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


[TOC] [part 15] [part 13] [Cutler's History]


Earleton is a small town situated in the western part of Neosho County, on the Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Kansas Railroad. it is about seven miles south of Chanute, and about the same distance north of Thayer. The land upon which the town is located was the property of the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Gulf Railroad Company (now the K. D., L. & S. K. R. R. Co). The town was started in the interest of the company by J. C. Lantz, and comprised an area of fifty acres. Directly after the site became fixed Lantz erected a store room and commenced business, dealing in groceries. The station house, for the accommodation of the railroad employees, was built in 1870. But little toward the building of the town was done until 1876, when the title to the lands in this section was quieted, and the country began to be settled. In 1877 H. L. Freeman bought Lantz's store, enlarging the room and continuing the business. Brown, Brothers began in the grocery business in 1878, and sold in September, 1881, to N. F. Pattee. J. S. Cunningham erected a residence in 1870, and J. C. Freemanbuilt one in 1877. In the following year J. C. Robinson erected a shop and began blacksmithing, and during this year H. A. Brown built a residence and the depot building was erected. For about two years there was a lull in the improvement of the town, after which its growth was renewed. In the fall of 1880 H. L. Freeman erected a residence and in the spring of the next year A. B. Yoder also built a residence. The Evangelical Church was built in 1882. It is a neat frame structure of plain architecture. S. A. Brown & co. started a lumber yard in 1882. During this year there were seven buildings erected in the town, among which was the parsonage belonging to the Evangelical Church.

The cemetery was started in December, 1880, and was incorporated in June, 1881. The grounds comprise three and one-half acres, regularly laid off. About 100 lots have already been disposed of. The postoffice was established at this point in 1870, with J. C. Lantz as Postmaster. In 1877 he was succeeded by H. L. Freeman, who has since held the office.

The educational facilities are such as are afforded by the district in which it is included. The first school was taught in the district in 1876, by Miss Ida Stone. The school building stands about a mile east of the town.

There are three church organizations in the place; the Evangelical, the Methodist, and the United Brethren. Only one of these, the Evangelical, is provided with a church building.

The Earleton Lodge, No. 167, I. O. O. F., was moved to this place from Thayer, in July, 1882. There were, at the time, about twenty members, which has been increased to about thirty. Joseph Smith is noble grand; J. M. Murphy, secretary, and J. H. Orr, treasurer.

The country surrounding the town is fertile prairie, much of which is yet in the hands of speculators, and consequently unimproved. As it is, however, the town is favored with an extensive country trade, and is an important point in the shipment of grain and live stock. During the season of 1882 there was about 100,000 bushels of corn shipped from this point. The town, at present, contains two stores and a population of about one hundred. There is wanting, however, but the lapse of time, in which the full settlement of the surrounding country shall be made, and the impending necessities must naturally inure to the growth of the town and its ultimate attainment of importance in point of size and business industry.


Urbana is a small town in the western part of Neosho County, about nine miles south of Chanute on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The town was founded by Dr. Peters and a few other settlers living in the vicinity. Up to August, 1870, it contained two stores and a few residences. At this time Samuel Crawford, D. B. & W. C. Emmert, McCullough and some others took interest in the town. The site was re-surveyed and everything made ready for its upbuilding.

Circumstances however, did not favor the place, which has made but slight progress, and remains with but little increase in size over what it was in 1870.


H. BROWN, farmer, and agent for S. A. Brown & Co., Section 19, P. O. Morehead, native of England, born in 1851. He came to America in 1875, landing in New Orleans, going to Texas, into the sheep business, but soon returning to New Orleans, he came up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, and from there to Kansas; arriving without money or friends, he made his nerve and sinew, with which nature had endowed him, stand in good stead, and worked at railroad section work, then going into the mercantile line, selling in 1882 to N. F. Pattee, he now gives his attention to his farm and to grain buying. In 1878 he married Miss Gougham. Mr. Brown has been elected Township Trustee in 1880-1-2, and belongs to the Catholic Church, who are about building a house of worship.

