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


[TOC] [part 6] [part 4] [Cutler's History]


Delphos is a flourishing town of about 400 inhabitants, situated twelve miles northwest of Minneapolis, in the Solomon Valley, and on the line of the Solomon Valley Railroad. The town has a very pleasant location, one half of a mile from the river, not low, nor over-elevated, but occupying a happy medium. The town site was laid out by W. A. Kiser on his land in 1869-'70, but the town did not commence to assume the proprotions of a village even, until 1878, when the prospect of a railroad became a certainty. The Solomon Valley Railroad reached the town in October, 1879. During 1879-'80 Delphos grew more rapidly than before or after that date. The business and residence portions of the town suggest a much older place, it having a larger number of good buildings than most towns of its size in the State. Considering its size, it is the best business point in the county. The surrounding country is fertile and quite well settled, which makes Delphos an extensive grain and stock market.

On the thirtieth of June, 1879, the cyclone that visited Ottawa County passed just two miles east of the town, and ten days after, while they were yet caring for the sufferers of that terrible disaster, a hurricane swept away one half of the new village. Fortunately no lives were lost, and before the close of the year all the buildings but one were erected, and fifty new ones added, making a total of eighty-two structures built from June 10, 1879 to the close of the year.

The Bank of Delphos was established by F. M. Sexton in 1880. The Pacific and Commercial hotels, established respectively in 1879 and 1880, are well maintained. The flouring and saw mills owned by White, Towner & Co., and operated by water-power, are the only manufactories in the town. A large amount of the water-power here is not yet utilized.

The Delphos Herald, a weekly newspaper, was established by the proprietor, D. B. Louden, in 1879. It is an excellent county paper and well edited. It is the only paper published in the county, outside of Minneapolis.

Delphos Lodge, No. -, I. O. O. F., was instituted in 1879. In connection with the Masons they own a commodious and well furnished hall. Officer: Wm. A. Hillhouse, N. G.; James Hollis, Sec.

The Independent Order of Good Templars is one of the strongest in this part of the State. It was organized in 1879. It meets in the Good Templars' Hall, which is owned by a joint stock company.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, organized in 1874. The building was greatly damaged by the hurricane of June 10, 1879. Rev. T. J. Ream is pastor.

The Baptists meet in the school-house, but are contemplating the erection of a church building. They organized in 1878. Rev. Milo Smith is the present pastor.

The Presbyterians meet in the M. E. church. It organized in 1879. Rev. Newton Bracken is pastor.

The Universalists were the first to build a church, which was used by all the denominations at first. It was destroyed by the storm of 1879, but has been rebuilt, in more substantial form. Rev. Joy Bishop is the pastor.

The Spiritualists organized their society in January, 1877, with thirteen members. It now numbers ninety-two. It has no creed, but subscribes to the motto, "The obtaining and promulgating of knowledge as a means of promoting the physical and moral development of mankind."

The Catholics have a good church and hold meetings every two weeks. Rev. Frederick is pastor. There are about forty families in the parish.

The public school of Delphos, which is now graded, is in good condition. The town has been very unfortunate with its school-houses. The hurricane of the 9th of June, 1879, destroyed one. Another was destroyed by fire. The money for building the present house was loaned the district by the citizens. It is a good two-story building, with belfrey and bell, and supplied with excellent furniture.

Considering its misfortunes, and the fact that it was not the county seat, Delphos has made the most remarkable growth of any town in Ottawa County.


W. H. CLENDINEN, of the firm of Clendinen & Son, dealers in a general line of hardware, stoves, tinware and farm implements. They began trade in February, 1880. Erected their store in winter of 1879-'80, the size of which is 22 x 70 feet, two stories high, at a cost of $1,800, and first carried a stock of $2,000. Their present stock will average $5,000, and they employ four men in the business. W. H. Clendinen came with his family to Delphos in November, 1879. He was born in Randolph County, Ill., Jan. 10, 1836, and lived in his native county until he came to Kansas. Married in 1859 to Miss Emily C. Jones, of same county, Illinois. They have three children - Walter H., a member of the above firm, Roscoe P., and Daisy G. Mr. C. is a member of the Masonic order and I. O. O. F., of Delphos, Kan.

