|KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS|
|Location and General Features | Map of Sheridan County | County Matters | Biographical Sketches|
LOCATION AND GENERAL FEATURES.
Sheridan County was created by an act of the Legislature of 1873, and is the westernmost of the organized counties in the second northern tier. Its area is 900 square miles. It was named after General Philip H. Sheridan and first settled upon in 1874, by a buffalo hunter, who located upon Section 30, Township 6, Range 28.
The county is well watered. Both the South and North Forks of the Solomon River flow through the county, and the Saline River rises here. The creeks are small, but numerous and permeating the county in all directions. There is said to be good water power on the North Fork of the Solomon; springs are abundant, good well water can be had at a depth of about thirty feet. The streams are skirted with timber, though it is in rather narrow belts of the varieties common to Western Kansas.
There is about 97 per cent. of the land upland prairie; 3 per cent. bottom; the average width of the bottoms is one mile. The prairies are gently undulating, and in the wester part of the county quite level.
The lands in this county are mostly subject to entry at the Oberlin Land Office, in the Northern District, though those on the southern side of the county are entered at Wakeeney, in Trego County. In the early spring of 1878, Captain G. C. West located 32 quarter sections of school lands here.
County Clerks -- W. M. Rodgers, William Stevens. County Commissioners -- K. A. Ellethorpe (sic), W. S. Hausufus, W. A. Rodgers, A. D. Urquhart, D. U. Ball, M. M. Scott, M. G. Haskell, J. L. Albin. County Treasurer -- George W. Crane. Register of Deeds -- A. C. McClung. Surveyors -- George E Smith, W. C. Blackstone. Sheriffs -- J. H. Cary, Giles W. Humes. Coroners -- H. W. Perce, Isaac Kneeland. Probate Judge -- S. P. Davidson. County Attorney -- H. S. Howe. Clerks of the District Court -- A. W. Stone, I. H. Kimball, G. M. Brooks. Superintendent of Public Instruction -- A. P. Weida. A. L. Patchin, of Rooks County, has represented this District in the Senate. He succeeds Thomas H. Cavanaugh as Register of the Land Office at Oberlin, Cavanaugh having been appointed special agent. E. J. Turner has represented the county in the House in 1881 and 1883.
The election returns from the county show that there is a mixed political sentiment. In 1880 on the Prohibition Amendment the vote was 101 for; 69 against. On Constitutional Convention, 56 for, 108 against.
When the county was organized it was in the Fifteenth Judicial District, Joel Holt, of Mitchell County, Judge. It became a part of the Seventeenth Judicial District March 8, 1881, and D. W. C. Nellis, of Ellis County, was Judge. W. H. Pratt of Phillips County, was elected in November, 1881. The terms of court commence at Kenneth on the second Monday of April and the first Monday of October. For judicial purposes the counties of Thomas and Sherman are attached to Sheridan.
The Sheridan County Tribune, at Kenneth, was established the 1st of July, 1879, George N. Palmer, editor and proprietor. He died, Dec. 9, 1881, at Toledo, Iowa, and the paper has since been managed by E. J. Turner, J. B. Hitchcock, W. L. Humes, and others.
The Congregationalist Church of the Disciples, and the Methodist Episcopalians, are established in the county; the Methodists having quite a preponderance. Rev. L. S. Day, Rev. A. J. Langley and others, have ministered to the Methodists; Rev. J. Q. A. Weller to the Congregationalists; Rev. A. T. Hall and Rev. E. J. Palmer to the Christians.
The Sheridan County Agricultural, Horticultural and Mechanical Association was organized in June, 1881. D. E. Barnes was the first president; George W. Crane its secretary. Its Board of Directors were D. E. Barnes, G. M. Brooks, D. U. Ball, G. W. Crane, D. W. Freeman, M. G. Haskell, J. F. Hobbs, J. Leatherman, W. M. Rodgers, J. F. Towner, A. D. Urquhart and E. O. Walden.
