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


[TOC] [part 7] [part 5] [Cutler's History]


The most prosperous and business-like town in Republic County is situated on the east bank of the Republican River, at a point where the river valley on that side terminates. About four miles north of the town bold, strong and well-rounded bluffs loom up and press closely to the river as far as Scandia, where they make a right angle to the east; then further on a curve to the south, sharply outlining the bottom and uplands. Viewed from the south, the town is within a curve of bluffs which yield fine natural protection from the cold, winter winds of the north. It faces west for business purposes, and south for natural advantages. From the north and east, the approaches close to town are sharp and steep, while on the south and west the broad and fertile valley of the Republican stretches out in a wide plain, varying from two to three or more miles in width; both sides of the river, being crossed by a strong trestle bridge at the foot of the principal street. The town site is, perhaps, the most interesting, historically, of any place in the county, for seventy-five years ago it was the seat of the Pawnee Republican village, and, was covered by hundreds of lodges. Here the great chief and the medicine men of the tribe lived and drew the warriors and braves together at the war-dance and around the council-fires. Here, on the spot teeming with business marts, schools, churches and happy homes, many an unfortunate white man has paid with his life the penalty of a too venturesome curiosity and ambition to penetrate the dominion of the savage. In 1868, the Scandinavian Agricultural Society of Chicago selected this point on which to locate a colony. A small immigration (about fifteen Swedes) followed that year, and was largely augmented in 1869, 1870 and 1871, and by scattering arrivals ever since from Chicago and direct from the Scandinavian Peninsula, until they now number about 1,000 of the population of the county and one-fourth of the town. In 1869 the Chicago support of the colony sent out a saw-mill, which was of great value to the early settlers, there being at that time considerable timber on the Republican. In 1871 it was converted into a grist-mill, which brought business to the town from miles around, and also held the home trade. In the spring of this year the ferry was also put into operation by citizens of Scandia, by which the town was able to take advantage of the heavy travel passing along from Iowa to Kansas. In 1873 Messrs. Ericsson & Forest purchased the old mill, and a steam mill was erected at a cost of $25,000. During this year, also, the ferry was sunk during a great storm. In 1877 the people of Scandia built the dam and improved the water-power here, and the mill was removed and much enlarged and improved.

For some years previous to the coming of the railroad to Scandia, in December, 1878, the growth of the town was very slow. A committee, consisting of L. C. Hanson, C. W. Gulick, A. D. Wilson and L. H. Tibbetts, was chosen by the citizens, and to them is mostly due the credit of obtaining for this region railroad communication. At the time that they were canvassing the county in favor of the extension of the Central Branch, the Junction City & Fort Kearney Road had made a proposition which involved the voting of $130,000 bonds. The coming of the Central Branch road placed Scandia in the list of the flourishing and growing cities of Northern Kansas.

The town site of Scandia was chosen and laid out in the fall of 1868, and the old stone Colony house erected. On March 28, 1879, Scandia was incorporated as a city of the third class, and has been prosperous ever since under the new organization.

The first officers were: A. D. Wilson, mayor; C. W. Gulick, D. F. Longnecker, T. A. Nelson, L. C. Hanson and A. B. Wilder, councilmen; A. D. Marble, clerk; Isaac McClure, treasurer; R. L. Whitney, police judge, and M. J. Sigsby, marshal.

Officers for 1882: R. W. Swan, mayor; J. H. Cullers, W. A. Smith, T. F. Hunter, Ed. Christian and J. V. Loofborrow, councilmen; Henry Stinson, clerk; D. Weyand, treasurer, and J. W. Gunter, police judge.


Quite as much interest is taken in education as though the population was exclusively American. The public school is in a flourishing condition, the building being a credit and ornament to the town. It is a fine cut stone building 40x60 and 28 feet, two stories each 14 feet, occupying an eligible position on the bluffs in the eastern portion of the town. It was built in 1880 of that excellent quality of limestone, so abundant in the county, and cost about $8,000. Prof. McAfee, the present, and for three years past the principal, has been a teacher for over twenty years and has ably managed the Scandia school. The school has quite a patronage from a distance, pupils attending for the benefit of the normal or high school course.

