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


[TOC] [part 6] [part 4] [Cutler's History]


New Albany is located on Fall River in the southwest portion of the county, seven miles west of Fredonia, the county seat. The town owes its existence principally to Robert Mooney and William Hall, who in the spring of 1865, while this part of the county was still in the hands of the Osages, established a trading post. Shortly after the land was vacated by the Indians and surveyed by the United States authorities. It was not however, until April 20, 1871, that a town company was formed and any systematic effort made for improvement. The town company, which was officered by Wm. Stivers Pres.; W. Hall Treas. and P. W. Mackey, Sec., laid out the town as it now stands, enclosing a gently sloping square, a fitting spot for a court house should the then uncertain future make this the county seat. Hopes of this sort have long since passed away and the square is already dotted with buildings.

The first child born on the new town site was Miss Dora, daughter of Robert and Mrs. Nannie E. Mooney, who enjoy the added distinction of being the first couple married from the town. The first death in the place was either that of a baby of a woman named Harlow, who shortly moved away, or J. W. Gill -- on this point the recollection of old settlers differs. The first building was the old trading post of Hall & Mooney, the second, the log house of Wm. Hall and the third, a similar building belonging to Robert Mooney. Next following these was the blacksmith shop of J. Russell. The first drug store was opened by Simon Alter, who was followed by J. Q. Alter, Wynne & Ficklen, Marr & Roby and Robert Marr, who still does business. A hardware store was started in 1878-79, by Gardner & Bros. The business is now done by J. L. Chamberlain. Prior to the building of the town, John Alter, who lived about three miles northeast, practiced medicine for the benefit of the settlers. In 1870, Dr. P. W. Mackey came to New Albany, and in 1871, A. G. Marshman put up a shingle, which still stands the card of the only physician in town. Prior also to the formation of the town or the residence of Hall & Mooney, Jackson, Hickox & Fay built a two-run steam grist and saw mill about a mile and one-half above the town. This mill still exists, but is not now in use. In 1870 another mill was built at a point nearer town by Wauder, Chase & Co. This mill had two run of burr-stones, one for corn and one for wheat. The present mill is more particularly described elsewhere.

A postoffice was established soon after Hall & Mooney arrived on the future site of New Albany, but the service was for some time a private one. Mr. W. Hall kept the office until 1870, when, it was removed to the store of Stivers Troup, the latter being Postmaster and his partner deputy. Troup was followed by Robert Mooney, Spencer Beaumont, and Robert Marr, the present official.

The school district of New Albany is number nine -- an indication of its age. The district was organized in 1866, but there is no record of a school being taught that year. In 1867 a three months' school was taught by James Hanegan, and in 1868 R. Nelson taught one of sim lar [sic] length. Probably there was also a school term in 1869, but the records are silent on this point. Since that date the following teacher have served: W. S. Robberts, 1870; T. E. Gregg, 1872; (the school was built this year at a cost of $600); S. W. Burke, 1874; Sallie McQuilkin, 1875; F. M. Robertson, 1876; Sallie McQuilkin, 1877; Mary Wynne, 1878; Georgia E. Marshman, 1878; E. M. Boren and P. Van Hyatt, 1879; J. L. Stewart, 1880; B. M. Ewing, J. W. Kimball and A. Young, 1881; A. Young and J. W. Kimball, 1882; V. L. Polson and Miss Susie Young, 1882 (fall term). A new school building is in process of erection, and is to be completed January 1, 1883. It is of brick with stone foundation; 32x46 feet and two stories in height. It will be divided into two rooms on the first floor, but the upper left for the present entire. An ell 15x16 makes the building somewhat of a T shape, and above all will rise a graceful cupola. Complete, the schoolhouse will cost $3,000. The school now has an enrollment of eighty-five, but in the new building this will be greatly increased.

Baptist Church. -- An organization of this denomination was formed in the summer of 1867 by Rev. Dr. Palmer, and services have been held with a degree of regularity up to the present time. Mr. Palmer was succeeded by Revs. G. W. Cope, Wm. Gable, N. H. Ward, Reuben Baker, P. A. McCartney, O. C. Keniston and A. E. Lewis, the present incumbent. The society now has a membership of ninety-three. Sabbath school services have been held during mild weather, and have been well attended.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, of New Albany, was formed in 1870, with about thirty members. At no time has it been able to support a separate pastor, but has been served by the Coyville circuit. The pastors who have occupied its pulpit, are: Revs. Stewart, Somerville, Williams, Gates, Brady, Hitchcock, Leech, and Rev. John Johnson, the present minister. A church edifice of stone was erected in 1879, at a cost of $1,200, the expense being divided between the church society and the Masonic and Odd Fellows' lodges, which occupy the upper floor. The society now has a membership of fifty-five. A Sabbath school of between sixty and seventy has been taught every summer, but discontinued in cold weather on account of the distance at which many of the pupils live.

