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 | Map and Population
PART 2: Early Explorations | Schools and County Roster
PART 3: Minneapolis
PART 4: Biographical Sketches
PART 5: Delphos | Bennington | Other Stations


Ottawa county, organized in 1866, is situated on the west side of the sixth principal meridian, 125 miles west of the Missouri River, and in the third tier of counties from the north. It is bounded on the north by Cloud County, on the east by Clay, on the south by Saline, and on the west by Lincoln and Mitchell counties. It is twenty-four miles north and south, by thirty east and west, and contains 460,800 acres. It is one of the best counties in Central and Western Kansas, having a rich soil, desirable location, being most admirably watered, and possessing a good supply of timber, and an abundance of excellent building stone, red sandstone, and limestone. It is watered by the Solomon and Saline rivers, and numerous creeks. The Solomon, with a broad and exceedingly fertile valley, flows diagonally from the northwest to the southeast, through the center of the county, affording extensive water power. It has in most places a deep channel, with a solid gravel or stone bottom , and a constant supply of water, requisites of a good manufacturing stream. Its principal tributaries from the north are: Buckeye, Coal, Sand, Lindsey, Pipe, Yockey and Mortimer creeks; from the south or west: Salt, Spring, and Sloan creeks. The largest of them are Salt and Pipe creeks, the former being of considerable size and importance. The Saline River runs diagonally across the southwestern corner of the county, watering Culver Township. It is quite as large a stream as the Solomon. Along the rivers and most of the creeks there is a good supply of timber, principally cottonwood and elm; but oak, box elder, walnut, ash and huckleberry are also found in all parts of the county.

Coal has been discovered in various parts of the county, principally along Coal Creek. No mines have been thoroughly tested to ascertain the extent of the supply, which doubtless is quite limited. There are a number of salt springs along the two rivers and Salt Creek, whose waters are highly impregnated with saline matter. An excellent quality of red sandstone is found in great abundance along the streams. It is quite soft when first quarried, but, with exposure, oxidizes, and becomes very hard. It is found in a great variety of shades, which, when artistically arranged, make a very handsome wall. There is also an abundance of limestone, which is very soft and easily worked when first quarried, but hardens with exposure. An excellent quality of brick clay, and clay for pottery and stoneware, is found and utilized in the southern part of the county.

The "City of Rocks" is situated two and a half miles southwest of Minneapolis, on the opposite side of the Solomon Valley, and half way up the bordering hills. It once consisted of several hundred round and oval-shaped rocks, one half of which are now quite perfectly preserved. The remainder are broken, and the fragments somewhat scattered, yet every piece shows the original sphericity. They vary in size from two to fifteen feet in diameter. The stone is a white, flinty sandstone, and is in thin layers or shales. The City of Rocks is one of the most interesting natural curiosities in the State, and to every visitor the question of its origin is puzzling. It is claimed by some that the rocks belong to the cretaceous period; that they have been worn into their present globular shape by the action of the water. The most satisfactory answer is, that when the land was submerged a tribe of marine insects gathered here in spherical masses, in and around which solidified white, shifting sand. There is one place in Lincoln, the adjoining county west, where a similar formation is found, but the specimens are not so numerous nor so perfectly preserved. The imperfectness of the specimens there has caused greater diversity of theory in reference to the mysterious natural exhibition. But whether the true theory is found or not, every visitor will gaze with admiration and wonder on the City of Rocks.

One third of the land in the county is valley, and two thirds table or gently rolling table land, making it an agricultural and stock-raising section. The valley lands are exceedingly fertile, the soil consisting of the alluvial deposits common along Western rivers. There are a great many fine farms on the uplands which yield large crops of grain; yet they are better adapted to grazing, as they are more subject to drought than the valley lands. The soil of the uplands, a dark mold, is from six inches to three feet in depth.



                                                  1870   1880
                                                 -----  -----
(a) Bennington Township                           ....    832
(b) Centre Township, including Minneapolis City   ....  1,838
(c) Chapman Township                              ....    846
(d) Concord Township                               720    613
(e) Culver Township                                250  1,111
(f) Fountain Township                             ....    829
(g) Grant Township                                ....    384
(h) Henry Township                                ....    364
(i) Lincoln Township                              ....    400
(j) Logan Township                                ....  1,198
(k) Ottawa Township                                359    652
(l) Sheridan Township                              798  1,240
                                                 ----- ------
                                                 2,127 10,307

    Minneapolis City                             .....  1,084

(a) In 1872, from parts of Concord and Ottawa.
(b) In 1871, from parts of Concord and Sheridan.
(c) In 1876, from part of Logan.
(d) In 1871, part to Centre; in 1872, part to Bennington.
(e) In 1879, name changed from Trippville;
    in 1879, part to Henry.
(f) In 1873, from part of Sheridan.
(g) In 1878, from part of Logan.
(h) In 1879, from part of Culver.
(i) In 1879, from part of Ottawa.
(j) In 1871, from part of Ottawa; in 1876, part to Chapman;
    in 1878, part to Grant.
(k) In 1871, part to Logan; in 1872, part to Bennington;
    in 1879, part to Lincoln.
(l) In 1871, part to Centre; in 1873, part to Fountain.

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