Marshall County is a county located in the State of Kansas. As of the year 2000, the population is 10,965. The official county code for Marshall County is MS. The largest city and county seat is Marysville. Marshall County was located on the Oregon Trail and the route of the Pony Express; the Holladay stage line from Atchison to Salt Lake City also passed though the county. The Big Blue River widens its flow towards Tuttle Creek Lake in Marshall County.
On May 30, 1879, the "Irving, Kansas Tornado" passed through Marshall county. This tornado measured F4 on the Fujita scale and had a damage path 800 yards wide and 100 miles long; eighteen people were killed and sixty were injured.
The Early History of Marshall County
by William G. Cutler (1883)
Marshall County is in the first tier of counties south of Nebraska, and the fourth, west of the Missouri River. It is bounded on the north by Gage and Pawnee Counties (Nebraska); on the east by Nemaha County; on the south by Pottawatomie and Riley Counties; and on the west by Washington County.
Geological formations in Marshall County are most apparent in the hills and bluffs along the Big and Little Blue Rivers, that divide the uplands from the river valleys. These hills and bluffs are filled with an endless variety of building stone, the finest among which is the magnesia limestone, which can be readily modeled into any shape by sawing or cutting, and is susceptible of receiving a fine, smooth polish; The Marshall County limestone is of superior quality, quarrying in massive blocks, and is almost entirely free from petrifications. Other varieties of building stone are found in every portion of the county.
The magnesia limestone, as found in this county, weighs 144 pounds per cubic foot, when dry, and lies in courses from twenty inches to three feet in thickness, or averaging two feet three inches. Gypsum, in apparently inexhaustible quantities, is found and utilized in the vicinity of Blue Rapids. Vast beds of gypsum of as fine a quality as any of that from which the plaster of Paris which come from Nova Scotia, is prepared, are found at different points along the Blue River. Although strong indications of coal have been discovered within the past few years, there are, as yet, no mines in operation, though several attempts have been made by sinking shafts in different parts of the county.
The Big Blue River runs across the county from north to south, nearly in the longitudinal center, as has an average width of one hundred and thirty feet. Owing to the altitudinal change in the contour of the county from north to south, the Blue has a water-power unequaled elsewhere in the State. The Blue valley is noted as one of the most beautiful and fertile in the West, and the traveler is charmed by its lovely landscape and delighted with its innumerable springs of pure cold water that gush forth from the bluff sides that confine its waters. The Blue runs parallel with the Missouri River, at a distance of about one hundred miles from the latter, and empties into the Kansas or Kaw at Manhattan, about sixty miles south of the northern Marshall County line.
The little Blue, about one-half the size of the Big Blue, enters the county near the southwestern corner. It comes in from the northwest and empties into the Big Blue two miles above Blue Rapids.
The Red Vermillion is the next largest tributary; it comes in from the eastern part of the county, and empties into the Blue four miles below Irving. Smaller tributaries empty into the Blue from the west, among which are Deer Creek, Horse Shoe Creek, Hop Creek, Fawn Creek and Game Fork. From the east, Mission, Lees', Bridges', Spring and Elm Creeks. With all these water courses and numerous smaller tributaries, this county is one of the best in the State for its water privileges.
Along the banks of all the streams are found bodies of timber that embrace all varieties in this part of the State. There is more timber in this county today than there was when the buffalo wandered unmolested over the fertile prairies. Either natural or planted young forest groves are to be seen in all parts of the county, and in a very few years scarcity of timber will not be known.
The bottom lands are about twenty per cent; the uplands, eighty per cent; forest, three per cent; and prairie ninety-seven per cent. Average width of river bottoms, one mile. The general surface of the county is undulating along the banks of the Big and Little Blue and large streams. The general contour of the county is diversified by hills and bluffs, and back from these the surface becomes more rolling. These picturesque, rounded, grass-covered hills, with now and then a bold promontory or precipitous bluff, or towering, over-hanging cliff, meet the eye in every gentle curve of the river as it meanders through the county, and form a most beautiful landscape.
The latitude and longitude combine to render this one of the healthiest sections in the State. The undulating upland, broken bluffs, rolling second bottoms and not too wide stretches of deep, rich, level first bottom, along the streams that so rapidly flow over rock and gravel beds, secure unsurpassed drainage and entire freedom from malaria-producing miasma.
The staple product of the soil is corn; from thirty to ninety bushels to the acre being raised, according to location, cultivation and season. Owing to the amount of lime found in the soil, the cereals, wheat in particular, prove especially sure of producing abundant crops. Wheat frequently yield upwards of thirty bushels per acre, with only ordinary tillage. Oats, rye, barley and buckwheat do well, while mullet, hungarian, herd-grass and clover satisfy the expectations of the most sanguine. Vegetables, as Irish and sweet potatoes, cabbages, turnips, beets, onions, carrots, grow and mature to perfection. Fruit in all its varieties -- apples, pears, plums, peaches and cherries -- is grown in profusion.
Fine young fruit-orchards are to be seen all over the county, and it is estimated that from this time forward enough fruit will be raised to supply home use, and soon a surplus for distant markets. The live-stock industry is carried on with most gratifying results. The dry, bracing climate and the universally undulating surface of the county, with the absence of lakes, ponds, marshes and other features that generate malaria, together with the perfection of the grain fed, the nutrition of the native grasses that cover the whole face of the county, and the purity of the water, give Marshall County special advantages in stock raising. Sheep raising is carried on extensively, and a good home market for wool is found at the Blue Rapids Woolen Mills.
Marshall County has been, and will always continue to be, one of the leading counties in Northern Kansas.
Thirty years ago, there was scarcely a vestige of civilization in what is now known as Marshall County. For untold ages its prairies had been covered with a waving sea of wild grasses; vast herds of buffalo had, for numberless years, wandered almost unmolested across them. Nothing disturbed it solitude, save occasional bands of nomadic savages, in search of prey or plunder, and the hardy frontiersman who is always found far in advance of the onward march of civilization, -- thus proving that it could not always remain a terra incognita.
Major Stephen H. Long crossed that part of Kansas now known as Marshall County, in command of an expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, during the years 1819 and 1820. Gen. Fremont, on his expedition to the Rocky Mountains in 1842 or 1844, passed through this part of the State, and mentions in his travels, passing a train or two of emigrants, en route to Oregon. In 1847, John Smith, the Mormon apostle, with his band of followers from Illinois, opened the way through this country, crossing the Big Blue at the old "Mormon, " "Independence," or "California crossing," six miles below the present town of Marysville. For two years these exiled "Latter Day Saints" passed along this route by the thousands, their numbers being greatly augmented, in 1849, by the gold discoveries. In 1849, Lieutenant Standberry surveyed the route commonly known as the "Military trail," from Fort Leavenworth to the great Salt Lake, and located a more practicable crossing of the Big Blue, six miles above the old ford.
