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


[TOC] [part 9] [part 7] [Cutler's History]


The town of Republic City is in the valley of the Republican River, one and one half miles from the stream and ten miles north of Scandia. It is in the cradle of its existence; having been laid out and given a "local habitation and a name" in May, 1880.

But it is a live, wide-awake town--just young enough to be vigorous, and busy enough to be in good spirits. Since its establishment it has grown very rapidly, having a population of 250. It is surrounded by an excellent country, and, enjoying the benefits of a railroad, it will continue its prosperity for some time. One year and a half ago only a blacksmith-shop and a post-office could be seen. Now a cluster of busy stores, shops, hotels, livery stables, stock-yards, elevator, dwellings and a schoolhouse have sprang forth. At this point a good bridge spans the Republican, which causes a great many emigrants to pass through the town, coming by way of Beatrice and Fairbury, Nebraska.

"Three miles west of the town, on a high point of land, the outline of a large Indian town is as plainly visible as it was fifty or a hundred years ago. The streets are regular, the wigwams were in rows and a large number of them. The ground floor is exactly like a circus ring with earth thrown up around the circle. By measurement they are all thirty feet in diameter. Immediately back and to the south of this Indian town is a broad and almost perfectly level plane affording fine picket grounds, having the best possible commanding view of the surrounding country. The view from the Indian town site covers sixteen miles to the north and northwest, twelve to the northeast, ten due west and about the same to the south and east. The Republican Valley lay spread out before them for many miles, and the slightest intrusion or invasion of their domain would be readily detected. The town faces north and the streets run north and south. About forty rods north of the town the river makes a sharp curve around a low point of land covered with low brush and a few shrubby trees. Here are found Indian trinkets, powder horns, moccasins, beads, dinged-up copper kettles, etc., etc. In this locality were their winter quarters. A natural protection from the cold winds was afforded by a heavy clump of timber on the outer curve of the river, which formed a semi-circle around them to the north. A ford across the river lay directly in front of this low point of land. Here, it seems, nature had striven hard to combine every advantage and condition suited to Indian life. This town was occupied, not many years ago by the Cheyennes or Arapahoes who were allies.


The Republic City school is in a flourishing condition. A $700 school building was built last year, which was designed to meet the wants of the town for four or five years.

The Baptist Church was organized at Otter Creek in 1871, and since the starting of the town has been removed.

The Christian Church was organized at Otter Creek schoolhouse in 1874.

When the Central Branch is extended into Nebraska the town will likely be benefited by having the western market brought closer by connections with the B. & M.

Some of the oldest settlers in the county live in or adjacent to Republic City. Capt. Stanfield, who commanded the militia at this point in 1868 resides here.


JACOB BECK, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in Milwaukee County, Wis., in 1845. In 1860 came to Kansas, locating in Atchison County; in 1862 enlisted in the Thirteenth Kansas Infantry, serving two years and ten months; was in the West most of the time. Was married in 1867 to Miss Emma Garside of Atchison, Kan. They have seven children--Charles, Annie, George, Rose, Olive, Frank and Arthur. In 1872 he located in Republic County and took a homestead on Sections 23 and 24. There were but few settlers at the time. He was seventy-five miles from market or mill and for two or three years the grasshoppers and drouth (sic)made it hard to accomplish anything; but notwithstanding all these draw-backs Mr. Beck has his place well improved, with ninety acres under the plow; has planted seven acres of forest trees which are large enough for fencing; also put up one of the first frame houses built in the township, good stables, corn-crib, and has turned his attention to raising stock, for which his place is well adapted, it being bottom land well watered by numerous springs which furnish plenty of water for his stock. Also raises some very fine Norman horses. He is a member of Republic City Lodge No. 204, I. O. O. F.

