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


[TOC] [part 3] [part 1] [Cutler's History]


The record of elections since that of 1859, already given in detail, is best preserved by giving a consecutive line of those who have held each office separately. Probate Judges have been elected as follows:

James Crane, 1860;
John Stansberry, 1861;
James Crane (to fill vacancy), November, 1861;
J. B. Pickering (appointed), March, 1862;
J. B. Pickering, 1863;
Pusey Graves, 1864-65-68-70;
I. S. Jones, 1872-74-76-78-80-82.
County Clerks for this period have been:
T. D. Bodman, 1860;
A. W. Pickering, 1860;
Peter Yohon (appointed), March, 1861;
G. L. Wait, 1862-63-65;
P. Graves, 1866;
G. L. Wait, 1867-69;
W. W. Sain, 1871;
I. N. Holloway, 1873-75-77;
H. S. Trueblood, 1879-81.
County Treasurers have been:
W. M. Alexander, 1861;
J. M. Baldwin, 1862;
J. Baitie, 1863;
David Reynolds, 1865;
A. K. Phelon, 1866 (January 15, 1867, there being a vacancy, I. W. Dow was appointed to serve until Phelon's term began in July);
Thomas A. Blanchard, 1867;
W. J. Haughwout (sic), 1871-73;
Robert A. Hurt, 1875-77;
J. W. Depew, 1879-81.
Those who have held the office of Sheriff are:
A. Johnston, 1862;
D. H. Miller, 1863;
David H. Faler, 1865;
Thomas A. Blanchard, 1867;
David Phillips, 1871;
William Cozine, 1873;
Abraham Smith, 1875-77;
G. W. Davis, 1879-81.
Registers of Deeds:
H. Groesbeck, 1860;
J. D. Coulter, 1861;
P. Yohon, 1862;
J. D. Coulter, 1863;
G. L. Wait, 1865;
W. W. Sain, 1867-69-71;
I. S. Jones, 1873-75-77-79;
W. A. Bailey, 1881.
District Clerks:
A. S. Hathaway, 1862;
A. P. Horton, 1863;
Nathan Keller, 1864;
Pusey Graves, 1865 (to fill vacancy);
P. Graves, 1868-70;
D. Folmer, 1872;
George D. Carpenter, 1874-75-78;
W. E. Hogueland, 1880-82.
Superintendents of Public Instruction in the county:
J. B. Pickering, 1861;
E. J. Brown, 1862;
W. B. Stines, 1864;
S. J. Williams, 1866-68;
J. L. Gilbert, 1870-72;
A. F. Palmer, 1874-76-78;
J. W. Richardson, 1880;
Miss Lizzie J. Stephenson, 1882.

On June 21, 1859, the Commissioners met and proceeded to canvass the vote cast June 7 for delegates to the Constitutional Convention. The result of their count was: S. E. Hoffman, 66; Allen Crocker, 60; Hyram Hover, 4. Hoffman was declared elected, and was one of those who helped frame the Wyandotte Constitution. This constitution framed, it became necessary to submit it to the approbation of the people, and an election was called for October 4, 1859, for this purpose. This resulted in favor of the Constitution by a vote of 91 to 53. At the same time the Homestead Law was submitted and carried by a vote of 68 to 44. Events moved rapidly this year. Hardly was this election disposed of when another was ordered for November 8. At this the vote stood as follows: For Territorial Delegate--Marcus J. Parrott, 87; S. W. Johnston, 77. Member of the Council from the Twelfth District--N. S. Goss, 100; Watson Stewart, 65. Representative--P. G. D. Morton, 85; E. J. Brown, 84. County Superintendent of Public Instruction--Peter Stevens, 93; Asa Jones, 75. Probate Judge--Jotham Keys, 89; O. P. Haughawout, 78. Sheriff--Hyram McConnell, 100; Lewis Thompson, 64. Register of Deeds--Emerick Chase, 84; H. Groesbeck, 84. County Attorney--H. L. Dunn, 77; A. Vernam, 80; "Mr." Watson, 1. County Clerk--J. M. Leech, 81; M. Smith Austin, 81. County Treasurer--Thomas Sears, 82; G. J. Cavin, 81. Coroner--David Reynolds, 84; Charles Ostmire, 82. County Surveyor--John Woolman, 84; John C. Robinson, 76. Hardly was this election over when another for officers under the Wyandotte Constitution was called. This took place on December 5, 1859, and resulted as follows: For Governor--Samuel Medary, 37; Charles Robinson, 60. Lieutenant Governor--John P. Slough, 38; J. P. Root, 59. Secretary of State--A. P. Walker, 39; John W. Robinson, 58. Attorney-General--Orlin Thurston, 39; B. F. Simpson, 58. State Auditor--Joel K. Goodin, 39; George S. Hillyer, 58. State Treasurer--R. L. Pease, 39; William Tholen, 58. Superintendent of Public Instruction--J. S. McGill, 39; W. R. Griffith, 58. Justice Supreme Court--Joseph Williams, 40; Thomas Ewing, 57. Associate Justice, for term of four years--S. A. Stinson, 39; S. A. Kingman, 58. For term of two years--R. B. Whitehall, 41; L. D. Bailey, 56. Representative in Congress--John A. Holderman, 39; Martin F. Conway, 58. Judge Fifth District--O. E. Leonard, 78; J. H. Watson, 15. Senator Eleventh Senatorial District--S. E. Hoffman, 45; Russell Austin, 30. Representative Eleventh District--G. H. Lillie, 57; Alanson K. Hawks, 57. Probate Judge--O. P. Haughwout (sic), 43; Jotham Keys, 54. Clerk of the District Court--A. McCartney, 50; D. H. Miller, 37. County Superintendent of Public Instruction--Asa Jones, 11.


