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


[TOC] [part 43] [part 41] [Cutler's History]


In the spring of 1835, the United States Government, through its Indian agent, Major Robert W. Cummings, selected for the Kaws a farm of 300 acres, just east of the present site of the village of Silver Lake. This was afterwards placed in charge of a superintendent, and various persons were employed by the Government to teach the Indians the art of agriculture. Mr. Thomas Huffaker, who removed with the Kaws to Council Grove, was one of the early superintendents.

After the treaty of 1846, by which the Pottawatomies were granted the eastern portion of the old Kansas reservation, many white men came to this locality and, intermarrying with the tribe, became actual settlers on the lands, or remained as traders or other government employees among the Indians. The California and Oregon, and the military road from Fort Leavenworth, joined a little east of this point, and passed through this section as the great highway north of the Kansas River; making it particularly desirable for location.

Among the settlers of 1847 were the following: Charles Rodd, Stephen McPherson, J. Frap, William Martell, Antoine Tacier, William Johnson, John Harden, Allen Harden, W. H. Wells, William Alley, John D. Scroggins, George Mullen, P. Malosh, Fred H. Counterman, Joseph Ogee, F. Trombley, Joseph G. Kennedy, Lucius Darling, E. R. Kennedy and sister, now Mrs. Beaubien.

Settlers of 1848: James A. Grey, Wesley Hopkins, C. B. Randall, H. McDonald, J. C. Vanderpool, Messrs. Van Horne and Brown.

1849: Charles Deane and E. M. Sloan.

1850: John Young, Samuel Cummings, L. B. M. Kennedy, Joseph Wellfelt, Joseph La Frame.

1852: Hiram Wells, J. C. Freeman, Enoch Stevens and Joseph Lawton.

1853-56: James Dahoney, D. S. Rankin, M. B. Beaubien, Napoleon Brannan, George Peterfer, J. Johnson and Abram Collins.

The following are names of Pottawatomies or their descendants who received allotments and still reside in the township: J. Copaugh, L. Ogee, Ambrose Copaugh, Robert Ogee, M. B. Beaubien, N. Ogee, Charles Kennedy, Phillip Beaubien, J. P. Ogee, E. R. Kennedy, Jr., Edward Beaubien, J. View, J. E. Kennedy, Samuel Alley and William Alley.

During the years 1852-53, three ferries were established at a point a little east of the confluence of Mission Creek with the Kansas. The locality was known as the "Great Crossing," the ferries crossing the Kansas within a distance of three or four miles, the main crossing being at the Baptist Mission. On the south were the settlements, stores and Pottawatomie Mission buildings, and on the north the roads leading off towards the great California highway. Over these ferries passed an immense amount of travel, the California and Oregon emigration by the Independence route passing the river at this and Papan's ferry ferry below.

The first of the ferries at the great crossing was established by Sidney W. Smith, in 1852, the first boat being built in Uniontown by Messrs. Kennedy and Freeman. The second, a deck ferry, sixty by ten, started in 1853, was own and run by Hiram Wells and John Ogee. The third was established in 1853, by Joseph and Louis Ogee.

In 1853, Capt. Alley and J. D. McMeekin started a store in the vicinity; the next being opened by Sloan and Beaubien in a log cabin on the bank of Silver Lake in 1854.

Mr. M. B. Beaubien, whose mother was an Ottawa, settled on Soldier Creek in 1847; went to Uniontown as a trader in 1850, and in 1854, settled at Silver Lake, where he still resides. At the allotment, under the treaty of 1861, he received a half section at Silver Lake and his wife 80 acres. He also received a half section on Soldier Creek. Of the head men of the Pottawatomie tribe who were present at the signing of the treaty, but four are now alive: Benjamin Bertrand of St. Mary's; M. B. Beaubien of Silver Lake; George Young, with the Nation in Indian Territory, and Anthony Navarre, a Mormon preacher, also in the Indian Territory.

The town of Silver Lake is situated on the southeast quarter of Section 9, Town 11, Range 14. The original proprietors of the town site were M. B. Beaubien and A. T. Thomas, the latter now a resident of Topeka and Clerk of the United State Circuit Court. The village was platted in February, 1868, by Mr. Huntoon of Topeka, and in July of the same year the first store on the village site was built and started by Messrs. C. S. Palmer and M. B. Beaubien, the first dwelling house having been erected by Mr. Palmer the preceding March. In the spring of 1869, C. S. Palmer opened the first hotel, now kept by A. A. Pliley. Mrs. Nathan Lewis taught a school in her house in the following fall, the little building being still occupied as a dwelling.

