ALICE BEAUCHENE 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 | General History | Statistics | Larned
PART 2: Biographical Sketches (Adams - Jordaan)
PART 3: Biographical Sketches (Keeney - Whitney)
PART 4: Other Towns


PAWNEE County was a part of the original hunting grounds of the once powerful tribe of Pawnee Indians, and after them it was named. There are two counties between it and the Indian Territory; four between it and Nebraska; five between it and Colorado; nine between it and Missouri. Its present area is 756 square miles, in Ranges 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20. As first constituted in 1868 it contained 540 square miles, being eighteen miles from north to south; thirty miles from east to west.

The Arkansas River running through from the southwestern to the northeastern portion of the county, has on it and on its main tributary, Pawnee Fork, which passes through the central portion of the county and empties into the Arkansas at Larned, a body of bottom land, which makes about 25 per cent of the county. There is also a small tributary of the Arkansas in the northeastern part of the county, and there is Big Coon Creek coming in from the southwest, from Edwards County, emptying into the Arkansas at Garfield. Four miles is the average width of the bottoms; the general surface of the 75 per cent of upland is gently undulating. About 1 per cent of the county is forest, by government survey.

Sandstone of excellent quality abounds in the county; it is specially abundant on Pawnee Fork. Magnesium limestone is found in the northwest part of the county. In Pawnee Township, gypsum is reported; in Larned Township, fire and pottery clay and ochre are found; in Pleasant Valley Township, fire clay and ochre. There are some indications of coal in the high lands between the Pawnee and Arkansas. The county is well supplied with springs, and well water is obtained at an average depth of 15 feet. The leading varieties of timber are ash, box-elder and elm.



(Organized in 1872)
(a) Brown's Grove Township. . . . . . . . . . .   570
(b) Garfield Township . . . . . . . . . . . . .   446
(c) Grant Township. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   228
(d) Larned Township, including Larned City. . . 1,842
(e) Pawnee Township . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   572
(f) Pleasant Ridge Township . . . . . . . . . .   326
(g) Pleasant Valley Township. . . . . . . . . .   913
(h) Walnut Township . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   499
                    Total . . . . . . . . . . . 5,396
Larned City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1,06 (sic)


(a) In 1877, from part of Pawnee, and embraces territory formerly in Rush County; in 1880, part to Grant. (b) In 1873, from original territory; in 1878, part to Pleasant Ridge. (c) In 1880, from part of Brown's Grove. (d) In 1873, from original territory; in 1876, part to Pleasant Valley; in 1877, part to Walnut. (e) In 1873, from part of Rush County; in 1877, parts to Brown's Grove and Walnut. (f) In 1878, from part of Garfield. (g) In 1876, from part of Larned. (h) In 1877, from parts of Larned and Pawnee.


In 1872, George B. Cox settled in Larned Township; a colony from Geneva, Ohio, settled in Garfield Township in May, 1873; Adams Peabody in Pleasant Valley Township in 1873; Gallatin Brown in Brown's Grove Township in 1875. Colegrove & Russell established a general store at Larned in June, 1872: E. W. Grover, at Garfield, in 1873. He was postmaster at Garfield. June 14, 1873; George B. Cox, at Larned in 1872; in 1862 a postoffice was established at the military post at Fort Larned. D. A. Bright and Emma Post were married at Larned, September 15, 1873; a daughter was born at Larned February 22, 1873, to Mrs. R. J. Garrison; to Mr. and Mrs. William Cary, at Garfield, in August, 1873. It is said that there are only six persons in Pawnee County where were living there in 1872, to wit: Henry Booth, A. H. Boyd, F. S. Burleson, F. C. Hawkins, T. McCarthy and George Nolan. Messrs. Booth, Boyd and McCarthy were there in 1871; Boyd and Booth in 1869; Mr. Booth in 1864.

A greater number of counties were organized in Kansas in the year 1872, than there had been in any year since 1855. Reno County was organized January 1, 1872; Smith, February 1; Harvey, April 10; Barton, May 16; Russell and Phillips in July; Norton, August 22; Pawnee, November 4; Rooks, November 26; Pawnee being the eighth one of the year, and as then existing, the sixty-fifth in order, in the State. Its special County Commissioners were A. H. Boyd, (Chairman,) George B. Cox and W. A. Russell and D. A. Bright, Special County Clerk. These officers were in power by virtue of a proclamation, issued by Governor James M. Harvey, fixing the date of county organizations, November 4, and Larned as temporary county seat. At this meeting Larned Township was formed, with voting place at Boyd's & Cox's hotel; Pawnee Township voting place, at Booth's sutler store.

