Lawrence, Kansas, lies on both banks of the Kansas River, locally known as the Kaw. As is true in many similar cases, each part has its own distinctive character. This short work outlines the early history of North Lawrence, still a distinctive and dynamic community within the city of Lawrence, as well as a force in its political struggles.

We thank the Lawrence Public Library and its director for graciously making available the original document from which this electronic copy was scanned, and the members of the Early Kansas Imprint Scanning group for its preparation

Installed 7 August 1995
Lynn H. Nelson


THE SITE LATER OCCUPIED by the city of North Lawrence was embraced in the lands reserved for the Delaware Indians by a treaty dated September 24, 1829. From that time until 1854 these lands were in the Indian Country or Nebraska Territory. Although technically, Kansas was an Indian Reservation prior to 1854, a number of white settlements or villages (with a few run-away slaves from the South) existed even prior to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill on May 13, 1854 which opened the state to white settlers.

No doubt, the settlement in North Lawrence was one of those visited by Dr. Charles Robinson and Charles H. Branscomb who were sent out as scouts of the New England Emigrant Aid Society to select its western outpost. The purpose of the Society was to strengthen uncommitted states and territories so that they would remain in, and give aid to the Union in the event of civil war.

Although squatter settlements had existed for several years, settlers started staking out their claims April 13, 1854 pending the passage of the Kansas- Nebraska Bill a month later. On May 26, 1854 John Baldwin and Clarke Stearns, Missourians, staked out claims on what later was to become the Townsite of Lawrence. Their claims were held to be valid after the arrival of the first party of the New England Emigrant Aid Society on August 1, 1854.

During the following year Mr. Baldwin obtained a charter to operate a flatboat ferry (drawn by rope) across the river opposite Lawrence and built a long log building for his business and dwelling on the north bank of the river. This building was located at the foot of the present North Third Street. C. W. Babcock, who later served as Mayor of Lawrence was in partnership with Mr. Baldwin for two years.

Practically all supplies for the townsite of Lawrence came in by wagon train over a long dusty route from Leavenworth. They forded the river or crossed by ferry opposite Lawrence. The comparative absence of timber south of the river and its abundance north of the river caused the early settlers of Lawrence to cross the river for building materials with which the first permanent structures were constructed.

Charles Bruce came to North Lawrence from Niles, Michigan, in 1856. He opened a saw mill and wholesale lumber business on the northeast corner of North Third and Locust Streets on the present site of the Derby Grain Company. A few years later his operations were moved to the west side of North Sixth Street between Elm and Walnut Streets. This later location proved to be desirable as it made available a switch track of the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railway which crossed the river over a railroad bridge at this

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point. Mr. Bruce built his home in 1862 about one hundred feet west of the corner of Elm and North Seventh Streets on the north side of Elm Street. The house is still occupied and is known as the McCann property.

This was only a modest beginning of a distinguished name in the hardwood lumber business. Charles Bruce and Son opened a yard in the 600 Block on the west side of Massachusetts Street. A few years later it expanded its operations to include the manufacture of hardwood flooring in Kansas City, and shortly afterwards moved its headquarters to Memphis, Tenn. to become the largest dealer in hardwood lumber in the country. For many years it has operated under the name of E. L. Bruce Company, and is managed by two grandsons of the original founder, Charles Bruce.

A number of the members of the parties of the New England Emigrant Aid Society settled in North Lawrence, while other newcomers merely selected the settlement north of the river rather than the townsite of Lawrence for their residence and/or business. A number of the prosperous farms around North Lawrence trace their origins to settlement in the 1850's.

Transportation between the two towns had been accomplished by ferry-boat which had operated since 1854. However, it seems that the river at that time presented no real problem in crossing as many of the early residents of North Lawrence forded the river with their teams and wagons. In winter, they often drove across the frozen stream on the ice.

