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


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The Fifteenth State Legislature. Thomas A. Osborn, Governor, met January 13, adjourned March 10. President of the Senate, Melville J. Salter; Speaker of the House, Edward H. Funston. Among the acts passed were those making appropriations of $5,000 for the use of the Kansas State Grange Executive Committee, and of $6,000 for the use of the State Central Relief Committee for the payment of railroad freights on "grain in bulk destined for general distribution to the people of the State," and $1,000 was appropriated to each of the counties of Decatur and Rush; $500 to Ness, for the purpose of furnishing the citizens of said counties with "food and clothing, and with grain and seed for spring sowing in 1875." Boards of County Commissioners were authorized to furnish necessaries for the destitute of their respective counties to put in crops in the counties of Anderson, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jackson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morris, Miami, Nemaha, Pawnee, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick and Woodson. An appropriation of $1,900 was made for the purpose of defraying the expenses of taking the census of 1875; which census was to be taken by the Township and City Assessors, the service of the same to be $3 per day, to be paid out of the county treasuries, and schedules to be made under the heads of "Population, Occupations, Agriculture, Manufactures, the Blind, Deaf and Dumb, Insane and Idiotic, Libraries, Newspapers, Churches and Schoolhouses, Pauperism and Crime."

The State Centennial Managers, appointed in 1874, were "authorized and directed during the year 1875 to collect, preserve and prepare for exhibition at Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, in the year 1876, in such manner as in their judgment shall be for the best interest of the State, and will best effect the object of their appointment, materials, including selections and specimens of nature, art and industry in Kansas, so as to represent as far as possible, and to the best advantage, the natural and artificial resources of the State; the rocks, mines and quarries, the prairies, hills and forests, the fields, gardens and orchards, the grain and grasses, fruits and vegetables, the trees, shrubs and flowers, the soil, its productions, quality and capacity, shall all be represented in such selections, with such other things as can be secured and preserved, to the end that a complete, thorough and fair exhibition may be had of the actual and possible productions of the State." An appropriation for this purpose was made of $5,000.

The Criminal Court of Leavenworth County was abolished; all its criminal matters were turned over to the District Court of the county. Howard County was divided, the southern half with Sedan as county seat, became Chautauqua; the northern half with Howard City as county seat, became Elk County. The original records of the county of Howard were retained by and remained records of and for the county of Chautauqua.

The Topeka Insane Asylum was located "within two miles of the capitol building in the city of Topeka," and an appropriation of $25,000 was made for its erection. Provision was made for the military indebtedness on account of "Indian raids," by the issuance of State bonds to the amount of $36,500.

An act was passed providing for the appointment of three Commissioners, whose duty it was to examine, audit and certify to the amount of losses sustained by citizens of this State by the invasion of guerrilla bands led by Quantrell and others during the years 1861-62-63-64 and 1865.

Amendments to the State Constitution. - The proposition for biennial sessions of the Legislature, commencing with the session of 1877, and regular sessions each alternate year thereafter, commencing on the second Tuesday of January, was submitted to the voters at the election in 1875. At the general election in 1876 and thereafter, members of the House of Representatives would be elected for two years; members of the Senate, for four years, and a provision for the Legislature to raise sufficient revenue at each regular session to defray the current expenses of the State for two years, were also submitted.

An act was passed abolishing "the appointment of Regents and Trustees for the control of the public institutions of the State, and defining certain powers thereof," and providing for the election of a State Printer on the third Tuesday of January, 1875, whose term of office would commence July 1, 1875, and continue for two years. In case the office should become vacant by death, resignation, or from any other cause, provisions was made for the Governor to appoint.

Senate concurrent resolutions were passed asking Congress to appropriate $400,000 for the improvement of the harbor at Galveston, Texas; to create and establish a United States District Court in the Indian Territory; to grant to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, the right of way through the Indian Territory, to construct within two years, a continuous line of railroad from a point in the southeast corner of Sumner County, down the Arkansas River, by the way of Muskogee to Fort Smith in Arkansas; to appropriate $150,000 "to be applied in relieving the immediate necessities of the destitute people of the western frontier." House concurrent resolutions were passed asking Congress to grant sixty-nine sections of public lands to the State of Kansas for school purposes, in lieu of Sections 16 and 36 of the Cherokee Neutral Lands, which had not been reserved; to enact a law providing for the taxation of the lands of the Kansas Division of the Union Pacific Railway located in the western counties of Kansas; for an appraisement of the Cherokee Neutral Lands, and for deepening the mouth of the Mississippi River by way of the Southwest Pass, according to the plans of James B. Eads.