June 4, 1973, three municipal townships were established. Pawnee in the northwest; Larned in the southeast; Garfield in the southwest. At the election November 4, 1873, in Larned 38 votes were polled; 26 in Pawnee; 16 in Garfield Township. August 1, 1876, Plum Township was formed; afterwards it was changed to the name of Pleasant Valley. August 7, 1877, Walnut Township was organized. August 27, Brown's Grove Township; in 1878, Pleasant Ridge Township was formed; in 1880, Grant Township; in 1881, Ash Valley and Conkling townships. Pleasant Valley in the southeast, contains something more than four Congressional townships. Brown's Grove in the northwest has four; Grant lying east of it has two; Pawnee east of the south part of Grant has two; Larned and Pleasant Ridge on the east and south, are of Pawnee, are more or less irregular in their shape; Garfield on the south, contains a little more than two Congressional townships; Walnut is Township 20, Range 16; Ash Valley is Township 20, Range 17; Conkling is Township 20, Range 17.


The first general election occurred November 5, 1872; the canvass of the vote showed that A. H. Boyd, George B. Cox and W. S. Patton were elected County Commissioners; George Nolan, County Clerk and Clerk of the District Court; D. A. Bright, Register of Deeds, County Attorney, and Probate Judge; F. C. Hawkins, Sheriff; W. A. Russell, County Treasurer; Henry Booth, County Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The County has never had a court house. Its yearly rentals for offices amount to about $475. May 10, 1873, the County Commissioners contracted with Cox and Boyd at $350 a year for county offices at their hotel.

The record of the votes cast by Pawnee County, at the Presidential elections during the last ten years is as follows: 1872, Grant 22, Greeley, 27; 1876, Hayes, 369, Tilden, 49, Cooper, 9; 1880, Garfield, 697, Hancock, 235, Weaver, 17. The following has been the Gubernatorial vote: 1872, Osborne, Republican, 20, Walker, Liberal, 17; 1874, Osborne, Republican, 110, Cusey, Liberal, 64; 1876, Anthony, Republican, 355, Martin, Democrat, 129, Hudson, National 9, Paulsen, Temperance, 1; 1878, St. John, Republican, 647, Goodin, Democrat, 196, Mitchell, National, 30; 1880, St. John, Republican, 689, Ross, Democrat, 243, Vrooman, National, 14; 1882, St. John, Republican, 427, Glick, Democrat, 308, Robinson, National, 3.

The vote on the Prohibition Amendment in 1890, was 604, for; 218, against. On the proposition for a Constitutional Convention, the vote was 406, for; 349, against; the only county in the State giving a majority for it.

Legislative Representation. - The county has been represented in the Senate by M. M. Murdock, of Sedgwick; Henry C. St. Clair, of Sumner; Thomas T. Taylor, of Reno; J. C. Strang, of Pawnee; and Simon Motz, of Ellis. Its Representatives have been Henry Booth, J. M. Miller, William White, Nelson Adams, David H. Waite, John Bennyworth and William Rhea.

Pawnee County is the One Hundred and Sixteenth Representative District by the Apportionment Act of 1881, and a part of the Thirty-fifth Senatorial District. Its Judge of the District Court was Samuel R. Peters when it was a part of the Ninth Judicial District; since it has been in the Sixteenth Judicial District, J. C. Strang is its Judge.

Its list of county officers has been as follows:

County Commissioners. - A. H. Boyd, George B. Cox, W. A. Russell, T. J. Clark, H. P. Walcott, Timothy McCarty, Paul T. Caslett, W. S. Pattou, Henry Salmons, William Haylock, R. C. Waterman, George E. Hubbard, E. B. Stilson, Jacob G. Heaton, W. H. Brinkman, G. A. Fell.

County Clerks. - D. A. Bright, George Nolan, Timothy McCarthy, Elijah A. Hanon, James F. Whitney.

County Treasurers. - W. A. Russell, J. M. Miller, A. O. Bruner, J. N. Jenkins, W. H. Brown.

Registers of Deeds. - D. A. Bright, George Nolan, James F. Whitney, W. C. Edwards.

Sheriffs. - F. C. Hawkins, Archibald Bracken, D. B. Christy, J. B. Bratten, Burton L. Keeney.

County Surveyors. - J. P. Worrall, J. C. McElroy, S. S. Dickinson, Gilbert Bedell, W. K. Truesdell.

Probate Judges. - D. A. Bright, Wester R. Davis, Jr., T. H. Edwards, C. C. McCombs, Charles Sturdevant.

County Attorneys. - D. A. Bright. J. M. Van Winkle, N. B. Freeland, J. C. Strang, J. W. Sroufe.