The Lutheran Church was organized in 1873, and in 1876 erected a $1,500 stone edifice which is commodious, and presents a neat and appropriate appearance. Rev. N. Oslund is the present pastor. The present membership is about 130.

The Methodist denomination has a fine, large stone church building erected in 1879. The church is in a flourishing condition and has about thirty members.

The Presbyterian denomination has a neat frame edifice, occupying one of the most desirable situations within the city limits. The membership is not large and they are without a pastor.

The Free Will Baptists organized a society and built a church in 1879. The church has now a membership of about twenty. The Baptists have also an organization but no building,

Orion Lodge No. 50, Knights of Pythias was instituted March 13, 1882, by Max J. Alwens, Grand Master at Arms of Kansas. There are forty-five members. Officers, E. M. Purdy, C. C,; C. H. Buck, V. C.; C. S. Morey, M. E.: J. S. Thompson, M. of F.; F. Newton, K. of R. and S.; H. Speldia, M. A.; J. Hamberger, Prelate; J. Wind, I. G.; F. Fliner, O. G.

Scandia Lodge No. 156, I, O. O. F. was instituted March 20, 1880. They have about twenty-five members, and are in good working order. Officers, M. Curren, N. G.; W. A. Smith. V. G.; C. P. Carstensen, R. S.; D. F. Longnecker, F. S.; W. F. Allen, Treasurer; A. B. Wilder, D. D. G. M.

Lebanon Lodge of Masons is working under a dispensation, granted in August, 1882. Membership twenty-five.


The Belleville Republic was established by A. R. Wilder, February 7, 1872, as a seven column folio, all home print. May 6, 1874, it was sold to Frank Kirk, and the office removed to Jewell Centre, Re-established under the same name at Belleville August, 1875; it was moved to Scandia one year later. The name was then changed to Republic Journal. In August, 1878, the Journal was re-purchased by Mr. Wilder, and sold to S. W. More in November, 1879. In June, 1881, C F. Woodward purchased the establishment, and in April, 1882, Mr. Wilder, present editor and proprietor, again came into possession, The Journal is still a home-print, and is a good local and county paper.

A. B. Whiting opened the first general store in Scandia in June, 1870,--rather it was operated under the firm name Baker & Co. In November of that year Wilson Bros. established themselves in the same line, and continued until May, 1871. Then came A. B. Miller and Augustus Wells.

Scandia is now the best business point on the Central Branch, north of Concordia. It is one of the best hog markets in Northwestern Kansas. In 1881 over 350 car-loads of hogs were shipped from here, besides about 40 of cattle, 98 of corn, 9 of potatoes, 7 of wheat, and 6 each of sheep and rye. The merchandise received and disposed of last year was 275 car-loads, besides 300 car-loads of lumber sold from the yards of the town. The general merchandise business yearly amounts to nearly $300,000, and that of grain, stock, lumber and the mill will nearly double that amount. The Hanson and Valley houses are excellent hotels. The former has the most of the traveling patronage.

The first store in Scandia was opened by Wilson Brothers in the Old Colony House, in 1870.

The Farmers' and Merchants' Bank was established in February, 1879, by McClure & Allison. The firm name afterwards became McClure Brothers, who were succeeded by the present owner, C. S. Morey. A general banking business is transacted and money loaned on farms and real estate.

The mill property at this point is very valuable, owing to the expense of constructing the dam and flume, and the scarcity of mills to Republic and Jewell counties; there being only three in the former, and none in the latter. It is owned by C. F. Ericsson, who values it at over $20,000. There are four runs of burrs and apparatus for making patent flour. Only sixty-horse power is used, but there is water enough for two or three times that amount. These mills, since greatly improved, are the original saw end grist-mills, sent out by the Chicago Company, in 187l.


