KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


SEDGWICK COUNTY, Part 2

[TOC] [part 3] [part 1] [Cutler's History]

TOWNSHIP SKETCHES.

Afton. - Afton township was organized in October, 1874, by William Lyman, at present postmaster at Afton. The first settler was Albert Southard, who built a house and opened a farm in 1872. The township is watered by Afton Creek and Clear Creek, with several branches of each. It is rolling prairie, producing good crops in favorable seasons, both corn and wheat. Its present population is 262. Its total tax assessment $95,174.

Attica. - The first settlers located in 1869 and the spring of 1870, among them David Boggs, C. Hester, Henry Shorts, John Gorman, Henry Schwitzer (now of Wichita), Aaron Siever, Jas. Wenderman, W. D. Strong, A. M. Auld, Aaron Green, E. Aldrich, A. H. McConahie, Samuel Speer, A. G. Valentine, and Messrs. McGee, Briggs, McDonald, Dongan, Preston, Russell and Owen, with their families. Closely following them came Miles Majors, Reese, Knoflock, Leslie, Holmes, Stewart, Shaffers, Dyt, McClelland, Curtis, Wykoff, Anderson, Chirington, Rochelle, Roder, Osborne, Ogden, Davidson, McCalya, Cooper, Dennis, Heighrie, Rogers, Coleman, Flood, Rosenstiel and Kelly - present Hon. John - and the families of all the above.

Delano. - A. E. and E. Dodge were the first bona fide settlers of this township, having come prior to the year 1870, though Isaac Walker took the claim at the West Wichita end of the bridge some time in 1869, so the honor could easily be disputed; however settlers came rapidly early in 1870, among them, John McCormick, Richard Farmer, R. E. Lawrence, G. E. Kirkpatrick and S. W. Richmond, all of whom still reside upon their original claims, saving Mr. Farmer, who we trust has found quite as pleasant a climate whither he has gone, over the river, but not the Big Arkansas. The township was organized in 1871, by P. McDonald. The soil is rich, most of it is bottom land. It is well watered by the Arkansas and Cowskin. The bottoms are sub-irrigated, and often produce thirty bushels of wheat to the acre, and as high as eighty bushels of corn. It boasts of two church organizations, a Presbyterian and Methodist, also the legendary West Wichita. Population, 631; valuation of property, $219,751.

Erie. - Erie Township was first called Fayette, but changed in 1878. It is watered by Mud Creek, Jocelyn Creek and Sand Creek, besides having many prairie ponds distributed in various localities furnishing abundance of water for stock purposes, which is largely the pursuit of its people, though excellent crops are raised, and fruit does well. The soil is a dark loam, capable of fine crops, which could be produced to profit by deep plowing. Its first actual settler was Samuel Elkins, but among its active early pioneers were Wm. Embree, Milton W. Tyler, M. A. Swift, M. Davison (blacksmith and preacher), G. Vesey, A. T. Buckeridge, O. H. S. Bartlett and Henry Newton; the last named organized the township. It has several good schoolhouses, wherein church is held by circuit preachers, each Sabbath. Helen postoffice, located on the southwest quarter of Section 9, is surrounded by finely improved farms. Population, 166, valuation of property, $74,505.

Eagle - Eagle Township was organized January 9, 1872. It was named in honor of the Wichita Eagle, it is located north of Park and a little west of north from the confluence of the two rivers; is watered by the Big Arkansas, and is one of the best townships in the county. Its grain producing as well as stock raising industries, are fast coming to the front rank of townships; besides its boasts of several of the finest orchards in the county. Embracing parts of three ranges, 1, 2, and 3 west, it gets with it alike capabilities for farming and stock raising. Population 551; valuation of property, $205,732.

