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


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



The number of societies , temperance, literary, musical, agricultural and social are very considerable, as might be expected from as earnest, active, intelligent and progressive a people as are found within the limits of Riley County.

Temperance. - The Western Star Division, No. 1, S. of T. was organized in 1858; the Young Peoples Temperance Alliance, in 1877; Prohibition Phalanx No. 9, and the Womans Christian Temperance Union, each in 1880; Manhattan Temple, No. 18, A. O. U. T., in 1881; D. E. Lantz is Templar; Charles Marvin, Recorder of the last named lodge. The colored people have a lodge of Good Templars.

Kaw Valley District Medical Society. - This organization was effected June 17, 1880. The district is composed of Riley, Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee, Davis and Clay counties. It embraces graduates of medical colleges, and its object is to increase and diffuse the usefulness of the science and art of medicine and surgery, and to harmonize the intercourse of the medical profession within the district. The officers chose were: H. P. Woodward of Wamego, President; C. F. Little of Manhattan, VIce-President; J. W. Thayer of Ogden, Secretary; J. Greene of Alma, Treasurer. Its membership in 1882 was thirty-five. L. J. Lyman of Manhattan is President; Dr. Beach of Junction City, Vice-President; J. W. Thayer, Secretary and Treasurer.

Riley County Bible Society. - Depository at A. J. Whitfords store, Manhattan.

Young Mens Christian Association. - Reading room open every evening, Sundays excepted. Dr. S. D. Rose, President; A. F. Blair, Vice-President; Charles D. Marvin, Secretary; E. M. Fairchild, Treasurer.

Blue Mont Farmers Club. - This organization near Manhattan was effected January 31, 1872. Its officers were Frederick E. Miller, President; O. W. Bill, VIce-President; C. W. Kimball, Recording Secretary; Washington Marlatt, Corresponding Secretary; G. C. Campbell, Treasurer. Its object were: First, to cultivate more intimate social relation among the farmers, and more especially among the members of the club. Second, to discuss topics relating to practical agriculture in all its branches and diversified interest. Third, to form a nucleus of an organization, with a view to a concert of action with the farmers throughout the county and State for the advancement and protection of their special interests. This has become a corporate body under the law of Kansas. At its meetings there have been essays and discussions covering almost the entire round of practical agriculture in Kansas.

The Blue and Kansas Valley Agricultural Society was organized in 1869, and it holds a fair each year. The fair grounds embrace a forty-acre park in the western part of the city, and but a little distance removed from the Agricultural College farm. Riley County can show in horses, neat cattle, sheep, swine, fowls, in vegetables, grains, and fruits, as choice a selection as anywhere exist. In 1881, it was The Blue Ribbon County, receiving in September, 1880, a premium of $1,000, from the Western National Fair Association at the Bismarck fair ground for the county in Kansas, making the fullest and best general display of its products at its fair, eight counties entering the list of competitors: Apples of 100 varieties; pears, 20; grapes, 12; peaches, 9; Irish potatoes 16; squashes, 11; beets, 8; peppers, 6; turnips and sweet potatoes, each 5; pumpkins, 4; tomatoes, 3; wheat, 26; corn, 12; oats, 6; rye, 3; native woods, 33; specimens of stuffed birds, 88; of animals, 17; fine specimens of Riley County magnesia limestone. There were 60 choice hogs, 32 head of cattle, 17 horses, 40 coops of poultry. All these and immensely more of various specimens were on exhibition.

Farmers Convention Granges. - March 26, 1873, a State convention of farmers was held at Topeka. Riley Countys delegates were O. W. Bill, W. Fisher, Washington Marlatt and Edward Secrest. The animating spirit of the convention is express in the following:

Resolved, That organization is the great want of the producing classes, at the present time, and we recommend every farmer in the State to become a member of some farmers club, grange of the patrons of husbandry, or other local or State organization.

J. A. Cramer, General Deputy of the State Grange, organized granges in the county, and farmers clubs were formed in every portion of this and Pottawatomie counties. The granges were known by the names of Stockdale, Blue Mont, Bala, Zeandale, Wild Cat, May Day, Parallel, Peach Grove, Ogden, Manhattan, Deep Creek, Ashland, Fancy Creek, Prairie Rose, Madison, McDowell, Rocky Ford and Fairview.

George T. Polson was Master of Riley County Patrons of Husbandry in 1873, and its Trustees were: N. B. White, of Blue Mont Grange; Solomon Secrest, Fancy Creek; C. S. Caley May Day; A. Sweet, Stockdale; J. H. Pinkerton, Zeandale.

