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


[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]


January 8, the conveyance of the northwest quarter, and three acres in the northeast quarter of Section 18, of Township 11, in Range 16 east, was made to the State of Kansas as a site for the State Reform School.

January 23, Alfred Gray, the honored Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture, died.

Conventions. - A Republican State Convention met at Topeka on March 31, and made selection of delegates and alternates to the Chicago National Republican Convention. Taken in the aggregate, the convention was for James G. Blaine for President; though a considerable majority of the delegates from the Second Congressional District, and a small majority of the delegates from the Third were for ex-President Grant. The convention selected for delegates John A. Martin, Benjamin F. Simpson, Preston B. Plumb, George H. Case, Bishop W. Perkins, S. S. Benedict, Perry Hutchinson, William Thompson and Simon Motz. The supporters of Grant conceded the four delegates at large, and those from the First Congressional District for Blaine, but claimed that those from the other two districts should be friends of Grant. They accordingly made choice of Theodore C. Sears and Silas A. Day as delegates from the Second, and Thomas J. Anderson and J. M. Steele, as delegates from the Third District. The contest was settled at Chicago by admitting the Grant delegates, and giving the ten Blaine delegates six votes. Kansas, in the Republican National Convention, gave six votes for Blaine, four for Grant. On the thirty-sixth ballot, the Blaine element supported Garfield.

The Republicans on the matter of human rights resolved as follows:

That the unprecedented cause of the migration of the colored people from the South to the North is the oppression, persecution and robbery of them by the white people, the former masters and present owners of the soil, and it is the duty of the Government of the United States to extend to the colored people of the South such protection that their removal from their native land shall cease to be a necessity.

The Republicans by a resolution selected R. P. W. Muse, W. A. Peffer, Henderson Ritchie, John Schilling and James D. Snoddy for Presidential Electors.

A Democratic State Convention met May 26, and selected the following named persons as delegates to the Cincinnati Convention: Charles W. Blair, Edward Carroll, M. V. B. Bennett, John Martin, J. B. Chapman, John R. Goodin, Thomas George, Richard B. Morris, Thomas M. Carroll and George C. Rogers.

The National Greenback Labor party selected their delegates at Manhattan, Garnett and Newton for the First, Second and Third Congressional Districts respectively to attend their National Convention at Chicago June 9; P. B. Maxson, J. N. Limbocker, P. P. Elder, H. P. Vrooman, M. A. Arnott, H. L. Phillips, D. L. Cole, Jesse Piggott, W. W. Woodring and T. B. Webster were chosen.

The National State Convention met at Topeka August 4, and put in nomination Hiram P. Vrooman for Governor; H. L. Phillips for Lieutenant Governor; A. B. Cornell for Secretary of State; D. B. Hadley for Attorney General;. L. D. Bailey for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Charles Smith for Superintendent of Public Instruction, John Davis was candidate for Congress in the First District; Lewis F. Green in the Second; D. P. Mitchell in the Third. For Presidential Electors were James G. Bayne, Henry Bronson, J. J. McFeeley, Barney O' Driscoll and Samuel N. Wood. In their platform they declare:

That the act of the last Legislature in abolishing the one mill State school tax, which has been levied from the beginning of our State's existence, merits our unqualified condemnation from the fact that it was a blow struck at the people's college - the common schools of our State.

That we are in favor of the regulation of common carriers so as to prevent extortion and discrimination in rates of freight.

The Democratic State Convention met August 26, and nominated Edmund G. Ross for Governor; Thomas George for Lieutenant Governor; John M. Giffen for Secretary of State; H. J. G. Neumuller for Auditor of State; Theodore Weichselbaum for Treasurer of State; A. L. Herford for Attorney General; William R. Wagstaff for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Miss Sarah A. Brown for Superintendent of Public Instruction. A. A. Harris, Thomas P. Fenlon, Thomas Moonlight, George C. Rogers and John B. Scroggs were candidates for Presidential Electors. For Congress, the Democrats supported C. C. Burnes in the First District; Lewis F. Green in the Second; J. Wade McDonald in the Third.

