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


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


The beautiful town of St. Mary's is on the Kansas River, in the township of the same name. This township is in the extreme southeast of the county, and comprises an area of thirty-five square miles. The present site of St. Mary's marks the earliest point settled by white men in the county.

In 1848, the Jesuit fathers, chief among whom were Rev. Morris Sailland, Rev. J. B. Hoeken and Rev. Father Va Wright, established a mission at what is now the town of St. Mary's, for the purpose of educating the Indians, so as to bring them into a knowledge of Christianity. Outside this little band of devoted priests, James Graham was probably the first white man who settled in the county. His term of office as sheriff commenced in January, 1882. He came from St. Louis with these founders of the mission, June 17, 1848, landing from the steamer Excel, at what is now St. Mary's. Dr. Luther R. Palmer came in 1850, as a physican (sic) employed by the Government. In May, 1851, Benjamin H. Bertrand started from Michigan, under a contract from the Government, for this point with 660 Indian men, women and children. His brother Joseph came to Kansas in 1840, first locating at Sugar Creek, near Fort Scott. Washington Hewins and Alexander Coquillard came from South Bend, Indiana, with Mr. Bertrand. Mr. Bertrand acted as interpreter, having been an Indian traded and of a French race intermingled with Indian blood. The Bertrand brothers, who were Catholics, and the members of the priesthood, who served here as missionaries, worked the initial movement for the foundation of an institution, known as St. Mary's College. This school was started in 1848. Up to 1869, it was a Mission School for the Pottawatomies, and was then chartered. The main college building was burnt in February, 1879. After the fire, the Sacred Heart Convent, which then contained about thirty persons, was used for that purpose, and the females of the convent were transferred to an institution at St. Louis. This building cost about $75,000; the stone addition, built in 1881, cost about $20,000; and the link, built in 1882, about $2,000. The log buildings erected for the mission are still standing as reminders of the day of small things, which are never to be despised, especially when all that nature and art have contributed to make this place, with its general surroundings, one of the most attractive places for student life that can be found in the West. In 1882 there are about 250 pupils at the college, nearly every State, the Canadas, and Mexico being represented. The cost per year to pupils is $150. There are fifteen professors; there is a classical and a commercial course of study. There are five sisters for the parish church, who are instructors, and they have about 150 pupils. These receive a good English education. The college library embraces about 1,500 volumes of miscellaneous, historical, literary and scientific. The Philatethic Society - signifying truth-loving - is a very prosperous organization. Of the appurtenances of the college, there is a grist-mill, a bakery, a blacksmith shop, a carpenter's shop, an extensive orchard, a vineyard of five acres, a stone wall for several miles surrounding the college farm. In short-horns there are nearly 500 head of a most excellent class. The old church building, now used as a tool house, was the first one erected in Kansas. Father Gailland acted as teacher and pastor. He spoke the Indian and English languages, as well as the French, and made a dictionary and grammar in the Indian language. The Catholic Church, erected in 1865, was burned in 1880. It was a stone building, costing about $1,500. The neat and beautiful edifice now standing in the city, built of fine stone, cost about $25,000. It has seating room for about 1,000 people; its dimensions are 50x100 feet. There are about 150 families in the parish. There are over 2,000 acres in the college farm, and it is one of the very best in the State. The pastor of the church is Father Swearer.

St. Mary's was laid out as a town by B. H. Bertrand, August 8, 1866. Another addition was made by Mr. Bertrand, Dr. Luther R. Palmer and Dr. H. C. Linn, September 20, 1869. Another addition was made January 31, 1870, by Dr. Palmer, Adelaide Bertrand and John D. Lasley. June 27, 1870, an addition was also made. The town is located on the northwest quarter of Section 10, Town 10, Range 12. The bulk of the business done in the town is on Bertrand street, which is south of the railroad. This is an active growing town, and is doing a good amount of business.

Of the three organized churches of the town, the Swede Lutheran Church was established in 1874; the Methodist Episcopal, in 1876; the Congregational, in 1878. There is only regular preaching in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Mr. Morris is pastor.

There are three elevators, which do an immense business in shipping grain, and handle considerable coal and lumber. Trumbo & Co., and Moulde & Connor, and Thomas & Hathaway, are the operators.