Co-operative Store. - The Blue and Kansas Valley Merchants Exchange was organized in 1873, at Manhattan, on the Rockdale (England) system. J. A. Limbocker, President; J. S. Randolph, Vice-President; Frederick E. Miller, Secretary; Seth I. Shields, Treasurer. September 16, 1882, the corner-stone was laid for the new two-story grange building of magnesia limestone, which stands as a thing of use and beauty on the south side of Poyntz Avenue, at the southwest corner of Fourth. O. W. Bill, Past Worthy Master, of Riley County Pomona Grange, introduced Prof. E. Gale, as the orator, and W. F. Allen, P. W. M. of the Manhattan Grange No. 748, P. of H., prepared the box for the corner-stone and deposited therein the following contents:

Copy of Nationalist, Independent, Republic, Industrialist, Telephone, Age of Progress, American Grange Bulletin, Proceedings of National Grange, Digest and Ritual of Grange Proceeding of State Grange 1876, other documents relating to insurance, etc., of Grange, bill-heads for Store, blank checks, envelopes, shipping tags, etc., address of Prof. E. Gale, poem of Mrs. Kate R. Hill, and a history of the Manhattan Grange and how the building was erected.

The poem closed as follows:

Oer these gifts, nor poor, nor few -
Oh, ye angels, sweet and true,
Bend a little from the throne,
As we lay this corner-stone;
And cross the mystic border,
Send a good word for the order;
Till adown the earthward track,
Echoes float sublimely back,
And the world to which yere strangers,
Seems a little heaven of - Grangers.

Domestic Science Club. - This organization is well attended and the following is a sample of the subject discussed: Domestic Science, Mrs. Higinbotham; Art, Mrs. Hill; Natural Science, Mrs. Ward; Literature, Mrs. Adams; Education, Mrs. French; Gold Dust from a Book, Mrs. Griffin; General Intelligence, Mrs. Green.

Knights of Labor. - Blue Valley Assembly, No. 1,999, was organized June 17, 1882. The number of its members, October 16, 1882 was about seventy. George B. Hines is Worthy Master; L. C. Stone, Financial Secretary; J. M. Limbocker, Recording Secretary.

Riley County Horticultural Society. - This organization was effected in January, 1874. J. W. Blain was chosen president; E. Gale, secretary. It is one of the very best locality organizations, and its many meetings have largely stimulated fruit-growers in the county to raise the choicest varieties of many kinds of fruit. Premiums at State fairs have yearly been awarded the horticulturists of the county, and at St. Louis, in 1882, several premiums came to men engaged in husbanding in Riley County.

Knights and Ladies of Honor. - Arcadia Lodge, No. 413, was organized by Deputy Supreme Protector H. S. Roberts, March 23, 1881, with forty-three charter members. Its officers were as follows: Protector, W. C. Johnston; Vice-Protector, Mrs. C. F. Briggs; Secretary, William Dalton; Financial Secretary, O. C. Barner; Treasurer, O. Huntress; Guide, Mrs. W. H. Stewart; Chaplain, J. J. Davis; Guardian, Mrs. John Drew; Sentinel B. F. Short; Past Protector, C. F. Briggs; Medical Examiner, Dr. H. S. Roberts; Trustees, J. F. Ellicott, Robert Allingham, Jr., Solomon Whitney. Its officers in 1882 were: Protector, C. F. Briggs; Secretary, O. C. Barner; Financial Secretary, D. G. Lautz.

The Kansas and Blue Valley Poultry and Pet Stock Association. - This joint-stock association was organized in 1879. It gives exhibitions annually.

The Manhattan Coronet Band. - This was organized in 1880.

The Choral Union. - Organized in 1868, it has given many public concerts, and it has developed a great deal of fine musical talent.

The Manhattan Institute. - This literary society, an organization of the territorial period, has had most benificent (sic) uses. Its assets are a bank deposit of $400; a town lot, $500; a library of 500 volumes, $300. It has the Annals of Congress in neat volumes from 1789 to 1824. R. B. Spilman is President, George C. Wilder, Secretary, and John W. Webb, Treasurer.


Newspapers are a prominent feature of the history of the city and county, and they have been from the early time well encouraged and supported.

The Western Kansas Express. - The first number of this paper was printed at Wyandotte in May, 1859. The press and appurtenances of the office came by steamer on the Kansas River soon after. It was the first Kansas newspaper published west of Topeka. Mr. Charles F. De Vivaldi, an Italian Republican refugee, was the editor and proprietor. In 1860 the paper was called the Manhattan Express. President Lincoln, in 1861, appointed Mr. De Vivaldi Consul to Santos in Brazil. Mr. James Humphrey, now a leading attorney in Junction City, became editor in 1861, and in 1863 Mr. J. H. Pillsbury purchased the paper and called it the Manhattan Independent.

