KanColl: The Kansas Historical Quarterlies

Welsh Settlements in Kansas

Translated and Edited
by Phillips G. Davies

Winter 1977 (Vol. 43, No. 4), pages 448 to 469
Transcribed by Gordon Reese Morgan; digitized with permission of
the Kansas State Historical Society.
NOTE: The numbers in brackets are links to footnotes for this text.


THE MATERIAL that follows is a large portion of the seventh chapter of the second part of Rev R. D. Thomas's Hanes Cymry America (A History of the Welsh in America) which was published in Welsh at Utica, N Y, in 1872. His discussion of the main Welsh settlements in Kansas was prefaced by a section of nearly equal length which deals with the state in general: the slavery issue, the availability and types of land, and the geography, mines, rivers, climate, and Indians of the state. This is not printed here because the information, while accurate enough, is very similar to that found in scores of other accounts in other books of this kind -- guides written in various languages during this time to assist people contemplating emigration to America. The rest of the chapter, printed below, is of particular interest, however, because it includes considerable firsthand information that the author gathered in 1869 in Kansas.

      Thomas himself is of considerable significance in this context. He was born in Llanrwst, Denbighshire, North Wales, on September 17, 1817. He began to preach at the Congregational church in Llanrwst in 1838 but was encouraged to attend Cheshunt College in London. After only two years there he returned to Wales and preached at Penarth, Montgomeryshire.

      Because of his interest in emigration, he visited in 1851 and 1852, by his own account, almost all the Welsh settlements in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. In 1854 he published Yr Ymfudwr (The Emigrant) in Wales. According to Thomas, thousands of copies were sold.

      He continued to preach in Wales and married Sara M. Roberts, a poet, in 1852. In November, 1855, he emigrated to America with his wife and two children. He served as a minister in Rome, Floyd, and Oriskany, N. Y., and at the Eleventh Street church in New York City. He later served in Mahanoy City and Shenandoah, Pa., in Columbus, Ohio, and in Knoxville, Tenn., where he died on November 25, 1888. His wife had died several years earlier, in 1873.

      Like so many Welsh ministers of the time, Thomas was a writer of some importance. He wrote both prose and poetry; the latter fact is evidenced by his "bardic name" of Iorthryn Gwynedd. He won a prize of $100 at the national eisteddfod at Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, and obtained the Bardic chair -- the equivalent of first prize -- at an eisteddfod in Utica, N. Y., in 1884.

      His other publications in prose included Yr Eglwysi Cristionogol (The Christian Churches) in 1869 and Colofn y Gwirionedd (The Column of Truth). As noted above, the book from which the present chapter has been translated was partly based upon additional travels to Welsh settlements, including those in the Midwest. [1]

      With few exceptions, this chapter has been translated quite literally. The major changes have included joining some of the author's frequent short and choppy sentences and breaking up some of those which by modern standards are excessively long and involved.

      The author's paragraphing, use of numbers, abbreviations, and parentheses have been unaltered even though they are at times inconsistent. Words and phrases in italics were in English in the original text.

title page of book -- please click for larger view


Left, the title page of Thomas's book. Translated, the title and subtitles read: A History of the Welsh in America / With Their/ Settlements, Their Churches, and Their Ministers / Their Musicians, Their Poets, and Their Literary Men / Along With / Inexpensive Government and Railroad Lands / Along With All / Necessary Information for the Emigrant / To Secure Inexpensive and Pleasant Homes.

first chapter of book -- please click for larger view

Above, the first page of chapter seven of the book, the Kansas chapter. The poem begins "O Flowering Kansas!"

II. R. D. THOMAS'S Hanes Cymry America -- THE KANSAS CHAPTER

      I paid a visit to several of them [Welsh settlements] in August and September 1869, but they have grown considerably since then. I would like to write about them more completely, but I am not able to publish a list of the heads of families because no one has been good enough to send such a list to me.

     Several religious and adventuresome Welsh settled in this town 8 to 10 years ago. [2] The town had been started before the recent civil war, but its growth was retarded during the disturbances. But after that the city began to grow and succeed until it now is a populous, industrious, and successful city. It is the county seat of Lyon county, and is located in a pleasant place between the Neosho and Cottonwood rivers. It has wide streets, several large stores, many good houses, some excellent churches, and growing businesses; two railroads run through it already, from Junction City and from Topeka, and one to Burlingame, Reading, and near Arvonia. [3] Emporia contains several Welsh who are craftsmen and rich business men, and some of them are in high positions, such as Dr. Morris, [4] Jones, Thomas, etc. [5] There also is the office of Wm. B. Jones, Esq. [6] This growing city will quickly be second in size to the city of Lawrence. Many Welsh farmers live near it. [7]

Rev. and Mrs. Ebenezer Jones
Rev. and Mrs. Ebenezer Jones who came to Emporia in 1868. Jones preached at the Welsh Union church until 1870 when he retired to become a farmer. Photo from A Brief History of the Sardis Congregational Church, 1871 - 1949.

THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN EMPORIA -- The Rev. George Lewis [8] and the Rev. Mr. Jones [9] have done much work with the Congregationalists in this place. The church has been founded for over seven years, and a good chapel was built there in 1868. The Rev. Henry Rees, [10] formerly of Ystradgynlais, Wales, began to minister in the summer of 1869 and there was a good and lively church, congregation, and Sunday School there at that time. Perhaps it is much more prosperous and larger now. Mr. Rees and his family live there.

      I have heard that Mr. Rees, after that had formed a Congregational church in the Welsh settlement across the Cottonwood river about four miles south of Emporia. [11] Many Welsh settled there on fruitful farms years ago.

Rev. Henry Rees          Rev. John Jones

Rev. Henry Rees (1820-1898), left, was a founder and pastor of the Sardis Congregational church and the Coal Creek Congregational church, both near Emporia. Rev. John Jones (1826-1901), right, was pastor of the Welsh Salem Presbyterian church, near Emporia, from 1870 until his death in 1901. He also helped organize and pastored the Second Presbyterian church, Emporia, during this period. Photos from A Brief History of the Sardis Congregational Church, 1871-1949.

THE CALVINIST METHODIST CHURCHES IN EMPORIA, ETC. -- Many members of the Calvinist Methodist church have been settled in the town, on the Cottonwood river, and in the Neosho Valley for many years. At the end of 1869 the Rev. John Jones, formerly of Middle Granville, N. Y., settled among them and formed two churches there -- one in the town and the other in the country, and I hear that he has been very successful. [12] (See his letters in the "Drych" [Mirror] for August 1871). [13]

      John Mather Jones, Esq. and his company had the honor of starting this new Welsh settlement in the beginning of the year 1869. [14] Perhaps they had made the decision on the best place which they were able to get at the time. They were very sure of thousands of acres of excellent and fruitful land along the banks of the strong and bright Marias [sic] Des Cygnes river, and the town of Arvonia was begun in a healthful and beautiful place about 18 miles south of Burlingame and very close to the southwest corner of Osage county. If they had settled nearer the middle of the county on Salt Creek or the Marais Des Cynges, there would have been more hope of it becoming the chief town of the county (County Seat), instead of Burlingame, which is located higher up and to the north, and thus it would be further from Emporia. [15] The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe R.R. does not go through Arvonia as they had expected, but it runs about four miles from it, through Reading to Emporia, but I believe that another railroad will be quickly constructed from the city of Lawrence, through the "Diminished Reserve" [16] past the new, beautiful city of Arvonia to Emporia. [17] That will be an immense benefit to the town and to the whole settlement.

