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


[TOC] [part 5] [part 3] [Cutler's History]


The little frontier settlement founded by General H. C. Bull, as heretofore mentioned, nine miles in advance of Bullock's ranch, then the frontier settlement in the county, has grown to be one of the leading commercial towns in the State. In August 1872, the town plat of this town was recorded, and included in the description as the north half of the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 12; and the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 12; and the south half of the southwest quarter of Section 1, Town 7 south, Range 15 west.

A postoffice had been established here through the influence of General Bull in the fall of 1870, and himself appointed postmaster, which appointment he held until his tragic death (heretofore mentioned) when his estimable wife, Mrs. Sarah M. Bull, was appointed his successor, which place she still occupies.

While this town was in embryo, the early settlers provided themselves with the necessary currency by the pursuit of the buffalo for his hide. The nucleus for several large fortunes was here, and in this manner acquired. Mr. S. S. Vansickle, now a prosperous attorney of the town, was in early times a buffalo hunter. At last the rigors of an inclement winter deprived him of his fingers and his toes, but his active mind saved him from a frightful death and now provides him with the means of procuring a good living.

In 1872 the school district in which Bull's City was then located, voted $1,500 in bonds of the district, and built a good commodious stone school building where a good school has been conducted every since. The first teacher was Miss Stockbridge and the present one is Mr. Frank Borin. The building is too small to accommodate all the scholars of the district, and will soon be enlarged. The present school board is composed of J. B. Taylor, E. F. Robinson and P. Campbell.

Although the city contains a sufficient number of inhabitants, they have never petitioned the Judge for a city government.


The Press. - The Osborne County Key is a six-column folio, established here in the fall of 1880, by George E. Dougherty, who shortly after sold it to A. J. Runyon, the present editor and proprietor. Mr. Runyon came to Kansas from Iowa, and for some time had charge of the Methodist Episcopal church at Bull's City as its pastor. The Key requiring too much of his attention, he resigned the pastorship and devoted his whole time to his newspaper.

Churches. - The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in February, 1880, with only fifteen members. Rev. W. A. Saville was the first pastor. It now numbers thirty-seven members, and is cared for by Rev. E. G. Carey. A Sabbath-school is held regularly, with an average attendance of thirty scholars. They have stone and lumber on the ground for a church building, 28x45, and the walls are well under way. The building is estimated to cost $1,500, $250 of which will be furnished by the Church Extension Society. Hawkeye Center, northeast of Bull's City, has also an organization of this church, containing sixty members, also in charge of Rev. E. G. Carey. Small classes at Little Medicine and Kill Creek are also organized, and under the care of Mr. Carey.

The Congregational Church. - In 1875, Rev. Mr. Eckman, of Osborne, was instrumental in organizing the Congregational church at Bull's City, and was for several years its pastor. The society now numbers thirty-five members, in charge of Rev. L. G. McHenry. The church has no house of worship, although a building is contemplated for the coming season.

Societies. - On the 1st of October, 1882, a Lodge of the Knights of Pythias was established here with about twenty-seven members. The officers are now - J. R. Fitzsimmons, C. C.; F. E. Hall, P. C.; J. B. Taylor, V. C.; William Rosegrant, P.; Frank Fifield, K. of R. & S. The Lodge is in a flourishing condition, and anticipates the early erection of a castle of its own.

Gen. H. C. Bull Post, No. 106, G. A. R., was organized here in July, 1882, and now numbers forty members. The officers are as follows: P. H. Campbell, P. C.; R. S. Buell, Adjt.; Charles Guthrie, Q. M.; E. Fuller, Chaplain.

Occidental Lodge, No. 207, A. F. & A. M., was organized under dispensation in November, 1880. The lodge now numbers twenty-three members, and is presided over by J. M. Babcock, W. M., with E. L. Ives, as Secretary.

Custer Lodge, No. 166, I. O. O. F., Lodge was chartered March 6, 1880. The present officers are: T. M. Walker, N. G.; J. C. Schooler, V. G.; Bert Childs, Secretary; P. H. Campbell, Treas. The numbers at present writing is thirty-eight. The lodge property is valued at $200.

