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.

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