David Miller came to North Lawrence from Indiana prior to 1860 and purchased farm lands near Mud Creek. They were living on their farm during the Quantrill raid of Lawrence. One of Mr. Miller's daughters was Maria Elizabeth (Miller) Tyson. Among the first settlers north of the river were: John Morehead, a Kentuckian, who opened the first traders' store; Dr. G. J. Tallman, from Ohio; C. F. Saum, a carpenter from Ohio; Thomas McCage, a merchant from New York; O. H. Mitchell, a carpenter; M. H. Berry, who operated a bowling alley; Isaac Tibbets, a grocer; W. H. H. Whitney; T. S. Murray; Peter Laptad, and others.

In a treaty between the United States and the Delaware Indians, ratified on August 22, 1860, the government granted to Sarcoxie, Chief of the Turtle Band, approximately 320 acres including the greater part of the site of North Lawrence. All of this land was transferred to Charles Robinson, Robert S. Stevens, and William A. Simpson by Sarcoxie and War-me-mar-o-qua, his wife, on November 2, 1861. Almost immediately afterwards, the tract was broken up by the transfer of a strip of land to the Eastern Division of the Kansas Pacific Railroad Company, and other smaller sales to settlers who had moved to the community.

The first Post Office was established in 1862 under the name of "Jefferson." The first Postmaster

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was Charles F. Saum. The name "Jefferson" probably came from the fact that the community at that time was located in Jefferson County. The postoffice building in 1865 was located at the north end of the then steel truss bridge on the east side of Bridge Street. That location at the present time is in the river channel, about the middle and somewhat to the east of the present concrete bridge.

As was true of similar struggling communities, transportation to and from shopping centers was quite a problem for the people of North Lawrence in its early existence. Hence, the 1860's found the area copiously served by many small shops and stores to meet the more immediate needs of the residents. The principal business streets were Bridge Street and Locust Street. The largest store was Dicker's on the corner of Locust and North Seventh Streets. Here you could buy almost anything from groceries to harness. Hislop's Grocery was on the southeast corner of North Fifth and Lyons Streets. Wiedman's Grocery was located at Lake Street and North Seventh Street. O. M. Searles operated his barber shop on Bridge Street. A. L. Carey operated a grocery store on Bridge Street, across the street from the present location of the Union Pacific Freight Depot. John Shields operated a meat market on the northeast corner of Locust and North Seventh Streets. Lindley's Drug Store was located on the southeast corner of Locust and North Fifth Streets. "First and last Chance" was on the east side of North Seventh Street at the

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city limits. While some of these businesses were established in the 70's and 80's, most were in operation during the early sixties.

The Townsite of Lawrence appeared to be one of the principal targets of Southern sympathizers, perhaps primarily because it originally was organized to bolster the chances of Kansas remaining a free state in the event of civil war which already was on the horizon. Hence, all of the vengeance was heaped upon it, while North Lawrence escaped entirely the disastrous effects of both the raid by Sheriff Jones in 1856 and Quantrill's raid of August 21, 1863. Although members of Quantrill's party did ford the river to North Lawrence to forage food and fresh horses, so far as is known, no buildings were burned and no lives were lost. On the contrary, the entire business section and many of the residences of Lawrence were burned to the ground. About lS0 lost their lives, and the Townsite was left prostrate.

On September 6, 1863, the Rev. William Aiken Starrett was called from the vicinity of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to become pastor of the old school of the Presbyterian Church at Lawrence. He occupied the pulpit until 1870. During the residence of Rev. Starrett he was a member of the Board of Regents of the University, and also later served as Editor of the Lawrence Daily Journal. Although Rev. Starrett's major interest was religion, he also was adept as a builder. He supervised the construction of the First Presbyterian

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Church in 1866 and built several of the first buildings of the Kansas University. His father and his grandfather had been contractors around Pittsburgh, and there seemed to be a strong urge to follow in their footsteps. In 1865 he built a large stone home in North Lawrence on a tract of twenty acres of walnut timber. (When the city was plotted, this became known as the "Walnut Park Addition.") The irregular sand stones were quarried near Mud Creek and each stone was charted and numbered for the convenience of the stone masons before construction began. The two-story stone house consisted of fourteen rooms with full basement, slate roof, copper guttering, and other features which put the structure in a class by itself at that time. The house was torn down in the late 1940's and a part of the stone was used in the construction of another residence on the northeast corner of Lyons and North Fourth Streets.

