The Early History of Jackson County
William G. Cutler (1883)
JACKSON County (formerly Calhoun), was one of the thirty-three counties organized by the first Territorial Legislature of Kansas, at its session in 1858, at the Shawnee Manual Labor School, in Johnson County. Calhoun County embraced upwards of 1,140 square miles.
February 11, 1859, by act of the Territorial Legislature, the names of Calhoun - suggestive of treason of the American nation - gave way to Jackson, in honor of the President who boldly denounced nullification, and "by the Eternal" declared "nation" constitutionally written with a big "N."
The lines of Brown, Jackson and Shawnee counties were changed by an act of the Legislature of 1868, and the county-seat of Jackson County was thereby permanently located at Holton.
The northwest portion of the county was government land; from Netawaka east in the northeast part of the county, having for a southern boundary the line of Straight Creek, was the land of the Kickapoos. Their diminished reserve is now entirely within the limits of Brown County. The Delaware lands lay south of the Kickapoo Reserve, in the east part of the county. In the southwest part of the county was the Pottawatomie Reservation, now diminished to a tract eleven by eleven miles, with an area of 121 square miles, leaving some 530 square miles of territory in the county available for settlement.
The Delaware lands were brought into market July, 1857, at a public sale held at Osawkee, prior to which time settlements had been made on these lands, and the appraisements were from $1.25 to $2 per acre, where the occupant had a cabin and slight improvements on a quarter section. The Kickapoo Reservation was purchased or granted as a subsidy to the Central Branch of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1867, and settlement commenced on these lands in June of that year.
The Diminished Pottawatomic Reserve has been long looked upon as a section exceedingly fertile, and highly desirable for settlement, but since 1875, there has been but little expectation that it would become a part of the taxable domain of Jackson County, until at a somewhat distant period. State Senator John S Hopkins, at Topeka, February 15, 1875, wrote to Frank A. Root, then Editor of the Holton Express and News, as follows:
The prospect is good for the early selling out of the lands and removal of the diminished reserve band of Pottawatomic Indians, located in the bowels of our county. No fact will be left unpresented by those having the matter in hand, showing the situation of our county - the demoralizing effects, both upon the Indians and settlers, of the policy of surrounding a band of Indians by white settlements, the willingness on the part of the reserve band to remove beyond the whiteman's plow. Earnest work in the right direction is now being performed.
The general surface of Jackson County is undulating: the rolling prairies rising and falling in gentle swells; the elevation averaging about thirty feet in a distance of a mile or more. These crestlines of motionless waves are intersecting each other at every conceivable angle, which brings into view the most extensive landscape, and shows the light green of the prairie grasses in pleasing contrast with the dark green foliage of the forest trees of greater or less size, which skirt the many streams of running water that pass through the county. Of upland prairie there is 87 per cent, of bottom land 13 per cent, of timber land 7 per cent. The average width of the creek bottom lands is one mile, of timber belts one-half mile.
Lime and sandstone exist in large quantities. A most excellent whitish magnesian limestone is found in different portions of the county, which though easily worked when first quarried, becomes hard and exceedingly durable when exposed to the air. The Linscott Bank building on the west side of the public square at Holton, and the Campbell University building, furnish excellent specimens of this choice material for public and private structures. To the northeast and south of Holton, on the Elk and Barmer creeks, may be found the best specimens of brick-clay, and large quantities of brick have been made therefrom. Coal has been discovered in some parts of the county, but few mines have as yet been opened; the thickness of the veins not warranting the expense of excavating for it.
In the bottom lands the soil is a rich sandy loam; it is a heavier black soil on the upland prairie, but it is all easily cultivated, and there are scarcely any untillable lands in the county. The depths of soil varies from eighteen inches to four feet. Stagnant pools, common to extensive bottoms along rivers and near the mouth of large creeks, are unknown in this county, hence the easy and rapid drainage of the soil, and the consequent fertility and the salubrity of the atmosphere.
The supply of timber in Jackson County is hardly surpassed by that of any county in the State, and its area is constantly on the increase caused by the rapid diminution of prairie fires, and the very considerable culture of prairie groves. The streams are so numerous that the distribution of timber over the county is very well equalized; the traveler is hardly ever out of sight of timber. Conspicuous among the native varieties are cottonwood, black walnut, oak of the black, white, red, and burr varieties; hickory, elm, hackberry, linden, sycamore, willow, and box-elder. The cultivated groves are generally soft maple, cottonwood, elm, and black walnut.
October 16, 1855, by act of the Commissioners' Court, Calhoun County was divided into the three municipal townships of Douglas, Atchison, and Half Day. Douglas, including from the Kansas River northward to the Military road running across the county, known as the Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley road, forming the southern township. Atchison comprised the northeastern and Half Day the northwestern township.
December 15, 1856, Franklin Township was formed seven miles from north to south; twelve miles from east to west, virtually taking the place of Atchison. March 15, 1858, in a recast of boundaries and change of names, there were three townships, located as follows: Douglas - which was the southern township, its northern boundary being the line between Townships 7 and 8: Franklin, embracing the eastern north part, while the western north part was named Jefferson. The Legislature of 1868, in changing the boundaries of Shawnee, Jackson, and Brown counties, made the line between Townships 9 and 10 the southern boundary of Jackson County, Township 5, in Ranges 15 and 16 was detached from Brown and made the northeastern portion of Jackson County, becoming a part of Franklin Township. In 1868, there were three townships; in 1873, eleven. In 1871 Holton became a city of the third class by an act of the Legislature, and in 1882 there were twelve distinct municipalities in the county.
At an election held for electing a Territorial Delegate, October 5, 1857, Marcus J. Parrott, the Free-State Candidate, was chosen. The first Justices of the Peace in these townships were the following named persons: Half Day Township, George L. Young; Atchison Township, Richard Reese; Douglas Township, Perry Fleshman and Samuel S. Lockhart; Franklin Township, Nathaniel Boydston.
The census taken April 1, 1857, showed a population of 885; voters, 291: yet at the election June 1, 1857, for Lecompton delegates, Oden received 23; Kuykendall, 20 votes. Following is the early history of the municipal townships, as at present constituted:
Douglas.-- It was meet that the great representative of popular sovereignty - Stephen A. Douglas - should have his name perpetuated in Jackson County. In its southeast corner is an irregularly shaped township by that name, containing sixty-five sections of land. It is watered by the Little Soldier Creek and by branches of the Muddy. Its population in 1875 was 589; in 1880 it was 1,051. Its present boundaries were fixed in 1873.
J. W. Williams, a native of Ohio, settled upon Section 10, Township 9, Range 16, in 1858, one of the first settlers upon the high prairie. He has a hedge enclosing twenty acres, that was planted in 1859. He has been county Commissioner, Representative to the Legislature, and his son, A. H. Williams, has been Sheriff of Jackson County for four years.
John Rippetoe, a native of Kentucky, settled on Section 26, Township 8, Range 16, April 3, 1855, the first settler in the township. He was County Commissioner in 1868 and 1869. Rev. Byron Steward settled on Section 28, Township 9, Range 16, June 21, 1855. He was one of the Board of County Supervisors in Territorial times, and has been in the House of Representatives. Other early settlers were A. W. Bainbridge, William Cunningham, Hugh Piper, John Piper, David R. Rice, Rufus J. Rice, Josiah Soal and John N. Willard.
The first schoolhouse in the township was built in 1858. It was made of logs, 16x18 feet, by the inhabitants of the vicinity, and Miss Harriet Warfield, of Clay County, Missouri, taught the first, a subscription school, in 1857. School District Number 12, was organized November 5, 1859, the first in the township. A. W. Bainbridge was Director; John Rippetoe, Clerk; J. J. Grooling, Treasurer. There are now two stone and four frame school buildings in the six organized school districts in the township. Dr. J. W. Pettijohn is the physician of the township, and Byron Steward is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Eli H. Robinson, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, preached for the settlement in the winters of 1855 and 1856. There are many church members in this township, of different denominations, but no church edifices as yet.
The wife of Alfred Ferrell died in June, 1855. O. F. Cunningham was born in July, 1855. Peter Steward and Lucinda Drum were married in the spring of 1856.
