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


[TOC] [part 15] [part 13] [Cutler's History]


CHARLES L. DUNHAM, Superintendent of the Missouri Pacific Railroad from Kansas City, Mo., to Omaha, Neb., and from Atchison, Kan., to St. Joe, Mo., commenced railroading, in 1853, as a brakeman on the Michigan Southern, between Toledo and Chicago, at a salary of $26 per month. In about one year's time he was offered the position of baggage-master, which he accepted, and was afterward conductor on a freight train, In 1858, Mr. Dunham came to St. Louis, and accepted a position on the line of road now known as the Indianapolis & St. Louis, and was passenger conductor on this road during the entire rebellion, and Mr. A. A. Talmage, who is now General Manager of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, was then Assistant Superintendent of the road on which Mr. Dunham run. In 1864, his train was brought into requisition for the purpose of removing a lot of rebel prisoners. In 1868, he took charge of a division on the North Missouri Railroad, which now forms a part of the Wabash from St. Louis to Ottawa Iowa where he continued up to the time of his engagement with the Missouri Pacific road, which occurred in 1871, and where he has since been employed, with the exception of a very short time. Mr. D. is a native of Syracuse, N. Y., born March 7, 1836; he has been very successful in this his chosen career, having risen from a brakeman to his present influential position by careful attention to and thorough study of the duties of the various positions assigned him, and with his thorough knowledge of railroading and its appurtenances, having been educated to it from his youth up, as it were, he is a gentleman well calculated to fill the position, and is one of the most expert railroad men in the West.


Armourdale is a very neat young City of ten or twelve hundred inhabitants, situated on the north bank of the Kansas River, one mile from Its junction with the Missouri. This city contains about eighty acres and was platted in 1880. It Is a part of the southwest quarter of southeast quarter of Section 15, and part of northwest quarter of northeast quarter of Section 22, Town 11, Range 25 east. The proprietors of the town site are, The Kaw Valley Town Site & Bridge Company, composed of Boston capitalists, named John Quincy Adams, Charles Merriam, Nathaniel Thayer, R. H. Hunnewell John A. Burnham and Charles F. Adams. This company owns a large tract of land not embraced in the town site of Armourdale, which is rapidly being sold for manufacturing purposes.

The city was, incorporated in the spring of 1882; and the first city election was held May 5. The officers are: Mayor, Frank W. Patterson; Councilmen: Nehemiah Shirrick, Daniel Herbert, E. W. Anderson, S. Snyder and Joseph Bradley; Police Judge, John C. Foore; Marshal, William Ross; City Clerk, Granville Patterson.

Early in the spring of 1882, the old school district in which a school had been maintained for over twenty years, was divided, and that portion of the school district containing the schoolhouse was set over to South Wyandotte. In May the Armourdale District, No.9, voted bonds for a $9,000 schoolhouse, which was completed on October 5. The present officers of the School Board are: N. Sherrick, President; E. Sheldon, Secretary, and F. W. Dreyer, Treasurer.

The colored school is taught in the old wooden school building in the west end of town.

Presbyterian services have been held here several years, but it was not until April 15, 1882, that the Central Presbyterian Church was organized. The society immediately commenced building a house of worship, which is located on the corner of Wyandotte avenue and Eleventh street. It was completed in June, at a cost of $1,800. In addition to the regular services a Union Sabbath school, with 100 scholars, is zealously conducted by the Protestant people of Armourdale. The church, which numbers twenty members, is now making arrangements for a permanent pastor, to arrive next month.

The city of Armourdale was named for the Armours, bankers and pork packers. It gives promise of being the center of many great manufacturing interests, and already many large establishments have bought ground here and are moving out of Kansas City, which is just across the river. A new bridge, by the Belt Line Company, is now being erected across the Kansas River, in the southeast part of Armourdale. This will let the various railroads in to the elevators and other interests now building in that part of Armourdale.