Grant. - Grant Township is settled mostly by old soldiers, and named in honor of the General. Alexander Jester was the first settler, and located with his family upon the banks of what was called Jester Creek (since changed to Badger), as early as January, 1868. In the fall of 1870, he left his family and went to Indiana on his annual predatory excursion; returning he met a sixteen year-old boy enroute West, who was in possession of a good team, some money, a trunk and a silver watch. Jester, acting in a totally different capacity from what his name would imply, worked into the confidence of the boy. Gaining it the more readily owing to his old age, and then assuming the role of guide and protector to the poor boy, he allured him to this valley one night, and brutally murdered him with an axe while asleep at their camp fire in Missouri. He burned the body but preserved the effects, coming through Wichita a month afterwards with the boy's team, trunk, etc., and going to his place. Word reached here a few days after; he was arrested and sent back to Missouri, where he broke jail, and was afterwards killed among a band of outlaws, while attempting to rob a wagon train. His wife and family, a boy and two girls, scattered, and having all since died. There were pioneers in Grant Township, however, as early as the spring of 1870; among them were Scott Thomas, D. R. Allen, Ruleson, the blacksmith, S. J. Perrin, O. G. Jacobs, Chris. Pringle, the Ayers. All are still living in Grant except Allen, who resides in Wichita. Ruleson was probably the first to settle after Jester, in Grant Township. Valley Center, now grown to be quite an important village, doing a fine grain and stock trade, with depot, elevator and several good stores, several good church organizations, a fine school edifice, etc., is located in Grant Township. The township is watered by the Little Arkansas, Badger Creek, and the head waters of Chisholm Creek. The soil is very productive, lies mostly in the beautiful valley of the Little Arkansas, or with a valley slope approaching the uplands, which produces nearly equal to the bottom farms, while greatly superior in the matter of fruit culture; one of the finest orchards in the State, that of Mr. McCracken, is upon the uplands of Grant Township, Sedgwick County. Grant Township has eight schoolhouses, and boasts of a handsome park, dark with shade trees, and seats, platforms, etc., arranged for speaking, dancing or celebrating. Population, 891; valuation of property, $340,066.

Gypsum. - Gypsum Township boasts of some of the best producing and finest improved farms in the county. It was first settled by Joseph Gifford, who came here in 1868, and was organized March 2, 1871. Of its early pioneers still engaged in cultivating its soil, are John Dolon, William Sweeney, J. K. Crabb, M. Clapham, the Staffords and L. Bronson. Several fine orchards returning rich yields of fruit, are already there as vouchers for that crop, while corn has averaged from fifty to sixty bushels to the acre in favorable seasons. The township is abundantly watered by tributaries of the Arkansas River, Spring Creek, Spring Branch, Dry Creek, Polecat and Eightmile Creek. It has seven schoolhouses, two or three church organizations and a well reputed literary society. Vegetables of all kinds can be raised with profit. Population, 597; valuation of property, $285,210.

Greeley. - Greeley Township was first settled by J. Lumbert in 1871. Among its best known citizens still claiming it as their home, are A. M. Durand, G. Herendon, D. M. Anderson, William Daily, W. J. Collier, W. C. Brown and H. E. Heisserman. All the above named gentlemen were pioneers, following closely upon Mr. Lumbert in their settlement. The township was named after the lamented editor of the New York Tribute. It is watered by the Arkansas River, which runs the length of its northern boundary, giving it some of the finest valley land in the county. The soil is a rich black loam, producing alike, splendid corn and wheat, and is valuable for its fine orchards, great and excellent varieties of its fruit, while it cannot be surpassed for stock raising. The postoffice, Mount Hope, is in the northwest corner of the township. It has an agricultural store, two stocks of general merchandise, and a blacksmith shop, all doing a fair business. There are four good schoolhouses and three church organizations, the Christians, Methodists and Congregationalists, having an average attendance of fifty each. The township was organized in 1872. Population, 455; valuation of property, $157,060.

Garden Plain. - Garden Plain Township, lying directly west of Wichita about twelve miles, is the center of a very fine agricultural region. Its earliest settlers were U. B. Bryan, John Fletcher, and O. S. Northrop. The township is watered by several tributaries of the Ninnescah River, among them Clear Creek and Polecat. The township has a fine church organization, the Mount Olive Baptist, besides circuit preaching in several schoolhouses. Lamont is the postoffice. School districts Nos. 8, 37 and 77, each have fine comfortable buildings and are arranged with reference to settlements, so as to afford the greatest convenience to scholars as to distance. N. M. Southwick organized it, and has one of the finest improved farms west of Wichita, with fine orchards, grove and convenient outbuildings, barn, granary, etc., aside from a good residence building. Garden Plain is as well adapted to stock raising and fruit raising. Crops of all kinds are grown with profit in season. The township was organized in July, 1874. Population, 399; valuation of property, $111,300.

