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Nemaha County 





Lawrence, Kansas 







"And further, by these, my son, be admonished : of making many books 
there is no end ; and much study is a weariness of the flesh." 

Ecclesiastes, xii.:xii. 

There are books and books, each purporting to fulfill a mission. Since 
remote times man has endeavored in some manner to leave behind him 
the story of his accomplishments during his brief sojourn on earth. 
Primitive man first chiselled on imperishable stone in various crude ways 
the messages which he desired transmitted to his descendants; the 
ancients inscribed history on tablets of clay; in all parts of the known 
world are found the stories of its peoples inscribed in some form on 
crumbling monuments, on the walls of forgotten, buried cities — the mes- 
sages telling in graphic detail the story of the ancient peoples of the earth 
in the only manner which was possible to the inhabitants thereof. 

As enlightenment came gradually through the ages, the crude meth- 
ods of transmitting knowledge in vogue for untold centuries gave way 
to the written and printed pages which we have today, when the ability 
to read is universal throughout the land. 

Books have multiplied until their number is incalculable. A good 
book is a friend and companion. A book of histor}' is not only enter- 
taining, useful, enlightening, but it is valuable and stimulating. We 
are inspired by the tales of accomplishment by our forefathers to do even 
greater things than they. We likewise take a just pride in our own 
deeds and successes. Macaule}' once wrote: "Show me a country whose 
people take no pride in their ancestry ; they will produce no posterity 
worth while." 

It is well to delve into the past ; strive in the present, and to look 
forward into the future. This volume of Nemaha Count}^ History tells 
of the past, which covers a brief span of three score j'ears since the all- 
conquering American pioneer came into the prairie wilderness to create 
a home ; its pages likewise speak of the present — all of which is recorded 
for the benefit and inspiration of posterity. 

While Nemaha county is but a small plat of earth, it is very dear to 
all of us, and is an Empire builded by the hands of brave and hardy men 
and women, whose composite achievement is one of the wonders of the 
age. Created and grown beyond the wildest dreams of its creators from 
an unpeopled wilderness into a populous, wealthy, and thriving com- 
munity during the memory of living men, Nemaha county occupies a 
proud and enviable place among her sister counties in Kansas. 

The story of Nemaha county's settlement and growth is faithfully 
and entertainingly told in the succeeding pages. The facts herein set 


forth are not the result of mere guesswork ; they are taken from available 
records and transcribed as coming from the lips of old settlers who know 
whereof they speak. Many of these facts are necessarily "recollections 
of pioneers." All written history is founded on personal knowledge and 
observation. In my experience of twenty-eight years in the profession 
of writing for the public, I have found a wide variance in these "recol- 
lections." It is seldom that two persons ''recollect" alike. This curious 
phase of "recollecting" is easily explained from a psychological stand- 
point, and is attributive to the fact that any incident or occurrence af- 
fects each of several persons witnessing it in a different manner. Each 
may tell a story differently — but that divergence does not alter the his- 
torical value of the narration. It will be found that the facts set forth 
in this volume are essentially correct, and it will be invaluable as a ref- 
erence work. ■ 

This volume is issued not a day too soon. The men and women who 
made the history contained herein are rapidly passing away, and it is 
meet that their composite and individual records be recorded. The book 
really represents the work of eight years, for we (my wife and I) have 
had a history of the county in mind for that length of time, and have been 
gathering material with that end in view. 

Were it not for the faithful and unremitting labors of ]Mrs. Tennal 
in making historical researches and transcriptions of our joint efforts 
during the many months which were required for the preparation of the 
text, I fear the task would not have been accomplished. Sincere and 
deep appreciation is acknowledged for assistance and contributions from 
Judge Rufus M. Emery, Ira K. Wells, Prof. W. R. Anthony, Roy Hessel- 
tine, Capt. Lewis Miller, Jacob Mohler, Dr. S. Murdock, Mrs. V. A. Bird, 
Mrs. Alice Gray Williams, Rev. P. Joseph Sittenauer and an endless 
number of kindly folk, including the newspapepr men of the county, who 
contributed their assistance and support freely, to the end that the people 
of Nemaha might have a history. 


July 30, 1916. 


Allen, L. D 352 

Anderson, Thomas S. and Family.... 424 
Anthony, Will R. 428 

Armstrong, Simon 70S 

Armstrong, Mrs. Emma 708 

Ashley, Mr. and Mrs Oscar 380 

Austin, Albert L 660 

Austin, Mrs. A. T., 660 


Ballard, Mrs 272 

Bell, Charles H. 524 

Bell, Mrs. Charles H 524 

Beyreis. Charley 566 

Bird, Virgil A. . 740 

Bird. Mrs. Virgil A 740 

Bouse, Dr. W. G 644 

Bronough, Thomas and Wife 272 

Bronough, Robert M and Family 480 
Broxtermann, Mr. and Mrs. William 272 

Buening, John T. and Family 392 

Burger, Marsh 272 

Burger, Hiram and Wife 192 

Business Section, Sabetha, Kansas 99 
Business Section, Centralia, Kansas 128 


Calhoun, George 504 

Caspy, Ed 272 

Community Tabernacle, Seneca, 

Kansas 80 

Cone, J. P. and Wife 272 

Connet, Melville R 388 

Court House, Seneca, Kansas 217 

Cross Country Travel in Old Days ... 60 


Dennis, Mr. and Mrs. John 192 

Dennis, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph 567 

Dennis, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W 192 

Dennis, William 372 

Early Day Transportation on the 

Plains 72 

Emery, Judge Rufus M 336 

Emery, E. J. and Wife 272 

Engelken, John 548 

Engelken, Mrs. John 548 

First House Built in Seneca, Kansas 80 
First National Bank Building, Sen- 
eca, Kans. 228 

Fleisch, Jacob .. 512 

Fleisch, Mrs. Jacob 512 

Ford, Benjamin F 612 

Ford, Mrs. Benjamin F 612 

Ford Residence, Benjamin F 614 

Ford, John M. and Wite 192 

Four Generations of Kansans 380 

Fuller, John 340 

Fuller, Mrs 272 

Funk, Mr. and Mrs John N 440 
Funk, David and Wife, and the Funk 

Farm Home 580 

Gage, Orange M 192 

Gillaspie, J. W. 566 

Gillaspie, Mrs. J W. 566 

Graney, Mr. and Mrs James 272 

Gregg, James 272 


Hamilton, Peter 192 

Hanks, E. N. and Wife 192 

Hawley, Mrs. Margaret 192 

Hecht, Louis and Family 508 

Hidden, Dr. J. S. and Wife 192 

High School Building, Centralia, 

Kansas 257 

High School Building, Sabetha, 

Kansas 243 

High School Building, Seneca, Kan- 
sas 241 

Huls, Henry and Family ."!16 

Humphrey, Scott B 192 


Jackson, Lyraan R 432 

Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Richard. 192 

Johnstone, William 756 

Johnstone Family, Four Genera- 
tions of 756 

Johnstone, James 756 


Johnstone, Mrs. James, Daughter 

Public and Church Buildings 

, On 



Johnstone, James, Sons and Daugh 

Public School Building, Goff, 



. 758 


. 246 


Public School Building, Wetmore 

Karns, George 



. 252 

Karns, Caroline 


Reed, Peter H. . 
Reed, Mrs. Sarah E 
Rethmann, Clements S. 


Kellev Mrs 


Kinyon, Iris J 

Krogmann, Charles 

Krogmann, Mrs. Charles 

Lappin, Samuel 


. 724 

Rethmann, Mrs. Agnes 
Ridgway, Charles W 
Ridgway, Mrs. Charles W 




River Scene 

Robertson, Mrs. Inez 


. 788 

Law, Mrs. John W. 

Rottinghaus, Bernard H. and 

ily - 

Sabetha Hospital, Sabetha, Ke 


. 488 

Lehmann. John T' and Wife 


Lockard, Isaac C 



1 237 


Sams, Joshua 


McGehee, Jacob 

. 272 ■ 

Schneider, Mr. and Mrs. Mat. .. 

, 356 

McKay, Dr. D. B. and Wife 

. 272 

Schneider, Mat. and Fam.ily 


McManis, John 

Scott, Mrs. Catharine and Family... 


McNergney, Mr. and Mrs. Frank and 


Severin, Joseph P., Farm Residence 


Sharp, George 

. 772 


Shaul, Geoige A. 


Main Street, Wetmore, Kansas 


Sheppard, Mr. 


M,ain Street, Corning, Kansas 

, 113 

Sly, Mr. and Mrs John 


Main Street and Business Section, 

Smith, John J 


Seneca, Kansas - - 

. SI 

Smith, Mrs. John J. . 


Maxson, Dr. J. C. and Family 

. 448 

Starns, Francis M 


Merrick, George 


Stirk, P. H. 


Miller, Jacob J 


Swartz, Albert 



Swartz, Mrs. Albeit 


Mitchell, Joshua 


Swartz, Henrj 


Myers, Sol R. and Family 


Swartz, Mrs. Henry 



St. Mary's Parochial School, 


Nemaha County Old Settlers I 


Benedict, Kansas 


Nemaha County Old Settlers II 


Sts. Peter and Paul's Church, 


Neville. Mr. and Mrs. James 


eca, Kansas 


Newton, Mrs. James L 


St. Mary's Church, St. Benedict, 

Nichols. Henry B. 




Nichols, Mrs. Henry B. 


St. Bede's Church, Kelly, Kansas 


Niel, Daniel 



Nolte, Alois and Family 


Taylor, J. E. and Wife 



Taylor, J. P 


Peckham, J. H. and Wife 


Tennal, Ralph Frontispiece 

Pelton, E. R 


Thompson, Howard 


Pioneer Home, A 


Thompson, Mrs. Lydia M 


Price. Mr. and Mrs. Daniel N 


Thompson, Richard S 



Thompson Farm Residence 788 Wells, William R 192 

Trees, Mattie 262 Wells, Abijah 323 

Trees Family, Four Generations 380 Wells, Ira K 360 

Trees, Andrew Jackson and Wife.... 280 Wheat Harvest Scene in Nemaha 

Turner Hall, Bern, Kansas 117 County 176 

U Williams, Capt. A. W 192 

Ukele, Fred and Grandson, Fred 408 Williams, George W 416 

W Williams, Mrs. Alice (Gray) 416 

Weart, Samuel 408 Williams, Laurin L. 416 




Scientific Terms — "Pliocene" — Evidence of Coal and Oil — Brick 
Clay — Cretaceous Niobrara Formation — Fossils — Loess Soil — 
Elements of Soil — Plant and Animal Life — Evolution — Car- 
boniferous Age — Rock Formations — Upheavals — Glacial- 
Theory Pages 33-37 



Significance of Name — Nemaha County Visited by Coronado in 
1 541 — Coronado's Report — Fremont's Expedition in 1841 — 
Mormons — "Forty-Niners" — Freighters — H. H. Lynn — Jo- 
seph Griffin — Edward Avery — Travelers' Graves — Majors 
and Russell — Old Trails — Stage Lines — Overland Traffic — 
Early Day Prices — Fares — Route from Atchison. ... Pages 38-44 



At .Baker's Ford — Early Settlers — Settlers Hold Meeting — First 
Bridge — Other Families Come — Election Held — Boundaries 
Defined — First Townships Settled — Samuel Magill — David 
Locknane — First Negro Settler — Settlement in Rock Creek 
— Other Townships Formed — Neuchatel — Home Township — 
Seneca, the County Seat — Ferry — Election District — First 
White Child Born in Seneca — Early Day Postmasters . . Pages 45-50 




Original Townships — Present Townships — Original Towns — Free 
State Towns — Present Towns and Villages — Central City, the 
First Town — First Mill — First School — Richmond Incorpor- 
ated — Temporary County Seat — Ash Point — Urbana — Pa- 
cific City — Granada — A. B. Ellit — Capioma — County Seat 
Election — Seneca Won — Court House Burned Pages 51-55 



First White Child — First Marriage — First Bridge — First Teacher 
— First Piano — Indians Perplexed — The Whittenhall Fam- 
ily — First County Commissioners — First Census — Dr. String- 
fellow and Jim Lane — Judicial District — Judge Horton, First 
Judge — Election — Political Meeting — An Emigrant Band — 
Mormons — First Store at Fidelity — The Wempe Family. . . . 

Pages 56-62 


Traditions of Great Dakotahs — Treaty of 1806 — Believed in a 
"Great Spirit" — Treaty With the Government — Ceded Lands 
— Pottawatomies — Aunt Lizza Roubidoux Barrada — Pawnee 
Burial Ground — Characteristics — Vanished Race — Treasure 
Relic — An Indian Tragedy — No Resident Indians — a Mod- 
ern Incident — An Indian Burial — Modern Conditions — Res- 
ervations—Soldiers Pensioned Pages 63-69 



Early Day Methods — The Ox Team — Early Trails — x\dvancement 
Slow — Railroad "Talk" — Bonds Voted — St. Joseph and Den- 
ver — St. Joseph and Grand feland — Rock Island — Missouri 
Pacific Branches — How the Railroads Affected Towns — 
"Railroads on Paper" — Automobiles — St. Joseph and Grand 
Island the Pioneer Railroad — A Trading Post — Freighting — 
Ferry on the Big Blue — Government Lays Out a Military 
Road — California Emigration — Stage Lines — Marysville, Pal- 
metto and Roseport Railroad — Other Railroal Companies . . . 

Pages 70-78 



Selected for Count_v Seat — Town Founcfed — First House and Store 
— Second Structure — A Literary Blacksmith — Hotel and Mill 
— Other Buildings and Early Day Enterprises — Business 
Booms — Growth of Town — Ad\-antag-es of Seneca — Prog- 
ress — Business Enterprises and Professions — Guilford Hotel 
— A Colony Comes from England — Their Early Struggles — 
Interesting Citizens — Jake Cohen — Civic Improvement — Com- 
munity Church — Taliernacle — High School Building — Mu- 
nicipal Light and \\"aterworks — City Hall Pages 79-91 



An Agricultural Community — The One Exception — Important In- 
vention — The "Klose Continuous Tunnel Kiln" — A Visit to 
the Seneca Shale Brick Company's Plant — Interview With 
Mr. Klose — Organizaticm of Company — Beginning of Indusr 
try — Period of Uncertainty — Present Capacity — Capitaliza- 
tion Pages 92-97 



Unlike Other Towns — X^anie — Sabetha Excels — A Healthful Cli- 
mate — Model Town — Prosperous Citizen.'; — Farm Products 
Shipped — Prominent Men — An Incident of Honor — Sabetha 
People Everywhere — How Xamed — Town Located — Town 
Company Organized — Organization — The Library — A Rare 
Host — Industries and Business Houses — Albany, the Mother 
of Sabetha — Reminiscences of the Late J. T. Brady. . Pages 98-1 11 


Its Peculiarities — A Solid Town — Founded By a Colony from 
Galesburg, 111. — Dr. McKay — Named in Honor of Erasmus 
Corning — Postoffice Established in 1867 — First Store — 
Location of Town Changed When Railroad Was Built — 
First Hotel — Jacob Jacobia — First School — Present 
School — Dr. Magill — Modern Corning — Highest Point in 
County — Nathan Ford and the Drouth of i860 — Popula- 
tion and Business Houses Pages 11 2-1 15 



Town Founded in 1886 — Controversy Over Name — Altitude — 
Natural Advantages — Statistics — Churches — -Societies and 
Lodges — Business Enterprises — Mineral Springs — As a 
Trading Point — Above the Average — Business Men .... 

Pages 1 16- 


A Shipping Point — A Railroad Town — Named for W. T. Wet- 
more — Postoffice Established in 1867 — Early Business En- 
terprises — First Events — A Hanging — Earliest Citizen — 
Pony Express and Overland Stage — Schools — A Jesse 
James Incident — Pioneers and Their Descendants — First 
Settler in Township — Prospecting for Coal — Bancroft — 
W. F. Turrentine — Cardinal Points of Compass Disregard- 
ed Pages 121-126 



Third Town in Count\ — Townsite Selected — Moved to the Rail- 
road — Located by a Maine Colony — A Would-Be Seminary 
— Progress — Incorporated — Library — Becomes City Proper 
in 1906 — Dr. J. S. Hidden — Prominent Newspaper Men — 
Schools — Vital Statistics — Home Association — Early Set- 
tlers Pages 127-133 



Goff — A Railroad Center — Named in Honor of Edward H. 
Goff — Location — Judge Donaldson — Mr. Abbott, First 
Merchant — Kelly — A Shipping Point — "The Kelly Boos- 
ter" — A Beautiful Church — The Kelly Bank — School — 
Business Enterprises — Pioneer Families — The Villages of 
Dorcas, Clear Creek, Sother, Price, Etc. — The Town of 
Bailevville Pages 134-138 



Founded by Col. Cyras Shinn — Election of Name — Liquor Re- 
striction — Supported Governor St. John — Postoffice — 
Early Enterprises — Churches — Substantially Built — School 
— "Real Estate Journal" — New York "Tribune" Reports 
of "Bleeding- Kansas" — First Relig-ious Service — Lodges 
and \\'oman's Clubs Pages 139-143 



Anti Slavery Sentiment — Cnderground Railroad — John Brown 
Here — Rev. Curtis Graham — Recollections of William Gra- 
ham — Nemaha Not Seriously Affected — Ouantrill — Slaves 
Here — Jim Lane Here — Mexican War Veterans .. Pages 144-148 


Nemaha Responded Promptly — A Company Organized Here — 
George Graham Organized a Company — "John Brown's 
Body" — Belonged to the Seventh and Eighth Regiments — 
Real Warfare — Troops Return on a Furloug'h — Nemaha 
Soldiers in Important Engagements — Nemaha Boys in the 
Ninth Cavalry — Eleventh Regiment in Campaign Against 
Indians — Nemaha Soldiers Saw Much Service — Prominent 
Nemaha Count}- Men in the Ci\-il \\'ar — Grape Shot Found 
Here — War Relics Pages 149-161 



Nemaha Responds Promptly— Company K, Twenty-second Regi- 
ment — Equipment of Company — To Camp Alger, Va. — 
Drilling — Efficience — Foraging — Camp Mead, Pa. — Mus- 
tered Out at Ft. Leavenworth — Captain Miller — Nen-iaha 
AlwaA'S to the Front — A Sham Battle Pages 162-165 




Marvelous Resources — Improved Methods — Evolution in Crop 
Raising — Live Stock — Comparative Statistics, 1875 to 
191 5 — Increase of Land Values — Scientific Farming — Im- 
proved Stock — Prominent Breeders — Beef Cattle — Model 
Fanns — Irrigation — States and Countries Represented — 
Survey of County — Cheese and Butter — Other Statistics — 
The Tractor as a Labor Saver — A Big Grain Business .... 

Pages 166-179 


Apple Orchards — Honey — Cattle Shipments — Prize Crops — 
Agricultural and Horticultural Society — First Annual Fair 
— Board of Trade — Repaying New York — A Freak Peach 
Tree — Prize Winners — Pure-Bred and "Scrub Com" — 
Fletchell and Wright's $67,000 Grain Crop — Harvesting 
the Crop — As a Health Resort — Age of Nemaha — Jacob 
Fleisch's Quarter Section Tree Farm Pages 180-187 



The First Newspaper — The Nemaha "Courier" — Its Policy — 
John P. Cone, Editor — The "Courier-Democrat" — "Mer- 
cury" — The Seneca "Tribune" — Other Newspapers — Sa- 
betha Newspapers — Centralia, Corning and Goff News- 
papers — The Bern "Gazette" — The Wetmore "Specta- 
tor" — A Rare Newspaper Collection Pages 188-196 



A Lawyer and Judge — The Lawyer and Necessity of Law — Its 
Application — The Bench — Judicial Power Vested — Albert 
L. Lee — Albert H. Horton — Robert St. Clair Graham — 
Nathan Price— Perry L. Hubbard— Alfred G. Otis— David 
Martin — Reuben C. Bassett — John F. Thompson — Rufus 
M. Emery — William I. Stuart — District Clerks — Sheriffs 
— County Attorneys — Probate Judges Pages 197-204 




The Bar — A Lawyer's Duty — His \\'ork — Resident Lawyers — 
X'emaha Attorneys Who Have Attained Distinction — Expe- 
riences of Lawyers — Senator Ingalls — Cases — Early Juries 
— Important Cases — Louis Lorimer and Regis Loisel Titles 
— Railroad Bond Case — Noted Criminal Cases — State vs. 
Carter and Winters — State vs. Wilton Baughn — State vs. 
Blancett — State vs. John Craig — State vs. Mrs. Frank Mc- 
Dowell — State vs. Thomas Ramsey — State vs. Fred Kuhn 

Pages 205-215 



First Election — Bogus Legislature — County Created — First Of- 
ficers — Members Elected to Second and Third Territorial 
Legislature — County Officers Elected in 1859 — First Court 
House — First Term of Court — District Judge" — Grand Jury 
— An Important Case — Townships — Council — State Sena- 
tors — Territorial Representatives — State Representatives — 
Sheriffs — County Clerks — Registrars of Deeds — County 
Treasurers — Probate Judges — Superintendents of Public 
Instruction — Clerks of District Court — County Commis- 
sioners — County Surveyors — Coroners — County Attorneys 
— County Assessors Pages 216-222 



First Bank in the Count)- — The Sabetha State Bank — W'etmdre 
State Bank — First National Bank in the County — Bank- 
ing Interests Develop — Banks Organized — Changes and 
Consolidations — Farmers Bank of Morrill Organized — 
Present Banks — The National Bank of Seneca — First Na- 
tional Bank of Seneca — Citizens Bank of Seneca — The Na- 
tional Bank of Sabetha — The Citizens State Bank, Sabetha 
— Other Nemaha Banks Pages 223-234 




Prior to i860 — Early Day Doctors — Dr. Anderson, Dr. Hid- 
den — Well Known Physicians — First Medical Society Or- 
ganized — Now a Part of the American Medical Associa- 
tion — Present Organization — Requirements to Practice — 
Hospital — Prominent Physicians and Surgeons .... Pages 235-238 



The Pioneers' Interest in Schools — First County Superintend- 
ent — Other Superintendents — Establishing Districts — Rec- 
ords Destroyed by Fire — The District School — Number of 
Districts — Candidates for Certificates in 1877, 1885, 1900 
and 1915 — Officers and Teachers in 1886 — School Offi- 
cers, 1915-1918 — Joint Districts — County High School 
Plan Rejected — Consolidation — School Centralization — 
Notable Teachers — The Albany School — A Beloved Teach- 
er Pages 239-266 



Masonic, the First to Organize — Royal Arch Masons in 1877 — 
Grand Army of the Republic — Women's Relief Corps — 
Masonic^Odd Fellows — Knights of Pythias — Knights and 
Ladies of Securit}' — Modern Woodmen — Royal Neigh- 
bors—Ancient Order of United Workmen^Degree of 
Honor — Fire Department — C. M. B. A. — Organizations 
and Officers — Clubs and Social Gatherings Pages 267-275 



Calamities — Great Drouth of i860 — Grasshopper Visitation — 
The Cyclone of 1896 — John P. Cone's Experience — Indian 
Massacre of Argonauts — An Exciting Buffalo Hunt — Re- 
miniscences of Alfred Stokes — The Orphan Population — 
The County Hospital Pages 276-287 



Nemaha's sons and daughters of renown. 

Dr. Benjamin L. Miller— Mrs. Ethel Hussey— Ex-Gov. W. J. 
Bailey — E. G. Stitt — Mrs. Nannie Kuhlman — Senator W. 
H. Thompson — Mrs. Virginia Greever — \\'alt Mason — 
Frederick Gates — Rev. A. G. Lohman — Col. H. Baker — 
And Others Pages 288-296 

chapteb! XXXIL 

the church in nemaha county. 

First Sermon — Seneca Baptist Church Organized Here — Meth- 
odists in 1857 — Presbyterian Church in 1863 — Congrega- 
tionalists — Universalists — Roman Catholic — St. Maiy's 
Church of St. Benedict — Sts. Peter and Paul's, Seneca — 
St. Bede's Catholic Church — Seneca Church Meetings — Sa- 
betha Churches — Centralia Churches — Wetmore Churches 
— Oneida Churches — Corning Churches — Churches of 
Other Towns Pages 297-321 




Abbott. Chauncey M 689 

Abbott, Edmund B 691 

Adrianee, Dora 810 

Adriance, George C. - 810 

Allen, L. D 352 

Allison, Moses Henton 523 

Althouse, Elmer E 454 

Althouse, Frank M 465 

Anderson, Thomas S 424 

Andrews, Frank 614 

Andrews, John W _ 577 

Anthony, Will R 428 

Armstrong, Simon — _ 708 

Ashley, Oscar S 642 

Austin, Albert L 660 

Ayers, Smith W 627 

Bailey, Ernest X 812 

Bailey, Ira 727 

Ball, William J 673 

Baldwin, Borace M 386 

Baker, John T 527 

Baker, John W 725 

Barnes, James L 797 

Barnes, .John H 7J7 

Barrett, James Franklin "ij7 

Bell, Charles H 524 

Bergmann. Bernard 48''' 

Beyreis, Charley - 565 

Bieri, Frederick N 618 

Biles, Jesse K 814 

Bird, Virgil A 740 

Bonjour, J. A. ..._ 807 

Bonjour, Roland A 782 

Bostwick, Willard M 811 

Bottiger, Richard 423 

Bouse, Dr. William G 645 

Briggs, William H 665 

Broadbent, Edwin 659 

Broadbent, William 777 

Brock, Martin T 749 

Brokaw, John P 670 

Bronough, Robert M 480 

Brown, FVancis Walter 455 

Brownlee, Jefferson 636 

Buehler, Edwin 405 

Buening, John Theo 392 

Bumphrey, William 654 

Burky, Emil R 641 

Buser, Joseph J _ 381 

Butler, John 775 

Butts, John S 802 

Butz, Ai M 666 

Calder, William D 773 

Calhoun, George 504 

Campbell, David 572 

Carlyle, William Logan 421 

Carroll, Joseph P 513 

Casey, Peter T _ 581 

Chadwick, Samuel A 730 

Clark, Frecey A 587 

Clark, John L 393 

Clemens, Hubert 662 

Cole, Bert G 477 

Collins, Arthur J 411 

Connet, Melville R 388 

Conrad Dr. Burton 796 

Conrad, Dr. George R 450 

Conwell. Emery 511 


Cooley, Charles E 747 

Cox, Posey W. ... 794 

Crawford, Lawrence M. 460 • 

Crowley, John W. 767 

Cummings. John P 433 

Dam, John P 652 

Davis, Quinter 462 

Davis, William 1 556 

Dennis, M'illiam 372 

Dignan, Patrick 562 

Donahue, Thomas 762 

Donald, William H 656 

Draney, John 357 

Driggs, William W 601 

Droge, Conrad 522 


Ehrsam, John . 609 

Eichenlaub, Henry 395 

Eiclienmann, Albert C 520 

Emery, Hon. Rufus M 336 

Engelken, Henry 549 

Engelken, John 548 

Elsenbarth, John M 729 

Eisenbarth, Michael .- 680 


Feldman, Henry 451 

Firstenberger B\irnett G 385 

Firstenberger. Daniel J. '7S6 

Fisher, Van Bui en 397 

Fitzgerald, Davio H. 677 

Pieisch, Jacob 512 

Ford, Benjamin F. 612 

Ford, William C 537 

Foster, Albert 804 

Foster, Harry W 632 

Foster, James Wallace 631 

Fuller, John 340 

Funk, Abram 478 

Funk, Chester A. 671 

Funk, David 580 

Funk, Frederick W. 707 

Funk, James E 668 

Punk, John N 440 


Gabbert, Adolph J 776 

Gabbert, Adolph, Jr 777 

Gabbert, Augustus P. ..'. 798 

Gallentine, Henry - 751 

Gaston, Lawrence Howard 546 

Geary, Frank L 332 

Geren, John William 765 

Gerkens, William 483 

Geyer, Jacob 733 

Gillaspie, John W 566 

Goodrich, Charles S 6S7 

Gilmore, Roy Roscoe 693 

Gilmore, Timothy 693 

Gilmore, William Curtis 709 

Gladtelter, John P 457 

Graham, Benjamin D 787 

Gress, John 499 

Grlg.sby, Claude 780 

Guild, Harry L 599 

Guise, Charles 543 

Gurtler, John 808 

Hamm, M. Grant 402 

Hanni, Rudolph J 774 

Harpenau, Henr\ 495 

Hart, Benjamin P 374 

Hazell, Henson J 447 

Hecht, Emil 530 

Hecht, Louis 508 

Heinen, John \. 705 

Heiniger, Frederick 625 

Heiniger, Gottfred 506 

Hennigh, David 434 

Henry, Harrj 755 

Henry, Nick 721 

Henry, Thomas 700 

Hesseltine, Bert ')97 

Heuschele, Dr William '37b 

Hibbard, Dr Samuel M 431 

Hilbert, Claikson \ 583 

Hitchner, Daniel 803 

Hitchner, Fidell G 806 

Kittle, Harvey 770 

Hoffman, Jacob H 611 

Hollister, George E 606 

Holsapple, Irs 792 

Holston, Edgar E 563 

Holthaus, P J o'.l 

Holthaus, Frank H 533 

Horth, Edwin L 551 

Huber, George W 553 

Huls, Bernard 596 

Hulsing, John G 489 

Humphrey Brothers 630 

Hybskmann. John William 575 

Hybskmann, Ralph A 783 

lugalls, Ray T 568 


Jackson, Lyman Robie 432 

Jonach, Emil J 486 

Jonach, Charles H 634 

Jonach Brothers 634 

Jonach, Emil, Sr. 634 

Jones, Jesse 778 

Johnson, Irvin 366 

Johnson. Samuel F 669 

Johnson, William E. 463 

Johnstone, James 758 

Johnstone, Otho L 729 

Johnstone. Thomas P 712 

Johnstone, William 756 

Jorden, Charles 731 


Karns, George 400 

Karns, William E 769 

Kassens, Father Edwin 456 

Katz, Henry F 521 

Keck, George E 597 

Kelm, Otto A ■. 371 

Kemper, Albert George 443 

Kennard, Abbie W 370 

Kerl, John F 528 

Kerr, George 406 

Ketter, John A 723 

Ketter, Joseph B 675 

Kimmel. Jacob 592 

King, William M 640 

Kinyon, Iris J 564 

Kirk, James E 538 

Kirk, Lewis L. 539 

Klose, Karl W 399 

Koelzer, Joseph P 334 

Kohler, George E 474 

Kongs, William M 686 

Korber, August 529 

Krapp, Frank F 502 

Krogmann, Charles 724 


Law, John W 540 

League, Daniel A 753 

Lehmann, John U 444 

Livingood, Israel 723 

Lockard, Isaac C 676 

Long, John A 65S 

Long, William T 658 

Lortscher, Christ 619 

Lukert, John F 436 

Lukert, William 470 

Lynn, Clinton A 591 

Lynn, Harvey H 744 

McCaffrey, Richard D 517 

McCliman, Richard D 387 

McClain, Samuel W 648 

McCoy, John 437 

McCoy, John 633 

McFall, Dennis 633 

McManis, John 384 

McNeil, Charles Sumner 552 

McNeill, John 800 

McNeill, William S 799 

McQuaid, Jerome 491 


Magill, George A 476 

Malone, Michael 771 

Marshall, Elliot H 449 

Martin, James E 732 

'Mather, Reuben Elbert 663 

Mathews, Charles E 359 

Mathews, Elmar Roy 367 

Maxson, John C. 44S 

Meisner, George W. 617 

Meisner, Herman 459 

Meisner, Jacob 621 

Meisner, John 458 

Meisner, Thomas J 624 

Melcher, Frank 785 

Miller, Benjamin Leroy 629 

Miller, Elmer A 578 

Miller, Jacob J 628 

Millick, Frank G 760 

Mills, Ephraim G 594 

Minger, Samuel 623 

Mitchell, Daniel E 519 

Mitchell, Joshua 360 

Montgomery, George W 468 

Mooney, James P 784 

Moore, C. C 752 

Morrell, Willis 688 

Mueller, Robert G - 343 

Munsell, Rev. Samuel 737 

Murdock, Samuel, Sr 426 

Murdock, S., Jr 430 

Murphy. Edward R 350 

Murphy, William Burt 378 

Myers, George W 453 

Myers, Solomon R 344- 


Neff, Samuel C - 620 

Neumayr, Rev. Fr. Gregory 486 

Newland. Lemuel L 761 

Newman. Edgar M 422 

Nichols, Henry B 484 

Noble, Alexander 561 

Nolte, Anton 532 

Nusbaum, Andrew H 603 


Olberding, Frank A 490 

Olberding, Joseph 534 

Parker, Courtland L - 410 

Partridge, Charles 637 

Partridge, James 637 

Pendergrass, Edward 487 

Peret, Victor N 363 

Pfrang, Fred S09 

Phillips, George W 63S 

Plattner, John 413 

Poison, Nels 569 

Price. Daniel N 464 

Pugh, John T 4S.^ 


Ralston, George M 593 

Reed, Peter H 496 

Reinhart, Jacob A 406 

Reinhart, Jonathan 611 

Rethmann, Benjamin C 542 

Rethmann, Charles 516 

Rettele, Joseph 498 

Reynolds, Willie C 672 

Ridgway, Charles W 472 

Rilinger, John A 514 

Roberts, Dr. James B 695 

Ronnebaum. George 657 

Rooney, Thomas E 347 

Root, William H. 452 

Rosengarten, Theodore 4S2 

Roth, John 604 

Rottinghaus, Bernard 531 

Rottinghaus, Bernard Henry 488 

Rottinghaus, Henry 505 


Sanford, Lawrence V 466 

Scanlan, Benjamin F 535 

Scheier, Leo J 355 

Schlaegel, William W 559 

Schmidt, John M 515 

Schneider, Gottlieb 698 

Schneider. Mathias 356 

Schoonover, Adolphus A 653 

Scott, Philip .1 692 

Scoville, Courtney C. K 329 

Schrempp, Charles F 333 

Schumacher, Joseph 481 

Schuneman, Louis 713 

Severin, Fi-ederick W 536 

Severin, Joseph F 772 

Shaefer, John M 475 

Shaefer, Leonard M 587 

Shaul, George A 348 

Sherrard, William H 704 

Shumaker, Frederick 754 

Shumaker, Roy 754 

Simon. Adam 377 

Simon, Clayton K 573 

Simon, Lorrain N 375 

Skoch, John J 526 

Slocum, Louis S 573 

Smith, Alfred A 518 

Smith, John J 492 

Smith, William 646 

Smith, William H 802 

Smothers, John Leroy 544 

Snyder, Henry Galen 390 

Sourk, Chester G 718 

Sourk, George W 683 

Sourk, John Sherman 716 

Sourk, William M 714 

Spiker, Howard 738 

Spiker, Melvin H 742 

Spring, Earl C 616 

Stallbaumer, George 494 

Starns, Francis Marion, Sr 644 

Starns, James F 470 

Steele, Frank D 570 

Stein, Peter P 379 

Steinmeir, Christian H 790 

Stevens, Levi S 427 

Stoldt, John 779 

Strathmann, F. J 811 

Stuke, Henry 547 

Swart, John M _... 681 

Swartz, Albert 500 

Swartz, Henry 500 


Talkington, James M 558 

Taylor, Bayard 719 

Tennal, Ralph 813 

Thiem. August 699 

Thompson, Howard 788 

Thompson, William 446 

Thompson, William E 640 

Thornburrow, Edward W 744 

Thornburrow, Samuel 742 

Tolliver, Charles R 684 

Tomlinson, James 650 

Townsend, Charles C 579 

Trees, Andrew Jackson 380 

Tryon. John F. 510 

Trask, Albert F 649 

Turrentine, William F 746 

Ukele, Fred 408 


VanVerth, William H 541 

Vernon, Edward S 585 


Wadleigh, Clarence Curtis 550 

Wait, Herbert L 545 

Waller, Peter P 702 

Watkins, Charles J. - 661 

Watkins, Frank J 571 

Weart, Samuel 412 

Weiss, Adolph 605 

Weiss, Jacob Frederick 602 

Wells, Hon. Abijah 323 

Wells, Ira K 368 

Wempe, Anton 345 

Wempe, John 503 

Wessel, Frank F 655 

Westover, Ralph 710 

White, Edward E 595 

Whittle, Harry G 60.8 

Wichman, Barney 479 

Wickins, David Durham 414 

Wikoff, Henry L 506 

Wilcox, James E 764 

Williams, Edmond E 589 

Williams, George W. (Seneca) 328 

Williams, George W. (Oneida) 416 

Williamson, Andrew 439 

Wilson, Robert E 588 

Winkler, Barnard 365 

Winkler, William 554 

Wittmer, Jacob 622 

Wittmer, William J 624 

Wittwer, Jacob S 604 

Wolfley, Jacob 735 

Woodbury, Fred Colfax 419 

Woodworth, James E 574 

Wurzbacher, William H 461 

Young, Mrs. Emma 394 


Zimmerman, John W 460 

Zug, John 441 

History of Nemaha County. 







When one comes to write of the scientific part of ordinary affairs, 
he is apt to run against a stone wall in the matter of words the first 
thing. Such unknown quantities as "pliocene," and "alluvian," and sim- 
ilar terms are handled by the scientist with a familiarity that is appal- 
ling to the mere lay writer. Going against this geological department 
was a matter that was tackled with fear and trembling. .-Vrmed with 
dictionary and encyclopedia and a severe, learned frown, the historian 
sat down to the typewriter. Sure enough, the first word mentioned 
in the geological matter at hand was "pliocene." Once for all, the his- 
torian would put "pliocene" in its proper place and fear the unknown 
quantity no longer. But I\Ir. Webster, himself, did not have much opin- 
ion of that word, for in the abbreviated office dictionary of the sainted 
Noah is found no such \m ird as pliocene. This is the dictionary recom- 
mended to newspaper men. preachers and pupils. "Pliocene's" stock 
went down loo per cent, after several moments of faithful search. 

Hut the Encyclopedia i'.riianiiica is more severe than Mr. Webster, 
and it sa}-s of the word "iiliMcene :" "riie name given by Sir Charles 
Lyell to the section of the upper tcrtiarics, 1>ecause the organic remains 
•found in it contain lietween sixty and se\enty ]ier cent, of living species. 
.V greater |)er cent, than is contained in the I'lder miocene, but not so 
great as that found in the later Pleistocene." lliere you are. You no 
so(-)ner find one word than a host of others are thrown at you. The first 
thing is "tertiaries." That has to be looked up, and then there are 
those other " — ocenes" to go after. And no one ■\\'ould read this chapter 
at all if they were dug out. 



The Encyclopedia Britannica confines its examples to England nat- 
urally. London, it seems, has pliocene beds, but Kansas and Xemaha 
county have too, although the encyclopedia fails their mention. 

Tertiaries is taken up by Mr. Webster who explains that it is "of 
the third order, rank, or formation." Pliocene therefore would be the 
second of the three geological formations or periods. The most import- 
ant part of this word, "pliocene," to Nemaha county, Kansas, is that pli- 
ocene beds make excellent fertilizer. 

Carboniferous and bituminous are words that have become as fa- 
miliar as alfalfa and millet of late. The evidence of coal in Nemaha 
county has encouraged to leasing of lands for oil-boring purposes. For 
where coal exists there may be oil also. From the neighborhood of 
Sycamore Springs in the northeastern corner of the county down to 
Centralia in the southwestern section, the oil leasing has been extended 
during this spring of igi6. The veins in northeastern Kansas are thin, 
but as near Nemaha county as Leavenworth are coal mines that have 
been producing for j'ears. Wetmore, in Nemaha county, has made re- 
peated diggings for coal, and so sure were the early settlers of sufficient 
coal to pay for mining, that one of the streams of the county is called 
Coal creek, and fuel is found along its banks today. 

The fire and brick clay in the region of Seneca is so excellent that 
a brick is made there, the superior of which has not been manufactured 
elsewhere, and the reputation of the kiln is international. 

The cretaceous Niobrara formation causes one to make another 
delve into the hidden secrets of Webster and Britannica. "Cretaceous," 
says Mr. Webster, is chalk}-. But, horrors! there's something wrong 
here. Niobrara, says the Britannica, is that section of a diocese of the 
American Episcopal Protestant church, now called the State of South 

So we will pass to common every da}' language and really get some- 
where. Now, of course, you know by the fossil shells you pick up. that 
water has covered this region in ages before man came upon it. Scien- 
tists tell us that this once was an inland sea. The Missouri ri^•er is what 
remains of it. Long, untold ages ago, this great inland body of water 
brought down silt, which we now call loess soil (pronounced 
"less.") This loess soil has been identified as far west as Washington 
county. It is more distinct along the Missouri river, being recognized 
by its reddish color. 

It is the loess soil which makes the country' about Doniphan count}-, 
Kansas, and Buchanan county, Missouri, (St. Joseph), supreme for 
fruit growing. There is no better soil in the world for such crops as 
ours than loess soil. 

What soil changes the ages have brought since the deposit of loess 
soil in this region is mere conjecture, but we know we have loam of 
exceptional productiveness. This loess soil is composed of fine sand 
and lime with some clav, usuallv of a verv uniform consistencv and nn- 




mixed with coarse materials. A little iron in its composition gives it 
its reddish tint. More frequently it has a fair proportion, over ten per 


cent., of carbonate and phosphate of lime and some potash, so tliat it 
becomes a rich ingredient, when mi.xed with the surface loam. 


To get Xemaha county's first citizens we mtist look in the solid 
rock, where lie buried the fossil remains of plants and animals. You 
may see them an}- day with a little search in a creek bed by picking up 
stones left there by freshets. This plant and animal life of the long ago 
now help us to promote our civilization today. Long before the human 
family saw the light of day, the seas swarmed with animal life, and the 
dry lands supported a fauna and flora of marvelous development and 
variety. All were strange and different from the plant and animal life, 
as we know it today. Nearly all of their kind became extinct with the 
changes of the earth's condition and the natural evolution of the species. 
In the world .today there are but few evoluted representatives of 
this extinct life. The horse, centuries ago, an animal of immense size, 
through the passage of time and useless development, became a tiny 
animal. Today by careful breeding, training and domesticating, it has 
attained importance as the -king of domestic animals. So it is with 
other animals in use on the farms of Nemaha county now. When Ne- 
maha county, for instance, was rugged, wild and unpopulated by man, 
the horse had five toes. Gradually through lack of use, the toes disap- 
peared until the hoof known on the animal today became the one best 
suited to its needs. 

From the ages ante-dating written history, we have representatives 
in different oceans, such as the brachiapods and other shell fish ; the 
crinoids or sea lilies and others of like character. Also, on the dry land, 
are found a few insects of the cockroach type and other creeping things 
which inhabit dark and damp places, animals of gloom on whose form 
the sunshine of day rarely falls. 

Science tells us of gigantic vegetation, which, at one time, covered 
Nemaha county. The modern cat tails, gathered by our children for 
torches in October, are descendants of prehistoric giants of their kind, 
which grew twent}' times the size of their modern representatives, and 
grew beside immense lakes with which the land was covered, instead of 
the marshy streams of today. The little creeping vines which are seen 
along the fringe of trees by the creek are lineal descendants of mighty 
trees of the forests, in the long ago. while materials were gathering for 
the rock masses constituting Nemaha county. 

These rocks belong to the age known as Carboniferous. The earth, 
which is turned when we plow, is called the post tertiary of loose drift. 
The division below this is called Pliocene, or as told above, "the section 
of the upper tertiary which contains so great a per cent, of living spe- 
cies." Sandstone lies in this division. 

r.encath the tertiary pliocene division lies the cretaceous, or forma- 
tion, which includes the Niobrara, the Fort Benton and Dakota stratas. 
Tt develops that the Niolirara is the South Dakota title of this geologi- 
cal condition. The name is taken from the former name of the State 
• of .South Dakota, as the Mississippian sub-division of the Carboniferous 
age is taken from the Mississippi, and the Pennsylvanian is taken from 


Sandstone, limestone and shale are found in the cretaceous deposit. 
Beneath the cretaceous division we have the rocks of the Carboniferous 
age. Limestone, shale and coal are the products of the Carboniferous • 

In the upheavals of nature there has been more or less change in 
these stratas. You do not find a uniform depth at which the product 
of each age is found. At one time, quite recently, say a few mil- 
lion or billion years ago, climatic conditions changed in Nemaha county 
so that the snow falling during winter was not melted through the sum- 
mer. To the far north great quantities of snow and ice accumulated, 
and gradually spread over the surface of a large part of North America. 
Part of this ice mass moved slowly southward and covered all of Ne- 
maha county. It brought with it vast quantities of soil, clay and gravel. 
The deposits of this glacial period are boulders of different kinds, sep- 
arated b}^ sands, gravels and clays, the last holding the remains of ani- 
mals, erratic rocks, masses transported great distances and evincing, by 
their size, that only floating ice could have carried them : moraines, or 
the debris gathered in valleys by local glaciers. These evidences of the 
glacial covering are found everywhere in Nemaha county. 

There is a possibilit}' that somewhere within Nemaha county, oil 
and gas may be found, as there are outcroppings of coal from the car- 
boniferous period. 








Nemaha, "No Papoose," in its English significance, county, Kan- 
sas, bears the distinction of having been trod by the foot of white man 
long before the original thirteen colonies of the United States were 
touched by any but aborigines. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, coming 
up from Mexico, marched through Kansas leaving what is now the 
northern boundary of that State, which then was but an untried wilder- 
ness, by the way of Nemaha county. This was in the month of August, 
1541. The Smithsonian Institute contains "records of this famous ex- 
pedition. A Nemaha county man has written the story of this expedition 
into a book of charm and interest, and Nemaha county has passed into 
literature as well as ancient history. John C. Stowell tells the story ol 
the expedition of Coronado. Nemaha county at that time, with all the 
country north of the Kaw river to the fortieth latitude, by which Nemaha 
county is bounded on the north, was called Quivera. It was then occu- 
pied by the Pottawatomie and Fox Indians. But today Nemaha county, 
bearing its' Indian name, is the one county in the northeast corner of 
Kansas having no Indiana reservation, and no resident Indians. 

Coronado said of Nemaha county: "The earth is the best for all 
kinds of productions of Spain ; for while it is very strong and black it is 
very well watered by brooks and springs and rivers. I found prunes 
(wild plums) like those of Spain, some of which were black; also some 
excellent grapes and mulberries." Nemaha county with the rest of the 
land of the untried West, was then covered with buffalo. Of them Cor- 
onado says, "All that way the plains are as full of crooked-back oxen as 
the mountain, Serena, in Spain, is of sheep." Coronado, in search of the 
famed City of Gold, which folks since then have sought in the ancient 
treasures of tlie Incas, from whence he came, possibly, was accompanied 
bv perlnajis ihirty-six men when he reached Nemaha county. Provisions 


tailing before they reached here by a couple of hundred miles or more, 
his main body of Spaniards and 800 Indians turned back, and the In- 
domitable Thirty-six with their Ciiief, undiscouraged and unafraid, came 

Exactly three hundred years later, the ne.xt known expedition of 
white men reached Nemaha county, which meantime had been left undis- 
turbed to the Indian and the buffalo. In the year 1841 John Charles Fre- 
mont was sent by Senator U. S. Benton of Missouri to the West to os- 
tensibly examine the region of the Des Moines river, but in reality to 
break off an engagement with the handsome young lieutenant and Jessie 
Benton, the fifteen-year-old daughter of Senator Benton. He completed 
the work with the rapidity and ardor of an anxious lover and hastened 
back within a year when he secretly married his youthful fiancee. 
Then followed the famous expedition of Fremont to do geographical 
work in all the territories. On this trip toward the Rocky Mountains 
Fremont crossed Nemaha county. He entered the county just south of 
-Sabetha, crossed Baker's Ford and followed a circuitous route toward 
the present location of Seneca, the county seat. The inability to cross 
the many Nemaha streams caused the tortuous path of the Fremont par- 
ty. The road he traversed, however, was the one followed by the Mor- 
mons in 1847, which was the third expedition of white men through the 
land of "No Papoose." It was the beginning of the Mormon ex- 
odus to Salt Lake. The California "fortyniners" followed this road in 
their dash for the fascinating gold fields of California. By this time peo- 
ple were beginning to stop in Kansas, to stake claims and to become 
residents. Many are the stories told today of the passing of the Califor- 
nia gold seekers through Nemaha county in those days. The road be- 
came then the great militarv road along which passed many troops 
bound for the enticing far \\'est. It passed the length of Nemaha county 
and is now the Rock Island highway destined to become one of the great 
cross country arteries for the modern motor travel of the day. 

Many of the famous early day freighters across the plains from St. 
Joseph to Denver and California were Nemaha county men. The ro- 
mantic figures of that day are now the settled, retired farmers or busi- 
ness men of today and their reminiscences are tales to delight the heart 
of the ad^•enturous youth of today. 

H. H. Lynn, or "Ham" Lynn, as he was called for the half century 
of his Nemaha county residence, was a freighter across the plains, mak- 
ing his first trip in 1857. He made more trips than an}' other Nemaha 
■county freighter. Ham Lynn has lived in and near Wetmore in the 
southeastern corner of the county for sixty years and he still lives there. 
His first trip was as driver for Jim Crow and Henry Childs of Indepen- 
dence, Mo. They started from Leavenworth with provisions of all sorts 
for the Sioux Indians of Fort Laramie, Wyo., in the Wind River Moun- 
tains. Mr. Lynn in all his trips never saw an Indian on the warpath and 
is inclined to believe tradition has stretched the Indian stories consider- 


ably. In 1858 Mr. Lynn made a trip to Utah, carrying government sup- 
plies to soldiers who were quelling a Mormon insurrection. His third 
trip was to Salt Lake City. He received $25 a month and his board, 
which was composed chiefly of coffee, biscuits and beans. The trip re- 
quired five months. "When I joined the army in 1861," says Mr. Lynn, 
"after the hardships and privations of freighting, war seemed like a vaca- 
tion." After the war he again took up freighting but received $100 a 
month. In 1866, when he was returning from a trip to the Black Hills 
he had his first railroad ride, from Junction City to the Missouri river. 

A Nemaha county boy, Joseph Griffin, of Sabetha, is said to have 
been the youngest driver of a freighting team across the great plains and 
along the highway extending over the Nemaha county to the West. Mr. 
Griffin was only fourteen years of age at the time. An older brother 
was a driver of a team, and took the boy, Joseph, with him at one time. 
Another driver became ill and Joseph was pressed into service. After 
that he was given one of the teams to drive. 

Edwin Avery, one of the early day farmers to take up a claim in 
Nemaha county, and one who had lived on the same farm for many years, 
until his retirement eight years ago, says that he remembers well his 
first glimpse of the old California trail that passed through Nemaha 
county. "I first saw it in the Elwood bottoms across the river from St. 
Joseph, Mo., on the first day of December, fifty-six years ago. The trail 
was located in the forties. It forked just west of Troy in Doniphan 
county. One fork went by Highland, the other across Wolf river direct- 
ly through Hiawatha, Old Fairview, past Spring Grove, the farms of Ed 
Brown and France Dunlap, directly past the Grand Island depot in Sa- 
betha to the Coleman farm. From there it continued to the Baker 
Crossing on the Nemaha, now called Taylor's Rapids. It passed through 
Baileyville in the west end of the county and on to Marysville, Fairbury 
and thence to Fort Laramie and California." The exact line of the fa- 
mous old trail is always a bone of contention to early day pioneers. 

In the vicinity of Sabetha are many graves of travelers, over the San- 
te Fe and California trail, who, unable to survive the hardships of the 
trip, died and were buried with scant ceremony. Mrs. Ruth Willis, who 
came to Nemaha county over the trail, starting from Elwood on the bank 
of the Missouri river opposite St. Joseph, recalled that the travel was all 
in the warm months. In the woods surrounding Sabetha were many 
wild plum trees. When the body of a forty-niner was buried the rest of 
the train would sit around awhile and eat plums. As a result a small 
plum grove grew up around every one of the early day graves. Edwin 
Avery, son of Mrs. Willis, whose deed to his land, which he still retains, 
was signed by President Buchanan, says that within a distance of six- 
teen miles from Sabetha he has counted thirteen such graves. All of 
them are directly on the old trail which has now become the highway. 
A few graves are scattered on adjacent farms. A famous one is on the 
farm of Matthais Strahm, which is called the McCloud grave. McCIoud, 


it is recalled, was returning from California. He was followed by an en- 
emy who overtook him at this point, killing him. It was afterward 
learned that McCloud was not the man for whom the murderer was look- 
ing after at all. 

Mrs. Willis was in a village store near the trail when a man and, 
woman from St. Joseph entered the store and inquired for the McCloud 
grave. No one learned who they were nor why they went out to the 
grave. On the Chris Aeschlimann farm is another grave with the unus- 
ual tribute of a stone over it, the inscription on which said, "David But- 
ley, August, 1844." 

Majors & Russell were the government contractors whose immense 
wagon trains passed through Nemaha county. They delivered supplies 
to western forts. A regular train consisted of from forty to sixty wa- 
gons, each wagon drawn by six or seven yoke of oxen. The driver of 
each team outfit walked beside the wagon. The wagon boss rode on a 
pony and took great privileges with the king's English. Each driver 
carried a whip over his shoulder when not in use. The lashes on the 
whips were fifteen feet long. On either side of the trail for many, many 
years after the wagon travel ceased in Nemaha county, could be discerned 
plainly the footpaths made by the drivers. The regular government 
trains passed through Nemaha county every two weeks. In addition 
there was a multitude of individual freighters. The great trails were six- 
ty feet wide and perfectly srnooth. There were from 500 to 1,000 cattle 
in a train of fifty or sixty wagons. When the wagon boss had secured 
a camping place the lead team made a circle, then the next team stopped 
the front wheel against the first one's hind wheel, and so on until the for- 
ty or sixty wagons were in a circle with an opening of only a rod or two 
to leave the highway clear. At night the oxen were unyoked and turned 
loose to graze, and regularl)' employed herders herded them until morn- 
ing. The hind wheels of the wagons were as high as a man's head, while 
the front ones were no larger than those in use at the present time. The 
tires were four inches wide. 

Edwin Avery, at this time a young man, who had entered Kansas 
over the California trail, was fascinated by the precision, the regularity - 
and yet the wildness of the conduct of these immense wagon trains. He 
told the story of the travel and traffic to a reporter for the Sabetha "Her- 
ald" about nine vears ago. In his story Mr. Avery said : "While oxen 
were mostly used in pulling trains I recall that once a train of 500 horses 
camped on Walnut creek, twelve miles east of Sabetha en route to Cali- 
fornia. The horses drew about fort}- covered wagons. There were 
about thirty-five regular stage coaches on the trail, each drawn by four 
horses. I remember a train of 400 horses that passed through Fairview, 
seven miles east of Sabetha. This was the summer of 1859, when the great 
rush was to Pike's Peak. There was one continuous stream of people, 
some of whom appeared in very grotesque equipment. We saw men 
with packs on their backs, and one party of eight men had a push cart. 


some pushing- and some pulling it. At another time we saw twelve men 
with a little Sante Fe mule attached to a cart. On still another occasion 
we saw twenty men passing with two or three yoke of oxen hitched to 
one wagon. Every one of these twenty men was carrying a pick and 
shovel, and a pan about the size and shape of a dish pan. The pan was 
to wash the gold in. One day a man passed pushing a wheelbarrow. 
During the greatest rush to Pike's Peak, when wagons reached Jewels- 
burg, ninety miles this side of Denver, they met three Irishmen who had 
gone out the year before. The Irishmen declared that there was no gold 
there, it was all a humbug. That story caused -a stampede eastward 
again. A man who was out there told me he did not think there was a 
spot of ground along the trail for fifty miles that did not show where a 
wagon had turned around and headed back eastward. So from Jewels- 
burg to Marysville, 300 miles, we all bought picks for twenty cents each 
and our wives all had ten-cent gold pans to wash dishes in." 

This trail is now marked Rock Island Highway with poles painted 
with a ring of white, except where a corner should be turned to follow 
the trail to the west. Where wagons, with six-inch tires, drawn by four- 
teen long-eared oxen, dragged over the road at two miles an hour, now 
the high-powered automobile at fortj^ miles an hour spins over the same 
path to Pike's Peak in two days. The wild, unsettled, unmarked prairie 
of half a century ago, is today a continuous row of handsome farm 
homes, modern cities and thriving towns. When the ox-teams traversed 
the same path only unbroken prairie with a few cottonwood trees, buf- 
falo and deer disturbed the quiet. 

J. L. Newton, son of Rev. Newton, the first minister in Nemaha 
county was an early day freighter. He drove to Kansas in 1859. The 
drought of i860 ruining his crops, he took a team for overland freighting 
and made some money hauling supplies from Atchison for the crop 
sufferers. He teamed for Kearney from Atchison. One trip occupied 
eleven days. He unloaded over 3,000 pounds of freight each day on this 
trip. After the trains stopped the overland freight traffic, Mr. Newton 
again farmed and succeeded so well that he was able to present his sons 
and his foster sons with farms with which to commence their career. 

There are many pioneers who recall the gathering of the immense 
trains of fifty or sixty wagons, ten to sixteen horses to the wagon, draw- 
ing up in a circle on the Coleman ground mentioned by Avery. The big 
circle may still be found occasionally. The fires were built, the horses 
tied to vvagon wheels or staked on the prairie, songs and stories were 
told, and the few straggling settlers of the day huddled on the outskirts, 
thrilled and awed by the adventurous traveler who would brave desert, 
plain and Indian to discover riches in the far, far West. 

In 1861 a daily overland mail was established out of Atchison by 
way of Sabetha and Seneca and Nemaha county, and with the exception 
of a few weeks in 1862, 1864 and 1865 on account of Indian troubles, the 
overland was in operation and ran stages daily out of Atchison for about 
five years. 


It was the greatest stage line in the world, carrying mail, passengers 
and express. If was also regarded as the safest and the fastest way 
to cross the plains, and the mountain ranges. The line was equipped with 
the latest modern four and six-hurse and mule Concord coaches and the 
meals at the eating stations along the route were first class and cost 
from fifty cents to $2.00 each. 

Nemaha county figured in the great overland traffic. Capioma and 
Richmond townships had stations for the accommodation of wagon 
trains on the Salt Lake route. America City, now defunct, and Vermil- 
lion were way stations on the big freight road to the gold mines of Colo- 
rado and the Rocky Mountains. The early day route of these wagons as 
taken from Freedom's Champion in 1859 show the historic places where 
the trains stopped. 

The cost of shipping merchandise to Denver was very high, as ev- 
erything was carried by the pound rather than by the hundred pound 
rate. Flour, bacon, molasses, whiskey, furniture and trunks were carried 
at pound rates. The rates per pound on merchandise, shipped by ox and 
mule wagons from Atchison through Nemaha county to Denver prior 
to t86o, were as follows: 

Flour, nine cents; tobacco, twelve and one-half cents; sugar, thirteen 
and one-half cents ; bacon, fifteen cents ; drygoods, fifteen cents ; crackers, 
seventeen cents; whiskey, eighteen cents ; groceries, nineteen and one-half 
cents ; trunks, twenty-five cents ; furniture, thirty-one cents. 

Twenty-one days was about the time required for a span of horses 
or mules to make the trip from Atchison to Denver and keep the stock 
in good condition. It required five weeks for ox trains to make the 
same distance, and to Salt Lake horses and mules were about six weeks 
making the trip and oxtrains were on the road from sixty-five to seven- 
ty da}s. It was the ox upon which mankind depended in those days to 
carry on the commerce of the plains. 

The fare from northeastern Kansas to Denver was $75, or a little 
over eight cents per mile. To Salt Lake City the fare was $150. Local 
fares ran as high as fifteen cents per mile. Each passenger was allowed 
twenty-five pounds of baggage. 

All in excess of that was charged at a rate of $1 per pound. Dur- 
ing the war the fare to Denver was increased from $75 to $100. and be- 
fore the close of the war it had reached $175 or nearly twenty-seven 
cents per mile. These were the prices from Sabetha. 


\'ia the Great Military Road to .Salt Lake and Colonel Fremont's route 
in 1 841. 
From Atchison to Miles Total 

Marmon Grove 3^ 

Lancaster 5J^ 9 

Huron (Cross Grasshopper) 4 13 



Capioma (\'Valnut Creek) 

Richmond (hfead of Xemaha) 


Small Creek on Prairie 

Small Creek on Prairie 

Small Creek on Prairie 

Wyth Creek 

Big Sandy Creek 

Dry Sandy Creek 

Little Blue River 

Road Leaves Little Blue River 

Small Creek 

Platte River 

Ft. Kearney 

17 Mile Point 

Plum Creek 

Cottonwood Spring 

Fremont's Springs 

O'Fallon's Bluffs 

Crossing South Platte 

Ft. St. Vrain 

Cherrv Creek 





















































The first settlement in Nemalia county was on the river of the Ne- 
maha at the famous Baker's Ford, which has since become known as 
Tavlnr's Rapids. Tn Jannary, 1854, from St. Joseph came a man named 
\Y. W. Moore, who located nine 
miles fron. Seneca, and gave the 
name of Moorestown to the locality. 
It became the center of the small 
settlement that ensued, and the 
name was changed to Urbana. It 
was never worthy of a name at all 
and long since the names of Moores- 
town and Urbana have faded from 
both map and memory. The follow- 
ing month came Walter Beeles, 
Cranberry Key and in the spring followed Thomas Newton. John 
O'Laughlin came out from Iowa and took up a claim on Turkey creek, 
and the Fourth of Juh' the small band met for the purpose of arranging 
protection for one another in their claims. 

This was the first settlement effected in Nemaha county. Two men 
from over the territorial line attended the meeting, by the names of 
George Bobst and Robert Turner. This was in fact the first settlement 
west of the Wolf river. These men were the originals in other ways 
tlian settling the first village in Nemaha county. Thomas Newton was 
a Baptist preacher and gathered the few settlers under his wing for 
church services. He performed the first marriage ceremony and 
preached the first funeral sermon, the latter being at the death of his son. 
Jacob, the first death in the county recorded, which occurred in Septem- 
ber in the year of their arrival, 1854. Of these original settlers only Rev. 
Newton is accctinted for to the end of his life, which occurred in 1881 
after a residence of twenty-seven years in Kansas. 



Of the Other half d^izen original 'settlers, W. W. Moore and U'alter 
Beeles built the first bridge in the county. This spanned the Xemaha 
about half a mile below Baker's Ford. The old story goes that the 
builders obliged the settlers to use the bridge and pay toll for it, by fell- 
ing an immense elm tree which fell across the ford, thus rendering the 
ford useless. But a spring freshet the next season swept away the elm, 
which in turn carried off the bridge, and Baker's Ford again came in- 
to its own. 

The following year came a few more families: H. H. I^anhan and 
his family, and William Harris who gave his name to Harris Creek, 
which has its source near Oneida and empties into the Xemaha ten or 
fifteen miles north. In the summer of fifty-five came James Thompson, 
Cyrus Dolman, John Doyle, Elias Church and John Rodgers, all settling 
in Richmond township, as it became known later. With these few citi- 
zens in this township an election was held in March of that year. Ne- 


maha precinct and \\o\i River constituted the Seventh Council District 
of the ten of which Kansas Territory was composed. Xemaha cast 
sixty-one votes at the election, while only the men named above were 
entitled to vote by right of actual residence in the county with the addi- 
tion of Samuel Cramer. Jesse Adamson. Samuel Crozier. Samuel Miller, 
William Bunker and Uriah Blue. 

The State legislature convened in July. Its laws were called the 
"Bogus Laws of Kansas" and they took effect immediatel}- upon being 
passed. At least one law has remained in effect to this day. the one 
designating the boundaries nf Xemaha county. The count}- is twenty- 


four miles east and west and thirty miles north and south. It is bound- 
ed on the north by Nebraska, on the east by Brown county, on the west 
by Marshall and on the south by Jackson and Pottawatomie counties. 

Meantime other corners of Xemaha county were being populated, in 
the year 1855. The inhabitants mentioned were all residents of Rich- 
mond township. Capioma township came into being and was filled 
graduall}' by settlers, who became the builders of the county and devel- 
opers of the State. James McAllister, Robert Rea, Samuel Magill and 
'William E. Barnes settled in Capioma township. William M. Berry and 
L. J. McGowan were the first settlers of Valley township and David M. 
Locknane was the first settler of Granada. 

Samuel Magill, of Capioma, lived on the farm which he preempted 
for over fifty 3'ears. His deed to the farm was signed by Abraham Lin- 
coln, and' it never passed from possession of the Magill family until after 
Samuel Magill's death in 1909. The farm was then sold to settle the 
estate. W'alnut trees that sprouted on the farm at the time of 
Mr. Magill's early ownership grew to logs so big that they were market- 
ed in the woods to English factory firms for making into black walnut 
furniture. Mr. IMagill realized a big sum after his retirement from active 
life on his farm from the forest of walnut trees. Many of these trees 
produced two logs. These settlers invariably took up claims along the 
creekside. When Mr. Magill first took up his claim, with the exception 
of his own trees along the Turkey creek, the whole country was a tree- 
less desert as far as the eye could see. For several _\-ears it was three 
miles from his farm to that of his nearest neighbor. Deer, wolves and 
buffalo were plentiful. Mr. Magill helped in the first electinn, helped in 
the laying out of Capioma, built the first store l.niilding, the church and 
the school. ^Ir. Magill was always a Democrat, but he voted for Abra- 
ham Lincoln at his first vote, in a burst of sentimental appreciation of his 
signing his deed to the farm. 

David Locknane, the first settler of Granada township, tried Cali- 
fornia before he settled in Kansas. He settled on a creek in Granada 
township, where the village of Granada was later, a mushroom settle- 
ment, and there he built a log house. This is the oldest building in Xe- 
malia county. Mr. Locknane kept the Granada Hotel during the years 
of the war. The Granada Hotel is no more and Granada is but a name. 
The hotel was prejiared for any event. It was an ordinary occurrence 
with pro- or anti-slavery bands, in the days of stress preceding the 
War of the Rebellion, to dash into the hotel yard and demand Mrs. Lock- 
nane to serve a dinner within fifteen minutes. At one time a band of 
Carolinians camped in the yard. One of them accidentally shot himself 
and died. General Jim Lane and his followers were frequent guests at 
the Locknane Granada Hotel. 

It was this section of the county that had the first negro settler. 
Moses Fately bought hjs freedom from a man named Speer in Boonville, 
Mo. He came to Nemaha county with George Frederick and Georye 


Goppelt, and took up a claim. He was accompanied by his wife and sis- 
ter and two children, whose freedom he had also bought. He sold his 
claim for $200. 

Rock Creek township was a popular section. The early settlers 
came to that northeast corner of the county in big numbers. Archibald 
Moorhead, Z. Archer, Levi Joy, William and Robert Carpenter, Joseph 
Haigh, Thomas Priest, William Graham, A. W. Williams, James Old- 
field, Edwin Miller, Elihu Whittenhall, W. B. Slosson, and half a dozen 
others, many of them related by blood or marriage were among the first 
to come. They built up their township and the towns of Albany and 
Sabetha, and they or their children are today living and thriving in the 
community of their first adoption. 

Thomas Carlin, Peter McQuaid. Andrew Brewer and Alexander Gil- 
lispie were the early settlers of Nemaha and Clear Creek townships in 
the northwestern corner. Little by little every section of the county was 
being occupied, townships formed and farms cultivated. The nam- 
ing of some of the townships is singular. There is Red Vermillion. To 
the student of whys and wherefores there has always been an underly- 
ino- querj- as to why call anything Red Vermillion. If "Vermillion," is 
it not naturall}^ red? This has never been explained by anyone so far. 
Garrett Randel and D. Arnold were the first settlers in Red Vermillion 

Neuchatel township, as its name might indicate, was settled by 
French and Swiss. In 1857 there arrived in Neuchatel Amiel E. Bonjour, 
Charles Adolophe and D. S. Veale. One of the griefs of the artistic his- 
torian, who has an eye to the fitness of things, is that Neuchatel town- 
ship seems to have been almost the only township in Nemaha county 
that did not have its cheese factory in the early days. On maps of the 
county are little crosses scattered around marked "Cheese Factory," but 
there is none marked in Neuchatel township, the place where the cheese 
really ought to grow. 

An early day settler of Neuchatel township, who lived a life of mar- 
velous helpfulness, was Dr. Peter Dockler. Dr. Dockler came to Nema- 
ha county in the late fifties, settling in Neuchatel where he practiced 
medicine and cared for the sick pioneers, traveling miles and miles 
across the wild prairie to carry cheer and aid to the scattered settlers. 
He gathered the native herbs and brewed them, keeping up this prac- 
tice during all his medical life. For years he was the family doctor of 
the entire countryside, who believed in Dr. Dockler and his herbs before 
any modern patent medicine. Later. Dr. Dockler moved to Onaga. just 
over the county line in Pottawatomie, but from there he continued dis- 
pensing these cures. He lived in a three room house alone, doing his 
own cooking and house work, nursing and nourishing the ill, and brew- 
ing his concoctions. At the age of loi Dr. Dockler \\as still heart\- and 
practising his profession. He was born in Athens. Greece, October 5, 


A name that has been identified with Neuchatel since its fonnda- 
tion is that of Bonjour. The death there in the spring of 1916, when 
this book was compiled, of Alfred A. Bonjour made one realize that 
Nemaha county was no longer a young community. Alfred A. Bonjour 
died in Neuchatel, where he was born fifty-eight years before. He lived 
all his life on the same section of land on which he was born. A faithful- 
ness was thereby manifested almost unknown in this restless United 
States and which would not have been possible scarcely without the 
French forebears of Mr. Bonjour. Mr. Bonjour's funeral was attended by 
almost the entire township and man}- from the neighboring county. A 
brother, Ephraim, still lives on land preempted in the days of almost gift 
land of Nemaha county. 

Home township settlers came in large numbers so that they did not 
get so lonesome. Among the eighteen early settlers of the township 
were several doctors, J. J. Sheldon and D. B. and N. B. McKay and J. 
S. Hidden. Others were R. Mozier, the McLaughlin brothers, the Arm- 
strong brothers, Hezekiah Grimes, George Squire and Stephen Barnard. 
Dr. N. B. McKay was one of a party of four sent from Galesburg, Illi- 
nois, to locate a site in Kansas for a colony. Home township was se- 
lected and the Home Association was formed in June, 1858. After four 
years Dr. McKay located at America City in Red Vermillion township, 
where he became postmaster. Later he founded the town of Corning, 
which has become one of the thriving towns of the county. He named 
it Corning in honor of his partner in medicine, Erastus Corning, of New 
York. Mrs. McKay was a New Englander from Worcester, Mass., Chloe 

It is recalled in the days of Seneca's rivalry with Richmond, that 
Senecans sowed oats in the road leading to Richmond, so that pioneers 
and travelers would think it an unusued road and the highway to Seneca 
would be chosen. Richmond is long since dead, and the oats may have 

Marysville, county seat of Marshall county, adjoining Nemaha on 
the west, was founded by the same men who were incorporators of the 
Richmond town company, once competitor for the county seat of Nema- 
ha county, and dying long since, as a result of her loss. The men were 
Woodward, the Gillaspies, Doniphans and Bishop, with M. G. Shrews- 

Marshall and Woodward were given the right to the ferry at Marys- 
ville across the Big Blue river on the Ft. Leavenworth, Ft. Kearney 
rriilitary road. "They, their heirs and assigns forever" were so reward- 
ed, together with another crossing on the California road at Oketo. 
Woodward kept a store or trading post six miles north of Marysville on 
the famous government road. Thompson sold out the store and hotel at 
Richmond to Woodward. He died there in the fifties and Mrs. Wood- 
ward, his widow, became administratrix of his estate. Marshall had es- 
tablished himself at Marysville as an Indian trader as early as 1850, be- 



fore Nemaha count)' had a white resident. He became a candidate for 
governor under the Lecompton constitution but lost. He ran on the pro- 
slavery ticket. 