The village contains two hotels, a banking house, five general stores, besides a hardware, shoe, cabinet and other shops.

Press History. - In October, 1870, the St. Mary's Star was commenced, John O'Flanagan, editor. A few months afterwards, the office passed into the hands of James W. Fox, who started the Pottawatomie Independent. This paper collapsed in a short time, and Mr. Fox sold the material to a joint stock company, who after publishing a paper for a few weeks, moved it away from St. Mary's. The St. Mary's Times was established by O. Le Roy Sedgwick, in the spring of 1875, as a Republican newspaper, and in July, 1877, H. G. Evans took control of its and changed the name to St. Mary's Democrat. It was independent in its politics. February 1, 1878, the paper passed into the hands of H. H. Tipton, who changed it to a Democratic paper. John O'Flanagan is the present editor and proprietor. In January, 1878, H. G. Evans started the Pottawatomie Chief, at St. Mary's, as an advocate of the doctrines of the National Greenback party. Shortly after Mr. J. A. McAnerny became a partner. This firm, in August, 1878, sold the paper to J. E. Clardy, who continued its publication here for a while, and later removed the material to Wamego.


G. F. ANDERSON, merchant, was born in Warren County, N. J., November 6, 1844. His parents removed to Calhoun County, Mich., when he was ten years of age. He was educated at Alboin College, Michigan. In 1870 he first visited Kansas as a traveling salesman for the wholesale house of M. D. Wells & Co., of Chicago, boots and shoes, and continued to travel for ten years through this State, moving his family to Topeka in 1877, where he lived four years. In 1881 he moved to St. Mary's and opened a store with a very large stock of hardware and agricultural implements, groceries and provisions. He does a very large business in all his lines. He is a Mason of the K. T. Degree. He was married December 3, 1874, at Byron Ogle County, Ill., to Miss Louise Olive Fletcher. They have four children - Frank F., born December 13, 1875; Eugene E., born August 1, 1878; Pierre p., born December 1, 1880, and George W., born August 26, 1882.

PATRICK BEHEN, farmer, P. O. St. Mary's was born in County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1833. He came to America in 1849, settling at New Orleans, where he lived two years. Thence to St. Louis, where he lived four years, engaged in his business of marble cutter. Then he moved to Clinton County, Ill., where he remained two years, engaged in farming. In 1853 he came to Kansas, settling at Leavenworth, and for a time was in the government service as a teamster. The same year he came to Pottawatomie County, settling at St. Mary's where he worked at his trade for four years. Then he bought a farm in St. Mary's Township, where he now lives engaged in farming and stock raising. He raised high-grade Short-horns, and has a small herd of thoroughbred stock, including some of the finest animals in Kansas. He was married in June, 1875, at St. Mary's to Miss Mary C. McCoy.

J. F. BUELL, postmaster, was born in Chenango County, N. Y., June 23, 1841. He was educated at Madison University, Hamilton, N. Y.; enlisted September 6, 1862, in Company F, One Hundred and Fourteenth New York Volunteer Infantry, and was made Second Lieutenant. The following June he was promoted to First Lieutenant, and was mustered out on account of physical disabilities, after serving fifteen months. He returned to New York, and in 1865 removed to Branch County, Mich., and engaged in farming and the live stock trade. He lived in Michigan six years, returned to New York, and staid (sic) a year, and in 1871 came to Kansas, settling at St. Mary's. He lived in the city, but devoted his energies to farming for three years. He was elected a Justice of the Peace, and held the office three years. He was appointed postmaster at St. Mary's, February 2, 1880. In addition to his official duties he is engaged in fire insurance and collections. He is a member of the Masonic order. Was married in May, 1871, at Sherburne, N. Y., to Miss Addie Allen. They have four children - Meta M., Floyd A., Albert E., and Chester Arthur.