Grand River. - Grand River is located in Range 4, on the western line of the county. It is abundantly watered by the Ninnescah River with its several branches, besides numerous tributaries. It is a paradise for stock raising, while its bottom lands produce as good crops as the Arkansas River bottom lands. Sheep, naturally, do well in this township. David Moore was the first white settler. He located with his family at what was known as "Lone Tree Ranch," an ofttime halting place for freighters, hunters and frontiersmen. The township was organized by A. A. Barlow, whose farm lies joining Marshall, quite a flourishing little village. Marshall boasts of several good stores, carrying stocks of general merchandise, besides a good water flour mill, blacksmith and wagon shop, broom factory, livery stable and hotel. Among the oldest and best know of its settlers, are J. E. Williams, Dr. Shannon, Ira Lamphere, R. Saunders, S. S. Casad, and the Richey brothers. The Methodist, Baptist and Disciple churches have each a fine organization. There are four school districts, each with a substantial building, arranged so as to be easily accessible to the greatest number. The township was organized in 1876. Population, 396; valuation of property, $98,345.

Illinois. - Illinois Township was first settled by William Spencer, who located in 1871. In 1872, the Ralphs, William Dexter, James Dugan, E. E. Basher and J. R. Booth came; and in the spring of 1870, J. D. Nessly (who organized the township the same year), J. M. Lane, William Walton, James Sackett and Barnett. The majority of the first settlers came from Illinois, and gave the name of the township. The soil and products do not differ from the best uplands of the county. Wheat and corn do well, fruit also. The township is watered by Dry Creek, and numerous springs are a spontaneous offering to enhance the value as a stock raising region. The township was organized in 1873. Population, 359; valuation of property, $124,996.

Kechi. - Kechi was first settled by John Allison, as early as the fall of 1868. L. Dunlap settled with his family in the winter of the same year. In July, 1869, the three Sullivan boys, Charles E., William R. and George G., made their settlement, coming from Arizona by wagon. Charles organized the township in 1871. In May, 1870, the balance of the Sullivan family came, consisting of father, mother, three other brothers, two son-in-laws and a sister. All are still living in Kechi, except the elder Sullivan, who died in 1872. E. P. Thompson, who represented Sedgwick County in the Kansas House of Representatives in 1874, removed to this township from Topeka in 1870, with his family, having selected his farm early in 1869. Population, 614; valuation of property, $226,230.

Lincoln. - The first actual settler in this township was Henry Engot, a native of Switzerland, who settled in what is now Lincoln Township, in 1870. Among those who came shortly after but during the same year, 1870, were Samuel L. Bowers and T. B. McCormick. In 1871, came Oren Smith, W. H. Yazel, William J. Wallace, W. C. Woods, George Lent, Phillip Osman and W. H. Ayers. The township was organized in 1871. It is the extreme northeastern corner of the county, and embodies some of the finest land and best improved farms in the State of Kansas. It is celebrated for its fine and thrifty orchards. Wheat, corn, vegetables, briefly, any product incident to this soil and climate, can be profitably raised there. Watered by Wild Cat and Prairie Branch, besides an abundance of ponds and springs. The postoffices are at Clarion and Edgecomb. Clarion is in the center and Edgecomb in the northeast corner of the township. Four good schoolhouses are impartially distributed to meet the educational wants of its thrifty people. Three church organizations, having circuit preachers, with each a full membership, also grace the township. Population, 509; valuation of property, $104,605.

Morton. - This township was organized in 1875, by E. C. Gobin. It was first settled by George W. Walters, in 1870, at present one of the Commissioners of Sedgwick County. At an early day he kept a country supply store for cattle men and traders, but subsequently he engaged in agricultural pursuits, and is still following the same. J. B. Brickhouse, formerly a groceryman at Wichita, became an early settler of Morton, and was kept in the office of Justice of the Peace until 1881, when he was succeeded by Mr. Gobin. Mr. Brickhouse is now Postmaster at Finley. The country is well adapted to stock raising, and fine stock ranges abound. The township is well watered by both branches of the Ninnescah, besides Spring and Mud creeks. Population, 478; valuation of property, $81,082.