The eighteenth election district was known as Aloorestown. The 
census was taken by B. H. Twombly and the number of voters was twen- 
ty-eight. The Kansas Territory having been divided into districts on the 
8th of November, an election was speedily held by November 29, and 
John W. Whitfield was sent to Congress. But Moorestown, the Eigh- 
teenth district, returned no votes at this election. Moorestown was nine 
miles from Seneca. W. W. Moore came out from St. Joseph and settled 
the place, which was known later as Urbana. 

Esther Hensel, the first child born in Seneca, was given a town lot 
by the city. 

Among the early day postmasters were David Magill, of Capioma ; 
David Locknane, at Granada; Isaac H. Steer, at Richmond; John H. 
Smith, at Seneca; A. W. Williams, at Sabetha; George Graham, at Al- 
bany ; George L. Squire, at Centralia ; and H. H. Lanham, at Central City 
— the first postmaster in Nemaha county to hold his commission from 
Franklin Pierce. A mail route had been established, during these incum- 
bents' service, from St. Joseph to Marysville, Sabetha and Albany, being 
the first points in the east of the county to get direct service, Seneca 
receiving its mail from Central City. When Centralia was estab- 
lished it received mail from Seneca. Granada at this time was known 
as Pleasant Springs. 








There were originall}' nine townships in the division of the 
county. Valley has completely disappeared from view, and the county 
has been sub-divided into twenty townships. Besides those given, there 
are Berwick, Wetmore, Washington, Oilman, Adams, Harrison, Reilly, 
JMitchell, Illinois, Marion and Center. The original Valley township was 
equally divided between Capioma and Adams. 

Of the twelve original Nemaha county towns but four remain. 
The others seem to have been completely effaced, absorbed into farms, 
and even postoffices long since abolished, a result of rural free mail 
delivery. Central City, Richmond, America City, Granada, .\sh Point, 
Pacific City, Urbana. Wheatland, Centralia, Lincoln, Seneca and Sa- 
betha were original towns. Albany was the forebear of Sabetha, and 
was moved bodily to the Sabetha site two miles down the liill when the 
first railroad was run through the county. Seneca has remained on her 
original site. Centralia, however, was moved a mile from her original 
location. The Central Branch railroad refused to take the mile extra 
to reach the settlement of Centralia, so the village, like Mohamet, went to 
the railroad. America City has always lived on the 380 acres where it 
had its birth, and has not since extended such acreage very much. 

E. P. Harris, who has charge of the composing rooms in the George 
W. Crane printing establishment in Topeka, was one of the originators 
of one of the early day and early buried Nemaha county towns. Mr. 
Harris was one of a party of men who came to Kansas by way of Ne- 
braska to Nemaha county in 1856 to assist in making Kansas a free 
State. Mr. Harris' party had a scheme to establish a string of free 
State towns from the Nebraska line southward through Kansas. They 
started in by staking off the town of Lexington in Nemaha county. 
About the time they got started to doing business, and the town stakes 



were well driven, at I.e-xington, Quantrill made his raid at Lawrence, 
and the party rushed off to that place to be of what service they could. 
That was about all that was ever heard of Lexington. Mr. Harris and 
his men never went back to Lexington. No one seems to know exactly 
where the would-be free State town of Lexington was laid out. Mr. 
Harris and his men came to Nemaha county by way of Nebraska be- 
cause the pi'o-slavery men were thick on the river, and were in suffi- 
cient force to make it hot for free State men coming into Kansas. 

While the towns of the county are conveniently scattered, so that 
there is a good shipping point for all produce, several townships have 
no towns : Clear Creek, Nemaha, Center, Mitchell, Adams, Capioma, 
Granada, Neuchatel and Reilly. Woodlawn, in Capioma township, a 
comparatively late child T)f the count}', still thrives with store, church, 
school and cream station. This may put this township in the village 
class. And Kelly, which is mainly in Harrison township, laps over into 
Adams township with a few houses, which may give Adams entrance 
into the city class. 

Of the remaining towns and villages there are Wetmore,, Goff, 
Corning, Oneida, Baileyville, Bancroft, Berwick, St. Benedict, Bern, 
and the elevator and store of Price station. 

Central City, the first town, was never incorporated by legislative 
act. It was laid out, in 1855, by William Dodge, and the first postoffice 
of the count}' established here. It lay in the neighborhood of what is 
now St. Benedict. H. H. Lanham was the first postmaster. A wagon 
and blacksmith shop, a saw and grist mill, and a store were erected 
upon the site. Most of these businesses were run by the Lanham and 
Newton families, who had come up the Missouri river from St. Louis 
on the old steamboat, "Banner State," that j'ear. The store, however, 
was run by Benjamin Shaffer for a while, later passing into the hands 
of Lanham' & Newton. 

Overland, by ox team, was hauled the mill, and, for some time, 
it was run by ox-power, horses being substituted later, a dam across 
the river failing to develop enough power to run the mill. An attempt 
to use steam power was foiled by the big flood of the Nemaha in 1858, 
when the river reached a mile in width, and the rushing current carried 
the dam, windmill, grist mill, and all away on its turbid breast. The few 
remains were not trusted to the river vicinity again and the mill was 
reconstructed far from danger on the prairies. But incendiaries de- 
stroyed it by fire. Nothing daunted, its owners rebuilt it. In 1863 Lan- 
ham & Newton, still the owners, practically, of Nemaha county's first 
born town, bought a mill at Pawnee City in Nebraska. They removed 
it to Central City, thence later to Seneca, where most of Central City 
moved eventually. 

The first school was taught by Mahlon Pugh, succeeded shortly by 
Mrs. Horace Newton. This was in 1859 and i860. The Central City 
Church, Baptist, was organized in 1857, later affiliating with the Seneca 


Baptist Church m September, 1875. When Seneca, little by little, ab- 
sorbed Central City, the village resolved into farmlands, and the town 
was absorbed by the Bloss farm, and Central City passed on. 

Richmond was incorporated by the Bogus Legislature as a twin 
sister of Central City, but of beliefs dissimilar. Richmond was estab- 
lished on the claim of Cyrus Dolman. Dolman was the first probate 
judge and pro-slavery man. The town corporation was given the power 
to purchase and hold 1,000 acres for building a town. The town was 
to be laid out in lots, squares, parks and avenues, and the town fathers 
included Daniel Vanderslice, David Gillaspie, John Doniphan, James E. 
Thompson, and half a dozen other men. Lanham & Newton had con- 
siderable to do in the erection of Richmond, for they built the first 
buildings, a dwelling, a store, and a hotel. Richmond moved to Sen- 
eca later, the dwelling being taken to the home of W. B. Stone, while 
the hotel eventually became a building on the Festus M. Newton farm. 

Richmond was the really important first town, as all the official 
county business was performed there. The legislature made it the tem- 
porary county seat, which distinction it might have held, old anti-slave 
believers say, had it not been for its pro-slavery sentim.ents. The free 
State men were in the majority, and Richmond was not in the running. 

Ash Point was largely the result of the efforts of John O'Laughlin, 
who established a postoffice, himself as postmaster, a general store, 
hotel and two or three houses. Ash Point was a stage station on the 
overland road, being situated at the junction of the Overland and Cali- 
fornia roads. Richmond was on the Fort Leavenworth and Fort Kear- 
ney road route. Ash Point died in the earh^ seventies, the establish- 
ment of railroads and abolishment of the stage roads causing its demise. 

Urbana actually got no farther than paper, as a town. W. W. 
Moore laid out a thriving town at Baker's Ford on good drawing paper. 
But the town of Farmington, southwest of the mythical L^rbana. event- 
uated into a store building, hotel and blacksmith shop through the ef- 
forts of Rosalvin Perham and J. E. Perle}-. The townsite made a good 
pasture, not many years after its inception. 

Orrin Gage dug a fine well on a high hill, which was so Avell pat- 
ronized by travelers that he became inspired to erect a hotel, which 
was designated Pacific City. But the farmers got it. Lincoln's town 
plat was filed for record in the fall of i860, and was really a prosperous 
village, rejoicing in two stores where in other towns but one had 
grown. J. E. Hocker conceived Lincoln. But its sawmill and black- 
smith shop were removed to Capioma. and William Robinson long 
operated them on his farm. 

At the beginning of the war, Granada was a thriving village. Tn 
1856, Manaoh Terrill had erected a store at this point which was on the 
direct route of the old overland freight road to Denver. Granada fell a 
victim to the advance of civilzation and railroads a few years later 
with the other Nemaha countv towns mentioned. Tn the vicinity still 


live many of the descendants, if not the fonnders themselves, of the 
community. The names of Swerdfeger, Vilott, Chappel, Haigh are 
those in daily use in the vicinity. Granada retained its postoffice until 
the later step into modernity came with rural free delivery, and the 
postoffice was abandoned. Granada, in addition to the usual buildings, 
boasted a drug store and a hardware store. None of the other villages 
that lived and died were so distinguished as that. An old map of 
Granada shows a good schoolhouse, a Woodman hall and about ten 
dwellings. The families of F. P. and John Achten, S. E. Larabee, S. R. 
Guffy, Sarah Skinner, Anna Stolzenberger, D. E. Crandall, C. E. Chase 
and A. C. Callahan are mentioned among the owners of Granada prop- 
erty. Many of the Granada settlers removed to Wetmore when their 
own village came to an untimely end. James Barnes, another early day 
family connected with Granada, took his family and eleven children to 
Granada in 1858, where he helped found the villag-e. James Barnes' 
ancestors were English, and helped found the city of Baltimore. James 
Barnes, senior, his son and his grandson were all born on the tenth of 
March, twenty-five years apart. Seven brothers of the Barnes family 
were at one time residents of Granada. 

A. B. Ellit was another settler of the prosperous Granada village. 
In the fifties a band of 600 Southerners raided the Ellit farm, tearing 
down fences, feeding all his corn and generalh^ demoralizing his home- 
stead. Finally there was but one yoke of oxen left. They were about 
to appropriate this ox team when a generous Missouri captain dashed 
out with a gun in his hand, crying he would kill the first man who tried 
to yoke them. A rumor was started that Jim Lane was coming-, and 
the raiders departed in haste, leaving some of their own belongings, 
saddles and weapons behind them. Mr. Ellit, in the war that followed, 
fought with General Price. He was in the Ouantrill raid, and a 
freighter to Denver. Of the pioneer days of hardship and romance, few 
know more than Mr. Ellit. 

A town plat of Capioma town was recorded in 1839. although it 
had been laid out two years previously when the schoolhouse was built 
and a good hotel put up by Walter Gage. After nearly sixty years, the 
hotel building stands, although, for many years, it has been used as a 
residence. Capioma was named for an early-day Indiana chief. 

Richmond remained the countv seat under the territorial act for 
the first few years. All business of a legal nature was transacted from 
Richmond. But in the year 1858, an election was ordered to be held, 
nn the permanent county seat. The first election was not to be final, 
but the three holding the highest number of votes were to be voted 
upon again, other contestants to step out. Central City, Richmond, 
Seneca, Centralia, ^^'heatland and Ash Point were contestants. The towns 
had each promised to give town lots to the county. Seneca, however, of- 
fered to build a courthouse and donate its use to the county for five 
years. This made excellent political thunder, and the contestants were 


boiled down to Seneca, Central City. Wheatland and Richmond. Cen- 
tral City then retired in favor of Seneca. The fathers of Central City 
figured that if Seneca won, Richmond would die, and Central City live 
and prosper, without rival. The two towns were too close for their 
twin success. But, alas, for the hopes of builders of cities, such sacri- 
fice was unrewarded. Today, one city is buried as deep in oblivion as 
the other. 

Seneca won in the contest, although there were some legal pro- 
ceedings instituted over the Graham township vote, which was given 
to Seneca. The county commissioners being divided, the deciding vote 
was given to Seneca by the chairman, George Graham. Seneca has al- 
ways since been the county seat, with but rare rumors of attempts to un- 
seat her. 

The courthouse was burned in 1876, when there was a slight stir 
against Seneca. This amounted to nothing, and the new building, verv 
similar to the first one, was built. Either children and matches, or mice 
and matches seem to have caused the fire. The Lappin brothers, 
Charley Scrafford, R. U. Torrey and J. B. Ingersoll were the town com- 
pany. The}' gave the county commissioners alternate lots throughout 
the town, which were sold to raise money for public buildings. 








There has been little discussion in Nemaha county as to who was 
"first" in various matters. Contrary to the acceptation of most folks, 
Nemaha county people have quietly acquiesced in the claims of the few 
to be first, and been willing to give honor where honor is due. There- 
fore, so far as has been learned in sixty years, no one has claimed the 
honor of having been the first born child other than Molly Key, daugh- 
ter of Greenbury and Poll}' Key, who was born in March, 1855. 

Edwin Avery, who came to Nemaha county in 1858, recalls the 
Greenbury Keys, and he is about the only remaining citizen who re- 
members them. The Greenbury Keys lived in a cabin on Turkey creek, 
just above the James Gregg farm. One of the Key girls was married 
to Sanford Hess, Mr. Avery recollects, and they' moved to Oregon. 
Frank Johnson, he thinks, was related to the Keys. Mr. Johnson has 
not lived in Nemaha county for some time, and Mr. Avery's recollection 
is that he and Mr. Johnson are the only ones living, who were here 
who might recall the first child's birth. Mr. Avery als.. recalls that 
Mrs. Lou Robertson's brother married one of Frank Jnhnson's daugh- 
ters. Raveling out a family tree is something of a task, but it is more 
fascinating than raveling out a skein of yarn for crochet lace, so 
popular today. Mr. Avery's recollections are always remarkably cor- 
rect, and it is dollars to doughnuts, that no corrections will be made In 
this historical anecdote. 

The first marriage brought nothing to the furtherance of Nemaha 
county, as the "contracting parties" shortly returned to the State from 
whence they had immigrated shortly before. The romance is further 
a disappointment in that the bride and groom were both widow and 
widower. Charles Leachman and Mrs. Caroline Davenport were mar- 
ried by Rev. Thomas Newton, November 12, 1854, the marriage occiir- 




ring in Nemaha township. Rev. Newton also officiated at the first fu- 
neral, presumed to be that of his son, Jacob. The death was duly re- 
corded for September, 1854. However, Mr. Davenport had also died in 
Nemaha county, and was buried on the farm that later belonged to 
Henry Korber. As Mrs. Davenport was married in November, there 
remains some doubt as to whose death was the first, Jacob Newton's or 
Mr. Davenport's. 

The first bridge in the county and the vicissitudes attending it, 
have been recorded, as well as the first sermon. 

The first Seneca school teacher was Miss Addie Smith, whose 
school occupied a room in the hotel building of her brother in Seneca, 
the first building erected there. This was a private school. 

It is doubtful if any county in Kansas can lay claim to having a 
piano in its midst before Nemaha county. The first piano was brought 
to Albany in Nemaha county in 1857 by Elihu Whittenhall for the use 
and musical education of his four daughters, and the pleasure of his 
wife. The piano was a Noble and was made in Ithaca, N. Y. It was 
taken from Addison, Steuben county. New York, to St. Louis, by rail, 
thence up the Missouri river b)'- the steamboat, "Florinda," as far as 
Iowa Point. From there the piano was carried overland, by the over- 
land freight, drawn by little mule teams the remaining 100 miles. 
Reaching Albany, only a log house was ready to receive the piano, and 
it nearly filled the single room when it was put in place. 

It was a delight to the settlers and a delicious perplexity to the 
Indians. The}^ would creep up to the window of the cabin, stare in 
incredulous wonder at the piano on which someone would be playing, 
then thev would laugh and dance, and placing their hands over their 
mouths, give vent to the blood-curdling Indian yell, which nearly par- 
alyzed the musical little "\^'hittenhall girls with terror. 

But Mrs. Oscar Marbourg, of Sabetha, to whom the piano de- 
scended, said that the Indians never molested them in any way other 
than entering the cabin if they could get in, and taking anything to which 
they "took a shine." This "first" piano, at Mrs. Marbourg's marriage, 
went to her sister, and later it passed into the hands of a Sabetha colored 

Four little girls came out to Kansas with Elihu Whittenhall and 
his wife, but two of their boy? refused to come. They came out to look 
over the ground at one time, and nothing could induce them to stay in 
■the "God-forsaken land of Kansas," as they called it. Mrs. Marbourg 
recalls that farms of forty acres sold for $2.50 for the entire .ground, 
which today cannot be bought for $200 an acre. "But we had to eat and 
sleep on the ground," she said. Her mother would tuck the children 
into an improvised bed on the ground, which Mr. Whittenhall had 
staked out. "Go to sleep, girls," they were admonished, "for we have to 
go home and do the chores." Having slept a night and eaten three 
meals on the claimed ground, it belonged to them with the payment of 


the government's $2.50. But the boys would not stay for twenty such 
easily gained farms. The log house used by the Whittenhall family, 
while their dwelling was being erected on the hills of Albany, was low. 
In the day a buffalo or deer was shot, and the carcass hung in the house 
for meat. The wolves afar off would smell the meat, and whine around 
the house all night. They would jump up on the roof from the ground, 
and try the latch of the door with their paws. But the wolves were as 
timid as the Indians. Mrs. Marbourg recalls going out to the yard for 
wood and a wolf following her. But her mother took a stick of wood 
and threw at the animal, and he slunk away like a dog. 

The first county commissioners of Nemaha county were Jesse 
Adamson, David P. Magill and Peter Hamilton. The first election for 
county officers was held November 8, 1859. Previous to that time of- 
ficials had been appointed to office. The election resulted in R. U. Tor- 
rey, county clerk : Charles F. Warren, county treasurer ; Samuel Lap- 
pin, registrar of deeds; John S. Rogers, sheriff; J. W. Fuller, county 
superintendent, and Haven Starr, probate judge. 

The first census taken in the county showed ninety-nine residents 
in the county. This was in 1855. Two years later there were 512. and 
in i860, nearly 2.500. The first officials of the county to serve by ap- 
pointment, prior to county elections, were John W. Forman. 1855, coun- 
cilman ; James E. Thompson, 1855, sheriff; R. U. Torrey, 1855, county 
clerk; Samuel Lappin. 1855, registrar of deeds; Edwin Van Endert. 1855, 
county treasurer; Cyrus Dolman, 1855, probate judge; J. C. Hebberd.. 
1857, superintendent of public instruction. Nemaha county was one of 
the thirty-three original counties created by the first territorial legisla- 
ture of Kansas. Nemaha county was given its present boundaries 
within a year after Kansas was formed into a territory by the act of 
congress. At that time the territor}' of Kansas embraced land from the 
Missouri river westward to the Rocky Mountains, and included over 
126,000 square miles. The Nemaha river, at the time of the county's 
establishment, was referred to as the Nebraska. A peculiar thing about 
the Nemaha river, which, b}' the way, is not dignified b>- being men- 
tioned with other rivers in Kansas histories, is that it rises in IlHnois 
township in the southwestern part of the county and flows north 
through the center of the county into Nebraska; Of the other creeks 
and streams in the county, most of them flow east and west, generally 
seeking the Nemaha ^s an outlet. The center of the county would seem 
to be a watershed, for streams in the eastern part generall\- flow sdutli- 

J. H. Stringfellow received the first vote of Nemaha county in the 
election of March 30, 1855. Dr. Stringfellow was a pro-sla\-er\- advo- 
cate and a charming man. to the amazement of one Nemaha county pio- 
neer who had heard of him as the miserable leader of the i^ro-slaverv 
faction, and the head of the border ruffian forces. She says, "When I 
moved to Atchison several years later and met Dr. Stringfellnw. I 


dreaded to see him. thinking his face would be as black as his reputa- 
tion had been painted to me. I was amazed at his charm, grace, and 

"A story, recently revived, is told of Dr. Stringfellow. He was nat- 
urally the bitter enemy of the famous Jim Lane, whose reputation had 
been painted as dark as Dr. Stringfellow's by the 'opposition.' At one 
time. General Lane, with a bodyguard of soldiers, drove into the yard 
of Dr. Stringfellow. When Dr. Stringfellow went out to meet General 
Lane, he inquired, 'Are you not afraid to call at my house?' 'No,' re- 
plied the notorious Jim Lane, 'I am not afraid to call on a gentleman 

"This gallant, graceful reply so captured Mrs. Stringfellow that she 
mvited General Lane and his men to lunch." 

R. L. Kirk was the other candidate to carry Xemaha county's first 
vote, for territorial representative, both pro-slavery men against the 
anti-slavery candidates, Joel Ryan and G. A. Cutler. 

Brown and Nemaha counties were in one judicial district, and, prior 
to 1861, court was held in Hiawatha, Brown county. In November, 
1861, the first district court was held in Nemaha county with Judge 
Albert PL Horton on the bench. Byron Sherry was the county clerk. 
Court was held in the original courthouse built by the city of Seneca 
but a short time. A religious meeting, held in the courthouse one Sun- 
day night, was followed by a fire. A one-story building was erected 
for the holding of court and the county officers were scattered in other 
buildings around the town. 

In ten years the money from town lots had so accumulated that a 
brick courthouse was erected at a cost of nearly $30,000. Major Sar- 
gent broke the ground, and J. A. Storm of St. Joseph erected the house 
of laws. It was this building that the combination of mice, matches and 
children destroyed. When the new building was erected, a fireproof 
building apart from it was put up for the office of the registrar of deeds, 
where all official records are kept in the fireproof vault. 

Judge Albert H. Horton, who was the first judge to sit in a Ne- 
maha county circuit court, was an Atchison man, Nemaha, even today, 
has not a separate judicial district apart from Brown county. Judge 
Horton is said to have been the bluest-blooded aristocrat with llie 
straightest line of descent that the district can call her own. And this, 
in view of the acknowledged fact that Nemaha county has many fam- 
ilies of remarkably straight genealogy. Judge Norton could trace his 
ancestry in a direct line to Robert de Horton of Great Horton, England, 
in the thirteenth century. .\nd the line comes down without a waver 
until Albert H. florton, with his brother, arrive in .\tchison in the fif- 
ties. In 1861, he was appointed district judge by Governor Charles 
Robinson. Later he was elected twice to the same office in the second 
judicial district, and attained the' dignity of chief justice of the State. 
The town of LTorton, tliirty miles southeast of Sabctha. is named for 
Judge TTinton. 



A remarkable circumstance concerning this original Xemaha 
county election was that the returns showed that John W. Forman. a 
pro-slavery man and a Kentuckian, was elected to the council without 
a dissenting vote. Forman was a Doniphan county man, a founder of 
Iowa Point, one of the innumerable towns of this border county to have 
reached its zenith during the early days, then die. At this time Iowa 
Point was the second city in size in Kansas, Leavenworth alone having 
a few more residents. It was at Iowa Point where the "Iowa Trust 



1 1 


' Mtj^^^i 

• - J 

This is George "V 
o was sent to Lee 


'. Williams of Deer Creek, dressed to represent his father. Eli Willia 
mpton as a delegate to the first convention for Statehood in Kansas, 
lour, bacon, coffee, bedding, lariat, picket pin. revolver, frying pan 


fould have carried flour, 
offee pot on his horse. 

Eli Williams was equipped ready to go when a messenger arrived from the headquarters 
f Jim Lane telling him and his bodyguard, Dick Clency, not to make a start, as others had 
een slain on their way to Lecompton and that Jim- Lane and his men were on their way to 
he present site of Sabetha. Kans. General Lane came in a few days, but no delegate went 
rom Nemaha at that time. 

lands" were released to the government. S. M. Irwin, a pioneer mis- 
sionary, was given the selection of all the land released. He chose the 
spot where Iowa Point was later located. J. W. Forman and his 
brother, PI. W. Forman, bought this land. Forman's town even 
attained the di,gnity of a brick yard, and reached much prosperity. 
When Iowa Point died, J. W. Forman, who should go down in history 
as a candidate unanimously elected to a State office, removed to Mis- 


Mrs. P. W. Cox, of Gilman township near Oneida, recalls the first 
political meeting at Richmond. Although but a little girl of nine years, 
it is one of her childhood recollections because of the fact that her father 
•was elected a representative of Nemaha county. Mrs. Cox's girlhood 
name was Williams, and she was the daughter of Eli Williams. 

"My father rode on horseback to Lecompton and back to consider 
the historical Lecompton constitution," said Mrs. Cox. "Eli Williams, 
my father, and Eliza AMlliams, my mother, with five children, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Oliver Williams and Amon English made up our emigrant 
band. We settled on Deer creek. After we left the government road, 
there was nothing for us to follow but Indian trails — no friendly guide- 
posts to direct our way. We were told to take the divide at McCloud's 
grave, which had become a signpost, that would take us to Deer creek. 
^^'e traveled in a large covered wagon drawn by oxen. We brought 
liorses. cattle, hogs, chickens an old cat and three kittens. We had only 
journeved from Atchison county. Missouri, so the transportation of so 
much live stock was not so difficult as for those who had ciossed half 
a continent. There was not one family living between where we set- 
tled and Brown county, and only two shanties stood where people held 

"^^''e saw many Mormons passing us on their way to the 'promised 
land." In passing, the Mormons drained what we called Murphy lake, in 
the month of August, 185=;. They were so hungry thev drained the 
lake, caught and ate the fish. Forty in the party died. They were 
buried near the lake. Manv of them had cholera. When they left 
the encampment they left behind them beds, wearing apparel and cloth- 
ing of all kinds scattered around. I saw clothing that was torn off the 
dead, three or four months after the Mormons left." 

Of the children who arrived with Eli Williams, besides Mrs. Cox. 
three became fine Nemaha county citizens, of fifty years" and more 
standing: George, Boyd and .\mon Williams. 

Anton AVempe was the first store-k.eeper of Fidelity. He had a 
store there for several years, which he sold in 1892. The rural delivery 
put the Fidelitv store nut of business, as it did most of the solitary 
countrv stores. Fidelitv church, however, was much older. Fidelity 
had a small church building back as far as 1866 to 1868. There was no 
resident priest for many years, a priest serving from Atchison, who just 
came occasionally, when weather or conditions generally, permitted. 
In about 1893 the present, handsome Fidelity Church was built. From 
time to time it has been added to and improved, until now it is quite 
the handsomest of country churches nearby. 

The father of the Wempe family, Hermann Henry Wempe. came 
to Nemaha county in 1858 to locate. They came by wav of .Atchison. 
While there a pickpocket robbed Mr. Wempe, senior, of his pocketbook 
and money. He continued to Seneca, however, and picked out a farm. 
on which he located. He brought his family out here in 1861. .\ few 


days after they were settled he suddenly died; that was the fifth of July, 
1861. In the settlement of the estate Anton Wempe bought the shares 
of the other brothers and sisters in the homestead farm, and lived on 
it for many years. His youngest daughter has recently taken the veil 
at Mt. St. Scholastica in Atchison and is known as Sister Mary Mau- 
russ. A son is in C. C. K. Scoville's bank in Seneca. 








By Alice Gray Williams. 

Whom the Indians delight to call, "Soniskee," meaning- "Our Good Red 

The old Indian tribes had no written history. Their history was 
passed from father to son. From some of the oldest Indians now living 
I have gained the knowledge of Indian tradition, customs and life. 

It is said by these Indians, and history bears them out in their state- 
ments, that the first Indians of Kansas were a part of the Great Dakotah 
Tribe, and that they came here with the great bands of Indians who mi- 
grated from the north of the Great Lakes. They wandered around for 
many years and finally settled on the Missouri river and its tributaries. 
They were called the Kanzas or Kaw Indians and the Osages. The 
Kanzas had as their territory the land from Nebraska on the north to 
Arkansas on the south and all west of the Missouri river. The Osages 
Were to have Missouri and all the land along the Missouri and that along 
the Osage river, and part of their hunting grounds extended into Kansas. 

For many years they dwelt in this manner, but they were unfriendly. 
Fair maidens were stolen from tribe to tribe, as they were not allowed 
peaceful marriage, and this alone caused endless trouble. 

They spoke the same tongue, and their tribal affairs were managed 
in the same manner. 

In 1806 our Government helped them to make a peace treaty with 
each other which each tribe kept sacred, and then they combined forces 
against the hated Pawnees and the whites, who were intruding on 
their hunting grounds. Their depredations became so numerous and so 



serious that the Government called a Council near the present site of 
•Atchison on an Island called Ise Au \'ache, or Buffalo Island. This 
council was a great affair. It is said that there were some 150 Kanzan 
and thirteen Osages there, representing their powerful and mighty tribes. 
Officers of the garrison were present. The Council was closed. Peace 
prevailed and the peace pipe filled with Kln-ni-ki-nick was smoked and 
the Indians kept their promises, and no depredations were ever commit- 
ted by them. These Indians believed in the Great Spirit, or Waconda, 
and they believed in life beA'ond the grave. They were honorable 
in their family life and were kind to their squaws and children. Let me 
say right here, an Indian never strikes his child. No whipping is allowed 
in their homes or schools. The women managed the household affairs 
and did the work, but be it said in the old time Indian life the squaws 
did the "bossing" around the wigwams, but had no voice in the affairs 
pertaining to the warpath, or to the lands, or their tribes. The first treaty 
between the United States and these tribes was made in 1815. In this 
treaty the past was blotted out and forgiven and these tribes recognized 
our Government and pledged their loyalty to it. 

In 1825 the United States Government treated with them for the 
cession of their lands in Kansas and Missouri. In this treaty they ceded 
all of the lands in eastern Kansas: "Beginning where the Kansas River 
empties into the Missouri to the northwest corner of Missouri, thence 
to the Nodaway River, thirty miles from its entrance into the Missouri 
River; from there to the entrance of the Nemaha River into the Mis- 
souri to its source, which took in the present county of Nemaha. From 
here to the source of the Kansas River, then on to the ridge dividing the 
Kansas River from the Arkansas, and on to the west border of the Mis- 
souri and with that line thirty miles to the place of beginning." 

The United States agreed to pay them $3,500 per year for twenty 
years, either in money or merchandise. In addition they were to fur- 
nish the cattle and hogs and farm implements, a farmer and a black- 
smith. Thirty-six sections of land on the Big Blue were to be sold and 
the money from that sale was to be kept for the use of their schools. 

In 1846 the Kanzas and their neighboring tribes ceded all their lands 
:o the United States Government. 

From this time on they began to deteriorate. They were moved to 
Oklahoma and the climate did not agree wnth them there. I am told by 
the oldest Indians now living that there are now but a few poverty 
stricken ones left, of this once wealthy and powerful tribe, from which 
the fair State of Kansas derived its beautiful Indian name. Kansas in 
the Indian tongue means "Smoky." 

At this time the Pottawatomie Indians had no home so the United 
States gave them this land of the Kanzas for their homes. It contained 
576,000 acres. 

The Pottawatomie Indians were in possession when our forefathers 
came here. They were peaceful Indians and their lands were the hunt- 


ing- and play grounds for the mighty southwestern tribes. Buffalo and 
deer were plentiful and the prairie was covered with rich grass. 

These tribes were what was kno\\-n as the "Horse Indians" because 
they had ponies. Many tribes had no h.irscs at that time. 

"Chama/' meaning "grandma" in the Indian tongue, told me her 
mother said that a day's ride west from the Missouri river, there were, 
once some Ground Indians, who lived in holes dug deep down and that 
the}' covered them over with poles and skins and that when these Indians 
left or were driven west that the covering dropped in, and so made 
the holes we call buffalo wallows. 

Aunt Lizza Roubidoux Barrada, a great-granddaughter of Joseph 
Roubidoux, the founder of St. Joseph, says that when she was a girl and 
when Chama was a girl that the Pawnees came here a day's ride to the 
west of her home at the mouth of the Great Nemaha, and stayed and 
lived for several years, and fought the lowas. She says the lowas 
whipped them so completely, that they went away and never came to 
fight the lowas again. A Pawnee burial ground is still pointed out to 
the visitor on the Iowa Reservation, on the Great Nemaha River. Skulls 
and arrow heads are found there to this day. Chama says that lowas 
said the number of Pawnees were like the leaves upon the trees. The 
Pottawatomies were allotted and some of them took land of their own 
and some went to Oklahoma. Some went to a reservation in Jackson 
county, Kansas, where many of them still reside. G. ^^'. \\'illiams, who 
is one of the oldest settlers of this vicinity, saj^s when he was a small lad 
many Indian tribes passed through Nemaha county visiting other tribes. 
Hundreds at a time could be seen winding along the trails, along the 
creeks. Sometimes there would be a bunch go into camj) and hunt and 
fish and then, like the Arabs of old, would "Silently fold their tents and 
steal away." They were a silent people. Sometimes they would sing 
and dance their war dances to amuse the boys and girls who would call 
upon them. 

The Indian is a very matter-of-fact person and does not often joke, 
yet sometimes he will play a little joke. I give a few of their jokes be- 

"One lone Indian came to a house near Oneida and posed as a Big 
Medicine Man. The head of the family with whom he stayed had very 
sore eyes. The Medicine Man treated them all winter and suddenly left 
in the spring. The ]5atient could see much lietter so he t(_)ok the medicine 
to a doctor to be analyzed and the doctor found the stuff to be just 
plain water. 

"An old Indian came to a settler's home almost naked. The children 
hunted up some old clothes and dressed him up and then the old fellow, 
who, it was thought, did not know one word in English, strutted around 
and said, 'Me heap big white man now,' and disappeared. He perhaps 
had been educated at some Mission school. 

"Another time the Indians were eating when the white folks came 


and sat down with them to eat. They had beef for dinner, and some 
mutton roasted. One young fellow said : 'What kind of meat is this?' The 
Indian at the head of the table said: 'Bow wow; and the white man 
was puzzled, but it was just a joke pulled of by poor Lo. 

"A white man and an Indian went hunting. The white man shot a 
deer, the Indian a turkey. The white man was tired and said, 'Oh, dear 
me.' The Indian promptly said, 'Oh, turkey me.' The Indian boasted 
of his turkey, thinking the white man boasted of his deer." 

The games played by them on the ground where Oneida now stands 
were Indian ball and squaw ball for the women and girls. They meas- 
ured their strength with these games, each tribe always trying to be the 
winner. An Indian treasures his ball bat as he does his gun or bow and 
arrow, and always takes it with him on any visit he makes to other 

But the old Indian has passed awaj^ and only the young progressive 
Indian is to be found here now. They are quietly living on their reser- 

There has been much written about the Indian. No nation has had 
so much written about them. They were so strangely picturesque. 
Their dress was beautiful, and their handiwork very primitive, yet so 
grand. They are a vanishing race, but their memory will be forever per- 
petuated in the names which have been given to our towns, counties. 
States, mountains, rivers and lakes. Though we have never had a reser- 
vation located here since we have had a county, yet Oneida, Nemaha 
county, Kansas, sounds sweet to us, and it is all Indian. 

The Indians in Nemaha county were merely annoA'ing. No one has 
ever told of trouble from them with but one or two brilliant exceptions. 
An occasional connection with Indian troubles came to Sabethans, how- 
ever. Joseph Prentice, a Sabetha farmer, unearthed a treasure a few 
years ago, resulting from an Indian raid of early times. The Indian 
trouble occurred in Nebraska. Prentice was an early day merchant. In 
the course of trades he came into possession of a Nebraska farm where 
the raid occurred. A story has been current for years, that when the In- 
dians attacked a party of emigrants on the way to fortune in the far 
West, a man named Wilcox buried a can of money on the farm. His 
brother searched the ground over for the money upon the death of the 
man who was wounded in the Indian fight. The farm, as a farming pro- 
position, had not been considered of much worth. But one day Joe Pren- 
tice determined to get something out of his trade if it took deep plow- 
ing and he plowed his ground deep. On a rather steep incline near the 
house he plowed up a rusty apple or tomato can. It was found to have 
$2,136.50 in silver and gold. Joseph Prentice said that the real lesson in 
this, is that "any farmer will turn up money if he plows deep." 

Nemaha county was connected with a real Indian tragedy, although 
our own Nemaha county Indians did not commit the crimes. It was 
the Chevennes who attacked Nemaha county travelers when thev were 


traveling to Colorado overland, in August, 1874. John German with his 
five daughters and one son, were in Chautauqua county traveling in 
their covered wagon to Colorado hoping to benefit the health of Cathar- 
ine. Catharine and the brother were driving the cows some distance in 
the rear of the wagon. As they came over a hill they saw the wagon at- 
tacked by the Indians, the father, mother and one sister were killed be- 
fore the horrified eyes of the boy and girl. The Indians saw them and 
killed the boy. Four sisters, Julia, Sophia, Adelaide and Catharine, were 
then carried by the Indians four days, with but one stop for food. Dur- 
ing their travels they passed a soldiers camp. Once two of the girls 
were left behind with two Indians and when the latter overtook the 
main band Adelaide and Julia were not with them. The older sisters 
thought they had been killed. Rut the Indians had simply abandoned 
them on the prairie to starve. Adelaide and Julia wandered over the 
prairie until they came to the soldiers" camp where they found an old 
blanket, corn and crackers, and for six weeks the little things lived on 
these abandoned scraps, with hackberries which grew plentifully and the 
clear spring water at hand. Later when the little round-eyed girls at- 
tended school at Sabetha, their playmates hung on every word of this ex- 
perience as they told it again and again. One night they awoke to find 
themselves covered with leaves. Doubtless some animal, already satis- 
fied as to appetite, covered the little girls for future use as he hoped. 
Finally they were discovered by soldiers, and were so dirty that the men 
would not believe they were white. The men wept when the tots told of 
their sufferings. Meantime Catharine and Sophia had been separated, 
the former accompanying the Cheyennes into New Mexico and Sophia 
going to Colorado with a band of Arapahoes. By the time Catharine 
reached the Texas border, she had lost track of time, and hope of recov- 
ery. But when she met Chief Stonecalf in Texas her hope revived for 
the great chief was grieved at the attack on her people. "I will try to 
take you home to your people," he said, "but it wil\ take long, long." 
And he did. Not long afterward they began to move eastward. But it 
did take "long, long." The snow was on the ground. Man}' braves died 
of hunger. One night when they reached a canyon with good water and 
plenty of wood, Indians from other bands came straggling in and with 
them, to her happiness, came Sophia. In some way Sophia had heard of 
the rescue of the little sisters, and that General Miles was searching for 
the two older ones. Although the girls were not allowed to be together 
they were kept in the same camp. And a few daA's later Chief Stonecalf 
told them that the Indians had decided to give themselves up to the 
white chief and take the little girls back. When they reached General 
Miles' camp the Indians were lined up and the girls pointd out which 
ones were in the original band that killed their parents, brother and sis- 
ter. These Indians were sent to St. Augustine, Fla. General Miles took 
the guardianship of the girls for two years, when they were taken first 
to Lawrence and later to Leavenworth. In Leavenworth, Pat Corney 


became their guardian, and a few years later Catherine married Amos 
Swerdfeger, a brother of Mrs. Corney. They removed to Granada town- 
ship, Nemaha county, and later to Sabetha, where the younger girls 
were graduated from the Sabetha schools. Mrs. Swerdfeger says, 
"When we reached the soldiers' camp all the soldiers were lined up and 
cheered us. I still feel a lump in my throat when I think of it. I 
thought I had never seen such white people, they looked as white as 
snow. My being so accustomed to red people was wh}' they looked so 
white and pretty." Mrs. Swerdfeger lives in California now. Julia is 
Mrs. Brooks, also of California ; Mrs. Frank Andrews lives in Berwick, 
Nemaha count)^, and Mrs. Albert Feldman, near the Nemaha county 
line in Richardson county, Nebraska. They are Adelaide and Sophia. 

Nemaha county never had any resident Indians. The Kickapoos on 
one side of the county are in Brown county, the Sac and Fox tribes have 
always been in Jackson county. It is possible that the twenty miles on 
either side of the Nemeha river, having been exempted from Indian 
claim, resulted in the Indians never taking up a residence in the county, 
for the Nemaha runs north and south near the center of the county, 
which is forty miles wide. But the Indians have always made frequent 
and invariabl}'- friendly calls on their white Nemaha neighbors. The lat- 
est call happened within a few months of this writing and is an interest- 
ing illustration of the Indians' acceptation of modern conditions and his 
endurance of the primitive at one and the same time. 

Lucette Goslin, the little six-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
Johnny Goslin, of the Indian reservation located in Jackson county, 
was brought to the Sabetha hospital by her mother. The child had been 
swinging, while she had in her mouth a small wheel from a toy train of 
cars. The wheel became lodged in her windpipe and she was taken to the 
Sabetha hospital for its removal, under the modern, advanced surgical 
conditions and surroundings suitable for her surest recovery. Mean- 
time Mrs. Goslin, the mother took a room at a hotel. During the night 
she gave birth to a baby. The next morning she got up, wrapped the 
new little papoose in approved Indian fashion, visited her little daugh- 
ter at the hospital and returned to her reservation, with the new mem- 
ber of her family. But the little girl remained at the hospital a week 
longer to recover from her throat trouble. 

The Indians in northeastern Kansas were generally peaceful and 
friendly. It is recalled that sixty }-ears ago a son of Tohe, an Iowa chief, 
whose reservation is still at A^^^ite Cloud in Doniphan county, was 
buried with honors, and many white friends attended to mourn with the 
Indian brothers the loss of "a good Indian." He was buried in a sitting 
posture on the surface of the ground upon the top of a high hill, with 
his face to the setting sun and bows and arrows, a war club and a pipe 
near him, to cheer and protect him on the Long Journey. His pony was 
shot and buried beside him. They were covered over with a mound of 
earth, a white flag raised and charms placed around the mound. Doni- 


phan county is filled with such mounds and is a veritable mine for In- 
dian collectors. But not one such Indian mound is known to exist in 
Nemaha county. 

Today it is an annual event for Nemaha count}- people to press the 
self starter of their automobiles and spin over to the Kickapoo Indian 
reservations for the powwow of the Indians. Each- year the powwow 
becomes more and more like American events. The best baseball games 
of northeastern Kansas are played on these occasions by picked Indian 
college boys who attend school at Carlisle or Haskell and whose parents 
live on the reservation. The "Squaw ball" and Indian ball games, how- 
ever, remain very interesting events, and old and j^oung Indians from 
six years to sixty enter both games. 

But so late as 1884 it was more than a couple of hours" run over to 
the reservation. C. H. Isely, of Spring Grove, tells of a trip made to the 
reservation from his farm near Sabetha in the month of August of that 
date. The drive part way was even then across the open prairie, 
through unfenced lands, which now are worth from $100 to $200 an acre. 
The care and conduct of the Indians were criticised by Mr. Iseley at that 
time, a condition which is vastly improved now, except for the fact that 
the worst road in northeastern Kansas runs through the Government 
lands on the reservation. It is said it is the only section of the State 
without a road drag. The farms of the Indians themselves, however, 
were well kept in 1884, and are today. 

About this time Congressman Morrill endeavored to get a bill 
through Congress removing the Kickapoos from Brown county to Wis- 
consin. It failed. Occasionally the matter is brought up for discussion 
but nothing done. The Indians are peaceable, well behaved neighbors, 
as industrious as many of their white friends, and people generally see 
no reason why they should be taken from the home of their fathers and 
placed elsewhere. 

The first pensioning of soldiers of the State militia emanated from 
this district through Congressman Morrill. Mr. Morill asked to have 
three soldiers pensioned who lost their legs through freezing when called 
out by Governor Osborne to quell an Indian uprising in the southwest- 
ern part of the State in 1873. He finally secured fifty dollars a month 
for the three men, establishing a precedent that it was the regular sol- 
dier's duty to enter such fights and that if State soldiers were injured 
they should be rewarded. 












Driving from her home in Nemaha county to St. Joseph over the 
smooth dragged roads in her high power motor car in October, 191 5, 
a Nemaha covmty woman, who barefooted had herded cattle and sheep 
on her father's farm in pioneer days, recalled the mode of travel to St. 
Joseph at that time. She was rushing along at thirty miles an hour, 
secure in the knowledge that within three hours she would reach her 
destination with time for rest and lunch before listening to the Boston 
Symphony orchestra, which, by a special car, had come to the western 
city to give a concert. 

"When I was a little girl," she said, "we took three days to make 
this trip by ox team. Father and one of the big boys always went, and 
usually they tucked one of us little girls in for the pleasure of the trip. 
With our yoke of oxen we started across the prairie, paying no atten- 
tion to roads, merely going in the general right direction by the short- 
est cuts. If we came to an obstacle, we simply drove around it. The 
oxen made about two miles an hour, sometimes two and a half, but 
rarely that. It took us three days to go. We camped by the road at 
night, and, of course, took plenty of food to keep us going and coming, 
as it was doubtful where we would find food to spare en route. A 
night's rest and the day spent in buying dry goods and the necessary 
things to keep us the balance of the year, and we started from St. Jos- 
eph on our return trip. And now here I am spinning over the same 
road in an automobile at thirty miles an hour. The railroad train, 
which we then thought beyond our dreams of acquisition in our 



wooded, , hilly country, is now too slow, and we would rather stay at 
home than take the boresome ride of three hours by train." 

The ox team was the general mode of travel in the early days. 
Many a Nemaha county family recalls traveling from Ohio, Illinois, 
even Pennsylvania, by ox or mule team. \Miite Cloud in Doniphan 
county, sixty or seventy miles away, was an Indian mission. Food, 
clothing and furniture and necessities were taken to White Cloud on 
the old Missouri river side-wheeled steamboats. One Nemaha county 
woman recalls that her mother needed more furniture to comfortably 
accomodate her growing family. With mule team they started out with 
two children and wagons to drive to White Cloud, over hill, valley, 
prairie and unbridged stream., to bring home the needed furnishings. 
The trip was an event, and the furniture was safely brought back to 
the delight of the waiting children at home. 

Men and women who herded their father's cattle and sheep over 
the unfenced fields and pastures of Nemaha county's early days are 
now flying around in automobiles and looking with assurance on the 
eventual ownership of an aeroplane. Spinning by field after field a 
Nemaha county man said : "I have herded stock over every foot of this 
ground. Just there was a lake, above it was another. We called this 
rise 'the big hill' and it is scarcely more now than a moderately undulating 
field. The topography of the country has changed almost compara- 
tively with our mode of transportation. I have stood on the back of 
my pony in my bare feet and galloped over hill and dale to corral my 
cattle. Horse back and across lots was the way we got around those 
days. Today we are not allowed on the wrong side of a built road. We 
must pass a man on the left side. We must pull to the right, and we 
cannot cut across a street that a policeman does not grab us by the arm 
and pull us the right way. Those were truly the days of freedom, if the 
method was in a measure slower than it is today." 

And it was several years before the method of transportation was 
advanced materially in Nemaha county from the ox team, the mule 
train, the Indian pony or the spanking, stylish team for Sunday use. 

As early as i860, there was, of course, "talk" among the settlers of 
getting a railroad into Nemaha county. St. Joseph was to be the start- 
ing point, and the railroad was to extend through the northern tier of 
Kansas counties. The road was in fact laid for a few miles from St. 
Joseph through Elwood and as far as Wathena. But the unsettled con- 
.ditions, and then the declaration of war, stopped all preparations or 
even thought of railroads. During all that stressful period, mail was 
brought to the county only by overland and pony service. Even Ne- 
maha county forgot the railroads, for Nemaha county sent most of her 
men to the war. 

In 1862, a desultory attempt was made to revive the railroad ques- 
tion in Doniphan county, but few attended the called meeting. Two 
years later, the broth was again stirred at Seneca, which was as mea- 


gerly attended as at the Doniphan meeting. The hearts of the people 
were at the front, their souls and bodies could find no comfort in the 
thought of a railroad at that time. But 1865 saw an end to the hostil- 
ities. The remaining soldiers were gathered beneath their own roofs, 
and the cultivation of vine and fig tree again commenced. Then was 
the railroad found to be a necessity, and no one stood upon the order 
of its securing. 

In the spring of 1866 an election was held to vote bonds for $125,000 
to aid in the building of a railroad. The election carried and a meeting- 
was held a few days later in Hiawatha, Brown county, for organizing a 
company to further the railroad acquirement. Samuel Lappin, of Seneca, 
was made president of the organization, F. H. Drenning, secretary, and 
W. B. Barnett, treasurer. Eleven directors, three of whom were Ne- 
maha county men, were elected as a board of directors. In the fall of 
that year two roads were consolidated and named the St. Joseph & Den- 
ver. But Nemaha county did not get her share of the road until four 
years later. "Rome was not built in a day," neither are railroads ex- 
tended in that length of time. In 1870, however, the road entered Ne- 
maha count}' at Sabetha. legal differences and other matters having been 
adjusted. It continues west through Oneida, Seneca, Baileyville and on 
through Nemaha county, Marshall county, thence into Nebraska to 
Grand Island. 

The railroad is owned by the I'nion Pacific, and is called the St. 
Joseph & Grand Island. Nemaha county people have always laughed 
over their exclusive railroad and put up with it. It is one of the best 
"feeders" in the country, traveling as it does through the most pro- 
ductive and richest part of Kansas and Nebraska. A Nemaha county 
man was far awaj-- from home recently looking at a motion picture play 
which had been made in the East. His great surprise and amuse- 
ment at seeing a bunch of "strike breakers" unload from a St. Joseph & 
Grand Island box car, took him directh^ back to the pastures green of his 
boyhood home. 

The northeastern section of the county, several years afterward. 
secured a branch of the Rock Island railroad, which enters the county 
at Sabetha, extends north\yest, leaving it at Bern and extending to Fair- 
bury, Neb., thence connecting with through trains from Chicago to 

In the southern part of the county runs the Central Branch of the 
Missouri Pacific, which was the first railroad to enter the county. The 
Central Branch was surveyed as early as 1863, and was ably aided by 
the State and government in its advance across the State of Kansas. It 
was given scandalous assistance and has become the stock joke of the 
kerosene circuit actor, who aims his batteries at the Central Branch's 
inefficiency and always receives tumultuous applause for his jibes. The 
Central Branch was given $16,000 a mile for a distance of 100 miles 
from .Atchison to W^aterville. It enters Nemaha countv at Wetmore and 


continues west through Goff, Corning and Centralia, across the entire 
southern section of the county. The State also ceded to the railroad 
alternate sections of land along its track on both sides, and the terri- 
tories back of these sections for a distance of ten miles. The county, 
having given its birthright to such an extent, was not obliged to give 
hard cash. In 1866 the railroad reached Wetmore, and Centralia a year 
later. AVetmore was established by the entrance of the railroad. 

It was now that numerous Nehama county towns virtually picked 
up their beds and walked. Having endeavored to induce the railroads 
to come to them and failed, the residents of the neglected town moved 
to the railroads. 

The grade over the hills to Albany, one of the earliest towns in the 
county, was found unfeasible b}- the surveyors of the St. Joseph & Grand 
Island railroad. So Albany was lifted bodily and taken to Sabotha, 
which was easier of approach. 

Centralia moved over the hill to the Central Branch railroad, a dis- 
tance of a mile, after having her root, if not her branch, firmly in the 
ground for seven years previous. 

The original Corning l^ecame known as "Old Corning" when the 
new Corning was established on the railroad. Old Corning was a mile 
and a half away, and that part of it which did not move to the New 
Corning on the railroad, dissolved into farm lands. 

While these towns moved, others were established on the railroad 
as need came, and still others faded gradually away as the need for them 
lessened, as has been told in forerunning pages. 

From Kansas City to Seneca was established another branch of the 
Missouri Pacific some years after these original through railroads. It 
is the Kansas City Northwestern and goes through the western part of 
the county, through Centralia, Goff and Seneca to Virginia City, Neb. 

The early and intermediate history of Nemaha county is woven 
with day and night dreams of railroads gridironing this section of the 
country. Especially in the early days, the vision of the Kansas pioneer 
knew no bounds. The flights of imagination were confined to no trade 
or profession. If a blacksmith opened a shop on a cross roads, his fancy, 
as he hammered on his anvil, built a magic city upon the fields and 
prairies that surrounded him. 

Railroads were built on paper in every part of Nemaha county and 
a divisional headquarters, eating house and shops were located in the 
particular spot on which the dream originated. So strange is the turn 
of events that the visions of railroads of the early days are today 
changed into dreams of automobiles and paved highways throughout 
the county, a dream that probably will be realized before this history 
is many years old. The railroads are growing; less important in the 
scheme of life except as freight carriers. 

As an example, we smile today at the Netawaka, Woodland 
& Northwestern Railway Company. This railroad project got into the 


serious class in 1884, when articles of incorporation were filed for the 
building of the road. The charter of the company located the line from 
Netawaka via Granada, Woodland and Oneida to Pawnee Cit_v, Neb., 
where, in the big imaginative scheme, it would interest the old B. & M. 
line. At Netawaka, of course, the road had an outlet in the Central 
Branch and "all points east." 

So it went. There was agitation for months. But the same was 
true of other localities, each of which had its pet railroad scheme at 
different times. 

Even as late as ten years ago the Falls City, S_ycamore Springs, 
Sabetha & Southwestern railroad was planned. Sycamore Springs had 
developed a big sanitarium. W. L. Kauffman, the proprietor, and the 
community in general saw big things in this new railroad. The com- 
munity, in other words, lost none of its optimism and its faith. This 
project was pushed hard and for a time it looked as if the railroad 
would be built by the sheer force of the enthusiasm of its promoters. 
A blue print of the route was made, a careful survey having been com- 

Mr. Kauffman, a prime mover for the railroad, had made a noted 
place of Sycamore Springs. He had the Kansas spirit. He believed in 
his springs. The springs had a traditional fame. Indians had gone 
there to be cured for unknown generations. This is shown by archeo- 
logists who examined the locality and arrived at their conclusions from 
the type of relics unearthed in that locality. 

Miles from the nearest town, Mr. Kauffman erected a stone hotel 
of sixty rooms at the springs. He equipped it with a waterworks sys- 
tem and other modern conveniences, and the "world made a path to 
his doorway." Then, having erected this modern hostlery out in the open 
country, he proceeded to arrange for a railroad to it, tapping numerous 
lines of railway at Falls City and Sabetha. 

Then came the automobile. It was the last railroad dream of the 

The St. Joseph & Grand Island railroad was the pioneer road of 
Kansas. Its three miles of track laid from St. Joseph to near Wathena 
in i860 were the original rails of steel into a future garden spot, then 
regarded as an enterprise of doubtful value. While the Grand Island 
was the first Kansas railroad, it was not the first line into Nemaha 
county, for the old Atchison & Pike's Peak line, now known as the 
Central Branch, traversed the southern part of the county before the 
Grand Island was completed west of Hiawatha. 

W. P. King, a writer of fifteen years ago, tells a very interesting 
story of the trials, troubles and tribulations of the Grand Island, and re- 
lates the history of its inception. A history of Nemaha would nt he com- 
plete without giving the early record of the Grand Island. For it was 
this line with which the county most concerned itself. .And it is the 
Grand Island that has figured most prominently in the progress and 
prosperity of the county. 


The section of country tributary to the St. Joseph & Grand Island 
was a part of the Missouri territory, and in 1854. when the Kansas-Ne- 
braska act was passed, was comprised in the Great American desert. The 
only part of Kansas that was then believed as likely ever to be of value 
was that north of the Kansas river and west as far as the Big Blue 
river. Included in this territory is Nemaha county. 

All the territory outside of this boundary was esteemed to be the 
home and heritage of the wandering Indian tribes and the buffalo. 
Kansas was inhabited by many tribes of Indians who had reservations, 
l^pon the northern part opposite St. Joseph were the Sac and Fox In- 
dians and the Iowa Indians, removed from the Missouri side and one 
time owners of the Platte purchase. 

Joseph Robidoux, founder of St. Joseph, had in 1826 established a 
trading post at the mouth of the Blacksnake to catch the trade of the 
Indians passing from Agency Ford, Grand Kiver and Western Missouri 
to Highland, in Doniphan county, Kansas, where there was quite an 
Indian settlement. At that date the country, after passing a few miles 
west of St. Joseph, was covered with buffalo grass. The rains were in- 
frequent in summer and grass and herbage generally dried up by Au- 
gust, so it was hardly possible to pass over the country west of the 
river in the fall or winter with teams. In 1853, 1854 and 1855 there 
was no running water from June until November between the Missouri 
river and the Big Blue. Parties from St. Joseph, sending out goods in 
wagons to the stations during those months, had to carry water with 
them. Today there are many streams and hundreds of springs that 
never go dry. This change is largely due to the ground cultivation and 
the cessation of burning the prairies every fall by the Indians in order 
to confine the game to the small wooded valleys of the streams. 

A ferry was established at the Big Blue at a Pawnee trading post 
known now as Marysville, and in 1853 General Frank Marshall and 
James Doniphan bought it. In 1854 the laid out the town of Marys- 
ville and named it for Mrs. Mary Marshall, calling the county Marshall 
for General Marshall. 

In 1849 the Ihiited States sent out a regiment of soldiers, laid out a 
route known as the military road, from Ft. Leavenworth to the Big Blue 
at Marysville, and built forts at Laramie, Ft. Hall and the Dalles. This 
was the main route traveled by the Argonauts of California south of the 
Platte for many years and much the larger number traveled this route. 

In 1850, a large part of the California emigration crossed at St. 
Joseph and passed up Peters creek by Troy, Kans., and united with the 
"military road at Kinnekenick, in Brown county, and thence through 
Nemaha county to the Big Blue at Marysville. 

When the territory was admitted, in 1854, many settlers rushed 
into Doniphan county, as the lands were esteemed valuable. But set- 
tlements were pushed out in Brown, Nemaha and Mar.shall counties. 
L'p to 1861 there were few settlers except in small towns and stage sta- 


tions. Marshall county, now one of the largest corn producing counties 
of the State, was then believed to be barren soil, unable to produce 
anything except sunflowers and buffalo grass. Beyond the Big Blue but 
few settlements were made until the railroads penetrated that region. 

In 1854, Magraw, the conductor for the stage line across the con- 
tinent, had established a station at Guittard, nine miles east of Marys- 
ville, another two miles from Hanover called Hollandberg ; another at 
the mouth of Elk Creek, where it joins the Little Blue ; another on the 
Big Sandy, one at the Lone Elm in the Platte valley and then at Ft. 

The idea of the originators of the St. Joseph and Grand Island rail- 
road was to follow as nearly as the topography of the country would 
allow, this route to the valley of the Big Platte, and then to the Pacific 
as laid out by the military road. The country is now a prolific farming 
region, one of the most highly cultivated and productive in the l^nion. 
A colony of South Carolinians, becoming tired of trying to make Kansas 
a slave State, bought the claim adjoining Marysville and called the town 
Palmetto. In February, 1857, the Kansas Legislature passed an act 
chartering a railroad from St. Joseph to the Big Blue, "The Marysville, 
Palmetto & Roseport railroad," entitled as follows : "An act to incor- 
porate the Marysville, or Palmetto & Roseport Railroad Company; ap- 
proved February 17, 1857." 

The charter named as incorporators Robert M. Stewart, afterward 
Governor of Missouri ; W. P. Richardson, Indian agent at Doniphan, 
Kans., one of the sturdy pioneers of the West ; Gen. J. F. Marshall, then 
a citizen of Mary.sville ; Belah M. Hughes, of St. Joseph ; Richard Rose, 
John W. Foreman, an Indian trader, of Doniphan ; Willard P. Hall, 
afterward Governor of Missouri ; Gen. George H. Hall, of St. Joseph ; 
A. M. Mitchell, who laid out South St. Joseph in 1853 ; Reuben Middle- 
ton, a pioneer merchant of St. Joseph in 1842, one of the first men to 
build up the Salt Lake trade in 1849: R. H. Jenkins, a Kansas politician, 
who died in 1861 ; Fred W. Smith, pioneer of St. Joseph ; W. S. Brewster, 
long since deceased. 

On February 20, 1857, the territorial legislature of Kansas incor- 
porated the St. Joseph & Topeka Railroad Company. The incorporators 
were mostly citizens of Kansas, and the city of St. Joseph voted aid to 
the company, and October 20, 1850, a contract was entered into be- 
tween these two companies to own the right of way jointly for the rail- 
road from Elwood or Roseport to Troy and use the same track. This 
road afterward changed its route and ran down the river from Wathena 
to Doniphan and thence to Atchison. 

It was long since sold out at foreclosure and the right of way pur- 
chased by Jay Gould and sold to the Rock Island after the track had 
been removed and the iron sent west to lay switches, side tracks, etc., 
on the Grand Island. 

But we will go back to the Marysville & Roseport company. Rose- 


port, by the way, was one of the early day names for Elwood. The 
seventh section of the original act, approved February 17, 1857, gave 
the company the power to survey work, locate and construct a railroad 
from Marysville to Roseport in the territory of Kansas so as to connect 
with the St. Joseph & Hannibal Railroad Company, which traversed 
Missouri from St. Joseph to the Mississippi river. 

Under the law of 1857 this company was organized on February 
26, 1857, and directors were elected and $100,000 in capital stock was 

In i860 three miles of the track was laid and ties and iron laid to 
near Wathena, the company having an engine called the Mud Cat. At 
a meeting of the stockholders, held on April 17, 1862, the name was 
changed to the St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad Company. 

Nothing was done until 1866, when a local company was formed 
under the general incorpration laws of Kansas known as the Northern 
Kansas Railroad & Telegraph Company. The incorporators were citi- 
zens of Kansas. It was framed under the belief that it could get aid 
from the State of Kansas and more favorable legislation than the old 
St. Joseph & Denver City railroad, on account of the connection of Gen. 
Jeff Thompson and other Southerners with that road in its earlier his- 
tory, as well as to secure a grant of 125,000 acres of land from the 
State of Kansas, which it was feared could not be held by the St. Joseph 
& Denver City Railroad Company. 

Articles of incorporation were signed on January 17, 1866, under 
the general railroad laws of 1865 of the State of Kansas, and were signed 
by Thomas A. Osborne, Frank Drenning, Sol Miller and C. E. Fox, of 
Doniphan county ; Ira Lacock, Samuel Spear and C. E. Parker, of Brown 
county, and George Graham, of Nemaha county; E. C. Manning and J. 
B. Brumbaugh, of Marshall county, and Henry Hollenberg and E. Bal- 
lard, of Washington count)-, all of Kansas. 

Samuel Lappin, of Seneca, was elected president, and a board of 
directors in May, 1866. The consolidation took palce in October. 1866. 
the name of the St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad Company being 

In January, 1866, the work was commenced from Wathena west, 
and the following October the city of St. Joseph voted $500,000 stock to 
the road. In 1869 the road was built to Troy and located to Hiawatha. 
Doniphan county voted bonds to aid its construction. The Kansas Leg" 
islature granted odd sections of land as far west as the looth meridian 
for the benefit of the railroad. At that time the road was located only 
to Hanover. It is believed by many that if the road had been located up 
the Republican river toward Denver the company would have olitained 
over one and one-half million acres of land. r)y the location made, it 
received only 640,000 acres. 

Construction was pushed westward through Nemaha county to 
Marysville in 1871. In 1879 Jay Gould bought a controlling interest, the 


road having been completed to Hastings, Neb., 227 miles west of St. 
Joseph. In 1885 the road was reorganized and named the St. Joseph & 
Grand Island, the road having been completed to Grand Island with 
capital furnished by Jay Gould several years previously. 

Nemaha county voted $100,000 for the road, but escaped payment 
through a technicality. 











When Central City, Richmond and other aspirants to the throne lost 
definitely the county seat, they resignedly laid down their hands, while 
Seneca departed with the spoils. She has had little difficulty in retain- 
ing her seat since. Richmond was carried over the short distance and 
added to the population of Seneca in a body. Little by little the other 
small settlements thereabout drifted in and made themselves at home, 
on one or more of the town lots, every other one of which the Senecans 
had donated to the town company. 

Seneca had been staked off and spoken for as a suitable town seat 
by J. B. Ingersoll in 1857. Mr. Ingersoll called his claim Castle Rock. 
He was not included in the original town company, however, which was 
composed of C. G. Scrafford, Royal Torrey, Samuel and Finley I.appin, 
who immediately changed the name to Seneca, whether for the Indians 
of that name or the great Roman statesman has never been divulged. 

Seneca started out bravely with metropolitan ideas and hopes. The 
first house erected on the town site of Seneca was no modest log house 
of one room divided by a curtain, as is the usual pioneer dwelling. It 
was a double log house, built after what is now called the "Colonial 
plan" with a wide hall running through the center. Finley Lappin 
moved into one end of the house and reserved the other end, using it for 
a hotel. The other side of the "hall" was used for a grocery store. In 
addition the Lappin end was utilized by Samuel Lappin for an office 
when he was elected registrar of deeds. The house invariably served 
double purposes after its terms as hotel, grocery and office of registrar 
of deeds were served. It became a dwelling and a grocery shop : a car- 




penter shop and had various uses until finally Mr. Lappin tore it down 
and erected a drug store. 

The second structure on the town site of Seneca was as simple and 
picturesque as the first one was magnificent, even for those early times. 
It was a blacksmith shop erected on four poles and covered with a roof 
of brush. The glow of the forge at night beneath its quaint covering 
was a beckoning finger for the few pioneers to gather around for a visit, 
and plan for Seneca's future and Nemaha's great renown. 


The blacksmith, himself, was not less attractive than his shop. He 
could not only shoe horses and hang a wheel, but was a writer, who 
contributed tales of his western pioneer home, as glowing and bril- 
liant as the fire in his forge. Levi Hensel was his name, and he became 
widely known as correspondent for the New York "Tribune." His 
daughter was the first child born in Seneca. She was given a town lot 
at her birth. 

Then came to Seneca, residents who have done much for the fame, 
honor and riches of the town and the count)^ John E. Smith with his 
wife, sons, brother and sister, and accompanied by Charles. George 
W. and Eliza Williams, arrived in March. 1858. from Derry. N. H. 
Mr. Smith first built his house, whicli became known as Smith's 
Hotel. Moreover he brought from New England machinery for a mill. 
This was taken by train to St. Louis, brought as far as Atchison by 
steamer and overland by ox team from Atchison. The Smith Hotel 
served two purposes as well as the Lappin place, for it was utilized as 
Seneca's first school and Miss Addie Smith taught the first school there 
in 1858. 

Buildings were becoming not so rare a luxury now. although there 
was some excitement when the first building of concrete stone was 


erected, which later was torn down for a building of natural stone. 
Meantime, dwellings were going up, and within a couple of years the 
first court house was built and business affairs moved along as smoothly 
a town of more years. 

Two hotels in a village of less than two hundred people may seem 
an unnecessary outlay, but it was not. Seneca was on the Denver Over- 
land road and the hotels were kept busy. Immigration was immense at 
that time. Gold seekers still were going to California. Denver was a 
lure. Pike's Peak was as tempting as the golden rivers of California. 
The western lands of Kansas were advertised all over the east, with 


maps of thriving cities, streams of smoke pouring from factory chim- 
ne\s, and populous streets picturing an irresistable temptation. Run- 
ning a hotel in those days was a real money making business. A dollar 
was charged for all meals, and it was not an unusual thing to have the 
tables crowded full meal after meal. 

From six residents, when Seneca secured the county seat from its 
rivals, within six years it had grown to a population of 300; a transient 
population of twenty-five to thirty daily; two hotels, a grist mill, saw 
mill, school, jewelry store, hardware store, newspaper, several other 
business buildings, county buildings and dwellings. In the early eighties 
Seneca had 1,500 inhabitants, and now it has 2,000. 


It seems rather a pity that Seneca has not become a real metropolis, 
for her streets are laid out with such generous width, that a cityful could 
be accommodated in them. 

Why is it that a town laid out and planned with generosity in the 
matter of streets, remains of lesser proportions, while a city grows from 
a village that has crooked, crammed streets, and forefathers who do not 
appreciate the beauty of being generous in the first place, are fol- 
lowed by property owners who refuse to be generous when necessity fi- 
nally comes? 

At any rate, Seneca is to be congratulated on the breadth of her 
streets. In the past year the question of paving has arisen in the town. 
The proposition is to put a parking down the center of this beautiful 
main thoroughfare, and pave on either side. 

Seneca's main street has other pleasing points to offer. It is 
blessed Avith quaint stone churches, covered with vines. It has not suc- 
cumbed to modernity and destroyed the handiwork of generous fore- 
fathers at the instigation of fashionable offspring. It has retained its 
quiet, quaint dignity, and is unique in that. There are homes and de- 
lightful, secluded spots in Seneca that remind one of old New England 
homes occupied for 300 years by the descendants of one family. It is 
refreshing to come upon such a town in a State where most villages and 
cities are as painfully new as patent leather shoes always appear to be. 

From this do not gather that Seneca is not progressive and moving 
right along in the direction of wealth and prosperity. Where thirty 
years ago there stood a dozen business houses and two small hotels, 
today there are : 

Two newspapers, the "Tribune" and the /'Courier-Democrat" 

Frank Strathmann, photographer 

Albert Koelzer, photographer 

B. F. Townsend, blacksmith 

A. H. Grollmes, blacksmith 

John Quinlan. blacksmith 

Ole Nelson, blacksmith 

J. J. Buser, Buser Auto Co., garage. Maxwell, Hudson and Dodge 

Highway Garage, C. C. Firstenberger, Buick and Ford 

Bailie Keith, garage and repair shop 

Earl Goodrich. Metz cars and garage 


W. F. Thompson 

T. E. Rooney 

Bert Woods' 

Abbie W. Kennard 

Crandall & Bruner Realtv Co. 