WILLIAM R. CHARLES, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in Wales in 1832. In 1863 he emigrated to America, locating in Tioga County, Pa. At the end of two years he emigrated to Missouri, remaining there until 1868. From there came to Kansas, locating in Republic County, and was among the early settlers in the county before it was organized. He took a homestead on Sections 34 and 35, Township 1 south, Range 5 west. The following August was driven out by the Indians after stealing one of his horses and killing one of his companions, one Gordon Winbigler, whose claim was in Jewell County, but was killed on Section 36, Big Bend Township. Mr. Charles found it up-hill work for a few years with Indians and grasshoppers to contend with, and could not permanently locate with his family upon his farm until December, 1869, when he removed his family on a cold winter's day, and found his log cabin and everything that was left in it, in a heap of ashes, when he had to dig through two feet of frozen ground some kind of a habitation until he could do better. But at last, he has succeeded in improving one of the best farms in the county. He has 400 acres in one body well watered by White Rock Creek, with forty acres of good timber along its banks. Besides this he has five acres of forest trees which he planted, He has 130 acres under the plow; the balance of 270 acres is fenced for pasture; has some fine hedge, a fine house 18x24 feet with two additions 14x24 feet and 10x12 feet, good stables, orchard, and everything to make home pleasant; is but two miles from market and is extensively engaged in stock-raising; has seventy-five head of hogs, sixty head of cattle, and has been very prosperous in all his undertakings. He was the first postmaster in this part of the county. Received his appointment in 1870. The office was called Gomeria; held this three years; was Township Treasurer several years. He and his wife are members of the "National Liberal League." He is also a member of the I. O. O. F. He was married in 1863 to Mrs. Lydia Davies of Wales. Their family consists of seven children--Gomer T. Davies, Morfydd O. Davies, Dervi A. Davies, and Alwen, Jestyn, Tudor and Thomas Charles.

S. DENMAN, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in Knox County, Ohio in 1846, making his home here the most of the time until 1871, when he emigrated to Kansas, locating in Republic County, and took a homestead on Section 24, Township 1, Range 5, being one of the first places homesteaded in this part of the township. Has a fine place; Spring Creek runs through it, and there is also a small lake made up of springs, which furnishes the place with fresh water in abundance for stock purposes. When he took this place, was seventy-five miles from market or mill. Has broke ninety-five acres, fenced fifty-five acres for pasture, the balance being hay land; also has a timber claim of forty acres joining the homestead, and has three acres of fine timber on the place, has a fine peach orchard of 150 trees, a fine lot of apples, cherries and other small fruits; put up a good frame house 14x28 feet, a barn 14x25 feet, stables 12x80 feet, two corn-cribs, and is working into the stock business; has ten head of horses, nineteen head of cattle, sixty head of hogs, and has done well for the past five years. Was married in 1870, to Miss Mary Mahogan of Richland County Ohio. They have one daughter--Ada.

FRED ELLIOTT, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in Willshire, England, in 1848; emigrated to America in 1864, locating in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1870 emigrated to Kansas, locating in Republic County, and took a homestead on Section 35, Township 1, Range 5. Was about the first settler in this part of the township, and the first one on the east side of the river; was seventy-five miles from market and had to swim the river after his mail; took eight days to make a trip to mill. After living in this place and keeping it four years, sold out and bought the southeast quarter of Section 25, same township, and forty acres on Section 26, making 200 acres; this lies in the second bottom and is a fine stock farm; is well-watered by Otter Creek, which is fed by springs, making plenty of pure water for stock; has four acres of forest trees which are eighteen inches through, grown in eight years, also has a fine apple orchard of fifty trees four years old which raised some of the finest fruit ever seen in Kansas; has some choice peach trees, cherries, plums, grapes and all kinds of small fruits; has a good house and stables, one-half mile of hedge, and has a choice farm, joining the town site of Republic City, was one of the original proprietors of the town site, and has disposed of all his claim except four lots, which he built on; is raising stock, among which are some thoroughbred draft horses; also noted for the fine hogs he raises. In 1881 raised fifty, which sold for $860 when nine months old; has some fine feed-yards, and will make stock his business. Served as Constable two terms in his township. Was married October 1878, in Republic County, Kansas, to Miss Nellie G. Sullivan of this county. Is a member of Belleville Lodge, No. 129, A. F. & A. M.

JOHN ELLIOTT, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in Willshire, England, in 1829; in May, 1864, sailed from Liverpool, reaching New York City in June. He then located at Cleveland, Ohio, and engaged in market-gardening, and for five or six years was in the Cleveland market. In 1870 emigrated to Kansas, locating in Republic County, and took a homestead on Section 26, Township 1, Range 5; has bought some land since, making a farm of 235 acres, with 120 acres under the plow, 100 acres fenced and the balance in hay land. There is a large spring on the farm joining him, which forms a creek running through his place; besides this has three wells and a wind-mill for pumping. Has a good house 24x32 feet, story and a half, good stables, etc., good grove of forest trees and a good orchard. The Republican River bounds his farm for three-fourths of a mile on the west. Is raising some stock; has forty-five head of cattle, fifty-five head of hogs; is but one mile from Republic City, thus having a desirable farm; has done exceedingly well since he came here. Was married in 1848 to Miss Matilda Hunt of Willshire, England. They have five children--Fred, Rosena, Mary J., W. J., and Sarah E. Mr. Elliott was postmaster for four years.

