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


[TOC] [part 4] [part 2] [Cutler's History]


The "City of Waters" as its name implies, the pleasant and progressive and beautifully situated metropolis and county seat of Ottawa, occupies a central position in the county, on the banks of the famous Solomon River, and on the line of the Solomon Valley Railroad. The town site is one of the finest and most beautiful in the State. Pipe Creek is on the northwest, and Salt Creek here flows parallel to the Solomon a short distance to the south. By these streams the name Minneapolis, the City of Waters, was suggested. The course of the river, the lay of the land, and the view so resemble those of Beatrice, Neb., that one city might have been modeled after the other. The town site is about fifty feet above the bed of the river, and is quite rolling, with the exception of the principal business portion. From the more elevated portions of the town, grand and picturesque views can be obtained of the surrounding country. To the north, on a clear day, the view extends thirty-five miles. The Solomon and Salt Creek valleys, teeming with the fruits of agriculture, can be traced for miles to the west, northwest and southeast; and across the river, two and a half miles to the southwest, half-way up the bluffs that enclose the valley of the Solomon, appears the wonderful City of Rocks. At the foot of the main street, running north and south a graceful iron bridge spans the river, supported by stone abutments thirty feet in height. Just above the bridge is the milldam.

The residence portion of the town is built up with neat and comfortable dwellings, ornamented by lawns and bed of flowers, and a few of them with shade trees. The business portion has a number of good stone business blocks, built of the red sandstone so abundant along the Solomon River. This stone has a great variety of shades, which, when properly arranged, makes a very handsome wall. It is very soft when first quarried, but by exposure become hard and durable.

Minneapolis was laid out in 1866 by Israel Markley, Elijah Smith, Dr. James McHenry, A. C. Stull and A. J. Smith, all of whom but one (Elijah Smith) are still residents of the town. Ayersburg was designated as the county seat by the Governor, but at the first election, in the fall of 1866, Minneapolis secured that honor. In 1870, and also in 1872, the county seat question was before the people, who decided at the polls in favor of Minneapolis. In 1871 it was made a city of the third class. It grew slowly, but steadily, until 1878, when the Solomon Valley Railroad reached the place, and it rapidly increased in business and population. It now has a population of about 1,200.

The people are energetic and industrious, the business class consisting principally of young men of means and ability, who, by hard work and square dealing, have made Mineapolis a growing commercial point. To show the amount of business transacted, it is only necessary to state that from $25,000 to $30,000 are annually paid in freights, and that about 500 cars of stock and grain are shipped from this point every year. Flour is about the only article of manufacture, but there is an abundance of water-power, and in time it may become considerable of a manufacturing town.


The place is supplied with three hotels, excellent houses for the size of the place. The Commercial House was established in 1870 by the present proprietor, J. W. Tom. The Colver House, L. M. Sumner proprietor, was established in 1878; and in 1879 the Truesdell House was opened by J. T. Nichols. They are above the average of Western hotels.

The Bank of Minneapolis was established in 1875 by J. P. Cummins. J. H. Hannah is the Cashier. J. W. Smith & Co., bankers, established their bank in July, 1880. It has a paid up capital of $20,000. The Ottawa County Bank, established in July, 1880, by the bank company, of which A. N. Schuster is President and T. M. Sexton Cashier. The bank stock is $50,000. It has a very attractive and substantial bank building, valued with its furniture at $5,000.

The water-power at this point, which is estimated at about 200 horse-power, is the property of Israel Markley, one of the early settlers. The flouring mill stands on the bank, under which a flume 100 feet is run through solid rock. Another flume, 1,000 feet in length, has been made through the sandstone bed that underlies the town, empyting into the stream below. This operates a wheel in the railroad district, which furnishes power for two elevators, a saw-mill and for pumping water for the railroad tank. Mr. Markley built the grist-mill in 1866-'67, the saw-mill having been erected, as stated, by himself and Mr. Boblett, in 1865. The grist-mill has three run of burrs.

The Minneapolis Opera House, 44x90 feet, with a sixteen foot-ceiling, was built in 1880 by a joint stock company. It is an ornament to the town, and a popular place for entertainments.

The people of Minneapolis have a high standard of general intelligence, and are energetic and zealous in the interest of their town. They have, as a unit, taken great interest in the cause of education. Great progress has been made. The public schools of the town, consisting of five departments, are in a flourishing condition. The discipline is good and a high standard of excellence is attained in scholarship.


The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1871, properly, although the members held some meetings in 1870. The first quarterly meeting was held in November, 1871, the first pastor being Rev. D. D. Baird. The present stone church was built in 1878, at a cost of about $3,000. The society contains about 185 members, and the church is prosperous in every particular.