C. C. K. Scoville 
Ira Wells 
John Stowell 
Emery & Emery 

Charles Schrempp 
Charles Herold 
H. M. Baldwin 
F. L. Gearv 

H. G. Snyder 
U. G. lies 
J. Rudbeck 

J. J. Sullivan 
F. W. Drum 


A. M. Brewer 
C. E. Telle 


Hurst Fitzsjerald 
H. F. Davis 


C. A. Richard, Community 
Rev. Guoin, Episcopal 
Irvin McMurray, Methodist Episcopal 
Christian Science 

Catholic, Father Joseph Sittenauer, O. S. B., pastor; 
Father Gabriel Vonderstein, assistant 


Walter Sperling's Jewelry Store 

Seneca Shale and Brick Company plant 

Seneca Planing Mill 

Municipal Electric Light and ^'Vater Plant 

Seneca Ice and Pop Plant 

Gilford Hotel 

New Royal Theater 

Cameron House 

West End House 

Will Carey's Restaurant 

John Meinberg's Restaurant 

Peter Schmitt's Steam Baker\' 

Otto Kelm's Home Bakery 

Wempe & Buening, Department Store 

Honeywell & Stein, "The Leader" Department Store 

K. J. Nash, Dry Goods and Merchandise 


M. A. Reckow, Variety Store 

B. F. Staubus, Mammoth Racket Store 

August Kramer, Hardware 

Fuller & Son, Hardware 

A. L. L, Scoville, Hardware 

First National Bank and Seneca State Savings Bank, in one building 

under same directors 
National Bank of Seneca 
Citizens State Bank 
Ralph Johnson, Groceries 
E. R. Mathews, Groceries 
A. E. Levick, Groceries 
Thomas Routh, Exclusive Shoe Store 
Buehler Clothing Company, Men's Clothiers 
Firstenberger & Son, Men's Clothiers 
John L. Clark, Drug Store 
D. B. Harsh, Drug Store 
H. E. Jenkins, Drug Store 
August Haug, Butcher Shop 
L. P. Alexander, Butcher Shop 
Jenkins & Avery, Butcher Shop 

Seneca, having a good start on hotels in the first place, has kept 
on in the right direction, and now one of the famous hostelries of north- 
eastern Kansas is the Gilford Hotel. In a town of 2,000 people, to be 
driven up to a hotel worthy of a town of 20,000 is something of itself. 
Then to be taken into a cool, spacious dining room, seated by a window 
at a table with white tablecloth and a bouquet of country flowers, look- 
ing out on a sloping green hill and bine sky, with no disreputable shacks 
or smoky chimneys interposing between your vision and the fair sight, 
is a delightful surprise. 

The Gilford hotel was named in honor of its builders in a euphonious 
combination of their names : John A. Gilchrist and Charles G. Scrafford. 
Mr. Gilchrist was formerly interested in the Seneca State Bank, now 
the National Bank of Seneca. He lives now in El Paso, Texas, but has 
left behind him a monument of pride to the entire county. Mr. Scraf- 
ford was the pioneer merchant of Seneca. He built the first hotel in 
White Cloud and the first saw mill there. But White Cloud, with its 
Indian agency and increasing citizenship, was becoming too civilized 
and metropolitan for the adventurous and delightful Mr. Scrafford, so he 
sought new worlds to concpier and removed to Seneca, where he opened 
a general store in i860. With ox teams he crossed the prairie between 
Missouri and Seneca to haul his goods and lumber for his building and 
, stock. The stuff had to be ferried across the Missouri river, then loaded 
on the wagons, and across the open prairies the ox teams carried the 
goods, a trip that could not take less than four days with such a load, 


longer than it takes now to go by rail to California. Mr. Scrafford was 
in business, both mercantile and banking, with Finley Lappin. He 
married Mr. Lappin's daughter, a brilliant, witty woman, whose wit 
has increased with her years. Mr. Scrafford was an early day town 
trustee, later was mayor, and altogether was one of the moving spirits 
of Seneca. 

Seneca is the most cosmopolitan town in Nemaha county, in that 
many different countries are represented by her pioneer citizens. Mr. 
and Mrs. John W. Fuller celebrated on January i, 1916, their sixtieth 
wedding anniversary, their wedding having occurred in Kent, England. 
The marriage occurred in the little parish church in the village of Ash- 
ford. Mr. Fuller has a fund of reminiscences of his native country and 
pioneer days in the land of his adoption. 

Mr. Fuller accounts for immigration to Kansas from England in 1870 
in telling of the meetings of workingmen held at 18 Denmark street, 
Soho, London, England. He says this was a great place for working- 
men to congregate. They met and discussed the best way to mitigate 
the conditions of the English workingmen. Among them was John Rad- 
ford, a big talker, quite a power in that way, but impractical. Jim and 
Charley Murray were other Englishmen who talked to the English 
workers. It was planned for a colony to settle near Goff, Kansas, and 
Edward Granger Smith was superintendent of the colonization plan. 
Those who migrated at that time were promised a fourteen-room house 
When they reached Kansas nothing of the sort was to be found. Mr. 
Fuller was obliged to house, if it could be so called, his family, consist- 
ing of a wife and six children, in a frame room fourteen by ten feet, with 
a leaky roof over it. 

There were seventeen in the party who came over from England 
with the Fuller family. 

As for their exact location, Mr. Fuller says it was not named, but 
their destination was the forty-eighth mile post. Their particular sec- 
tion was 25, twenty miles and a half due north of this point, and divided 
into ten-acre tracts, which they expected to plant to wheat. 

They reached this point in May. Edward Granger Smith, pro- 
moter and prime mover, accompanied them, but he died within a short 
time after their arrival. In recalling the incident, Mr. Fuller says that 
he made the coffin, and donning some Odd Fellows' regalia which he 
had brought from England, he repeated from memory the burial service 
of the English church. Later he performed the same services over the 
body of another pioneer named Dewey. 

In telling of the first planting on their scant acreage, Mr, Fuller 
says he traded three hogs for enough wheat to plant his ten acres. It 
was spring wheat and this for fall planting, but it made a splendid crop, 
which he sold to Don Rising for $1.10 a bushel. 

Mr. Fuller also recalls that he bought a ten-acre plot with improve- 
ments from John Stowell, who was there a year earlier, paying about $2 
for all, land which now would doubtless bring $200 an acre. 


In August after these emigrants came, a preacher named Smith 
built a house, there, making it a sort of postoffice, with siding for a 

They did anything for a livelihood. Installments were sent over 
from the workingmen in England. Mr. Fuller remembers going to At- 
chison to cash a check sent from there. He helped to build the railroad 
from Atchison to ^^'aterville. He was put to sawing wood for the loco- 
motive, probably because he was large and strong, and received $2 a 
day for it. 

Mrs. Fuller recalls planting ten acres to corn, using a hatchet to 
make the holes. It was, of course, sod corn, but it came up, making a 
fair yield. In the spring of 1871 they moved to Centralia, where there 
was a similar colony. The Mechanic's building in old Centralia is still 

The following year the John AV. Fuller family moved to Seneca, 
locating where the business block of Lieutenant Governor Felt was later 
built. They made tin roofs or any kind of work they could get. At one 
time Mr. Fuller bound wheat for John Koelzer for $2 a day and board. 
Having been brought up a mechanic, Mr. Fuller says this was the 
hardest work he ever did in his life. 

On the trip of these emigrant English, from New York to Kansas, 
a stop was made at Elkhart, Ind. Mr. Fuller went into a shop there 
and asked for treacle, which is English for molasses. The store keeper 
was nonplused what to give the purchaser. A Kentish boy happened 
to enter the store during the discussion and explained that molasses 
was what was wanted. Thieves and sharks were all along the line to 
victimize the emigrants. In their stop in Chicago, while the family was 
housed for the night in a freight depot, the Kentish boy watched over 
them all night to protect them from these depredations. 

Seneca has among her residents a famous Italian, Antonio Raffo, 
whose restaurant for many years was the goal of every epicure Avho was 
so fortunate as to have heard of him. Antonio Raffo ran a restaurant 
many, many years ago in Baltimore. He married an American woman 
named Katie Brooks. Together they ran the famous restaurant in 
Seneca, which, if conducted today, would make the town a goal for au- 
tomobilists from all over this section of Kansas and the neighboring 
Nebraska. Katie Raffo died twenty-five years ago. Her husband seemed 
to have lost his zest at this grevious parting, and closed the restaurant. 
He was very devoted to her, and loves her as fondly today. Her grave 
is one of the most perfectly kept anywhere. Mr. Raffo is a veteran of two 
wars, and his back pension enabled him to retire comfortably. He owns 
two properties. His present home he keeps himself, and it is said that 
Antonio Raffo, veteran of the Crimean war and the Civil war, is the best 
housekeeper in Nemaha county. 

Antonio Raffo's father was a soldier under Napoleon Bonaparte. 
Raffo was born in America, but his love for battle was inborn. When 


the Crimean war broke out Raffo vvorked his way across the ocean to 
Italy on a merchant vessel and enlisted with the Zouaves. He was only 
nineteen years old, but distinguished himself in the famous war when 
England. Russia. Italy and France fought for the possession of Crimea. 

A. Raffo is the second Nemaha county citizen who fought in the 
Crimean war and was present at the famous battle of Sebastopol. He 
tells, in his quaint pronunciations, of the dazzling feats of the Italian 
Zouaves who scaled walls and wrested guns from the slower Russians 
on the walls of the city. He was one of seventeen men to receive a Vic- 
torian cross for his conspicuous bravery in the attacks on Balaklava and 
Malkoff. At the close of the war he returned to America and opened 
his Baltimore restaurant.. Here also he joined the Baltimore guards, 
who volunteered for service to capture John Brown at Harper's Ferry. 
Antonio Raffo was with the men who captured the famous John 
Brown, whose body may "hang on a sour apple tree, but whose soul 
still goes marching on." 

Baltimore thugs and toughs also went along in the free train to 
assist in the capture. But finding that Brown and ten negroes were 
fortified in a metal engine house they disappeared. The Baltimore 
guards surrounded the engine house, and with timbers as battering rams 
crashed in the door. Brown's men then opened fire, concentrating it on 
one spot. Only four guards fell. The guards then entered and every 
man was killed except John Brown and one negro. The negro was 
felled by an officer and Raffo, because of his Crimean experience, ban- 
daged his wounds. Then Brown was seen and recognized. "I guess 
he would have been killed right there if I had not protected him," said 

In 1861, because of his military experience, Raffo was employed as 
a drill master by the State of West Virginia. He then enli.sted for 
service in Company C, Seventh regiment. West \"irginia volunteers. 
Others in his regiment said that he was considered the handsomest man 
in the regiment and could have had any position, if he could have spoken 
English better. 

Another Nemaha county resident who served in the war of the 
Crimea was John Williams, who had lived on his same farm for fifty 
years until his death in 1914. He was a sailor on a British man-of-war 
and saw service during the entire war. He saw the famous charge of 
"Six Hundred" at the battle of Balaklava. He was present at the taking 
of Odessa. Mr. Williams was born in Swansea, Wales, and came to 
Nemaha county two years after the close of the Crimean war. 

A third Nemaha county man to distinguish himself in the Crimean 
war, for Great Britain, was Dr. W. F. Troughton, of Seneca. Dr. 
Troughton held the position of assistant surgeon in a royal artillery 
regiment at Gibraltar. He came to Nemaha county in 1865, the year 
he was graduated from the St. Thomas Medical College of London, 
where he studied under Dr. Skelton. He was a native of Westmorland, 


England, and married Anne Daryes in England before coming to this 
country. He has been prominent in Seneca affairs for many years. 

A rare citizen of Seneca, and, beyond any cavil, its most beloved, is 
Mrs. Emily Collins, who has taught the primary grade in Seneca schools 
for thirty-eight consecutive 3'ears. She is teaching the children of the. 
children whom she had taught. 

Before Seneca is laid aside for her smaller sisters' stories, a word 
should be said of Jake Cohen, of beloved memory, without which no 
history of Seneca would be complete. Mr. Cohen was a gentle Jew. 
He was elected mayor of the city with few dissenting votes in a town 
largely Catholic, and with the rest of the people Protestants, but broad 
and fine enough to recognize merit and admire quality in one of dif- 
ferent belief. Mr. Cohen rescued Seneca from depression. He made the 
town physically and morally clean. He gave such an impetus to the up- 
ward that Seneca will never slip back to civic slothfulness again. And 
when Jake Cohen died several years afterward, every store in Seneca 
was closed, and every resident, children and all, went to his funeral, and 
we still mourn him. 

Seneca had a revival during the reign of Mr. Cohen, which tore the 
town from cellar to dome. While it was a civic revival, it was none 
the less religious. The revival did as much practical good as ever a re- 
ligious revival has done ; perhaps more. Cleanliness is next to godliness, 
Seneca concluded. So Seneca cleaned up and a professional revivalist, 
who advanced civic improvement, was employed to engineer the job. 
He preached better streets, cleaner alleys, better lawns, painted houses 
and a more sightly town. He delivered lectures in the theater, went 
to the farmers on the streets and talked to them and stirred things up 
generally. The Seneca Commercial Club paid him, and he was worth 
all he received. There is a rich field for this kind of an cA-angelist. There 
should be a few of them living in each town. The Seneca papers were 
filled with the revival for weeks. The Seneca Civic ^Movement Eeague 
edited the matter and wrote some pretty hot shots at people who did not 
clean up. and did not hesitate to mention their names. A report got 
•out that a certain clerk in Seneca was taking orders for a mail order 
house. A committee waited on the clerk at once. The movement was the 
best thing that Seneca had done for years, and she is still feeling the 
effects of it. Seneca did not backslide on that revival. 

The broadness which characterizes Seneca has been carried farther 
in recent years by the institution, maintenance and increasing popu- 
larity of the com.munity church. Many small churches of small success 
and difficult work have gathered under the banner of brotherly love, 
kindness, honesty, fairness and good works with no further creed. 
Seneca, a small town of 2,000, has bravely faced the problem that larger 
cities realize is facing the church of today and has clung tenaciously to her 
belief that in union there is strength. The community religious move- 
ment began in 1914 with a series of six sermons delivered in Protestant 


churches, cuhninating in an organization at the old stone churchy March 
9, 1915. It has been remarkably successful in bringing people out to 
church. In bitterly cold weather and excessively hot, people have gath- 
ered under the community banner. The members do not join, they 
simply go — Congregationalists, Universalists, Presbyterians, Christians, 
Episcopalians, Scientists and Methodists. The community church is not 
for the church work alone : it is supposed to reach every phase of civic 
life, and consequently everything in which any man is interested. 

Then the Senecans combined and built a tabernacle, an open, 
screened building, the material and the work for which was largely 
donated and the money raised by giving a home talent chautauqua. Ex- 
perienced builders supervised the work, G. A. Shaul and Roy Vorhees, 
whose work was also a gift to the cause. The services were originally 
for Sunday evening onl}", but the organization haxing been com- 

pleted, services will be held twice on Sunday hereafter. In the winter 
a floor was put down, also a gift, and the tabernacle building is used 
in winter for basket ball, indoor base ball and similar entertainment. In 
the summer the chautauqua, public meetings, or any kind of wholesome 
entertainment is given free use of the community building. The girls 
are kept entertained afternoons in the community building by games, 
and the boys are entertained evenings, or both are entertained together. 
The home chautauqua has been organized into a permanent association, 
and the athletics into a managing concern called the Independent Ath- 
letic Association. The regular ball games are charging for admission 


to pay for the himber in the floor. The Congregational Church voted 
not to hire a pastor this year, but will try the community movement for 
six months. Rev. C. A. Richards has had charge of the community 
affairs since its organization ; a splendid, indefatigable, courageous 
young man. who believes that religion is also to be found in one's work 
and one's play. 

The Seneca High School is a building as handsome in appearance 
and surroundings as any city and man}' colleges could afford. It is a 
very beautiful building of pressed brick with cut stone trimming, and is 
located on handsome grounds, with all appliances in the play ground that 
may be found in a progressive city. Beginning with the first school 
taught in 1858, as mentioned, and coming down to R. G. Mueller, head 
of the school today, a witty man and a fine educator, Seneca schools 
have been invariably a matter of pride and congratulation to the town. 
There have been famous men in charge of school matters in Seneca. 
J. C. Hebbard was the first county superintendent of public instruction. 
"Mr. Hebbard made the first county report during the days when Kansas 
was a territory, and Samuel W. Greer was the superintendent of the 
territory. Following Mr. Hebbard, a delightful, cultured man, who 
with his wife was a great assistance in the advance in culture of Nemaha 
county, was John W. Fuller. Mr. Fuller was the second superintendent 
of the county and for sixty years has kept up his personal interest in 
Seneca schools. It was he, who in 1907, insisted that the country schools 
should have manual training. He had been a member then of the Seneca 
School Board for the previous ten years. Mr. Fuller was the first di- 
rector of manual training in Nemaha county schools when the pupils of 
Seneca schools made a bench under his gratuitous supervision. From 
then on Seneca's manual training department has been made increas- 
ingly important. Five sewing machines were installed shortly after- 
ward. At the annual county fair in Seneca the most interesting section 
is the display of dresses, gowns and embroidery made by the Seneca 
children from the first grade to the senior year. The equipment in the 
boys' department was largely made by the pupils themselves. Mr. 
Fuller is an author of some note. His work on "The Art of Copper- 
smithing" is said to be the only treatise on the subject. Another book 
of Mr. Fuller's is "The Geometric Development of Round and Ova! 
Cones." All of which sounds as if he were the proper man to have been 
the leading spirit in teaching a child the honor of working with his 
hands. For years Mr. Fuller made frequent talks to the Seneca school 
children, which did much to keep their enthusiasm aroused along practical 
educational lines. Seneca claims that its manual training department 
has been the most highly developed of any school its size in the State. 
The school children of Seneca have had for nearly forty j^ears an 
invaluable start in their work. Mrs. Fmily Collins has been the primary- 
teacher during this entire period. For years she has been teaching the 
cliildren of former pupils. 


Seneca has a capably administered municipal light and waterworks 
system, which is being operated with such signal success that each year 
witnesses a surplus piling up in the city treasury over and above main- 
tenance and operating expenses. The city water is obtained from a 
never failing source, natural springs eastward beyond the city limits, 
which are safeguarded for all time from pollution, and whose waters 
have been pronounced by the State chemistry department to be abso- 
lutely pure. During the past season (1916) the main thoroughfare of 
the city has been regraded and an experiment in oiling carried out which 
is proving to be an unqualified success. 

In July of 1916 the citizens voted almost unanimously in favor of 
bonding the city for the erection of a new city hall and municipal build- 
ing, to be erected at a cost of $20,000. This building" is being erected on 
city land on the corner diagonally across from the old stone church at 
the western end of the business section and the sale b}- the city and sub- 
sequent removal of smaller buildings took place recently to make room 
for the proposed building, which will house the city offices, the fire de- 
partment, provide a rest room and assembly room for the people. The 
edifice is modern in every respect and will be a matter of pride to every 
Senecan when completed. 







The region in the vicinity of Seneca is essentially and purely an 
agricultural locality. In fact, the whole of Nemaha county is farm land. 
The traveler in passing through the county from the north to south or 
from east to west at any angle of the compass will observe nothing but a 
fertile landscape, dotted with farm houses, big red barns, herds of fat 
cattle, droves of fine horses, great fields of corn, alfalfa and wheat — 
with the blue sky overhead unmarred by a breath of smoke from factory 
chimneys. Instead of the hum of the "wheels of industry." the whirr of 
the reaper is heard in season, and during the harvest time the rattle and 
chug, chug of the thresher is likewise heard on the various farms. These 
will be the only evidences of industrial activity to be found or heard 
aside from the passing of the steam trains and a few necessary local 
manufacturing establishments. 

The on^ exception to the fact that this county is the absolute do- 
main of the farmer is found at Seneca and is the Seneca Brick Manu- 
factory, a thriving industrial concern, which is one of the best managed 
and successful concerns of its kind in the West. This is what might be 
called an "infant industry" as yet, and has been in existence for the past 
ten years, its course of growth having been marked by various vicissi- 
tudes and "ups and downs," which have been apparently solved of late 
since the new and economical system of brick burning has been installed 
by the inventor and superintendent, K. W. Klose. This system is called 
tlie "Klose Continuous Tunnel Kiln." and has excited the attention and 
scientific comment from brick men in all parts of the New and the 
Old World. 

"The Brick and Clay Record," a journal devoted to the brick manu- 
facturing and clay products business, in its issue of December i, 1912, has 
an appreciation and full comment to make regarding the Klose Contin- 
uous Kiln, in operation at the Seneca Shale Brick works, under the title, 


"Makes a Continuous Kiln at Cost of $3,000. Young Kansan May Revo- 
lutionize the Method of Burning Clay With Recent Invention — Simplic- 
ity and Efficiency Mark System, Which Include Drying and Conveying." 

A conveying system that combines simplicity and service, or a 
drying method that is inexpensive and at the same time practical or a 
continuous tunnel kiln that is possible at one-tenth of the present cost of 
construction — either of these three goals would be considered sufficient 
unto itself by the progressive manufacturer. But group all three into 
one compact system, under one roof and not only reduce the cost of con- 
struction and operation, but increase efficiency and improve the product 
and you have an achievement few cla}' workers hope to realize. 

Despite those who have declared it never would be, the goal has 
been reached, and like all milestones in the march of progress, "Neces- 
sity, the Mother of Invention," secures the credit. 

The idealistic combination has gone beyond the experimental stage. 
It actually exists. For the past year a complete brick, tile and hollow 
block plant has been using it at Seneca, Kans., and, as the tidings spread 
the little town has been the mecca for doubting, yet interested, clay 

The first public announcement of the new system appeared in 
"Brick and Clay Record," September 15, 1912, and came from the in- 
ventor himself — K. W. Klose, a young German who has strup;gled in ob- 
scurity until now, but whose fame and name bid fair to be known wher- 
e\'er clay is utilized in a manufactured product. 

Mr. Klose, like most geniuses, is a modest, retiring sort of a fellow, 
uncommunicative and slow to acknowledge that he has accomplished 
more than his fellow laborers. But he carries three diplomas to attest 
the claims of his friends and acquaintances that he is peculiarly well 
equipped for the important mission he undertook. One of these is from 
a government college in his native German province and the other is 
from a technical school not far from Berlin, and the other is from the 
school of experience, located in Germany, the home of the continuous 
kiln, and the I'nited States. 

The announcement that appeared in this journal last September was 
in keeping with the nature of the man and so modest that few realized 
its full value at first. But gradually it dawned upon many that somewhere 
out in Kansas, among the clay hills of the Missouri river valley, there 
was the beginning of a revolution in the clay manufacturing industry 
and for weeks the one hotel at Seneca has been taxed by an increasing 
patronage and the narrow little road that winds around the foothills to 
the north of the city has been the most trodden in that vicinity. 

One of the most recent tourists was the writer, and like his fellow- 
travelers he left the train filled with doubt. Mr. Klosc's claim was a 
broad one. Others have startled the world with exaggerated announce- 
ments. Others have made claims equally as broad and possibly more 
probable, but usually the results were the same — a bubble that exploded 


or an air castle that never materialized when the searchlight of investi- 
gation was turned on. 

Not so with Mr. Klose and his announcement. Five minutes in his 
plant are more than sufficient to convince any practical clay worker, how- 
ever skeptical he may be, for simplicity is one of the strongest features 
of the Klose system, and even a novice may grasp the fullness of the 
idea with ease. 

The first view of the Seneca Shale Brick Company's plant, where 
Mr. Klose operates his system, is disappointing to the visitor. Nestling 
in the foothills there is just an ordinary hollow block building of modest 
proportions. One, for some reason, expects to see something a "little 
different," but there it is, a modest structure that may house a bicycle 
repair shop instead of a new drying and burning system that has caused 
brickmakers to sit up and take notice. You enter the building and the 
first sweep of your eyes increases your disappointment. 

For the whole length of the building there is only a paved floor, 
piles of green brick or hollow block on either side alone breaking the 
monotony. A second glance discloses an "I" beam running the full 
length and width of the structure and bearing an exelectric triplex hoist 
— about the only visible sign of modern efficiency. 

Another hurried sweep of the eyes and in one corner of the long- 
room the visitor sees a combination brick and tile machine of the Amer- 
ican Clay jMachinery Company's design busy turning out the product 
of the plant. Close to the cutter there is a double electric hoist, which 
conveys the green brick or block to the floor above. 

You turn to your guide, Klose himself, and he meets your look of 
disappointment with a smile. 

"Where's the kiln?" you ask. 

"You're standing on it now," he replies quietly, and points to the 
floor beneath. For the first time you feel the warmth on the soles of 
your shoes and you make haste to leave the inch or so of loose clay that 
covers the brick pavement, cropping out here and there. 

You are inclined to believe the young German is having some fun 
at your expense, but just then a fellow comes along with a small scoop, 
no larger than a housewife uses in her flour bin. He takes a small cap, 
which heretofore has not been observed, and you see him disclose an 
opening scarcely five inches across. He sprinkles in barely a quart of 
small screened coal. The cap goes back into place and the fellows sits 
on a small stool to one side and proceeds to enjoy hi.s pipe. You watch 
him in amazement. 

"Is he the kiln tender?" you manage to ask. Your guide nods as- 
sent. "And is that all the coal he puts in there?" Again there is a 
smiling nod in the affirmative. At regular intervals you observe the 
burner leave his seat, take up his tiny scoop and lifting the next cap, 
proceed to replenish the fire in the burning chamber beUnv. 

And then Mr. Klose consents to tell vou about his kiln and when 


he has explained its principle you look down at the "trench in the 
ground," as the visitor invariably calls it, and exclaim : 

"How simple! Why didn't I think about it?" 

And that one explanation conveys better than pages of type the 
secret of Mr. Klose's invention. The kiln is not so much more than a 
"hole in the ground," with four brick walls and its simplicity and de- 
sign of construction destined to create a stir in the clay world just as 
soon as the clay worker learns about it. * 

Think of it ! A continuous tunnel kiln with a capacity of 600,000 
brick per month, that can be constructed for less than $3,000, or one- 
tenth of the cost of the ordinary tunnel-kiln and yet better and more 

But simplicity does not end with the kiln. Mr. Klosc has carried 
the same idea, coupled with economy and efficiency, into his conveying 
• system and drier, and your inspection of the entire plant is a revelation 
to you. 

Briefly stated, the Klose system in operation in the Seneca plant 
takes into consideration these three main points: 

First. — A conveying system that works almost automatically and 
which is part of the general scheme of saving time, labor and improving 
the efficiency. This is so constructed and located that a small boy can 
operate it. 

Second. — A drying system which utilizes radiated heat from the 
kiln and which is so constructed as to form a compact unit with the 

Third. — A continuous, tunnel kiln which can be constructed at the 
minimum of expense and at the same time prove efficient and econom- 
ical." — Extract from "Brick and Clay Record," issue of December i, 

Since the installation of the Ivlose system in the Seneca plant. Mr. 
Klose has installed fourteen systems identically the same in other plants 
throughout the country. 

The Klose system has proven to be a wonderful economical success 
in the Seneca Shale Brick Company's plant and its operation under Mr. 
Klose's supervision and management has placed a struggling concern, 
which has been operating at a decided loss, on a practical paying basis. 

The plant is now being operated at a profit to the stockholders and 
the men who pinned their faith on the ultimate success of the clay in- 
dustry in Seneca are destined to receive substantial dividends on their 
investments which for a time had the appearance of being precarious 
and not productive if not in danger of actual loss. 

The Seneca Shale Brick Company was launched entirely b\- local 
capitalists, who invested their money in the enterprise in the hope of 
doing something which would benefit their home city and give employ- 
ment to labor at all times of tlie year. There is little market for labor 
in Seneca and the surrounding country, except on the farms, and the Sen- 


eca Brick Company takes care of some eighteen or twenty men in this 
respect at the present time. 

The company was organized in 1906 with a capital of $10,000, and 
was composed of George A. Shaul, J. H. Cohen, George W. Williams, 
L. B. Keith, H. B. Nichols, August Kramer, Ira B. Dye, Dr. W. F. 
Drum. H. C. Settle, Mrs. C. G. Scrafford. They acquired or leased a 
tract of land upon which a bed of shale had been discovered near the 
surface that seemed to be apparently exhaustless and located on the 
John Fox farm one-half mile west of Seneca. This bed of shale also 
underlies the William land. Since excavating has been undertaken, it 
has been found that the depth of the shale is indeterminable and in- 
creases in quality with depth. A small vein of coal has also been uncov- 
ered and it is thought by people who have studied the formation that 
deeper excavations on the site of the bed alread}^ uncovered will reveal 
the presence of another vein of coal of greater thickness. 

The brick industry had its beginning with a venture made by cap- 
italists who drilled for oil in the northeastern part of Seneca. When the 
drill had reached a depth of 800 feet granite was struck and the drilling 
was stopped. The outfit was moved to the Smith farm west of the city 
and placed in operation. At a depth of sixt}' feet brick making shale 
was struck. After drilling another twenty feet the promoters decided 
that the shale underlies other lands in the vicinity, and the stratum was 
followed lower down the fall of the ground and outcroppings were ob- 
served in the vicinity of the present plant. George A. Shaul was watch- 
ing the drilling operations and came to the conclusion that an exten- 
sive deposit of shale was to be found. Careful prospecting uncovered 
other and similar deposits, and the outcrop was found on the Williams 
property. At this time, Mr. Shaul was building the State Normal Lib- 
rary at Penn, Neb., and Ira B. Dye was operating a brick plant at this 
place. Mr. Shaul took a quantity of the shale to Mr. Dye's plant, and 
after a thorough test, it was ascertained that the shale was of excellent 
qualitv, which, upon burning, produced a fine building brick. He then 
organized the company of local men to undertake the manufacture of 
brick and tile. 

As is usual in the launching of similar enterprises in a cit}- like Sen- 
eca, there were man}' '"doubting Thomases" who declared that the ven- 
ture would be a failure. However, enough patriotic citizens were induced 
to put up the necessary capital, a plant installed and the actual manu- 
facture of brick in Seneca was begun. The compan}' installed the old 
style of kiln with its heavy fuel capacity and waste of heat which was 
so great that the venture could not be made a success, and for years, 
was a losing venture to the stockholders. 

When the fortunes of the company were at their lowest ebb and it 
seemed that the enterprise was doomed to failure, Mr. Shaul, who was 
erecting a building at Lincoln, Neb., met K. W. Klose, a skilled clay 
worker, who had just returned from Seattle, where he had placed a 


brick plant in operation only to have it destroyed by a landslide just 
after the plant had been placed in operation. Mr. Shaul induced Mr. 
Klose to come to Seneca, take an interest in the company and take 
charge of the plant. This was in 191 1. Mr. Klose installed the contin- 
uous tunnel kiln, described so well in the "Brick and Clay Record," and 
the plant has since been enjoying an era of prosperity. 

At the present time, (1916), the plant is turning out 20,000 brick 
per day, and it is probable that this output will be increased as patron- 
age demands. Brick were furnished for the building of the new Hiawatha 
High School, erected in 191 5, and the brick used in the Mar}sville, Kans., 
High School were also made in Seneca. Carloads of the factory product 
are shipped as far west as Colorado. The hollow tile product is sup- 
plied to a wide range of territory. 

The present capitalization of the Seneca Shale Brick Company is 
$15,000. The officers and stockholders of the corporation are: George 
W. Williams, president; George A. Shaul, vice president; L. B. Keith, 
secretary ; Edwin Cohen of Spokane, Wash., and K. W. Klose, man- 








Sabetha, the unique ! Few things in Sabetha are like any other 
country town, and in those few things Sabetha excels. There is only 
one town in the world with a name similar to Sabetha, and that town 
is located in a remote section of Africa where the cannibals occasionally 
appear and use the population to make material for the barbecue on 
picnic dates. Sabetha is different even from this far-off African name- 
sake in that we furnish the picnics for the outlying countr}- instead of 
being served for the barbecue. 

Sabetha was named by a verj^ pious Biblical student, who started 
across the plains to California to seek gold ; whose oxen died near here 
on a Sunday, and who, performing the last sad rites over the grave, 
named the spot Sabetha as a euphoneous substitute for the I^ebrew 
word, "Sabbaton," which signifies Sunday. The fact that the Biblical 
student retrieved his fortune, and was able to buy other oxen, by selling 
what liquor he had in store, is nothing against the present town, as 
there is not a liquor license in the place. Not one of the Sabetha drug 
stores has a liquor license, and no liquor has been sold in the town 
for over ten years. 

This is a very rich agricultural region, and there is health in the air 
and wealth in the products of the ground. Everything appears li'ere in 
exaggerated form. This section holds the record for the biggest yield 
of wheat and corn, anil Mrs. \nnie Redline, a native of this city, now 
deceased, measured sc\ i_n icct and eleven inches waist measurement 
and weighed 6ii pounds. Being four feet and eight inches in height, 
she was broader than she was tall, contrasting with George Hook, Will 
Alderfer and many other residents who are nearly seven feet tall and 
not so wide. Mrs. Redline was acknowledged the heaviest woman in 
the world. 



This is a good locality for sick people also. F. A. Gue came here 
many years ago, completely helpless. He took treatment at Sycamore 
springs and cured one side, and then took treatment at Sun springs, a 
few miles away, and cured the other side, and he is today a hearty and 
vigorous man. Even the waters gush up wonders from the bowels of 
the earth around Sabetha. 

J. P. Matthews is acknowledged by rural mail route inspectors as 
maintaining the most perfect rural mail route schedule in the United 
States. For 3'ears he has delivered mail on his rural route No. i out of 
Sabetha on a schedule that has not varied five minutes a day for each 
box, except on very rare instances, ranking with any railroad schedule 
in the countrv. 

Sabetha has eighteen and one-half miles of artificial st<ine side- 
walks, between sixty and sevent}' miles of dragged roads, paved streets, 
municipal power, heat and light, a white way, the most beautifully kept 
homes and lawns in the State, and a boy prodigy who speaks eleven dif- 
ferent kinds of hog latin. Sabetha has no pig tail alley population, 
maintain only sixteen talking machines and never permits any public 
speaking at its celebrations. The band boys never practice after 
o'clock at night. Forty new homes were built here last year and this. 
Seven new business buildings have gone up within a year, the last. 


which is of pressed brick, being perhaps the finest structure in any 
country town in northeastern Kansas. The building contains the coat of 
arms of Roy Hesseltine, the builder, including the shield carved in 

Sabetha holds the record for viewing crops with alarm oftener than 
any other town in the United States, although the products are greater 
to the acre than any other spot of similar size in the country. The rec- 
ord in question is the natural outcome of the fact that farm land here is 
worth around $150 an acre; and a farmer, in order to realize twenty-five 
per cent, on his investment of a quarter section, and pa}' himself a sal- 
ary of $1,000 or $1,500 a year, is easily excited lest his income be cut 
down by short yields. Two rural families moved down to Abilene 
last fall and lifted in deposits over $100,000 out of the local banks. 

Here is a carefully compiled record of products of this immediate 
vicinity, shipped out of Sabetha in 1906, to say nothing of what we ate 
and have left : 

Hogs $ 200,000 

Cattle 220,000 

Poultry 165,000 

Eggs 125,000 

Butter 1 15,000 

Horses 150,000 

Seeds 77.000 

Hides 5,000 

Wheat 55.500 

Corn 35.000 


Apples 1 1,000 

Flour 10,000 

Hay 3,000 

Total $1,206,500 

Among the other products of Sabetha we mention, incidentally, the 
following: Edwin Slosson. editor of the conservative old New York 
"Independent" magazine ; Dr. Orville Brown, who is curing consump- 
tion, as chief physician of the new Missouri State Sanitarium at Mt. Ver- 
non in the Ozark mountains, established by the State of Missouri ; A. G. 
Lohman, who has revolutionized the treatment of so-called incorrigible 
boys by the method he has inaugurated in the Cleveland boys' home, 
maintained fjy the city of Cleveland through Tom Johnson, the reform 
mayor ; Fred Gates, the famous financier of 26 Broadway, New York, 
and distributer of all John D. Rockefeller's charities and one of the 
prime movers in the founding of the University of Chicago ; W. A. 
Ouayle, the Kansas City divine and writer ; Charley Clarkson, head of 


Armour's credit system, and Rev. Jud Miner, who can sing "Lead Kind- 
ly Light" so much better than Tom Anderson of Topeka can sing "Old 
Shad)'," that he can put Anderson down and out and sit on him. 

Sabetha is a town of a very high honor. In the nineties one of the 
Bell Telephone Company's representatives spoke discourteously to a 
committee representing the town. Instantly every telephone in the city 
was ordered out by the indignant subscribers. The Bell's plant was 
paralyzed for sixteen days, and not a telephone was used. One of the 
head officers of the company was sent to Sabetha. He humbly apolo- 
gized in the name of the company, and George Washington Hook, the 
town operator, made a brilliant speech of acceptance, and all the tele- 
phones were put back into use again. 

"Sabetha people are all over the world and either themselves or their 
blood relatives are into everything. No difference what happens in the 
world, either some Sabetha person or a relative of a Sabethan, is in it. 
Sabetha is even related to the nobility. Sabetha was in the San Fran- 
cisco earthquake strong; it figured on the Thaw jury; it cut ice in the 
Russian-Japanese war ; it is in the army and navy, and it touches at 
nearly every port in the world. Therefore it is impossible for anything 
to happen on the earth without Sabetha being in it ; and if anything 
happens on the heavenly planets, a Sabetha woman is married to and is 
the assistant of Prof. Wiyiam Joseph Hussey, the noted astronomer at 
the Michigan State L'niversity at Ann Arbor, and she will be in on the 
ground floor. 

If anything has been left unsaid in this modest epistle, it is not be- 
cause Sabetha is not in it, but because of the Czar-like restrictions of 
this contest, under which Sabetha chafes, and as a result of which she 
hereby offers nineteen additional columns which must be left unsaid." — 
From a Kansas town contest in the Topeka "Capital" in 1906. The fol- 
lowing story of Sabetha upholds the foregoing claims : 

The naming of Sabetha, the sister town of Seneca, with whose pop- 
ulation Sabetha keeps pace always and occasionally a little ahead, will 
always bring on a controversy. The best story and the one that sounds 
most logical is this. Sabetha has the distinction of being the only town 
of the world so named. In the Holy Land is a town called Sabbaton, 
meaning, as Sabetha does, "Sabbath." This coincidence leads many to 
think that Sabetha's name came to it as follows. At any rate, it is an 
amusing and interesting tale, and as historical as any other. Early in 
the fifties, a tall, slim, wrinkled man of middle age, a bachelor, came to 
the vicinity of Sabetha on his way to California. The bachelor had had 
a dream of a wonderful gold mine in California, and was trying to make 
the tri]3 to find it, alone. He had an elaborate map, showing the loca- 
tion of the gold and the topography of the country surrounding. 

When he had traveled with his ox team from St. Joseph to near the 
present site of Sabetlia, the traveler met Viitli misfortune. One of his 
oxen died. This fateful incident led to the naming of .Sabetha. T!ie 


man was a Greek scholar and well versed in mythical lore ; also a stu- 
dent of the Bible. His oxen were named Hercules and Pelleas. Pel- 
leas passed away on Sunday, and the bachelor was obliged to remain 
here. He pitched his tent and dug a well. The well he named Sabbaton, 
the Greek word for Sabbath, in honor of the da}'. 

The traveler had two gallons of whiskey which he peddled to the 
few settlers and passersby. When the whiskey was gone, he went to 
St. Joseph and procured more, becoming a full fledged bartender. Peo- 
ple came in to drink at the Sabetha well, as well as at the traveler's bar. 
The well water was exceptionally fine, and the Sabetha well became 
known from St. Joseph to California, as it was on the direct route of 
travelers to the golden State. 

The traveler, having partly realized on his dreams of wealth 
through his golden liquor trade, returned to his home in the East. 

Captain William.s came afterward and located on the present town- 
site of Sabetha. The well was so famous that many people traveled 
long distances to drink of its waters. The same waters are now the 
Sycamore springs, v/idely known for their medicinal value. Captain 
Williams is said to have closed the original well and started a well on 
his own property five miles southwest, calling it Sabetha. 

When the St. Joseph and Grand Island railroad was built into this 
territory, it was decided to build a town. Fred Ukeley, now a wealthy 
retired farmer of Sabetha, heard of the scheme and rode all night, telling 
the settlers of the Sabetha well on Captain William's land, where the 
town should be located. The next day J. T. Brady, T. B. Collins, Ira 
Collins and Archibald Moorhead bought the Williams quarter section, 
including the Sabetha well, for $7,000, and organized a town company. 

But it was four years after its actual foundation, according to law, 
that Sabetha had a real city government apart from the township. In 
1874, an election was ordered for August 15. Six hundred citizens had 
petitioned Judge Hubbard, of Atchison, in which the Nemaha county 
judicial district was then included, for a city corporation. A city of the 
third class was then ordered, and the election of officers resulted in Ira 
F. Collins being the first mayor; A. E. Cook, police judge; ]\I. E. Ma- 
ther, Isaac Sweetland, John Muxworthy, J. T. Brady and G. H. Adams, 
members of the council. For most part these men have remained with 
Sabetha, and always interested in the welfare of the town. Mr. Collins 
is still a resident of the town. J. T. Brady, who helped build another 
town, Pomona, in California, remained faithful to Sabetha to the day of 
his death, in the summer of the year 1914. Mr. Sweetland's children 
and grandchildren are still Sabetha citizens. Mr. Adams' children own 
Sabetha property today. Mr. Muxworthy's children, wherever they 
live, call Sabetha, home. 

The arts and literature have always been second nature to Sabetha. 
In 1871, before the village had a city government, a library organization 
was formed so early as 1871, years before Sabetha was incorporated as 


a town under the State laws. The library consisted of but twenty books 
as a nucleus, donated by residents and passed from hand to hand. S. 
W. Brooke was first president, and Emma Brady, now Mrs. Judge 
Gundy, of Long Beach, Cal., was secretary. This library continued 
until 1871 with its only income being fines and yearly fees. The library 
was then incorporated under the State laws with a capital stock of 
$1,000, divided into ten shares. This library thrived for years in C. L. 
Sherwood's drug store, finally it simply melted away, and, for several 
years, Sabetha was without a public library, the need of new books 
being supplied by various book clubs, which purchased the new novels 
of the day, which were privately circulated. Among Sabetha's rare citi- 
zens in the early twentieth century was Mrs. Mary Cotton, president of 
the Citizens State Bank. Her private library was one of the finest in 
the State of Kansas, comprising 1,500 books, largely in fine bindings and 
rare, or limited, editions. Upon her death in 1912, she willed this great 
collection of books to the city for library purposes to circulate free, 
with her home to be used as a library or to be sold for a building and a 
library built. The home was sold, but the citizens still await the erec- 
tion of the library building, the town being divided as whether to 
place the library in the park, opposite Mrs. Cotton's home, or wait until 
the money accumulates sufficient interest to both bu)' suitable ground, 
and erect a building handsome enough for the most beautiful collection 
of circulating books in a free public library in Kansas. 

Sabetha, while not attaining Seneca's fame in hotels, has had, at 
least, one rare host as master of the inn. Captain Hook for years ran 
the Hook House of Sabetha. He was a retired sea captain, and his stories 
and yarns of the sea captivated all the tra-^'eling public, who patron- 
ized him, as well as his own sons. Edwin Miller, who built the Albany 
Hotel, moved it to Sabetha in 1870, and in 1871, the Sabetha town com- 
pany erected a three story hotel called the Sabetha House. It stood 
until the present year when it was pulled down to make place for a 
modern business block erected by a citizen, and occupied as a depart- 
ment store. 

The flouring mill industry thrived in Sabetha from the erection of 
the first mill in 1872 by L. J. Sprinkle until the destruction by fire of 
the Sabetha flouring mill about ten years ago. 

Sabetha's business houses run into the second hundred, and other 
towns of the county can scarcely lay claim to Sabetha's trade. Every 
store building is modern, with window displays planned and arranged for 
most part, by men who have made a study of the art of window decora- 
tion. If a stranger should raise his eyes no higher than the first story 
and not look for sky scrapers, viewing Sabetha's windows, he would 
think himself in a modern city fifty times the size of Sabetha. 



"Elihu, wh}^ did 3'ou bring me and my daughters to this dreadful 
country?" cried Mrs. Elihu Whittenhall, shivering as the wind, too, 
shivered and whistled around the log cabin, high on the Albany hill, and 
trembling at the stealthy patter of the wolves' feet on the roof above 

"We will make money here, my dear," answered her husband, his 
eye on the vision of the country as it is now, sixty 3'ears later. "It will 
be a wonderful land." 

But with four little daughters, cuddled close to her, thousands of 
miles from the New York home, on the desolate, windswept prairie, no 
vision came to Mrs. Whittenhall. 

Still her husband's vision was realized, although neither she nor he 
lived to see its full realization. Mrs. Whittenhall was college bred, 
carefully nurtured, tenderly reared, in a New York home. She grad- 
uated from the Oxford New York Academy in the class with Governor 
Seymour, of New York, and other distinguished men. Away all this, 
overland, by train, steamboat, and mule team, bringing with her the 
only piano in the State of Kansas, and four little daughters, is it any 
wonder she trembled at wolves, who made themselves as much at home 
as pet dogs ; shivered at weeping prairie winds, and shrank from stray 
Indians, who walked into her house and took anything which caught 
their vagrant, childish fancy? 

To the high hills of Albany, they came in 1857 and located their 
farms. Any of the magnificent land which their fancy chose, could be 
had for the simple act of sleeping and eating on the ground desired and 
the payment of $2.50. But before long, within the following year, other 
New Yorkers came out. Other frail, delicate, courageous worhen 
risked comforts, quiet, calm and peace to break the prairie and pioneer 
with their husbands. Edwin Miller, accompanied by Mrs. Miller, W. B. 
Slosson, John L. and William Graham came out to Kansas ; and Albany, 
the mother of Sabetha, was colonized and named in compliment to the 
capital of their native State. Mr. Miller built a hotel, and then Mr. 
Whittenhall built a frame dwelling, and the family removed from the 
confined quarters of the log house, almost filled by the big square 
piano, so bravely standing for the refinement and elegance of its former 
surroundings in its New York home. The Whittenhall house was built 
of walnut lumber, big timbers and all, a real treasure in these days 
when Kansas black walnut is so valuable, and for which European 
aristocracy pays a big price. 

Mrs. Whittenhall lived several, happy, contented years on their 
farm at Albany, but she died before Albany was moved to Sabetha and 
never dreamed that her husband would own almost half the town, 
which was eventually electric lighted, heated by municipal steam, gov- 
erned by commissioners, and with all the intermediary improvements 


of the modern city. Her daughter, Mrs. Oscar Marbourg, says now: "If 
mother could only have seen these electric lights !" 

Albany was the home of more men and women of culture, brains 
and foresight, than is usually found gathered together in so small a 
community. A residence and hotel were followed by the erection of a 
schoolhouse. A postoffice was established in 1859 and a store erected 
in i860. Meantime the population had been increased by George 
Graham, Archibald Webb, Mose Stevens, J. P. Shumway, the post- 
master, Mr. and Mrs. John Van Tuyl, B. H. Job, Mrs. Rising, Mrs. 
Archer, Thomas Robbins. Those who had not wives went back home 
and got them, and in most cases, "back home" was New York State. 

A notable marriage, with the consequence of many members of a 
fine famil}^ migrating to Kansas, was W. B. Slosson's to Miss Achsah 
Lilly, of Castle Creek, N. Y. In i860 he went back for his bride and 
brought her to Nemaha county, Albany colony. In their wake shortly 
followed the following relations : The Brigham family, the Emery, and 
Alice West Lilly, Re\-. A. H. Lilly, Foster Lilly, Mrs. Charles' Sher- 
wood, Henry Lilly and ]\Irs. Hutchinson, George H. Adams, for whom 
Adams township is named, and his son ; George F. Pugsley and family, 
Harvey M. Campbell, Lyman B. Lilly, Mrs. William Graham and the 
Hall boys ; Albert Wegt and sons, Myron and Nathan, and daughters ; 
Mrs. Rellis and Mrs. Benson, John Tyler and family, and John and Mer- 
ritt McNary, and others less directly connected, and still others, whom 
Mrs. Slosson, who wrote this list, could not recall. All of the families 
are connected, and many of them moved soon to Albany, and others to 
Sabetha or to the farmlands surrounding Albany and Sabetha. Most of 
them came from Castle Creek, N. Y., and all of them have been a credit 
to both homes, and the life blood of the new, struggling community. 

When probably the first party of pioneers came up the Missouri 
river on the steamboat with the Graham brothers, Slosson and Miller, 
the trip required five days from St. Louis to Kansas City. The latter 
was a mere landing at that time. There were fifty men on the boat, and 
there was a gambling game on in every available spot. William 
Graham offered to make a bet that a man could not pick out a certain 
card. Upon the man's taking him up, the rest of the party said Graham 
sidestepped the issue and said, "I'm too nice a man to bet." The al- 
leged reply became a nick name which followed Mr. Graham all through 
his fine service during the Civil war. 

On the boat were five men who invited the boatload to settle on 
the river point where Kansas City now stands. Here was another man 
with real vision. He said this would be the spot for the big city of the 
West. There was not a habitation in sight, so the boat moved on. and 
the load went on up the river to scatter in various directions. But the 
five men stayed with the settlement. Twenty-five years later, Mr. Slos- 
son met one of the five men who stayed and who had become a mil- 
lionaire by staying. On the boat trip a daughter was born to one of the 
women pioneers, and a collection was taken to give the mother. 


The party traveled overland across the California trail. On the 
overland trail, about ten miles from Albany, they passed a young man 
wearing a pair of overalls, checkered shirt, shoes and no socks, working 
in a sawmill, who directed them to Pony creek. The young man was 
E. N. Morrill, who became governor of Kansas, several years later. 

That the young pioneers were not born farmers may be shown in 
the following, amusing anecdote told by Mr. Slosson. They passed a 
man, who asked them, if they had seen a stray filly. One young man 
replied, "I don't know what a filly is." Edwin Miller spoke up, not 
wanting the man to think they were tenderfeet, and said to the first 
speaker, "You darned fool — a filly is a nigger wench." 

The men got on to Albany, and the settlement, at their arrival, 
had a population of forty-six people. A Congregational church was 
formed with Rev. Parker as preacher, who later became editor of the 
Manhattan Kansas "Telephone," a paper which long since has passed 
on. A school house was built of gray limestone in i860, the school dis- 
trict building the first stor}', and the Congregational society, the second 
story. The school house is in use today, and has been every year since 
i860, the upper story being used for neighborhood entertainments. 

In 1870 the railroad went to Sabetha, not being able to make feas- 
ible grades by way of Albany. So most of Albany moved to the rail- 
road, and became identified with Sabetha and included in' her upbuild- 
ing and progress. Sabetha, though, is the offspring of Albany, and the 
history of the two towns is so interwoven the two towns seem as one, 
Albany was settled in 1857 by a part}' of educated, refined men and 
women from New York, who, for the most part, removed to Sabetha, 
houses, household goods and all, with the coming of the railroad. 

In 1858, Capt. A. W. Williams, another New Yorker, whose native 
city was Rochester, opened a postoffice, and for the first time the set- 
tlers were able to get their mail nearer than St. Joseph, sixty-five miles 
away. Between the birth of Sabetha and the discovery of the famous 
spring by the California traveler, Jim Lane (General James Lane) had 
established a fort two miles east, which also bore the name Sabetha. 
Captain Williams became the first justice of the peace of Sabetha, as 
well as the first postmaster. During the Pike's Peak rush for gold in 
fifty-eight and fifty-nine. Captain Williams claimed his sales at the 
postoffice store averaged $200 a day. This first store building erected 
by Captain Williams was burned and another erected in its place. The 
store was closed in 1861, when its proprietor joined the Union army. 
John L. Goodpasture, the only man left in Sabetha at the time, opened 
another store shortly after this. This was the beginning of the mercan- 
tile trade in Sabetha, which is conceded the biggest in Nemaha county 

In 1859, a Methodist circuit rider, by the name of Rawlins, came 
down the California trail through tlie tin}' Sabetha settlement and held 
the first religious service of the town in the Williams store. 


Fanny Gertrude Whittenhall, one of the four little girls who came 
from New "^'ork and huddled to her mother's skirts on the wind blown 
hills of Alban}', was the first bride. She was married to W'. G. Sargent 
December 27. 1859. It was she who taught the sla\e girl to read, 
and her daughter. Mrs. Roscoe Hughes, and her grandchildren are liv- 
ing in Sabetha now. the fairest monument to a lovely and lovable 

In i860, Miss Rebecca Hawkins opened a school in the hotel erected 
by Goodpasture, the second storekeeper of Sabetha. Miss Hawkins 
later became j\lrs. C. P. Brannigan. Noble H. Rising kept this hotel for 
some time. Miss Hawkins started with five children in her school, 
which gradually attained an attendance of eighteen. 

Captain Williams, James Oldfield and Isaac Sweetland became the 
first town company under a special act of the legislature, but no advan- 
tage was taken of the act for over ten years. 

It was then that William B. Slossoh. J. T. Brady, T. B. Collins. 
Arch IMoorehead and three Missouri men, E. P. Gray, Ben Childs and 
Jeff Chandler, were given an incorporation charter, and real Sabetha 
was founded. These men were liable to A. W. Williams, who still 
owned the townsite, in the sum of $4,000. For ten years, the war inter- 
fering with its growth, Sabetha consisted of but three stores and a 
blacksmith shop. But, in the seventies, things began to move and have 
been moving faithfully and unfalteringly ever since. This — with the 
coming of the railroad. 

A drug store was opened by T. K. Masheter and E. B. Gebhart, 
which, after various changes, came into the sole possession of Mr. Mash- 
eter in 1879. Mr. Masheter has a host of interesting reminiscences of 
the early days. He recalls the arrival of the first safe in Sabetha, which 
was as big an event as the arrival of the first locomotive. He is author- 
ity on the orchards, and the court of last resort in early day event argu- 

T. K. Masheter celebrated his forty-sixth year in Sabetha. On April 
2. fort3'--six years ago he arrived from Iowa. Just note the method he 
employed to get to Sabetha. He had to ferry across the Missouri river. 
The Grand Island ran only to Hiawatha. Of course the Rock Island 
was not thought of then. From Hiawatha Mr. Masheter came to Sa- 
betha in a wagon. The survey for the Grand Island to Sabetha was 
made six weeks later. When Mr. Masheter arrived in Sabetha, Captain 
Williams had a hotel and big stone barn in the east part of town. A 
school house had been erected where Mr. Sam Kreitzer's house now 
stands. East of this was a blacksmith shop. John C. Perry, the post- 
master, was located on the site of M. J. Beegley's house. There was a 
row of trees up our present Main street, and one of them stood until a 
few years ago. On the present location of Kreitzer's bakery there was 
a big straw stack. Covered wagons passed in flocks, like geese and 
ducks do now. They were going in every direction. Sabetha was a 
farm, only forty-six years ago. 


The Sabetha of today contrasts strangely with the Sabetha, as it 
was first remembered by T. K. Alasheter in the seventies. Mr. Mash- 
eter remembers most of Sabetha as Captain Wiliams' corn field. A hay 
stack stood where the Kreitzer Brothers' bakery is now located. 

What an evolution ! The Sabetha of today is approaching the 
dream of the idealist. The town has municipal steam, municipal power, 
municipal heat, municipal lights, municipal water works ; Sabetha has 
paved streets, sewers, a hospital that cost $100,000. The city has the 
commission form of government, which is doing much to beautify and 
improve the town. 

"The best town on the Grand Island railroad," is a remark fre- 
quently heard among traveling men. Sabetha is simply a metropolitan 
little city. Exclusive dry goods stores, hardware stores, clothing stores, 
shoe stores, millinery stores, drug stores, implement stores and other 
lines of business are splendidly represented in Sabetha. The town 
draws trade from a wide territory. 

Sabetha's white houses and clean streets have attracted attention 
to the place as a spotless town. The people are generally well-to-do, 
and the whole of the city can be called "the nice part of town." 


About the seventeenth day of April, 1859, I left the little town of 
Virginia, 111., where I was reared. My companions were two other 
young men about mj^ own age — Joseph Pothicury and "\^'illiam H. Col- 
lins, (whose sister I married some years later). We had a covered 
wagon and three yoke of oxen. Of course, our good mothers had fixed 
us out with the necessary clothing, pans and kettles, pins, needles and 
thread, and plent}' of their good home cooking. 

Our prospective destination was Pike's Peak, and at Beardstorm, 
111., fifteen miles from home, we met the balance of our party — twenty- 
three people and four wagons, with three yoke of oxen to each wagon. 
Without any special adventures, we traveled from there to Hiawatha, 
Kans. There we met a party of about a dozen men, returning from 
Pike's Peak. One of the men I had known from boyhood. He gave us 
a woeful account of the hardships to be endured, and no gold to be 
found. We went on from Hiawatha to Walnut creek and camped. That 
night we had a council of all present, and as a result, sixteen of our 
party turned their faces homeward next day. 

Ten of us went on to Sabetha. One of the ten men is now an 
esteemed resident of Sabetha, John L. Mowder. Three others, one a 
brother of Mowder, one named Lewis and one Cenover. All took claims 
just west of Sabetha, as did John Mowder. Right here I must tell a 
story: They built a little one room shanty on John Mowder's place. 
He ate his breakfast in it, then we three Virginian boys hitched our 
oxen to it and hauled it over to another claim, and that man ate his 


breakfast in it, and so we kept on until all four had eaten a breakfast in 
the shack on his own claim. Then they all struck out on foot for 
Kickapoo, where they proved up, each one testifying there was a shanty 
on his claim when he left. (Each one left as soon as he ate his break- 
fast). That was the way most of the proving up was done in those 
pioneer days in Kansas. 

We landed in Sabetha on May 26, 1859. Three miles north of Sa- 
betha lived two men we knew, also from Virginia, 111., B. IT. Job, and 
his brother, Thomas. We three boys had just three dollars in cash, and 
one wagon and oxen, so we decided to cast our lot in the vicinity of Mr. 
Job, whose wife was a fine character, and once in awhile, we could visit 
the family, and get a taste of good home cooking and talk of our far 
away homes. Times were hard indeed, and for the first two years we 
never saw a dollar. Posts, corn, pumpkins, flour, wheat and other 
things were the only currency, and the "home" folks sent us postage 
stamps so we could answer their letters. 

The second Sunday we were in Sabetha we took a load of men, 
women and children over to church in Albany with one ox team. Mr. 
Archibald Moorehead owned the only two spans of horses in the whole 

On July 4 of that year, two loads of people in ox wagons went from 
Albany to Padonia to celebrate. There were only two houses between 
Sabetha and Hiawatha. One was Mr. Joss', the other, Mr. Hatfield's. 
There were only three families in Sabetha in 1859, that of Capt. A. W. 
Williams, Mr. Risen and Mr. Oldfields. Williams had a general mer- 
chandise store and was postmaster. Mr. Risen kept a grocery store. 
Captain Williams and Mr. Oldfield each filed on 160 acres in 1856, Cap- 
tain Williams taking the west 160, which he filed as a townsite naming 
it Sabetha. But no town appeared on the scene. In 1862 Williams lost 
the postoffice at Sabetha, and it was given to W. B. Slosson, of Albany. 
In 1861, I enlisted in Company A, Seventh Kansas cavalry. After serv- 
in three years, I was discharged and then went to Pawnee county, Ne- 
braska, where, for three years, I was a partner with Governor Butler 
in the cattle business. After selling out I returned to Kansas and went 
into business with T. B. Collins and made my home in his family until 
my marriage to his sister, December 22, 1870. 

In the spring of 1870, the Grand Island railroad was building west 
from St. Joseph, Mo. Archibald Moorehead was one of Nemaha's county 
commissioners, and the county had voted $125,000 bonds to the new- 
railroad. Slosson brothers, Moorehead, Brady and Collins worked hard 
to get the railroad into Albany, but when surveyed, the officials thought 
it too expensive a route to be practical. There was bitter rivalry be- 
tween the towns of Albany and Sabetha. When the railroad people de- 
cided they would not build to Albany, W. B. Slosson went east of 
Albany and contracted for eighty acres in Brown county (where Hiram 
Fulton settled later.) Then he went to St. Joseph and planned with 


the railroad. officials to build a depot on the eighty acres, and call it 
Georgetown, for George Hall, president of the road. He also had posts 
brought from the nearby timber to help build the depot, before any one 
else knew of the scheme, as that region was then one vast prairie. 
Later the officials saw that Mr. Moorhead as county commissioner 
would never consent to issue the bonds that had been voted if the town 
was located in Brown county, and so they voted Sabetha the depot. 

We went home to Sabetha and formed what is known as "The Sa- 
betha Town Company," each member being a director. We bought the 
original townsite of i6o acres from Captain Williams for $7,000. 

As I remember it, the "town company" consisted of nine men, but 
I can only recall six besides myself: Colonel Harbine, Dr. McNeil, and 
George Hall, all of St. Joseph, and directors in the Grand Island road, 
W. B. Slosson, Elihu Whittenhall and T. B. Collins. 

J. T. Brady was chosen president, Whittenhall secretary and W. 
B. Slosson, treasurer, and these officials constituted the executive board, 
and were authorized to plat the land and sell the lots as in their judg- 
ment seemed best. I cannot say who made the suggestion regarding 
the block for a city park, but it met Avith hearty approval of all the 
board, and the three officers were equally deserving of honor in connec- 
tion with it. 

Lots were also given to the Methodist, Congregationalist and Bap- 
tist churches. 

In losing out on the townsite, the town company left one share 
($1,000) for Mr. Slosson, provided he wanted it. At first he refused it, 
but after a few weeks, he took it, put up a building and moved his store 
to Sabetha, and from that time on, was a staunch and loyal friend of 

Mr. Sam Slosson was the first station agent on the Grand Island 
railroad at Hamlin, and when the road reached Sabetha, he was trans- 
ferred there, and for some years, was the efficient agent. 

Brady and Collins formed a company called "Collins & Company," 
consisting of four men, T. B. and Ira F. Collins, W. I. Robbins and J. T. 
Brady. Thev put up the first store building in Sabetha in the fall of 
1870, and opened up a general merchandise store, selling everything 
from a cambric needle to a threshing machine, and shipping grain, cat- 
tle and hogs. 

They ran the store one year and the books showed they sold 
$127,000 worth of goods, and all the loss was less than $300, although 
most everyone who asked for credit got it. They sold goods to people 
as far north as Dawson, Neb., and west to Fries' mills and Turkey creek 
and south to Granada. 

Mr. Hook put up his hotel that fall, and it was the first building 
completed in the new town of Sabetha. Black & Marbourg opened up 
their lumber yard in September, 1870. A Mr. Gebhart built a small build- 
ing, consisting of a story and a half about where the .\dams hardware 
store was later, and here he had the first drug store. 


Rev. Gates, (or Gage maybe — ask Mr. Black), a Baptist minister 
from Highland was the first minister, and we often entertained him at 
our home. He usually came over from Highland twice a month, com- 
ing on Saturday and returning on Monday. The women of Sabetha 
united in giving socials and festivals to buy the first church bell, and it 
was hung in the Baptist Church, then the only church in town. The 
son of Rev. Gates later attained prominence as John D. Rockefeller's 
private secretary. 








Each town has its peculiarities and specialties. Seneca is famous 
for its social gaieties, its entertainments for the young, amateur theatri- 
cals, fine band. Community church and fine baseball team. Sabetha 
points with pride to its modern business buildings, musical organizations 
and municipally owned public works. 

So Corning is designated as the town of solid foundation of Nemaha 
county. At the time this history was written a neighboring newspaper, 
the Troy "Chief," was running a sixty years ago column. A timely quo- 
tation from this column was to the effect that "Nemaha county is 
making a large and desirable accession to her population. A company 
from the vicinity of Galesburg, 111., has recently located an entire town- 
ship of land in that county, every quarter section of which is to be speed- 
ily enclosed and occupied by a settler. They also contemplate laying off 
a town. That is the way to come. Take up land by the township and 
cultivate it and speculators will find their occupation gone." 

The man who brought this delegation from Galesburg, 111., was Dr. 
X. B. McKay, a practicing physician of the Illinois city. Dr. McKay and 
two other men came to Nemaha county to locate a site for a colony. This 
is the expedition referred to in the quotation above. The result was the 
Home Association which was established in June, 1858, and became a 
noted organization which had nothing to blush for in their accomplish- 
ments, more than can be said for many early day similar organizations. 
The settlers were given their quarter sections of land and the village es- 
tablished was America City, which has grown but little from that day to 

But Dr. McKay, not content with establishing happy settlers on 
fine land and starting one village, must needs build another, which is a 
more lasting monument to his genius, in numbers at least. 


Before Dr. McKay left New York for Illinois, he was in partnership 
with Erasmus Corning. Dr. McKay named his second town in the coun- 
ty of the "No Papoose" in honor of Mr. Corning. He did not desert 
America City, however, for the newer and more prosperous town. For 
years Dr. McKay remained the beloved country doctor of America 
City, filling in spare moments as postmaster of the town. 

Corning was established as a postoffice in 1867 with Dr. McKay, 
at the helm, or grated window rather. A small frame building was erect- 
ed and a line of merchandise installed. Later W. H. Dixon erected an- 
other building and started a second store. This was about all there was 
to the original Corning. When the Central Branch of the Missouri Pa- 
cific railroad was extended through Nemaha county. Corning too, had 
to move to the railroad. Dr. McKay owned school land, one half of 
which he gave to the railway company for locating a station thereon. 

So in 1870 Dr. McKay moved his store from the Old Corning to the 


new site and the thriving town was the third to be started by the enter- 
prising M. D. J. S. Henry built the first dwelling in the new town. Dr. 
McKay built a frame hotel which he conducted for two or three years 
and which has passed through various hands. Three years later another 
building was erected, and sundry buildings were added from time to 
time which were largely moved into the settlement from neighboring set- 
tlements anxious to be near the railroad, or from farms. As the eighties 
advanced. Corning progressed and acquired a fine line of citizens, most of 
them being men of brains and genius and a few blue blooded aristocrats, 
whose lines extended back to the English nobility 

Jacob Jacobia was one of the early day Corning men who helped to 
build up the communitj' and strengthen it. His life was one of activity 


and interest. He settled in America City in 1857, and was one of the 
original pioneers of the county. He was mail carrier from Atchison to 
Louisville in Pottawatomie count}- and through his own district for 
years. Then he freighted across the plains to Denver with his own 
train. Mr. Jacobia's stories of those days were always thrilling. Once, 
he said, he encountered a herd of buffalo, which covered the country in a 
solid mass so the ground was invisible for thirty miles. Once his train 
was attacked by the Indians, and 100 men, 300 head of cattle and fifty 
teams were corralled. Finally the men managed to collect under the 
leadership of Captain Jacobia, surprised their captors in a night attack 
and made their. escape. Mr. Jacobia bought the Corning Hotel, where he 
was for several years the entertaining host to the increasing trade Corn- 
ing was drawing. He was the father of "Billy" Jacobia, who for several 
years was the banker of Corning, as well as mayor of the town, while his 
wife was bank cashier and town treasurer. Billy Jacobia's death by sui- 
cide, after they removed to Kansas City in 1905, was one of the rare trag- 
edies that have shocked the county. 

The first school of Corning was especially distinguished. It was 
not simply started in any old room but a building was erected for the 
sole purpose. It is doubtful if many pioneer villages can make this 
boast. In 1872 a small district school house was erected, with Miss Min- 
nie Bracken as the teacher. Six years later $800 was expended to im- 
prove the school house and N. H. Walters, who was in charge, had six- 
ty pupils beneath his watchful and experienced eye. Mr. Walters was a 
teacher of twentj' years' experience before he came to Kansas. For over 
ten years directly following he was head of the Corning school. Now 
there are over 200 pupils enrolled in Coming's graded school. The school 
is divided into primary, intermediate, grammar and high school depart- 
ments, with F. J. Whittaker at the head as superintendent. Miss Etta 
Burdette as principal, \\'illiam Newlove in the grammar department. 
Miss Edna Baldwin, the intermediate, and ]\Iiss Sybil Robinson, primary 
teacher. Corning has a splendid high school with the full course. The 
building cost over $8,000 and has been standing over twenty years, giv- 
ing satisfactory service. It was built to endure. Some one with rare 
perspicacity must have planned the building, for its lighting is remark- 
able for that period of architecture. The windows alone comprise most 
of the frame work. Four and five windows are connected on one wall 
space, a method that is ordinarily followed toda}', but twenty years ago 
was neglected. 

A resident of Corning who has done much for its furtherance should 
be mentioned, although his health is keeping him now in San Diego. Dr. 
Isaac Magill was one of Nemaha county's first born citizens. He grew 
up on the farm of his father, Samuel Magill, in the Capioma neighbor- 
hood, one of the first farms preempted in Nemaha county. Dr. Magill 
still votes in Corning. He owned the telephone company there and 
erected the attractive building which is its home. He always promoted 


baseball and all other healthful sports, and was invariably depended upon 
to push every movement for the good of the town, ^\'hen Dr. Alagill was 
mayor of Corning he ding-donged at his fellow citizens until every board 
or worthless, brick sidewalk was removed and cement walks put in their 
places. Corning considers her cement walks a monument to Dr. Magill. 
A memorial to O. ^^^ Ort, E. S. \'ernon and V. Broadbent, other pro- 
gressive citizens, Corning states, is the sidewalk laid from the city to the 
cemetery. The new electric lights Corning regards as a monument tn 
her present mayor, C. L. Payne. 

Corning has still another distinction. It is tlie highest point in 
Nemaha county. 

Nathan Ford, whose death occurred recently at his farm near Corn- 
ing, was one of the pioneers of Ivansas. The famous drouth of i860 was 
well remembered by Mr. Ford as he had to drive twice to Atchison for 
supplies for the poor in his vicinity. One of the trips required twenty- 
seven days. Fie was snow bound. Mrs. Ford took care of the farm dur- 
ing these trips. He went to Nemaha county in 1859, and had lived there 
ever since. 

Corning with a population of one hundred people and eight business 
houses in 1882, has, in 1916, multiplied these figures by seven and is a 
most prosperous, contented country' town, with an honorable past and a 
pleasing future. 





By Mrs. V. A. Bird. 

The town was founded in 1886 with the advent of the Rock Island 
railway. It was then called I^ehinan, in honor of Christian Lehman. 
However, the name was soon changed to Basel, pronounced with the 
"a" sounded as in ball. Attempts were soon made to change it again. 
and the postoffice authorities, at the suggestion of some influential men, 
gave it the name of Collins, but so many protested that the name Bern 
was suggested and adopted. It may be well to note that Congressman 
Burnes, of Missouri, interceded for the Bern advocates. The name is 
appropriate on account of so many Swiss settlers who are from Berne, 
Switzerland. Bern is 1,600 feet above the sea level and is one of the 
most healthful locations in the world. The drainage is good. There is 
no sickness arising from the surroundings. The springs north of town 
contain medicinal waters and would be a good location for a health re- 
sort. The mercantile business is well represented in all lines ordi- 
narily found in country towns. Manufacturing is represented by the 
Bern flouring mill, whose flour has a good reputation. There are four 
dry goods and grocery stores, one harness shop, two blacksmith shops, 
three drug stores, one meat market, one dressmaking parlor, two hotels, 
two restaurants, two doctors, two elevators, two hardware stores, one 
rusty calaboose, one depot, one barber shop, one hall, one flouring mill, 
one Turner hall, one printing office, one armful of pretty girls, one 
basketful of pretty boys, thirty dogs, 213 cats, thirteen bachelors, ten 
widows, twenty old maids, 300 good citizens, one lumber yard, one car- 
penter shop, one windmill and pump store, one millinery store, one bank, 
one furniture store, one jewelry and music store, best surrounding farms 
and best farmers. 

