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


[TOC] [part 21] [part 19] [Cutler's History]


White Church, nearly in the center of the county, about ten miles west of Wyandotte, is a pretty little hamlet, and is the historical scene of the old Delaware mission and the building of the "White Church," for the Indians' benefit. Four miles north is Pomeroy, on the Missouri Pacific Road, is its nearest station. White Church contains a good school, a Masonic hall, two churches, and half a dozen stores.

(Editor's note: replicated text in following paragraphs is as it appears in the orginal form.)

The Presbyterian Church was organized April 19, 1869. Its membership numbered forty. The pastor is Rev. A. A. Allen. The Sunday school has been maintained thirteen years, and averages a membership of twenty-five.

The Methodist Episcopal Church has an organization and church property.

The Masonic Lodge was chartered October 20, 1870, membership, twenty-five. Officers, W. M., T. W. Noland; S. W., Gus Hovey; J. W., J. C. Gnute; Treasurer, Joshua Blankonship; Secretary, P. C. Hinton.

The Presbyterian Church, of White Church, was organized April 19, 1869, with membership of forty, A. A. Allen, pastor. Value of church property, $1,200. A public school has been maintained here thirteen years, with an average attendance of twenty-five pupils. There are two Sunday schools in the place, average attendance, thirty. There is also a Masonic Lodge, chartered October 20, 1870, with a membership of thirty-five. Its officers are: T. W. Noland, W. M.; Gus Hovey, S. W. J. C. Gnute, J. W.; Joshua Blankonship, Treasurer; P. C. Hinton, Secretary.

The Methodist Episcopal Church South, and Methodist Episcopal Church, have an organization and a good church property.


JEFFERSON F. BARKER, farmer, Section 22, P. O. Quindaro, was born in Mercer County, W. Va., January 24, 1860. Is a son of Joseph and Eliza A. Barker; was reared on a farm and attended the public schools in his native county until he came to Kansas In 1877, March 31. He settled on the farm where he now lives, consisting of 212 acres of fine fruit and farming land, all in cultivation except about seventy-five acres of timbered pasture. He has twenty acres in fruit. His residence commands a fine view of the Missouri River and an extensive landscape of varied beauty. His father was a native of Virginia, and died March 5, 1862. His mother who lives with him at present, is a native of Illinois. Her maiden name was Nichols. Mr. Barker is quite young, only twenty-two years old. Has only been a resident of the State five and one-half years, but has won an enviable reputation.

ROBERT J. BARKER, merchant and grain dealer, Pomeroy, came to Kansas September 20, 1870. Located in Wyandotte County; taught school nine years, and in 1879 opened a general store at Pomeroy, where he has been engaged in merchandising ever since. He has also served as agent for Missouri Pacific Railroad Company at this place three years, and is still employed in that capacity. He was appointed Postmaster in April, 1882. He was born in West Virginia April 28, 1848, son of Messina C. and Julia A. Barker. He was reared on the farm, but attended and taught school much of the time until he came to Kansas in 1810. He was married in Wyandotte County, December 31, 1871, to Melissa Malott, daughter of Hiram and Susan Malott, and a native of Missouri. He had by his first wife one child, still living - Maul O. Barker. His wife died March 26, 1874. He was married again in Wyandotte County, February 20, 1877, to Bettie K. Palmer, a native of Indiana and daughter of Wilkinson and Guinna Palmer, by whom he has two children - Ella E. and Frederick C. Barker. Mr. Barker is District Deputy Grand Master I. O. O. F. of District No. 88, also P. C. K. of P. He carries a large stock of general merchandise and occupies, in addition to a capacious salesroom, an extensive wareroom and commands the entire trade of the place. He also deals in wood, grain and country produce of all kinds.