THOMAS F. DONIGAN, of the firm of Prendergast & Donigan, dealers in general merchandise. They began trade in 1879 with a stock of $5,000; now carry an average stock of $11,000. Their store-room is 20 x 60 feet deep. They employ four men in the business. Mr. Donigan came to Solomon City, Kan., in November, 1877, and taught school for a term of four months. He then came to Delphos and began merchandising, following the business alone one year, when he became a member of the above firm. He was born in Philadelphia, Penn., Feb. 1, 1855, and lived there until he came to Kansas. Married in August, 1879, to Miss Mary A. Wall, of La Salle, Ottawa Co., Ill. They have two children - Winifred and Joseph.

PORTER C. HULL, dealer in general merchandise opened, trade with a stock of $4,500, in September, 1879, erecting a store building July and August of the same year, at a cost of $2,000, the size of which is 22x 60 feet deep, and two stories high. He now carries a stock of $7,000 and employs three men in the business. He came to Solomon City, Kansas, in 1876, and clerked until he came to Delphos. He was born in Durham, Greene Co., N. Y., April 21, 1852. Lived in his native county until 1869, when he went to Kalamazoo, Mich., and clerked in a general store, until he came West. He was married in 1879, to Miss Fannie J. Blake, of Galesburg, Mich. They have one son - Blake H. Mr. Hull is a member of the Masonic Order, including Chapter, Council and Commandery, and Master of Blue Lodge of Delphos; also Knights of Honor and Master Workman of Delphos Lodge, Ancient Order United Workmen.

CORNELIUS McDONOUGH came to Saline County, Kan., spring of 1867, and followed agricultural pursuits until February, 1871, when he moved to near Delphos village, and farmed until August, 1877, at which time he opened the Pacific House to the traveling public. The above hotel has a capacity for twenty guests, and is kept in first-class order for a small Western village. Joseph McDonough, son of Mr. C. McDonough, is proprietor, and has charge of the business. Mr. C. McDonough was born in Lexington Ky., Aug. 17, 1821; lived there eleven years, and moved with parents to McDonough County, Ill., where he was raised on a farm. He was married in 1849, to Miss Sarah Dunwoody, a native of Morgan County, Ill., They have four children - Mary, married to John Seymour, a merchant of Delphos; Robert L., now in Colorado; Samuel (deceased); Joseph, keeping hotel in Delphos; Melvina (deceased), and Catherine, a milliner of Delphos.

JAMES A. NELSON, dealer in general merchandise, began trade in October, 1882. His store-room is 25 x 60 feet deep and he carries a stock of $5,000. He came to Johnson County, Kan., in 1868, and followed agricultural pursuits some time. Then went to Beloit, and embarked in live-stock and grain business, until October, 1882, when he began trade in Delphos. Was born in Columbus, Bartholomew Co., Ind., Nov. 27, 1835. Was raised in Davis County, Iowa, being brought up in mercantile trade. He spent two years at Washington, D. C., in the office of the Second Auditor United States Treasury, from April 1, 1864, to May, 1866. Was in Denver, Col., 1860-'61, and was clerk in first territorial Legislature held there. He served two terms in Beloit, Kan., as Clerk District Court, Mitchell County. Was married in 1859 to Miss Eliza J. Heck, of Caldwell County, Mo. They have seven children - Frederick H., Clarence, Ira J., Guy, Myra, Walter, and a son not yet named.

HOMER Z. TOWNER, farmer, postoffice Delphos, Section 16, Township 9, Range 4, was born in Venango County, Pa., July 2, 1814, where he resided until he was thirty-one years of age. During his residence in Pennsylvania, he was engaged in the lumber business, and in May, 1875, he came to Ottawa County, Kan., where he has since been engaged in the milling business. Capacity of mill, three run of stone; firm, White & Co. He married, Dec. 26, 1872, Miss Evaline White. They have four children, of whom are living - Jennie, Mary E., and Fred W. He enlisted as a private in Company G, Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, July 11, 1862. He was discharged as Sergeant, May 29, 1865, at the close of the war. Was wounded at the battle of The Wilderness, May 5, 1864, in the right hip, and is on the pension roll. He is a member of the G. A. R., I. O. O. F. and A., F. & A. M. Is Commander of the Warren Post, No. 116, Delphos, Kan. Was elected County Commissioner of Ottawa County, in 1880.