Under the heading, "Directory of Churches, Societies," etc., we find: 
Bern Evangelical church. Rev. II. W. Hartman, pastor; Lutheran, two 



miles southwest of Bern, Rev. D. A. Tinini, pastor; Apostolic, south of 
Bern, John Plattner. pastor; Children's Home Society, Rev. J. M. Dreis- 
bach, president: Mrs. E. M. McKinney, secretary; Bern Lodge, No. 319, 
Ancient Order United Workmen, J. J. Koehler, M. W. ; D. D. Cunning- 
ham, secretary ; Sunlight Lodge, Knights of Pythias, D. D. Cunningham, 


C. G.; A. J. Clyman. K. R. and 
ident ; Charles Cassman, secretary 

; Turnverein, Jacob Spring, pres- 
5ern Gun Club, T. B. Xewton, sec- 


Among the advertisers we find F. G. INIinger, the Bern jeweler; 
Olinghouse «S: Nusbaum. meat market and ice : Bern Cash Store, P. J. 
Firstenberger, proprietor: Jacob Schober, harness, saddles, etc.; I. G. 
Hamman, dry goods, clothing, shoes, etc. ; D. D. Cunningham, M. D., 
office over Minger's hardware store; Joel Strahm. breeder of pure Po- 
land China swine and Langshan chickens; James ]\IcKinney, contractor 
and builder ; William Scott & Son, lumber, coal, etc. ; G. M. Kinyon, 
druggist : John A. Minger, hardware ; Otto Parr, drugs and chemicals ; 
Newton Brothers, hardware and implements ; J. J. Koehler, windmills 
and pumps ; John Reinhart, furniture ; The State Bank of Bern, capital, 
$35,000, George A. Guild, president; Julius Hill, vice president; H. R. 
Guild, cashier ; W. J. ]\IcLaughlin, real estate dealer ; Jacob Ramsey 
Schweitze, lunch ; Minger's Clamping Saw Set. John A. Minger, in- 
ventor, patented in the United States and Canada, December 4, 1894. 

We copy in part the advertisement of the "Bern Mineral Springs." 
"These springs are situated two miles north of Bern at the base of Min- 
eral Hill, on the farm of C. O. Minger, where the old Indian trail crossed 
Silver creek. Before this country was settled some white men traveling 
along the trail found, near where the trail crosses the creek, a quality 
of mineral which they thought was silver. When they sent some of the 
mineral to the East to be analyzed, the analysis proved the mineral to 
contain iron, manganese, aluminum, sulphur and several other minerals, 
but no silver. The old Indian springs issued low down in the bed of 
the creek. Recently wells have been sunk near the bank of the creek, 
and the mineral water of the Indian springs found." 

Did you ever stop to think of Bern as a trading point and its value 
to the surrounding country as such? Did }'0U ever contrast it with 
other towns of its size, and if you did would you find any point in which 
Bern suffered in the comparison? Where- in this or adjoining States 
can you find a- town of its size that has as man}- substantial brick busi- 
ness houses as has Bern? AMiere will you find a town with so many 
beautiful and well kept houses? ^^'here can another be found that has 
no hovels or shacks or objectionable buildings? ^^"here is another that 
can boast of an opera house or hall such as we have? Where can you 
find another of its size that has an electric light plant, or a better tele- 
phone system? ^A'here can one be found with any better schools and 
churches? Where can you find a more enterprising, up-to-date accom- 
modating class of business men, or a more intelligent, warm-hearted 
and sociable people than is found in Bern and surrounding country. 
"Well," you say, "what has all that to do with Bern as a trading point?" 
We answer: "Not very much. These are only sj-mptoms — the external 
evidence — that Bern is above the average." In fact it not only excells as 
a business point, but is quite an ideal residence point. Among the best 
evidence we have, especially in comparison Avith other towns, are the 
impressions gained by traveling men and strangers who visit our town. 
They invariably rate us with a population twice our actual numbers after 


viewing our business houses. No one is in a better position to judge the 
business of a town than the trainmen on the local freight trains that 
serve the towns along the line. Recently the conductor on the local 
freight, running from Horton to Fairbury, was asked at what town on 
his run he unloaded the most merchandise, and in reply the names of 
two towns were given. One of them was Bern. 

The merchants of Bern all carry good stocks and are prepared 
to supply any merchandise desired by their customers upon 
ver)' short notice. As a rule our farmers appreciate the fact that their 
property values are affected by the value of their trading point as a 
farmer and business man to develop the market, and are loyal to their 
own interests. 

Like the omnibus, Bern has always room for more and will extend 
a hearty welcome to all new comers who desire to cast their lot with 
us for legitimate ends. We still have more vacant lots and room for 
more residents and more business. The commercial club will take 
pleasure in answering any questions and giving information to any one 
who desires to promote any enterprise in our city. V. A. Bird is president 
of the club. I. J. Kinyon is the mayor of Bern. 

The following are the business men of Bern: A. H. and N. Nus- 
baum. H. G. Whittle, R. Hatch, L. Garber, J. A. Minger, V. A. Bird, J. 
S. Wittwer, H. L. Guild, E. Brien, C. Cowan, W. W. Driggs and W. 
W. Driggs, Jr., C. W. Walker, J. Emert, F. J. \Mttwer. C. A. Poppe, M. 
Dennis, E. Brown, E. Cox, W. Graham, W. H. Harrison, J- Hilt and 
William Hilt, I. J. Kinyon, C. Puff, Dr. Meyer, A. Reinhart, E. Whis- 
sler, G. Xusbaum, Bauman & Nusbaum. 

The residents, old and new, enjoy taking a glance backward on old 
Father Time, quietly turning back the ledger and taking a look at the 
first pages of past history. Now let us look at our little city at the pres- 
ent time. A few days ago a Mr. Hendee of Sloan, Iowa, who was travel- 
ing for his health via auto, stopped over night in Bern. The next morn- 
ing, after visiting Nusbaum, Hatch, and Whittle, merchants of our stores, 
he remarked that he had traveled over the country a great deal and had 
seen a great many towns, but Bern was the best little town he had ever 
seen, judging from the stocks of goods that were carried by the mer- 
chants and the way they kept them up. He said Bern had stores that a 
town of 10,000 people might well be proud of. The above opinion is from 
a disinterested business man who is in ever}' way competent to judge, 
but what is your opinion? Do you realize that Bern has twenty-eight 
l)rick buildings and more in contemplation ? That Bern has more resi- 
dences costing from two to six thousand dollars than any town in the 
county of its size? That it has a fine electric light plant that is housed in 
a concrete building? That it has the finest little opera house found in 
any town of its size? That it has more grades in its schools than any 
town of its size? That it has fine churches and a fine class of refined, 
cultured people? It is also a demonstration of two facts: First, that our 


farmers are energetic, thrifty, progressive and prosperous people ; and, 
second, that our business men possess the energy, push and business 
acumen necessary to make Bern an ideal town. Bern has twenty-seven 
business houses, viz : Two elevators, three general merchandise, three 
hardware, two implements, pump and windmills, two drug stores, two 
millinery stores, one blacksmith shop, one furniture store, one lumber 
yard, one harness shop, one meat market, one wagon shop, one jewelry 
store, one shoe shop, one bank, one restaurant, two hotels, one livery, one 
printing office and one barber shop. The professions are represented by 
two physicians, one dentist, and the trades by several carpenters, masons, 
painters, plasterers and decorators. A lawyer once tried to exist in Bern, 
but he gave it up as a bad job, thus proving that this is more than ordinar- 
ily a peaceable and law-abiding settlement. 

As a rule our farmers appreciate the fact their property values are 
affected by the value of their trading point as a market for their prod- 
uct, also that it takes the combined effort of the farmer and business man 
to develop the market, and are loyal to their own interests. 

The business men of Bern appreciate the fact that their home paper 
(edited by W. W. Driggs & Son) is the connecting link between them 
and their patrons. The efficient editors are dropping "hot lead" here and 
there, and their comments, both in their local and editorial columns, 
cause readers to look for the next issue. 









Seneca, Sabetha, Centralia and Corning are the four towns of the 
county, the direct outcome of hopeful pioneers who staked out the vil- 
lages of their hopes and fought for their existence and welfare. The oth- 
er towns of the county are the outcome of necessary shipping points, or 
the result of railroad traffic. Wetmore, the first and oldest of these, is 
the halfway town between pioneer hopes and shipping necessities, mak- 
ing the necessary link to harmoniously join the chain. Wetmore is lo- 
cated four miles north of the line separating Jackson from Nemaha coun- 
ty and within a couple of miles of the eastern border of Nemaha county. 
The Central Branch railroad surveyed ground between Atchison' and 
Centralia as early as 1866. 

A quarter section of ground was platted, a section house and station 
erected, a dwelling house constructed, a hotel built, on the promise that 
trains should stop there for meals, and \\^etmore was finally launched 
as an embryo railroad town, the established for such a purpose in 
Nemaha county. The town went further than that and named itself 
after W. T. Wetmore, vice president of the railroad at that time. In 
1867 the town was given a postoffice, and business buildings slowly fol- 
lowed by a lumber yard, and later a grain elevator. In 1869 the De- 
Forest Brothers put in a general store, as did the Rising Brothers, all 
of whom, or their descendants, have been the loyal upbuilders of their 
little town and clung to it tenaciously. The Wetmore House was built 
by Peter Shumaker, who long remained a widely known host. Later 
a second hotel was built, called the Overland House, which was not 
used as a hostelry until four years later. 

Wetmore's first born child was a daughter, Mary Cassity, who 
lived only a couple of years. The first death was an infant child, Nellie 


Rising, a descendant of one of the families who have made Wetmore 
known. Wetmore, being younger and more thoroughly organized tlian 
her sister towns, kept her statistics fairly better than most. There is 
no quarreling there over first happenings. Honor for the first marriage 
has never been denied ^Nliss Mary \\'olfley and M. Morris, who were 
wedded in 1870. The Wetmore school Avas first taught in 1868 with 
A. S. Kenoyer as schoolmaster. 

The village was incorporated in 1882 and the first election resulted 
in J. ^^'• Graham's election as mayor and ^^'illiam Morris, E. H. Chap- 
man, ^^'illiam Bazan, Joseph Haigh, E. F. A'ilott as councilmen and M. 
P. M. Cassit}', police judge. These men for most part have remained 
identified with Wetmore and its progress. 


^^'etmore's greatest venture on the road to fame came from its 
mineral springs, which in the eighties were found to be of medicinal 
value and water was bottled and shipped far and wide. The springs 
were not made a health resort, but for years the waters were sent abroad 
to heal the ailing. 

Another A-enture in the world of notoriety drifted Wetmore's way 
when a hanging for horse thievery occurred near there. The alleged 
horse thief hid in his sister's house, which was attacked by a mob. The 
mob dragged the wretched boy forth, hanged him to a tree and went away 
leaving the ghastl}- picture a blot on the landscape and on the memory 
of Nemaha county's fair history. The occurrence was not in Wetmore's 
limits, rather nearer to Granada, a settlement now erased. 


The earliest citizen of Wetmore might be said to have been M. 
Callahan, a native of Limerick, Ireland. Mr. Callahan was employed 
by the Central Branch railroad. He pumped water and lived in a box 
car where Wetmore now stands. Later he left the railroad and settled 
in Wetmore. Before coming to Kansas Mr. Callahan had helped in- 
stall machiner}^ in the famous war steamers, the "Roanoke" and the 
"Jamestown," familiar to any child who knows his L^nited States history. 

It is only natural that AVetmore should have been a railroad town, 
for man}- of Wetmore's early day citizens freighted overland or were 
pon}- riders in the famous pony express. Ham Lynn's story is told else- 
where. He was an express rider. Don C. Rising rode the pon}' for the 
express company from i860 to 1862, and was later made assistant wagon 
master in the I'nited States service. N. H. Rising, his father, conducted 
a station. Log Chain farm, in Granada, where overland travel made him 
well-to-do. Robert Sewell, of Wetmore, drove an overland stage in 
Iowa and later in Kansas, with headquarters in Leavenworth. For ten 
years he was in the employ of the Overland Stage Company. He named 
the Overland Hotel of Wetmore in its honor. It is doubtful if the rail- 
road kept its promise that Wetmore should be the eating headquarters of 
the line in spite of all this. 

Wetmore seems to have solved the school question in a satisfactory 
manner. A frame school house was erected on the highest point in the 
city and well away from noise and disturbance. The school buildingis 
lighted from all sides. It is in excellent condition, so well kept up that 
it looks like new, although the inscription tells the passerby that it was 
built in 1892. The building is surrounded by an immense yard, well 
sodded and filled with handsome shade trees. A perfectly trimmed 
cedar hedge surrounds the grounds. The building cost Si 1,000, and the 
high school gives the complete course. 

This is the building which was mothered by the first school build- 
ing in Wetmore, which was the third building in the town. Jacob 
Guyer, M. M. Cassity and \A'illiam Morris constituted the first school 
board, and the building opened with twenty-two pupils. So Wetmore, 
by reason of its speedily erected pioneer school building, lays good claim 
to intellectuality. Mr. Cassity was a lawyer, one of the first in the 
county. He was also a Kentuckian, and before coming to Nemaha 
county had taught school in Missouri. Immediately after his arrival 
in Nemaha county, in the late fifties, he taught school in the old log 
school house in Granada. Mr. Cassity was one of the interesting pioneers. 
He stuck to Granada as long as there was anything there. He was jus- 
tice of the peace, town clerk, deputy assessor and general factotum. 
He was one of the pioneer travelers for the St. Joseph Gazette. The 
story goes that when he lived in Plattsburg, Mo., he defended and 
cleared a man by the name of Samuels, a half brother of Jesse James. 

Speaking of Jesse James recalls the story that not long before his 
death he made Nemaha county a call, which was thought to be a pro- 


fessional one. A short time before Jesse James was killed by Bob Ford 
both men were in Sabetha looking around with a view of possibly 
transacting some business. At the time, the Sabetha marshall was one 
Smith, who was bound to make a good record and possessed a very keen 
eye. He contracted the habit of looking very carefully at any stranger 
within the gates. James and Ford were crossing the street near, the 
National Bank building when they met Smith face to face. Smith looked 
James straight in the eyes, and Ford and James took the first train cut. 
When Bob Ford was in jail two months later for the murder of James, 
H. C. Haines went to take a look at him. Upon hearing where Haines 
was from, Ford told of the Sabetha incident and said that he exerted 
every influence he had over Jesse James to keep him from returning to 
Sabetha and killing Marshal Smith. James was convinced that Smith 
knew who he was. Many Sabetha people remembered having seen the 
men when their pictures were printd in the St. Joseph newspapers. 

Wetmore seems to have retained her early day citizens, or their de- 
scendants, more than most towns. The merchants of today are the 
merchants of the early days, or their children or grandchildren. The 
same names are seen in the Wetmore paper every week, Vilott, De 
Forest, Rising, Haigh, names not of general use, are still identified with 

During the current winter Mrs. George C. Cox died, leaving 
several farms near Wetmore and considerable cash to be divided among 
her several children. When Mr. and Mrs. Cox came to Wetmore from 
London, England, in 1868, Mr. Cox was so poor that he was obliged to 
pay for the first breaking on the farm he had homesteaded by giving 
his coat for it. The farms left by Mrs. Cox included the homestead. 
Mr. Cox remained on this homestead until his death in 1901. The 
winter after his arrival he built a "Kansas" or blockhouse on the farm 
and with a cord of wood as family supplies he commenced farming. 
Three years later he was the victim of the grasshopper scourge. But 
out of it Mr. and Mrs. Cox came unscathed. Four of their twelve chil- 
dren were born on the farm, the others in London, where Mr. and Mrs. 
Cox were married in St. Barnabas' Church. Her six Nemaha county 
sons were Mrs. Cox's pallbearers. 

John Radford, who is mentioned in reminiscences of John Fuller as 
one of the promoters of the Kansas emigration of English workingmen, 
was a Wetmore resident. John Radford was a dreamer and a zealot. A 
dream of better conditions for the poor. A zealot in living his theories. 
He was an early day jeweler of Wetmore. His barren childhood, in 
which his fight for existence was an ever-living battle, made him only 
more determined to be educated and help others. He attended night 
schools, mechanics' institutes and lyceums. For a dreary seven years in 
his Devonshire, England, home he was apprenticed wageless to a jeweler 
and engraver. He became a Liberal in social matters. Of the immi- 
gration party to Kansas, written by Mr. Fuller, John Radford and James 


Murray were the pushers. One pound (about $5) shares of an emi- 
gration company were issued. Each member was allowed a maximum 
of fifteen shares. The company was supposed to buy American lands 
and lease them to others for developing. Six original families came 
over, twenty following shortl)^ afterward. The company was a failure, 
for the reason that anyone could have Kansas land almost for the taking 
at that time. But fifty English families settled in Nemaha county, 
sturdy, thrifty, industrious, who have done much toward making the 
county one of solid foundation. So while the scheme failed the outcome 
was more than successful. 

N. H. Rising, who was a pioneer citizen of Wetmore, had pioneered 
already in Granada and Sabetha. His was one of the first houses built 
in Sabetha, when, in 1858 and 1869, he ran a store there with George 
Lyons. Then he ran a hotel at Granada and in 1861 he built the ranch 
house at the famous Log Chain ranch. The Log Chain is now one of 
the Dr. Sam Murdock farms, one of 2,000 acres owned in the county by 
the founder of the Sabetha hospital. Log Chain's history is interesting. 
The ranch is situated at the crossing of the old military road of Log 
Chain creek, which still wends its way through the picturesque, historic 
farmland. \^'hen Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston was sent with Ignited 
States troops to quiet the Mormon rising in 1844, he had a great deal of 
trouble in crossing this creek. Heavy chain after heavy chain was broken. 
Scores of heavy chains were broken by teams of twenty-four to thirty- 
eight ox teams in trying to drag the heavily laden military wagons and 
artillery through the stream. This gave the stream the name of Log 
Chain and the ranch took the name from its troublesome little river. 
Log Chain ranch was a pretentious house, for those days. It was 24x40 
feet, and the barn was seventy feet long. Mr. Rising had a thriving 
business here during stage days. 

The first settler in Wetmore township was Augustus Wolfley, a 
Pennsvlvanian, who died on the farm he preempted thirty-five years 
ago or more. Air. Wolfley built on a creek, a fine rushing stream, as 
did most of the pioneers. The stream now bears his name. His son 
followed him in 1836. Frequently the two men would go to Atchison 
for provisions and supplies. Duing a visit there they were arrested by 
a pro-slavery mob, tried and convicted and sentenced to be shot. They 
were given respite from the sentence, but were taken across the Mis- 
souri river in a boat and told to stay there and vote the pro-slavery 
ticket. Thev managed to get to St. Joe. In a ferry boat at that point 
they crossed to AVathena and walked back carefully, and by stages, to 
their Wetmore farm, a distance of seventy miles. The difficulty of this 
tramp may be imagined when it is recalled that the seventy miles was 
raw, unbroken prairie, with no landmarks and no knowledge of the 
country. Mr. AVolfley was one of the few pioneers well supplied with 
worldly goods when he came to Kansas. Upon his death he deeded a 
farm to each of his sons. 


Wetmore being a younger child has also been a child more ven- 
turesome. The prosaic certaint}- of farm life did not appeal to Wet- 
more as persistently as to the rest of Nemaha count}-. To be sure, Wet- 
more was not founded for farming purposes, but for a railroad center. 
So perhaps it is not surprising to note that upon occasion, and frequently 
Wetmore has delved into the bowels of the earth in the fond hope 
of finding a shorter if less sure way to riches. The last venture 
was about 1907. when Wetmore went digging for coal. Indications 
were that Wetmore had coal. If she had coal, Wetmore wanted it 
where it was doing more good than in the ground. So she dug, and dug, 
and dug. If coal were not found, at least oil or gas might be dis- 
covered. The citizens stuck valiantly to their drill, but by the time 
they had gotten to a depth of 2,200 feet and there was nothing doing in 
either coal, gas or oil, Wetmore decided to let Pittsburg furnish their 
coal and they returned to farming. After the stated depth was attained 
the drilling apparatus was taken away, when hope revived in the de- 
spondent breast of the village and $3,000 was raised to dig deeper. But 
the amount was not sufficient to warrant bringing the drilling apparatus 
back to town. It was figured that fully $5,000 was needed and the hope 
was not sufficient to raise the sum. The drill was not put down deep 
enough to satisfy people, however; in fact man}- thought the money 
gave out just as something was about to be turned up. With this hope 
springing eternal in the Wetmore breast, it may be tried again 

In' Wetmore township, adjoining Reilly in the southeastern section 
of the county, lies Bancroft, a small settlement of interesting folk. 
Bancroft has added several additions to the original old town, in which 
are located the bank, the hotel, the postoffice and stores and several 
homes. The additions are called Camp's, Woodburn's and Poynter's. 
The town of Bancroft has an excellent graded school, a blacksmith 
shop and a union church. Its streets are named First, Second, Elk and 
Sycamore, which is farther than most villages get in the street matter. 
There are, besides, a creamery station, stock yards and all conveniences 
for shipping the immense amount of stock and grain raised in the vi- 

W. F. Turrentine, mayor of Wetmore and editor of the ^^'etmore 
"Spectator," has recently been dubbed "W. R. Hearst," as he has started 
several papers in Netawaka and a "string of papers is again inaugurated 
in W'etmore. The first "string" was started by Daniel C. Needham in 
1878, which lived but a short time. 

The town of Wetmore was laid out by the railroad, for the railroad 
and with the railroad. The Central Branch, always the most contrary 
road in the State, runs "cattycornered" through Wetmore. It is not on 
a true bias, but about three sheets in the wind, as it were. So Wetmore, 
taking the line of least resistance, went along with the raiload. There- 
fore, every street in Wetmore is diagonal and there is not a house ap- 
parently that is standing right with the world. A sailor of life training 
would lose his bearings in Wetmore. 







Centralia, the third town in Nemaha county, has her own person- 
aHty and it is one that impresses. In the memory of man no scandal has 
emanated from CentraHa, no brawls, no family disturbances. If Cen- 
tralia has them she conceals them in the closet as a family skeleton and 
does not even let her sister cities know of her troubles. Therefore, the 
conclusion might be drawn that Centralia, Nemaha county, is not a 
gossip. Than which no higher praise can be given. Cleaii-spiritei!. 
clean-minded, clean-mouthed, Nehama county is proud of her third-born 
living child. 

Centralia, as has been said, was one of the villages built on a hill, 
who could not induce the railroad to take their point of view, and had, 
therefore, to tumble down the hill to the railroad. In 1859, J. S. Hidden. 
J. W. Tullor and A. A. Goodman picked out a sightly spot on which to 
build a. village to overlook the fertile valley of the Black Vermillion 
stream. Within three years this seemly village included a general store, 
a drug store, a school house, a hotel and even a lawyer with a law office. 
The lawyer was F. P. Baker, who afterward became the editor of the 
Topeka "Commonwealth," a newspaper famous in Kansas early days, but 
now passed on. In 1867 a blacksmith shop and several dwellings had 
been erected. And here the pioneers hoped to live, and thrive, and grow, 
and die. But many a happy plan has the ruthless railroad spoiled. Along 
came the Missouri Pacific with its slow moving,- but depredations Cen- 
tral Branch and, ever a lazy organization, it refused to climb the hill to 
Centralia'. So down rolled Centralia, bag and baggage, to the foot of 
the hill, where the Central Branch still lazies by its doorstep, whistling 
promises of improvement that it never keeps. Of the original town com- 
pany only Mr. Hidden took part in the purchase of the new site. Two 
hundred and forty acres were secured for the new CentraHa directly on 
the bank of the Black Vermillion. Peter Clippinger, two Smith brothers 


and A. W. Slater gave half of this purchase land to the railroad and the 
station was erected with the name painted thereon. I. Stitchel put up the 
first building, A. Williams the second and John Smith, of the town com- 
pany, the third. Meantime, down the hill rolled the buildings of old 
Centralia, with one notable execption, which is standing on the original 
site today. 

A band of pioneers from Maine had come to Kansas and formed 
this settlement on the high and sightly hill. The people were intellectual 
and progressive. The Maine colony seemed to be of literary bent and 
bound to introduce the higher life into its settlement. Therefore it 
erected a big stone school building. This was intended to be the wing 
to a seminary eventually, for Centralia was meant to be a college town. 
The Maine colony was a well-to-do as well as an intellectual class of men 
and women. For ten years the settlement prospered, then came the rail- 
road, and the houses and homes and business buildings formed the line 
of march and rolled down the hill to the valley and the railroad, 
where new Centralia has prospered as faithfully as her mother colony 
on the hilltop. The one building that was not moved today marks the 
ambition of the pioneers of the old town. The would-be seminary was 
left in its stately stone grandeur to mark an ambitious past. The old 
school building stands alone, its literary hopes dashed to the ground, 
a monument to the everlasting success of greedy commercialism over 
artistic ambition. The building has been remodeled into a modern farm- 
house, the property of Z. B. Hartmann, who is raising wonderful crops 
on the townsite of Old Centralia. 

Centralia moved and progressed physically and mentally until in 
1882 the requisite number of citizens in the town warranted Judge David 
Martin, of Atchison, in granting an order incorporating the town into a 
city of the third class. In 1916, the month of January, Centralia is the 
only town in Kansas of 1,000 inhabitants to own its own electric light 
plant, furnishing twent}'-four-hour service. Centralia also furnishes 
"juice" to Corning and Goff, her nearest neighbors to east and west. 

Centralia is literary, too. Little sister that she is, she has main- 
tained a notable library for twenty-five years through the devotion of 
her women to books, and of her men to the efforts of the women. In 
fact, Centralia is the only town in Nemaha county, and one of the few 
in Kansas of its size, to have supported a free public library for many 

In the early eighties three women members of the literary union 
concluded that knowledge only is power. They were Mrs. A. S. Best, 
Mrs. F. P. Bowen and Mrs. L. R. Jackson. With the interest of their 
fellowmen uppermost in their hearts, they established a free public 
library. From their own pockets and by means of literary entertain- 
ments they gave the necessary wherewithal to buy the first books, sup- 
plementing the purchase with what books they could spare from their 
personal libraries. Many of their friends assisted in the work, and after 

«t^^. .^i-^^-i..^.,.,- 


various struggles and many discouragements the little library was opened 
to the book-hungry community. There was no charge for the books and 
the country people were included and given free access to the library 
shelves. The library ladies believed that knowledge, like religion, should 
be free. The women were young mothers then, but from household 
cares and growing families they spared enough time to uplift the com- 
munity. ThcA^ gave entertainments from time to time for more books 
and magazines. They took afternoons from their own time to take 
turns as free librarians. From this little library in 1880 the Literary Union 
developed into the Library Association, v,hich was a chartered organi- 
zation of considerably larger membership. After a number of years this 
association lost their enthusiasm, and the ladies of the Centralia Reading 
Circle and a few remaining members of the old Literar}' Union opened 
a free reading room. 

In ]\Iay, 1906, by vote of the citizens of Centralia, the library became 
the property of the city. One mill was taxed, and there was not the 
least objection in the community. The entertainments continued, and 
the best magazines and newest books of all kinds were continually 
added. A few years later the tax was increased, which enabled the em- 
ployment of a regular librarian. The library being opened but three 
evenings in the week, the distribution of magazines became difficult, 
which was solved by renting them at five cents for a short period. There 
are now about 1,500 books in the library for a town of 1,000 inhabitants. 
These are supplemented with books from the State traveling libraries. 
Another library in Centralia was presented to the public schools bj' A. 
Oberndorf, owner of the Eleanora Fruit and Poultry farm, in memory 
of his little daughter. Adele. There are 1,800 children's books in this 
collection. A similar gift lias not been recorded in any State .so far as 
Centralia knows. 

The public library rooms are fitted Avith comfortable chairs, fine 
pictures, reading tables and all modern librarj^ conveniences. A framed 
charter of a branch of the Lyceum League of America, signed by Presi- 
dent Roosevelt, is one of the library possessions of which the citizens 
are proud. The Centralia branch of the Lyceum League was organized 
in 1886, at which time Theodore Roosevelt was simply an American 
citizen, but was also president of the chief organization of the Lyceum 
League. The local league later became inactive and lost its charter 
The signed charter hung, neglected and unadmired, in Mr. Bush's 
kitchen. But when Mr. Roosevelt became the leading citizen of Amer- 
ica and the world, the old charter was resurrected from its ignominious 
surroundings, handsomely framed and properly housed w\th Thackeray, 
Dickens, Balzac, Hume, Gibbon, Izaac ^^'alton. etc., in Centralia's 
library. The names of the charter members of Centralia league which 
are signed with Mr. Roosevelt's are F. .\. Hybskmann, ^^'ayland Shoe- 
maker, C. W. McBratney, Sumner McXeil. W. B. Griffith and TT. L. 
Wait, editor of the Centralia "Tournal." 


Dr. J. S. Hidden, one of the builders of Centralia, was the first sur- 
geon in New England to use chloroform as an anesthetic. Surgery was 
little resorted to in those pioneer days. When it was, a patient was 
just supposed to grin and bear it. Dr. Hidden was the first regular 
practitioner in Nemaha county, and served in the Kansas legislature in 
1863 and 1864. Prior to his removal to Kansas he had served in the 
New Hampshire legislature. 

F. P. Baker, who was the old Centralia lawyer, and later became 
proprietor of the Centralia "Commonwealth" is also one of Centralia's or- 
iginal men of brains. The Topeka "Commonwealth" nourished many 
brilliant newspaper men of Kansas, men who have been and are the real 
fathers of Kansas. Associated with Air. Baker on the "Commonwealth" 
was the late Noble L. Prentiss as local editor. Later Mr. Prentiss was 
editor of the Atchison "Champion," and when he died he was writing the 
Starbeams on the Kansas City "Star." It was Mr. Prentiss who gave the 
name "Herd Book" to Andreas' old History of Kansas, which has clung 
to the volume up to date, and always will. Mr. Prentiss was in Chicago 
when the proofs of the old history were brought into the office where he 
was a visitor. He looked over the proofs. "Well" said the Kansas wit. 
"you seem to have the whole herd here." The story was printed and 
when the book came out it was heralded as the "Herd Book," and so it 
remains to day. Few know that the book was compiled by one Andreas. 
Henrv King preceded the Centralia Mr. Baker as editor of the "Com- 
monwealth." Mr. King died within the past year, having been editor of 
the St. Louis "Globe-Democrat" for many years before his death. At a 
meeting of the National Editorial Association in Lawrence in 1914. Mr. 
King was one of the speakers, when he protested his love for Kansas 
above all other lands. His will left a portion of his wonderful library to 
Kansas. It is now in the Memorial Building in Topeka. Thomas Ben- 
ton Murdock, late editor of the El Dorado "Republican," and called the 
"Beau Brummel" of the Kansas press, and an uncle of Victor Murdock, 
Congressman for many years from Kansas, was manager of the "Com- 
monwealth" when it was owned by the Centralia lawyer. There hasn't 
been a lawyer located on the Centralia townsite for eight years, and the 
Centralia jail has no prisoners, in spite of the fact that it is steam heated. 

Centralia would naturally erect a school building in which to prop- 
erly house her school children, and in 1872 a building was erected at a 
cost of $2,500. J. S. Stamm as the first teacher. The cyclone which 
swept the county in 1882 destroyed the building, and a building costing 
$6,000 was put up in its place, which opened with 175 pupils, with D. 
M. Bowman as principal. 

In 1906 the school building was burned and nothing was saved. 
The city of Centralia, progressive, literary, then erected a real school 
building. Grades and high school were included in one handsome struc- 
ture, which cost $18,000. This building included furnaces, dry closets, 
modern ventilation svstem, and the school board visited Kansas City, 


St. Joseph and Topeka, calling at and examining all the modern schools 
in these cities before they commenced work on their own building. The 
building includes eight big rooms, an assembly room, a laboratory, two 
recitation rooms, a cemented modern basement for lunch rooms and 
manual training, big windows in all closets, doors opening outward. 

The people of Centralia did not realize what a remarkable record the 
town had on infant mortalit}' until baby week began to be discussed, 
and then it was found that the records show not a baby or child has died 
in Centralia for three years and only one in the past four and a half 
years, with the exception of two premature births. The four and a half 
years cover the period since the State law requiring the registration of 
deaths went into effect in 191 1. Before that time no record was kept. 
The baby is studied in Centralia. For a number of years the Reading 
Circle had child study as a part of their weekly program. In the library 
are a number of books on the baby and the child. Bulletins on this sub- 
ject, issued b}' the State and other good authorities, are never laid aside 
as unimportant, but are read with interest. Magazines with the best 
baby departments are most popular in the homes. Doctors are up-to- 
date and willing and ready to use the system of preventative medicine 
and give mothers advice about the feeding and care of babies rather than 
apply all their knowledge and skill in trying to save the baby when it 
is seriously ill. Most bottle babies are scientifically fed, and there are no 
bottle babies unless nature makes it necessary. 

Babies in Centralia live out of doors as much as possible, and it is 
no novelty here to see the front porch fenced in with wire netting or 
any way to give the baby a safe out of doors play room, which is often 
used in winter as well as summer. There is no trouble in this town 
about pure milk ; those who sell milk deliver it in sterlized, stoppered 
bottles. "Swat the fly" is a town slogan and it is considered a disgrace to 
have a fly in the house. If there is a case of whooping cough in town 
the babies are kept away from it. There hasn't been a case of measles 
or scarlet fever in Centralia for years, and diphtheria is unknown. 
Among the children just out of the baby class adenoids are watched 
and removed when found, and the majority of the parents have their 
children's teeth carefully looked after. Taking all these things into con- 
sideration, Centralia believes that these pictured babies have a good 
chance to live through the critical stage of childhood. 


("Written by Abijah Wells in the Seneca "Trilnnie" 35 Years Ago.) 

The West has been the object of the wildest expectations and the 
scene of the grandest successes and bitterest disappointments that man- 
kind have achieved or suffered, and of all the bright anticipations and 
Ctopian dreams that have impelled humanity onward in their ever 


moving march toward the setting sun, there liave been few l^righter, 
fairer or more ephemeral than that which inspired the formation of the 
Home Association, the legitimate progenitor of our now thriving village 
of Centralia. This organization was originated in Knox county, Illinois, 
in the summer of 1858. A constitution and code of laws were adopted 
and a committee appointed and sent to Kansas to locate the site of the 
new "Garden of Eden" to which should be attracted the ability, culture 
and refinement necessary to make it "The land of all on earth supremely 
blest." The committee, after a careful examination, selected six miles 
square, in the exact center of which was located the town of Centralia. 
The next winter a charter was granted them by the Territorial Legisla- 
ture, and within a year hundreds of people had flocked to the new settle- 
ment, and a town had been built as if by magic, while on every hand new 
farms greeted the beholder. A building was erected, designed for the 
south wing of the Centralia College, to serve as the germ of the future 
grand educational institution that was to be developed there. The out- 
side world was invited by a well prepared circular, gotten up, we be- 
lieve, by C. H. Chitty, then secretary of the association, and now prac- 
ticing law in Metamora, 111., to "come and see a portion of bleeding Kan- 
sas transformed into a blooming garden." 

For a time it seemed as if the highway of success was opening for 
the undertaking, but ere long private jealousies and sectarian prejudices 
were awakened that caused contentions to grow among the members of 
the society, which culminated on March 10, 1862, in what was for 
years afterward known as "The Centralia Riot," and for which the 
writer hereof, with some fifteen others, was arrested by John H. 
Rogers, then sheriff of Nemaha county, taken before H. H. Lanham, 
then as now a justice of the peace in Seneca, and after a week spent on 
preliminary examination, were bound over to appear at the next term 
of the district court, where the trial took place, and all Avere acquitted. 
James P. Taylor prepared the papers for the arrest and assisted in the 
prosecution, that being his first appearance in a Kansas court. In his 
closing argument he told the court to "Have mercy upon the boys, but 
to sock it to the old d — 1." The defense was conducted by F. P. Raker, 
now of the Topeka "Commonwealth." and John C. Scott, who, years 
after, committed suicide in Alarshall county, while A\'illiam Histed acted 
as a sort of lay attorney, he at that time not having been admitted to the 

Thus ended the brilliant hopes and bright promises of Home Asso- 
ciation, and with it the bubble of one more ideal "Utopia" burst. 

The organization went down ; many of the citizens, now thoroughly 
disgusted, sought new homes, or went back to "her folks." A good 
share of the houses were moved away or torn down. Among those 
moved to Seneca we may mention that of F. P. Baker's dwelling, which 
■ furnished the germ of the house now occupied by John H. Peckham, 
while his office is now the front part of Joseph r>ehne's dwelling. The old 


Leatherby house, now on the bottoms east of town, was originally built 
in Centralia by AVilliam Holden. The Centralia hotel, after many" trans- 
formations, is now the wooden part of the C'uwdrx l.uilding, the lower 
story being occupied by Johnston Brothers' lan.l .iiii.c and Parsons & 
Smith's boot and shoe store. And of the Ceniralia li.llcge, which was 
expected to become the Harvard of the West, nothing now remains but 
the building, transformed into a farm house, and occupied by our vener- 
able friend, Robertson. 

Of the early settlers of Centralia, but few now remain. Dr. Hidden, 
Stephen Barnard, A. W. Slater, O. P. Gallaher, Reuben Mosher, Alex- 
ander McCutcheon, John Hodgins, T. A. Campfield, the Sams and Yill- 
mer families, Judson AY. Stickney and probably some others whose 
names now escape our memory, live in or near Centralia. E. D. Hymer 
died a few weeks ago; his famil}- still live near town. William Histed 
is probate judge of Nemaha county. Joshua Mitchell, county clerk; Dr. 
Shelton and Hugh Hamilton live in P.eattie, Marshall county ; Delos W. 
Agar, who has as generous a heart as ever beat in human breast, and 
whose house was often our welcome home, now lives in Vermillion, 
Marshall county. Seth B. Hough, the generous, whole-souled, good- 
natured Seth, is married and rearing a famil}- in ISerlin, Minn. • Scott B. 
Humphrey has a valuable farm near Seneca, upon which he lives. Dr. 
N. B. McKay is practicing his profession in America City. J. W. 
Tullor, after serving Nemaha county faithfully as county clerk for eight 
years, was called home from earth some eight years ago. F. P. Baker, 
who was then practicing law in Centralia, and that winter represented 
his district in the Legislature, who, before leaving for Topeka, called 
his fellow citizens in Centralia together and in a well written address 
explained to them what great things he intended to accomplish for Home 
Association and the Centralia College, has since made for himself a 
name, and fortune, we hope, as editor and proprietor of the Topeka 
'"Commonwealth." If he reads this article he will probably smile as we 
do (in a strictly temperance manner) at the bright pictures we then saw 
of the glorious results to be accomjilished in the then immediate future, 
and remember with a chuckle and a spasmodic contraction of the mus- 
cles of one side of his face, the secret society organized in his office, 
with its magic pass word and glorious object, and later, the obituar_\- 
poetry, of which the grandeur of its conception was equalled only by the 
elegance of its style. 








Goff goes a step farther than Wetmore and is the direct outcome of 
the railroad being run through its vicinity and needing a loading station. 
Goff is one of the youngest children of Nemaha county, and has sur- 
passed in numbers its sisters of many years older. Goff, being primarily 
a railroad town and the only one built for that sole purpose, looks like 
an alien among her agricultural sister towns. Goff is hilly, with odd, 
abrupt hills rising suddenly and for no apparent reason out of the earth. 
It is straggling and in its unusualness, very interesting. 

Goff was named in honor of a railroad man, or rather a railway 
official, Edward H. Goff, of the Union Pacific railroad. Whether to 
pronounce the town Goff or Goffs is always a bone of contention, and 
can always raise a satisfactory disturbance in the switch shanty when 
the much-discussed plan on improving the Central Branch and extending 
the line to Denver fails. 

The town was laid out in 1880. Two years later it contained a 
hotel and store, occupying one building. Today it is a prosperous 
town of 700 inhabitants, with a good business street and one of the 
handsomest school buildings in the county. 

Goff looks like the adopted child of Nemaha county. If a resident 
of Nemaha had never seen Goff and knew nothing of it and should be 
set down there in the night, he would scarcely believe he was in his own 
county. Just as the rest .of the county is pre-eminently a farming com- 
munity and the towns were built up for farmers' trade, Goff is a rail- 
road community and seems to have known it from the time it was fash- 
ioned bv Mother Nature. Nemaha county is gently undulating until 
she gets to Goff. Then she is filled with perpendicular hills, vales and 



Unfortunately, Goff as a railroad center does not seem to be as 
thriving in its chosen line as one would wish. Two roads meet there 
and the town is attractive and individual in its hilliness, widely different 
from the rest of the Nemaha county towns, which are flat' and level 
universally. Goff begins at the foot of a mountainous hill with the 
livery stable. It ascends perpendicularly half way to the clouds, where 
it ends in the handsome school house. Snowy winters in Goff are a 
paradise for Goff children. The only respectable coasting hill in Ne- 
maha county is in Goff. The Goff school house,, which is" the pride of 
the town, was picked up off its foundation sixteen years ago by a cy- 
clone. But the cyclone was comparatively gentle, as gentle as such an 
uncontrolled beast may be, and it carefully set the school house down. 
So instead of tearing the building down the Goffites simply put their 
fine school building back on the foundation and fastened it down tighter, 
where it served to educate the children and afforded a view that should 
have made an artist of every small boy in Goff, had he not found the 
frequent locomotive more fascinating than the pleasant outlook. 

Goff has a citizen who has been a police judge about as long as 
Sabetha's Judge Cook. Since the beginning of time in Goff, Judge J. R. 
Donaldson has been police judge there. He takes care of the law and of 
his own domicile at one and the same time, and is an interesting char- 

Mr. Abbott, who owned the first store in Goff, under the firm name 
of Abbott & Reynolds, still lives in Goff, but has been retired from 
actual business for ten years. Goff was very poor in the days when the 
town was first started. Clothes and shoes were at a premium. It must 
have been a drouth year or grasshoppers or winds or something. At 
any rate, the folks were hard pressed for wearing apparel and the neces- 
sities of life. Mrs. Abbott came to the hilly, hidden, hungr}- little burg, 
a young married woman, with a trunk load of lovely clothes. When 
she went to church she found the other folks arra3'ed in calico gowns, 
many without hats or even sunbonnets and some without shoes. So 
she folded awa}^ her lovely clothes, got out the plainest things she had, 
made her others of greater simplicity and went to church and did about 
as her less fortunate neighbors. But Goff now is a town of peculiar 
fascination. Its hills and dales, its good hotels, its several excellent 
brick buildings and its fine picture show give it an air so different from 
other towns of the county that it is always interesting. 


The building of the Kansas City & Northwestern railroad through 
the county necessitated another shipping station midway between Goff 
and Seneca. Kelly was the result. Kelly has thri^•ed and prospered and 
has gathered unto itself many from surrounding localities. A general 
store is run bv Emil Jonach, Jr., whose name has been identified with 


Nemaha county since its first settlement. Jonachs have been the first 
name in mind at Woodlawn and now at Kell3^ Another store is that 
of Schumacher & Ketters. 

Perhaps the prime mover in Kelly affairs for a long number of 
years is Dr. Fitzgerald and his energetic wife. Mrs. Fitzgerald is every- 
thing in Kelly. Dr. Fitzgerald is the druggist as well as the town doctor. 
But Mrs. Fitzgerald is the assistant druggist, the postmistress, the tele- 
phone operator, and she was the editor for several months of the only 
paper Is^elly has had in several years, "The Kelly Booster." The paper 
was printed at Goff, but the effort was too great a tax on the village 
criterion and after a few months of excellent editing, it was abandoned. 
Some fourteen years ago, when Kelly was a mere infant child of the 
county, Bernard Harrish tried publishing a newspaper there. He is 
located at Smithville, Mo., in charge of the '"Herald." A'Villiam Kongs 
has a hardware store in Kelly, and R. S. Vandervoort is the village black- 

Kelly has a beautiful new Catholic church, completed within the 
past year at a cost of $40,000, Father Edwin Kassens, pastor. The 
exterior is more beautiful than the famous St. lienedict's. l^ut the in- 
terior is not so elaborate. The Methodist church has been meeting in 
Kell}' since the foundation of the town eighteen years ago. There were 
eighty original members and they are served by Rev. Moyer, of Corning. 

The Kelly Bank is again the child of Nemaha county pioneers. G. 
A. Magill, a son of Caleb Magill, is the cashier. His wife is a daughter 
of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Scrafford. Both names are identified with the 
foundation of the county. Charlie Scrafford was a founder of Seneca. 
Caleb Magill was a pioneer resident of Granada. Kelly has a farmers' 
union store and a barber shop. Its two elevators are owned by the 
union and the Denton Brothers, of Leavenworth, with Bert Cole as man- 
ager of the Denton elevator. The Catholic parochial school, in charge 
of the sisters, has one hundred jn'.pils. Mrs. George Magill teaches 
the village school with about twenty-five pupils. R. M. Emery, 
of Seneca, is president of the bank. F. M. Spalding, whose home is in 
Lincoln, Neb., owns the lumber yard, which is one of a string extending 
from Sabetha to Lincoln. O. D. Ruse is the Kelly manager. There is 
a cream station under the management of F. E. Gabbert, another name 
prominent in Nemaha county history. There is a hotel and restaurant 
combined. This with less than 200 inhabitants, including the station 
agent, completes, the prosperous, little town. There is not a vacant 
dwelling in Kelly. In fact, the new station agent had to camp in a box 
car recently for two months until a house could be planned and arranged 
for the occupancy of himself and his family. There are also on tlie road 
between Goff and Seneca, Sourk and Kampler stations, mere shipping 
points for stock or grain on occasion. 

George Magill, cashier of the Kelly bank, is a descendant ol Caleb 
Magill, one of the four Magill brothers who helped to settle Nemaha 


county. Four of the Magill brothers, who were among the earhest set- 
tlers of Kansas, married girls named Mary and they already had a sister 
Mary. So ever since their marriage their wives have been referred to 
as Mary with the Christian names of their particular husbands added. 
For instance, there are Alary David, Mary Aaron, Mary Charlie, and 
their own sister, Mrs. Payne, whom they call IMary K. or ]\Iary Kansas, 
as that is her middle name in honor of her natiA-e State. 


One time postoffices which have passed out of the here into the 
nowhere were Dorcas, in Capioma, township, and Clear Creek. Both 
were kept only in farm houses, the rural routes putting them out of 
business. Near Wetmore about thirty years ago a section house was 
built and given the name of Sother, in compliment to the Hon. Thomas 
Sother. A store was erected, but it, too, has gone the way of blasted 

Berwick, comprising a store and e.x-postoffice and four houses, has 
continued as a stopping point of the Rock Island railroad between Sa- 
betha and Bern. Price is a shipping point on the Grand Island between 
Oneida and Sabetha. Both have excellent stores, a convenience to the 
farmers nearby, and life saving stations for autoists who forgot to fill 
their gasoline tanks before leaving their homes on either side of the 
village stores. Price was named for J. E. Price, a prominent grain man 
of Sabetha in the early eighties. J- E. Price was a soldier, who received 
a medal for manning an abandoned gun at the siege of Richmond. He 
was well beloved in Sabetha and the grandmothers of today recall with 
affection broom drills and exercises and entertainments he taught them 
as little girls. In connection with Mr. Price is Samuel Slosson, who, 
with his brother, W. B., one of the real fathers and faithful lovers of 
Sabetha, built the Price elevator in Sabetha. Samuel Slosson was the 
first station agent at Sabetha. 

The brothers moved from Sabetha to Albany during the exodus of 
1870 to greet the coming of the railroad to Nemaha county. Samuel 
Slosson, who is dead, was the husband of Mrs. Dr. Emma Brooke 
Slosson. the only practicing woman physician of Nemaha county, who 
lives here still, retaining their old family home and the love and affec- 
tion of her lifetime friends. Dr. Slosson is still practicing medicine. 
.\t one time she and "Old Dr. Irwin" of beloved nicin.n\ . were the nnly 
practicing physicians in Saljetha, owing to a State restrictiiai which re- 
quired special examinations for physicians at that time. The Price 
village store is now run by M. J. Steiner, one of the Amish German 
brethren, who have taught improved farming methods to many Ameri- 
can brother tillers of the soil. The Berwick store is in charge of .V. F 



Baileyville, the westernmost town of the county, was named in 
honor of ex-Governor Bailey's father, who laid out the town seven miles 
west of Seneca. It has prospered and become a convenient shipping 
point, if not a city of any considerable growth. G. M. Rasp was the 
first postmaster of the village and a St. Joseph firm estabHshed a store, 
hay sheds, etc. Later these were sold to the Bailey Brothers and to 
other interested local citizens. The St. Joseph & Grand Island put in a 
siding and Bailej-ville increased in numbers, citizenship and substan- 

The most interesting thing of Baileyville is a community h^ll, built 
for the use and entertainment of both villagers and country people of 
the surrounding farms. Club meetings, social and business gatherings 
are held here. It is a well built, nice looking building, of which any 
community might be proud. The outlying farm lands are undulating 
and beautiful. The hills from the southern part of the country have 
rolled themselves out into more level surfaces, and the land is so pleas- 
ing to the eye as to bring a covetous sigh from the passerby. 

An interesting pioneer who did much for this part of the country 
was Xavier Guittard, who was the oldest postmaster in' point of service 
in the United States at the time of his resignation, about 1908. He 
had been postmaster of Guittard Station for forty-seven years. He came 
to this section in 1857 with his father. Guittard Station was named for 
the elder Guittard and was one of the famous stations on the old Cali- 
fornia trail. George Guittard and Xavier Guittard managed the town- 
ship's affairs for twenty-five years, and the elder Guittard was the con- 
fidential agent of "Ben" Holliday when he managed the great overland 
stage company. The California trail ran directly through the Guittard 
farm, and Guittard Station was one of the most important on the famous 
route. Many distinguished persons were entertained by Xavier Guittard 
and his father in those days. "\\'hen Xavier Guittard sold the old home- 
stead a few years ago, he presented the Roman Catholic Cathedral at 
Leavenworth with a French crucifix which had been a treasure in the 
Guittard family for more than 300 years. 







Col. Cyrus Shinn founded Oneida, now a thriving town of 300 inhabi- 
tants, lying midway between Sabetha and Seneca, on the Grand Island 
railroad. Colonel Shinn's idea was to give a town lot to every one who 
came to Onedia to settle and build up the city. He bought 400 acres 
of land in 1873. laid out streets and lots on most of it and named it Oneida. 
In an election held for naming the town Oneida or Shinntown, Onedia 
won. Why it was so named is not explained, as Colonel Shinn was a 
Southerner from West Virginia. He used to say in the earl}' days of 
Oneida that he would "boom the town if he never made a cent." One 
thing was required of Onedia settlers on the Shinn lots, however, and 
that was the settler was not to sell liquor or allow it to be sold on the 
premises. The result is that Oneida has never had a saloon, and Oilman 
township was the only one in Nemaha county that returned a majority 
for Governor St. John, the Kansas Governor whose election was won on 
the Prohibition ticket. It is recalled during that stirring campaign that St. 
John was burned in effigy in many towns, so opposed were the people 
to prohibition. Twenty-five years later monuments were raised in his 
honor and praise, so convinced had Kansas become of the excellence 
of his prohibitory law. 

Before Colonel Shinn decided to put his farm into a town, a post- 
office called Oneida had been kept in the farm house of Henry Kerns. 
It is possible that the name "Oneida" was found more euphonious than 
"Shinntown," although there is occasionally found a former resident of 
the village who refers to it as Shinntown. Colonel Shinn erected a store 
building, which eventually became the postoffice, with J. O. Stienbaugh 
as postmaster, succeeding the farmer. Kerns. .A.n acre of land was pre- 
sented to G. W. Buswell for establishing thereon a cheese factory. 
Colonel Shinn meantime was traveling through the East advertising his 
town by lectures, handbills and pamphlets, and giving away lots to all 




comers. Surely no town was built on firmer faith. He opened a land 
office and started a newspaper called the Oneida "Real Estate Journal." 
The customar}- blacksmith shop and necessary stores followed and a 
two-story hotel was built, called the Lindell. The first keeper of the 
inn was B. F. Chamberlain. The owners since ha\e been man_y 
and varied. But the hotel is still open and of daily use to travelers. 
The streets were named in order after Presidents, as are the streets in 
Chicago, in whose footsteps it was supposed to follow. Two churches 


were built immediately, one a Christian church, and the other with the 
metropolitan name of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian. 

Oneida was built at once. Xo makeshifts were permitted. .\ school 
house, two stories hi,§'h and graded into four departments, was erected 
on a sightly hill without delay. An opera hall was built for public gath- 
erings, substantial and roomy, in continual use today. A park was re- 
served, with the distinguished name of Hyde Park, and a restaurant was 


opened with tlie famous title of Rialto. The town thrived and flourished 
and filled ii]) with smart, progressive people, and is so filled today over 
fort}" years later. 

The "Real Estate Journal," however, was sold to J. F. Clough, editor 
of the ?al)etha "Republican," who conducted it for four years as the 
Oneida "Journal," and four years later suspended the publication. The 
cheese factory became the most famous in the county, its sales extending 
from St. Joseph to Denver, and prospering until the cheese trust put all 
small establishments out of business. This booming and thriving and 
advertising of Kansas and Oneida did its part in helping the State into 
its own. Reports taken or sent "back East" were not always so glowing 
as those borne by Colonel Shinn, as will be seen in the following har- 
rowing Eastern newspaper tale. 

Ex-Postmater Russell, of Oneida, has a copy of the New York 
"Tribune" dated August 9, 1856, which contains thirteen columns of cor- 
respondence from Kansas. Over half of the eight page issue of the 
Tribune was devoted to the trials and tribulations of the Free State men. 
None of the correspondence was less than a week old and some of it 
was a month old. Those were slow days in the transmission of news 
to the papers. All the correspondence went to the "Tribune" by mail. 

The correspondence was all full of horrors — tales of political as- 
saults and murders; of prejudice and of wrongs perpetrated because of 
prejudice. To read this paper one can readily see why the State is called 
"bleeding Kansas." To go through the mass of correspondence seems 
like walking through a chamber of horrors. Emigrants coming from 
Illinois and Ohio and other States were stopped in ^Missouri, robbed and 
plundered and sent back toward their starting point. Every paragraph 
of the thirteen columns is filled with blood and plunder. 

One writer in a letter written in St. Louis says : 

'T am, at last, out of the demon's claws. I reached this cit}-, from 
Kansas, yesterday evening. I am en route for Baltimore, and shall start 
on my wa}' tonight. 

"Anarchy, in its most hideous form, runs riot in Kansas. There is 
no war between the two parties, the principals of the war are ignored. 
It is murder and plunder which devastate the land. I have been as- 
sailed five times within four weeks, and have very narrowly escaped 
with my life, not without gross personal violence. At Lecompton, last 
Tuesday, I was set on by a howling mob, and my life threatened. I 
called on Governor Shannon for protection, but he informed me that he 
could give none. 'Your people,' said he, 'are shooting down our people 
at every turn, and you must take your choice.' These were his words. 
He advised me to leave the town, and I did. The United States soldiers 
can do but little ; martial law alone can save all parties from going to 

"My hope in Kansas becoming ultimately a Free State is in nowise 
diminished. They can never get an actual population in the Territory 


who will prefer Slavery to Freedom. The men who are now in from the 
South are mere desperadoes, who have been brought out for the express 
purpose of murdering and plundering the people ; they are entireh' unfit 
for any industrial or honorable occupation, or anything good whatever 
— the basest ruff-scruff of Southern cities. Whenever the work of mur- 
der and pillage is done, they are done vi'ith Kansas, and it will be left 
again to the bona fide settlers." 

Here is another little incident experienced by a man named John A. 
Bailey while he was going to market : 

"I have been fourteen months in the Territory ; came from Pennsyl- 
vania ; I started last Tuesday morning for Little Santa Fe, after pro- 
visions for m}'self and neighbors ; I had gotten as far as Bull Creek by 
five o'clock in the evening, when a man came up and stopped my wagon, 
telling me to stop there for the night; this man was Coleman, the mur- 
derer of Dow ; he had twenty men encamped where I met him ; among 
them I recognized Buckley, Hargus, Jones, Connelly and the Cuming 
brothers. The two first were also accomplices in the murder of Dow, 
and all of them in the posse of Jones which took Bransom ; in the night 
ni}' horses were stolen, their halters cut ; in the morning these men made 
pretense of sympathy, and said, Tt was too bad for people to steal horses 
from their friends ;' the}^ told me I could find them in the camp at Cedar 
Creek, and three of them volunteered to go with me ; I borrowed a pony 
and leaving my wagon with the others, started. 

"After going about half way to Cedar Creek we met a large company 
of not less than two hundred men ; they took me prisoner and ordered me 
to dismount ; after taking me for some distance in a wagon, well guard- 
ed, I was again compelled to mount my pony, and the three men who 
came with me from the other camp held a consultation with the officers 
of this. I overheard Coleman say, 'There may be treacherj- used.' 
but could gather nothing definite of their intentions further, save that 
these three men who had volunteered to help me find my horses were 
sent to take me to Westport ; the company went on over the hill in the 
prairie; shortly after they disappeared these men led me off the road a 
hundred yards into the prairie ; they made me dismount, and demanded 
my money. I gave them all that I had, $45, without a word ; one of them 
then raised his gun as if to shoot men ; it was a United States musket ; I 
told him if he meant to kill me he would kill a better man than himself; 
lowering his gun, he said, 'I wish you to take off them pantaloons for 
fear they get dirty.' I told him they were mine as long as I Avas alive : 
he again raised his musket, but while he was in the act of firing I 
dodged ; the ball hit me in the side, glancing along my ribs, and through 
the cartilages, lodging in my back. I fell. He then struck at my head 
with the butt end of his musket, but missed, only grazing it ; as he 
struck at me the other two men rode off as fast as possible after the 
company that had gone over the prairie; he struck at me again, when I 
caught the musket in my hands and held on to it; he held the other end 


and jumped on my body, stamping on head and face, but as he wore 
Indian slippers he did not hurt me much. He then tried to jerk the mus- 
ket from me, and in doing so pulled me to my feet; I still held on to it, 
and dealing him a blow with my fist, he let go the musket; he then ran 
after the others, calling them to come back, but they had gone some dis- 
tance and did not hear him ; he ran after them and I ran after him ; he 
commenced running harder, and soon disappeared ; I then turned, ran 
some distance into the prairie, and hid in the grass; three hours passed 
quietly, when I left m)- hiding place and wandered toward home." 

Mrs. P. W. Cox, of Oneida, tells of the first religious service held in 
Nemaha county which she recollects perfectly. "I was only a little girl 
of nine years when we came h> Kansas. Everything that was out of the 
ordinary monoton}- of the day was impressed vividly on my mind. I 
recall the first sermon preached in the county, if not in northeastern 
Kansas. It was at a Mr. Harrison's. We sat on beds and chairs and 
boxes in a log house. The preacher was a Methodist circuit rider. These 
circuit riders came here for the money and food that was contributed 
and they received no salary. They traveled on horseback, and each 
man's horse was equipped with a picket rope, pins and straps to the sad- 
dle to carry their clothes as cowboys do. They carried their food with 
them, it often being miles and miles from one appointment to the oth- 

Oneida has several thriving stores, a Methodist church. Rev. Nath- 
aniel Adams as pastor, and a Christian church, served fortnightly by 
Chancellor Oeschger, of Lincoln, Neb. It has several lodge chapters 
and a woman's club organization, "The Modern Penelopes," and a 
"Camp Fire Girls" chapter. They give clever plays and entertainments 
and keep people amused. 







Albany and practically all the eastern section of Nemaha county was 
anti-slavery sentiment. It was settled by Northerners as the western 
half was by Southerners. Xemaha county had little experience with 
the border war because it was too far from the river. Sixty-five miles in 
those days was some distance, and the border war existed between Atch-, 
ison and St. Joseph, Weston and Leavenworth, all towns on opposite 
sides of the Missouri river which was the dividing line between north- 
ern and Southern sympathies. Nemaha county had some finger in the 
border difficulties inasmuch as the county was on the direct line of the 
"Underground Railroad" and Albany was the principal station on the 
road. Both John Brown and Jim Lane were Nemaha county visitors 
during these strenuous times. At one time John Brown with a number 
of followers and "travelers" in course of transportation on the "LTnder- 
ground railroad," arrived at Albany. John Brown, the great abolitionist, 
a big bearded man, found room to sleep at the Whittenhall cabin, even 
if it was nearly all filled with piano. The guns were stacked in the other 
corners not occupied by the famous music box. The rest of the party 
stayed at the Edwin Miller place. It is an odd thing that, although Al- 
bany became a certain place in which to protect slaves, there are very 
few negroes, comparatively, in Sabetha, or in any part of Nemaha coun- 
ty and none at all in Albany. Both the Slossons and the Grahams were 
underground railway agents. At one time John Brown came through 
with thirty-five slaves. He had "borrowed" wagons and horses from 
Missourians to carry the refugees to freedom, and he was protected all 
the way by the settlers in Nemaha county who sympathized with him. 
The owners of the wagons were mildly bringing up the rear, asking that 
their property, both slaves and horses, be returned. No battle followed 
and people were merely amused at the incident. AVilliam Graham 
claimed to be the last man to see John Brown on Kansas soil. Graham 
guided Brown and a party of slaves which Brown had railroaded by the 


underground route from Missouri to the Nebraska line, and saw them 
safely across the river. It was John Brown's last trip through Xemaha 
county or Kansas. 

Rev. Curtis Graham, who pioneered in Nemaha county, but moved 
back to New York later where he died about ten years ago, was an in- 
timate friend of Jim Lane. He came out to Kansas in 1S56, presumably 
to be of what assistance he could to General Lane. In the year of the 
great drouth Dr. Graham went east to secure succor and funds to re- 
lieve the suffering in Kansas. He secured thousands of dollars in 
money and food. Dr. Graham did not belong to the Graham brothers of 
Albany. He was of Seneca, and the more to be admired as many in that 
part of the countrj- were pro-slavery people. He is a father of D. B. 

William Graham, now of Dodge City, is the earliest settler on the 
Sabetha townsite now living. Mr. Graham took the first claim on what 
is now the Sabetha townsite. The claim covered what is now the 
south side of Sabetha. He took the claim in March, 1857. The claim ex- 
tended a block north of the Rock Island track, and it took in the land be- 
tween Hense Hazell's residence in the eastern part of Sabetha and the 
Sabetha hospital on the west side of Sabetha. The race track and all the 
present town south of the Rock Island track (and considerable land just 
north of the track) were taken in by Mr. Graham's land. Mr. Graham 
sold out in 1881, disposing of the west half of his land to Samuel and 
William Slosson and the east half of it to Jackson Cotton and A. N. N. 

Three or four months after Mr. Graham preempted land here, Capt. 
A. W. Williams appeared. There was then nothing but open prairie on 
the townsite. Captain Williams decided to start a town here. Captain 
Williams bought a claim one half mile east of Albany in Brown county 
and used his preemption right on that. In the spring of 1858 he filed on 
the south half of section i, township 2, range 14 for a townsite but could 
not hold it, so he sold his right to the quarter to J. J. Goodpasture and 
hired Joseph Legg to preempt the west quarter. 

William Graham says the story that Jim Lane named the Sabetha 
townsite is a mistake. He also says the story that Capain A\'illiams 
got the name from a well a few miles east of here which had been given 
the Greek name for Sabbath by a stranger who had lost an ox on the 
spot on Sunday, is a mistake. Mr. Graham who was here through all 
that early period says he does not know how the town got its original 
and unusual name ; that probably nobody knows and that the origin of 
the name will never be known. Of course others says that the story pre- 
viously told of the naming of Sabetha is accurate. 

Mr, Graham says James H. Lane named two towns in this vicinity. 
One of the towns was started on Pony Creek and Lane named it Ply- 
mouth. The other town was started on the place where Ed Brown now 
lives near Sabetha. and he named it Lexington. Neither of the towns 


got beyond Lane's imagination. This was in 1856 — a year before Mr. 
Graham located here. 

When William Graham came to this section he was accompanied 
by a party of New Yorkers. The party consisted of William Slosson, 
Edwin Miller, now deceased, and John L. Graham, also deceased. John 
L. Graham was captain of Company D, Eighth Kansas, during- the Civil 
war. He was in the sanguinary struggle at Chickamauga in 1863, being 
killed in battle. Afterward the Kansas legislature honored John L. Gra- 
ham by naming Graham county, Kansas, for him. John L. Graham was 
a brother of ^^'illiam Graham. William Graham fought in Company .A., 
Seventh Kansas. The first party mentioned as having come from New 
York in 1857, was soon afterward followed by George Graham, Elihu 
Whittenhall and Archibald Webb, all names that are familiar to Neme- 
ha county people. When Edwin Miller came from New York he was 
accompanied by his wife and their son, C. E. Miller. Edwin Miller died 
some twenty-five years ago. His son is principal of the St. Joseph 
High School, and has held the position over twenty years. When C. E. 
Miller became principal of the St. Joseph High School, he succeeded a 
man named Strong. A few years ago Strong became the Chancellor of 
the Kansas State University, succeeding Chancellor Snow. 

The border war of the pioneer days of Kansas affected Nemaha 
county as little as did the Indian raids of less fortunate districts. Ne- 
maha county, sixty-five miles from the Missouri river, seventy from 
Topeka and a hundred or more from Lawrence, was spared the bitter 
struggle between anti- and pro-slavery men. The underground railroad 
had a station in Nemaha county and several vigorous, enthusiastic 
"agents." The new generation may not understand just what is meant 
by "Underground railroad" in the sense in which it is used in Nemaha 
county's history. The "L^nderground railroad" was a term used before 
the Civil war, indicating the method used in assisting fugitive slaves to 
escape from' this country to Canada. The "stations" were the houses of 
anti-slavery men, or abolitionists. The agents were the owners of these 
homes. The slaves were secreted in the daytime by the "agents" at 
their "stations" and passed along at night, over devious branches of the 
"railroad" until they reached Canada, safety and freedom. Of course 
there was no physical railroad at all. This is interpolated because of 
the apt inquiry of a boy who wanted to know what became of the "rail- 
road." For years the term was a mystery to the writer. 

One reason possibly for the absence of fierce quarrels in the border 
war in Nemaha county is that there were no newspapers published in 
the county until after the beginning of the Civil war. The early settlers 
were largely from the East, many from the South coming to northern 
Kansas largely to escape their motherland's slave beliefs. This seems 
to be undeniable for these southerners fought for the Union when the 
Civil war was finally declared. The five or six years interevening be- 
tween the arrival of the first settler and the Rebellion were spent largely 


in the struggle for existence, but the underground railway kept the 
count}' in close touch with the unhappy situation in the more populated 
part of the State. 

One of the interesting connections Nemaha count}- gets with the 
border war is the fact that a prominent citizen of the county came from 
Canal Dover, Ohio, which was the boyhood home of Bill Ouantrill, of 
the famous Oauntrill raid of Lawrence, Kans. H. C. Haines, of Sa- 
betha, says that Ouantrill was a boy who had no "folks." He came 
out West with a family by the nme of Beach. Beach located near Law- 
rence. No one seems to know what became of Ouantrill. An editor of 
a paper claimed to know, but Mr. Haines thinks he does not. It is gen- 
erally supposed that Ouantrill went down to Texas, where he probably 
died. Mr. Haines thinks this is the most probable ending of the lurid 
career of his former townsman. 

Of the border war period, Nemaha county had one lingering 
"taste." Two slaves were brought to Nemaha county and retained here 
in the late fifties. "Two girls were brought to Albany before the war 
and held as slaves, the only human beings ever held as chattels in Ne- 
maha county," a record of them states, which has been preserved in the 
historical archives of the State. L. R. Wheeler kept the girls as ser- 
vants in his family, and probably not as slaves as the story goes. He 
needed servants; they needed protection and a home. The girls drifted 
away and nothing much was thought of the matter. 

The first escaped slave to become a settler was Mrs. Holden, who, 
in 1862, reached the saving station in Albany with her five children, 
where she remained for several years. Her son was killed in the Civil 
war and she received a pension of $i,8oo and accumulated a fair legacy 
to leave her children when she died in the eighties. "\^^ G. Sargent res- 
cued from slavery Lena Russell and Mrs. Jane Scott and Daniel Russell. 
Charles Holden married Lena Russell and became an intelligent farm- 
er. John Masterson, another slave to escape to the sheltering arms of 
Albany, married another Holden girl, and Cora Holden married Thomas 
Frame, who had Indian blood in his veins and whose marriage ended in 
the divorce court. Up to 1884 this was the only divorced colored couple 
on Nemaha county's dockets. Mrs. Scott lived for many years in the 
Sargent family where Mrs. Sargent taught her to read and write. After 
she left Mrs. Sargent for many years a correspondence was kept up 
with the colored woman. 

Another incident of the border war days, recalled by W. C. Rutan, 
of Sabetha, is that Jim Lane camped on the Dick Blodgett farm in the 
southeastern section of the county. Of everyone who came along or at 
every farm he visited. Jim Lane v/ould ask whether traveler or farmer 
were Confederate or Union in their sympathies. But no difference what 
reply was made the Jim Lane followers timk \vhate\'er the}" had, on gen- 
eral principles. 

I\Ianv Nemaha county residents were in the ^Mexican war. .Kmrmg 


them were Thomas Carl'in, Patrick Bendon, George Frederick, George 
Goppelt. James M. Hicks, Henry M. Hillix and Joseph Morrill. Mr. 
Morrill was in the New England regment ; Mr. Hillix in the First Ken- 
tucky mounted volunteers ; Mr. Hicks was in an Indiana regiment ; Mr. 
Frederick and Goppelt in the regular army and connected with a bat- 
tery under the control of Col. Braxton Bragg, while Mr. Carlin was at- 
tached to the Marine battery, and participated in the battles of Monte- 
rey, Buena Vista, Resaca de'la Palma, Saltillo and Vera Cruz. Mr. Car- 
lin was within twenty feet of Major Ringgold and within 200 feet of 
Lieut. Col. Henry Clay, Jr., when they fell mortally wounded. As two 
Indiana regiments became demoralized, and retreated from the field of 
action in the hottest of the fight, Mr. Carlin was ordered to turn his bat- 
tery upon them, but declining to do so he was tried before a court mar- 
tial and gave as a reason for disobeying the command that he would pre- 
fer killing Mexicans to killing Americans. He escaped a sentence 
through the interference of General Taylor, whom he regarded as his 
guardian, and who cautioned him in the future like a good soldier to 
strictly obey orders. Mr. Carlin's home was then in Plaquemine, La., 
where General Taylor lived, and for whom he cast his first vote in 1848. 









