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


[TOC] [part 2] [Cutler's History]


The town of Gaylord, named in honor of C. E. Gaylord, of Marshall County, Kan., was first settled in January, 1871. The earliest settlers were W. D. Street, Peter J. Ott, L. Darling, C. P. Newell, B. Ballard, N. H. Worthington and Webb McNall. The first settler was W. D. Street, who settled early in January 1871. He was soon followed by Ott, Darling and Newell. The first child born in Gaylord was Cora May McNall, on March 25, 1872. The first marriage in the village was George Parker and Miss Rhoda Phillips, in the summer of 1872. The first death occurred in November, 1874 - Cora May McNall. The first town officers were: E. R. Fowler, Trustee; Henry Abercrombie, Justice; Webb McNall, Constable; George Parker, Treasurer.

The first school was taught in town by Mrs. Agnes L. C. Skinner, in the summer of 1872. The school-house was built of logs, and was erected the same season, in the west part of town.

The first sermon delivered in Gaylord was preached by Elder Gibbs, of the Baptist church, in 1872, in the school-house.

The first church was built in the east part of town, in 1879. It was erected by the Methodist Episcopals. The house is 30 X 50 feet, has a seating capacity of 300, and was built at a cost of $2,000. The Congregational church, built in 1881, at a cost of $1,000, will seat 150 persons. The same year the German Baptists erected a house 20 X 32 feet, with a seating capacity for 100. The building cost $600.

Gaylord postoffice was established in 1871, and W. D. Street was the first Postmaster. This gentleman the same season opened the first store on the west side of Beaver Creek, and over the door his sign read, "Bill Street - His Ranch." The first grist-mill, located on the Solomon river, southeast of town, was erected in the fall of 1871 by Baker & Keeler. C. P. Newell was the second merchant to open out in Gaylord.

The town is located on the east bank of Beaver Creek, near the Solomon, on rolling prairies, with fringes of timber on the two streams in the vicinity.

Gaylord enjoys the distinction of possessing the best and most expensive school-house in Smith County. It was erected in 1881, at an expense of $3,500, located in the east part of town. It contains two twelve-foot stories, and is 40 X 40 feet. There are four rooms in the building. At present there are two teachers - D. F. Shearer and Miss Irene Lieurance. The attendance of pupils averages 120. The population of Gaylord is estimated at 375. There are in the town three general merchandise stores, two drugs, one hardware, two restaurants, one newspaper, one shoe shop, one hotel, one billiard hall, one millinery, two land offices, three insurance agents, two lawyers, three physicians, one barber shop, one cabinet and furniture store, one grist-mill, one saw-mill. It is an excellent shipping point on the Central Branch Railway.

Gaylord Lodge, No. 183, A., F. & A. M., chartered Oct. 16, 1879. First officers: Jeremiah Gilman, W. M.; Sylvester Kelley, S. W.; Don C. Ayers, J. W.; John S. Morgan, Treas., C. J. Holmes, Sec.; Uriah Harrison, S. D.; Thos. Willis, J. D.; Wm. Cross, Tyler. Present officers: John C. Ayers, W. M.; C. J. Holmes, S. W.; L. R. Blair, J. W.; J. R. Myers, Treas.; D. F. Shearer, Sec.; Carr Bailey, S. D.; J. S. Wright, J. D. Present number of members, twenty-nine.

Meet every second and fourth Saturday in each month, in Masonic hall.

Gaylord Lodge, No. 162, I. O. O. F., organized by charter, Oct. 13, 1880. Charter members: C. F. Ream, Otto Ohm, S. B. Miller, D. L. Hubler, P. H. Hammond, R. Hagadorn, H. C. Sunderland. Present officers: G. R. Parker, N. G.; W. W. Foster, V. G.; J. I. Lenan, Treas.; C. J. Holmes, R. S.; D. S. Shearer, P. S.; A. D. Herron, I. S. Present number of members, thirty. Meets every Friday evening in Odd Fellows hall.

