Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Settled with the kind of people that Riley County was, it would have been expected that they would have taken a great interest in the common school, and in academic and collegiate course of instruction. This they have done and their present and prospective privileges attest their zeal and devotion to these things. With seventy-five school districts, ten of which are joint ones with the surrounding counties, and with seventy school houses, the children of school age have good facilities for an education, as the superintendence of them has been good. The report of the County Superintendent of Public Instruction for 1882, shows 3,887 persons of school age; number of enrolled pupils, 2,641; average daily attendance, 1,525; number of teachers required, 37 males, and 58 females. The average pay of male teachers is $34.70 per month; of females, $29.19. During the year male teachers have taught 213 months; females, 312. The average number of weeks of instruction for a district is 25. There have been four private schools, taught by females; one by a male teacher. The average levy of district school tax is 11.3 mills for the year 1882. The bonds voted for schoolhouse purposes in 1882 are $12,200. Bonded indebtedness of the district is $18,700.

Manhattan has a corps of ten teachers; Prof. D. E. Loutz, principal. The main public school building is a little to the north of Poyntz Avenue, quite centrally located. It is 73x96 feet, two stories high above the basement. It has four large rooms upon each floor, spacious halls, and neat cloak rooms. It is a nice stone structure, and cost about $15,000. The block upon which it stands is exceedingly well supplied with shade trees, that were set out years ago, and it has ample and neat play grounds. To the southwest of this near the outskirts of the city is a nice new stone structure two stories high, built in 1882, to supplement the needs of the increasing population, which now reaches 2,500.

Randolph, which has a population of about 500, employs two teachers in its graded school. Ogden has a population of about 400; Leonard, a thrift growing town, the station in this county on the Kansas Central Railway, has about 400; Riley Centre about 300; Bala, about 250. All these place have excellent schools. The schoolhouses in the rural districts, in many instances are not adequate to the needs of the people, and another year, there will be an increased number of new houses.

The first record in the Commissioners journal, relating taxes, reads as follows:

Received of the Clerk of the tribunal transacting county business of the county of Riley, Kansas Territory, the tax-book of said county, upon which I am to collect $243.91 in territorial tax; $185.93 county tax, and $93 as Assessors fees. All the above amounts I promise to pay over or return the book as the law directs. This August 5, 1856. Stephen B. Williams, Sheriff of Riley County.
The amount of territorial sent to the Auditor of public accounts for the Territory of Kansas. August 5, 1856. John S. Reynold, Clerk By L. B. Perry, Deputy.

July 5, 1860, the County Commissioners in a manifesto say:

The county was organized in 1855 and no tax was levied until 1858, and the small amount of property subject to taxation on the valuation of 1859, was only $103,000.
The published expenditures for the county in 1860, was $1,392.13; 1861, $2,175.57; for 1864, $3,434.76; for 1865, $4,462.24; for 1866, $3,403.37; for 1867, $6,931.05; for 1868, $10,040.50. The levy for county taxes for 1870, was 7.5 mills on the dollar, so as raise $10,600. In 1871, it was 9 mills; the amount to be raised was $11,640. In 1872, it was 10 mills, three of which was to meet the interest coupons on the Manhattan & Northwestern Railway bonds. In 1873 and 1874 it was 13 mills; six of which was to pay interest on the Manhattan & Northwestern Railway bonds. In 1875, the levy was 15 mills, seven of which was for the payment of interest coupons on the Manhattan & Northwestern Railway bonds. In 1876 the levy was 13.5 mills; five and one-half was for the bonds of the Manhattan & Northwestern Railway. In 1877 there was a levy of 12.5 mills, six of which was for the railway bonds. In 1878 there was a levy of 7 mills. There was no levy to meet the bonded indebtedness arising out of the Manhattan & Northwestern Railway, a petition having been signed by 1,155 residents that none be made. In 1879-1882, 6 mills was the county levy.

The aggregated judgments against Riley County, consequent upon the refusal of her Commissioners to levy taxes to meet the accrued and accruing interest on the Manhattan & Northwestern Railway bonds is $20,558.09. The assessed valuation of the county for 1882 is as follows: Reals estate, $1,109,407; city property, $335,166; personal property, $540,153; railroads, $243,031; total, $2,217,757.

There are four railroad lines, which may be mentioned in connection with the assessment in the following manner: A few miles of the Manhattan & Blue Valley Railroad is assessed at $12,500; the Manhattan & Burlingame, 9.2 miles, $40,043; the Kansas division of the Union Pacific, 14.16 miles, $123,252; the Kansas Central, 18.11 miles, $67,236.29.

The county has been singularly free from crimes and its court calenders are comparatively exempt from cases of persons charged with capital crime. The latest case was the trial of Charles W. Bates, charged with the murder of P. W. Peak in the Christian Church at Manhattan on the evening of February 3, 1879. At the first trial the verdict of the jury was manslaughter in the first degree, but at the second trial in December, 1879, the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty. This killing had a connection with the procurement of evidence furnished against persons in the liquor traffic, Mr. Bates playing the role of a detective in the matter. The good morals and high civilization of this county stand unsurpassed anywhere.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


District Judge. - 1861-64, Jacob Safford; 1865-66, C. K. Gilchrist; 1867-69, James Humphrey; 1870-74, William H. Canfield; 1875-80, James H. Austin; 1881-82, John T. Morton.

District Clerk. - 1861, N. D. Horton; 1862-66, William H. Bower; 1867-82, R. J. Harper.

County Attorney. - 1861, M. L. Esseck (sic); 1862-63, A. H. Case; 1864, C. K. Gilchrist; 1865-66, A. M. Burns; 1867, James Humphrey; 1868-70, R. B. Spilman; 1871-72, George S. Green; 1873-74, R. C. Walter; 1875-82, R. B. Spilman.

Sheriff. - 1861-62, Samuel Long; 1864-65, G. J. Haulenbeck; 1866-69, John C. Peck; 1870-73, J. Van Antwerp; 1874-77, J. D. Brown; 1878-81, A. L. Houghton; 1882, J. M. Meyers.

County Commissioners. - 1861, A. Huntress, O. E. Osborne, J. K. Whitson; 1862-63, J. P. Ryan, Ambrose Todd, E. Warner; 1864-67, S. J. Childs, M. Condray, E. Warner, (in 1866, J. M. Myers was elected to take the place of E. Warner); 1868-69, Edward Secrest, R. Allingham, J. M. Myers; 1870-71, W. J . Hunter, W. W. Taylor, J. M. Myers, (in 1871, William K. Rich); 1872-73, W. J. Hunter, William K. Rich, George Pickett; 1874-75, T. S. St. John, C. E. Eastman, George Pickett; 1876-77, T. S. St. John, A. D. Phelps, G. T. Polson; 1878-79, Samuel Long, C. M. Dyche, G. T. Polson, (in 1879, P. W. Ziegler was elected to take the place of Samuel Long); 1880-81, P. W. Zeigler (sic), Henry Tidyman, G. T. Polson, (in 1881, John Condray was elected to take the place of G. T. Polson); 1882, Cyrus Foltz, Henry Tidgman (sic), John Condray.

County Clerk. - 1861, R. J. Harper; 1862-65, A. Huntress; 1866-71, S. G. Hoyt; 1872-73, William Burgoyne; 1874-79, William Burgoyne; 1880-82, F. A. Schermerhorn.

Treasurer. - 1861, Amory Hunting; 1862-63, James Humphrey; 1864-65, E. L. Patee; 1866-69, A. Huntress; 1870-73, John M. Morris; 1874-77, J. W. Blain; 1878-81, John Tennant; 1882, William Burgoyne.

Register of Deeds. - 1861, R. J. Harper; 1862-65, A. Huntress; 1866-73, S. G. Hoyt; 1874-82, H. C. Crump.

Probate Judge. - 1861-66, John Pipher; 1867-78, R. J. Harper; 1879-82, D. Hungerford.

Superintendent of Public Instruction. - 1861-62, Washington Marlatt; 1863-64, J. M. Lackey; 1865-68, J. E. Platt; 1869-71, Elbridge Gale; 1872, R. B. Spilman; 1873-80, J. F. Billings; 1881-82, J. H. Lee.

Surveyor. - 1861-63, Davis Wilson; 1864-71, J. H. Pillsbury; 1872-75, J. W. Paul, 1876-77, C. D. Greeley; 1878-80, J. W. Paul; 1881, S. D. Moses; 1882, J. W. Paul.

Since 1868, trustees of municipal townships have been the assessors for their respective townships. The following named person (sic) have filled the positions since that date.

Manhattan Township. - B. W. Powers in 1869; George S. Green in 1870 and 1871; C. L. Wilson in 1872; John Elliot in 1873; James Gahan in 1874 and 1875; Joseph Davis, 1876 - 1878; J. P. Peckham in 1879 and 1880; R. H. Kimball in 1881 and 1882; J. P. Peckham was assessor of Manhattan City in 1882.

Ogden Township. - C. M. Dyche in 1869; J. D. Warner, 1870-1873; D. O'Malley, 1874-1877; Charles E. Eastman, 1878 - 1882.

Jackson Township. - Samuel Long in 1869; Rudolph Niehenke in 1870 and 1871; William Fryhoffer, 1872-1874; H. H. Rice in 1875; John Condray, 1876-1880; George C. Woods in 1881 and 1882.

Grant Township. - J. W. Paul in 1870, 1874-78, 1880-82; H. P. Dow in 1871; Charles McGiloray in 1872; James E. Freeman in 1873; W. H. Edelbute in 1879.

Zeandale Township. - T. S. St. John, 18710-73; Cyrus Foltz, 1874-76, 1878 and 1880; E. St. John in 1874 and 1875; R. Stewart in 1881; James M. Fostner in 1882.