A postoffice was established in the spring of 1869, Mr. J. B. Oliver serving as the first postmaster. He was succeeded in the office consecutively as follows: James Smith, C. S. Palmer (1872), W. F. Johnson (1874), Fred Thomas (1881).

In 1873 John J. and J. B. Oliver built the Oliver House, which the former still runs as a hotel. The village was a flag station on the Union Pacific Railway until 1874-75, when a depot was built. The village contains three churches: the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian.

The Baptist Church was started in 1877, Rev. J. G. Mauer being the first pastor. The present pastor is Rev. Mr. Rigby. The Methodist Church was built in 1878, through the energetic endeavors of Rev. Mr. McNabb, the pastor in charge at the time. The present pastor is William G. Campbell, and the membership numbers over fifty. The Presbyterian Church organized since 1881, worships alternate Sundays in the Methodist Church. Connected with the churches is a Union Sabbath-school of forty scholars.

There is one fine school building in the village, and a graded school.

The present population is 400. It is a thriving little village containing two hotels and the usual number of stores and shops.

Silver Lake City Mills, Dearborn & Hazlett owners, is leased by Dearborn & Hutchins. The mill was built in 1881, and is a stone structure, two stories and a half, size 26x44. Engine room, 26 feet square, one story, tin roof, four run of burrs, equipped with the latest and best improved mill machinery. Late improvements consist of Ohio double brush, Smith purifiers, electric. The full capacity of the mill is 150 one hundred pound sacks in twenty-four hours, or from 75 to 100 barrels per day. The engine is a Payne automatic upright, 40-horse power.


JOHN E. BEAUBIEN, farmer, P. O. Silver Lake. Has 180 acres, 100 acres under cultivation on Section 27, Township 11, Range 12. Eighty acres in Wabaunsee County on Section 17, Township 12, Range 12. Home place has sixty acres under plow and forty acres pasture. In 1882 had fifty acres in corn. Small orchard, 150 trees of all varieties. House 14x26, fourteen feet square, built in 1879, cost $600. Twelve head of cattle and eight head of horses. He came to Kansas in November, 1847, his father being one of the first two families that set foot on Kansas soil. First settled on Soldier Creek, opposite George Young's place. Resided there one winter and came over and settled on Kaw bottom where they have since resided, and until recently the old house stood where his father, Chas. H. Beaubien, died, and where the three youngest children were born. Of his father's family, his mother and six children now survive, and there are twenty-eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. His father was a half-breed and his mother a white woman. His father died in 1858. Mr. B. was born August 9, 1837, in Chicago, Ill., and when about nine years old moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa where he remained about a year and removed to Kansas. Was married in 1857, at his father's residence, Miss Eliza Alcott and has two children living - Benjamin M. and Eliza S. Was a member of the Great Light Lodge, No. 184, A. F. & A. M., Indianola, and he now has his dimit.

MEDORE B. BEAUBIEN, farmer, residence near Silver Lake south. Built his residence in 1870 at a cost of $6,000. The building is 46x20, two stories, containing eight rooms, with an addition barn 16x22. Has a tract of two acres and an orchard of eighty bearing trees. Has been in the mercantile business. Was interpreter for the Pottawatomies and one of the six commissioners appointed by the Nation and approved by the Government in 1851. Mr. B. was born at Thompson's Creek on Grand River, Mich., July 15, 1809. Was taken to Mackinaw and Milwaukee with his father Col. Beaubien, who in an early day was trader for the American Fur Company. Carried on the fur trade with his father for several years and removed to Chicago, where he remained until 1840, when he removed to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he remained until 1847, interpreting for the Indians and selling goods, and then coming to Kansas in the fall of 1847, his first location being on Soldier Creek near where James Mead now lives, having there located 100 acres of land and opened a small stock of goods. He then removed to the banks of Silver Lake and there can now be seen the double log house then built by Mr. Beaubien as a store and residence. He continued as an active and influential member of the tribe until they were naturalized and allotted the title to the land in severalty. Was married June 2, 1854, at Baptist Mission on the Reserve to Mrs. Theressa Harden, a widow and native of Chicago, Ill., and she then had six children. As a result of the marriage to Mr. Beaubien, they have had three children - Phillip H., John B. and George E. Mr. B. is a member of the Good Templars Lodge, being at one time Worthy Chief of Pottawatomie Lodge. Is a member of Tescumseh Lodge No. 15, A. F. & A. M. Was afterwards dimitted to Lodge No. 34 and now holds a dimit from the Grand Lodge of Kansas.