Christian Church. -- The first organization of the Christian Church of New Albany was effected at a point three miles northeast, where there is a schoolhouse, and the name of Mount Zion has been given. Removing from this point to New Albany in 1878, the society effected a reorganization and has held services at this point ever since, although it has no church edifice.

New Albany Lodge, No. 81 A., F. & A. M., was organized on November 26, 1869, with the following officers: B. F. Humphrey, W. M.; A. Butts, S. W.; C. W. Hickox, J. W.; J. M. Edmiston, secretary; William Hall, treasurer; W. B. Fisher, T. The lodge has now a membership of thirty-six. Meetings are held on each Saturday night, on or next following full moon, and each two weeks thereafter. The lodge room is the upper portion of the church building, and was built by this lodge at a cost of $750. It is leased for the use of the Odd Fellows jointly with this lodge. The present officers of the lodge are: C. W. Hickox, W. M.; Robert Mooney, S. W.; A. S. Helm, J. W.; O. Edmiston, S. D.; R. Lee, J. D.; Robert Marr, secretary; J. L. Toepler, treasurer; John Griffin, tiler.

Silent Temple Lodge, No. 91, I. O. O. F., was organized on June 7, 1872, and chartered on October 8th of the same year. Its charter officers were: Robert Stephen, N. G.: W. M. Harris, V. G.; T. C. Chilcote, R. S.; J. A. Rockwood, treasurer. These, with A. H. Abrams, constituted the charter members. The present officers of the lodge are: J. E. Robinson, N. G.; A. G. Marshman, V. G.; Robert Marr, secretary; D. N. Young, treasurer. Meetings are held on Wednesday of each week in Odd Fellows' hall. The property of the lodge consists of regalia to the value of $200, and a balance in the treasury of $150 or more.

Mooney's Mill. -- This mill is located on a bayou or minor channel of Fall River at a point less than a quarter of a mile from the town. It was completed in 1880 at a cost of about $6,000. Power is furnished by a "forty-inch special" turbine wheel. This is utilized by four run of burr-stones; two used for wheat, one for middlings and one for corn. When run to its fullest capacity this mill turns out seventy five barrels of flour per day.

The town now has two general stores, one grocery, one drug and one hardware and furniture store, a flouring mill, two blacksmiths and a wagon maker. There is no hotel, but the restaurant is able to furnish sleeping rooms for travelers.


WILLIAM HALL, merchant, and one of the oldest settlers of this region, was born in Clinton County, Ohio, in 1823, and when a child of five years removed with his parents to Henry Co., Ind., where he remained until he had reached manhood's years, when he went to California, and upon his return enlisted in Company E, Fifty-fourth Indiana Volunteers, and after two years' hard service in the field came to Kansas, locating here and being the first merchant in the town of New Albany, where he now enjoys not only the confidence of his many friends, but also that of the entire community. In February, 1855, Mr. Hall was married to Miss Mary A. Richards, of Indiana, who has borne him six children. Mr. Hall has held several county and township offices.

ROBERT MOONEY was born in Hamilton County, Ind., February 16, 1842; came to Kansas in April, 1865; located where New Albany now is in July, 1865; commenced mercantile business in partnership with William Hall in 1871. He bought the New Albany grist and saw mill and ran that in connection with mercantile business until the fall of 1878, when he sold his interest in the store to E. Alley & Co., and then commenced building a new water mill. In April, 1879 the mill was completed, and in 1882 he put in improved machinery, and now has a first class merchant and exchange mill. March 8, 1866, was married to Miss N. E. Bethard, of Coffey County, Kan. Dora A. Mooney was born March 16, 1867; Albert B. was born February 10, 1870, died October 26, 1870; Elmer B. was born November 28, 1872, died August 27, 1872; Maud L. was born February 1, 1874; Fred R. February 1, 1876; Ethiel, February 6, 1878.

[TOC] [part 6] [part 4] [Cutler's History]