ANDREW J. BATES, farmer, Section 26, P. O. Quindaro, was born in Cherokee County, Ga., December 18, 1817. Son of Frances Marion and Sarah Bates. He left his native State and moved to Pine Bluffs, Ark., in the spring of 1858. Though Southern born and raised, he was true to his country and determined if possible to reach the Union lines, and on the night of July 10, 1862, left Pine Bluff, In company with two others, and crossed the river by night, traveled through swamps and cane, resting only by day; took their route up White River, passed through the rebel picket, in the dark; at one time went three days and nights without food, slept on the wet ground in the rain; on account of exposure one of the company took sick and was very low for a week, but after many hair-breadth escapes and perilous adventures they at last, on the 5th day of August, espied the old stars and stripes and at once enlisted in Company H, First Michigan Artillery. Served till the close of war. Was with Grant at Vicksburg, Sherman at Atlanta and Thomas at Nashville; was under fire 300 days during the war; was in all the engagements of his command and was mustered out last of June, 1865. In September of same year, came to Kansas; settled where he now lives and has been engaged in farming ever since. He was married in Unadilla, Mich., August 15, 1865, to Mary Cleveland, a native of Michigan, and daughter of John and Nancy Cleveland. He has two children - James and Elizabeth Bates. Mr. Bates is erecting a fine two-story residence, which will be another ornament among the many fine country homes which adorn the vicinity of Wyandotte. He and wife are consistent members of the Congregational Church.

FRANK H. BETTON, P. O. Pomeroy. The subject of this sketch is a lineal descendant of Matthew Thornton, one of the signers of the Declaration or Independence, and President of the convention which assumed the government of the colony of New Hampshire. His father, Thornton Betton, was a prominent lawyer and a graduate of Dartmouth College. His grandfather, Hon. Silas Betton, was a graduate of the same institution, and a Member of Congress. His grandmother, the wife of Hon. Silas Betton, was the daughter of Matthew Thornton, who signed the Declaration. He was born in Derry, N. H. August 1, 1835; is a son of Thornton and Mary E. B. H. Betton. Eight years of his early life were passed in Derry, two years in Newburyport, Mass., one year at Portsmouth, N. H., a short time in Dover, N. H., and three years in Boston, Mass. At the latter place be engaged as clerk in a mercantile house. He then went to Petersburg, Va., where he remained two years, and in May, 1856, came to Kansas. He landed at Leavenworth City on the 8th day of May, and at once went about finding business. He had $2,000 in money to invest, and, proceeding to the old historic town of Easton, he fell in company with others who agreed to interest themselves with him In building up a town on Red Vermillion Creek. The new town was to have at once a hotel, store, blacksmith shop, and saw-mill. After suffering the privations and disappointments common to such an enterprise in a new country, Mr. Betton found the project abandoned by the others, and himself the owner of a saw-mill in a town and country without inhabitants. He returned to Leavenworth, and during the winter engaged in a general speculating business, dealing principally, however, in Geary City town property, by which he realized about $500. He attended the sale of town shares (10 lots) in Wyandotte, advertised to take place March 1, 1857, the first 100 shares to be sold at $500 a share. He bought share No. 92. There was a perfect craze for these shares. People came from far and near, and it was by chance that he managed to buy an interest. Isaiah Walker's store was the only frame building in the town at the time. It still stands on the north side of Nebraska avenue, below Fourth street. Silas Armstrong's brick residence stood on the hill, near the corner of Fifth street and Minnesota avenue. Ike Brown's log house stood where Dunning's Hall now stands. The land office building was located nearly opposite, and Joel Walker lived in a log house near Jersey Creek. The Widow Splitlog's cabin occupied the hill south of Minnesota avenue, and the Cotter's lived at the ferry, and those houses constituted the city of Wyandotte in 1857. Mr. Betton was offered $750 for one lot while on his way to Leavenworth, just after the purchase, but refused to take it. Wyandotte had her collapse, and values shrunk amazingly. Mr. Betton disposed of his interest at a sacrifice. He next entered a claim of 160 acres of farming hand, and forty acres of timber, near Osawkie, on the Delaware Trust Lands. He also speculated in claims, and was very successful in this enterprise. After Osawkie land sales, he returned to Leavenworth, but the same fall located in Wyandotte and engaged in lumbering and logging for a saw mill, and in December, 1859, bought it. It was located where the town of Argentine has since been built up. In 1860, he bought forty acres of land, and built a house on it, which is still standing. The smelting works are now located on this forty acres, which he sold in 1863 for $500, now worth over $100,000. In 1863, the mill was moved over to the Missouri River, near Nearman Station, where he continued the business until the fall of 1867, his family living in the meantime at Wyandotte. In company with Mr. Overton, he bought a half section of land of Alexander Caldwell and Lucien Scott, near Pomeroy, and in June, 1868, located a new saw-mill at that place. The mill exploded the first day's run, killing one man and injuring another. The mill was immediately rebuilt, and other lands were subsequently bought, until Overton & Betton were the owners of 1,100 acres of fine timber land. They and their employes, mill bands and wood-choppers, were the only white settlers in the vicinity. Mr. Betton solicited the County Superintendent to lay out a school district, which was done immediately. Bonds were voted to build a schoolhouse. They were purchased by Overton & Betton, and the commodious school room was erected, which still stands to do credit to the enterprise of its first proprietors. They also built a side track on the Missouri Pacific Railroad at their own expense, erected a store room, and secured a post office. The store room was first occupied by Derrick Stone, Pomeroy's first merchant. In 1873, they erected their three-story flouring-mill, called Maple Cliff Mills. They also sold lands to the amount of about 400 acres, and still retain about 700 acres. The mill was operated by Overton & Betton until 1878, when Mr. Young purchased the half-interest of Mr. Overton, and the mill was owned amid operated by Betton & Young until the spring of 1883, when they disposed of their entire interest to the Pomeroy Milling Company. Mr. Betton has striven to do his part in the labors which, in a period of twenty-five years, have served to carve out of the wilderness the foremost county in his State. He has been identified with many enterprises, public and private, and, like most old settlers, has reaped but a moderate reward. He has written much for the press since his residence in Kansas, and displays a literary ability remarkable for a man who has been so actively engaged in business pursuits. He was married in Wyandotte, March 8, 1860, to Susanna Mudeater, an accomplished and educated daughter of Matthew Mudeater, head chief of the Wyandotte nation. Her father was educated at the Methodist Episcopal Mission, Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Her mother was educated at the same mission. Both were exceedingly fair and handsome. They emigrated with the Wyandottes to Indian Territory in 1843. Mr. Betton has six children - Florence, Frank H., Cora E., Matthew Thornton, Susanna W. and Ernest L. He has been Grand Master of the R. W. Grand Lodge, I. O. O. F., State of Kansas, and its Grand Representative in the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the United States; also, Grand Chancellor of the Grand Lodge of the K. of P. of the State of Kansas, and its Representative to the Supreme Lodge of the United States.