      In less than six months after the starting of the settlement, the great Temporary Hotel and about a dozen houses had been built in Arvonia, and over a score of accountable persons had bought land in the settlement. This is proof that our nation needs wise, learned, wealthy, and adventuresome leadership, that they trusted John Mather Jones, Esq., [18] and that the district is a good and pleasant place to live in. In their midst were many religious, sober, [19] and hard working men. From the start to the present time they have been faithful and zealous for the cause of the Savior and of Welsh literature. Nothing is able to prevent success for men like this. I had the privilege of preaching on the Savior and the virtues of his blood in the great dining room of the Hotel there in August 1869. Their lands had been examined by Thomas Jones, Esq., of Mahanoy City, Pa., [20] Mr. Evans, the County Surveyor, [21] and Judge John Rees, formerly of New York City. [22] This is my unprejudiced opinion about the land there: All Osage county lies in the most pleasant part of the eastern region of Kansas and is already surrounded by populous cities and thus is convenient to the railroads and the chief markets. It contains thousands of acres of good and valuable agricultural land, many coal mines, and also a considerable number of iron mines. Much of the land in the Welsh settlement of Arvonia is as pleasant and suitable as the best land to be found in the county. Other parts of it is worse, and a bit of it is nearly worthless. All in all, it is mostly rolling prairies, pleasant and good, and it is watered by two valuable rivers, Salt Creek, and the Marias [sic] Des Cygnes and their branches. On the banks of these streams there is much excellent wood, but not a quarter as much as the whole settlement needs. I also believe that there is much mineable coal lying under the eastern and southern parts of the settlement, and that skilled, moneyed, and venturesome Welsh could work it successfully.

      There is still enough good land owned by the company (J. Mather Jones, Whitaker, & Co.) [23] in Osage county for the establishment of two or three small villages -- one near Salt Creek in the center of the county, and the other near the place where the Rev. T. G. Jones (Tafalaw) [24] and his family have settled; it is about six or seven miles to the south-east of the town of Arvonia. I believe that hundreds of Welsh will settle before long along the banks of the Marais Des Cygnes or the Osage river in the "Diminished Reserve" after the Indians have been moved out. [25] There are over fifty thousand (50,000) acres of excellent land in Osage county, a convenient place to build towns on the banks of the rivers. I believe that the city of Arvonia has grown considerably in the space of the last two years, and that it now contains many residences, valuable stores, etc., and that there is a plan to establish an academy close by. [26] Near it is the beautiful mansion of Owen Jones, Esq., formerly of New York City. [27] Scores of Welsh farmers have settled in this area, and it is likely that they are very successful. [28] This is my unprejudiced judgment of the settlement at Arvonia. At the same time I believe that there is as good or better land to be gotten in many of the other counties in Kansas.

      THE WELSH CHURCHES IN ARVONIA. -- When I was there in August 1869, at the beginning of the settlement, the population was small. [29] Many had bought land, but they had not moved their families there to live. At that time a Union church had been formed, [30] and the Rev. William Thomas, formerly of Cattaraugus, N. Y., was its minister. [31] There was also a young man there (a learned American) preaching in English. [32] Their meetings were held in the largest room in the Hotel. They planned to build a large and beautiful chapel in the village for preaching in both Welsh and English, costing over $6,000. [33] I have not heard that this church has been finished yet. It appears that the separate religious denominations of the Welsh there, i. e. the Congregationalists and the Calvinist Methodists, separated from the Union church and formed their own churches in the beginning of 1870. The Rev. Wm. Thomas was a good and faithful minister to the Congregational church there until the summer of 1871. He still lives in Arvonia and he has an excellent farm nearby. It was reported in the "Drych" [Mirror] for August 3, 1871 that the Congregational church needs a minister capable of taking care of three Congregational churches, Arvonia, Reading, and the Creek, under the patronage of the Home Mission. The letter was signed by the warm-hearted Welshman, Nicholas Ddu. [34] The secretary of the church is Daniel W. Williams, Esq., [35] Arvonia, Osage Co., Kansas. There is certainly a "wide and very hopeful field for a hard-working and conscientious man" there. I hope that they get the right person. I have heard that Tavalaw [sic] continues to preach in the Union church. I do not know who is ministering to the Calvinist Methodists.

      Several famous poets and writers live in Arvonia: the Rev. T. G. Jones (Tavalaw), D. Lloyd Davies (Dewi Glan Peryddon), [36] Mr. John Thomas (Llanfyllin), [37] J. Mather Jones, Esq., and Mr. J. W. Rice (Iago Ddu), [38] who gained a prize and the chair in the Eisteddfod which was held there August 4, 1871.

     This is a new Welsh settlement on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe RR. between Arvonia and Emporia in Lyon Co. The railroad had not been completed there in August 1869, and Reading was not in existence at that time. The settlement and the town started after that. [39] One is able to get there from Topeka, through Burlingame on the cars of the railroad and from there to Emporia. This is convenient and advantageous to the settlers. It is now the station nearest to Arvonia, and a train runs between the two places every day to the advantage of business and travel. [40] I am pleased to know that there are many venturesome and religious Welsh there and that the Welsh Congregational church is growing. [41] I know that John McManus, Esq., [42] of Reading, Pa., owns many thousands of acres of valuable land around there and that it is possible to buy it for reasonable prices. [43] It is as good land as any in Lyon Co., and as good as one can get in the counties close to it. Thousands of Welsh will be able to get pleasant homes on it if they only hurry there to buy the land. See the letters by Nicholas Ddu in the "Drych" [Mirror] and the "Faner" [Banner] and the letter of David J. Thomas in the "Faner" for July 5, 1871, p. 3.

     This is now the county seat, and it is located on the northern border. It was only a small place in August 1869, but it grew a good deal after the railroad was completed through it from Topeka to Emporia. [44] A few Welshmen live in and near it [45] and good veins of coal are being worked successfully in the vicinity.

     This place is located along the railroad between Burlingame and Topeka -- about 15 miles south of the latter town. The land is good in this vicinity, but the majority of the Welsh depend upon the coal workings. [46] Perhaps churches have been formed and chapels built there by this time, but I know nothing further about the place.

