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


[TOC] [part 5] [part 3] [Cutler's History]


In December, 1870, the Atlanta Town Company built the first hotel in the county, and called it the "Atlanta Hotel," which was conveyed by the company to the county for a court house and county offices, and so used until May, 1876. The last of it became the office of the Democrat in Lyons. In January, 1871, Earl Joslin was here the first Postmaster in the county. Newell Wood, in the fall of 1870, built here the first frame dwelling house in the county, and the first frame schoolhouse in the county was built here on Section 36, Township 19, Range 8, west. The first postoffice was called Brookdale. The present town of Lyons, 145 miles southwesterly from Topeka, absorbed Atlanta in 1876, when it became the county seat. The city of Lyons was incorporated February 26, 1880, and W. T. Nichols was elected Mayor at the following April election. C. M. Rawlings was elected Mayor in 1883. In June, 1880, the Marion and McPherson branch of the A., T. & S. Fe R. R. connecting Florence and Ellinwood reached Lyons. The present population is put at 900. At present there are in the village three dry goods stores, four drug stores, five general stores, two groceries, six hardware and agricultural stores, two clothing stores, one furniture store, two jewelry stores, one harness shop, three millinery stores. There are also two blacksmiths, one carriage maker, one shoemaker, one painter, one barber, and carpenters and other craftsmen to fill up a thrifty and industrious community. There are two hotels and three livery stables. One dealer in grain does a good business, as does also one flouring mill. There are two banks, and three other firms dealing in real estate.


DAVID AHLBERG, farmer, resides on Section 34, Township 19, Range 8, west, one and a half miles from Lyons, county seat of Rice County. He came to this place in August 1871, has 160 acres of fine agricultural land, 120 acres of which is cultivated, he has had many hardships to contend with, while this county was new, first winter he lived here, one of his horses died, and the next spring, not being able to purchase another sold the remaining one for thirty acres breaking, paying $4 an acre, and he worked by the month the next summer to support his family; in 1873, he raised some spring wheat which was cradle, and to get it ground into four had to take it to Salina, sixty miles. And in 1874, the grasshoppers came July 25th, and devoured his entire crop of corn, consisting of fifty acres, besides destroying his hedge and young fruit trees. But the following year he raised a large crop of fall wheat, which he sold in Ellsworth, thirty miles from here. And then in the spring of 1879, they had one of the most terrible hail storms he ever witnessed, which played havoc with his eighty acre wheat field, and since then he has raised fair crops, in 1882, he raised 2,100 bushels corn, from seventy acres. But to-day he has one of the best farms in Rice County, he has his farm all hedged in, and has all varieties of fruit trees, and has raised peaches in great abundance since he has lived here, he is a very industrious and hard working man and whatever he makes up his mind to do he will accomplish or die in his efforts, he has never gone back on Kansas. He is a native of Sweden, born February 28, 1834. Came to America, 1857, and settled in Henry County, Ill., and married Miss Emma Mary Matilda Engstrom, a native of Sweden, 1859. They have four children, Anna, Huldah, Emma and Grant.

U. V. ATKINSON, firm Atkinson & Brown, dealers in general line of drugs, medicines, druggist sundries, musical merchandise and sewing machines. They erected store building in spring 1881, of wood, 24x70 feet, at a cost of $2,000. They carry a stock of $3,500 and employ five men. Mr. A. came to Lyons, Rice County, in 1880. Was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, 1839, came to Monmouth, Jackson Co., Iowa, in 1853, where he was raised. Married January 17, 1864, to Miss Martha Robbins of Jackson County, Iowa. They have two children - Lillie C. and Dal S.

M. L. BROWN, member of the above firm first came to Lyons, Kan., with Mr. A., his partner and taught school some time, then became a partner in the above business. He was born in Jackson County, Iowa, 1854. Was raised in that county. Was a student in the Cornell College, at Mount Vernon, Iowa, at which institution he is a graduate and made teaching his profession until he emigrated to Kansas.