The Kansas Radical. - This paper was started in July, 1866, by Hon. E. C. Manning.

The Manhattan Standard. - Mr. L. R. Elliott, in July, 1868, purchased the Independent of Mr. Pillsbury; on September 13 he purchased the Radical of Manning, consolidating them September 19, into the Standard.

The Nationalist. - Mr. Albert Griffin, in December, 1870, bought the paper of Mr. Elliott, and changed it to the Nationalist, which, in 1882, is an eight-page, seven-column paper, having a large circulation, and being able and valuable as to local news and its bearing on many subjects that interest the general public. It has been all the while Republican.

Real Estate Papers. - The Manhattan Homestead was started in March, 1869, and the Land Register in January, 1870. Both cease to exist. Mr. Elliott is a leading real estate man in Manhattan. Mr. Manning was one of the pioneers of Cowley County, founding the Winfield Courier. Mr. Pillsbury died as the postmaster of Manhattan, and his daughter, Annie M. Pillsbury, is postmistress at this time - 1882.

The Beacon. - Messrs. A. D. and A. G. Goodwin began the publication of the paper in 1872. Mr. L. V. Taft afterwards became its editor, and in 1874 its existence terminated. It was Liberal Republican in politics.

The Manhattan Enterprise. - The first number of this paper was published May 3, 1876, by C. M. Patee and A. L. Runyan, Mr. Runyan being the editor. In January, 1877, Mr. Patee went out of the office, and June 23, 1882, he sold the paper to Mr. George A. Atwood, formerly a newspaper man at Ellsworth, Lawrence and Leavenworth, who changed it into the Republic. It is neatly and ably conducted; in politics, Republican. In October, 1882, Mr. Runyan became connected with the Times, at Clay Center.

The Industrialist. - In April, 1875, this paper, devoted to the interests of the State Agricultural College, was started. It is published by the students in the printing department of the college; edited by the faculty, E. M. Shelton being its managing editor. It is a neat four-page, four-column paper.

The Telephone. - In June, 1880, Rev. R. D. Parker established this paper as a monthly, devoted to the interests of church and home. Mr. Parker makes this an organ especially of the Congregationalists.

The Independent. - This is a neat eight-column quarto, published by Messrs. A. Southwick & Co. It is devoted to the principles of the National Greenback Labor party. It was started at Riley Center in January, 1879, as the News. In September it was changed to the Independent, and in November, 1881, was removed to Manhattan. In 1882 it became the official paper of Riley County.

The city of Manhattan is located on an almost level plain, something more than one square mile. Poyntz Avenue, 100 feet in width, is the business part of the place. Juliaette Avenue, south of which on East Poyntz Avenue stands the Court House Square, and north of which stands the Schoolhouse Square, is also 100 feet in width. There are five other streets 100 feet wide; the others are sixty feet in width. The lots are 50x150 feet; the blocks 315x400 feet, with a fifteen-foot alley running east and west through their center. Scattered over the town are modest cottages and palatial residences, tasty church edifices, store buildings of large and small proportions, banks, hotels, mills and elevators, while in the suburbs are many most beautiful and desirable homes. Battery Park, east of the town, by the river, is mostly unimproved. Forest Park, of forty acres, in the western part of the town, is used as the fair grounds of the Blue and Kansas Valley Agricultural Society.

Railroad Depot. - Manhattan has as yet but one passenger depot. There are two railroad and two wagon-road bridges, one of each across the rivers at the city. The township has a bonded bridge indebtedness of $57,500; of aid to the Agricultural College of $2,500. Its funded previous indebtedness amounted to $55,000.

E. B. Purcell Elevator Improvement, Loan and Trust Company. - This company, incorporated under the laws of Kansas, has for its officers: E. B. Purcell, President; John B. Anderson, Treasurer; James T. Ritchie, Secretary. The elevator is one of the largest in the State, and combines all the late improvements. It has an invention for elevating and cribbing ear corn by machinery. The capacity of the elevator is 25,000 bushels; the corn cribs hold about 15,000 bushels. The corn-sheller can shell 600 bushels of corn per hour.

The Flouring Mill. - This structure, unexcelled in Kansas, stands near the railway depot. It is 32x46 feet, four stories high, with basement. Its engine-house is built of stone, 32x40 feet; one story is above ground. Its engine is a genuine Corliss, from Providence, R. I., 120 horse-power. The office is a two-story frame structure, 24x24 feet; the second story is used for storing sacks and light supplies for the mill and elevator. This company has an elevator and store at St. George, in Pottawatomie County, seven miles east of Manhattan. The elevator is the same as the one at Manhattan. They have branch stores at Wabaunsee, Fairfield and Alma, in the County of Wabaunsee, and they do business of this kind at Ames, Cloud County, on the Central Branch of the Missouri Pacific Railway. The places in Wabaunsee County are on the Manhattan, Alma & Burlingame Railroad.