     This is the capital of the state; here is the Senate-house and the main offices of the state government. It contains many excellent buildings of brick and hewn stone, many stores, land offices, and large hotels; schools, academies, churches, and flourishing businesses. It stands on the slope of a low hill on the south side of the Kansas river and on the Union Pacific R.R. The depot is on the north side of the river, and it is likely that a large town will also be built on this side as well. One is able to get all details about the lands of the state in Topeka, but one must be careful to go to the right offices and to the authorized officials. This city is a healthful and pleasant place in which to live, and it is growing quickly. It is likely that the Senate-house and the governmental officers of the state will be moved in the future to a more centrally located place. Some Welsh live there, [47] but they do not have a Welsh-speaking church or chapel yet. Perhaps they will soon have one. There are many good coal mines around this city.

     Like Topeka, this famous city also stands on a pleasant hill on the south side of the Kansas river and on the Union Pacific R.R. It contains beautiful buildings, a large population, and lively businesses. A strong bridge had been built across the river to the town's depot. There are also many large stores, land offices, etc. The Kansas Real Estate Advocate is published under the editorship of the learned Welshman, E. E. Lewis, Esq. [48] In it one can get all information about the lands of the state. Before it was burned by Missouri revolutionaries in May 1856, [49] there were several Welshmen living in this city. The gospel was being preached to them by the late Rev. George Lewis. [50] But the Welsh there now do not have a Welsh church or chapel, and their numbers are not large. [51] Fruitful land is to be had in Douglas county. Lawrence is located 38 miles west of the state line, near Kansas City, Mo.

     This is now the largest city in Kansas. It is located on raised ground on the banks of the Missouri river about 31 miles north-east of Lawrence on the Branch Railroad. [52] Its population in 1870 was 17,849. It is a beautiful and lovely city. Near it is Fort Leavenworth, and there are coal mines close by in which several Welshmen work. [53] Many of them moved there from Bevier, Mo. in 1870; [54] they are Baptists for the most part, and perhaps they now have a church and chapel there. The patriotic and generous D. J. Williams, Esq., lives there. [55] The river and the railroad are advantageous to the city.

     This town is located to the north of Leavenworth, on the banks of the Missouri, and one is now able to get from the one to the other on the railroad. One is also able to get to it on the railroad in a brief time from St. Joseph, Missouri. There is another important railroad, the Central Branch of the Union Pacific R.R. which runs from this place to the west through the fruitful counties of Brown and Nemaha for over 100 miles to Waterville in Marshall Co. on the Little Blue River (about twenty miles north of the Welsh settlement of Bala yn Powys, in Riley Co.). It is proposed that this railroad be built further, along the banks of the Little Blue, through Jones and Jefferson counties [56] (where some Welshmen from Mahanoy City, Pa. intend to start a Welsh settlement), [57] and other places in the fruitful state of Nebraska, in order the [sic] join with the Union Pacific R.R. near Fort Kearney. [58] These railroad companies have thousands of acres of excellent land for sale, and their chief offices are in the city of Atchison. I believe that these lands in Kansas are very healthful and productive.

     This is the county seat of Riley county. It is a small and beautiful city spread out on the level land. It is located in the south-east corner of the county near the place where the Big Blue river empties into the Kansas river, and the Kansas Pacific R.R. runs through it. Its distance from Topeka to the west is 51 miles; and from Junction City to the east is 20 miles. [59] It contains many small buildings of wood, stone, and bricks, and there are several English-speaking churches. I spent a pleasant Sunday there in August 1869. There also is the office and printing office of Misters Adams and Eliot [60] who are Land Overseers for the National Land Company. [61] I found them to be truthful and obliging people, and they gave me information about the lands in the county and the state. I do not know of any Welsh men or Welsh women living in the town of Manhattan or anywhere in all of Riley county at this time. As far as I know, Thomas Jones, Esq., of Pennsylvania and his family were the first people to speak and to sing in Welsh in Manhattan and in the area which is now owned by the Welsh settlers of Powys in Riley Co. Manhattan can become a populous city and one with lively businesses, but it seems to me that the County Seat should be nearer the center of the county.

     The Rev. R. Gwesyn Jones and his friends obtained the right to begin this Welsh settlement in the spring of 1870. [62] I do not know why the place is called "Y Bala yn Powys." Would not Y Bala yn Meirion [Merioneth] be more proper? But this is not important. Perhaps they have tried to unify Montgomeryshire and Merioneth in Kansas. [63]I surely wish them success. But what of the settlement? It was not in existence when I visited the district in August 1869, but it was begun scarcely eighteen months later. [64] I have read and heard that it has grown rapidly, and that hopes are now high for it. I would be pleased if I had the time and ability to pay a visit there this year, but I cannot. The National Land Co. (the chief seller of the lands of the Kansas Pacific R.R. Company) proposes to sell to us, for a very reasonable price, all the land in their possession, 6,560 acres in Township 8, Range 5, E. of 6th P.M. in Riley Co., Kansas with sufficient time to pay for it. [65] There are 16,480 acres of Government land within the same township to be had for $2.50 an acre, or free under the Homestead Acts. [66] This is very advantageous for making a Welsh settlement. On August 21, 1869 I went in a carriage with Mr. Elliot [sic] of Manhattan past the Agricultural College on the side of the bluffs, along the narrow, fruitful plains to the source of Wild Cat Creek in Section 27, Township 8, Range 5, nearly 20 miles away from the city of Manhattan and about the same distance from Fort Riley, which is located south-west of here within 4 miles of Junction City. We examined much of the land, and we saw that there were no woods or rivers in that township. But we noticed that there were small streams such as Walnut Creek, which begins in Section 11, and runs through Section 1 in its north-east corner. Another small one, Fancy Creek, starts in Section 8 and runs through Section 5 in its north-west corner. The land there is certainly very good and suitable for raising all sorts of grains and fruits. It is much more level than some parts of Osage Co., and although there are some high places and slopes, there is enough slope to the watercourses. All this land at that time had neither been purchased nor populated; it was covered with natural hay (prairies), no one ever having scythed it, collected it together, nor had animals eaten it. In this township or near to it, is the Welsh settlement of Powys. It is a good and fruitful place where 144 Welsh families will each have 160 acres of land. It would be able to contain over eight hundred people, and there is also other good land to be had nearby. The main disadvantages of the place now are that it is over twenty miles from any railroad and commercial city, there are scarcely any natural trees growing in it, and there is no river or stream of importance running through it. But one is able to get a good water supply there by digging wells, and it is possible to grow all kinds of trees there. The city of Y Bala yn Powys would be much more desirable and advantageous to the Welsh settlers if it had been built nearer the center of the county. Thus there would be more possibility of it becoming the county seat of Riley County. Also if it had been built near the Big Blue or the Republican rivers, its location would have been improved and its advantages greater. Nevertheless I believe that the "Land and Emigration Society of the Welsh in America" [67] had made a good choice, and perhaps the best that was possible at that time, and that Y Bala and Powys will become rich and famous places in the future, [68] especially if many rich and adventuresome people come there and extend the city and bring lively business into it. It is likely that a large town will be built near the center of Riley county on the west side of the Big Blue in Township 8, Range 6, and that the County Seat will be moved there from Manhattan, and that a new railroad will be built from Leavenworth past it and Y Bala by crossing the Republican river to the west, or that the railroad which now runs from Atchison to Waterville, in Marshall Co., will be continued along the banks of the Big Blue down to Manhattan or across Riley county, on to the city of Y Bala yn Powys to Junction City or even further to the west. [69] There is talk of that now, and it is likely that the junction will be completed before long. This will double the value of the land at Powys immediately.

