The town of Paola was laid out in the spring of 1855, and incorporated by the Legislature during the session of that year, its limits comprising all that tract of country "set forth and defined in the plat of said town". The Paola Town Company was incorporated about the same time, the corporators being Baptiste Peoria, Isaac Jacobs, A. M. Coffey and David Lykins. This company was authorized to acquire title to by any quantity of land not exceeding 600 acres. The Board of Trustees appointed consisted of William A., Heiskell, Isaac Jacobs, William H. Lebow, B. P. Campbell and Peter Potts. The name of the town was selected in honor of Baptiste Peoria and is derived from the Indian pronunciation of the word "Peoria".
The streets were laid out an an angle with the points of the compass, of eleven and one-half degrees to the east of north, south of east, etc., and all those streets running nearly east and west named after various tribes of Indians having reservations in the part of the Territory. The corporators, after organizing and acquiring title to about 400 acres of land, fixed the value of the land, assets, rights, credits, and effects at $36,000 and divided the same into seventy-two shares, of which Baptiste Peoria, William G. Krutz, T. J. Anderson and W. R. Wagstaff each held twelve shares and William E. Ide, A. J. Shannon and Ezra T. Nye each held six.
In June, 1857, Baptiste Peoria was elected President of the Paola Town Company and A. J. Shannon Agent and Secretary. On the 29th of June, 1858, Baptiste Peoria was re-elected President, Allen T. Ward, Treasurer, and W. R. Wagstaff Agent and Secretary. From this time until after the expiration of limitation of the Charter of the Paola Town Company, granted in 1855 and continuing ten years, no further meeting of the Company was held, and no other officers chosen during its corporate existence. Allen T. Ward, Treasurer died in June, 1862, and the vacancy caused buy his death was not filled. Under the law applicable to the dissolution of corporations, W. R. Wagstaff, as Agent and Secretary, became Trustee, with full power to settle its affairs. He continues to manage its affairs until its property was finally disposed of.
On the 10th day of August, 1868, Wagstaff as agent sold to William G. Krutz 142 lots of the Town Company's property upon promise of payment of $4,000, and of the erection on lot 6 of a hotel not less than 55 x60 feet, and three stories high, said hotel to be completed buy August 10, 1869. In March, 1869, the construction of the hotel was commenced, in the meantime Mr. Krutz was selling lots to any and all purchasers until he had received $12,895.86 on such sales, and had paid no part of the $4,000. The hotel was completed about November 1, 1969, at a cost of $25,000.
Up to the 6th of August, 1874, Krutz had received as rents for the hotel about $13,000, at which time the building was destroyed by fire. It was insured for $12,000 and the insurance paid to Mr. Krutz. During 1869 and 1870, Krutz voluntary and trusted agent of the company sold town lots to the aggregate value of $18,000. On May 28, 1873, being pressed by creditors, Krutz conveyed by deed large and valuable tracts of land in Miami County to his son-in law Charles E. Hedges of Sioux City, Iowa. In 1874, the property was re-conveyed to Mr. Krutz. A suit was brought against Krutz September 1, 1874, for $22,000 and interest and on January 15, 1881, a judgment obtained for $16, 763.47.
The first house in Paola was built by S. P. Boone for Isaac Jacobs, the second by a Mr. White, just east of the present location of the Baptist Church, the third by the Town Company, on the site afterwards occupied by the St. Charles Hotel, and the fourth by Knowls and Cyrus Shaw. Cyrus Shaw opened a store in this building December 25, 1855. The Town Company afterwards built a hotel on the site of their first building. The first school was taught by Mrs. May Williams, now Mrs. Cyrus Shaw, in the fall of 1856. The first birth was that of Sue Heiskell, daughter of W. A. and Mrs. Heiskell, May 31, 1857; the first marriage that of George Tomlinson to Mary Mead, in the spring of 1856, and the first death, that of an infant son of Dr. Coffee, in the spring of 1857.
At the time of the land sales Paola contained about thirty inhabitants. In the early years, border troubles retarded growth, in 1860, the town suffered in common with the whole Territory, in consequence of the drouth, and in 1861, the war of the rebellion came lasting four years. During this time neither person, nor property was considered safe, and few were added to the population; but after the war, and especially when the prospect of railroad communication became certain, people came in and prices of property became more steady. The city has since that time steadily improved. It now contains a population of about 3,000 and is one of the prettiest towns in the eastern part of the State.