End of the Pomeroy Suit. - In the Kansas House of Representatives, Hon. George W. Brown, of Crawford County, offered a concurrent resolution, concerning certain moneys in the State Treasury, known as the Pomeroy-York bribe which, under the rules, was laid over. It was introduced January 21, and was taken up the following day, on motion of Hon. P. P. Elder; its consideration was indefinitely postponed. The matter was re-introduced on the 26th in the following language:

Whereas, A package, said to contain $7,000, which said $7,000 is the money given by S. C. Pomeroy to Senator A. M. York, is now in the possession of Hon. E. S. Stover; and

Whereas, The Hon. E. S. Stover is desirous of being relieved from the custody of said package, but claims to be the trustee of the State by reason of said money having been given him as such trustee, while he was an officer of the State, thus leaving upon his mind the impression that the State has some right therein; therefore,

Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein, That the State disclaim any ownership, or claim, or interest in said package of money, and it is the sense of this Legislature that said package of money shall be turned over to said Samuel C. Pomeroy.

Hon. James F. Legate offered the following amendment:

Strike out all after the word "resolved," and insert as follows: "That the State of Kansas disclaims any right, title or interest in said money," and moved its adoption.

The amendment was adopted by a vote of 72 to 27.

Mr. Buchan moved to amend by striking out the second "whereas" in the original resolution, and all after the word "money" in the resolution as amended, so that the resolution shall read as follows:

Whereas, A package said to contain $7,000, which $7,000 is the money given by S. C. Pomeroy to Senator A. M. York, is now in the possession of Hon. E. S. Stover; therefore,

Resolved by the House of Representative, the Senate concurring therein, That the State of Kansas disclaim any right, title or interest in said money.

The question recurring on the adoption of the resolution as amended, the yeas and nays were demanded, and the roll was called with the following result: Yeas, 67; nays, 31.

On January 27, the resolutions were acted upon by the Senate; Senator W. W. Melty, of Johnson, moving to amend by inserting after the name of "York," "bribe money."

Senator Simon moved an indefinite postponement of the resolution, which motion prevailed by a vote of 25 to 7.

Opinion of the State Law Officer. - The following correspondence explains itself.


Dear Sir - I have this morning received from you a letter of which the following is a copy, to wit:

TOPEKA, KAN., March 3, 1875.

Dear Sir - Will you please inform me what right, title or interest the State of Kansas has in the package of money now in my possession, known as the Pomeroy $7,000, which was placed in my possession by Senator A. M. York, January 29, 1873, during the joint session of the Legislature for the purpose of electing a United States Senator?

Very truly,

And in reply thereto, I give it as my opinion that the State of Kansas has no right, title or interest whatsoever in that famous historical package known as the Pomeroy $7,000, which was placed in your hands, by Senator A. M. York, as is above stated.

A. M. F. RANDOLPH, Attorney General.

The case of the State of Kansas vs. S. C. Pomeroy, would have been called in the District Court in and for Osage County, April 5, 1875, but for a certain series of events.

Ex-Lieut. Gov. Stover, being the custodian of the $7,000 in question, felt morally obliged to control it, until the criminal suit against ex-Senator Pomeroy was disposed of. He had been made defendant in four civil suits, the plaintiffs, respectively, being John Q. Page, S. C. Pomeroy, Edwards, Mathews & Co., and E. A. Smith & Co.

After the opinion of Attorney General Randolph was published, Mr. Stover, hearing that A. H. Vance, Esq., the County Attorney of Shawnee County, where the action against Mr. Pomeroy was commenced, had come to a determination to enter a nolle prosequi in the criminal suit, he wrote him in relation thereto, and received the following reply:

TOPEKA, KAN., March 10, 1875.


Dear Sir - After fully investigating the matter, and believing it to be for the public interest, as well as for the best interests of the county of Shawnee, I have concluded to dismiss the case of the State of Kansas vs. S. C. Pomeroy, now pending in the District Court for Osage County, Kan., and I shall do so on the first day of the next term of said court. Under these circumstances, and in order to avoid further costs or expenses in the matter, I hereby notify you that you and all others, witnesses in the case, are hereby finally discharged from all further attention or liability of any kind respecting the above-named case.

Very respectfully,

A. H. VANCE, County Attorney, Shawnee County, Kan.

Mr. Stover had resolved that the cost of the prosecution as far as they had gone, should be defrayed from the historic package, and the balance should go to Mr. York from whom it had been received.

County Attorney Vance, took counsel of his predecessor, Hon. Thomas Ryan, and Hon. A. L. Williams, former Attorney General, who had been connected with the prosecution, as to the condition of affairs, and they freely gave their opinion that it would be difficult for the prosecution to convict, for want of material evidence, not then accessible; and in conversation with Hon. John Martin, Counsel for Mr. Pomeroy, he learned that the defense were willing to pay the costs, were a nolle prosequi entered.