      But listen to what a settler in Powys says. In the "Faner'' [Banner] for July 19, 1871, Mr. R. Davies [70] says this:

"Furthermore it is well known to the Welsh in general that the Kansas prairie is wavy, although it is possible to get hundreds of acres as flat as a table, without a stone, and like one of the most beautiful meadows of England, and the farmer has not touched it yet. And when the land is like this, and to be had, at times for nothing, and for from $5 to $8 an acre, what is the reason why Welsh remain in smoky workshops and unhealthful towns? The signs for the land are looking excellent -- great amounts of hay verdantly shaking in the breeze, multicolored flowers adorning the roads, droves of animals owned by the settlers wandering here and there. It is a sight suitable to be dreamed of by any man; but man is not able to live on beautiful sights -- he must labor to support himself and the people of Powys are no exceptions to that because some of them have taken Government land and they have made more improvements to it than were made by some of the old settlers who were there five years ago. Every kind of settler has enough wheat and corn; some have five, some ten, some fifteen acres growing excellently and there is every sign that there will be a productive harvest of the crops. A large group had departed at the beginning of the settlement because there was a scarcity of water unless one dug for it. But today there is enough healthful water near almost every house. One can get good water here by digging 40 feet on the average. [71]

      Here are the names of the persons who have dug wells and have gotten an abundance of water (followed by the number of feet deep their well is): Reynolds and Daniels 8; W. H. Jones or W. Sir Fon [W. of Anglesey] 13; R. W. Lewis 26; J. G. Hughes 14; Mrs. A Hughes 60; W. O. Williams 48; G. Gray 30; J. J. Evans 30; W. Evans 12; O. Thomas (spring); J. W. Davies 18; W. J. Roberts 20; S. Ashman 50; J. Randall 140; J. L. Jones (spring); Williams and Jones 27; the Land Company 27; J. H. Jenkins 65; Coal Company 18; [72] T. Morgans 14." [73]

Rowland Davies

Rowland Davies who established a general store in Bala in 1870. In 1871 he became the town's first postmaster.

      Mr. Davies says that there is much talk of getting a railroad from Leavenworth, Waterville, and Junction City through the area. Another of the old settlers says the following in the "Faner" [Banner] of July 5, 1871:

"A distressed time, to say the least, was had by all who were here last year. Not only is this a new place, and no one knew what to expect or that he owned when he came here. At the same time, I must testify that this excells any other Welsh settlement in the states because we had gotten our land for so little, and thus we had kept the money which we would have had to pay for land in any other settlement to support ourselves and live. And though it turned out that the preceding year had been very dry, we were very glad to be here. We are able to live well on the fruits of the money which the speculators of the other settlements had taken from our compatriots, that is, the first payment for the land. By now our large fields are full of abundant crops. Not only is our wheat fruiting out pleasantly, but the oats and Indian corn also -- we are able to expect from 50 to 75 bushels an acre at least. Some of the land here has been cultivated before, and some land has been plowed for the first time this year; but we know that no one expected such a large crop of sod corn. It looks as if it will produce about 50 bushels to an acre. In the future we will laugh about it and be ready to rejoice. We had everything for that year without going to the settlement to ask for it, and we were able to buy many of the necessities of life there; we had but to go there. This was done, and some new things still come there, and it is much more comfortable than if we had had to go 25 miles to ask for everything for our satisfaction and pay almost double prices for it as we had been compelled to do in the past year. Things have changed now because we have a store in the settlement which sells all necessary goods, and the old settlers have made some changes in their method of returning the seed to the ground now that wheat and flour can be purchased. The first settlers had the advantage of getting cheap land, but that has almost all been taken here at the present time. The advantage to the settlers during the second year is that every other thing is cheaper for them than it had been for the settlers before them. We now have a store, a blacksmith, etc. in the town of Y Bala instead of being compelled to go as far as Manhattan to do all such tasks. The old settlers were forced to pay $4 an acre for plowing their land; but that can be done now for from $3.50 to $3. There were three strong oxen in the settlement last year, but the Welsh this year have from 15 to 20 good teams of oxen and they are still increasing. New settlers are continuing to come here, so that the number now is from 300 to 400, although the settlement is only a bit larger than it was a year ago. Our town is not growing as quickly as many of the towns in the new settlements because we believe that it is best to construct our houses first, and then to build up the town. I believe that this is the best way of all, not to build the town first, and after spending our money to make good buildings in the town, to have nothing to spend on the farm. We have now in Y Bala only six homes, a store, an office, and a smithy already established, but there are two or three places already started, and the town hall, which will be intended for the use of the public and for religious services because we do not have a church there yet, although it is likely that we will not be much longer without one. We have a union church there now although we have a minister, the Rev. Henry Davies, a Congregationalist, formerly of Big Rock, Illinois. [74] The Rev. R. Gwesyn Jones of Utica and the Rev. H. E. Thomas of Pittsburgh were here two weeks ago and we had a very good meeting on the Sabbath with them. There was excellent preaching and the two have gone to settle on their high land until there is a "Session of Y Bala" in truth. The following Thursday a meeting was held and the evidence of the settlers about the settlement was written and we intend to publish it in letters and to distribute it."

      Here is the testimony of two of the settlers about Powys and Y Bala in Kansas. They give an accurate picture of the settlement from its beginning to the present time. Before the end of the next two years it will have grown and succeeded greatly and all the land near Y Bala will have been bought and settled on. I believe that more should be done to encourage good Welsh settlements in Riley, Clay, Pottawattamie [sic], Marshall, Washington, Republic, and Shirley [75] counties which are near Powys, Kansas. The Welsh settlement of Powys is about 70 miles further north than Emporia and Arvonia, but one is able to go from the one to the other on the railroad through Junction City or Topeka and Manhattan. [76] The officers of the Land and Emigration Society are the following trustworthy gentlemen: President, Rev. Rhys Gwesyn Jones of Utica; Vice-president, Rev. John Moses of Newark, Ohio; Treasurer, Rev. D. T. Davies of Utica, N.Y.; Secretary, Rev. Isaac Thomas of Utica; Agent, J. H. Jenkins, [77] Powys, Manhattan, Riley Co., Kansas. One can get shares from the Company for $100 each from the above persons, from the Rev. H. E. Thomas, Pittsburgh, Pa., or Mr. J. W. Howells, Scranton, Pa. The main office of the Society is 104 Genesee Street, Utica, Oneida Co., N.Y.