Cedar takes its name from a small lot of cedars found on the banks of the North and South Cedar creeks, which flow in a southeasterly direction out of this township into Jefferson County. The area of the township is 56 sections.
Luther M. Myers settled upon the northeast quarter of Section 22, Township 8, Range 16, in April, 1856. He was Treasurer of Cedar Township in 1874 and 1875, and ended a four years' service as County Treasurer in October, 1882. George Coleman, born in Sussex County, England, November 27, 1815, lived in Canada and in Illinois twenty-two years, and in 1856 settled upon Section 21, Township 8, Range 16. He was three years Township Treasurer: was Treasurer of Douglas Township in 1871 and 1872; its Trustee for 1868 and 1869: Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners in 1874 and 1875.
Stephen J. Elliot came to the township in 1855, and was its earliest settler. James McLellan, a native of Maine, settled upon Section 7, Township 8, Range 16. He was in the Kansas House in 1865 and 1866; in the Senate in 1871 and 1872. At the election in 1874, as a candidate for Senator, he had 203 majority in Jackson County. R. S. Gillies, a native of Scotland, a County Commissioner in 1876 and 1877, settled upon Section 33, Township 7, Range 16. B. H. Bradshaw, a native of Kentucky, a breeder of Short-horns and Norman horses, prominent among the Patrons of Husbandry, settled upon Section 17, Township 7, Range 16.
John Coleman and Phoebe Hastings were united in the bonds of matrimony by William Cornforth, Esq., January 1, 1857. Viola Luddington was born in the spring of 1857 - the first birth in the township.
At Tippinville there is a Union Cheese Factory, owned by a joint stock company. It is doing a very good business and is the only one in the county. John Dult and John Chestnut each have a blacksmith shop; Joseph Kevan, a wagon shop; A. J. Parker, a harness shop; George Warck, a shoe shop; Mrs. J. Bradley has a millinery store, and there has been a firm doing a big business in a general store, whose operations ceased in 1882. The town took its name from Welwood Tippin - its first merchant - but the people have sought to have it named Bloomfield.
The post-office here is North Cedar. There are three organized churches in this township - the United Presbyterians, the Christian and the Reformed Presbyterian. This organization at North Cedar was formed on April 1, 1880, with twenty-two members. June 1, 1881, a neat and substantial house of worship, 32x42 feet was erected. Its present membership is about fifty. The Reformed Presbyterians or Covenanters organized their church October 16, 1871, by a commission of Kansas Presbytery, of which the Chairman was Rev. Josiah Dodds.
The elders chosen were John M. Law, John L. Wright and Hugh Woodburn: the deacons, Andrew M. Law, Simon McCrory and Samuel W. Patterson. Rev. J. S. T. Milligan, a resident missionary from March 11, 1871, on April 19, 1872, was elected and installed pastor of the congregation. He has been thirty years in the ministry of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. The membership of the church is one hundred and twenty. Its Sunday-school numbers about two hundred. Their church edifice is a nice frame building, 45x63 feet.
This body believes the authority of God, Christ and the Bible should be acknowledged in the constitution of the United States of America, and because of its non-acknowledgment they neither vote nor hold office under the constitution, and they thereby rest in the belief that they avoid responsibilities for the sins of atheism and infidelity in the American nation. August 30, 1881, they organized the National Reform Association. Its officers are as follows; President, John Wright; Vice-Presidents, James Keers and Hugh Woodburn; Secretary, John A. Kirkpatrick; Treasurer, Matthew Brown; Corresponding Secretary, James Barnett.
John Early, in 1862, made an appointment for a meeting to organize a Methodist church, and the first one was held at the house of William T. Butson, then living on Section 2, Township 8, Range 13. The organizers of the church were L. Elliot, Luke Finacum, Orlan Jones, Walter Parmenter and H. Mitchell. In 1879 the first steps were taken toward erecting an edifice; in 1880 it was finished, at a cost of about $1,200. The preachers here have been Rev. John Early, Rev. A. G. Channell and Rev. W. G. Campbell. W. C. Jones was the Sunday-school superintendent in 1882.
Washington.-- In the southwestern part of the county the name of the "Father of his Country" is given to a municipal township. Up to 1864 it had been included in the Pottawatomie Indian Reservation. It was organized February 21, 1873. In 1875 its population was 330; in 1880 it was 723. It embraces 84 sections of land. Edward McNieve, the first settler, purchased several Indian head rights. He was Township Trustee three years; Richard Reddy, five years; H. Holligan, one year, and Michael Brown is the present Trustee.
E. L. Stalker and four others built the first schoolhouse in 1870, in the county without any tax levy. Mr. Stalker is from Indiana. He entered upon the duties of County Commissioner in January, 1878, and was Chairman of the Board for four years. He is located upon Section 19, Township 8, Range 13. W. H. Chase is located upon the north half of Section 22, Township 9, Range 14. He is a native of Maine; has been County Commissioner four years; was Chairman for two years; a Representative to the State Legislature in 1877. Adrian post-office, in this township, is located on Section 32, Township 8, Range 13. Sullivan is upon the southeast quarter of Section 17, Township 9, Range 13. The population of this township is largely of Irish origin, and the Roman Catholic religion is the prevailing one in the township.
Franklin.-- In the east central portion of the county is the township named after the statesman and philosopher - Benjamin Franklin. When organized, December 15, 1856, it contained 84 sections; its present area is 48. In November, 1853, N. D. Lewis, a native of Ohio, but a long-time resident of Platte County, Missouri, laid a foundation for a claim on Elk, near the mouth of Bill's Creek. April 2, 1854, he landed with his family, his children consisting of one daughter and four sons, and now where there was then a howling wilderness, with red men as companions, Mr. Lewis has a magnificent farm of some 600 acres, over 350 of which is in a high state of cultivation, the whole enclosed with good rail and hedge fences. His dwelling is worth $5,000, and his barn nearly as much.
In the summer of 1855 Michael Baker and a partner, a Mr. Smythe, brought in a stock of dry goods and groceries and put them in a log building owned by Mr. Lewis, and for a few years this was quite a trading point for the settlers and Indians. In the autumn of 1855 Phineas Skinner, from near Camden Point, Platte Co, Mo., drove a large lot of hogs from his home to this township, and butchering them sold the pork to the Indians, and while here he decided upon locating here with a colony. Returning to Missouri, he came out in the spring of 1856 with quite a number of colonists, and had arrangements made to improve several quarter sections of land, proposing to divide accumulations at the end of five years. A widow, by the name of Cole, and her family were among the immigrants. For her Mr. Skinner built a house, and the men he employed boarded with her.
He laid out a town two miles west of Holton, called it Elk City, built a stone house, placed in it goods to the amount of $4,000, and put a son-in-law - Mr. Croysdale - in charge of it. He had not been in very good health, and one day starting out for a ride on his mule, for the apparent purpose of looking after his varied business, one of the farm hands, going to the spring for water, saw the mule tied to a bush on the bank of a ravine near the spring, and found the body of Mr. Skinner lying dead at the spring, his face submerged in the water.
His death caused a change in the plans that had been so extensively made, and the agreements he had made were brought to an end. His remains were taken to Missouri for interment. Some of the store goods were taken back; tradition has it that some were used by the Land troops, and Dr. Henry Dent Oden made a purchase of the remainder, and with John J. Preston, his son-in-law, the store was continued at this place. Dr. Oden was a native of Kentucky, and had settled upon a farm four miles west of Holton. He was a member of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention, and was one of the leading Pro-slavery men. He went to California and Oregon, and died in 1879.
Mr. Preston was a native of Indiana. Emigrated to Kentucky; from there he came to Platte County, Mo., in 1843 first settled in Kansas in Nemaha County, on the old Ft. Leavenworth and Ft. Laramie road, northwest of Granada, and came to Elk Creek in April, 1856. He ran a saw-mill at Elk City for a few years, and furnished the lumber for the first shanty that was built on the town site of Holton, which was a store building, put up by Capt. William, F. Creitz and his brother Lewis. This mill was afterwards purchased by Peter Reiderer, who moved it to the northwest quarter of Section 1, Township 7, Range 15, where now, as the proprietor of the Elk Mills, he has a property assessed at $10,000, having both steam and water-power.