Business Industries. - This city is the present western terminus of the Central Branch Railroad, or that division which extends up the South Solomon. The railroad business of the county of Rooks is all done here, making this quite an extensive shipping point. Broom corn and wheat are the chief exports this season, and the trade in the former product has been immense. The town has several large stores carrying a general stock; two exclusive drug stocks; two large and convenient hotels, bank and lumber yard. It has the reputation of being one of the best business towns in the northwest.

The bank of Bull's City is owned and conducted by Messrs. Loomis, Robinson & Co. Mr. Loomis has for years been the agent of the Central Branch railroad at its western stations while building. Mr. Robinson was formerly a partner in the Bank of Logan. They are energetic and accommodating business men who are well liked. Mr. Rosegrant is the Co. in the concern, and has special charge of the lumber yard branch of their business.

A long combination wood and iron bridge spans the river south of the town; it was built in 1881, the funds for building being procured by voting township bonds for same. The bridge cost nearly $3,000, a part of which was raised by donations from business men and public spirited citizens.

A large three-story stone mill one-half mile south of the town, owned by W. W. Bush, erected in 1875, and improved since with three run of stone in constant operation, is one of the chief manufacturing interests. This mill is valued at $10,000.

Messrs. Chamberlain & Post are proprietors of a mill one mile west of town, which keeps two run of stone in motion night and day. This is commonly known as the Advent mill, and is a good property, valued at about $7,000. These mills add much to the business of Bull's City.

A grain warehouse at the depot is in constant use this fall to accommodate the wheat trade.


PATRICK H. CAMPBELL, Bull's City, was born in Ross County, Ohio, February 2, 1839. While he was still an infant his parents moved to Allen County, Ohio. When he was ten years old they moved to Hardin County, Ohio, where he engaged as a laborer until June 1861, when he enlisted as a private in Co. G, Fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged at Colombus, Ohio, June 24, 1864, at the expiration of his term of service. After his discharge, he went to Kenton, Ohio, where he engaged as a laborer until the fall of 1865, when he went to Vinton, Iowa, where he was employed as a laborer until 1868. He then entered a grist-mill as engineer, and remained until 1871, when he came to Bull's City, and located on the northeast quarter of Section 1, Township 7, Range 14, when there were only two families living in the township. He followed buffalo hunting and showing land to emigrants until 1874, when he opened his farm, where he continued farming until 1880, when his health failing, he moved to Bull's City, where he has since been engaged as a clerk. He was married February 16, 1871, to Miss Mary A. Campbell. They have three children - Nellie (the first child born in Sumner Township, Kan.), Bertie and Jennie. Mr. Campbell was Treasurer of Sumner Township for two years, and is a member of the I. O. O. F. and Grand Army of the Republic.

PERRY DOAK, farmer, P. O. Bull's City, was born in Tyler County, West Virginia, March 5, 1845, where he lived on a farm until August 1, 1863, when he enlisted in Company D, Seventh Virginia Volunteer Infantry, as private. He was discharged as corporal at Munson's Hill, Va., in July, 1865, by reason of general order from the War Department, when he returned to Tyler County, Va., where he farmed until 1868, when he came to Kansas; worked on a farm one year in Douglas County, and one year in Osage County, when he went to Cloud County, where he farmed until October, 1876, when he came to Osborne County, where he has since followed farming. He was married December 10, 1866, to Mrs. Louisa Doak, a widow with three children - Jasper, Victoria and William. Mr. Doak is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He was appointed County Commissioner to fill vacancy, May 12, 1882, and was Trustee of Grant Township one year, and Justice of the Peace of Sumner Township two years.

LYMAN P. EARL, coal dealer, was born in Benton, Yates County, New York, October 27,1814, where he lived on a farm until 1826, when his father moved to Niagara County, N. Y., where he lived on a farm until he was seventeen years of age, when he went to Kalamazoo County, Michigan Territory, in 1832, Here he farmed until 1837, when he engaged in the manufacture of lumber, shingles and lath until the spring of 1871, when he came to Osborne County, Kan., where he followed farming until 1881, when he engaged as a dealer in coal. He was married to Miss Abigail Chipman, June 14, 1845. They have five children - Charles, Luella, Lotilla, Alletta, and Austin. Mr. Earl is a member of the A. F. & A. M., and was Trustee of Sumner Township for four years.