WILLIAM F. ALLEN, merchant, was born in Savanna, Illinois, in 1855. While quite young, his parents emigrated to Lyons County, Iowa, and from that time until sixteen years of age, was attending school; then learned the tinners' trade, working at it until twenty-one years of age. Then, in company with Mr. Carstenson, engaged in the hardware business at Lyons, Clinton County until January, 1879; then sold out and came to Kansas, locating at Scandia. Put up a store 22x50feet, and a tinshop 12x16 feet, and warehouse 24x30 feet; put in a large stock of hardware, stoves, wire, pumps, etc., and has been doing a nice business. This has grown from $10,000 for the first year's sales, to $22,000 for the third years' sales, over 100 per cent in three years; have increased their stock about 100 per cent during this time. They also put on tin roofs, and do considerable in this line. Mr. Allen is a true business man, and the trade they have worked up speaks well for the firm as competent merchants. Was married in 1878 at Lyons, Clinton County, Iowa, to Miss Mary Gage, of that place. They have one daughter--Dibga. Mr. Allen is a member of Scandia Lodge No. 155 I. O. O. F.

GEORGE D. BOWLING, farmer, P. O. Scandia, was born at Rock Island, Ill., in 1847, and was raised there until eighteen years of age; thence to Henry County, with his parents, remaining there about three years, and then emigrated to Kansas, in 1868, locating in Atchison County, remaining there two years. In 1870, located in Republic County, and took a homestead on Section 25, northeast quarter Township 3 south, Range 4 west; was among the early settlers of this part of the township. There was only one house in sight when he moved on his place. He was sixty miles from market. He has a choice piece of land, and has eighty-five acres under the plow, forty acres fenced for pasture, and has a fine grove of forest trees of seven acres, and a good orchard; fifty apple trees, a good many peach trees, and a variety of small fruits; good house, stable and granary, with plenty of good water. Has been working in stock, and has fourteen head of cattle, seventy head of hogs, and is one of the best farmers in this section of the country. He came to Kansas without any property, and has made what he has during his residence in the State. He has served as Justice of the Peace two terms, once in 1874 and again in 1882. He was married in 1871 at Knoxville, Knox County, Ill., to Miss Martha A. Sullivan, of that county. They have been blessed with four children--Minnie M., Samuel L., John B., and Charles L. Mr. Bowling is a member of the Farmers' Alliance.

J. B. BOWLING, farmer, P. O. Scandia, was born in Rock Island County. Ill., in 1849. When sixteen years of age, his parents settled in Henry County, and he remained at home five years. In 1870, he emigrated with his brother and took, a homestead on southeast quarter of Section 25, Township 3, Range 4. He has ninety acres under the plow, ten acres of pasture, forty acres fenced with hedge, six acres of timber, and a good orchard of apples, peaches, and all kinds of small fruits. Has a good house and barn, and his place in good shape. From farming he is working into stock, and has twelve head of cattle, fifty head of hogs, and will make stock-raising his business. He has been employed as a salesman in a store five years of the time since he came here. He was married in 1874 at Cambridge, Henry County, Ill., to Miss A. E. Perry, of that place. They have one daughter--Della May and one son--Frank. Mr. Bowling is a member of the Farmers' Alliance.

C. H. BUCK, agent of the C. B. M. P. R. R. Co., was born in Vermont, in 1833. When eight years of age, his parents settled in York State. At the age of fifteen, the subject of this sketch located at Rochester, N. Y., where he learned telegraphy, after which he had five years' engagement with the Railroad Company. He was then employed by other railroad companies in the East, until 1860, when he came West and took charge of a line of telegraph which was being built up the Mississippi River. In 1861, he enlisted in the Second New Jersey Volunteer Infantry; served until September, 1862, and was discharged on account of disability. He enlisted again in 1863, in the second Ohio Heavy Artillery, but was put upon detached service and paymaster department, on a branch of the Government telegraph. He was then given in charge of twenty-nine men, to build a line of telegraph from Cumberland Gap to Knoxville, Tenn., a distance of forty-eight miles, which he succeeded in erecting in the short space of thirteen days--clearing the way partly through heavy timber, and having the poles to cut as they went along, and receiving a medal from the Government for the expedition with which the work was done. He then remained in the Government telegraph until the close of the war, since which time he has been with the most of the large railroad companies of the West, having given entire satisfaction in all cases, as his testimonials will certify. He has been in his present position since 1877. Is a pleasant, courteous gentleman, accommodating to the traveling public, and has gained a host of friends since his residence in Scandia. Was married in May, in 1868, to Miss McFaddin, of Cambridge, Crawford County, Penn. They have four children--Jessie, Alta L., Frank A., and Chester W. Mr. Buck is a member of Scandia Lodge No. 165, I. O. O. F., and Orion Lodge K. of P., No. 50.