Yates Center, the county seat of Woodson County, is located on Sections 10, 11, 14 and 15, and includes with its various additions about 500 acres in Town 25, Range 15, the geographical center of the county. It is to this fact that it owes its existence, its owner, Abner Yates, being a resident of Jacksonville, Ill., and having never contemplated starting a town at this point. The locating of a county seat had kept the county in a state of uncertainty for several years and the inhabitants of Kalida and Defiance, each of which had been for a time the county seat, made overtures to Mr. Yates for the laying-out of a town which should by its position in the county be the most convenient seat of justice. A plan of operations was formed and to be in readiness for the outcome of the election, more particularly described already. Mr. Yates purchased a two-story building of F. G. Lange, and had it moved to the town site, where it was placed on the southwest corner of the square where the store of T. W. Wilson now stands. This was the first building on the town site, and was for a long time used not only for county business, but for religious services and all public gatherings. When Yates Center became the county seat, Kalida and Defiance, two small places in which for a time "the county seat on wheels" had rested in turn, put themselves on wheels and came to Yates Center. It was about this time, or a little earlier, that the name of the place was fixed contrary to the desire of the owner, who had chosen for it the name of Butler, but found the place already localized as Yates Center (of the county). Many of the buildings moved from the old towns were stores, and were continued by their owners. The first general store, that of George Wille, was one of these.

T. W. Wilson opened the second store, and J. M. Wolfer, with a stock of drugs, came third. Dr. E. V. Wharton, the first physician, was soon followed by Dr. J. W. Turner. Jesse Pickett, the present County Attorney, was the first of his profession, but came only a short time before Judge W. H. Thurber and Alexander Stewart. The first hotel was moved from Kalida and run by C. W. Wilson. It was soon purchased by F. G. Lange, who has from time to time enlarged it and now operates it.

C. W. Wilson was the first liveryman, and J. B. Fay the first blacksmith. In 1878 the court house buildings, which had stood at Defiance and were the property of the county, were removed to Yates Center, where they occupy the northeast corner of the square. The town has never been incorporated, and is all, except what has been sold to various parties, or donated for church, school or other purposes, the property of Mr. Abner Yates. Mr. Yates has made three additions to the original plat of the town, and J. B. Fry one, on the northeast of Section 11.

The town now has a population of 800. Two good hotels supply the wants of the traveling public and a large number of first-class stores the needs of the outlying population. The St. Louis, Fort Scott & Wichita Railway entered the town in the fall of 1879, and at once afforded direct communication with the great cities of the East. Within the year 1882 over sixty buildings have been erected, many of them large and substantial, and several stone stores, which would be a credit to much larger places.


Postal Affairs.--The Post Office at Yates Center was opened in 1877, and L. J. Wells appointed Postmaster, remaining in this position until the spring of 1882, when I. N. Holloway, the present official, was appointed. The post office occupies a neat building on the northeast corner of the public square.

Education.--School District No. 51, which embraces Yates Center, was formed in 1875 and school taught that year by Miss Kate Rhea. In 1876, two teachers were employed for six and three months respectively--George E. Faler, now editor of the News, and G. E. Carpenter. In 1877, a stone schoolhouse was built in Yates Center on land donated by Abner Yates. This building, which cost $800, soon proved too small, and a wooden one was joined to it at a cost of $600. The rapid growth of population soon made this compound building inadequate, and on July 24, 1882, it was decided by ballot to issue $5,000 of the bonds of the district and with the proceeds build anew. This will be done in 1882-83. The new building is of stone and has four rooms. It is located in the north part of town. The first teacher in the present building was George E. Faler. He was followed by J. W. Richardson, 1878-79-80; M. C. Smith, 1881, and W. S. Shippey, 1882. Mr. Shippey has as assistants his wife and Miss B. Harris. The school now has an enrollment of one hundred and seventy.

Methodism.--The Methodist Church of Yates Center was organized at Kalida prior to 1870, and moved thence when the town was removed in 1876. Its first pastor in Yates Center was Rev. J. McNulty, who supplied the charge three years. He was followed by Rev. T. A. Walker, who remained two years, and Rev. W. H. Carwardine, who entered upon his pastorate in March, 1881, and still remains. The church now has a membership of forty-three. A wooden church building was erected in 1880 at a cost of $1,000. The Sabbath school of the church was organized on January 1, 1881, and is in charge of N. F. Follett. It has an attendance of seventy.