H. A. BROWN, M. D., native of Burlington, Iowa, born in 1850. He commenced reading medicine in 1869, with Dr. J. M. Sturdevant, and entered on a preliminary practice. In 1876 graduating from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Keokuk, Iowa, resuming practice in Iowa, coming to Kansas and locating in Earleton as early as 1878, being the first M. D. of the place. The first year's practice booked $1,900, and now reaches $2,500 a year. Doctor Brown has bought and improved the town property where he resides.

H. L. FREEMAN, general merchant, native of Illinois, born in 1854. His father, J. C. Freeman, is a native of Cambridge, England, and was born in 1828, came to America in 1832, and was raised and educated near Buffalo, N. Y., on the farm, coming to Wisconsin in 1847, he located permanently in Illinois, where his family were all born. In 1877 his son, H. L., bought store and stock of J. C. Lantz, and enlarged both, carrying now a stock of $3,500, and doing a business of $11,000 a year, also dealing in grain. He married Miss Henderson, in Orion, Ill., and they have two children. He has four brothers - the elder, Frank, is Operator in Orion for the C., B. & Q. R. R. on the R. I. Division; the rest are in Earleton. The youngest, John S., is now operator on the L., L. & G. Station here, and is the youngest operator in the West. H. L. is postmaster. Was elected Justice of Peace in 1877, and is Station Agent, and agent for the town lots of Earleton. His father has just been elected Township Trustee. The other boys run the farm. J. D. Freeman has also two daughters.


The town of Galesburgh is situated near the central part of Neosho County, on the Neosho Division of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, seven miles north and five miles west of the city of Parsons. The country surrounding it is a rolling prairie of great fertility, and is excellently adapted to agricultural pursuits.

The town was started in the summer of 1871, by a town company, composed of J. W. Crees, David Bonham, E. Sapp, Levi A. Doan, and J. W. Snyder. The land was taken up by one Tracy, to whom the town company furnished money, with which to deed it.

The original site comprised eighty acres, to which another forty-acre tract was subsequently added. The survey of the town site was made by a man named Hinson.

The first building on the site was a dwelling, erected by William Young, soon after the town was located. About the same time, or soon after this, J. W. Snyder put up a store room, which he occupied with a stock of general merchandise. During the same fall, Carson & Smith erected a two-story building, the lower part of which was used as a store room, and the upper part as a town hall. George Harris erected a store room and began dealing in general goods. From the first, the growth of the town has been extremely moderate, presenting no very flattering prospects for the future. The population is about 150, and the town contains four general stores, one hardware store, two grain elevators, a lumber and coal yard, hotel, livery stable, blacksmith shop, school, two church houses and a postoffice.

The postoffice at first was located about a mile south of where the town now is, and was called Rose Hill. S. Rosa was the first Postmaster. In 1871, the office was taken to the town and became known as Galesburgh. At the time, and for some time after the removal of the postoffice, Rosa continued to be the Postmaster.

The first school was taught in Galesburgh, by Miss Parna Whittlesey, in the winter of 1871-72. The school was held in the Town Hall. A school building was erected in 1872, and is a small frame 36x40 feet in dimensions. The school population is now about eighty. There are four church societies, composed of residents of the town and country, which have their place of worship in the town. These are: the Methodist, Baptist, Christian and Congregationalist. There are but two church houses, the Methodist and Christian. The former was erected in the fall of 1881, and the latter in the fall and winter of 1882-83. Judging from the progress the town has made and its age, it is to be feared, unless aided by some advantageous circumstances, that Galesburgh is destined to continue small (sic) and unimportant country town.


G. D. CLAPSADDLE, farmer, Section 29, P. O. Galesburgh, a native of Niagara County, N. Y., was born in February, 1824. In 1869 he came to Neosho County and turned the first furrow in this part of it, the country around being an unbroken wilderness. In 1870 his family came out. He had put up his cabin on Section 20, but afterward moved to his present site, where he is well established, with fine improvements and a farm of 320 acres, which he farms in grain and stock. In 1854 Mr. Clapsaddle married Miss Lydia A. Kaylor, who was born in Preble County, Ohio, in 1832. They have had eight children, six of whom are now living, four sons and two daughters. Mr. Clapsaddle has served as Justice of the Peace for eight terms.