In 1849, during the excitement caused by the discovery of gold in California, Francis J. Marshall, from Weston, Missouri, came out and established a ferry on the Big Blue at "Independence crossing." During the season of travel he remained there, but returned to Missouri every winter. In the spring of 1851 he moved his ferry, and established it at the upper crossing, at what is now known as Marysville. From this on, until 1854, during the winter Marshall was in Missouri, and in the summer on the banks of the Blue. Here he located his ferry about one hundred yards above where the bridge now spans the river, and about an equal distance below, built a row of rude log cabins; established a blacksmith shop, and opened, with a small stock of goods, a "general store," in which low grade tobacco and rot-gut whisky predominated, and traded with the Indians.
In the spring of 1854, James McCloskey, a Scotchman by birth, who had been an Indian trader among the Sioux on the Upper Platte since 1839, and who had adopted the Indian habits, "came in this country with a half dozen other traders and their families, and decided to settle. The party was invited by Marshall to settle in Marysville. They also received an urgent invitation from Louis Tremble, a Pottawatomie half-breed, who had located a short time previously on the Vermillion, at the "Independence crossing," where he maintained a toll bridge, to settle near him. McCloskey and family located on the Big Blue near Marysville, while the balance of the party settled on the Vermillion.
Settlements were made in the southeastern part of the county on the banks of the Vermillion, early in the spring of 1855. Among the first white settlers were John D. Wells, one of the first County Commissioners, and his family, from Kentucky, who took up a claim near the present town of Barrett. A. G. Barrett, present County Treasurer, settled at the same vicinity, May, 1855. Among those who came in the same year and located in that vicinity were the Brockmeyer brothers, Joseph Langdon, Thos. Warren, H. Ashdown and the Farley brothers. These intrepid settlers and others formed thus the nucleus of a settlement of pioneers, that were foremost in the advancement of the county's best interest.
In March, 1857, probably the first settler in that section of the county now embraced within the limits of Center Township, and near the center of the county, was Smith Martin, who took up a claim and erected a cabin. Shortly after, others came in and began to make improvements. During the same year, others came in and began to make improvements. During the same year, Searns and Wm. Reedy settled on and near the mouth of Coon Creek, in the southwestern corner of the county. Soon after, M. T. Bennett settled on Coon Creek, a few miles above them, and during the next two years many others settled in the vicinity, making quite a neighborhood.
The northeastern section of the county was first settled in 1857, by Geo. Guittard and his sons, who located claims about two and on-half miles north of the present village of Beattie. In the same year, Ambrose, East, Martin and James Shipp, four brothers, settled south of the Big Blue River in what is now Blue Rapids Township, and but a short distance from the present village of Irving. Previous to this time, Samuel Smith settled near the eastern boundary of the county in what is now known as Noble Township, in 1855. In the same neighborhood, on the west fork of the Vermillion, Isaac Walker located a claim in 1856 or '57.
In the territory of what is now known as Blue Rapids Township, settlements were made in 1857, on Elm Creek, by James Walter, M. L. Duncan and others. Wm. Thompson, afterwards Probate Judge, settled a short distance above the present town site of Blue Rapids, in 1858. About the same time Andrew Scott, Henry Miller and others, located on the north side of the river, while James Lane settled a few miles below at a point known afterwards as "Lane's Ford." James Parker and others came in and established a permanent neighborhood.
Settlements were made up and down the Big and Little Blue, also on Horseshoe, Spring, Walnut and other creeks, during the years 1858 and '59; so that in 1860, Marshall County was fairly launched upon the advancing wave of civilization, and was, in a measure, able to enjoy its legal, social and municipal regulations.
The first election in Marshall County was held at Marshall's upper crossing of the Blue, better known as Marysville, on March 31, 1855. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, the act providing for the organization of the Territories, conferred the right to vote at that, the first election, upon every "inhabitant" of the Territory otherwise qualified, who should be "an actual resident." No number of days or period of time of residence was required. The Pro-slavery party put a most liberal construction upon the law. Organizing in Missouri, large parties of men came to Kansas, many of whom had no intention of being inhabitants or residents of the Territory longer than it should be necessary to come to the designated place and vote.
The party which came to Marysville consisted of several hundred men, with wagons, horses, tents, camping equipment and provisions. No opposition was offered them, as there were only two men -- G. H. Hollenburg and J. D. Wells -- in Marshall County at that time belonging to the Free-state party. F. Marshall was elected as a member of the Territorial Legislature at that election.
At the election of the Territorial Legislature, October 5, 1857, the only Free-state vote in the county was cast by James White.
Lecompton Constitution. (December 21, 1857). -- Illegal elections and ballot-box stuffing of the present day can in no way be compared with the manner of conducting elections in the early days of Kansas, and in Marshall County in particular. The election to which we refer is the one that was to decide the fate of that relic of barbarism -- the Lecompton Constitution. At this point on the overland trail a little colony of Southerners had congregated ostensibly for the purpose of building up a town, but in reality to work in the interest of the Pro-slavery party. Marshall operated his ferry here under a charter received from the Territorial Legislature, in which he was allowed to charge the gold-seekers, Mormons, adventurers, and all Western pilgrims that crossed the Blue at that point, the sum of $5 per wagon. The adoption of the provisions of the Lecompton Constitution, among other things, was to vest Gen. Marshall with the high honors of Governor, and it was natural to expect that the Pro-slavery men in this section would take charge of the election. Three or four log cabins were all that showed that a settlement existed, but it was the only place of note in Northern Kansas at that date.
In the upper rooms of one of these cabins the polls were opened, by setting a soap box on the head of a whisky barrel as the receptacle for ballots. In case the above-mentioned soap box was filled with ballots, another box was to be substituted. A narrow staircase led to a hole in the ceiling, through which the voter would thrust his hand, holding a ticket, and yell out his name, or the first name he happened to think of, and then would immediately descend, to make room for the next man, absorb a sufficient quantity of "tarantula juice," conjure up a new name, and await his opportunity to vote again. Among the twenty-five or thirty voters present, there was a notable personage known by the sobriquet of "Shanghai" -- probably so named from his personal appearance.