Nemaha county was settled largely by New Englanders and New 
Yorkers, so it was natural that Nemaha's enlistment in the Union army 
was unusually large. In the course of the war but eight men were draft- 
ed into the army from Nemaha county. This would not have been nec- 
essary if time had been given for a wider canvass of the willing and pa- 
triotic. At one time in Sabetha there was but one man left in the entire 
community. Capt. A. W. Williams, of Sabetha, organized a company 
of 150 volunteers in August, 1861. They were encamped upon their en- 
listment near Sabetha and Captain Williams furnished their rations at 
his own expense. Within a month they marched to Fort Leavenworth 
where most of them were sworn in as members of Company D, Eighth 
Kansas regiment. Later George Graham organized a company, one 
third of which joined either the Ninth or Thirteenth Kansas regiments, 
and in addition there were forty Nemaha men in the famous Eighth Kan- 
sas regiment and seventy in the Thirteenth. The Nemaha men served 
generalljr all through the war and the special Nemaha county regiment, 
the Eighth, was fighting way down in Texas at the close of the war, 
while the Thirteenth was sent home from Little Rock, Ark. 

The Seventh Cavalry was organized on the twenty-eighth day of 
October and ordered immediately into active service. The Colonel was 
Chas. R. Jennison, of Leavenworth, and the Lieutenant Colonel was D. 
R. Anthony, for years the editor of the Leavenworth "Times," and a 
leading Kansas man for many years, a valiant fighter for Woman Suf- 
frage and a brother of Susan D. Anthon}-, whose name will always lead 
the American suffragists. Dan Anthony, Congressman from this dis- 
trict and editor of the "Times" since Colonel Anthony's death, is his 



son. Edwin Miller, of Sabetha, was the second lieutenant in Company 
•I. The Seventh's first battle was an attack on Col. Upson Hayes en- 
camped on the Little Blue River in Missouri, where Kansas City now 
lies, Lieut. Col. Anthony commanding. Thirty-two of the Seventh were 
killed, the rebel camp burned and all the horses captured. An exciting 
incident of the Seventh's career was the arrest and deprivation of his 
command, of Lieut. Col. Anthony for publishing an order for the severe 
punishment of any officer in his brigade who should arrest and deliver 
to his master any fugitive slave. The Confederates, it seems, had been 
making a habit of searching the camp for slaves, to the great indigna- 
tion and annoyance of the officers in command. The Seventh fought in 
Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Missouri. 

In January, 1864, many of the men who were encamped at La 
Grange. Tenn., were taken ill from exposure, and suffering from frozen 
feet. Four fifths of the regiment were re-enlisted volunteers. These were 
given a furlough of thirty days. At its expiration the}' were re-equipped 
and were sent back to St. Louis, serving for a time as guards to laborers 
repairing railroads. During a march through Mississippi, they were 
constanth^ attacked. Later they returned to St. Louis and thence to 
Omaha, to Fort Kearney and Fort Leavenworth, where thev were dis- 
charged from the same point at which they entered the service. A fa- 
mous, or notorious member, perhaps, is the word, of the Seventh was 
Marshall Cleveland, the outlaw who organized Company H. He was 
the first captain of his company: a handsome, dashing, fearless man. 
Company H was largely composed of the famous band which operated 
on the Missouri borders in the turbulent days preceding the Civil 
war. Cleveland's career even prior to this border war had not been en- 
tirely unchequered. He was a stage driver in Ohio, had served a term 
in the penitentiary, and upon being freed therefrom had changed his 
name from Charles Metz to the one by which he became famous over the 
entire country. Colonel Anthony terminated Cleveland's cateer as an 
officer of the Seventh. The brilliant, dashing, handsome Captain Cleve- 
land appeared at dress parade with his pants stuck down in his boots. 
Colonel Anthony reprimanded him. Cleveland rode into Leavenworth, 
sent in his resignation and the Seventh saw him no more. 

Another famous captain of the Seventh was John Brown, Jr., a son 
of the famous John Brown. He was a brilliant captain during his brief 
service, which lasted only six months, because of ill health. It was John 
Brown's company which taught Kansas the famous war song, "John 
Brown's body." Ever}- night rabid worshipers of John Brown would 
gather around the camp fire and sing the famous air. A fervid address 
followed, which usually ended in an oath taken to avenge John Brown's 
death. Then three cheers were given for the young captain and the 
company retired. 

During the entire service of four years only twenty men of the Sev- 
enth were taken prisoners. Of the Nemaha county members of the Sev- 


enth whose graves are decorated Memorial day are Charles Boomer and 
Edwin Miller. The Seventh was one of the picturesque regiments of 
the Western army. It was fearless and feared. Romantic women ad- 
mired it secretly. It was adored by slaves, dreaded and hated by Con- 
federate soldiers, and besmirched by Unionists. 

There was nothing picturesque or romantic about the Eighth Kan- 
sas, to which most of the Nemaha county men belonged. It is the story 
of real warfare, sordid, bitter, cruel, severe. No pictures of brilliant at- 
tacks and high-handed captures, but long, unnecessary marches over al- 
most impassible roads, only to find when reaching their destination that 
the march was a false move, the enemy gone and a return necessary. 
Days without food and nights without rest. Bitter criticisms of care- 
less generalship. Dogged determination to remain in line, and finally' 
an entire regiment falling exhausted on scant beds of damp hay over 
sodden fields. Days of tramping through blinding rain ; wading through 
rivers to their waists ; provisions ordered left behind with the supposi- 
tion that others would follow the skirmishing regiment, onh' to find or- 
ders reversed after their departure and without food or shelter, wet, dis- 
heartened, cold, hungry, but still with their country's need in their 
hearts, the Eighth Kansas struggled through Mississippi and Ohio for 
the better part of a year. Then General Rosecrans took charge of their 
division of the United States arm}' and matters improved. Later Gen- 
eral Grant himself was in command of their army. The battle of Look- 
out Mountain, Orchard Knob, Chattanooga and Chickamauga, big bat- 
tles of the war, were some compensation for the unrewarded hardships 
of those first bitter months. Colonel Martin, editor for many years of 
the Atchison "Champion" and later governor of Kansas was the Colonel 
of their regiment. Colonel Martin was a lovable and beloved man. He 
is one of the rare men to have entered a high position and to have left 
it with more friends than when he entered. 

Captain A. W. Williams, founder of Sabetha. was in charge of com- 
pany D, and John L. Graham, of Albany, was second lieutenant. On 
the eighth of February, 205 men were mustered in as veteran volunteers 
and on the twenty-fifth the regiment reached Atchison on a furlough. 
The town was the home of Colonel Martin and great honor was done to 
the returned soldiers. These were bells and banners and flags, and 
parades, speeches, and banquets, with such food as had not been tasted 
by a soldier boy for three weary, stressful years. 

In the battle of Chickamauga the Eighth liad lost 267 men. either 
killed or wounded, out of a total enlistment of 408. But the Eighth 
never faltered. It saw more fighting and took part in more battles of 
note than any other Kansas regiment. They fought under great gen- 
erals, and every part of the bitterness and bravery, the gall and glory of 
war became known to them. A last bitter pill was administered to the 
Eighth Kansas, when the regiment was ordered to Texas shortly before 
the close of the war. Thev knew the war was reaching- its termination 


and felt the order was intensely unjust. But good soldiers obey orders, 
and the regiment went to Texas, reaching Indianola July 9. Their route 
took them across a marsh filled with the poison of malaria. Men. worn 
and weary from the exactions of active warfare, could not overcome the 
contagion, and dropped on the line of march in complete exhaustion 
and unquenchable thirst. The brigade did provost dut}' in San Antonio 
until November 29, 1865, when it was mustered out after a service of 
four years, four months and eleven days, having been one of the earliest 
in the field. One writer in the regiment says that "Had some generals 
not thought wars were won by men's legs rather than their guns, the 
Eighth might have been saved 10,750 miles of tramping through the 
sultry days of summer and the stormy nights of winter, an experience 
which inclines the Eighth Kansas warriors to consider that the war 
song 'tramp, tramp, tramp, the bo3's are marching,' was written for and 
should have been dedicated to them." 

In the great battle of Chickamauga, Nemaha count}' lost John I.. 
Graham, who had been promoted to sergeant captain from second lieu- 
tenant. He was one of the four original settlers of Albany. He was 
married to Nancy J. Slosson, who, with his two sons, Fred and Charles 
Graham, has survived him many years, and helped build up this 
section of Kansa and further the beauty and progress of Ponoma, 
Gal., where the sons have long been engaged as bankers. Other Ghick- 
amauga deaths were those of Sergt. Robert M. Hale, of Sabetha, and 
William Miller, of Sabetha. 

The Ninth Kansas cavalry, of which less than fifty Nemaha county 
men were members, saw most of its fighting in Missouri and Arkansas, 
with no little part in guerilla warfare. Corporal Thomas J. Bell was 
killed by guerillas in the battle of AVestport, Mo., June 17. 1863. His 
home was in Gentralia. 

The Eleventh Kansas was a regiment of distinguished men. The 
colonel was Thomas Ewing. the lieutenant colonel was Thomas Moon- 
light, and the major was Preston B. Plumb. The two latter officers later 
became famous in Kansas politics. The company was peremptorily or- 
dered to the army of the frontier before their weapons arrived, so 
Colonel Ewing armed them as best he might with antiquated Prussian 
guns found in Leavenworth. They marched to Fort Scott, Kans., and 
when they arrived the following morning they formed a line of bat- 
tle but found no foe to fight. They marched and counter-marched 
through Missouri and Arkansas and also engaged the guerillas in bat- 
tles in southwestern Missouri. It was the Eleventh which was valiant- 
ly engaged against General Price. Returning from the Price raid the 
Eleventh was ordered to Fort Riley to prepare for a campaign against 
the Indians on the Smoky Hill river. A change of plans sent them to 
Fort Kearney, a march of 200 miles which they made in twelve days, 
across bleak prairies in biting winds. Cutting sleet, over roads scarcely 
distinguishable, was another trial to the flesh of scantily clad men. who 


had little food and less ammunition. They arrived at Fort Laramie, where 
orders were received to await further instructions. The soldiers put in this 
time in building a complete sod city, remnants of which may be seen to- 
day. One thousand miles away, at Fort Leavenworth, were to be found 
the only cartridges suitable to the carbines with which the Eleventh was 
armed. Occasional skirmishes with the Indians depleted their scant 
store. Their horses died and the dangers of the stage route had become 
so appalling that it was abandoned by passengers. It reached a situa- 
tion where all energies were expended in protecting the overland mail. 
But the Eleventh proved adequate. The stage coaches were pushed 
through on schedule time, the soldiers doing the driving from one sta- 
tion, which they had estabhshed, to the next. Guards accompanied the 
coaches and thus traffic was conducted until reenforcements arrived 
from Fort Leavenworth. 

The Indian restlessness was apparently increasing. Finally a band 
of 2,000 descended upon a little band of soldiers in a ravine separated 
from the station. They reached the camp and a battle ensued with sur- 
prisingly small loss among the soldiers, but another branch of the regi- 
ment under Sergeant Custard was simply cut to pieces by the Indians 
after the miraculous escape of the company under IVIajor Anderson. 
The Indians escaped. Shortly afterward the Eleventh was called back 
to Kansas for discharge from army service. In these four regiments it 
will be seen that Nemaha county men, all mechanics or farmers, none 
trained for warfare, saw every branch of service during the terrible war 
of the Rebellion. Nemaha county men who were not enlisted in Kansas 
regiments, were almost to a man enlisted in regiments from other 
States. J. J. Miller, of Sabetha, who settled on the farm north of town 
in 1859, enhsted in a Missouri regiment. He came home in the fall of 
1862, harvested his crops and returned to war as a member of the Thir- 
teenth Kansas. He was but one of seventy Nemaha county soldiers in 
the Thirteenth Kansas. The Thirteenth was recruited by Cyrus Leland, 
for many years the dominant figure in Kansas Republican politics. "Cy" 
Leland's home is in Troy, and it is natural his soldiers were gathered 
from this section. The regiment responded to President Lincoln's call for 
men in 1862. Perry Hutchinson, of Marysville, who in later years made 
his name famous all over the State by his flour, was a captain of com- 
pany E, of which company John N. Cline, of Centralia, was second lieu- 
tenant. Of Company G, William Blackburn, of Vermillion, was captain 
and Levi Hensel, of Seneca, first lieutenant. John Schilling, of Hia- 
watha, was captain of Company I, and the entire regiment was formed 
of men who returned at the close of the war and made northeastern 
Kansas the garden it now is, from the wilderness of the war times. 

The regiment joined General Blunt and assisted in driving General 
Hindman across the Arkansas River at Van Buren. They fought in the 
battle of Prairie Grove and finished the winter's campaign. They saw 
service in the Indian Territorv in the Cherokee nation; served under 


General Schofield, fought in Arkansas, and performed garrison duty in 
Springfield, Mo., and outpost duty at Fort Scott. During the month of 
August, 1863, the Thirteenth Kansas marched 400 miles over Missouri 
and Arkansas in pursuit of General Cooper and other rebel generals. 
Guerillas mortally wounded Captain Maribn Beeler, and General Bowen 
was taken prisoner by them when within firing distance of his own 
lines. Nemaha county lost in this regiment John T. Spencer, of Grana- 
da, who died of wounds received at Rosevale, Ark. Thomas B. Cum- 
mings was killed by guerillas at Greenfield, Mo. The company was 
mustered out at Little Rock, Ark., June 26, 1865. Members of the Thir- 
teenth and Ninth regiments were enlisted by George Graham. George 
R. Benedict, an early settler of Granada, fought with the Thirteenth and 
was later transferred to the Second Kansas, colored, receiving his dis- 
charge as a second lieutenant of the regiment. 

John Y. Benfer served with the One Hundred and Twenty-third 
Ohio volunteers, fighting in the celebrated battle of Winchester, and 
serving with the Army of the James River. He was taken prisoner 
three times and was released, the third time only by the surrender of 
Lee at Appomattox. James L. Brockman, who has served Seneca as 
city clerk with efficiency, fought with the Thirteenth. James Draney 
who came to Nemaha county in 1857, served as a teamster during the 
war in Colonel Ta^'lor's State militia. Elbert Dom Dumont was one of 
the youngest soldiers who have ever made Nemaha county their home. 
He was barely sixteen when he joined the Ninth Michigan volunteers and 
served until 1865. After he left the army he went to school at the sem- 
inaries of Ovid and Fulton in New York. He came to Seneca many 
years after the war closed as an architect and builder. He erected the 
jail, the Centralia school house, which fire later destroyed, the opera 
house in Wetmore, and many residences and business blocks. He mar- 
ried Miss ]\Iary Bruner. of Nemaha count)-. Two sons of E. J. Emery 
met remarkable deaths during their service in the war. George Emery 
was drowned in the Ohio river and Edwin was ship-wrecked off the 
North Carolina coast and presumably drowned. 

A. J. Felt, affectionately called, over the State, "Andy," fiiunder of 
several newspapers, once editor of the Seneca "Tribune" and Lieutenant 
Governor of Kansas, was a soldier with the Seventh Iowa regiment. He 
was taken prisoner at Belmont, Mo., and held for nearly a year, and aft- 
erward was in a hospital for four months. He rejoined his regiment 
and was promoted to sergeant. I\Ir. Felt founded the "Tribune." He 
was the father-in-law of Senator William H. Thompson. He died 
about twelve years ago. Dr. Hayes, who has made Seneca his home 
since 1881, was but seventeen years old when he enlisted with the 
Indiana volunteers, serving with the famous armies of the Cumberland 
and Tennessee and fighting at Shiloh, Chattanooga and other famous 
battles. After the war he returned to his home in Newcastle, Ind., and 
to school as well. Dr. Hayes having had a taste of adventure, shipped 


on the Polaris for the North Pole in 187 1. He was picked up by the 
ship Arctic after two years in the Arctic regions, carried to Scotland and 
thence made his way home. Since then he has settled down to doctor- 
ing, after government work in Washington and a few years at a medical 
school. Judge Lanham, almost the first Nemaha county resident, served 
in the army before anyone. He served on picket duty in 1854. He was 
wounded, but with the beginning of the Civil war he served with the 
wonderful Eighth Kansas, through until the end, including the terrible 
march to San Antonio. J. H. Larew was with the Fifth Missouri; J. W. 
Larimer with the Fourth Iowa, marching with Sherman to the sea; J. 
L. McGowan enlisted first with the Second Missouri, later raising a 
Kansas Militia company; N. H. Martin, at sixteen years, enlisted with 
the Forty-sixth Iowa infantry ; Mort Matthews, the venerable county 
surveyor who has held his job for over thirty years without opposition, 
was a soldier with the Thirty-fifth Ohio infantry ; James Parsons en- 
listed with the Denver Home Guards, later recruiting a New Mexican 
regiment, and finally entered the field as second lieutenant of the Sec- 
ond Colorado infantry. Mr. Parsons was the first Nemaha county sur- 
veyor and was elected in 1858. R. S. Robbins fought with the Twenty- 
second Ohio and became a captain. Capt. Lewis Sheeley did not get 
enough fighting with Missouri regiments and chasing guerillas but 
stayed with the army in Hancock's veteran reserve corps for a year aft- 
er the war closed and became colonel of the Kansas State militia. He 
had lived in Seneca since i860. Edward Sterling saw plenty of war dur- 
ing the Smoky Hill and Indian raids in which the Eleventh Kansas par- 
ticipated. He was a stage driver in that section during that excitement. 

J. F. Clough, founder of the Sabetha "Republican," fought with the 
Si.xty-ninth Ohio. He was shot twice during the battle of Mission 
Ridge, a bullet piercing his lung. He was a year in a hospital. 

Ira F. Collins, one of the brilliant, early day citizens of the county, 
who today is as fascinating and interesting a man as he was forty years 
ago, enlisted in the One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois. He was taken 
prisoner at Mobile and held in one of the southern prison pens until the 
close of the war. He had served under Grant at ^^icksburg and saw 
about every side of life in the army. When he was asked recently how 
many rebels he supposed he had killed, he replied, "Oh, just about as 
many as they killed of me." Mr. Collins was the first mayor of Sa- 
betha, State representative and State senator. John E. Corwin was a 
soldier with General Sherman with the Ninety-seventh Indiana infantry. 
He was in the Grand Review. S. B. Freelove as lieutenant and S. P>. Mc- 
Allister as captain were members of the Plainfield battery that tendered 
to President Lincoln its services before the firing on Sumter. He fought 
through the war with the Eighth Illinois cavalry. 

J. E. Price, the elevator man for whom the station of Price was 
named, enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment. He was wounded at An- 
tietam but when his wound healed he went back into the frav and 


Stayed until the game was called at Appomattox. He retired a lieuten- 
ant, a post given him for conspicuous bravery in manning a gun aban- 
doned at the siege of Richmond where he was a member of the Light 
Artillery, one of the few Nemahans to be in the artillery. J. E. Price did 
not forget his military training after his removal to Sabetha. He taught 
a crowd of young girls a broom drill, the perfection of which, as fem- 
inine drillers, is still told with pride. The little station of Price still 
has standing its two elevators, but the rural free delivery put the post- 
office out of business. The elevators are used when the season's crops 
are especially good. 

X. S. Smith, for years and 3ears the city attorney of Sabetha until 
his resignation about a years ago, was a member of the One Hundred 
and Twelfth Illinois. He was sick, in a hospital in 1865, after fighting 
through the Atlanta campaign in Tennessee, and was discharged in Au- 
gust, 1865. 

Z. Bean, of Wetmore, served under Sheridan in the Fifth Wiscon- 
sin regiment. John Dudley came out to Kansas from Illinois to farm. 
Conditions here were so desolate that he found relief in enlisting as a 
private in the Third Missouri. He was wounded and taken prisoner, 
held for several months, freed, again captured, and escaped, swimming 
across the Saline river, and wearing a pair of pantaloons which he made 
himself, by ripping the sleeves out of his coat. Returning to Wetmore, 
farming in Kansas has since seemed a less trying job. 

Dr. J. W. Graham, of the Forty-fourth Illinois, has kept among his 
treasures a paper signed by President Lincoln and countersigned by 
Secretary Stanton, conveying especial thanks to him for conspicuous 
bravery and service. Dr. Graham was a physician in the abandoned 
town of Capioma going later to AVetmore, where he was the first drug- 
gist, postmaster, justice of the peace and a good citizen at large. 

J. H. Hart was a member of Company I, Thirty-third Iowa, who 
was present at the fall of Mobile, was transferred to Mexico and Texas, 
mustered out at Rock Island, TIL, and then came to Nemaha county, set- 
tling on a farm near Granada. 

Alfred Johns \\as one of the few Nemahans to have fought with 
the Fifteenth Kansas. The Fifteenth was recruited by Colonel Jellison 
to protect the Kansas border after the terrible Quantrill raids, culminat- 
ing in the Lawrence massacre. The officers were mainly from Leaven- 
worth, Olathe, and that section, with a notable exception in the case of 
the lieutenant colonel, who was George H. Hoyt, of Boston, Mass. The 
Fifteenth remained on the job as border protectors until the famous 
Price raid, when their work in that historical event was conspicuous for 
its courage. 

A. J. McCreery and iiis three sons served in the Rebellion, all in dif- 
ferent regiments. A. J., with the Eleventh Kansas; Alvin, with the 
.N'inth Indiana and William with the Tenth Kansas. The Tenth was a 
consolidation of 'the Third and Fourth Kansas regiments and a portion 


of the Fifth under the command of Col. W. F. Cloud, of Emporia. This 
section of the State was well represented in the Tenth. Among the il- 
lustrious names is that of Judge Xathan Price, of Troy. He is the fath- 
er of Mrs. Paul Hudson, wife of the editor of the New Mexican "Her- 
ald." who in all the present Mexican difficulties has stuck to his post. 
The Tenth was called first to the Indian difficulties on the Neosho ; they 
battled with Ouantrill, fought at Paririe Grove and finall}' were detailed 
to Alton, 111., to take charge of the military prison there. 

Nathaniel Morris, of Wetmore, was a fighter with the Seventh Il- 
linois, a regiment of laurel winning soldiers, who seemed to win where- 
ever they went. Morris became a sergeant. Stories are told of a daring 
capture made by Morris. Dressed in citizen's clothes he captured a 
rebel officer. His own horse was stolen b}^ a Ouantrill man. and later 
recovered. Before moving to Nemaha county from Linn county he had 
taken part in the border war down there. David Scott was a second 
lieutenant in the Third Iowa, and later a color bearer in the Twenty- 
second Towa. 

The youngest Nemaha county soldier, and perhaps the youngest in 
the State, was Daniel Smith, who enlisted with the Thirteenth Kansas 
at the age of fourteen, in fact, he was not quite fourteen when he en- 
listed. Nemaha county claims that he is the youngest soldier who ever 
entered either Union or Confederate armies during the entire Rebellion. 
He served through the three years of his enlistment, carrying his gun as 
bravely as any soldier. Returning to Wetmore he made his home there, 
becoming a plasterer. Daniel Birchfield was a member of the Ninth 
Kentucky. He was captured on the retreat from Richmond but was ex- 
changed. At the close of the war he drove three oxen across the deso- 
late country to Montana. He prospected and floated down the Yellow- 
stone and Missouri to Omaha in a Mackinaw boat, then settled down in 

James F. Brock, of Centralia, served with the Twenty-fourth Iowa 
infantry ; George R. Hunt was a member of the Twelfth United States 
infantry, a regiment which was noted for quelling the draft riots of New 
York; W. A. Lynn enlisted with the Eighth New York cavalry, which 
fought at Antietam, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Winchester, straight 
through to Lee's surrender, a very noted regiment. Mr. Lynn says it 
was to the lieutenant colonel that the flag of rtuce was waved at .Ap- 

Isaiah Stickel was principal of the Union Academy in Sparta. 111., 
when the war broke out. He enlisted as a private in the Second Illinois 
and left the army a lieutenant. At Holly Springs, Miss., the captain of 
his company was taken prisoner and the conduct fell upon him. With 
six men in canoes he penetrated the bayous for thirty miles during the 
Vicksburg campaign pursuing a boatload of rebels and capturing two 
officers. These are but two instances of his fine work during the war. 
He came to Centralia in 1866, was the first postmaster of the town and 


was in the mercantile business before going into farming and stock rais- 
ing. J. O. Barnard, of Oneida, served with the Ninetj'-fourth Illinois. 
G. H. Johnson, later a postmaster of Corning, was a member of the 
Eighty-ninth New York infantry ; Morrison Mackley with the One 
Hundred and Seventy-third Ohio; Joseph McCutcheon, with the Sixty- 
first Pennsylvania ; George F. Roots, who came to this country from 
England in 1850, and to Nemaha county in 1856, enlisted with the Thir- 
t3--sixth Illinois. Mr. Roots lived in Illinois before coming to Kansas 
and it was he who named Illinois creek. He had some knowledge of 
surveying and laid out much country around Corning. 

E. S. Vernon fought with the Seventy-eighth Ohio at the battles of 
Shiloh, Fort Donelson and all the others of fame; J. C. Warrington with 
the Thirteenth Iowa; David Bronson, of Granada, with the Fifty-sev- 
enth Illinois; A. B. Ellit was with the Second Kansas that routed 
Ouantrill and his men. The three Haigh brothers, James, Urias and 
Joseph, fought in the Rebellion. 

J. O. Hottenstein, of a western Kansas county, was captain of the 
company in which "Uncle" Dave Wickins, postmaster of Sabetha, 
served during the Civil war, and he after many years, hunted Mr. Wick- 
ins up. Mr. Wickins recalls one incident of their service together very 
well. There was a skirmish in Mississippi in which Wickins was hit 
three times and Hottenstein was hit once. Both men were injured at al- 
most the same moment. Hottenstein was shot through the left breast 
just above the heart. Wickins was shot in the leg, hand and arm. "Let 
Hottenstein alone, and give other wounded attention ; Hottenstein can't 
live anyway," said an attendant. Hottenstein made a great fuss at this 
and swore he would live to see the funeral of most of his company. In 
a few weeks he was well and at the head of his company again. The 
scar on David Wickin's right hand was caused Ijy the wound in this en- 

A. H. Hybskmann, seventy-eight, a pioneer, died at his home in Cen- 
tralia. He was born in Denmark in 1838. He was a Danish soldier in the 
Danish-Prussian war of 1864. The Danish army being defeated, he came 
to America in 1867, rather than be drafted into the Prussian army and 
fight his own country. He came to Centralia in 1870. He operated one 
of the first steam flour mills in this part of the State. 

G. K. Hatch, of Granada, served as a member of the One Hundred 
and Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania, partook of the pursuit and capture of 
General Lee and was in at the finish. G. W. Conrad enlisted with the 
Twenty-eighth Iowa, fought under Sheridan and told great stories of 
Sheridan's ride. Lewis Logan was with the Twenty-second lowas ; A. 
J. Morgan with the Fourteenth Indiana, barely escaping capture at Get- 
tysburg. J. F. Randel served six months with the Twenty-second Kan- 
sas at the close of the war. F. F. Fisher enlisted with the Twenty-thir.d 
Wisconsin. J. Hollingsworth, when but fifteen years old, enlisted with 
the Thirtv-third Illinois. These enlistments in regiments of other 


States show a remarkable range of citizenship which has gathered to- 
gether under Nemaha county's banner. Another odd circumstance is 
that no two were members of the same regiment. 

Any attempt to fully handle stories and reminiscences of the war is 
futile. A three-volume novel could not contain those of Nemaha coun- 
ty veterans. Still there are anecdotes that are irresistable. Uncle Jock 
Matthews, veteran rural mail carrier, who for twenty years has held the 
record for shortest time in delivering his mail out of Sabetha, joined 
the Pennsylvanians in a cavalry regiment. He got on his horse to go to 
war. He did not even stop to put down his knapsack, let alone drill, or 
stack arms, or make camp. He was rushed immediately into battle, and 
the battle was the second Battle of Bull Run. Recently F. A. Gue, a few 
miles from Sabetha, with Mrs. Gue took an odd journey: a visit to all 
the prisons where Mr. Gue was held during the war. They visited 
Chickamauga, where Mr. Gue was captured while taking care of thirty- 
eight Union soldiers, as assistant surgeon. Mr. Gue spent 526 davs in 
prison during the War of the Rebellion. He was at Libby, Pemberton, 
Danville, Andersonville, and Salisbury, N. C. The Salisbury prison, 
merely a stockade, burned down and Mr. Gue was taken to Flor- 
ence, S. C., where he was kept until near the close of the war. Mr. Gue's 
health was in as miserable a state as might be imagined after such an 
experience. He settled near Sun Springs where there is a mineral well, 
the waters of which restored his health. Lyman Fair marched with 
Sherman to the sea. He says it was during this famous tramp that the 
song, "Marching through Georgia," was conceived. The song was start- 
ed by the men in the ranks and compiled as they marched along. It 
passed from man to man, line to line, company to company, and regiment 
to regiment. As they walked along the whole army sang the song on 
their way to the sea. 

There are few wars of prominence of the past century with which 
Nemaha county has not had more or less connection. Almost every 
man in the county fought in the War of the Rebellion. Three have been 
mentioned who fought in the Crimean war. Comes now Herman Alt- 
house, splendid farmer and father of fine sons and daughters, whose 
father was a soldier under the great Napoleon Bonaparte. Conrad Alt- 
house, father of Herman, was a captain under Napoleon and fought at 
Piedmont and was with Napolean at his tragic downfall at ^^^aterloo. 
Captain Althouse came to America, where he married. His eldest son, 
Herman, was born in Somerset county, coming west with his parents in 
the early days of Missouri's settlement. Herman Althouse's wife was 
Miss Susanna Howard, whose father was one of the original settlers of 
the famous Platte Purchase in Missouri. Herman Althouse is a pioneer 
of Nemaha county and for years and years a prominent figure in the 
eastern part of the county. 

C. P. Branigan, of Rock Creek township, whose wife. INIiss Rebecca 
H. Hawkins, was one of the first school teachers in the county, was 


driven out of \\'ashington county by Indian raids, with a number of 
other Nemaha county citizens, who settled in this county where Indians 
were not rampant. Archibald Moorhead was frequently raided during 
the border war for food and lodging, but was otherwise uninjured. 

W. B. Slosson, who opened the first store in Albany in December, 
1861, brought his goods from Salem, Neb. He got the stock most rea- 
sonably. The owners of the goods feared they would be seized by bor- 
der ruffians. Mr. Slosson was one of the organizers of League No. 40 
for the purpose of protecting runaway slaves. He saw as much of the 
border was difficulties as any one in Nemaha county. He barelv es- 
caped death at the hands of a border ruffian in Nebraska City, escaping 
with three runaway slaves by bribing the ferryman to row them to safe- 
ty across the river. The ferrj-man was in favor of slavery, which 
argues well for either the persuasive powers of Mr. Slosson or the speak- 
ing power of a little gold. Col. W. S. White, one of the pioneer settlers 
of Nemaha county, was a personal friend and neighbor of Abraham Lin-, 
coin in Illinois. 

Three Nemaha county men were members of the famous First Min- 
nesota infantry that saved the day at the battle of Gettysburg; W. H. 
Dooley, R. Wilson and L. J. Mosher, none of whom are now here. But 
forty-five men were left when the battle ended out of three hundred who 
entered with their regimen. Nemaha county's share of the survivors 
was rather unusual. 

An odd circumstance of warlike connections was the finding of 
grape shot in a sand bank in the eastern section of the count5^ There 
was never a battle of any sort fought near Sabetha, within memory of 
the oldest inhabitant. Several years ago while digging in a sand bank, 
John Bridgeman found a grape shot of the kind used in the Civil war. 
The grape shot was found four feet under the sand and above the sand 
there had been ten feet of soil, so that the shot was some fourteen feet 
under ground. Its burial there is still an unsolved mystery. 

Nemaha county treasures many odd bits of war relics today, half 
a century after the close of the Civil war. A. G. Rees, a farmer living 
one mile west of the Sabetha hospital, is an old soldier who makes a trip 
almost daily on foot from his home to the town of Sabetha. He has kept 
in fighting trim as a result, or tramping trim, anyway. He carries with 
him an odd cane fashioned from bits of horn taken from the tips of his 
favorite cattle, dehorned during his farming life since the close of the 
war. The cane looks like a stick of polished onyx. Mr. Rees has among 
his relics a piece of hardtack which he carried through the Civil war. 
Mr. Rees was with the Ninety-second Illinois mounted infantry. He 
marched with Sherman to the sea and carried his hardtack on that his- 
toric march. Hardtack, to the uninitiated of the present generation and 
to those of the farmlands who have never been to sea, is merely a name. 
It is supposedly a biscuit. In reality it is a cracker, big and hard. Mr. 
Rees's hardtack bears the stamp "Rilley," as a certain popular cracker 


today bears the stamp "I'needa." The Rees treasures number more 
than the cane and hardtack. Saved from the depredations of soldiers, 
Mrs. Rees has treasured a set of cups and saucers that were among the 
bridal gifts of her grandparents. She has also a set of silver spoons that 
were made from shoe buckles of her great-uncl, who presented them to 
her grandmother. The shoe buckles had also seen war service, and were 
on a pair of shoes worn by Mrs. Rees's uncle when he came over to 
America from Ireland over a hundred years ago. 

Uncle John Sherrard, of Oneida, wore a relic of ante-bellum days, 
his beard. Uncle John has not shaved since 1859. Freemont was the 
Republican, and James Buchanan the Democratic candidate for presi- 
dent. Mr. Sherrard was intensely for Republican principles, and vowed 
he would not shave until Fremont was president of the United States. 
Fremont being defeated, he never had another chance for election. Ac- 
cordingly Mr. Sherrard did not shave. 

John Burdge Hoverson, the seventh of the name of John Burdge, by 
direct descent, has a gun which has been handed down to the eldest son 
in his family from generation to generation. Burdge's great-great- 
great-grandfather used the gun in the Revolution. Farther back another 
Burdge had used it in the Indian wars in the beginning of this nation. 
It has been in many conflicts, and may yet serve its present owner. The 
Burdge gun is believed to be the only one in this part of the country 
which has taken active part in the French and Indian wars. 









By Captain Lewis Miller. 

Nemaha county responded with customary promptness for the call 
for volunteers by the President during the Spanish-American war. The 
company was composed chiefly of Nemaha county men, with a few from 
the neighboring counties of Brown and Marshall. The company was 
mustered by Capt. M'^illiam D. Sherman, and called Company K, of the 
Twenty-second regiment, Kansas infantry, and was commanded by 
Col. Hugh H. C. Lindsay. The company was approved by the President 
April 22, 1898, to serve from the sixteenth day of Ma}^ 1898 for two 
years unless sooner discharged. Captain Robert Hardy was commander 
of the battalion. 

Our company was composed of young men from eighteen to forty- 
five years of age. The great majority were farmer boys, but we had 
men from the mines, the shops, the mercantile business and a few pro- 
fessional men. We organized at Seneca, Kans., and our first camp was 
on the old fair ground in Topeka. Here we drilled without arms or uni- 
forms for about thirty days. Our shelter consisted of the old buildings 
used for various purposes on the fair grounds, as we had no tents. At 
the end of a month's occupancy of these quarters we took the train for 
Camp Alger, Virginia, where we found about 40,000 other troops in 
camp. Most of them were National Guardsmen, well equipped with uni- 
forms and with Springfield rifles. We, in our regular Kansas garb, 
were a sight for them. They lined up for miles to see and welcome us. 
We were heralded in advance as the Kansas cowboy regiment, and as 
we had some real cowboys in the regiment, we gave them some real 
exhibitions of the right way of throwing the rope called the lasso and 
of fast and efficient revolver shooting. 

Some of our boys had captured several Kansas coyotes, and we had 


them with us. So our regiment was the regiment that attracted atten- 
tion not only of the camp, but for miles around, including Washington, 
D. C. 

In ten days' time we were uniformed and equipped, and as we had 
learned to a great extent the company battalion and regiment maneu- 
vers, we were ready to take up the manual of arms. In ninety days' 
time, we were a well equipped, fairly well drilled regiment, and were anx- 
ious to go to the front at any time. In fact we had received word to be 
ready at any moment to embark for Cuba, when on the morning of the 
fourth of July the word went through the camp like an electric wave 
of the sinking of Cervera's fleet by Admiral Schley and we knew it 
would soon be over. The camp was in a turmoil. Forty thousand 
voices were cheering or cursing their luck of not having had a chance 
to get into the thick of the fray. Some of the men actually shed tears of 
disappointment of not having had their fling. 

We were in the brigade with the One Hundred and Fifty-ninth In- 
diana, and the Third New York, both old National Guard regiments. 
It was interesting to see with what interest and ardor our boys bent ev- 
ery effort to become as efficient as they. We believe that when we 
were mustered out there was no better regiment among the 200.000 vol- 
unteers than the Twenty-second Kansas. 

Our division of 10,000 men under General Graham, broke camp and 
marched to Camp Thoroughfare Gap, Va., near Manassas. This was 
a march of sixty miles. It rained all da}' and night while we were on 
this march. It was while on this tramp that we heard the sad news of 
the death of our Captain Sherman at Fort Myers Hospital. It cast a 
gloom over the entire command. Provisions were short on this march. 
The streams were swollen ; the roads wretched. Our provision train 
could not keep up. In many cases we stripped ourselves of clothing, 
hung our clothes on the points of our bayonets and forded the streams. 
There was always that courage and cheer, characteristic of young Amer- 
icans. We arrived at Broad Run Camp the third day out. Some of our 
command had not had any food for thirty-six hours. 

A certain amount of foraging is expected and done. Rut our regi- 
mental band was a little timid and took their troubles up with the col- 
onel, who was a Civil war veteran. . He informed them that "anyone 
who permitted themselves to starve in a land of plenty should either be 
classed as cripples or dam fools." They presented the colonel the fol- 
lo.wing morning with a fresh pork roast with their compliments, and in- 
formed him that there were no cripples in the band anyway. We re- 
mained at Camp Thoroughfare Gap for thirty days. We were then or- 
dered by train to Camp Mead. Pa. After six weeks' encampment there 
we were ordered to Fort Leavenworth to be mustered out. A number 
of Company K men enlisted in the regular army and saw service in 
Manila and China. 


Before Captain IMiller, author of the foregoing- story of Nemaha 
county's service in our last war, entered the army he had been wounded 
severely by Captain Daniel Cupid. When he went to Topeka with his 
company as Lieutenant Miller the wound was found so severe that he 
was given a day's absence to get home for the only cure. But it took 
great hustling to carry out the orders of Captain Cupid when he reached 
Sabetha. Mr. Miller had planned to go from Sabetha to the county 
seat, Seneca, to secure a marriage license to marry Miss Lou Miller. 
But fate has a way of interfering with Captain Cupid's plans, even as 
Cupid himself has a way of stepping into the well-ordered lives of folks 
and making war generally. The Grand Island train, which was to take 
Mr. Miller to Seneca, was delayed for five hours by a wreck. It was be- 
fore the day of automobiles, and only the telegraph could be requisition- 
ed that Captain Cupid might not longer delay the movements of the Army 
of the L'nited States. The license was telegraphed for, and the permission 
telegraphed back for the wedding to take place. The knot was tied by 
Rev. Ford and the young soldier and his bride driven to the station to 
join the army in Topeka. But while waiting for the train, up dashed a 
messenger boy with the license, which had come on the return train 
from Seneca, and on the depot platform, while the train was pulling in, 
the marriage service was said for a second time, with the license in hand. 
Lieutenant Miller and his bride, with Captain Cupid in charge, gloat- 
ing over the double knot he had tied, left for Topeka. Lieutenant Miller 
was made captain upon the death of Captain Sherman. The two Miller 
boys are named for the colonel of his regiment and the captain of ttit 

Nemaha county has always gone to the front in war, literally, if 
it was the war of her own land, and financially if the war was in other 
countries. Nemaha county was one of the first to respond to the cry 
for help in the European war now raging. Ever since the cry came over 
the waters, "Help the Belgians," people everywhere have planned the 
best way to help aside from sending money. Mrs. Dr. Shelton of Oneida 
originated a scheme whereby each one could contribute something. She 
sent out thirty-six notes to as many ladies of the town and vicinity ask- 
ing each to contribute two or more quilt blocks to be made into com- 
forts for the Belgians. The ladies were each to ask some one else to 
help. All were to be sent to Mrs. Shelton on a certain date. All re- 
sponded willingly and on a day appointed a number of ladies came in 
and sewed the blocks together, ready for tacking and finishing. On the 
eleventh they obtained the hall and completed eight large comforts and 
three for the babies. The cotton was paid for by a collection taken up 
among the ladies. Henry Wikoff was asked to box them up and ship 
them to Topeka in time to be sent on the Kansas Relief Train that left 
on the thirteenth, but when he went to procure the boxes, one was too 
.small, the other was too large and as they were the only ones in town at 
all suitable, he decided to put them in the larger box and then he found 


that it lacked a third of being full. Not to be outdone they went to some 
of the Odd Fellows who had contributed $20 from their lodge and they 
all decided to buy enough blankets from Roy Smothers to fill the box. 
Fourteen blankets and two comforts were added to the list the ladies 
had made and the box was filled. All felt satisfied with their work. Din- 
ner was served in the hall and the ladies' husbands came to eat with 
them. It was a joll_v crowd and all were happy in the knowledge of liav- 
ing done something for others if it were only a little. 

Nemaha county was and it thoroughly imbued with patriotism and 
is always first to respond to a call to arms. Nemaha county sent all her 
able-bodied men to the Civil war. She had a complete compan)' in the 
Spanish-American war. She responded immediately to the call for help 
from the Belgians, and she is preparing a company if needed, in the pos- 
sible event of war with Europe. Therefore it may be recalled with in- 
terest the naturalness with which Nemaha county in the eighties fought 
a sham battle. 

Orlando Fountain was commander of a Sabetha army which fought 
a sham battle against a Seneca army. Seneca represented the Union 
army and Sabetha represented the Confederates. Colonel Troughton, 
AI. D.. and Captain R. M. Emery, of Seneca, commanded the Union 
army, and Orlando Fountain, who had been a major in the regular army, 
commanded the rebels. Ham Wasmund carried the flag for Sabetha. 
Frank Herzog had a short gun and two revolvers. John Dawson, now 
a Grand Island conductor, carried Squire Hook's cannon which was a 
chunk of steel sixteen inches long and consisted of little more than a 
hole in the center. Dr. Lyons played the fife and Ernest Holtzschue the 
drum. George Cassidy spent most of his time leading Major Fountain's 
horse. The Sabetha army stopped in George Donoldson's orchard long- 
enough to clean it out and then swung around to Dan Stonebarger's 
melon patch. The Seneca Federals agreed to capture the Sabetha 
rebels. There were 5,000 people at the race track where the battle 
scene was to take place. The Sabetha rebels, having found good eating 
in making the detour, were very slow. The Union forces went out a 
short distance to reconnoiter and see- what had become of the enemy. 
^^'hereupon the rebels suddenly appeared in the rear and took posses- 
sion of the forts and batteries, thereby reversing the results of the war 
between the North and the South. One of the I'nion soldiers was so 
angry that he kicked the head out of Holtzschue's drum. 








The romancers who conceived the Arabian Nights told stories that 
are immortal because of their marvel and magic. The Bible scribe 
thought he was going some when he advised two blades of grass where 
one grew before. The great corporations startle the financial world when 
their volume of'business doubles or shares advance ten or fifteen per cent. 
But what of an institution, practically without a manufacturing smoke- 
stack, that makes eight dollars grow where one grew before? That's 
Nemaha county history. What of a mystic conjurer who mixed sun- 
shine, air, water and dust and lifted four million dollars out of his hat in 
any year in real money that you could count and make eighteen thus- 
and people happy ever after! What of a factory that laid off ten per 
cent of its hands and increased its production twenty-five per cent ! This 
is the story of Nemaha county's population and crop returns from igio 
to 1915. 

What is the answer of it all? Well, improved farm machinery is 
one explanation. Better farming methods is another. Higher prices 
may as well be included as a reason also. The records for forty years, 
from 1875 to 1915, show the elimination of some crops, the introduction 
of others. That span of forty years records the steady increase in culti- 
vated acres. It is a fascinating study. 

Let us go back to 1875. Here we find field crops producing an ag- 
gregate of $696,006.73 in one year. Jump forty years to 191 5 and the 
field crops were worth $3,961,731.61. And there were not so many 
more people here in 191 5 than toiled in 1875. The 1875 population was 
7,104. The 1915 population was 18,309. The increase in population 
hasn't compared with the increase in production. 

Back in 1875 Nemaha county produced only a little more than a 



million and a half bushels of corn and got twenty-five cents a bushel 
for it. The corn crop in 1875 was worth $387,513, a mere pittance com- 
pared with the 1915 crop, which paid $2,096,121.04. The corn production 
in 1875 was 1,550,052 bushels grown on 36,906 acres. In 191 5 the acres 
had grown to 108,946, and the production totaled 4,031,002 bushels. In 
1915 Nemaha county was the fourth county in Kansas in the production 
of King Corn, the reigning monarch in agriculture. 

The records back in 1875 show a decided difference in crops grown 
from those of 1915. They raised sorghum for syrup in those days, 
and that year produced nearly 34,000 gallons. Tobacco appears in the 
list of products also. Broom corn was a regular crop, too. No doubt 
the county m.anufactured its own brooms. There was produced in the 
county nearly 800,000 pounds of cheese in 1875. The industry has since 
died, which should be a matter of regret. We made 270,275 pounds of 
butter in 1875. Our butter production in 1915 was valued at $69,000. 
But we sold butter fat in the form of cream to creameries amounting to 

The poultry and eggs of the early days were not kept account of, as 
they are these days, so we don't know the value of the crop in 1875. 
In 191 5, however, our poultry and eggs sold for $204,491.. Nemaha 
county ranks twelfth in county production of poultry and eggs in Kan- 
sas. We are tenth in animals slaughtered and sold for slaugter and 
seventeenth in alfalfa production. Alfalfa is an important crop that has 
come in the evolution of the county. It does not appear in the crops of 
1875. The year 1884 agricultural report does not mention alfalfa. 

But in 1915 we have 24,265 acres in alfalfa, which crop was valued 
at $454,968.75, practically one-half million dollars. This new member of 
the crop family is many times the most valuable forage crop recorded in 
the agricultural reports. Alfalfa is third in valuable crops in the county, 
being outranked only by corn and wheat. Truly, alfalfa has been a 
Nemaha county mortgage lifter. 

It is interesting to note the steady increase in the acreage on which 
crops are produced. There are 460,800 acres in the county. In T875 
crops were produced on 72,370 of these acres. Ten years later the 
acreage for crops had grown to 269,755. Thirty years later than that, 
1915, the soil was producing money crops on 388.798 acres. Tliat is 
climbing toward capacity acreage, but it does not touch capacity in crop 
production, because better farming methods will increase the bushels of 
grain and tons of forage per acre. 

The early day reports do not give the value of the live stock mar- 
keted, so we have to come along to 1884 for a comparison. In 1884 the 
animals slaughtered or sold for slaughter were valued at $735,467. In 
1915 our animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter reached the enor- 
mous value of $1,224,318. The poultry and eggs, butter, cream, honey, 
wool clip, etc., produced in addition to the above, brings the total value 
up to the sum of $1,642,695. Pretty big busine.=s we are doing, isn't it? 

1 68 


This sum can not, of course, rightful!}' be added to the crops produced, 
as much of the crops produced was marketed by means of hve stock. 
The horses, mules, milch cows, other cattle, sheep and hogs remaining 
in the county numbr about 90,000 head and reach a value of $4,00,000. 

It is a colossal business we are doing, a business that will grow, 
a business that will in time occupy the hands of many times our popula- 
tion with a proportionate increase in production. 

A few tables are reproduced herewith for comparison. Endless, in- 
teresting conclusions can be drown from them. And perhaps in forty 
years from now the record of 1915 will seem as provincial and anti- 
quated as does that of 1875 in the present day. 


Average Value of 

Crops Acreage Yield Product Price Product 

Winter wheat, bushels. . 1.753.25 20.00 35.065 $.98 $34,363.70 

Rye, bushels 1,023.00 18.00 18,414 .60 11,048.40 

Spring wheat, bushels. . 5.575-75 lO-oo 55.757 -78 43"490-46 

Corn, bushels 36,906.00 42.00 1,550,052 .25 387,513.00 

Barley, bushels 503.00 28.00 14,084 1.25 17,605.00 

Oats, bushel 5-32545 S^-oo 186,391 .25 46.597-75 

Buckwheat, bushels.... 1. 146.25 20.00 22,925 .95 21,778.75 

Potatoes, Irish, bushels. 539.50 117.00 62,770 .28 17.575.60 

Sweet potatoes, bushels.. 37 145.00 54 .go 48.60 

Sorghum, gallons 218.00 110.00 33.980 .40 9,592.00 

Castor beans, bushels.. 23.00 13.00 299 328.90 

Flax, bushels i. 512.27 8.00 i2;098 1.05 12,702.90 

Tobacco, pounds 3.50 680.00 2,380 .07'^ 178.50 

Broom corn, pounds.... 52.75 775.00 40,881 .07 2,861.67 

Millet, tons 1.804.75 2.75 4,963 5.00 24,815.00 

Timothy, tons 121.25 i-oo 121 6.00 726.00 

Clover, tons 27.25 2.75 75 6.00 450.00 

Prairie, tons 15,835.00 1.25 19.794 3-25 64,330.50 

Totals 72,370.342,028.75 2,060,103 $29. i8':^$696,oo6.73 

COUNTY, IN 1884. 


Winter wheat, bushels 5,228 

Spring wheat, bushels 1,697 

Rye, bushels 1,482 




$ 65,245.44 






Corn, bushels 95,690 4,784,500 956,900.00 

Barley, bushels in 2,775 i .054.50 

Oats, bushels 15,729 471,870 94,374.00 

Buckwheat, bushels 51 561 .■?64.65 

Irish potatoes, bushels i,354 169,250 59,237.50 

Sweet potatoes, bushels 23 2,300 1,840.00 

Castor beans, bushels i 8 10.40 

Flax, bushels 463 4.167 4,167.00 

Rice corn, bushels 12 264 100.32 

Sorghum, gallons 439 30,730 13,828.50 

Cotton, pounds 25 7,000 560.00 

Tobacco, pounds 3 2,550 255.00 

Broom corn, pounds 131 91,700 3,209.50 

Millet, tons 2,994 7,485 33-682.50 

Timothy, tons 7,288 12,754 70,147.00 

Clover, tons 2,954 8,123 42,645-75 

Other tame grasses, tons 899 1,708 8,540.00 

Prairie under fence, tons 132,821 166,026 498s078.oo 

Total 269,755 $1,873,582.66 


Acres Product A^alue 

Winter wheat, bushels 67,779 813,345 - $723,877.05 

Rye, bushels i,537 27,666 21,302.82 

Corn, bushels 108,946 4.031,002 2,096,121.04 

Barley, bushels 80 2,080 936.00 

Oats, bushels 33,696 673.920 242,61 1.20 

Buckwheat, bushels i 12 i2.o-j 

Irish potatoes, bushels 1,220 103,700 65,331.00 

Sorghum 1,385 17.296.50 

Speltz, bushels 20 520 234.00 

Milo maize, bushels 129 I.473-00 

Kafir corn, bushels 2,561 48,889.50 

Feterita 481 7-965-50 

Jerusalem corn 2 32.00 

Millet, tons 2,663 5-992 23,968.00 

Tame hay, tons 29,860 19,968 179,712.00 

Prairie hay, tons 114-150 9-6oo 76,800.00 

Alfalfa, tons 24,265 72,795 454,968.75 

Cow peas, tons 23 35 201.25 

Total 388.798 $3,961,731.61 




Capioma 533 

Harrison 367 


Nemaha 408 

Richmond 808 

Seneca '. 

Washington 30. 

Bern . T ". . 

Clear Creek 475 

Home 655 


Neuchatel t,A7 

Rock Creek 1,13 


AA^etmore 42. 

Wetmore City 

Granada 408 

Illinois ■ 363 


Red Vermillion 511 

Valley 370 







Bermick . 






Totals 7.104 



78 T 


1. 891 

. 603 


16,579 18,699 

Tn 1884 the finest farming land in Nemaha county could be bought 
for $20 an acre. Uncle John Mowder, probably the shrewdest financier 
and best judge of farmland in the county at that time, as he is to- 
day, sold a quarter section southwest of Sabetha to Richard Bottger, 
of Cowan, Union county, Pennsylvania, for $3,600. This is $22.50 an 
acre. Mr. Bottiger profited exceedingly on the investment and about 
twelve years ago he retired and -moved to Sabetha. The farm today is 
worth $150 an acre, if, indeed, it could be bought at that price. Just to 
show how prosperity has swung to the benefit of the agricultural com- 
munity, monej' in 1884 was nine per cent, on farm loans. Today it is 
six per cent. Lyman B. Lilly, in this same year of 1884 sold his eighty 


acre farm north of Albany to J. H. Kimmel for $i,8oo and thought he 
was doing- mighty well. Previously he had homesteaded the place. 
About the same time he sold forty acres at Albany to Ira P.. Dye for 
$800, or $20 an acre. You couldn't touch any of this land now fur more 
than five times the price. 

Thirty years ago the farmers hadn't learned to make profits in farm- 
ing. Say what you please about the agricultural colleges, but their edu- 
cational matter has done much to revolutionize farming methods and 
make the farm pay. Early in the eighties wild grasses were the rule. 
Jacob Miller attracted a good deal of attention because he had fifty acres 
of tame grass. Afterward he increased his acreage until there were 130 
acres in tame grass. All of which was the wonder of the community. It 
was a long time afterward that alfalfa crept into the agricultural esteem 
and what a fight the agricultural colleges had to make alfalfa a convinc- 
ing crop ! It had to pay off a vast amount of mortgages and save a vast 
amount of farmers from ruin in order to make a demonstration that de- 
monstrated. In the year this book is being written the issue is good 
roads. The agricultural colleges show that the cost of hauling farm 
loads over bad roads is among the heaviest penalties the farmer has to 
pay. But the farmers are beginning to see the point and every year 
finds the roads better and the profits of the farmer increasing. The 
paved road is only a question of time. 

Nemaha county has begun to get back in the live stock game. For 
the last decade or two stock raising seemed to be on the wane, and this 
was regretted because of the inevitable depreciation of the soil. Just 
within the last year or two the farmers are raising cattle and sheep. They 
are keeping more hogs. So great is the impetus for swine raising that an 
extensive hog cholera control movement conducted by both State and 
countv government has been started here. Hog cholera has been a 
thorn in the side of the farmer in his agricultural pursuits. It has been 
absolutelv necessary to control hog cholera in order to make farming a 
consistently successful institution. The live stock game can now be 
played with completeness and without danger of disaster. A county farm 
bureau will be opened at the county seat, Seneca, and the whole scheme 
of agriculture put on a scientific and business basis. Dairying-, proven 
to be one of the best paying pursuits on the farm, is growing rapidly in 
importance. Sheep raising is being pursued so profitably that a group 
of armers in Nemaha county have organized an association. The pro- 
duction of beef cattle for the market is assuming its old-time importance. 

Pure bred livestock of all kinds is in the ascendency. John McCoy, 
one of the first to see the need of providing the farmer with the best beef 
cattle, now sees his labor bearing fruit in the ever-increasing high grade 
fat cattle going to market. Ira Collins, who was in the thick of the live 
stock fray in the early days, is now pushing the dairy tvne of cattle. His 
farm at Rock Creek, in which he has been interested for nearly half a 
century, is producing some of the finest Holsteins in the entire West. 


The best Holsteins that money can buy have been brought to the Col- 
lins farm, chosen from world's record ancestors for milk production. 
Mr. Collins has always been one of the forces in the community. He was 
the first mayor of Sabetha, represented this district in the legislature 
and is always a man of affairs. 

So we find Nemaha county harking back to the live stock of the 
early days, but under scientific conditions and methods which make the 
industry more profitable. 

There are many herds of fine cattle over the county and there are 
several breeders whose fame have reached far beyond the borders of the 
county and State. Thomas J. Meisner, of Berwick township, has one of 
the finest droves of pure bred Poland China swine in Kansas which he 
has developed during past years. Mr. Meisner has achieved remark- 
able success in his avocation and is a director of the Kansas Poland 
China Breeders Association and is also a director of the International 
Poland China Association. 

M. G. Hamm, of Ontario, Kans., proprietor and manager of the fa- 
mous Rosary Stock Farm, is one of the most successful breeders of 
Percheron horses in the State and has produced many fine show animals. 
He is a specialist in the breeding of Scotch Top Shorthorns and has add- 
ed many good herd leaders to herds in Jackson and other counties. Mr. 
Hamm is organizer of the Kansas Duroc Jersey Breeders Association 
and assisted in organizing the Kansas Draft Horse Association. 

William Winkler, of Mitchell township, is a breeder and a successful 
exhibitor of Poland China swine which have won many first prizes at 
fairs and stock shows. L. PI. Gaston of the same township is a breeder 
of shorthorn cattle which have received many awards for their excellence. 

Charles W. Ridgway, of Adams township, is a fancier of fine 
Percheron horses and pure bred Poland China swine and is president of 
the Kelly Draft Horse Company, importers of Belgian and Percheron 
horses. Peter P. Waller, of Adams township, has a fine herd of Hol- 
steins started and is destined to make a name for himself as a breeder. 
Howard Thompson, of Richmond township, is a breeder and fancier of 
Ayrshires. Henry Rottingham, of the same township, lias long been a 
breeder of Percheron horses. Peter H. Reed, of Reilly township, has a 
large herd of pure blood Polled Angus cattle. His neighbor, Albert 
Swartz, prefers Holsteins and has developed a fine herd. 

D. N. Price, of Center township, is one of the pioneer breeders of the 
county and has achieved both fame and fortune with pure bred Short- 
horns. Mr. Price has been one of the most successful breeders in Kansas 
during past years and the product of his skill has gone to all parts of 
the Middle West. 

Emil R. Burky of Capioma township is a breeder of Percheron and 
Clydesdale horses. Samuel Johnson, of Gilman township, is specializing 
in Morgan horses and Aberdeen Angus cattle. Other breeders are C. H. 
Wempe, Jerome McQuaid, and Mr. Bergen, of Richmond township. 


The tendency of the times is toward the pure bred varieties of live 
stock and many of the younger farmers of the county are beginning their 
herds with the best live stock obtainable. 

But Nemaha county was a wonder for its stream of beef cattle that 
poured into packing houses three or four decades ago. From one ship- 
ping place alone in one week in Nemaha county there were sent to the 
city market 374 head of fat cattle, weighing 486,610 pounds. Those cat- 
tle ranged around 1,300 pounds each, not a bad record for those days of 
all kinds of breeds fattened under all kinds of feeding conditions. One 
sliipper, T. K. Masheter, had seVenty-five head which averaged 1,451 
pounds. A-nother, J. M. Boomer, had seventy head which averaged 1,410 
pounds. From this same shipping point during the mOnth of December 
there were shipped to market forty-one cars of corn ; two cars of rye ; 
thirteen cars of hogs ; one car of horses and one car of hides. J. T. Brady 
and T. B. Collins, then of Nemaha county, claim the honor of having 
been the first men in Kansas to begin stock fattening on a large scale. 
They commenced in 1867 and in 1868 fed 125 head of cattle. In 1869, 
800 head were fattened and sold to Illinois drovers. Then began the big 
cattle feeding business of Brady & Collins. For ten years they annually 
handled from 2,000 to 3,000 head of cattle. In 1880 Mr. Collins bought 
a farm south of Seneca and in June of that year built the largest livery 
barn in the county. It was 32x80 feet, with sheds for twenty horses. 
Later, of course, he lost the record, because now Nemaha county has' 
many big barns. 

The model farm of three decades ago and the model farm of today ! 
What a contrast ! First let us look at the model farm of yesterday. E. 
L. Rosenberger, who came to Nemaha county from Harveysville, Pa., 
had what was considered a model farm and equipment and home. The 
farm was in Rock Creek township. It was divided as follows : thirty 
acres of prairie grass for pasture ; thirty acres in tame grass ; wheat and 
oats, each ten acres ; house, barn and fruit, twenty acres ; cohn, sixty 
acres. Mr. Rosenberger kept twenty-five to thirty head of cattle; 175 
to 200 hogs ; horses sufficient to do the farm work. The first improve- 
ment made by Mr. Rosenberger was the erection of a good, substantial 
residence for that day. The house was 20x32 feet, two stories high and 
basement below. It was situated in the center of the twenty acres, set 
apart for vards, farm buildinos and fruits of various kinds. To the west 
and north of his house he had fruit trees of nearly every variety. He had 
a cabbage patch of 2,000 plants. He had one-fourth acre of beets and 
celerv. The vinevard had 200 vines. He had 1,000 each of raspberry 
For shade trees he grew the catalpa for a windbreak. His hog pens 
were all partitioned and had good floors and roof, where he did his 

On the farm of today a good proportion would be in corn as was Mr. 
Rosenberger's. But there would be little, if any, prairie grass for pas- 
ture. At least this much would be in alfalfa— thirty acres. Instead of ten 


acres of wheat and oats, there would probably be at least forty acres to 
the two crops. There would not be so much land devoted to orchards. 
Today fruit raising is considered a business apart. Of the small fruits 
there would be strawberries only enough for the family's use. The same 
is true of the garden. One of the out buildings on the place of today is a 
garage for the automobile. A feature of the farm, unthought of in Mr. 
Rosenberger's time, is the silo. The modern farm would have one or 
more silos. The modern farm would be equipped with' machinerj-' for 
every operation, and riding machinery at that and we believe tomorrow 
that most of the farm work will be done by motor, day after tomorrow, 
perchance, by electric motor. 

The home of the modern farm of today is heated by furnace and all 
the rooms are warm. The house and all outbuildings are lighted by elec- 
tricity. The house has running water, hot and cold, and a complete 
bathroom. The farmer's wife is beginning to come into her own. Her 
floors are of hard, polished wood, as is all the interior finish. She does 
not make as much butter as she used to. She can market her butter in 
the form of cream separated mechanically with a cream separator. Mrs. 
Clayte Lewis, wife of a modern Nemaha county farmer, said at a party 
recently that she would give up her piano before she did her cream sep- 
arator. But the modern farmer's wife today has both separator and pi- ' 
ano with a Victrola for good measure. The same electric lighting plant 
that lights the house and outbuildings can operate the sewing machine, 
the washing machine, the separator, etc. 

Sabetha tried out an irrigating farm scheme once that is believed to 
have been the only irrigating project in this corner of Kansas. J. A. Rob- 
ertson owned four and a half acres at the edge of Sabetha. He had been 
a market gardener for riiany years. He greatly increased his income 
through the irrigating plan. With a gasoline engine and a deep well he 
irrigated his ground. He irrigated a small patch of strawberry ground on 
which were 400 plants and received $40 more profit from his crop. The 
patch he did not irrigate in this dry j^ear produced but a dollar's worth. 
His power cost him three cents an hour. A profitable business resulted 
from the plan. It is one that has not been tried out in this section, but as 
the value of farm land rises and it is more difficult to secure large farm- 
ing tracts, this fruit and garden scheme will doubtless grow. 

The Kansas hen has done as well in Nemaha county as anywhere, 
and Mrs. Harry Carpenter, of the Woodlawn neighborhood, thinks hers 
have done a little better than anyone's. Mrs. Carpenter was a school 
teacher, who married a farmer. The first summer of their marriage, one 
of her hens walked into the yard one day followed by twenty-two little 
chicks, newly hatched and able bodied. Mrs. Carpenter was amazed. 
She had not set the hen, but the hen had laid the eggs in the wood from 
time to time, and secretly went to her private home and sat on the twen- 
ty-two eggs, until she had a real family. 

The changes of forty years in Nemaha county are astonishing and in 


the archives of the State Historical Society and State Board of Agricul- 
ture are the records of what Nemaha county was in 1875. The 720 square 
miles in Nemaha county remain as in the beginning, but from that point 
constrasts begin. In 1875 the population of Nemaha county to the square 
mile was only 9.86. Going back to i860 there were in the county 2,436 
persons. In 1870 there were 7,339 people here. The increase in the ten 
years from i860 to 1870 was therefore 4,903. The population in 1875 was 
7,104. Thus there was a decrease in five years from 1870 to 1875 of 235, 
but within the fifteen years there was an increase in population of 4,668. 
Times were mighty hard in the early seventies. There was the grasshop- 
per year and the financial panic and general distress, and presumably 
some of the faint hearted went back East to the home folks, or farther 
west where the star of empire takes its way. 

Another interesting fact about the county in its early history is that 
Germany furnished its largest foreign population. The nativity of those 
in the county in 1875 follows: Born in the United States, 5,926; in Ger- 
many, 372; in Ireland 212; in England and Wales 157; in British Amer- 
ica 144; in southern Europe loi ; in Scotland 46: in S\veden, Norway and 
Denmark 45 ; in France 39; in nortliern Europe 38: in Italy 21 ; in coun- 
tries not specified 3. The countv had more men than women. The males 
numbered 3,696 ; tlie females 3,408. Those early settlers in Nemaha 
county came mostly from Illinois. In this same year, 1875. there were 
1,185 '^^ these Illinois emigrants. Missouri came second with 676; third, 
Iowa with 601 ; fourth, Ohio, number, 443; Indiana took fifth place with 
426. The county was populated from other States as follows : Alabama, 
4; Arkansas, 5 ; California, 11 ; Colorado, i ; Connecticut, 19: Georgia, 25 ; 
Kentucky, 6; Louisiana, i; Maine, 8: ]\Iaryland, 2: ]\Iassachusetts. 43: 
Michigan, 21; IMinnesota. 22: Mississippi, 2; Nebraska, 92; Nevada. 14; 
New Hampshire. 17; New Jersey, 5: New York, 317: Pennsylvania, 235; 
South Carolina, 2; Tennessee, 20; Texas, 8; Vermont, 17; Virginia, 27; 
^^'est A'irginia, 7; Wisconsin, 346; District of Columbia and the terri- 
tories. 15. Many of Nemaha county's citizens came direct from Europe 
here. These are included in the figures previously given, showing na- 
tivity of the county's citizens. So those coming direct from Germany 
number 61; from Ireland 10; from England and Wales, 76; from Scot- 
land 29; from Sweden, Norway and Denmark 8; from France i; from 
northern Europe 5: others, southern Europe 50: from British .America 

The business of rearing families was the most important early in- 
dustry. There were in Nemaha count}^ in 1875, 2,015 Kansas born chil- 
dren ; pretty good within twenty years' occupation. In this same year 
1,454 persons were engaged in agriculture, 81.03 Per cent. Nearly every- 
body was busy growing crops. There were only ninety or ninety-five' 
per cent, engaged in professional and personal pursuits and in trade and 
transportation eighty-four, or eighty-four and seven-tenths per cent. We 
started out promisingly in manufactures. One hundred and sixty persons 


were engaged in various manufacturing establishments, eight and nine- 
tenths per cent. A brick plant at Seneca is about all we have now in that 

A survey of the county in 1875 shows bottom land ten per cent ; up- 
land ninety per cent. ; forest, three per cent. ; prairie land and rolling 
land, 90 per cent. ; forest, 3 per cent. ; prairie land 97 per cent. T he aver- 
age width of bottoms was a mile. This was the land that was farmed in 
the early days. They have since found the upland to possess produc- 
tivity undreamed of at that time. In those days the average width of 
timber belts was half a mile. There grew along these timbered belts, 
hickory, oak, hackberry. elm, walnut, cqttonwood, ash, locust, and syca- 
more. Much of this wood has gone for lumber and stovewood. Hun- 
dreds of cars of walnut have been shipped to Europe to decorate castles 
and palaces of kings, princes and potentates of the Old World. The cut 
over lands are now producing crops that during this year of bitter 
European war. are feeding the Old World. 

The Fourth Kansas Agricultural report issued in 1875 gives the prin- 
cipals streams as follows: The Nemaha river flows north twenty miles 
through the center of the county ; its tributaries are Deer creek, flowing 
west; Harris, northwest; Illinois, southeast; Grasshopper, southeast; 
Pony Creek, east; Rock Creek, northeast; Vermillion, west; French, 
south ; and Turkey Creek, east. The county is very well supplied with 
springs and good well water is obtained at a depth of from thirty-five to 
forty feet. Small quantities of coal have been found along the Nemaha 
and its tributaries. Veins, from four to thirteen inches in thickness, have 
been mined ; their depth below the surface is from six to twenty feet ; 
qualitv medium. Very little coal mining has been developed and its use 
is altogether local. 

The cheese manufactured in 1870 totaled 28,285 pounds; in 1875, 
798,850 pounds. 

In writing the history of Nemaha county we have come across a 
dozen cheese factories scattered around. In fact one of the history jokes 
is that cheese grew in every community except Neuchatel, the place 
where the cheese ought to grow, if names count for anything. Today 
there is not a cheese factory in Nemaha county, and personally we know 
of none in northeastern Kansas. Perhaps this is the reason : It doesn't 
look as if Atchison is to have a cheese factory as has been proposed. Mar- 
tin Jensen has been looking it up and has met with little encouragement 
from scientific men who are familiar with conditions. They say the cli- 
mate in Kansas is not adapted to cheese making and that cool nights the 
year around are very essential. 

Butter manufactured in 1870 was 200,460 pounds; in 1875, 270,275. 
The number of horses in the county in 1870 was 3,307: in 1875 the num- 
ber had increased to 4,975. The mules and asses in 1870 numbered 156, 
in 1875 there were 276 of the four legged ones. The cattle in 1870 num- 
bered 9,221. The}' jumped in number in five years to 19,242, the increase 


being 10,041. There was a sentiment for sheep in 1870 and that vear flocks 
numbered 3.591 head. In 1875 the number had decreased to 1,171. the de- 
crease being 2,420. The farmers had conckided that this was not a sheep 
country, but of late years they are learning their mistake and sheep rais- 
ing has been in the ascendency. A sheep growers association organized 
in 1916, promises big things in the sheep line. Going back to 1870, the 
swine numbered 4,119 head. Five years later the hogs had increased to 

The prairie schooner that sailed to Kansas in the early days always 
had its hound dogs. They were about the only luxury the poor man of 
that day had. And everybody was poor. Instead of hound dogs today 
we have automobiles. But the dog census of 1875 showed 1,575 canines. 
There were more dogs than sheep. Probably it was the dogs that killed 
the sheep industry. In 1875 those 1,575 dogs killed 149 sheep that the 
farmers knew, and probably that many more were not reported. There 
were wolves in those days, too. They killed 134 sheep in that year, almost 
as many as the dogs. So there were nearly 300 sheep in one year lost 
because of the wolves and dogs. 

Here are some more 1875 facts — Horticulture : Acres of nurseries, 
9; orchards, 1,525 ; vineyards, 20^ ; number of stands of bees, 96; pounds 
of honey, 107; wax, 30 pounds; fences, stone, 8,958, cost $21,275; ""^il 
fences, 259,322 rods, cost $350,074 ; board fence. 85.691 rods, cost $109,256 : 
wire fence, 35.300 rods, cost $26,475; hedge fence, 56,181 rods, cost $25,- 
843 ; total rods of fence, 445,453 ; total cost, $532,924. The waterpower 
was limited, two mills being but partially supplied. 