Ashland Township. - E. L. Foster, 1873-75; M. Vandewort and Hamilton Irish, in 1876; William Stone, 1877-80; S. A. Black in 1881; S. J. Yenawine in 1882.

Bala Township. - G. B. McCord in 1872 and 1873; W. A. Ensign, 1874-76; W. E. Ford, 1877-79; J. W. Kettleman in 1880; J. R. Warren in 1881 and 1882.

Madison Township. - Jefferson D. Brown in 1872 and 1873; C. C. Adams in 1874, 1875, 1880 and 1881; George Avery in 1876 and 1877; Henry Tidyman in 1878 and 1879; William Woodbury in 1882.

May Day Township. - M. V. Jerome in 1872 and 1879; N. E. Dickery in 1873; J. A. Reece, 1874-76; T. W. Osborne in 1877; J. J. Myers in 1878; S. A. Byarlay in 1880 and 1881; J. E. Powell in 1882.

Fancy Creek Township. - J. Hamer, 1879-81; J. J. Myers in 1882.

Center Township. - S. A. Byarlay in 1881; T. W. Osborne in 1882.

Swede Creek Township. - H . H. Rice in 1879; Frederic Toburen, 1880-82.

Wild Cat Township. - W. W. Taylor in 1882.

Manhattan City. - J. P. Peckham, assessor, in 1882.

Riley County has been first and foremost in the various political movements of the Territory and State of Kansas. Below is given a brief note of her delegates, councilmen, senators and representatives.

Dr. Amory Hunting and Robert Klotz were elected from Riley County, October 9, 1855, as delegates to the Topeka Convention, which assembled October 23, 1858. Dr. Hunting, the oldest member of the body, sixty-one years of age, was Republican in his politics, a native of Massachusetts, but came from Rhode Island to Kansas.

Mr. Klotz was a merchant, thirty-five years of age, a Democrat, a native of Pennsylvania, and a member of the Forty-seventh Congress from that State.

Martin F. Conway was elected from the St. Mary's and Silver Lake Precincts; at that time a part of Riley County.

Pawnee polled forty-five votes for the Topeka Constitution, December 15, 1855; St. Mary's, fourteen votes.

Lecompton Convention. - June 15, 1857, Riley and Pottawatomie counties elected C. R. Mobley, J. S. Randolph, P. Z. Taylor and Robert Wilson, delegates to the Lecompton Convention which met September 7, 1857. Under this constitution, N. Berry was elected a Representative, and Dr. Hunting a Senator from the district of which Riley formed a part.

Leavenworth Convention. - Riley County, March 9, 1858, elected J. T. Goodnow, Freeman N. Blake and George W. Higinbotham, delegates to the Leavenworth Convention, which convened April 30, 1858. At a Free State Convention held to elect officers under this constitution, Dr. John W. Robinson, of Riley, was nominated for Commissioner of School Land.

Lecompton Constitution - English Bill. - The vote of Riley County, August 2, 1858, on this constitution as submitted by the bill drafted by Congressman English, of Indiana, was: Proposition rejected, 258; proposition accepted, 22.

Wyandotte Convention. - March 28, 1859, Riley County gave 119 votes in favor of a constitutional convention; against it, 54.

In June, 1858, S. D. Houston was elected as delegate from Riley County. October 4, 1859, the county gave 296 votes for the constitution, 128 against it.

John Donaldson represented the Council District, of which Riley was a part. In 1855, Samuel D. Houston was a member of the House. In 1856, Russell Garrett was elected to the House. In 1857, Abraham Bary and Charles Jenkins were elected from Riley and Pottawatomie counties; Benjamin Harding and Andrew J. Mead, councilmen from the district comprising the counties of Doniphan, Brown, Nemaha, Marshall, Riley and Pottawatomie. In 1858, Abraham Barry and Thomas R. Points were elected Representatives from Riley and Pottawatomie counties. In 1859, J. B. Woodward was elected Councilman from the counties of Riley, Clay, Davis, Dickinson, Wabaunsee and Morris. Daniel L. Chandler was elected Representative from Riley and Clay counties. In 1860, Walter C. Dunton was elected Representative from Riley and Clay counties, the last Representative from Riley County, while Kansas was a Territory.

State Senators. - Riley and Pottawatomie counties were represented in the State Senate of 1861 by Samuel D. Houston; in 1862, by M. L. Essick. Mr. Houston had been appointed Receiver of the Land Office at Junction City.

Riley, Marshall and Washington counties constituted the Seventh Senatorial District, 1863-1866. Thomas H. Baker, of Marshall, was the Senator in 1863 and 1864; E. C. Manning, of Marshall, in 1865 and 1866.

These counties, with Republic and Cloud, remained the Seventh District, 1867- 1872. James M. Harvey, of Riley, was the Senator in 1867 and 1868; A. A. Cornahan, of Cloud, in 1869 and 1870; Phillip Rockefeller, of Washington, in 1871 and 1873.

Under the legislative apportionment of 1871, Riley, Davis and Dickinson constituted the Twenty-seventh Senatorial District. Under the apportionment of 1876, the Thirtieth District. V. P. Wilson, of Dickinson, was the Senator in 1873 and 1874; Harlow P. Dow in 1875, 1876 and 1877. The biennial sessions of the Legislature commenced with 1877, and Mr. Dow having become connected with the Internal Revenue Department, resigned his place in the Senate and T. C. Henry, of Dickinson, was Senator in 1879. In 1881, F. H. Burris, of Dickinson, was the Senator. He resigned in the consequence of removing from the State, and in November, 1882, was chosen to fill the unexpired term.

By the apportionment of 1881, Riley, Davis and Wabaunsee constituted the Nineteenth Senatorial District; the first election of a Senator therefrom (sic) will be in 1884.

Members of the House of Representatives. - Riley and Pottawatomie counties were represented in the State Legislature of 1861, by Frederic N. Blake, Ambrose W. Mussey, Thomas Pierce and William H. Smythe.

Riley County was the Seventy-second representative District, 1863-1871; the Twelfth, 1872-1876. From 1877-81, the county had two Representative Districts, Nos. 76 and 77. Under the apportionment of 1881, the county had one district, which is numbered 58.

The following table shows her members from 1863 to 1883:

1863, District No. 72, Bradley E. Fullington;
1864, District No. 72, Bradley E. Fullington;
1865, District No. 72, James M. Harvey;
1866, District No. 72, James M. Harvey;
1867, District No. 72, Henry Booth;
1868, District No. 72, D. M. Johnson;
1869, District No. 72, Edward Secrest;
1870, District No. 72, Edward Secrest;
1871, District No. 72, John M. Morris;
1872, District No. 12, John H. Pinkerton;
1873, District No. 12, W. J. Hunter;
1874, District No. 12, Harlon P. Dow;
1875, District No. 12, George Pickett;
1876, District No. 12, Charles F. Little;
1877, District No. 76, T. St. John;
1877, District No. 77, A. S. Edgerton;
1879, District No. 76, R. B. Spilman;
1879, District No. 77, J. J. Myers;
1881, District No. 76, George S. Green;
1881, District No. 77, Nehemiah Green;
1883. (sic)

Monday, January 23, 2006


While Kansas was a Territory, the County Commissioners for Riley were: Clay Thompson, Thomas Reynolds, Claiborne R. Mobley, Fox Booth, Thomas N. Lilly, Stephen B. White, Lorenzo Westover, Amory Hunting, F. N. Blake, Jesse Ingraham, George Taylor, Jonas Kress, Amasa Huntress, O. E. Osborne and J. K. Whitson.

County Clerks. - John S. Reynolds, Daniel Mitchell, John W. Robinson, William M. Snow and R. J. Harper.

County Treasurers. - Samuel Dean, John M. Morris, Henry Condray and Amory Hunting.

Sheriffs. - John T. Price, Stephen B. Williams, William H. Davis, David A. Butterfield, Scott Newell, W. J. Bassett, C. M. Dyche, George W. Higinbotham and Samuel Long.

Probate Judges. - Clay Thomson (sic), Thomas Reynolds, John S. Randolph, Washington I. Gilbert, Lorenzo Westover and John Pipher.

Register of Deeds. - William M. Snow and R. J. Harper.

Surveyors. - Daniel Mitchell, Davina Furrow and Davies Wilson.

County Attorneys. - Abraham Barry and M. L. Essick.

Superintendents of Public Instruction. - William A. McCullom and Washington Marlatt.

County Assessors. - Richard D. Mobley, John M. Morris, Henry Condray and J. P. Ryan. Since Kansas was a State, Lewis Parish, Rudolph Nienke and Amasa Huntress.

Coroners. - F. C. Sonnamaker, Henry Condray, Ambrose Todd, R. C. Whitney and Jesse Ingraham. While a State, Ingraham, A. Carlton, E. L. Patee, W. P. Higinbotham and H. S. Roberts have had the office.