DANIEL BRAMAN, farmer and merchant, Section 35, P. O. Braman Hill. Came to Kansas January 12, 1858. Located here, and has made this his home ever since. From 1867 to 1878, was in the colporteur work for the American Tract Society. His field was confined part of the time to Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth Counties, but the remainder of the time was colporteur at large for the northern half of Kansas and border counties of Missouri. He then resumed farming and in connection with this has carried on a country store, dealing in general merchandise and country produce. He enlisted in Company G, Sixth Kansas Cavalry, and was mustered in at Leavenworth, in November, 1861. He did border service, scouting, hunting bushwhackers, etc., but was in several heavy engagements, such as Maysville, Ark., Prairie Grove, and Cane Hill, Mo., and many others. Was in active service until mustered out, November, 1864. He enlisted as a private, but was several times promoted, and was last commissioned as Second Lieutenant, which commission he held until his term of service expired. He was born in Waterford, New London Co., Conn., May 16, 1832. He is a son of Daniel S. and Mary L. Braman. He was educated in the public schools of Waterford. At the age of sixteen, he went to New London, and worked at the sail-maker's trade seven or eight years. He also spent a short time in Brooklyn, N. Y. just prior to his removal to Kansas in 1858. He was married, in Waterford, Conn., September 11, 1853, to Sarah H. Moore, an intelligent and accomplished lady, a native of Connecticut, and a daughter of Enoch and Mary L. Moore. They have four children - Mary Eva, Ida Florine, Edward Everett and Dottie Lizette, and seldom are children blessed with such parents, both of whom exhibit Christian culture rarely to be found. They are consistent members of the Baptist Church. He was elected to the office of Treasurer of Quindaro Township in November, 1877, and has been re-elected each year since, and holds the office now. He was chosen Deacon of the Baptist Church, 9th of December, 1867, and has filled that office since that time.