In 1860, a special charter was granted by the Legislature under which the town was organized as a city of the third class. This form of government continued until 1862, when Paola became a city of the second class. The following is a list of its Mayors: Allen T. Ward, G. W. Brown, E. W. Robinson, A. G. McKinzie, B. F. Simpson, J. Stoddard, J. H. Smith, William Crowell, J. B. Hobson, J. W. Sponable, B. Miller, and W. R. Brayman.
Paola has one of the finest school buildings in eastern Kansas, erected in 1872, at a cost of $65,000. it is a three story brick, with stone basement, beautifully situated on an elevation northeast of the town. The Kansas Normal School and Business Institute are located in the building. Paola has always been the county seat. But one election has been held on this questions, at which time, in 1858, Osawatomie was the principal competitor. In this election Indianapolis cast its vote in favor of Paola, thus defeating Osawatomie, the citizens of Indianapolis not desiring the capital of the county "so near and yet so far".
Churches and Societies
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the summer of 1858, by Rev. M. M. Pugh and remained a part of the Stanton circuit until 1864. The original membership cannot be ascertained. In 1860 Mr. Pugh was succeeded by Rev. Henry Moyse, who in 1862, gave place to Rev. Lewis Green, who was followed in regular succession by Rev. Messrs. E. Stewart, H. G. Mirch, Nathan Taylor, J. B. Orwig, Ross, Bruff, Hanah, G. W. Pye, J. Balley, Thomas Andis, Perrin, T. J. Taylor, C. W. Wysong, H. B. Sparks and H. V. Givier, present pastor.
In 1865 a two-story brick church building was erected at a cost of $11,000. This property was sold in the spring of 1882, and a much more commodious building erected during the summer and fall. This building is a frame one and when all the rooms are thrown into one furnishes about 600 sittings. The total cost was about $7,000. Present membership, 150.
The Sunday school was organized in 1864. Among the first of its superintendents was Joshua Clayton. The present number of scholars is 150; Prof. C. C. Marshal, superintendent.
Congregational Church - This church was organized, May 7, 1867, with eight members, by Rev. A. P. Johnson, who was ordained as first pastor, November 18, 1867. Rev Richard Cordley preached the ordination sermon. Other pastors have been as follows: Revs. Thomas Chafer, D. W. Comstock, J. A. Banfield, A. B. Jordon, C. C. Richardson, F. M. Van Slyke and L. P. Borad, present pastor, who began his pastorate in June, 1877. The present very neat frame church building was erected in 1870. Its seating capacity is 250 and together with the grounds is valued at $2,500. Membership of church, September 1, 1882, seventy-seven.
The Sunday school was organized in 1867; first superintendent, I. J. Banister: present superintendent L. P. Broad; assistant, Wm. Crowell. The present enrollment of scholars is 150, with an average attendance of 100. The library contains 200 volumes.
First Baptist Church was organized February 25, 1860, by Elder A. H. Dean, with eleven members. Elder Dean has been succeeded as Pastor by Revs. W. H. Boyakin, A. Cummings, W. A. Jarrell, W. D. Lowther and R. J. Downing. The present membership of the church is eighty. The church edifice was erected in 1865. It is a frame building 30 x 48 feet and cost with the grounds about $2000.
A Sunday school was organized in 1859. The first superintendent was L. G. A. Copley. The present enrollment of scholars is seventy-five.
The Church of the Holy Trinity - This church may be considered a continuation of the labors of the Jesuits, who established a mission among the confederated Tribes, extending out to the New York Indians, in 1845, under charge of Father C. J. Hoeckin. He remained until 1853, when he was succeeded by Father P. M. Ponziglione, who was followed in 1859 by Father J. Schacht. Father S. Favre came in 1862 and was succeeded by Father F. J. Wattron in 1863, who remained until 1872, being succeeded by A. J. Abel who was followed by Father D. J. Hurley in 1877 who still remains in charge.
In 1859 the society commenced the erection of a stone church, completing it with the exception of floor, door and windows, in 1860. The first years of the war interfered materially with religious affairs in this part of Kansas, and the church was used until 1863 for a stable. At this time the church was finished and devoted to legitimate uses. In 1881 a large brick church building was completed, 40 x 70 feet in size and costing $7,000. Baptiste Peoria gave the church five lots and five acres of land for a cemetery. The present membership of the church is 250, with Sunday school of fifty scholars.