Riley County has kept several of her public servants in long employ. Amasa Huntress was County Clerk, Treasurer and Register of Deeds four years each; three years Assessor; two years County Commissioner. R. J. Harper was sixteen years Clerk of the District Court; twelve years Judge of Probate; County Clerk and Register of Deeds each two years; Samuel G. Hoyt was Register of Deeds eight years; County Clerk six years. William Burgoyne was County Clerk eight years; in October, 1882, he entered upon the duties of County Treasurer. Henry C. Crump has ten years service as Register of Deeds. R. B. Spilman has been eleven years County Attorney; one year Superintendent of Public Instruction, and one year in the House of Representatives. J. H. Pillsbury and J. W. Paul each eight years County Surveyor. Jesse Ingraham and H. S. Roberts were each nine years Coroner; J. F. Billings was nine years Superintendent of Public Instruction. John Pipher was seven years Probate Judge. William H. Bower was five years Clerk of the District Court. John M. Morris was four years Treasurer; two years Assessor; one year in the House of Representatives. J. W. Blain and John Tennant have each been four years Treasurer. John C. Peck, Jacob Van Antwerp, Jeff. D. Brown and A. L. Houghton have each been four years Sheriff. W. J. Hunter, George Pickett and T. S. St. John have each been four years Commissioners; one year Representative. Howard Secrest was two years Commissioner, two years Representative. George T. Polson was five years Commissioner. E. Warner, S. I. Childs, M. Condray and J. M. Meyers each four years. James Humphrey was one year County Attorney; two years Treasurer; three years Judge of the District Court. Below are tables of court and miscellaneous county officers:

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


In the names of the municipal townships and election precincts, with shifting boundaries, there has been many and frequent changes. Ogden, Manhattan, Dyer and Pierce were the names given to the townships of the county, April 2, 1856. Dyer lay between the Big Blue and Calhoun County, and Marshall County and the Kansas River, becoming afterwards the most of what became Pottawatomie County. Rock Creek Township was formed from it May 18, 1856. Pierce, Manhattan, and Ogden were wholly in what is now Riley County. Deep Creek, McDowell's Creek and Douglas townships were in territory, belonging now to Davis County. Reynold's Township was formed out of the territory between the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers, September 16, 1856. Dixon Township embraced territory north of it.

January 17, 1859, the municipalities were designated Ogden, Manhattan City, Blue Mont, Kent, Indiana, Randolph, Madison and Kansas Falls. March 21, 1859, they were known as Manhattan, Madison, Ogden and Junction City. Clay County, then unorganized, had a voting place established at the house of Isaiah Scott, near Mount Pleasant, Dickinson County, unorganized November 14, 1859, had a voting place established at the house of John Erwin. November 17, 1859, the townships were Jackson, Junction, Manhattan and Ogden. April 14, 1868, Milford was formed from Jackson, and a little later South Milford was created, the latter territory being, in 1878, a part of Davis County. Milford Township, as such, is now Madison and Bala townships. Manhattan is a city of the second class; Ogden one of the third class. The other villages are not distinct from their municipal townships. Commencing with Manhattan Township, as the political center, adjoining it on the southeast is Zeandale, westward of Zeandale is Ashland, west and northwest of Ashland is Ogden. Jogging out six miles westward on the north line of Ogden, and northward of it, is Madison; north of Madison is Bala; Fancy Creek is north of Bala; Center north of Fancy Creek; May Day north of Center, terminating on the county line of Washington. Swede Creek is in the northeast part of the county; east of it is the Big Blue, separating it from Pottawatomie County. Jackson lies south of Swede Creek; Grant south of Jackson; Wild Cat south of Grant, being northwest of Manhattan Township.

County Commissioner Districts. - The first district embraces the townships of Manhattan and Zeandale. There are three voting places in the city - First, Second and Third Wards; a precinct in the township north, and one south of the Kansas River. The population in 1875 was 2,508; in 1880, 8,635. The second district embraces Ashland, Ogden, Madison, Bala, Fancy Creek, Center and May Day. The population in 1855 was 2,713; in 1880, 3,957. The third district comprises Swede Creek, Jackson, Grant and Wild Cat. The population in 1875 was 1,844; in 1880, 2,838. In 1875 the population of the county was 7,?6?; in 1880, 10,430.

School Districts. - There are sixty-five districts in the county; one joint district, with Pottawatomie, one with Marshall, one with Washington, and six with Davis.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


February 18, 1856, the Commissioners made the following order: "That until the court house be erected in the county-seat of Riley County, the courts of said county are to be held in the town of Ogden, and we will rent a house belonging to C. R. and R. D. Mobley at a stated sum per month." This building stood on the south side of Riley Street, in Block 19, the cellar over which it stood being visible in 1882, the walls of which remain, and west of which stands a large cottonwood that will mark its site. The house was a small, cheap wooden one, illy contrasting with the Reeder mansion across the street.

Some business for the county seems to have been transacted at the hamlet of Riley City, a place south of the Kansas River, not far from Fort Riley, for in the following journal entry for March 25, 1857, stands recorded: "The County Commissioners went to Riley City this day and brought from there the secretary, table, seals and what records they could find, and deposited them in the Clerk's Office."

The Probate Court had been held in a log-house at Ogden, owned by Lemuel Knapp. It was fourteen feet square and nearly minus windows. But June 1, 1857, an agreement was made with J. U. Parsons to lease his most easterly house, on Riley Street, for the purpose of holding Probate and County Courts, at $12 per month, payable every three months.

Preparatory to a vote on the permanent establishment of the county-seat, four Election Precincts were established September 21, 1857, viz: - Randolph Manhattan, Ogden and Montague. At the election on October 5, the vote for Ogden was Randolph, 9; Manhattan, 8; Ogden, 158; Montague, 23; total, 193. For Manhattan, Randolph, 11; Manhattan, 127; Ogden, 3; Montague, 21; total, 162. Majority for Ogden, 31. A belief that fraud had been practiced at Ogden existed so strongly in the minds of the citizens of Manhattan, that they delegated John Pipher and W. M. Snow to go to Lecompton and obtain some remedy at the hands of the Territorial Governor, but he refused to do anything in the matter. Then the examination of the tally-sheet was the next thing attempted, but the officers in charge of it refused to have it examined. But Esquire Pipher summoned Lemuel Knappp before him at his court in Manhattan, to give testimony concerning the names of minors and soldiers at Fort Riley on the list, and through him mainly it was established that there had been over fifty illegal votes cast, which established Manhattan as the shire town for Riley County.

Daniel Mitchell, who had been County Clerk for nine months, a most efficient officer, resigned his office, December 12, 1857, and was succeeded by Dr. J. W. Robinson, of Manhattan. December 10, Judge Westover ordered that the books, papers, stationery, furniture and all chattels belonging to the county, be delivered into the hands of the Sheriff, subject to the order of the Probate Court. On the 11th, the Sheriff made the following return:

"The within has been duly served. Did not get the books on account of the Clerk being under bonds not to give them up. He came to see the Judge.
D. A. Butterfield, Sheriff of Riley County."
Dr. Amory Hunting, one of the County Commissioners, on December 14, deposed and said that on December 12, he as one of the Commissioners received the resignation of Daniel Mitchell, Clerk of Riley County, and recovered from him sundry books and papers, and things belonging to the county. Six or more men assaulted him and Judge Westover, and they thereby embezzled the said county property. The Sheriff having a search-warrant for said property, made this return:

"The within has been duly served by bringing county-seals, desk, table, three blank books, two small blank books and inkstand. Papers and documents on file not found.
D. A. Butterfield, Sheriff of Riley County." December 14, 1857.
The following preamble and order was adopted, December 21, 1857, at the first Commissioners' meeting held at Manhattan: "WHEREAS the Commissioners in and for the County of Riley, in the Territory of Kansas, have neglected and refused to cause to be erected or otherwise procure suitable court house for the holding of the courts in and for the said county, THEREFORE be it ordered that the Probate Court be holden in the Hoar Building, in the city of Manhattan, during the remainder of the December term of said court, and until other suitable rooms can be erected or otherwise be procured for the holding of said court and for the office of the Clerk of said court."

June 1, 1858, the following journal entry was made: "Ordered that the Clerk be authorized to purchase of West, James & Strouse, of Kansas City, Mo., the building and lot in the First Ward of the city of Manhattan, known as the Scammon Building, for county purposes, provided a good and sufficient title can be obtained, at an amount not to exceed $600, payable in county bonds in twelve months, with or without interest, as said Clerk may elect." August 16, 1858, the Clerk was authorized to issue specifications and call for proposals for building a county jail of stone, 14x20 feet, with walls eight feet in height, and to rent of Robert Wilson four rooms in the east end of the Barnes' Building on Poyntz Avenue for the use of the county officers, at a rent not to exceed $60 per annum. November 8, 1858, Andrew J. Mead received $45 for four and one-half months' rent of a stone building for District Court purposes. The Scammon Building was destroyed by fire, August 23, 1859. The Barnes' Building in 1882 stood at the foot of the north side of Poyntz Avenue, by the railroad track, was occupied as a dwelling, and the lettering on it "Cheap Cash Store, Groceries, Rope, etc.", indicated the purposes for which it had been used, and it remains as an "ancient land mark" of Riley County.

The following was an order of May 31, 1859: "That a county jail be erected immediately, 18x24 feet, of stone, and that the Chairman and Clerk be appointed a committee to receive proposals for building the same on the court house lots, provided the same can be done for county bonds, payable in six months, bearing ten per cent interest." July 5, 1860, in noticing some complaints emanating from sundry tax-payers, the County Board declared: "That the purchase of the court house and lot, and the building of the jail are legal and legitimate transactions; that the laws of the Territory make it obligatory upon the county to pay its court expenses in criminal cases as well as in others; therefore we recommend the tax-payers of the county, as law-abiding citizens to bear the burdens for the present year." January 12, 1861, it was ordered: "That the Chairman of the Board and the County Clerk be a committee to sell the wood building standing near the jail, provided the same can be sold for not less than $300; if it cannot be sold, to receive proposals for repairing said building in a suitable manner for county offices." July 2, 1861, the "Old Court House" was sold to Lewis Kurtz for $300.