On the amendment to the constitution to exempt $200 personal property from taxation, the following resolution was adopted:

Resolved, That the proposition made and submitted by the last Republican Legislature to the people to amend the constitution of the State, affecting the repeal of the constitutional exemption of $200, is not in the best interests of the State, and an outrage upon the poor people of the commonwealth.

The Republican State Convention met September 1. Gov. St. John, Secretary Smith, Auditor Bonebrake, Treasurer Francis and Associate Justice Valentine were again nominated; David W. Finney was nominated for Lieutenant Governor; William A. Johnston for Attorney General; Henry C. Speer for Superintendent of Public Instruction. John A. Anderson was re-nominated for Congressman from the First District; Dudley C. Haskell of the Second District, and Thomas Ryan of the Third District were each nominated for the third time for Congress.

The State Republican platform adopted was brief, and, in regard to caucus rule, resolved as follows:

We declare that inasmuch as the Republican party of this State is justly held responsible for the officers whom it or its representatives elect, and inasmuch as experience has shown the grave evils resulting from purely personal canvasses, it is the duty of the Republican members of the Legislature in the election of the various offices within their choice to act in concert and in accordance with the determination of the fairly expressed majority of the Republican members in caucus or convention assembled.

Three counties were organized during the year - Graham, April 1; Ness, April 14; Sheridan, June 2.

Supervisors of Census. - C. M. Kellogg, of Clay Center, had supervision of the census in the First Congressional District, Trego, Gove and Wallace Counties included; T. Dwight Thacher, of Lawrence, the Second District; D. J. Evans, of Great Bend, the Third, excepting the counties of Trego, Gove and Wallace. In Mr. Kellogg's district, there were thirty-three organized counties, in Mr. Evans', thirty-two; in Mr. Thacher's fifteen.

The Election of 1880. - Though the census returns of 1880 showed the number of males, over twenty-one years of age, to be 265,654, yet the vote of that year was some 64,000 less. The highest vote on Garfield Elector was for W. A. Peffer, 121,549; John B. Scroggs, had 59,801, the leading Hancock Elector; James G. Bayne, led the Weaver Electoral ticket, his vote being 19,851; the Anti-Mason Electors had twenty-five, and the Neal-Down Electors, ten votes.

For Governor, St. John's vote was 115,204; Edmund G. Ross', 63,557; H. P. Vrooman's, 19,477; John P. Culver's, 435; F. M. Stringfield's, 219; scattering, forty-eight.

For Secretary of State, James Smith, incumbent, received 122,198 votes; John M. Giffen, 59,650; A. B. Cornell, 19,567; there were three scattering.

The election for Members of Congress, resulted as follows: In the First district, John A. Anderson received 48,599 votes; C. C. Burnes, 22,727; John Davis, 7,318; scattering, 20. In the Second District, D. C. Haskell, had 30,758 votes; Lewis F. Green, 23,737; scattering, 20. In the Third district, Thomas Ryan had 41,094 votes; J. Wade McDonald, 16,976; D. P. Mitchell, 9,396; scattering, one vote.

Judges of the District court were elected in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Judicial Districts.

The "Prohibition" Amendment to the Constitution had 92,302 votes for it; 84,304 votes against it. On the proposition to strike out the clause exempting $200 personal property from taxation, there was 38,442 votes for it; 140,020 against it.

On the proposition for a Constitutional Convention, the vote as 22,870 in its favor; 146,279 against it. Pawnee County was the only one that gave it a majority. Its vote was 755; majority, 57.

The State Legislature elected consisted of forty Senators and 137 Representatives. Its political complexion was as follows: Senate. - Republican, 37; Democrat, 2; National, 1. House of Representatives - Republican, 120; Democrat, 13; National, 4.


The Third biennial Session of the Legislature. John P. St. John, Governor; David W. Finney, President of the senate; John b. Johnson, Speaker of the House, met at the Capitol, January 11; adjourned, March 5. The Senate was in session in the Hall formerly occupied by the House of Representatives; the House occupied the new hall in the west wing of the State House.