The Kansas Desiccating and Refining Company of Armourdale, is composed chiefly of members of the Kaw Valley Town Site & Bridge Company, some of the members of the Stock Yard. Company, while a few shares are owned by the packing houses in Kansas City, Kan. The company owns about twelve acres of land on the west or north bank of the Kansas River, adjoining the city of Armourdale, on which they have erected a three-story brick building, 145x150 feet, on the ground, with several wings, engine houses, etc., and placed therein necessary machinery at an expense of $75,000. These works are for the purpose of extracting the fatty matter from dead animals and converting the refuse into fertilizer. They obtain the dead animals at the stock yards, of the packing-houses and throughout the city. There are four large rendering tanks, with a capacity of 20,000 pounds each. On the 6th of March, 1882, one of these tanks exploded with such terrible force as to completely raze the building to the ground except the engine and boiler room. An immense force of men was immediately set to work by the energetic proprietors, and in the month of May the establishment again resumed operations. They now employ about twenty hands, most of their work being done by machinery. Their engine is of seventy horse-power, and occupies a building, 40x40, one story and a half high. Mr. C. W. Bangs, formerly of Lawrence, is the Superintendent. The works are not so offensive as one would suppose. There is an invention operated by a system of fans which forces nearly all the disagreeable odors through along pipe into a condenser, from which a sewer conducts the gas and water to the river. North of the desiccating works, on the same belt line railroad track, the pedestrian will find the elevator, which at present is the only elevator in Armourdale, although this city will he the headquarters for all the elevators as soon as the belt line is completed. The elevator we refer to, however, was removed from Kansas City, Mo., to its present location in the summer of 1862 by Arthur S. Pierce, the proprietor. It has a storage capacity of 200,000 bushels. Large additions are being made to the south side of the building to accommodate prospective business.

The Kansas City Bridge and Iron Company. - The yards, sheds and shops of the bridge company above mentioned are situated directly north of the elevator just mentioned. This is a Kansas City firm, at the head of which appears the name of G. H. Wheelock as President, and A. Blodgett as Secretary. They, too, were forced out of Kansas City for want of space, and have followed the natural channel of trade and improvements up the Kaw River. They are here, at Armourdale, extensively engaged in the manufacture of every variety of bridges for railroads and highways. They employ a capital of $30,000, and employ about thirty skilled mechanics.

The Armourdale Foundry was incorporated in June, 1882, with C. E. Moss, President, and G. H. Wheelock, Secretary. They commenced the erection of their buildings on Kansas avenue, and in September of said year were in operation. Their capital stock is $50,000. It is also a Kansas City business, and employs a large force of men. It is situated near the bridge leading across the river to Kansas City.

Agricultural Implement Factory. - In September, 1882, the firm of Trumbull & Reynolds, of Kansas City, Mo., commenced the erection of a building on Kansas avenue, in Armourdale, in which to engage in the manufacture of several varieties of agricultural implements. The buildings and ware rooms cover about four acres of ground, and an immense capital will be required to put in the machinery and operate the factory.

Armourdale is connected with Kansas City in Kansas and Missouri by a street car line. This line is to be extended to Argentine, and also by way of Armstrong to Wyandotte at an early day.


MAJ. E. W. ANDERSON, Postmaster and dealer in books, stationery and notions. He came to Armourdale, Kan., in November, 1881; took charge of post office July 26, 1882. He was born in Greene County, Ohio, August 12, 1836, and was raised there. Enlisted in June, 1862, in Company I, Seventy-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted to all the offices of his company, and finally Major of his regiment. He was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga, September 19, 1868. He has charge of four pieces of artillery during the latter battle. He resigned on account of his wound, February 29, 1864. He afterward engaged in the grocery trade, at Homer, Champaign County, Ill. In 1869, he went to Danville, Ill., where he engaged in the same business. He was afterward a policeman eight years at the Union Depot, Indianapolis, Ind., after which he came to Kansas City, Mo. He engaged one and one-half years at the packing-house of Plankinton & Armour, adjusting machinery. He then engaged in his trade, erecting cars in Kansas City, Mo., for the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, until October, 1882, when he came to Armourdale. His wound, received at the battle of Chickamauga, was so painful that he was obliged to quit manual labor. He was married, November 19,1865, to Miss Alice Earl, of Newtown, Fountain County, Ind. They have two children - Frank and Harry. Mr. Anderson is a member of the Masonic order, and McPherson Post, G. A. R. He assisted to organize the Armourdale city government in May, 1882, and is now a member of the City Council.