T. H. CONDON, grain dealer, of the firm of Condon, Merritt & Co., native of Pike County, Ohio, born in 1847. He was raised and educated there and came to Kansas in the spring of 1870, coming to Girard on the cars, he met his friends there and was married on the evening of the first day he spent in the State and proceeded to his claim in Centerville Township, Neosho County, where he lived in a shanty, and opened up his farm, joining the Settlers' Protective Association and fighting with them, the Osage ceded land question which resulted in securing them all homes. In 1873, he entered mercantile life and put in the first pair of scales and bought the first bushel of corn in Galesburgh. This firm has shipped fifty-five cars of corn this season, four of oats, two of flax and five of castor beans. In 1882 he was appointed agent for the Adams Express Company in town, and is a member of the Masonic Lodge of Thayer. In 1873, he built a good residence and the company have good improvements, such as office, warehouse and will put up an elevator. Mr. Condon, in 1869 married Miss Pendergrass. They have two sons.

WILLIAM CRAIG, farmer, Section 18, P. O. Osage Mission, is a native of Ohio, born in 1821. He is of Scotch and Irish descent. Of his father's family there are two brothers and six sisters. Mr. William Craig was raised on the farm and in 1861, enlisted in the Sixty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company H. His health failing, he returned home to recruit, in 1864, in the same regiment, and was mustered out in December, 1865. On coming to Kansas he sold his farm in Ohio, and located in Neosho County, in 1873, buying his farm of 160 acres of Mr. Cornell for $2,000. The first owner, Mr. Foster, had built a cabin; when Mr. Cornell took it he broke thirty acres and built a small stone house on the farm and so it was when Mr. Craig bought it. It had been entered by Mr. Cornell in 1869. We find now a fine orchard, a mile of stone fence and a fine residence, and a barn with 320 acres in the farm. His crops since coming to the State have averaged goo. In 1882, he had forty bushels of corn, twenty-two bushels of wheat to an acre. His home now is worth from $10,000 to $12,000. Mr. Craig married in 1850, Miss Dugon. They have four boys and two girls. He was elected Township Treasurer in 1882, and belongs to the G. A. R.

JOHN DAVIS, farmer, Section 34, P. O. Galesburgh, native of Ohio, born in 1839. At an early age he was taken to Illinois, where he was raised; his father being a farmer while in this State. His father died, leaving his widow with four boys and one girl; they all staid with the family and in 1857, moved to Cass County, Mo., farming there, but it got too warm among the rebs of that section, and John first came to Kansas, and in 1861 enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois Infantry, Company F, mustered out in 1865 as Sergeant; he returned to the farm in Illinois, and then all moved to Missouri. In 1869 coming to Neosho County, Kan., and locating, the rest of the family soon afterward returned to Missouri, but John staid and from a wilderness of prairie has now a well improved farm of 160 acres, cultivating eighty-five acres, having the rest in pasture and meadow; with the exception of 1881, has always raised a crop and in that year learned to graze hogs. In 1868, July 25th, Mr. Davis married Miss Hartford. They have a fine family. Mr. Davis' brother, Miles, returned to Kansas in 1882.

J. W. FERGUSON, M. D., native of Perry County, Ohio, born in 1848, January 6th. He first read medicine with Dr. H. L. Ferguson, in 1871 and 1872 attending a course of lectures in the Starling Medical College, of Columbus, Ohio, and entering the firm of Dawson & Ferguson, at Gibesonville, Hocking Co., Ohio, where he practiced till 1874, then going to Waterloo, Fayette County, and from there in 1878, to Kansas, where he landed October 19, 1878, opening his office in Galesburgh, Neosho County. While in Ohio, Dr. Ferguson married Miss Reedy. They have four children, two boys and two girls.

