ROSANA J. WHITENIGHT 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: Natural Features | Map and Population
PART 2: County Organization | Political Status of the County
PART 3: Louisville | Biographical Sketches (Barrett - Griffith)
PART 4: Biographical Sketches (Harrington - Wallace)
PART 5: St. Mary's
PART 6: Wamego | Westmoreland | Moodyville
PART 7: Havens | Onaga
PART 8: St. George | Olesburgh | Mariadahl | Other Towns and Villages
PART 9: Pottawatomie Township | Center Township | Blue Township | Vienna Township | Clear Creek Township | Shannon Township | Lone Tree Township | Green Township | Sherman Township


POTTAWATOMIE County, formerly embraced within the limits of Riley, was organized by the Territorial Legislature of 1857. Its northern and southern boundaries were the same as at present, while its western boundary was the guide meridian, about five miles east of Manhattan, and its eastern boundary about five miles east of its present one. It is now bounded on the north by Marshall and Nemaha counties, on the east by Jackson and Shawnee, on the south by the Kansas River, on the west by the Big Blue; having natural boundaries on the south and west. Its area is about 850 square miles, and its present territory is embraced within Ranges 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, and within Towns 6, 7,8, 9, and 10. Its northern boundary is on the line dividing Towns 5 and 6; its eastern, on the section line in Range 12, that is one mile west of the line dividing Ranges 11 and 12; its southern and western boundaries are very irregular. It lies in the second tier of counties from the Nebraska line, and between it and the Missouri River are the counties of Jackson, Jefferson, Atchison, Leavenworth and Wyandotte. It is the most accessible county west from the state capital. The county has quite a varied physical appearance, of bottom, bluff and upland; the bottom land is 25 per cent; upland, 75 per cent; forest, 5 per cent; prairie, 95 per cent. The average width of its creek bottoms is one mile; of the bottoms on the Big Blue and Kansas, three miles. The surface of the county is generally undulating, but along the Big Blue there are some majestic bluffs. In the southwest corner of the county there is a small, beautiful, fertile peninsula, situated between the Big Blue and Kansas Rivers, on the eastern part of which it is scarcely half a mile from river to river. On the west lies the beautiful city of Manhattan; on the south side of the Kansas some of the most beautiful scenery, made up of the fertile vales and picturesques (sic) bluffs of Riley County. Its timber belts are quite extensive, and their average width is a quarter of a mile, and the varieties are such as are common in the adjoining counties.

Geology. - There is a great variety of elements in its soil, which makes it a leading county in Kansas for the raising of grain and of stock, in which production it takes high rank. Of building stone, there are large quantities, and some of the varieties of its limestone are very beautiful in appearance. In the eastern portion of the county good coal has been found, though it is not known to exist in considerable quantities. The taxable and cultivated acres have largely increased in the last half decade, and the whole number of acres in the county is about 543,000. Good springs are numerous, and well water is readily obtained at an average depth of twenty-five feet.

Water Courses. - The Big Blue touches the county at its northwest corner, separating it from Riley county; starting in a southwesterly direction, its farthest west point is reached at about the line separating Towns 7 and 8, from thence the course is southeasterly to is mouth at Manhattan. Its northwestern tributaries are Spring Creek with eastern branches, and the Four Miles as a western branch; the Shannon, Carnahan, McIntire, Cedar and Elbow creeks. The Kansas River forms the southern boundary of the county, its principal tributary in the county being the Red Vermillion, which has its source in Nemaha County, enters Pottawatomie from the northeast, runs southwesterly, and empties into the Kansas in Bellevue Township. Its tributaries from the west are French and Mill creeks. Others are Coal, Indian, Adam, Rock Bush, Darnell, Cross Clear and Pleasant Run creeks. The county, with its water boundary south and west, and the numerous creeks running through every portion, is second to none in the State in its water supply.



                           1870  1880 
Belvue Township......      ....   734
Blue Township........       544   742
Blue Valley Township.      ....   681
Center Township......      ....   509
Clear Creek Township.      ....   657
Emmet Township.......      ....   522
Greene Township......      ....   504
Lincoln Township.....      ....   459
Lone Tree Township...      ....   576
Louisville Township, including    
   Louisville City        2,409 1,110
Mill Creek Township, including
 Havenville and Onago cities
                           .... 1,679
Pottawatomie Township     1,155 1,105

Rock Creek Township.....  ....  1,123
Saint Geroge Township...   435    762
Saint Mary Township, including
  Mary's City........... 1,205  1,418
Shannon Township........   812    921
Union Township..........  ....    634
Vienna Township......... 1,288    336
Wamego Township.........  ....  1,788

Total................... 7,848 16,250
Louisville City.........   344    432
Havenville City.........  ....    180

Onago City..............  ....    242
Saint Mary's City.......  ....    884

The Census Report to Pottawatomie county gives no information as to changes or creation of new townships. Such information appears in the historical sketch below.