      This new town is located about 10 miles south-west of the city of Burlington in the same county in a healthful and fruitful area. It is not far from the boundaries of Greenwood and Woodson counties where one is able to buy the best lands in the state from Wm. P. Jones, Esq. [79] and others for from $3 to $7 an acre. There are several small streams running past it to Bangor and there is a little timber growing on their banks. The railroad will soon be running from Kansas City, Ottumwa, and Burlington through Bangor to Eureka, and from there to Santa Fe. [80] Many new settlements will be established in the great and fruitful Neosho Valley, and it is hoped that Bangor will be one of the major ones. Several respected Welshmen have settled there already. The first step will be the necessary one of buying land in that area.


DR. PHILLIPS G. DAVIES is professor of English at Iowa State University, Ames, and holds advanced degrees from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. His previous publications have been on literary figures such as Thackeray, Shelley, and Hemingway.
      Material on Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio from the Thomas book, edited by Dr. Davies, has been or soon will be published in other historical journals.

      1. Most of this biographical information comes from Memorial Volume of Welsh Congregationalists, U.S.A. by Rev. David Jones (Utica, N.Y., Press of Utica, 1934); some additional data has been found in Thomas's own Hanes Cymry America. Return to reading

      2. For more information about the Welsh in this community, see Carolyn B. Berneking, "The Welsh Settlers of Emporia: A Cultural History," Kansas Historical Quarterly (KHQ), v. 37 (Autumn, 1971), pp. 269-280. Berneking says that the first Welsh immigrants came to Emporia in 1857, the year when the city initially was established, but there were Welsh settlers in Lyon county by 1856. Return to reading

      3. This line of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas (or "Katy") railway was being extended from Junction City southeastward through Emporia and Parsons, across the southern border of Kansas, and through the Indian territory during the early 1870's when Thomas wrote his book. The main line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad (to which he refers in an awkward manner as if it were two lines) reached Emporia from Topeka via Burlingame and Reading in 1870, and was extended on to the western state boundary by the end of 1872. -- See V. V. Masterson, The Katy Railroad and the Last Frontier (Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1952), pp. 31-192; Joseph W. Snell and Don W. Wilson, "The Birth of the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad -- Concluded," KHQ, v. 34 (Autumn, 1968), pp. 325-356. Return to reading

      4. A Welsh physician named Thomas Morris was listed on p. 3 in the 3d ward of Emporia in the 1870 federal census for Lyon county, archives department, Kansas State Historical Society (KSHS). Dr. Morris advertised in the Emporia News on August 6, 1869, that he specialized in obstetrics and diseases of women and children. Return to reading

      5. It is very difficult to identify individual Welshmen when only their last names are known. Most Welsh immigrants shared about a dozen very common surnames. Jones and Thomas could have been references to a number of people in Emporia who were listed as natives of Wales in the 1870 federal census. Return to reading

      6. An advertisement in the May 12, 1871, issue of the Emporia News indicates that Wm. B. Jones was associated with C. B. Bacheller and J. P. Pinkerton, both of whom were attorneys in Emporia, in selling real estate and insurance. Return to reading

      7. The 1870 federal census listed 41 farmers and 11 farm laborers who were natives of Wales living in Emporia township (including the city of Emporia). Scattered throughout the remainder of Lyon county there were nine more farmers who were Welsh immigrants. See J. Neale Carman, Foreign-Language Units of Kansas; I. Historical Atlas and Statistics (Lawrence, The University of Kansas Press, 1962), pp. 186-187, for additional information about the Welsh population of Lyon county. Return to reading

      8. According to Berneking, "Welsh Settlers of Emporia," p. 270, Rev. George Lewis reached Lyon county in 1856. Born in Carmarthen, South Wales, he had served as a minister in Ohio and Iowa before coming to Kansas. The articles he wrote for Y Drych, a Welsh-language newspaper published in New York, helped stimulate interest in Emporia among Welsh immigrants. Return to reading

      9. This Rev. Mr. Jones probably was Ebenezer Jones, who was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Brecknockshire, South Wales, in 1827. Before coming to Emporia in May, 1868, he served as pastor of congregations in Wales, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Until he retired from the ministry in 1870 and became a farmer near Emporia he preached at the Welsh Union church. -- See A Brief History of the Sardis Congregational Church, 1871-1949 [Emporia Sardis Congregational church, 1949], pp. 4, 32. A. T. Andreas and W. G. Cutler, History of the State of Kansas (Chicago, A. T. Andreas, 1883), p. 849, says that the Welsh Congregational church in Emporia, known as the Bethany Congregational or Second Congregational, was organized in the spring of 1866 and gives the credit to G. C. Morse and a man named Fox. Return to reading

      10. Rev. Henry Rees, born in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, October 24, 1820, was educated at a Welsh college and Oxford University in England. He came to the United States in 1869. He was pastor of the Second Congregational church in Emporia during the early 1880's when Andreas and Cutler prepared their History of the State of Kansas (p. 859). See, also, A Brief History of the Sardis Congregational Church, p. 14. Return to reading

      11. This was the Sardis Congregational church which was organized in 1871 and incorporated in 1872 as the First Congregational church of Dry Creek. Rees also helped form a third church, known as Peniel or Coal Creek Congregational, which met at the Coal Creek schoolhouse six miles southeast of the Sardis church. For a time he was pastor of all three churches, but eventually only of the two rural congregations. -- See A Brief History of the Sardis Congregational Church, pp. 12-13. Return to reading

      12. Berneking, "Welsh Settlers of Emporia," p. 277, says that Rev. John Jones lived in Middle Granville, N.Y., for six years after immigrating from Wales. He then became pastor of the Welsh Salem (or Dry Creek) Presbyterian church, south of Emporia, not long after it was organized by Rev. R. M. Overstreet in 1869. In 1871 Jones was instrumental in establishing the Second Presbyterian church (Welsh). He held both pastorates for over two decades and remained minister of the Salem church until his death in 1901. -- See "Passing of Old Salem Church Revives Memories of Early Days," Emporia Gazette, January 9, 1936, in "Presbyterian Church Clippings," v. 1, pp. 225-226, KSHS; also A Brief History of the Sardis Congregational Church, p. 10; and Andreas and Cutler, History of the State of Kansas, p. 849. An unusually lengthy and laudatory obituary for Jones was published on the front page of the Emporia Gazette on July 21, 1901. Return to reading

      13. The Drych and the Faner (the latter mentioned subsequently) were Welsh-language newspapers. The former was begun in New York City in 1851. Its circulation was over 5 000 copies in the 1870's. It still exists, now totally written in English and edited in Milwaukee. The Faner was founded in the late 1860's and was published in Scranton, Pa. Return to reading