DAN. CASWELL, billiard parlor, over Woolverton Bros' Drug Store. Has three Monarch tables and also deals in cigars and tobacco. Came to Kansas in 1876, first locating at Silver Lake, from Grand Haven, Mich. Was born in Wooster, Ohio, July 5, 1848, and remained in his native county until 1865, engaged in clerking. Removed to Greenville, Mich., and remained four years and learned the carpenter's trade, and removed to Grand Haven and continued to work at his trade until coming to Kansas. Enlisted in 1862 at Wooster, Ohio in Company E, Fourth Ohio Infantry, being only fourteen years of age, the youngest in the regiment, as mounted orderly. Was in the battles of Rich Mountain, Port Royal and seven day's sic fight under McClellan at Harper's Ferry. Was at Fredericksburg, Falmouth, Gettysburg, Roman Gap, Winchester and several minor engagements. Was mustered out in 1865 at Columbus, Ohio, and returned to Wooster. Was married in 1868 at New London, Ohio to Miss Ada Frost. They have one child - Leonard. Is a member of Lincoln Post, G. A. R., Topeka, and has always been identified with the Republican party.

EDWARD Z. CHILSON, farmer, located two miles southwest of Silver Lake on Section 20, Township 11, Range 14. Pays especial attention to fruits and vegetables. Deals largely in sweet potatoes, having eighteen acres in 1881, when the crop aggregated over $1,500. Has four acres of fruit trees all bearing. Designs to have a complete fruit farm, and finds a market in Topeka, Denver and Kansas City. Came to Kansas in 1869, first locating on the Kaw River, two miles from Silver Lake, and established a ferry which he operated for eight years. Was born in Alexis, Warren Co., Ill., March 24, 1845. Remained in his native county until August, 1862, when he enlisted in the One Hundred and Second Illinois Volunteers, Company E, First Brigade, Third Division, Twentieth Army Corps. Was with his command in sixteen general engagements, all under Sherman at Resacca, Altoona and New Hope Church. Was with Sherman in the Atlanta campaign and from Atlanta on the Georgia raid. After the surrender of Joe Johnston, marched 300 miles and attended the grand review at the National Capital June 25, 1865, and was mustered out at Washington. At the close of the war returned to Mercer County and remained three years and then came to Kansas. Mr. Chilson was married in 1866, at Suez, Mercer Co., Ill., to Miss Maggie M. Gilbert, a native of Muskingum County, Ohio. They have five children - Minnie, Lillie, Ella, Willie and Annie. Is a member of Lake Lodge No. 50, A. F. & A. M., Silver Lake.

CYRUS CORNING, editor and proprietor of the Silver Lake News, a six-column folio - a local paper devoted to Silver Lake and vicinity, and champion of the National Greenback Labor Party. The paper was established in April, 1882, and has a liberal support from the surrounding country. Mr. Corning came to Kansas in the spring of 1876, first locating at Lawrence and engaging in the practice of law, having read in the office of Barker & Allen of that city. Went to Junction City in 1878 and engaged in law and insurance, which he continued until the spring of 1880, when he removed to Ness City, Ness County, and was there during the county-seat struggle in that county between Ness City and Sidney, Mr. C. being counsel for Ness City. Served one term as County Attorney, and removed to Topeka in September, 1881, and established the Topeka daily Tribune, which continued about three months. He then came to Silver Lake and established the News. Is also associate editor of the National Workman, the State Greenback organ and organ of the Knights of Labor, the Silver Lake News being a branch of that publication. Mr. Corning was born in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., July 12, 1844. When six years of age his parents moved to Waukesha County, Wis. Remained in that section of the State until about twenty years of age. Completed his education at Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis., and at Ripon College. Spent a year in Allen's Grove Academy. Was Principal of DePere and Appleton High Schools for five years. Read law in Wisconsin and practiced some. Published the Stockbridge Enterprise for about one year. Was married in 1870 at DePere, Wis., to Miss Hattie Harrison, a native of that place. They have five children - Eddie and Eva (twins), Willie, Mira and Nettie. Mr. Corning has been in political life about two years. Canvassed the western counties of the State, and is the recognized orator of the Greenback party. Enlisted in the army when nineteen years of age in 1864 in the First Wisconsin Heavy Artillery. Did garrison duty at Forts Willard and Lyons. Was mustered out in July, 1865. Has been connected with the Congregational Society.