Gaylord Lodge, No. 45, A. O. U. W., organized May 12, 1880. Charter members: C. Baker, Webb McNall, Frank Plummer, C. B. Bennett, P. H. Hammond, Geo. R. Parker, J. Hagadorn, F. Wilkinson, W. W. Foster. Present officers: C. J. Holmes, P. M. W.; D. E. Kelley, M. W.; L. C. Headley, Receiver; Webb McNall, Financier; R. S. Dunham, Recorder; W. W. Foster, Outside Guard. Fourteen members. Meets first and third Mondays in each month in Hammond's hall.


GEORGE W. BUCK, dealer in general merchandise, opened trade in July, 1879, with a general stock of $5,000. Built his store the same year, 24 X 66 feet deep, at a cost of $1,000. Now carries a stock of $6,000. He came to Smith Centre, Kan., in 1879, and clerked in a store until he began trade for himself. He was born in Brown County, Ill., March 22, 1848. After 1858 was raised in McDonough County, Ill. Enlisted in 1864, at the age of sixteen years, in Company D, One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving five months, when the regiment was discharged. Moved to St. Joseph, Mo., in 1874 and engaged in general commission and seed business until he emigrated to Kansas. Was married in 1878 to Miss Ellen Taylor, a native of Iowa. They have one son, Roger Harvey. Mrs. Buck died July 27, 1882. Mr. Buck is a member of Blue Lodge, A. F. & A. M.

JEREMIAH GILMAN, retired, owns the Gilman House in Gaylord and a farm of 160 acres one half mile from the village. He came to Gaylord in June, 1870, from New York City. He farmed six years, then bought the Gilman House, and opened it to the public in 1876. The hotel is 27 X 73 feet, two stories high, and has a capacity of twenty guests. It cost $3,000. When Mr. Gilman came to Gaylord there was not a building of any kind there, only a wild prairie. He built the first frame house in the summer of 1871, and kept hotel in it five years, hauling the lumber from Waterville, a distance of 150 miles, by horse-team. He was born in Gilmanton, N. H., Jan. 1, 1812. Parents moved with family to Chenango (?) County, N. Y., in 1817; was raised there. He lived in Michigan ten years and from thence to New York City, where he embarked in the furniture business, until he came to Kansas. Was married Sept. 15, 1842, to Miss Caroline E. Lewis of Schoharie County, N. Y., who was born April 19, 1824, but was raised in Chenango County, N. Y. They have two children - Emma E., married to Geo. T. Ketchum, now keeping the Gilman House, and Lewis M., now living in Arizona. Mr. Gilman is a member of Masonic Order and Master of the Blue Lodge the past three years.

C. J. HOLMES, physician and surgeon, and dealer in a general line of drugs, books and stationery, came to Smith County in the spring of 1872. Began selling drugs in 1877, with a stock of $400; now has about $2,000. He was born in Delphi, Ind., April 10, 1843, and was raised in Cortland County, N. Y. Educated at the New York Central College, Cincinnati Academy and Oneida Conference Seminary, at Cazenovia (?), N. Y. He graduated from the Medical Department of the University of New York in 1868, and began practicing his profession at Truxton, N. Y., continuing a year, when he emigrated to Pleasant Hill, Neb., and practiced medicine three years. Thence to Cedarville, Kan., in 1872, finally locating in Gaylord. Was married in 1873 to Miss Martha Mooberry, of Pleasant Hill, Neb. They have two children - Albert D. and Mary J. He is a member of the first three branches of the Masonic Order, viz: Blue Lodge, - Chapter and Commandery, - I. O. O. F., A. O. U. W. and Gaylord Post, No. 162, G. A. R. He enlisted March 10, 1864, in Company C, One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Mustered out Sept. 29, 1864. His mother, Mary A. Holmes, came with them to Kansas, and has remained since. She was born in Litchfield, Conn., in 1824. Her maiden name was Bolles, a daughter of William Bolles, of Delphi, Ind.

