1. John H. Putnam was born and reared in Gambier, Ohio. He attended KenyonCollege. At the beginning of the Civil war he entered government service as aclerk in the quartermaster's department. In 1864 he came to Topeka and read lawin John Martin's office.
He practiced law in Topeka after his admission to the bar in 1868. He was ajustice of the peace and twice held the office of police judge. At one time hewas in partnership with A. H. Case, and at his death he was a partner of A. L.Williams. He died March 18, 1879, at the age of 35, of consumption.-TheCommonwealth, Topeka, March 19, 20, 1879.
2. Among the newspaper items sent by one of the excursionists was this humorousnote concerning Abilene: "Cars stopped to put on more cow catchers on the rearend of the train. Texas cattle crowding around and climbing on the platform. . .."-Daily Kansas State Record, Topeka, August 7, 1868.
3. Probably Judge Marcellus E. Joyce. Years later Henry Inman wrote of Hays Cityand Judge Joyce as follows: "When Fort Hays was established in 1867 on Big creek,in what is now Ellis county, Hays City, a wild, 'wooly,' mushroom hamlet sprungup almost in a night, like that edible fungus, because of the proximity of theUnited States military post only a mile distant. This was immediately after thewar and there congregated, of course, the renegades from both armies; men, who,steeped in crime, and fugitives from justice, lived under assumed names, but safein their remoteness from the operations of law. Society there was such asfrequently characterizes extreme pioneer civilization when first aggregating intowns. There, too, settled some of the truest people, comparable to the best whohave built up our Western empire, the effect of whose presence and efforts isvisible in the beautiful, moral and cultured Hays City of to-day.
During the early period of the struggling town'sexistence, it had, for its justice of the peace, a stubby, red-headed littleIrishman, with a most pronounced brogue. He was a man of some education andgood-hearted, who loved his whisky, which frequently 'laid him out,' and who mademany friends, but whose construction of the power in his official capacity,delegated by the constitution, was widely at variance with the facts.
His office was a rickety, tumble-down shell ofboards on the main street, furnished with an ordinary pine table and a few roughbenches. It had one door, and four windows on each side with broad sills,elevated about three feet above the floor. This stern conservator of the publicpeace always commenced business with the stereotyped sentence:"Hats off, now! this court's in session!"
One time an Irishman was brought before him for some infringement of themunicipal regulations. He mulcted the unfortunate delinquent in the enormous sumof forty dollars, but discovered, to his disgust, that his victim was penniless.Here was a dilemma; he did not care to commit the man to jail in Saline county,over one hundred miles away; it was the money he was after, and, finding that abrother of the accused, a recent importation from Ireland, was present, he calledhim up, asked him if he had any cash, and being answered m the affirmative, said:"Well, the fine's on you, thin." And he collected it, too.
Once, when a verdant young lawyer fresh from theEast took exception to some of his rulings and proposed to appeal the case, thejudge grew furious and said: 'I'll have you to know there's no higher court thanthis! There's no appale from my court, and I'll fine yees fer contempt av yeestalk av an appale!' The young man consequently subsided.
At another time a cowboy was brought before himcharged with murder, who, 'as the legend hath it,' had contrived, through afriend, to quietly slip five hundred dollars into the hands of the judge. Whenthe man was called into court and was asked: 'Are yees guilty or not guilty?' hereplied: 'Guilty!' `well, yees are a big fool to plade that way, and I dischargeyees for want of evidence,' so discharged he was.
He had a case before him during the latter days ofhis reign in which the ownership of a heifer was in controversy, the evidencehinging upon a certain brand supposed to be somewhere on the animal. It was afterfour o'clock, and both 'court' and jury were in a condition their frequent'rounds' to the saloons during the day would naturally leave them in at that latehour. 'As the trial waxed warm, the judge became satisfied that the jury musthave ocular proof of the existence of marks or brands on the animal incontroversy, so he ordered the acting sheriff to 'bring the baste to the doorwhere the jury could see it.'
The heifer, after some delay, arrived at the frontof the building, notice of which was promptly conveyed to 'his honor.' But themajority of the jury, who had become somewhat obstreperous by this time, sworethey wouldn't go outside to look at any 'd-d heifer; if the judge wanted them toview her, let the sheriff bring her inside.'
The order was given, but the unruly animal objecteddecidedly to the mandate of the court, and refused to enter after severalabortive attempts to compel her. At last the sheriff, worked up to a degree ofdesperation, with the aid of a few idle loungers, friends of his, got the brute'shead fairly pointed at the door, and dexterously twisted her tail, cowboyfashion. The now enraged beast, with horns lowered and bawling with pain,incontinently rushed into the presence of the 'court' regardless of the sanctityof the place.
It did not take a moment for the spectators at thetrial to make good their escape by the door as the infuriated creature made abreak for the little redheaded judge, who, the moment he saw the state affairshad assumed, got down prone upon the floor close to the wall, where the tableunder which he had crept shielded him from the horns of the heifer, who madeseveral attempts to 'get at his fat little person.' The jury, suddenly sobered atthe apparition of the maddened beast, took refuge on the broad sills of thewindows, where they remained while the heifer tore around and demolishedeverything loose within her reach, after which she rushed out and down theprairie, which ended the proceedings of that trial for all time. -Topeka StateJournal, June 20, 1890. 4. In present Monument township, Logan county.
5. "The Excursion train came from Monument to Topeka, 318 miles, in 141/2 hours.The last 16 miles was run in 20 minutes. George Abbott was the engineer. . .."-Daily Kansas State Record, Topeka, August 9, 1868.
6. "The Excursionists reached home two and a half o'clock Saturday morning.-Ibid.