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


[TOC] [part 20] [part 18] [Cutler's History]


WILLIAM JUSTICE, farmer, Section 33, P. O Turner came to Kansas in the fall of 1854, and settled on the Wakarusa River seven miles southwest of Lawrence. The country was then unsettled, only two or three families lived in that locality. He farmed eight years on the Wakarusa bottom, and then moved to where he now lives, on a well-improved farm of 100 acres of choice bottom land. Mr. Justice is one of the oldest settlers in Kansas, and while he is a quiet and unassuming man, he is recognized as one of the solid men of his county. He has been very attentive to home duties, and hence has never figured prominently in public matters. He has furnished ties to some extent for construction of K. C., Ft. S. & G. R. R., but has been principally engaged in farming all his life. He was born near Nashville, E. Tenn., February 22, 1826, son of Alfred and Sarah Justice. At an early age, moved with his parents to Jackson County, Mo., where he was raised on a farm. About the year 1848 moved to Westport, Mo., where be farmed and teamed till 1854, when he moved to Kansas. He was married in Westport August 14, 1851, to Jane Corel, who was born March 17, 1830, in West Virginia, daughter of William and Rebecca Corel. They have eight children, viz. Albert, John G., Samuel M., James Monroe, Alice Ellen, Ella Lee, Hattie Ann and Eva Lena. Mr. Justice and wife are worthy members of the South Methodist Episcopal Church.

AMBROSE KEY, farmer and horticulturist, Section 35, P. O. Rosedale, was born in Crawfordsville, Ind., November 27, 1829, son of George and Rebecca Key. At an early age, removed to Louisa County, Iowa; remained there until 1858, and then moved to Texas; bought the Baker & Thomson saw mill on the San Jacinto River, and in combination with a sash, door and blind factory, operated about four years, and at the same time was proprietor of a general store then moved to Navasota, near the old capital, where he carried on a general commission business until the fall of 1860, when he moved to Fall County, Tex., and there bought a saw mill and started a tannery; remained in this business until the close of the war, and then went to St Louis and one year afterward moved his family to Westport, on the Kansas border in the spring of 1869, while he went to the Indian Territory, and carried on a general trading business for three years, and then bought a farm in Shawnee Township, which he has made his home ever since, and has engaged since 1872 in horticultural pursuits; has made the business quite profitable, and besides his market gardening and general farming, has raised and sold $500 worth of small fruits, and has gathered 1,200 bushels of apples this year. He was married in Tipton; Mo., May 21, 1859, to Mary Garrett, a native of Ohio, and an intelligent and accomplished lady, daughter of Elisha and Eleanor Garrett. Their children are Sidney D., born December 30, 1862; Joseph F., born June 22, 1865; Nellie born June 15, 1867; Gertrude S. P., born January 15, 1870.