W. H. KELLY, of the firm of Pratt & Kelley, proprietors of t he Gaylord Roller Water Flouring Mills. These mills were erected at a cost of $13,000 by the above firm in the winter and spring of 1882 and 1883, and opened for business in March, 1883, with five run of burrs and two sets of rollers. The size of the mill is 30 X 40 feet, 45 feet high, or three stories and a basement. They have all of the recent improved machinery from the Richmond City mill Works, Ind., plenty of water and eight feet head. W. H. Kelley came to Kansas in the fall of 1870, locating at Gaylord. He engaged in farming and stock- raising until he began the milling business. He has a farm of 360 acres, 160 of which is cultivated. He was born in Providence, R. I., March 13, 1843, and lived there until he came to Kansas. Enlisted in April, 1861, in Company H, First Regiment Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry and served three months Participated in the first battle of Bull Run. Was mustered out July, 1861. He spent the winter of 1868-'69 on the plains in Kansas. Was married in 1874 to Miss Marcella Phillips, of Green Co., Wis.

WEBB McNALL, editor and proprietor of the Gaylord Herald, was born in Randolph Cattaraugus County, N. Y., Oct. 11, 1848. He removed to Iowa in August, 1861, and from there to Gaylord, Smith County, Sept. 11, 1871. He took a homestead one mile northeast of Gaylord, and has since purchased enough land in the vicinity to give him a full section. Since his residence in Smith County he has served as Constable and Deputy Sheriff, and has not been afraid or ashamed to work. As a consequence he is now a prosperous man. In March, 1868, he married Miss Annie E. Humberger, of Muscatine, Iowa, by whom he has had two children, one of them now living. In 1876 he was chosen doorkeeper of the House of Representatives, and was re-elected in 1877. March 10, 1877, he was appointed on the Capitol police force at a salary of $1,100. Mr. McNall was admitted to practice in the district and inferior courts of Kansas in May, 1879. As a lawyer he has been very successful. His friends claim that in several railroad cases he secured for his clients $4,000 more than even they hoped to secure. Whether as editor of the Herald, lawyer, insurance agent or farmer, Webb McNall always displays unbounded energy.

HARVEY D. PRATT, firm of Pratt & Kelley, proprietors Gaylord Roller Water Flouring mills, came to Gaylord in 1871, and engaged in agriculture two years, since which time he has been engaged in milling business. He erected a mill four miles below Gaylord, and operated the same six years. He then erected a fine mill at Osborne City, and sold it, after which he began the erection of the above mills. The Gaylord Mills are the finest and most nicely arranged inside of any mill in the West. He was born in Chateaugay, Franklin Co., N. Y., Nov. 9, 1852; lived there until sixteen years old, and came to Iowa, and remained until he came to Kansas; engaged in agriculture. Was married in June, 1882, to Miss Fannie B. Harran, of same place, N. Y. He is a member of Masonic Order, Lodge No. 183, I. O. O. F., No. 162.

WILLIAM M. SKINNER, notary public, insurance agent and Justice of the Peace, came to Kansas in 1863 on a prospecting tour. He settled in Atchison County, 1869, and farmed two years, then came to Gaylord in May, 1871, and took a homestead near the village. In November, 1872, he was elected Register of Deeds and County Clerk; served in the former capacity two years, and latter three years. Has been notary public since Feb., 1872, and administered the first oath in Smith County for a pension claim. Has served as Justice of the Peace since 1878. There were only about sixty-three bone- fide settlers in Smith County when he first came. He was born in Belmont County, Ohio, Aug. 8, 1834, and lived in his native State until nineteen years old, when he came with parents to Jay County, Ind., where he made headquarters until 1869. Was in Kansas before border warfare and during those hazardous times. Enlisted in August, 1861, in Company (?), Seventh Indiana Cavalry. Participated in all battles of his command, until wounded in a cavalry engagement Feb. 22, 1864, and discharged July 23,1864, by order of General McPherson. Mr. Skinner is a member of Blue Lodge, A., F. & A. M., and Gaylord Post, No. 162, G. A. R.


Cora, in Pawnee Township, fourteen miles northeast of Smith Centre, on Pawnee Creek, has one store, postoffice, blacksmith and wagon shop, a good school-house, and the Congregationalists have a church organization. S. M. Cupp taught the first school in the winter of 1871-'72. Julius Nelson, Geo. Buckley, Mat (?) Duckworth, were the first settlers. The earliest mails brought to Smith County were brought from Washington, Washington County, by private parties, in July, 1871.