January 13, the Private Secretary of the Governor, delivered the following:



Desiring to read my biennial message to the Legislature, I have the honor to request a joint session of the House and Senate for that purpose.

JOHN P. ST. JOHN, Governor

Senator Metsker offered a resolution, providing for a joint session, to receive the Governor's message; the resolution was not adopted.

The following shows the action of the House on the same matter:

Mr. Houston, by consent, offered the following House concurrent resolution, and moved its adoption:

Resolved by the House, the Senate concurring, That a joint convention of the House and Senate be held in the hall of the House of Representatives this day at 11 o'clock A. M., to hear the message of the Governor.

Mr. Ady offered the following as an amendment:

Resolved, That a committee of five from this House be appointed to act with a like committee from the Senate (the Senate concurring herein), to invite the Governor to read his message to the joint convention ordered.

Mr. Snoddy moved to indefinitely postpone the further consideration of this matter, which motion prevailed.

The message was read in each body on that day; an exhibit of the progress of the State was presented as follows:

From 1870 to 1880, the revenue of the State increased from four hundred and ninety-six thousand four hundred and five dollars, to seven hundred and one thousand one hundred and ten dollars, showing a gain of forty-one per cent; while the assessed valuation of taxable property was $92,000,000 in 1870, it reached $160,570,761.43 in 1880 - an increase of $68,570,761.43. During this period our State debt was reduced $160,100, and our school-houses increased in number from 1,501 to 5,242.

Instead of 1,282 miles of railway, as in 1870, we now have 3,104 miles in successful operation.

These are some of the legitimate fruits of a policy that protects the life, property and lawful ballot of all citizens, and makes ample provision for the education of every child in our State.

Regarding the State Historical Society, he said:

The collections of the State Historical Society are the property of the State, and are well worthy of its care. Kansas has made a history of which its citizens may well be proud; and the society is faithfully gathering up the books, files, manuscripts, portraits and relics which exhibit and illustrate that history so necessary for the information and instruction of not only the present, but of future generations. The library which the society is making up is attracting much attention, and is receiving valuable donations, and I respectfully recommend that the miscellaneous portion of the State library be place with the historical collection.

The Governor was of the opinion that a comprehensive and thorough geological survey of the State should be instituted, so as to secure all the information possible touching the coal deposits throughout the State, and obtain all the facts bearing on the coal, salt, gypsum and other mineral resources of the Western part of the State.

The following is communicated in regard to frontier settlers:

Under the act of March 12, 1879, twenty thousand dollars was appropriated to be used for the purpose of protecting settlers on the frontier against Indian depredations. In April, 1879, by virtue of this act, I organized and thoroughly equipped a Patrol Guard of about forty men, and kept them on the southwestern border patrolling the line from Barbour County west about one hundred miles, thus rendering it impossible for any considerable number of hostile Indians to invade the State without notice thereof being promptly conveyed to not only the settlers exposed to such dangers, but to both State and National authorities, so that a sufficient additional force might be quickly added to the Patrol Guard to successfully resist any such invasion, and furnish ample protection to the lives and property of the citizens. This guard was kept on the frontier until the 15th of November, when the men were relieved from duty and paid off.

In order to establish permanent means of protection where it seemed to be needed, I caused independent companies of both cavalry and infantry to be organized all along the line of our western frontier settlements, from the southern to the northern line of the State, and furnished them with arms and ammunition for defense. I also completed the organization of two regiments of infantry in the interior of the State, to be ready for active service promptly should they be required. I have also, except during the winter months, employed special scouts, who, being furnished with government passports through the Territory, have, by remaining a greater portion of the time in the Territory, and being on the Indian Reservations and in their camps, been in a position to obtain reliable information in relation to the Indians, thus making a hostile movement on their part impossible without our full knowledge.

It is gratifying to be able to state that during the past two years the people on our exposed borders have not in a single instance been molested by hostile Indians, but on the contrary have been permitted to remain quietly at their homes, feeling secure in their lives and property.