Long before half the day had passed, "Shanghai," who had become so thoroughly imbued with patriotism for his party, and whisky, that he could not keep a secret, sprang upon a whisky barrel and exclaimed that he had voted twenty-five times; was going to vote twenty-five times more, and would bet any man $100 that he had outvoted any one in the "outfit." Tradition states that the little band of Southern pilgrims stood by and listened with amazement. No one seemed willing to take up any challenge of the champion voter, and the matter was about to go by default, when it was accepted by one of the "pilgrims," the money put up, and a committee appointed to investigate. The result of the investigation showed that "Shanghai" was beaten, the challenged party having deposited nearly one hundred votes. It was shown that he had possession of a St. Louis business directory, and that he was voting in alphabetical order, and had only got half way through the "A" list.
The voting continued briskly throughout the day, and when the shades of evening closed in upon them, the little Spartan band had rolled up a rousing majority of nearly 1,000 votes for the Lecompton Constitution!
Fourth of July Celebration -- The celebration of the eighty-sixth anniversary of American Independence occurred at Marysville July 4, 1862. All parts of the country were represented, and many attended from adjoining counties, making the attendance about 500 people, which was considered large at that time. As per programme, the people assembled at the old Methodist Episcopal Church, formed a procession, and with music marched to a grove on Spring Creek, where took place the reading of the Declaration of Independence, by Dr. J. H. McDougal. The orator of the day, Rev. Charles E. Parker, portrayed "the beauties of a Republican government, the blessings derived from our separation from the mother country, and the strength and virtue of our Government to overcome all attempts to anarchy and despotism," ending with a eulogy on the State, and of Marshall County in particular. In the afternoon toasts were prepared by the toast-master, R. S. Newell, and responded to in an eloquent manner by prominent citizens present. Among the toasts offered was "The Union Forever," which was responded to by the entire assemblage, who arose to their feet and gave three cheers, with a "tiger" accompaniment. The festivities concluded with a ball in the evening.
Pioneer Reminiscences. -- To preserve from oblivion the record of the first white settler who crossed Marshall County, and the second who located in the county, we present a few extracts from a sketch prepared by Hon. F. G. Adams, Secretary of the State Historical Society, in reference to James McCloskey:
"As early as in the year 1839, McCloskey came out from St. Louis and passed over the trappers' trail to the mountains, leaving the Missouri River at Independence, and crossing the Kansas River near the present site of Topeka. He crossed the Blue where ten years later, Marshall put in his ferry. McCloskey was then accompanying the trading party of Bibile & Adams, having seven wagons loaded with Indian goods, and escorted by twelve men. The goods had been purchased of Benard Pratt, of St. Louis, and McCloskey went out as a clerk, to look after the interests of Pratt in the sale of the goods, and make returns thereof.
"The party established Fort Pratt, a trading post, three miles above Fort Laramie.
"McCloskey remained as a trader in the Indian country till in 1854, he returned to take up his settlement on the Blue. When he returned, he brought with him quite a party of mountaineers beside. Among these was Changreau, who, with his family, took up his settlement with Louis Tremble, on the Vermillion, as did also Laroche, another of the same party.
"When our mountaineer, McCloskey, came in with his Sioux wife, on the 20th of November, 1855, and with his companions and their Sioux wives and children camped near Marshall's cabin, there were no other settlers in the neighborhood. Though nearly a year and a half had elapsed since the settlement of the Territory had begun, the rich and beautiful valley of the Blue had attracted no inhabitants to its borders. The enterprising and energetic ferry-man legislator, who had been here six years, was the only man who had come to stay.
"McCloskey, as he had made his trips t and from his trading posts among the Sioux, crossing the Blue, had determined that when he should quit his life in the wilderness he would take up his home on the Blue. He had intended, with the band of people he had brought in with him, to settle at the Big Spring, just below the Independence crossing. But no sooner had his party camped in the valley, than Tremble, the half-breed, living on the Vermillion, came and persuaded a portion of the party to settle on the Vermillion. He told them stories about the dangers there was from the Kaws, and gave reasons why his own neighborhood was a place of greater security. These tales about the Kaws caused a number of mountaineers to return at once. Thus McCloskey found himself alone with his family, and he made up his mind to settle near the ferry-man."
[It will be remembered that Marshall had given up his lower establishment two years before.]
"What had brought these mountaineers here with their Indian families to make their homes, surrounded as they knew they were to be by a community of white people?
"McCloskey says they came in order that their children might learn the manners and customs of white people, and be educated. They had married Indian women in the Sioux country, actuated in a measure at least by motives of prudence and business economy. Safety, and the protection and promotion of their trade, required that they should marry and become members of a tribe. These family relations resulted in family ties which, once formed, were not easily broken. They became attached to their wives and children. Natural affection seems to become as strong in such situations as in those formed in the midst of civilization.
"Here are phases of human nature creditable in the highest degree to mountain white men who, like McCloskey, in their desire to secure to their Indian offsprings the benefit of education, civilization and refinement, are yet willing to take with them within the pale of civilization, their Indian wives, and to undergo all the embarrassments incident to such an anomalous relation in the midst of a cultivated community. The part which the wife performs in this change is alike creditable and certainly is conclusive of the fact that the retaining of some of the best qualities of human nature is not inconsistent with a savage birth and education.
"McCloskey sent his boys to the Iowas Indian Mission schools, in Doniphan County, and his girls to the Highland University, giving them all a good education. His eldest son, James, was for nine years, up to 1870, government interpreter at Fort Laramie, when he was killed by a man named William Boyer, who was hung for the crime. Henry had been interpreter at Fort Halleck. On his return home he was killed at Cottonwood Station. Charles, while in school at Highland, was accidentally killed by the discharge of a gun which he was taking from a wagon, while going on a hunt. Eda died at Highland, while attending school, at the age of fourteen. Julia, now aged twenty-six, is living in Nebraska. Monie-waka (Medicine Eagle), the mother of the children, died many years ago."
The oldest settlers in the Vermillion Valley say when they came there they found two families -- the head of one a Sioux half-breed named Louis Tremble, whose wife was a full-blooded Sioux. The other family consisted of a Frenchman named Changreau and his wife, a Sioux woman; her sister, a girl of fifteen, and numerous small children. Tremble built a bridge across the Vermillion, and charged the Western pilgrims toll for crossing. Changreau opened a farm of about fifteen acres, raising vegetables and produce, which found a ready sale to the travelers.
