ROSANA WHITENIGHT produced this selection.

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.


PART 1: Location and Natural Resources | Map and Population
PART 2: Early History
PART 3: Political and Other Troubles | County Organization and Elections | County Seat Contest | War Record
PART 4: Railroads, Schools, Etc. | Statistics of Progress
PART 5: Burlingame
PART 6: Biographical Sketches (Asher - Cowee)
PART 7: Biographical Sketches (Doty - Hardy)
PART 8: Biographical Sketches (Jarvis - Parmiter)
PART 9: Biographical Sketches (Rambo - Wyatt)
PART 10: Dragoon Township | Osage City, Part 1
PART 11: Osage City, Part 2 | Biographical Sketches (Abbott - Grewell)
PART 12: Biographical Sketches (Hale - Utley)
PART 13: Peterton | Lyndon, Part 1
PART 14: Lyndon, Part 2
PART 15: Scranton
PART 16: Arvonia | Melvern
PART 17: Quenemo | Barclay
PART 18: Olivet | Junction Township
PART 19: Elk Township | Fairfax Township | Lincoln Township
PART 20: Carbondale | Biographical Sketches (Bartlett - Hoy)
PART 21: Biographical Sketches (Land - Wilson)


Osage County is situated about midway across the State, north and south, and about fifty miles from its eastern boundary. In extent it is twenty-four miles east and west, and thirty miles north and south. It is bounded on the north by Shawnee County, on the east by Douglas and Franklin, on the south by Coffey, and on the west by Lyon and Wabaunsee.

Three quite large streams cross the county. The largest of these is the Marais des Cygnes River, which flows across the southern part, entering from the west, flowing across the corner of Barclay Township into Arvonia; thence east across that, Olivet and Melvern townships; thence northeast across Agency Township. The principal tributaries of the above named stream from the south are: Mud, Puleston, Winnifred, Coal, Long, Rock, and Tuqua creeks. On both the north and south sides are numerous other small creeks, but a short distance apart, which contain running water, for a portion of the year. Salt Creek flows across the county from west to east, through the central part and crosses the townships of Superior, Valley Brook and Agency, emptying into the Marais des Cygnes, near the eastern boundary. Mute Creek is its principal southern tributary. On the north side are Swede and Jersey creeks.

In the northern part of the county is Dragoon Creek, which entering from the west flows across the southwest corner of Burlingame Township; thence southeast across Dragoon, and across the northeast corner of Superior; thence nearly east across Fairfax, from whence it flows southeast across Junction and the corner of Agency, where it enters the Marais des Cygnes near the eastern limits of the county. Its principal tributaries on the south are Soldier and Smith creeks. On the north are Switzler, School, Pop Corn and One Hundred and Ten creeks. Besides these are Wakarusa, Berry's Slowbridge, Elk and Appanoose creeks. The above names streams are the principal ones in the county, though it is intersected by many small ones that contain running running water for a portion of the year.

Of the streams names above, the names are derived as follows: Marais des Cygnes means "the marsh of the swans." Dragoon is so named from the fact that a United States soldier died on its western bank, at an early date; Switzler from the name of a man who was run over and killed by a wagon, while descending the eastern bank, at a point on the old Sante (sic) Fe freight road. Salt Creek derives its name from a salt basin near its mouth. One Hundred and Ten Creek, from the fact that the old crossing of the Santa Fe freight road was that number of miles from Independence, Mo.; the Appanoose and Tauqua from those of two of the head-men of the Sac and Fox Indians. The Wakarusa is so named from a wild plant, partly covered with a fine hairy fibre, that once grew along its banks; Mute Creek was named from a deaf mute having held a claim on its banks at an early day.

Along the streams are low bottom lands, varying all the way from a few rods to three miles in width. Back from the valleys the surface of the land is undulating, and in some places much broken, and even bluffy. The 10 per cent of the county is low valley land, and 90 per cent upland; 10 per cent of the county is forest, and 90 per cent prairie. The average width of the bottom lands is nearly half a miles. The greater part of the upland is tillable, much of it very level and covered with well cultivated farms.

About 10 per cent of the county is covered by a natural growth of timber. This is found generally along the banks of the streams, in belts varying from twenty to upward of one hundred rods in width. The principal varieties are walnut, elm, oak, hackberry, cottonwood, coffee bean, mulberry and hickory. Besides these natural belts of timber, there are a large number of groves of forest trees, under cultivation on the farms, and which all told, comprise many acres.

Coal underlies the greater part of the area of the county, but it is not found in large quantities, or mined to any great extent, excepting in a belt comprising about 25 per cent of the county's area. This line follows along the line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, and extends back for some distance on each side of it. It is found at a depth below the surface, of from two to more than one hundred feet, but at an average depth of from fifty to seventy. The veins are from twelve to thirty-six inches in thickness. The quality is good, the mines numerous, and the shipments are great. It is used extensively by the railroad companies, and for local, domestic and manufacturing purposes.

Limestone is found in all parts of the county. It is of an excellent quality for building purposes. A great number of the buildings of the county are constructed of this material. Besides this the stone is used to a great extent for fencing. Yellow ochre is found in abundance in every township. There is also an almost unlimited supply of fire and pottery clay, which is utilized to some extent.



                                              1870.  1890.
                                              -----  -----
(a) Agency Township.......................... 1,865  1,809
(b) Arvonia Township.........................   588    857
    Barclay Township......................... .....    509
    Burlingame Township, incl Burlingame City 1,549  4,031
(d) Dragoon Township.........................   655    800
(e) Fairfax Township......................... .....    674
(f) Junction Township........................ .....  1,264
(g) Melvern Township......................... .....  1,305
(h) Olivet Township.......................... .....    582 
      Osage City............................. .....  2,098
(I) Ridgeway Township, incl Carbondale City.. 1,141  2,696
(j) Superior Township........................   966  1,135
(k) Valley Brook Township.................... 1,539  1,135
                                              ----- ------
TOTAL........................................ 8,303 19,642
                                              ----- ------
Burlingame City..............................   655  1,370
Carbondale City.............................. .....    710

(a) In 1871, part of Olivet; in 1873, part to Melvern. (b) In 1871, part to Olivet; in 1878, part to Barclay. (c) In 1878, from parts of Superior and Arvonia. (d) In 1871, from part of Superior. (e) In 1877, from parts of Ridgeway and Valley Brook. (f) In 1871, from part of Valley Brook. (g) In 1871, from parts of Agency and Olivet. (h) In 1871, from parts of Agency and Arvonia; in 1873, part of Melvern. (i) In 1877, part to Fairfax. (j) In 1871, part to Dragoon; in 1878, part to Barclay. (k) In 1871, part to Junction; in 1877, part to Fairfax.

[TOC] [part 2] [part 1] [Cutler's History]