Christian Church.--The Christian Church of Yates Center embraces a large number of farmers who live at a distance from the town, and thus while apparently weak, is really one of the strongest churches. It was organized in October, 1876, by Rev. J. W. Shively, and had a membership of fourteen, but up to the arrival of Rev. C. J. Wright in March, 1877, had no pastor. Mr. Wright retired in March, 1878, and was followed in the fall of that year by Rev. C. W. Pool. He also left after a year's service and the pulpit was not filled until March, 1881, when Rev. J. J. Williams was called. Since his resignation a year later, the church has had no regular pastor, although services are held every second Sunday. The church membership is now seventy-five. A neat stone church, 30x47 feet, was built in 1877 at a cost of $1,800. The church has no separate Sabbath school.

Presbyterian Church.--The Presbyterian Church at this point was organized in May, 1880, by Rev. John Creath, who was not the pastor of the church, although he held services for a considerable time. The church had at the time of organization thirteen members. Its first regular pastor was Rev. H. R. Lewis, who preached from June 1, 1880, until September of the same year. He was followed, October 1, 1881, by Rev. B. F. Haviland, who is still in charge. The society holds services every second Sunday in the Methodist Episcopal Church. When in charge of a pastor the same rule is in force, half time being given to the church at Neosho Falls. The membership of the church is now seventeen. Their Sabbath school is amalgamated with the Union school.

Baptist Church.--The Baptist Church was organized in August, 1882. It has, as yet, no pastor. Occasional services are held in the schoolhouse. The society numbers fifteen, but will be greatly increased upon the appointment of a pastor, as there are many of this belief living near this place.

The News.--The Weekly News was brought into existence in February, 1877, at Yates Center. Its publishers were Steinbarger & Baker. The former soon retired and E. W. Baker continued publication until May, 1878, when he sold out to S. P. Bacon and J. B. Fry. The name of the paper was then changed to the Yates Center News. In 1880, the office passed into the hands of W. H. Slavens & G. W. Fry, who ran the paper until February 27, 1882, when it was purchased by its present editor, George E. Faler. Under his management the paper has been a stalwart Republican sheet. It now has a circulation of 800 copies weekly.

The Argus.--The Yates Center Argus, a five-column Republican folio, came into being in the field of journalism on Saturday, March 18, 1882. Its owners were T. W. Wilson and W. H. Jones, the latter being editor and manager. On July 1, Jones retired and his interest was taken by Robert R. Wells. At the same time Wilson was replaced by his son H. E. Wilson, and the paper became Independent in politics. It now has a circulation of 500 copies weekly. It is published Saturdays.

Masonic.--Gilead Lodge, No. 144, A., F. & A. M., was organized at Kalida on October 16, 1873, and removed to Yates Center when the old town was abandoned. The first officers of the lodge were: J. L. Jones, W. M.; A. F. Palmer, S. W.; W. T. Wardrip, J. W.; H. M. Hubbard, Secretary; John Pringle, Treasurer. The lodge now has a membership of fifty. Meetings are held on each Friday on or before full moon, and each two weeks thereafter, in the hall jointly occupied by this lodge and the Odd Fellows. The present officers of the lodge are, George E. Faler, W. M.; W. H. Slavens, S. W.; J. C. Powell, J. W.; T. W. Wilson, Treasurer; I. M. Jewitt, Secretary.

Odd Fellows.--Woodson Lodge, No. 173, I. O. O. F., was organized in May, 1880, with a membership of fifteen, eight of whom were initiated at the first meeting. The roll of charter officers is as follows: R. A. Hurt, N. G.; J. C. Jameson, V. G.; A. F. Palmer, Secretary; T. W. Wilson, Treasurer. The present officers of the lodge are: G. W. Davis, N. G.; I. N. Holloway, V. G.; C. S. Jones, Secretary; I. M. Jewitt, Treasurer. The lodge now has a membership of thirty. Meetings are held in the hall used jointly by this society and the Masonic fraternity, on each Tuesday evening.

A. O. U. W.--Yates Center Lodge, No. 99, Ancient Order of United Workingmen, was organized on April 8, 1882, with fourteen members and the following officers: H. W. West, P. M. W.; J. W. Richardson, M. W.; T. W. Wilson, G. F.; J. C. Powell, O.; A. Van Slyke, Recorder; N. F. Follett, Financier; H. Lyman, Receiver. The lodge now has a membership of twenty-eight. Meetings are held on Thursday evening of each week in Masonic Hall. The officers of the lodge are now: H. W. West, P. M. W.; T. W. Wilson, M. W.; H. Lyman, G. F.; M. E. Whitehead, O.; W. W. Chance, Recorder; H. W. West, Financier; C. W. Wilson, Receiver.

Knights of Pythias.--Oak Hall Lodge, (U. D.) K. of P., was organized on November 20, 1882, with a membership of thirty-two and the following officers: I. N. Thompson, P. C.; H. J. Johnson, V. C.; W. H. Slavens, C. C. The society meets on Monday of each week in the Masonic Hall.

[TOC] [part 3] [part 1] [Cutler's History]