ABRAM H. BROWN, farmer, Section 31, P. O. Quindaro. His grandfather was a veteran of the war of 1812, and his father beat the roll call on Bunker Hill at La Fayette's visit to America in 1824. The subject of this sketch was born on Bunker Hill, Charleston, Miss., July 26, 1826, son of Jonathan and Mary Brown. His parents moved to Adams County, Ill., in the spring of 1833. He was brought up on a farm till seventeen years of age, then moved to Quincy, Ill., and learned the brick-layer's trade, worked in Quincy two and a half years, then went to Peoria, Ill.; where he continued brick work and plastering for two years. He then started with an ox train as wagon master for Santa Fe, N. M. Struck the Kansas line in the spring of 1847. He was taken down with the cholera at Blackjack, on account of which the train was detained three days. Six train men had the cholera, only one of whom died. They reached Santa Fe July 20, 1847, and the two years following, he was engaged in burning and furnishing lime for the Government uses and was superintendent of the laying of rock for the State House at Santa Fe. He next accompanied Capt. Love's expedition to the Gila River prospecting for gold, but the enterprise failing on account of hostile Indians, he returned to the old copper mines at Ft. Webster, where he laid up about four months and then returned to Santa Fe to spend the winter. The following spring he came back to Kansas and from there went to New York, where he was married, February 17, 1857, to Lydia M. Ward, a teacher and a native of New York, and daughter of Lemuel and Hannah Ward. He then returned with his bride to Kansas City and made that his home till 1878. But enlisted in Company C, Vanhorn's Battalion, attached to Twenty-fifth Missouri Volunteer Infantry; was taken prisoner at Lexington, Mo., was Quartermaster Sergeant, acting as Quartermaster at the time. After his parole, he was made Wagonmaster for Capt. Case, Assistant Quartermaster, and was in active service as Master of Transportation for Capt. Case till nearly the close of the war. On his return to Kansas City, he resumed his business as a contractor and did the brick work on Plankington & Armour's original packing house. He was also contractor for the brick work and plastering on the first schoolhouse built in Kansas City, Kan. He moved to his present location in 1878, where he has engaged in farming ever since. He is P. G. I. O. O. F.

HENRY BUTTERWECK, farmer, Section 36, P. O. Wyandotte. He was born in Furstenthum Waldeck, Germany, October 8, 1834; son of Stephen and Mary Butterweck. Attended school in his native town till about fifteen years of age; he then worked in a factory at Brownson three years, after which he was engaged in a blacksmith and wagon shop four years, and March 7, 1857, left for America, settling on a farm near Uniontown, Fayette Co., Penn., and in August, 1860, moved to Ohio, where he engaged in farming until the breaking-out of the war, when he enlisted at London in Company C, Fortieth Ohio, September 11, 1861. He was in many of the hardest fought battles of the great rebellion, among which were the engagements at Franklin, Tenn., Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge and Pine Mountain and many others; was under Garfield in Kentucky, and was with Sherman in the famous march through Georgia as far as Atlanta. He was mustered out October 8, 1864. At the close of the war, he returned to his old home in Pennsylvania, spent the winter, and then moved to Ohio, where he resided until he came to Kansas September, 1868. He was married in Uniontown, Penn., December 25, 1864, to Malinda McLaughlin, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Joseph and Mary McLaughlin. They have six children, viz.: Mary M., Lidie C., Sallie Adaline, Henry Rinehart, Joseph T. and George Edwin. Mr. Butterweck cleared the farm which he now owns and cultivates, and has made all the improvements, which render it one of the most comfortable homes in the vicinity.

LYMAN COMSTOCK, farmer, Section 35, P. O. Braman Hill. Came to Kansas December 12, 1866. Lived near Nearman Station till the spring of 1872, when he purchased the farm on which he has lived ever since. During the winters of 1866-67 and 1868, he was engaged in getting out wood and ties for railroad companies. He has served on the School Board for three years. Is one of the solid men of Wyandotte County. Was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, March 31. 1833, son of Lyman and Harriet Comstock. Attended the public schools until fifteen years of age, then went to Cleveland, Ohio, and made brick three years; thence to Clarion County, Penn., where he engaged in tie making over one year, manufacturing lumber two years, farming and boat-making about nine years, and then moved to Kansas in the fall of 1866. He was married in Pennsylvania, April 1, 1856, to Sophia McLain, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth McLain. He has six children - Millard Fillmore, Harriet E., George W., John Wesley, Sarah Ellen and Mary Frances. Mr. Comstock and wife are worthy members of the Congregational Church.