April 9, 1862, the following order was passed: "Ordered that the building now occupied for county offices be vacated on or previous to the first day of May next, and that the Chairman and County Clerk be authorized to lease from J. E. Hibbard for the use of the county the stone building now occupied by him, on Poyntz Avenue, for one year, at a rent not exceeding $75 per annum." November 10, 1865, on a vote to loan $15,000, for the purpose of erecting county buildings, the vote was 150 for the loan, and 140 against the loan. Douglas County boarded Riley County prisoners in 1866 and 1867, and received about $750 therefor. (sic)

At an election held April 20, 1867, on Jail Bonds, the vote was 262 for, and 46 against. Jacob Winnie had the contract for building the jail for $10,441.33. The jail was located near the southeast corner of the Public Square, 40 feet from the east side and 50 feet from the south side of the Square. The area of the Square is about three acres. The building is 40x50 feet. It contains eight cells, which are detached from the outer walls with hall extending around the cells. The cells are 6x7 feet, and seven and one-half feet high. The jail-yard in the rear is 20x23 feet. The County Board voted bonds to the amount of $8,000 for these cells and appurtenances, and they were sold to George W. Higinbotham & Co. for sixty-seven cents on the dollar. In front of the cells is an open hall, on each side of which are two good sized rooms, which are occupied by the Sheriff as the home of his family. In the upper story are two jury rooms, one on each side of the hallway. The hall enters a fair sized court room, furnished in a manner not at all extravagant.

At the southeast corner of Third Street and Poyntz Avenue, the County Clerk and County Treasurer occupy a commodious room, rented for $2?0 per year. Lower down on the same side of the avenue, the County Attorney's office is that of Spilman & Brown, rented for $60 per year. In the block east, the County Superintendent has an office at the same rent. The Register of Deeds and Judge of Probate occupy a frame building belonging to the county, on lot 197, Poyntz Avenue, and the Clerk of the District Court has an office in a brick building on lot 193, Poyntz Avenue, for which the county pays a rent of $60 per year. The Coroner has his physician's office nearly opposite. The offices are supplied with necessary safes. The county jail is one of the best in the State.

Monday, January 16, 2006


The Territorial Legislature, consisting of thirteen Councilmen and twenty-six Representatives, - of which Samuel D. Houston, registered as a farmer, a native of Ohio, thirty-six years of age, was the only Free-State member -- convened July 2, 1855, at Pawnee, a little town on the Military Reservation, about two miles east of Fort Riley, which had been started in the autumn of 1854, by Dr. William A. Hammond, Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, Robert Klotz, Robert Wilson and others of Fort Riley, most of them Free-State men. Its growth was rapid, scores of houses were erected, and hundreds of people settled on the town site. The Legislature, July 6, adjourned to meet at the Shawnee Manual Labor School in Johnson County on the 16th, and on the 23rd Representative Houston resigned his seat. John Donaldson, the Councilman who represented Election Districts Nos. 9, 10, 11, and 12 - Pawnee, Big Blue, Marsville, Rock Creek, St. Mary's and Silver Lake - July 6, gave notice that he would introduce a bill to incorporate Pawnee. Governor Reeder vetoed the Act to remove the seat of government from Pawnee and July 21, in a Message to the Legislature, said "it was in session, in contravention with the Act of Congress, where they have no right to sit, and can make no valid legislation". Pawnee, Lecompton, Lawrence, Leavenworth and Kickapoo were the incorporated cities of Kansas in August 1855.

By order of Governor Reeder, a two-story stone building, 33x6? feet, about 30 feet in height, had been erected for the accommodation of the Legislature. The Council occupied the upper part, the House the lower part. October 2, 1882, the walls of the building were standing in good condition, save where a cannon ball had gone through the west end. There had been a door on each side of the building; that on the south, the side near the Kansas River, was six feet wide and seven feet high. There had been no windows in the end of the building, but a good supply in each side. From July 2, 1855, to October 2, 1882, the roof had remained undisturbed, but on that day its demolition on the south side commenced. The roof was shingled with a long shaved oak shingle, the roof boards, rafters and cross timbers were cottonwood. The structure is within twenty-five feed of the Kansas division of the Union Pacific Railroad, on the south side thereof, and in close proximity to the river across which stood Riley City. This, and an unroofed store building built by Robert Wilson, are all that remains of what once promised to be the great metropolis of Kansas. Here Governor Reeder had his two-story log mansion of ten rooms, which was removed to Ogden, four miles east, and stood opposite the primitive court building of Riley County in the autumn of 1855. For the ostensible reason that the city had been built on the Military Reservation, Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of the War Department, ordered the town vacated, and in September 1855 its inhabitants removed, a few to Riley City, several to Ogden, and some returned East; several of them thereby were reduced to inconvenient want. Hon. Robert Klotz, now a member of the Forty-seventh Congress from Pennsylvania, was Pawnee's hotel-keeper and it is a tradition that his stock of fluids was usually more ample that that of his solids. Governor Reeder on his way to the capital city stopped with Mr. Seth J. Childs, whose place was at Juniata, on the west side of the Big Blue at the crossing on the Government roads. In the spring of 1855, Governor Reeder commissioned Mr. Childs as Sheriff of the region of country extending north to what is Marshall County, east to the Pottawatomie Reservation, south to Council Grove, west to the Rocky Mountains, as Kansas Territory then extended there. But the Legislature of 1855, on the 25th of August, elected John T. Price Sheriff of Riley County; Clay Thomson, Probate Judge; Thomas Reynolds and William Cuddy, County Commissioners. The county as organized took all the territory between Marshall County and the Kansas River.

At Ogden, Monday, September 17, 1855, the court convened, consisting of Messrs. Thomson and Reynolds. On the 18th, they made choice of Claiborne R. Mobley for Commissioner - Mr. Cuddy having never qualified - and John S. Reynolds was chosen Clerk of the Court.

The First Records. - The journal in which the proceedings of the court were recorded considering its character, has been very well preserved. Standing first on the record is the oath of office taken before Judge Thomson, September 5, 1855, by Commissioner Reynolds, who swears to support the Constitution of the United States, and "An Act entitled, an Act to organize the Territory of Nebraska and Kansas, and the provisions of the laws of the United States commonly known as the Fugitive Slave Act," and to be faithful and impartial as County Commissioner. This done, the official bonds of the Sheriff and the Clerk were each fixed at $1,000; the Treasurer's, Coroner's and Constable's at $500 each. Governor Shannon, October 15, 1855, commissioned C. R. Mobley as County Commissioner, Samuel Dean as County Treasurer, F. C. Sonnomaker as Coroner, and A. A. Garrett and L. B. Perry as Justices of the Peace, and this is made a matter of record. The first financial transaction recorded is as follows: "Ordered, that the account of R. D. Mobley, amounting to thirty-four dollars, for services rendered the county, be allowed, and issue a warrant therefor (sic)."

Sunday, January 15, 2006


In obedience to a proclamation from Governor Reeder for the election of a Territorial delegate to Congress, November 29, 1854, Election Districts Nos. 9 and 10 -- Reynolds and Big Blue Crossing -- two of the eighteen districts formed by Governor Reeder, participated, and their united vote was 77. The number of voters by census was 99; Free-State votes, 66; Pro-slavery, 11. By the census taken early in 1865, by Martin F. Conway, District No. 9, contained 36 voters; 61 males; 25 females; 14 negroes; 3 slaves. No. 10 contained 63 voters; 97 males; 54 females. No. 9 was then known as Pawnee; Number 10, Big Blue and Rock Creek. March 8, 1855, Governor Reeder issued a proclamation for an election to be held March 30, for the purpose of electing a Territorial Legislature. Election Districts Numbers 9 and 10 gave for Martin F. Conway, Free-State candidate for Councilman, 113 votes; for John Donaldson, Pro-Slavery, 53 votes; for Representative, Samuel D. Houston, Free-State, had 120 votes; Russell Garrett, Pro-slavery, 41 votes. Rock Creek was near where Westmoreland is now located, the present county-seat of Pottawatomie. Sixteen Delegates had assembled in March, 1855, at the house of Seth I. Childs, on the west side of the Big Blue, at the crossing at Juniata -- St. Mary's, Louisville, Juniata and Fort Riley being represented. Asahel G. Allen was made Chairman, and a Mr. Hascall, Secretary. Mr. Conway was nominated for Councilman; E. M. Thurston, for Representative. Mr. Thurston lived south of the Kaw from where Manhattan now stands. He was then absent, and it was then ordered that should he not return, Mr. Houston should be the Candidate.

Kansas, December 6, 1859, held an election for State Officers, Members of the Legislature, and Judges of the District Court, under the Wyandotte Constitution. Riley County polled 332 votes, and Dr. John W. Robinson, of Manhattan, was elected Secretary of State. In November, 1861, her vote for George A. Crawford, for Governor, was 245; on location of the State Capital, it was 144 for Topeka; 75 for Manhattan; 21 for Ogden; 3 for Ashland. The Supreme Court -- Thomas Ewing, Jr., Chief Justice -- decided that the term of the State officers then in possession, held till January, 1863.