Among the early settlers of the township are George Bainbridge, Chauncey J. Cowell, George W. Drake, Simeon Fees, Garret Groomer, Godfrey Hafer, W. K. Lutz, Jacob Morroid, Walter Parmenter, George Smith, Cyrus G. Waynant, John Arnold, W. D. Barnett, Thomas Fennell and B. Hafer.
William D. Barnett was born at Barnett, Caledonia County, Vt., April 1, 1820, and at seventeen years of age came to Alton, Illinois, and, at Brighton, Macoupin County, taught school, having Ex-Governor John M. Palmer one of his pupils. Leaving St. Louis in 1840, on April 1, he reached Fort Leavenworth, and was there for a few years as steward. Settling in Platte County, Mo., in April, 1854, he built a cabin back of the city of Kickapoo, but settled a short time after on the Delaware, in Atchison County, and in April, 1864, he settled on Section 6, Township 7, Range 16, and is now an extensive nurseryman and fruit grower.
Rev. Pardee Butler, of Atchison County, assisted by Rev. J. W. Williams, of Douglas Township, held the first religious services in the township at Elk City in the summer of 1857. South of Holton, School District No 1, was organized in 1859; the school building had been built of logs in 1858, and in 1869, a brick structure took its place costing $1,500. The population of Franklin Township is the densest of any in the county, as it embraces the county-seat, Holton, and Larkin on the eastern border.
Larkin is a little hamlet on the county line of Jackson and Atchison. That portion of it in Jackson County is situated on the southeast quarter of Section 1, and on the northeast quarter of Section 12, Township 7, Range 16. It was laid out in 1880, and took its name from Hon. M. E. Larkin, an extensive farmer, dealer in cattle and hogs and breeder of Durham cattle. The town has several stores, a blacksmith shop, wagon shop and livery stable. Dr. G. W. England is their physician. It has a schoolhouse costing about $1,200.
I. C. Hitchcock was the Trustee of Franklin Township in 1868; H. J. Snyder in 1876 and 1882. J. A. Scott, the County Treasurer, was Township Treasurer for five years. Elk, Banner and Bill's creeks furnish excellent timber and a fine supply of water for this township.
Jefferson.-- March 15, 1858, the name of Thomas Jefferson suggested itself to those who were making a new township in the northwestern part of the county, and so to the satisfaction of all concerned, Jefferson was properly given as the name of the township. Originally large, the township is now Township 6, Range 15. In 1868 R. M. Cook, one of the prominent educators in the county, six years County Superintendent of Public Instruction, was its Trustee; its present one is G. R. Sharp. In 1875, its population was 583; in 1880, it was 826. Its post-offices are at Circleville and Ontario.
The township is mainly watered by the Elk and its tributaries. Among the settlers that came in 1856-57, were James H. Baxter, W. H. Chapman, John Deardorf, Aaron Foster, W. S. Hoaglin, S. W. McComas, Charles Poppy, S. W. Richardson, J. B. Sympson and Thomas Taylor. Rufus Oursler, the first member from this district in the Kansas State Senate, had the first store in the township; Mrs. H. S. Hart taught the first school, one of her patrons paying her tuition with a flat-iron; Rev. William Knipe, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, held the first religious meeting in a saw-mill, where now stands Henry Stanley's fine flouring-mill and carding machines.
Grant.-- September 6, 1870, this township was organized from the southern portion of Jefferson. It embraces sixty-two sections, and takes its name from the "Captain of the Age," who was then serving his first term as President. S. Stephenson, the first and present Trustee, has served five years. There are post-offices at James Crossing and at Avoca. Among its early settlers are Peter Bryant, William Cruzan, Peter Dickson, J. P. Faidley, R. P. Hamm, John James, T. Keir, J. F. Pomeroy, Abraham Ray and S. Stephenson. The first schoolhouse was built on the farm of Mr. Keir in 1860; Mr. E. S. Hulan taught the first school in 1858.
School District No. 5 has one of the finest schoolhouses in the county, built of the fine, white magnesia limestone common to their region. There was an organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church here in 1858; Rev. E. H. Robinson preached the first sermon at the log house of Abraham Ray, on which site a neat church was built in the autumn of 1880, and dedicated in the spring of 1881, by the Rev. S. D. Madison of Leavenworth. Its cost was about $1,600. Rev. Mr. Gray was the pastor in 1882; Mrs. Hollis superintends the Sunday-school work.
This township is well watered by Banner, Cross and Soldier creeks. George Groomer, an early settler, gave his name to what is now Banner Creek, but as Groomer was a somewhat distasteful name, and this was a Banner Republican locality, the name became changed. There is a Methodist Episcopal Church organization at Buck's Grove, but it is not numerically strong. There are a few Dunkards scattered in the township, but they have no church organization. J. F. Pomeroy, born in Hampshire County, Mass., 1832, settled on Section 23, Township 7, Range 14, in 1859. He has been County Commissioner and Township Treasurer, and has wielded large influence in the community. Rev. R. P. Hamm, a native of Kentucky, has been County Commissioner, and is a local preacher of considerable prominence. The first marriage in the township was between Dr. Francis and Maggie Ray in 1858.
Liberty.-- "Where liberty dwells there is my country," was probably the sentiment that animated Mr. J. W. Taylor as he named this township at its birth, January 19, 1872. It is watered by Spring and Straight creeks, and by branches of the Elk. Its population in 1875, was 515; in 1880, it was 646. Among the early settlers were A. Ash, a native of Pennsylvania, a farmer and breeder of draft horses; J. H. Bateman of Ohio, the present efficient Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, and James Piper from Ohio. Sophia Lattimer taught in a log schoolhouse, the first school, which was supported by subscription. School District No. 15 built the first school house, in 1861. In February, 1858, the first marriage occurred, which was that of W. T. Wilcox to Lucretia Green. W. R. Hodges was its first Township Trustee; Edson Wolverton is the present one.
The southeast quarter of Section 10, Township 6, Range 15, was historic ground in February, 1859. Here is the home of Albert Fuller, a native of Lebanon, Conn. His wife, the daughter of Deacon Joel Button, of Griswold, Conn., had for her guests old John Brown, Aaron Dwight Stevens, other free persons and nearly a dozen of sable hue, in whom a title of ownership had conventionally vested in American citizens residing in Missouri. Here was New England Congregationalism, proving true to the immortal declaration of nearly a century previous made in the home of old Ben Franklin; "All men are created equal; endowed with the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Captain John Brown, with his precious freightage, had successfully passed his Concord - Holton - on his northern march, and high waters at Straight Creek Crossing at Fuller's Place had unwillingly detained him. The marching of a Marshal's posse on the part of the Federal Government, and an opposing force on the part of Free-State Topekans, have been chronicled by the historian.
The Battle of the Spurs, the ironical martial history of a memorable though unsanguinary battle, has been so well described by the fertile pens of James Ridpath and others that it were a work of supererogation to further elucidate any incidents of the conflict that ensued on the high prairie north of Straight Creek, between Holton and Netawaka. But, as "One shall chase a thousand and two shall put ten thousand to flight," these knights of chivalry furnished in themselves a forcible illustration of the couplet:
He who fights and runs away,
May live to fight another day.
Old John Brown's body and soul went marching on, with his little band of emancipated slaves, to pass into Nebraska, move across Iowa, and through Illinois and Michigan, go over into the Queen's Dominions, where Cowper says; "Slaves can breath the air of freedom."
Liberty Township had a fresh baptism of its gospel, and it might be said of the whilom brave, though vanquished foe:
Not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,
As this corpse of slavery, here was buried;
Quoth many a fellow, "Hard is my lot,"
As on horse, or with heels, he quickly hurried.
Straight Creek.-- This township takes its name from the creek which runs in a northwesterly to a southeasterly direction across it. It is Township l, Range 16. The northeastern portion of the township was a part of the Kickapoo Indian Reservation until 1869, when the reservation was diminished and the land was opened to settlement. The municipal township was organized April 15, 1872. G. A. Waynant was its first Trustee; T. W. Easly is Trustee in 1882. In 1875 its population was 359; in 1880, it is reported 976, which must be too large by a few hundred. J. H. Thompson had claim to a piece of land on Section 26 in 1854, and settled in 1855; John Hibbard in 1856 and S. J. Rose and R. L Thompson in 1857. Mary, daughter of S. J. Rose, was born in 1857, the first birth in the township. James B. Hastings' wife and child died in 1857, the first death in the township; and his marriage to a second wife, was the first one; and he was the first teacher in the township. The first schoolhouse was built in 1859, in what is now School District No. 4, on the southwest corner of Section 22. George W. Weister, on the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 17, has a water-power grist-mill, which is valued at $3,000.
