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


[TOC] [part 22] [Cutler's History]


FRANCIS MARION DOWNS, physician arid merchant, Tiblow, came to Kansas February, 1876. Located at Lanape, and practiced medicine there until June, 1879, then came to Tiblow, where he continued the practice of his profession and engaged in merchandising. Has served as Treasurer of School District No 27 two years. He was born in White County, Ind., November 13, 1850; is a son of Eli and Caroline Downs. In the fall of 1865, he moved with his parents to Lafayette County, Mo. He soon afterward engaged in clerking, and continued in that business nearly three years. During this time, he read medicine, and afterward attended the medical college at Keokuk, Iowa, from which institution he graduated February 17, 1875. He then returned to Lafayette County, Mo., and remained one year, and early in 1876 came to Lanape, Kan., and began the practice of medicine. Besides doing a good mercantile business, he enjoys a successful and lucrative medical practice. He was married in Wyandotte, Kan., September 6, 1882, to Mary Kane, who is a native of the State of Pennsylvania. Dr. Downs carries a very complete stock of drugs and general merchandise.

JOHN A. FLIGOR, carpenter and builder, Edwardsville, came to Kansas April 9, 1859. Settled in Wyandotte City, and boarded on the old steamer St. Paul, which was tied up at Wyandotte landing, and used as a hotel. Built one of the first business houses in the city, which was intended for a hardware store. In June, 1858, he came out into the Delaware Nation, and built the first residence in the neighborhood of Edwardsville, for James C. Grinter. Remained in the Delaware Nation about two years, then went to Leaven worth County, and labored about one year, and then to Johnson County, and labored there some two years, after which returned to Wyandotte County, and remained there ever since. He has worked in this district of country ever since, visiting, however, in the State of Pennsylvania, during the winter of 1863 but returning in the spring of 1864, and continuing his trade until the present time. He was born in Westmore land County, Penn., September 26, 1829; is a son of William and Sarah Fligor. He moved to Hardin County Ohio, in the spring of 1855, and the following fall moved to Clyde, Ohio, and worked here at his trade during the winter, and in the next spring went to Fremont, the same State, and after working here about one year moved to Kansas, in company with Maj. Downs, afterward Superintendent of Central Branch of the U. P. R. R. He was married in Wyandotte City, September 2, 1871, to Marie E. Fray, daughter of Benjamin and Eliza Fray, and a native of Doniphan County, Kan. They have two children - Libbie E., born March 22, 1873, and Maggie E., born March 29, 1876.

D. S. HAINES, merchant, Edwardsville, came to Kansas in the fall of 1871. Taught school in Johnson County one year; then entered mercantile business, and has engaged in merchandising ever since. He has served as Township Clerk seven years, and has twice been honored as a delegate to the State Conventions. He was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, March 31, 1847. Is a son of Joseph and Mary Haines. Moved to Illinois August, 1870. Remained one year and then came to Kansas. He was married in Edwardsville June 18, 1874, to Miss Ella J. Kouns, daughter of William and Sarah Kouns. She was born in Ohio August 14, 1851; they have two children - Alta May and Metta K. Mr. Haines has been Postmaster at Edwardsville ever since 1874. Carries a large stock of general merchandise and drugs, and also deals quite extensively in grain.

JOHN C. McGEE, JR., farmer and stock-raiser, dealer in native breeds and breeder of fine grade cattle, P. O. Loring, was born and reared in Brooklyn, N. Y. In 1869, he settled in this State and has been prominently identified with his present industry here since; his farm contains 400 acres of valuable land, devoted to the production of hay and grain and stock-raising; is surrounded and divided by nice wire fences; has beautiful dwellings and stables, and equipped with all the modern improved machinery. Mr. McGee's breeding ranch contains the short-horn Durham stock principally. John McGee, Sr., deceased, father of the above, was born in Kentucky; was prominently identified there in insurance business until the war, when his political creed made it necessary to seek a home in the North, and he settled in Brooklyn, N. Y. where he was actively engaged in the insurance business until his death, which occurred in 1868. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, leaving a wife, Mrs. Agnes McGee nee Carson; who was born and reared in his native State, and has two sons and seven daughters.