The Kansas, or Kaw Indians, as they are now commonly called, are a branch of the Sioux, as are also the Otoes, Omahas and Iowas. The country embracing all of northeastern Kansas was occupied by the Kaws, when in 1825, the Government opened negotiations with them for the purchase of a part of their territory. Between the Kaws ant the Sioux, the parent tribes, there was an implacable hatred. Whenever the bands of the two tribes met, no matter where, there was a war to the knife, and whoever was not killed, but captured, suffered death by torture the most cruel and devilish. "No Sioux or Kaw could meet each other and live." These two Sioux families were aware that they had located in the old territory of the Kaws, and that the residence of their perpetual foes was not far distant; but trusted to their neighbor Sioux for protection.
One spring day, while Changreau was in the field plowing, the house was suddenly surrounded by a band of mounted Indians, numbering a hundred or more. The women made an effort to conceal themselves, but failed. The Indians professed friendship, but helped themselves to everything that they fancied. After reckless pillage, the chief suddenly seized the young girl, bound her to his pony, and mounting, they all disappeared.
Changreau, who was at once notified by his frantic wife, of what had occurred, suspected who the visitors were, and knowing that a fate worse than death would await the helpless prisoner, made a most pressing and urgent appeal to his white neighbors to go with him to the rescue. A few responded, and John D. Wells, and a few others, started with Changreau and followed the trail for many hours, when fearing ambush, they turned back, with the exception for the Frenchman, who pushed on alone.
Changreau followed the band for many days, until they camped on the Neosho River, near Council Grove. The Frenchman, who had kept himself concealed, saw that unusual preparations were being made and then knew that the worst was to come. But what could one man do against one hundred? He had followed without hope, in utter despair as to the accomplishment of any good so far as the captive was concerned.
Soon after the lodges were erected the Indians had a feast, which they devoured with unusual dispatch. Then the fires were relighted and made to burn with great brilliancy, lighting up the demoniacal group, and glaring in the darkness upon the distant and rounded hill slopes. At last Changreau saw an Indian, whom he had observed have his sister in his keeping, lead the helpless and devoted captive into the semicircle and bind her to a tree. The Frenchmen could witness no more. Mounting his pony he turned his face on the scene, and rode away in the darkness.
He was soon miles and miles away, and all that night circled around the Indian camp, not seeing but knowing what was being transacted there. In the gray dawn of morning he rode back to the camp, and creeping almost among the lodges, saw seated by the warning camp fires, a row of Kaw hags, gibbering of what had happened, as they talked they pointed their bony fingers at a figure, rendered indistinct through the smoke and darkness, bound to a tree trunk. As it grew lighter he saw that his sister was dead -- her lifeless body covered with gore; whips and scourges lay at her feet, which showed that the girl had been whipped to death amid the war dances and battle orgies of the night. What he dreaded as the worst he now was sure of, and with his sad and fearful tale he returned to his family and hastened to move them to a place of greater safety.
Marshall County during the war was one of the border counties, and was several times the seat of panics arising from depredations committed by the Indians. Emigrants and ranchmen in the overland road were often driven in, as were also the new settlers, who had taken up claims west of Marshall County. At times apprehensions were felt that the Indians would extend their devastations to the older settlements, depleted as they were of able-bodied men, from enlistments in the army.
The first panic occurred in May, 1862, being occasioned by an Indian raid made into Washington County. In consequence, a detachment of recruits being raised at Marysville was sent out on a reconnaissance, but no Indians were seen.
The greatest panic was created in August, 1864, by a raid made by Indians on the Little Blue. On the 10th of August refugees from the scene of the massacre began to pour into Marysville. Teams with wagons filled with settlers, station-keepers and ranchmen, with their families, flowed into the town, each bringing stories of the outrageous murders and torture of men, women and children, and beseeching aid in recovering their captured friends. The militia companies were immediately mustered, and after making hasty preparations, left for the scene of trouble.
One company under the command of Capt. Frank Schmidt and one in charge of Lieut. McCloskey were under march the day after the first intelligence arrived. They were also joined by a company from Vermillion, under Capt. James Kelley, and one from Irving, under Capt. T. S. Vaile. The Marshall County troops were under the command of Col. E. C. Manning. They were followed by a brigade expedition composed of portions of the Nemaha, Riley and Washington County regiments, under the command of Gen. Sherry of Seneca. Both expeditions, after traveling and seeing evidences of the Indian warfare, but meeting none, returned to their homes. Many of the refugees from the overland road and the counties west remained in Marshall County two or three weeks before returning to their homes.
Grasshoppers. -- The gryllus or grasshopper family made their appearance in Marshall County in great numbers, in August, 1867, and "destroyed every green thing." In August 1868, they re-appeared in untold millions, remained three days and departed, doing comparatively but little damage.
In the summer of 1874 the grasshoppers again appeared in the county and commenced their ravages on corn and other products, and soon everything was destroyed. The green foliage on the trees and bushes was next attacked, and was as soon stripped. After eating every green thing they departed for realms unknown. The county was self-supporting during the plague.
Cyclone. -- It is seldom that the historian is called upon to chronicle so sad and terrible an event as occurred in this part of the State, and in Marshall County in particular, three years ago. Many are the once happy homes that were rendered desolate and forsaken on that memorable occasion, by the most terrific of storms -- the cyclone.
On the morning of may 30, 1879, the sun rose in all its magnificence, shedding its beautiful rays over the broad and fertile prairies, of which this county may well be proud, and showing in every beam the gladsome tokens of a pleasant day. During the afternoon of the same day, an observer might notice a change in the atmosphere, the temperature being cooler by some thirty degrees, and also see that a few dark and angry-looking clouds appeared in the northwest, while now and then sharp electric flashes lit up the horizon, intermingled with heavy claps of thunder. In a short time a severe storm was raging throughout the southern portion of the county, carrying death and destruction before it in some localities, while in other sections leaving but the ordinary traces of a severe storm.
Waterville. -- It is undoubtedly a fact, that the destruction of property at this place was caused more by severe wind blowing from the west towards the cyclone proper, which was at that time raging in Irving, and not by any cyclonal vortex or whirlpool. Although no loss of life was occasioned by the storm, the destruction of property was very great. In the vicinity of the city, near the mouth of Coon Creek, and on the Little Blue River, considerable timber was destroyed, undoubtedly by whirlwinds, the largest of these being not more than twenty yards in circumference, and remaining in contact with the earth for but a short distance. In the vicinity of the city about twelve buildings were destroyed -- either wholly or partially -- occasioning a loss of about $2,000. In the city, the damage done was necessarily greater, not less than fifty structures being more or less damaged. The estimated loss of property was placed at from $3,000 to $4,000.
"By the peaceful silent river.
Where the waters flow forever,
Like fancies of a dream
Strode the Storm King in his power.
In that sad and awful hour
When death should reign supreme."