THOMAS CROOKS, farmer, Section 36, P. O. Braman Hill; came to Kansas April 2, 1857. First worked as a farm hand for an educated, wealthy and influential Indian, named Francis Cotter, one year. Then rented Cotter's farm and worked it two years; then went to Pike's Peak and returned the same summer; cleared a piece of timber land during the winter; taught school the next spring and summer until harvest, and then enlisted in the army in the summer of 1861. He enlisted in Company E, Fourth Kansas Cavalry, and was afterward transferred to Kansas Sixth. He was mustered in as Orderly Sergeant, and in January, 1863, was made Second Lieutenant, and six months afterward, by petition of his company, he was commissioned as Captain and served in that capacity until the close of the war. He was in all the engagements of his command and was mustered out April 14, 1865, when he resumed the more agreeable occupation of a farmer, locating three and a half miles west of Wyandotte City, where he has given special attention to fruit growing and has one of the many fine orchards of Wyandotte County. He was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, September 8, 1831. Is a son of Henry and Catharine Crooks. He grew up on a farm in his native county, was educated at Hagerstown Academy, and came direct from his native town to Kansas in 1857. He was married in Clay County, Mo., April 11, 1867, to Julia A. Farnesworth, native of Wheeling, Va., and daughter of Isaac and Louisa Farnesworth. They have three children - Carrie L., Lillie May and Adeline Inzie. They are both members of the Congregational Church.

WILLIAM W. DICKINSON, farmer, Section 31, P. O. Quindaro, was born in Heath, Franklin Co., Mass., December 27, 1831. Is a son of Solomon and Eunice S. Dickinson. He attended the common and select schools of his native town, and afterward Shelburne Falls and Amherst Academies. He then taught during the winters and farmed through the summers, and to some extent engaged in civil engineering, until the spring of 1856, when he came to Kansas. On his way to Kansas, he accidentally took the same steamer at St. Louis on which a company of South Carolina ruffians had taken passage. They were armed to the teeth, and were intending to reach Kansas in time to participate in the sacking of Lawrence. The steamer landed at Kansas City on the very day that Lawrence was sacked. The border ruffians had established a kind of custom house at Westport, by which all baggage was examined, and if destined for Kansas was not allowed to pass if it came from any of the Free States. When Mr. Dickinson arrived at Westport, the hack stopped for dinner at Smith's Hotel, and his trunk, marked Franklin County, Mass., and his surveyor's compass were piled up with other baggage to be examined by the custom house officers. While waiting for dinner, he managed, while standing near his trunk, by a dexterous movement of his heel, to disfigure the abbreviation of Mass., so as to have more of the appearance of Mo., and this passed his trunk, while S. C., for surveyor's compass, on the box containing that article, passed for South Carolina, and Mr. Dickinson was thus enabled to pass Westport. But a short distance on the road to Lawrence, he was met by hordes of ruffians coming from the disgraceful affair which had desolated Lawrence the night before, and was compelled to return to Kansas City, where he met at Eldridge House A. D. Richardson, of literary fame. The Eldridge House was headquarters for the Free-State men remaining over night here. He took a steamer the next morning for Nebraska. He remained in Omaha, Neb., one year, and taught the first school ever taught in that city by a male teacher. He then returned to Massachusetts, and was engaged for awhile in settling up his father's estate. April 1, 1859, he started again for Kansas, arriving in Quindaro April 1, 1859 where he engaged in the mercantile business until the fall of 1861, and has been engaged in farming ever since. He was elected to the first Kansas State Legislature in 1861. Served one term. He has twice been elected County Superintendent of Public Instruction, serving four years in that capacity. He is a worthy member of the Congregational Church. He has sixty acres of fine farming land, six acres in fruit and lawn. His residence, a large two-story frame house, is beautifully situated in the pretty little village of Quindaro, three miles from Wyandotte, and commands one of time most charming views in the State of Kansas. His grounds are handsomely laid out, and tastefully decorated with ornamental trees and shrubbery, making one of the most desirable among the many pleasant homes which adorn the vicinity of Wyandotte.