Cedarville, the oldest village in Smith County, so named from a tributary of the Solomon River, in the vicinity. The town was the first county seat and the first settlers came in the fall of 1870. The earliest settlers were John and James J. Johnston, John T. Morrison, Andrew and Joseph Marshall, A. H. Black, B. J. and B. S. Bottomley. The first birth in Cedarville was a child of Ida Chase, in 1871. The first marriage was Charles Stewart to Ida Keeler, in 1872. The following year James Phillips and Miss M. Simmons were married. The first death was Geo. H. Smith, in the summer of 1872.

The first town officers were: George R. Hunt, Trustee; D. H. Crosby, Clerk; Charles E. Newman, Justice. The first school-house was erected in Cedarville in 1872. The first school was taught in the spring of 1872, in a dwelling house, by Mrs. J. D. Loucks. The Rev. Mr. Blackstock preached the first sermon in the fall of 1871, in Mr. Morrison's dwelling house. There is no church building in the town, but the Methodists and Congregationalists have organizations and church services. Rev. L. M. Bonnett preaches every four weeks to the Congregationalists, and Rev. Thomas Muxlow every two weeks to the Methodists. The Methodists have one of the oldest organizations in Northwestern Kansas, having obtained a charter from the Secretary of State in June, 1872. The first Trustees were: R. F. Clark, A. Marshall, E. P. Curtis, John T. Morrison and James H. Johnston. The town will have expended, when their present school building is completed, $6,000 for school-houses. The original Postmaster, John Johnston, appointed in 1871, retained the place until 1873, when he resigned in favor of his brother James, who still holds the office. Samuel and Berry Baker built, in 1874, the first grist-mill, now owned by Cox and Muxlow. It is located on the north branch of the Solomon. The first store was opened in 1871, by John Johnston. It is now owned by James and Allen Johnston. There is one other general merchandise store in Cedarville; one drug store, one livery stable, one hotel, one billiard hall, two blacksmith shops. The population numbers 100. The town is located on a slightly rolling prairie.


WILLIAM H. COX, proprietor of the Excelsior Water Flouring Mills at Cedarville, erected the mills in October, 1877. The main building is 28 X 40 feet, and two and a half stories high above the basement. Its capacity is 160 bushels of wheat in twenty-four hours, and 100 bushels of corn in the same time. They have eight-feet head. The mills were built at a cost of $6,000. He came to Dickinson and Jewell counties in an early day, and in June, 1873, came to Cedarville. He has 480 acres of fine agricultural land, 100 of which is cultivated. He was born in Union County, Ind. Dec., 19, 1839, and was raised on a farm, and when quite a boy he began work in a tanyard, and followed the same three years; there ran a steam engine thirteen years; came to Blue Grass, Vermillion Co., Ill., in 1866, and followed merchandising three years and agriculture same length of time. Was married in 1863 to Miss Sarah Hobbs, of Kentucky. They have two children - David M. and William E., and one adopted daughter, Eva M. Mr. Cox and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of Cedarville.

JOHN JOHNSTON, County Treasurer, came to Holton, Jackson Co., Kan., in the fall of 1868, and worked at any kind of work he could find to do the first year. He then clerked in a general store until the spring of 1871, when he came to Cedarville, Kan., bringing $50 worth of goods with him in a small box, and sold the first goods in the place, continuing alone in business for nearly a year. He was appointed the first Postmaster, July 3, 1871, the salary being fixed at $12 per annum. At that time there was not a white man's habitation to be seen in any direction. His brother, J. H. Johnston, and himself erected a log cabin and covered the top with earth, using it for a dwelling, store and post office. They bought their goods at Waterville, 150 miles off, and hauled them with horse teams. J. H. Johnston, after a year's time, became a partner, and continued in business until the fall of 1877, when John Johnston bought the whole interest and continued until September, 1882, when he sold out to his brothers. He was elected County Treasurer in the fall of 1881, and since October, 1882, has had charge of the office. He has served as School and Township Treasurer, and Notary Public for the past ten years. He was born in Carroll County, Ohio, Jan. 19, 1847; moved with parents to Hocking County in 1851, and lived there until he came to Kansas. Was married Fe. 18, 1874, to Miss Fannie Dollarhide, of Iowa. They have four children - Nellie M., Edna M., Minnie B. and Bessie J. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. They built the log cabin 14 X 18 feet in the latter part of April, 1871. There was an Indian scare in the fall of 1871, but no person was injured. In the fall of 1871 he erected a log store, and put the first shingled roof on it in Smith County. This cabin is yet a landmark in the village.