JAMES M. MICHAEL, farmer, Sections 27 and 28, P. O. Tiblow, came to Kansas April 1, 1865, and settled where he now lives. Engaged in farming two years, then opened a stock of general merchandise at Edwardsville, and continued that business eight years; then moved back to the farm, and has engaged in farming and stock-raising ever since. He has served as Township Clerk two years, and as Township Treasurer eight years; has been a member of the Township Board ever since the township was organized. Was made an Elder of the Christian Church at its Organization n 1868, and has served the church in that capacity ever since. He began preaching in 1875, and has held several remarkable meetings, among which we mention his first protracted meeting at Edwardsville in February, 1876, at which forty-one were added to the church, and another at the same place in 1879, at which twenty-six were added, and, immediately after, at Fall Leaf, where forty-three were added to the membership. He has been actively engaged in preaching ever since he began the work; has done a large amount of gratuitous labor and his work has been blessed with an abundant fruitage. He has a pleasant home and an intelligent and happy family, who sympathize with him in his work. He was born in Monroe County, Ohio, January 10, 1830, son of Daniel and Margaret Michael. In 1838, his parents moved to Washington County, Ohio, where they farmed about eighteen years, then moved to Lawrence County, Ohio, and after a residence of ten years there, Mr. Michael moved to Kansas. He was married in Noble County, Ohio, June 26, 1851, to Catherine McPeek, daughter of Daniel R. and Elizabeth McPeek, by whom he had four children, viz., Mary E., Rosana, Addison H., Martha K. His wife died February 15, 1859, and he was married again in Lawrence County, Ohio, November 20, 1862, to Sarah A. Marks, daughter of T. W. and Frances E. Marks; she is a native of Ohio; he has by his last wife six children - Eva A., Daniel T., Ulysses P., Francis E., James E. and Monema.

DR. DAVID C. MURPHY, physician and farmer, Section 25, P. O. Edwardsville, came to Kansas August 1, 1874, and settled in Edwardsville, and has engaged in the practice of medicine ever since. He has served as Township Treasurer two terms, Township Trustee one term, School District Treasurer two terms, and has been honored as delegate to State Convention. He was born in Ross County, Ohio, March 25, 1847; is a son of Robert and Hannah Murphy. In the fall of 1866, he moved to LaFayette County, Mo., and engaged in farming and studying medicine. Had a residence of eight years in LaFayette County, during which time he attended Keokuk Medical College situated at Keokuk, Iowa, and graduated from this institution December 17, 1874, soon after which he came to his present location and began the practice of his profession, in which he has gained an enviable and well-deserved reputation. He was married in Edwardsville November 16, 1876, to Margaretta E. Thompson, daughter of Moses L. and Sarah G. Thompson. She is a native of Connecticut. Dr. Murphy and wife are both members of the Christian Church.