JOHN W. KINGSCOTT, farmer, Section 30, P. O. Argentine, came to Kansas in April, 1870; located where be now lives near Argentine, and has been engaged in farming ever since. In 1873, he was elected a member of the School Board, and has served in that capacity ever since. In 1874, was appointed Township Clerk to fill vacancy; served the unexpired term and was re-elected. In the year 1880, was elected Justice of the Peace served one term, and is now serving as Township Clerk. Was elected Justice of the Peace February 6, 1883. He was born in the city of London, November 27, 1822; son of John and Barbara Ann Kingscott. When four years of age, moved with his parents to Nantyglo, Monmouthshire, England; lived there until eleven years of age came to America and settled in Genesee County, N. Y.; farmed until 1839, and then enlisted in Company A, Fifth United States Infantry, Regular Army, December 10, 1839; served for six years as drummer boy; was then made Corporal on March 12, 1846; served continuously through the Mexican war; helped to build Fort Brown; was in several heavy engagements under Gen. Taylor; joined Gen. Scott in front of Vera Crux, and participated in the siege of that city; was under Scott in the advance toward the City of Mexico, and was in all the engagements of the campaign, including the capture of the City. After serving three full consecutive enlistments, he was honorably discharged as Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant August 10,1854; he then farmed in Macomb County, Mich., until the breaking-out of the rebellion, when he enlisted August 24, 1861, in Company H, Second Michigan Cavalry; was mustered in as First Sergeant September 16, 1861. In the engagements of New Madrid and Corinth fought Bragg at Perryville, Ky.; had running fights with John Morgan at Glasgow and Bacon Creek; was in the engagements at Chattanooga and Chickamauga; fought Longstreet at Knoxville, Strawberry Plains and Massey Creek; was under Thomas in the battles of Nashville and Franklin; under command of Gen. Wilson raided through Alabama, took Selma and Montgomery; thence through Georgia to Macon, where the news of Lee's surrender was received; was present when Jefferson Davis and family were turned over to Gen. Wilson, just after the capture from Macon was ordered to Nashville, and then served as Depot Quartermaster at Edgefield until ordered home to be mustered out December 27, 1865; he entered the service as First Sergeant, and was promoted to Second Lieutenant January 20, 1862; afterward made First Lieutenant, and June 7, 1864, was promoted to Captain. He served in six heavy engagements in the Mexican war, ten or twelve heavy battles, and altogether 110 battles and skirmishes in the war of the rebellion; never received a scratch, was never taken prisoner and was never relieved from duty on account of sickness. After his return from the army, he engaged in farming in Macomb County, Mich., until 1870, and then moved to Kansas. He was married in Detroit, Mich., July 15, 1857, to Ellen Morehead, a native of Ireland, and daughter of John and Sarah Morehead. Their children are John C., Frances B., Ellen L., Mary Ann, Eleanora and Rosana Ann. Mr. Kingscott is one of the most intelligent and useful men in Shawnee Township.

JOSEPH McDOWELL, farmer, Section 28, P. O. Rosedale entered a claim on Armstrong Reservation in the fall of 1855, and moved his family in March, 1856. His claim was one and a half miles from Kansas City, in Wyandotte County, bordering on the Missouri State line. He cleared, improved and cultivated it until June, 1877; then came to his present location, adjoining the town of Rosedale, where he has lived ever since. He has a valuable rock quarry and several teams, and is extensively engaged in contracting and teaming; also deals in real estate and town property; at present lets five dwellings in the town of Rosedale. He has thirty-two acres of land adjoining the town, on which he lives. He was born in Madison County, Ala., December 25, 1816; son of Samuel and Abigail McDowell; left his native county when ten years of age, and after five years in Rutherford County emigrated to Johnson County, Mo., and was present when Warrensburg was laid off. He farmed most of the time in Johnson County until the spring of 1847. In 1846, he took charge of an ox train for Russell and Wadell, loaded with Government stores. This was during the Mexican war. Started from Fort Leavenworth in the fall, with thirty wagons, bound for New Mexico; the weather was severe and the men and teams suffered much from cold. Three men and many cattle perished on the way out, and they were obliged to send on into Santa Fe for more teams. They finally pulled into Santa Fe January 11, 1847. They remained here until the 1st of February, during which time fourteen of the men died with the measles, and Mr. James Brown in charge of two mule teams, four and six mules respectively, and an ox wagon drawn by three yoke of oxen, started on the return trip, accompanied by five men, including Mr. McDowell. The cold was intense and feed scarce, and nine out of the ten mules perished, and when within two days' journey of Council Grove all but one yoke of oxen had given out. The wagons were all abandoned except one. Mr. Brown here backed the only remaining mule and calling Mr. McDowell to him, he divided the last half gallon of meal equally with him, and said: "You must now take charge of this outfit until my return. When the men are asleep to-night, bake you a pan of bread from this quart of meal, parch one quart of corn and conceal it, and if you are obliged to walk for your life, you may manage to get into Westport; if possible, I will meet you with relief in a few days." With this instruction, Mr. Brown left them, and rode on. At Council Grove, which then consisted of an old abandoned blacksmith shop, and not an inhabitant, he found a live ox, which had given out, and was left behind by some other train. This ox he killed and dressed, and hung up a quarter in a tree to relieve the party who were coming on. When the party arrived in sight of this old shop in the woods, their last yoke of oxen gave out. The wagon-bed was removed, the wagon uncoupled, and the two sick men of the company tenderly laid on the hounds of the fore wheels, and the oxen induced to pull them on to the shops at Council Grove. Here the cattle laid down and died. About this time, a terrible snow-storm set in, and during this terrible night of suffering and hunger, there fell eighteen inches of snow. The night was one of bitter cold, and the morning brought nothing but despair. It was now decided that Mr. McDowell, accompanied by one young man, should go on foot to Westport, and, if possible, bring relief to the rest of the party, all hopes of Brown's return having been given up. Swearing they would bring provisions or lose their lives in the attempt, they started out with a single blanket each, and the pan of corn bread and quart of parched corn. After traveling all day, and just at night-fall, came Brown's wagon coming to their relief. Never did food taste sweeter, nor sleep more refreshing than to these half-starved and weary men that night. After camping here all night, and taking an early breakfast next morning, they moved on to the relief of the little company at Council Grove, arriving just at sundown. Their feelings can better be imagined than described, when to their desponding souls came the sudden joy of an immediate rescue. The sick men got well, and, after five days' travel, they pulled into Westport, March 16, 1847. Mr. McDowell took conveyance for home and reached Warrensburg March 18, and the same spring returned with his family to Kansas City, where he lived until his removal to Kansas in the spring of 1856. He has been married three times, the first time in Johnson County, Mo., in June, 1834, to Nancy Harrison, by whom he has had five children - Franklin A., Elizabeth, Samuel, Jesse and William H. His first wife died in December, 1848, and he was married a second time in Kansas City, in August, 1851, to Rebecca French, who died in August, 1876, and his last marriage took place in Wyandotte County in July, 1878, to Sarah E. Carter, an estimable widow lady whose maiden name was Brown, daughter of James and Ruth Brown. Mr. and Mrs. McDowell are worthy church members, and both are highly respected for their many excellent qualities of mind and heart.

