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


[TOC] [part 5] [Cutler's History]


Coyville, once the county seat, is now a star postoffice. In the early days of the county, when settlement was all in the northern part, this point was very important. The step which finally located Coyville was the arrival, in 1859, of Albert Hagen, a Polish Jew, who, with the instinct of his tribe, opened a store for trade with the Indians. This was the first store in the county, and did a flourishing business. In 1864, Oscar Coy bought out Hagen and, with P. P. Steele, embarked in business. The place soon became known as Coy's, and later as Coyville. A post office was established on May 2, 1866, and Coy appointed Postmaster. A Masonic Lodge (No. 57) was organized in 1867, and the place seemed on the high road to prosperity; but as to many another place came first a pause and then a reaction, which left it what it is to-day.


ALEXANDER C. HUTCHINSON, druggist, was born in December, 1850, in the city of Perth, Scotland, and came to this country in 1874, locating for a short time in the Mohawk Valley, N.Y., and in 1877 removing to this State and for a short time located in Topeka, from whence he removed to his present home. In May, 1873, Mr. Hutchinson Married Miss Marian Lang, of Ayr, Scotland, who has borne him one daughter -- Maggie M., born September 8, 1875. His stock is large and well assorted and is valued at $5,000, fully insured. Although not a citizen of the United States, Mr. Hutchinson is a live and enterprising business man.

J. W. SIMPSON, M. D., was born in Somerset County, Pa., in 1839, and came to Kansas in 1875, locating in Coyville, where he has since been engaged in the practice of his profession, he being a graduate of the Pennsylvania Medical College. In 1874 the doctor married Miss Lena Bemis, of Chester, Pa. Dr. S. is considered one of the first physicians of Southern Kansas and enjoys a large practice.


Altoona, first known as Geddesburg, is located on the Verdigris river, ten miles east of Fredonia, the county seat. It was started in 1869 by a town company of which Dr. T. F. C. Dodd was president and J. N. D. Brown secretary. No town elections were, however, held, and the town company has practically lapsed. The first business done near the town was by a George Schultz and John Hooper, who, in 1869, sold groceries under a tree on the bank of the river. Shortly after, W. H. Tatham opened a store in the town proper, and, in default of a newspaper to advertise in, cried the merits of his wares through a tin horn. History does not state whether the effort was as successful as that of the "pied piper of Hamelin town." The town grew rapidly, and in a year had sixty-five buildings.

Altoona was made a postoffice on April 11, 1870, and J. N. D. Brown appointed Postmaster. He was succeeded by Freedman, Boyd, T. F. C. Dodd, Wm. McLaughlin, R. N. and M. E. Richardson, the latter of whom is still in office.

The Altoona Union, the second paper published in the county, was started on March 30th, 1870, by Bowser & Brown. It was printed on new material purchased for it by the Altoona Town Company. Four weeks later, Bowser wearied of his work and delegated the entire business to Brown, who kept the berth until July 9th, of that year. The paper then passed into the hands of James A. Smith and his wife, Carrie A., who hoisted the Republican banner. Under this management the paper continued until December 5, 1872, when it chronicled the death of Horace Greeley and its own, appearing with inverted column rules.

The schoolhouse built in 1872 is still used, and, having been built with a view to a rapid increase in the town has ample accommodations. It is presided over by Misses Clara and Celia Kashner, who have about one hundred scholars distributed in two rooms. The cost of the building was $3,000.

Altoona has two churches, the Congregational, built in 1880, and the Methodist Episcopal, built in 1882. The latter is in charge of Rev. C. W. Swartz. Each has a membership of about thirty. The Union Sabbath school, supported by the two churches, has a large attendance. The Christian Church formerly conducted meetings at this point, but has removed to Five Mounds.

Wm. Cowgill (now Altoona) Lodge No. 113, A. F. & A. M., was organized in October 17, 1872. A fire destroyed all records, jewels and paraphernalia in 1879, and the lodge has since been unable to replace them. It has now a membership of twelve, and the following officers: T. F. C. Dodd, W. M.; George East, S. W.; W. B. Ladd, J. W.; J. Orr, secretary; C. Streets, Treasurer. Meetings are on Saturday before full moon.