MRS. DORA CRANEL, farmer, 160 acres one and one-half miles north of Silver Lake, all improved and under cultivation. In 1882 had forty acres of corn, sixty-two acres of wheat, twelve of rye and fifteen of oats. House has six rooms and was built in 1880 at a cost of $1,100. Mrs. Cranel came to Kansas in 1879, from Mt. Vernon, Ill. Was born in Austroda Fiersta, Hanover, April 13, 1823. When thirteen years old came to America with her parents settling in Evansville, Ind., and remained there until married and moved to Mt. Vernon. Was married to Frederick Cranel in Evansville, Ind., May 25, 1848, and has three living children - Dora, Minnie and Thomas G. Mr. Cranel was a miller and distiller at Mt. Vernon., Ind., and lost his property. Sold out and built at Shawneetown, Ill., and continued in business until the time of his death, March 9, 1863. He was a descendant of an ancient duke, and heir to immense estates in Hanover.

A. M. CROSS, watchmaker and jeweler, Silver Lake, where he located about August 1, 1882, and has since been actively engaged in his business. Came to Kansas May 1, 1882, from Cornwallis, W. Va. Was born in Belmont County, Ohio, near Centreville, in 1857. When about twelve years old moved to Stinesville, and from there to Cornwallis, W. Va. in the year 1866 and remained until coming to Kansas. Learned his trade there, and did considerable work there and in Ohio.

C. W. EDSON, farmer and sheep-raiser, P. O. Silver Lake, has 640 acres on Section 3, Township 11, Range 14, 160 acres on Section 2, Township 11, Range 14, nearly all pasture land except 100 acres in cultivation. Has 1,050 sheep, and until June, 1882, has 2,000 head. Handles for market and wool both. Markets his wool in Boston, Mass. Has sold his fat sheep mostly in Topeka. His grades are Spanish and American merino. Has been engaged in sheep-raising almost twenty years. Has had experience in three States, and thinks Kansas the best. With proper care the loss is not over 4 per cent. Mr. Edson came to Kansas in the spring of 1878, and has been in his present location three years. His residence is 34x16, two stories and wing 32x22, with basement and contains nine rooms beside the basement. Cost about $1,500. Horse barn, 24x34, with basement. Will hold eight horses and fifteen tons of hay, beside wool-room; cost $600. Sheep barn 40x100 feet. Will hold 1,000 sheep and fifty tons of hay. Cost $450. Has a tenement-house, 14x20, which cost $100. Has one hundred full-grown soft maple trees, besides a peach orchard of about thirty bearing trees and a young apple-orchard of one hundred trees. Mr. Edson has already expended in improvements nearly $4,000. Has eight horses and eleven head of cattle. He was born in Prattsburg, Steuben Co., N. Y., September 23, 1834, and remained there until twenty-three years of age, engaged in the stock business. Then moved to Macomb County, Mich. Handled sheep there fourteen years, and was South for six and a half years engaged in buying and shipping black walnut, making his home at Metropolis, Ill., and removed from there to Kansas. He was married in January, 1876, at Metropolis, Ill., to Miss Anna Evans, a native of New York. They have one boy - Charlie L., born September 16, 1879. Mr. Edson is a member of Lake Lodge, No. 56, A. F. & A. M. Has always been identified with the Republican party.

P. P. ENOS, station-agent, U. P. Ry., and postmaster, Kingsville, Kansas, has had charge of station since 1874. Average business done about $10,000 per annum. Was born in Springfield, Ill., April 5, 1847, where he remained until 1870, when he went to Chicago. Engaged in abstract business with Handy, Paine, De Lue & Co. Has kept books for Andrew Wilson, and farmed some since coming to Kansas. Has 150 head of cattle. Was married in July, 1879, at Topeka, to Miss Margaret Evans, a native of New York. Has one child - William. Is a Republican.

STANLEY HATHAWAY, salesman, in charge of lumber yard of J. Thomas. This business carries a stock of about $3,000 and sales will reach $25,000 per annum. Yard was established in November, 1879, and Mr. H. has had charge since June 1, 1882. He came to Kansas in July, 1881, from Delaware County, Ind., and first located at St. Mary's, where he remained about six months and removed to Topeka, where he engaged in the lumber business a few months in the yard of Thomas, Griffith & Co. He was born in Muncie, Ind., February 9, 1862, and graduated at Muncie Central Academy.