The First Presbyterian Church was organized October 1, 1867, with sixteen members, Rev. J. N. Rankin was pastor from that time to September 12, 1869. Rev. J. S. Beekman and others supplied the church until November, 1870, when Rev. D. V. Mays, who had been called the previous May, took charge. June 1, 1873, Rev. J. H. Dillingham succeeded Rev. Mays, and was followed in one year by Rev. Alexander Thompson, who after preaching two years, was suspended by the Neosho Presbytery. He was succeeded by Rev. J. N. McClung, who remained three and one-half years, until October 1, 1881, since which time the church has been without a regular pastor. A commodious church building was erected in 1871, at a cost of $4,000, and dedicated free from debt, June 4, Dr. R. W. Patterson, of Chicago, preaching the dedicatory sermon. Church membership, 104.
The Sunday school was organized in 1870, with 100 scholars, J. E. Thayer, first Superintendent. At the present time th membership of the Sunday school and Bible class is 150, Elder N. H. Williams, superintendent.
The Colored Baptist Church was organized in March 1865, by Elder G. B. Price, with seven members. Their first house of worship was purchased by the citizens for $25, and placed on a lot presented to the church by the town company. The present property is worth $200. Present membership is forty-four, and present pastor, E. M. Gohron.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1868 by Rev. W. B. Ossley, with nine members. The church building was erected in 1870, at a cost of $525, on a lot presented to the Society. The ministers who have succeeded Rev. Ossley have been the following: Revs. A. Buchanan, Jesse Mills, J. P. Howard, S. F. Frister, D. Carter E. Ferguson, and J. B. Wallace, present incumbent. The present membership is thirty-nine.
A Sunday school was organized in 1873. At present it has forty-six scholars and seventy-six volumes in the library.
Paola Lodge, No 37, I. O. O. F. held its first meeting June 16, 1860, W. R. Wagstaff, E. W. Robinson, J. H. Hoover and others present. There were seven charter members, and the first officers installed under the charter were the following: E. W. Robinson, W. M.; B. F. Simpson, S. W.; G. W. Dale, J. W.; J. P. Glasscock, Treas.; E. B. Jurd, Sec. At the time of the Price raid the jewels, paraphernalia, etc. were buried and five days afterwards, October 29, 1865, they were taken up. At present there are 115 master Masons.
Paola Lodge, No 11, I. O. O. F. was instituted March 13, 1860 by G. W. Brown, deputy grand master, with seven charter members. The present membership is 135. The first officers of the lodge were as follows: S. N. R. Williamson, N. G.; G. H. Brockman, V. G.; G. W. Mitchler, Sec.; R. C. Brockman, Treas. The membership at present is 135.
Mystic Lodge, No. 1035, Knights of Honor was instituted March 20, 1878, with John A. Scroggs, dictator; W. Freeland, vice-dictator; and J. M. Gaylord, reporter. There were fifteen charter members; present membership, seventy-one. Joseph Maxwell, dictator; Cyrus Shaw, vice-dictator; and D. C. Goodrich, reporter. The membership of the order throughout the United States is about 145,000 and the benefits upon death paid each month amounts to $1,500,000.
Perfection Chapter, No 21, O. E. S. was organized July 9, 1879, and the following officers installed: Miss Fany Long, W. M.; E. W. Robinson, W. P.; Mrs. Emma Eislee, Asso. M.; H. A. Pratt, Sec.; Mrs. Alice Nicely, Trea. The chapter has 102 members.
McCaslin Post, G. A. R., No 117 was organized August 25, 1882, by Col. W. B. Shockley. The following were the officers installed: W. C. Easton, P. C.; Thos. M. Carroll, Sr., P. C.; H. H. Patten, Jr., P. C.; Amos Potter, surgeon; J. R. Cartwright, chaplain; J. C. Taylor, Q. M.; D. C. Goodrich, Ajt.; E. M. Wickersham, O. D.; Dillwyn Parker, Q. M. sergeant; C. C. Proctor, S. M.; George Quimby, O. G.
In addition to these, there are in Paola the following secret societies: St. Elmo Commandery, No. 22; Rebekah Degree Lodge, No. 25, I. O. O. F.; Encampment No 14, I. O. O. F.; Paola Chapter, No 20., Royal Arch Masons; Paola Lodge, No 259, I. O. G. T.; Paola Lodge, No. 14, O. M. P.; Equitable Aid Union, and Colored A. F.& A. M., J. Scott Lodge, No. 13.
The Press, Banks, Etc.