In 1862 -- the vote of the county -- 275. Isaac F. Goodnow, of Manhattan, elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction. In 1863 -- vote of the county -- 239. B. E. Fullington, for Representative, had 150 votes. in 1864, Mr. Goodnow was re-elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Lincoln's vote for President was 220; McClellan's 51. In 1865 -- whole vote polled -- 295. In 1866, Nehemiah Green, of Riley, was elected Lieutenant-Governor; he had 366 votes out of 392. In 1867 -- whole vote -- 673. D. M. Johnson elected Representative; had 246 votes. In 1868, James M. Harvey, of Riley, was elected Governor. He had 588 votes; General Grant, for President, 587. The whole vote was 719. Lieutenant- Governor Green was Governor from November 4, 1868, to January 12, 1869. Governor Crawford having resigned to take command of the Nineteenth Regiment. In 1869 -- whole vote, 709. Edward Secrest elected Representative; had 372. In 1870 -- whole vote -- 843. Governor Harvey re-elected; his vote in the county, 693. In 1871 -- whole vote, 1,348. On a vote to grant $200,000 in bonds to two railroad companies, there were 494 votes in favor, and 425 against the proposition. In 1872 -- whole vote, 1,398; President Grant, 1,055. In 1873 -- whole vote, 1,348; H. P. Dow, successful candidate for Representative, had 777. In 1874 -- whole vote, 1,239; for Congress, W. A. Phillips had 957; M. J. Parrot, 212; N. Green, 68 votes. In 1875 -- whole vote, 1,330; R. B. Spilman, for Judge of the District Court, had 1,096. In 1876 -- whole vote, 1,426; for President, Hayes had 1,133; Tilden, 223; Cooper, 65 votes. In 1877, whole vote, 1,137; William Burgoyne, for County Clerk, had 1,167 votes. In 1878 -- whole vote, 1,566; for Congress, John A. Anderson, Republican, had 873 votes; E. Gale, National, 416; J. R. McClure, Democrat, 246. In 1879 -- whole vote, 1,655; F. A. Schermerhorn, for County Clerk, had 1,640. In 1880 -- whole vote, 2,207. The following is the vote on President, Governor and Congressman: -- President -- Garfield, Republican, 1,484; Hancock, Democrat, 376; Weaver, National, 347. Governor -- St. John, Republican, 1,387; Ross, Democrat, 436; Vrooman, National, 359. Congressman -- Anderson, Republican, 1,310; Barnes, Democrat, 277; Davis, National, 604. For the Prohibition Amendment, 1,178; against it, 828. In 1881 - whole vote, 1,890; J. M. Myers, successful candidate for Sheriff, had 691 votes.

Ex-Governor Harvey, February 2, 1873, was elected United States Senator by a vote of 76 out of 132, to succeed Alexander Caldwell, who had resigned his seat March 24, 1872, the vacancy having been filled by Robert Crozier, an appointee of Governor Osborn, who had been Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court. Senator Harvey's term expired March 3, 1877. Riley County is also the home of Hon. John A. Anderson, a member of the House of Representatives, for the Forty-sixth, Forty-seventh and Forty- eighth Congresses.

The Republican party of Kansas, organized May 18, 1859, at Osawatomie, placed Charles F. DeVivaldi -- the editor and publisher of the Manhattan Express -- and William H. Smyth, on the Platform Committee, and S. D. Houston on the Central Territorial Committee. Robert Wilson was one of the Kansas delegates to the National Democratic Convention, at Charleston, South Carolina, April, 1860. Andrew J. Mead, a delegate to the National Democratic Convention, at New York, July, 1868, and was a member of the State Central Committee.

N. A. Adams was a delegate to the National Republican Convention at Chicago, in 1868; was a prominent candidate for Governor in 1876; a member of the State Republican Committee of 1880; Commissioner of Pensions in 1882. Gottlieb Schauble was the Democratic candidate for Auditor of State, in 1868; Theodore Weichselbaum, the candidate for Treasurer, in 1880; D. E. Lautz, for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in 1882.

On a vote to amend the State Constitution by striking out the word "white" from the qualifications of electors, Riley County gave 74 majority for it on a vote of 628. Allen, Ottawa, and Wabaunsee counties were the only other counties that voted for it.

Riley County, in a vote of 596, gave 160 majority against striking out the word "male," at the same election. Ottawa gave 2 majority for it, the only county in which it carried in the State.

At the first organization of the Judicial Districts in Kansas Territory, Riley County belonged to the Third, and Davis was attached to it for judicial purposes. The court officers at the term of court held at Manhattan, April 4, 1859, were: Rush Elmore, Judge; Scott Newell, Sheriff; J. D. Patterson, Clerk. Henry Hessen was Foreman of the Grand Jury. Benjamin H. Keyser, who had practiced law in the courts of California, and Joshua E. Clardy, now of Wamego, were admitted to the bar.

At the October term, 1859, W. J. Bassett was Sheriff. J. Frank Cooper, who had practiced in the courts of Virginia, and Walter C. Dunton, in the Wisconsin courts, were admitted as attorneys and counselors-at-law.

The April term, 1863, was held at Ashland; Norman Kinney, Sheriff. The military-famed J. E. B. Stewart, was admitted to the bar. Captain Fred Emory, a United States Mail Contractor in 1856, who had a somewhat unsavory history as connected with the killing of William Phillips at Leavenworth, September 1, 1856, was entered on the records as a judgment debtor in the sum of $700.

April 6, 1860, Julius E. Hibbard was appointed Master-Commissioner for the county of Riley.

September 2, 1860, S. McArthur appears as Clerk, though J. D. Patterson is the Deputy. In December, 1860, Judge Elmore's service as Territorial Judge closed.

Riley County was in the Third Judicial District, with Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Pottawatomie, Davis, and Dickinson counties. Jacob Safford, of Shawnee County was Judge, having been elected by receiving 590 votes out of 1,437. Riley County gave him 10; J. R. McClure 140; R. S. Wilson, 177.

C. K. Gilchrist, of Shawnee County, was elected Judge in November, 1864. Riley County gave him half her votes, 132. Jefferson, Jackson, and Saline counties were added to the district. Four new judicial Districts were created by the Legislature of 1867, and James Humphrey, March 4, 1867, was appointed Judge of the Eighth Judicial District, composed of the counties of Riley, Davis, Dickinson, Clay, Cloud, Ottawa and Saline. He was elected Judge, November 5, 1867, receiving 515 out of 519 votes cast in Riley County. The vote of the District, November 8, 1870, was cast unanimously for James H. Austin, of Junction City. Republic, Jewell, Mitchell, Lincoln, Ellsworth, Rice, and McPherson counties voted at this election.

In November, 1871, Judge Canfield was elected for a full term. The additional counties then in the district were Ellis and Wallace. Riley County gave Judge Canfield 308 votes; H. G. Barner, one of her citizens, 1,076 votes.

Clay, Cloud, Republic, Jewell and Mitchell had been formed into the Twelfth Judicial District.

James H. Austin, of Junction City, November 3, 1875, received the unanimous vote of the district. It then comprised the counties of Riley, Davis, Morris, Dickinson and Ottawa. Judge Austin, re-elected November 7, 1879, received 1,618 out of the 1,635 votes cast in Riley County.

The Third Judicial District, as re-cast by the Legislature of 1881, is composed of the counties of Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Pottawatomie and Riley; John T. Morton, of Shawnee, Judge. The terms of the court for Riley County commence the fourth Monday of February, the last Monday of August, the second Monday of December.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Thomas Dudley Stone..Excerpt from City of the Plains

I have this book, City of the Plains..A Story of Leonardville. It mentions our Stones, Dugans and Breese's in it. If you would like me to look up a name, just ask and I'll make copies of what is in it. Here is a brief story of Thomas Dudley Stone, although he goes by "Dudley". It mentions the Leonardville Monitor, the local newspaper.
Dudley Stone owned the Monitor building and was listed as guantor and owner for several years. When B.A. Belt bought the Monitor from W.M. Amos, Mr. Stone loaned Belt $250 on a new press, and Ed Nickelson furnished a new gasoline engine with which to run the press.
In 1908, dudley was busy fixing up the Monitor office and one of his houses in town. He also owned 400 acres of good farmland, the post office building and the telephone exchange building, as well as two residences.
By 1908, he was on easy street, said the Monitor, taking life easy and doing what good he could for his fellow man. He had come from Estill County, Kentucky, originally, after 3 years in Missouri, he and his wife Sarah, came to Kansas, arriving on Christmas Eve, 1871. In 1872, he took up a homestead claim one mile west and two miles south of Leonardville.
It was news when Mr. Stone stayed home all day, as he usually walked into town. The paper reported once that he had stayed home by the fired on a day when the temperature was 20 below zero. Another time they reported a bad scare that he had. "He has a place under the trees near his house where he often rests and reads during hot weather, and when an electrical storm threatened, he went out to bring in some papers and things he had left there. Just then lightning struck the granary a few feet away. Some of the siding and one of the 2x4's was splintered, and a hole was punched throught the granary floor. It was just close enough to make him feel shaky."

History of Riley County Part 3

In the latter part of 1853, a Tennesseean by the name of Samuel D. Dyer, was running a government ferry at Juniata, about one mile below Rocky Ford, on the Big Blue. Soon after, the Government built a bridge at this point, but in 1855 it was swept away by a flood. Mr Dyer, the first white inhabitant of Riley County, died in February, 1875. His politics were Pro- slavery: he was of good, common sense, excellent judgment, and great kindness of heart. His house has been described as "one story high and two stories long."

Rev. Charles Emerson Blood, a native of Mason, New Hampshire, commenced his labors as a Home Missionary, at Juniata, November, 4, 1854, having with others in his own words "left their homes in the States not simply to improve their worldly interests, but to fight the battles of freedom and save this beautiful country from the blighting curse of slavery."

Zeandale Township.--Mr. J. H. Pillsbury, who settled in this township in 1855, gave this name to it, which is a combination of the Greek word zea, meaning corn or spelt, and the English word dale, the signification being corn-dale or corn-valley. Its location is the extreme southeastern part of the county. It borders on the Kansas River and is intersected by Deep Creek. Originally a part of Davis County, it was transferred to Wabaunsee, and it became a part of Riley County by an act of the Legislature of 1871, compensating for the loss of the territory in the southwest part of the county, that became a portion of Davis County. In 1854, John M. McCormick, C. P. McDonald, and William Wiley located their claims; Daniel S. Bates, J. M. Burleigh, H. D. Hall, E. R. McCurdy, and John C. Mossman settled in the township in 1855. Abner Allen, Jesse Allen, Robert Earl and G. R. Mosses in 1856; D. M. Adams and Harvey Marshall in 1857. A town was laid out, Mr. Adams was appointed Postmaster, the first post- office was kept at the house of J. H. Pillsbury.

