produced this selection.

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.


Location and General Features | Biographical Sketches


At this date (1882) there are still twenty-three unorganized counties in Kansas; these are as follows: Cheyenne, Sherman, Thomas, Wallace, St. John, Gove, Greeley, Wichita, Scott, Lane, Hamilton, Kearney, Sequoyah, Gray, Stanton, Grant, Arapahoe, Kansas, Stevens, Seward, Meade, Clark and Comanche counties. Of these, Cheyenne is attached to Rawlins County for judicial purposes; Sherman and Thomas, to Sheridan; Wallace, St. John and Gove, to Trego; Greeley, Wichita, Scott and Lane, to Ness; Hamilton, Kearney, Sequoyah and Gray, to Ford; and the immense and unexplored district of the southwest, comprising Stanton, Grant, Arapahoe, Kansas, Stevens, Seward, Meade, Clark and Comanche counties, to Barber County.

CHEYENNE County is the northwestern county of Kansas, and the only remaining unorganized one of the northern tier. It was created by the Legislature of 1873, and takes the name of a hostile band of Indians.

The first district school taught in the county was at Kepferle, in the northeastern part of the county. The term ended March 13, 1882, A. M. Brenaman, Deputy County Superintendent and Deputy Clerk of the District Court, was the teacher. He had ten pupils. A Sunday-school was organized on Sunday, April 3, 1882, L. R. Heaton officiating as Superintendent; there were twenty persons in attendance upon this first Sunday-school in Cheyenne County. Mr. Brenaman has a drug store at Wano, the centrally located town of the county, which is on a mail route to Wallace, on the Kansas division of the Union Pacific, and to Collinsville, which is on the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska, Kepferle being on this route.

Mr. Ehorst was the first man to introduce fine-blooded sheep in the county. Fine specimens of coal have been found on Cherry Creek, west of Wano. In July, 1880, there were eleven actual tillers of the soil in the count, and three cattle ranches. Mr. Bingleman had 5,000 head of cattle and twenty hands; Mr. Davenport, 2,500, and six hands; Mr. Buck, 2,000, five hands.

In 1880 Cheyenne County had two postoffices, one post road and one store; in 1881 it had two more post roads, and the weekly was changed to a semi-weekly mail. Two fields of corn were raised, which produced 1,000 bushels; 2,000 acres were fenced, 100 acres tilled, and 100 acres broken.

Sheep husbandry has been started by M. Buck, on the South Fork of the Republican, near Wano. His wife and stepdaughter were the first women to settle in the county, in July, 1880. The original discoverer of the county may be said to be Mr. A. M. Brenaman, who took to himself a wife in the autumn of 1882. The settled points, beside Kepferle and Wano, are Batino, Big Timber, Davenport, South Beaver and T-Wrench.

SHERMAN County was one of those created by the Legislature of 1873, and it was named after Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. It is the westernmost county in the State, in the second of the northern tier of counties.

It is, in the main, very level land and almost treeless. Beaver Creek, Little Beaver and both forks of the Sappa River, rise in this county, and the North Fork of the Smoky Hill, passes from Colorado into the south part of the county, and out of it into Wallace.

Inez is laid out near the North Fork of the Sappa, in the geographical center of the county. Four miles north of it is Big Indian Springs, which is quite an expanse of water.

THOMAS County was created by the Legislature of 1873. It embraces thirty congressional townships and includes an area of 1,080 square miles.

Colby is situated in the exact geographical center of the county. Cumberland is a postoffice in the northeastern portion of the county. Letitia is situated in Township 7, Range 32, directly south of Cumberland. Streator is a postoffice about seven miles to the southwest of Letitia. Bray is a point around which considerable attention is paid to sheep husbandry and cattle raising.

LANE County is attached to Ness County as a municipal township. In 1880 its population was 632; in 1882, it was 352. It has two newspapers. The Lane County Progress was started by Taylor & Mitchell, in the spring of 1879. The Lane County Gazette was established at California January 29, 1880; W. H. Lee, editor and proprietor.

HAMILTON County, bordering on Colorado, has four counties in Kansas between it and Nebraska; two -- Stanton and Kansas -- between it and the Indian Territory; twelve between it and the counties of Lin and Bourbon, on the eastern border; It contains 977 square miles. There are sand hills in the southeastern portion of the county. The railroad stations are Aubrey, Syracuse, Midway and Coolidge, formerly Sargent.

