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


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



The First Arkansas Valley Bank, a private banking institution, the oldest in Wichita or Southwestern Kansas, was established in the spring of 1870, by W. C. Woodman. The first exchange was sold in September of the same year. In 1871, the bank commenced making loans in this and Sumner counties. The bank, which transacts a general banking business, remains under the same management.

The Wichita Savings Bank was incorporated July 1, 1872, with a capital of $100,000 - one-half paid up - and commenced business in August of the same year. First board of directors was composed of A. N. Clark, Sol. H. Kohn, W. A. Thomas, W. Grieffenstein, S. C. Johnson, H. J. Hills, N. A. English, S. Warner, A. A. Hyde. Officers: A. N. Clark, Pres.; Sol. H. Kohn, Vice-Pres.; A. A. Hyde, Sec'y and Cash. April 20, 1875, Sol. H. Kohn was elected Pres.; A. M. Clark, Vice-Pres.; October 27, 1875, S. Levy was elected Vice-Pres., A. N. Clark retiring. March 1, 1879, the bank was merged into the Wichita Bank, of Kohn Bros. & Co., composed of S. H. and M. Kohn and M. W. Levy. January 1, 1883, the institution commenced business as the Wichita National Bank, the certificate of authority having been granted September 29, 1882. Capital, $250,000. Present officers: S. H. Kohn, of New York City, Pres.; W. A. W. Oliver, Vice-Pres.; M. W. Levy, Cash.; C. A. Walker, Ass't Cash. In 1872, deposits amounted to $5,000; loans and discounts, $44,000. In 1882, deposits, $156,000; loans and discounts, $150,000. Exchange, 1882, $2,000,000.

Kansas National Bank. - The Farmers and Merchants' Bank was established November 1, 1876, by H. W. Lewis, as a private institution. September 1, 1877, it was organized under the State banking law, with a capital of $25,000. Directors and officers: H. W. Lewis, Pres.; A. A. Hyde, Cash.; S. Houck, W. S. Corbett and T. H. Lynch. First year's deposits, $20,000. In 1882, $100,000; discounts $600,000; exchange saved, $125,000 per month. November 1, 1882, it was organized under its present application, with a capital stock of $50,000. Board of Directors: H. W. Lewis, J. L. Dyer, R. H. Roys, R. E. Lawrence, A. A. Hyde.

The Kansas State Bank was organized December 16, 1880, with a paid up capital of $52,000. Officers: B. Lombard, Jr., Pres.; James L. Lombard, Vice-Pres.; L. D. Skinner, Cash.; G. E. Spaiten, Ass't Cash. Deposits have increased from $35,000 to $115,00; loans and discounts to $113,000.

The Lombard Mortgage Company was incorporated December 17, 1880, with a capital of $50,000. Officers since organization: B. Lombard, Pres.; J. L. Lombard, Vice-Pres.; G. E. Spaiten, Sec'y; E. E. Skinner, Treas.; $400,000 loaned in 1881. Makes a specialty of first mortgages and loans on real estate.

The Bank of Commerce. - A private banking institution was established by Rodolph Hatfield and Jno. W. Hartley, January, 1883, with a capital of $25,000, to be increased as business demands.

The Citizens' Bank was incorporated December 20, 1882, with a capital stock of $100,000, by James O. Davidson, S. L. Davidson, O. L. Davidson, W. E. Stanley, R. S. Cate, A. Drum, and Jno. Carpenter. Officers are: Jas. O. Davidson, president; S. L. Davidson, vice-president, O. L. Davidson, secretary; Jno. Durst, cashier. Place of business on Main street nearly opposite postoffice. Capital stock will be increased as the business demands.

Tremont House. - The first hotel in Wichita, known as the Empire House, was opened in May, 1870, by Wm. Grieffenstein, in a two-story frame building located on the corner of Third and Lane streets. During the same year Matzel & Hubbard became its proprietors, and second to it J. Ledford, who called it the "Lewis House." Ledford who was known as a notorious character, was soon afterward killed by a Deputy United States Marshall, while resisting an arrest. After his death the hotel passed into the hands of Rouse & Lamb, who named it the "Harris House." Messrs. Cox & Blood, the next managers, enlarged the building. After passing into litigation and being managed by different parties it was, in 1878, moved to its present location and named the Tremont, which appellation it still bears, being owned by J. G. Farnwell; but was soon afterward purchased by A. M. Denning, the present proprietor.

Occidental Hotel. - This hotel was erected in 1873 by a stock company composed of some of the principal citizens of Wichita, at a cost of $36,000. The building is a three-story brick structure, 80x100 feet, and contains sixty-two guest rooms. Upon the completion of the building it was leased to Rouse & Lamb, who ran it about three years. After passing through different hands it was in 1880, purchased by Messrs. Platter, Williams & Hewett, who closed it for six months; and re-fitted and furnished it at an expense of $25,000. November 1, 1880, it was opened by A. W. Davis & W. S. Forey, lessees, who operated it until the spring of 1882, when Col. Frank Williams, its present proprietor, took possession. The Occidental is known throughout the West as the "Commercial Men's House."

Douglas Avenue House. This house was erected in the spring of 1873 by Wm. Grieffenstein, at a cost of $13,500. On its completion it was leased to Messrs. Cox & Blood, who ran it until 1875, when F. Dailey managed it six months. The building was then purchased by T. M. Lane, the present proprietor. The hotel, which is a three-story frame, 50x120 feet, has fifty rooms, and is a favorite with the traveling public.