The post offices and objective points in the county are located in the following manner: Arkona and Sheridan in Sheridan Township; Adel, Alcyone, Chicago, Hortonville and Luzerne in Ade Township; Advance and Rurdon in Saline Township; Milligan in Spring Brook Township, and Kenneth the county seat. Francella, Port Byron and St. Paul are other points.
Grainfield, in Gove County, on the Kansas Division of the Union Pacific, is the accessible railroad station, south of Kenneth. Lenora, on the Central Branch of the Missouri Pacific, in the southeast corner of Norton County, is the accessible station to the northeast. There is a daily mail from Grainfield and Oberlin, Decatur County; a semi-weekly mail from Lenora.
The statistics for 1881 and 1882 show a comparative meagerness consequent upon sparsity of population. The wool clip of 1881 was 4,200 pounds; number of sheep in 1882, 2,418; of swine, 342; of milch cows, 533; other cattle, 1,772; mules, 89; horses, 500. The butter product was 18,444 pounds; value of slaughtered animals, $12,388; of poultry and eggs, $9,793. The acreage of winter wheat was 403; of spring wheat, 24; rye, 291; oats, 42; potatoes, 57; sweet potatoes, 36; sorghum, 507; castor beans, 19; broom corn, 138; millet and Hungarian, 747.
The valuation of the property of the county for 1881 was returned at $54,321.24; in 1882 it was $42,185.76. Its taxable acres under cultivation were 460; those not under cultivation, 3,100. It had 17 improved taxable town lots; 309 unimproved. The valuation of its personal property was $32,772.76.
There are 9 organized school districts in the county; in 1882 there were 360 persons of school age; there were 51 in 1880. The school enrollment of 1880 was 37; in 1881 it was 122; in 1882, 172. The average monthly salary of male teachers is $20; of female teachers, $16.75. The amount of money received for school purposes in 1882 was $460.70, of which $179.27 was State funds. In 1880 the census returns were 1,567 males of twenty-one years and over; native, 429; foreign, 80.
HON. E. J. TURNER, lawyer and real estate dealer, was born at Lockport, Erie County, Pa., Dec. 26, 1846. When he was only one year of age, his father, J. L. Turner, a Methodist clergyman, removed with his family to Ohio, remaining thee until 1849, when he pushed further west into Indiana, remaining there until 1853, then removed to Niles, Mich., where he lived until 1856, when he located at Henry, Ill., and from thence to Bloomfield, Iowa, in 1860. E. J. Turner was for three years a student at the Adrian College of Michigan. In 1870 he entered the law office of Gen. Weaver, the recent Greenback candidate for President, remaining with him for two years; then located at Mount Ayer, Iowa, where he practiced law and conducted the Ringgold Record for two years; afterward embarking in the mercantile business at Ottumwa and Corning, Iowas, remaining in the business until his removal to Sheridan County, Kan., in February, 1879. He purchased a section of land and laid out the town of Kenneth, and engaged in the practice of law, selling town lots and dealing in other real estate, continuing in the business to the present time, besides being largely interested in wool growing, having an extensive sheep ranch extending for a distance of three miles, on the south bank of the Solomon River, beginning a distance of about six miles from Kenneth. He considers Sheridan County as one of the best cattle and sheep territories in Kansas. When he located in the county only twenty claims had been taken. Before the 20th of June of the same year there was not a section of land within the borders of the county upon which claims had not been made. He as served two terms in the Kansas Legislature, being elected a member of the House of Representatives in 1880 and 1882. He was in the army from November, 1863, until July, 1865. He enlisted in Company E, Thirteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, but was soon afterward detailed to duty in the Provost Marshal's Office, doing duty most of the time at Louisville, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn. He is a member of the A., F. & A. M. Nov. 28, 1873, Mr. Turner was married at Afton, Iowa, to Ella Beymer, a native of Clyde, Ohio; she died Jan. 25, 1882, leaving one child - Kenneth Beymer Turner -- who was born at Corning, Iowa, Dec. 5, 1874.