Hamilton County, in common with the other counties attached to Ford, has held elections as a municpal (sic) township of that county, having their votes canvassed by the same canvassing board. The first township election was held May 12, 1874, at Syracuse, the central point of the county, electing M. P. Strall, Trustee, and a full corps of township officers. The election expenses were $13. The Ford County Commissioners fixed a tax-levy of 12 1/2 mills on the dollar for Hamilton County.

Aubrey, -- This place is nearly on the county line between Kearney and Hamilton counties. Mr. S. F. Kurtz is one of the prominent sheep-owners in this locality.

Syracuse, -- This is the central town of the county. E. P. Barber is postmaster.

KEARNEY County has an area of 864 square miles; it is twenty-four miles from east to west; thirty-six miles from north to south.

The Arkansas, as it enters the county, some twelve miles from its southern boundary, runs in a southeasterly direction, and before it crosses its center line from east to west, its course is northwesterly.

Kearney County held its first election as a township at Lakin, July 7, 1879, polling 38 votes.

Lakin, -- Business has been established at this point for ten years. John O'Loughlin, dealer in general merchandise, coal and lumber, came here in 1873. There is a school here well attended, and a new stone school house will be built from stone in the quarry west of Lakin. The court house is built of stone, and many of the dwellings of the citizens.

The first number of the Lakin Herald was issued December 2, 1882; Joseph Dillon, editor and proprietor. It is a nice, well conducted, seven-column newspaper, and it enters upon its second year with excellent prospects.

SEQUOYAH County is 864 square miles in area, being twenty-four miles from east to west, and thirty-six miles from north to south.

This is a treeless region. The Arkansas River runs south of the central portion of the county, mainly in a southeasterly direction. There are sand hills in the northeast corner of the county, and toward the south-eastern part.

T. A. Carlon, J. R. Fulton, W. D. Fulton, C. J. Jones and John Stevens were the first settlers, locating here in the county in 1878 and in 1879. The points in the county are the following railroad stations: Pierceville, Garden City and Sherlock.

Sequoyah County first voted at Garden City, July 25, 1879, polling 67 votes. At the election held in November, 1881, Simon Motz, was elected to the Senate from the Thirty-seventh Senatorial District to fill a vacancy, and J. C. Strang was elected Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District.

Irrigation was resorted to in the spring of 1879, and C. J. Jones was the first man that put it in practice in the State of Kansas. He was the prime mover in organizing all the irrigating companies that are now in operation, and constructing canals in the unorganized counties south of Southwestern Kansas.

Under the system of irrigation Squire Worrell has the model farm of the county. In the year 1882 his net income from thirty acres of cultivated land, exceeded over $4,000. From seven acres of alfalfa, he obtained three crops, yielding four tons per acre. On his last crop he obtained 140 bushels of seed which he sold at $10.50 per bushel. He realized about $2,000 from this crop. In proportion to the land cultivated, other farmers have done as well as Mr. Worrell, who has been at Garden City about three years. About 100 acres were irrigated in 1879; 500, in 1881; 1,000, in 1882. The canals have been enlarged and developed so as to water 5,000 acres in 1883. The cost of water for the year past was $1 per acre, per season for the land that was flooded. All kinds of vegetables grow to enormous size, and crop yields have been reported as follows: Irish potatoes, from 300 to 400 bushels per acre; sweet potatoes, 600 bushels per acre; onions, from 400 to 600 bushels per acre; oats, from 60 to 100 bushels per acre, weighing from 36 to 41 pounds per bushel. The Garden City ditch, which is eight feet wide, two feet deep, has been continued until its length is about twelve miles. The charter of the Kansas Irrigating Company covers a length of over thirty miles, and its ditch when completed will irrigate 20,000 acres. The Minnehaha Irrigation Company, chartered July 6, 1880, have a ditch ready for use ten miles in length, twenty feet wide and three feet deep. This ditch is located on the south side of the Arkansas, and it commences at a point about six and a half miles west of Lakin, in Kearney County. It is expected it will irrigate a charming tract of land sixteen miles long and from two to three miles wide, embracing nearly 20,000 acres. The Great Eastern Irrigating Company, in which Senator Plumb and Lawrence capitalists are interested, will commence operations this year. Edward Russell, of Lawrence, is Secretary of the company. This soil, primarily fertile, will be still further enriched by the accumulated vegetable deposits tat come with the snows down the Rocky Mountains, as they melt away and sweep down the Arkansas. The average height of the river banks is four feet.