It was in these surroundings that the Starrett children (consisting of five boys and two girls) spent their childhood. The five sons--Theodore, Paul, Ralph, Goldwin, and William--were destined to make history as architects and builders. The four older boys attended old Woodlawn School on the northwest corner of North Fourth and Perry Streets.

In 1880 the Starrett family moved to a suburb of Chicago and the "Castle" was sold to Dr. W. S. Bunn who converted it into a hospital--perhaps the first in Lawrence. He operated the hospital and

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served as family physician to many of the early citizens of North Lawrence.

Early in 1864 two more of the first party of the New England Emigrant Aid Society moved from Lawrence to large farms located about three miles northeast of North Lawrence These were Dr. Robinson (former Governor) and John F. Morgan.

Dr. Robinson had been the first President of the Lawrence Association. He also was a member of the first Board of Regents of Kansas University in which capacity he served until his death on August 17, 1894. He served in the Kansas Legislature in 1874 and in 1876.

After he had moved to his farm (his farm home still remains standing) he managed a large acreage of farm land, practiced medicine in Lawrence, and continued to keep an active interest in the affairs of Lawrence and especially the University. Mrs. ( Sarah T. ) Robinson lived in the farm home, across the road from the Oak Ridge School, until her death in 1911.

In September 20, 1863 the telegraph line of the Kansas Pacific was completed to North Lawrence.

Construction of the first bridge across the river was begun in the spring of 1863 by a Chicago concern and was completed in December of that year. It consisted of four 150-foot Howe Truss spans, thirty feet above low water mark. Upon its completion, it was opened as a toll bridge and operated by C. W. Babcock and his brother-in-law, a man by the name of Gillet. The operation of the flat

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boat ferry was discontinued shortly thereafter by competition.

The Kansas Pacific during 1863 began laying its line from Wyandotte (Kansas City) to North Lawrence, and this was completed on November 26, 1864. An excursion train came from Wyandotte on November 28 and townsite companies were organized along the line. The railroad company immediately began building suitable quarters for freight and passenger purposes, erecting a substantial one-story building, 100' x 26', directly opposite the intersection of Locust and North Fifth Streets on the present right-of-way of the Union Pacific. There were open platforms on the east and west ends of this building. The Building proper housed the offices of the railroad officials, the passenger depot, and the freight depot. George Noble was superintendent of the railroad; W. H. Bancroft, trainmaster; W. D. Wetherell, agent. Regular train service began on December 19, 1864.

The Union Pacific passenger depot was moved to its present stone building in 1889.

The completion of the railroad brought in new residents, which necessitated the construction of homes and business buildings. Most of these buildings which were erected nearly 100 years ago have since been discarded, although their locations will be remembered by some of the older settlers.

Although the Kaw Valley Town Company did not make application for charter until about three years later, it is quite probable that the name of

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the town was changed from Jefferson to North Lawrence as a Board of Trustees and town officers were elected at this time. The following were elected: G. J. Tallman, H. H. Howard, T. McCage, M. H. Berry, James Franklin, and A. C. Miller. The legislature in 1865 provided for forming Grant Township out of the southwest corner of Sarcoxie Township, and made the new Township (which included the town of "Jefferson") a part of Douglas County. Sponsorship of this geographical change came from the Townsite of Lawrence as it was anxious to become the County Seat of Douglas County. Its chances for realizing its ambition were improved by giving it a more centralized position in the County.

A flour and feed mill was located on the southwest corner of North Third and Perry Streets. Across the street on the northwest corner there was a coal yard. Both of these businesses were served by a switch-track from the Union Pacific Railroad. The Petrie house, a stone building on the north side of Lincoln Street between North Second and North Third Streets, was built in 1865. The first well in North Lawrence was located immediately east of this house. Theretofore, water for all purposes had been obtained from the river.