The Odd Fellows had a lodge at this place, until the loss of their hall in the fire of 1879, when they surrendered their charter. An attempt was recently been made to organize a lodge of Knights of Honor, but was not successful.

The flouring mill on the Verdigris, now operated by Brown & Orr, was built in 1870-71, by Spencer Bros. Its has four run of buhr-stones, moved by a turbine water wheel. Its capacity is one hundred barrels of flour per day, of twenty-four hours. The buildings and machinery are valued at $8,000.

The steam saw-mill, located in the timber near the Verdigris, is a portable one, and has been in use near Altoona for twelve years. In 1880 it was purchased by Z. A. Benell, for $1,000, and completely refitted. It is now valued at $3,200. Power is furnished by an engine of twenty-five horse-power.

The town now has a population of 300, and the following industries: general stores, 2; groceries, 3; drug stores, 1 ; hardware, 1; hotels, 2; doctors, 3; dentists, 2; wagon shops, 1; blacksmiths, 2. With the completion of the new railway, Altoona bids fair to become a live town of considerable size.


SAMUEL BAUGHMAN, County Sheriff, farmer, Section 24, Chetopah Township, P. O. Fredonia, came to Kansas, March, 1873, and located on a farm in Wilson County, Has owned this farm ever since. He was elected Sheriff of Wilson County, Nov., 1880, to fill vacancy and served an unexpired term of fourteen months, and was then elected for a full term. He also served as Clerk of Chetopah Township five years. He enlisted at Rock Island, Ill., in Co. C. Burgess Sharpshooters, June, 1861. He was in the engagement at Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, and was with Sherman in his famous march from Chattanooga to Savannah, and until the surrender of Joe. E. Johnston. He was in mustered out June, 1865. He was born in Greensburgh, Westmoreland County, Pa., January 6, 1842. Son of P. C. and Barbara Baughman, both living in Wilson Co., and about seventy-six years of age. Mr. Baughman lived in his native county about seven years, then moved with parents to Rock Island County, Illinois. He received a business education at the Davenport Commercial College, and after his return from the army in 1865, engaged in raising and dealing in stock, until he came to Kansas in 1873. He was married in Rock Island County, Ill., Oct. 13th, 1868, to Leonora F. Kidder, a native of Warren County, Pa., and daughter of Nelson and Marilda Kidder, by whom he has three children, viz.-Nellie Zoe, Walter S., and Elsie Blanche. He belongs to Chapter and Council A., F. & A. M., and also of the G. A. R. He is a reputable citizen, a reliable business man and an efficient officer of the law.

HON. S. S. BENEDICT. Indian Inspector, P. O. Guilford, Guilford Township, was born in Manchester, Bennington Co., Vt., November 9, 1844. Graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts in 1865, removed to Omaha, Neb. in the spring of 1866, and was connected with the construction of the Union Pacific Railway until June 1, 1868. He then came to Wilson County, Kansas, and engaged in farming and stock raising, which he still continues. In 1871 he was elected a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, re-elected in 1874 and again in 1875; elected State Senator in 1876, re-elected in 1880, resigned in 1882, having been appointed Indian Inspector in July, 1882. Inspectors have general supervision of all Indian agencies in the U. S. He is also a member of the Board of Regents of the State University, was first appointed by Gov. St. John in 1881, re-appointed by Gov. Glick in 1883. Mr. Benedict was maried March 12, 1874, in the town where he now resides to Dora Farwell, a native of Illinois. They have two children. Frank Seward and Annie Maud.

LAFAYETTE HINER, of the firm of Hiner & Gent, patent power churn, headquarters at Cherryvale, came to Kansas in the fall of 1870, and settled in Miami County, near New Lancaster; soon afterwards he removed to Newark Township, Wilson County, where he new [sic] resides on a farm of 117 acres of land, on which he has made good improvements. Was born on September 10, 1844, in Bartholomew County, Ind. At the age of thirteen he removed with his parents to Adams County, Ohio. He enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Seventy-third Ohio, and served until the close of the war. Was married to Miss M. E. Wagoner, of Adams County, Ohio, in 1867, by whom he has seven children: Joseph T., Tallis Orr, Emily S., Myrtle A., Nora C., Homer S. and Merrill. Mr. Hiner entered the partnership of Hiner & Gent, sellers of O. W. Patton's power churn, patented 1876, on May 15, 1883. He is a member of the Neodesha Lodge, No. 72, I. O. O. F.; also a member of the G. A. R., of the same place.