BEATON & CO., dealers in dry goods, notions, boots, shoes, hats and caps. They began business March 10,1883, with a general stock of $4,500 and upwards. They occupy a two-story brick building, 24 by 60 feet, erected at a cost $3,500.

JOHN I. BLANTON, foreman of Armourdale Desiccating & Refining Company's Works, came to Leavenworth County in 1863, and engaged in agriculture until 1864; thence went to Weston, Platte County Mo., and followed butchering and stock business until 1872, when he came to Kansas City, Mo., and followed the same occupation until 1880, when be took charge of the above works. He was born in Platte City, Mo., June 12, 1851, and made that his home until he came to Kansas. He was married in 1875, to Miss Elizabeth Hyre, of McDonough County, Ill. They have one son - Charles Lewis. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Kansas City, Mo. The Armourdale Desiccating and Refining Works were erected of brick in 1881. The size of the main building is 60 by 160 feet, three stories high; dry room, 50 by 80 feet, two stories high, and two store rooms same size, besides one store room 40 by 50 feet, two stories. Boiler room, 40 by 50 feet, two stories. The buildings, machinery and grounds cost about $100,000.

ROBERT E. CHANCE, contractor and builder, and a part lessor of Chance Brothers' Park. This is a beautiful park, consisting of many varieties of timber common to Kansas, and it is located in the northwestern portion of Armourdale. Mr. Chance was born in Weston, Mo., August 29, 1856, where he lived until 1867. He then went into the employ of the United States Government on river surveys, etc.; has followed the latter occupation two and one-half years, and during that time visited ten States and two Territories. Then locating at Armourdale, he began the carpenter and builders' trade, and has since followed it. He was married January 5, 1881, to Miss Mary K. Harmon, of Rockingham County, Va., born August 9, 1862. They had one son - Robert Franklin Chance, deceased.

SAMSON CHURCH, dealer in real estate and agent for the Kaw Valley Town Site & Bridge Company, having charge of a branch office at Armourdale. He also represents about twenty of the leading fire insurance companies. He located in Wyandotte Township May 5, 1871, and engaged in agricultural pursuits three years; thence embarked in the hotel business at Armstrong a year, that being the first hotel in the latter place. He then went into the grocery trade three years, after which he went into the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Company, as engineer of stationary engine two years, had charge of coach department a year, and in March, 1881, located in Armourdale, when he engaged in his present occupation, being the first real estate dealer to locate in that business in the village. He still carries on agriculture, owning over 470 acres of good land. He was born in Wise County, Va., June 30, 1848; lived there until 1865, and went to Jackson, Breathitt County, Ky., where he ran a sawmill and carding factory two years He then followed agriculture at Rising Sun Ind., until he came to Kansas. He was married, in 1869, to Miss Emma Anderson, a native of Indiana. They have five children - Mamie, Freddie, John, Harry and Pearl.