W. ELLIOTT, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in Willshire, England, in 1839. Emigrated to America, 1867, locating in Cleveland, Ohio, remaining there three years; in 1871, locating in Republic County, taking a homestead on Section 35, Township 1, Range 5; was one of the pioneers of this township, and at the date of his settlement, was eighty miles from market; at the present time is but one mile from a railroad point; has 520 acres of fine land, 300 acres under the plow, well watered by Otter Creek; forty acres of pasture, and has planted about 15,000 fruit trees, put up a good stone and frame house, 24x28 feet besides barn, stables, hay and corn-cribs; has some fruit; is extensively engaged in stock-raising and dairying; raises from 100 to 125 head of hogs annually, has forty-three head of cattle, twenty-five head of which are cows. Was married in 1860 to Miss Ann Fregeard of Willshire, England; they have seven children--George, Eliza, Jane, William, Minnie, Henry and Ida.

JESSE HELPER, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in North Carolina in 1820, but was raised in Indiana, living there twenty-eight years, going from there to Iowa in an early day, locating in Black Hawk County; thence to Allamakee County, and in 1863 enlisted in the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, serving over three years. In 1873 emigrated to Republic County, Kan, locating in Washington Township, and took a homestead on Sections 7 and 8; at the end of the year proved up and got his patent and bought a farm of 400 acres on Section 23, Town 1, Range 5; this lies in the Republican River Valley and is well adapted for stock-raising. There is a fine spring creek running through the place, besides numerous springs, one at his house which he has so arranged as to force the water to the house; has 100 acres of pasture, 100 acres under the plow; has two acres of grove and ten acres of young timber in the pasture; also has a timber claim of eighty acres; has good frame house 16x24 feet with addition 14x16 feet, granary 16x20 feet, besides good shed; has thirty-five head of cattle, twelve head of horses and sixty head of hogs. Mr. Helper is one of the most prosperous farmers in the township and is highly respected by all. He was married, in 1843, to Kuezann Grover, by whom he had nine children--Sarah; John and Lida, twins; Mary, Eliza, Jane, Minerva Ann, Daniel Bradley, Jacob Monrow and Adaline. He was married again in 1867, to Sarah E. (Smith) )Haughton of Iowa, who had one son by her first husband, Franklin S. Haughton. By his second marriage Mr. Helper has been blessed with six children--Minnie, Araminta, Allia G., Jesse Jr., Martha Ellen, Lewis, Beal and Henry D.

T. A. LOWE, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Republic City, was born in Huntingdon County, Pa, and was raised there until ten years of age; his parents then emigrated to Stephenson County, Ill. In 1862 enlisted in the Forty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving two and one-half years; was in all the principal battles of his regiment. After coming out of the army was engaged in carpenter and building business in Stephenson County, Ill., until 1870, when he came West, locating in Republic County, Kan.; was among the first settlers in Big Bend Township and took a homestead on Section 32, Township 1, Range 5; he has the place well improved, 140 acres under the plow, three acres of timber; has twenty acres fenced for pasture, good well with wind pump, a good frame house and barn and has since purchased five acres of timber joining the homestead; is extensively engaged in stock-raising; has 135 head of cattle, 150 head of hogs, and is preparing to still enlarge the business of stock-raising; is one of the model farmers of Big Bend Township, and has been very successful since he came here; at the time of settling here was some eighty miles from the nearest railroad point, while now is but four miles. Was married, in 1867, in Lena, Ill., to Miss Young of that place. They have five children--Fred, Blanche, Lita, Carrie and Lettie.

WILLIAM McGUIRE, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in Ray County, Mo., in 1834, living there until fifteen years of age; then emigrated to Iowa, locating in Webster County. Enlisted in 1864, in the Sixteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving until August, 1865. Emigrated to Kansas, June 15, 1870, locating in Republic County, and took a homestead on Section 31, Township 2, Range 4; improved the place by breaking thirty-five acres; planted three acres of timber, built house and stables; at the end of two years sold out and pre-empted 160 acres of Section 25, Township 1, Range 5; has eighty acres under the plow; has planted four acres of timber, one and three-fourths miles of hedge, 300 apple trees, 300 plum trees, 20 cherry trees, 300 peach trees, and 200 grape vines and a variety of small fruits; good frame house 14x26 feet, wing 14x14 feet, story and-a-half; has a good stock farm, the place being well watered by a large spring, furnishing plenty of water for stock. The farm is but one mile from a railroad point; at the time he located in the county was seventy miles from a railroad point. Has the place stocked with twenty-three head of cattle and about forty head of hogs, raising from twenty-five to fifty head annually. Is one of the model farmers of the township and a man of good judgment, and has done well since he located here. Was married in 1853, and had five children, viz: J. F. D., W. M., Mary, Jessie and Sarah E. Was married again in May, 1874 to Miss Stenson of Republic County, Kan. They have four children, vis: Walter, Noble, Royal and Cora Pearl. Is a member of the Mission Baptist Church.