A Congregational Church was organised in 1858; a church edifice was begun but never completed, Rev. Harvey Jones, of Wabaunsee, preached here alternate Sundays during 1856. Mrs. M. Pillsbury taught at her home the first private school in 1858. Miss Mattie Keyes, in 1859, taught the first district school in a small building on the farm of Mr. Abner Allen. In 1862 the first schoolhouse was built. It was made of hewn logs, and called the "Conic Section," because of its hexagonal shape. Mrs. E. Van Antwerp taught the first school in the building.

Ernest McCurdy, son of E. R. McCurdy, was the first child born in the township. The birth occurred April 26, 1856.

Rev. Harvey Jones performed the first marriage ceremony, December 11, 1856. The parties united were C. P. McDonald and Mary E. McCurdy.

Clinton H. Pillsbury, infant son of J. H. Pillsbury, died early in 1857, the first death in the township.

The recorder of the weather from Christmas, 1855, to February 11, 1856, gives the average temperature, at eight degrees below zero; the coldest stood 31 degrees below. The snow, February 1, 1856, was three feet deep.

Ashland Township.--This township, originally a part of Davis County, was transferred to Riley by an act of the legislature of 1873. Its area is some thirty square miles. Thomas Reynolds, one of the first County Commissioners and a Probate Judge, mad the first settlement early in 1855, on Section 10, Township 11, Ranger 7. April 22, 1855, a colony made up in Covington, Ky., and Cincinnati, Ohio, arrived, consisting of thirty-five members. It came by steamer from Cincinnati to Kansas City, and from there in emigrant wagons. Among these colonists were many ardent admirers of the great Commoner, Henry Clay, and to honor his memory they gave the name of his late residence to the township and city which they attempted to build. The settlement was made on McDowell Creek. F. G. Adams was president; Rev. N. B. White, Vice President; Henry J. Adams, Treasurer. C. N. Barclay, W. H. Mackay, John E. Ross, C. L. Sanford, William Stone, M. Weightman, and J. S. Williams were among the members. In March, 1857, Ashland became the county-seat of Davis County; and remained so until November, 1860, when it gave way to Junction City. There were several terms of the Territorial District Courts held here, Rush Elmore, Judge. In 1858, a post-office was established; M. D. Fisher, Postmaster. Dr. E. L. Patee was the first County Clerk. He settled in the township in 1856. He was County Treasurer of Riley County in 1864 and 1865.

Miss Marcia Woodward taught the first school. It was in 1857, and the first school house was erected in 1865. Rev. N. B. White married the first pair, William Stone and Matilda Williams, December 13, 1857. John McDonald, of the Ashland Colony, died on the day after his arrival, April 23, 1855. Clarence Patee, son of Dr. E. L. Patee, was the first child born, March 6, 1857.

In 1880, a Christian Church was organized, but it has ceased to be.

Ogden Township.--This township obtained its name from Maj. Ogden of the United States Army. Thomas Reynolds erected a 10x12 log cabin, without glass for its windows, in June, 1854, on the southwest quarter of Section 6, Township 11, Range 7. It was the first dwelling in the present limits of the county. Here was held an election for the first Territorial Delegate, November 29, 1854. The site is on the knoll a little east of where the iron bridge crosses Seven Mile Creek. Dr. Daniel L. Chandler is the owner of the tract at this time, 1882. Dr. Chandler, the Dixon brothers -- James, John, Patrick and Thomas -- C. M. Dyche, B. B. Edmonds, Robert Mallon, Daniel Mitchell, C. R. Mobley, R. D. Mobley, John M. Morris, Joseph Myers, P. O'Malley, J. U. Parsons, Jacob Theirer, Moses Walker Josephus Warner, M. D. Waters and S. B. White were among the first settlers. John Dixon died August 1855, and a Mr. Allen the same month. In July eight died of cholera at Pawnee.

The first marriages in the township were that of Thomas Dixon and Mary Hoffman, May 1, 1856; C. M. Dyche and Miss B. A. O'Malley in December, 1856. Alla, daughter of C. R. Mobley was the first birth, born in 1856. Robert Wilson, at Pawnee in 1855, opened the first store in the township; a Mr. Johnson, of Kansas City, the first store at Ogden. D. L. Chandler, B. B. Edmonds, J. U. Parsons and Moses Walker brought in the first saw and corn-mill in 1856, and they manufactured considerable meal and lumber. Mrs. E. Myers taught the first school in 1859; James Weston taught the second one. In 1857, religious services were held, and a Congregational Church was organized; Rev. J. U. Parsons preached, and a neat stone edifice was erected in 1859. In 1882, the church is partially supplied by services from Rev. M. S. Riddle, the pastor at Milford. The first Roman Catholic Church in the county was organized at Ogden in 1865. The church property is valued at $1,200. Fathers DeMather, Remley, Vanderburg and Cairns have been the pastors.

The Ogden Town Company was chartered by the Legislature of 1857, and the town was at once laid out in blocks and lots. The streets running north and south are named Elk, Walnut, Park and Oak. There are seventeen streets running east and west; Riley, which is the business one, is 110 feet wide; Park is 150 and Water, which runs along the river, is 150 feet.

Ogden has one hotel, the Union Pacific House. West of it was the residence of Daniel Mitchell, one of its earliest and most prominent citizens; east of it was the log residence of Governor Reeder, moved from Pawnee after its extinction. Theodore Weischelbaum, its prominent merchant, came in 1860, and for years did a large freighting business across the plains, and had five stores out at Western forts. He has been an extensive brewer. Thomas Dixon has a large stone warehouse north of the railroad track, and he has heretofore been an extensive shipper. Henry Roberts and George Micholland are merchants; L. Bailey is the blacksmith; A. J. Turner, shoe-maker; William Foster, carpenter and wagonmaker; Frederic Rehfield, saddler, and A. Friedenstein, general mechanic. Here is an excellent stone school building; the school is graded. Frank Eastman is auctioneer for the town and country.

Ogden Division, No. 3, Sons of Temperance, commenced February 19, 1877. Its first officers were: William J. Rich, Worthy Patriarch; S. J. Engle, Worthy Assistant; H. Haucke, Recording Secretary; M. White, Assistant Recording Secretary; R. W. Estres, Financial Secretary. Its members exceed fifty.

Ogden, since 1870, has been a city of the second class. Its Mayors have been Frederic Hubert, Theodore Weischelbaum, Frederic Rehfield and C. C. Emerson.

In October, 1857, the United States Land Office was located here, but soon thereafter it went to Junction City.

The Ogden postmaster is George W. Campbell; the one at Vinton, which is near the home of Ex-Senator Harvey, is J. B. Reynolds.

Madison Township.--This township, organized April 5, 1872, tooks its name from the creek, which was given it in honor of the fourth President of the United States. Its area is fifty-nine square miles. At its longest place from north to south, it is eight miles; from east to west nine miles.

The first claims were near the head of Wild Cat Creek; taken by the Hairs in May, 1855. Jonas Hair located on the southwest quarter of Section 7, Township 9, Range 6; T. R. Hair on the southeast quarter of Section 12, and J. P. Hair on the northwest quarter of Section 7, Township 9, Range 6. In 1856, George Lyall settled on the northwest quarter of Section 12, Township 9, Range 5, on the Upper Wild Cat Creek; John Forman, Bradley E. Hellington, Lorenzo Gates and A. B. Whiting located on Madison Creek; A. D. Reed on Timber Creek. In 1857, James Kester settled on the northwest quarter of Section 11, Township 9, Range 4, on Timber Creek. In 1858, among the new-comers were George Avery, Lewis Parish, Gilbert Steel and D. C. Walbridge.

In 1860, George Avery and H. H. Whiting, in company with some teams from Manhattan, started for Denver with corn. It was the first attempt to find a Western market and it proved to be successful. For years afterwards there was considerable freighting across the plains from this vicinity. In 1861, George Avery brought the first threshing machine into the settlement that was owned west of Manhattan, and in 1882 the power is used by B. E. Fullington on a corn-cracker. Mr. Fullington lives just south of the township, having been legislated into Davis County.

Dr. J. Crans, a distinguished physician and druggist at Riley Centre (sic), dispenses stimulating fluids for medicinal, mechanical and scientific purposes as the prohibitory liquor law provides.

Joseph Roberts keeps the "Central House," which is the half way place between Manhattan and Clay Centre (sic). It was built in 1879, and with it and his feed stable he has five acres of ground in the burg. Ira Wilcox has a livery, feed and sale stable.

The first marriage in the township occurred March 30, 1856. The parties united were James Johnson and Mary A. Hair. In 1857, Thomas was born to E. C. Bartgell and wife; Alice, to A. H. Bartell and wife, the first births. The parents settled the same year on Madison Creek.

There is a post-office at Riley Center; C. W. Hessebroeck is postmaster. He located at Riley Center in 1871, opening a store there. The building when first erected was a frame, two stories in height, 24x60 feet. He has made several additions to the original building, and the structure compares favorably with any store in the county in the convenience of its arrangements and stock of goods carried.

Bala Township.--From a town in North Wales this township received its name. As at present constituted its area is forty-two miles.

In the spring of 1862, Mr. A. D. Phelps settled on the fork of Timber Creek, near the present town site of Bala. Twelve miles distant on the north was Rowland Spurrier, his nearest neighbor; nearest on the east, Rev. Aaron Silvers, eight miles distant; on the south, A. B. Whiting and B. E. Fullington.

