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


[TOC] [part 40] [part 38] [Cutler's History]


The earliest facts connected with the settlement of the townships of Shawnee County have been given in the general county history. It has been narrated how the Choteaus set their stakes in Dover Township as early as 1830. Record has been made of the missionary labors of Rev. Wm. Johnson in the same locality; also of the agricultural labors of Major Daniel Boone five years later. Next the Papan brothers came into Soldier Township, in 1840, and ran the first ferry across the river, just above the island, near the City of Topeka. Auburn Township witnessed the arrival of the Catholic missionary, Father Hocken, in 1847, and John W. Brown purchased the property which had been improved for the Shawnees. In 1848, the Baptist Missionary Society was represented by Rev. Robert Simerwell, in Mission Township, Jonas Lykins having settled in this township the year before. Abram B. Burnett, the well-known Pottawatomie chief, also located on the Reservation of his tribe, and in 1852, Clement Shattio opened up the first farm in Topeka Township, one mile northwest of its present magnificent city.

Uniontown, Tecumseh, Rochester, Indianola, Mairsville, Washington, Kenamo, and Carthage - all virtually defunct towns and villages - had their rise and fall - their aspirations, their decayed hopes - and have been accorded their place in history. The facts which follow, together with the biographical sketches of prominent citizens, will complete the county's history, as regards subsequent settlements in the townships, and the growth and present condition of villages now alive.


A full history of the rise and fall of the ancient village of Tecumseh is given in the early history of the county. There is nothing now left of the village, but its name, which it retains in honor of receiving at stated intervals, mail favors from Uncle Sam. The township comprises an extent of good and well-cultivated farms, generally tributary to the city of Topeka, where the farmers do their trading, and where they find an excellent market for their produce. There is therefore little probability that a town of any importance will be formed in this township, at least not for a number of years to come.


DR. WILLIAM H. BROWN, farmer and practicing physician, Section 15, Tecumseh Township, P. O. Big Springs, Douglas County. Owns 350 acres, all in a fine state of cultivation with the exception of thirty acres, which is timber. His wheat average is twenty-four bushels to the acre, and oats sixty. Has thirty-eight head of fine grade cattle, eight horses and twenty hogs. Came to Kansas in the spring of 1856 and located on this farm. Was appointed notary public December, 1881, and still holds that position. Was born in Pennsylvania October 13, 1818, and moved to Ohio in 1832, where he studied medicine and graduated from the Eclectic College in Cincinnati, going to Illinois in 1845, where he engaged in the practice of his profession. Coming to Kansas from there, he has married in the fall of 1851 to Miss Susan L. Worrell, but has no children. Dr. B. was here during all the early troubles and was frequently called on by the belligerents professionally. Went to see the Free-state men while in Tecumseh jail. Also was sent for the night of the attack on the Titus House, and just got away before the fight began.

PETER BUNCE, farmer, Section 17, P. O. Tecumseh. Owns 160 acres; 100 acres in cultivation, and the balance of his farm in pasture and meadow. Makes a specialty of raising fine horses, of which he has thirteen. Also sixty head of cattle. Came to Kansas in the spring of 1857, stopping in Tecumseh the first year and locating on his present farm in October, 1858. Mr. Bunce was born in New York, October 18, 1823, where he resided until 1848, when he went to Wisconsin, remaining there five years and returned to New York and came from there to Kansas. Was married March 18, 1847, to Mary B. Kress, and has four children - John J., Alida L., George K. and Wesley M.

JOSEPH BURGESS, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 8, P. O. Tecumseh. Owns 180 acres here, and sixty acres near Tecumseh. He has about 110 acres improved and cultivated and the balance in timber and pasture. Came to Kansas in 1859, and located in Soldier Township. Sold out in 1861 and went to Colorado, returning to Kansas and locating here in 1878. Born in New York State, June 14, 1825, and moved to Missouri at twenty-three years of age. Stayed one year, then spent several years roaming through different States. Followed freighting across the plains for several years before locating here. He was married in January, 1873, to Caroline Shott, and has two children - William and Joseph.

JOHN A. CAMPBELL, farmer, Section 3, P. O. Big Springs. Owns 160 acres; about fifty acres in cultivation and 110 acres in pasture and meadow. Came to Kansas in the spring of 1867, locating on this place. Has been a Justice of the Peace for three years past. Enlisted September 20, 1861, as private in Company "L" First Regiment, Colorado Cavalry; on consolidation of the regiment into a battalion, was Company "E." Was on frontier duty, guarding trains and mails, skirmishing with Indians occasionally; mustered out November 18, 1865. Born in Indiana September 17, 1832, and came from native place to Kansas, but was in Colorado mining when the war broke out, and enlisted from there. Married August 21, 1864, to Mary C. Thompson, whose parents were Samuel E. and Emiline Thompson. They have four children - Emma C., Annie M., Ella and Larkin A. Is a member of the Christian Church.