On March 8, Mr. Vance entered into the agreement, and Arthur B. McCabe, the District Clerk, of Shawnee County, found the costs to be $1,231.36 in Shawnee County, and $500 was made the approximate cost in the County of Osage.

On March 12, in the office of Martin & Case, there were assembled Hon. John Martin and Hon. Albert H. Horton, representing Mr. Pomeroy; Mr. Vance, representing the State; A. M. York, the leading witness for the State; ex-State Treasurer John Francis, who was the original keeper of the package, and who, in consequence, had been sued; A. L. Williams, E. S. Stover and Hon. James F. Legate. District Clerk McCabe came at the instance of Mr. Vance. Mr. Francis counted the money in the $7,000 package; Mr. Stover counted out $1,735, and handed it to Mr. McCabe, who, as Clerk, receipted for the cost in the case in full, in the counties of Shawnee and Osage.

Mr. York received form Mr. Stover, $5,265, and gave therefor the following receipt:

TOPEKA, KAN., March 12, 1875.

Received of the Hon. E. S. Stover the sum of $5,265, being the original package of money (less the costs in the State of Kansas against S. C. Pomeroy, now pending in the District Court in and for Osage County), received by me of Senator S. C. Pomeroy, during the session of the Kansas State Legislature, in 1873, and by me placed in the custody of said Stover, as the presiding officer of the Joint Convention of the two Houses of said Legislature, on January 29, 1873.


Mr. York then and there turned the money over to Judge Horton, receiving a receipt, reading as follows:

TOPEKA, KAN., March 12, 1875.

Received of A. M. York, the sum of $7,000, less the amount of cost in the case of the State of Kansas against S. C. Pomeroy, now pending in the District Court, in and for Osage County, Kan., in full of amount paid by me to said A. M. York, during the session of the Kansas State Legislature, in the year 1873.


By ALBERT H. HORTON, his Attorney.

The following is the District Court entry:


The State of Kansas against S. C. Pomeroy. Motion.

And now comes the plaintiff, by A. H. Vance, County Attorney of Shawnee County, and moves the court, for leave to enter a nolle prosequi in the above entitled cause.

A. H. VANCE, County Attorney for Shawnee County. March 11, 1875

As supplementary to the foregoing, the following stipulation was made:

It is hereby stipulated and agreed by and between James F. Legate, of the first part, and A. B. McCabe, Clerk of the District court, of the second part, that whereas, $1,735 has been paid into court, to discharge the costs in the case of the State of Kansas vs. S. C. Pomeroy; now it is agreed that if the said sum above state is not sufficient to pay the cost for which Shawnee County is liable, then the said Legate agrees to pay whatever deficiency there may be to satisfy said costs; and the said, A. B. McCabe, Clerk of the District court, agrees to pay the said Legate whatever excess there may be in said sum above state, after said costs have been fully satisfied.


The documentary end of the case was as follows:


Please pay to A. H. Horton, or his order, the fees not needed to pay the cost in the case of the State of Kansas vs. S. C. Pomeroy.


Bogus School Bonds. - During the autumn of 1875, the School Fund Commissioners found themselves in possession of nearly $20,000 in bonds on school districts located in the counties of Jewell, Mitchell, Osborne and Republic. Gov. Osborn, in December, notified State Treasurer Lappin that his resignation would be accepted, and it was promptly tendered, and suits were brought against Mr. Lappin and his sureties for the recovery of the money expended for forged bonds, and criminal proceedings were instituted against him for participation in the forgeries, action having been brought in the District Court of Shawnee County. Mr. Lappin was arrested in Chicago in January, 1876, and broke jail in the same year, fleeing to South America.

Hon. John Francis, who had succeeded Treasurer Hayes in 1874, was again appointed by Gov. Osborn as the successor of Mr. Lappin.

The annual election was held November 2. Judges for the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Judicial Districts were elected. In the Seventh, there was also an election to fill a vacancy. Stephen M. Wood was elected in the Twenty-sixth Senatorial District to fill a vacancy; and members of the House of Representatives were chosen. The State Board of Canvassers declined to issue certificates to the following-named persons elected as Representatives, to wit: H. S. Cochran, Barber County; Taylor Flick, Edwards; D. M. Frost, Ford; S. L. Green, Norton; Moses Adamson, Rooks; William S. Wood, Rush; ___Brown, Kingman. The House of Representatives, however, admitted Messrs. Cochran, Frost and Green. The three propositions for Constitutional amendments were adopted by majorities of upward of 27,000 each.

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