Wichita, being situated in the midst of one of the best wheat growing sections in the West, naturally leads in the manufacture of flour. Besides its five flouring mills, there are innumerable feed mills and elevators located in different portions of the city, and forming no small feature among its industries.

Wichita City Mills. - These mills were erected in May, 1874, by Messrs. Shellabargers, Imboden & Oliver. The mill, which is substantially built of stone, is 45x120 feet, including the elevator, and three stories high. The building and machinery cost $50,000. Up to 1880 four run of buhrs were used, when the capacity was increased to eight run of buhrs, and six set of rolls, at a cost of $20,000. In order to propel this machinery, a 120 horse-power Harris-Corliss engine is used. With an elevator with a capacity of 50,000 bushels, and a mill that manufactures 250 barrels of flour per day, the firm of Shellabargers, Imboden & Oliver control a large amount of the trade in Southern Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

Hydraulic Mills. - These buildings were erected in 1881, by Messrs. H. W. Lewis and J. and B. Deffenbaugh, who commenced operations in October of the same year. The building is a four and one-half story frame, 40x56 feet, and uses four set of buhrs, which gives it a capacity of from 80 to 100 barrels every twenty-four hours. The power is obtained from the Little Arkansas River, from which the water is conveyed a distance of five miles. Principal trade in New Mexico and Texas.

Farmers and Merchants' Mill. - This mill was first used by the Derby Bros., as a feed mill, transferring their interest to Messrs. Goodyear & Hall in 1881. The new proprietors fitted it up as a grist mill, with two run of stone, and ran it up to August, 1882, when M. Hurst, its present proprietor, purchased the mill and fixtures. In the winter of 1881 and 83, Mr. Hurst commenced the erection of a new brick mill, 34x50 feet, two stories high with basement, and an engine room 26x26 feet, with a shaft room, 17x25 feet. The new mill, when completed, will cost $15,000; have four run of buhrs, and manufacture from 80 to 100 barrels of flour every twenty-four hours.

Diamond Mills. - In March, 1882, Messrs. Dorsey, Alexander & Co., purchased the old "Grange Elevator," and refitted it for milling purposes. The building is a frame, three stories and basement, 36x40; engine room brick, 20x24, and an addition, two stories, 16x22, erected in December, 1882. In November, 1882, the firm name was changed to Dorsey, Smetzer & Tucker. The mill employs four run of buhrs, with a capacity of eighty barrels per day.

Zephyr Mills. - In the winter of 1882 and 83, the Zephyr Mills Company, J. C. Dean, manager, purchased a three-story frame building, 30x140 feet, including warehouse and engine room, and commenced putting in machinery. The mill, when completed, will be run by steam power; have four run of buhrs, and turn out eighty barrels of flour every twenty-four hours.

Wichita Foundry and Machine Shops. - These shops established in 1877, by R. McFarland, the present proprietor. The first building erected was a small frame, 16x24 feet, located on east side of the Arkansas River bridge. The first "cast" was made October 30, 1877, and was successful in every respect. Horse power was used in propelling the machinery, up to a recent date. In August, 1879, the foundry was moved to its present location and an addition, 24x32 feet built. In 1880, steam power was substituted in place of the former primitive motive power. In the fall of 1881, the building was enlarged to 16x56 feet. From a capital of $75,000, the business has grown until now $6,000 is invested. This foundry was the first established, not only in the county, but in Southern Kansas.

The Globe Iron Works, was established in 1878, by C. F. Price, the present proprietor. During the same year, a two story frame building was erected for the purpose in East Wichita.

Wichita Pork-packing Establishment. - This business was established in 1874, by M. Stewart, who used different buildings at different times. In 1879, the firm name was Stewart & Co., since which time many changes have occurred in the ownership, with the exception of Mr. Stewart, who has always retained an interest in it. In 1881, the present building were erected, and consist of the main building, 20x50 feet, with basement; lard-house, 14x26 feet, and the slaughter-house, 14x36 feet. Present capacity, 2,000 hogs per season.

The Wichita Brewery was established June 15, 1872, by A. Weigand, who erected his buildings from time to time, until now the works comprise a frame (main) building, 32x70 feet; three ice houses, 16x60, 16x60, and 20x60 feet, respectively, and a two story brick building, 20x36 feet, erected in 1874. In the fall of 1878, J. G. Murphy purchased an interest, and remains a partner, the firm name being Weigand & Co. The capacity of the different departments of the works is as follows: Ice houses, 1,800 tons; storage, 1,500 barrels; brewery, 3,000 barrels per annum.

The Wichita Soda Factory was opened in 1878, by Peter Getto, the present proprietor, in a frame building, 18x40, on the corner of Second and Water streets. Capacity, first year, twenty-eight dozens daily. In December, 1882, a brick, 25x80 feet, was erected and the corner of Second and Main streets, and occupied for the purpose of manufacturing and bottling all kinds of soda and mineral waters. In 1881 a $33,300 business was transacted.

Wichita has, besides the above manufacturing industries mentioned, three first-class elevators, three cigar manufactories, one planing mill, and several feed mills. The city, yet in her infancy, compared with other places, has a bright prospect in her future of becoming the leading manufacturing city of Southwestern Kansas.

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