Soldier.-- This township takes its name from the creek that runs through it, and which, with the Elk, makes it well watered. It was detached from Jefferson Township July 4, 1872. Its first Trustee was P. M. Hodges; its present one is John Nuzman. William Cline was the oldest settler; he came here from Illinois in 1857, and bought a claim of a man by the name of Smithland, and here was the first post-office, now the same name, removed to Soldier City, on the Kansas Central Railway. W. Branham, E. Fairbanks, William Knipe and Henry Rancier, were among the early settlers. The first death was that of Louisa M. Cline, in May, 1857. She was the daughter of William Cline. He died in January, 1882. In the fall of 1857, was the first child born in the township, a son to David Rancier and wife, The marriages of John Rancier to Emily Reynolds and a Mr. Dean to Hannah Rancier, were the first in the township.
Netawaka.-- This word signifying "fine view," is the only township of Indian name in the county. Its east part belonged to the Kickapoo Reservation until it came into possession of the C. B. U. P. R. R. Company. The township was organized October 4, 1871. L. D. Nichols was elected Trustee; Ralph Westover is the present one. New Eureka, situated three miles at little west of south of the village of Netawaka is where the first post-office in the township was, and I. N. Seaman and P. B. Rust, were the oldest settlers about that point. Daniel H. Sutherland, a resident of Section 20, Township 5, Range 15, was in the Kansas House of Representatives in 1865. This territory was then in Brown County.
Whiting.-- The maiden name of the wife of ex-Senator Samuel C. Pomeroy was Whiting, after whom this township was named. Until 1867 this territory Township 5, Range 16, was included in the Kickapoo Reserve. When obtained by the C. B. U. P. R. R. Company, it was opened for homes. Among its first settlers were Andrew Brown, John M. Duff, Henry Haub, Michael O'Neill, George T. Watkins, George C. Weibles and D. R. Williams. The township was organized January 1, 1872; its first Trustee was Charles Shedd, who held the office six years; its present one is D. J. Nash. The first schoolhouse in the township was built in District Number 38. George T. Watkins, a native of New Hampshire, now living in Whiting, was in the Kansas House of Representatives in 1877 and 1881. This, the last settled section of the county, improves relatively faster than any other part of the surrounding country.
The Prairie Band of Pottawattamie Indians
In the south central portion of Jackson County is the Diminished Pottawatomie Indian Reservation, embracing in round numbers 77,400 acres of land. Here are located 440 Pottawatomies; 280 being in Wisconsin, 30 in Iowa, and 24 in the Indian Territory. The Pottawatomies came from the islands near the entrance of Green Bay, and were a branch of the Chippewas or Ojibways, who held the country from the mouth of Green Bay to the head-waters of Lake Superior.
The word Pottawatomie is said by some authorities to signify the act of blowing out the cheeks, as in kindling a fire, and is supposed to refer to the facility which the nation possessed in kindling the ancient council fires of their forefathers. The word is also rendered by some, "I am a man."
Mention is made of the early history of this tribe in the "Sketches of Indian Tribes," in this work. The three bands of Pottawatomies - The Pottawatomies of the Woods, the Christian or Mission band, and the Prairie band occupied the reservation of thirty miles square on the Kansas River from 1847-48 until November 15, 1861, when under provisions of a treaty made and concluded at the Pottawatomie Agency on Cross Creek, now Rossville, the Mission and Wood bands elected to become citizens of the United States, receive patents in fee simple for their allotments of lands, their pro rata shares of the cash credits of the tribe amounting to about $685 for each allottee. There were then about 1,650 allottees. At that time the Prairie band consisted of 780 persons. They elected to hold their lands in common, and accordingly there was set apart for them an undivided quantity, sufficient to allow one section to each chief, half a section to each head man; 160 acres to each head of a family, and 80 acres to each other person, which aggregated 77,357.57 acres.
In 1866, George W. James, was born in 1842, in Baltimore County, Maryland, starting for California, was detained at Rossville on account of sickness, and, on recovering, he became identified with the interests of these people, and has ever since devoted his attention to them. Dr. H. C. Linn, their present agent, regards him as standard authority on any matter connected with them. He is general clerk. In 1874, there were but five houses on the Reserve occupied by Indians; in 1882 there are 105, all of which are habitable, and some of which are very comfortable. In 1875, the Indians thought they could not live in dwellings like white people, they could not get air, and the cyclones would sweep them away.
In 1882, they cannot be supplied with the amount of timber they desire and could make a good use of. They have 105 fields, ranging in area from 3 to 150 acres. Surrounding them are some of the very best rail woven fences in Kansas, made of good oak and walnut, eight rails high, staked and double ridered. Forty per cent of them have good gardens, in which they raise a great variety of vegetables in their season. They raise corn and hogs for market in considerable quantities, and they sell other products. There are some 20 mowing machines on the Reserve, and the average Indian has skill to that degree that he can properly use one. In 1880 they had herds of cattle; 1,150 horses; 10 mules; 1,275 swine; 65 sheep; hundreds of fowls.
The Indian boarding school located at the new mission, fifteen miles southwest of Holton, opened in 1875. The grounds embrace 63 acres; and on the farm here opened, the Indian children are taught to labor, and are instructed in good methods of husbandry. The school building, boardinghouse, barn, laundry, etc. cost $12,000. Consequent upon the last treaty made, November 15, 1861, the Prairie band was entitled to 39-100 of the entire assets of the Pottawatomies, which has been set apart for them, and on the books in the Interior Department, their credits are as follows: Permanent annuity, $395,636.42. For support of blacksmith shop, $20,179.86 For support of school, $80,000. Improvement fund, $18,000. General fund with accrued interest, $122,00. Total amount, $635,816.28.
The Prairie band still maintain a tribal government. After the death of Se-noge-wone, his son Wab-sai became head-chief is Sough-nes-see. The first speaker is Masqui, the second, Pis-she-quin. August 5, 1878, the matter came before them in regard to transferring the control of the Indians to the War Department, and the sense of the tribe was expressed by Masqui, who said:
Chiefs and others have stated: "We feel happy and pleased to have a choice to elect how we shall be controlled." I have heard the opinions of the chiefs who say that at the time peace was made with us, they were glad that we inferred from them (the President and Commissioners) that we would be as one people as long as the earth should exist; the President would be our father, who promised to look after our rights; that the day would come when his wars would be settled all over the face of the earth, and for all time the President would protect us in the possession of our property. Therefore the chiefs were satisfied, and are satisfied that such acts have been done. I am indeed ignorant as to how we should be treated if turned over to his (the President's) braves for protection, therefore I would remain as at present, under the care of the interior Department. I will receive full protection and encouragement, and where my property will not be squandered; but will be saved to our children and our children's children, for all time to come. I do not wish to make new rules or contracts, but desire to remain under the guardianship of the government as stipulated in our treaties, and as have been exercised in the past.
At a recent funeral occasion, the speaker alluding to the deceased woman said substantially: "The person now before us, but a few days ago was walking around with us. We may learn from this that we should truthfully speak of, and kindly treat, our fellows; we should be charitable, for as this one needs our charity, so ere long, will we need some of yours."
"The noble red man" does not alone exist in song and story; for among these created intelligences, residing on this Diminished Reservation, are those who have chords, which, if properly touched, are susceptible to that kind of vibration, that this race, the Aborigines of America, may come to the noble Caucasian, and teach him perhaps not wordy lessons so much as worthy examples.
This Prairie band of Indians are many of them, resolutely cultivating the arts of peace. They are just and honest with the whites and themselves; they are developing the holy love of a personal, permanent home; they are comprehending subjects of business presented to them; they are substituting for the sixteen English letters they have heretofore used in their Indian language, all of the English alphabet found necessary to express vocal sounds: they are learning to acquire property; in fine, they are making gradual progress, and their permanent location in Jackson County may bring mutual compensation to themselves and the "superior race."