WILLIAM B. DOUGLASS, dealer in general merchandise, opened trade in January, 1882, with a stock or $500. He now carries a stock of $4,000. He came to the Kaw Valley, near Armourdale, in 1871, and engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1882. In the fall of 1881, he bought and shipped twenty-two car loads of vegetables to Denver, Colo., and has dealt in farmers' produce since. He was the first City Treasurer in 1882, and Treasurer of the district schools the same year. He was born in Clermont County, Ohio, February 10, 1821, and was raised, after eight years, in Switzerland County, Ind., until 1849, when he moved to Howard County, Southern Ill., and lived there a year. Thence he returned to Switzerland County, and remained until 1871; thence to Wyandotte County, Kan. He has followed flatboating about eight years on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, from Cincinnati, Ohio, to New Orleans, La, having made twenty-four full trips, besides many short ones. He followed agriculture the remainder of the time. While flatboating, he was once robbed of $300. He enlisted in August, 1862, in Company C, Eighty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and participated in the first battle of Vicksburg, beginning the second battle of the same; also in the capture of Arkansas Post. He was discharged for disability, contracted in the service of 1862. He was married in 1848, to Miss Martha A. McIntire, who died in 1869. They had eight children - William F., Martha M., Thomas J., Mary O., Stephen A., Henrietta, Edwin and Melissa. He was again married, in 1870, to Lucinda Anderson, of Switzerland County, Ind. They have one son - Theodore. They are members of the Christian Church. Mr. D. is a member of Armourdale Post, No. 263. Mr. D. petitioned for Armourdale city government, and was afterward appointed City Treasurer.

FRANK D. HEILMAN, dealer in a general stock of hardware, cloves and tinware. He began trade April 6, 1882. Erected his store in the winter of 1883, size of which is 22x50 feet, two stories high and cost $1,600. He carries a stock of $1,200. He came to Armourdale, Kan., in the fall of 1880, and worked in the tin department of tire Union Pacific Railroad until he began business. He was born in Radon, Germany, March 24, 1843. Came to America in 1851, locating at St. Genevieve, Mo., where he lived some time with his parents on a farm. Moved to Cooper County, Mo., with his parents and farmed until he came to Kansas. Was married in 1873, to Miss Susan Penroad, born Match 25, 1856, in Indiana County, Penn. They have one daughter, Julia Olive. They are members of the Catholic Church. Mr. H. enlisted in the summer of 1861, in Company G, First Missouri State Militia, participating in the battle of Pilot Knob and several skirmishes; mustered out in the fall of 1864.

ERVIN S. MERRILL, real estate dealer, Notary Public and fire insurance agent, located in Montgomery County, Kan., on a farm in 1870, and followed agriculture until 1879, when he emigrated to Indiana, but returned to Kansas soon afterward and permanently settled at Armourdale, where in December, 1882, he embarked in his present occupation. He was born in Oxford County, Me., January 16, 1834. Lived there until sixteen years old and was then apprentice to an iron moulder at Lowell, Mass., three years. After the expiration of the time he worked at the trade in Manchester, N. H., and assisted to build the first locomotive in Messrs. Blood & Bailey's manufactory. He then started for Kansas, but changed his mind, taking a steamer for San Francisco in the spring of 1855, and remaining until September, 1859; thence to Virginia City, Nev., until 1861, when he enlisted in Company F, Second Volunteer Cavalry. Participated in all the battles of his command as Ordnance Sergeant. Was mustered out in the spring of 1865, returned to New York, finally located in Elgin, Ill., where he followed his trade. Was married in Elgin, Ill., in the fall of 1866, to Jane Goodwin, of New York State. He followed his trade some time, then engaged in agriculture in Kansas. He has been a member of the Masonic order for the last seventeen years.

TRUMBULL, REYNOLDS & ALLEN, proprietors of the Armourdale Agricultural Works. These works occupy four acres of ground, have a switch railroad track 850 feet long and are connected with all the public highways. The factory building is 40x100 feet, two stories high, and basement. The engine house is 24x30 feet, dry house 16x24 feet, each one story; warehouse 70x125 feet, two stories and basement. They employ thirty men and pay out $45 per day for labor. In 1883, they expect to manufacture $50,000 worth of farm implements, consisting of hay stackers, hay rakes and field rollers. These works are just begun and of course the capacity will be greatly increased within a short time. Mr. A. G. Trumbull is a native of East Craftsburg, Orleans Co., Vt. He came to Kansas City, Mo., in 1872. The other members of the firm are J. I. Reynolds and I. N. Allen, all residents of Kansas City, Mo., at which latter city their main agricultural store and warehouses are located. Office at 1311 West Thirteenth street, Kansas City, Mo.

[TOC] [part 15] [part 13] [Cutler's History]