ED. A. WHITE, dealer in drugs, medicines, paints, oils, books, stationery, jewelry, window glass, and druggists' sundries. He began trade May 23, 1878. He opened the first drug store in Delphos, and carried a stock of $200, including fixtures. Erected his new store in 1880, the size of which is 20 x 50 feet, one story, at a cost of $1,000. He now carries a stock of $1,800. He came to Topeka, Kan., in July, 1876, and embarked in the above business, continuing a year; thence to Junction City and followed the same business a year; then finally located in Delphos. He was born in Kalamazoo County, Mich., July 2, 1855. His parents with the family moved to West Union, Iowa, in 1865, where he lived until he came to Kansas. Was married Dec. 9, 1880, to Miss Nellie Gabel, of Preble County, Ohio. He is a member of Delphos Lodge, No. 119, I. O. O. F.

J. H. WHITE, firm of White & Co., proprietors of the Delphos Flouring and Grist Mills. The above mills were built in the spring and summer of 1871. Capacity, 120 barrels per day. They have a water-power of eight-feet head, and employ five men in the business. In the summer of 1883 they erected a flouring and grist mill 36 x 48 feet, three stories high; basement erected of cut stone, and upper part built of wood. These new mills have a capacity of 150 barrels per day, and were erected near the old mills at a cost of $12,000. The above firm deals largely in cattle and hogs, and now have 100 head of hogs and eighty-eight of fine steers. Ann E. and F. G. White include the company. J. H. White has charge of the business. He first came to Delphos in June, 1872, and engaged in farming, which he is yet interested in. He began milling in 1873. He was born in Forest County, Pa., June 14, 1857, living in that county until he came to Kansas. Was married in June, 1880, to Miss L aura Skinner, of Fredericksburg, Va., They have two children - William L and Leonard F. Mr. W. has served as Township Trustee, of Sheridan Township. He is a member of I. O. O. F. and I. O. G. T.

C. C. WOOD, dealer in all kinds of agricultural implements, carriages, buggies and wagons, opened trade in March, 1883. He located on a farm near Delphos, Kan., in May, 1870, and followed farming until 1880, then began as a salesman of farm implements, continuing until he went into business for himself. He was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., March 10, 1835, and lived in his native county until a young man, then emigrated to Walworth County, Wis. He went to California in 1859 and followed freighting until 1869, and soon afterward came to Kansas. Was married in 1872 to Miss Sadie Norris, a native of Illinois. They have one daughter - Anna C. Mr. W. has served as Under Sheriff of Ottawa County eleven years.


Bennington was not laid out until 1878, the year the Solomon Valley Railroad reached this point; but a store was established here in the winter of 1872-'3 by Geo. P. Parker. Bennington is situated nine miles southeast of Minneapolis and one mile north of the Solomon River. The country immediately surrounding the town is bottom land, and, as it extends to the north and east, it becomes rolling, but not broken. South of the river the land is more hilly, but there is sufficient land to make valuable farms. The country is well settled with an excellent class of farmers. In 1878, Messrs. Daniel Struble and C. Nelson laid out the town on portions of their adjoining farms, a quarter of a mile east of the store of Mr. Parker, established in 1873.

The town has been quite prosperous, having attained a population of over 200 in three years. An excellent iron bridge, costing $4,500, spans the Solomon at this point. Markley Brothers' flouring and saw mill, run by water-power, and costing over $20,000, has been of great advantage to the town. The first school was taught in 1879, and in 1880 a $2,000 frame school-house was built. It is well furnished and well attended. The Presbyterians and Methodists have established church organizations. Rev. W. C. Scott is pastor of the former and Rev. J. Pettinger of the latter. The Methodists are erecting a $2,200 church building.

Bennington M. E. Church was formed at the house of Daniel Struble, northeast of where the town now is, in 1871, by the Rev. J. Kahler, of Abilene, about June 1 of that year. The class consisted of the families of Capt. Spitzer and W. W. Walker, who was leader. Meetings were held first in the house of Mr. Struble, then in a school-house near the present site of Bennington, then moved to a temporary school-house three miles north, and during the winter in private dwellings, mostly at Mr. Walker's, until the erection of the Stanton School-house, where the meetings were held. At the next annual conference the class formed a part of the Minneapolis work, and the Sabbath-school was organized. Rev. John Madison, of Solomon, supplied the work for some time, and held two successful protracted meetings during the winters of his three years' pastorate, which added considerably to the membership. In 1880 the place of meeting was moved to Bennington, and in 1882-'3, through the successful efforts of Rev. J. Pettinger, pastor in charge, the membership was increased to over fifty, and a nice frame church was erected at a cost of about $2,200, and a Sabbath-school organized, which is in a flourishing condition. Rev. W. S. R. Bennett now has charge of the works.