JACKSON GEPHART, livery and feed stable, was born in Cass County, Mich., Jan. 10, 1835, where he lived and was a practical farmer until 1871, when he moved to Cloud County, Kan., where he passed the winter. In the spring of 1872, he moved to Mitchell County, where he engaged as a farmer until October, 1879, when he came to Bull's City and built a large and commodious barn, which he has up to the present time used as a livery and feed stable. He has eleven horses and six buggies in his stable. He was married Feb. 10, 1856, to Miss Emily Vannammy. They have three children - Harry, Minnie and Carl. Served his country as a private soldier in Co. D, One Hundredth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, from October 12, 1862, until July, 1865, when he was transferred to Co. A, Forty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged August 15, 1865.

J. R. LOOMIS, banker, was born in Kewanee, Ill., Nov. 26, 1843, where he lived on a farm until nineteen years of age, after which he was express agent for the American Express Company at Kewanee, Ill., until 1868, when he removed to Atchison County, Kan, and purchased a farm near Effingham. He lived on this farm until the spring of 1869, when he engaged in the lumber and grain business and was station agent at Effingham until the fall of 1869, when he sold out his lumber and grain business, and continued at Effingham as station agent until 1872. He was transferred to Muscotah as station agent, where he remained until October 1, 1872, when he returned to his farm at Effingham, and farmed until May, 1874, when he was employed as check-clerk for the C. B. U. P. R. R., at Atchison, where he remained until June, 1874, when he was transferred to Waterville, Kan., as station agent until the railroad was built to Washington, Kan., in 1875, when he was transferred to Atchison as train dispatcher and master of transportation, until the spring of 1876, when at his own request he was made pioneer station agent of the Solomon Valley & Republican Valley Railroad, from Greenleaf to Concordia. He was then called to Atchison as master of transportation until the road reached Beloit, when he was appointed terminal agent, which position he retained until the C. B., U. P. reached Kirvin (sic), when he was assigned to duty at Beloit as agent of the C. B. Division of the M. P. & Solomon Valley Division of the U. P., which position he held until July 1, 1881, when he accepted a position as street car superintendent at Atchison, Kan., until February, 1882. In May, 1882, he came to Bull's City, and in connection with E. F. Robinson established the Bull's City Bank. He was married to Miss Mary L. Van Wagner, January 1, 1868. They have had four children - Frank J., (Loie J. died at four years of age, Hattie F. Died at two years of age) and William H. Mr. Loomis enlisted in the United States Army, in Company H, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, as sergeant, in October, 1864, and was discharged as sergeant in March, 1865. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias.

ANDREW J. LOYD, hardware clerk, was born in Racine, Wis., April 3, 1841, where he lived on a farm until 1854, when he came to Kansas and pre-empted (sic) a farm in Doniphan County, on which he lived until the spring of 1860, when he moved to Marysville, Kan., and took a claim, which after one year he abandoned and returned to his old home in Doniphan County, where he stayed until November, 1861, when he enlisted as a private in Company D, Second Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, and was discharged as corporal at Leavenworth, Kan., in November, 1864, at the expiration of his term of service. He was wounded at Roseville, on Arkansas River, April 2, 1864, in the right hip. After his discharge from the army he returned to his old homestead, where he farmed until 1878, when he sold his farm and went to Troy, Kan., where he engaged in the mercantile business until December, 1880, when he came to Bull's City, where he engaged again in the mercantile business until June, 1881, when he sold out, and has since been clerking. He was married to Laura J. Sergeant, January 11, 1870. They have three children - Dexter L., Eva and Frank. Mr. Loyd is Justice of the Peace of Sumner Township, being elected in the spring of 1882. He is also a member of the I. O. O. F. and the G. A. R.

