series of skirmishes and terrible dangers. Surprised at Carrion Crow Bayou, while arms were stacked and pay being drawn, the heroic Twenty-third rallied "and saved the army by its devoted bravery," as Greeley says, though only forty uninjured men came out of the fight. Mr. Fisher was shot through both cheeks, the ball leaving a scar distinctly visible at this writing. In consequence of the wound he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, and guarded rebel prisoners there, after till the close of the war. He then spent a year in Minnesota, and in 1867 went from the pineries of Wisconsin on a raft to St. Louis; then to the mountains, where he spent twelve years, finally 'striking it,' his partners and himself now owning twenty-five 'prospects,' several of which are 'panning out' richly. He married, November 7, 1882, Miss Nettie Kendall, of Mount Lake, Minn.; has bought a section of land in Neuchatel, and will pass the remainder of his life as a farmer and stockdealer.

ELIAS HAWK, farmer, Section 8, P. O. Centralia, Mr. Hawks came to Nemaha County, Kan., in 1866, with his family, and was the first settler at the head of French Creek, where he still lives. His now fruitful and valuable farm was then raw prairie, and his entire stock comprised only a cow, a pig and a lamb, his last dollar having been expended in Centralia. With his own hands he cut the timber for his first log house, hauled the logs three miles, and built it. For years he made a practice of hiring cattle, and breaking in young steers for neighbors fortunate enough to won them. To-day he has a good frame house, an orchard of 100 trees, stock yards, sheds, etc., and is well-to-do. Born in Dauphin County, Pa., he removed when seventeen to Johnson County Iowa. Enlisted in the Twenty-eight Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He served through the siege of Vicksburg, and on the Red River expedition was severely wounded at the battle of Sabine Cross-roads. After being laid up about a year he was honorably discharged and returned to Iowa. His wife was Sarah Lininger, of Cumberland County, Pa., and they have seven children, four born in Iowa and three in Kansas.

J. HOLLINGSWORTH, farmer, Section 8, P. O. Centralia, was born in 1846, in Clay County, Ky. His parents, both Kentuckians, settled soon after his birth in McLean County, Ill., where he was reared. August 15, 1861, when but fifteen years old, he enlisted in the Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and fought as a private in the battles of Frederickstown, Mo., Cash River, Fort Gibson, Raymond, Champion Hills, Black River Bridge, and at the assault on Vicksburg received a ball through the left shoulder. Again entering the field, in September, 1863, he fought at Jackson, Miss., then went to New Orleans and took a hand in the fights at Opelousas, Franklin, Grand Coteau, etc.; then went into Texas, meeting armed rebels at Malagorda Isle, Fort Esperanza, Indianola, etc. His regiment was badly used up by the railroads accident on the Opelousas and New Orleans Railroad, losing fifty-seven men. Its final work was done at Mobile. Mr. Hollingsworth then settled in Fairbury, Ill., married and in 1869 came to Kansas, first to Crawford County, and in 1877 to his present farm. He also owns a claim in Norton County, Kan. Mrs. Hollingsworth was Rachel Fitzgeraid, of Fairbury, Ill.


JACOB NICHOLSON, farmer, P. O. Seneca, was born in 1825 in Guernsey County, Ohio; he settled in 1848 in Jasper County, Mo., removing thence in April 1861 to Kansas, buying the farm of William Berry, South of Seneca. Was elected a county Commissioner in 1863, served one term, sold out to Leopold Cohen, and bought his present 317-acre farm in 1874. He has made good improvements here, as he did on the original farm. He married, in Ohio, and in her native county, in 1845, Annie E. Gregg. They have seven children - Hezekiah, Elizabeth A., George E., Sarah, John, Alice and Jacob. Mr. Nicholson is a Democrat, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of old Lincoln, the site of which is on his land.

STEPHEN SHERMAN, farmer, P. O. Seneca, came to Nemaha County in June, 1860, with his wife, father, J. H. Sherman, and brothers Albert, Amos and Edward Stephen Enlisted, 1862, in the Seventh Kansas, and served under Col. Jennison until, at the battle of Hurricane Creek, August 13, 1864, he (Sherman) received a ball through his left leg, which confined him about a year in hospital and inactivity. Returning, he took a homestead in Nemaha County, and six years later bought the old Sherman homestead, where he now lives. His father, a native of Germany, came to America in 1829, and died in Leavenworth hospital in 1862. Amos served through the Civil War in the Thirteenth Kansas, and is now dead. The youngest brother is farming in Rice County, Kansas.


N. B. McKAY, M. D., A pioneer settler of Nemaha County, was born Sept. 13, 1826: studied medicine with Dr. L. Goldsborough at home and in the Western Reserve College, Cleveland, Ohio. In the fall of 1849 he settled in Greenbush, Ill,; practiced there three years, one year in Clayton, Ill., and later in Milton, Iowa, and Galesburg, Ill. From this latter city Dr. McKay and two others were sent to Kansas to locate a site for a colony. This resulted in the establishment of the noted Home Association in June, 1858. The Doctor identified himself with the Home Association for about four years, and then located at America City, where we now find him, still active in his chosen profession. He is also postmaster at that place. Mrs. Dr. McKay was Chloe Goldthwaite, of Worcester, Mass., and they have had four children - Sarah M., born in Greenbush, Ill,; Augusta M., born in Clayton, Ill., died October 5, 1870, at the age of seventeen; Frank, born in Milton, Iowa, and Carl, born in Galesburg, Ill. The Doctor is genial and popular, fat, fair and fifty-seven. He is well remembered in connection with the various public enterprises, both in early and later days, and was one of the founders of Corning. In this county, he giving it the name of his partner, the Hon. Erastus Corning, of New York.

[TOC] [part 21] [Cutler's History]