Jackson County, with a little over one-half of the original territory embraced in Calhoun, when organized in 1855, in 1882 presents herself, when viewed in a physical aspect, as regards the natural wealth of her soil, enhanced as it is by the hand of art and the skill of man; in the inherent richness of manhood, fostered by the generous culture of her schools, churches, societies and the press; in the free and ready commingling of so many of the different races and nationalities of the earth, as the peer of her sister counties, and all these furnish for coming time, much interesting food for the historical student, who, ever and anon, is impressed with the truth of the declaration, "History is philosophy teaching by examples."
Towns of the County. In the ante-bellum days, Elk City, Calhoun, Silver Lake, St. Mary's, Indianola, Rochester, Holton, New Brighton, Smithland, Ontario, and New Eureka, were the centers; though the three last named places were little else than post-offices. Elk City, two miles west of Holton, had a short existence. Calhoun, in the extreme southeastern portion of the county, became defunct in October, 1858, when it ceased to be the shire town.
Silver Lake is now a thriving town in Shawnee County, and St. Mary's is in Pottawatomie County; both on the Kansas Division of the Union Pacific. Indianola, near where the State Reform School is located, now exists in story. Rochester retains a few of its old dwellings on the east side of the highway; it has a nice brick schoolhouse, and is now a voting place in Soldier Township, Shawnee County. New Brighton has now become Circleville, a place of some importance on the Kansas Central Railroad. Smithland has gone down to Soldier City on the Kansas Central.
The post-office at New Eureka has gone to the high divide, Netawaka. Whiting, on Central Branch of Missouri Pacific, six miles east of Netawaka is thirty-one miles west of Atchison, the main grain-shipping point of the county; in population next to Holton. Larkin, laid out in 1880, near the Kansas Central Railroad, is situated on the county line of Jackson and Atchison counties, the larger portion being in Jackson County. Tippinsville, sometimes called North Cedar, and again Bloomfield, is a few miles southwest of Larkin, an important center in Cedar Township.
In the spring of 1857, Bellevue was laid out as a prospective county-seat town on the southeast quarter of Section 17, Township 8, Range 16, and on its site was a frame house and blacksmith shop. Its life was very short.
Calamities and Crimes
The struggling pioneers of Jackson County in 1869, as the heavens refused to furnish the seasonable rains for the sustenance of the seed that had been planted and sown, in the later summer days, began anxiously to inquire, "What shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed?" But a Territorial Relief Committee at Atchison, reported January 18, 1861, goods received to the amount of 1,062,552 pounds, besides articles for wear; and the people of this county went with their teams during the winter and obtained, from which they received a bountiful harvest in 1861. The personal donations from friends in the East, blessed what had been otherwise many a famished home.
Chintz Bugs and Grasshoppers pestered the people, specially in 1862, 1866, 1867, 1874, and 1875. The most serious damage done was by the grasshoppers in the summer and autumn of 1874, and the spring of 1875. To supply the needs of the people of the destitute in that county, the Commissioners sought systematically to ascertain through the Township Trustees, what families were in need, and a "County Warrant Bill," not exceeding $15,000, was passed to furnish necessaries, seed, etc., to destitute inhabitants under the provisions of an act of the Legislature, approved February 18, 1875. This act was a matured bill of Senator Hopkins, of this county. The maximum for each head of a family was fifty bushels of corn, fifteen of oats, ten of wheat, and five of potatoes, for which mortgage notes were required, due in one year, at 10 per cent, interest. This was a serviceable measure.
Grocery, tavern, and dram shop licenses were granted in the Territorial days. The Calhoun County Commissioners, had authorized David Milne, February 23, 1856, to take out a tavern license, he paying therefor $20; April 21, James Kuykendall, had one; August 9, C. A. Fulton, a grocery license; August 18, Andrew Johnson, a tavern license; April 8, 1857, David Milne, John Kennedy, and John F. Cailoz, had dram shop licenses, paying each $30; September 5, 1857, two others were issued, and on October 18, 1859, an applicant's petition for license, was held under advisement at the Commissioners' Court at Holton; Aaron Foster being in favor of the petitioner paying $495 a year, Byron Stewart, $250, C. J. Cowell, $75.
The Holton City Council, June 20, 1872, fixed the license for a dramshop keeper - to be paid in advance - not less than $100, nor more than $300 per year. The vote of Jackson County, November 2, 1880, on the Prohibition Amendment to the State Constitution, was 1,056 votes for, and 1,098 against, whole number, 2,154; on Governor, 2,317; on President, 2,370 votes were cast. Under the Prohibitory Liquor Law, druggists have taken out licenses as follows: May, 1881, M. M. Beck, Holton; Love & Green, Whiting; F. T. Brown & Co, Circleville; July, M. A. Funchess, Netawaka; August, J. W. Fleming, W. W. Naylor, and A. H. Williams, Holton; September, J. D. Pruett, Circleville.
Brown & Co, Circleville were succeeded by Pruett; Messrs. Beck, and Naylor & William, and Love & Green have made a renewal of their permits. The last dram-shop license granted by the municipal authorities of Holton, was June 10, 1875. The amount of license was $200 per year. On the vote on the Prohibition Amendment, Grant gave the largest majority for it, 47; Washington Township, the largest majority against it, 87. Six of the townships gave majorities for; four, against the amendment.
The first settler known to have been murdered on the soil of Jackson County, was Felix G. Braden, who came from Jackson Co, Mo., in 1854, and located near Easton, in the County of Leavenworth. He came out west of Holton and obtained a claim, early in 1857, and on the night of April 10, 1857, he was shot through the head with a musket ball and three buckshot. It is supposed the murderer was Martin Thomas, a nephew, who probably obtained some $100 in money. Mr. Braden was a Free-State man; Thomas was Pro-slavery. David Coffin arrested Thomas, but in absence of any direct proof of his guilt, and of courts, he was not detained. Thomas was killed in 1858, at Atchison, in some altercation that arose between him and another outlaw.
The family of the deceased man reached the claim the day after the murder, and Mr. Braden's remains were entombed on what he had struggled to obtain for a home for his family, which consisted of a wife, two daughters, a son, and step-son, all of whom have done most commendable work in the great battlefield of life.
The voters of Jackson County, August 22, 1871, by a vote of 750 to 501, adopted a bond proposition aggregating $160,000 to aid the Kansas Central; $60,000 to be paid when the road reached Holton, $50,000 for a connection at Netawaka with the Missouri Pacific, $50,000, when the road was completed and in running order to the west line of the county. May 4, 1872, by a vote of 555 to 544, the county donated its railroad stock of $160,000 to the company. August 2, 1872 the road was completed to Holton, and a depot built at the point most available to the city, and the County Commissioners at their session, September 4, 1872, regarded $60,000 in bonds as their due.
The delay to go on from Holton on the part of the Railroad Company, caused a forfeiture of the balance of the bonds voted, and subsequently the townships of Jefferson and Soldier each voted $18,000 in bonds to aid the road. The bonded railroad indebtedness amounts, therefore, to $96,000, for the county and township; the bonds run for thirty years, and bear interest at 7 per cent, interest payable semi-annually.
August 22, 1872, the first passenger train came over the Kansas Central from Leavenworth to Holton. It was the occasion of a great railroad excursion from Leavenworth, and the Holtonites were very much rejoiced to have a railroad connection with the largest town in the State, and with the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad, at Valley Falls.
The stations on the road in the county are Kimball (formerly Larkin - just on the county line), Elk, Holton, Circleville, Lawndale and Soldier.
County Organization and County Buildings
At a joint session of the Council and House of the first Territorial Legislature in August 1855, county officers for Calhoun County were elected as follows: James Kuykendall, Probate Judge, who was ex-officio Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, William Alley and Richard P. Beeler, Commissioners; James T. Wilson, Sheriff.
The first meeting of the County Commissioners, September 24, 1855, was at Calhoun, which was in the southeast corner of the county, north of the Kansas River, seven miles from Topeka. It lay up the bend of the river, northwest of Tecumseh, and was on the East one-half of Section 14 in Township 11 of Range 16. It is now described as Lot Number 3, and is in the name of L. R. Taylor, a tax-payer of Shawnee County. At this meeting Messrs. Kuykendall, Beeler and Wilson, were present, and William L Kuykendall was appointed Clerk of the Commissioners' Court.