J. H. BAILEY, attorney at law, first came to Kansas on a prospecting tour in 1852. He came to Raymond, Kan., in January, 1878, where he dealt in grain, farmed and practiced law. He came to Lyons, in November, 1879, and opened a law office. Was born in Steuben County, N. Y., November 18, 1832. His parents moved to Richmond, Ind., in 1837, and to Hartford City, Ind., in 1841, where he was raised and remained until twenty- three years old. He went to Illinois, in spring 1854, and has lived in that State, Wisconsin, Missouri and Iowa, and practiced law in all of those States. Was admitted to the bar of practice in Hartford, Conn., in 1854. Enlisted in spring 1861, Company H, Fourteenth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, in the three months service. Re- enlisted in January, 1862, Company K, Fifty-fourth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry as First Lieutenant, soon promoted to Captain of his company. Participated in all battles of his command, including Vicksburg, resigned in July, 1863. He has practiced law in Illinois and Iowa since, until locating in Kansas. Married in 1852, at Hartford, Conn., to Miss Mary A. Craw, a native of Ohio. They had four children: Lewis O., Julia N., Lillie B. and Maggie K. Wife died in 1860. Was again married in October, 1862, to Miss Mattie V. McGuire, of Bond County, Ill. They have three children: Lenora B., Don E. and Fred. Mr. B. was elected County Attorney of Rice County, fall 1882.

D. M. BELL, of the firm of Myers & Bell, came to Rice County, in April, 1871, and opened the first hardware store in Rice County, in the spring of 1871, at the old town of Atlanta. When he first entered Kansas, he stopped at Lawrence and purchased a team, as there was no railroad, he drove from Lawrence to Council Grove, at that place he struck the Santa Fe wagon trail running through the old town of Atlanta, and followed it to Rice County. His nearest place to go to mill, postoffice or market was Salina, sixty miles north. There were then about twelve settlers in Rice County, and only one frame house. Mr. Bell erected the first store building - lumber costing $50 per thousand, and hauled thirty miles by team. After his store building was completed he took in as partner W. T. Nicholas, and the firm was known as Bell & Nicholas, hardware merchants. There were wild buffalo to be seen in all directions, and other game which afforded the only meat food for a number of years. On the way to the first county election he killed live buffalo. Texas cattle and cow boys were numerous. He has followed farming a number of years, and various other occupations. He was one of the first County Commissioners, being appointed by Gov. Jas. L. Harvey, August 18, 1871, he was the first man married In Rice County. The ceremony took place by moonlight, while the parties were on horseback, near Cow Creek. April 19, 1872, to Miss Mary A. Hanks, a native of Ohio. They were married by judge L. Jay. Mr. B. is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Bell was born In Washington County, Md., June 27, 1849, lived in his native county until twenty-one years of age, when he came to Kansas.

J. H. BELL, of the firm of Bell & Morrow, dealers in drugs, medicines and druggists' sundries, books, jewelry, stationery, etc. Mr. Bell opened business alone in 1878, opened as a firm in 1882, erected his store building in 1882, size of which is 25x70 feet, built of brick, two stories high, at a cost of $3,500. Carry an average stock of $5,000, and employ three men. He first came to Rice County, Kan., in July, 1871, and farmed until he began business. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1849, and was raised in his native county. He graduated from Miami University in 1870. He was married, in 1873, to Miss Mary E Magoffin, of Bainbridge, Ohio. They have three children - Renick M., Nellie I. and Mary M.

P. M. BELL, proprietor of Bell View Livery Stable. He keeps twelve head of horses, buggies and carriages, consisting of a first-class livery stable. Opened the business in July, 1879. He first came to Kansas In the spring of 1871, locating a mile south of Lyons on a homestead. He was amongst the first pioneer settlers in Rice County. The plains were thickly dotted with buffalo and other wild game in abundance. He was born in Washington County, Md., in 1843, March 3, and raised in his native place. Enlisted in August, 1861, in Company B, First Maryland Battalion Cavalry; participated in all battles of his command; mustered out in September, 1864; engaged in boot and shoe business at Martinsburg, W. Va., in 1865; afterward in livery business, and remained there until he came to Kansas; married, in 1865, to Miss Elizabeth Strite, of Washington County, Md. They have two children - Carrie M. and Artie J.

AARON BOBB, farmer and stock raiser, Section 7, P. 0. Lyons. He came to his place in January,1871, being amongst the first settlers of Rice County. He plowed tile first land in the above county for regular cultivation, and planted potatoes. He lived in a sod house for two years and over. Ellsworth was then the nearest railroad market, thirty miles north, and the nearest mill sixty miles northeast. The prairies were covered with buffalo, deer and antelope, and furnished the only meat for some time. Mr. B. has followed farming, stock raising and carpenter work since. He was born in Union County, Pa., March 7, 1830. At the age of seventeen, he came with parents to northwest Illinois, where he lived eight years. He then learned the carpenter trade, and worked at the same in Michigan and Missouri. Married, in 1856, to Miss Amelia A. King, of Union County, Pa. They have nine children - James D., Mary A., Franklin S., Oscar D., Joseph C., Charles A., Anna S., John P. and Ada L. His family and himself are members of the Presbyterian Church.