The Blue Valley Bank. - This is the oldest banking-house in Central Kansas. Its correspondents are among the leading monetary houses in this country. George A. Higinbotham, the son of the banker, William P., is the competent and efficient cashier.

The Blue Valley Mills, the new Grange store building, the Purcell establishment and the Adams House, are the leading central attractive points of business on and about Poyntz Avenue.

The Kansas State Agricultural College. - In 1857 the Blue Mont College Association was chartered to build a college at or near Manhattan, under the management of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The prominent men in the movement were: Rev. Joseph Denison, afterward the president of the college; Isaac T. Goodnow, for four years State Superintendent of Public Instruction; and Washington Marlatt, now a scientific farmer located on College Hill. The college trustees received a large number of Manhattan town lots as a donation to aid the enterprise; and Messrs. Denison and Goodnow, from these returns, and by personal solicitations here and in the Eastern States, secured a considerable amount in personal donations, with which fund a farm was obtained, and a three-story building erected in 1859 on a commanding hill a mile west of the buildings now used by its successor, the Kansas State Agricultural College.

Consequent upon the failure of continued bountiful contributions to the trustees to further the movement, and with a consciousness that denominational institutions of that class in other portions of Kansas needed a specially fostering care, with the disturbed state of affairs throughout the State, the trustees were pleased to offer, in fee simple, this property to the Legislature of 1863, of the State of Kansas, if, by so doing, it could be converted into a State institution, in accordance with an act entitled, An Act donating public lands to the several States and Territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and mechanical arts, which gave Kansas 90,000 acres of land for the endorsement, support and perpetual maintenance of not less than one college for agriculture and mechanical purposes.

The Legislature adopted the following joint resolution, which was approved February 3, 1863: - Be it resolved by the Legislature of the State of Kansas, That the provisions of the act of Congress entitled An act donating public lands to the several States and Territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanical arts, approved July 2, 1862, are hereby accepted by the State of Kansas; and the State hereby agrees and obligates itself to comply with all he provisions of said act. The offer of the trustees of Blue Mont College to grant in fee simple the premises to the State, was accepted February 16, 1863, and thus Manhattan became the seat of the college. The grant was really 82,315.53 acres of land, because a portion of the selected lands was within railroad limits, and the college could not obtain a prior claim to nearly 8,000 acres. There have been sold 69,878.29 acres of these lands, fro which there has been realized some $395,000. There remained unsold in 1882, some 12,000 acres, appraised at about $140,000, lying in Riley, Marshall, Washington and Dickinson counties.