By order of the Board, the election provided to be held for the Delegate to Congress, October 1, 1855, was to be at the house of James M. Hounds, and Perry Fleshman and Samuel S. Lockhart, were elected as the Judges. There were no Free-State votes cast, and John W. Whitfield received twenty-nine votes for Delegate to Congress.
The following order was adopted: "Ordered that we resolve to build a Court House out of brick, and that we adjourn until Saturday next, at which time we request the attendance of William Alley, our Associate Justice, and that the Court of Calhoun County be held at the house of James Kuykendall until otherwise ordered by the Court."
September 29, 1865. William Alley met with the Board and Judge Kuykendall swore him to the following oath of office which was politically orthodox at that time:
"UNITED STATES OF AMERICA}
Territory of Kansas}
I William Alley do Solemnly Swear upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, that I will Support and Sustain the Constitution of the United States and that I will Support and Sustain the provisions of an Act Entitled an Act to Organize the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska and the provisions of the Laws of the United States commonly known as the Fugitive Slave Law, and faithfully and impartially and to the best of my ability demean myself in the Discharge of my duties in the Office of Commissioner in the County of Calhoun in Said Territory So help me God.
Sworn to subscribed before the undersigned this 29th day of September A. D. 1855.
Judge Probate Court of C. C. K. T."
Governor Shannon commissioned Raleigh J. Fulton, Constable of Douglas Township, November 24, 1855; he took the oath of office, December 28, 1858; gave his official bond January 21, 1856.
The following order, relating to the Court House and Jail was passed: "Ordered that the Court House and Jail be built on Court House Square, and that sealed proposals for the stone work be received at the Clerk's office near the town of Calhoun, until the 15th of October, 1855, and that the same be inserted in some weekly newspaper published in the Territory of Kansas, for two successive weeks."
October 15, 1855, it was ordered by the Commissioners' Court, "that the plans and specifications of the Court House of the County of Calhoun be placed on the records of said Court." Elaborate specifications were presented as to stone work, brick work, hall doors, height of rooms, stairway, doors, windows, (sic) amphitheatre platforms, bar, ring for bar, Judges' seat, floors, etc., Court House to front 50 feet by 55 feet deep. October 16, 1855, Court ordered the time extended for receiving proposals until October 27, 1855. April 21, 1856, proposals were submitted for bids for building a jail 16x24 feet, 8 feet high. May 19, 1856, the order heretofore made concerning proposals for a Court House was rescinded and it was ordered that James Kuykendall, Commissioner of Public Buildings: "Be authorized and required to let the building of a frame Court House, thirty five feet square and two stories high, either by public outcry to the highest bidder, after advertising ten days or by private contract, provided said building does not exceed in cost $2,500."
December 15, 1856, it was ordered by the Court that James Kuykendall be allowed the sum of $90 for rent and use of house for office of Probate, and Commissioners' Court, also office for the Clerk thereof from September 24, 1855, to December 31, 1856, at $6 per month, and October 25, 1857, he was allowed $60; October 8, 1858, the last rent paid by Calhoun County, $78.
Concerning the Jail, January 9, 1857, the following order was made: "Whereas the building of a Jail for Calhoun County was let to Perry Fleshman on or about the First of January, 1856, at and for the sum of $2,000, and said undertaker having given his bond to the County aforesaid in the penal sum of $4,000 for the faithful performance of the contract, it is now ordered that the contract and bond be rescinded.
It appears that Judge Kuykendall had made persistent efforts to have the County supplied with a Court House and Jail, and the matter having failed, he complied with the Territorial Statute in having the County pay rent for office room.
October 4, 1858, was the time for an election of members of the Territorial House, and Golden Silvers, whose name suggests the proverb, "Speech is silver, silence is golden," was chosen the member for Calhoun County. At the same time a vote was had on county seat, and Holton had a majority of seventy-nine votes over all competitors. The glory of Calhoun City had thus passed out forever, and in a few months later, the name of Calhoun County had ceased to exist.
Mr. Silvers, as a legislator, had the honor of having Jackson as the new name of the County, for February 11, 1858, the bill passed providing for the change, the law going into effect immediately after its passage. Though Calhoun, Calhoun County, had given way to Holton, Jackson County, yet for many months thereafter conveyances were made, the instrument reciting, "Territory of Kansas, County of Calhoun, ss.," and county officials recognized Calhoun County into the midsummer of 1859.
The building once occupied as the Court House is now the property of Schillinger & Meck, and is a furniture establishment. Its original dimensions were 20x36 feet, two stories high, a modest wooden structure. The lot on which it stood was conveyed November 12, 1859, by William F. Creitz, James Watters and Edward A. Squire, Trustees of the Town of Holton, to Chauncey J. Cowell, Bryon Steward, and Aaron Foster, Supervisors in and for the County of Jackson. It was Lot 48, Pennsylvania Avenue, and is situated a little south of east of the present Court House. The consideration was $1, and the property was to revert to the grantors or their successors in office, should the county seat be removed from Holton.
The county by its Board of Commissioners, E. L. Stalker, John Deardorff, and J. H. Bateman, conveyed the property to Jason Dickey, August 30, 1879, for the consideration of $491; Mr. Dickey having leased the same July 6, 1875, of the county for a yearly rent of $50.
A vote was had April 5, 1870, on the erection of public buildings and levy of tax, and the vote stood 396, for and 350, against; May 20, 1870, the Board of County Commissioners having visited Oskaloosa and Leavenworth, for the purpose of examining their Court House, decided to adopt the plans and specifications as drawn by John S. McKeen, of Leavenworth, and decided to receive sealed proposals for bids up to June 16, 1870. As an appropriation was made of $16,000 for Court House purposes and as the several bids received exceeded that amount, there was an order for modifying the plans, time for completion of the building, and amending the bids, and a contract was finally made for the erection of the building at a cost of $21,000, June 17, 1870, the contractors being Joseph Hockham, Amos A. Fenn, Van Liddell and John S. Anderson of Leavenworth, their sureties on the $42,000 bonds being W. P. Borland, H. L. Bickford, H. L. Newman.
The structure was built in the center of the public square, which is a beautiful tract of ground, 320 feet from east to west, 450 from north to south, having an area of 3 and 30-100 acres, the main slope being from south-west to northeast. The tract was conveyed by the Trustees of the town of Holton to Jackson County, and the following is a copy of a receipt on file in the County Clerk's office: "Holton, November 12, 1880. Received of Jackson County, $1, by W. S. Hoaglin, in full of considerations of deed to Public Square, from Trustees of Town of Holton, Ed. Vetter Treasurer." The Court House is a neat brick structure 40x60 feet, two stories high, with a basement, which is used for the storage of coal, and for jail purposes when necessary, there being cells for the accommodation of prisoners.
Entering the building from the west, is the Treasurer's, Judges of Probate's and County Clerk's offices, on the north side of the hall; on the south side are the offices of Clerk of the District Court and Sheriff, the Register of Deeds and the County Attorney. The last named office is unoccupied; County Attorney Hopkins having an office over the City Bank, at the northeast corner of the Public Square. The Superintendent of Public Instruction has an office in the southwest part of the upper story. The court room is 40x40 feet; in height 20 feet. The grounds are covered with a bountiful growth of clover and other grasses, and there are a considerable number of thrifty trees growing on the same, many of them being the enduring elm. At each corner of the Court House Block, on the outside of the same, is a public well. These wells prove a general benefaction to citizens and strangers. The Court House has a bell which is often utilized.
Jackson County has had but a small number of its citizens who have been "held in durance vile," neither has it had a large pauper list; eight persons in 1882 being the number that the county provided for. In January 1876, the county made purchase of the west one-half of Section 14, Township 7, Range 16, the consideration being $2,500; the grantors were William A. Allen, and Lewis Sarbach. Upon consideration this was not deemed an eligible site for a Poor Farm, and on August 30, 1879, the county exchanged this half section with W. R. Wright for the southwest quarter of Section 26, Township 6, Range 13, receiving in exchange $250. Soon thereafter a dwelling was erected on the farm, the contract price being about $825.