THOMAS McMAHON, farmer, Sections 29 and 32, P. O. Rosedale, came to Kansas spring of 1854; stopped a few days at Leavenworth City then went to Kansas City and contracted public work until spring of 1861; next farmed near Olathe, Kan., till fall of 1862, and in the spring of 1863 he fitted out an ox-train of five wagons and went to Colorado, and in company with three brothers owned and worked a mine in California Gulch near where Leadville is now located; sold out his mine, and returned same fall to Kansas City, the trip having netted him about $1,000. The next spring, with two wagons, one of which was loaded with 4,000 pounds of choice provisions, and drawn by four mules, the other a spring wagon, containing his family, drawn by two horses, he started to Montana. It was very early in the spring, and they encountered snow, sleet, cold and other hardships on the way, but finally reached Horse Prairie Valley June 22,1864. He mined in the Placer diggings during the summer, and made it very profitable. He moved his family to Bannock November, 1865, and engaged in freighting from Salt Lake Valley to different points in Montana, until the spring of 1869. Left Bannock March 22, and arrived at Kansas City May 11, 1869, and in June bought of an Indian named Pumpkin and his white son-in-law, Franklin, the farm of ninety-eight and one-half acres, which he cleared and improved, and has ever since made his home. He has a large two-story frame residence, twenty-two acres of fruit, and other substantial improvements, which make his place one of the most desirable in that vicinity. He was born in Kings County, Ireland in the year 1832; son of Hubert and Mary McMahon; lived in Ireland till eighteen years of age then came direct to America; lived in New Jersey one year, then went to New Orleans, where he worked in a wholesale house till the spring of 1854, when he came up the river to Leavenworth, Kan. He was married in Kansas City, Mo., April 25, 1859 to Bridget O. Flaherty, an intelligent and accomplished lady, daughter of Eugene and Kate Flaherty. She was born in Maryland, raised in Virginia, and afterward moved to Ohio, thence to Kansas City. They have twelve children - John Hubert and Mary Catherine (twins), Ellen, Annie, Thomas F., Nora, Lawrence, Josephine, James, Agnes, Catherine and Joseph Patrick. Mr. McMahon and wife are members of the Roman Catholic Church, and are counted among the most thriving and enterprising citizens of Shawnee Township.

