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


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


Manhattan Township embraces about 40 square miles. On this territory is the beautiful city of Manhattan, around which blessings gather in the greatest profusion. No such limited area in Kansas, has more of the combined works of nature and art to commend it than the township of Manhattan. Watered by the Big Blue and Kansas rivers, and Wild Cat Creek, in their circuitous courses: its bottomlands are very extensive. South of the Kansas, Mount Prospect rises almost to a perpendicular height of more than 200 feet above the river, and from this sightly eminence may be viewed scenes that are perfectly enchanting. To the east and southeast lies the unrivaled Kaw Valley, dotted with improved fields, beautiful and commodious stone farm dwellings, expansive barns and extensive orchards, the scene so enrapturing as to suggest Pisgahs heights, with its surrounding fertile, meandering vales. Blue Mont, to the north of the city of Manhattan, is less precipitous than Mount Prospect but nearly as high; it stands a perpetual sentinel over the Big Blue, whose clear and limpid waters lave its base. Here, at the confluence of these two majestic streams is a grandeur in the outlook, and this trysting point where comes the rustling of the autumnal leaves, the melody of the feathered songsters in their harmoniously tuneful notes, and the rippling, gurgling voices of many waters tells one of the great Father of Waters to the east, of the everlasting Rocky Mountains of the west, which the long railway trains of the Kansas Division of the Union Pacific, as they move to Denver on the west, to Kansas City on the east, unite. This township takes the lead in short horn herds. The Agricultural College, Charles E. Allen, Bill & Burnham, William P. Higinbotham, A. W. Rollins, and others, have this choice breed of cattle, and most of them breed pure-blooded Berkshire and Poland China swine. Gen. J. S. Casement is breeding fine horses.

Col. George S. Park, of Parkville, Missouri, in the autumn of 1854, located a town site on the Kansas River, at the southwest part of the present site of Manhattan, and called it Poleska. Seth I. Childs built thereon the first house.

Later in the same season, Samuel D. Houston, of Illinois, Judge Sanders W. Johnson, of Ohio, Judge J. M. Russell, of Iowa, E. M. Thurston, of Maine, and Dr. A. H. Wilcox, of Rhode Island, met at the mouth of the Big Blue and located a town site, calling it Canton.

March 24, 1855, Isaac T. Goodnow, Luke P. Lincoln, C. H. Lovejoy, C. N. Wilson, Joseph Wintersaid and N. R. Wright, a Committee of a New England Company, which left Boston on the 6th of March, reached this place and at once decided to consolidate the two town companies with their own, and make one good town of them. The improvements then consisted of a log cabin, built by Colonel Park for a blacksmith shop, and a dug-out at the foot of Blue Mont. March 26, Mr. Goodnow pitched his tent upon the claim of Park and protected it with sod walls. Fifteen of the New England Company, March 30, 1855, voted at Juniata for S. D. Houston for Representative to the First Territorial Legislature. There were no Missouri voters sent out here to out-vote the Free -State settlers, hence Mr. Houston was the only Free-State member.

April 4, 1855, a consolidation of all these town interests was effected. Twenty-four persons were present, who organized as the Boston Association and named the town Boston. Several rough claim-houses were erected, and they were placed upon the most important quarter-sections of the town site, consisting of some two sections and selections were made of men to hold them from claim-jumpers. William E. Goodnow used one of these houses as a store; it stood where William Smith now resides, and was the first store in Manhattan.

The names of the members of the Boston Town Association were George S. Park, S. D. Houston, S. W. Johnson, J. M. Russell, E. M. Thurston, and H. A. Wilcox, members of the old organization, and Charles Barnes, Stephen Barnes, C. W. Beebe, Cyrus Bishop, C. E. Blood, G. H. Brown, A. Browning, S. I. Childs, Martin F. Conway, Joseph Denison, John Flagg, Isaac T. Goodnow, William E. Goodnow, John Hoar, Amory Hunting, C. H. Lovejoy, Luke P. Lincoln, J. H. McClure, H. B. Neeley, E. C. Persons, T. J. Roosa, Freeman Shattock, Frank B. Smith, Newell Trafton, B. Welden, T. C. Wells, S. Whitehorn and C. N. Wilson.