JOHN G. PRATT, farmer and minister of the gospel, home farm of 320 acres in Section 10, also 160 acres in Section 9, P. O. Maywood, came to what is now the State of Kansas, April, 1837, then called Indian Territory. He was sent here and sustained by the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society. He first located a few miles south of the Kansas River, and about three miles from the Missouri line, near Shawneetown. An alphabet was invented, and with the help of others a number of elementary books were written and published for the Shawnee and other tribes. Mr. Pratt had charge of the printing press, and not only published books for his own, but also for other missions. He labored among the Shawnees at this point from 1837 to 1844. He then moved to a point four miles south of Fort Leavenworth, where a band of Green Bay Indians had settled for a time, waiting for the United States Government to set apart some promised lands for their occupancy further south. He here preached to the Indians, conducted a school, and continued the publishing business. The Green Bays were quite intelligent, having originated near Stockbridge, Mass., and having come direct from Green Bay, Wis., where they had already been partly civilized. The Government failing to make the promised allotment of land to them, they became discouraged and nearly all moved back to Wisconsin, and after about four and a half years' labor among them, Mr. Pratt moved to his present location among the Delawares. He here took charge of a boarding school for the Indians, built, furnished and sustained by the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, The Delawares showed that much appreciation of education all advantages, that they requested the Government to set aside a certain part of their annuities for educational purposes, to the amount of $25 per year for each pupil in school. This was to clothe, feed and furnish the pupil and sustain the teacher, leaving the deficiency, of course, to be furnished by the mission board. In this school was taught all the elementary branches of an English education, together with algebra, natural philosophy and some of the academic branches. The result of Mr. Pratt's large experience in teaching and preaching among the Indians is the opinion that if taken when young they are susceptible of a high degree of mental and moral culture. The small children were about as apt as white children of the same age, but after they became older, while not wanting in mental capacity, they have not the application necessary to insure rapid progress. From 1864 until 1867, Mr. Pratt acted as United States Indian Agent for both the Delaware's and Wyandottes. He paid the Delawares for their land in Kansas, and removed them to the Cherokee Nation in 1867 and has since been engaged in farming and stock-raising. He preaches considerably since, doing a kind of home missionary work on his own account. He was born in Hingham, Mass., September 9, 1814; is a son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth Pratt. His father died when he was quite young, and when four years old, he went to live with his grandfather, Mr. Aaron Pratt, a sea captain, living at Cohassett. At the age of fourteen, he entered an academy at South Reading, now called Wakefield, and attended there two years. Then matriculated in Andover Seminary, entering the classical department. He finished the entire course, theological included, and graduated in the fall of 1836. He was licensed, at Andover, to preach the Gospel and was immediately employed by the Baptist Missionary Society, and sent to the Indian Territory. He continued in the service of this society, laboring among the Indians, thirty years. He was married in Reading, Mass., March 26, 1837, to Olivia Evans, daughter of Amos and Catharine Evans, and a native of Reading. They have three children living, viz., Mrs. Flora J. Black, of Leavenworth City, whose husband is a conductor on the Leavenworth, Topeka & South-western Railroad; Mrs. Rosamond O. Burt, also of Leavenworth, whose husband is a proprietor in the Great Western Foundry; Eber H. Pratt, who is now engaged in an extensive mercantile and milling business among the Cherokee Indians. Mr. Pratt had also another son, who is now dead - Lucius B. Pratt, educated at Granville College, Ohio. His wife was educated at the same college, and was the daughter of the Indian Chief, Journey Cake. She is but quarter blood, however, and remarkably beautiful. She is at present largely interested in an extensive business among the Cherokees, aided in part by her brother-in-law, E. H. Pratt. Mr. John G. Pratt, the subject of this sketch is widely known and universally esteemed for his many excellent qualities of mind and heart. He is a man of fine culture, and has a wife who is in every way fitted to be the companion of such a man. Their home is a model of neatness, taste and refinement.

GARRETT TRANT farmer, Section 26, P. O. Edwardsville, came to Kansas in May, 1868, purchased the farm on which he now lives, and has engaged in farming ever since. Though quite an old man, his mind is still active, and be takes a lively interest in new improvements and enterprises, and especially interested in educational matters, having served as School Director three years. He was born in County Kerry, Ireland, August 3, 1810; is a son of Thomas and Ellen Hickson Trant. He was raised on a farm until about sixteen years of age, when he obtained a clerkship in a general store and afterward in salmon fishery, but as soon as he was of age, he joined the Irish constabulary, and served his country in that capacity for fourteen years; was then honorably discharged on compensation, as a non-commissioned officer, at his own request, and after spending the winter at a watering place, he embarked for America. He first went to Hamilton, Canada West, where he visited about three months, and then left for Southport, Wis., now called Kenosha. He engaged at this place in the grain business for two years, and then moved to Peoria, Ill., where he conducted for eighteen years three branches of trade, viz., grain dealing, pork packing and merchandising, doing an extensive business in each branch. In 1867, he went by way of New York and Aspinwall to California, and returned early in the spring of 1868 by the same route to Peoria. He then made an extensive prospecting tour through Illinois and Iowa, to Omaha, Neb., and thence down the river by the first boat of the season, in the spring of 1868, to Kansas City Mo. Just at this time, the Indians were being removed from Delaware Reserve, and he bought the farm which he has cultivated ever since, consisting of 160 acres of choice farm and orchard land. The country was then a wilderness, without roads or bridges, and the only inhabitants were a few straggling Indians, and the very lowest and laziest class of poverty-stricken whites, who had been living among the Indians. He was married in Princeton, Ill., September 9, 1851, to Bridget Carroll daughter of Thomas and Catharine Carroll. She is a native of County Louth, Ireland. They have four children dead, viz., Thomas, Mary and two infants; and three who are living, viz., John, James and Katy. Mr. Trant and wife are consistent members of the Roman Catholic Church. John has been serving as an officer in the United States Army for several years. He is stationed on the Yellowstone River, M. T.