In 1870, a Welsh colony was organized in the State of New York, under the name of "The Welsh Land and Emigration Society of America." James H. Jenkins, general agent for the colony, bought on time considerable of the Kansas Pacific Railroad lands. In 1870, with Mr. Jenkins came Thomas Daniels, Rowland Davies, J. Griffin, John E. Hughes, Owen R. Jones, Theodore Morgan, William Randall, Richard W. Roberts, J. P. Thomas, David Watkins, E. C. Williams and others.

The village of Bala is a thriving one. Its avenues running north and south are Park and Powys. Its streets are Kansas, Caroline, Louisa, John, Davies, Laura, Emma, Broadway and Genesee. Its lanes are Welsh, Ann and Elizabeth. Its post-office was established in 1871, succeeding the Old Timber Creek post-office. Rowland Davies is postmaster. L. Kilbourne is the postmaster at Alembia in Bala Township. The first marriage in the township was that of Christopher Young and Mary Lock in 1866. George Carrighan was the first child born in the township.

There is a Welsh Calvinist, an English Methodist Episcopal and a Congregational (Welsh and English) Church.

The first cheese factory in the county was erected here in 1876, by James Sharpless, and it is successfully carried on. Mr. Sharpless, Mr. Davis and Mrs. Jenkins have the general stores; J. H. Jenkins, the drug store. The town has a good hotel, harness shop, shoe shop and blacksmith shop.

Leonard, the only station on the Kansas Central Railroad in this county is situated in Bala Township, in Section 19, Township 8, Range 5, was started in October, 1881, and it was named after Leonard T. Smith of Leavenworth, formerly President of the road. Here is a new schoolhouse, and the Methodists are building a parsonage. The town has four general stores, of which the most prominent are those of the Erpelding Brothers and William Sikes. Meetings are held in the fine hall of the store building of Erpelding Brothers. The hotel is the Jones House. H. Wilcox has an excellent livery stable. J. H. Jenkins has a drug store. There is an elevator, a lumber-yard, and a blacksmith shop. The town is twenty-six miles northwest from Manhattan; sixteen from Clay Center; six from Riley Center, and fourteen from Randolph.

The Leonardville Brass Band has six instruments. William Fryhoffer is leader. This was organized in 1878.

Fancy Creek Township.--This township was named from the creek which flows through it. The Randolph family named the creek, and it is said, that whoever has wandered up and down its charming valley, or has enjoyed a look down upon the picturesque panorama spread out at its feet from an adjacent bluff, will exclaim, "A singularly appropriate name."

The township was organized September 8, 1879, and embraced the south one half of what was then May Day Township, containing forty-eight square miles each.

August Winkler came up from St. Louis, Mo., in the spring of 1857, and F. Winkler, C. L. Caley and J. J. Myers were settlers here soon afterwards. August Winkler built the first permanent grist-mill in the county. He has been a very successful miller and farmer, and has the largest flock of sheep in the county.

In 1872, Richard Bork established a general store.

In 1880, a Baptist Church was erected at a cost of $1,500.

Center Township.--This township was organized August 13, 1881, and it embraces what was the south one-third of May Day and the north one-third of Fancy Creek townships, containing thirty-two square miles. May Day and Fancy Creek each contains the same.

May Day Township.--In January, 1872, this township was organized, the territory having been taken from Jackson Township. It embraced a tract 8x12 miles in the northwest part of the county. Its name was suggested by Hon. A. S. Edgerton, who was postmaster of an office established there in 1869, and first called Stanton. This name was objected to, because of there being other offices of that name in the State.

In the year 1857, Frank Droll and Rudolph Niehenke settled in the township. Peter Dick, A. S. Edgerton, O. E. Osborne, George Pickett and Fred Schartz came soon after. In 1871, Solomon Weichselbaum established a store at May Day.

The first marriage was that of A. Brockhart and Sarah Morris in 1862. The first birth that of John H. Schartz, August 1, 1859.

Parallel Post-Office, M. Jerome, postmaster, is on the first standard parallel.

Farmer's Lodge, No. 166, was organized at May Day under a dispensation, January 15, 1876. G. T. Polson was chosen Worshipful Master; J. W. Smith, Senior Warden; Frank Coffie, Junior Warden; H. A. Freeman, Treasurer; Sol Weichselbaum, Secretary. It was organized under a charter October 18, 1876. Its membership is upwards of thirty.

W. W. Jones is the physician at Parallel; H. A. Meier, physician and surgeon at May Day.

Swede Creek Township.--This township is in the northeast part of the county, and its area is about fifty miles. It was organized August 4, 1879. H. H. Rice was its first Trustee. Frederic Toburen was Trustee 1880-82. Its post-office is Big Timber; Maynus Vilander is postmaster. The township receives its name from the creek which flows through it, and the creek was named in honor of Peter Carlson, a Scandinavian, who settled on it in 1857. In 1858, L. Pierson settled just below the mouth of Swede Creek, and N. Christenson, a Dane, settled a little farther down the Big Blue. The same year the Meyer brothers and Frederic Toburen made a settlement in the township, and later Mr. Toburen's parents and his brothers, Herman and Adolph.

In 1877, a German Evangelical Church was erected. The township contains tree stone and two frame schoolhouses.

Jackson Township.--The early settlers of this township came from Jackson County, Ind., hence the name. Formerly it embraced all the territory now included in Jackson, May Day, Madison, Bala and a part of Grant townships. Early in 1855, Gardner Randolph and his large, grown-up family of sons, daughters and sons-in-law, near the mouth of Fancy Creek, made the first settlement. They claimed all the land, with the exception of a single tract on Fancy Creek, between Peter Heller's on Section 4, Township 7, Range 6, and the mouth of Baldwin Creek, also a slice east of the Blue called Timber City. Though this family came from Illinois, they avowed their purpose of aiding in making Kansas a slave State.

In November, 1856, Edward Secrest, Solomon Secrest and Henry Shellenbaum, three young men, natives of Switzerland, but recently from Seymour, Jackson Co., Ind., came up the Blue River, and built the first log cabin on the Big Blue, above Fancy Creek. In the early part of 1857 they settled on Fancy Creek, where they were joined by Mr. John Fryhoffer. The father of the Secrest brothers joined his sons in the fall of 1860. William Fryhoffer and Peter Heller came in 1863, and the father of the Fryhoffers in 1864.

Fancy Creek Valley is settled with some of the best farmers in the county, who are largely Swedes and Germans, the large portion of whom were in the territory of Jackson Township. The township, as constituted in 1882, embraces about fifty-five square miles. Its eastern boundary is the Big Blue, the western, the line between Ranges 5 and 6.

In the original bounds of the township the first school was taught by J. M. Byarlay in 1863. The first schoolhouse was built in 1867. The first church was built in 1876, by the German Evangelical Association.

The first regular religious meetings were held at Mr. Randolph's early in 1857, by ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

The first marriage was that of Lewis Baldwin and Matilda Randolph in 1856, and the fist birth was that of their son in 1857.

Randolph, first called Waterville, was laid out in 1856, by J. K. Whitson; the first inhabitant, G. L. Ruthstreno, established the first store. In 1882, its population is about 300. It has a graded school, with two teachers. The Swedish Methodist Episcopal Church is organized and the Swedish Mission Church has a good building. Its postmaster in 1882 is J. W. Nelson. The first post-office here was a the house of Gardner Randolph, and it was on the weekly mail route between Ogden and Marysville.

The town has a lumber-yard, a millinery establishment, a livery stable, a jewelry establishment, a tin shop, a cabinet shop, a drug store, two harness shops, three blacksmith shops, three hotels, and three physicians. Its attorneys are T. B. Lewis and R. C. Walter. J. F. Beckman & Bros., and A. Wikander carry the largest stock of goods.

In 1881, A. A. Chapman and Milton Foreman, practical carpenters and mill-wrights, got their three-story wood and stone grist-mill in running order. It has three run of stone, and the mill is moved by a turbine wheel of forty horse-power. The mill is situated south of the town, and the water running it is taken from near the bend of Fancy Creek and conveyed through a canal to the bulkhead.

Randolph is a peninsula, North Otter being on the east; Fancy Creek on the south and considerably on the west of it. The original plat (sic) of the town contains five blocks. Whitson's Addition has nine, north of the same; Beckman's is a few lots south and west of the original plat. The town contains some eleven acres, and is located on the south part of the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 33, Township 8, Range 7.

Grant Township.--This township was formed from Jackson and Manhattan Townships, April 11, 1870, and was named in honor of President Grant. It contained ninety-two square miles. J. W. Paul was the Township Trustee in 1870, 1874, 1878, 1880, 1882; H. P. Dow in 1871; Charles McGiloray in 1872; James E. Freeman in 1873; Edelbute in 1879.

On Wild Cat Creek the first settlers were S. D. Houston and Henry Eubank, who settled in 1855. The same year Henry Condray, and his sons Mincher, William and John settled near the mouth of Mill Creek, built dwellings, and started a mill and blacksmith shop. In 1856 came Jonas Kress; in 1857 and 1858, Lemuel Knapp, Samuel Kimble, George Slye, John Warner and his sons John and George, Lorenzo Westover, Jesse White and Joshua Williams.

H. C. Kennedy is the postmaster at Grant post-office; J. D. Sweet at Stockdale. The first schoolhouse was built in 1859; first teacher, V. Ruddrick. The first printing was by Newell Trafton; the first church the Methodist Episcopalian.

The first marriage was that of William Frake to Catherine Condray, in 1856. The first births were Newton Frake and George Eubank.

Stockdale is located at the junction of Mill Creek and Big Blue. There was a saw-mill here in the early days, and the ample water-power can be easily utilized. J. D. Sweet has a store and a blacksmith shop.