J. S. DAVIS, deceased, came to Bennington, Kan. in July 1879 and embarked in the lumber trade and was one of the leading business men of the above village until his death, Jan. 15, 1881. He was born in Canada, Oct. 9, 1845. He graduated from Eastman's Commercial College, Chicago, Ill., February, 1866; afterward attended an agricultural college at Iowa City, Iowa. He then engaged in agricultural pursuits and the raising of fine stock until he came to Kansas. He was married in 1868 to Miss Katie Smith, who was born Aug. 22, 1848, in Canada. They had three children - William Marshall, born June 3, 1869; Nellie C., born Aug. 11, 1871, and Lou E., born June 24, 1873. Mrs. Davis is a member of the M. E. Church, as was also Mr. Davis, of Bennington. At the time of Mr. D.'s death he owned 720 acres of fine agricultural lands, 400 of which is cultivated. Mrs. D. oversees the above lands, does a regular loan business, and keeps several residences which she rents for cash.

ADOLPH GILBERT, dealer in general merchandise, coal, grain, live stock, and proprietor of the Bennington Elevator. His store is 22 x 60 feet. Opened mercantile business in February, 1882, with a stock of $4,000; now carries a stock of $7,000. His elevator is 30 x 55 feet, 24 feet high; capacity, 8,000 bushels. He came to Bennington in 1881. He deals in Morine (Ill.) farm implements, and employs four men in his business. He came first to Minneapolis, Kan., in 1878, where he engaged in the grain trade three years; then to his present location. He was born in Cincinnati, O., Sept. 5, 1852; lived there until 1874, when he went to Chicago, Ill., and engaged in the manufacture of vinegar two years; then went to Texas on a prospecting tour; returned to his native city, and lived with his parents until he came to Kansas. Was married in 1880 to Miss Sarah Nelson, of Bennington, Kan. They have one son - Edwin C. Mr. G. is a member of the Knights of Honor.

ROBERT M. McCONNELL, dealer in a general line of hardware and farm implements; opened trade in August, 1882. His store is 20 x 30 feet; he carries a stock of about $4,000, Mr. McConnell came to Lawrence, Kan., in 1873, where he learned the trade of tinsmith. In 1879 he went to Eureka, where he followed his trade until locating in Bennington. He was born in Cananda, April 2, 1855, and lived in his native country until he came to Kansas. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., of Eureka, Kan.

CHRIST NELSON (TALLE), farmer and stock-raiser, Section 1, P. O. Bennington, came to this place in the spring of 1870; selected his place in the fall of 1869. There was then no settlement, and only about ten families in the vicinity of Solomon Valley. He owns all of Section 1, and the southeast quarter of Section 2, and the northwest eighty acres of Section 6, making a total of 830 acres of fine land, 500 of which is cultivated; employs three men annually. He was born in Norway, Europe, March 19, 1824, and was reared a farmer; came to America in 1850, locating in Iowa County, Wis. He afterward went to California, where he followed mining and trading five years. Returned to Wisconsin and farmed until he came to Kansas. He was married in 1853 to Miss Nancy J. Heirford, a native of Mercer County, Id., born in 1835. They have ten children living - Susie J., married to Peter Talle, now living in New Mexico; John H., a farmer in Bennington; Mary C., at home; Sarah M, married to Mr. Adolph Gilbert, a merchant of Bennington; Emma C., married to E. O. Davis, dealer in furniture, Minneapolis; Elizabeth O., Nels Thomas, Ester M., William C. F., and Ernest H. They are members of the Episcopal Church of Bennington. He is a member of Blue Lodge, A., F. & A. M.