Irving. -- At this place the storm seemed to concentrate its demoniacal strength and vent it fury upon, where had been a few hours before one of the pleasantest little villages in the country. No tongue can tell nor pen portray the scene as the ruthless whirlwind swept its way through the devoted village. All was blackness, dispair and desolation. It heeded not the groans of strong men, the shrieks of frantic women, nor the heart-rending screams of innocent children, but continued its way unmindful of the misery and woe it left behind.
The air was filled with flying debris, while now and then a house would be lifted bodily from the ground and carried through the air intact, then be dashed down and broken into a thousand pieces; limbs and trunks of trees, wagons, farm machinery, huge foundation stones, bricks, lumber, animals and human bodies were hurled through the air like feathers. The heart-rending cries of the wounded and dying, mingled with the terrific roar of the remorseless element, made it a scene never to be forgotten.
The whirlwind was seen approaching the town from the west, between 5 and 6 o'clock P. M., and presented the appearance of an immense funnel-shaped cloud, moving at great velocity.
Before the terrified inhabitants had realized the amount of damage done a second storm burst upon them, and although smaller than its predecessor, was more furious and destructive to property. To add to the horror of the situation, a deluge of rain descended shortly after the wind had ceased its work.
Messengers were immediately dispatched to the surrounding towns for help, which soon arrived, and all through that dark and dreary night the melancholy task of gathering up the dead bodies and caring for the wounded was performed. Following is a list of the killed: Mrs. W. J. Williams, Mrs. Susan G. Buckmaster, Elizabeth Buckmaster, Alice Buckmaster, Laura Buckmaster, Celestia Buckmaster, Mrs. Emma Sheldon, Miss Fannie Swach, Mrs. Thomas Noark, Mrs. George Martin, Clinton Keeney, John Keeney, Mrs. Flora Keeney, Jacob Sabins. Number of wounded reported, thirty.
In Irving and vicinity about forty buildings were completely destroyed -- in some cases not enough timber being left to mark the site of the structure. Among the property destroyed in the village was the Presbyterian Church -- a large stone structure -- with the exception of the steeple, which was left intact; the public school building -- a brick structure -- from which school had been dismissed but an hour previous; a portion of Wetmore Institute building; and two spans were taken out of the iron bridge across the Blue River -- the approaches being left uninjured.
The burial services of most of the victims of the storm were held on the following Sunday, June 1. The occasion was an impressive one, rendered doubly so by the sad fate of the victims; the frantic outburst of grief displayed immediately after the storm, had given way to deep, quiet sorrow, which was visible in the tearless eyes and voiceless lips of the afflicted.
Frankfort. Here the storm was very destructive to both life and property. An eye-witness of the storm, after acknowledging his utter inability to adequately describe the fearful spectacle, says: "At first there were cloudy pillars resembling smoke, afterwards assuming an inky blackness, all rolling, dashing and clashing with each other as if engaged in a furious battle, and to battle they were mustered, and onward and upward they rolled with a deafening roar, mowing everything down before them, scattering death and destruction in their course. The storm clouds were a grand scene to behold, but their work is fearful to contemplate."
To sum up, five persons were killed as follows: James Downs, Mrs. James Downs, John Howe, Mrs. Henry Johnson, _______ Grove. About fifty were wounded -- some seriously, and property destroyed to the amount of $150,000.
At Blue Rapids and Vermillion the damage done was slight, compared to other localities and no one injured.
Of all the troops that enlisted in the war of the Great Rebellion, from Marshall County, the larger proportion was from Marysville and Vermillion Townships. By an order from the War Department, Marysville was made the recruiting station for Washington and Marshall Counties. When the call for volunteers came, Marshall County proved itself to the Union almost to a man, and of the 450 voters in the county at that time, is credited with having sent nearly 400 men. Notwithstanding their good record they were called upon March, 1865 to fill the quota of thirty-one men. After the quota was complete it was found that the draft was illegal, and a portion of the men returned.
Company K, Ninth Kansas Cavalry -- Was organized at Marysville in the summer of 1862 by Capt. Thomas M. Bowen present U. S. Senator from Colorado. Under his command as captain and J. D Wells as first lieutenant, the company, consisting of about eighty men, were ordered to join the regiment at Fort Leavenworth. From Fort Leavenworth the regiment was ordered to the seat of war in Missouri and Arkansas, and participated in all the important engagements that took place on the Arkansas River. After serving with distinction the company was mustered out of service at Duval's Bluff, Ark., and received their discharge at Fort Leavenworth in July, 1865. The company suffered severely during its service, only about one-third returning.
Company G, Thirteenth Kansas Infantry -- Under command of W. S. Blackborn, Captian, Thomas Hensel, First Lieutenant. Company G was recruited at Marysville in August 1862. Vermillion Township furnished most of the recruits for this company. At Atchison, the company joined their regiment and were immediately ordered to Maysville, Mo., but arrived too late to participate in an engagement. Their first battle took place at Cane Hill, Ark. and was followed by an engagement at Van Buren, Ark. Their operations throughout the war were confined to Missouri and Arkansas. The company was mustered out of service at Little Rock, Ark., in June, 1865, and was discharged at Fort Leavenworth, July 9, 1865. About one-half of the company returned to Marysville.
Company E, Thirteenth Kansas Infantry -- Capt. Perry Hutchinson in command, was recruited at Marysville during the summer and fall of 1862. Marysville furnished about twenty-seven men to this company, the rest of the company being filled with recruits from different points in the county.
These companies were stationed at Marysville until September 8, 1862, when they were all ordered to Fort Scott via Atchison and Fort Leavenworth. They left Marysville on the date mentioned in company with a number of Otoe Indians who were under the command of Capt. D. W. Williams. Some three hundred men were in the ranks at the time.
Company H, Second Kansas Cavalry -- was mustered into service at Kickapoo in the spring of 1862, under command of Capt. A. Gunther and was composed entirely of recruits from Marshall and Washington Countries. After serving with distinction throughout the war it was mustered out of service March 18, 1865, at Little Rock, Ark.
Large numbers of recruits from Marshall County enlisted in other Kansas regiments and into regiments raised in other states. The Second, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Kansas regiments were represented by volunteers from Marshall County. By reference elsewhere it will be seen that Marshall, a frontier county at that time, gave a full share of troops to the Union army. The regiments in which Marshall County troops were chiefly enlisted were among those distinguished for active and effective service during the war.
By the autumn of 1855 quite a settlement had been made in different parts of Marshall County, especially in the vicinity of Marysville, Barrett and Vermillion. It soon became apparent that a municipal organization was needed, and the county was duly organized in 1855. The voting strength of the entire county at that time was not over sixty.