EDWARD CHRISTIAN, stock-dealer, was born in St. Joseph County, Ind., in 1852, remaining there until 1870, when he came to Kansas, locating at Clyde. He took a homestead in Cloud County, and remained there eight years; engaged in farming and stock-raising from 1876 to 1879; was engaged in buying and shipping hogs at Clyde; then settled in Scandia, and engaged in handling stock. He is doing a good business, his shipments amounting to 200 cars annually; also handles coal, his sales being about seventy-five cars annually. Is a young man of energy and push, and a thorough business man. Was married in 1880 at South Bend, Ind., to Miss H. M. Crevista, of that place. They have one son. Is a member of Orion Lodge No. 50, K. of P.

J. T. COOPER, farmer, P. O. Scandia, was born near Martinsburg, N. Y., in 1834. When two years of age his parents emigrated to Jackson County, Michigan, remaining there ten years, then located in Mercer County, Ill., where he remained until 1862. He learned the carpenters' and wagon makers' trade, working at this business. In 1862 he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving three years; was on detached duty part of the time, working on the government building in Arkansas; and was discharged at Springfield, Ill., in August, 1865. After coming out of the army he returned to Mercer County. At the end of three years he emigrated to Hardin County, Iowa, and was there and in Story County until 1871, when he came to Kansas, locating in Republic County. He took a homestead on southeast quarter Section 13, Township 3, Range 4. He was among the first settlers on the prairie between Scandia and Belleville, and broke the first track between the two places nearly two-thirds of the way. He has his farm well improved, 100 acres under the plow, three acres of forest trees, 100 rods of hedge, seventeen acres fenced for pasture, a good orchard, and a good farm house 22x26 feet. The place is watered by School Creek and numerous fine springs. He is raising cows, and is working into dairying; and has been working at his trade about five years since he has been in the county. He was the first road overseer, and the first county school director in his district. He was married in 1837, in Mercer County, Ill., to Miss Nancy J. Caine. They have ten children--Levi, Newell, Grant, Ashley, Jay, Eldora, Lemuel, Zora, Berton and Lola. He is a member of Wallace Post No. 136, G. A. R. Scandia.

W. R. GOODWIN, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Scandia, was born in Tioga County, Pa., in 1828, but was raised in Hocking and Vinton counties, Ohio, until 1855; going from there to Vermillion County, Ill.; where he engaged in farming. In 1861 he enlisted in the Thirty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving three years; and was slightly wounded at Pea Ridge. He received his discharge in January, 1865. After coming out of the army he remained in Illinois, where he was engaged in farming until 1876, then emigrated to Kansas, locating on Section 11, Scandia Township. He has the place finely improved, with 100 acres under the plow, and thirty-five acres of pasture. He has a fine grove of forest trees, consisting of two acres, two and a half miles of hedge, and a fine young orchard, consisting of forty apple and fifty peach trees, besides an abundance of small fruit. He has a good frame house, 16x22 feet, and an addition 14x16 feet, with stables, corn-crib and granary. He is engaged in raising stock, and has twenty-two head of cattle, some of them being thorough bred; also raises a good many hogs; and is considered one of the best farmers in this township. He was married in 1848 to Miss Elizabeth Crawford, of Vinton County, Ohio. They have eight children--Henry, Albert, Sarah, Josiah, Elisha, Elijah, Elizabeth and Siegel. His wife died in 1862. He was married again in l867 in Ford County, Ill., to Miss Mary Bryan. They have two children--Franklin and Edwin. Mr. Goodwin is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