JOHN TILGHMAN MACKOY, farmer, Section 31, P. O. Rosedale, was born in Mason County, Ky., October 4, 1811. His father, James Mackoy, was a Revolutionary soldier, enlisted just in time to participate in the battle of Yorktown. He was only fifteen years of age. Arrived at the scene of action on Saturday; fought under LaFayette until the capitulation of Cornwallis on the following Wednesday; his mother, Mary Mackoy, whose maiden name was Walton, was the grand-daughter of George Walton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence; he was a direct descendant of the Lawrence and Chase families, who were very noted. Mr. Mackoy was raised principally on the farm. His father was also proprietor of Mackoy's flouring mill, located on Lee's Creek Mason Co., Ky. He attended Beasley Creek Academy and received a good academic education. At the age of fifteen, was put to work on the farm and in the mill. He left his native place in 1859, and moved to Holt County, Mo., where he lived on a farm until it was well improved and he was able to live comfortably when the war broke out, and his horses were stolen by Jayhawkers, his life threatened, one of his neighbors killed, and his family so frightened that he returned to Kentucky and remained during the war. In 1865, he returned through Missouri to Council Bluffs, where he farmed three years and in the spring of 1868 moved to his present location, where he has made a comfortable home, which is a model in the way of taste, tidiness and culture, and where his old age is made comfortable by the companionship of an intelligent wife and loving children. He was married in Mason County, Ky., May 17, 1836, to Frances A. Craig; she was the daughter of Elijah and Mary Craig, grand-daughter of Joseph Davis, a Major in the Emmett's rebellion. James Kempe, great-uncle, was a Colonel in the same rebellion, and afterward Gen. Jackson's aid-de-camp in the battle of New Orleans. Mr. Mackoy has seven living children - James Craig, Jane Elizabeth, Frances Mary, John Beckett, Sarah Gresham, Annie Lawrence and Thomas Oliver.

DAVID B. MATNEY, farmer, Sections 30 and 31, P. O. Rosedale; came to Kansas in the fall of 1858; located in Shawneetown; lived there until 1863. In 1862, Quantrill raided the town at midnight, and burned most of the houses, seventeen in number. They raided Mr. Matney's business house, piled up on the counter all the combustibles they could gather, and fired them, but the fire was extinguished before it had done any considerable damage; but in July 1868 Quantrill made a second attack and burned Mr. Matney's residence, and the rest of the town; he still preserves a bureau that was saved from the flames, but it bears the marks of fire, being badly scorched. In 1863, he moved to Westport, where he farmed until the fall of 1865, then came to his present location, where he has cleared improved and cultivated a farm of 200 acres ever since. Mr. Matney is recognized as one of the best farmers in Shawnee Township, and has served as School Treasurer five or six years. He is a representative man, an old settler and a useful citizen; is a worthy Mason, and he and wife are both consistent members of the Union Baptist Church. He was born In Tazewell County, Va., August 3, 1836, son of Charles and Abigail Matney. He lived on what is known as Rich Lands on Clinch River, Va., until 1844, when he moved to Platte County, Mo., where he farmed two years, then to Jackson County where he farmed until 1857, when he went with an ox-train to Fort Union; again in 1859, started to Pike's Peak; on reaching Fort Lyons, Bent Co., Colo., sold out and returned. He again started across the plains in 1884, this time in the employ of other parties, with a mule train of twenty-five wagons; on reaching Cow Creek, 250 miles this side of Fort Lyons, news was received of the massacre of men on Walnut Creek, twenty miles further on. The train on Walnut Creek was fired into by Indians, who were riding along conversing in a friendly manner with the drivers. Besides the ten killed, two were scalped alive and taken prisoners they afterward made good their escape, and recovered; news of this disaster reached Mr. Bryant's train on Cow Creek, just in time for them to corral, and as soon as this was effected the Indians were seen approaching in a cloud of dust, five or six hundred strong; but with a force of only twenty-seven men, the train men held them at bay fourteen days with a loss of only two in number. A well was dug inside the corral to furnish the train with water. The Indians finally scattered and disappeared. The train moved on, but after about six days' journey, and 125 miles this side of Fort Lyons, they were again attacked by Indians just before day, and ninety-three mules were captured and carried off; the wagons were not molested and in about two days another train belonging to Mr. Byrant came up; the teams were divided and the wagons pulled into Fort Lyons. Matney remained at the fort six days, and returned, reaching home September 16, 1864. He was married at Westport, Mo., January 26, 1860, to Emily M. Puckett, a native of Tazewell County, Va., and daughter of John and Mary E. Puckett. They have four living children - John R., Elisha, George H. and Joseph D.