The duties of the county officials were not very arduous at that time -- the County Sheriff excepted. Alexander Clarke, the first Sheriff, was commissioned in October 1855, but his career ended very suddenly by his being shot by a desperado whom he was endeavoring to arrest.
A county warrant was issued on December 15, 1856, by James McCloskey in favor of Henry Adams and H. L. Kirk, of Atchison, for services rendered in laying out a Territorial road from Atchison to Marysville. This is the first county warrant issued in the county of Marshall. John D. Wells, M. L. Duncan and W. N. Glynn were the County Commissioners at that time. J. S. Magill was appointed Justice of the Peace during the same year.
The first District Court convened in Marshall County at Marysville in March, 1857, Judge Burrel, of the United States District Court presided and James McCloskey acted as Clerk. As no cases appeared on the docket, and no Grand Jury called, it looked as if the Court would have to adjourn without transacting any business, when a "case of conscience" came up, and the law was adapted to suit the case. It appears that D. C. Old, an abolitionist, had obtained from the County Commissioners the appointment to Justice of the Peace for the Vermillion district.
The Territorial laws, as passed by a Pro-slavery Legislature, required that officers, before assuming the duties of their offices, should take an "iron-clad oath," which provided that the officer should support the United States Fugitive Slave Law. As this law was antagonistic to the principles of Auld he could not take it, and asked his friend McCloskey to intercede with Judge Burrel to qualify him, without having to take the oath. The Judge, being a Pennsylvanian, wrote out a Penn-sylvania oath and administered it to Auld, who served out his term and retained his freedom to assist any fugitive slaves who, in their flight, happened to pass his way.
At the meeting of the County Commissioners at Palmetto, K. T., in June, 1856, it was decided "that the county of Marshall, for the convenience of transacting county business, and the execution of legal processes, be divided into two principal townships: "by a line beginning at the mouth of Elm Creek, where it empties into the Big Blue River, and running thence north to the base or meridian line. The section or country east of said line, in Marshall County, will henceforth be known as Vermillion Township, and that portion of the country lying west of the line, in Marshall County known as Marysville Township."
At the same meeting an assessment was made at "fifty cents per head as poll tax," and one-sixth of one per cent, upon all property subject to taxation according to Territorial laws. November 6, 1858, the County Commissioners divided the county proper into four townships, according to the following description:
Marysville Township. -- Townships 1, 2, and north half of Township 3, Range 6; Townships 1, 2, and north half of Township 3, Range 7; west halves of Townships 1, 2, and north west quarter of Township 3, Range 8.
Guittard Township. -- East half of Townships 1, 2, and northeast quarter of Township 3, Range 8; Townships 1, 2, and north half of Township 3, Range 9; Townships 1, 2, and north half of Township 3, Range 10.
Blue Rapids Township. -- South half of Township 3, Range 6; all of Townships 4 and 5, Range 6; south half of Township 3, Range 7; all of Townships 4 and 5, Range 7; southwest quarter of Township 3, and west half of Townships 4 and 5, Range 8.
Vermillion Township. -- Southwest quarter of Township 3, east half of Townships 4 and 5, Range 8; south half of Township 3 and all of Townships 4 and 5, Range 9; south half of Township 3, and all of Townships 4 and 5, Range 10.
The voting places in the several Townships were designated as follows: Marysville Township, Marysville, or Palmetto; Guittard Township, Guittardville: Blue Rapids Township, at the house of William Thompson; Vermillion, at the house of Joseph Langdon.
What is now known as Washington County was at that time under the jurisdiction of Marshall County officials, and was termed Washington Township. A voting place was established at the house of M. L. Latt, on the mouth of Cottonwood Creek.
From 1869 up to 1880, the county has been sub-divided into municipal townships as follows; Waterville Township, created February 15, 1869; Centre Township, created January 15, 1873; Elm Creek Township, created March 1, 1873; Rock Township, created April 9, 1873, Franklin Township, created April 19, 1873; Blue Rapids City Township, created August 24, 1870, Wells' Township, created April 17, 1874; Noble Township, created June 5, 1878; Murray Township, created January 9, 1880; Clear Fork Township, created July 13, 1880.
Following is a transcript of the county roster from 1855 to 1883:
Clerk. -- 1855-8, J. McCloskey; 1859, B. F. Barber; 1860, E. C. Manning; 1861, C. R. Denning; 1862-5, R. S. Newell; 1866-7, C. A. Imbert; 1868-9, F. R. Jacobs; 1870-3, James Smith; 1874-7, J. G. McIntire; 1878-9, G. M. Lewis; 1880-'83, W. H. Armstrong.
Treasurer. -- 1857-8, J. S. Magill; 1860-1, G. D. Swearingen; 1862-5, A. E. Lovell; 1866-9, J. S. Magill; 1870-3, C. F. Koester; 1874-7, Jas. Smith; 1878-82, A. G. Barrett; 1883-4, Wm. Lofinck.
Recorder. -- 1855-60, J. P. Miller (ex-officio). 1862-3, J. H. McDougall; 1864-9, C. F. Koester; 1870-1, J. M. Watson; 1872-3, J. G. McIntire; 1874-9, J. B. Winkler; 1880-3, J. D. Farwell.
District Clerk. -- 1855-9, J. R. Whitehead; 1860-1, L. McArthur; 1863-72, A. Campbell; 1873-4, L. W. Chesley; 1875-8, S. M. Balgue; 1879-'82, J. M. Patterson.
Probate Judge -- 1855, J. Doniphan; 1856, C. B. Buist; 1857-8, J. E. Clardy; 1859-'60, William Thompson; 1863-4, J. D. Brumbaugh; 1865-'70, A. Cottrell; 1871-6, W. C. McCurdy; 1877-'82, H. P. Wells; 1883-4, John Brown.
Sheriff. -- 1855, J. M. Clark; 1856, G. F. Hubbard; 1857, J. P. Miller; 1858, H. Fraizer; 1859, James Foster; 1860-5, G. D. Swearingen; 1866-7, J. S. Grey; 1868-9, J. McCoy; 1870-3, Frank Garaty; 1874-7, J. R. Voorhees; 1878-'81, J. B. Logan; 1882-3, J. R. Voorhees.
Superintendent of Schools. -- 1859, J. D. Wells; 1860, W. S. Blackburn; 1861-2, W. W. Jerome; 1863-4, T. H. Baker; 1865-6, M. T. Bennett; 1867-8, J. L. Chapman; 1869-'72, C. S. Balton; 1873-6, A. Jeffers; 1877-8, G. W. Winans; 1879-'82, W. F. Boyakin; 1883-4, ______ Renoc.