HON. J. Z. SEXTON, State Senator, farmer and stock raiser, Sections 12 and 7, Prairie Township, P. O. Fredonia, was born in Clarke Co., Ohio, September 7, 1841, son of Joseph and Lydia Sexton. His mother is one of the most remarkable women of the age, being a prominent preacher of the U. B. Church. She is very widely known and universally esteemed. Mr. Sexton was principally raised in Jasper County, Ind.; was educated at what is known as Hartsville College. He engaged in teaching for many years, and finally enlisted at Lafayette, Indiana, in Co. G., Twentieth Indiana Infantry, August 11, 1862. He was mustered in as a private, afterward promoted First Sergeant, and was acting Second Lieutenant at close of war. He was taken prisoner at Gettysburg, marched 300 miles to Staunton, thence to Belle Island, and finally to Libby. He was confined in Libby Prison a few days and then exchanged. He was in many of the heaviest engagements of the war, among which we mention Second Bull Run, Chantilly, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Mine Run, and all the battles before Petersburg; was present at the capture of Richmond, and at the time was in Hancock's Corps, Gen. Mott's Division. He was mustered out in June, 1865. Before enlisting in the Twentieth Indiana he had organized a company of volunteers in 1861, and was elected Second Lieutenant; but the call being filled they were not mustered in. After the close of the war he returned to Battle Ground, Indiana, and engaged in farming and teaching until he came to Kansas in April, 1869. He then located in Wilson County, and has ever since engaged in farming and stock raising. He represented his district in the State Legislature in 1873, and again in 1881. Was elected District Clerk in 1874 and re-elected in 1876. He is at present State Senator from Wilson County. He was married at Battle Ground, Ind., April 4, 1866, to Sarah J. Sheets, daughter of Joseph and Lorinda Sheets. By this union has five children, viz.: Clarence D., Florence, John H., Lydia L. and J. Z. Sexton, Jr. He belongs to the Knights of Honor, E. A. U., and G. A. R. Mr. Sexton is a reliable business man, a gallant soldier, a patriotic citizen, and an influential member of the State Senate.

NAPOLEON SHAREALL, farmer, Section 27, Verdigris Township, P.O. Coyville, was born in Williams County, Ohio, in 1840, and when four years of age his parents removed to Ann Arbor, Mich., where they still reside. August 10, 1862, Mr. Shareall enlisted in Company E, Eighth Kansas, he having come to Topeka the spring of that year, and served until the 18th of September, 1864, when he was mustered out with the rank of Sergeant. He settled in Wilson County in 1865, and January 25, 1866, was married to Miss Ethel Shamp. Mr. Shareall has two children -- Mary L., born May 22, 1867, and Ella, born August 6, 1870. His farm is one of the finest in the county, his grain yields bei g [sic] exceptionally large. Mr. Shareall has been Township Treasurer for the past three years, and is a member of the G. A. R.

J. C. TUTTLE, County Clerk, formerly farmer, Section 17, Township 30, Range 17 east, P.O. Fredonia, Newark Township, was born in Fayette County, Ohio, July 1, 1849; son of Rev. Chandler and Catherine Tuttle. He lived in his native county until twenty years of age, and came to Kansas in 1870. Remained one year, and on his return to Ohio, in 1871, entered the National Normal College, located at Lebanon City, Ohio, and attended two years, He then went to Anoka County, Minn., and was engaged in teaching for about three years, and also served as Deputy County Superintendent part of one term. He again moved to Kansas, in 1876, and engaged in farming and teaching until elected County Clerk, in 1879. After serving one full term he was re-elected, in 1881, and is now serving his second term. He is a member of the Fredonia School Board, member of the City Council and City Treasurer of Fredonia, and has served two terms as Township Clerk of Newark Township. He was married in Anoka, Minn., April 18, 1876, to Matilda A Noggle. By this union he has two children -- Ina L. and Urban Garfield Tuttle. He is chancellor commander of Twin Mound Lodge No. 57, K. of P. He is an influential man and a capable and faithful county official.

[TOC] [part 5] [Cutler's History]