GEORGE Q. A. MATNEY, farmer, Section 31, P. O. Rosedale, came to Kansas in the fall of 1854; took a claim on the Wakarusa River southwest of Lawrence, but sold it soon afterward. He made Shawneetown his first stopping place in the State; made a trip across the plains to old Fort McKey in 1854, another to Port Laramie in 1855, and had profitable journeys both times. He next went in the employ of other parties with an ox-train to Fort Union in 1857. He came to his present location in 1861, where he has been engaged ever since in clearing, improving and cultivating his farm of 120 acres; his home is pleasantly situated on one of the finest roads leading out of Kansas City. He was born in Tazewell County, Va., September 28, 1831, son of Charles and Abigail Matney. He has made farming his principal occupation through life, and lived thirteen years in his native county in Virginia; farmed one and a half years in Platte County, Mo., fifteen years in Jackson County, and since then in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties, Kan. He was married at Westport, Mo., January 6, 1859, to Frances Jane Johnson, daughter of David Johnson; she died the same year, and his second marriage took place at Westport, April 8, 1860, to Susan M. Broomfield, native of Virginia, and daughter of Jordan and Emily Broomfield, by whom he had two children - Charles and Minnie Matney. She died February, 1867 and he was a third time married in Shawnee Township, February 2 1868 to Fannie T. Carter, native of Virginia, and daughter of William and Sarah Carter, by whom he has four children - Sarah, Hattie, David and an infant.

JOHN R. MATNEY, farmer, Section 31, P. O. Rosedale, came to Westport on the Kansas and Missouri border October, 1846, and engaged in farming until 1865. In 1854, made one trip with a private ox train to Old Fort McKey, on the Arkansas River; found no settlements on the route. What is now a wealthy and populous State was then a wild waste of land; he moved to his present home in March, 1866, and has been engaged in farming ever since. He has served as Township Clerk two terms, also served as Township Treasurer; has served on the School Board five years; has twice been honored as a delegate to State Conventions. He was born in West Virginia January 23, 1834, son of Charles and Abigail Matney; left his native place when only ten years of age, and moved to Platte County, Mo., near Parkville, and in the fall of 1846 moved to Westport, near the Kansas line; was married at the latter place March 15, 1855, to Missouri Matney, daughter of William and Sarah Matney. She was born in the State of Missouri while her parents are natives of Mississippi. They have nine children - Sarah, William, David, Ella, Henry Albert Alexander, Minnie and Edith. Mr. Matney is a worthy Mason and one of the wealthy and influential men of Wyandotte County. He has a large farm of 285 acres, 185 acres in cultivation, and the rest in blue grass pasture. He has made very fine and substantial improvements on his farm; his residence is a new, large two-story frame, well finished and furnished throughout, and is located on one of the finest roads leading out of Kansas City, about five miles from that place.