The Bowersock Building on the northwest corner of Locust and North Second Streets was built either in 1865 or the following year and still remains standing. A building a few hundred feet northeast of the

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present site of the Union Pacific passenger depot housed the jail and court room. H. H. Howard was elected City Attorney and acted as Judge. Directly north of the jail on the north side of Perry Street a small Catholic Church had been erected. Services were not held regularly.

The Pilgrim Congregational Church was established in 1865 and the church and parsonage erected on the northwest corner of Elm and North Third Streets. The church has been replaced by another structure, but the parsonage is still standing and occupied. It is located on the north side of Elm Street about 100 feet west of the corner.

The Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church was organized by Rev. Edmund McKee in 1865 although construction of the building did not begin until May, 1866. The first board of trustees of the church was elected May 28, 1866 and was composed of the following: Jesse Brockway, President; Edmund McKee, Secretary; Charles F. Saum, Oliver H. Mitchell, John C. Bardell, John H. Saunders, Robert Critchfield and Alfred Lawson.

Chief Sarcoxie and his family lived on the hill north of the Lawson station at Mud Creek. His two daughters attended the old Woodlawn School at North Fourth and Perry Streets. The site of his home was almost identical with the present location of the house now standing. Lewis Weingartner operated a bakery on the southeast corner of Locust and North Second Streets. The Snow Bakery was located at the corner

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of North Second and Walnut Streets (this location is now in the river). A saloon was operated by Mr. Fritz directly north of the present site of the Union Pacific freight depot.

Orlando Darling operated a saw mill and also a grist mill at the foot of North Fourth Street, between Walnut and Mill Streets.

A general store was located on the east side of North Fourth Street about two hundred feet south of its intersection with Elm Street. A large elm tree is still standing which was on the north side of this store.

Across the street south from the Kansas Pacific Station stood the Crandall House, the leading hotel. This was located in what is now known as the Dauberman Building. Immediately west of this building Henry Snyder conducted a saloon and pool hall.

The Snyder residence, which still stands at the northwest corner of North Fifth and Walnut Streets (it was numbered "101 Pennsylvania Street") was built prior to 1870. Soon after its construction it was converted from a residence into a semi-resort hotel operating under the name of "Edlewilde," and was so used for more than 30 years until purchased by A. N. Dunakin, a North Lawrence grocer.

The north-south bound streets corresponded generally with those in Lawrence (south of the Kaw River). The streets east of Vermont Street, were named for some of the original thirteen colonies, viz. Kentucky, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hamp

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shire, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maine, etc. West of Bridge Street the north-south bound streets were: Massachusetts, Vermont, Kentucky, and Front or River Street. Some sixty years later, Bridge Street was renamed "North Second Street"; Rhode Island Street became North Third Street; New York Street became North Fourth Street; Pennsylvania Street became North Fifth Street, etc. The east-west bound streets still bear their original names; but prior to the 1903 flood most of them extended from the east city limits to the west city limits on Front Street.

Public Schools were established almost immediately after the first settlers came to North Lawrence. However, funds were not available for building public buildings and for perhaps ten years they were held in any public place which would accommodate them -- churches, halls, and even some residences. One of the first schools was located on the south side of Locust Street between North Third and North Fourth Streets. Mrs. Laptad taught the primary grades, and Miss Bartlet, the upper classes. There was another school on the northwest corner of North Eighth and Maple Streets; and still another (colored) school on the northwest corner of North Fifth and Elm Streets. Probably there were several other locations where school was held. Obviously there was no segregation of races in the schools. Although the preponderance of the population was white, Delaware Indians from the Delaware Reservation north of the town gradually drifted into the

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settlement as well as a few former slaves who had escaped from the South.

Before 1868 these widely scattered locations were accommodating more than 250 pupils. During the year the old Woodlawn School on the northeast corner of Perry and North Fourth Streets was built as the First Ward School. Old Lincoln School was built on the northeast corner of Lincoln and North Seventh Streets as the Second Ward School. School continued to be held in the second story of the Council House on the southwest corner of Locust and North Sixth Streets, and also continued in several other locations. Obviously, the school population of North Lawrence; as well as the total population continued to grow rapidly. Mr. Frank P. Smith who served as superintendent of the City Schools about twenty years later reported that the consolidation of North Lawrence with Lawrence schools had added nearly one thousand school children to the school system and two school buildings. The school population of the two cities at that time evidently was about the same as the report of the Board of Education of Lawrence in 1867 showed an enrollment in the Lawrence schools during that year of 889 pupils.