Manufactures in 1875 — I" Nemaha township, steam sawmills : Rich- 
mond township, steam flouring mill ; in Home township, steam flouring 
mill. A brewery was listed at Seneca in 1875. A steam gristmill is listed 
for Rock Creek township the same 3-ear. There was a cheese factory 
in Home township. 

Banks in 1875 — The banking house of Lappin & Scrafford was at 
Seneca. Sabetha had the Exchange Bank, and there was another bank, 
the name of which was not reported. The aggregate capital of the three 
banks was $15,744, not a drop in the bucket for the financial institutions 
in the county today. Business houses of the principal towns : Agricul- 
tural, two ; books, periodicals and stationery, two ; boots and shoes, four ; 
clothes and tailoring, one; confectionery, one; dry goods, six; drugs, oils 
and paints, two ; furniture and upholstery, one ; groceries, one ; hardware. 
two; jewelry, clocks, watches, etc., one; lumber, two; saddles and har- 
ness,- two. Newspapers of 1875: the "Courier" at Seneca and the ".\d- 
vance" at Sabetha, both Aveeklies. 

In 1875 there were seventy-seven organized school districts and 
seventy-four school houses. Value of school buildings and grounds, 
furniture and apparatus, $70,553. Parochial school. Catholic, at Seneca. 

Churches in the county in 1875: Presbyterian organization, one. with 
a membership of thirtv-two ; church edifice, one ; valuation. $2,200. Con- 



gregational organizations, six; membership, 220; church buildings, three; 
valuation, $11,800. Baptist organizations, four; membership, 180; church 
edifice, one; valuation, $2,500. Methodist organizations, four; member- 
sliip, 405 ; churches, two ; valuation, $6,600. Episcopal, one, membership, 
six. Catholic, five, membership, 675; church edifice, one; valuation, 
$2,000. Universalist organization, one ; membership, twenty-five ; church, 
one ; valuation, $9,800. There were libraries in fourteen townships. Three 
reported five public libraries, with 2,200 volumes, and forty-eight private 
libraries, with 5,242 volumes. The prices of unoccupied lands in 1875 
ranged from $3.50 to $12 per acre. 

As this history is being written, the tractor for farm work is be- 
coming a factor in Nemaha county. Jonach brothers. Matt, Tom and 
Charley, have demonstrated the utility of the tractor by a California 
outfit which has been giving wonderful service in Capioma township. 
They shipped in a Yuba tractor from California. It is of the caterpillar 
type. With their tractor the Jonach brothers farm several hundred 
acres and plow, harrow and harvest with the tractor as motive power. 
They also use the tractor for threshing, and even drag the roads in front 
of their homes with the tractor. 

Peter H. Reed, of Reilly township, is another possessor of tractive 
motor power, and the crops on the Reed farm are, ample evidence of 
the benefits to be obtained from the use of the tractor on the farm. 
When Mr. Reed's son graduated from the State Agricultural school at 
Manhattan, he came home to take charge of the farming operations 
imbued with advanced ideas of farming. His pioneer father was not far 
behind him, but his shrewd, practical common sense also assisted in 
the installation of any so-called "new fangled" ideas of farming. ^M■lile 
Mr. Reed is an advocate of better farming, he is also aware that a great 
many things advocated by the "farm professors" need tempering and 
to be tried out. He decided to purchase a tractor, and did so against 
the .advice of his son, who wished to stick to the horse power 
The tractor was purchased. Young- Reed soon became converted to its 
labor saving benefits and operated the tractor from earh^ morning until 
late at night and soon plowed 200 acres of corn ground to a depth 
hitherto impossible with the horse drawn plow. He is -now an en- 
thusiast on the subject of tractor motive power on the farm, and the 
crops on the Reed farm this year show the beneficent results of thor- 
ough cultivation and deep plowing . The writer of this article ^-isited 
the Reed farm on business connected with the county histor}- July 
26, 1916, and saw what is unquestionably the finest acreage of orn in 
all Kansas, without doubt. The corn was very tall and vigor, uis and 
healthy stalks and large ears already f(irmed. There seemed to be 
plenty of moisture in the ground — a condition due to the fact that the 
motor propelled plows turned over the soil to a depth of ten to twelVe 
inches and effectually buried any debris or weed seeds from the last 
year's crop. The corn crop was clean, much cleaner than other fields 


in the same neighborhood, because of the fact that the deep plowing 
had effectually buried everything which had been lying on the surface 
of the ground. The spring and summer rains had thoroughly Miaked- 
the soil and had sunk to the depth of the plowed ground instead of 
running off the surface, as is often the case in shallow plowing. Con- 
sequently, when the dry weather set in the corn crops on the Reed 
place had a store of conserved moisture upon which the stalks could 
draw, and early maturing of the crop was the result.. It is Mr. Reed's 
intention to plow still deeper this fall and winter, and his prediction 
that he and his son will produce a crop yielding loo bushels to the acre 
will probably come true. 

A grain business that within si.xteen years has developed from a 
trade of a few thousand dollars to a volume of transactions aggregating 
three and one-half million dollars annually is in a sentence the story of 
the Derby Grain Company, with headquarters at Sabetha. So rapidly 
did the concern spread out that F. A. Derby, the head of the corpora- 
tion, has an office in Topeka, leaving C. L. Parker to manage the home 
office at Sabetha. The history of the concern is an achievement. 

It was in May. 1900, that F. A. Derby bought the old "bank" ele- 
vator on the Rock Island track, in Sabetha. This was the beginning of 
the big Derby grain business of today. A few years later Mr. Derby 
began to branch out. purchasing the elevators at Mayberry, Xeb., and 
Powhattan, Kans. Steadily elevators were added to the Derby list until 
at the present time there are ten elevators operated by the concern, most 
of them between Horton and Fairbury, on the Rock Island. Nine years 
ago the Sabetha flour mill burned, and Mr. Derby acquired the mill 
property in Sabetha, consisting of four lots. The elevator on the mill 
site was retained and the original elevator was torn down. In loto. 
C. L. Parker, who operated the elevator at Powhattan, became identified 
with the Derby interests, and located in Sabetha. The concern was 
organized as F. A. Derby & Company until June, 191 1, when the busi- 
ness was incorporated as the Derby Grain Company, with a capital 
of $50,00. The officers were F. A. Derby, president ; R. L. Patton. 
vice president : C. L. Parker, secretary and treasurer. This organization 
continues to the present time. The capital is increased to $6o,ooo. In 
May, 1914, Mr. Derby moved to Topeka and established a cash grain 
office, and has built up a splendid business in connection with his Sa- 
betha interests. Since he left Sabetha, three ek'\-ators have been ac- 
quired in central western Kansas. 

These two Kansas men, Mr. Derby and Mr. Parker, have served 
commerce and themselves well. As stated, in 191 5 the volume of busi- 
ness of the Derby Grain Company totaled three and one-half million 
dollars. To handle that grand, total of the world's food in twelve months 
requires experience, keen understanding of men and the machinery of 
commerce — yes, and vision. These men believe in things, or they would 
not have grown so extensivel\- in ^^'estern ' affairs. They belong to 
Nemaha countv's annals. 





Wright's $67,000 grain crop — harvesting the crop — as a 


Of the original trees planted in the town of Sabetha, but two im- 
mense cottonwoods are left. Four of these withstood the woodman's 
axe until late years. These are the four that stood in a row, mighty 
old patriarchs, on the H. C. Haines lot on Fourteenth street. Two of 
these have gone. Two represent the remains of the immense cotton- 
wood family plantd on the townsite by J. R. Prentice. Mr. Prentice 
says that the town topography would have been changed if the women 
had been more careful about tying their clothes lines to his tender young 
Cottonwood trees. It was to faithful adherence to the god of Monday's 
labor that tore down the cottonwoods. The two handsome cottonwoods 
on the Haines place are sole reminders of the tree that made bearable 
the prairie country, which pioneers found almost treeless. Mr. Prentice 
also planted the soft maples, that have been spared by the ruthless axe- 
man to some extent. The original apple orchard, which grew all over 
the townsite, was planted by Captain Williams, the town father. Of 
this immense orchard, the only remaining- trees are on the F. V. Turner 
place, the Masheter, Whittenhall and Weiss places, homes widely scat- 
tered now by streets and buildings. 

Old orchards are being weeded out to some extent, making room 
for corn. The}" have been immense bearers, as the following will show. 
Ed Harding, the Rock Island freight agent, estimates that Sabetha had 
30,000 barrels of apples shipped out in one year. Edgar Newman had 
some Wolf river apples weighing twenty-three ounces apiece ; W. C. 
Deaver had a pippin that weighed ten ounces ; Smith Ayers had Rambos 
that weighed thirteen ounces. It takes but fifty-seven of these Rambos 
to make a bushel. Robert Edie, a farmer near Bern, had 1,800 apple 
trees loaded with fruit, but, owing to the poor market for the apples, 
his big crop was fed to the hogs. He had at least 1,000 barrels of 
apples. It is the difficulty" of shipping the fruit to a good market when 


the crop is good, at a time when work is needed in other parts of farms 
that has induced Nemaha county farmers to give up the orchards in 
many instances to a less demanding crop. 

Tales of bumper crops do not come from grain raisers alone. A. 
W. Swan, of Centralia, shipped to Kansas City 3,000 pounds of honey. 
This was from 150 stands of bees. The bees were believed to be starv- 
ing at the beginning of the season. 

A shipment of two train loads of cattle, the biggest shipment ever 
received in this part of the State, came to Sabetha. It consisted of 
forty-one cars of heifers and feeders. The cattle came from Arkalon, 
Kans. There were 1,886 head in the two trains. The arrival of a big 
shipment attracted a great deal of attention. It took three engines to 
bring the train to Sabetha. The cattle were distributed throughout this 
section. Two thousand five hundred head of spayed heifers were re- 
ceived in Xemaha county in this vicinity within two weeks. 

D. A. Bestwick, of Berwick, had eight and one-half acres in alfalfa, 
which shows the profit which can be derived from this kind of hay in 
Nemaha county. First, he cut fully eight tons of alfalfa from his field, 
valued at $65. Then he threshed forty-nine bushels of seed from the 
second crop, worth $392. He then cut a third crop from the same field, 
bringing the value of the product of the eight and one-half acres up to 
$520. In addition to this, twenty-seven head of hogs had been making 
themselves fat on the field. 

The unbroken, treeless line of horizon remembered 1)_\' pioneer 
women seems impossible to the residents of Nemaha county today, who 
see such logs as this taken to market. An immense white elm log, cut 
by C. E. Summons, of Albany, was hauled to a saw mill near Pace's 
pond, but the log was too big for the saw mill to handle: The log was 
five feet in diameter and twelve feet long. It was supposed to be sawed 
into lumber, but it was so big that no ordinary mill could cut it. The 
log came from the Fox farm, near Albany. 

A. L. Smart, of Wetmore, had forty acres of wheat in the nineties 
that went thirty-three bushels and one peck to the acre, for which he 
received seventy-five cents per bushel. He sowed 140 acres the follow- 
ing fall. Another eighty-acre farm in his neighborhood had been rent- 
ing for several years and bringing in scarcely enough to keep up repairs 
and pay taxes. The owners hired Smart to put in their wheat and the 
next year the}- realized something over $1,200 from the crop. 

Levi Stevens made enough money farming to retire- early in life by 
methods which produced prize yields on his farm. Mr. Stevens har- 
vested, threshed and sold eight acres of wheat, which averaged forty- 
eight bushels and ten pounds to the acre, and tested sixty-one and a half 
pounds, and he sold it to a local elevator for sixty-three cents, three 
cents above the market price. John Heiniger, of near Berwick, held a 
record for one season. He had nine and a half acres of wheat, which 
yielded fifty-three bushels to the acre. Mr. Heiniger had, in addition to 


the wheat, given a thirty-five acre field of wheat, which averaged thirty- 
five bushels to the acre. It took the threshing machine a half day on 
the nine and a half acres. For many years, wine of rare vintage was 
made by a man who lives near Centralia. It was a Benedictine bever- 
age, composed of twenty-eight ingredients. The recipe was procured 
from a man living in Austria, who got it from a Benedictine Brother- 
hood. The Centralia man, who brewed it for his own use, was to prom- 
ise, on receiving the recipe, that he would buy only two of the ingre- 
dients of which it is made at the same place. 

Herman Althouse, living near Sabetha, rode a mule which he had 
owned over thiry years, which was always a better looking animal than 
most horses. Mr. Althouse not only worked the mule on the farm, but 
when he wanted a fancy stepper and a brilliant actor, he hitched up the 
mule and went on dress parade. He rode or drove the mule to town 
almost every time he went. The mule was such a trotter that Mr. 
Althouse frequently drove it to a sulky. It passed farm houses with 
such a dash and speed that it made chickens fly clear over windmills. 
Mr. Althouse would not trade his mule for many a fine horse offered to 

Nemaha county's superiority as an agricultural county is due as 
much to the enterprise of leading farmers as it is due to its soil. As 
this history is being written a county farm bureau is being estab- 
lished. A count}' farm agent will be located at Seneca and he will man- 
age the advancement of the county's crops. He will fight pests, intro- 
duce better methods of farming, and will push crop production forward 
generally. His salary will be $i,8oo a year. Ample funds for the sup- 
port of the work in the county will be appropriated by the "county, the 
State and National departments of agriculture. Farmers all over the 
county have banded together in a farm organization. The county farm 
bureau has officers and a board of directors and starts off with the best 
type of business organizantion. 

As early as July 28, 1864, an effort appears to have been made look- 
ing toward the organization of an agricultural society, the "Courier" of 
that date containing a leader on the subject and urging the importance 
of holding a fair at some time during the fall for the exhibition of farm 
products. No energetic effort appears to have been made, however, and 
at all events no fair was held. The organization of the Nemaha County 
Agricultural and Horticultural Society was effected on June 27, 1868, 
with C. G. Scrafford, president; J. P. Taylor, secretary, and" Samuel 
Lapham, treasurer. Land suitable for fair purposes was donated to the 
association, comprising blocks 32, 33, 34 and 35, of the townsite of 
Seneca, the grounds being enclosed early in the fall of the same year, 
and the first annual fair of the society was held October 22, 1868. 

In 1869, a building 28x60 feet in size was erected for the reception 
of the display of farm products and manufactured articles of various 
kinds, and the second fair was held September 22, 23 and 24 of the same 


year. In 1870 and 1871, exhibitions were made, and in 1872, on Sep- 
tember 18, 19 and 20, the fifth, and as it proved, the last annual fair 
of the series was held. The officers at this time were William B. Slos- 
son, president; N. Coleman, vice president; William Histed. secretary, 
and H. H. Lanham, treasurer. 

The cause of the discontinuance of displays and the practical dis- 
integration of the society was due to financial troubles, it having gone 
into debt in the imporvement of its grounds and incurred other liabilities, 
the total amount of the indebtedness being $1,140. In August, 1873, 
this burden was assumed by George Graham, Jacob VanLoon, D. R. 
Magill, J. P. Cone and Mrs. C. G. Scrafford as consideration for a war- 
ranty deed of the property of the society. On October 4, 1877, a charter 
was issued by the Secretary of State incorporating A. H. Burnett, 
Willis Brown, West E. Wilkinson. Richard Johnson and Edward Butt 
as the Nemaha County Agricultural Society. No other record of the 
new organization is found. 

A board of trade, organized in Seneca, deploring the absence of a 
fair, appointed a fair committee in 1882, consisting of William Histed. 
Abijah ^^'ells, George A. Marvin, C. G. Scrafford and Mortimer 
Mathews, to devise ways and means for the holding of a fair if possible 
during the fall of 1882. Learning that the only piece of ground near 
Seneca in every way fitted for fair grounds was about to be sold, and 
if secured for fair purposes must be bought at once, the sum of $2,300 
was raised by subscription and the property purchased, William Histed, 
Willis Brown and George Williams being appointed trustees in behalf 
of the new owners. The object of the proprietors was to hold the land 
subject to the acceptance of the people upon repayment of their invest- 
ment, the law providing that the county might purchase improved fair 
grounds, appropriating not to exceed one and three-quarters mills on 
the dollar of the taxable valuation of the county for that purpose. The 
question of the purchase of these grounds was voted on at the election 
in November, 1882. The proposal was voted down by the county, but 
the existence of the society and the purchase of the ground was an as- 
sured fact. 

About seven years ago a little paragraph from the Sabetha "Herald" 
went floating over the country and was reprinted in every State in the 
Union and even the big, haughty Eastern newspapers, to this effect: 
"At last, after half a century, Kansas has the laugh on New York. No 
more can New York, the haughty, the scornful, the condescending, look 
down upon us and refer to us as 'bleeding Kansas.' The pride of the 
Empire State has been humbled. She grovels in the dust at our feet, 
and implores our help. Rev. and Mrs. Broad, who were in Sabetha a 
few weeks ago, are traveling in Kansas to inspire sympathy and inci- 
dentally to get money to assist the wealthy, the overbearing, the inso- 
lent New York in caring for her poor. Remembering the old clothes 
sent us in grasshopper and drought times, we are digging down into our 


jeans and responding nobly to New York's crj' for help. We are gladly 
squaring our debt of a half a century. We are not 'getting even' with 
our cast-off garments ; we are sending hard cash, the result of harvest- 
ing our golden grain. Lo ! how hath the mighty fallen ! Golden Kansas 
bravely supports the drooping form of Bleeding New York." 

And Nemaha county could well afford such relief if the truthful 
chronicle of crops in the years mentioned may be believed, and well 
they may be. The following stories of crops in Nemaha county are 
those of today and yesterday, and every year for the past decade with 
rare exceptions of j^ears when one crop was poor, only that another crop 
might be fine. The items are taken from local reports in different parts 
of the county covering the past ten years. Mrs. Jennie Miller reports 
the first oats yield, which averaged forty bushels to the acre and made 
2,000 bushels. Will Livengood's wheat averaged forty-one bushels on 
twenty-five acres. Ed Ruse had twenty-one acres in wheat, which av- 
eraged forty-six bushels. Jake Warrick's wheat yield was forty-eight 
bushels per acre. 

Jake Ayers, who lives between Bern and Oneida, has a peach tree 
that has played some queer pranks with him. The peaches were orig- 
inally an early variety, maturing in the middle of Julyv Some thirteen 
years ago the tree Avas broken down completely by weight of fruit. 
Afterward sprouts came up and those sprouts have now developed into 
a tree, and the fruit on the tree does not mature until the last of Sep- 
tember, being more than two months later in maturing than before the 
tree was broken. The quality of the peach is excellent. Six peaches 
gathered weighed two pounds and five ounces. What is the expi&nation 
of the change in the tree's time of maturing? 

Occasionally a Nemaha county man makes the mistake of moving 
to a new country. When he comes home on a visit he brings samples 
of what his new home is raising. This is the way to squelch him. Show 
him a sample of S. Murdock's oats, the finest in the world, which took 
the prize at the St. Louis World's Fair. Show him Tim Gilmore's 
wheat, grown near Oneida — fifty-seven bushels to the acre. Show him 
W. A. Doolittle's chickens, which have taken more prizes than any other 
in the world. Show him Ira Collins' and John McCoy's cattle, which 
bring buyers from all over the country. Show him George Kerr's Duroc 
Jersey hogs, which sell for a hundred dollars apiece. Show him samples 
of corn and grasses grown b}' Frank Deaver and Otto Porr, which have 
taken all the grain prizes in this section of the country for the past 
three years. The visitor by this time will begin to shift from one foot 
to the other and soon remember that he has an engagement elsewhere. 

Nemaha county farmers are progressive throughout. Charlie Lewis 
raised two kinds of corn last season ; pure bred and scrub. The scrub 
was big and fine looking, but it was not compact. One of the big ears 
of scrub corn looked three times larger than the pure bred corn, but con- 
tained only 944 grains, as against 1,150 grains on the little pure bred 


corn. The grains of the scrub corn were the largest. Charlie Lewis 
likes the pure bred corn, but his father, Myron Lewis, stood for the 
scrub, and made the corn point that scrub corn will produce just as 
many ears to the acre as the pure bred corn, and that each ear makes a 
little more corn. 

J. S. Fletchall and his partner, Jack Wright, threshed 80,830 bushels 
of grain in one season, valued at $67,000. That is, the small grain grown 
in one locality of the county, where Fletchall has been threshing for 
some years. They threshed 44,390 bushels of wheat, 9,922 bushels of 
speltz, valued at about $4,000; 108 bushels of timothy, valued at $216; 
ninety-four bushels of Kafir corn, valued at $47; seventy-nine bushels 
of cane, valued at about $40; thirty-eight bushels of rye, valued at $37; 
500 bushels of clover, valued at $4,000; 400 bushels of alfalfa, valued at 
$3,600. The firm also threshed sixteen bushels of flax seed for W. C. 
Schug. Mr. Schug used the flax seed in a meal he makes for his cows. 

The corn crop of 1906 was so great that Miss Emma Cashman and 
many other school teachers suspended school for ten days that teachers 
and pupils and all might assist in the corn husking and handling the 
crop. The yield all over the county was from forty to sixty bushels to 
the acre, and the acreage immense. Several farmers that year showed 
a 3-ield of eight}- bushels per acre. This about established a record. 
There was a particular rush to market the corn this season. Farmers 
were hauling their corn in as fast as they could in order to get it ex- 
ported_ to Germany before the duty went into effect. Germany had 
greatly increased the duty on corn, to take effect in February, and the 
months of December and January saw every child and schoolma'am of 
the country districts doing what they could to help. Thousands of 
bushels of corn were sold to all the grain men of the county within a 
week. The export rush began the last week of December and elevators 
were worked overtime. Corn graded No. 2. There had not been such 
a great crop in years. Jerry Feek raised over eighty bushels on ground 
that had been plowed for the first time the previous spring. 

A word of praise of Nemaha county as a health resort was given by 
Mr. and Mrs. William Jones, living in the north part of the county, by 
the State line. Mr. and Mrs. Jones made a trip shortly before attaining 
their seventy-fifth wedding anniversary. Mr. Jones was ninety-five at 
that time and his wife was ninety-seven. They were planning all kinds 
of gayeties on this trip. They had traveled all their lives. At one time 
they made a trip from Oregon to Nebraska on horseback. It took them 
.■^ix months and they slept out of doors every night. This accounts for 
their ruggedness and good health. Mr. and Mrs. Jones eat everything 
set before them, and always have. They had always been ardent in 
their praise of this section's out of doors and food. 

The age of Nemaha county is told in her trees. Fred Lukert, 
county engineer, built a barn 66x72 feet, and the building throughout 
was constructed of solid black walnut. No veneered walnut in the barn ; 


no vulgar imitation of stained walnut. Nothing but solid walnut, even 
to the timbers on which the barn will rest. Out here in Nemaha county 
we believe in having things swell, even for our hogs. The walnut was 
cut from trees grown on his farm where the barn was constructed. 


Here is a man and wife who lived their lives as they wanted to live. 
They are Jacob Fleisch and wife, who farm four miles northwest of 
Bern. They loved trees, so they grew a whole i6o-acre farm of trees. 
The trees were' planted away back in the seventies, and have given 
Nemaha county one of the most unique farms in the United States. 
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Fleisch is set down in a dense portion of 
the forest they planted. Within the forest they are again surrounded 
by flowers. Their home just grew like the trees, an addition at a time. 
Again, inside the walls is an inner temple. We might call this the do- 
as-you-please sanctuary. Mr. and Mrs. Fleisch read much, reflect a 
little, and from time to time add to a great fund of common sense, 
which both possess. 

Their home-grown forest trees tower to a height of forty to fifty 
feet. They stand in rows from twelve to twenty feet apart and about 
four to six feet in the row. The trees are numbered b}' the thousand — 
mostly walnut and soft maple. There is an osage orange grove of about 
four acres, and osage orange surrounds the place as fences. Also there 
are some honey locusts used as line fence. There is cottonwood timber 
and willow here and there. 

Hogs and cattle and horses wander about the place in prescribed 
limits, and you find chickens almost anywhere, each apparently enjoy- 
ing its own particular kind of animal heaven. A tank for the cattle 
and horses out in the woods is thatched and full of fresh water. The 
water flows out there from a well somewhere, but the whole effect is 
that of fresh water from a spring. The hogs have the wild, free life of 
their razorback ancestors. 

The wind floats lazily through the dense forest, and the mere worldly 
human being feels impelled to quit his daily existence of fretting and 
fuming and take life as easily as the animals do. The feeling is further 
encouraged when you visit Mr. and Mrs. Fleisch and get their philos- 
ophy of contentment. 

You need have no fear of running up against any human prejudice 
or custom. In the Fleisch home they do as they please and they grant 
you the same privilege. 

How did Jacob Fleisch come to plant i6o acr^s in forest trees? 
Well, he always loved trees, and back in Preble county, Ohio, it ground 
on his soul to see the wonderful native forests depleted to make farm 
land, solely in a grab for dollars. He believed in more than one com- 
pensation — the compensation of happiness, joy in living, as well as pay 


in dollars. Also, there was the wanton destruction of^those giant Ohio 
trees. They would have log rollings and at night great logs would be 
piled up and burned as a part of the festal occasion. This ground on 
the fancy of Jacob Fleisch. 

He left the country and came to Nemaha county. He found it a 
prairie in the early seventies. Xo one was planting trees. He bought 
half a section of land and decided that half of it must go into trees. 
The querter section now in. forest was bought from Mortimer Mathews, 
so many years county surveyor of Nemaha county. In 1874, Mr. Fleisch 
began to plant walnuts. At first, four or five acres were planted. Then, 
in 1877 '^I'^d 1878, sixty acres of walnuts were planted. The nuts were 
put in the ground by the bushel. Soft maples, too, were planted, fully 
forty acres of them. Osage orange, catalpas, and honey locusts were 
planted at various times in those early days. 

And so the forest grew. Mr. and Mrs. Fleisch were married in 
Preble county, Ohio, June 22, 1876. In his bride, Jacob Fleisch had 
a mate who understood his philosoph}', and had one of her own as fine. 
She helped him grow his forest and added the flowers. The flower 
garden is a wonder. The variety of flowers seems endless. Many of 
them are rare. 

The oldest trees have been standing some forty-two years now. At 
one time there were walnut trees fourteen inches in diameter. The 
largest ones were cut down, partly to thin the trees and partly to make 
lumber for buildings. Thus the couple have part of their buildings 
made from trees grown on the farm. 

"If I were going to plant another quarter section," said Mr. Fleisch, 
"I would not plant a quarter section solidly in trees. I would enclose 
several fields in specioso catalpas and osage orange. I would plant a 
grove of evergreens for the home grounds." 

Among Mr. Fleisch's neighbors who are still in this part of the 
country are Peter Shellhorn, who lives in the same neighborhood. Mart 
Herringtoji and John A. Smith, who now live at DuBois, Neb. 








Seneca had the first newspaper in Nemaha county. It was the 
Nemaha "Courier." The initial number appeared November 14, 1863. 
John P. Cone, still a valuable citizen of Kansas, was the editor and pro- 
prietor. The "Courier" was a six-column folio. The "Courier" was Re- 
publican in politics. It was strong for freedom. The first issue of the 
"Courier" handed out this one : 

"The 'Courier,' as a pioneer of the art preservative in Nemaha 
county, today sends greeting to all, friend and foe — rebel and copper- 
heads excepted. Issued upon soil never before settled upon for a 'pry' 
to the world's lever, it stands first and yet alone to herald that happy 
day when types first 'were taught to act the happy messengers of 
thought.' " 

The paper was issued in the old Lappin & Scrafford building on 
the main street of Seneca. Here the paper was printed once a week until 
January 23, 1868. The war was over, things had cooled down and the 
"Courier" had, too. The paper ceased to profess a protection of freedom 
and began to protect home industries. Whether advertising had picked 
up or the mail order business loomed in the distance, appeareth not in 
the records of the time. March 25, i86g, the name of the paper was 
changed to that of the "Kansas Courier," and by some joke of fate the 
violent Republican paper of the early days is now the "Courier-Demo- 
crat" of the opposite politics and big following today. The war is over. 

When Mr. Cone got out his first issue of the Nemaha "Courier" in 
1863, there was not another paper in this whole country. In fact, Sol 
Miller, who was then printing his famous "Chief" at White Cloud, ridi- 
culed Cone for daring to try to live and print a paper in Nemaha. There 
was, of course, the little matter of Nemaha county printing and job 
work that was going to Miller at the time, which may have influenced 
Miller's opinion, but the editor of the "Courier" didn't have easy sailing 
for a long time. Folks in and around Seneca raised some money to pay 


for subscriptions, but J\Ir. Cone's recollection in those days was that of 
taking in boots, bootjacks and cord wood and things like that in pay- 
ment for the paper. 

Mr. Cone was a free State man who came to Kansas to help over- 
come the votes of the pro-slavery men. He left Haverhill, Mass., for 
Kansas in 1857. Secretary AVebb, of the Emigrant Aid Society at Bos- 
ton, sold him a ticket to St. Louis for $25. The Emigrant Aid Society 
was nothing more nor less than an organization to run abolitionists into 
Kansas. On the train Mr. Cone met six other abolitionists bound for 
Kansas, four men and two women. Arriving at St. Louis b_v train, they 
found there was a little branch railroad running to Jefferson City. The 
party bought tickets to Jefferson City. Stage coaches were running 
from Jefferson City to Independence Landing, now Kansas City, but the 
coaches were so crowded that there was no chance of .going that way. 
So the four men hired a team and driver for $110 to transport all the 
baggage and the three women to Independence, although the men ex- 
pected to ride most of the way. 

The roads were in such terrible condition that the men, far from 
being able to ride, had to help the wagon out of the mire constantly. 
The highway was little more than a trail. From Independence the six 
people went to Lawrence, and Mr. Cone took the stage to Leavenworth. 
He was bound for Sumner, three miles south of the present site of At- 
chison. Sumner then was booming and expected to be a bigger and 
better town than Atchison or Independence. Sumner is now dead. He 
walked from Leavenworth to Sumner. At Sumner his brother, D. D. 
Cone, was the pioneer publisher of the Sumner "Gazette." John P. Cone 
arrived in Stimner on December 9, 1857. John P. Cone was himself a 
printer and, he helped get out the paper. He remained in Sumner dur- 
ing the boom times, until 1861. Sumner was then losing its prestige, 
and he went to Atchison, the rival town, and worked on John A. Mar- 
tin's paper, "The Champion." After a short service on "The Champion," 
Mr. Cone continued to White Cloud and worked for Sol Miller on his 
"White Cloud Chief," which later was transferred to Troy. He was 
there during one winter. 

At Marysville the Southerners seemed to be making progress to- 
ward controlling that locality. But George D. Swearingen, who had 
been elected sheriff of Marshall county, was a Republican, and he sent 
for Mr. Cone. The result was the publication in Marysville by Mr. 
Cone of the "Big Blue L^nion," the first Republican paper in Marshall 
county. Mr. Cone ran the "Big Blue LTnion" until the summer of 1863, 
and in November of that year, he left the Marysville paper to start the 
"Courier" in Seneca. He had only a little hand press and a handful of 
type. Later, though, when he was given legal advertising from the 
United States and the State, he took in a hatful of money, and the first 
thing he did was to send to New ^'(irk for a Gordon job press and a lot 
of type. 


Mr. Cone ran the "Courier" until 1871, when he sold it to Frank 
Root and West E. Wilkinson. Eventually Root sold his interest to Wil- 
kinson. Wilkinson edited the "Courier" until 1885, selling out to J. F. 
Thompson and Don J- Perr3\ It was about this time that the name 
was changed to the "Courier-Democrat." Mr. Thompson was the father 
of Senator William H. Thompson, of Kansas. Thompson and Perry 
lasted but a year, being succeeded in 1886 by Charles H. and Andrew 
P. Herold. The Herolds conducted the "Courier-Democrat" without 
change until 1896. Then J. M. Cober bought an interest in the paper, 
selling in a few^ years to L. M. Mclntyre. The Herolds and Mclntyre 
disposed of the property to W. F. Miller in 1891 or 1892. Miller 
did well with the Courier-Democrat, but decided to move to Iowa, and 
George and Dora Adriance, brother and sister, bought the plant and 
good will in August, 1909. This same proprietorship of the property 
obtains at the present time. 

The "Courier-Democrat" has made the greatest strides in its history 
during the proprietorship of George and Miss Dora Adriance. Young, 
active, enterprising and keen writers, brother and sister have done 
things in the county with their paper. Theirs is a positive force. Their 
"Courier-Democrat" takes a stand for progress in everything. They are 
unafraid, and their paper is always fair. The relationship of this brother 
and sister is fine. They make their home together in a bungalow which 
they built. 


Seneca's second newspaper was the "Mercury." It appeared Sep- 
tember 19, 1869. Thomas S. Karnes was the editor. The paper stag- 
gered a few weeks, fell and was wrecked. It never rose again. About 
a year later, January 18, 1870, to be exact, the "Independent Press" was 
issued. It sought to be quite important and stylish, and called itself 
the Nemaha County Printing Association. George W. Collins was the 
editor. It ran along until June of that same year, when Paul Connor 
took charge editorially. It got in a bad way financially and suspended 
in December, being less than a year old. It slept until March 3. 1871, 
three months, when it was revived. L. A. Hoffman was the proprietor 
then. About a year later Hoffman withdrew and ^^^ D. Wood bought 
the paper. March 4, 1873, Wood changed the name to the "Nonpareil." 
The "Nonpareil" ceased publication February 6, 1874. It had more vicis- 
situdes than an3'thing else. 


The Seneca "Tribune" of today, so long under the editorial charge of 
Harry Jordan, was started April 16, 1879, by George W. Clawson. With 
the clanging bells of time, the "Tribune" and the "Courier" have changed 
parties and the "Tribune" is now Republican and the "Courier" is today 


Democratic. October 2, 1879, the "Tribune" was transferred to and the 
publication continued by George & Adams, H. C. Adams becoming sole 
proprietor on December 18 of the same year. Abijah Wells purchased 
an interest in the "Tribune" January 8, 1880. He became editor, the 
firm name being Adams & Wells. A year later Andrew J. Felt came 
down from Iowa, bought the plant and business and became editor and 
proprietor of the "Tribune," Later, he sold to Harry Jordan, who is 
still the owner. 

Today we know the Seneca "Tribune" as "Harry Jordan's paper." 
Harr}' Jordan has conducted the paper for thirty years ; has fought 
political fray. Harry Jordan will be recorded in Nemaha's annals as the 
political fray. Harry Jordan will be recorded in Nemaha annals as the 
editor who helped through the county's greatest trials and its most 
rapid advancement. Editors came and went through Harry Jordan's 
administration, but he remained, because he was serving best. That is 
the law in other things, and it holds in the case of the "Tribune's" 
editor. Mr. Jordon is Nemaha county's oldest editor in point of service. 
But he was not the "Tribune's" first editor. 


The Nemaha County "Journal," a sort of real estate publication, ap- 
peared in 1879. It continued a few months under the proprietorship of 
J. P. Taylor. Then it died. 

Numerous attempts were made to make a success of other papers, in 
Seneca in later years. At one time five papers were being printed in 
Seneca. In 1891, James Jones started the "News," an Alliance paper 
brought from Goff. Jones let go in about a year and ran, wishing the 
paper onto the town Christian minister. Rev. j. S. Becknell. Theoretic- 
ally, it was a fine thing for Rev. Becknell. As a talking point, he could 
preach on Sunday and run the paper the other six days of the week. 
Somehow it didn't work out in practice and the "News" went into decline 
and died. 

W. J. Granger launched the Seneca "Republican" about 1900. After 
a couple of j-ears of toiling the "Republican" was moved to Oneida, 
where it breathed its last. 

Then there was the "Rural Kansan," established by E. L. Miller, a 
real estate man. The "Kansan" was born along about 1901, and lived 
some five vears, expiring of old age, 


George W. Larseliere and James H. Wright launched the first 
newspaper venture in Sabetha. They called it the "Advance," and they 
issued their first paper on May 7, 1874, In November of the same year, 
Larseliere left, as it was a one-man proposition. Things looked a little 


brighter after that, and on February 4, 1875, William L. Palmer joined 
Wright in printing the "Advance." Palmer did not like the outlook, and 
beat it in six weeks. Then J. L. Pelletier came for a few weeks and 
left. On July 28, 1876, Wright sold out to E. A. Davis, who stayed two 
years. Finding that it was not a gold mine, Davis let the "Advance" die 
on January 18, 1878. The Advance was a weekly and Republican in 

Sabetha"s strong newspaper publisher, James F. Clough, established 
the Nemaha County "Republican" October 5, 1876. It was a weekly 
from the first. In June of the following year, J. C. Hebbard, formerly 
of Seneca, and the first county superintendent, and later of Topeka, 
became associate editor of the "Republican." But he stayed only a year. 
The Cloughs, father and son, were brilliant men. The son, Edward 
Clough, is now editor of "Finance," in Cleveland, Ohio, an important 
publication of its kind. 

In the nineties, the Sabetha "Commercial" was printed in Sabetha 
Seneca. His widow, Mrs. Laura Cober, still owns the files of this in- 
teresting Sabetha paper at her home in Sabetha. 

The Sabetha "Herald" was established by T. L. P.rundage, January 
3, 1884. Brundage had run the Kansas "Herald" at Hiawatha. He sold 
out to the "Hiawatha World." In his salutatory in the first issue of the 
Sabetha "Herald," he says: "A Sabetha publishing company induced me 
to come here." He doesen't say of whom the company consisted. 
Within the first year a political disagreement was launched between 
Mr. Brundage and Mr. Clough, editors of the "Herald" and "Republican." 
Later this eventuated into a pitched battle. The Herald was finally 
edited by Mrs. Flora P. Hogbin, wife of Rev. Hogbin, of the Congrega- 
tional Church of Sabetha. She remained the editor for three years. Pool 
Grinstead later bought the "Republican." The war was ended by the 
purchase and combination of the two papers, the "Herald" and the "Re- 
publican," by J. A. Constant, who, in 1905, sold the paper to Ralph 
Tennal, who is the present owner of the paper. Mr. Tennal dropped 
the "Republican" part of the paper's name, and it has been since known 
as the Sabetha "Herald." 

After the combination of the two papers, the Sabetha "Star" was 
started by C. J. Durst, who has since been and still is the proprietor. 
The "Star" has the unique distinction of never having changed editor or 
owner, and it is now twenty 3-ears of age. The "Star" is one of the few 
Kansas papers so distinguished. 

Oneida tried for years to have a newspaper. The town men at 
Oneida were boomers as they were in every other town. But the mir- 
acle of making a paper pay was too much for even that optimistic com- 
munity. The Oneida paper tried different angles of making itself pay. 
It was independent, then Republican, afterward Democratic and even 
anti-monopoly, but all to no avail. There was the "Chieftain," the "Dem- 



and 2. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Dennis. 3 and 4, Mr. and Mrs. John Dennis. 5, Mrs. Margaret Hawley. 6 
, E N. Hanks and Wife. S and 9, Hiram Burger and Wife. 10 and 11, John M. Ford and Wife. 12, Daniel 
3, E. R. Pelton. 14, William R. Wells. 15, Orange M. Gage. 16, Peter Hamilton. 17, Samuel Lappin. 
■harp. 19, George Merrick. 20, Scott B. Humphrey. 21 and 22, Mr. and Mrs. James L. Newton. 23 and 24 
nd Mrs. Richard Johnson. 25 and 26, Dr. J. S. Hidden and Wife. 27 and 28, Mr. and Mrs. James Neville. 29 
Sheppard. 30, Capt. A. W. Williams. 


, Mr. 
, Mr. 


crat," the '"Dispatch,'" the ""News," and what other affiant saith not. 
Oneida is now served by the Sabetha "Herald,"' which gives the town a 
department all its own. 


Many editors tried the newspaper business at Centralia before H. 
L. Wait gave the town it.-, \cr\- muisual paper. For the Centralia "Jour- 
nal" of the present da}-, run 1)y Mr. ^^'ait and his wife, stands in the 
first rank of country newspapers in Kansas in a town of the size of 
Centralia. B. B. Brooks was Cenlraha's first editor. He started the 
Centralia "Enterprise" in Xnvcni1)er, iS.Sj. James Wait, brother of the 
present editor of Centralia's only paper, was a printer on the old "Enter- 
prise" when Brooks was its editor. Brooks sold the "Enterprise" to a 
company of Centralia business men, including A. E. Clippinger, G. W. 
Pampel and A. L. Coleman. They concluded after a year and a half 
of ownership that they had enough newspaper experience, and disposed 
of the propert}- to W. J. Granger. 

Granger sat in the newspaper game a year and a half and sold to 
Bert Patch. Patch was good for three years. He sold to Dan Birch- 
field. Birchfield was owner of the "Enterprise" until 1894. He disposed 
of the property to F. M. Hartman, now editor of the Frankfort "Index." 
Hartman published the "Enterprise" until the fall of 1898, when Granger 
bought the paper back again. Granger sold the '"Enterprise" to H. L. 
Wait and A. P. Jackson in 1900. These men consolidated the "Enter- 
prise" with the Centralia "Times," which had been started by a company 
of thirty-four Centralia men in 1893. James ^^'ait, brother of H. L., 
^Vait, was the first editor of the Centralia "Times." J. H. Hyde was the 
second editor of the ""Times." H. L. Wait acquired the "Times'" in 1899. 
The present Centralia "Journal" is the outcome of the town's newspaper, 

For more than fifteen years, Mr. Wait and his wife have published 
the "Journal." The paper has become a part of the existence of the pro- 
gressive town and the farming community. The "Journal" is a business 
enterprise and an institution ranking with the public scliools as a 
town asset. The ^^'aits are a force in the communit}', their organ a 
\-ital medium of progress. 

Eew Slocum is the editor of the Corning "Gazette." The "Gazette" 
was established in 1895. Slocum has been the editor for sixteen years. 
'He is universalh' liked. Slocum not only runs a good newspaper at 
Corning, but he finds time to conduct a successful jewelry and repair 
business at Corning. 

T)ie Goff "Advance" was started in the spring of 1892. The town 
has never had another paper. Some of the editors were: J. E. Papes, 
row of the Mulvane, Ivans., "News :" T. A. Kerr, employed b_v the Capper 
publications at Topeka : E. F. Tones, now living at Sabetha ; T. L. 



Briney, at present in Colorado; O. C. Williamson, a prosperous mer- 
chant and owner of a big store at Seattle, Wash. The Goff "Advance" 
is now owned by Ray T. Ingalls. In April, 1916, the Advance was 
moved into a new concrete building. Ray Ingalls is one of the most 
active newspaper men Nemaha county has had. Young, agreeable and 
intelligent, he gives the town a newspaper ability seldom seen in the 
country town. 


The "Gazette" is not the first paper printed in Bern, though Bern 
has never had more than one paper at the same time, and the "Gazette" 
is not the successor of the Bern "Press," which was the first paper estab- 
lished here. The Bern "Press" was established in 1889 by one George 
Beaumont, who, at the time, was a druggist. Very shortly after Beau- 
mont sold it to Frank Harber, who later sold to "V^^ J. JMcLaughlin. 
The "Press" was Democratic in politics, and during the Cleveland ad- 
ministration, McLaughlin was appointed postmaster, conducting the 
business in the same building and in connection with the newspaper. 
Under the McKinley administration JMcLaughlin lost the postoffice, 
and shortly thereafter burned out, probably sometime in 1897, 'ind the 
"Press" was never issued thereafter. The exact dates on which the paper 
was established, changed hands and discontinued, are unobtainable, 
because of the destruction of the records in the fire. 

Bern was without a newspaper from the discontinuance of. the 
"Press" until May 6, 1898 (about two months after the great fire which 
destroyed the business interests of the town), when the first number 
bf the Bern "Gazette" was issued by M. E. Ford, it founder. Mr. Ford 
continued its publication until February i, 1901, )vhen he sold to M. L. 
Laybourn, a newspaper man from Lyndon, Kans. Mr. Laybourn re- 
tired October r,.i902, having sold to Fred W. Lehman, a young man 
who was reared in the community. On May i, 1908. the paper passed 
into the hands of W. W. Driggs, its present owner, but since January 
I, 1915, it has been published by Driggs & Driggs, the firm consisting 
of W. W. Driggs and son, W. W. Driggs, Jr., the latter having been 
connected with the paper as an employee from the time of its purchase 
from Fred W. Lehman. The "Gazette" was established, and has always 
been conducted as a Republican paper until January, 1915, when, under 
its present management, it was changed to an independent publica- 


When Wetmore was still in its infancy a paper was started there, 
one of a string of papers along the Central Branch railroad called the 
"Acme." It lasted but a few months. Later, as the town grew older and 
stronger, a real newspaper was found a necessity, and the "Spectator" 


was started. It has now attained thirty-five years of healthy growth 
and has at least one subscriber who has taken the paper, beginning 
with its first issue, and the first of every January since, has gone to 
the "Spectator" office to renew his subscription. The editor now is W. 
F. Turrentine, who has been owner for over twelve years. J. L. Bris- 
tow, former editor, still lives in the Wetmore neighborhood. Mr. Tur- 
.rentine is mayor of Wetmore. 

The Nemaha County "Spectator" was established in 1882 by J. F. 
Clough of the Sabetha "Republican," and T. J. Wolfley of Wetmore, and 
a printer on the Sabetha "Republican" by the name of George Fabrick, 
helped get out the first few issues. Some of the equipment came from 
Decatur, 111., as the old address was plainly visible on some of the 
cases that were destroyed by the fire in May, 1907. A man bv the 
name of Allen soon took Fabrick's place on the "Spectator," and in a few 
months, he was succeeded by J. T. Bristow, who, with only a few 
months' experience, was left in entire charge of the office. T. J. Wolf- 
ley soon bought out Clough's interest in the paper, and after conduct- 
ing it himself for a time, sold out to F. M. Jeffreys, along about 1885, 
and Jeffreys sold the paper to a stranger, whose name is forgotten. The 
stranger remained but a short time, and Mr. AVolfley bought the paper 
back, afterward, in about 1888, selling it to John Stowell, now an attor- 
ney at Seneca, Ivans. Mr. Stowell published the paper a year or two, 
then sold it to S. C. Shumaker, who had been cashier in the Wetmore 
State Bank until he lost his sight. Mr. Shumaker and his wife pub- 
lished the paper for some time, with J. T. Bristow looking after the 
mechanical end. Mr. Shumaker died about 1890, and soon after that Mr. 
Bristow bought it from the widow, and continued as its publisher until 
April I, 1904, when he sold it to J. W. Coleman, publisher of the Effing- 
ham "New Leaf" at that time, now the editor of the Atchison "Globe." 
Mr. Coleman changed the name of the paper from the Nemaha County 
Spectator" to the Wetmore "Enterprise." In 1905. the present publisher, 
W. F. Turrentine, purchased a half interest of Mr. Coleman, taking 
charge February i, 1905, and, in October of that year, purchased Mr. 
Coleman's remaining interest. On account of so many of the old time 
subscribers calling the paper the "Spectator," the present publisher 
changed its name from the AVetmore "Enterprise" to the A\"etmore 


An unusual collection of rare newspapers was made by the late 
Dr. Lyons and is owned now by his family in Sabetha. It contains 
newspapers from London and 'Liverpool, England, Edinburgh and 
Glasgow, Scotland ; and Basle and Lucerne. Switzerland, and a copy 
of the "Egyptian News" from Cairo. The latter newspaper is printed in 
three languages, English, French and Arabic. The Arabic looks very 


much like shorthand. The hieroglyphics are identical with the old 
Scott-Browne system. Dr. Lyons has also a collection of letters from 
famous men : Senator John James Ingalls, President Benjamin Harri- 
son, Dr. E. W. Barridge, a famous English physician, and many from 
famous foreign doctors and surgeons. Mrs. Lyons is a lineal descend- 
ant of the Virginia Randolphs, an ancestor, John Randolph, claiming 
his descent direct from Pocohontas. Mrs. Lyons has among her treas- 
ures a mahogany bureau made as a gift by the famous furniture house 
of Randolph for her grandmother. 








By Judge Rufus M. Emery. 

"And ever the truth comes uppermost 
And ever is justice done." 

While the writer has had a somewhat extensive personal experience, 
as a student in a law office, practitioner as an attorney and counsellor at 
law at Seneca, Kans., and served a term of four years on the Bench as 
judge of the Twenty-second Judicial District of the State, composed of 
Nemaha, Brown and Doniphan counties, all of which covers a period of 
over forty years, yet I realize that I am not especially adapted to the task 
of producing ah attractive, forcible and instructive article on the "Bench 
and Bar" of this county, yet having in a weak moment consented to make 
this contribution, I ask the kind indulgence of the readers while I attempt 
to give them, what seems to me, might be of interest to them and which 
I have taken from the public and court records, traditions and personal 
experiences and recollections of myself since 1875, and supplemented 
with much valuable information and incidents suggested by early set- 
tlers and especially Judge J. E. Taylor who has practiced law at this bar 
since 1864, and to whom I ani under obligations for many early incidents, 
experiences and much information. 

To the Bench and Bar, all acting under an oath of office, is confided 
the solemn and sacred trust and duty of vindicating, enforcing and carry- 
ing out the natural, revealed, common and statute laws of the land, 
which the sages of the law have defined to be the "rules of action, pre- 
scribed by a superior power commanding what is right and prohibiting 
what is wrong." These rules of action, or law, have for their object, the 
security and welfare of the Nation, State and municipality, as well as so- 
ciety in the aggregate, and the personal and property rights of the indiv- 


idual, as a component part of the body politic — the common people. Law 
is also frequently and aptly defined as "common sense," and in our opin- 
ion, springs from the natural equity and conception of right in the inner- 
most consciousness of a normal and well balanced human being, im- 
pressed on man by the creator and finds expression in multitudinous, 
complex and often intricate rules of action laid down in the law now in 
force, for our government, which has been built up and taken from the 
experiences and judgment of the soundest and best minds and hearts of 
the centuries that have gone before. 

The immense influence, radiating from our institutions of learning, 
including our common and parochial schools, the pulpit and numerous 
church organizations, and the press of the land, are now and have been 
for centuries, impressing human hearts and minds with a conception of 
the object and aim of human existence, but it is now and always has 
been, since brute force controlled the action of men, left to the law to find 
the way and lay down the rules of action, that are necessary to establish 
stable and effective government, capable of maintaining itself and the 
rights of her citizens among the nations of the earth and to regulate the 
individuals and corporations and other powers between themselves, so 
that every person, without regard to condition, may enjoy the greatest 
possible libert}', consistent with his duty and relations to other citizens ; 
so that all may be secure in the fullest enjoyment of his natural rights of 
"life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," and a guaranty that he may 
be secure in person and property against the encroachments of the sel- 
fish, the licentious, the avaricious and other evil disposed persons. A 
people so governed and protected by these wholesome laws, must of ne- 
cessity be contented, loyal and progressive and a beacon light to less fa- 
vored nations, pointing the way to a higher and better civilization. 

However wise, beneficient and just the laws may be, much depends 
on the application of the law to the existing facts of the case on trial and 
its proper enforcement, to prevent a miscarriage of justice. It must be 
remembered that all officers, from the highest to the lowest, are but hu- 
man, moved b}' the same passions and prejudices as other men, and sub- 
ject to the same liability to err, so gentle reader, if you would be secure 
in your full rights under the law, see that the most available men of 
integrity, capacity, suitable temperament and sound common sense, be 
chosen to administer and enforce the law without fear, favor or oppres- 
sion, always remembering that where the best results are not reached in 
lawsuits, the failure can be generally traced to the defects or weaknesses 
of witnesses, juries, attorneys or judges and not to the laws themselves. 


"When on you the law, 
Places its majestic paw 
Whether in innocence or guilt 
You are then required to wilt." 

— JJ'are. 


The "Bench" is a designation originally applied to the seat of the 
judges, when benches, instead of richly upholstered furniture, on which 
they now recline, was in use and the term "Bench" was applied to the 
judges collectively, as a distinction fmm the attorneys and counsellors, 
who are called the "Bar." Anciently all, and now many of the judges in 
the nations of the world, were arbitrarily appointed by the king, prince, 
power or potentate governing the Realm and held their office during life 
or the pleasure of the sovereign, and even now, in our own democratic 
republic, all Federal judges are appointed by the President. Judges so 
chosen naturally are more or less subservient to the power that creates 
them and the common rights of the people are greatly endangered and 
there have been many instances where the}' have been grossly and ar- 
bitrarily denied. 

In this free and enlightened Nation, where the judges or "Bench" in 
all the States are chosen by the ballot of the citizens at their general elec- 
tions, and recently without regard to political considerations, or the in- 
trigue of political parties and politicians, the common people are supreme 
in their ballots and can have an intimate knowledge of the honesty, in- 
tegrity, capability and temperament of the men whom they elevate to 
these very important trusts. Few mistakes are made in their selections 
and when made, the people stand ready to yield them a cheerful, respect- 
ful and courteous obedience, while applying the law that governs them, 
which of necessity gives them almost autocratic power over their lives, 
property and liberty, subject to review only by a higher court, and in 
many instances of discretion and weight of evidence, their decision is fi- 
nal and cannot be reviewed even on appeal. An ignorant, a dishonest, a 
revengeful, an impetuous and a partisan judge is a menace to the rights 
and privileges of every citizen and it is a wonder that there are so few 
instances on record where this autocratic power has been abused and for 
this reason there is a general feeling of respect and confidence in the ju- 
diciary, that makes their duties and positions a pleasant task. 

May 30, 18^4, by an act of Congress, Kansas was organized into 
a Territory, conferring the functions of government and vesting the ju- 
dicial power of the same in a supreme court, consisting of a chief jus- 
tice and two associate justices, all appointed by the President, and pro- 
viding the territory should be divided into three judicial districts and 
that a court be held in each district, by one of the supreme judges, who 
should possess chancery and common law jurisdiction, in the trial of 
cases. Nemaha county was placed in the Second Judicial district and 
the first court was held at Lecompton, Douglas county. When the 
State was organized in 1861, Nemaha county was in the same district and 
so remained until 1876, when a new district was created, consisting of 
Nemaha, Brown and Doniphan counties and said district was then and 
ever since has been constituted as the "Twenty-second Judicial District 
of the State." The respective judges of the District Court sitting in and 
for Nemaha county, Kansas, are as follows : 

Albert L. Lee, of Elwood. Doniphan county. Kansas, on the organi- 


zation of Kansas as a State, was duly appointed by the Governor, Jan- 
uary 29, 1861, and while he immediately qualified and passed on some 
matters at Chambers, he never held a term of court in this county and on 
October 31, 1861, he resigned and entered the Unioii army and served 
during the Civil war and rose to the rank of brigadier g-eneral and after 
the war he settled in the East. But little is known of him personally here 
now, except that he was a bright, capable young attorney of good repute 
and lived a successful and prosperous life. He died in New York City 
December 31, 1907. After his resignation, 

Albert H. Horton, of Atchison, Kans., was appointed as his suc- 
cessor on October 31, 1861, and afterward held by election until May 11, 
1866, when he resigned and resumed the practice of law at Atchison, 
Kans., until January, 1877, when by election he assumed the duties of 
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Kansas, which posi- 
tion he held continuously until April 30, 1895, when he resigned and be- 
came a very active candidate for United States Senator, but failed by a 
very small majority of election and later died at his home in Atchison, 
September 2, 1902. He was always popular and a man of great force of 
character, clear and logical, and his opinions richly illuminate the pages 
of the supreme court reports, while acting as its chief justice for seven - 
leen years. After his resignation as district judge, 

Robert St. Clair Graham, of Atchison, Kans., was appointed to fill 
his place on May 11, 1866, and was reelected and served until January, 
1869. He was a young man of good family connections and a fair law- 
yer and made a creditable judge, but was defeated for nomination on the 
Republican ticket. His successor, 

Nathan Price, of Troy, Doniphan county, Kansas, was elected 
and served from January, 1869, until March i, 1872, when he resigned, to 
contest for the nomination on the Republican ticket, for the office of 
representative in Congress, but failing to secure the nomination he re- 
sumed the practice of law at Troy, Kans., which he continued until his 
death, March 8, 1883. He was a type of the early settler, strong, vigor- 
ous and forceful in body and mind and a capable and popular judge. He 
was succeeded by 

Perry L. Hubbard, of Atchison, Kans., who was first appointed and 
afterward elected and served until Januar3^ 1877. He was a gentleman- 
ly politician, of kindh' disposition of a good judicial temperament and of 
fair ability but had many bitter enemies among the bar of the district, 
who after his renomination on the Republican ticket, were largely instru- 
mental in defeating him at the polls, notwithstanding the large Repub- 
lican majority in the district. He died in Atchison, May 7, 1912. 

Alfred G. Otis, of Atchison, Kans., was the first Democrat to hold 
the office of judge of this district. After defeating Judge Hubbard, he 
served from January, 1877, to January, 1881. He died in Atchison 
March 2, 1901. He was a good lawyer, a capable judge, and well liked 
by the bar and the people. At the end of his first term he was renominat- 


ed by his party, but defeated by the large Republican majority of the dis- 
trict and gave way to 

David Martin, of Atchison, who served the people of Nemaha county 
faithfully and well from January, 1881, until the formation of the new 
Twenty-second district, composed of Nemaha, Brown and Doniphan 
counties, in 1886, leaving him in charge of the old Second judicial dis- 
trict, composed of Atchison county .alone, which he continued to serve 
as judge for many years thereafter. There never has been a district 
judge on the bench of this county that has commanded a greater univer- 
sal respect from both the bar and the people. He did not have a parti- 
cularly active and alert mind and might be termed a "plodder" but was 
of a kindly disposition, careful and very conscientious in his methods, 
dispatched business satisfactorily and seldom failed to arrive at the cor- 
rect results. His judicial temperament and methods were almost be- 
yond criticism. To the casual observer he had few attractions ; short of 
stature, very fleshy and waddled as he Avalked, cheeks flabby and fore- 
head low and retreating and not fluent of speech, the first impression 
would naturally be that he was dull, yet he plodded steadily on and up- 
ward, from student to practitioner, from justice of the peace to district 
judge and thence up the ladder of fame and usefulness to the highest ju- 
dicial office in the State, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kansas, 
which he graced with dignity and learning, and while ascending the ju- 
dicial ladder, by his kindly consideration for the rights of others he won 
the universal love and confidence of all who knew him and became the 
ideal man and judge, worthy to be imitated by one and all. He died in 
Atchison, Kans., several years ago. 

Reuben C. Bassett, of Seneca, Kans., a member of the Nemaha coun- 
ty bar, was a member of the State legislature in 1886 and was largely in- 
strumental in having the law passed creating the new Twenty-second 
judicial district, and was rewarded by being appointed its first judge by 
the governor. His appointment dated February 25, 1886, to fill the va- 
cancy and was reelected and served to the end of the term, in January, 
1891. when he retired and moved to Chicago, 111., where he engaged in 
the wholesale lumber trade, also practiced law there and later removed to 
Oklahoma, where he now resides. He was a well informed, scholarly and 
capable lawyer and judge and his career on the bench was highly satis- 
factory to his constituents. His successor, 

John F. Thompson, of Seneca and the Nemaha county bar, was elect- 
ed on a fusion ticket of the Democrats and Populists, over Simon L. 
Ryan, of Hiawatha, Kans., the Republican nominee, and served his four 
years' term, beginning January, 1891, and ending January, 1895, when he 
resumed the practice of law at Seneca and afterward removed to Tola, 
where he died. At both Seneca and lola his son, William Howard Thomp- 
son, now United States Senator of Kansas, was his law partner. Judge 
Thompson presided with dignity, was careful and deliberate, and courte- 
ous to all, and his administration tended to elevate the dignity of the 


bench and inspire confidence of the people in the laws. The great Popu- 
list wave at the end of his first term had subsided and while he was a 
candidate for reelection on the Democratic ticket he was defeated at the 
polls by 

Rufus M. Emery, of the Seneca bar, then State senator from his dis- 
trict and a member of the Nemaha county bar since 1877, whose term be- 
gan in January, 1895 and ended in January, 1899. He was elected at the 
age of forty years, after an active experience as practitioner, county at- 
torney for six years and State senator for four years. He is the writer of 
this article and his natural modesty forbids that he should place an es- 
timate of his record on the bench, but he can truthfully state that his four 
years' term as judge, was the most pleasant and satisfactory business of 
his life to him : that he was received and treated with courtesy and 
respect by the bar and the people of his district, among whom he formed 
many lifelong friendships, which he still values and cherishes. He re- 
tired from the bench under pressure from the politicians, with a high re- 
gard for the honesty, integrity and ability of the bar of the district and 
resumed the practice of law with his son, R. M. Emery, Jr., as his part- 
ner, at Seneca, Kans., where he still resides and is in the active practice 
of his profession. He was succeeded by 

William I. Stuart, of Troy, now of Hiawatha. Kans., January, 1899, 
who, as the Republican nominee of his party, defeated James Fallon of 
Hiawatha, Kans., and has been reelected and served continuously as 
judge, to the present time and holds the record for continuous service on 
the bench of the district, which is the highest evidence of the fact that 
his administration of the office has been satisfactory to the people, and 
his quick, active, judicial mind has secured to all, speedy and impartial 
justice during his long service in office. In 1912, he contested the nom- 
ination of representative in Congress in the Republican primaries of this 
district, with Hon. D. R. Anthony. Jr.. but failed of nomination and is 
now favorably spoken of as a candidate for Justice of the Supreme Court. 


A very important office in connection with the "Bench" and "Bar" 
of each county, is clerk of the district court. Not only should this of- 
ficer- be a person of intelligence, methodical and of good clerical ability, 
but as large sums of money are paid in and disbursed through this' of- 
fice, he or she should be honest and capable with confidence in themselves 
to discharge the manifold duties required of them, by the court and the 
law. very often crowding upon them, in the most bewildering and com- 
plex manner, likely to disturb the equilibrium of the ordinary person. 
Nemaha county has been fortunate in securing such persons, many of 
whom have been of the gentler sex. The following is a list of such 
clerks in the order they have served since the State was organized and 
the reader will recognize among them manv old friends and business as- 


sociates: J. C. Hebbard, O. C. Bruner, William Histed, Abijah Wells, 
Wm. R. ^\^ells, J. H. Williams, George Gould, G. R. Benedict, Jas. H. 
Gleason, H. B. Crary, D. AI. Linn, J. D. Magill, Miss Blanche Magill, 
Miss Lulu Ervin, J- E. Neighbor, Miss Mable Woiiey. 


^^'hat has been said of the clerks of the district court is also true 
of the sheriff, who, under the direction of the presiding judge, has the 
general supervision of the court room, the process and orders of the 
court and who is specially charged with preserving the order and tran- 
quility of the county, the suppression of crime and the apprehension and 
safe keeping of those charged and convicted of crime. In this office is re- 
quired a personal and moral courage, practical common sense and a clear 
and active executive mind that will insure speedy and intelligent action, 
in pursuing and arresting criminals and securing the rigid enforcement of 
all laws, without fear or favor, with a due regard to the interests of the 
State, the people and the rights of the accused. We believe the essential 
requirements of this office have been exercised by the sheriffs who have 
served the county since the organization of the State, a list of whom is 
given in the chapter on county organization. 


Early in the history of Kansas, the present duties of county attorneys 
were incumbent on a prosecuting attorney of the entire judicial district, 
who accompanied the judge on his circuit through the counties and 
prosecuted all criminal cases. The first three in the list below were prose- 
cuting attorneys. The county attorney's duties consist in advising the 
county and other officers as to their duties under the law, representing 
the county in all civil cases and he has charge of all violations of law 
and the prosecution of offenders in the courts of the count3^ The faith- 
ful and efficient discharge of his duties are of the utmost importance to 
society, the welfare of the community and the security of the individual 
in his personal and property rights. Nearly all the leading lawyers of 
this bar have in times past, served as county attorney and their efficient 
service is largely responsible for the present quiet, orderly, law abiding 
and law loving condition of society in this county, at this time. * In the 
order they have served we name them in the chapter on county organiza- 


There is no county office so important and filled with greater respon- 
sibilities as that of probate judge. Once in a lifetime all the property 
in the county comes under his jurisdiction, and the title thereto is likely 
to be affected by his acts and decisions. He has supervision and con- 


trol, through his appointed administrators, executors, trustees and es- 
tates of all deceased persons and those incompetent to transact their 
business. The unfortunate insane, imbecile, drunkard and incorrigible 
children must be tried and adjudged such, in his court and he has "Hab- 
eas Corpus" jurisdiction to determine whether any one is illegally re- 
strained of his libert}- and to determine the custod}' of children and incor- 
rigibles. It is very necessary that his records and proceedings be accur- 
ate, methodical and lawful and that no error, by carelessness, may appear 
on his records to cast a cloud on the title of the real estate of the county. 
He should not only be clear headed, conscientious and a practical man 
of good judgment, but should have a legal education and a thorough 
knowledge of the law to insure the fullest protection to the widows, or- 
phans and unfortunates as the law contemplates. Nemaha county has 
been most fortunate, in the selections of her probate judges. We have 
had some that were lacking in these requirements, but fortunately no 
very serious consequences have occurred. Self interest should demand 
of every elector that the judiciary be kept out of politics and that they se- 
lect and vote for the best and most capable candidate for this most im- 
portant office. Space forbids special mention but we give in the chapter 
on county organization the list of Probate Judges and the date of the be- 
ginning of their respective terms. 



( Continued. ) 









By Judge Rufus M. Emer}'. 


"Here is to bride and mother-in-law. 
Here is to groom and father-in-law, 
Here is to friends and friends-in-law. 
May none of them need an attorney-at-la\v." 

— Toast to legal fraternity 

The legal profession is now and always has been the foremost of all 
the professions, in practical and political life. While the necessity for 
their service is to be lamented and avoided when possible, as the doctor 
and dentist and many others, yet in times of trouble and discord, civil 
and criminal, the lawyer is the first sought and his counsel and advice 
most strictly followed, on account of the importance of the service and 
the confidence of his client in his knowledge, integrity and ability to pro- 
tect them in their rights under the law. From this profession there have 
risen to distinction, more eminent and prominent statesmen and leaders 
of men, than from all the other professions and avocations of life com- 
bined, notwithstanding they number a very small per cent, of the aggre- 
gate population. Many lawyers of strong, vigorous intellects and natur- 
al tact and ability have won laurels and met with considerable success at 
the bar, without having the advantage of a moderate common school edu- 
cation, yet they are the exception to the rule and it has always been 
deemed essential and it is now a requirement, that before they will be re- 


ceived as students in the law universities, they must hav^ a liberal educa- 
tion in the arts and sciences as a foundation upon which to build a correct 
knowledge and proper understanding of the many intricate and import- 
ant principles of the law and apply them in a practical way to the affairs 
of men, so that they will be enabled to advise and so represent their cli- 
ents' interest, as to secure to them their rights of persons and property 
under the law. The relation of attorney and client is one of the strictest 
trust and confidence and while the pessimistic and frivolous are wont to 
regard lightly these close relations and question the honest and faithful 
service of attorneys, in the interests of their clients and consider the 
same as purely selfish and class them as "tricksters," yet the occasions 
are very rare, when the attorney does not act in the utmost good faith, 
toward his client and put forth every honorable means to advance his in- 
terests at a great personal sacrifice and labor. My observation at the 
bar generally is that they allow their zeal for their clients to lead them 
to extreme methods which subject them to just criticism. 

An attorney-at-law is an officer of the court, acting under his oath 
of office. He is expected to present his client's case in its most favorable 
light both as to the law and the evidence, that the court — judge and jury 
— may be fully informed and render a fair and impartial decision accord- 
ing to the law and the evidence. That the litigants maj^ have equal and 
exact protection under the law ; that false evidence may be exposed, er- 
roneous ideas of the law may be eliminated and all feelings of passion, 
prejudice and favoritism may be laid aside, in the decision of the case. 
\^'ith the zealous attorney on guard as to his client's interests, the court 
carefully expounding the law applicable to the case and the jury, select- 
ed from the common people to weigh the evidence, from a common sense 
basis, the false testimony of the witnesses is usually detected, technicali- 
ties are ignored and a righteous and just verdict or decision is usually ob- 
tained. There is no profession more satisfactory to the individual prac- 
titioner than the legal profession. He comes equipped with a liberal edu- 
cation, giving him a broad and comprehensive view of life and the rela- 
tion of things. He is especially versed in the best known and approved 
principles of government and the rights of persons and property and all 
the rules and methods of securing and preserving them in all their simpli- 
city and purity. He has the confidence and esteem of his clients and 
there comes to him in the practice of his profession, an intimate know- 
ledge of his fellow beings, their joys, sorrows, disappointments and tri- 
umphs, thenr passions and prejudices, weaknesses and despair: all that is 
good and all that is evil in the human heart and mind is laid before him 
through his privileged and sacred relations and with all these opportuni- 
ties, he may form a correct knowledge and philosophy of life that is in- 
deed a satisfaction and enables him to be a great help to his fellows. Be- 
low is a list of the resident attorneys of the county who have practiced 
in the district court in the order that their names first appear on the 
court records: Samuel Lappin, Thos. S. Wright, Haven Star, J- E. Hock- 


er, J. P. Taylor, J. E. Taylor, William Histed, Wm. F. Wells, Charles 
Kroff, Abijah AVells, E. M. Sappenfield, R. D. Markham, G. W. Collins, 
Joseph Sharp, Simon Conwell, W. W. Sargent, C. W. Edgar, C. I. Sco- 
field, W. D. B. Hotter, Levi Dinkelfield, George Gowdv, T- E. Purnell, 
M. P. M. Cassity, R. C. Bassett. A. M. Flint, S. W. Brooks, Elwin Camp- 
field, Don J. Perry, A. C. Cook, T. J. Hayes, R. M. Emery, C. E. Hendry, 
W. D. Kistler, C. C. K. Scoville, J. F. Curren, A. L. Coleman, O. H. 
Stillson, G. W. Clawson, Joshua Mitchell. George Puhl, J. A. McCall, J. 
F. Thompson, R. T. Thompson, Frank E. Smith, J. T. Campbell, H. G. 
Stewart, G. W. Wren, Chas. H. Herold, T- AN'. Cunnick. Howard Thomp- 
son, A. J. Felt, E. G. Wilson, P. L. Burlingame, E. L. Miller, Frank 
Wells, Jas. L. Breeding, Geo. W. Hook, J. E. Stillwell, N. S. Smith, S. K. 
Woodworth, Charles H. Stewart, F. A. Meckel,, R. T. Ludlow, A. A. 
Brooks, Wm. H. Thompson, Nathan Joiies, J. G. Schofield, Ira K. Wells, 
Moulton DeForest, Wm. M. Tavlor, John Stowell, W. W. Simon, F. W. 
Jacobs, W. R. Jacobs, H. R. Fulton, O. H. Mack, M. L. Mclntire, W. T. 
Behne, W. H. Cook, Frank L. Geary, S. P. Nold, R. M. Emery Jr., H. M. 
Baldwin, Edgar AV. Campbell, and Chas. F. Schrempp. 