The Baptist Church was organized May 9, 1872, with fifteen members. The frame church, valued at $1,500, was dedicated May 4, 1879. The church is in a harmonious and progressive condition, with seventy-five members. Rev. Milo Smith is the present pastor.

The Presbyterians were the first to erect a house of worship which was for a long time used by the Methodists and other denominations. They have a large membership and Rev. H. Bushnell is the pastor. The church was first organized in 1872.

Church of Christ, organized Oct 12, 1873, by Elder E. S. Russell, with seven members. They have a comfortable, temporary church building, and have taken steps toward building a permanent house of worship. The (sic) have a membership of about eighty. Rev. Geo. J. Root succeeded Mr. Russell as pastor.

The Lutheran Church was organized at the residence of the present pastor, Rev. W. C. Seidel, Nov. 20, 1879. The membership is now about thirty, and the society has a comfortable and commodious house of worship.

The Independent was established by J. E. Wharton in 1871. It passed into the hands of Messrs. Markley, Campbell, Goddard and others, and when Mr. Goddard died, in 1880, it suspended. G. Burnham used the press and some of the material in the publication of the Index, an anti-monopoly, Greenback paper, still in existence (October, 1882).

The Sentinel was established in August, 1875, by Charles Hoyt, its present editor and proprietor. It was at first a six-column folio, but now it is a five-column quarto, all home print. It has one of the best offices in Western Kansas, and is printed on a steam-power press. It has a large circulation and is Republican in politics.

The Solomon Valley Mirror, a monthly real estate journal, edited by C. C. Olney, has been issued from the Sentinel office since 1878.

Minneapolis is well supplied with secret and benevolent societies. The Odd Fellows and Masons each own elegantly furnished halls in the same building, the corner-stone of which was laid with imposing ceremony in May, 1880.

Minneapolis Lodge, No. 97, I. O. O. F., was instituted Aug. 27, 1872, by Past Grand Master E. P. Baker, there being seven charter members. The lodge worked under a dispensation from Grand Master Sol Miller, when it received a charter by approval of the Grand Lodge, dated Oct. 8, 1872. It has fifty-seven members, and the elected officers are: George Mackenzie, N. G.; Charles Dunn, V. G.; J. S. Kelley, Secretary; F. Penquite, Treasurer.

Nazareth Encampment, No. 38, I. O. O. F., organized in 1881. It has twenty five members. Officers: Wm. Hipkins, H. P.; Geo. Mackenzie, C. P.; F. Penquite, S. W.; Israel Markley, J. W.; E. O. Davis, Secretary; C. L. Botsford, Treasurer.

Minneapolis Lodge, No. 143, A., F. & A. M. The society first met as the Ottawa Lodge, under dispensation, April 23, 1873. The name was changed Nov. 26, 1873. It has ninety members. Officers: D. D. Hoag, W. M.; A. C. Jackson, S. W.; J. W. Smith, J. W.; G. E. Burham, Treasurer; W. D. Thompson, Secretary.

Apollo Chapter, No. 51, R. A. M., was instituted under dispensation, March 11, 1881. It has thirty-five members. Officers at present: W. D. Thompson, M. E. H. P.; D. D. Hoag, E. K.; Geo. Mackenzie, E. S.

Kenesaw Post, No. 47, G. A. R. was organized in April, 1882. Sixty members. Officers: N. P. Simonds, P. C.; George Mackenzie, Adj.

Hope Lodge, No. 24, K. of P., instituted Nov. 20, 1879. Forty members. Officers: L. A. Henry, C. C.; N. P. Simonds, V. C.; M. O. Potter, K. of R. & S.; I. W. Slaughter, M. of Ex; C. Bush, M. Of F.; R. Stevenson, M. at A.; Dr. D. M. Dunn, District Deputy.

Minneapolis Lodge, No. -, W. O. A. T., organized in 1881. Has about forty members. George Burnham, T.,; S. N. Canfield, Sec.

Minneapolis Entrenchment, No. 61, S. K. G. A. U., was organized June 15, 1881. Fifty members. J. P. Cummins, Brig.-Gen.; A. L. Carson, Lieut. Col.; M. Ingram, Maj.; - Kelley, Sec.

Pioneer Lodge, No. 2,362, K. of H., was organized in January, 1881. Forty members. H. H. Jack, D.; M. A. Arnott, P. D.; D. C. Chapman, V. D.; J. D. More, R.; J. W. Smith, F. R.

The Minneapolis Cadets, organized in June, 1882, with thirty-five members. N. P. Simonds, Capt.; Chas. Dunn, First Lieut.; John Sutton, First Serg.

[TOC] [part 4] [part 2] [Cutler's History]