The first newspaper to be printed was the North Lawrence Courier, the initial edition of which appeared on July 28, 1866. Mr. J. S. Boughton was editor. A short time later the name of the paper was changed to Kaw Valley Courier. Mr. H. C. Whitney purchased the paper September 14, 1876

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and changed its name to Clarion. The paper again was sold and became the property of Judge H. H. Howard under the name of North Lawrence Journal. Another paper, North Lawrence Leader, began publication in 1884 and was discontinued the year following.

In 1867 the George Moser family from Illinois forded the Kaw River and settled on a farm at Reno about nine miles northeast of Lawrence. They consolidated three deserted Indian wigwams to make their farm home. One of the daughters, Mary, later became the wife of William Nadelhoffer, Lawrence contractor and builder. The Kaw Valley Town Company applied for a Charter for North Lawrence on June 7, 1867. This application was not acted upon, probably because there was a bill before the legislature, which if passed, would automatically incorporate then existing towns. This bill was passed by the legislature and North Lawrence became a city of the second class. The population was about twenty-five hundred. At its first city election North Lawrence chose the following officers: G. J. Tallman, Mayor; N. Hoystradt, Clerk; A. R. Smith, Treasurer; Thomas Beasely, Marshal; and H. H. Howard, Police Judge. The city was divided into two wards, First and Second, corresponding to the present Fifth and Sixth Wards, respectively. Three councilmen were elected from each ward.

A petition was presented to the City Council of

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Lawrence on June 11, 1867, signed by North Lawrence citizens, asking that North Lawrence be annexed to the City of Lawrence. This petition was signed by U. Biggs, C. Bruce, Orlando Darling, Samuel Tyson, Simpson Bros., Warren P. Biggs, Leroy Crandall, and others. A protest to the consolidation was presented to the Council on the evening of June 12, 1867, by another group of North Lawrence citizens on the grounds that Lawrence had no legal right to annex another municipality. This movement was led by Dr. G. J. Tallman, W. H. H. Whitney, Thos. S. Murray, Thomas S. Hawkins, Judge H. H. Howard, and others. However, the City Council passed an Ordinance (No. 77) purporting to annex North Lawrence to the City of Lawrence on the same evening. From subsequent events the ordinance was ineffective and the attempt to annex was unsuccessful.

Immediately after the incorporation of North Lawrence as a city, building began in earnest, and many of the buildings constructed during this period still remain standing. The present home of R. H. Rogers was built in 1867. The brick house on the west side of North Third Street close to the city limits was built. Thos. S. Murray built his home on the northeast corner of Lyons and North Third Streets. Judge H. H. Howard built a residence on the west side of North Third Street about two hundred feet north of the corner of Lyons and North Third Streets. The residence of A. J. Dickerson Locust Street, as well as his store building, were

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built during this period. The Melvin home on the southwest corner of North Seventh and Elm Streets was built. Undoubtedly, there are many other buildings which were erected during this period which are still standing.

The Pine family came to North Lawrence in 1868 and settled on a farm near Fall Leaf ( about six miles east of North Lawrence). As the family grew up, members moved to farms just outside of the north city limits.

The old Lincoln School on the northeast corner of North Seventh and Lincoln Streets was the first substantial school building to be erected. Shortly thereafter the old Woodlawn building was constructed. Both of these buildings were built in 1868. School opened that fall with about 250 pupils in the five schools according to Prof. Murray. The following year the enrollment had increased to nearly 500 scholars and in 1870 had almost doubled again.

The colored Baptist Church was built in the fall of 1865 at the corner of Lincoln and North Fourth Streets.