Attorney. -- 1861-4, J. W. Bollinger; 1865-8, W. W. Jerome; 1869-'72, M. C. White; 1873-4, E. Hutchinson; 1875-78, F. Love; 1879-82, J. A. Broughten; 1883-4, G. F. Scoffield.
Surveyor. -- 1857, W. S. Brewster; 1858, J. W. Swift; 1859, J. O'Neil; 1860-1, E. C. Manning; 1862-3, J. Thomas; 1864-5, W. W. McCloskey; 1866-7, A. O. Waggoner; 1868-'71, S. W. Hazen; 1872-3, W. Millikan, 1874-9, H. A. Parmalee; 1880-3, H. K. Sharpe.
Coroner. -- 1857, W. A. Hill; 1858, J. H. Meyer; 1859, M. Life; 1860-5, T. McCoy; 1866-7, F. Pierce; 1868-9, J. Fraizer; 1870-1, J. Jewell; 1872-3, J. Fitzgerald; 1874-5, J. Bates; 1876-'81, W. F. Boyakin; 1882-3, William Siders.
Commissioners. -- 1855-6, M. L. Duncan, J. D. Wells, W. N. Glenn; 1857, C. B. Buist, M. L. Duncan, J. D. Wells; 1858, J. D. Brumbaugh, G. D. Pierce, J. Kelley; 1859, A. G. Barrett, W. H. Pearsall, A. Ostrander; 1860, M. L. Duncan, G. H. Stoner, J. Kelley; 1861, P. Gift, J. Lane, H. Foster; 1862-3, P. Gift, S. B. Varney, J. Lane; 1864-5, F. Schmidt, A. J. Palmer, J. Kelley; 1866-7, F. Schmidt, E. Lewis, J. L. Freeland; 1868-9, P. Gift, J. Weisbach, O. E. Allen; 1870-1, J. Mohrbacker, S. Abbey, R. Osborn; 1872, J. S. Pierce, T. C. Hendricks, J. Mohrbacker; 1873, J. Mohrbacker, D. Q, Millett, J. C. Dickey; 1874-5, J. C. Dickey, D. Q. Millet, J. Whitley; 1876-7, D. Q. Millet, R. S. Newell, M. L. Duncan; 1878-9, A. Hohn, B. McElroy, M. L. Duncan; 1880, A. Hohn, J. R. Vorhees, J. W. Means; 1881-2, C. E. Tibbetts, J. W. Means, J. R. Vorhees; 1882, C. E. Tibbetts, I. C. Legere, L. W. Libbey; 1883, S. M. Willhite, I. C. Legere, L. W. Libbey.
Senators. -- 1861-2, S. L. Lappin; 1863-4, T. H. Baker; 1865-6, E. C. Manning; 1867-8, J. M. Harvey; 1869-'70, A. A. Carnahan; 1871-2, P. Rockfeller; 1873-6, F. Schmidt; 1877-'80, C. J. Brown; 1881-4, Perry Hutchinson.
Representatives. -- 1855, F. J. Marshall; 1856, J. P. Miller; 1857, W. B. Jenkins; 1858, J. P. Miller; 1859, T. S. Vaile; 1860, G. D. Pierce; 1861, D. C. Auld; 1862, H. Foster; 1863, J. Weisbach; 1864, J. D. Brumbaugh; 1865, J. D. Wells; 1866, James Smith; 1867, J. D. Wells; 1868, A. G. Patrick; 1869, W. H. Smith; 1870, J. D. Wells; 1871, W. H. Smith; 1872, A. Jeffers; 1873, I. C. Legere; 1874, A. Reed; 1875, C. J. Brown; 1876, J. D. Brumbaugh; 1877-8, J. Lockwood, W. W. Smith; 1879-'80, L. P. Hamilton, W. W. Smith; 1881-2, G. W. Kelley, S. W. Hazen; 1883-4, J. D. Wells, W. S. Glass.
As early as 1859, efforts were made to move the county seat from Marysville to Sylvan, a new town, the location of which was selected on Section 25, Township 3, Range 8. The prime mover in this affair was T. S. Vaile, a member of the Free-state Territorial Legislature, from Marshall County. Marysville, at that time, was reputed as a Pro-slavery town, and Vaile had an act passed removing the county-seat to Sylvan. The only official business transacted at the new county-seat, was the canvassing of the vote of 1859. There being no house in Sylvan, the Commissioners, G. D. Swearingen, J. D. Brumbaugh, George G. Pierce and S. Ostrander, held their session in the house of G. D. Swearingen, a mile distant. By a vote of the people, Marysville was again made the county-seat.
Marysville enjoyed her supremacy until late in the fall of 1871, when the question again came before the people of the county. At that time there were in the county a number of good points for the location of the county-seat, and as each place claimed to possess better advantages than its neighbor, and had its ardent supporters, a bitter county-seat war broke out. Waterville, Blue Rapids and Frankfort, on the line of the C. B. Mo. Pacific Railroad that extends from east to west through the southern portion of the county, each offered special inducements; Centre Township had one strong point in its favor, it being the geographical centre of the county; Marysville, located on the St. Joe & Western Railroad in the northern part of the county, had its advantages.
In accordance with an order from the County Commissioners, an election was held November 14, 1874, and votes cast at the various voting precincts in the county, for the purpose of deciding the county-seat issue. The election resulted in Waterville receiving 345 votes; Blue Rapids 485 votes; Frankfort, 586 votes; Centre, 95 voted; Marysville, 807 votes. Another election was ordered to be held, November 28, 1871, in which the contest was between Marysville and Frankfort; Waterville, Blue Rapids and Centre, withdrawing their claims. The result of the election showed that Frankfort received 1,078 votes, and Marysville 1,637 votes, which made Marysville the county seat of Marshall County.
County Buildings, Railroads, and Societies
Court House. -- Early in the spring of 1860, the Southern Methodists built a frame church edifice, 24x36 feet, on lots 7 and 8, Block 43, on the corner of Fifth and Laramie streets. These lots were given to them by the Palmetto Town Company. Not being able to pay for the building, R. Y. Shibley and J. D. Brumbaugh, who had claims against the association, took possession, and without any process of law, moved it on Broadway. In July, 1862, they sold the building to the county to be used as a court house. Previous to this time, the county offices were located in different parts of town. This building was used as a court house until 1870, when the District Court was held in Watterson's Hall.
