The Early History of Pleasanton
by William G. Cutler (1883)
This flourishing town of twelve hundred inhabitants, the largest in Linn County, is situated on the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, twenty-four miles north of Fort Scott. The surrounding country is valley, hills being visible at various distances in all directions.
The building of Pleasanton commenced in the summer of 1869, when the coming of the above-mentioned railroad was assured. There never was any town company organized, and the town site, which previously was owned by a considerable number of private individuals, seems to have been selected by common consent.
The town site was laid out in the summer of 1869, and the first town lot was sold in July. shortly after this time, a hotel was built on Main street by John Butler; William E. Talbott started a general store; Park & Vanzandt a hardware store; Dr. Bender a drug store; Kincaid & Co. a general store, and other businesses also were started before the railroad was completed to the town. There were built also a considerable number of small temporary dwelling houses, and the second hotel was erected by Morgan Ficus the same year. In the spring of 1870, larger and more commodious residences began to be built; one by Mr. Medberry, which was the first good house in town, and others in the north part of town, by William Hudsley, A. F. Hawley and John Haynes. The town grew very rapidly for the first three or four years, until it acquired a population of eight hundred, from which time until 1878 it made but little progress.
The first lawyers in Pleasanton were George Godfrey, M. N. Lewis, and W. P. Winfree, all of whom located before S. H. Allen, who came February 1, 1870. The first physician was R. J. Peare, in August, 1869; the second, Henry Plumb, in the fall. The first sermon in town was preached by Rev. John Kimsey, July 4, 1869.
On the 29th of October, 1869, the town of Pleasanton was incorporated, and a Board of Trustees appointed, consisting of Dr. Henry Plumb, Edger M. Tucker, William E. Talbott, Charles T. Wheaton and Caleb Rhoades. An election was held October 25, 1870 for the purpose of completing the organization of the town as a city of the third class. D. W. Poak was elected Mayor, and C. A. Brackett, A. D. Hyatt, Fred. Wagner, J. R. Fairfield and M. Rainwater, Councilmen. Fred. Wagner was elected Clerk. The subsequent Mayors have been the following: S. Wade, elected in 1871; J. E. Whitman, in 1872 and 1873; Fred. Wagner, in 1874, 1875, 1876 and 1877; D. F. Park, 1878; S. H. Hibbs, 1879; B. F. Blaker, 1880; D. A. Crocker, 1881, and W. S. Everett, in 1882.
Churches and Schools
The Presbyterian Church was organized in October, with nine members, by Rev. T. Y. Gardner, of Fort Scott. Rev. J. P. Harsen, who assisted at the organization of the church, was the first pastor, and remained eighteen months. The church was then without a pastor until 1874, when Rev. Jacob Baay was called and remained until 1879. Rev. J. H. Trussell commenced his labors in July, 1880, and remained until October, 1882. The church building, a frame one, was erected in the winter of 1869-70, and cost $2,500. The present membership is thirty-one. A Sunday school was organized in 1869; it has now one hundred and ten scholars enrolled, and sixty-five in average attendance.
Pleasanton Methodist Episcopal Church was organized April 26, 1870, by the election of trustees. Previously, there had been preaching by Rev. John Kimsey, on July 4, 1869, on top of Round Mound, and on the 25th of the same month by Rev. H. P. Satchwell, in "an unroofed, unfloored and unfinished building," which building was afterward known as the : Butler Hotel.: Pleasanton Mission was established March 23, 1870, by the appointment to it of Rev. H. P. Satchwell, who held his first services April 1, 1870, in the billiard hall under the Gulf Hotel. At the first meeting of the society, it was decided to build a parsonage, and a church building was also erected and dedicated that year. In order to accomplish these two objects, the society ran deeply into debt, and was consequently seriously embarrassed for a number of years. During the first part of Rev. Mr. Satchwell's pastorate, the Missionary Society was obliged to contribute $200 toward his support. Mr. Satchwell resigned in September on account of ill health, and Rev. S. S. Wetherby succeeded in October, and remained until March, 1871. Rev. C. F. Williams was now appointed and remained until August, 1872, Revs. S. Ayers and William Beeler filling out the year. Rev. James Murray was appointed in March, 1873, and remained two years. Rev. John Nelson followed and remained until 1877. Rev. C. T. Deboraw was pastor during 1878-79 and 1880, and was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. J. W. Walker in March, 1881. In the year 1879, a brick church building was erected at a cost of $2,600. The present membership is 125.
The first school meeting in District No. 78, the Pleasanton district, was held February 19, 1870, and was organized by electing E. A. McGregor, Director Dr. Henry Plumb, Clerk, and D. W. Poak. The first annual meeting was held March 31. The first complement of teachers consisted of Theodore Botkin, Mary E. Botkin and Emma M. Adams, who commenced their first term of school in April. R. W. Blue succeeded Theodore Botkin as Principal of the schools in April, 1871, and was followed by R. B. Bryan in 1873; Theodore Botkin, in 1874; T. W. McKinnie, 1876; W. F. Kirkland, 1878; A. E. Beardsley, 1879; J. F. Hartshorn, 1880, and Mr. McCullough, 1882.
The school building, a three story brick, costing, including furniture, $18,000, was erected in 1871. It is situated on the summit of Round Mound, a small elevation in the west part of the town, about fifty feet high. It is a prominent object and commands an extended and magnificent view of the surrounding country. George B. Lord & Co. started a bank in 1870, and in a short time sold out to E. T. Coe & Co., who continued the business until 1872. During this latter year, Hood & Kincaid started their bank, and have since continued to do a general banking business. In 1881, they erected an elegant brick building at a cost of $3,500. The Pleasanton Library Association was organized in March, 1881. They have now one hundred and fifty volumes in the library, which is remarkably well patronized.