ASA ELLIS, farmer, Section 29, P. O. White Church, came to Kansas in the spring of 1869, settled in Quindaro Township, and for eleven years carried on a farm two miles east of where he now resides, and then came to his present location, where he has continued farming ever since. He proposes to engage quite extensively in fruit growing. He enlisted in Company F, Sixteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, in December, 1863, at Fort Leavenworth. Was living at the time in Platte County, Mo. in February, 1865, was sent on an expedition to Powder River, Montana. Left Leavenworth February 14, went to Powder River country, and down the river till they came in sight of the Yellowstone. Was then ordered to return, and was mustered out December 19, 1885. He was born in Montgomery County, Mo., November 7, 1842, son of David Ellis. His mother died when he was an infant. He came to Platte County in the fall of 1858, and farmed there till his removal to Kansas in 1869. Was married In Platte County, Mo., September 2, 1861, to Catherine King, daughter of Andrew C. and Elisabeth King. They have seven children, viz.: Mary, Elizabeth, Francis M., Flora, Ellen, Floyd and Asa.

WILEY W. ENGLISH was one of the substantial citizens of Wyandotte County, and was universally esteemed for his many excellent traits of character. He was born in Tennessee in November, 1817. His parents moved to Louisville, Ky., when he was quite young, and his boyhood days were spent in and near that city. He came to Independence, Mo., when quite young, and learned the saddler's trade. He remained at Independence several years and then moved to St. Joseph, Mo., where he carried on a harness shop for seven or eight years. He then moved to Platte County, Mo., and engaged in farming sixteen or seventeen years, after which he moved to Weston to educate his family, and remained there about four years, doing a general trading business, and in May, 1868, came to White Church, and engaged in farming until his death, April 8, 1880. He was married November 3, 1839, in Platte County, Mo., to Martha J. Downing, daughter of John H. and Eliza Downing. She is a native of Lincoln County, Mo., and is still living on the old homestead. Is the mother of the following children: Eliza Jane, Martha B., Theodore Warner, Wiley W., Angie M. and Davie English. In connection with this sketch, Wiley Worth English is worthy of especial mention. He is the sole executor of his father's estate, farmer, Section 31, P. O. White Church. Was born in Platte County, Mo., April 14, 1858. Was educated principally at Weston, Mo., and came to Kansas in the spring of 1869, and attended school in Leavenworth City about one year and six months, and attended Palmer's Academy in Wyandotte one year. He 18 unmarried, and is engaged in farming and stock-raising. Is considerably above the average in intelligence and moral worth, and is destined to figure in the future history of Kansas.

R. M. GRAY, merchant and horticulturist, has been Postmaster at Quindaro ten years; home farm, Section 29, thirty acres, fruit and lawn, also farm in Section 13, P. O. Quindaro. He came to Kansas in the spring of 1858, and located where he now lives. Engaged in farming till 1861. Then entered the Government service, and was connected with the Quartermaster's department during the entire war. Started with the Kansas Second. Was with Gen. Curtis' army from Pea Ridge to Helena, and was afterward with Grant's army, Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps. Went via New Orleans, La., to the mouth of the Rio Grande River. Curtis' Red River expedition failing, he was ordered lack to New Orleans where he remained till the close of the war. Returning to Quindaro, he engaged in farming till January, 1873, when he opened a general store, and has been merchandising ever since. He was born in Erie County, N. Y., December 29, 1821, son of Isaiah and Mary Gray. He was reared on a farm till about nineteen years of age. Came West as far as Chicago in 1840, and spent the winter of that year at Elgin. In the following spring, he moved to Waukegan, and engaged in merchandising until 1858, when he came to Kansas. He was married in Waukegan, Ill., June 10, 1847, to Susan G. Doust, daughter of Samuel and Hannah Doust. They have four children, viz.: Eldrid M., Mary Ann, George M. and Joseph M. Mr. Gray commands the entire trade at Quindaro. He occupies a sales room 20x50, ware room 20x45, and cellar 40x50. Carries a heavy stock of general merchandise, and deals to some extent in feed and country produce. At the same time, he manages a fruit farm of thirty acres of fine fruit.

[TOC] [part 21] [part 19] [Cutler's History]