RUSSELL P. TWIST, farmer and horticulturist Sections 16,17, 20 and 21, P. O. Tiblow, came to Kansas in the spring of 1871. He settled where he now lives and has engaged in farming and fruit-raising ever since. He has 800 acres of fine farming and pasture land, all under fence, 800 acres of which are in cultivation, 80 acres in fruit, 100 acres in timber, and the balance in pasture. He proposes to engage extensively in canning and evaporating fruit. His orchard is just coming into bearing. He enlisted in Company E, Sixteenth Ohio Volunteers, April 14, 1861. Served as Sergeant three months, and then recruited the Sixteenth Ohio Battery. Was elected its Captain, and retained command until the close of the war. He was in all the engagements of his command. Was in the battle of Phillipi, and chased the rebels from Bealington to Carrick's Ford, marching forty miles and wading Cheat River sixteen times in a single day. Battery left Springfield, Ohio, September 5, numbering 106 men; arrived at Cincinnati the same evening. Mustered into United States service the same evening. Left Cincinnati the same evening for St. Louis. Arrived there on the 7th, after many changes, severe marches and much suffering from sickness, fatigue, poor water, short rations, etc. The battery having marched through Missouri and Arkansas, and joined the Army of the Southwest, under command of Gen. Curtis, were in the engagement of Cotton Plant, Ark., where 140 confederates were killed. After two expeditions up White River, the battery embarked at Helena on transport for Milliken's Bend, April 12, 1863. Joined Gen. Grant's army and marched through Louisiana; crossed the Mississippi River at Bruinsburg, and by forced marches arrived in time to take part in the battle of Port Gibson. Fought the enemy here the afternoon of their arrival until dark, and as night closed round, the enemy retreated. The battery expended 350 rounds of ammunition in this afternoon's engagement. His battery was also in the battle of Champion Hill, and finally took position in the rear of Vicksburg May 21, and did good execution through the siege, expending 6,594 rounds, dismounting seven guns, with a loss of but two wounded, and had the honor of throwing the last shot into Vicksburg from the land batteries. They went, after the fall of Vicksburg, to Jackson, Miss., and were under fire five days without loss. They were in active service during the entire war; wore out one set of guns and made considerable use of another set before they were mustered out August 2, 1865. He was born in Buffalo, N. Y., July 3, 1827. Is a son of Peter and Catharine Twist. At about ten years of age, moved to Ohio and remained in that State until he came to Kansas. Part of the time was contractor and house builder. He ran a machine shop at Yellow Springs, Ohio, six years. Burned out there and moved to Springfield, where he resided two years. He was married in Springfield, Ohio, June 21, 1851, to Nannie E. Foreman, daughter of William and Nancy Foreman. They had six children - Elnora, William Fremont, Ella Eliza, Willie Star, Emma Lilly and Charles Albert. His first wife died February 1, 1875, and he was married a second time, in Wyandotte County, Kan., January 16, 1876, to Willahamina Kern, daughter of John and Elizabeth Kern. She is a native of Ohio. He has by his last wife five children viz, Dora Elizabeth, John R., Franklin A., Louie Pearl and Katy, all living. Mr. Twist belongs to the Bible Christians, and also the G. A. R.

