[Cutler's History] KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

PERCY THOMAS, BONNIE BUNCE, and JOHN MATTHEWS
produced this selection.


William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.

REPUBLIC COUNTY.

PART 1: Location and Natural Features | Map and Population | Early Settlements
PART 2: First Events | Mormon Massacre | Indian Troubles | County Organization | Belleville
PART 3: Biographical Sketches (Arbuthnot - Duncan)
PART 4: Biographical Sketches (Fulcomer - Norris)
PART 5: Biographical Sketches (Osman - Wells)
PART 6: Scandia | Biographical Sketches - Scandia Township (Allen - Gile)
PART 7: Biographical Sketches - Scandia Township (King - Wohlfart)
PART 8: Republic City
PART 9: White Rock
PART 10: Seapo
PART 11: Freedom Township
PART 12: Fairview Township | Jefferson Township
PART 13: Lincoln Township | Elk Creek Township
PART 14: Richland Township | Farmington Township | Albion Township
PART 15: Rose Creek Township
PART 16: Liberty Township | Norway Township
PART 17: Cortland Township | Union Township | Washington Township

LOCATION AND NATURAL FEATURES.

REPUBLIC County is the fifth from the east State line in the northern tier of counties; is bounded on the north by the State of Nebraska; on the east by Washington; south by Cloud, and west by Jewell County. It is thirty miles in width from east to west, twenty-four wide, and contains an acreage of 460,800. It is an excellent county for agriculture or stock-raising. About ten per cent of the land is valley or bottom land, and ninety per cent upland. When first settled, about five per cent was forest, but the timber has been cleared away until scarcely three remains. The principal part of the bottom land is along the Republican River, from which stream the county receives its name. On the east side of the river the bluffs, from fifty to seventy-five feet in height, sharply define the division of bottom and upland, but on the west side the change is very gradual in most places, so that there is no waste land; indeed, there is but very little in the county. East of the river to Washington County, the land is a beautiful plateau, broken only in a few places by creeks and draws. The undulations are seldom precipitous, and the general slope is toward the south. The soil of the upland is a friable, dark mold, fertile and porous, so that it is well adapted to wet or dry seasons; that of the bottom land is exceedingly rich, containing a little more fine sand, together with the usual deposits of bottoms. The county is quite well watered, living streams abounding in nearly every township. The Republican is the main stream of the county. Entering at the northeast corner, it soon makes a sharp turn to the south, from its easterly course, and continues nearly south through the county. Like the Platte of Nebraska, it is a mountain-fed stream, and never falls below a certain point in the driest seasons. As a mill stream, it is not so valuable as many smaller ones, owing to its broad channel, with a bottom of shifting sand. White Rock Creek, the second stream in size, flows northeast into the Republican, in the north western part of the county. Dry, School, West Riley, Salt and Elk creeks are east of the Republican, and flow south into that stream. Rose and Mill creeks water the eastern and northeastern part of the county, the former flowing northeast into Nebraska. The timber from the banks of the Republican has nearly all been cut away. The smaller streams are still quite well timbered, White Rock Creek being the best. The soil of the uplands is fertile, very friable and well adapted to all kinds of crops and for pasturage. The valley of the Republican contains some of the most desirable land in all Kansas. It is from three to six miles wide in this and Cloud counties, but that of the upper Republican, in places, reaches a width of one hundred miles. In all parts of the county are quarries of excellent limestone. The stone is at first soft enough to be sawed with a hand-saw, but by exposure becomes very hard. In many places it occurs in layers of even thickness, five to eight inches, with a streak of red or iron-rust color through the center, which shows to good advantage when used for building purposes. There is also a fair quality of brick-clay in most parts of the county.

In the southern part of the county, adjoining the village of Seapo, is a salt marsh, in the form of an ellipse, about three miles long, from north to south, and two miles in width. It is known as Tuthill's marsh--so called from J. G. Tuthill, one of the early pioneers of the county, who took up his homestead on the east side of the marsh. The marsh, containing about four thousand acres, is surrounded by high, rolling prairie, except small gaps at the north and south extremities, and is covered with a heavy incrustation of excellent white salt. It is as dry as the rolling prairie, and is without any flowing streams. At the head of the marsh; which is its north limit, is a stream called the "Canal." It is one rod in width, three-quarters of a mile in length, and is formed by the union of Coal, East and Turkey creeks. The mouth of the canal spreads out into three branches, which flow into the marsh for a short distance and disappear altogether. The tributaries that form the canal are all fresh water, and flow constantly, even in the dryest(sic) seasons. The salt is not in small patches, but is spread over an area of about fifteen hundred acres to the depth of an inch or more. The farmers collect wagon-loads of it for stock and domestic purposes. The accepted theory is that a subterranean vein of salt water underlies the marsh, and that by evaporation salt is precipitated. Prof. Taylor, Massachusetts State Assayer, made an analysis of the salt, and found it of an excellent quality. It is a remarkable fact that on the east side of the marsh all the wells yield fresh water, while those on the west side yield salt water. This would tend to substantiate the theory and to locate the position of the underlying strata. Borings have been made--one to the depth of sixty feet, and another two hundred and sixty feet; the latter threw up a column of brine, three inches in thickness, five feet. There is another large salt marsh in the southwest corner of the county quite as remarkable, and about twice as extensive as the one above described. A fresh water stream flows through the marsh, the water of which is only slightly brackish. On each side of the stream the salt lies in profusion. The grass which grows in this region is especially a favorite with all kinds of stock. Their predilection for anything "flavored with salt" is well known.