MOSES BURCH, Under-Sheriff. He came to the county in March, 1871, being amongst the first settlers. He located with parents and family on a farm in northwestern part of the county, where he followed farming until 1877. He held the office of Register of Deeds, by appointment, one year, and was twice elected, making five years' service in the latter office. He was appointed one of the County Commissioners of Rice County when it was organized. and filled a short and long term. Appointed Under Sheriff in January, 1882. Was born in Warren County, Ind., and lived in that State until he came to Kansas. Enlisted in July, 1862, In Company F, Seventy-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Mounted; was made Second Lieutenant; recruited the company and was made Captain of same; resigned in March, 1863; married, in 1860, to Miss Lutitia Moffatt, of Pittsburgh, Pa. They have nine children - Lydia F. (married to William Handy), Dumont, Benjamin Butler, Emma V., Ida, Samuel W. Indiana L., Moses and John. He is a member of Lyons Post, No. 20, I. 0. 0. F., of Lyons.

T. A. BUTLER, dealer in a general line of hardware and agricultural implements: he is also Sheriff of Rice County, Kans. He first located at LaCygne, Linn Co., Kan., in January, 1869, where he kept a livery business and meat market until March, 1871, when he sold out, went farther west, and engaged in contracting with A., T. & S. F. R. R., which latter business he yet continues with various railroad companies. He located on a farm eighteen miles northwest of Lyons, Rice County, in May, 1874, farmed and raised stock until 1879, when, in February of that year, moved to Lyons and permanently located. Opened hardware trade September, 1881; elected Sheriff same fall. He is president of the Rice County Fair Association. He owns one-half of the White & Butler new brick block at Lyons, Kan. This block was erected in the fall and winter of 1882, at a cost of $25,000. It is 100 feet square and forty feet high. There is a fine opera hall over Mr. Butler's part of the block, which is an ornament to any western village. Mr. Butler occupies rooms on the first floor of his block, 25x110 feet; carries an average stock of $15,000, and employs six men in the business. He was born in Greenbush, Warren Co., Ill., 1846. Was raised in his native county. Enlisted May 2, 1864, in Company C, One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteer infantry. Participated in many skirmishes, and mustered out in October, 1864. Married in 1866, to Miss Julia A. Harmon, a native of Kentucky. They have four children - Charlie R., Newton W., Anna H., John A. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Lyons. He is a member of the Masonic order.

P. G. CARTER, farmer sod stock raiser, Section 15, Township 20, Range 8, P. O. Lyons, has 480 acres of fine land, 150 of which is in cultivation. He first came to this place in November. 1870. His claim was the first made in Rice County, Kan., and his house was the first dwelling. He sold the first goods, and broke the first land. The first postoffice was kept at his cabin for several months by Earl Josylin. The nearest market and postoffice in 1870 was Ellsworth, thirty miles north. There were no roads or landmarks of any kind; his only guides were either a small pocket compass or the sun by day or stars by night. His house was headquarters for the early settlers for some time. He carried the mail to Ellsworth once a week after the postoffice was located at his house, and which was called Brookdale, in December, 1870.

JAMES S. CHASE, physician and surgeon, came to Lyons, Kan., in April, 1879, and continued the practice of medicine. He was born in Meadville, Pa., in 1848. Was raised and educated in native county. Began the study of medicine in 1869, and graduated from the Cleveland Medical College, of Ohio, in 1872, when he began the practice of medicine in his native place, and continued there until he came to Kansas. He enlisted in March, 1864, in Company E, One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Participated in all the battles of his command after his enlistment, until he was mustered out, July 13, 1865. Married in 1880, to Miss Emma E. Hall of Milton, Ill. They have one daughter, Ruby Hall Chase. The doctor is a member of Kit Carson Post, No. 20, G. A. R, and commander of same of Lyons. The doctor is a practical man, and enjoys a large medical practice. He is also a partner in a general drug business under the firm name of T. B. Rowland & Co.

C. A. CLOBRIDGE, Superintendent of Rice County Poor Farm, P. 0. Lyons, came to Kansas in March, 1871, locating near Lyons, where he engaged in farming. Became superintendent in March, 1881. Has served as County Coroner eight years; served on School Board, etc. Born in Lewis County, N. Y., in 1843, where he lived until coming to Kansas. Married March 19, 1861, to Miss Elizabeth Allen, of same county, New York. Wife was born in 1843. They have four children - Allen P., E. Florence, Lizzie M. and Fred F. Mr. C. is a member of I. 0. 0. F. and Masonic order of Lyons.

