KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

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


SHAWNEE COUNTY, Part 9

[TOC] [part 10] [part 8] [Cutler's History]

INCORPORATION.

Topeka was incorporated as a city by act of the Territorial Legislature, February 14, 1857. Its boundaries, as defined in the act, embraced all of Section 31 and the northeast fractional quarter of Section 30, in Town 11, Range 16 east. Its limits were essentially the same as the plat of the "town," which had been located by Holliday and his companions in 1854, a sketch of which has already been given. The title to the land of the original town plat, as is well known, held in abeyance, subsequent to its occupation by the town company, in wait for the public sale by the Government. Minor disputes as to whom the original pre-emption title would be vested in at the time of the sale, had also occurred to increase the uncertainty of the tenure of the town company, from whom and through whom all the deeds to the numerous purchasers were ultimately to come. This uncertainty was a serious hindrance to the growth of the town; indeed, such as to debar many from investing in the lots or making improvements thereon, who otherwise stood ready to buy and build.

The Wyandotte Floats.--In the treaty with the Wyandotte Indians, in 1854, in addition to their reservation, the tribe was granted thirty-two "floating sections," which might be located on any of the public lands west of the Mississippi. These sections (640 acres each), known as the "Wyandotte Floats," were sold, some as low as $800. They could be located, even before the public survey was made, and the title become complete beyond question, at the time of the location. They proved a most convenient mode of adjusting the difficulties as to title of many of the new towns.

C. K. Holliday, being then President of the Topeka Town Association, in order to perfect the title to the town site, bought, October 2, 1855, from Isaiah Walker, a member of the Wyandotte Nation, a "Float," and located it upon the site of the town. He purchased it largely with his own means, but dealing in good faith with the association, whose agent he was in the transaction, had the transfers so made as to validate the title to all lands sold by it before or after his location. Thus the title to all lands on the original float, now in Wards 3 and 4 of the city, are traced in the abstracts to Isaiah Walker, who sold the floats to C. K. Holliday, trustee. The notice of the location appeared in the Kansas Freeman, October 1, 1855, (sic), and read as follows:

To All Whom It May Concern:

The undersigned, holding by virtue of his purchase from Isaiah Walker, made and concluded the twenty-second day of October, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five, a grant of land containing six hundred and forty acres, as provided by treaties between the United States Government and the Wyandotte Indian Nation, hereby notifies the public that he has, in pursuance of powers and privileges lawfully vested in him by the said purchase, selected and located one section of land, containing six hundred and forty acres, bounded and described as follows, to-wit: Commencing at the common corner or stake of the farm claims of M. C. Dickey, Enoch Chase, D. H. Horne and Harvey G. Young, as determined on or about the 29th day of October, A. D. 1855, by survey of A. D. Searl; thence in an easterly direction a distance of one mile to a post or surveyor's stake; thence in a northerly direction a distance of one mile to a post or surveyor's stake; thence in a westerly direction a distance of one mile to a post or surveyor's stake; thence in a southerly direction a distance of one mile to the place of beginning; the same containing one section of land of six hundred and forty acres.

All persons are hereby warned not to trespass upon said land, as the above vests in me a complete title, and renders any settlement thereon by any person whatever completely null and void.

Done at Topeka, Kansas Territory, this first day of November, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five.

                                       CYRUS K. HOLLIDAY.