JOHN S. PAYNE, farmer, Section 36, P. O. Shawnee, Johnson County, came to Kansas line the winter of 1855, and worked by the month for a wealthy and intelligent Indian named Jackson Rodgers. About five months afterward, his father rented a place, and cultivated it one year. He lived with his father during the year, and moved with him in the spring of 1857 to a claim which he pre-empted on the Kaw Bottom, near where Turner is now located. Remained on this farm three or four years, and then removed again with his father to a tract of Indian land which he had purchased, and which they cleared and improved. In July, 1863, a squad of bushwackers came to the house near midnight, called the father out of bed, and on his opening the door they shot and killed him in the presence of his family, and then plundered the house, carrying off all the valuables. Previous to this time, John S. Payne, the subject of our sketch, enlisted in Company B, Second Kansas Cavalry, on March 1, 1862. Was in nearly all the engagements of his command, including Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, Honey Springs and many skirmishes. In October, 1862, captured a battery at Fort Wayne, in the Cherokee Nation, and his company was organized into the Third Kansas Battery. He served as Corporal through the war, and was mustered out in March, 1865. He was born in McDonough County, Ill., February 25, 1840. At two years of age, moved with his parents to Van Buren County, Iowa, where he remained about twelve years; then moved to Jackson County Mo., in 1854, and the following winter came to Kansas. He was married on the place which he now occupies, May 24, 1866, to Sarah Webb, daughter of John A. and Barbara Webb. They have one adopted child, William, born November 20, 1878.

PETER J. PRETZ, farmer, Section 32, P. O. Turner, came to Kansas February 1, 1857, and has been engaged in farming in the following places, consecutively: Two miles west of Wyandotte, one year; Charles Armstrong's place, one mile from the old Delaware Mission, one year; Franklin County, Kan., one year; near Wyandotte again, two years; and again near the Delaware Mission one year; then bought of an Indian named Charlie Tooley, the farm which he cleared and improved, and has cultivated ever since. He has been a member of the School Board for five years. He was born in Germany, January 18, 1820, son of Peter and Adelheid Pretz. He was raised in the city of Limburg, on the Lahn River, where he was educated, and where he learned the painter's trade. He worked at his trade two years, and was engaged in the manufacture and sale of woolen goods ten years. He then sailed for America, remained in New York City one year, worked at the painter's trade in Macounta, Ill., two years, and Kansas City two years, and then commenced farming in Kansas, near Wyandotte. He was married in St. Clair County, Ill., in September, 1854, to Augusta Erhart, a native of Siegmaringen, Germany, daughter of George and Elizabeth Erhart. He has six children - Adelheid, Annie, Theresa, Henry, George and August Pretz. Mr. P. is a member of the Catholic Church, and one of the successful farmers of Wyandotte County, and an influential citizen.

JOSEPH BOSTON STEEL, farmer, Section 29, P. O. Argentine, was born in Tazewell County, Va., June 10, 1828, son of William and Mary Steel. His grandfather, Ralph Steel, was a veteran of the war of 1812. He lived until sixteen years of age in his native county then moved to Jackson County, Mo. Farmed two years, and then in the spring of 1855, moved to a new place on the Wakarusa Bottom, southwest of Topeka, in Shawnee County, Kan., where he remained eighteen months, during which time his mother died, and he returned to Jackson County, Mo., but in 1857, fall of the year, he moved into Wyandotte County, Kan., and engaged in teaming four years. He then rented a farm four miles from Kansas City, and after cultivating it four years, he bought it, and greatly improved it, and five years afterward sold out and purchased the farm which he has cultivated ever since. His home consists of 120 acres of, land, in a high state of cultivation, and well improved. Mr. Steel has served four years as Township Trustee, and is the present incumbent. Has also served eight years as Road Supervisor, and two years as Director of school district. He was married in Shawneetown, Johnson County, Kan., July 21, 1861, to Mary L. Peart, native of Jackson County, Mo., and daughter of Jonathan and Oney Peart. They have five children, viz.: John F., Edward, Lizzie, William C. and Ophelia. Mr. Steel is one of Wyandotte's best citizens.

[TOC] [part 20] [part 18] [Cutler's History]