April 27, 1855, a colony left Cincinnati, Ohio, on the steamboat Hartford, bound for Central Kansas, via the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, and Kansas rivers. The name of Manhattan had been fixed upon as the prospective town, as it was though there would be room for a town that might bear some comparison to New York. At St. Louis the company numbered about eighty. Deeming the steamer an abolition boat, the authorities at St. Louis delayed her some days. A pilot was hired at the extravagant price of $750, and the voyage for Kansas City was begun. Cholera broke out on the steamer and the death of several members of the colony ensued. Arriving at Kansas City there was a tarry of a week because of low water on the Kansas, and when at Lecompton the steamer got aground, another heavy rain so raised the river that there was no further delay until the steamer passed the mouth of the Big Blue, about half a file, where it grounded, and was obliged to land its passengers and freight. This was June 1, 1855. The company numbered seventy-five persons. They brought with them ten houses all ready to put up. John Pipher, Andrew J. Mead and H. Palmer hired a wagon and drove to what is now Junction City, and there laid out the town of Manhattan. During their absence John W. Pipher had an interview with the Boston Association, which resulted in the Association voting to give half the town site to the Cincinnati Company if they would locate upon it and help build up the town. The offer was accepted and Boston became Manhattan, now the Beautiful City of Kansas.

One of the Cincinnati buildings that was shipped on the Hartford now stands at the north foot of Poyntz Avenue, near the railroad track, and with its nine rooms is occupied by several colored families. Another one was a store at the corner of First Street and Poyntz Avenue, and in 1882 it stood in the rear of the livery stable of A. L. Houghton. The first stone building in the town was erected by William E. Goodnow, in the northern part, southwest of the Gove place. David A. Butterfield, of Utica, New York, the Overland State Route man from Atchison to Pikes Peak, erected the second one.

The wife of Rev. C. E. Blood taught the first school in 1855. The first schoolhouse was erected in 1858, at a cost of $2,500.

The first church was the Methodist Episcopal, built of stone, in 1858, at a cost of $4,800. Isaac T. Goodnow raised $4,000 of it in the East, mostly from town-lot sales. The remaining $800 was raised here in 1857.

Irvine Lovejoy, son of Rev. C. F. Lovejoy, was the first birth. He was born in 1855, is a graduate at Baker University, and a theological student at Boston. The first death was that of G. W. Barnes, son of Charles Barnes, a very promising young man. Rev. Joseph Denison performed the first marriage ceremony, which was in January, 1856. Thomas Platt and Sally E. Pipher were the parties united. John Pipher was the first postmaster, appointed in 1856.

Incorporation. - The city was incorporated May 14, 1857, and the first election held May 30. The Election Judges were John Pipher, William M. Snow and Andrew J. Mead. Mr. Mead was the first Mayor; A. Scammon, President of the Board of Councilmen; W. M. Snow, Clerk; James F. Gardner, Marshal. In 1870 its population was 1,173; in 1880, it was 2,104. Governor St. John, June 26, 1880, issued a proclamation declaring it to be a city of the second class. Its Mayors have been Andrew J. Mead, E. M. Thurston, S. G. Hoyt, C. F. DeVivaldi, James Humphrey, Welcome Wells, M. J. Gove, Henry Laffer, G. W. Higinbotham, Amasa Huntress, E. C. Manning, N. A. Adams, R. B. Spilman, G. W. Wisner, J. K. Perry, S. A. Sawyer, William Dent, R. Allingham Jr., John Pipher, and W. M. Beverly.

J. E. Hibbard, James Humphrey, R .B. Spilman, William McKay, George S. Green, T. L. Magruder, Samuel Kimble and W. A. Scott have been the City Attorneys. H. W. Stackpole is Police Judge, and J. R. Young, City Clerk.