In November, 1869, all east-west bound streets-- Walnut, Elm, Locust, Maple, Perry, Lincoln, and Lyons Streets--were opened from the east city limits (North Ninth Street) to the bend of the river on the west. At that time, this included an area about four blocks west of North Second Street. Because of the fertility and friability of the soil in this and other areas of North Lawrence the town particu

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larly attracted people who were interested in gardening or horticulture.

In the fall of 1869 the jail and court room was removed from the location near the present Union Pacific passenger depot to the southwest corner of Locust and North Sixth Streets on which site a two story city hall or council house had been erected.

In 1869, James Walker built the Lindley Building on the southeast corner of Locust and North Fifth Streets. The post office was moved to this building and Mr. Walker became postmaster.

The Rose Hill Cemetery was laid out for the City of North Lawrence by Holland Wheeler, city engineer of Lawrence. This was located on the knoll on the north side of Lyons Street between North Eighth and North Ninth Streets. Monuments which had been erected over graves were visible in this location until recent years.

The Board of Education of the City for the year 1868-69 was composed of: J. L. Furber, President; R. M. Ridgeway, Vice-President; and W. Cartwright. H. E. Cole was Superintendent.

Valley Lodge No. 30, A. F. & A. M. was organized in North Lawrence and according to a news item in December, 1868, was in a flourishing condition. The following officers were elected: L. P. Mason, W. M.; A. Luptin, S. W.; F. Herrard, J. W.; L. F. Jackson, Treas.; and J. D. Fincher, Secretary.

The Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railway constructed a railroad bridge across the river in 1870. The line approached the river from the north

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side on the present North Sixth Street. Later with the permission of the Railway, foot paths were added to the sides of the bridge so that pedestrians might cross without going over the toll bridge. This was the first instance of free passage between the two cities. (The present branch line of Union Pacific Railroad from Lawrence to Leavenworth is a part of the original Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railway; while the part of the Railway which extended into Southern Kansas has become a part of the Santa Fe System.)

On March 17, 1870, the citizens of North Lawrence voted to consolidate with the City of Lawrence under a general act passed by the legislature providing for the consolidation of cities. Lawrence voters held an election on March 21, and also approved of the consolidation. A joint session of the two city councils was held at which W. Hadley was elected President and John S. Brown, Secretary. April 4, 1870, was set as an election day for new officials of the consolidated city.

The reorganization of the Board of Education of the consolidated city on May 2, 1870, showed the following members from North Lawrence: Fifth Ward (previously the First Ward in North Lawrence), J. L. Furber and J. F. Morgan; Sixth Ward (previously the Second Ward in North Lawrence), R. M. Ridgeway and W. W. Cartwright.

The City Council of the consolidated city on December 6, 1870 passed an ordinance (No. 138) whereby the City proposed to issue $100,000 of

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bonds, the proceeds of which was to be turned over to the Union Pacific Railway upon its furnishing evidence that it had expended that amount in the erection of general repair shops at Bismarck Grove in North Lawrence. The buildings were built as planned and a large crew of men was recruited for the repair work. During the succeeding ten years, many residences were built around Bismarck Grove and in the area between North Seventh and North Ninth Streets to house the families of employees of the repair shops. The shops were dismantled and moved to Armstrong Station, Kansas City, Kansas. Some of these residences are still occupied, but most of them, made vacant by the removal of the shops, deteriorated and over the years have been torn down.

Although North Lawrence had been served since its beginning by "hacks" and "omnibusses," its real boost in public transportation came with the mule cars to Bismarck Grove. These cars were fitted with flanged wheels and were drawn on small rails by teams of horses or mules_usually mules. The "line" operated from Bismarck Grove to Nineteenth Street on Massachusetts Street, from 1884 until 1903. The mule cars had served Bismarck Grove previously for the Kansas State Fairs and other state-wide events which were held there.

In May, 1881, Professor C. E. Leslie who conducted a school of music in Chicago, conceived the idea of a giant musical festival composed of auxiliary

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choruses from towns throughout the State, and of bringing them together in one mighty chorus as the Kansas State Musical Jubilee at Bismarck Grove in North Lawrence in August.