Superintendents of Public Instruction. - Henry Booth, Miss Emma Johnston, Leonard Manning, M. D. Bailey, Mrs. Emma Bedell.

Its Coroners have been J. C. Tousley, Gallatin Brown, W. H. Brown, W. H. Hardison, R. A. Trimble, J. M. Cummins.

Henry Booth was Chief Clerk of the Kansas House of Representatives in 1875 and in 1876. Gilbert Bedell was Assistant Postmaster of the House, at the session of 1881; he was Postmaster at the session of 1883.

J. C. Strang resigned his position as State Senator to become Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District.


The assessment of property in the county for 1873, was $992,543; for 1882, it was $1,092,869.23. The railroad assessment for 1880, was $215,775.94; in 1882, it was $238,645.23. Of its taxable lands, 35,101 acres are under cultivation; it has 461 improved town lots; 259,976 acres of its unimproved land are taxable.

In 1882, by the returns of the Township Assessor, the population of the county was 4,323.

In 1874, the first farm was cultivated in the county. There was that year in crops 5 acres of Hungarian, 10 acres of millet, 33 of spring wheat, 45 of oats, 59 of Irish potatoes, 83 of old land corn, 1,217 acres on sod.

Of swine, there was 26; sheep, 110; mules, 29; horses, 138; cattle, 320; in orchards, 61 acres; 3,050 pounds of butter. In 1875, there were 1,561 sheep; 7,095 pounds of butter; 2,660 acres in corn; 748, in winter wheat; 556, in oats; 94 in rye. In 1876 there were 3,415 sheep; 3,131 acres in winter wheat; 289 acres, in barley; 39 acres in sorghum; 16 acres, in broom corn. In 1877, there were 5,208 sheep; 8,968 acres in winter wheat; 5,768 acres in corn; 1,501, in Hungarian and millet; 534 horses. In 1878, there were 6,393 sheep; 1,312 swine; 855 milch cows; 17,719 pounds of butter; 930 horses; 19,207 acres in winter wheat; 9,157, in corn; 2,194, in oats, 929 in broom corn. In 1879, there were 1,682 horses; 1,227 milch cows; 2,188 swine; 72,935 pounds of butter; 450 pounds of cheese; 32,094 acres in winter wheat; 14,084, in corn; 7,546 in oats. In 1880, there were 7,233 sheep; 1,391 milch cows; 82,227 pounds of butter; 35,566 acres in winter wheat; 2,262 in broom corn; 7,072 in rice corn; 7,882 in Hungarian and millet. In 1881, there were 15,462 sheep; 1,551 milch cows; 2,788 pounds of cheese; 130,203 pounds of butter; 433 mules. In 1882, there were 28,482 sheep; 6,980 pounds of cheese; 1,919 milch cows; other cattle, 3,819; 10,726 acres in broom corn; 5,195 acres in sorghum, 1,643 acres in rye.

The wool clip from Pawnee County for the year 1881, of 75,940 pounds, and its increase of 13,020 sheep - nearly 100 per cent - from 1881 to 1882, is an earnest of the great development of this interest in the county in the future. The high dry land away from the valleys is especially adapted to this branch of business, and the climate is almost unexcelled. Among the large sheep owners of 1882 were the following: G. H. Wadsworth, 3,300; J. Huddlestone, 3,100; G. Wright, 1,400; Joshua Smith, 1,100; William Crosby, 600; Carter & Lewis, 400; H. A. Smith, 300; E. Rogers, 164; D. T. Sabin, 108.

In 1872 there were 3 organized school districts; in 1875, there were 11, with a valuation of school property of $650; in 1876, there were 15 school districts and 9 school buildings, which with grounds, furniture and apparatus were valued at $10,120; in 1877, there were 22 districts, valuation of school property was $22,336; in 1878, there were 38 districts, valuation of school property $32,108; in 1879, there were 50 school districts; in 1880, 53 school districts, valuation of school property $39,867; in 1882, there were 54 organized school districts. The school building at Larned is a neat brick structure, situated at the north part of the town on quite a commanding eminence. Six teachers are employed; Jonas M. Ross is the principal. The present County Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mrs. Bedell, was Superintendent six years previously as Miss Emma Johnston.


The southeast quarter of Section 32, Township 21, Range 16, was laid out as a town site, December 15, 1873. It was proved up as such before D. A. Bright, the Probate Judge. The west half of the west half of Section 33, Township 21, Range 16, became a part of the town. Jerry Toles and John W. Adams and Mary his wife, were the grantors.