S. W. GUNTER, real estate and insurance, was born in Tennessee in 1830. He was raised there, and was a large planter in that part of the State; also put up and operated a large grist-mill for many years. In 1861 he located at Vincennes, Ind., remaining there until 1864, going from there to Hancock County, Ill., where he engaged in farming and stock-raising for a number of years, and then engaged in the grain and stock trade, remaining there until 1877; he then closed out his business and came to Kansas, locating at Concordia, and engaged in the stock and grain trade, remaining there two years. In 1879 he locate at Scandia, and opened an agricultural implement house with McKinnen & Co. He is now engaged in the real estate and insurance office; also represents the following insurance companies: Home, of New York; German American, of Springfield, Mass.; Hartford, of Hartford; Orient, North British, Mercantile and others; representing the largest number of companies of any agent in the county. The business has grown fifty per cent in insurance and real estate in two years. Mr. Gunter is a thorough business man and a genial gentleman, and has made many warm friends in the short time he has been in Kansas, and has a bright business future before him. In 1866 he was united in marriage with Miss M. L. Downing. They have five children living--James A., Maggie H., Atlina, W. J. and John C. He is a member of Lebanon Lodge, under dispensation A., F. & A. M., and the first Master of the same; member of Concordia Chapter No. 45, of which he is a charter member; also a member of Concordia Lodge No. 1230, K. of H., and of the I. O. O. F. He has been Police Judge for three years, and also held the office of Justice of the Peace.

C. W. GULICK, merchant, was born in Orange County, N. Y., in 1842 and was raised there until twelve years of age. He then went to New York City, and was employed as an errand boy in the wholesale house of Staples, Caldwell & Co. When he had been there about one year they failed, and through their influence he secured a position with Booth & Tuttle, one of the oldest importing and jobbing houses in silks and dress goods, remaining there until the fall of 1859. He then took a trip to Illinois, and while visiting friends at Morris accepted a position with Rockwell & Kingman, one of the oldest dry goods houses in the place, and remained there until 1864; then enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, serving as Orderly Sergeant of Company H, and when mustered out at the close of the war was in command of the company, although he did not receive a commission. After coming out of the war he accepted a position with R. B. Horrie, and went to San Antonio, Texas, in the cotton trade. At the end of six months Mr. Horrie bought an interest in a wholesale stationery and book house at Galveston, Texas, and Mr. Gulick was sent there to represent Mr. Horrie in the house. After remaining there one year he accepted a position as manager of the dry goods department in Hannah, Lay & Company's mammoth establishment at Grand Traverse City, Mich., remaining with them three years; then located at Mason City Ill., and engaged in the mercantile business, remaining there until the spring of 1877. He then emigrated to Kansas, locating in Scandia, Republic County, before there was any railroad, and put in a large stock of general merchandise for a place of the size; at the end of two years put up his present place of business. The building is 142 feet in length by twenty-five feet in width, fourteen feet ceiling; this is built of stone, on the corner of Cloud and Fourth streets, and he has built up a large trade, and carries from $15,000 to $20,000; his sales growing from $15,000 to $75.000. The store is well filled with goods, and uses basement to full size, well filled also. His stock comprises a full line of general merchandise. The store is under the charge of C. G. Bulkley, one of the best business men in Northern Kansas. There are five other men as assistants. In the spring of 1882 he put in a branch store at Republic City, Kan., under the management of F. W. Craft. They carry a stock of from $5,000 to $6,000 with a trade of from $20,000 to $22,000 per annum. This is one of the best stores in the place. Besides the mercantile business Mr. Gulick has been actively engaged in railroad matters. In the fall of 1879 he helped to organize a railroad company called the Atchison, Colorado & Pacific Railroad. The charter calling for the building of a railroad from Concordia to a point called Willow Island in Nebraska. Mr. Gulick was elected President of the company, and remained so about eighteen months. He still retains his stock in the company, and is one of its directors. In the spring of 1881 he was employed by the M. O. P. R. R. Co., as Right of Way Agent, and Bond Commissioner on the Denver, Colorado Extension, remaining in this one year. He is also a stockholder and Director of the Nebraska Central Railroad Co., which was organized for the purpose of extending the railroad from Warwick near the State line to Nelson, Nuckolls County, Neb. He was identified with the Scandia Land Company, which purchased the town site which was not disposed of. He had 220 lots as his share; and has disposed of about sixty. He also owns a seventh interest in the Republic City, Kas., town site; the town was organized in 1879, and he has disposed of about one-third of the lots. Mr. Gulick put up a fine building there, 25x60 feet, which he uses for a store. He is a thorough business man, and has done more to build up Scandia than any half dozen other men. All his improvements are number one, and he makes a success of every enterprise he takes a hold of, and is highly respected by his many friends in Republic County and vicinity. He is a member of Scandia Lodge, A., F. & A. M.