At the time of the charter the village had grown to quite respectable dimensions, and had great expectations of future greatness and importance. It was the soon to be permanent county seat; the capital (temporary) of the provisional State, under the provisional Topeka constitution; and the prospective railroad center (in the minds of some of its sanguine proprietors) which it has since become. In addition to these anticipatory claims to greatness, it was, in reality, the third city in Kansas, rivaled only by Leavenworth and Lawrence. From the local paper, and other sources, the following more detailed description of the city at this time is gathered: The population had increased to between 600 and 700, principally from the Northern and Eastern states; a few from Missouri and the South. In the immediate vicinity of the town improved claims could be bought at prices ranging from $1,000 to $2,000; a few miles out, they were sold at $300 or $400. Town shares, embracing ten lots, brought from $400 to $600. Single lots, well located for business purposes, 25x130 feet in size, averaged about $130. Dwelling lots, near business streets, 75x150, were about the same price. No church building had as yet been erected, Constitution Hall being the usual place of holding religious services. The Town Association had donated lots to the Methodist Church, on Quincy street, but the lot was occupied by fortifications built in anticipation of "Border Ruffian raids." The Congregational and Baptist Churches had been organized--the former in the cabin of James Cowles; the latter in the basement of J. C. Miller's house, on Sixth avenue. A schoolhouse was built for thepublic school, on the corner of Harrison and Fifth streets, and a select school was taught by Mr. James Cowles.

There were two hotels--the "Garvey House," and the "Topeka House"; one newspaper, the Kansas Tribune; five general stores; J. W. Farnsworth, in Constitution Hall; Allen & Gorden, corner of Kansas avenue and Fourth street; Murphey & Perley, in Garvey's Block, on Kansas avenue; J. Willitts, Kansas avenue, between Second and Third; and Amos Trott's general variety store.

Four physicians were located in the village--Drs. Martin, Penfield, Thurston and Cutler. Messrs. Holliday & Thorton, attorneys, were at No. 6 Kansas avenue; Wheeler & Ingersol, civil engineers, No. 87 Sixth street; Joseph C. Miller's dwelling and hardware shop was 83 Sixth street; Timothy McIntire, contractor and builder, had his office on Fifth street, and Lewis C. Wilmarth and R. N. Mitchell had shops on the corner of Harrison and Sixth. Kellam Bro's. new drug store was on the corner of Kansas avenue and Fifth street. Two stage lines were in operation--the "Topeka and Manhattan," and the "Topeka and Lawrence." Early in the spring the Ritchie Block was commenced, on the southeast corner of Kansas and Sixth avenues, and the "Chase House," on the south side of Sixth, near Kansas--the first large brick building in the city.

EXTENSION OF CORPORATE LIMITS.

At the time Topeka was made a city its limits were confined to the original town plot; lots 1 and 2, Section 30, and all of Section 31, Town 11, Range 16 east, being the square mile covered by the Wyandotte float before mentioned, and some fractional parts of Section 30, lying north and along the river bank. Additions have been made from time to time, increasing the city limits fourfold since its incorporation. They have been as follows, in order of date:

(1) Town of Eugene (North Topeka)--was annexed by ordinance April 9, 1867, C. K. Holliday, Mayor. Ordinance, No. 27.

(2) Crane's Addition--April 20, 1867, C. K. Holliday, Mayor. Ordinance, No. 29.

(3) Young's and Horne's Additions--May 31, 1867, C. K. Holliday, Mayor. Ordinance, No. 40.

(4) Huntoon's and Ritchie's Additions--June 1, 1867, C. K. Holliday, Mayor. Ordinane, (sic) No. 44.

(5) Holliday's and Ritchie's Additions--August 27, 1867, C. K. Holliday, Mayor. Ordinance, No. 55. (6) October 31, 1868, Orin T. Welch, Mayor. Ordinance, No. 70. (7) April 20, 1869, C. K. Holliday, Mayor. Ordinance, No. 74.

(8) King's and Metsker's Additions--February 28, 1871, J. B. McAffee, Mayor. Ordinance, No. 121. (9) February 6, 1872, D. H. Horne, Acting Mayor. Ordinance, No. 162. (10) August 12, 1872, Orrin T. Welch, Mayor. Ordinance, No. 186. (11) April 15, 1875, T. J. Anderson, Mayor. Ordinance, No. 237. (12) March 12, 1880, M. H. Case, Mayor. Ordinance, No. 337.