J. H. JOHNSTON & BRO., dealers in a general line of merchandise, grain, etc., began trade in Cedarville in September, 1882, J. H. Johnson [sic] beginning on only a few dollars' capital. They now occupy rooms 20 X 40 feet, and carry an average stock of $5,000. He came to Kansas in the summer of 1870, and selected some land and located the village site of Cedarville. There were ten persons in the company coming from Muscoda, Kan. He was born in Carroll County, Ohio, Dec. 28, 1840, and lived there until 1850, when the family moved to Hocking County, Ohio, where he was raised. Enlisted in August, 1862, in Company E, Ninetieth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry; participated in all the battles of his command; was wounded in skirmish line shortly after the battle of Kennesaw Mountain; was mustered out in the spring of 1865; returned to Ohio, and followed teaching until he came West. Married in 1873 to Miss Emma Sherwin a native of Iowa. They have one son - Carl. Mr. J. is a member of Charlie Aldrich Post, No. 184. He took charge of Cedarville postoffice Dec. 22, 1875, and has served as Postmaster ever since. When he first began trade they were obliged to haul their goods 150 miles with a horse team from Waterville, Kan. Was first County Clerk of Smith County by appointment from the Governor.

KING & WINTON, dealers in general merchandise, dry goods, groceries and queensware, began trade Jan. 1, 1883. Their storerooms are 25 X 40 feet, and they carry an average stock of $3,500. They also deal in live stock and all kinds of grain, doing a general shipping business by the car load. Samuel G. King first came to Kansas in March, 1876, and settled on some land twelve miles northwest of Cedarville, where he followed agriculture until he became interested in trade. He was born in the corner of Jay County, Ind., near the line of Delaware and Randolph counties, May 27, 1842, and lived there until he enlisted in August, 1861, in Co. E, Thirty-sixth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He participated in all the battles of his command, including 200 engagements; was mustered out in October, 1864; moved to Holt County, Mo., the same year; followed agriculture and merchandising, and was in the employ of the railroad company; also farmed five years. Was married in 1865 to Miss Mary A. Pollock, of Fayette County, O. They have two daughters - Effie A. and Irene V. He is Vice-Commander of Aldrich Post, No. 184; is a member of the M. E. church, Masonic Order, I. O. O. F., Grand Lodge of St. Louis, Mo.; is present Township Treasurer of Harvey Township, Smith County.

C. MEADE WINTON, of the firm of King & Winton, dealers in general merchandise, grain and live stock, came to Kansas as a commercial tourist in 1882; finally located in Cedarville, and became one of the above firm. He was born in Quincy, Ill., Nov. 1, 1858. His parents moved with the family to St. Joseph, Mo., a number of years afterward. At a suitable age he began as a clerk in a newspaper office. Soon afterward he began clerking in a wholesale drug store, continuing two years; then in a wholesale grocery house the same length of time; then engaged as traveling salesman one year for the same firm, and finally located as above stated.