      14. A number of items printed in the Burlingame Osage Chronicle on April 10, May 15, August 28, and November 27, 1869, indicate that Arvonia initially was established in April 1869; that John Mather Jones was a resident of Utica, N.Y., where he published Y Drych (see footnote 13); and that he had printed thousands of pamphlets promoting Welsh immigration to Kansas. The 1870 federal census for Arvonia township in Osage county, p. 10, indicates that Jones was a 40-year-old native of Wales and lists his occupation as land agent. Return to reading

      15. The county seat of Osage county was moved from Burlingame to Lyndon in 1875 after a bitter struggle between the two communities. Return to reading

      16. The Diminished Reserve was the remaining portion of a 30-mile-square reservation received by the Sac and Fox Indians of the Mississippi in 1842 when they relinquished their hunting grounds in Iowa. In 1859-1860 the tribe ceded about 300,000 acres in trust to the government and kept the Diminished Reserve of 150,000-160,000 acres, mostly in eastern Osage county, until 1867-1868. -- See William Frank Zornow, Kansas: A History of the Jayhawk State (Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1957), pp. 49, 97-99, 104; Burlingame Osage Chronicle, November 14, 1868. Return to reading

      17. For a number of years there was much talk about construction of a railroad up the Marais des Cygnes river valley from Ottawa, through Arvonia, to Emporia. J. Mather Jones and his associates were very active in railroad promotional activity in 1870 and 1871, but this dream of Arvonia residents did not materialize. Return to reading

      18. There were some who expressed doubts about the leadership provided by J. Mather Jones. The Burlingame Osage Chronicle noted on May 29, 1869, for example, that the Emporia News recently had claimed many Welsh immigrants were settling in Lyon county instead of at Arvonia because they thought Jones and his associates were guilty of misrepresentations in their promotional efforts. Jones defended himself in a letter to the Commonwealth after that Topeka newspaper reprinted the Emporia News article. He insisted that promoting Welsh immigration to Kansas was his fundamental objective, and it did not bother him if some preferred other counties. In this instance and several others the local newspaper defended Jones or praised his efforts. -- Osage Chronicle, May 22, November 27, 1869. Return to reading

      19. Sobriety was highly valued by the promoters of Arvonia. They placed restrictive clauses in all the deeds to town lots prohibiting the sale of intoxicating beverages and expressed their determination "to use every legal and moral influence to preserve this community from the desolation of the rum traffic." -- Burlingame Osage Chronicle, April 2, 1870. Return to reading

      20. Thomas Jones was a very common Welsh name, and there were at least four or five men with this name living or visiting in Osage county in 1869. Return to reading

      21. Jesse E. Evans was the Osage county surveyor during 1869. -- Burlingame Osage Chronicle, November 7, 1868, April 10, 1869. Return to reading

      22. John Rees was an associate of J. Mather Jones and James A. Whitaker in the sale of land in the Arvonia vicinity. Both the 1870 federal census (p. 10) and the 1875 state census for Arvonia township (p. 1) in Osage county (archives department, KSHS) listed him as a land agent. Born near Conway, Wales, December 21, 1822, he emigrated to the United States in 1842 and moved to Arvonia in 1869. Return to reading

      23. According to the Topeka Commonwealth, May 25, 1870, Jones and Whitaker had purchased 80,000 acres of land in Osage county. A much different report, however, was published by the Burlingame Osage Chronicle, May 29, 1869: ". . . Messrs. Jones & Whitaker are preparing to do a much larger business with the view of disposing to actual settlers the large tract of land which Mr. J. Mather Jones has the exclusive right to sell, and which are known as the lands of R. S. Stevens, and Northup & Chick. Besides the above lands Messrs. Jones & Whitaker have purchased since in this county, about eight thousand acres of choice lands from Messrs. Seyfert, McManns [sic] & Co., of Reading, Pennsylvania, which secures to them the exclusive control of nearly all the lands for nine miles north, nine miles east, five miles south and five miles west of the point selected for their town. . . ." Return to reading

      24. The 1870 federal census for Arvonia township, p. 15, listed Thomas Grijeffyild (?) Jones as a 38-year-old preacher. He had a wife, Rebecca, and four daughters. "Tafalaw" was Jones's bardic name. It was customary for poets and other serious writers to assume a pen name when they submitted their works to eisteddfods and other literary competitions. Return to reading

      25. The Sac and Fox Indians left Osage county for their new reservation in the Indian territory in November, 1869, and thus were gone by the time this book was published. -- Burlingame Osage Chronicle, November 6, 1869. Return to reading

      26. A cornerstone was laid for a college building in Arvonia, but construction of it was never completed. -- Evans, "Arvonia," p. 2. Return to reading

      27. According to the 1875 state census for Arvonia township, pp. 5, 14, Owen Jones was a 61-year-old farmer who was a native of Wales, but who had come to Kansas from New York. Return to reading

      28. The 1870 federal census for Arvonia township listed 26 farmers and four farm laborers who were natives of Wales. Elsewhere in Osage county there were five additional Welsh farmers. Return to reading

      29. Of the 594 people living in Arvonia township in 1870, 203 were born in Wales, according to the 1870 federal census. In addition, there were a number of children born in the United States in the families of the Welsh immigrants. Return to reading

      30. See the Burlingame Osage Chronicle, April 2, 16, 1870, for an interesting exchange of letters concerning the ecumenical spirit manifested in this Union church and the merits of sectarianism. Return to reading

      31. Rev. William Thomas was 53 years old when the 1870 federal census for Arvonia township (p. 8) was taken. He was married to a woman named Margaret, but had no children living at home. Return to reading

      32. This probably was a reference to Rev. John Barrows, a graduate of Yale College whose father was president of Olivet College in Michigan. On September 11, 1869, the Burlingame Osage Chronicle mentioned him as an example of the "substantial men" who recently had purchased property in and near Arvonia. Return to reading

      33. The cornerstone for this Welsh Union church building was laid in November, 1869. The plans at that time called for a structure made of limestone 65 by 45 feet with a 70-foot spire, seating 500 people, and costing an estimated $8,000. -- Burlingame Osage Chronicle, December 4, 1869. Return to reading

      34. No one with this name was listed in the 1870 federal census for Arvonia township, but this perhaps was the writer's bardic name. Return to reading

      35. Daniel W. Williams was a 38-year-old farmer with a wife named Margaret and one son according to the 1870 federal census for Arvonia township, p. 15. Return to reading

      36. The 1870 federal census for Arvonia township listed no one named D. Lloyd Davies, but there were two shoemakers named David L. Davis and Davis L. Davis, a brick mason and a laborer both named David Davis, and a farmer named Daniel Davis, any one of whom could have been this writer. Return to reading

      37. This could have been a 21-year-old farmer, a 27-year-old carpenter, or a 35-year-old lumber dealer, all of whom were named John Thomas and lived in Arvonia township when the 1870 federal census was taken (pp. 5, 9, and 12). Return to reading