Garden City has a population of nearly 400. It contains two hotels, two grocery stores, one general store, two carpenters, one lumber dealer, one blacksmith, one meat market, two physicians, three attorneys, a Congregational Church, a Methodist Episcopal organization, a Cumberland Presbyterian Society and a subscription school of some thirty pupils. A loan and savings bank building is being erected. The Deputy County Attorney is W. R. Hopkins. The county is attached to Ford for judicial purposes. B. B. Black is the station agent. Garden City is soon to be a city of the third class. As showing the sentiment of the people in regard to the sale of whisky, John Westerman proposing to open a saloon, a petition was signed by forty-four of the most influential voters of the city, asking Deputy County Attorney Hopkins to count upon them in supporting him in an effort to suppress the liquor traffic "in every way, shape or form, except as provided by law." The Good Templars have a thriving organization at Garden City, and own a good hall, which is occupied by the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Garden City Irrigator, managed by W. E. Carr, commenced its existence about July 1, 1882. It is enthusiastically devoted to the local interests of the city and county. B. B. Black is the station agent at Garden City.

GRAY County was created March 2, 1881, absorbing the county of Foote and the south one-half of Buffalo. It was named in honor of Hon. Alfred Gray, who, at the time of his death -- January 23, 1880, -- was Secretary of the State Board of Agiculture (sic).

Foote County held elections as a township of Ford County, and Gray has done likewise.

September 14, 1878, George U. Holcomb was appointed Deputy County Superintendent of Public Instruction of Foote County, and W. E. Caswell, Deputy County Surveyor. At the election held at Cimmaron, October 1, 1878, L. W. B. Johnson was elected Trustee of the county, thirty votes having been polled. Mr. Johnson was afterwards Deputy County Attorney of Foote County.

The Legislature of 1881, re-cast the counties of Foote, Lane and Buffalo, by giving Foote the name of Gray, and joining thereto the south one-half of Buffalo. The north one-half of Buffalo made the south part of Lane, and thereby the county of Buffalo was blotted out.

In the north part of the county are the points of Mason, New Buffalo and Patenville; in the northwest is Felix. On the railroad are the stations of Cimmaron and Belfast. The form place is quite a business point. The Cimmaron House is kept by W. J. Dixon, and Mr. Herzog has hotel accommodations and keeps a general store. Mr. A. D. Wettrick keeps a large general store and is engaged in the stock business.

J. H. Wooden of Kansas City issued the first number of the Cimmaron National Live-Stock Record, December 20, 1882. It is devoted especially to the live-stock interest of Southwestern Kansas, which interest is considered paramount to all others in that locality. The county has 278,520 acres of public land.


L. E. MCGARRY, of the firm of McGarry & Shoup, dealers in real estate, Cimmaron, Gray County. He came to this town in March, 1878, on a land exploring trip and finally located and engaged in real estate business. They have 200,000 acres of find lands for sale, which belong to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company. He is also postmaster at Cimmaron. The above office was established in April, 1878. He took charge of same, August 14, same year. When he came to Foote County (now Gray) there were only about twenty settlers in the county. There was a store opened May 20, 1878. The first government claim was taken February 13, 1878. He was born in Noble County, Ohio, July 2, 1851, where he lived until 1863, and in that fall went with his parents to Jefferson County, Ill., and lived on a farm until 1872, and in September of that year he became a student in the Northwestern University of Evanston, Ill., and graduated in the class of 1876. He then taught school in Northern Indiana some time. Married in 1880, at Cimmaron, to Miss Jessie Hudson, of Franklin County, Iowa.

B. F. BARTLETT, carpenter, resides in Gove County, Kan.; came to Kansas from Chicago in 1878, and located on a farm. Enlisted in 1861, in Lee County, Illinois Cavalry; was with his command at Corinth, Miss., and scouted in West Tennessee; was mustered out in 1864 at Springfield, and returned to Lee County, and remained about two years and then went to Chicago, where he remained until coming to Kansas. Was born in Franklin County Mass., February 19, 1823; remained in his native county until fifteen and served five years' apprenticeship, and worked in Boston, New York and Pittsburg, and finally located in Chicago. Was married in 1849, at Springfield, Mass., to Miss Jane Gove, a native of Lexington, Mass.; they have two children -- Charles, now in Chicago, and Jessie. Is a Republican.

[TOC] [Cutler's History]