The Miami Republican was established by John McReynolds and Basil M. Simpson, August 18, 1866. McReynolds, retired in 1868, and Mr. Simpson sold out May 25, 1873, to the Republican Printing Company, composed of Thomas, J. D., O. H. and T. O. Greason. Up to the spring of 1874, the paper was Republican in politics, when it was published as a Reform paper. John H. Rice purchased a half interest March 25, 1875, and on December 4, 1875, A. H. Longely purchased a half interest, and the paper was published by Rice & Longely. Rice purchased Longely's interest January 15, 1877. John H. Rice & Sons continues the publication of the paper until July 23, 1880, when it was purchased by Leslie J. Perry, who consolidated it with the Republican Citizen and sold a half interest to R. P. Rice, R. P. Rice sold his interest to William D. Greason, the firm now being Perry & Greason.
The Western Spirit - On the 14th of June, 1871, Perry & Bright started the Kansas Spirit. Soon afterwards Bright retired. Perry changed the name to the Western Spirit, S. M. Ford was connected with the Spirit during 1872 and 1873. June 14, 1878, Perry sold out to Carroll, Clark & Highley - T. M. Carroll, editor. June 1, 1879, Greason bought Clark's interest; January 1, 1881, Sheridan and Highley bought Greason's interest and the paper is now owned by Sheridan & Highley-the former, editor, and the latter, business manager. Circulation of the paper, 1,680; politics, Democratic.
The Paola Times was started March 28, 1882, by W. B. Brayman, he having come into possession by foreclosure of mortgage of the material of the Miami Talisman office, which paper had sold out its subscription list a short time previously to the Republican. The Times is an eight-column folio paper, Republican in politics and opposed to bossism and rings.
The Paola Chief was started January 1, 1880, by W. R. A. & O. Wagstaff. The paper suspended at the expiration of six months. The Union Crusader was established by T. H. Ellis in 1861, using the material that had been used in the publication of the Chief Benjamin F. Simpson was editor of the Crusader in 1862. The paper was discontinued in 1863.
The Republican Citizen was started August 8, 1878, by A. R. Wickersham, associating with himself, in the publication of the paper, James D. Greason. In the fall he sold the paper to G. A. Colton, who, in August, 1879, sold it to Leslie J. Perry, who merged it with the Republican July 23, 1880.
Miami County Bank - This bank commenced business January 1, 1876, with a capital of $50,000, twenty-seven stockholders, and nine directors, of whom the following were the first and are the present officers: J. E. Thayer, Pres.; J. W. Sponable, Vice-Pres.; T. M. Carroll, Sec.; and William Crowell, cashier. The purpose of the organization of the company was to do a general deposit, loan discount and banking business, The first place of business was a small frame building on the north side of Peoria street between Agate and Pearl. During the year 1877 the company erected a fine two-story brick building on the southeast corner of Peoria and Pearl street, at a cost, including land of $6,400, commencing business therin January 1, 1878. On July 1, 1882, paid up capital was $50,000, surplus $5,000.
Bank of Paola - commenced business June 13, 1881, with a capital of $50,000, nineteen stockholders and seven directors, of whom the following were the first officers: S. R. Smith, Pres.; L. C. Gilmore, Vice-Pres; G. P. Graham, Sec. and cashier. On the first of July, 1882, J. Gilmore became Sec. and cashier. This institution does a general deposit, loan, discount and banking business. On July 1, 1882, its capital was $50,000 and surplus $500.
The First National Bank of Paola was established in 1871, with an authorized capital of $100,000 and a paid up capital of half that sum. J. B. Hobson was the first president, F. M. Shaw, cashier, and C. A. Leighton, assistant. The bank was discontinued in the fall of 1877. Had the business of the bank been properly managed by the cashier, it would have been a success.
The Paola Iron Works were established in June, 1882, by Joseph, A. J. and J. I. Clandon and J. W. Vilke. The works comprised an iron foundry, 30 x 60 feet, and a machine shop 30 x 40; total cost of buildings and machinery, $3,000.
Paola contains at the present time, four dry goods stores, five drugstores, two hardware, three agricultural implement dealers, two grain dealers, three hotels, five blacksmith shops, three wagon manufactories, two carriage manufactories, two flouring mills, three harness shops, three furniture stores, three lumber yards, one flour and grain store, four carpenter shops, eight physicians, fifteen lawyers, two jewelry stores, four saloons, besides numerous other businesses and industries and 3,000 inhabitants.