J. K. OSBORNE, physician and surgeon, and dealer in a general line of drugs, medicines and druggists' sundries, first came to Kansas in April, 1866, locating at Salina, where he practiced his profession and opened the first drug store in that place in 1867. He there continued until 1868, and moved to Lindsey, then the county seat of Ottawa County, where he practiced medicine and opened a drug store, continuing until the spring of 1879, when he removed to Bennington. The Doctor erected the second building in Bennnington, now his drug store. He was born in Morgan County, O., Aug. 24, 1826, and was raised in his native county until 1848, when he removed to Columbus, O., where he engaged in the practice of medicine. He graduated from the Philadelphia College of Physicians and Sugeons in 1847; was detailed as assistant surgeon at Battle Island No. 10 during the Rebellion; served as examining surgeon for exemptions during drafts. Was married in 1867 to Isabelle Garvin, of Nobel County, Ohio; was married in 1844 to Miss Caroline Poston, of Athens County, O. They had four sons and two daughters - Josiah G., John Bartlett (deceased), Franklin Francis, William Wesley, Mary (deceased) and Viola, married to Mr. William Hull, of Athens County, Ohio. Mrs. Osborne died Oct. 12, 1852. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. Was County Superintendent of schools in Saline County in 1868; held the same office in Ottawa County during 1870-'71; served as Justice of the Peace for four years; is now agent for R. R. Co. at Bennington.

GEORGE P. PARKER, dealer in general merchandise, lumber and farm machinery, also Postmaster at Bennington, came to the above village in the winter of 1870, and opened a general merchandising trade, it being the first business house in the place, and carried a stock of about $1,000. He now carries an average stock of $12,000 to $15,000. In 1882, he erected his present store, 46 x 54 feet deep., wareroom 16 x 46 feet. The whole was erected at a cost of $4,000. He also owns 240 acres of fine land, all cultivated. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, July 30, 1845, and came to America in 1857, traveling six years in various portions of the West from Kansas to California, being a member of Company A, Third U. S. Cavalry, enlisting Jan. 21, 1861, serving principally in Commissary and Quartermater's department. Was mustered out in January, 1872. Was married in December, 1872, to Miss Maria L. Metcalf, of Newberg, N. Y. Himself and family are members of the Presbyterian Church.

CAPTAIN G. J. SPITZER, proprietor of the Spitzer House. This hotel was erected in spring of 1883, and opened June 1, 1883, size of which is 36 x 36 feet; two and a half stories high, and contains twenty-five rooms, and was erected at a cost of $2,500. He first came to Bennington in February, 1870; farmed and raised stock until 1881, and since has been engaged in hotel keeping. He has held several township offices. He was born in Schenectady County, N. Y., Jan. 3, 1821, living there until he was twenty-one years old, then moved to Kalamazoo County, Mich. Was married in January 1854, to Miss Margaret Fisher, of Danville, Pa. They have one son, John II., at home. Mr. S. was Captain of Schoolcraft Light Guards, who were formed in 1859. They were mustered into U. S. service Aug. 20, 1861, as Company C, Sixth Michigan Infantry. They were assigned to Butler's command. Mr. S. participated in all battles of his command until he resigned, 1863. He was wounded at battle of Baton Rouge, La., Aug. 5, 1862. After army life he returned to Michigan and engaged in the grocery business at Schoolcraft, until he came to Kansas. In connection with his hotel he keeps a good livery.


Coal Creek is a small station five miles southeast of Bennington, on the Solomon Valley Railroad, a branch of the Kansas Pacific R. R. The name is derived from the supposed existence of coal in its vicinity.

Ada, Lamar, Yale, Melville, Ohio Grove, Culver, Churchill, Bluffton and Windsor are embryo towns and postoffices in different parts of the county.


ERWIN HOLLINGSWORTH, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 17, Concord Tonnship, P. O. Lindsey, came to this place in 1871. There were only scattering settlements in Solomon Valley, and the country was almost a complete wild plain. He has 173 acres of fine agricultural and grazing lands, 153 acres of which is cultivated. In 1882, he raised over 4,000 bushels of wheat, making an average of twenty-two bushels per acre. Raised over 8,000 bushels of corn, an average of sixty bushels per acre, and all produced with only the assistance of a son, Jerome, and two hands. Mr. H. represented Ottawa County in the Kansas Legislature of 1873. He was born in Wayne County, Ind., Oct, 19, 1828. Went to Henderson County, Ill., in 1844, where he followed agriculture and stock-dealing until 1867, when he came to Topeka, Kan., and went into the sale of farm implements until 1871. Was married in 1849, to Miss Susan Morris, of Dearborn County, Ind. They have eight children - Monroe, Celestia J., Raymond B., Jerome, Charles E., Walter W., Jesse I., and Susan Maude.

[TOC] [part 6] [part 4] [Cutler's History]