Minneha. - Minneha joins Wichita Township on the east, and is undoubtedly one of the very best townships in the county. Its settlement dates as far back as 1870, when W. D. Highly settled with his family upon Section 30, where he still is engaged in farming and stock raising. Con. Ludlum and William Baldwin were settlers of 1870 also. Among the settlers of 1871 were, R. T. Leach, J. Zody, P. S. Crum, David Fox, J. S. Shank and John Hass. The township was organized in October, 1871, one of the first organized in the county. With the exception of Wichita Township, it probably contains the best farm improvements of any other township in the county. Fine houses, barns, orchards and hedges abound throughout Minneha. It is watered by Gypsum Creek, Four-mile and Spring Creek, with numerous tributaries from a variety of springs. The soil is very productive, and all crops, field or garden, seldom fail of bringing the husbandman a full compensation for his labor. The St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad runs through the township, with a station inside its limits called Manchester. It has four good schoolhouses and three church organizations. Population, 469; valuation of property, $192,469.

Ninnescah. - Ninnescah is one of the southern tier of townships bordering upon Sumner County. It is watered by the river from which it derived its name, and is rich in fine bottom lands and in a large belt of timber. The soil is equal to the Arkansas River bottom lands, but its valley is not so extensive. Some of the finest improved and best producing farms in the county are in this township. Its uplands afford the best of pasture, and are well adapted either for farming or stock raising. Fruit culture is largely and successfully engaged in this township.

Hon. William Ross, organized the township in Oct, 1872. The first officers were Thomas W. McCreadie, Trustee; J. G. Dunscomb, Treasurer; J. M. Tracey, Clerk; William Ross and F. Summers, Justices. The first settler was Edward Murray, a native of the County Down, Ireland, who located in the winter of 1869. He got out material for a "stockade ranch," on the north bank of the Ninnescah. He then left, and returning in April, 1870, found his claim occupied by Charley Smith, to whom he gave the material. Smith then completed what was known afterwards as the "Ninnescah Ranch." Jacob Swinddinger, known as "Dutch Jake," occupied it some time, and then Bob Bytle, a noted frontiersman, became Smith's partner. They sold to McLean & Russell, and for two years it was the rendezvous for all the desperados along the border. In 1872, J. G. Dunscomb bought them out and they left for Bluff Creek, Sumner County, where McLean came near being lynched with Bill Brooks, George Smith and others, whom the "vigilance" hung just west of Wellington. McLean escaped by interference of several to whom he had done favors in times gone. Murray located on the south side of the river and is still there. William Ross located with his family, August 10th. On the 18th he cleared off about four rods of the river bottom, stirred it with a pitchfork and sowed turnip seeds. About the 15th of November, 300 Osage Indians, on an annual hunt and drunk, camped in the bottom and harvested the first crop. The arrivals up to the last of August, were Messrs. Ingenine and family, Sohn, Cramer, Summers, West and Bright. In September the arrivals were Messrs. McCreadie, Brown, Stafford, Lane, Smith and Spicer. John Stewart came in March, 1871, and his son's is claimed as the first birth in the township. The first death was among the horse thieves at Smith & Lytle's ranch. Rev. J. P. Harson, assisted by Elder H. W. Lawrence, organized the first church (Presbyterian) February 3, 1874. The Ninnescah has numerous tributaries that afford an abundance of water, aside from the river. The postoffices are at Good River and Clearwater, the last mentioned having a very extensive store of general merchandise, besides a blacksmith shop. Four schoolhouses and a Presbyterian Church edifice, the latter on A. H. Mann's farm, are other features not unimportant. A. E. Chambers has a race park on his farm, and handles fine stock. Population, 350; valuation of property, $153,515.

Ohio. - Ohio township was named in honor of the modern father of heroes, statesmen and presidents. Its first settlers were in majority, from Ohio, and organized the township, with that name, March 8, 1873. It lies upon the line of Sumner County, east of Ninnescah Township and is watered by Spring Creek, several tributaries of the Ninnescah and numerous fine springs. E. H. Brown was its first settler, having arrived in 1870. The Andersons came in 1871, also William Dyer. Ohio is ranked among the best townships, in the character, quality and abundance of its products. It has some splendidly improved farms within its boundaries and is well known for its stock wealth. Ohio Center is the postoffice, and three good schoolhouses are conveniently located in the township. Population, 303; valuation of property, $117,644.