With the existing means for the defense of the frontier, and a small appropriation, say of $1,000 a year for the next two years, to secure, if deemed necessary, the services of an efficient and reliable detective to remain in the territory among the Indians to give warning of any indications of danger from that direction, we may feel secure from Indian raids in the future.

On the subject of apportionment, the Governor said:

It will be well to bear in mind that it is very probable that ten more counties will be organized and entitled to representation in the Legislature before the time for the apportionment in 1886.

Among the acts passed by the Legislature was the creation of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Judicial Districts; an act to authorize and provide for the erection of the State House, and to complete the west wing thereof; one authorizing the Topeka Library Association to erect a free library building on the north side of the capitol square; one perfecting the law of 1879, attaching all unorganized counties in the State now or hereafter attached to organized counties for judicial purposes, to the same counties for school purposes, and to provide for schools in unorganized counties; one providing for the maintenance of at least a four-months school each year in every organized school district of the State; one to authorize County Surveyors or their deputies to enter mining shafts for the purpose of making surveys of drifts and establish the lines of the same; one to establish an asylum for the education of the feeble-minded and imbecile youth; one to provide for condemning lands for State uses; one making appropriation for the erection of additional buildings, at the Kansas Institution for the Education of the Blind; one to provide for the organization and management of the State Reform School; one to provide for the registration of electors at elections for the permanent location or relocation of county seats; one to cede jurisdiction to the United States over the Territory of the Fort Dodge Military reservation; one creating the counties of St. John and Gray, and obliterating Buffalo; one to protect cattle from contagious diseases; one to appropriate $25,000 for the relief of the destitute in Western Kansas; one making appropriations for the erection of additional buildings, for increasing the capacity of the buildings now in use, and for the purchase of additional land at the State Insane Asylum at Topeka.

The House and Senate met in the hall of the House of Representatives in Joint Convention January 18, for the purpose of electing a State Printer to succeed Hon. George W. Martin, July 1, 1881. Hon. T. Dwight Thacher was the causus (sic) nominee of the Republicans. He was elected by a vote of 160 to 11.

Hon. James F. Legate, a member of the House from Leavenworth, submitted the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That George W. Martin, the retiring State Printer, is entitled to, and we tender him, the warmest commendations of the Legislature of the State of Kansas in joint convention assembled, for the high standard to which he has raised the State printing; for his integrity of character as State Printer, being ever watchful for the rights of the people, even to his own expense. He commenced his career eight years ago with an untarnished character, and leaves it to-day with a character unblemished, even by the severest critic.

Resolved, That an enrolled copy of the foregoing resolution, properly certified by the officers of the two Houses, shall be presented to the Hon. George W. Martin, and it shall also be spread upon the journal of each House.

Among the memorials to Congress and Executive Departments at Washington, we the following:

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 10 asked Congress to have the name of James Christian, the law partner of the late James H. Lane - now wholly blind and in destitute circumstances - placed upon the pension rolls of the United States; No. 13, to provide for building a Government railroad from the Atlantic seaboard to the Missouri River, to be a double track government freight road; No. 15, to permit the importation, free of duty, of certain goods donated by English philanthropists, for the relief of colored refuges; No. 17, to secure the passage of a bill, incorporating the Cherokee and Arkansas Railroad Company, giving it the right of way from Arkansas City, in Cowley County, through the Indian Territory to Fort Smith, Ark. House Concurrent Resolution No. 18 asked Congress to pass an act directing the Attorney General of the United States, to be instituted in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Kansas, against the railway companies of the M. K. & T. and L. L. & G. now known as the Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern to test the questions involved in the controversy between it and settlers in Allen County; No. 23, to tax railroad lands in Central and Western Kansas; No. 28, to endow a school and experimental station for the promotion of agriculture, forestry and horticulture on the Fort Hayes military reserve.

Legislative Apportionment - The Legislature of 1881 passed an act to apportion the State for Senators and Representatives. The Senators under that act are to be elected in 1884; the Representatives were elected in 1882. It is the most equitable and symmetrical Legislative Apportionment Act ever had in the history of the State. The general system of apportionment has been to have a Senate contain about one-third as many members as the House. In the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, 28 counties were represented; in the first State Legislature, which met March 26 and adjourned June 4, 1861, there were 25 Senators and 75 Representatives, representing 29 counties.