PETER MITCHELL, hotel keeper, was born in the City of New York, March 13, 1841, and when he was three years of age his parents moved to Oxford County, Canada, where he lived on a farm until 1859, when he went to California, where he farmed for one and on-half years. He then moved to Nevada, where he followed mining and farming until 1866, when he returned to Canada, where he engaged in the hotel business until 1879, when he came to Bull's City, where he built and occupies one of the largest hotels in Solomon Valley. He was married to Miss Helen M. Hartnett, March 3, 1867. They have four children - Minnie M., Helena, Albert E., and a baby. Mr. Mitchell is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and the Knights of Pythias.

E. F. ROBINSON, lawyer and banker, was born in Erie County, Ohio, May 28, 1850, where he lived on a farm until his fourteenth year, when he went to Cold Water, Mich., where he attended school for two years, and then he entered Hillsdale College and remained two years, and in 1868 came to Kansas and located in Wabaunsee County, where he was engaged as teacher in public schools until 1871, when he was appointed County Superintendent to fill a vacancy until 1872, when he went to Concordia, Kan., and had charge of city schools until 1874. In this year the State Normal School was established in Concordia, and he had charge of this school until 1876, when the Legislature failed to make an appropriation, and the school was discontinued. He then moved to Kirwin, Kan., and was engaged in the practice of law until 1881, when he with H. J. Cameron and W. Reeder established the Phillips county Bank, and in June of the same year this bank was consolidated with a bank of Logan; continued in bank at Logan until 1882, withdrew, when in connection with J. R. Loomis he established Bull's City Bank. Mr. Robinson was married to Miss Emily C. Campbell, December 24, 1873. They have one child - Lottie H. His wife died in May, 1876, and in March, 1879, Mr Robinson was married to Miss Mary A. Campbell. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., K. of P., and A. F.& A. M. He was elected Secretary of State Teachers' Association of 1871, and President of the same for 1872.

A. J. RUNYON, editor and proprietor of the Osborne County Key, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, where he resided until seventeen years of age, when he went to Wellsburg, Va., where he apprenticed to the tailoring business, at which he worked for two and one-half years, at the end of which time he removed to Richmond, Ohio, where he attended high school for two terms, and from there went to Jefferson, Ohio, where he engaged as a tailor for two years, and then in addition added to his business a stock of general merchandise, which he sold out in 18?4, and went to Washington, Iowa, where he was engaged as a farmer until 1880, when he came to Osborne County, Kan., and settled on a farm, where he lived for eight months. He then returned to Iowa, closed up his business matters, and returned to Bull's City in the spring of 1881, when he was appointed to the position of editor of the Osborne County Key, and in 1882 became editor and proprietor of the same paper. He was married to Miss Sarah Barr, February 23, 1847. They had four children - Emma F., Mary E., Eva L., and Ida F. Mr. Runyon's wife died April 12, 1874. He was again married March 13, 1878, to Miss Almena Walker.

A. K. WEBB, farmer, P. O. Bull's City, was born in Medina Co. Ohio, November 26, 1832, where he lived with his parents until 1845, when he went to Stephenson County, Ill., where he lived on a farm until 1854, when he went to Freeport, Ill., where he apprenticed to the brick-laying and plastering trade, at which he continued until 1858, when he moved to Benton County, Iowa, where he worked at his trade until May, 1878, when he came to Osborne County, where he homesteaded his present farm. He has done nearly all the brick and stone work of Bull's City. He was married August 26, 1859, to Miss Maretta Isbell. They have two children - Charles E. And Nora E. Mr. Webb has been constable of Grant Township since the spring of 1882. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

H. J. ULSH, farmer, P. O. Bull's City, was born in Hughesville, Pa., May 28, 1836, where he lived until he was sixteen years of age, when he went to Marion County, Iowa, where he farmed until he was twenty-two years of age. He then bought one-half interest in a saw-mill, which he ran until August 10, 1862, when he enlisted as a private in Company G, Thirty-third Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was discharged September 10, 1865, at the expiration of his term of service. After his discharge he returned to Marysville, Iowa, where he engaged in milling and woolen business until the fall of 1877. In the spring of 1878 he came to Osborne County, where he has been engaged in farming since. He was married to Mary E. Brewer, June 14, 1860. They have seven children - Frank, Harriet, Nellie, Susan, Matthias, Harlan and Fern. Mr. Ulsh is a member of the A. F. & A. M.

[TOC] [part 5] [part 3] [Cutler's History]