Park. - The first township settled was Park. It really seems to claim most of the earlier incidents narrated in an authentic history of Sedgwick County. It was in Park Township that Clint Arnold and his hunting party located. It was here the first farm settler, John Ross, built his cabin and where he met his tragic death. J. H. Dunlap settled there in February, 1868. Besides, Park city was organized by a town company before Wichita was named, and it was designed not only for the county seat town, but for the metropolis of the valley. It was not organized as a township until May 2nd, 1871, and then by W. W. Turner. Park is watered by both the Big and the Little Arkansas rivers - an island almost. It is thoroughly irrigated by the undertow of both rivers, hence never fails of a crop, averaging some years seventy-five to eighty bushels of corn to the acre. All the other cereals, fruits and vegetables, grow abundantly and profitably. Population, 418. Total valuation of property, $124,908.

Payne. - This township was organized in the fall of 1870, and named in honor of its first settler, David L. Payne, who has obtained national celebrity from his connection with the movement to establish the Oklahoma colony in the Indian Territory. Captain Payne was the originator of the scheme and is still president of the Oklahoma Association. He was born December 30, 1838, in Fairmount, Grant Co., Ind., and was raised on a farm. He received a common school education. April 15, 1858, he arrived in Burr Oak Township, Doniphan Co., Kan., and engaged at once in the native lumbering business, which he followed until July 16, 1861, when he enlisted as a private in the Fourth Kansas Regiment of Infantry, which afterwards, in connection with the Third Kansas, became the Tenth Kansas. He served three years with this command in the capacity of a private, declining the offer of a Lieutenant's commission five times. In the Kansas Legislature of 1865 he represented one of the districts of Doniphan County, in the Lower House. In the spring of 1865 he joined General Hancock's Veteran Army corps, in which he served until honorably discharged after one year's service. In January, 1867, he was elected Sergeant-at-Arms of the Kansas State Senate, and served as such through that session. In the spring of 1867 he was appointed Postmaster at Fort Leavenworth, in which position he served personally from April, 1867, until July following, and by deputy until the following September. July 2, 1867, he joined the Eighteenth Kansas Cavalry Regiment, which was organized for six months service on the plains. He served through the campaign in the capacity of Captain of Company D. During the session of the Legislature of 1868 he filled the position as Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate, to which he had been elected the previous session. In November, 1868, he joined the Nineteenth Regiment of Kansas Cavalry, another command organized for six months' service on the plains. In this regiment he was appointed Captain of Company H, in which position he served during the existence of the command. He was engaged in the campaign against the Cheyennes, in which was effected the rescue of Mrs. Morgan and Miss White, in March, 1869, on the headwaters of the Red River, in the Panhandle of Texas. These ladies had been captured from their homes on the Republican River, in Kansas, in the summer of 1868, by Cheyenne Indians, and had suffered all of the indignities and cruelties that the wild savage is capable of inflicting. During a portion of this campaign Captain Payne served as dispatch bearer for General Custer. April 5, 1870 he removed to Sedgwick County and established "Payne's Ranch" at the crossing of the old Santa Fe trail on Dry Creek, in what is now Payne Township. In the Legislature of 1872 he represented Sedgwick County in the Lower House. He was the author of the bill which passed at this session to remove the disabilities of Confederate soldiers in Kansas. From 1874 to 1879 he was Assistant Doorkeeper of the House of Representatives at Washington. In 1879 he served four months as Government Steamboat Inspector, his time being divided between Florida and Norfolk, Va. He returned to his home in Payne Township in April, 1880, and immediately organized the Oklahoma Colony, of which he was elected president, and still remains as such. He has been arrested and driven from the Indian Territory six times by United States troops, but he still believes that his cause is sustained by law and equity, and will not surrender his position until the question in dispute has been settled by the Supreme Court. His position is that the lands in the Indian Territory which have not been apportioned to Indian tribes are the sole property of the Government, and as such are subject to settlement by citizens of the United States. Captain Payne is six feet four inches in height and is a fine specimen of manly beauty. He is modest and unassuming, and has none of the appearances of a bravado. He has all of the qualifications for a frontier leader, being cool, courageous, cautious, honorable and thoroughly practical. In Sedgwick County, where he is best known, no man has made more warm friends than Captain David L. Payne. The first Justice of the Peace in Payne Township was Robert Wilson, who was appointed in July, 1870. The township is well watered, Greenwich is the postoffice. There are three good church organizations and five good school buildings in the township. Population, 519; valuation of property, $176,948.