The apportionment of 1862 embraced 33 counties, and the Legislature of 1863 had the same number of Senators and Representatives as that of 1861.

The apportionment of 1866 embraced 40 counties, and the Legislature of 1867 comprised 25 Senators and 84 Representatives. The apportionment of 1871, embraced 55 counties, and the House of 1872 had 93 members. In the Legislature of 1873, there were 64 counties represented; there were 33 members of the Senate and 100 of the House. The apportionment of 1876 embraced 72 counties; there were 40 members of the Senate and 123 Representative Districts and 127 Representatives in the Legislature of 1877. There was a return of 338 votes from Edwards County; 192 from Barber; 172 from Rooks; 141 from Rush. In the Legislature of 1881, there were 80 counties represented; 40 Senators; 137 Representatives. There were 129 Representatives in the Legislature of 1879, Harper having polled 366 votes, Kingman 319. The additional counties represented in the House of 1881 were Graham, casting 815 votes; Stafford, 769; Ness, 537; Decatur, 500; Trego, 462; Pratt, 326; Hodgeman, 267; Sheridan, 208.

On a matter coming up on the legality of an appropriation made to D. B. Long, State Fish Commissioner, the Supreme Court, on their decision rendered, adjudged that the counties of Rooks and Rush, represented in the House in the years 1877-79-81; the counties of Harper and Kingman, represented in the years 1879-81; the counties of Decatur, Graham, Hodgeman, Ness, Pratt, Sheridan, Stafford and Trego, represented in the year 1881, were not legally entitled to representation in the House during those years. The counties of Barber and Edwards were decreed as the two which should exhaust the limit of 125, as provided in the letter of the State constitution. The apportionment act of 1881 provided for 38 Senatorial districts, with 40 Senators; for 125 Representative districts, the presumption being that organized counties thereafter voting should each have a Representative, as provided in Section 1, Article X, of the constitution, which reads:

Each organized county shall have at least one Representative.

Rawlins County, organized May 25, 1881, was refused representation in the House of 1883; its Representative, elected November 7, 1882, being S. T. Lloyd.

The changes in the House representation of 1881 and of 1883 were quite marked. The losses in the representation of counties are reported as follows: Allen, Atchison, Chautauqua, Coffey, Crawford, Doniphan, Douglas, Greenwood, Jackson, Johnson, Linn, Montgomery, Riley and Wyandotte, each lost one; Bourbon lost two; Leavenworth, three. The gains were: Cowley, Dickinson, McPherson, Mitchell, Reno, Saline, Smith and Sumner, each one. The Senate of 1885, to be elected in 1884, will show, as compared with that of 1883, a diminution of representation in the eastern, with a corresponding increase in the western part of the State. The counties of Atchison and Douglas are each reduced from two Senators to one; Leavenworth, having two, will, with Jefferson County, have two; Johnson, Miami and Linn, each having one, will unitedly have two; Neosho and Wilson, each having one, will together have one; Doniphan, having one, will have Brown with it as a district; Marshall, having one, will have Nemaha with it as a district.

Report of the Price Raid Commission. - The Governor, on March 1, submitted from Secretary Smith the following report:

TOPEKA, KAN., February 17, 1881. }


I have the honor to transmit herewith, by direction of the Price Raid Auditing Commission, the following report:

The Price Raid Auditing Commission, in pursuance of the provisions of the act of the Legislature of 1879, creating said commission, met on the 2d day of April, 1879, and directed the Secretary, under provisions of Section 2 of said act, to give notice in ten newspapers of the time and place of meetings of the board.