He, Mrs. Leslie and 28 assistants came to Kansas and started training these local choruses. The first chorus organized was at Salina with about 200 members. The party divided into groups, each group spending perhaps two weeks in a town in intense training, and selecting personnel by whom the group's training could be continued after they went on to the next town. In all, 73 chorus groups were organized from as many towns with about 10,000 persons taking part. From these 73 choruses more than six thousand singers (630 voices from the Lawrence chorus ) arrived at Bismarck Grove on August 17, 1881 for first rehearsal. As the group arrived, a state-wide prohibition camp meeting was just closing.

The combined chorus gave four concerts, each of about twenty numbers on August 18 and August 19. Seven guest stars from Chicago also were on the program. The performance was held in a large pavilion which did not accommodate the crowd. Two acres of seats were set up in the walnut grove and yet some of the attendance remained standing.

The Union Pacific Railroad ran special excursion trains. Others arrived in buggies, carriages, lumber wagons and on foot. The Kansas City Times estimated the attendance at 20,000 although stated that other estimates were much higher.

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As Kansas State Fairs already were being held at Bismarck Grove, equipment, facilities and concessions of all kinds were available on the grounds to take care of the huge crowd.

Several Kansas towns have choruses which began with the visits of the Leslie group in 1881. Although Lindsborg's Bethany Oratoria Society may have found its inspiration elsewhere, it was organized by the Reverend and Mrs. Carl A. Swenson in the same year that the Kansas State Musical Jubilee was held at Bismarck Grove.

Perhaps the last of the principal churches to be built before the turn of the century was the North Lawrence Christian Church at Elm and North Seventh Streets in 1894. Mrs. Sarah T. Robinson ( wife of the first governor of Kansas ) was the principal donor.

State Fairs, sponsored by the Union Pacific Railway, and conducted under the direction of the Western National Fair Association began in 1881. The mule car line was extended to Bismarck Grove. Elaborate preparations were made, including the erection of large buildings in the Grove and the establishing of a race course east of the large building which is now used as a barn. These fairs were well attended by persons from over Kansas and surrounding states. The exhibition buildings and displays have never been excelled by any fairs held within the state.

Not only were the annual fairs held here, but Bismarck Grove became a focal point and was used

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state-wide for large outdoor gatherings including carnivals, political and religious groups, for the succeeding twenty years. A part of the Grove was utilized as a game preserve with buffalo, deer, antelope, elk, and other native animals.

Although Sarcoxie, the Delaware chief, asserted that in 1844 he had paddled his canoe from the bluffs in the Delaware Reservation to Blue Mound, his statement is not supported by the government records relating to the flood of that year. However, there is no record of any overflow or flooding in North Lawrence or adjacent lands from 1844 until after the close of the century.

Evidently the early 1900's ushered in a wet cycle which persisted for nearly fifteen years. There were minor overflows in the lowlands in 1901 and 1902 and then in 1903 came the big flood which should be considered the first major catastrophe of the Kaw Valley.

Before the 1903 flood, north of Locust Street, North Lawrence included four blocks west of what is now North Second Street. Only a little more than one block was left. The river channel was about one-half of its present width. The flood carried away and left as a part of the river basin all of the east-west bound streets south of Locust Street and west of North Second Street. It also widened the channel east of the present bridge by adding the area occupied by Mill, Walnut, and Ash Streets from the bridge as far east as North Fifth Street. Thus, approximately one-third of North Lawrence

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was added to the channel of the Kaw River by the disastrous flood of 1903.

Although floods of lesser proportions than the big flood occurred in 1904, l905, 1908, 1910, 1912, and l915, the property damage was relatively minor compared to the flood of 1903. However, their frequent recurrence was of sufficient significance and inconvenience to retard the development of that part of the City.

Present generations can little appreciate the radical changes and the devastating effects of two major catastrophies upon this part of the City in 1903 and again in l95l. But with the threat of disastrous floods definitely behind us, we are pushing forward again to occupy a place in our City which rightfully we should assume.