J. E. DAVIES, dealer in general merchandise, opened trade in Lyons, April 1882; employs three men in the business, and occupies the large corner room in the White & Butler Block, he is also Proprietor of Citizen's Bank of Lyons, opened for a general banking business in May, 1882. He is also a partner in the firm of Lake & Davies, of Sterling, where they keep a general stock of merchandise. He first came to Sterling in the fall of 1872, took a homestead, and farmed until 1874. Was born in London, England, in 1839; came to America in 1847, family locating in Pittsburgh, Pa.; afterward moved to Jackson County, Ohio, where he was raised. Enlisted, in spring of 1861, in Company E, Twenty-seventh Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Re-enlisted in 1863, in Company F, One Hundred and Ninety-fifth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was soon promoted to Captain of the company, participated in all the battles of his command. Mustered out in the spring of 1865. Married in 1870, to Miss Catherine M. Thomas, a native of Ohio. They have three children - Elmer E., Laura and Ethel. He is a member of the Masonic Order, I. O. O. F., K. of H., and K. & L. of H., Meade Post, No 14, Sterling, Kan. He has held several township offices.

ROBERT H. DAY, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 10, P. O. Lyons. He first came to Rice County in 1874, and purchased some land, finally settling near Lyons, on the above land, in 1878. He has 100 acres, all improved. The average yield of wheat, season of 1882, was twenty- seven bushels per acre. He was born in Beaver County, Pa., September 11, 1827. Lived in Pittsburgh, Pa., until thirteen years old. Parents then removed with family to Jackson County, Ind., and lived four years; thence to the Territory of Iowa, and lived six years; after which he wen to Millersburg, Mercer Co., Ill., where he farmed twenty-six years; thence to Kansas. He enlisted in the Mexican war as a volunteer from Iowa; served only a short time. Enlisted in fall of 1862, in Company K, One Hundred and Second Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Participated in several battles, and was discharged on account of disability contracted in service. Married, May 7, 1850, to Miss Mary Kidoo, of Lawrence County, Pa. They had three children - John R., Mary E. (married Mr. Thomas Morehead), and Eliza (married T. J. Wolfe, of Little River, Kan.) Mrs. Day died in 1864. He was again married, to Miss Mary F. Gilmore, of Fulton County, Pa. They have six children - Luella, Tilly, Sarah, Grace, Robert R. and James W. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Kit Carson Post, No. 20, G. A. R.

DR. HARRY FONES, farmer and stock raiser, Section 4, Town 19, Range 8 west, P. O. Lyons. He came with the first settlers to Rice County, Kan., in March, 1871. He has 130 acres of land adjoining Lyons village site on the north; 100 acres is cultivated. In 1882 he raised 2,500 bushels of wheat. He was born in Erie County, N. Y., March 29, 1830, and was raised in that county. He began the study of medicine in 1854, and the practice of his profession in 1855. Moved to Whiteside County, Ill., in 1838, where he farmed, studied and practiced his profession until he came to Kansas. He enlisted in 1862, in Company I, One Hundred and Twelfth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was promoted to Second Lieutenant. Participated in all the battles of his command. Mustered out July 8, 1865. Married, September 2, 1878, to Miss Julia A. Smith. They have three daughters - Marion, Mabel, and Jennie L. By a former marriage he had four children - Alonzo, Hortentia, Joseph, and Hattie. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Has served as County Coroner of Rice Couty (sic) four years.

J. H. FULLER, dealer in real estate, came to Lyons in June, 1878, when he engaged in the drug business until 1881; he then opened a real estate office. He was born in Harrison County, Mo., 1850; lived in that county until 1865, when he went to San Antonio, Tex., and engaged in the cattle business until he came to Kansas. He enlisted in March, 1865, in Company G, Ninety-fourth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry; participated in Seige (sic) of Spanish Fort; mustered out July 5, 1865, at Galveston, Tex., and discharged at Springfield, Ill., August 1865.