Rockford - Rockford was organized May 2, 1871, by George N. Litzenberg and George Huffbauer. The first settler was Henry Stein, in June, 1869, shortly followed by Mr. Frielinger and William Yanks. During the fall of 1869, and early in 1880, settlements were made by the following gentlemen: Messrs. Osborn, Eaton, Alexander, McWilliams, Snyder Bros., Garret, McGuire, Woodward (the first justice), Ohlson, Gerties, Putnam, the Tuckers, Cramers, Morrison, Kennedy, Barns, Huftbauer, Hough, Whaley, Burr, the Geoedners, Minichs, Vance, the Marks, Fortner, Fridays, Armstrong, Goodacre, Dr. Fabrique and David Aley. The first postoffice was named Sanford, established in 1870. A saw-mill at that period made cottonwood lumber for $30 per 1,000 feet. Mr. Haubauer built the first frame house, hauling his lumber from Salina, 118 miles. The first birth in the township was Anna May Garret, who was born in 1870. A Methodist Church was organized in 1871, which has been in active operation ever since. The flourishing town of Derby, and likewise five schoolhouses, are in this township. Population, 700; valuation of property, $222,258.

Sherman. - Sherman Township, named after the General, joins Union on the west, and is near the extreme northwestern line of the county. It was organized in 1877. The Germans are largely settled in the eastern part of it. All the crops are produced abundantly, and stock raising is being successfully prosecuted. It is watered by tributaries of the Cowskin and the "Big Slough," which is rich in fine bottom land. Magnolia is the postoffice, and Germania, a flourishing little village, is on the southeastern line of the township. It has three schoolhouses, a Presbyterian and Catholic Church organization. Population, 386; valuation of property, $139,098.

Salem. - Salem was organized in 1871, by S. Dunkin. W. F. Ransom was the first settler. He located in November, 1869. C. B. Haskins, who was mustered out of service at Wichita, in 1869, located the second claim. J. W. Hubbles, Frank Dunkin and James M. Vigus located the same year. In 1870, came A. Dodge, W. Phillips, William Davis, Mr. Powers, S. Dunkin, J. A. Nelson and W. W. Hays. The township is well watered by the Cowskin Creek and its tributaries, while the Arkansas River is its eastern boundary. The township has three good flouring-mills, four schoolhouses, two good stores with postoffice at Hays' mill, where also is located the well known camp meeting and picnic grove. Corn, wheat, fruit and vegetables are staple products of Salem, while it probably furnishes more stock for the market than any other township in the county. Population, 604; valuation of property, $164,107.

Union. - Union was first settled by Henry Pate and his four sons, in 1869. Early in 1870, the Rhodes, Rutledges, Smiths, Hohns and Burr, settled. Shortly after, the Browns, Packards, Imblees, Minturn and Manamee. The settlements were so rapid that in 1872 all the land in the township had been pre-empted. The township was organized in 1872, by E. A. Dorsey. It is a magnificent body of land, unlimited is to its crop producing qualities, as is abundantly testified by the magnificent farms of the Germans, who settled in the eastern portion of the township. In field crops and fruit, it has no superior in Southern Kansas. It is watered by the Arkansas River, the "Big Slough" and the Cowskin. Eldridge and Ferris are the postoffices. It has fine educational facilities, and is the largest in area of any township in the county. Population, 1,015; value of property, $318,335.

Viola. - Viola was first settled by C. Wood Davis and his two sons, who located in May, 1870. Theirs was the first frame residence in all the valley of the Ninnescah. Charles D. Davis organized the township in 1876, so Viola is the centennial township of the county. S. W. and S. O. Sackett located in 1871, as did Capt. W. S. White (of the Wichita Beacon), his brother Norman, and their mother. Viola is abundantly watered by the Ninnescah, Clearwater and Sand Creek. It is splendidly adapted to stock raising, owing to its numerous streams, while the bottom lands produce every crop with profit. Nearly every quarter section has an orchard. Populaiton, 251; valuation of property, $109,542.