      38. James W. Rice was a cabinet maker, age 31 with a wife named Lydia and no children, according to the 1870 federal census for Arvonia township, p. 11. Return to reading

      39. Andreas and Cutler, History of the State of Kansas, p. 869, indicates that Reading was established during the summer of 1870 by James Fagan, a representative of the leading land owner in the area (see footnote 45), in cooperation with T. J. Peter and M. S. Sargent, who were associated with the Santa Fe railroad. Return to reading

      40. It is not clear what he means here, since no trains ever reached the town of Arvonia. For a while, however, the Santa Fe railroad did have a stopping point known as Arvonia Station about four to five miles northwest of the town of Arvonia. -- See "Dead Towns File," KSHS. Return to reading

      41. The 1870 federal census apparently was taken before the town of Reading was established. Only 20 of the 348 residents of Reading township in 1875 were natives of Wales according to the 1875 state census for Lyon county. All of them were members of farm families. Return to reading

      42. John McManus was a railroad contractor who helped construct the Philadelphia and Reading railroad in the early 1840's. Gates, Fifty Million Acres, p. 147, indicates that McManus was one of the five individuals or groups of speculators who acquired large amounts of Sac and Fox lands ceded in the treaty of 1860 (see footnotes 16 and 23), allegedly by getting inside information about other sealed bids and in some cases by using dummy bidders. Return to reading

      43. On May 15, 1869, the Burlingame Osage Chronicle reprinted an item from the Lawrence Journal which expressed the view that McManus was offering "a very fair and equitable arrangement" in the sale of his land, thus promoting rapid settlement of the area, and that "the speculator in this instance was not as grasping and extortionate as they are sometimes represented to be." One settler had paid McManus $4.00 per acre for 120 acres of "excellent prairie" and 40 acres of "fine timber" which he thought could be resold easily for $10.00 per acre. Return to reading

      44. The Santa Fe railroad reached Burlingame in September, 1869. -- Osage Chronicle, September 18, 1869. At the time the 1870 federal census for Osage county was taken the population of the town was 662. Return to reading

      45. The 1870 federal census for Osage county listed only one native of Wales in the city of Burlingame (p. 12) and three in Burlingame township outside the city limits (pp. 4-10). Return to reading

      46. Ridgeway township, in which Carbondale is located, had 27 Welsh coal miners when the 1870 federal census for Osage county was taken. There also were one farm laborer, two railroad workers, four housewives, and one child living in the township who were natives of Wales. Return to reading

      47. The 1870 federal census for Shawnee county lists only eight natives of Wales in the city of Topeka. The three men were "laborers," while two women were housekeepers and two were waitresses in a hotel. The eighth was a child. Return to reading

      48. The 1870 federal census for Wakarusa township in Douglas county (p. 25) indicates that E. E. Lewis was a 51-year-old native of New York with a wife named Cecilia C. and four children. By the time the 1875 state census was taken, he perhaps had died because his family is listed without him in the schedule for Wakarusa township (p. 56). The Kansas Real Estate Advocate probably was a rather short-lived publication containing largely advertising and immigration propaganda. Return to reading

      49. It hardly seems accurate to say that Lawrence "was burned" in 1856, since only the home of Charles Robinson, the Free State Hotel, and to some degree the offices of two newspapers were destroyed. -- Samuel A. Johnson, The Battle Cry of Freedom: The New England Emigrant Aid Company in the Kansas Crusade (Lawrence, University of Kansas Press, 1954), pp. 158-160. Return to reading

      50. This perhaps was the same Rev. George Lewis who settled in Lyon county in 1856 -- see footnote 8. Return to reading

      51. The 1870 federal census for Douglas county listed 12 people who were born in Wales. Return to reading

      52. This probably is a reference to the Kansas Pacific line between Lawrence and Leavenworth. It was labeled the "Leavenworth Branch" and the "Leavenworth & Lawrence Branch" on several maps published in 1871. -- Sectional Map of Kansas (Chicago, Rufus Blandchard 1871); Sectional Map of Kansas (Chicago, George F. Cram & Company, 1871). Return to reading

      53. The 1870 federal census listed three Welsh coal miners in Leavenworth county. There also were a retail merchant, a saddler, a soldier, two railroad workers, three housekeepers, and one child who were natives of Wales. Return to reading

      54. Bevier was a town in Macon county in north-central Missouri which had 833 residents in 1872. Return to reading

      55. Efforts to identify this individual have not been successful unless he was the clerk named David Williams in Merwin's Leavenworth City Directory for 1870-71 . . . (Leavenworth, Herman Merwin, Publisher, 1870), p. 141. Return to reading

      56. The author was using an outdated map of Nebraska. Jones and Jefferson counties were consolidated as Jefferson county in 1867. Then in 1871 what had been Jefferson county before 1867 was separated and named Thayer county, while what once had been Jones county remained Jefferson county. -- A. T. Andreas, History of the State of Nebraska . . . (Chicago, The Western Historical Company, A. T. Andreas, Proprietor, 1882; reprinted by Unigraphic, Inc., Evansville, Ind., 1975), p. 990. Return to reading

      57. It does not appear that the plan was implemented. In the rather comprehensive county histories in his History of the State of Nebraska, pp. 990-1001, 1440-1455, A. T. Andreas mentions no Welsh settlements in Jefferson or Thayer counties, even though he does identify other immigrant groups in the area. Return to reading

      58. Promoters of the Central branch did hope to extend it northwestward from Waterville, Kan., to Fort Kearney, Neb., but they were unable to carry out their plan. -- George L. Anderson, "Atchison and the Central Branch Country, 1865-1874," KHQ, v. 28 (Spring, 1962), pp. 4, 12-13. Return to reading

      59. The author meant, of course, that Topeka is located east of Manhattan and Junction City is to the west. Return to reading

      60. Nathaniel A. Adams and L. R. Elliott were partners in the sale of real estate during the late 1860's and the early 1870's, but both were involved in many other activities. Both were born in 1835 in the state of New York where they spent the early years of their lives. Adams settled on a farm near Manhattan in 1860; Elliott came to Manhattan in 1868 and became a newspaper publisher and land agent. Return to reading

      61. For a discussion of the activities of this firm, see Thelma Jean Curl, "The Promotional Efforts of the Kansas Pacific and Santa Fe to Settle Kansas" (unpublished M. A. thesis University of Kansas, 1960), pp. 40-52. Return to reading

      62. No biographical information about Rev. Rhys Gwesyn Jones could be found, except that he had emigrated from Wales in 1867 and was pastor of the Welsh Congregational Church in Utica, New York. -- Henry Davies to the editor January 2, 1871 in Alan Conway, ed., The Welsh in America: Letters From the Immigrants (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1961), p. 134. Jones and his associates had created the Welsh Land and Emigration Association (or Society) of America and were seeking to establish a colony in Kansas primarily because many Welshmen recently had been evicted from their farms by Tory landlords after voting for liberal candidates in parliamentary elections. Return to reading