J. P. CAMPBELL, farmer and fruit-grower, Section 36, P. O. Tecumseh, owns twenty-two acres with his residence and orchard, and 160 acres one-half mile south in the same township, about fifty acres under cultivation, and 110 acres of pasture and meadow. Came to Kansas in the fall of 1866, locating on this place. Has been Township Clerk for four years. Enlisted as private in Company D, Seventy-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served with his regiment in the Army of the Cumberland. Was in the general engagements of Perryville, Ky., and Stone River, Liberty Gap, Tullahoma and Chickamauga, Tenn., and all the actions of the Atlanta campaign, and was wounded in the hand at Liberty Gap. Was mustered out June 23, 1865. Mr. C. was born in West Virginia, November 26, 1826, removing to Pennsylvania with his parents when but three years of age. Removed to Edgar County, Ill., in 1847, and came from there to Kansas. Was married March 7, 1855, to Miss H. A. Quiett, whose parents were Esley and Fanny S. Quiett. Has seven children - Edgar S., William W., Fannie F., Jane J., Grace G., Hattie H. and Samuel S. Is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and of the Grand Army of the Republic.

ALEXANDER CELLERS, farmer, Section 6, P. O. Tecumseh, owns 220 acres, about 175 in cultivation and the balance in timber and pasture. Came to Kansas March, 1876. Rented for one year in Tecumseh Township, and located on this place in 1877. Has been director on the School Board for three years. Was born in Ohio, October 31, 1824, and came from native place to Kansas. Was married March 29, 1859, to Miss Mary Powell. Has six children - Isaac, Alexander, Jason P., Joseph, Sarah A. and Mary B. Is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

AUGUST DREYER, farmer, Section 16, P. O. Tecumseh, owns eighty acres, about forty acres under cultivation, and the balance in pasture and meadow. Came to Kansas with his parents when a child, living in Leavenworth and Jackson counties, and located here in the fall of 1879. He was born in Missouri, September 4, 1854, and came from there to Kansas. He was married February 5, 1879, to Miss Lizzie Shott. Mr. D. makes a specialty of flax, and thinks it a good spring crop, not subject to any insect, and yields a good return for labor.

JAMES H. DUNN, farmer, Section 24, P. O. Topeka, owns 160 acres, fifty acres in cultivation, and 110 in timber pasture and meadow. Came to Kansas in June, 1866, and located on this place. Has been Township Treasurer for two years. Was born in Ohio, April 22, 1835, and moved from there to Iowa in November, 1855, and came from there to Kansas. Was married November 20, 1863, to Miss Margaret Armstrong, and has two children - Annie May and Robert M. Is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

JOSEPH ENGLAND, farmer, Section 24, P. O. Topeka, owns 160 acres; has 100 in cultivation, sixty acres in meadow. He also raises good stock, and has forty head of cattle and forty head of hogs. Has a fine stone dwelling and large barn, and all conveniences for successful farming. Came to Kansas in the spring of 1870, stopping for a time in Topeka, and located on this place in October of same year. Enlisted as a private November, 1861, and was mustered into the service as a member of the regimental band for the Nineteenth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Was in the battle of Shiloh, and mustered out in October, 1862. Was born in Ohio, September 1, 1842, and came from native place to Kansas. Was married November 6, 1867, to Miss Ellen J. John. They have five children - Anna Belle, Josiah J., Jessie, Cora G. and Irene. Is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

THOMAS J. FAXON, farmer, Section 12, P. O. Tecumseh, owns eighty acres here and eighty acres in Section 2, half a mile north. Has ninety acres under cultivation, and seventy in timber, meadow and pasture. Came to Kansas in the fall of 1870, locating on this farm. Has been District Clerk for one year. Enlisted as private in Company E, Second Regiment Iowa Cavalry, May, 1861. Was at Shiloh, Iuka, Corinth, and other minor engagements. Mustered out in October, 1864; re-enlisted in Hancock's Veteran Corps in April, 1865, and mustered out April, 1866. Born in Michigan, August 1, 1839, went to Iowa in 1859, and back to Michigan in 1866, and from there to Kansas. Was married October 9, 1868, to Maria C. Canfield, and has three children - Ralph H., Dell M. and Bessie M. Is a member of Grand Army of the Republic.

J. G. FLEISHMAN, farmer, Section 15, P. O. Big Springs, Douglas County, owns 320 acres, about 120 in cultivation, and the balance in pasture and meadow; has thirty head of cattle and eight horses. Came to Kansas January 1, 1882, and located here. Was born in Germany, June 17, 1853, and came to the United States in 1863, locating in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he remained until coming to Kansas. Mr. F. was married January 1, 1876, to Miss Elizabeth Miller. They have three children - George, Samuel and Katherine.