The following table shows the status of the ten churches of the city:

Denominations.              Value. Seating Mem-
                                     Room. bers.

Methodist Episcopal . . . . 15,000     500   800
Presbyterian  . . . . . . . 12,000     600   125
Protestant Episcopal  . . .  6,000     400    60
Congregational  . . . . . .  5,500     450   160
Roman Catholic  . . . . . .  3,000     250    40
Church of the Disciples . .  2,500     250   100
Baptist . . . . . . . . . .  2,000     200    80
Colored Methodist Episcopal    800     175    35
African Methodist Episcopal    700     150    25
Colored Baptist . . . . . .    500     125    40

Congregational. - This church was the second organized, of this order, between the Missouri River and Rocky Mountains. The first services were held in a tent, April 22, 1855. The desk was a trunk on its end, the seats were trunks, beds and boxes. The log cabin succeeded the tent. The Hartford steamer brought materials for a frame building. January 6, 1856, in a log house of Dr. Amory Hunting, the church was formally organized; Rev. Harvey Jones, of Wabaunsee, was moderator, and Asaph Browning, from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, clerk. Here was the independence of the local church, liberty of conscience, antagonism to American chattel slavery, and abstinence from intoxicating drinks most fully affirmed. A donation of forty town lots, and contributions from people in the East, gave the church a good start. The names of Stephen A. Douglas, Abraham Lincoln and Owen Lovejoy appear as donors, written with their own hands. The building, when nearly finished, was unroofed by a tornado, May 15, 1859, but it was built and dedicated July 24, 1859. Rev. Charles E. Blood, was the first pastor. He was succeeded on May 26, 1862, by Rev. Roswell D. Parker, a graduate of Michigan University, 1854, and of Andover Theological Seminary, 1857, accepted a call from the church, October, 1867. He closed his labors in 1880, as the pastor of the church, and was succeeded by Rev. A. H. Votaw. Rev. Mr. Parker still labors as a preacher, but his time is given considerably to the Telephone, a valuable State paper of the denomination.

Methodist Episcopal. - This organization was commenced on the steamer Hartford, when on the Ohio River, en route for central Kansas, April 30, 1854, by John Pipher. Its membership was twenty-three. On the journey a few were received on probation, and religious services were held nearly every night. The history of this church is coeval with Manhattan. Rev. C. H. Lovejoy, Rev. Isaac T. Goodenow (sic) and Rev. Joseph Denison, were the pastors, prior to 1856. Since then, the pastors have been N. Trafton, Joseph Denison, J. Paulson, J. F. W. Auld, F. H. Mudge, R. L. Harford, B. C. Dennis, N. Green, R. P. Duval, G. S. Dearborn, J. M. Sullivan, S. W. Lloyd, R. Wake, E. Gill, J. A. Motter and William Friend. A church building was erected in 1857, a parsonage in 1864. The old boat bell of the Hartford was used in the church. The present church edifice was dedicated October 17, 1880. It is one of the most beautiful in the State. The annual conference was held here in 1875, Bishop Merrill presiding.

Presbyterian. - A movement was set on foot here to organize a Presbyterian Church in 1866. Rev. Alexander Sterrett, of Evansville, Ind., began preach in the autumn, and for the first four months services were held Sunday afternoons in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Soon after, morning services were held in Goves Hall. Prayer meetings and sociables were held from house to house, and on July 28, 1867, the church was organized. R. J. Harper was ruling elder. The other members were C. F. Harper, E. S. Baird, Deborah Baird, C. P. Blatchly, Mary A. Crane, Caroline Higinbotham, Pauline Hunter, G. W. King, John Mails, Martha Mails, J. Mails, R. B. Spilman, Anna M. Sterrett, John Stingley, Mary A. Stingley. The church has had the following pastors: Rev. Alexander Sterrett, three years; Rev. Dr. Anderson, six months; Rev. J. H. Reid,five years; Rev. William Campbell, the present pastor, began his labors in 1876.