WILLIAM McWELLS, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in Downsville, Delaware Co., N. Y., in 1846. In 1857 his parents emigrated to Illinois, where he remained fifteen years; in 1872 emigrated to Kansas, locating in Republic County, and took a homestead on Section 3, Township 1, Range 5; has a very fine place, well improved and only two and one-half to three miles from market on two different roads. Has 130 acres under the plow; the place all fenced with hedge and about one mile of cross hedge; has ten acres of good timber, which he planted, besides a fine orchard, good house 16x24 feet two stories, corn crib and granary 32x36 feet, with wind-mill and feed mill for grinding and shelling corn. The mill is used for pumping water and there are 933 feet of gas-pipe for conveying the water to his feed-yards for stock, of which he has a good many, some fifty-three head of cattle and seventy-five hogs and a number of horses; and although the grasshoppers ate his crops two years and he was burned out, losing nearly all he had except his land, still by close attention to business and his thorough knowledge of farming, has been able to make money. Was married December 1, 1867, to Miss Elizabeth M. Halsted of Marshall County, Ill. They have five children, viz: Jason E:, Marietta E., Ida E., Olive M., George L.

D. M. MUTH, liveryman, was born in Hancock County, Ind., in 1841, remaining there until 1862, when he enlisted in the seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, serving three years. Was wounded at the battle of Stone River, losing his right eye, and also received a wound in the hip. Was discharged at Indianapolis, Ind., in 1865. After his discharge emigrated to Iowa, locating in Jasper County, remaining there five years and owning and improving a farm. In 1870 came to Kansas, locating in Republic County, and took a homestead on Section 14, Township 1, Range 4, and made the first improvements in the township. Put up the first frame house, building it of native timber. Was seventy-five miles from market, and the same distance from a mill. Broke 120 acres, planted five acres of forest trees, and two acres of orchard. In 1874 the grasshoppers destroyed them all and he had to replant it again. Put up a wind-mill, stables, granary, corn-crib, and remained there until August, 1882, when he sold eighty acres, and built a livery barn 32x64 feet and put in a good stock of horses and carriages and is working up a good trade. He was married in 1862 to Miss Annie B. Wilkinson of Hancock County, Ind. They have seven children, viz: Annie, A. S., Edward, Clinton, Cora, Clarence and Iva.

M. C. POLLEY, merchant, was born in Newark, Rock Co., Wis., in 1850. In 1865 his parents settled in Michigan, remaining there until 1871, and then emigrated to Kansas, locating in Republic County. Here he took a homestead on Section 10, Township 1, Range 5, and for the first five years improved his farm summers and taught school winters. In August, 1881, he put up a store building 20x40 feet in Republic City and put in a full line of general merchandise and has met with sales away beyond his expectation. He is a live business man and is sure to build up a large trade. Also owns eighty acres adjoining the town site, which will soon be very valuable as town lots. He was married in October, 1881, to Miss Annie Cleveland of Cloud County, Kan. He is a member of Republic City Lodge No. 204, I. O. O. F..

WILLIAM POLLEY, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in Stamford, Delaware Co. N. Y.; was raised there until fifteen years of age; went to Chenango County, and remained there until 1844; then emigrated to Rock County, Wis. remained there until 1865 engaged in farming. From Wisconsin he went to Michigan, locating in Case County, remaining there until 1871; then came to Kansas, locating in Republic County, and took a homestead on Section 1, Township 2, Range 5; was seventy miles from market and for a year or two had to go that distance to market. His place now lies a mile and a quarter from a railroad point; has a fine farm nicely improved; has 100 acres under the plow; the balance is pasture and hay land; has about five acres of fine forest trees, among which are some very fine walnut trees which have been bearing for a number of years, grown from the seed planted by Mr. Polley; also has some fine peaches and other fruits. He is engaged in raising corn and hogs principally; also owns a fine place of eight acres with good frame house in Republic City. Is one of the best citizens in the township and is highly respected. He was married December 26, 1848, to Miss Clarissa L. Christie of Oxford, Chenango Co., N. Y. They have four children --Milton C., Ralph W., Edgar A. and Lucy. Mr. and Mrs. Polley are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.