WILLIAM M. CARNEY, farmer, P. O. St. Mary's, was born in Columbus, Ohio, September 11, 1841; learned the business of a harnessmaker in his native city, and in September 1861 enlisted in Company G of the Sixth Ohio Cavalry, and was made Company saddler. Served until October, 1864, and was discharged by reason of expiration of term of service. Returning to Ohio he worked at his trade in various towns until 1873, when he came to Kansas, settling on a farm in St. Mary's Township. He is engaged in the business of stock raising principally, and like all other Kansas farmers is doing well. He belongs to the Masonic order. Was married July 28, 1866, at Dayton, Ohio, to Miss Clara B. Graham. They have one son, Harry, aged fifteen years, and a daughter, Lillie, aged eleven years.

JOHN CHELANDER, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. St. Mary's, was born in Sweden, September 17, 1844; educated in the public schools of that kingdom. In 1868 he came to America, and settled at St. Joseph, Mo., where he worked seven years in a furniture factory. In 1875 he settled on a farm in St. Mary's Township, where he now resides, engaged in stock-raising. He was married in St. Joseph, Mo., June 24, 1871, to Miss Bregitta Olson. Have no children. Is a member of the I. O. O. F. And the A. O. U. W.

FRANCIS W. GALLAGHER, M. D., was born in Clarendon, Orleans Co., N. Y., November 2, 1852. He was educated at the Buffalo High School, studied medicine, and graduated from the Medical Department of the University of Buffalo with the class of 1877, receiving honorable mention for his graduation thesis, and taking the only premiums offered in "Anatomy and Diseases of Women." He practiced on year in Buffalo, two years in Lockport, N. Y., where for one year he was Secretary of the Niagara County Medical Society, and in June, 1880, came to Kansas, locating at St. Mary's where he has since had a very active practice. He was married December 30, 1877, at Lockport, N. Y., to Miss Mary E. McCollum. They have three children - Peter Edmund, born November 16, 1878; Francis, born March 17, 1880, and Monica, born October 4, 1881. When Dr. Gallagher came to Kansas he brought letters from his former professors in medicine, from which we select the following one:-"216 Franklin St., Buffalo, N. Y., June 28, 1880.-I am happy to state that when Francis W. Gallagher graduated in medicine, he was regarded by the Faculty as the best student in the class, and that his subsequent career and position in his profession have justified this opinion.-Thos. F. Rochester, M. D., Professor of Principles and Practice of Medicine, Medial Department, University of Buffalo."

GEORGE MILLER, M. D., was born in Williamsport, Pa., August 26, 1854. He received his literary education at St. Joseph's Institute, Baltimore; studied medicine in his native city, and in the medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with the lass of 1877. He was resident physician of St. Mary's Hospital, Philadelphia, until the fall of 1878, when he moved to Kansas, locating at St. Mary's and has been in active practice since. He is the visiting physician of St. Mary's College, Kansas. He was married April 21, 1881, at St. Mary's to Miss Minnie A. Caplice. They have one child - Frederic, born March 18, 1882.

PETER O'CONNOR, grain dealer, was born in Somerset County, Pa., April 15, 1847. He enlisted February 1864 in Company F of the Twenty-first Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, and served until the end of the war. He returned to Pennsylvania, and was engaged in the live stock trade. In the spring of 1872 he came to Kansas, settling near St. Mary's on a farm. He became and active live stock merchant, and in 1880 left his farm, and moved into the city, and has been extensively engaged in the grain and live stock trade since. He is the owner of an extensive elevator. He was married December 1875 in Wabaunsee County, Kans., to Miss Jessie Hughes. They have one child, Amanda, five years of age.

ELLIOTT G. OLSON, merchant, was born in Stockholm, Sweden, March 4, 1857. His parents came to America with him when he was eight years of age. They lived a year in New York, and then moved to Chicago, where they lived until the great fire; he then came to Kansas, locating at St. Mary's. In 1880 he started in business as a grocer on his own account, which he continued until January 20, 1881, when he added drugs, and took in Mr. Ullerick as a partner. They are leaders in trade. He is a notary public, City Clerk, and does a large business as a Fire and Life Insurance agent. He is a Mason. Was married November 25, 1880, at St. Mary's, to Miss Clara Nelson. They have one child - Allie, born March 6, 1882.