S. B. HAWKS, farmer, P. O. Scandia, was born in Jefferson County, N. Y., in 1823, remaining there until twenty years of age. He then went to Oneida County, N. Y., and commenced learning the trade of machinist. At the end of one year, he located in Springfield, Mass.; engaged at the machinist's trade, remaining there four years. From there he went to Utica, N. Y., where he remained most of the time until 1862, when he shipped on board the "Quaker City," receiving an appointment in the Government Engineer department, ranking the same as captain. Was mustered out at Philadelphia in 1865. He then located in Chicago, and organized a mining company there, but during the great Chicago fire in 1871, was burned out, losing everything. He was then employed by the Government to oversee the building of Fort Parker, in the Indian Territory. Coming from there to Kansas in 1873, he located in Republic County, and took a homestead on Section 7, Township 3, Range 4. At that time there were no improvements in this township to speak of. He has eighty acres under the plow, thirty acres in pasture, and the whole farm under fence; has six acres of a fine forest grove, a good orchard of eighty apple and fifty peach trees, and small fruits in abundance. He has one of the finest farms in this township; house 16x26 feet, and 16x16 feet, two stories; good tenement house 16x32 feet, and a fine stone barn 22x32 feet. He is also raising some fine stock. Has been employed in the U. P. R. R. shops a portion of the time since he came here. He was married in 1856 at Springfield, Mass., to Miss Julia R. Barrington. Is a member of the Masonic order and the I. O. O. F.

JOHN HAY, farmer, P. O. Scandia. Was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1836. Was raised on a farm, and, in 187l emigrated to America. Came direct from New York City to Kansas, locating in Republic County. Took a homestead on Section 23, southeast quarter. Had just got up a little house, in order to hold his place, and had gone to a neighbor's, about two miles away, when a prairie fire swept over the country and destroyed his habitation. He has eighty acres of his land under the plow, the whole place hedged, and three cross hedges, three acres of forest trees, 200 peach and 150 apple trees, black cherries, and all kinds of small fruits. Has a good frame house, 18x25 feet, one story and a half, basement 15x18 feet. Good stables and barns, 16x30 feet, with stone basement. Is raising stock, both cattle and hogs, and is doing well, and is sure there is no place like Kansas for a man with small means to get a start and make some money. He was married in December, 1861, to Miss Catherine McGuire. They have had ten children, eight of whom are living--Thomas, John (deceased), Margaret, James, John, Robert (deceased), William, Agnes, Jennet, and Mary. Mr. Hay is a member of Farmers' Alliance, and a member of the Presbyterian Church.

RANSOM H. GILE, farmer, P. O. Scandia. Was born in Springfield, Mass., January 9, 1835. When four years of age, his parents came west as far as Ohio, locating on the Western Reserve, remaining there until nineteen years of age, when he went to Iowa in the employ of the Ohio Stage Line Company, and was among the Indians for a number of years and learned to speak the Sioux language. In April, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-first Iowa Infantry, serving until July, 1864, when he re-enlisted and served in the First Iowa Battery. Was wounded at Jackson, Miss., and at Champion Hill; also slightly at Port Gibson, and, in November, 1865 was discharged and mastered out of service. Returning to Iowa, he located at Humboldt and was in the milling business until 1873, when he came to Kansas and took a homestead on Section 2, Township 4, Range 4, of eighty acres. This he improved and lived there until 1879 when he traded for 160 acres in Section 35, Township 3, Range 4. This place had no improvements on it, and he broke forty acres, put up a house 14x20 feet, put out sixty apple trees, 300 peach trees, a few grape vines, cherries, plums, and all kinds of small fruits. Has good stone stables and house, and has a fine stone quarry on the place. He is taking out a good many stone and burning some lime, his sales amounting to some hundred dollars per annum; has put out two acres of fruit trees, with a variety of timber, among which is the yellow larch, of which he has 1,500 trees; is preparing to put out twelve acres of timber, and getting his place in shape to engage in stock-raising, and has done well since he came to this state. He was married in March, 1865, in Henry County, Iowa, to Miss Sarah A. Mahoffay. They have had four children--Carrie A., W. O., Thomas and Harry. Mr. Gile is a member of the Baptist Church.

[TOC] [part 7] [part 5] [Cutler's History]