Protestant Episcopal (St. Pauls). - Rev. Charles M. Calloway conducted the first services for this organization, in July, 1857. The parish was organized in May, 1858, and Rev. N. O. Preston was chose rector. Bishop Kemper made the first Episcopal visitation in 1859, and during the same year the church building was begun; it was completed in 1867, and consecrated May 13, 1870. Rector Preston suddenly died February 14, 1866; Vestryman, M. J. Gove, was killed by a railway accident, March 1, 1873, and Senior Warden, Ambrose Todd, died December 4, 1880, after twenty-two years of official relations. He was the first in that office; Edward Newell as Junior Warden; A. J. Mead, E. M. Thurston, Scott Newell and William M. Snow as Vestryman. The rectors have been Rev. N. O. Preston, Rev. James H. Lee, Rev. Daniel W. Cox, Rev. James P. Fugett. Organization in 1882: Rector, R. E. G. Huntington, D. D.; Senior Warden, George F. Brown; Junior Warden, Charles F. Keables; Vestrymen, George W. Higinbotham, Charles F. Keables, William Dalton, William M. Snow, John C. Russell, Lieutenant A. Todd; Clerk, Charles F. Keables; Treasurer, Lieutenant A. Todd.

Baptist. - This church organized August 14, 1858; was incorporated November 13, 1860. Its members were Rev. M. L. Wisner and wife, who had letters from a church in Wisconsin, Dr. George Ferguson and wife from Michigan, James H. Young and wife from Kansas City, Mo., E. Colburne and Jane A. Williston from Massachusetts, and W. S. Hurlburt from Vermont. The first preaching services were held Sunday morning in the stone schoolhouse. Later they worshipped in the Congregational Church, but a cyclone taking off the roof, they returned to the school building, and still later in the old City Hall. Their present church building was commenced in 1862, but not completed until 1866. Its pastors have been Rev. M. L. Wisner, Rev. M. J. Kermott, Rev. J. M. Lackey, Rev. Elbredge Gale, Rev. Isaac Sawyer, Rev. I. S. Woods, Rev. S. Pillsbury, Rev. J. G. Mayer, who commenced his pastorate in December, 1878.

Church of the Disciples. - This church organized at an early day, was re-organized in 1872, and a church building was erected in 1873. Its regular pastors have been Rev. A. J. White, Rev. A. D. Goodwin, Rev. Henry Coyswell, Rev. A. B. Campbell.

Roman Catholic. - This church purchased the building formerly used by the Methodists, in the summer of 1880. Rev. Father McCune has been the pastor since its organization.

The Second Methodist Episcopal (Colored). - This church was organized as a Mission in 1866, and during the year a church building was erected. Rev. James S. Griffing was its pastor. He became insane, and died in 1881. Rev. Mr. Wilson is the pastor. His labors commenced in March, 1882.

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion (Colored). - This church was organized in October, 1879, and a church building was erected in 1880. Rev. Oscar Hoskins was the first pastor. Rev. Mathew Jones commenced his labors October 13, 1881.

Colored Baptist. - This organization, now consisting of forty members, was organized in March, 1880. Its Sunday School numbers seventy-five; superintendent, Lewis Call. The pastor is Rev. Abraham Cooper. The church edifice, a frame 22x30 feet, was built in 1882. This is known as the Second Baptist.


La Fayette Lodge, No. 16, A., F. & A. M. - A dispensation was granted this lodge, October 18, 1859. Major Beebe was Master; A. A. Garrett, Senior Warden; D. A. Butterfield, Junior Warden. The early movers in the work here were Major Beebe, D. A. Butterfield, A. A. Garrett, S. G. Hoyt, Samuel Long, J. W. Robinson and Major Scammon. The first lodge meetings were held in a building, owned by Robert Wilson, of Fort Riley; it was situated on the bank of the Big Blue; it has since been moved, and is now used as a grocery store by C. F. Briggs. The present officers are S. M. Fox, Worshipful Master; H. C. Crump, Senior Warden; I. G. Hacker, Junior Warden. Its membership is about seventy-five.