Of the above list of resident attorneys many have reached distinc- 
tion ; Samuel Lappin was State treasurer; Abijah AA''ells was judge of the 
Appellate Court of Kansas ; R. C. Bassett, J. F. Thompson, R. M. Em- 
ery and F. A. Meckel have each been district judge of the State; Byron 
Sherry was judge of the Criminal Court of Leavenworth; Wm. H. 
Thompson is the present LTnited States Senator from Kansas ; A. J. Felt 
was Lieutenant Governor of Kansas and quite a number have been Pro- 
bate judges and members of the State senate and house of representa- 
tives. Nemaha has always had a strong, capable bar, fully equipped to 
defend their clients' interests against all foreign attorneys from where- 
ever they came. They have not only been capable and energetic, but 
from the first organization of the State until the present moment there 
is no record that any one of them has ever betrayed a client, or been 
guilty of any serious professional misconduct. Many very prominent at- 
torneys of the State have practiced at the bar of this county and been 
prominent in State and National affairs : F. P. Baker, when a young man 
was the first prosecuting attorney of this district, and was afterward 
editor and proprietor of the Topeka "Commonwealth," now the "Daily 
Capital." Albert H. Horton and David Martin, both of Atchison, were 
chief justices of the Supreme Court of the State. AV. W. Guthrie, of Atch- 
ison, was the first attorney general of Kansas. John J. Ingalls was many 
terms a United States Senator from Kansas, president pro tem. of the 
United States Senate and an orator and statesman of national reputa- 
tion. C. G. Foster was for years United States district judge of Kansas : 
George AA^ Glick was governor of this commonwealth ; Lucien Baker, 
of Leavenworth, was our United States senator from Kansas ; George 
R. Peck, of Topeka, was Ignited States district attorney for Kansas and 
general attorney for the Santa Fe railroad system ; AA^ R. Smith, of At- 


chison, was justice of the Supreme Court of Kansas and resigned to 
accept the attorneyship of the Santa Fe railroad; T. F. Carver was judge 
of the Appellate Court of Kansas, and Balie Waggener, of Atchison, 
and present State senator, is general attorney of the Missouri Pacific 
railway system. 

The life of an attorney is not always a bed of roses and this was par- 
ticularly true of the pioneer lawyer in advance of the carriage, railroads 
and motor cars, when the legal practitioner often traveled on -foot or 
horseback to the neighboring county seats to try his cases. The popula- 
tion was scant, drouths and grasshoppers plentiful and money almost un- 
known and the attorney, in common with the other inhabitants, en- 
dured every privation. Once a stranger sought the services of an attor- 
ney and handed him a silver dollar as a fee, when he jocularly remarked, 
"they still make them round." The early life and habits of the first set- 
tlers were "rough and ready," with open saloons and the unrestricted sale 
of liquor, a. large adventurous criminal element, migrated from the East- 
ern States, passionate, impulsive, quick to take offense and ready and 
willing to use the scathing tongue, their fists and weapons on slight pro- 
vocation and some of the time of the early attorney was consumed in 
avoiding unnecessary controversy in conciliating their adversaries, or 
Hiding out and avoiding or dodging fists, clubs, knives or bullets. It re- 
quired courage then to plead an unpopular cause and defend a client 
against an excited public sentiment, but the courage of the attorney was 
equal to that of the populace and justice was dealt out principally 
through the courts but often by mob violence. As an example of the 
spirit of these turbulent times and the vigorous language and methods 
employed by those high in authority we cite the following. Byron Sher- 
ry, a leading member of this bar, and State senator from this district, had 
voted against the re-election of Senator Lane to the United States senate 
and in a political speech in Seneca before his fellow-townsmen Senator 
Lane denounced Senator Sherry for his opposition and legislative con- 
duct. Amidst great excitement Senator Sherry quickly and hotly retort- 
ed, "Senator Lane, you are a liar and a coward and aou were publicly 
horse-whipped by a woman on the streets of A^'ashington !" Early in the 
history of the county an amusing incident occurred in the court room over 
a saloon, when Judge Nathan Price, fond ni his "dram," at all intermis- 
sions of the court, which he sometimes created for the purpose, was pre- 
siding as judge. Senator John J. Ingalls was in the midst of an eloquent 
speech to the jury, when Judge Price, suddenh- and without apparent ex- 
cuse or reason, declared a recess and made a "bee line" for the saloon be- 
low, thus breaking the effect of Ligalls' address. Tie sti.^pped, looked up 
at the vacant bench, as though bewildered, back at the jury, and again 
at the retiring judge, and turning again to the jur}-, with a merry twinkle 
in his e}'e and assuming a confidential hoarse whisper, that could be 
lieard throughout the room said, with a broad smile, "Let's all go and 
take a drink." Amidst a roar of laughter the suggestion was acted upon 
and the judge "set 'em up." 


At another time Senator Ingalls was defending a citizen of the coun- 
ty in a preliminary examination, charged with being the father of an il- 
legitimate child. The interest of course was great, the room small and 
packed, the air intolerable. Ingalls was cross-examining the unfortun- 
ate mother and a prominent merchant crowded against his chair and was 
about to unseat him, when, with a merry twinkle in his eye he continued 
the cross-examination with the question, Madame, were you not on terms 
of intimacy with this gentleman?" (pointing to the interested and obtru- 
sive citizen). Amid a roar of laughter, the over curious citizen ducked 
and retired and selecting other victims, he put the same question, with 
the same result, until the court room was sufficiently cleared. On the 
trial of this case in the district court, J. E. Taylor and Simon Conwell 
prosecuting and Senator Ingalls defending, the illegitimate child because 
fretful and noisy and with screams stopped all court proceedings, when 
Ingalls arose with a show of dignity and anno3^ance and dryly remarked, 
"Would the Court please require Taylor and Conwell to remove their 
child from the courtroom?" A roar of laughter in which all joined drown- 
ed the cries of the child. Recently Judge Stuart was examining a Ger- 
man applicant for admission to citizenship and in endeavoring to test his 
knowledge of public affairs and having Roosevelt in mind, asked him to 
name the most distinguished citizen of the United States of whom he 
could think, and he prompth^ replied, "Shiley Herolt," casting an ad- 
miring glance at our goodnatured, popular attorney. Charles 11. Herold, 
who beamed his approval. At another time, in endeavoring to test the 
fairness, impartiality and lack of prejudice, or favor, of a German juror, 
he was asked, "Notwithstanding the fact that Charles Herold is the 
lawyer for one of the parties, and his client is a German and the other 
party is not, do you think }-ou can render a fair and impartial verdict 
in the case and not show any partiality or favor?" To which he replied, 
"Yah, I stant by Herolt und der Deutch !" 

There has been filed in the office of the Clerk of the District Court, 
since the organization of the State, 2,930 civil cases and 773 criminal 
cases, of almost every kind and nature known to the law, some of a trif- 
ling character that should never have found their way there and many of 
great importance and involving large sums of money, great property 
values and personal rights of the highest necessity to the citizen. The 
first grand and petit jury was drawn for the November term of the Dis- 
trict court of Nemaha county, in 1861, and consisted of the following 
well known early settlers, a few of whom still live, and their descendants 
still residing in the county are very numerous: Samuel Dennis, Hiram 
Channel, S. B. Dodge. Elias B. Church, James Larew, John Callahan, 
John Short, Hiram Berger, Joseph W. Dennis, Moses Blanchett, H. L. 
Alkire, J. P. Brown, Eli Blankley, Thomas Carlin, John Kilmer, William 
Histed,"H. A. Good, W. N. Cassity, Peter Hamilton, William Hickley, 
James Randel, John Roe, John Beamer, C. C. Morton, Patrick Howard, 
Martin Randel, Augustus Wolflev. Tohn Downs, T. A. Canmpfield. Jacob 


Geyer, E. D. Gross, Geo. D. Searles, Samuel Allen, B. H. Job, Frank 
Brown, William Porter, David Armstrong, William Z. Carpenter, H. 
Grimes, Isaac H. Steirs, John Rodgers, John Hicks, W. W. Shepherd, 
Joseph Coleman, Larkin Cordell, Jacob Shumaker, G. D. Baker, John 
Bowman, Samuel Currier and Charles W. Nations. 


The space allotted forbids the mention of but few of the many im- 
portant cases tried by the "Bench and Bar" of Nemaha county. The 
original title of most of the lands of the county, came through the Home- 
stead law,, from the United States Government in small tracts to actual 
early settlers, but there were some exceptions. The Central Branch of 
the Union Pacific Railway (now the Missouri Pacific), as an inducement 
and bonus for building this railroad and opening up the western prairies, 
received from the United States Government $16,000 per mile for 100 
miles west of Atchison, Kans., and a patent title to each alternate section 
for ten miles each side of their railroad, which aggregated $1,600,000 and 
640,000 acres of land, for which they paid the Government price of $1.25 
per acre. 

The Louis Lorimer and Regis Loisel Titles. — While the territory 
comprising the State of Kansas was a Spanish possession in 1800 and a 
part of the territory known as Upper Louisiana and before the United 
States acquired the same from France in 1803, Regis Loisel, a fur trader 
of St. Louis, by grant from Spain,, acquired the right to locate 44,800 
Spanish Arpens of land (38,111 acres) in this territory, and Louis Lori- 
mer acquired a like grant to locate 25,500 acres. By an act of Congress 
these Spanish grants were recognized and confirmed, and the heirs and 
representatives of these parties were given the right to locate lands in 
Nemaha, Marshall, Pottawatomie and Marion counties, Kansas, to the 
amount of the respective grants aforesaid at the Government price of $1.25 
per acre. The lands were duly located and the heirs and representatives 
of these parties were allowed to receive patent title to such lands, a large 
portion Ijeing in Nemaha county. These heirs had become numerous, 
widely scattered and many had transferred their interests, become inca- 
pacitated from transferring and there were many minors and the title had 
become greatly complicated and clouded. In 1870 the heirs of Louis Lori- 
mer and in 1872 the Regis Loisel heirs commenced suits in Nemaha 
county to settle and determine the interests of the respective heirs to this 
vast amount of land and to partition the same. The ablest lawyers of 
Kansas and Missouri took part in these suits and after protracted litiga- 
tion, the titles to all these lands were quieted and made good and the 
complicated interests adjusted by decrees of our court, and the land be- 
gan to be sold to actual settlers. Many of the readers will find that the 
title to their farms rests on these important records and court proceed- 


Railroad Bond Case. — Xemaha county never had any bonded indebt- 
edness. An attempt was made to bond it at one time, which perhaps in 
justice and as a matter of right should have been done, but it failed 
through a technicality. In 1866, there were two railroad corporations 
existing, one st3ded the St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad Company and 
another, the Northern Kansas Railroad Company, each organized to 
construct a railroad from Elwood, Doniphan county, Kansas, to Marys- 
ville, Kans., and authorized to receive subscriptions to its capital stock 
from Nemaha county. The county commissioners of this county submit- 
ted the question of subscribing $125,000 to the capital stock of the North- 
ern Kansas Railroad Company and issuing bonds in like amount to pay 
lor the same to the electors of the county, and the proposition was car- 
ried by a pronounced majority and so declared by the canvassing board. 
In the following October the two railroads aforesaid consolidated as one 
under the name of the St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad Company, which 
completed the road and demanded the bonds of the county commission- 
ers, who refused to issue them and the railroad company instituted a suit 
to compel them to issue the same. But the Supreme Court of the State, 
in 10 Kansas, page 569, held that the county commissioners were only au- 
thorized to subscribe for and issue bonds to the Northern Kansas Rail- 
road company and that the new company, the St. Joseph & Denver City 
Railroad Compan}', could not claim the bonds. The county got the rail- 
road and were not compelled to issue the bonds. The capital stock after- 
ward proved to be worthless and the county was saved, by the efforts of 
the county commissioners and the county attorneys advising them and 
conducting the defense to this suit. 


The State of Kansas vs. Josiah Blancett. — Josiah Blancett was 

charged with the murder of Thompson Wilson, and this was the first 
case tried by jury in this county, in 1862, before Judge Graham. On ac- 
count of a defective indictment, the State could not be allowed to intro- 
duce evidence of the venue, or place where the murder was committed, 
and the defendant was acquitted, by the jury and defendant discharged 
by reason of this technicality. 

State of Kansas vs. John Craig. — On October 10, 1864, in the immed- 
iate 'vicinity of Seneca, John Craig and Joseph H. Nichols, had a personal 
dispute, in which Nichols became enraged and assuming a threatening 
■ attitude, applying insulting epithets to Craig, who drew his revolver and 
shot Nichols dead on the spot. Craig was arrested and taken before a 
justice of the peace and on his preliminary examination was discharged 
on a plea of self defense. Nothing further was ever done in the matter. 

The State of Kansas vs. Miles R. Carter and Milton R. Winters.— 
On February 23. 1865, John H. Blevins, of Holt county, Missouri, accom- 
panied by Edgar Nuzam, of Doniphan county, Kansas, came to .Seneca 


in search of two horses stolen in Missouri and tliouglit to be in the pos- 
session of A. M. Smith, a liveryman of Seneca. Being acquainted with 
C. G. Scrafford, a merchant of Seneca, they went to him for information 
and assistance, and Scrafford went with them to Smith's stable, and as 
they approached Carter and Winters mounted on the stolen horses 
preparing- to leave. Nuzam inquired of Blevins if these horses were his, 
and being assured they were, ordered the thieves to stop and drew his 
revolver to enforce his order. A. M. Smith drew his revolver and fired, 
first at Nuzam and then at Blevins, the latter being shot in the left side 
and the ball passing through his lungs, from which shot he died in a few 
hours. While this was occurring Carter and \Mnters rode away but were 
thrown from their horses, which returned to the stable, followed by the 
horse thieves where Winters fired several shots at Nuzam without effect. 
At this time \\'illiam Boulton, the sheriff, was absent from the county, 
and amidst the excitement the three guilty parties. Carter, Winters and 
Smith, escaped. On February 27, 1865, on the return of Sheriff Boulton, 
Miles N. Carter was arrested and returned to Nemaha county, and 
brought before John Furrow, justice of the peace, for examination, and 
the case was continued until the next day, and Carter was taken to jail 
for safe keeping. About 11 o'clock on that night a mob of two score 
or more overpowered the guard, George Monroe, took the prisoner eight 
miles north of Seneca on the banks of the Nemaha ri\-er near Baker's 
Ford, where his body was found next morning hanging to the limb of a 
tree. A coroner's inquest was held, but no arrests were made. Horse 
thieves were shown no quarters in those days. It was generally conced- 
ed that the Anti Horse Thief Association, composed of our best citizens, 
dealt out the punishment Carter so richly deserved. 

March 6, 1865, Milton R. Winters was arrested by the city mar- 
shal of Atchison, Kans., returned to Nemaha county, tried and convicted 
before a jury, and on May 11, 1866 was sentenced by Judge St. Clair on 
two charges, one for second degree murder in aiding, abetting and as- 
sisting A. M. Smitlj, in the murder of John H. Blevins. for the term of fif- 
teen years, and another on a plea of guilty for assault with intent to kill 
Edgar Nuzam for the term of ten years. 

A. M. Smith escaped legal retribution, as he was never heard from 
thereafter. He left a wife and two young sons at Seneca, all becoming 
respectable citizens. 

The State of Kansas vs. Wilton Baughn. — On November 12, 1866, 
four men came to Seneca with a team, wagon and three loose horses. The 
horses afterward proved to have been stolen by them at Elwood, Doni- 
phan county, Kansas. November 19, three pursuers arrived in Seneca and 
procuring warrants located these men ten miles west of Seneca on the 
Vermilion, but made no arrest, and returned to Seneca and procured the 
sheriff and a small force, again started out to make the arrest, going 
north to intercept them. Soon after" their departure the four men passed 
through Seneca, stopping east of the town. Here they divided ; two of 


them named Jackson and Strange remaining where they were, and being 
arrested, while the other two, Baughn and Mooney, started on foot east- 
ward. The sheriff, with a posse, pursued and overtook them on the 
Capioma road at the crossing of the Muddy. 

Three of the pursuers, Charles W. Ingram, Henry H. Hillix and Jes- 
se S. Dennis, were in advance of the rest, and on seeing the men, road up 
to them, Ingram remarking "\\'e have come for you." At this one of the 
meu, having a double barreled shot gun, discharged both barrels at In- 
gram, neither of which took effect. The other one had two revolvers, 
and shot at both Hillix and Dennis, one shot passing through Hillix's 
clothing, another striking him just below the shoulder blade, making a 
severe but not dangerous wound. Hillix returned the fire but without ef- 

Dennis received a bullet in the back, which passed diagonally 
through the body, through the lungs and in close proximity to the heart, 
producing death in a few moments. The man with the gun jumped into 
an adjoining corn field, and again fired at Ingram, who jumped from his 
horse and thus avoided the shot. Both men escaped. A proclamation 
was at once issued offering a reward of a thousand dollars for the deliv- 
ery of the body of Baughn and Mooney to the legal authorities of the 
county within ninety days, and giving a description of both desperadoes. 

On January 6, 1867, ]Melvin Baughn. the chief offender in the trag- 
edy, was arrested in Leavenworth, on a description or warrant sent from 
St. Joseph, for a gang of burglars who had robbed a store in \\^athena a 
few days before. Upon being recognized as the murderer of Dennis he 
was deli\'ered to the authorities of this count}' and lodged in jail, a pre- 
liminary examination held, and Baughn bound over to await trial at the 
next term of the district court. On January 10, an unsuccessful attempt 
was made to h^nch Baughn, but was stopped liy citizens and compromised 
by the crowd appointing a deputv sheriff to have special charge of the 
prisoner, until his trial. On February 6, Baughn w'ith another prisoner 
confined in the jail succeeded in forcing open the doors and escaping, tak- 
ing arms and ammunition found in the passage of the jail. 

Efforts were made for his recapture, which were unsuccessful until 
June, 1868, and then only due to the fugitive's committal to lesser crimes 
than the one for which he was wanted in Nemaha county. On May 25, 
1868, a house was robbed at Sedalia, Mo. ; the next day a suspicious 
looking carpet bag was expressed by someone to Joseph King, Otter- 
ville. Officers there were posted, but in endeavoring to make the arrest 
of King, wounded him severely, but nevertheless allowed him to escape 
for the time being, capturing him, disabled by his wound, two days after 
he was shot. It was then discovered that the prisoner going under the 
name of Joseph King was the notorious Baughn, the murderer of Den- 
nis, and he was legally returned to Seneca on June 27, and committed to 
jail. His trial commenced on August 2, 1868. for the murder of Jesse S. 
Dennis, and was concluded August 6, the jury returning a verdict of 


guilty, and on the next day Judge Graham pronounced the death sen- 
tence that he be hanged September i8, 1868. The sentence was duly 
carried into effect at 3 o'clock p. m. of that day in the court yard in the 
city of Seneca. The prisoner showed extraordinary nerve at the ap- 
proach of death and magnanimously forgave the communit}^ who had 
"tyrannized" over him, attributing their ill-feeling to "ignorance and bad 
whiskey." He also acknowledged his reconciliation to God, but showed 
no remorse of conscience. Thus ended the Dennis murder case with the 
first and only judicial execution the count}- has known. 

The State of Kansas vs. Mrs. Frank McDowell. — ]\Iarch 14, 1896, 
Mrs. Frank McDowell was acquitted by a jury in the district court, on 
the charge of murdering her husband, Frank McDowell, Judge R. M. 
Emery presiding. 

On February 6, 1896, Frank McDowell died in Goff, Kans., after a 
short illness, in great misery and with convulsions. Suspicion attached 
to his second wife, Mrs. Frank McDowell, and on an analysis of the sto- 
mach and liver of the deceased, arsenic was discovered in fatal quanti- 
ties. Mrs. McDowell was arrested and held for trial on the charge of 
murdering her husband. The above facts were shown on the trial with 
evidence of a confession which was strenuously denied. There was al- 
so evidence that might warrant the conclusion of the jury that the pres- 
ence of the arsenic might be due to the medicine administered by the at- 
tending doctor, or self administered by the deceased. While the court 
was of the opinion that she was guilty, the general public sentiment was 
in her favor, and the jury resolved the reasonable doubt in favor of the 

The State of Kansas vs. Thomas Ramsey. — On the morning of Jan- 
uary 30, 1900, Laura B. Ramsey, an old widow lady, living alone in a 
small house in the city of Sabetha, was found dead in bed, lying on her 
back, her body and limbs composed, and her hands neatly crossed on her 
breast, as if carefully "laid out" with no evidence of a struggle. A doctor 
was called and it was found by injuries to her neck and throat that she 
had been choked to death the night before. Her son, Thomas J. Ramsey, 
living near with his wife and children, being naturally quarrelsome and 
it being known that he had had serious trouble with his mother, was sus- 
picioned and arrested but discharged for want of sufficient evidence by 
J. E. Corwin, justice of the peace, at a preliminary examination held on 
the complaint of James Shintaffer, a son-in-law of Mrs. Ramsey. 

On his discharge, Thomas Ramsey instituted a civil suit for mali- 
cious prosecution and large damages against his brother-in-law, which re- 
agitated the tragedy, and through the aid of detectives additional evi- 
dence was procured, Ramsey re-arrested and held to answer a charge of 
murder in the first degree of his mother. A closely contested trial was 
had in the district court, and he was by a jury found guilty of murder in 
the second degree, and on March 21, 1901, sentenced to confinement and 
hard labor in the State penitentiary for life, where he still remains. From 


facts proven and developed after the trial it was well established that 
Thomas Ramsey was not a well balanced man mentally or morally; that 
he had been persistent in endeavoring to get money from his mother; 
that on the Sunday night of her death, while his family was at church, 
he went to her home alone and endeavored to get money from her, that 
he claimed he should rightly have ; that a quarrel ensued, and in an ex- 
treme fit of passion he choked her to death, probably unintentionally, 
and composed and arranged the body on the bed where it was found. 

The State of Kansas vs. Fred Kuhn. — On August 27, 1910, at a 
school meeting south of Corning, Kans., a terrible tragedy occurred in 
which William Blissner was shot and mortally wounded by Fred Kuhn 
and died in a few hours. His father, F. A. Blissner, was struck across the 
head with a board, by a brother of Fred, causing the loss of an eye. It 
seems there were hard feelings existing between the Blissners and the 
Kuhns, which broke out in a fierce quarrel after a school meeting. The 
elder Blissner became violent and threatening, and the Kuhns, two 
brothers and two sisters, endeavored to retire to their wagon to return 
home. Three of them had gotten into the wagon, when F. A. Blissner 
unhooked the traces of Kuhns' team, attempted to strike August Kuhn 
with the neck-yoke, when he was felled by a board in the hands of Au- 
gust Kuhn, causing the loss of an eye. While this was occurring Fred 
Kuhn had been intercepted, and pressed back some distance from his 
team by William Blissner, who was threatening violent injury. The 
evidence was quite contradictory but the theory of the defense on behalf 
of Fred Kuhn was that he had been pushed back and attacked and struck 
with a board and fell to his knees, whereupon he drew his pistol which he 
had at the meeting and fired killing William Blissner, in self defense. 
There was evidence that conditions were such as to render the shooting 
unjustifiable. The jury by their verdict found Fred Kuhn guilty of 
murder in the second degree, and he was sentenced by Judge Stuart to 
the penitentiary for a period of ten years. Soon after his incarceration 
he was "made a trusty" and afterwards paroled. 








By Ira K. Wells. ^ 

The first election held in the county was on Alarch 30, 1855, for 
members of council, and representatives to the Territorial legislature. 
There were ten council districts with thirteen members, and fourteen 
representative districts with twenty-six members. Nemaha precinct 
with Wolf River and Doniphan constituted the Seventh Council district, 
and the Eleventh Representative district. The entire vote of the district, 
478 ballots, was cast for John W. Foreman, a merchant, a native of 
Kentucky, and a resident of the Territory for twelve years. The vote 
of Nemaha precinct was sixty-one. The representatives chosen were : 
R. L. Kirk, a nine months' resident, and John H. Stringfellow, who had 
been in the Territory for one year. Nemaha precinct gave the former 
fifty, and the later, fort3'-eig"ht votes. At this election George H. 
Baker, Jesse Adamson and Samuel Cramer were judges; Samuel Croz- 
ier and Thomas Cramer, clerks. Most of the voters were non-resi- 
dents, the following being the list of those actually entitled to the right 
of suffrage : W. W. Moore, W. D. Beeles, George H. Baker, Jesse 
Adamson, Samuel Cramer, Samuel Crozier, Samuel L. Miller, William 
Bunker, Thomas Newton, Horace M. Newton, H. H. Lanham, John 
O'Laughlin, Greenberry Key and Uriah Blue. 

The legislature convened on the first Monday in July. Its acts 
took effect as soon as they were passed, being now best known as the 
"Bogus Laws of Kansas." Among other things, provision was made 


for the organization of nineteen counties in the Territory, including 
that of Nemaha, the boundaries of which were defined, as they have 
been given, and as they now exist. 

Cyrus Dolman was appointed probate judge ; James E. Thompson, 
sheriff, the latter being soon superseded by James E. Hill, and Edwin 
Van Endert, county treasurer. The first county commissioners were 
Jesse Adamson, of Nemaha township ; David P. Magill, of Capioma 
township, and Peter Hamilton, of Red Vermillion township. Rich- ' 
mond was made the temporar}- county seat, remaining the official busi- 
ness center until 1858, when the county seat question was decided by 
the people. 


October 6, 1856, the pro-slavery men held an election, at which 
Cyrus Dolman was elected a member of the second Territorial legisla- 
ture, receiving twelve votes. At this time the counties of Doniphan, 
Brown, Nemaha, Marshall, Riley and Pottawatomie, constituted the 
council district, and those of Nemaha and Brown the representative 
district. October 5, 1857, the former of these elected Benjamin Harding, 


of Doniphan, and Andrew F. Mead, of Riley; the fourth representative 
district choosing- E. N. Morrill, of Brown county. The members of 
the council held office for two years, the representatives for one session 
only. This, the third Territorial legislature, placed Nemaha county 
with Brown, Pottawatomie, Marshall and Washington in the fifth 
council district ; constituting Brown county the eighth, and Nemaha 
the tenth representative district. When it came to the election of State 
■senators and representatives, the districts were again changed, Nemaha 
being at present associated with Marshall in the election of senator, 
and herself entitled to two representatives. In the official roster which 
follows, no further account is made of these changes, the list merely 
showing Nemaha's representation, whether solely her own or in con- 
junction with other counties. The first election for county officers was 
held November 8, 1859, the incumbents prior to that time holding their 
position by appointment. Samuel Lappin had been registrar of deeds ; 
R. N. Torry performed the duties of county clerk, clerk of the district 
court, and succeeded Edwin Van Endert as county treasurer. The pro- 
bate judges from 1855 had been, in the order named, Cyrus Dolman, 
Morton Cave and Haven Starj. J. C. Hebbard, and subsequently J. W. 
Fuller were county superintendents of public instruction, the former 
making the first annual report of school matters of the county to Samuel 
W. Greer, Territorial superintendent. 

The election resulted as follows. Count}- clerk, R. U. Torrey 
county treasurer, Charles F. Warren ; registrar of deeds. Samuel Lap- 
pin ; sheriff, John S. Rogers ; county superintendent, J- A^'. Fuller ; 
probate judge. Haven Starr. 

The first court house stood on lot 4, block 74, on Main street. 
It was a small two story frame building, the lower room of which was 
used for general meeting purposes, and the upper part b}' the county 
officers. In December, i860, it was burnt. A building for court pur- 
poses, but too small for county offices, was at once erected, on the 
corner of Main and Castle streets, in Seneca, and in this the first term 
of district court in Nemaha county was held November 11, 1861, prior 
to this time Nemaha county having been associated with Brown county 
for judicial purposes. Albert H. Horton, of .\tchison, was. at this time, 
district judge, having succeeded Judge Albert L. Lee, who had received 
a commission as major in the Seventh Kansas. The district clerk was 
I. C. Hebbard, to whom Homer L. Dean, the clerk of Brown county, 
had turned over the books and papers belonging to Nemaha county. 
The grand jury who served at this term of court consisted of John 
Downs, Thomas Carlin, Isaac H. Steer, Elias B. Church, James Larew, 
Salem B. Dodge, Samuel Dennis, T. A. Campfield, H. A. Goodman, 
Hezekiah Grimes, John Hodgins, William Histed, John Kilmer, Augus- 
tus Wolfley, H. D. Channell and James M. Randel. A¥illiam Histed 
was the foreman. The most important case upon the docket was that 
of the State of Kansas vs. Tosiah Blancett, wherein'the defendant stood 


charged with the murder of Thompson Wilson. The verdict was "Not 
guilty." The indictment failed to state that the murder was committed 
in Nemaha county. In 1855 three county commissioners were ap- 
pointed. From that time until the spring of i860, the chairman of the 
township board was the supervisor of the county board. In i860 three 
commissioners at large were chosen, a like number being elected each 
alternate year until 1878, when the system was changed, so that one 
was elected each year, to hold office three years. The population of 
the county at various times has been as follows : 1855, ninety-nine ; no 
return was made at this census of the number of voters. In 1857, 5^2, 
voters, 140; i860, 2,436; 1870, 7,296; 1880, 12,463; 1881, 13,476; 1882, 

As originally divided the county had, for municipal purposes, nine 
townships : Rock Creek, Nemaha, Clear Creek, Richmond, Capioma, 
Valley, Home, Granada and Red Vermillion. These have, at various 
times, been sub-divided, forming Washington, Oilman, Illinois, Harri- 
son, Neuchatel, Reillv and Wetmore. In July, 1882, the commissioners 
further changed the local geography, by the creation of Mitchell town- 
ship, from Home, Richmond and Valley; and of Adams township, from 
Valley and Capioma, the two dividing Valley equally between them 
and blotting it from the map. 

The official roster of the county since its organization is as 
follows : 

Council i855j John W. Foreman; 1857, Benjamin Harding, 

Andrew J. Mead ; 1859, Luther R. Palmer. 

State Senators 1860, Samuel Lappin ; 1862, Byron Sherry ; 

1864, Samuel Spear; 1866, George Graham; 1868, Albert G. Spear; 1870, 
Joseph Cracraft; 1872, E. N. Morrill; 1874, J. M. Miller; 1876, E. N. 
Morrill, (for four years) ; 1880, I. F. Collins; 1884, W. W. Smith; 1888, 
R. M. Emery ; 1892, Hiram F. Robbins ; 1896, A. L. Coleman ; 1900, J. 
K. Codding; 1904. George P. Hayden ; 1908, Oscar Fagerberg; 1912, 
James M. Meek. 

Territorial Representatives 1855, R. L. Kirk, John 

H. Stringfellow : 1856, Cyrus Dolman; 1857, E. N. Morrill; 1858, George 
Graham ; 1859, Morton Cave ; i860, Charles C. Coffinbury. 

State Representatives 1860, David C. Auld, D. E. Bal- 
lard; 1861, Harrison Foster, F. P. Baker; 1862, John S. Hidden; 1863, 
Richard Bradley, J. S. Hidden; 1864, J. D. Sammons, C. C. Coffin- 
bury ; 1865, James K. Gross. George Graham ; 1866, T. B. Collins. Jos- 
eph Hanemum ; 1867, Philip Rockefeller, John Hodgins ; 1868, Samuel 
Lappin, Daniel Helpshrey ; 1869, L. Hensel, William Morris; 1870, 
Richard Johnson, A. Simons; 1871, Ira F. Collins, H. C. DeForest ; 
1872, Cvrus L. Schofield, H. C. DeForrest; 1873, J. E. Taylor, C. S. 
Cummings; 1874, G. W. Brown, S. P. Conrad; 1875. D. R. Magill. S. P. 
Conrad; 1876, I. F. Collins, L. C. Preston (for two years); 1878, E. G. 
Stitt, M. L. Wilson ; 1880. N. F. Benson, A. W. Cracraft ; 1882, Wright 


Hicks, R. C. Bassett; 1884, J. E. Corwin, C. S. Cummings ; 1S86, G. W. 
Conrad, A. L. Coleman; 1888, W. J. Bailey, D. M. Yonkman ; 1890, R. 
D. McCliman, Ezra Carey; 1892, R. D. McCliman ; 1894, G. W. John- 
son ; 1896, G. W. Johnson ; 1898, George P. Hayden ; 1900, George P. 
Hayden ; 1902, George P. Hayden ; 1904, S. R. Myers ; 1906, S. R. My- 
ers ; 1908. James M. Meek; 1910, James M. Meek; 1912, R. W. Moor- 
head; 1914, R. W. Moorhead. 

Sheriffs 1855, James E. Thompson, superseded by James E. 

Hill; 1857, John S. Rogers; 1859, John S. Rogers; 1861, John S. Rogers; 
1863, William Boulton ; 1865, William Boulton ; 1867, Abram Kyger; 
1869, Abram Kyger; 1871, David R. Magill ; 1873, David R. Magill ; 
1875, Richard Johnson; 1877, James Martin; 1879, D. R. Vorhes ; 1881, 

D. R. Vorhes; 1883, Nathan P.". Lohmuller; 1885, Nathan B. Lohmuller; 
1887, William Dennis; 1889, William Dennis; 1891, George A. Lyman; 
1893, George A. Lyman; 1895, A. J. Murray; 1897, ^- J- Murray; 1899, 
H. G. Campbell; 1902, H. G. Campbell; 1904, William Dennis; 1906, 
William Dennis ; 1908. C. B. Andrews ; 1910, C. B. Andrews ; 1912, J. 
G. Battin ; 1914, J. G. Battin. 

County Clerks 1855, R. U. Torrey ; 1857, R- U. Torrey ; 

1859, R. U. Torrey; i860, Byron Sherry (to fill vacancy); 1861, 
William F. Wells ; 1863, J. W. Fuller ; 1865, J. W. Fuller ; 1867, J. W. 
Fuller; 1869, J. W. Fuller; 1871, Joshua Mitchell: 1873. Joshua Mit- 
chell ; 1875, Walter J. Ingram ; 1877. Joshua Mitchell ; 1879, Joshua Mit- 
chell ; i88"'i, Joshua "Mitchell; 1883, Richard S. Robbins; 1885, Richard 
S. Robbins ; "1887, W. E. Young; 1889, W. E. Young; 1891, Charles W. 
Hunt; 1893, Charles W. Hunt; 1895, Frank M. Hartman ; 1897, Frank 
M. Hartman; 1899, A. G. Sanborn, (to fill vacancy) ; 1899, A. G. San- 
born; 1902, B. F. Eaton; 1904, B. F. Eaton: 1906, E. S. Randel ; 1908, 

E. S. Randel; 1910, J. L. Sourk ; 1912, J. L. Sourk ; 1914, A^'. L. Kauff- 

Registrars of Deeds 1855 to 1859, Samuel Lappin ; 1859, 

Samuel Lappin; 1861, J. H. Peckham ; 1863, \Mlliam Smith; 1865, 
William F. Wells; 1867, Abijah Wells; 1869, Peter McOuaid ; 1871, J. 
H. H. Ford; 1873. J. H. H. Ford; 1875, J. H. H. Ford; 1877, J. H. H. 
Ford; 1879, Rov A. Thompson; 1881, Roy A. Thompson; 1883, Roy A. 
Thompson; 1885, W. F. Drees; 1887, J. H. Walters; 1889, J. H. Wal- 
ters^ 1891, Albert C. Eigerman ; 1893, Van B. Fisher; 1895, Van B. 
Fisher; 1897, William Callahan; 1899, William Callahan: 1902, R. T. 
rSruner; 1904, R. T. Bruner; 1906, John M. Taylor; 1908, John M. Tay- 
lor: 1910, F. B. Crandall ; 1912. F. B. Crandall ; 1914. George C. Britt. 

County Treasurers 1855, Edwin Van Endert ; 1857, R. 

U. Torrey (acting); 1859, Charles F. Warren; 1861, Charles G. Scraf- 
ford; 1863, J. H. Peckham: 1865, J. H. Peckham; 1867, J. C. Hebbard; 
1869, J. C. "Hebbard; 1871, O. C. Bruner; 1875, Edward Butt; 1877, 
Edward Butt: 1879, T. W. Johnson; 1881, T. W. Johnson; 1883, Robert 
E. Nelson: 1885, A. C. Moorhead; 1887, A. C. Moorhead: 1889, Edward 


Butt; 1891, Edward Butt; 1893, Charles E. Isaacson ; '1895. Charles E. 
Isaacson; 1897, R. D. JMcCliman ; 1899, R- D. McCliman; 1902, W. R. 
Graham ; 1904, W. R. Graham ; 1906, W. G. Rucker , 1908, W. G. 
Rucker; 1910, R. T. Bruner; 1912, R. T. Bruner; 1914, H. P. Zahm. 

Probate Judges 1855, Cyrus Dolman ; 1857. Morton Cave ; 

1859, Havens Starr; i860, Thomas S. Wright; 1862, James R. Gross; 
1863, James P. Taylor (to fill vacancy) ; 1864, H. H. Lanham ; 1866, 
H. H. Lanham ; 1868, H. H. Lanham ; 1870, H. H. Lanham ; 1872, Will- 
iam Histed: 1874, H. H. Lanham; 1876, H. H. Lanham; 1878, George 
Graham; 1880, William Histed; 1882, J. F. Thompson; 1884. J- A. 
Amos; 1886, J. A. Amos; 1888, Elwin Campfield ; 1888, Elwin Camp- 
field (to fill vacancy) ; 1890, Elwin Campfield ; 1892, J. E. Corwin ; 
1894, J. E. Corwin; 1896, R. W. Moorhead; 1898. R. W. Moorhead : 
1900, W. W. Simon ; 1902, ^^^ ^^^ Slmon ; 1904, W. \\'. Simon : 1906, 
John T. Campbell ; 1908, John T. Campbell ; 1910, John T. Campbell ; 
1912, J. E. Taylor; I9i4_, AA'illiam H. Higgins. 

Superintendents of Public Instruction 1857J. C. Hebbard; 

1859, J. ^^'. Fuller; i860, F. P. Baker; 1861, Daniel Foster 
(to fill vacancy); 1862, J. C. Hebbard (to fill vacancy); 1862, 
Thomas B. Shepard ; 1864, L. C. Preston ; 1865, Thomas D. Shepard (to 
fill vacancy); 1866, Thomas D. Shepard; 1868, J. S. Stamm ; 1870, P. 
K. Shoemaker; 1872, Josiah D. Sammons ; 1874, Abijah Wells; 1876, 
Abijah Wells; 1878, AlDijah Wells; 1880, J. A. Amos; 1882, J. A. Amos; 
1884, E. H. Chapman; 1886, E. H. Chapman; 1888, J. J. McCray ; 1890, 
J. J. McCray; 1892, Milton Todd; 1894, C. A. Strong; 1896. Milton 
Todd; 1898, 'j. G. Schofield; 1900, J. G. Schofield; 1902, W. T. Ander- 
son; 1904, W. T. Anderson; 1906, Milton Poland; 1908, Milton Poland; 
1910, W. R. Anthony; 1912, W. R. Anthony; 1914, W. R. Anthony. 

Clerks of the District Court 1859, R. U. Torrey; 1861, 

I. C. Hebbard; 1862, O. C. Bruner; 1864, William Histed; 1866 
Abijah Wells ; 1867, D. B. McKay (to fill vacancy) ; 1868,, J. H. Will- 
iams ; 1870, George Gould; 1872, George R. Benedict; 1874, George R. 
Benedict; 1876, George R. Benedict; 1878. George R. Benedict; 1880, 
George R. Benedict; 1882, James H. Gleason ; 1884, James H. Gleason ; 
1886, James H. Gleason; 1888, James H. Gleason: 1890, H. B. Crary ; 
1892, H. B. Crary; 1894, D. M". Linn; 1896, D. M. Linn; 1898, J. D. 
Magill; 1900, Blanche Magill ; 1902, Blanche Magill ; 1904. Lulu Ervin; 
1906, Lulu Ervin ; 1908, Lulu Ervin ; 1910, Lulu Ervin ; 1912, J. L. 
Neighbor; 1914, Mabel Worley. 

County Commissioners 1855, Jesse Adamson, David P. 

Magill, Peter Hamilton ; 1857, George Graham, A. A. Wood. John Low- 
ery, William R. Wells, Thomas S. Wright, Peter Hamilton; 1859, 
George Graham, G. H. Baker, Morton Cave, Charles C. Coffinbury, 
Thomas S. Wright, Peter Hamilton: i860, (spring election). John 
Ellis, Charles C. Coffinbury, Garnett Randel ; i860 (regular election), 
John Ellis, David J\I. Locknane, Moses Shepard; t86i. John T. Good- 


pasture, Nicholas Hocker and Samuel Bradshaw (M. H. Terrell suc- 
cessfully contested Hocker's seat, the only contested election in the 
country); 1863, Edward McCaffrey, Jacob Nicholson, Moses Shepard; 
1865, L. P. Hasen, George D. Searles, Albert Bonjour; 1867, E. F. 
Bouton, John M. Ford, H. M. Metcalf; 1869, Archibald Moorhead, 
George D. Searles, Henry O. Stauffer ; 1871, Archibald Moorhead, 
George D. Searles, Henry O. Stauffer; 1873, George H. Adams, C. W. 
Conrad, Patrick Reilly ; 1875, George H. Adams, Patrick Reilly, Aaron 
H. Burnett; 1877, George H. Adams, Aaron H. Burnett, T. M. Dur- 
land; 1878, G. H. Adams; 1879, T. M. Durland ; 1880, A. H. Burnett; 
1881, George H. Adams; 1882, T. M. Durland; 1883, D. B. McKay; 

1884, A. C. Moorhead; 1885, J. M. Randel, Richard Johnson; 1886, S. 
R. Myers, Charles B. Thummel; 1888, J. M. Randel; 1889, Charles B. 
Thummel ; 1890, G. W. Myrick; 1891, James M. Meek, James Fisher 
(to fill vacancy) ; 1892, Conrad Droge ; 1893, G. W. Myrick; 1894, J. T. 
Sanders; 1895, Conrad Droge; 1896, H. J. Hazell ; 1897, J. T. Sanders; 
1898, C. H. Stallbaumer; 1899, D. D. Wickins; 1900, W. G. Rucker; 
1901, C. H. Stallbaumer; 1902, D. D. Wickins; 1904, W. G. Rucker, 
Michael Rogers; 1906, D. D. Wickins; 1908, Albert Swartz, T. M. Dur- 
land (unexpired term, August Kramer, Anton \A'empe (unexpired 
term); 1910, W. E. Ruse; 1912, Fred Dabner, August Kramer; 1914, 
W. E. Ruse. 

County Surveyors 1881, Mortimer Mathews ; 1883, Morti- 
mer Mathews; 1885, Mortimer Mathews; 1887, E. R. Hopkins; 1888, 
Mortimer Mathews, (to fill vacancy) ; 1889, Mortimer Mathews ; 1891, 
E. H. Gilbert; 1893, Mortimer Mathews; 1895, Mortimer Mathews; 
1897, Mortimer Mathews; 1899, Mortimer Mathews; 1902, Mortimer 
Mathews ; 1904. Mortimer Mathews ; 1906, Mortimer Mathews ; 1908, 
Mortimer Mathews ; 1910, Mortimer Mathews ; 1912, Mortimer 
Mathews: 1914. E. J. Berg, (refused to serve; M. Mathews was ap- 
pointed b}' governor). 

Coroners 1881, Dr. S. S. Kaysbier ; 1883, Dr. C. B. Sanford ; 

1885, Dr. C. B. Sanford; 1887, S. S. Kaysbier; 1889, Dr. S. S. Kaysbier; 

1891, Dr. Luther A. Corwin ; 1893, Dr. G. H. Anderson; 1895, Dr. Sam- 
uel Murdock, Jr. ; 1897, Dr. Samuel Murdock, Jr. ; 1899, Dr. B. F. Her- 
ring; 1902, Dr. C. M. Fisher; 1904, Dr. C. M. Fisher; 1906, Dr. U. G.x 
lies; 1908, Dr. U. G. lies; 1910, Dr. C. R. Townsend; 1912, Dr. C. R. 
Townsend ; 1914, Dr. Guy A. Graham. 

County Attorneys^ 1882, R. M. Emerv ; 1884, R. M. Em- 
ery; 1886, J. AV. Cunnick; 1888. J. W. Cunnick; 1890, J. E. Taylor; 

1892, Frank Wells: 1894, Frank Wells; 1896, S. K. Woodworth ; 1898. 
S. P. Nold; 1900, Ira K. Wells; 1902, S. P. Nold; 1904, C. H. Herold; 
1906, R. M. Emery, Jr.; 1908, C. H. Herold; 1910, C. H. Herold; 1912, 
C. H. Herold: 1914, Horace M. Baldwin. 

County Assessors 1910, John E. King; 1912, C. Gudenkauf. 

Office abolished by legislature. 








By Roy Hesseltine. 

The first banks in Nemaha county were established in the early 
seventies. These were the Bank of Nemaha County in Seneca, a cor- 
poration, and a private company bank in Sabetha, called the Sabetha 
Exchange Bank, operated by Milo E. Mather. We know little of the 
early history of the Seneca bank, but the tide of immigration, exhorbi- 
tant rates of interest, together with the financial aid of the Lemon et al. 
(St. Joseph, Mo.) interests in the partnership caused the profits of the 
Sabetha bank to become greater than its manager, Alather, could endure. 
His ventures did not Aneld the profits his bank was earning, and he soon 
found he had overreached in his visions. The result was nearest a 
bank failure ever known in the county, but in which all loss was finally 
averted. When he failed individually, his banking partners contested 
the claims. They were quite numerous and amounted to many thou- 
sands of dollars, and were largely the accounts of farmers, who pooled 
their claims and selected and carried to court the claims of Joseph Fox 
and Jonathan Hesseltine as test cases, which cases were won, and all 
claims were settled by the St. Joseph partners. 

The Sabetha bank was succeeded by the Sabetha State Bank, with 
Edwin Knowles as its manager, and about the same time a second bank 
was started in Seneca, with Willis Brown as its head. Knowles and 
Brown were interested in both banks. Both banks were well managed 
and successful. About this time the brick bank building was erected 
on the corner of Main and Washington streets, in which the National 
Bank of Sabetha is still domiciled, and Knowles erected what was 
looked upon as a mansion, which still stands in its original form in 
Block 20, opposite the Baptist church in Sabetha. 


Also about this time the Wetmore State Bank was established in 
Wetmore by Snodgrass, De Forest, Hough et al., which bank still 
exists under its original name. 

Then came a German in the person of A. Obendorff, Jr., who, in a 
new departure organized the first national bank in the county, at Cen- 
tralia, which still exists, and Obendorff is still one of its principal 
owners, although removed from Centralia many years past. Obendorff, 
like Mather, became a purchaser of lands, and was active in their devel- 
opment, but his training and thrift rolled up profits instead of loss, and 
the magnificently planted and improved farm lying a few miles north of 
Centralia today marks some of the energies of this sturdy German, 
Obendorff. The writer formed his acquaintance about 1884 while at- 
tending the first bankers' convention ever held in Kansas City, and in 
conversation with him, he remarked: "Right here in Kansas City is the 
best opportunity in the world to enter the banking business at this 
time." He then proceeded to picture the future of Kansas City. 

The immense immigration and settlement of the vast open prairies 
of the county in the early eighties also brought fast developments in the 
banking interests of the county. 

With Obendorff, of Centralia, the prime mover, the names of 
George W. Williams, Leopold Cohen, Samuel I-^appin, Charles G. Scraf- 
ford, Edward Butt, Simon Conwell, L. B. Keith, John A. Gilchrist, John 
Root, Abijah Wells, Ed Taylor, John E. Smith, A., J. Felt, J. P. Taylor, 
West E. Wilkinson, George E. Black and many others were affiliated 
vvith the then and now First National Bank, and the then Seneca State 
Bank, now the National Bank of Seneca. Edwin Knowles removed 
from Sabetha to Seneca, and became actively identified with the First 
National Bank, where he remained until he became cashier of the Cap- 
itol National Bank of Topeka. He has died within the year. Charles 
E. Clarkson, of Galesburg, 111., succeeded him in Sabetha, and Jackson 
Cotton, from Salem, Ohio, became president of the bank, which changes 
crystalized the demand for a second bank in Sabetha, which brought 
forward the names of John T. Brady, T. K. Masheter, A. C. Moorhead, 
L. A. Perley, John Lanning, Jonathan Hesseltine, H. C. Haines, John 
L. Mowder, George R. T. Roberts, E. B. McKim, John A. Fulton et al., 
in the organization of the Citizens Bank, which was located in a frame 
building where the Newman grocery store now stands, and of which 
Brady was president and Moorhead, cashier, and in 1883, Roy Hessel- 
tine became its assistant cashier. 

It was about this time that national banks had commenced attract- 
ing attention. First nationals had been established in Centralia and 
Seneca, over in Brown county, M. S. Smalley, Charles P. Waste, Eli 
Davis, J. M. Boomer, Charles Knabb et al. had organized a new first 
national in Hiawatha, as competitors to the private bank of Barnett, 
Morrill & Co. The two active competitor banks in Sabetha entered 
into a contest for the name, first national, in which the newly acquired 


cashier from Galesburg proved himself the winner, and the then new 
Citizens Bank accepted the name. Citizens National Bank. George A. 
Guild became assistant cashier of the First National in 1883. It was 
also about this time that C. C. K. Scoville emerged from his large loan 
and law practice and entered the banking field with a third bank in 
Seneca, which is the present Citizens State Bank of Seneca, and the 
Wikoff Brothers established their bank at Oneida, while the Morrisons 
and others established the Citizens State Bank at Centralia. 

In 1884, a wedding, in which members of the contending bank fac- 
tions in Sabetha were parties, together with the failing health of A. C. 
Moorhead, brought about a consolidation of the First National and 
Citizens National Banks, ^^'ithin a short space of time, John T. Bradv 
and George A. Guild succeeded Jackson Cotton and Charles E. Clarkson 
as president and cashier. 

Roy Hesseltine organized the Farmers Bank of Morrill, and became 
its cashier. A new era of prosperity then came, the Rock Island railway 
built its Horton-Fairbury line, the Fairview State Bank, with Fred E. 
Graham as its cashier, the State Bank of Bern, with Charles H. Herold, 
cashier, were established. Banks were organized in every town of im- 
portance in the county, and Sabetha's one bank was groaning under its 
load of carrying and caring for all the new business coming in. Fred 
E. Graham was recalled from Fairview and made assistant cashier. All 
of this brought about the organization, in 1886, of the Citizens State 
Bank, by Jackson Cotton and Roy Hesseltine. Mr. Cotton remained 
its president until his death, and Roy Hesseltine, its cashier and presi- 
dent until his recent removal to Oregon because of poor health. It was 
this strong combination and these men, who, by fair dealings, economy 
and strict attention to the businness, made the remarkable record of 
placing this bank, a close corporation, and made a foremost bank of the 
county, a distinction seldom attained by a bank outside of the county 
seat towns, and which distinction this bank enjoyed some twenty years. 
The present banks of the county, as well as their officers, are fa- 
miliar to all, and are easily accessible through the numerous directories. 
The laws governing banks have undergone radical changes during this 
short space of time. The Kansas banking laws have emerged from 
nothing to the best and most effective in the United States. The na- 
tional laws and the new Federal Reserve system have wrought changes 
almost beyond comprehension, but in keeping with Ametcian progress. 
The writer well remembers when published statement dates were fixed 
.by law, and the process of "stuffing" for these semi-annual statements 
would put our public school methods of "stuffing" for examinations in 
the shade, and it was frequently the bank with officials who could bor- 
row the largest amounts from their city correspondents, or otherwise, 
and place to their credit with their banks, who could make the best 
public showing, or, rather the one who could put up the best bluff and 
most successfully fool the confiding public. 



The first examination of the writer's bank by a regular State ex- 
aminer, consisted in looking over the daily statement a few minutes, 
the smoking of a cigar, a short discussion of the political situation, a 
survey as to the chances of re-election of the governor to whom he owed 
his appointment, and the presenting of his receipt for the legally pre- 
scribed fees for the examination. 

The methods of bank bookkeeping have kept pace with other devel-' 
opments. The old cumbersome forms, which meant midnight oil and 
headaches in calculations and adding endless columns of figures, have 
been succeeded by modern filing devices, adding machines, the newest 
ledger posting machines, etc., etc., until the work has become so sim- 
plified and systemized that even the time-honored pass book has be- 
come obsolete and relegated to the junk heap, and the end is not yet. 

If those of us who have grown gray and weary in the heat of the 
service could but know that we could draw aside the curtain and view 
the inventions and developments fifty years hence, we would be fully 
content to step aside and lay down the work. 


Is the legitimate successor of the Bank of Nemaha County, or- 
ganized in 1881, and afterwards consolidated with the State Bank of 
Seneca, on March 14, 1884, which was in turn converted into this strong 
institution on December 9, 1897, and under able and conservative man- 
agement and the influence of its fifty-six stockholders, has rapidly ex- 
tended its business until it has become the largest bank in the city, 
leading in capital and surplus, deposits, loans and volume of business. 

At its organization, R. M. Emery, of Seneca, was elected president, 
and has continuously served in that capacity until the present time. James 
H. deceased, was elected its first cashier, who was succeeded 
by Peter P. Stein, assistant cashier, in the year 1908, and he in turn by 
its present popular and efficient cashier, Melville R. Connet, in the year 
1912, who, with the aid of the board of directors and his courteous, com- 
petent and accommodating assistants, has won popular favor and 
gained the confidence of its patrons and the public and placed it in the 
front ranks of the leading banking institutions of the State. 

Its deposits are not only guaranteed by its large capital and surplus 
and its numerous wealthy and influential stockholders, but also by the 
Bankers Deposit Guaranty and Surety Company, of Topeka, Kans., 
with a capital and surplus of $500,000. 

This bank has stood the test of all financial depressions and money 
panics of the past, and now with its ample ''preparedness,'' as shown by 
its official and sworn statements, is one of the best and safest deposi- 
tories doing business anywhere. 

The active officers of this substantial banking institution are : R. 
M. Emery, president ; E. R. Murphy, vice-president ; B. F. Hart, second 


vice-president: M. R. Connet, casliier; Frank L. Geary, assistant 
cashier; Leo J. Scheier, assistant cashier and teller; John R. Emery, 

The board of directors are : 

R. M. Emery, of the law firm of Emer}- &: Emery. 

E. R. JMtirphy, retired farmer and capitalist. 

B. F. Hart, retired farmer and capitalist. 

H. C. Settle, capitalist. 

G. W. Johnson, capitalist. 

H. \\'. Fuller, of the hardware firm of Fuller & Son. 

W. G. Rucker, ex-county commissioner and treasurer. 

M. R. Connet, cashier. 

The last sworn official statement shows the capital of the bank to 
be $50,000; surplus and undivided profits. $45,000; deposits and circula- 
tion. $365,000, making a total aggregate business of 460,000, all of which 
is safely invested in well-secured farmers' loans, United States bonds, 
mortgages, etc., and the balance necessary to transact their extensive 
business is deposited in their large Corliss burglar-proof safe. It is also 
elaborately equipped with safety deposit boxes for the private use of its 
patrons, pays four per cent, interest on time and savings accounts, and 
affords a security to the depositor excelled by no bank in the county. 


On December 19, 1874, a charter for the State Bank of Kansas was 
granted to Samuel Lappin, Charles Scrafford, Edwin Knowles, Willis 
Brown and Samuel Conwell. Samuel Lappin was elected president, Ed- 
win Knowles, vice-president, and Willis Brown, cashier. 

Nearly all these men have passed on, but forty years later the 
workers in the First National Bank of Seneca have paused for a time 
to review the history of the institution whose earliest history is insep- 
arably associated with that of Seneca and Nemaha county. The men 
to whom this first charter was granted are the same men whose pioneer 
industry and indefatigable courage helped to carve from out a bleak 
prairie the splendid commonwealth to which this generation has fallen 
heir. With these things in mind, the directorate and officers of the 
First National may well view with pride the growth of a bank that has 
never failed to keep step with the community whose interests it has 
done so much to serve. To some of the younger people the names of 
these early pioneers may be strange, but the older folks will remember 
them. To more than one elderl\- resident these incidents in the history 
of the First National that follow will awaken intimate recollections of 
early days. 

In 1856, Samuel Lappin came to Seneca, and in 1858, C. G. Scraf- 
ford. These two pioneers, together with R. V. Torry, comprised the 
Seneca Townsite Company, and built the first building, which was an 


old log house and located on the site where now stands the Citizens 
State Bank of Seneca. The Townsite Company used part of this build- 
ing as their office, and C. G. Scrafford the other part of the building for 
a store. Later on, C. G. Scrafford moved to a frame building, which 
was erected on the site where the brick building now stands, that is 
occupied by Honeywell & Stein. Samuel Lappin then entered the mer- 
cantile business with C. G. Scrafford, and in 1863, they built and occu- 
pied the brick building which is at present occupied by Mason & Wolt- 
kamp. In 1870, Lappin. & Scrafford sold out to Dickinson & Cowdrey 
and erected the building which is now occupied by John L. Clark. 
Being heavily interested in lands in this county, they used this building 
as their office and were heavy dealers in real estate. This naturally 
drifted them into the line of banking, and they were known as the 
Lappin & Scrafford Bank. They were very successful and influential 
business men, and Samuel Lappin was later on elected Treasurer of the 
State of Kansas. 

Later, on December ly, 1874, the chartei for the State Bank of Kan- 
sas, with officers as mentioned ui the first paragraph of this article, was 
secured. In January, 1876, Edwin Knowles was elected president, and 
D. B. McKay, vice-president. The following year, in January, 1877, 
Edward Butt was elected vice-president in the place of D. B. McKay. 
At the same meeting, G. W. Williams was elected a director, which 
position he has held continuously to the present day. It will be inter- 
esting to note that the minutes of this meeting show the discount rate 
was reduced from twenty to eighteen per cent. 

In 1881, D. J. Firstenberger was elected vice-president and director. 
In January. 1883, George E. Black was made assistant cashier. In 


March, 1883, the proposition of nationahzing the bank was taken up. and 
May 16 of the same year, the charter was granted to the First National 
Bank of Seneca, with the following as officers and directors : \\'illis 
Brown, president ; G. W. ^^'illiams. vice-president : George I'.lack, 
cashier. The directors were: Ed Butt, D. }. Firstenberger. R. F. Xel- 
son, J. H. H. Ford and D. B. McKay. 

In January, 1884, the bank purchased the site where now stands the 
present building. February 2, 1884, George Black resigned as cashier, 
and Julius Rosenblatt succeeded him. In May of the same year, Leo- 
pold Cohen purchased a block of stock in the bank, and J. H. Cohen, 
his son, accepted the position as bookkeeper, which marked the begin- 
ning of his very active and successful career in this institution. Leopold 
Cohen was elected as director the following year. On July 14, 1885. 
West E. Wilkinson was chosen a director to fill the vacancy caused by 
the resignation of Julius Rosenblatt, which position lie held until Jan- 
uary, 1902. 

In January, 1887, G. W. ^^'illiams was elected president, Leopold 
Cohen, vice-president, and W. H. Smith was elected as a director, which 
office Messrs. Williams and Smith are holding at the present time. In 
January, 1888, J. H. Cohen was chosen assistant cashier. On May 25, 
1888, the bank sold its old banking rooms to A. H. Burnett, and let a 
contract for its present beautiful home, into which the bank moved in" 
the spring of 1889. 

In 1891, S. H. Fitzwater was elected a director and Stephen Burr a 
director in 1892. R. E. Nelson was elected vice-president in the place 
of Leopold Cohen, who moved with his family to St. Joseph in 1893, 
and J. H. Cohen was elected a director aj; the same time. In 1897, C. C. 
Pinckney was elected a director to succeed Stephen Burr, who moved 
with his family to California. There were no other official .changes 
until January, 1902, when J. H. Cohen was elected cashier to succeed 
^^'est E. Wilkinson. R. A. Cohen and T. L. Cowdrey were then elected 
as directors. In 1904, L. B. Keith was elected a director and vice-presi- 
dent. Michael Rogers was also elected a director at the same time. In 
December, 1904, the bank installed its burglar system at considerable 
expense as additional protection for its funds. 

In November, 1905, the directors of the First National Bank pur- 
chased the stock of the Seneca State Savings Bank from its founder, J. 
E. Stillwell, and moved the same into its present quarters in the First 
National Bank building, and the two banks are closely identified. In 
January, 1907, Edwin S. Cohen was elected assistant cashier, which 
position he held until in December, 1913, during two years of this time 
holding a position as director. 

On account of failing health, J. H. Cohen resigned his position as 
cashier and sold his interest on October 10, 1912, in the First National 
Bank and the Seneca State Savings Bank to J. E. Stillwell, L. D. Allen, 


J. J. Busei" and P. P. Stein, who were also elected directors. L. D. Allen 
was made vice-president and P. P. Stein, cashier. 

The First National Bank, Seneca, Kans., at the close of business, 
March 7, 1916: 


Loans and Discounts $213,074.16 

Overdrafts 2S5.33 

Federal Reserve Bank Stock 2,100.00 

United States Bonds 50,000.00 

Real Estate 13,150.00 

Bonds, Securities, etc i75-00 

Cash and Exchange 133,744.30 


Capital Stock $ 50,000.00 

Surplus and Profits 28,499.10 

Circulation 49,695.00 

Deposits 284,334.69 


Officers and Directors. 

G. W. Williams .' President 

L. D. Allen Vice-President 

Peter P. Stein Cashier 

M. B. Williams Assistant Cashier 

W. H. Smith, J. J. Buser, J. E. Stillwell, L. B. Keith. 

The Seneca State Savings Bank, Seneca, Kans., at the close of 
business, March 7, 1916. 


Loans and Discounts $162,002.47 

Overdrafts ' 1,676.04 

Bonds 1 ,000.00 

E.xpenses and Interest Paid 2,296.62 

Cash and Sight Exchange 101,272.56 


Capital Stock $ 25,000.00 

Surplus and Profits 11,852.80 

Deposits 231,394.89 



Officers and Directors. 

Mat. Schneider President 

J. E. Stillwell X'ice-President 

Peter P. Stein Second \'ice-President 

L. D. Allen Cashier 

J. P. Koelzer, G. W. Williams. J. J. P.nser. 


The Citizens State P>ank of Seneca, Kans, was first organized in 
1888, and conducted as a private banking institution by C. C. K. Scoville 
in the building now occupied by its successor. The name of the first 
concern was the Scoville Exchange Bank, organized by Mr. Scoville, 
with a capital of $30,000. The success of this financial concern was 
marked and steady from its inception, and six years after its beginning 
it was re-organized as a State bank on September i, 1894, with the fol- 
lowing officers : C. C. K. Scoville, president ; A. L. L. Scoville, vice- 
president ; F. G. Bergen, cashier. The original capitalization was in- 
creased to $40,000. The first official body was succeeded within a year 
by the following officers: C. C. K. Scoville, president; J. J. Knepp, 
vice-president ; F. G. Bergen, cashier ; Charles E. Knepp, assistant 
cashier. The present officers of the Citizens State Bank are : C. C. K. 
Scoville, president ; August Kramer, vice-president ; F. J. Holthaus, 
cashier ; A. J. Wempe, assistant cashier. Directors : The foregoing 
officers and AV. F. Thompson, Henry Eichenlaub, Anton AVempe and 
Herman Engelken. 

The present capital of the bank is $40,000. The deposits and earn- 
ings have been accumulated exceeding $20,000. The deposits will ex- 
ceed $250,000, while the bank has loans of $250,000. This bank has paid 
in dividends, since its oi-ganization in 1888, over $158,000, an amount 
ceeding fifteen per cent of the capitalization annually, in addition to 
the accumulated surplus of $20,000. The stockholders of this thriving 
financial concern have received the value of their stock over three and 
one-half times in dividends. This bank at present pays an average 
dividend of seventeen and one-half per cent., including surplus. 

Four per cent, is paid on savings deposits and upon time certificates 
of deposit. The bank has weathered all monetary panics successfully 
and the losses sustained from bad loans during the past twenty-eight 
years, etc., will not exceed $500, all of which is evidence of the careful 
and able management of its affairs, based upon sound expert financial 


The National Bank of Sabetha has an asset that is never listed in 
its statements, and yet it is perhaps the most important thing around the 
place, the first thing that impresses you when you do business there. 


It is the asset of politeness, good nature and the integrity of the spoken 
word. You feel it every time you go into the bank. The bank's capital 
and surplus of $100,000 is a lot of money, and it makes a foundation 
that goes to bed rock, yet it is the good natured squareness of the men 
you meet there that you remember longest. 

The bank's last statement, showing time deposits amounting to 
about $125,000, indicates to the ordinary, everyday mind the confidence 
of the community in those who direct the bank's affairs. The total de- 
posits are $350,000, and the total assets over a half million dollars, a 
real lump of money for a county bank. 

Incidentally, some pretty good men are directors and officers of the 
National Bank of Sabetha. There's C. L. Sherwood, who has been vice- 
president of the bank since 1889 ; John Lanning, a director since 1891, 
president in 1894, and vice-president since 1902; Adolph Weiss, a di- 
rector since 1883; H. C. Haines, a director since 1885; A. J. Collins, 
bookkeeper, assistant cashier, cashier and president in turn, beginning 
from 1897 ; G. R. Sewell, bookkeeper, assistant cashier and cashier, be- 
ginning from 1904; H. F. Breitweiser, bookkeeper in 1909, now assistant 
cashier; Roy L. Mishler, bookkeeper since 191 1, and Ernest Lamparter, 
starting as bookkeeper this year. 1916. Note how the active workers in 
the bank have graduated by slow dgrees. That means efficiency, knowl' 
edge of the business, sound service, the supreme thing to be desired in 
banking. Another director in the bank is George A. Guild, who grew 
up with the bank and went to Topeka for larger resposibilities ; also 
W. R. Guild, now president of the First National Bank of Hiawatha. 

Here is, the way the National Bank of Sabetha has evoluted into the 
present institution: First, it was the Sabetha State Bank, organized on 
March 2, 1877; then the First National Bank of Sabetha, organized on 
July 2, 1883 ; then the State Bank of Kansas, organized on February 27, 
1885, and now the National Bank of Sabetha, organized on August 28, 

The National Bank of Sabetha has a fine past as encouragement for 
future achievements. 


The Citizens State Bank of Sabetha, Kans., is one of the strongest 
financial institutions in Nemaha county and northeastern Kansas, and 
has been inexistence since its organization in 1885 by Messrs. Jackson, 
Cotton, Robert Bressem and Roy Hesseltine, who were the first officers. 
The initial capital of this bank was $25,000. Mr. Cotton continued with 
the bank until his death in 1898. Mr. Hesseltine was connected with the 
management of the bank until 1913, when he disposed of his interest to 
F. C. Woodbury, who is the president and active manager of the con- 
cern. The present capital of the Citizens State Bank is $50,000 ; surplus, 
$25,000: undivided profits, $15,000; deposits on February 24. 1916, ag- 


gregated the large total of $390,000, and the bank has an average annual 
deposit of $325,000. This banking concern has the distinction of having 
the largest total of deposits of any bank in Nemaha county. 

The bank building was completely remodeled and modernized in 
igog, and new fixtures were installed, with new vaults and safety de- 
posit features added. An insurance department for the convenience of 
the many patrons is conducted by Mr. Bressem. The farm loan depart- 
ment is in charge of Mr. Woodbury, who has direct connection with 
large Eastern capitalists, and the source of capital for this purpose 
available is practically unlimited, at the lowest possible rates and most 
liberal terms. The bank has made more farm loans during the past two 
years than ever before in its history. The bank equipment is thoroughly 
modern in every respect and the facilities are such that the officers and 
<!mployees are enabled to wait upon patrons and handle the extensive 
business of the bank quickly and expeditiously and render customers 
prompt, efficient and satisfactory service at all times. 

The customers meet with courteous and liberal treatment and are 
made to feel perfectlj^ at home when transacting business in this bank. 
The present officers are as follows : F. C. Woodbury, president ; Robert 
Bressem, vice-president ; J. C. Litchy, cashier : E. E. Morris, assistant 
cashier; F. C. Woodbury, Robert Bressem, J. C. Lichty, E. E. Morris 
and R. Bottiger. directors. 

The commendatory feature of the Citizens State Bank is the fact that 
"The Citizens State Bank is operating under the depositors' guarantee 
law of the State of Kansas, whereby all deposits in the bank are abso- 
lutely guaranteed to the depositors." 

The bank is a depository for the State of Kansas, Nemaha county, 
and the citv of Sabetha, and a special savings department is provided 


Baileyville Sate Bank; established 1894: Willis J. Bailey, president; 
J. M. Everts, cashier ; Robert ^I. Bronaugh, vice-president ; capital and 
surplus, $20,000. 

State Bank of Bern; established 1889; George A. Guild, president; 
H. L. Guild, cashier ; J. Hilt, vice-president ; capital and surplus, $35,000. 

State Bank of Oneida: established 1884; D. H. Funk, president; F. 
E. Wikoff, cashier; H. L. Wikoff, vice-president; capital and surplus, 

Citizens State Bank; established 1887; Centralia ; A. W. Slater, 
president; J. A. Dock, cashier; C. C. Wadleigh, vice-president; capital 
and surplus, $26,000. 

First National Bank, Centralia; established 1882: F. P. Bowen. 
president; J. B. Lohmuller, cashier; A. Obendorf. vice-president; capital 
and surplus, $50,000. 


First National Bank, Goff ; established 1904; George Calhoun, presi- 
dent; A. H. Fitzwater, cashier; James H. Smith, vice-president; capital 
and surplus, $34,000. 

Home State Bank, Goff ; established 1909 ; ^^'illiam Mast, president ; 
C. S. Goodrich, cashier ; Herman Mast, vice-president ; capital and sur- 
plus, $12,000. 

State Bank of Kelly; established 1902; R. M. Emery, president; 
George A. Magill, cashier; B. H. Rottinghaus, vice-president; capital 
and surplus, $12,000. 

State Bank of Bancroft; established 1902; W. H. Capsey, president; 
H. T. \\niitaker, cashier; William Karns, vice-president; capital and 
surplus, $18,000. 

Farmers State Bank, Corning; established 1888; W. Jacobia, presi- 
dent; J. E. Woodworth, cashier; M. E. Jacobia, vice-president; capital 
and surplus, $28,500. 

First National Bank, Wetmore ; established, 1907; T. E. Henderson, 
president; F. P. Achten, cashier; E. B. Ward, vice-president; capital 
and surplus, $31,000. 

Wetmore State Bank ; established 1882 ; H. C. De Forest, president ; 
Samuel Thornburrovv, cashier; H. C. Lynn, vice-president; capital and 
surplus, $30,000. 







By Dr. S. xMurdock, Jr. 