In February, 1873, a contract was let to George F. Hamilton, by the township of Marysville, to build a new county court house, to be located in Marysville. The cost of the building was not to exceed $15,000, and it was to be completed in November, 1873, but owing to the usual delay, it was not finished until July 1874. The building is a two story brick structure, 50x65 feet. The interior of the building contains on the first floor, a hall and six offices, occupied by county officials. The second floor is occupied by the court room and four offices. The court house is situated on a commanding elevation in the eastern part of the city, and presents to the observer a neat appearance.
County Jail. -- A few rods northeast of the court house, may still be seen standing, the "Old County Jail". Built in 1860, 20x24 feet, the first story being built of stone, the second a frame, it stands as a relic of the early days of Marysville. The lower story, consisting of one room, was occupied by the prisoners, and the upper by the jailer and family. The unlucky wretches who were confined within its dreary walls, were chained to the floor, but frequently managed to make their escape. This building was occupied until the new one was completed in 1877. The new jail is a stone structure, 28x50 feet, two stories, and was erected at a cost of $5,000. The building was commenced in June, 1877, and completed in December of the same year, by Messrs. McPherson & Fitzgerald.
Central Branch, Missouri Pacific Railway -- This railroad, the first to enter the county, was completed through the southern part, in the winter of 1867, to a point one hundred miles west of Atchison, now known as Waterville, within three miles of the eastern boundary line of Washington County. The road enters the county from the east, ten miles north of its southern boundary line, and passes through the townships of Noble, Vermillion, Blue Rapids City and Waterville. On reaching Waterville, all railroad building stopped, nothing more being done until 1876, when the road was extended under the name of the Atchison, Colorado & Pacific Railway, to points farther west. Including this extension, there are thirty-five miles of road under the Central Branch management in the county.
The principal stations on the line of road, are Vermillion, Frankfort, Barrett, Bigelow, Irving, Blue Rapids and Waterville.
St. Joseph & Western Railway. -- After innumerable delays and disappointments, the people in the northern part of the country succeeded in obtaining a railroad, under the name of St. Joe & Denver City. In 1870, this road reached the eastern limits of the county, and in January 1871, passed through Marysville, and was extended northwest until it made a connection with the Union Pacific, at Grand Island, Neb.
The St. Joseph & Western enters the county from the east, nine miles south of the Kansas and Nebraska State Line, and passes through the townships of Guittard, Franklin, Centre and Marysville. The principle stations are: Axtell, Beattie, Marysville and Herkimer.
Marysville & Blue Valley Railway was built from Beatrice, Gage Co., Neb. to Marysville, following the valley of the Big Blue River, in 1879. Number of miles in Marshall County, ten and one-half. Oketo, a small trading point, is the principal station on this line of road in the county.
The Vermillion Valley Agricultural and Mechanical Society was incorporated by the people of the "south half" of the county, with a capital stock of $5,000, at Frankfort, September 20, 1878.
The first Board of Directors elected under the charter, consisted of R. Osborne, J. Wilson, E. Schriner, W. H. Sabin, C. A. Barber, T. Wadick, I. C. Legere, A. Shearer, F. B. Taylor, S. W. Hazen, Maj. Beattie, H. G. Trosper. First officers: R. S. Newell, President; A. J. McKee, Vice-president; R. Osborne, Treasurer; H. H. Lonery, General Superintendent; E. L. Begun, Secretary.
A tract consisting of forty acres of desirable ground was purchased, located in the northeast part of the city of Frankfort. An amphitheater, seating 1,500 people, floral hall, judges' stand, stalls etc., were built. A half-mile race course, pronounced to be one of the best in northern Kansas, is one of the chief features. The society, under its present management, is in a flourishing condition.
Present officers: R. Osborne, President; I. C. Legere, Vice-president; F. M. Rhodes, Treasurer; J. M. Lane, Assistant; H. H. Louery, General Superintendent; H. G. Trosper, Assistant; J. M. Watson, Secretary.
The Marshall County Medical Association, composed of the principal disciples of Esculapius, was formed in 1879, with ten members. Their first officers were: W. H. Clutter, Frankfort, President; A. Fuller, Vermillion, Vice-president; A. J. Patterson, Beattie, Secretary; A. G. Edwards, Marysville, Treasurer. Censors; A. G. Edwards, H. W. Barrett, P. C. Garvin.
Present Officers: A. G. Edwards, Marysville, President; H. W. Barrett, Waterville, Vice-president; A. J. Patterson, Beattie, Secretary; D. W. Humfreville, Waterville, Treasurer. Present membership, twenty-three. Meetings are held semi-annually; first Monday in May, and on the first Wednesday after the second Tuesday in November.
The Marshall County Old Settlers and Pioneers' Association was organized in 1879, and its object being to "re-unite the old settlers of this part of Kansas; to cement and perpetuate old friendships, and for the advancement of the moral, social and material interests of the members, and the society in general."
The society was organized at a meeting held in Blue Rapids, September 12, 1879, and the following officers were elected: A. G. Barrett, Barrett Station, President; William Thompson, Blue Rapids, D. C. Auld, Frankfort, Vice-presidents; J. S. Magill, Marysville, Secretary; F. Hamilton, Blue Rapids, Treasurer.
At the last annual election -- 1882-- the following officers were elected: T. McCoy, Marysville, President; A. G. Barrett, Barrett's Station, X. Guittard, Guittardville, Vice-presidents; J. S. Magill, Marysville, Secretary; G. D. Swearingen, Marysville, Treasurer. Meetings are held annually at different points in the county.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,342 km² (904 mi²). 2,338 km² (903 mi²) of it is land and 5 km² (2 mi²) of it (0.20%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,965 people, 4,458 households, and 3,026 families residing in the county. The population density was 5/km² (12/mi²). There were 4,999 housing units at an average density of 2/km² (6/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.14% White, 0.23% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,458 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.70% were married couples living together, 5.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.10% were non-families. 29.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.00% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 23.60% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 22.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 96.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,089, and the median income for a family was $39,705. Males had a median income of $28,361 versus $19,006 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,090. About 6.40% of families and 9.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.60% of those under age 18 and 9.10% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
Name and population (2004 estimate):
Blue Rapids, 1,046
Unified school districts
Marysville USD 364
Vermillion USD 380
Axtell USD 488
Valley Heights USD 498
The township of Franklin has produced one Major League Baseball player...pitcher Frank Wayenberg. (b. August 27, 1898)
The township of Herkimer has produced one Major League Baseball player...outfielder Butch Nieman. (b. February 8, 1918)
The township of Walnut has produced one Major League Baseball player...pitcher Don Songer. (b. January 31, 1899)