Ordinance, No. 416, was approved February 25, 1882--J. C. Wilson, Mayor. It defined accurately the boundaries of the city at the time of its passage, including the various additions above named. The present limits of the city embrace nearly four square miles--three on the south, and one on the north side of the Kansas River.

The ward limits have been changed from time to time as additions have been made; the present ward boundaries being in accordance with Ordinance No. 122, approved March 6, 1871, which divided the city into four wards, as follows: The First ward including all that portion of the city of Topeka lying north of the Kansas River; the Second ward all that portion of the city of Topeka east of Kansas avenue north of Eighth street and south of the First ward; the Third ward all that portion of the city of Topeka south of Eighth street; the Fourth ward all that portion of the city of Topeka lying west of Kansas avenue north of eighth street and south of the First ward.

The town of Eugene, now part of the city of Topeka, was established as a station on the Union Pacific road, being annexed by a city ordinance, published April 11, 1867. It was surveyed by Capt. J. R. Ellinwood, in 1865, and during the same year the Pontoon bridge connecting the town with Topeka, was built. On Monday, January 1, 1866, the first train over the Union Pacific railway arrived at Eugene. The town was then a wilderness--the depot and the warehouse of L. C. Wilmarth being the only buildings north of the river. The arrival of the train was celebrated by the citizens of Topeka in good style. The Mayors and Council of Wyandotte and Lawrence, the President of the Road, R. M. Shoemaker, Gen. J. H. Lane, and other distinguished guests were entertained by the officials of the city, Gen. Lane making the speech of the occasion.

As late as the winter of 1868, after it was attached to Topeka, the Kaws were more numerous in the village than the whites. Kansas avenue north, was a row of stumps, and a few log-houses, occupied by fifteen families, with one or two stores constituted all of what is now a very attractive place. The fine, natural growth of timber on the Kansas and Soldier bottoms, makes the site of North Topeka especially beautiful.

MUNICIPAL ROSTER.

In January, 1858, Franklin L. Crane, Thomas G. Thornton, Milton C. Dickey, Loring G. Cleveland and Samuel F. Walkley, who incorporated the city of Topeka the previous year, appointed Loring Farnsworth, J. C. Miller, and A. F. Whitney, judges of the first municipal election, which took place January 28, 1858, at the office of Moore, Hill & Co. It resulted as follows: Mayor, Loring Farnsworth; President of the Council, W. W. Ross; Register, S. N. Frazier, succeeded by Guilford Dudley; Marshal, W. L. Gordon; Treasurer, J. C. Miller. The office of Register and Clerk were one and the same, and in the absence of the Clerk at the meetings of the Mayor and Councilmen, held at several different places from time to time, one of the Councilmen acted as Clerk, pro. tem.

1859: Mayor, Lorenzo Dow; President of the Council, J. F. Cummings; Recorder or Clerk, Guilford Dudley; Marshal, John Fletcher; Treasurer, C. C. Kellam.

July 2, 1859, there was a special election, at which C. K. Holliday was chosen Mayor, C. C. Whiting, Councilman, and on or after August 10, 1859, David B. Smith was chosen Recorder or Clerk.

1860: Mayor, H. W. Farnsworth; President of the Council, Justus Brockway; Recorder or Clerk, James Fletcher; Marshal, S. L. Hunter; Treasurer, Dwight Ferry; City Surveyor, J. B. Whittaker; Street Commissioner, J. B. Whitaker; Assessor, G. G. Gage. December 6, 1860, C. C. Whiting was elected Recorder.

1862: Mayor, Harris F. Otis; President of the Council, Justus Brockway; Register or Clerk, John G. Otis; Treasurer, Charles King; Street Commissioner, J. W. Emerson; Marshal, Ephraim Baker; Attorney, William Douthitt; Assessors, Joshua Knowles, Theodore Mills, S. E. Martin; Auditors, S. H. Fletcher, Joshua Knowles, Justus Brockway. June 18, 1861, a special election was held, and N. W. Cox was elected Mayor to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Harris F. Otis.