WILLIAM J. FULLER, attorney and counselor at law, Lyons, Rice Co., Kan. The subject of this sketch was born in Harrison County, Mo., June 12, 1845. He lived with his father on a farm near Bethany in that county until April 3, 1862; when a little over sixteen years old he enlisted in Company I, First Missouri Volunteer Cavalry as a bugler. He took part in all the battles of that regiment until February 8, 1865, when he re-enlisted into Company M, Thirteenth Missouri Volunteer Cavalry. He went west with the latter regiment into Colorado and Mexico on an expedition against the Indians, with whom his regiment had several engagements. He was mustered out of service at Leavenworth, Kan., in January, 1865, and was paid off in St. Louis three weeks after. He went from there to Dewitt County, Ill., where he went to school ten months. He then returned to Warrensburgh, Mo., worked in a dry goods store as clerk, and read law part of the time under the instructions of Messrs. Cockerail & Crittenden and part of the time with James D. Eads. November 27, 1867, he was married at Warrensburgh, Mo., to Mill Belle McFarland. He moved with his wife to Parsons, Kan., in April, 1870, when he engaged in the mercantile trade for a while. He was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Kansas in 1877. He has been very successful in the District and Supreme Court of Kansas, as his records in those Courts will show. He is regarded as one of the leading lawyers of the State, especially in commercial transactions. His family, aside from his wife, consists of two daughters - Anna and Lorena. He is a member of the Masonic order, also a member of the Kit Carson Post No. 20, G. A. R., at Lyons. He is a member of the School Board at Lyons. He is president of the Lyons Building Association, a corporation. He is also a secretary of the Excelsior Milling Company, a corporation. He started the Central Kansas Democrat in September, 1878, a weekly newspaper, at Lyons, of which he is still one of the editors and proprietors. He is doing a good business at his chosen profession, the law.

W. H. HILLMAN, firm Hillman & Silver, dealers in general merchandise. They occupy rooms in Butler's New Brick Block, 24 feet wide by 110 feet deep; employ three clerks besides their own help, and carry an average stock of $14,000. They opened trade in October, 1880. They first carried a stock of $6,000. Mr. Hillman came to Lyons in October, 1880. He was born in Tippecanoe County, Ind., January 29, 1837, and was raised in Harrison County, Mo., living for many years at Bethany in the northern part of that State. He first began business life as a clerk and gradually worked into business for himself. He was Assessor of Harrison County, Mo., 1861; Sheriff and Collector, 1862, re-elected to same office 1866. Represented the latter county State Legislature 1873-74. Was a member Missouri State Militia. Married, February, 1857, to Miss T. P. Allen, a native of Tennessee; they have six children - Josephine H., Parilee, Birdie (now a member St. Joseph, Missouri, Convent), George M., Pines and Victor. Mr. Hillman is a member Masonic order; Blue Lodge, I. O. O. F. Himself and wife are members Christian Church.

J. B. HOLMES, dealer general mercantile, opened trade in November, 1882, and carries an average stock of $3,000. He first came to Rice County, Kan., in the spring of 1871. Assisted to organize Rice County in the fall of 1871. Embarked in the hardware and implement business at Atlanta in the fall of 1872. In 1874 added a stock of groceries; continued business until the spring of 1878. Then engaged in farming, which business has since continued. Re-engaged in the merchandise business in the fall of 1882. Mr. Holmes opened the first store in Lyons December, 1875. He was born in Lawrence County, Ohio, March 28, 1836; lived in native county until twenty-one years old, when he moved to West Middleton, Pa., where he engaged in agricultural pursuits; some time thence to Jackson County, Ohio, when he enlisted August, 1861, in Company D, Thirty-sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Promoted to Second Lieutenant, and participated in all the battles of his command until discharged January, 1864, on account of disability, contracted in service. Married 1865 to Miss Irene Trego, of Jackson, Ohio; they have four children - Chester W., Alva C., John C. and Carl.

LEVI JAY, farmer, hackman, express deliverer and mail carrier, came to Rice County in April, 1871, and engaged in the hotel business at Atlanta, June, 1871. This was the first hotel kept in Rice County, he continued the business for two years. He then went to Granada, Col., and followed the same business for three years, returned to Atlanta in 1876, and farmed for four years and engaged in his present business. He has served as Justice of the Peace, Probate Judge and Notary Public. He married the first couple in Rice County, January 1, 1872. He was born in Miami County, Ohio, June 16, 1828, lived in his native county until forty-three years old, when he came to Kansas, being raised a farmer. He enlisted in the one hundred day service, in 1864, in Company A, One Hundred and Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was mustered out in September of the same year. He was married in 1850, to Miss Phebe Patty, of Montgomery County, Ohio. They have two children, daughters, living, and two sons in spirit land, daughters, Josephine I., married to H. C. Taylor, Postmaster at Lyons, and Inez I., at home. They are Spiritualists. He has 160 acres of land adjoining the town sited on the south, ninety acres of which is cultivated. He took the land as a soldier's homestead when he first came to Kansas.

[TOC] [part 5] [part 3] [Cutler's History]