Its Re-organization. - The college in 1873 was placed upon a thoroughly industrial basis, practical agriculture and related sciences having a prominence; and in 1875 a change was made from the Blue Mont location to the buildings upon the farm of 171 acres, one mile nearer the city of Manhattan. The value of the building erected by the State reaches $75,000. The college under the care of its founders and donators, had a classic ideal that does not now obtain. The course was laid out for four years, with the usual preparatory. The first published catalogue gave ninety-four students in the preparatory department, and fourteen in the collegiate. Of these seventy-four were from Riley County. Up to 1873, but fifteen students had graduated; some of the reasons being the newness of Kansas, the western location of the school, inadequate means, the fact that industrial education was something of an experiment, and the conductors were classical scholars rather than practical scientists. Little was done for agriculture and the mechanic arts aside from the occasional lectures. The faculty at first consisted of Rev. Joseph Denison, A. M., president, and professor of ancient languages and mental and moral science; J. G. Schnebly, A. M., professor of natural history and lecturer on agricultural chemistry; Rev. N. O. Preston, A. M., professor of mathematics and English literature; J. Evarts Platt, principal of the preparatory department; Miss Belle Haines, assistant teacher in the preparatory department, and Mrs. Eliza C. Beckwith, teacher of instrumental music. Prof. B. F. Mudge was elected of the chair of natural science in 1865. He made a good collection of geological specimens and donated them to the college. In 1866, the United States War Department detailed Brevet-General J. W. Davidson to teach military tactics at the institution, and he was ordered back again in 1868. A veterinary department was organized and put under the management of H. J. Detmers in 1872, but it was discontinued in 1874 for want of patronage. An act of the Legislature, approved March 6, 1873, reconstructed the governments of the several State institutions, and Governor Osborn appointed a new Board. President Denison soon after resigned and Rev. John A. Anderson, of Junction City, became president. A change occurred in the policy of the institution. Agriculture and the mechanic arts took the place of the department of literature. Prof. J. S. Whitman became professor of botany and entomology; Prof. W. R. Kedzic, professor of chemistry and physics, and Prof. M. L. Ward, professor of mathematics. Educational labor became a factor in the new curriculum; a printing office, a telegraph office and a sewing department, and workshops in wood and iron, were fully equipped and provided with instructors. The Industrialist, a weekly paper, edited by the faculty and printed by the printing department, was started April 24, 1875. At this time the course was reduced to four years. In 1876, the laboratory and horticultural building were erected; in 1877, the barn; in 1878, the north wing of the main building; in 1882, the south wing. President Anderson was elected in 1878 to Congress fro the First District of Kansas, and Prof. Ward, as acting president, discharged the duties of the office until December 1, 1879, when Prof. George T. Fairchild, of the Michigan Agricultural College of Lansing, entered upon his duties as president. The faculty in 1882 is as follows: George T. Fairchild, A. M., president, professor of logic and political economy; Milan L. Ward, A. M., professor of mathematics and English, librarian; Edward M. Shelton, M. S., professor of practical agriculture, superintendent of farm; George H. Fallyer, M. S., professor of chemistry and physics; Edwin A. Popenoe, A. M., professor of botany and zoology, superintendent of orchards and gardens; Jeremiah E. Platt, A. M., professor of elementary English and mathematics; Albert Todd, A. M., Lieutenant First United States Artillery, professor of military science and tactics; W. H. Cowles, A. B., instructor in English and history; John D. Walters, instructor in industrial drawing; M. A. Reeve, acting superintendent of the workshops; George F. Thompson, acting superintendent of printing; Ira D. Graham, superintendent of telegraphy, secretary; Mrs. Nellie S. Kedzic, B. S., teacher of household economy and hygiene, superintendent of sewing; William L. Hofer, teacher of instrumental music; Wirt S. Myers, B. S., foreman of farm; Aaron Winder, foreman of gardens; student assistants - Julius T. Willard, chemistry; Mark A. Reeve, carpentry; John Linder, blacksmithing. The following is the Board of Regents for 1882: - Hon. Stephen M. Wood, of Elmdale, Chase County, president of the Board; Hon. A. J. Hoisington, of Great Bend, Barton County, vice-president; Hon. D. C. McKay, of Ames, Cloud County, treasurer; Hon. A. L. Redden, of El Dorado, Butler County, attorney; Hon. Jno. Elliot, of Manhattan, Riley County; Hon. V. V. Adamson, of Holton, Jackson County; President Geo. T. Fairchild (ex officio), secretary; L. R. Elliott, land agent; M. L. Ward, loan commissioner, Manhattan, Riley County.

Fourteen States, and fifty-four counties of Kansas are represented at the college in 1882. The average age of the students is 19.35 years. The following is classification of the students for the year ending June 1882:

Classes:                      Males.  Females. Total.
Special Course . . . .           3       2        5
First Year . . . . . .         168      59      227
Second Year  . . . . .          34      16       50
Third Year . . . . . .          12       7       19
Fourth Year  . . . . .           7       4       11
                              ----    ----     ----
                               222      88      312

The tuition is free; and no general fee is charged for incidental or contingent expenses. Payments are required in advance in a few special departments. In analytical chemistry, $3 a term is charged for the chemicals and apparatus used in laboratory practice; in telegraphy, $3 a term for office expenses; in instrumental music, $5 to $14 a term, according to the number of lessons. Labor performed outside of required hours of labor, is paid for at rates from eight to ten cents an hour. The work of the shops and offices is turned to account as far as practicable for the benefit of the students, and the increasing extent of the grounds and sample gardens brings more labor. A few students are able to earn their way through college, who are allowed to work in the shops somewhat for their own profit, in the manufacture of articles for sale or use. Ordinary expenditures, aside from clothing and traveling expenses, range from $60 to $150 a year.

Terms of Admission. - The college year begins with the fall term, about the middle of September, and last fourteen weeks; the winter term of twelve weeks, early in January; the spring term of eleven weeks early in April. Applicants for admission at the beginning of the year, must be at least fourteen years of age, and able to pass a satisfactory examination in reading, spelling, writing, arithmetic to percentage, geography, and elements of English grammar. Those applying later must show sufficient advancement to enter the classes already in progress. Applicants of mature age, who for lack of advantages, are unable to pass the full examination, may be received upon special conditions.

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