1862: Mayor, N. W. Cox; Presidents (sic) of the Council, Justus Brockway; Register or Clerk, John G. Otis; Treasurer, J. B. Billings; Marshal, Ephraim Baker; Attorney, David Brockway; Street Commissioner, E. B. Williams; Assessors, J. Knowles, A. F. Whiting.

1863: Mayor, J. F. Cummings; President of the Council, J. W. Farnsworth; Register or Clerk, E. L. Wheeler; Treasurer, C. C. Kellam; Marshal, Byron Jewell.

1864: Mayor, Samuel H. Fletcher; President of the Council, J. W. Farnsworth; Register or Clerk, G. O. Wilmarth; Treasurer, C. C. Kellam; George W. Anderson; Marshal, Byron Jewell.

1865: Mayor, William W. Ross; President of the Council, John W. Farnsworth; Register or Clerk, G. O. Wilmarth; Treasurer, George W. Anderson; Attorney, A. L. Williams; Marshal, Byron Jewell.

1866: Mayor, Ross Burns; President of the Council, John G. Otis, Hiram T. Beman; Register or Clerk, G. O. Wilmarth; Treasurer, George W. Anderson; Marshal, John F. Carter; Surveyor, J. B. Whittaker; Street Commissioner, John Armstrong.

1867: Mayor, C. K. Holliday; President of the Council, ----------; Clerk, George O. Wilmarth; Treasurer, A. J. Huntoon; Marshal, John F. DeLong; Engineer. Joel Huntoon; Attorney, James W. Steel.

1868: Mayor, Orrin T. Welch; President of the Council, E. G. Moore; Clerk, George O. Wilmarth; Marshal, O. F. Reed; Assessor, F. L. Crane, Police Judge, John H. Putnam; Engineer, Joel Huntoon; Street Commissioner, John Armstrong; Treasurer, G. F. Merriam; Attorney, A. L. Williams.

1869: Mayor, C. K. Holliday; President of the Council, E. G. Moore; Clerk, George O. Wilmarth; Marshal, O. F. Reed; Police Judge, George B. Holmes; Treasurer, A. D. Craigue; Engineer, Joel Huntoon; Street Commissioner, O. F. Reed; Attorney, A. L. Williams.

1870: Mayor, J. B. McAfee; President of the Council, Harvey H. Wilcox; Clerk, H. C. Holcomb; Marshal, O. F. Reed; Assessor, W. C. Gilpatrick; Police Judge, George B. Holmes; Engineer, William Tweeddale; Street Commissioner, John S. Branner; Attorney, David Brockway; Treasurer, A. D. Craigue.

1871: Mayor, Orrin T. Welch; President of the Council, Daniel H. Horne; Clerk, R. H. C. Searle; Treasurer, A. D. Craigue; Marshal, Tobias Billings; Police Judge, John H. Putnam; Assessor, Gustavus F. Merriam; Engineer, William Tweeddale; Street Commissioner, John S. Branner; Attorney, David Brockway.

1872: Mayor, Orrin T. Welch; President of the Council, Daniel H. Horne; Marshal, Samuel Hindman; Police Judge, George B. Holmes; Treasurer, A. D. Craigue; Clerk, R. H. C. Searle; Attorney, M. H. Case; Police Judge, George B. Holmes; Engineer, William Tweeddale; Street Commissioner, Michael Voorhees.

1873: Mayor, Henry Bartling; President of the Council, A. W. Knowles; Treasurer, Peter D. Cook; Clerk, R. H. C. Searle; Attorney, Ross Burns; Engineer, Harry B. Mitchell; Street Commissioner, Michael Voorhees; Police Judge, George B. Holmes; Marshal, J. B. Hannum.