The lack of wood for fuel in this county is more than equaled by the supply of coal. The coal fields are in the center of the southern tier of sections, around Minersville. The lands where the mining operations are carried on belong to Messrs. Henderson, Richardson and Williams. The coal measures are from eighteen to thirty inches thick, and are worked by shafts and slopes, but are not operated to their full capacity. The coal is of the latest carboniferous formation, a pure lignite and lusterless. It is tough, with stratified structure, and separates easily along the lines of cleavage. In many respects it is a desirable coal. It does not kindle readily, but burns well when ignited, with a white flame; makes a hot fire, producing no soot, leaves no clinkers, and consumes to pure ashes. One of its peculiarities is that it slacks like lime, and becomes almost useless when exposed to the weather. Nearly the entire southern third of the county abounds in profitable coal deposits.

Potters clay abounds in paying quantities in the southern portion of the county. The planting of trees has been very extensive in Republic County. A large number of farmers are supplied with fuel from trees that they have grown. The rapid-growing varieties are most abundant, but there are many varieties of hard wood planted. There are nearly six thousand acres planted in groves within the county.

MAP OF REPUBLIC COUNTY.

POPULATION BY FEDERAL CENSUS.

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        POPULATION BY FEDERAL CENSUS.

                                  1870.   1880.

(a) Albion Township.............  ....     508
(b) Beaver Township.............  ....     481
(c) Belleville Township, includ-
      ing Belleville City.......  ....     763
(d) Big Bend Township...........  ....   1,085
(e) Courtland Township..........  ....     661
(f) Elk Creek Township..........  ....     669
(g) Fairview Township...........           667
(h) Farmington Township.........   219     670
(i) Freedom Township............  ....     682
(j) Grant Township..............   232     730
(k) Jefferson Township..........   ...     580
(l) Liberty Township............  ....     713
(m) Lincoln Township............  ....     736
(n) Norway Township.............  ....     492
(o) Richland Township...........  ....     849
(p) Rose Creek Township.........  ....   1,385
(q) Scandia Township, including
     Scandia City...............  ....   1,139
(r) Union Township .............  ....     709
(s) Washington Township.........  ....     748
(t) White Rock Township.........  ....     651

          Total.................   511  14,913

Belleville City.................  ....     238
Scandia City ...................  ....     573
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(a) In 1870, from part of Farmington,
(b) In 1873, from part of Grant
(c) In 1871, from part of Republic.
(d) In 1872, from part of Republic.
(e) In 1872, from part of Republic.
(f) In 1872, from part of Grant.
(g) In 1871, from parts of Farmington and Republic.
(h) In 1870, parts to Albion and Rose Creek;
    in 1871, parts to Fairview and Richland;
    in 1872, part to Jefferson.
(i) In 1871, from part of Republic.
(j) In 1871, parts to Lincoln and Norway;
    in 1872, part to Elk Creek;
    in 1873, part to Beaver.
(k) In 1872, from parts of Farmington and Republic.
(l) In 1872, from part of Republic.
(m) In 1871, from part of Grant.
(n) In 1871, from part of Grant.
(o) In 1871, from parts of Farmington and Republic.
(p) In 1871, from parts of Farmington and Republic.
(q) In 1871, from part of Republic.
(r) In 1871, from part of Republic.
(s) In 1872, from part of Republic.
(t) In 1870, from part of Republic.
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EARLY SETTLEMENTS.

Hon. I. O. Savage has furnished many of the notes on the early settlements, and the matter in quotation is copied verbatim from his history.

For a long time the Republican was the boundary line between the white and Indian territory, consequently the early settlements of Republic County were the scene of a great many Indian outrages. Daniel and Conrad Myers, the oldest settlers in the county, located February 28, 1861. Daniel settled upon the east half of the northeast quarter and east half of the southeast quarter of Section 1, Township 4, Range 3 west, and Conrad on the west half of the northwest quarter and west half of the southwest quarter of Section 6, Township 4, Range 2 west, of the Sixth Principal Meridian, where he still lives. During the most trying period of the early settlement, Conrad never left his claim, but Daniel sought a more safe retreat, and returned after the imminent danger had passed. During the war the Indians were very savage, and made many raids upon the settlers. They all proved futile; the frontier did not recede, but steadily advanced, until the Republican River became the boundary line. At this time the nearest settlement was in Cloud County, at Lake Sibley, which, however, was soon deserted on account of the hostile Indians. The nearest post-office was Manhattan, eighty miles away.

"Daniel Myers built a dwelling-house in September, 1861, which was the first in the county.

"The next settlers were James E. Van Natta, David and John Cory, who arrived early in the spring of 1862, and are still living on the land first taken. At the close of 1862 the population numbered thirteen, which included those above mentioned and their families. During the war the growth of the county was very slow, scarcely averaging three families a year, the settlements west of the Sixth Principal Meridian being regarded as an experiment."

In 1863 Samuel Fisher arrived, staked his claims upon Sections 5 and 6, Township 2, Range 5 west, but returned East again, and did not settle here until the spring of 1866.

The next permanent settler to arrive after Mr. Van Natta and the Corys, was James G. Tuthill, who came in the spring of 1866, and settled in the east side of the great salt marsh, on the present site of the flourishing village of Seapo. J. C. Riley and family settled near the city of Belleville about the same time. D. N. Davis settled near Republic City, and Thomas Lovewell, in the same year, crossed the Republican and located on White Rock Creek, near the town of White Rock. They were the first to move the frontier across the river. But the valley of the White Rock had long been looked upon as the most desirable location in Republic or Jewell counties, and only the dread of Indians kept the settlers from them up to this time. Before safety was secured, scores of settlers lost their lives in the attempt to establish here a home. Fisher and Lovewell, only by hair-breadth escapes, were spared to see the valley of the counties. After the war, Mr. Lovewell was an Indian scout.

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