Manhattan Chapter, No. 14, R. A. M. - This Chapter was organized in 1869, with fifteen charter members. Present officers are George S. Green, H. P., S. M. Fox, King, Wm. M. Beverly, Scribe.

Manhattan Lodge, No. 1,465, Knights of Honor, instituted by A. Howland, D. S. D., February 27, 1879, with twenty-seven charter members. Organized by electing the following officers: William C. Johnston, D.; W. H. Stewart, V. D.; Charles F. Briggs, A. D.; James R. Young, Rec.; George B. Himes, Fin. Rec.; Orville Huntress, Treas,.; William M. Beverly, Chap.; William A. Brown, Guide; William H. Stingley, Guard; Charles W. Whelan, Sent.; L. J. Lyman, P. D.; Drs. L. J. Lyman and H. S. Roberts, Med. Exrs.; William M. Beverly, Robert Allingham, Jr., and Dr. H. S. Roberts, Trustees. Meets second and fourth Friday evenings of each month. Present membership, sixty-two. each membership carries with it $2,000 life insurance. One member, J. K. Winchip, has died since its organization.

Corinthian Lodge, No. 59, A., F. & A. M., was instituted February 15, 1882, with fourteen charter members. The following officers were elected: W. M., M. Jones; S. W., H. Welch; J. W., C. Mathews; Sec., G. S. Morgan; Treas.m, E. D. Williams. The lodge has now upwards of twenty members, and is in sound financial condition. Meets monthly.

Manhattan Lodge, No. 17, I. O. O. F., was instituted January 26, 1866, with twenty-three charter members, of whom the following are the elective officers for that term: N. G., John Pipher; V. G., J. G. Hollenbeck; Per. Sec., N. Dundore; Treas.m, M. Maurehan. The lodge has now a membership of seventy-five in good standing. Has had twelve deaths since organization, and has $2,000 cash on hands. meetings are held weekly in their own well-furnished hall.

Blue Valley Encampment No. 42, I. O. O. F., was organized April 26, 1882, with eighteen charter members, officers for the term being: C. P., J. R. Strong; H. P., H. T. Merryfield; E. W., S. B. Smith; J. W., B. L. Bredburg; Sec., I. D. Graham; Treas., D. Evans. Semi-monthly meetings are held, and the encampment is in a flourishing condition.

Phoenix Lodge No. 35, K. Of P., was instituted May 18, 1881, with twenty-three members. Has since had a slight increase in membership. Is free of debt, with balance in treasury. No deaths have yet occurred. Meetings are held semi-monthly in Odd Fellows Hall.

Western Star Division No. 1, S. of T., was instituted January 1, 1875, and has had a somewhat checkered career. It has now upwards of forty members, and is doing good work. The division is out of debt, with small balance of cash on hand. Meets every Tuesday evening in Mr. Kings new hall.

Blue Valley Assembly No. 1999, K. of L., was organized June 17, 1882, with a membership of twenty-one, which has since been increased to upwards of seventy. Is in good condition financially, and meets semi-monthly.

Manhattan Grange No. 748, Patrons of Husbandry, was organized April 4, 1874, and has a large list of members. Mr. William F. Allon is Master. The grange is in good financial condition. Meetings are held monthly in Odd Fellows Hall.

Len Gove Post No. 100, G. A. R., of Manhattan, was organized July 21, 1882. Its first officers were: H. F. Christie, Commander; H. C. Crump, J. V. C.; S. M. Fox, S. V. C.; G. J. Green, O. D.; J. M. Myers, O. G.; R. B. Sarber, Q. M.; W. Burgoyne, Adjutant. The post is free from debt and meets in Odd Fellows Hall.

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