HENRY C. WARNER, farmer, Section 29, P. O. Tiblow, came to Kansas in the winter of 1866, settled in the city of Wyandotte, and for three years engaged in the grocery and general merchandising business. He then moved to a farm near Wyandotte, and engaged in farming two years, after which he came to Tiblow, and from 1871 to 1878, kept a general store and post office in this place, but since 1878 he has been engaged in farming. He was born in Greene County, N. Y., March 20, 1832. Is a son of William B. and Marchie Warner. About 1853, he moved to Ohio, and was engaged in manufacturing chairs for a chair company in Bedford, Ohio. After three years of this business in Bedford, he moved to Princeton, Bureau Co., Ill., and for ten years was engaged in the furniture business at that place. He then came to Wyandotte, Kan. He was married, in Charlotteville, N. Y., January 15, 1857 to Mattie E. Howie, daughter of James E. and Eliza Howie, and a native herself of New York. They have two children, both living, Frank and Mark. Mr. and Mrs. Warner are worthy members of the Christian Church.

JACOB T. WILLIAMSON, farmer and potato specialist, Section 26, P. O. Edwardsville, came to Kansas in the fall of 1858, and settled near Stanton, Franklin County, and remained there two years and moved to Ohio, but again came to Kansas, and has lived in Wyandotte County ever since. He came to his present location February, 1882. He has a very fine potato farm of 300 acres, choice land, well improved. Markets about 4,000 bushels of sweet potatoes a year and raises from seventy-five to one hundred acres of Irish potatoes yearly. He has recently added a small fruit department, with his brother, J. K. Williamson, as superintendent, and is constructing a large pool (supplied with water from some of the most magnificent springs in the State), from which to draw water for irrigating his strawberry plantations. He proposes adding a general nursery, and also an experimental department, for the testing, production and introduction of new varieties of cereals, fruits and vegetables. He enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, May, 1864. Served four months, and was mustered out September, 1864, having enlisted in what was known as the hundred day service. He was born in Pike County, Ill., July 10, 1838. Is a son of Amos and Clarissa Williamson. In the fall of 1854, he moved to Des Moines County, Iowa, and from there, in 1858, to Kansas. He was married, at New Burlington, Ohio, October 4, 1863, to Rebecca A. Chadwick, daughter of Cyrus and Elizabeth Chadwick. She was born in Hamilton County Ohio. They have six children, viz., Lillie, Park A., Roy C., Alice May, Edna Walker and Ora Kilborne. Mr. Williamson and wife are worthy members of the Christian Church.


Maywood is a small hamlet, prettily situated in the midst of a beautiful prairie country, five miles west of White Church.

Connors is the extreme northwestern station on the Missouri Pacific Road, twelve miles northwest of Wyandotte. It was platted in February, 1868, the owners of the town site being Alfred W. and William S. Hughes. The village contains several stores, a schoolhouse, in which religious services are held, and a small hotel.

Pomeroy, the next station southeast of Connors, was platted in the spring of 1871, William P. Overton and Frank H. Belton being the proprietors of the town. It contains several stores, and a steam, flour and saw mill.

Muncie, on the Union Pacific road, is six miles west of Wyandotte, being named from the old Muncie Indian settlement here. Opposite, on the other side of the Kaw, Chouteau established his trading post, in 1825. Near it is found a fine variety of magnesian limestone.

Tiblow, the station on the Union Pacific next west of Edwardsville, shows signs of prosperity in a good brick schoolhouse, and several flourishing business houses. It was platted in November, 1870, John McDanield being proprietor of the town site.

Loring is the last station in the county on the Union Pacific Railroad.

Turner is a few miles west of Argentine, on the A., T. & S. F. Road, containing a schoolhouse and several stores.


[TOC] [part 22] [Cutler's History]