JOHN S. GRIFFING, farmer, Section 34, P. O. Topeka, farms 128 acres, 100 acres under cultivation. Owned by his mother, from whom he rents. Carries on general farming and school teaching during the winter. Was born on this place, August 26, 1857. His father, James S. Griffing, was the pioneer preacher of this country, locating on this farm in 1854. Mr. G. was married October 1, 1879, to Miss Lizzie Pecham. He has one child - Frederick.

E. H. HARROP, nurseryman, Section 34, P. O. Topeka. Owns twenty-eight acres of land, all in orchard and small fruit; he rents and farms 132 acres in addition thereto. Mr. Harrop came to Kansas, October 12, 1865; first located in Soldier Township, Shawnee County, removed to present location March, 1867. Mr. Harrop was born in England in 1833, and in 1849, came to Philadelphia, where he was engaged in the butchering business for several years, then removed to New Jersey and from there to Juniata County, Penn., where he was married to Miss Martha Jane Allaman, March 17, 1856. In 1856, removed to Monmouth, Ill., remaining there eight years, engaged in farming. Has seven children - Sarah Jane, Mary E., Edward J., John J., Calvin A., Lillia Bell and Horace William - the two latter twins. Mr. Harrop is a member of St. George's Society, also of the Patrons of Husbandry; is Treasurer of the School District, and has held that position for seven years.

J. P. HEIL, farmer, Section 14, P. O. Topeka, owns 400 acres, fine home, orchard; raises stock, has eight horses, thirty head of cattle. Came to Kansas in the spring of 1859, first located in Monmouth Township and came to present farm in 1867; born in Germany, January 26, 1808. Came to United States in 1831, first locating in Baltimore, Md., and from there to New York. Came to Iowa in 1857, and from there to Kansas. Has been twice married, first in 1836, to Louisa Bulling and had six children - George, Frederick, Peter, Leonard, Lewis and Louisa. Married in 1849 to Mrs. Mariah Rohr; they have two children - Joseph and Catharine.

GENERAL DWIGHT JARVIS, farmer, Section 5, P. O. Tecumseh. Owns 160 acres, about fifty acres cultivated, 110 acres in timber and pasture. Came to Kansas in the spring of 1877, first locating in Stafford County; came to present location in October, 1880. Was born in New York in 1835, and removed to Ohio with his parents in 1849; west to West Point military school for one year, 1852, and from there to Kenyon College in Ohio for one year, finishing his studies in engineering and mathematics and also taking private lessons in navigation. In 1854 went to sea, making a voyage to China, and came back in 1857 and farmed in Ohio until April, 1861. Was the first man to enlist in Stark, Ohio, April 17, 1861, and was elected to the position of First Lieutenant of Company E, Thirteenth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, for three months. Re-enlisted for three years May 29th; elected and commissioned as First Lieutenant of Company A, Thirteenth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry for three years, promoted to Captain, October 25, 1861; promoted to Major October 8, 1862, to Lieutenant- Colonel, December 24, 1862, and to Colonel, January 1, 1863. Was in all the battles and skirmishes in which his regiment was engaged; among others, Carnifry Ferry, Cotton Mountain in West Virginia, and Shiloh, Stone River, Chickamauga and Mission Ridge in Tennessee; after being mustered out of the service, June 26, 1864, was presented with a Brevet Commission as Brigadier-General for gallant and meritorious conduct at the battle of Mission Ridge, Tennessee. When in command of the Thirteenth Ohio, he charged and took the heights in his front, routing and driving the enemy and remaining master of the field. Since the war, General Jarvis has spent four years in Tennessee, returning to Ohio in 1868; was mail agent on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago for one year, returning to Tennessee, but was compelled to leave there in 1871 on account of his known sentiments; returned to Ohio and followed civil engineering until coming to Kansas. Was married March 1, 1866, in Nashville, Tenn., by Parson Brownlow, Governor of the State, to Mary L. Rodgers, a daughter of Gen. John B. Rodgers, who was a private and Indian scout, under Gen. Jackson, in the Florida war, a General of the Tennessee State militia during a number of years, and in 1825 when Gen. LaFayette visited Nashville, was Colonel, commanding the escort that received him. In 1862, was recommended by President Lincoln and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate as direct Tax Commissioner for the District of Tennessee. General Jarvis and lady have three bright children - Edwin R., Anna L. and Mary F. The General is a Mason and his lady a member of the Episcopal Church.

[TOC] [part 40] [part 38] [Cutler's History]