Manhattan Township.--The history of the settlement of this, the most important township of the county, is given with the history of the city of Manhattan.

Friday, January 13, 2006

History of Riley County Part 2

Of its nearly 400,000 acres of land, about 20 per cent are bottom-lands, 80 per cent uplands, and 6 per cent forest, according to government survey; 95 per cent prairie. The eastern and southern portions of the county are quite bluffy and furnish some most picturesque scenery; the western and northern are for the most part gently undulating, the rolling prairie being most beautiful in Its waving swells and varied slopes. On the small creeks the strips of bottom are quite narrow; the belts of alluvial lands along the Kansas, Big Blue, Fancy, Mill, and Wild Cat vary from one-half to four miles in width.

The composition of the soil is so varied in its chemical elements that nearly almost everything in the nature of grasses, grains, fruits and vegetables can be produced from it. The dark, easily-worked soil of the bottom-lands is very productive. Its depth, ranging from two to fifteen feet, comparatively makes its fertility inexhaustible. Sand largely predominates over the cIayey element, and it very readily admits of drainage, so that it may be said there is next to nothing of stagnation in these bottom-lands of large expanse. The uplands, less sandy than the bottoms, are fully as certain of bountiful crops, except in the occasional periods when burning drouths prevail. The almost total exemption from early and late frosts, of the crops on the high prairie, and the salubrity of the climate, causes the settlement of the uplands with great rapidity as compared with the early days. The bluffs, though presenting something of an appearance of barrenness, are exceedingly valuable for pastoral purposes, supplied, as their sides are so often, with excellent springs of living water; and the contiguous ravines, with their shady nooks, make most excellent ranges for neat cattle and sheep. Good brick-clay is found in the bottom-lands and a beautiful magnesian limestone is distributed over the county, immense quarries being in the vicinity of Manhattan.

A large part of the Kansas River between the Big Blue and the Republican rivers is in Riley County, and on it are some of the garden-lands of the State. During the territorial days of Kansas steamboats came up the river to Manhattan and as far as Junction City; and should the Mississippi Missouri, and Kansas rivers, under the fostering care of the General Government, receive bountiful appropriations, the bulky products of the soil are likely to be transported in floating barges down these improved navigable streams to the Gulf of Mexico, where they may be readily shipped to the Old World. The Kaw, this noblest of Kansas rivers, is on the north line of Zeandale Township; it runs very irregularly through Manhattan and forms considerable of the north and the northwestern boundary of Ashland, and the southwestern boundary of Ogden Township.

The Big Blue, forming the larger portion of the eastern boundary of the county, has fewer sharp bends than the Kaw, into which it flows at the east of Manhattan, and it is so bountifully furnished with water-power as to cause it to be designated the "Merrimac" of Kansas. It is dammed at Rocky Ford, some three miles above Manhattan; the fall is ten feet, and the dam 342 feet in length, is built of heavy oak timbers bolted into the solid rock foundation. The Rocky Ford mill was built here in 1866. It is a four-story stone building, 40x60 feet. Its foundations are laid on the solid rock, and its walls, laid in cement, are four feet thick from the bottom of the river to the second floor. The river can be dammed below at Manhattan and above at Stockdale, Randolph, and Mariadahl. Swede Creek, Jackson, Grant and Manhattan townships are the Riley County townships bordering on the Big Blue. Fancy and Mill creeks, flowing southeast into the Kan- sas, water the center of the county, and Madison, Timber and Three Mile creeks running west into the Republican, water the western portion; while south of the Kansas, McDowell, Deep and School creeks, traverse the southern part, the two latter in Zeandale Township. The "Zeandale Bottoms" are regarded as the choice bottom-lands of the county. Besides these there are other small creeks, which, with their branches, give the county a most bountiful water-supply.

There are quite a variety of kinds of timber of which the most abundant are cottonwood several kinds of oak and elm, black walnut, soft maple hackberry, hickory, locust, ash, linden, sycamore, mulberry, box elder, and coffee-bean. Of the cultivated groves, soft maple predominates, though black walnut, locust and cottonwood are quite common. Out on the high prairies, the groves of forest-trees, and the cultivated orchards which now bear in copious quantities some of the choicest of apples, pears and peaches, all attest to the assiduous care of the lover of horticulture, and the most excellent climate for various fruits.

More to come..... :)

Thursday, January 12, 2006


RILEY County was the westernmost county of Kansas, having the Kansas River for its southern boundary, among those organized by the Territorial Legislature of 1865. Its northern boundary was the county of Marshall; its western, the line between Ranges 5 and 6 east, its eastern, Calhoun County, lying east of the line dividing Ranges 10 and 11 east. Between it and the Missouri River, were the counties of Calhoun, Jefferson and Leavenworth. Going northward and westward from Leavenworth, Atchison, Doniphan, Brown, Nemaha and Marshall were traversed, as the Northern River and Nebraska line counties, making eight counties to the north and east of Riley. What was then Western Kansas is in 1882, Northeastern Kansas, for west of the four then northern tier counties, are now eight organized ones, only one unorganized county "Cheyenne" lying in Northwestern Kansas, on the Nebraska - Colorado line. From 1857 to 1873, changes have been made in the county lines of Riley. That part of it east of the Big Blue River is now the major portion of Pottawatomie County. Its western boundary was extended eight miles west from the line dividing Ranges 5 and 6. From its southwestern portion, Davis County has been enlarged by territory from Riley, and on the south and southeastern portion of Riley has there come additions from the counties of Davis and Wabaunsee. On the north it is bounded by Washington, Marshall, and Pottawatomie; on the east by Pottawatomie and Wabaunsee; on the south by Wabaunsee and Davis; on the west by Davis and Clay. There is no more irregularly shaped county than this in Kansas.

Its present area is about 620 square miles; with the United States Military Reserve taken out it has in round numbers 600 square miles. On its longest continuous line from north to south, it is thirty-four miles. At its widest place it is twenty-six miles across it from east to west; at its narrowest point, it is twelve and one-half miles across it.

In parting with Milford and South Milford Townships, as they were known at different times, Riley County gained strength for Manhattan, and Davis for Junction City as county seats; especially with the addition of other territory to Riley from Davis and Wabaunsee.

Riley County received its name directly from the military post of Fort Riley, and indirectly from General Benjamin Riley, an officer of the United States Army. July 81, 1852, Col. T. T. Fauntleroy, of the First Dragoons, while in Washington, D. C., in a letter to Maj.- Gen. T. S. Jessup, Quartermaster- General of the United States Army, urged the establishment of a military post at or near a point on the Kansas River, where the Republican Fork unites with it. He also recommended the "discontinuance of the Leavenworth, Scott, Atchison, Kearney and Laramie Posts, and the concentration of troops at the post proposed." In the autumn of l852, Col. Fauntleroy, Maj. E. A. Ogden, and an officer of the Engineer Corps, were appointed a Commission to select a site on the Smoky Hill River for a ten- company cavalry post, and the point chosen was the present site of Fort Riley. May 19, 1853, Captain Lovell, of the Sixth Infantry, formed an encampment and named it "Camp Center, at the mouth of the Pawnee River." July 26, 1858, it took the name of "Fort Riley." The buildings of the post were constructed under the supervision of Maj. Ogden, who died at the fort, of cholera in July, 1855. At the highest eminence of the post a fine monument of native limestone has been erected to his memory.

Fort Riley is about half a mile from the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill rivers, about three miles from Junction City. The buildings are of a white, magnesian limestone and are very complete in all their appurtenances. It is now a twelve-company post.

Stay tuned for part 3 tomorrow :)

Samuel Breese

This is written by Donna Allen

Samuel was born 1799 in Pa according to Federal Census records. He married Jane Prickett in Hamilton, Butler Co Oh on Sept 14,1828. They are not in the Greene Co In census in 1830 so must have remained in Oh for some time. But Sam did sign as a witness for the land transfer in 1837 in Greene Co In.
1840 finds them in Greene Co In with 2 sons uncer 10 years of age. which would have been Watson and Noah.
1850 they are in Fulton Co Il with all 4 sons.
1860 census in Fulton Co Il, only Thomas and Noah are listed, 18 year old Albert was probably living with someone else working as a farm hand. And Watson had his own family.
According to family legend from the Il relatives, Sam and Valentine lived across the road from each other, Sam in Fulton Co, Val in Peoria Co. Brother John Jr lived in Peoria Co, not far away as did sister Mary Ann Purcell.
Sam Brees ran some kind of mill that was later put on the Old Settlers Grounds in Peoria Co.
He is not in the 1870 census, but in 1873 Jane Breese signed a petition for Edward Purcell who was trying to get a pension for his Civil War injuries.
No records of Samuel's or Jane's death can be found and again we run into strip mining in the area plus a court house fire.
Three of Samuel and Jane's sons were in the Civil War, Watson, Noah (who died of sickness)and Albert who went to Chicago and enlisted. After his death, Noah's personal effects were given to his brother Watson. Noah is buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery.
Some people have listed Orin Breese as one of their sons, but he was never in a census with them, I believe he was John Jr's son.
According to military records, Edward Purcell went to LaGrange Tn and got Orin's body and brought it back to Il for burial. He also died of sickness. He was listed in a 1860 census with the Purcell's as a farm hand.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Whole Family Tree

I started to enter all the names in our tree. Took me forever to just enter the few I did! I still have a ton to add and then go back and add children and proper dates and places, but it's a start! This tree will be for EVERYONE that is in our family line, not just the Breese line...this will get confusing too since I'm planning to do both of my families, adopted and bio...hmmm, not sure how I'm going to get that organized! They should make an easier tree template for situations like that!