In accordance with said notice, the commission proceeded on the 17th day of July to examine claims, and the following is a statement of the aggregate amount of claims allowed, and also a statement of the aggregate amount of claims filed for the action of the commission:


For services as militia, or employees in the militia service.....$10, 481 00
For materials, supplies and transportation furnished.............  8,721  00
For property lost in action, or property lost by the militia
   Or employes in the line of duty............................... 23,461  00
      Total...................................................... $42,663 00

In addition to the above amount of claims audited by this commission, there are original claims (for which it is alleged "Union military scrip" has never been issued) on file, which have not been acted upon by the commission, as follows:

For services as militia, or employes in the militia service...... $11,483 63
For materials, supplies and transportation furnished.............  14,018 79
For property lost in action, or property lost by the 
       militia or employes while in the line of duty.............  49,545 29
     Total....................................................... $75,047 71

There are also on file certificates (not yet acted upon by the commission) signed by Hon. J. E. Hayes, former State Treasurer, showing the amount of interest due and unpaid on "Union military scrip," the principal of which was paid by him, to the amount of $67,561.

In addition to the foregoing, a large amount of claims in the shape of "Union military scrip," issued for damages, a portion of which it is claimed by parties presenting the same was erroneously issued as damage scrip, instead of as property lost or supplies furnished, is on file for action of the commission, the total amount of the same being $82,945.

Very respectfully,

JAMES SMITH, Secretary of State

The Election of 1881 resulted as follows: J. A. Venard was elected as Representative to the Legislature, to fill a vacancy from Ness County, occasioned by the resignation of Horatio Gates; Simon Motz, of Ellis County, was elected Senator from the Thirty-seventh Senatorial District, to fill a vacancy, occasioned by the appointment of Senator Strang to the position of Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District. District Judges were elected as follows: William R. Wagstaff, from the Tenth District; Clark A. Smith, from the Fifteenth District; J. C. Strang, from the Sixteenth District; W. H. Pratt, from the Seventeenth District.

December 10, Gov. St. John issued a proclamation intended to bring about an observance of the prohibitory liquor law. It commences with preambles as follows:

WHEREAS, there exists in the cities of Atchison, Leavenworth, Topeka, Kansas City, Kan., Wyandotte and Dodge City, in this State, a combination of evil disposed persons, who are notoriously and defiantly violating the provisions of Section 10, of Article 15, of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, and Chapter 128 of the laws of 1881, passed in pursuance thereof, being an act entitled, "An act to prohibit the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor, except for medical, scientific and mechanical purposes, and to regulate the sale thereof for such excepted purposes" - and

WHEREAS, Section 3, of Article 1; of said Constitution, provides that "the executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor, who shall see that the laws are faithfully executed;" now, therefore, I, John P. St. John, Governor of the State of Kansas, by the authority vested in me, prompted by not only a sense of duty, but a desire and determination to use all lawful means at my command to suppress lawlessness, and bring to just punishment all persons who so defiantly trample under foot the will of the people as expressed through the Constitution and laws of our State, do hereby offer the following rewards:

(A summary of rewards offered is as follows:)

For the arrest and conviction of every person guilty of selling intoxicating liquors in violation of law in either of the above named cities; for those maintaining a common nuisance; for the arrest, conviction and removal from office of each and every policeman in either of said cities for a failure to perform duties under said prohibitory liquor law; for the arrest, conviction and removal from office of each and every Under Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff, or constable in either of said counties, for failure to perform duties imposed on such officers, under said law; each, $100.

For the arrest and conviction of each and every person guilty of perjury in connection with any evidence given as a witness, on the trial of any person convicted for violating the provisions of the prohibitory liquor law, $200.

For the arrest, conviction and removal from office of the City Marshal of either of the above named cities, for a failure to perform the duties imposed upon such officers; the same for the Sheriff of the County in which either of said cities is situate; the same for the County Attorney of the county in which either of said cities is situate, for each $300.

For the arrest and conviction of any person or persons engaged in the manufacture of intoxicating liquors at any distillery or brewery in this State, in violation of the provisions of said prohibitory liquor law, and the abatement of such, as a nuisance, $500.

Claims for reward must be verified by affidavit, accompanied by a certified copy of the judgment of conviction.

All claims found to be correct and in due form, will be approved and presented to the Legislature with a recommendation that an appropriation be made to pay the same.

[TOC] [part 11] [part 9] [Cutler's History]