The first Superintendent of the Poor Farm was A. C. Blankenship who took possession in March 1880, at a salary of $350 a year, and living found. In 1881, M. B. Parrott succeeded him, at an advance of $100 per year, and in 1882 at an increase of $150. Everything about the farm indicates good management.
The record of Jackson County in the war of the Rebellion is worthy of its name. It furnished commissioned, non-commissioned officers and privates.
The number of volunteers furnished was 175, and they were mainly in the Kansas Eighth and Eleventh regiments.
Thomas J. Anderson was commissioned by President Lincoln, Assistant Adjutant-General on the staff of Major-General Blunt.
Martin Anderson was mustered as Major of the Kansas Eleventh, November 22, 1863.
Ira I. Taber was mustered as Adjutant of the Kansas Eleventh, October 12, 1864.
John B. Parrott was mustered as First Lieutenant, Company B, Kansas Eleventh, December 15, 1864.
Milton Rose was mustered as First Lieutenant, Company E, Kansas Eighth, November 5, 1864.
Elisha D. Rose was mustered as First Lieutenant, Company E, Kansas Eighth, December 6, 1864.
Robert J. Waterhouse was connected with the Commissary Department by appointment from Gen. Thomas Ewing, Jr., and held commission to recruit loyal Arkansans and others.
William Henry Dodge and many others might be named as among the gallant band from the county.
James K. Burnes, William L. Wendall, and Woodward Hindman were killed in battle at Chickamauga, September 19, 1863. William M. Thompson was drowned off the steamer "Prairie Rose", February 28, 1863. James H. Thompson died of fever at Cairo, Ill., January 1, 1836 before receiving his final discharge. Volney N. Brown, Cyrus Grant and Abraham Stanley died of disease. these soldiers had friends in the vicinity of Holton and Indianola. The Thompsons were sons of Mr. John H. Thompson, of Holton.
Twentieth Regiment, Kansas State Militia.-- This regiment was organized in June 1864, and made up of 340 men, nearly all of whom were from Jackson County. There were a few of the citizens in the southern part of the county who joined a company in Jefferson County. The officers of the regiment were: John R. Hubbell, Colonel; James McLellan, Lieutenant-Colonel; William Knipe, Major; W. L. Burns, Adjutant; P. M. Hodges, Quartermaster; B. F. Fuller, Surgeon. J. F. M. Walters, W. S. Hoaglin, S. J. Foster, J. L. Finnicum, R. J. Tolin were among the captains of the companies.
The military service rendered by this regiment in October 1864, when Gen. Sterling Price with his Rebel force menaced the peace of the State, is an excellent subject for the annalist. Governor Thomas Carney issued an order, October 10, 1864, summoning the militia to rally for the defense of Kansas and the Nation. This regiment at once prepared to march for the field of battle, and on October 22, it was in the State of Missouri. The services rendered by this body of men were appreciated by those in command, and, after eighteen days absence, they returned to their homes, fortunately without a list of killed or wounded.
George Washington Myers, a settler at Holton, in 1882, is a veteran in the service of his country. Entering the navy in boyhood, he has gone under his country's flag to many a foreign port. He has been with Walker's Nicaragua Expedition, in the South American waters, and in the late Rebellion he distinguished himself by many a brave and hazardous exploit, and he carries on his body visible evidences of severe warfare.
Schools and County Societies
The State of Kansas is challenged to find another county surpassing Jackson in its zealous devotion to educational matters. The first school building erected in the county was south of Holton, in the year 1858. It was a structure of logs, and gave way to a good brick building in 1869, costing $1,500. The territory in which this was located, was organized as District No. 1 in 1859. No. 2 is Holton. No. 3 is on North Cedar; the building is one mile south of Tippinville. No. 4 is the most easterly district, on Straight Creek. No. 5 is Banner, situated in the east part of Grant Township. The cost of the house, furniture and apparatus was $2,000; the house, for a long time, was also used for religious worship. No. 6 is in Liberty Township, north of Holton. No. 7 joins Holton on the east, No. 8 adjoins Banner on the west. No. 9 is on Straight Creek, west of No. 4. No. 10 is the most easterly district on South Cedar. No. 11 is on both sides of the Big Soldier, about twelve miles west of Holton. No. 12 is the Star schoolhouse in the southeast corner of the county. This section furnishes pupils for the Campbell University. No. 13 is located on both sides of East Muddy, near its source. Hon. J. W. Williams, for a long time its District Clerk, may be called the father of it, and for several terms he "taught the young idea how to shoot" in the original log structure in which the school was taught. Hon. John Rippetoe was for a long time school officer in District No. 12 and may be entitled to be named as its father. No. 14 is at the head of South Cedar, its western boundary being the eastern line of the Pottawatomie Reserve, four miles south of Holton. No. 15, the second district north and northwest of Holton, bounded on the north by the parallel, located in Jefferson Township, has a model frame school building, costing $1,300. No. 16 is the Circleville District; having no school building, it occupies what was erected as "the North Kansas Male and Female Seminary" in 1865 and in 1866, at a cost of $10,000. It is a most beautiful limestone building, standing on the rolling prairie so as to command a fine view of the surrounding country. The late Rev. D. P. Mitchell was one of the Committee on Location.
In 1860, Jackson County, with a population of 2,297, had 396 persons of school age, between the ages of five and twenty-one. In 1879 the number was 2,587; males, 1,390; females, 1,197. In 1880 the number was 3,855. In 1872 the number of districts was 51; joint districts, 6; in 1882 it was 70, joint districts, 6. Total, 76. There is one joint district with Atchison County; one with Brown, one with Nemaha; three with Pottawatomie. Seven teachers are employed in the school at Holton, two at Circleville, two at Netawaka, two at Whiting, two at Drake's (No. 49), two at North Cedar and two at Soldier, and there would be two at Banner, were there more school room. Some of the districts have libraries, notably that of Holton, having the ample gift from Hon. E. D. Holton, besides encyclopedias, etc. Mrs. Olive E. Stout and R. M. Cook, Esq., having done the larger part of County Superintendent work.
Campbell Normal University.-- This school was opened in September, 1882. The building is an admirably planned school edifice. It is built of magnesian limestone, and has a splendid external appearance. The internal arrangement is very complete; the office, the library, the different study and recitation rooms are well arranged to suit the needs of the pupils and the convenience of the instructors. It stands on a commanding eminence, just north of the city of Holton. The grounds embrace some eleven acres, on the north part of which is one of the most beautiful natural groves that can anywhere be found. From the top of the building can be seen one of the most beautiful sections of the country anywhere in the State - fine prairie-land connected with large belts of excellent timber. The cost of ground, buildings and all appurtenances will exceed $25,000.
To Hon. A. G. Campbell, an early settler in Jackson and Nemaha counties, who has amassed wealth through large mining interests in the Rock Mountains, and who was supported by the Gentile element for Delegate to Congress from Utah in 1890, is this munificent work primarily due. He was seconded in his efforts by public-spirited citizens of Holton and other portions of the county. Its Board of Directors are as follows: T. P. Moore, President; S. K. Linscott, Treasurer; J. A. Scott, Secretary; Dr. A. Y. Hanson, Peter Bryant, James Baxter, Henry Stanley, W. W. Naylor; Charles Hayden, Attorney. The school has a teachers' course, a scientific, a classic, a business, and a course in music.
Agricultural and Mechanical Association.-- Alfred Gray, the late honored and efficient Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture, February 27, 1873, issued a call for a Farmers' State Convention, at Topeka, March 26, 1873. This was in obedience to many calls from agriculturists that there should be a delegate convention, and that the Kansas farmers should organize themselves into district clubs. March 22, 1873, Jackson County responded, and at a Farmers' Convention held at Holton, of which Hon. James McLellan was chosen President and J. W. Taylor, Secretary, William Cline and S. J. England were elected delegates; A. L. Stevens and Hon. D. H. Southerland, Alternates.
One of the resolutions adopted at the State Convention is as follows: "That was earnestly request the Legislature of our State, at its next session, to enact a law regulating freights and fares upon the railroads, upon a basis of justice; and that we further request our members of Congress to urge the favorable action of that body, where the full power exists beyond all doubt, to the same end, and if need be, to construct the National highways at the expense of the Government."