H. L. HARBAUGH, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Osage Mission, is a native of Perry County, Ohio, and was born March, 1836. Until eighteen years of age he lived on the farm, then going to work at a trade he learned cabinetmaking. In 1861, he enlisted in the three months' service in the Seventeenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company E, as non-commissioned officer. In 1861, he enlisted again in the Sixty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company C; having recruited this company he was commissioned First Lieutenant. On the night previous to the battle of Winchester, March, 1862, he received an injury to his left eye, from the effects of which, after the Peninsular campaign, he was obliged to resign and return home. But in 1864, we find him re-enlisted in the One Hundred and Sixtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry with commission of Major. In 1865, he returned to the civil walks of life, going into the dry goods business, then to buying tobacco for a shipping house belonging to D. Ferguson, his father-in-law. In seeking a better climate he came to Kansas and bought of Mr. Lansdown this farm of 160 acres, paying $190. Mr. Lansdown was to put up a cabin and break a piece of land, and although it was a wet season, he raised forty bushels of corn to an acre on it. The land fight took most of Major Harbaugh's money, but he succeeded in entering his land in 1876, and in 1879, went East. He returned in 1880, and in 1881, raised nothing, but in 1882, did well. He now owns 200 acres, and is engaged in farming in grain and stock. In 1862 Major Harbaugh married Miss Ferguson. They have three boys and four girls. He has served his township as Clerk one term, and as Trustee five terms.

A. J. HARMON, farmer, Section 11, P. O. Urbana, is a native of Genessee County, N. Y. Born in 1830, and raised on a farm, he attended school until eighteen years of age, then taking a railroad station, Crittenden, on the New York Central, this he kept until 1854, when for his health he went to farming and buying grain; but in seeking a milder climate, rode in a spring wagon through the country to Neosho County, Kan., improving as he came. On getting here he purchased a claim in Erie Township for $750, this he deeded, broke fifty acres, fenced with hedge, built a good house, dug a fine well, set out orchard, and in 1877, sold to Mr. Shreves. He then bought his present house of Mr. H. Leach for $1,350, with the crops on it, orchard, etc. Mr. Harmon improved it greatly since, and never failed in raising a crop. In 1882, his corn averaged forty bushels, and wheat twenty-seven and one-half to an acre, raising also castor beans and oats, handling some stock. In 1853, he married Miss Blaisdel, and they celebrated their pearl wedding on the twenty-second of this month. They had two children, a son and daughter - C. Harmon and Mary A. Harmon, now Mrs. Strickland, of Thayer. Mr. Harmon was elected Justice of the Peace in 1875, and ran for County Commissioner in 1879 on the Democratic ticket.

H. HODGDEN, drugs and general merchandise, is a native of Union County, Ohio. He was born in 1844. His youth was spent on the farm. And when the War of the Rebellion broke out, he enlisted in the One Hundred and Seventy-fourth Ohio Volunteeer Infantry, Company C. At the close of the war he returned to Ohio, and in 1869, removed to the State of Missouri, staying only one year, when he came to Kansas and took a claim of 160 acres, in Centerville Township, close to Galesburgh, raising 400 bushels of good corn the first year. He remained on the farm until February, 1882, when he bought out Mr. F. H. Holcomb, and established himself in Galesburgh, in general merchandising. This was the first establishment in Galesburg (sic) of the kind, being started by J. W. Snider, in 1868. He was appointed Postmaster in 1882. Before removing from Ohio he married Miss M. E. Newland.

A. KUYKENDALL, farmer, Section 34, P. O. Galesburgh, is a native of Kentucky, and was born in 1840. When the war broke out he was employed as a scout, enlisting under Albert Sydney Johnston, afterward serving in Gen. John A. Morgan's command; while with him he was taken prisoner. He was with Basil Duke and Breckinridge, having many narrow escapes from death. In 1867, in an emigrant train of nine or ten wagons, he came to Kansas and bought 320 acres of the Davis Brothers, paying $600 for the west quarter and $300 for the east quarter, with improvements and but twenty acres broken. He has now in cultivation 140 acres, the rest in orchard and pasture. In 1871, he raised a splendid crop of corn, and failed only in 1874, having never failed in wheat. In 1865, Mr. Kuykendall married Miss Lee. They have eight children, five boys and three girls. Mr. Kuykendall has served as Township clerk, and in 1875 was nominated for County Treasurer on the Democratic ticket.