Societies and the Press
Eureka Lodge, No. 88, A., F. & A. M., was chartered October 20, 1870. The charter officers were J. R. Vanzandt, W. M.; J. M. Haynes, S. W.; Peter Fellows, J. W.; H. H. Cox, Secretary, and J. W. Babb, Treasurer. The present membership is 34. Pleasanton Lodge, No. 65, I. O. O. F., was instituted October 7, 1870, with six members. Its charter officers were John Eifert, N. G.; F. H. Foot, V. G.; J. M. Taylor, Secretary; James Lacount, Treasurer, and J. W. Garrett, Reporter. Present membership, 32.
Pleasanton Lodge, No. 92, A. O. U. W., was organized February 6, 1882, with twenty-six members; the present membership is the same. The first officers were as follows: R. J. Peare, P. M. W.; N. W. Barnett, M. W.; J. W. Platt, Foreman; J. F. Conley, Overseer; J. L. Carnahan, Recorder; G. F. Horton, Financier; J. F. George, Receiver; E. L Williams, Guide; Charles Adams, Outside Watchman, and R. P. Akers, Inside Watchman.
Jewell Post, No. 3, G. A. R., was organized August 22, 1881, with thirty-six charter members. The first officers of the Post were N. W. Barrett, P. C.; George R. Page, S. V. C.; D. I. Whitman, J. V. C.; James Goss, O. D.; C. P. Lee, Surgeon; J. E. Whitman, Chaplain; H. H. McGlothlin, O. G.; J. H. Madden; Adjutant. The organization has now one hundred and one members and is in a flourishing condition. Morning Star Encampment, No. 1, I. C. R. C., was organized January 16, 1882, with twenty-seven members; its present membership is sixty. Its first officers were the following; W. H. Masters, E. C.; N. W. Barnett, E. Conn.; F. W. Baldwin, S. C.; J. W. Platt, C. H.; G. F. Horton, W. Secretary; J. W. Babb, F. Secretary; Mrs. L. A. Masters, W. Treasurer; Mrs. C. E. Stuckey, J. C.
This is the first encampment of the Independent Champions of the Red Cross organized in Kansas. The order had its origin in the Pacific coast in 1873; in 1875, encampments were organized in Colorado and at Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, and in some other Western States about the same time. The Supreme Commandery is located at Denver, Colo. Both men and women are eligible to membership and to all the privileges of the order. The objects of the order are to promote temperance, to provide literary, musical and other elevating entertainments for its members, and there will ultimately be added to it a life benefit feature.
The Pleasanton Observer was started August 24, 1871, by L. K. Zook. In the spring of 1875, E. H. and J. A. Bacon took charge of the paper and published it until July 1, 1876, when E. H. Bacon sold out his interest to Dr. Henry Plumb. On the 1st of April, 1877, Dr. Plumb sold his share to J. A. Bacon, who, on June 10, 1880, sold out to D. S. and H. L. Capell, who still continue its publication.
The Linn County Press was started in 1869, by A. B. Bowman, who sold it to Winfree & Lewis. From them it was purchased by the Press Publishing Company, who ran it about a year and sold it to Mugford & Hughes, who moved it to Sumner County, Kan., in 1871.
The Pleasanton Herald was started April 21, 1881, by J. B. Voss. Mr. Voss continued its publication until September 8, 1882, when W. S. Platt took charge of the editorial department. The Herald is devoted to the interests of the National Greenback Labor Party, and with the exception of the Linn County Tribune which was published at La Cygne about one year (1878-79), is the only greenback paper ever published in the county. There has been no Democratic paper published in Linn County.
The Hammond Mill was built in the summer of 1869, and commenced running October 12. It is in the northwest part of the town, on Muddy Creek. It is a four-run mill, with a forty-horse power engine and a capacity of sixty barrels of flour per day. The building with its machinery cost $12,000. This mill was built and is still owned by William H. Hammond, and is noted for the manufacture of the "Golden Shear" brand of flour.
Pleasanton City Mills. - In the year 1870, a bonus of $1,000 and a mill site were offered by E. M. and C. H. Tucker, to any one who would build and operate for five years a grist mill in the southern part of the town. William Marshall & Sons, in the fall of the year, built the Pleasanton City Mills, and operated them until March 1, 1875, selling out at that time to Van Densen, Rohrer & Co., who ran the mills until January 1, 1876, when they were sold to King R. Powell. Mr. Powell ran them until January 1, 1880, when they were leased to Hewett & Smith six months, at the end of which time they passed into the hands of the present owners, Blaker Bros. The mills are in a three story frame building, and consist of two run of stone, propelled by a forty-horse power engine, have a capacity of sixty barrels of flour per day, and cost $8,000.
Summary. - Since 1878, Pleasanton has been making gratifying and substantial progress. it now contains two general stores, two dry goods stores, five groceries, four drug stores, two stove and tin stores, two hardware stores, on clothing store, five blacksmith's shops, three wagon shops, three hotels, two lumber yards, three shoe shops, one elevator, one agricultural implement dealer, one book store, and about twenty other business houses. The population, March 1, 1882, was 1,114.
Pleasanton is located at 38°10'35N, 94°42'43W (38.176326, -94.711997). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.6 km² (1.8 mi²). 4.2 km² (1.6 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0.2 mi²) of it (8.38%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,387 people, 562 households, and 384 families residing in the city. The population density was 326.5/km² (846.8/mi²). There were 617 housing units at an average density of 145.3/km² (376.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.76% White, 0.65% African American, 0.50% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.14% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.65% of the population.
There were 562 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,714, and the median income for a family was $32,014. Males had a median income of $24,917 versus $18,333 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,309. About 18.8% of families and 21.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under age 18 and 12.4% of those age 65 or over.