Waco. - Waco was settled as early as 1870. The name of the first settler cannot be ascertained. Mr. Jesse had a trading ranch on the Cowskin at an early day. Babcock and Wemple had a trading post on the same stream in 1871. Captain Wemple was one of the first settlers on the Cowskin. Among the early pioneers who have profited and made beautiful homes and fruitful farms, out of the rich deposits in the soil of Waco Township are Nupus, Blood, Simpson, O'Mealy, Owens, Barnett, W. H. and Melville Ranson, Cartwright, Balch, Robbins, Morgan, Hucklebridge, Weir, Wycoff, Bigelow, Snyder, Duncan, Mitchell Dunn, McKee, Hazen and Wilson. There are seven schoolhouses; three Methodist organizations and one Baptist. It is watered by the Arkansas, Cowskin and Dry Creek, with numerous tributaries. The eastern part of the township, averaging four miles in width, is sub-irrigated, never failing to produce a crop, making it one of the most desirable, as well as richest soil regions in the county. Corn is the main crop, though wheat and other grains do well; also vegetables, while its fruit producing qualities are unsurpassed. A great many farmers have, of late years, turned their attention to successful stock raising. The township was organized on May 2, 1871, by Charles E. Goodyear, one of the first settlers in this valley. Populaiton, 694; valuation of property, $265,387.

Wichita. - Wichita was organized 1870, by A. T. Lonsberry. Probably the first settler who built within the limits of Wichita Township, was Jesse Chisholm, a half breed, who came here with a band of Wichita Indians, in 1864, and built a cabin and trading post on the creek called after his name. What is now the township limits was, until 1869, the frequent resort of frontiersmen and hunters, coming and going as interest diverted them. But in 1869, the pioneer settlers began to seek this valley. Among them were: Doc. Lewellan, C. C. Allison, George E. Clark, John Ward, J. L. Rowton, James Eaman, David and Samuel Hoover, John Falkenstein, Isaac Elder, Charles W. Hill, John Meagher and father, Charles Hunter, Caleb Teter and William L. Polk. Following closely, and in the spring of 1870, came A. J. Cook, William Finn, J. S. Mitchell, A. T. Lonsberry, George Lamphere, J. B. Fenton, N. A. English, Julius Johnson, Harry Smith, Joshua Smith, William Smith and others. The first bridge constructed in the county was built by labor subscription, the total cash outlay being ten dollars. It was built upon the site of the one now spanning Chisholm Creek, at the northeast suburb of the city. The first and second school districts then included the entire county. Buffalo, deer and antelope were to be had within sight. The entire township is valley, with the exception of a few sections on the rise east of Chisholm Creek. It is sub-irrigated and is unqualifiedly the garden spot of Kansas. It never fails, with proper care, to produce a crop, and withstands the severest droughts. A confirmation of this is, that in 1868, during the prevalence of hot winds that caused a failure of crops throughout the State, army officers, at Fort Hays, unable to procure even hay for their animals, sent down men and tools to cut hay in this valley, and to procure vegetables from the Indian women, whose "squaw patches" are yet traceable between the rivers and upon Greiffenstein's land, north of the city. The township abounds in elegant farm houses, barns, granaries, and is a wilderness of well-cared-for orchards, bearing an abundance and variety of fruit. Grapes and peaches are prolific, while vegetables of all kinds succeed well. Truly here "you have but to tickle the ground with a hoe, and it laughs into a crop." The township has four schoolhouses. Each district has a church organization. It is watered by the two Arkansas rivers and Chisholm Creek, with a race on the north carrying the waters of the Little Arkansas into Chisholm Creek, the latter emptying into the Big Arkansas, a few miles south of town. A fine water power has thus been created that might run, if properly handled, mills for a number of manufactories. A large flouring mill, built by H. W. Lewis, has been in active operation for over a year, upon one of the many sites this grand water privilege affords. Population, 931; valuation of property, $331,940.

[TOC] [part 3] [part 1] [Cutler's History]