C. S. HUTCHINS, of the firm of Dearborn & Hutchins, lessees of the Silver Lake City Mills, came to Kansas first in 1880, and remained in Bridgeport, Topeka, and McPherson, building and repairing mills. Returned to Elmira, N. Y., where he remained a year and a half and returned to Kansas in March, 1882. Was born in New York, April 19, 1841, and when an infant his parents moved to Deerfield, Mass., and continued to reside there until the commencement of the war, when he enlisted in the Thirty-third Massachusetts Infantry as a private; remained in that command from July 26th until November, and was transferred to the Forty-first Massachusetts at Baton Rouge, La., and formed the Third Massachusetts Cavalry. He was a non-commissioned officer a portion of the time; was with his command at Port Hudson, Irish Bend, Pleasant Hill, was twice in the Red River Campaign under Gen. Banks; was injured in Western Louisiana and was in the hospital about six months; was discharged on account of disability, April 18, 1864, at New Orleans, La.; returned to Leyden, Mass.; commenced in trade in 1859 at Greenfield, Mass., and with the exception of the time he was in the army has followed it since. Is a member of Myrtle Lodge, No. 131, A. F. & A. M., Havana, N. Y. He was married in 1870 at Horseheads, N. Y., to Miss Ada Alexander, a native of Bridgeport, N. Y.

IRA C. JOHNSON, farmer; 531 acres, two miles west of Silver Lake, all under fence, and in 1882 had 455 acres of corn balance in pasture; orchard of 100 grafted apple trees and small fruit, about thirty acres of timber. House about 25x56, contains seven rooms and was built in 1875; 100 head cattle, twenty-five horses and mules. Generally keeps about five men employed, and ships his stock to Kansas City. Came to Kansas in 1861, and located at Fort Leavenworth; opened a grocery and rectifying establishment; afterward moved to Atchison, but in a short time returned to Leavenworth; remained about two years and took some goods to Colorado and sold them. On his return moved to Jefferson County, and remained about four years, and then moved to his present location. Was born in Washington Factory, Kent Co., R. I., April 19, 1810. Immigrated to Ohio in September, 1817, and resided in Champaign County until September 24, 1829, when he was married to Miss Lavina Culver, a native of New York. Engaged successively in mercantile and distillery business until 1856 when his property was destroyed by fire and then came West. Has two children - Lucy and Eason. Is a member of Chapter A. F. & A. M. Was elected to the Legislature in 1875, and voted for ex-Gov. Harney for United States Senator.

WILLIAM F. JOHNSTON, farmer, one and a half miles east of Silver Lake, has 120 acres, about seventy of which are under cultivation; keeps fifty-two head of cattle, twenty-eight hogs, one span horses, ponies and mules. House 16x32 feet, story and a half addition 14x16, seven rooms in all, cellar, stable 16x36, stone wall 100 feet long on the north side. Has six-acre orchard of bearing apple and peach trees. Came to Kansas April 15, 1854, and is the oldest resident in this section of the country. First settled in Auburn, and in 1868 moved to his present location, and it was open prairie between him and Topeka, which had not then been located. Was an active Free-state man, having come to the State to aid that cause; was one of the Jim Lane men and a member of the Auburn Vigilance Committee. Mr. J. had many close encounters with the Border Ruffians, but always managed to escape without any harm. At the time of the defeat at Osawatomie on his return from the East, met a party of Missourians, who halted him and made threats of a personal violence, but being in possession of their pass word and perfectly cool and collected, he put them off their guard and was allowed to proceed unharmed. Mr. Johnston was born in Washington Co., Pa., November 13, 1811, and moved to Ohio in 1820 to Hamilton County, eleven miles from Cincinnati. There learned the trade of carpenter and and cabinet-maker and in 1847 started for Oregon. Proceeded as far as Independence, Mo., where some of the party backed out and Mr. J. concluded to locate in Jackson County, Mo., where he continued to reside until coming to Kansas in 1854. Mr. Johnston has been married four times and has had seventeen children, of whom six girls and six boys are living, as follows: Missouri A., Andrew J., George W. L., Laura S., Mary E., Robert B., John F., Stephen B., Annie E., William E., Janie E., and Rosa B., all born in Kansas, except the first four. He is a member of Topeka Lodge, No. 17, A. F. & A. M. and of the Masonic Mutual Benefit Society, and one of the deacons of the Baptist Church of Silver Lake. Has been Justice of the Peace, Township Trustee and Notary Public eighteen years, being the first Justice and Notary appointed in the County. Helped to organize the first Sunday-school that was ever organized in the Territory at Auburn, in the spring of 1855. Helped organize the first free school at Auburn in the spring of 1856. Voted in the first election in the Territory, when there were twenty-seven votes in his district, but Pro-slavery men carried it by over 2,000 votes by the aid of revolvers, bowie knives and whiskey. Mr. Johnston was appointed postmaster at Silver Lake in 1872, and held the office eight years. Was agent for the K. P. R. R. for five years or until the telegraph office was established at Silver Lake, and built the first depot at Auburn; had his house, two-story, destroyed by a tornado in 1860, costing $2,000, and raised nothing that year; rebuilt in 1861, one story.

[TOC] [part 43] [part 41] [Cutler's History]