Adams' Addition of about fifty acres, was made January 30, 1875. Adams, Strang, Krusen & Smith's Addition, which included what remained outside of the town in the northeast quarter of Section 32, Township 21, Range 16, was platted and recorded January 24, 1876. Adam's Second Addition, a tract 800 feet square was platted and recorded June 19, 1876. Adams' Park Addition, a small tract east of the former additions, was made a matter of record, June 10, 1878.

The city officers for 1882, were William Rhea, Mayor; Isaac Booth, William Crosby, Henry Reed, H. W. Schroder, Charles Van Horn, Councilmen; L. H. Corse, Police Judge; M. D. Bennyworth, Marshal; J. W. Morris, City Attorney; James Doughty, City Clerk; J. E. Wood, City Treasurer; H. S. Roff, City Weigher.

The hotels are the Windsor, Larned, Farmers' and Central; there are four grain dealers, five dry-goods houses, four grocery houses, three druggists, two hardware stores, three jewelry establishments, two boot and shoe dealers, two blacksmiths, two wagon makers, two meat markets, two lumber dealers, three livery stables, two harness and saddle makers and dealers, six confectioners and bakers, two banking houses, two barbers, three coal dealers, five physicians, four attorneys, two tailors, two millinery establishments, three real estate and insurance agents, one painter. Marymee & Co. run the Larned Broom Factory; Cement Baker furnishes concrete chimneys. The Larned Pottery Company manufacture large quantities of jugs, crocks, jars, tile, etc. E. G. Seeley deals in books, stationary and fancy goods, at the postoffice news stand, and keeps daily papers and periodicals. Tim McCarthy is the postmaster.


Churches. - There are several church organizations at Larned, and some of them have commodious houses of worship. Bishop G. P. Herzay is pastor of the First Missionary Baptist (colored). Pawnee County had a population of thirty-two colored, by the census of 1880. Rev. J. V. Allison in pastor of the Baptist Church at Larned, which holds services at the Centennial schoolhouse. There are five organizations of this church in Pawnee County, and a membership of about 200. Rev. J. M. Rich is pastor of the Methodist Church at Larned. There are fifteen church organizations in the county, with a membership of about 300. There are two Presbyterian organizations in the county; and a membership exceeding 200. The Larned Church has a neat edifice on Main Street and Rev. A. E. Thompson is pastor. The Church of Christ holds meetings in Foles' Hall. There are three organizations in the county, and a membership of 300. Rev. J. Ferdinand Wolf, O. S. B., is pastor of the Roman Catholic Church at Larned. There are two organizations in the county, with a membership of 200. Of Lutherans there are about 25 in the county. Adams Peabody, the State Missionary of the Swedenborgians has a home across the Arkansas, southwest of Larned. He preaches here semi- occasionally, and labors at Dodge, Osage City, Parsons, Morris County, and elsewhere.

Societies. - Larned Lodge No. 167, A., F. & A. M., has a large membership. Henry Booth, W. M.; W. A. Garver, Sec. Excelsior Chapter No. 40, Royal Arch Masons, has a good membership. W. O. Oldham, H. P., George Al. Sells, Sec. Apollo Commandery, No. 16, K. T., meets in regular conclave at Masonic Hall, first and third Fridays of each month. N. J. Krusen, E. C.; W. C. Edwards, Rec. Larned Lodge, No. 129, I. O. O. F., meets every Thursday evening, at Odd Fellows' Hall. Frank Spencer, N. G.; H. Kling, V. G.; S. K. Van Voorhees, Sec.; Daniel Funk, per. Sec. The Equitable Aid Union meets every Saturday evening, at Odd Fellows' Hall. Rev. John Thomas, Chancellor; Mrs. L. C. Thomas, Advocate; T. M. Johnson, Pres.; A. J. Burdick, Sec.; W. R. Carr, Acct. The Grand Army of the Republic has a Post here.

Newspaper History. - Larned has been much of a newspaper town, having had about half a dozen different papers. The Larned Press was established by W. C. Thompkins, in 1873. It was a newsy paper, devoted to the upbuilding of the great interests of the Arkansas Valley, and aggressively Republican in its politics. The Press was merged into the Enterprise which was established April 1, 1878. Henry Inman, one of the most graceful journalists of the State was its editor. It is now (1883), the Chronoscope, R. H. Ballinger, editor and proprietor.

The Larned Republican was started in 1876, its existence was for about one year.

The Pawnee County Herald - A bulletin of news, a disseminator of useful knowledge, an advocate of industry," was started January 6, 1877; S. W. Davis, editor and proprietor. It was discontinued in November, 1878 and its material was used in the publication of the Optic.

The Larned Optic was started November 27, 1878, by H. H. Doyle. Its motto was: "Independent in all things; neutral in nothing." It is now (1883), Republican in politics, T. E. Leftwich, editor and proprietor.

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