JOHN McCARTHY, drugs, medicine and groceries, a native of Ireland, was born in 1847, and in 1850 his parents immigrated to America, locating in Illinois, where he was raised and educated. In 1869 he moved to Kansas, stopping in Parsons, Labette County, until 1871, when he came to Galesburg (sic) opening the first blacksmith and wagon shop in the town. In 1872 he moved to Ladore Township, remaining there till 1879, when he established his drug business, which he has conducted successfully since. In 1880 he added groceries to his business, doing annually about $6,000 in sales. Mr. McCarthy married Miss De Vaney. They have one child, a daughter. He was a member of the Settlers' Protective Association.

J. W. MERRITT, of the firm of Condon, Merritt & Co., grain dealers, a native of Ohio, was born in 1848. Coming to Kansas in 1869 he located in Neosho County; taking a claim, he opened his farm, where he has raised a succession of good crops. As early as 1872 he was elected Township Trustee and Justice of the Peace. In 1881 he entered the firm in his present business. While in Illinois he married Miss Dillman. In addition to the grain shipped by the firm they shipped about 1,000 crates of peaches in 1882, and are doing some real estate business.

J. H. PENDERGRASS, in the firm of Condon, Merritt & Co., a native of Athens County, Ohio, was born in 1831. He was raised and educated here, and in 1854, August 20, married Miss Martha Crockett. Coming to Kansas in 1870 he built the first house in the town of Galesburgh. Taking a claim he engaged in farming. He acted as station agent for Dr. Crees till 1873, when he was appointed, keeping the station till 1883. In 1875 he commenced buying grain, the firm then being Condon & co., continuing till 1881, when he organized it under its present title. Mr. Pendergrass belongs to the Settlers' Protective Association, and is now a member of the Masonic, I. O. O. F., and also of the Christian Church. In 1883 he was appointed agent for the Missouri Pacific Express Company. The family consists of four children, two sons and two daughters.

J. M. SLAUGHTER, M. D. and farmer, Section 35, P. O. Galesburgh, is a native of Tennessee and was born in 1812. In 1832 he commenced studying medicine and moved to Kentucky, where he bought a farm and gave his attention to this. In 1844 he moved back to Tennessee and bought a farm, and took his second course of reading while engaged in farming. In 1850 he moved to Brooks Bend, Jackson Co., Tenn., and took up his practice again, where he was busy until 1855, when he moved to Missouri, locating in Cass County, near Harrisonville, meaning to farm here, but his neighbors made him resume, so he worked at both occupations. In 1861 he enlisted in the Missouri Home Guards that were formed under the call issued by Gen. Fremont. In 1863 he enlisted in the Missouri State Militia. After the war he lived in Missouri until 1869, when he emigrated to Kansas, locating on his present home; at first living in a camp, and as winter came on built a curious house of hay, with walls four feet thick; in the meantime ministering to scattered pioneer families and getting out rock from the quarries and building, doing the mason work himself. In 1870 they moved into it. He has improved his farm, having now eighty acres, sixty-five cultivated and the rest in pasture, with a fine orchard with 830 bearing trees - apples, peaches, pears and cherries, also plenty of small fruit. During the war he met his present wife, whose father, Mr. Collins, befriended him. Dr. Slaughter has been married four times. He is the father of nineteen children, eight now alive. In 1879 he obtained a certificate from the State Medical Association.

J. B. WILLISON, farmer, Section 23, P. O. Osage Mission, is a native of Ohio and was born in Coshocton County, January 25, 1839. He was raised and educated at Indianola, Vermillion Co., Ill., and in 1858 went to Warren County, Iowa, where he engaged in teaching. In 1861 he enlisted in the Third Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company G. Served during the war. Returning home in 1865, he went to Bryant & Stratton's Commercial College at Chicago, afterward going into a business house as clerk, remaining until 1869, when he returned to his home in Illinois. He came to Kansas in 1871, locating in Woodson County; coming to his present location in 1873 he took up a contested claim of eighty acres, which he has since improved and entered in 1878. Now cultivating forty-five acres and the rest in pasture. With the exception of 1881 he has had no failure of crops. In 1868 Mr. Willison married Miss Sarah A. Williams. They have one child, a son. Mr. Willison has served two terms as Township Clerk.

[TOC] [part 15] [part 13] [Cutler's History]