The village of Harlan, laying southwest of Gaylord, in Duston Township, was laid off in 1877, and named in honor of Judge Harlan, a respected citizen of the county. A. L. Bailey and W. S. Bradford became the owners of the town site by purchasing the land from John White. F. R. Gruger opened the first store in 1878. The first sermon was preached in Harlan in 1878, by Rev. Mr. Thompson, a Congregational minister. There is but one church organization in town - the United Brethren, who hold their meetings in the chapel of Gould College. The church has forty-five members. A. L. Bailey was the first Postmaster in the town appointed in 1877. He was succeeded in 1881 by the present Postmaster, Joseph Himes. The principal houses of the village are built of beautiful magnesian limestone, obtained from the bluffs within a half mile of town. Harlan contains two general merchandise stores, one grocery, one printing office, one hotel, one blacksmith shop, one livery stable, one drug store, one hardware store, one insurance agency, one physician, five preachers, one coal dealer, one grain buyer. The first newspaper issued in Harlan was the Independent. After publishing the paper one year in that place, Messrs. Garretson & Topliff (?) removed their office to Kirwin, where the paper is still published. The Harlan Advance was established in February, 1882, by Rev. A. W. Bishop, president of Gould College. The main object was to secure a college organ, but during the past few months the paper has been enlarged and the services of a local editor and business manager (W. D. Lane) secured, who has made the Advance and excellent home journal. The chief glory of Harlan lies in the fact that Gould College, under the patronage of the United Brethren Church, is located in the town. Under the wise management of President Bishop, the institution is taking a front rank among the educational institutions of Kansas. The number of students enrolled the present year (1882) far outnumbers that of the preceding year. The population of Harlan is about one hundred.


REV. A. W. BISHOP, A. M., President of Gould College, and editor of the Harlan Advance, was born in Ashland County, Ohio, Oct. 27, 1852. He received his collegiate education mainly at Oberlin, Ohio, paying his way by teaching school and working as a carpenter during the summer. In 1878, he graduated from Union Bible Seminary, at Dayton, Ohio, and the same year was elected to the chair of Mathematics in Avalon College, Avalon, Mo. In the spring of 1881 he was elected the first President of Gould College, at Harlan, Kan., and is still filling that position. In February, 1882, he began the publication of the Harlan Advance, a paper devoted largely to the cause of higher education. The Advance has attained a large circulation, and is growing rapidly into popular favor. Mr. Bishop is a minister of the United Brethren Church, and a member of the West Kansas Conference.

TRUMAN KEELER, firm of Keeler & Son, dealers in general merchandise, opened trade in 1876, with a stock of $1,000. Erected a stone and wooden store in 1879, 22 X 60 feet, two stories high. They now carry a stock of $5,000, in two stores, one of which is kept at Harlan, two miles north. They built a flouring mill in 1874, 25 X 38 feet, of cut stone, three stories high. Capacity, 300 bushels in twenty-four hours. There is thirteen feet head. Mills built at a cost of $7,000. They have 1,200 acres or fine agricultural land, 300 acres of which is cultivated. In 1882 they raised 2,800 bushels of wheat and 4,000 bushels of corn. Average wheat was twenty-three bushels per acre; corn averaged fifty bushels. They settled at Eagle Rapids, in January, 1871. There were only six settlers in the vicinity. Buffaloes, antelope, deer and other wild game were in great abundance, and could be shot down within a few rods of the humble habitations of the early pioneers. Mr. Truman Keeler was born in Essex, Chittenden Co., Vt., March 18, 1813. In 1828, family moved to St. Albans, Vt., and in 1834 he came West to grow up with the country, locating in Orleans County, N. Y. He farmed some time, then went to Rockford, Ill., where he followed agriculture six years. He then went, 1849-'50, to Stevens Point, Wis., where he kept hotel some time; ran the Wisconsin River on lumber; returned and moved to Little Bull, Marathon Co., Wis., where he followed lumbering and milling until 1861. He then went to Plover, Portage County, and kept hotel until he came to Kansas. Was married in 1838 to Miss M. A. Baker, a native of Georgia, Franklin Co., Vt., born Dec. 1, 1813. They have four children - Tabitha S., married to Lewis B. Farr; James A., married in 1872 to Miss Frances G. Carson, of Portage County, Wis.; Castle M., Ida E., married to Charles L. Stewart, of Eagle Rapids, Kan. James A. has one daughter, Edna A. He is a member of the first two branches of Masonic order. The postoffice was established in 1879. Mr. Truman Keeler has been Postmaster since that time.

[TOC] [part 2] [Cutler's History]