      63. There is a town named Bala in the county of Merioneth in northern Wales. Powys (or Powis) was a Welsh principality for many years prior to 1283 and the name subsequently was associated with various titles of nobility. Montgomeryshire apparently was the heart of the medieval principality of Powys. -- See The Encyclopaedia Britannica (14th edition, New York, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1929), v. 18, p. 395. The name of the town in Riley county soon was shortened from Y Bala yn Powys to simply Bala. Return to reading

      64. Actually it was much less than 18 months. By the time the 1870 federal census was taken on July 8, 1870, the settlement had been established and 23 natives of Wales had arrived at the scene. Return to reading

      65. This sentence seems to suggest that the author was involved in the effort to establish this colony in Riley county. On the other hand, Thomas perhaps meant that he and his associated from Mahanoy City had been offered the same tract of land later acquired by the Welsh Land and Emigration Society. Return to reading

      66. It is doubtful that very much land in the Bala vicinity still could be obtained under the homestead or preemption acts in 1872 when Thomas's book was published. In a letter written by Henry Davies from Bala on February 6, 1872, he noted that "the free land is almost wholly taken up and I do not know of any around here which is not a long way from the town." -- Conway, The Welsh in America, p. 139. Return to reading

      67. One encounters various versions of this name, but the most common seems to be the Welsh Land and Emigration Society of America. Return to reading

      68. This was not an accurate prediction. The town of Bala remained a very small community. Twice it was crippled by tornadoes, in 1882 and 1903. By 1910 there were only 100 residents. -- Manhattan Mercury-Chronicle, September 26, 1948, "Riley County Clippings," v. 3, p. 174, KSHS. Return to reading

      69. Only one of these predictions proved valid in later years. No towns were established in Township 8, Range 6, although in 1881 Leonardville was started several miles to the west in Township 8, Range 5; and the county seat remained in Manhattan. The narrow gauge Kansas Central railroad was constructed from Leavenworth westward through this part of Riley county but its line was a number of miles north of Bala. Branch lines of the Central branch railroad were extended westward from Waterville, but not southward across Riley county. Return to reading

      70. This probably was Rowland Davies, who established a general store in Bala in 1870 and became the town's first postmaster in 1871. -- First Biennial Report of the State Board of Agriculture to the Legislature of the State of Kansas, for the Years 1877-8, . . . (1st edition; Topeka, 1878), p. 386. The 1875 state census for Riley county (Bala township, p. 3) indicates that Davies was 31 years old, that he had a wife and three children, and that he had come to Kansas from Virginia, where his wife and two of his children were born. Return to reading

      71. Finding adequate water apparently was a matter of considerable concern for the early settlers of Bala. In a letter to the editor of the Manhattan Standard dated June 28 and published July 9, 1870, J. H. Jenkins reported that a man from Pennsylvania was bringing a drill to bore wells for the Welsh colony. In a similar letter written on July 27 and published in the Standard on July 30,1870, Jenkins said that during the previous month the Bala townsite had been moved one and a half miles westward to Timber creek where there were "excellent springs," and he claimed that "in a few days our heavy drill will supply each one with abundance of well water." Return to reading

      72. In a letter to the editor of the Manhattan Standard dated September 13 and published September 23, 1870 "Min Hafren" reported that the Powys Coal Company soon would be able to supply Manhattan and other towns with fuel, but the "good coal vein" which had been found near Bala apparently did not prove to be as valuable as anticipated. Return to reading

      73. Many of these individuals listed in this paragraph can be found in the 1870 federal census and the 1875 state census for Riley county. Note, however, that the name of the township in which Bala was located was changed from Milford to Bala in 1872. Return to reading

      74. Rev. Henry Davies was 35 years old and had a wife, Catherine, and three children when the 1875 state census for Riley County (Bala township, p. 3) was taken. Conway, The Welsh in America, pp. 134-139, contains three letters written by Davies in 1871 and 1872 concerning the Bala settlement. Return to reading

      75. The name of this county was changed from Shirley to Cloud in 1867. -- Helen G. Gill "The Establishment of Counties in Kansas," Kansas Historical Collections, v. 8 (1903-1904), p. 456. Return to reading

      76. He meant that one could take the Santa Fe from Arvonia Station, Reading, or Burlingame northeastward to Topeka and then the Kansas Pacific westward from Topeka to Manhattan, or that one could take the Santa Fe southwestward to Emporia and then the Katy northwestward from Emporia to Junction City. -- See footnote 3. No railroad line reached Bala or Arvonia at this time. Return to reading

      77. John (or James?) Hughes Jenkins was born in Wales, November 6, 1840. He emigrated to the United States in 1868 and to Kansas in 1869 where he joined the Welsh Community at Arvonia. He visited Riley county with Rev. Rhys Gwesyn Jones in March, 1870, and by July of that year he was at Bala serving as local agent for the Welsh Land and Emigration Society. At various times he served as a notary public, sold insurance, and operated drug stores and banks in both Bala and nearby Leonardville. -- Portrait and Biographical Album, pp. 1230-1231; 1870 federal census, Riley county, Milford township, p. 9; Manhattan Mercury-Chronicle, September 26, 1948, "Riley County Clippings," v.3, p. 174; Andreas and Cutler, History of the State of Kansas, p. 1311. Return to reading

      78. The Topeka Commonwealth reported on June 25, 1871, that Bangor was being established by a Welsh colony, and the nearby Fredericktown post office was moved there on September 25, 1871. It does not appear, however, that a very large Welsh settlement developed at Bangor. The 1875 state census for Liberty township (pp. 9-10) in Greenwood county records only eight natives of Wales. All were members of five families involved in farming, although one man indicated that he also was a stone mason. Bangor was a "small village" in 1878 with about 75 residents. By 1882, according to Andreas and Cutler, all of the buildings in the town had been moved away, but in 1886, when the new community of Gridley was established several miles to the north, there still was a Bangor post office, which was moved to Gridley. -- Kansas State Gazetteer and Business Directory . . . 1878 v. 1 (Detroit, R. L. Polk & Co., and A. C. Danser, 1878), p.113; Junction City Union, July 24, 1886 "Dead Towns File," KSHS; "Kansas Post Offices File," KSHS. Return to reading

      79. See footnote 6. The author probably meant William B. Jones, rather than William P. Jones. In 1871 William B. Jones and his partners were advertising land for sale in seven counties, including Coffey. -- Emporia News, May 12, 1871. Return to reading

      80. No railroad reached the Bangor vicinity until 1886, when Gridley was established on the Santa Fe line constructed southwestward from Burlington. -- Burlington Democrat, June 12, 1907, "Coffey County Clippings," v. 1, p. 200. Return to reading

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