J. C. PRICE, attorney-at-law, real estate, loans, and collection agent, was born in Cassopolis, Mich., in 1846. He was raised there and remained until 1869; was educated at Kalamazoo College, graduating in 1869. During this time taught several terms of school, and devoted a part of his time to the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in Kansas in 1872. In 1869 he emigrated to Kansas, locating in the north west corner of Republic County, nearly 100 miles from any railroad, and out of sight of any improvements. He was the first settler in this part of the county; took a homestead on Section 6, Township 1, Range 5. After getting his papers, he then looked around to see what he could do to make a living. Having a knowledge and some practice of surveying, he secured a set of implements and began work, and succeeded in making a fair salary. The next year he taught school, kept putting a few improvements on his place, and in 1874 was elected County Surveyor, and held this office until about 1881. He was County Superintendent of schools during 1877 and 1878. In 1882 he came to Republic City, and in company with Milton Grim, engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business. They are doing a large business in this line. Mr. Price is also engaged in the practice of law, and is the only attorney in Republic City. He still retains his homestead, and has sixty acres under the plow, eighty acres of fine young timber, a large spring which furnishes plenty of water, good buildings, and is but a quarter of a mile from Hardy, Neb., the junction of the B. & M., and the Central Branch of the M. P. R. R. Has a fine lot of stock on the place, and has been very successful in all his enterprises since he came to Kansas. He was married in 1874 at Owatonna, Minn. to Miss Phillips, a teacher in the public school of that place. Mr. Price is a member of Republic City Lodge, No. 204, I. O. O. F., and of Belleville Lodge, No. 129, A. F. & A. M. Mr. Price is one of the most thoroughly posted men in real estate in the county, and a gentleman whom it is a pleasure to meet.

EDWARD SIMMS, farmer, P. O. Republic City, was born in Willshire, England, May 18, 1843. Emigrated to America, May 27, 1870, locating in Cleveland, where he remained three months. In the fall of 1870, emigrated to Kansas, locating in Republic County. Was among the first settlers here, and took a homestead on Section 26, Township 1, Range 5. Was seventy-five miles from market and one hundred miles from mill, and for two or three years had nothing to work with, now has sixty-five acres under the plow, has planted 1,000 fruit trees, a good orchard of peaches, apples, plums, cherries, grapes, and a large variety of small fruits; good frame house, 12x16 feet; wing, 8x16 feet. He is raising stock, has nineteen head of cattle, and only had one cow to start with in 1875, and has disposed of five head besides; raises from fifty to seventy-five head of hogs annually, and has done exceedingly well. He was married in November, 1869, to Miss Ella Elliott, at Willshire, England. They have four children--Edward W., Charles J., Clifford C. and an infant not named. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.

R. T. STANFIELD, merchant, was born in Jackson County, Ind., in 1845, remaining there until nineteen years of age. In 1864 he enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Twentieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, serving about two years. He was discharged in January, 1866, at Indianapolis Ind. In 1867 he came West and located in Eastern Kansas. In 1868 he located in Republic County and pre-empted 100 acres of land on Section 35, Township 1 Range 5, which he improved and kept until 1875. In 1872 he bought 180 acres of land, in Section 27, in the same township. In 1875, he traded his pre-emption for 160 acres adjoining the 180 acres, in Section 27; this was an exceptional fine place, two and a half miles from Republic City. He has 160 acres under the plow, ninety acres of pasture, ten acres of timber, good house, stable and other buildings. It is watered by White Rock Creek, a fine stream which flows through the place. In July, 1881, bought one-half interest in the hardware store of Mr. Laughlin. They have a building 20x40 feet, with tin shop 16x20 feet, and well filled with a stock of shelf and heavy hardware. He has supplied a long-needed want by the people of Republic City and vicinity, as this is the first stock of the kind opened in the place. Their sales have been good and promise a large trade. In 1869 commanded a company of militia to protect the settlers against the Indians. He was married in 1870 to Miss Carnahan, of Pottawatomie County, Kan. They were blessed with four daughters--Nettie, Mary, Elsie and Sarah. Mrs. Stanfield died in 1880. Mr. Stanfied(sic) is a very popular man and a pleasant gentleman.

[TOC] [part 9] [part 7] [Cutler's History]