L. R. PALMER, M. D., was born in Chatham, Columbia Co., N. Y., January 9, 1819; was educated in Columbia Boarding School, a Quaker institution. Studied medicine, graduating from Bershire Medical College, Pittsfiield, Mass. Practiced Medicine in New York for four years, and then moved to Berrien County, Mich., where he practiced until 1850, when he was appointed physician to the Pottawatomie tribe of Indians, and came to the Agency near St. Mary's, where he has since resided. Was Government doctor until 1857, and from 1861 till 1864; and Indian agent of the same tribe from 1864 to 1870. He was a member of the Wyandotte Constitutional Conventon that framed the State Constitution. In the same year he was elected a member of the Territorial Council, which he held two years, until the State was admitted into the Union. In 1872 he was elected to the State Senate, and served in the sessions of 1873 and 1874. Was County commissioner from 1857 to 1860, and the prime mover in the organization of Pottawatomie County. In October, 1882, he was appointed Postmaster of St. Mary's, and is now serving the people in that capacity.

A. B. POOL, merchant, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., December 13, 1842, and lived in Greensburg until he was sixteen years of age, when he went to Rushville, Ill. He was a farmer until August 16, 1861, when he enlisted in Company B. of the Seventh Missouri Cavalry. In August, 1862, he was taken prisoner by the notorious Quantrell, parolled and discharged before being exchanged. In the spring of 1863 he went to Johnson County, Iowa, where he lived until the spring of 1864, when he went to Virginia City, Montana Territory. In the fall he went to Kootney Mines, British American, but soon after journeyed on to Walla Walla, Washington Territory. The next spring he went to Fort Colville, and thence up the Columbia River in British America prospecting. His health failing he returned to Fort Colville, and for two years was engaged in farming at that point. In 1868 he went to Gold Creek, Mont., spent the summer, and in the fall returned to his home in Pennsylvania. In 1869 he came to Kansas, settling at Topeka, where he lived seven years, the last five years being employed by the King Bridge Company as foreman of work. He built bridges in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Kansas. In the spring of 1876 he returned to Schuyler County, Ill., and was married April 12, 1876, to Miss Matilda C. Harshey. They made a tour to Pennsylvania, and in the summer returned to Topeka, where they lived until the following year, when they moved to St. Mary's, Kan. He formed a partnership with George Mohler, and began business as a merchant in general merchandise, May 25, 1881. Mr. Pool bought his partner's interest, and has since conducted business on his own account. The stock now includes dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes. He is a Mason. He has two children - Ezelia, born February 7, 1878, and Clarke, born November 28, 1880.

JAMES M. ROYSE, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. St. Mary's, was born in Wayne County, Ind., January 16, 1838. Was raised a farmer, and received a common school education. He enlisted June, 1861, in the Eighteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry and served until the close of the war. Returning to his native county he engaged in the grocery trade for a short time, and then returned to the farm. In 1871 he came to Kansas, settling in St. Mary's Township, Pottawatomie Co. He is a good citizen, respected for his honesty, and is a leading farmer of his part of the county. Belongs to the I. O. O. F. and G. A. R. Was married at Richmond, Ind., March 14, 1869, to Miss Rachel Goodspeed. They have three children - John, Mary, and Richard T.

BERNARD J. SHELDON, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. St. Mary's, was born in Elkhart County, Ind., June 18, 1843. Served three year in Company K of the First Indiana Volunteer Cavalry, and was discharged in July, 1865. He was a printer before the war, and worked at business for several years after leaving the service. In 1876 he came to Kansas, settling first in Russell County, but believing he was too far west for profitable farming, he returned to St. Mary's, and bought a farm. He raises grade cattle for market, also swine. He was married at Bristol, Ind., June 20, 1872, to Miss Nannie Thompson. They had one child - Josie, born November 11, 1874. Mrs. Sheldon died in 1881.

C. A. ULLERICK, merchant, was born in Green County, Wis., September 19, 1856. He was educated at Richmond College, Richmond, Mo. He settled at Lexington Junction, Mo., after leaving college, and for four years was engaged in railroading. Then was a clerk in a store of general merchandise, and afterwards learned pharmacy. In 1875 he came to St. Mary's Kan., where he was employed in dry goods trade by Mohler & Pool. In 1880 he began business in partnership with Elliott G. Olson, opening an extensive stock of groceries and drugs. They do a splendid business, and deserve the patronage so liberally bestowed upon them.

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