1874: Mayor, Henry Bartling; President of the Council, E. H. Blake; Treasurer, Peter D. Cook; Clerk, R. H. C. Searle; Attorney, Ross Burns; Engineer, William Tweeddale; Street Commissioner, Benjamin Boyd; Police Judge, H. W. Farnsworth; Marshal, H. C. Lindsey; Assessor, A. J. Huntoon.

1875: Mayor, Thomas J. Anderson; President of the Council, E. H. Blake; Treasurer, Peter D. Cook; Clerk, R. H. C. Searle; Attorney, B. J. Ricker; Engineer, Joel Huntoon; Street Commissioner, Benjamin Boyd; Police Judge, George B. Holmes; Marshal, H. C. Lindsey; Assessor, A. J. Huntoon.

1876: Mayor, Thomas J. Anderson; President of the Council, George W. Veale; Treasurer, A. W. Knowles; Clerk, W. H. Cook; Attorney, Lewis Hanback; Engineer, William Tweeddale; Street Commissioner, Benjamin Boyd; Police Judge, George B. Holmes; Marshal, H. C. Lindsey.

1877: Mayor, M. H. Case; President of the Council, S. S. McFadden; Treasurer, Albert (sic) W. Knowles; Clerk, H. H. Wilcox; Attorney, D. A. Harvey; Engineer, J. B. Whittaker; Street Commissioner, Albert Fowkes; Police Judge, Chester Thomas; Marshal, James Dustan.

1878: Mayor: M. H. Case; President of the Council, S. S. McFadden; Treasurer, Alfred (sic) W. Knowles; Clerk, H. H. Wilcox; Attorney, D. A. Harvey; Engineer, J. B. Whittaker; Street Commissioner, J. T. Franklin; Police Judge, Chester Thomas; Marshal, Tobias Billings.

1879: Mayor, M. H. Case; President of the Council, S. S. McFadden; Treasurer, Alfred (sic) W. Knowles; Clerk, H. H. Wilcox; Attorney, D. A. Harvey; Engineer, J. B. Whittaker; Street Commissioner, J. T. Franklin; Police Judge, Chester Thomas; Marshal, James Dustan; Coal Oil Inspector, Charles L. Vanderpool.

1880: Clerk, George Tauber; Engineer, Joel Huntoon.

1881-1883: Mayor, Joseph C. Wilson; Presidents of the Council, George W. Herron, L. Norton, Jr., J. W. Griffith; Treasurer, A. M. Fuller; Clerk, George Tauber; Attorneys, N. C. McFarland, J. D. McFarland; Engineer, William Tweeddale, Street Commissioner, Albert Fowkes; Police Judge, Chester Thomas; Marshal, Thomas W. Cochran.

TOPEKA OF 1882.

The Topeka of to-day is in the transition state, between the young, rough vigor of western towns and the more regulated, substantial life of Eastern cities. Public and private improvements are progressing at such a rate that within a few years her outward surface will be harmonized and embellished into an enduring and beautiful form. Already many of her business blocks are solid and metropolitan in appearance; her streets are being systematically graded; tasteful and costly churches, and home-like and palatial residences adorn the resident portions of the city, testifying to her material prosperity and her social refinement. Topeka's avenues are broad, her founders seeming to have a vision of a western "City of Magnificent Distances," above whose energy of life and developing form should tower one of the most magnificent State houses of the country, and a beautiful and costly custom house. Two fine opera houses, several superior hotels, railroad shops, in which are invested hundreds of thousands of dollars, water and gas works, well maintained schools, electric lights, telephones, manufactures of every description, large wholesale and retail stores, ably conducted newspapers, polished society, present prosperity and brisk life everywhere; hope, faith and a logically founded confidence that the Topeka of the future is to be one of the largest commercial centers and the most charming cities of the West. These facts and traits are what stand out so prominently before all observing eyes and minds. Without further preface the facts are presented.

[TOC] [part 10] [part 8] [Cutler's History]