Early Settlers. - William Martell, Antoine Tasier, Bazile Greenmore, Francis Bergen, Robert Wilson, A. Higben, Joseph Truckee, O. H. P. Polk, Baptise Ogee, Mrs. B. H. Bertrand, Mrs. Joseph Bertrand, Mrs. Amable Bertrand, now the wife of Dr. L. R. Palmer, Zoa Durcharm, now Mrs. Wilson, were the earliest settlers of what is now Pottawatomie County. They were here years before the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill. Robert Wilson took the first claim in 1853, on the land where now stands Louisville, and here he erected the first house in the county outside the Pottawatomie reserve. It was used as a hotel for many years. Judge Huggins and Dr. Sabin erected the first flouring mill that was run in the County, in 1856. The first white child born in the county was Frank X. Palmer, son of Dr. Luther R. And Mrs. Helen L. Palmer. Luke Lea, of Mississippi, was the first Indian Agent stationed at St. Mary's.

War Record. - In the early Kansas struggles, and during the late rebellion, the record of the county is such that satisfies her most patriotic sons and daughters. Her people, ever true to freedom and to a true nationality, furnished a full quota of volunteers, and their deeds of valor and heroism will be sacredly guarded and faithfully preserved in the annals of Pottawatomie County. The history of the people, whose homes are in this county, is a history that is in no sense tame, in any of its particulars. Having an aboriginal class within its borders, in the long ago; and hence a people of remarkable energy and force of character, standing related to them; having a population, coming from nearly all quarters of the globe, different nations with differing religions, have settled upon its soil to solve the problem of a homogeneity, where in no other land but that of New Kansas, could there be so successful a solution. The Indian, the African, the Caucasian; the Catholic, the Protestant, the Free Religionist, the Yankee, the Buckeye, the Sucker, the Hawkeye, the Southron, the Celt, the Frenchman, the Swede, the German, the Dane, the Britain, all these have homes on these expansive prairies, and here alike remembering their devotion to fatherland, consecrate their all to the perpetuity of American liberty.

Educational Progress - Samuel W. Greer, Territorial Superintendent of Public Instruction, January 4, 1860, submitted a report to the Legislature, in which Pottawatomie County is reported as having six organized school districts, five of which had employed teachers; $9 had been raised to build schoolhouses; $30 had been raised by private subscription for teachers' wages. There were 182 persons of school age.

J. S. Mitchell, County Superintendent, in his report for 1882, states: The children of school age are - males, 2,927; females, 2,765; total, 5,692. The number of school buildings, 98; of school rooms, 106. There are ninety-eight school districts. There are four joint districts with Nemaha, three with Jackson, and three with Riley. During the year 1882, the superintendent has made 120 school visitations; has organized two school districts, and since October 1, 1881, there has been an examination of 203 teachers. The estimated value of school property is $80,735. There was $8,505 of schoolhouse bonds issued during the year. The present bonded indebtedness is $17,455. The certificates granted were of first grade, seven; second, sixty-seven; third, fifty-seven. About 80 per cent of the school children were enrolled in the school during the year, while the average daily attendance is but 55 per cent of the enrollment. During the year, eight new school buildings were erected and finished, and five new ones are in progress. The tax levy for all school purposes is 9.2 mills.

Taxable Wealth of the County. - Pottawatomie County is year by year increasing its visible wealth. Hundreds of men went to it in the neighborhood of two decades ago, with scarcely any thing of this world's goods, who to-day can count their lands, their cattle, and their varied personal property, in the aggregate reaching tens of thousands of dollars. Comparisons of assessments made in the early part of three decades, show the marked increase of property through the years. In 1861 the assessment was $324,436. In 1871 it was $2,510,821, and in 1882 it was $3,854,712.05. The value of the lands was $2,112,552; of personal property, $977,826; the railroad assessment, $427,548.05; the town lots stand, $336,786.

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