April 5, 1873, the Jackson County farmers met, and approving of the action of the State Convention, formed a County Farmers' Co-operative Union, the objects of which were stated to be as follows: "The collection of statistics relating to the products of the county - their amount, cost and value; to assist the farmers in securing just compensation for their labors; to co-operate with similar organizations of the counties and States in procuring cheap transportation and remunerative prices for surplus products, and act generally in the interest of the producing classes."
Officers of the Union were elected as follows: President, James McLellan; Vice-President, S. J. England; Secretary, A. L. Stevens; Treasurer, D. Blosser; Directors, J. Hixon, E. L. Shields, R. J. Tolin, D. H. Sutherland and B. H. Bradshaw. June 7, 1873, a committee consisting of B. H. Bradshaw, W. J. England, D. H. Sutherland, William Cline, R. J. Tolin and D. Blosser, were appointed to canvass the county and organize farmers' clubs. J. L. Williams, George Smith, W. T. Scott and A. L. Stevens were appointed a committee to procure Fair grounds at or near Holton. Grounds were purchased July 12, 1873, one-half mile north of Holton for this purpose, of Mr. F. H. Inland, twenty acres, at $80 per acre.
The Association held its First Annual Fair September 30, and October 1, and 2, 1873. Its officers were; A. L. Stevens, President; David Blosser, Vice-President; Ira I. Taber, Secretary; J. W. Williams, Treasurer. The premium list was $1,000. The Fair was a complete success, and there was a grand display of fruit. At the grand exposition at Leavenworth, October 6, 1873, fruit exhibited at the Jackson County Fair took the first and second premiums, it begin the best and largest display of Kansas fruits, and the best collection of Kansas apples. There were over one hundred varieties, raised by some twenty fruit growers of the county. This was in competition with fruit from Missouri and Michigan.
Granges.-- In the autumn of 1873, B. H. Bradshaw, a farmer living near North Cedar P. O., received a commission as deputy organizer of granges and he organized the first one in the county, which was properly named Jackson Grange - B. H. Bradshaw, Master; W. A. Dodson, Secretary. Then came sixteen others as follows: Holton Grange - D. W. C. Locke, Master; John Edwards, Secretary. Cedar Grange - C. B. Monroe, Master; Ed. F. Jones, Secretary. Hoyt Grange - George I. Mosher, Master; W. W. Fish, Secretary; Pleasant Grange - G. A. Wynant, Master; E. E. Rafter, Secretary. Circleville Grange - James Baxter, Master; James Thompson, Secretary. Jefferson Grange - E. B. Clowe, Master; William A. Allen, Secretary. Whiting Grange - George T. Watkins, Master; George W. Bailey, Secretary. Star Grange - J. B. Hodges, Master; John Rippetoe, Secretary. North Cedar Grange - J. B. Moore, Master; L. Y. Bradshaw, Secretary. Liberty Grange - Joseph W. Taylor, Master; G. W. Todd, Secretary. Carbon Grange - M. Easley, Master; John J. Preston, Secretary. Little Cross Creek Grange - Wilson Bowen, Master; Lewis Smith, Secretary. Netawaka Grange - D. H. Sutherland, Master; J. A. Kennedy. Secretary. Social Grange - John King, Master; E. T. Hibbard, Secretary. South Cedar Grange - James McLellan, Master; John Q. Myers, Secretary. Smithland Grange - C. C. Branham, Master; R. B. Francis, Secretary.
Central Council of Patrons of Husbandry.-- The following are the names of the principal officers of the Jackson County Council, April 3, 1874: Worthy Master, D. W. C. Locke; Overseer, Joseph W. Taylor; Lecturer, S. J. England: Steward, C. B. Monroe; Chaplain, W. H. Jones; Treasurer, N. Kline; Secretary, G. A. Wynant; Gatekeeper, J. J. Preston; Ceres, Mrs. E. A. Monroe; Pomona, Mrs. J W. Taylor; Flora, Mrs. H. Jones; Business Agent, G. A. Wynant.
The Second Annual Fair was set for September 2 3, and 4, 1874, and extended to the 5th, and was quite a success considered with reference to the grasshopper raid. George Coleman, William R. Baxter, William D. Barnett, Alfred Dodson and J. W. Williams were the main fruit exhibitors at the Fair. Neither Shawnee, Jefferson, Atchison, Brown, Nemaha, Pottawatomie nor Riley counties deemed it wise to hold Fairs in 1874, and Jackson indeed excelled them all.
In May, 1881, the Directors of the Agricultural and Mechanical Association sold the Fair Grounds to a company of ten gentlemen who intended to convert them into a driving-park. In 1882, most of these gentlemen have disposed of their interests, the driving-park has been abandoned, and the grounds have become private property.
Horticultural Society.-- Taking a high rank among the fruit-growing counties of the State, the fruit growers of Jackson County are displaying a commendable zeal in their persistent effort to encourage and promote the growth of fruit and shrubbery, shade, ornamental and forest trees, and hedging for fencing.
At Boston, in September, 1873, in this county had a fine display of fruit; C. C. Grubb, living four miles north of Netawaka, had there fifty-one varieties of apples on exhibition. The State Horticultural Society in 1873 held its third semi-annual meeting at Holton. June 10 and 11, than which none of its meetings have ever proved to be of more general interest.
In 1882 meetings of the county society have been frequently held and committees have reported upon the conditions of the orchards of many of the fruit-raisers of the county. Under the auspices of the society a County Fruit Show was held at the court house, September 8, 1882, at which there was a fine display of fruits and vegetables. The finest specimens were taken to the State Fair at Topeka. Mr. W. D. Barnett accepted an invitation from the State Horticultural Society to act as one of the judges on the fruit there exhibited. The President of the county society is Jacob Thornburgh; Vice-President, Jacob Hixon; Secretary and Treasurer, V. V. Adamson. Post-office address of all, Holton. Quite a majority of the local granges have ceased to be. There are still in existence the Holton, Whiting, Netawaka, Jefferson and Soldier granges. William H. Jones, of the Holton Grange, for six years was Chairman of the Executive Board of the State Grange. He has been in charge of the Holton Grange Store for seven years. This store in 1882 ceased to run under the auspices of the grange. No more active work in the interest of agriculture has been done in Kansas than in this county at times, and a revival in that line is one of the signs of the times.
The Jackson County Medical Society.-- June 14, 1872, a number of the physicians of the county met at the office of Dr. V. V. Adamson, of Holton, and formed a medical society; in their objects having been stated as follows: "The advancement of medical knowledge, the elevation of professional character, the extension of the boundary of medical science, and the promotion of all measures adapted to the relief of the suffering, and to improve the health and protect the lives of the community." Dr. L. S. Paddock, of Netawaka, was its first President. Its present officers are: President, J. A. Rafter, Holton; Vice-President, G. W. England, Larkin; Secretary, John T. Scott, Holton; Treasurer, V. V. Adamson, Holton; Censors, J. W. Love, Whiting; R. J. Dodds, North Cedar; T. H. Murray, Circleville.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,704 km² (658 mi²), of which 1,698 km² (656 mi²) is land and 6 km² (2 mi²), or 0.35%, is water.
Jackson County's population was estimated to be 13,500 in the year 2006, an increase of 817, or +6.4%, over the previous six years; it is the sixth fastest growing population in the state.
As of the U.S. Census in 2000, there were 12,657 people, 4,727 households, and 3,507 families residing in the county. The population density was 7/km² (19/mi²). There were 5,094 housing units at an average density of 3/km² (8/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.21% White, 6.84% Native American, 0.53% Black or African American, 0.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.49% of the population.
There were 4,727 households out of which 35.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.30% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.80% were non-families. 22.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the county the population was spread out with 28.30% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $40,451, and the median income for a family was $46,520. Males had a median income of $32,195 versus $22,305 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,606. About 6.40% of families and 8.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.50% of those under age 18 and 9.20% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
Name and population (2004 estimate):
Holton, 3,345 (county seat)
Unified school districts
Jackson Heights USD 335
Holton USD 336
Royal Valley USD 337