The medical history of Nemaha county, Kansas, prior to the year 
i860, consists of the tales and recollections of a few pioneer settlers. 
The stories recited by them are inleresting and incidental only to the 
individual character of the men who professed to know something of 
medicine, and they would have no bearing, or even be considered as con- 
tributory toward the upbuilding of the present medical profession in the 
county. The names of Dr. Anderson, of Granada, and Dr. Hidden, of 
Centralia, figure in the early history of the treatment of the sick. Dr. 
Irwin, who lived in Brown county, Kansas, was frequently called into the 
county and took care of many of the early settlers. His mannerisms 
and individualities are still remembered. His trips were often made 
many miles on foot, and man)^ were the hardships which he endured. 
He is recognized as having had exceptional ability from a medical stand- 
point. Later he located in Sabetha, Kans., where he built his home and 
lived during the remainder of his life. The names of Dr. Wachter, of 
Baileyville; Dr. Noah Hayes, of Seneca; Dr. Caysbier, Dr. J. F. Lesh, Dr. 
A. J. Best, Dr. Townsend, Dr. Joseph Hague, Dr. Graham and Dr. Mur-- 
dock, Sr., Dr. Magill, Centralia; Dr. Corwin, of Goff; the young Dr. Ir- 
win, Dr. Redding, Dr. Herring, Dr. Gafford, Dr. Welsh and Dr. Wagner 
are all well known practitioners in various parts of the county. 

The first medical society in the county was organized in Seneca, 
with Dr. S. Murdock, Sr., president, and Dr. Wachter, secretary. The 
Society has been maintained for the last twenty-five years and is still in 
full working order. It is now a part of the State Medical Societ}', also 
the American Medical Association. The organized medical society in 
the United States has recognized the county society as one of tJie require- 
ments for admission into this great association. The present organiza- 
tion of the Nemaha County Medical Society consists of Dr. L. A. Cor- 



win, Goff, president; Dr. \\'. A. Haynes, Sabetha. vice-president; Dr. S. 
Miirdock, Jr., Sabetha, secretary, and the following members of the pro- 
fession are in good standing: Dr. W. G. Bouse, Centralia ; Dr. J. H. 
Brown, Centralia; Dr. F. F. Carter, Seneca; Dr. D. H. Fitzgerald, Kelly; 
Dr. G. S. Graham, Wetmore ; Dr. J. W. Graham, Wetmore ; Dr. W. A. 
Haynes, Sabetha; Dr. S. B. Houston, Baileyville ; Dr. W. H. Heuchede, 
Corning; Dr. Grant Meyer, Bern; Dr. S. Murdock, Jr., Sabetha; Dr. J. C. 
Maxson, Corning; Dr. J. R. Purdum, Wetmore; Dr. A. S. Ross, Sabetha; 
Dr. H. G. Snyder, Seneca ; Dr. C. R. Townsend, Centralia, and Dr. A. J. 

Christian Science in this county has had a number of adherents; 
other "isms," such as the magnetic healer, the chiropractor and the patent 
medicine man have all had their day here, the same as in any other 

Since the medical act was passed in Kansas, the requirements for 
one to enter the practice of medicine have been raised. Those who de- 
sire to practice must first pass through a recognized medical school, 
must then pass the examinations before the State Board of Registration 
before they can register in any county as a practicing physician. How- 
ever, those who practice without the administration of drugs, as the 
osteopath and the chiropractor, simply register their diplomas from some 
school of their sect, and the}' are granted at once the privilege of taking- 
care of the sick. There are no specifications or laws as to the qualifica- 
tions necessary to be a reader or a practitioner of Christian Science. 

The only general hospital in the county is located in Sabetha and is 
known as the Sabetha Hospital. This is run by an association for the 
benefit of the profession, not only in this county, but in the surrounding 
counties. The property consists of one main hospital building, which 
will accommodate forty patients ; also a nurses' home with seventeen 

The medical profession in Nemaha county has representatives who 
are known nationally, many of them of interstate reputation, and most 
of them are known throughout the State of Kansas by others than their 
own brotherhood. Dr. Samuel Murdock, Jr., is president of the State 
hospital board and his private hospital is known nationally. He is one 
of twenty-two surgeons in Kansas to have been elected a member of 
the College of American Surgeons in Boston. Dr. Hugh Dillingham, a 
Nemaha county youth, now of Halstead, Kans., is secretary of the State 
Hospital Board. Dr. Hugh Wilkinson is a surgeon of Kansas City with 
an interstate reputation. His father was the late West E. Wilkinson, 
pioneer newsaper man of Seneca. Dr. J. R. Mathews, a Nemaha county 
man, specializing in eye troubles, has recently gone to Manhattan, where 
he is associated in lectures and practice with the State Agricultural Col- 
lege.- Mrs. Dr. Emily Slosson, the one prominent woman doctor of the 



county, has been practicing medicine since before her marriage to 
Samuel Slosson in 1875. Against the wishes of her father" Dr. 
Brooks, who was country doctor for many years around Salem, Neb., 
she went from school in Philadeplhia to take a thorough course in 
medicine. Such a step for a young girl was considered remarkable in the 
earl}' seventies. 

Mrs. Slosson was graduated from the Nebraska State Normal Col- 
lege with the second graduating class in 1872. The first graduating class 
of this college had two graduates. Miss .\nna Moorhead,\if Sabetha, and 


George Howard, of Salem. .\nua Moorhead is nnw .Mrs. lny. nf Oregon. 
Joseph Howard became a professor in Iceland Stanford University, in 
California. A few years ago there was a religious tempest in the college 
in which the views of se\'eral of the professors were found not to be 
those of the Leland Stanford higher authorities, and the professors re- 
signed. Among them was Prof. Joseph Howard, who since has been 
associated with the University of Nebraska. Mrs. Dr. Slosson recalls 
that she and .-Xnna Moorhead Joy were roommates in these early college 


days. Their modest expenditures for a year were less than the present day 
college girl's in a week. Their room, for instance, cost them $4 for the 
term. They boarded themselves. They had a regular cookstove and learned 
their domestic science by practical experience, and memories of how 
mother did it at home. They were given all the fresh milk they wanted, 
and for the going after it, and all the potatoes they could use for the 
digging of them. They had free access to the immense amount of brush 
lying around Peru, and all the driftwood they could rescue from the river, 
flowing past the town. Some farmer wagon, with a lad as driver, hauled 
the wood for them for fifty cents, and they chopped it themselves. Their 
other expenditures amounted to never over $1.50 a week altogether, and 
often not over a dollar. Ye Gods, and think what putting a girl through 
college means today ! The year's expense of educating Anna Moorhead 
and Emma Brooke was less than an outfit costs for the girl of today. 
Anna Moorhead, a year after her graduation, married ; Emma Slosson, 
three years afterward. 

Of the early day doctors in Nemaha county, mention has been gen- 
erally made in the previous pages. They are found connected with the 
building up and prospering of the county, in country and town. They 
are connected with the story of the War of the Rebellion. Dr. Hayes, 
Dr. Kaysbier, Dr. McKa3^ Dr. Troughton, Dr. J. L. Thompson, Dr. J. 
W. Graham. Dr. Milan and Dr. Best are among the names known and be- 
loved by pioneer settlers. 

Dr. J- S. Hidden was the earliest regular practitioner in the county. 
He came to Kansas and Nemaha county in 1858, at which time he was a 
member of the New Hampshire legislature. He was a member of the 
famous Home Association of Old Centralia, and became rich in the 

About thirt)'-five years ago. Dr. S. Murdock, Sr., came from Mis- 
souri to Oneida, which was at that time in the height of its boom. He 
became the country doctor for the surrounding people, and is still the 
most beloved of doctors. Dr. Heigh's name has been connected with the 
Wetmore and Granada and the southeastern corner of the county for 
many years, while Dr. McKay is largely responsible for the early day 
health and welfare of the extreme southern end, around America City. 









By County Superintendent ^V. R. Anthony. 

The huts and dugouts of the early settlers of Nemaha county were 
hardly completed before the attention of everyone was turned to the 
necessity of making provision for the education of the children of the 
settlement and vicinity. 

The lack of building material did not long check the ardor of the 
sturdy pioneers, and soon a number of sod school houses were erected 
and equipped. Though crude at first, these primitive seats of learning 
became actual and interesting community centers ; for here not only did 
the boys and girls of the surrounding country gather through the winter 
months for school, but here the settlers met to discuss important ques- 
tions and problems and to hold religious and patriotic services. Here, 
too, the young people met in spelling schools, debating societies and 
other wholesome' amusements, and many fond ties of love and friendship 
and pleasant memories brighten faces and lighten hearts at thoughts of 
those "days gone by." 

These primitive sod huts and rude cabins soon gave way to better 
buildings, the little white school houses of almost sacred memory, and 
such is the neighborhood pride in these little rural centers of learning, as 
well as attachinent for them through past associations, that it will require 
much argument and clear evidence before the people will consent to the 
passing of the rural schools for the consolidated schools, which are now 
being considered in many parts of the country where they are being tried 
out as far better and more efficient than the small rural school. 

Before Kansas had reached Statehood, Joseph C. Hebbard was aj)- 
pointed first county superintendent of schools of Nemaha county, and 


schools, were opened in the different settlements. Following Superin- 
tendent Hebbard, the office was filled by J. A\". Fuller, F. P. Baker, 
Daniel Foster and J- C. Hebbard again. 

In November, 1862, Thomas D. Shepherd was elected for a term of 
two years, the first superintendent elected under the new State govern- 
ment. The following is the list of the superintendents of Xemaha county 
from the first to the present time, 1916: Joseph C. Hebbard, March, 1859, 
to January, i860; J. W. Fuller, January, i860, to July, i860; F. P. Baker, 
July, i860, to December, 1861 ; Daniel Foster, December, 1861, to April, 
1862; Joseph C. Hebbard April, 1862, to January, 1863; Thomas D. Shep- 
herd, elected in November, 1862, and served from January, 1863, to 
January, 1865, one term. L. C. Preston served from January, 1865, to 
August, 1865, when he resigned, and Abijah Wells was appointed to fill 
the vacancy and served till December, 1865. Mr. Wells was followed by 
Thomas D. Shepherd, who died in December, 1867. J. H. Ballou was ap- 
pointed to fill out Superintendent Shepherd's term and served from De- 
cember, 1867, to January, 1869. J. D. Stamm was the eleventh county 
superintendent, serving to December, 1870. P. K. Shoemaker was elect- 
ed as Mr. Stamm's successor and served one term, January, 1871, to Janu- 
ary, 1873. Abijah Wells was the fourteenth county superintendent and 
served three successive terms, 1875 to 1881. Mr. Wells has the honor 
of having filled the office longer than any county superintendent to the 
date of this writing, 1916. His term of service was six years and five 
months. Many official records and data pertaining to the office are 
found in his familiar handwriting. Mr. Wells was followed by J. A. 
Amos, E. H. Chapman and J. J. McCray, each of whom served two terms. 
Milton Todd served one term, from 1893 ^o 1895, and was followed by 
C. A. Strong for one term. Mr. Todd was returned to the office in 1897 
for another term, and was followed by J. G. Schofield, who served from 
January, 1899, to May, 1903, making his term of office four years and 
four months. Mr. Schofield was followed by W. T. Anderson and Mil- 
ton Poland, two terms each. In May, 191 1, W. R. Anthony entered the 
office as the twenty-fourth county superintendent and shares with Mr. 
Wells the honor of having been elected for three consecutive terms. His 
present term of office expires in May, 1917. 

When the county was organized and the task of laying out the dis- 
tricts was begun, district No. i was located to include the territory of 
the present city of Centralia and vicinity. This settlement was one 
amongst the first in the county, just north of Centralia of today. No. 2 
took the Taylor Rapids settlement, a once promising little village on the 
banks of the Nemaha in the northern part of the county. Its dreams of 
future greatness failed to materialize, and today only a modest little 
school house stands as a landmark. District No. 3 was located just 
south of Baileyville, in the Graham neighborhood ; No. 4 included the 
Ford settlement, east of Seneca, and No. 5 was in the Roots settlement, 
about half wav between Seneca and Corning. 



It is interesting- to follow the list and note in the next ten districts 
the following- settlements in various parts of the county: Carroll, near 
Axtell; ^^'hite Hall, just east of Centralia ; Beyreis, north of Seneca on 
the Nebraska line; Union Dale, in the Funk neighborhood, southwest of 
Oneida ; District Xo. 10, some of the old settlers of which were the 
Ruckles, Greens. Maelzers, Smiths, Kilkennys, Letelliers, just southwest 
of Centralia; District Xo. 11, including the city of Seneca; Swerdfeger 
and Shumaker, north of \V"etmore ; Wolfley school, east of Goff, and 
Liberty, in the Johnson and Burger neighborhood, north of Seneca. From 


this record we see that schools were established in all parts of the county 
along with homes. 

The records of the county superintendent's office were destroyed 
by fire on March 4. 1876, and much interesting early data concerning 
these first settlements and schools is not available for embodying in this 
short review of the educational history of Nemaha county ; but up to the 
time of the fire there had been organized about eighty districts in the 
county in which schools were kept from three to five or more months. 


With our present high ideals of schools and school work one may be 
inclined to minimize the efforts of these early frontier short-term schools, 
but when one estimates carefully and thoughtfully the results that have 
followed them, he must admire and praise them. The enrollment did not 
consist of just a handful of small boys and girls, as is the case in many 
places today, but the room was full, including not only little folks, but 
big boys and girls, grown, even young men and women. The teacher 
was a sturdy disciplinarian who knew how to wield the rod as well as 
hear classes and call school; and while the instruction was not so classic 
and up-to-date in methods, hosts of young people learned to read and 
write and spell and cipher, learned to think and decide, to form con- 
clusions as to right and wrong, to be honest and frugal and upright, and 
later build up homes and establish a citizenship that has made Nemaha 
county an honor to the State of Kansas. 

During the next ten years about twenty-five districts more were 
added to the list, bringing the number up to 105. The first district meet- 
ing in the Anderson district. No. 103, was held at the home of Thomas S. 
Anderson, just south of Oneida, on October 16, 1886, to locate the site for 
the school house, elect officers, etc. The territory to form this district 
was taken from the surrounding districts, Nos. 4, 9, 54, 79, 83 and 87. 
The original notice of this first meeting is on file in the office. At this 
meeting P. A. Wright was elected clerk, Thomas S. Anderson, treasurer, 
and Henry F. Harter, director. 

During the next decade, 1886 to 1896, the number of school districts 
increased to 117. No. 117 was organized on July 16, 1894, with J. P. 
Good as clerk, Robert Schn^eider as treasurer, and Charles Krogman as 
director. The territor}' of this district was originally in Districts 3, 69, 
89 and 76. 

Just three districts have been organized since 1896, District 118, in 
1898, by Superintendent Todd; District 119, in 1903, by Superintendent 
W. T. Anderson, and District 120, in 1910, by Superintendent Milton 

The total number of school districts in the county, including the 
joint districts, is now 130. For a number of years the tendency has been 
to make more districts, thus reducing the territory of existing districts, 
and the limit has about been reached. There are yet a few points where 
the organization of a new district would accommodate a few families in 
a small school, but sentiment is gradually changing and people are be- 
ginning to feel that it would be better if there were fewer districts and 
larger schools. The pendulum is beginning to vibrate the other way and 
consolidated schools are being thought about, talked about and advocated 
in different communities. Meetings have been appointed in some lo- 
calities and in a few districts a vote has been taken to ascertain the senti- 
ment of the people on the proposition. 

As this brief educational review of the county must, of necessity, 
contain some statistics to make it of real value for future reference, the 


le records of the county 



following data is compiled fr 
ent's office : 

Names of Candidates for Teachers' Certificates in 1877— G. W. ]\Iay- 
hew, R. E. Mayhew, Mary E. Alvord, Hattie A. Smith, Addie Points 
Finnic Points, jMattie A. Burger, Dora Murphy, Florence Alvord, Joseph 
Haigh, Susie Blazier, Alice Allen, Dora Neighbor, D.- B. Mercer, Cryssie 
Myers, John Crarey, Nora Cattin, Ollie Shannon. Mary J. Ewing, J. T 
Gillam, D. S. Gilmore, Hattie AVest, Addie Hitchcock, D. L. Miller 


Lizzie J. Hart. Frances Cattin, Maud Biddison, J. B. Lohmuller, J. J. Mc- 
Neil, Nannie Morehead, Morris King, V. H. Biddison, L. Ilerrington, 
'Mary Todd, D. L. Ewing, Jennie McCoy, Mort Mathews, A. Sams, Emma 
T. Gillaspie, Jennie Ewing, Sarah Carroll, D. L. Linn, Alma Hammel, 
Isabel Wilson, J. J. Mitchell, Mrs. W. W. Skadden. M. H. Minehan, May 
Techlofen, W. D. Monk, G. D. Lewis, Sophia Wohlford, H. D. Crarey, D. 
R. Bradt, T. Jennings, Julia Heusley, Ella Watkins, S. S. Lindeman. 
Flora M. Stinson, Jennie S. Lilley, Laura Manville, Mattie Trees, Maggie 
Mercer, Sarah Chapman, Annie Mercer, T. J. Wolfley, A. M. Allen, J. 


A. Huron, Mary Monahan, D. F. Hoover, E. H. Chapman, C. H. Stewart, 
T. F. Bracken, Lenore Bracken, Pat Dignan, Mary V. Andrews, Clara 
Gallup, Minnie King and C. H. Herold. 

At the teachers' institute held at Seneca in July, 1885, E. H. Chap- 
man, county superintendent, the following was the enrollment : Clinton 
Barrowdale, Elmer V. Allen, Ed. E. Harter, Henry T. Shoemaker, Hugh 

B. Carter, Beverly H. Hobbs, John Barber, Charles Fundis, Vernon 
Simon, Edw. W. Clark, Fanny H. Bennett, Mary Myers, Eva Coleman, 
J. H. Parker, Allie Allen, Winnie Carr, Anna Ridenour, Mattie Wood- 
bourn, Mary Anderson, Anna Dougan, Angie Stickney, Susey Hulse, 
Mary Seeley, Minnie Burger, Lorrain Taylor, Minnie Kaysbier, Jennie 
McBratney, Cora Moren, Nettie Kuhn, Rebecca McCray, Mattie E. 
Clark, Genie M. Kendall, Sophia Wohlford, LiUie E. Clark, Frank A. 
Hastings, Anna Skinner, Alice Nightengale, Theressa Wohlford, Lillie 
Fabrick, Etta Borem, Dora Taylor, Delia Farmer, Lydia Oren, Mrs. O. 
H. Stilson, Anna Green, Belle McColgin, Emma Hodgins, Eden Borrow- 
dale, Mary Hale, Laura Critchfield, Jessie Boardman, Nettie Carmichael, 
Stowey Bruce, Lillie Rosenberger, Anna Kerr, Norma Kerr, Lora Moul- 
ton. Flora Stonebarger, Mary Bland, Maggie Stark, Rebecca Oren, Lydia 
Ward, Ada E. Sherman, Alary Roberts, Severina Koelzer, Mary McCaf- 
frey, Agnes Graney, Jane Coffey, Kate Brock, Sarah A. Bennett, Hattie 
S. Wickens, Ada "O'Roke, Lulu Smith, Sarah McKee, Anna Hartman, 
R. W. McKinley, Charles Miner, J. E. Sherrard, Jesse Everhard, Clara 
Larimer, Lizzie Trees, Marv Williams, Estella Stewart, Nettie Abbey, 
Effie Grubb, Martha Wolfley, Grace Means, Mrs. Emma Robinson, 
Mary Harness, J. E. McKinley, Ida Neiman, Edith Coston, Louesa Cap- 
per, Clara Kistner, Lillie Ludwig, Mrs. M. E. Todd, Eugene Dorcas, Amy 
Chandler, Jennie Lincoln, Robert J. Waugh, Joseph Denbring, Frank 
Welp, B. F. Eyer, Louisa Keepers, Mary Lincoln, Jennie McMillan, J. 
W. Emmert, Pauline Campbell, J. N. Largent, Hattie Church, Jennie 
Little, Sallie F. Potts, A. A. Walker, Allie Webster, S. S. Dorcas, Geo. 
J. Parks, Nettie Etter, J. J. Lockland, E. C. Shelton, Ada Lake, A. A. 
Brooks, Kate L. Losee, J. W. Roberts, Rosa Machamer, Anna Newland, 
Jennie Fisher, Bertha Winterbourne, Bertha Morton, E. C. Perkins, J. J. 
McCray, Chas. A. Haggard, Will M. Boylan, Eleanor Johnson, Allie G. 
Falconer, Lottie Balmer, Maud L. Skinner, P. K. Shoemaker, Wm. Mc- 
Bratney, Mrs. J. H. White, Mary Phillips, A. L. Funk, Kate E. Wickins, 
W. H. Higgins, Mattie Trees, A. A. Hyde, Thomas Kerr, Mrs. Nettie 
Milam, Elmer Bruce, S. S. Meeks, F. W. Plehn, Flora Brownlee, Julia 
Baker, Ina McClure, Nellie M. Amos, Alma Hamel, Mrs. M. E. Manwar- 
ing, Anna Stinson, Maud Skinner, J. H. Walters, J. L. Hermon, Sera 
Lamberson, Anna Gill, Chas. H. Lee, J. M. Manwaring, Emma Gillaspie, 
A. A. Songer, W. L. Critchlow ; total, 167. 

Fifteen years later, in June, 1900, J. G. Schofield, county superinten- 
dent, on the institute enrollment are found the names of Nellie G. Alli- 
son, Ada M. Anderson, Alinnie Benedict, Maggie Blauer, Faye Burke, 


Lela Capsey, Leona Clelland, Andrew Clelland, Perle Comp, Agnes 
Conwell, Charlotte Cottrell, Maude Cracraft, Ethel Cunningham, Edna 
Curtis, Grace Dennis, Bertha Dentler, Vertie DeWalt, Hettie DeWalt, 
A'lollie Dillon, i\Iary Dougan, Kate Dougan, Jennie Douglass, Clemintina 
Drake, Emma Dyce, Josie Eigenman, Helen Emery, Winifred Evans, 
Grace Felt, Bert Fenner, Rose Fisher, Bessie Garrett, Bertha Garrison, 
Albert Gibbons, Xora E. Hamler, James A. Hamler, Rose Harsh, Mrs. 
Florence Hearne, Belle Heathe, Julius Henry, Lavina Hickey, Phoebe 
Hillman, Grace Hillman, E. G. Hoskinsson, A. B. Huerter, Fannie In- 
galls, Mamie Johnstone, Lillie J. Johnstone, Nora Reiser, Verna Keller, 
Margaret Kinnan, Chas. P. Knight, Anna Lahr, Bessie Lane, William W. 
Lilley, Grace Lockridge, Lena Lynn, Lillian Maynard, Bessie Miller, 
Leona Moore, Jessie Moss, Grace Munson, Pruelia Neff, Anna 
Neighbor, Jessie Newman, Lucretia Newman, Gertrude Nicholson, 
Etta Norton, Amy Norton, T. J. Nusbaum, Vera O'Roke, Lela 
O'Roke, Mary Ort, Ella Robertson, Francis H. Robinson, Ethel 
M. Schofield, Cora L. Schofield, Eva Scrafford, Mary Shoemaker, 
Mamie Sisson, Josie Skoch, Libbie Smith, Frank Smith, Robert 
Smith, Mae E. Steele, Allen Stewart, Grace M. Taylor, Maria A. 
Todd, Onah Torrence, Maud Ward, Myrtle Warrington, Fannie E. Wil- 
kins, Edith M. Williams, Clara J. Williams, A. H. Wills, G; E. Wright, 
Eva L. Wright, Adala A. Yeanger, Mattie Leone Yeanger, Clarence Wil- 
son, Mary Savage, Katie Savage, Isaac C. Gardner, Frank Hoover, 
Gladys Timberlake, Alice E. Latimer, Lucie Nowak, Daisy Ball, Dora 
Dorman, Lillie Dorman, Sarah Adriance, G. B. Timberlake, Pearl Gruno, 
Ethel Balmer, May Bristol, Lottie B. McCoy, Jennie Herold, Erma 
Keith, Lenna Myrick, Alice Emery, Emma McBratne_\", Esther Hillman, 
Mabel Larzelere, Dorothy Geyer. Bessie Taylor, Nellie Shoemaker, Hat- 
tie McColgin, Mamie Maddux, Katie Davidson, Bertha Brown, Francis 
L. Gallagher, Mildred Firstenberger, Ethel Hoskinson, Bessie B. Lati- 
mer, Orpha Martin, Levera Simon, Geo. ^A'. Sourk, H. L. Greening, J. M. 
Denton; total, 140. 

Another fifteen years later, June, 191 5, W. R. Anthony, county sup- 
erintendent, at institute are enrolled Hazel Anthony, Agnes Adams, Je- 
well Allen, Anna Allen, Agnes Assenmacher, Ethel M. Bradt, Laura 
Barndt, Edith L. Benner, Effie Butz, Celia Burke, Katherine Badesheim, 
Myrtle J. Brock, Pearl A. Barber, Fayra Bissell, NelHe Brien, Edna 
Baldwin, Leslie Burger, Mrs. Lela Boothe, Olive Bird, Anna Creevan, 
Lula Crosswhite, Mildred M. Cole, Susie Cordill, Bernice F. Conard, 
■Morna Conard, Anna Campbell, Mar)' E. Cramer, Josephine Camp, Ella 
Curtis, Georgia T. Davis, Winona Davis, Margaret Dennis, Violet Den- 
nis, Helen Detweiler, Ernestine Drum, Lucy Elizabeth Young, Nora 
Farley, Grace Funk, Violet Fish, Lucille Gunther, Helen Grollmes, Mil- 
dred Guffey, Ada Gaston, Mamie Herold, Daisy Haffner, Josie Hybsk- 
man, Cecil Hamlin, Lois Hatch, Olivia Hull, Bessie M. Jenkins. Lela 
Johnson, Lola Johnson, Gladys O. Kean, Lenora Kill, Ellen Kill, Zacha- 



riah Kill, Rosalia Kramer, Olive Kirk, Lela Lightbody, May Lawrence, 
Emmett Lyiich, Mary Lynch, Helen Loob, Victor Massenge, Bertha 
Markley, Nora Manle}', Belle McGreevey, Winnie McClain, Elza Mize, 
Myrtle Millick, Ruth Moyer, Zella Munsell, June Meyer, Edith Mc- 
Bratney, Katherine Montgomery, Florence McClary, Inez Minger, Har- 
riett E. Moone}', Bernice Nash, William Newlove, Katie Neil, Mrs. Ber- 
tha Owens, Anna O'Brien, Ethel Pfiester, Reba J. Paxton, Elsie Pecken- 
paugh, Sybil Robinson, Sara Rooney, Hazel Rucker, Vera Ralph, Rose 
Savage, Sadie Sinclair, Beulah Stahn, Inez C. Shumaker, Frances 
Schrempp, Mary Springer, Alice Schoonover, Ray Springer, Esther 
Steinmeir, May Tyner, Clara Tyner, Lavina Tietz, Alice Vautravers, 


Edith Van Buren, Mildred Winquist, Lola Whitesell, Cecil M. Worley, 
Ethel L. Worley, Loretta Wells, Martha Wempe, Fannie F. Wileman, 
Thelma Wetmore, Milan Wasser, Dora Wells, Delpha Winkler, Amy E. 
Woollard, Mrs. Pearl White, Fern Yeakle, Iscah Zahm ; total, 119. 


District I, Centralia : A. J. Best, clerk; A. Harburger, treasurer; 
Henry Lohmuller, director ; teachers, O. M. Bowman, William Wherland, 
Ada Kuhn and Sadie Montgomery. 


District 2, Riverside : Wade Hampton, clerk ; August Koster, treas- 
urer; J. M. Taylor, director; teacher, Carrie E. Thompson. 

District 3, Graham: J. M. Witmer, clerk; M. R. Connet, treasurer; 
William Yeanger, director ; teacher, Mary Lincoln. 

District 4, Ford : C. A Sherman, clerk ; Joseph Ford, treasurer ; Giles 
Barney, director ; teacher, J. N. Sargent. 

District 5, Mentor : John Warrenburg, clerk ; George F. Roots, treas- 
urer; Nathan Baldwin, director; teacher, Benson Vernon. 

District 6, Carroll : Samuel Thompson, clerk : James Montgomery, 
treasurer; Peter Creevan, director; teacher, Allen Lee. 

District 7, White Hall: J. P. Sams, clerk; Hugh Ross, treasurer; W. 
M. Coston, director; teacher, Mrs. Ella D. Wohlford. 

District 8, Union : Christian Nemeyer, clerk ; Henry Hecht, treasur- 
er; Andrew Beyreis, director; teacher, Anna Stinson. 

District 9, Union Dale: J. N. Funk, clerk; Isaac Briggs, treasurer; 
William J. Ball, director; teacher, Sara Bennett. 

District 10, Pleasant Hill: Gerard Letellier, clerk; E. U. Green, 
treasurer; S. Harris, director; teacher, J. W. Emmert. 

District 11, City of Seneca: Abijah Wells, clerk; Willis Brown, 
treasurer; J. H. Hatch, director; teachers, J. G. Schofield, A. A. Brooks, 
Mrs. J. H. White, Mrs. E. M. Collins, Mrs. P. H. Stilson. Dora Taylor, 
Annie Newland, Flora Stewart 

District 12, Swerdfeger: V. B. Fisher, clerk; Augustus Beacher, 
treasurer; Richard Haxton, director; teacher, J. E. Sherrard. 

District 13, Pleasant Hill: E. Swerdfeger. clerk; M. Morris, treasur- 
er; E. G. Pool, director; teacher, Jennie Fisher. 

District 14, Aurora : A. A. Rice, clerk ; Chas. E. Luce, treasurer ; 
William Wessell, director; teacher, ]\Iary Anderson. 

District 15, Liberty: Robert Marshall, clerk; C. H. Steinmeir. treas- 
urer; Pierce Johnson, director; teacher, Minnie Burger. ■ 

District 16. Triumph: W. A. Sipher, clerk; William Chase, treasur- 
er; Peter Koehler. director; teacher, Fannie Bennett. 

District 17: M. H. Calnan, clerk; John Carroll, treasurer; Thomas 
Smith, director; teacher, Mary Morarity. 

District 18, Pleasant Hill: S. Mason, clerk; L. II. Inman. treasurer; 
G. H. Buck, director ; teacher, J. J. Lutz. 

District 19, Rose Hill : G. W. Hannum. clerk ; Wm. A. Young, treas- 
urer; John Mills, director; teacher, Frank McCabe. 

District 20, Victory: James Gillespie, clerk; S. R. Myers, treasurer; 
Guss Gardner, director; teacher, Rosa Machamer. 

District 21, Kelly: A. J. Morgan, clerk; M. A. Zahniser, treasurer; 
W. P. Dennis, director; teacher, Julia E. Moore. 

District 22, Old Lincoln: G. N. Lowe, clerk; Fred Kruger, treasurer; 
T. J. Nicholson, director; teacher, B. H. Hobbs. 

District 23. Humphrey : D. R. Magill, clerk ; Scott Humphrey, treas- 
urer; E. R. Murphey, director; teacher, H. M. Elert. 


District 24, Woodlawn : L. D. Tatman, clerk ; Paul C. Halliss, treas- 
urer; A. J. Dooley, director; teacher, Stella Guise. 

District 25, Capioma : C. B. Sanford, clerk; G. \\'. Conrad, treasurer; 
Willis M. Hooper, director; teacher, A. A. Songer. 

District 26, Pleasant Ridge: J. C. Byers, clerk; Reuben Lepley, 
treasurer; Isaac Lockard, director; teacher, Agnes Keegan. 

District 27, Clear Creek: A. J. Coffin, clerk; J. M. Clark, treasurer; 
John Long, director; teacher, Etta Boram. 

District 28, Rogers : William Clark, clerk ; Thomas Rogers, treasur- 
er; James Fisher, director; teacher, Eva Coleman. 

District 29, Flag: Milton Todd, clerk; John O. Newton, treasurer; 
C. H. Hartman, director ; teacher, Anna Ridenour. 

District 30, Eureka: John Bauman, clerk; Nicholas Moser, treasurer; 
Isaac Schwisher, director; teacher, J. L. Ott. 

District 31, Bancroft: David Keyser, clerk; Elias Woodburn, treas- 
urer; Samuel Allen, director; teacher, F. K. Keller. 

District 32, Eagle Star : Rudolph Stauffer, clerk ; Christ Minger, 
treasurer ; Christian Lehman, director ; teacher, Clara Kistner. 

District 33, St. Benedict: Timothy Heiman, clerk; Clement Blocker, 
treasurer ; William Bernston, director ; teacher. Sister Patricia. 

District 34, Mt. Union: Edwin Capsey, clerk; A. J. Wolfley, treas- 
urer; A. J. Gilbert, director; teacher, Belle McColgin. 

District 35, Greenwood: P. T. Casey, clerk; J. T. Sanders, treasurer; 
George Blankley, director ; teacher, W. H. Higgins. 

District 36, Mulberry : Perry Wellever, clerk ; J. E. King, treasurer ; 
J. Denny, director; teacher, Hugh B. Carter. 

District 37, Fairview : A. M. Kerr, clerk ; Lewis Logan, treasurer ; 
N. N. Williamson, director; teacher, Anna Kerr. 

District 38, Head : J. F. Nipher, clerk ; James Manuel, treasurer ; C. 
A. Hale, director; teacher, Mary Hale. 

District 39. Bethany : G. W. Myrick, clerk ; C. J. Myrick. treasurer ; 
A. M. Pitman, director; teacher, R. B. Huston. 

District 40, I. X. L. : Frank McCarty, clerk; John Zimmerman, 
treasurer; I. Meisner, director; teacher, A. A. Walker. 

District 41, Obendorf : W. A. Lynn, clerk; John Wohlford, treasur- 
er; David VanPatten, director; teacher, P. K. Shoemaker. 

District 42, Harris : Wm. H. H. Dooley, clerk ; L. A. Kempin, treas- 
urer; Henry Hilbert, director; teacher, Julia Dooley. 

District 43, Eureka : Arthur McCray, clerk ; Peter Shontz, treasurer ; 
E. T. Brown, director; teacher, J. J. McCray. 

District 44, Corning: R. A. Harris, clerk; C. C. Vinning, treasurer; 
Andrew Isaacson, director; teachers, F. W. Plehn, Ida Neiman. 

District 45, Boardman : Samuel Curtis, clerk ; R. E. Mayhew, treas- 
urer ; H. R. Boardman, director; teacher, Angeline Stickney. 

District 46, Edgewood : Joshua Hobbs, clerk; D. Donning, treasur- 
er; James Summervill, director; teacher, H. B. Carter. 


District 47, Johnstone: J\I. AI. Johnstone, clerk; J. B. Clifton, treas- 
urer; William Johnstone, director; teacher, Thomas A. Kerr. 

District 48, Maple Ridge: J. C. Sherrard, clerk; R. K. Steele, treas- 
urer; E. Holister, director; teacher, Jessie Spencer. 

District 49, Maple Shade : E. L. Clelland, clerk ; John Denton, treas- 
urer; R. A. Brown, director; teacher, Anna Dougan. 

District 50, Social Hill: D. X. Rose, clerk; AI. A. Worley, treasurer; 
T. M. Carr, director; teacher, Fannie Points. 

District 51, Sabetha : S. Slosson, clerk; C. P. Branigan, treasurer; 
E. Haltzschen, director; teachers: I. B. Morgan, Ethel Fountain, Kate 
E. Wickins, Estella McClanahan, Minnie Branigan, Bertha Morton, Lena 
Mooney, Jennie Lilly. 

District 52, Korber : Samuel Hosteller, clerk ; Fred Korber, treasur- 
er; Amos Custard, director; teacher, Estella Stewart. 

District 53, Cole Creek : James Redmond, clerk ; Edward Flaherty, 
treasurer; Henry Heer, director; teacher, D. O. Byrne. 

District 54, Pleasant View: J. W. Firkins, clerk; O. M. Gage, treas- 
urer; W. M. Gettle, director; teacher, E. E. Hobbs. 

District 55, Armstrong: F. Howard, clerk; Simon Armstrong, treas- 
urer; M. Z. Andrews, director; teacher. Bertha Neberhine. 

District 56, Belleview : \A'm. F. Weeks, clerk; Pat Byrne, treasurer; 
William Mclntire, director ; teacher, Effie L. x\nderson. 

District 57, Morning Star: Geo. W. Johnson, clerk; David Hardesty, 
treasurer; T. G. League, director; teacher, Jennie Little. 

District 58, Blue Star: F. A. Loveless, clerk; W. H. Thornberry, 
treasurer; A. D. Lelievre, director; teacher, M. L. Loveless. 

District 59, Marion: Frank Broxterman, clerk; Frank Macke, treas- 
urer; Peter Koch, director; teacher. Jennie Coffey. 

District 60. Hazel Grove : William Bleisner, clerk ; George Pfrang, 
treasurer; M. Holmes, director; teacher, Nettie Milam. 

District 61, Pinckney : A. H. Chilson, clerk; John Speilman. treasur- 
er; D. R. Vorhes, director; teacher, Marj- Seeley. 

District 62, Berwick: C. H. Maddux, clerk; Fred Ukele, treasurer; 
C. M. Christenson, director; teacher, Linnie Ludwig. 

District 63, Tranquil: Lewis Lyon, clerk; G. W. Greenfield, treasur- 
er; George Donaldson, director; teacher, G. W. Stephenson. 

District 64, Ehrsam: Jacob Ramsey, clerk; Barney Herold, treasur- 
er; Henry Broomer, director; teacher, Mary Todd. 

District 65, Prairie Grove : Conrad Droge, clerk ; Henry Poppe, 
treasurer; A. Allison, director; teacher, H. S. Hay. 

District 66, Mt. Vernon: E. S. Vernon, clerk; W. T. DeWalt, treas- 
urer; H. H. Coston. director; teacher, Fannie Laird. 

District 67, Star: T. J. Coulter, clerk; R. M. Bronaugh, treasurer; E. 
C. Mather, director ; teacher, M. E. Clark. 

District 68, Rock: R. J. Rose, clerk; John Hansz, treasurer: George 
Wick, director; teacher, W. H. Starkey. 


District 69, Prairie View : Jacob P. Good, clerk; Job Brown, treasur- 
er; Charles Krogman, director; teacher, Inez Alexander. 

District 70, Pleasant View : Lemuel Kerns, clerk ; John Campbell, 
treasurer; Milton Moore, director; teacher, Albert E. Mayhew. 

District 71, Pleasant Ridge: J. W. Vernon, clerk; V. Hanger, treas- 
urer; S. A. Goldsmith, director; teacher, Zilla Kuhn. 

District 72, Social Hill : George Cox, St., clerk ; C. C. Nissen, treas- 
urer; Alfred Jones, director; teacher, B. F. Stout. 

District 73, Pleasant Hill: H. C. Wilson, clerk; George Guilford, 
treasurer; A. L. Barnes, director; teacher, Jennie McBratney. 

District 74, Cleveland, Mathias Schneider, clerk; Barne}' Bergman, 
treasurer ; Edward Kempf, director. 

District 75, Harmony : John A. Thompson, clerk ; S. F. Thompson, 
treasurer; James Cleveland, director; teacher, Mattie Trees. 

District 76, Center: Fred Hiskey, clerk; Frederick Burbery, treasur- 
er; B. Woolman, director; teacher, C. H. Lee. 

District 77, Willow Glen: Wm. E. McKibbin, clerk; G. O. Convill, 
treasurer; Garrett Cross, director; teacher, Martha Wolfley. 

District 78, Rock Creek: W. S. Reed, clerk; J. Hesseltine, treasurer; 
W. M. Lichty, director; teacher, Mattie Shackelton. 

District 79, Morning Star : Jessie Eyer, clerk ; T. S. Gilmore, treas- 
urer; Andrew Williamson, director; teacher, B. F. Eyer. 

District 80, Summit : Michael Aldefer, clerk ; John Draney, treasur- 
er; Oswin Palmer, director; teacher, Lillie Rosenberger. 

District 81, College Hill: Patrick Cantwell, clerk; Albert Becher, 
treasurer; Pat Gaughan, director; teacher, Alice Flaherty. 

District 82, Prairie Star: C. J. Meisner, clerk; W. Elliott, treasurer; 
T. J. Freed, director; teacher, J. S. Baker. 

District 83, Victory: R. L. Wheeler, clerk; Mrs. M. L. Holbrook, 
treasurer; Henry Koehler, director; teacher, Addie Sherman. 

District 84, Hilt: John L. Aspinwall, clerk; James White, treasurer; 
Samuel Keim, director; teacher, Sherman Tyrrel. 

District 85, Evening Star: J. R. Molineux, clerk; Z. Holland, treas- 
urer; Peter Troxel, director; teacher, Dora Cox. 

District* 86, Goff: A. O. Hart, clerk: Dr. A. L. AVarrington, treas- 
urer ; Thomas Berridge, director ; teacher, A. A. Hyde. 

District 87, Oneida: Frank Russell, clerk; Dr. S. Murdock, treasur- 
er; J. J. Boxell, director; teachers, R. W. Reese and Clara Larimer. 

District 88, Diamond: J. A. Purviance, clerk; R. L. Hobbs, treasur- 
er; J. F. Vinson, director; teacher, Elmer Allen. 

District 89, Sherman: Paul Huerter, clerk; L. H. Gaston, treasurer; 
Peter Schmitz, director; teacher, M. McCutcheon. 

District 90, Eclipse: William Magee, clerk; F. M. Reed, treasurer; 
A. L. Conwell, director; teacher, J. T. Briggs. 

District 91, Pleasant Ridge: Ira Bailey, clerk; H. M. Drown, treas- 
urer; B. F. Dunham, director; teacher, Minnie Carr. 


District 92, Bern: Gottlieb Strict, clerk; Jacob Spring, treasurer; S. 
C. Neff, director; teacher, George J. Parker. 

District 93, Sunny Knoll: E. Kitchen, clerk; G. Gruetze, treasurer; 
H. N. Dawson, director; teacher, H. A. Nicholson. 

District 94, Baileyville: W. A. Walker, clerk; W. J. Bailey, treasur- 
er; W. H. Stall, director; teacher, G. H. Shields. 

District 95, Cottonwood : David Finkenbinder, clerk ; Henry Pilla, 
director; teacher, Louise Capper. 

District 96, Grand View: Wayne Ford, clerk; Joseph Scheier, treas- 
urer; J. M. Rowley, director; teacher, H. M. Wallace. 

District 97, Domer: W. S. Domer, clerk; F. F. Goodwin, treasurer; 
W. H. Sunderland, director ; teacher, Minnie Wohlford. 

District 98, Shady Knoll : M. H. Maltby, clerk ; W. A. Noffsinger, 
treasurer; A. E. Stuart, director; teacher, Clarence Keller. 

District 99, Victor: C. R. McConkey, clerk; John R. Brokaw, treas- 
urer; Samuel Cooper, director; teacher, Flora Stonebarger. 

District 100, Forward: J. W. Johnson, clerk; O. K. Wilcox, treasur- 
er; F. Bliesner, director; teacher, Mattie Woodburn. 

District loi, U. S. Grant: F. G. Sitler, clerk; Thomas Scanlin, treas- 
urer; N. E. Bunce, director; teacher, E. W. Fox. 

District 102, Liberty: Joseph Roblyer, clerk; Dennis Maher, treas- 
urer; Andrew J. Ford, director; teacher, Mrs. Mattie Roblyer. 

District 103, Oak Grove : P. A. Wright, clerk ; Thomas S. Anderson, 
treasurer; Henry F. Harter, director; teacher, Nettie Carmichael. 

District 104, Concord : F. G. Millick, clerk ; F. G. Hitchner, treasur- 
er; J. G. Maelzer, director; teacher, Marshall Hittle. 

District i N. and B., Albany: E. F. Bouton, clerk: C. J. Hoiden, 
treasurer; J. F. Rugsley, director; teacher, E. S. Lawrence. 

District 6 N. and B., Granada ; Samuel R. Guffey, clerk : John 
Achten, treasurer; William Spencer, director; teacher, Walter Hos- 

District i N. and J., Westmore : M. Worthey, clerk : H. C. DeForest, 
treasurer; H. A. Hough, director; teachers, P. L. Burlingame, Phoebe 
Anderson, Anna Gill and 'Catharine Thomas. 

District 2 N. and J., Ontario : Jacob Wolley, clerk ; John H. Camp- 
bell, treasurer; H. T. Barnes, director; teacher. Clara Ramy. 

District 5 N. and P., Neuchatel : O. H. Wilsie, clerk; John I^ibbe. 
treasurer; C. B. Bonjour, director; teacher, D. C. Dille. 

District r N. and M., Windy Ridge: Ed F. Davis, clerk: George M. 
Rasp, treasurer; C. R. W. Ford, director; teacher, Maud Skinner. 


Clerks (1915-1918)— District i, Brice J. King, Centralia ; district 2, 
Carl Kroemer, Bern ; district 3, E. N. Sigler, Baileyville; district 4, W. H. 
Barnard, Seneca; district 5, C. H. McClary, Centralia; district 6, Paul 


Kirk, Axtell; district 7, W. U. Martsolf, Centralia ; district 8, Henry Be}'- 
reis, Seneca; district 9, C. A. Funk, Oneida; district 10, E. E. Smith, Ver- 
million; district 11, Dorothy Walker, Seneca; district 12, J. L. Davis, 
Wetmore; district 13, A. E. Wade, VVetmore ; district 14, H. D. AlcCon- 
naughey, Wetmore; district 15, M. O. Johnson, Seneca; district 16, J. H. 
Waller, Seneca; district 17, J. P. Carroll, Axtell; district 18, Harry 
Duckers, Sabetha; district 19, John W. Crowley, Soldier; district 20, L. 
M. Crawford, Sabetha; district 21, D. H. Fitzgerald, Kelly; district 22, 
Henry A. Kruger, Seneca ; district 23, John Moynagh, Seneca ; district 
24, C. A. Buck, Goff; district 25, Jessie Brownlee, Sabetha; district 26, 


W. F. Hickman, Bailey^■ille ; district i-j, Frank Thomanson, Bailey- 
ville; district 28, John liaker, Seneca; district 29, J. M. Graney, 
Seneca; district 30, F. N. Rieri, Oneida; district 2 B. and G., W. 
D. Calder, Bancroft ; district 32, C. A. Hasenager, Bern ; district 33. 
F. A. Olberding, Seneca; district 34, W. H. Capsey, Soldier: dis- 
trict 35, Ora Clark, Corning; district 36, L. W. Harter, Centralia: 
district 37, J. S. Sourk, Goff; district 38, Joseph Huerter, Oneida; 
betha; district 41, Edward Myer, Centralia; district 42, E. R. Harris, 
Corning; district 43, G. S. Roberts, Centralia; district 44, J. B. Baker, 
Corning; district 45, A. R. Robeson, Centralia; district 46, A. N. Doolit- 


tie. Onasa: district 47, Clint Longberg, Goff; district 48, Harry Foster, 
Sabetlia; district 4(), Barney Buessing, Goff; district 50, Jacob L. Kongs, 
Corning; ; district 31, C. A. Cave, Sabetha; district 52, Gottlieb Hanni, 
Bern: <listrict 53, L. L. Newland, Corning; district 54, J. L. Firkins, 
Oneida : district 55, Fred Schmidt, Centralia : district 5'6, John F. Tyron, 
Baileyvillc: district ^y. James Porter, \\'etr.inrc ; district 58. H. Dutch- 
mann, Seneca: district 59. Frank Broxtermann, Baileyville ; district fio. 
John T. Callahan, A\'etmore ; district 61, H. C. Lackey, Seneca : district 62, 
E. T. I'kele, Berwick ; district 63, W. E. Johnson, Sabetha : district 64. Al- 
vin A. Eear, Bern ; district 65, Louis ^\'iesedeppe. Seneca : district 66, C. 
W. Xoland, Centralia: district 67, Airs. J. F. Coulter. \'ermili(ai : district 
68. Barne\ Rot tingliaus, Seneca: district 69. John Noltc. Scncc:i : district 
70. A. W. ll:ininu's. I'„iilcyville ; district 71, C. A. Hilbcrt. C.rnni-: dis- 
trict -2. William I'.rady. W'etmore : district 73, R. E. A\'ils<.n. Centralia; 
district 74, Henry Engelken, Seneca; district 75, William Brunner, Sa- 
betha : district 76, Mrs. Carrie Shirkey, Baileyville ; district "jy, A. F. 
Gabbert. Bancroft; district 78, Emil Marmet, Sabetha; district 79, John 
Barndt, Sabetha: district 80. J. C. Williamson. Sabetha : district 81. \\\\- 
liam Gaughan, Centralia ; district 82, Ed Ramsey. Bern ; district 83, Fred 
Wheeler, Seneca; district 84. F. E. Lehman. Bern : district 83. C. C. Mun- 
sel. Goff; district 86. C. S. Goodrich. Goff; district 87, J. L. Hagan, 
Oneida; district 88. Will McBride. Seneca: district 89, h". J. Holthaus, 
Seneca; district 90, J. H. Bauman. Oneida: district 91. Chas. H. Riggs, 
Goff; district 92, H. L. Guild. Bern; district 93, H. E. McKelHps, GoK; 
district 94. Chas. Y. Haynes, Baileyville; district 95, George Heimann, 
Baileyxillc ; district 96, Joseph Lueger, Seneca; district 97, John Wise- 
man. \'ermilion ; district 99. Ernest Gerber. Oneida; district 100, J. C. 
Flackenberger, Goff; district loi, F. W. Richmond, Baileyville; district 
102. E. E. Woodman, A'^ermillion ; district 103, P. P. Waller, Oneida; dis- 
trict 104. Joseph Surdez, Onaga ; district 105, William Broadbent, Corn- 
ing; district 106, C. Britell, Centralia; district 107. Xorman R. Fike, Sa- 
betha; district 108, E. L. Flott, Sabetha; district 109. C W. Kimmel, Sa- 
betha; district no, George Shaffer, Corning; district in, John Moser, 
Sabetha; district 112, Jake Huerter, Kelly; district 113, J. H. Smith, Ax- 
tell: district 114, R. J. Hanni, Goff: district 115, Otis Warrenburg. Cen- " 
tralia; district 116, Jos. S. Bauman, Oneida; district 117, Mrs. Annie J. 
W\\ver, Baileyville; district 118, H. M. Halfen, Axtell ; district 119, W. 
\Y. Chilson, Corning; district 120. Mrs. Helen Flaug, Vermillion; district 
iNB. C. E. Sammons. Sabetha; district 6NB, R. L.'whitesell, Wetmore; 
district iNJ, F. E. Smith. \^'etmore ; district 2NJ, \Y . E. Karns, Ontario; 
district 5NP, Carl Dodds. Onaga; district iNM. O. J. Schafer, Vermil- 

Treasurers (1914-1917) — District i. Scott Archer. Centralia; district 
2. .\ugust Korber, Bern; district 3, J. M. Bronaugh, Baileyville; district 
4. Charlie Parnell, Seneca; district 5, Hubert Clemens, Centralia; district 
6, John F. Carroll, Axtell ; district 7, Elmer Bedker, Centralia ; district 8, 


Henry Tegtmeier, DuBois, Neb.; district 9, W. C. Gilmore, Oneida; dis- 
trict 10, James Letellier, Centralia; district 11, B. J. Firstenberger, Sene- 
ca; district 12, T. K. Maxwell, Wetmore; district 13, James E. Martin, 
Wetmore; district 14, U. S. Curtiss, Wetmore; district 15, Louis Stein- 
meier, Seneca ; district 16, Frank Mauer, Seneca ; district 17, J. P. Mit- 
chell, Axtell; district 18, John O. Yoder, Sabetha; district 19, O. G. Han- 
num, Soldier; district 20, J. H. Myers, Sabetha; district 21, Frank Tee- 
garden, Kelly ; district 22, J. J. Aziere, Seneca ; district 23, Thomas Rog- 
ers, Seneca; district 24, O. Velvic, Goff; district 25, W. E. Phillips, Sa- 
betha ; district 26, J. E. McConnaughey, Pawnee City, Neb. ; district 27, 
J. F. Keegan, Baileyville; district 28, Ed Flaherty, Seneca; district 29, 
B. F. Lohman, Seneca; district 30, Adolph Marti, Sabetha; district 31, 
L. J. Allen, Bancroft ; district 32, Frank Andrews, Bern ; district 33, John 
Haug, Seneca; district 34, Albert Swartz, Bancroft; district 35, U. G. 
Beck, Corning; district 36, F. H. Norton, Centralia; district 37, William 
Sourk, Goff; district 38, J. M. Swart, Oneida; district 39, W. G. Penn, 
Sabetha; district 40, C. Stoller, Sabetha; district 41, T. O. Barrett, Cen- 
tralia; district 42, Arthur Tinklin, Corning; district 43, Frank Myers, 
Centralia; district 44, J. E. Woodworth, Corning; district 45, L. A. 
Thompson, Centralia ; district 46, G. V. Hochard, Centralia ; district 47, 
J. A. Hanks, Goff; district 48, F. M. Althouse, Sabetha; district 49, S. A. 
Chadwick, Goff; district 50, August Brokamp, Kelly; district 51, F. O. 
Weary, Sabetha; district 52, Henry Blauer, Bern; district 53, T. H. Mc- 
Nally, Corning; district 54, J. P. Mize, Oneida; district 55, Albert Flen- 
tie, Centralia ; district 56, Henry Tangeman, Baileyville ; district 57, Jas. 
H. Smith, Wetmore; district 58, William Oatman, Seneca; district 59, O. 
J. Larkin, Baileyville; district 60, J. E. Pfrang, Bancroft; district 61, 
Joseph A. Spielman, Seneca; district 62, A. B. Lanning, Sabetha; dis- 
trict 63, Frank Miller, Sabetha ; district 64, Ed Ehrsam, Bern; district 
65, W. H. Katz, Seneca; district 66, F. W. Holsapple, Corning; district 
67, R. M. Morrison, Vermillion ; district 68, J. T. Amos, Seneca ; district 
69, Anton Olberding, Baileyville; district 70, John Koch, Baileyville; 
district 71, John Nightengale, Corning; district 72, W. M. Bartley, Ban- 
croft ; district 73, John Shaefer, Centralia ; district 74, Henry Heiman, 
Seneca; district 75, C. W. Hatfield, Sabetha; district 76, W. J. Griffiths, 
Baileyville; district TJ, Charles McMahon, Bancroft; district 78, Hiram 
Mishler, Sabetha ; district 79, R. R. Gilmore, Oneida ; district 80, Albert 
Ackerman, Sabetha; district 81, George Becker Onaga ; district 82, Fred 
Hanni, Bern; district 83, Thomas Sherlock, Seneca; district 84, Gottfried 
Lortscher, Bern; district 85, Tom Fish, Goff; district 86, Bayard Taylor, 
Goff; district 87, D. S. Coleman, Oneida; district 88, Joe Ronnebaum, 
Seneca; district 89, S. T. Hogle, Seneca; district 90, A. G. Conwell, 
Oneida; district 91, Mike Brock, Goff; district 92, Jacob Spring, Bern; 
district 93, John Gruetze, Goff; district 94, J. M. Everts, Baileyville; dis- 
trict 95, Henry Dick, Baileyville ; district 96, Joseph Olberding, Seneca ; 
district 100, John Freel, Goff; district loi, D. B. Sullvan, Bailey- 


ville ; district 102, L. H. Mclntire, Centralia ; district 103, T. S. An- 
derson, Oneida; district 104, F. G. Millick, Centralia; district 105, 
William Bumphrey, Corning; district 106, R. E. Mather, CCentralia; 
district 107, J. C. Aeschleman, Sabetha ; district 108, Bert Hessel- 
tine, Sabetha; district 109, Walter Dandliker, Sabetha; district no, 
112, Bert Henderson, Kelly; district 113, S. S. Anderson, Baileyville; 
district 114, M. D. Garvin, Goff; district 115, O. C. Hardin, Centralia; 
district 116, F. W. Miller, Oneida; district 117, E. W. Weyer, Bailey- 
ville; district 118, August Enneking, Baileyville; district 119, Claude 
Grigsby, Corning; district 120, Mrs. Gertie Vestal, Vermillion; district 
iNB, E. E. Williams, Sabetha; district 6NB, Henry Zabel, Wetmore ; 
district iNJ, Mrs. L. A. Achten, Wetmore; district 2NJ, W. E. Davis, 
Bancroft; district 5NP, J. A. Bonjour, Onaga ; district iNM, E. M. Mc- 
Atee, Vermillion. 

Directors (1913-1916) — District i, C. C. Wadleigh, Centralia; dis- 
trict 2, C. H. Meier, Bern; district 3, J. A. Witmer, Baileyville; district 

4, G. R. Gilkerson, Seneca; district 5, R. S. Coe, Centralia; district 6, Os- 
car Clear, Axtell; district 7, Eugene Moyer, Centralia; district 8, C. H. 
Brademeier, Seneca; district 9, Clinton Ball, Oneida; district 10, V. D. 
Crawford, Vermillion; district 11, R. T. Bruner, Seneca; district 12, J- 
L. McDaniels, Wetmore; district 13, R03' Shumaker, Wetmore; district 
14, W. N. Rolfe, Wetmore; district 15, H. D. Burger, Seneca; district 16, 
Andrew Volz, Seneca ; district 17, D. E. Mitchell, Axtell ; district 18, 
Frank Norrie, Sabetha; district 19, A. J- Clem, Goff; district 20, George 
Althouse, Sabetha; district 21, Bert Cole, Kelly; district 22, C. R. Bales, 
Seneca; district 23, George Hutton, Seneca; district 24, Alex McClain, 
Goff; district 25, J. M. Ralston, Sabetha; district 26, W. H. Grubb, Paw- 
nee City, Neb.; district 27, James Keegan, Baileyville; district 28, M. W. 
McCaffrey, Seneca; district 29, G. F. Heineger, Seneca; district 30, Hen- 
ry W. Stoldt, Sabetha; district 2BG, Fred A. Cordon, Bancroft; district 
32, Gottlieb Pauli, Bern; district 33, Barney Haferkamp, Seneca; district 
34, J. B. Barnes, Soldier; district 35, Jesse Jones, Corning; district 36, 

5. S. Meek. Centralia; district 37, R. T. McKee, Goff; district 38 Gott- 
lieb Schneider, Seneca; district 39, W. J. Kehler, Sabetha; district 40, S. 
C. Jackson, Sabetha; district 41, Charles Kimball, Centralia; district 42, 
Hugh Werner, Goff; district 43, William Brooks, Centralia; district 44, 
C. W. Dixon, Corning; district 45, W. A. Wohlford, Centralia; district 
46, F. M. Labbe, Onaga; district 47, B. F. Ellegood, Goff; district 48, G. 
J. Ouinlan, Sabetha; district 49, Jacob Fisher, Goff; district 50, Charles 
Jorden, Corning; district 51, A. J. Collins, Sabetha; district 52, F. W. 
korber, Bern; district 53, John Flaherty, Corning; district 54, Mrs. Wil- 
liam King, Goff; district 55, D. H. McLaughlin, Centralia; district 56, 
J. J. Skoch, Baileyville; district 57, J. F. Hawley, Wetmore; district 58, 
William Mathewson, Seneca; district 59, Theodore Hammes, Bailey- 
ville; district 60, F. W. Alumbaugh, Bancroft; district 61, Barney Wich- 
man, Seneca; district 62, Louis Feldman, Berwick; district 63, F. B. 


L3-ons, Sabetha ; district 64. Frank Borchardt, Bern ; district 65, R. T. Al- 
lison, Seneca ; district 66, W. T. DeWalt, Centralia ; district 67, Thomas 
Coffey, Vermillion ; district 68, John Kelly, Seneca ; district 69, Charles 
Krogmann, Seneca; district 70, Will Scanlan, Baileyville ; district 71, 
John W. Peret, Centralia ; district 72, A. M. Nissen, Wetmore ; district 
73, T. S. Fanning. Centralia ; district 74, August Haug, Seneca ; district 
75, Paul Masheter, Sabetha; district 76, W. A. Weyer, Baileyville; dis- 
trict JJ, George Calhoun, Goff ; district 78, Walter Mason, Sabetha; dis- 
trict 79, H. H. Guise, Oneida ; district 80, John RIeisner, Sabetha ; district 
81, Peter Burke, Centralia; district 82, C. C. Geissel, Bern; district 83, 
A. J. Spielman, Seneca ; district 84, Lewis S. Hilt, Bern ; district 85, F. C. 
McClain, Goff; district 86, F. J. Watkins, Goff; district 87, Frank Rus- 
sell, Oneida; district 88, Henry Burdick, Seneca; district 89, A. H. Gas- 
ton, Seneca; district 90, C. Grimm, Oneida; district 91, T. V. McDan- 
iels, Goff; district 92, Mrs. Myrtle Blauer, Bern ; district 93, W. J. Hailey, 
Goff; district 94, A. B. Griffiths, Baileyville; district 95, John Hulsing, 
Jr., Baileyville ; district 96, August Haefele, Seneca ; district 97, E. A. 
Mann, Vermillion ; district 99, Fred Pfau, Oneida ; district 100, J. L. San- 
ders, Goff; district loi, Joseph Stueve, Baileyville; district 102, Clarence 
Howard, Centralia ; district 103, S. M. Anderson, Oneida ; district 104, 
F. G. Hitchner. Centralia ; district 103, William Thompson, Corning; dis- 
trict 106, ^^^ N. DeBoard, Centralia; district 107, T. J. Meisner, Sabetha; 
district 108, Samuel Beyers, Sabetha; district 109, Fred Lortscher, Sa- 
betha; district no, N. R. Williams, Corning; district in, John Heiniger, 
Sabetha; district 112, John Heinen, Kelly; district 113, W. P. Madden, 
Axtell; district 114, AVilliam Roach, Goff; district 115, William Wright, 
Centralia; district 116, Geo. W. Meisner, Bern; district 117, Mrs. Etta 
Coulter, Baileyville; district 118, J. B. Oenbring, Baileyville; district 
119, C. W. Gorden, Centralia; district 120, Charles McGowan, Vermil- 
lion ; district iNB, E. E. White, Sabetha ; district 6NB, C. E. Chase, AVe - 
more; district iNJ, Henry Mell, Wetmore; district 2NJ, Frank Cordon, 
Circleville; district 5NP, "S. J. Keeney, Onaga ; district iNM, Mrs. Maxie 
VanGilder, Vermillion. 

JOINT DISTRICTS, not under the jurisdiction of this county: 

Clerks (1915-1918) — District 4NB, J. A. Bockenstette, Fairview ; 
district 5NB, John Hannah, Netawaka ; district iNJP, A. H. Brenner, 
Soldier; district 6NP, George Shields, Corning; district 8NP, J. J. Lefe- 
bvre, Onaga. 

Treasurers (1914-1917) — District 4NB, Hugh 0'GradJ^ Sabetha; 
district SNB, Frank Reeves, Netawaka; district iNJP, J. S. Armstrong, 
America City; district 6NP, J. K. Shields, Havensville ; district 8NP, 
Elmer Noble, Onaga. 

Directors (1913-1916) — District 4NB, Michael Banks, Fairview; 
district 5NB, Lewis Lynn, Netawaka; district iNJP, Roy Tolin, Ameri- 



ca City; district 6NP, H. H. Hunt, Corning; district 8XP, O. J. Ward, 

It is interesting to note that the records in tne county superintend- 
ent's office show, in a number of cases, that many of the men who took 
part in the organization of the district and served as first officers are 
still members of the school board. 

While the rural schools of Nemaha county have not reached an 
ideal standard, they have advanced with the progress of the times and 
rank well with the schools of other parts of the State. Many of our 
prosperous and loyal citizens value very highly the training they re- 



ceived even in the small rural school. .-\s a rule, the teachers have been 
well qualified and the schools ha\'e been of great value to the children 
of the county, many of whom had no opportimity of further education. 

As soon as practical, each of the cit_\- or village schools began to 
increase the course of study to include some high school work and to 
employ the necessary teachers to conduct the classes in the higher sub- 
jects. Today there are ten city high schools in Nemaha county, six of 
them doing accredited work and two others doing work ap])roved by 
the State board. 



Both Seneca and Sabetha are cities of the second class, and carry, 
in addition to the regular college preparatory course of study, a normal 
training, domestic science and commercial course. These schools have 
a very efficient corps of teachers, under the supervision of experienced 
superintendents, R. G. Mueller, of Seneca, in his ninth year, and George 
A. Allen, Jr., of Sabetha, in his fifth year, and are fully accredited. 

The schools of Wetmore and Centralia are fully accredited and rank 
next to Seneca and Sabetha. The work done is equal to that of any of our 
best schools, and the building and equipment are very good. Supt. 
Albert A. Dreier enters upon his fourth year at Wetmore in September, 
1916, and Supt. George O. Kean has just closed his sixth year, four 
consecutive, at Centralia. 

The schools of Goff and Corning are smaller, but both do good 
work and are accredited high schools. Goff has an excellent building, 
of which the citizens of the town have just cause for being proud, and 
the equipment of the school is being increased as fast as the funds of 
the district will admit. Corning needs a new building, and the district 
is making provision for a building fund. These districts are so small 
that it requires a heavy tax rate to raise adequate funds for carrying on 
the schools. Both need some adjoining territory, either by consolida- 
tion or by the establishment of a rural high school in each city, as pro- 
vided in recent legislation. Supt. George O. Kean has been elected 
lo the superintendency of the Goff schools for 1916, and Supt. J. F. 
Whitaker is entering upon his third year at Corning. 

Bern, while not accredited, is rapidly coming to the front. A new 
modern building has just been completed and equipped and an excellent 
quota of teachers employed. The course of study for the present will 
cover three years of high school work. AVith the new building and 
equipment, Bern is the logical point for a splendid rural high school for 
Washington township, and with the co-operation of the surrounding 
community, the standard of the school will no doubt soon be raised to 
a four years' fully accredited high school. The value of a movement of 
this kind to the young people of the Bern community is beyond esti- 

The little city of Oneida has a splendid school, doing four years' 
high school work. ]\'Iany of her graduates have been very successful 
teachers in the schools of the county and others are filling with credit 
places of importance in other lines of business. The people of the little 
city are very loyal in their support of schools, but, like other small 
towns, Oneida needs the co-operation of the surrounding districts. If 
consolidation is not desirable, the provisions of the rural high school law 
might make it possible for a new building and better school equipment 
to be obtained without the tax becoming a burden to the community. 

Bancroft has a good village school of three teachers, whose work is 
very praiseworthy. Some high school work is done, but the equipment 
and teaching force do not warrant approval by the State board. 


Baileyville has a two-room school and excellent work is done. Only 
one year of high school is attempted. 

These ten schools, doing more or less high school work, have 
proven of inestimable value to the young people of the county, and 
each year classes graduate from them, thus laying the foundation for a 
better qualification for the duties of life. 

Nemaha county rejected, by vote, both the Barnes high school law 
and the county high school plan; but the excellent city high schools 
maintained throughout the county seem to provide adequately for the 
young people who complete the grades to enter and finish high school, 
in many cases the district paying the high school tuition of its gradu- 
ates. Every year a large class finishes the eghth grade of both the 
rural and graded schools, and many of these enter some convenient 
high school. It is gratifying to note that Nemaha couty is well repre- 
sented in the higher institutions of learning by these young people who 
have finished our high schools. Since recent legislation has given us a 
rural high school law, providing for the establishment of high schools in 
rural communities, no doubt the people will promptly avail themselves 
of the privileges and advantages of this law. 

The State department, under the supervision of State Superin- 
tendent \A'. D. Ross, is endeavoring to strengthen and enlarge the use- 
fulness of the rural schools by a system of sandardization whereby the 
equipm.ent and conveniences of rural schools may be made more uni- 
form and complete. The rural school inspectors are visiting and classi- 
fying the schools of the State as rapidly as possible, checking them up 
on the requirements of standardization. One of the inspectors, J. 
A. Shoemaker, was in Nemaha county a few days last April, and while 
it was too late in the year to find all our schools in session, he visited 
about twenty schools, in company with the county superintendent, and 
reported his findings to the boards of the various districts visited. None 
of them were complete enough in all requirements for standard schools, 
but it is hoped that the people will respond readily to the demand for 
better equipment, whether in apparatus, seating, or buildings, and that 
several of our best schools may be labeled '"Standard School" before 
the close of the present school year. 

The subject of consolidation of schools as provided by law has re- 
ceived some attention in Nemaha county, but in almost every case has 
met with decided opposition. So well has the rural school filled its 
mission that the people are slow to give up the "tried and true" for a 
system with which they are not familiar. However, owing to changing 
conditions in communities, brought about mainly by the tendency of 
land owners to leave the farm and move to town, often placing a tenant 
or hired man on the farm, many of our rural schools have become al- 
most depopulated, just a few pupils left to go to school, often not over 
one or two to a class. Where these conditions exist, interest in the 
school wanes and appropriations for equipment, teachers' wages, length 


of term, .etc., drop to the minimum. For such communities as these, 
the consolidated school seems to be the only rational solution of the 
school problem. 

Consolidation means the uniting of several weak, one-teacher, 
poorly graded schools into a strong, efficient, graded school, housed in 
a comfortable building, with several teachers, who can give sufficient 
time to each recitation to make the work fruitful. Consolidation in 
nearly every instance means the transportation of a portion of the 
pupils. This transportation is accomplished by conveying the children 
in safe and comfortable vehicles, holding from fifteen to twenty-five 
children, and driven by competent and reliable men under contract and 
bonds to perform their duties in a satisfactory way. It is oftentimes 
cheaper to transport a few children to a school than to establish a school 
for them. This is because a wagon is cheaper than a school house, 
horses cheaper than fuel, and because drivers cost less than school 


Centralization of the public schools probably had its origin in the 
Western Reserve section of Ohio several years ago, and the system as 
applied to the rural schools has been tried to such an extent that it is 
deemed an unqualified success. There are many points in favor of the 
system of centralizing or "consolidating" the rural schools in order 
that the pupils in the country or rural districts might have the advan- 
tages of a graded and high school training without the necessity of 
leaving home and going to the nearest town or county seat in order to 
attend the graded and high school — a plan requiring that they be away 
from home and placing considerable extra expense upon their parents. 

School "centralization," as it is called in Ohio and other Eastern 
States, provides the abandonment of all rural schools in the township 
and the building of a central high school in the center of the township. 
It provides for transportation of all pupils of every age to this central 
school building each morning and for their return to their homes at 

One of the centralized or consolidated systems was placed in opera- 
tion at Mantua, Ohio, in the year 1903, and time has proven that it has 
many merits far ahead of the old plan of having small district schools 
and many teachers. Nine districts in the township were abandoned. 
Nine teachers were dispensed with, and the work done at the township 
center by five teachers, including the superintendent and principal. 
Previous to the centralization, the township had maintained a high 
school and township supervision, which was fairly satisfactory. A 
number of the more ambitious and forward citizens desired to go a 
step further and centralize or consolidate the entire township. Bitter 
opposition developed, some of it sentimental, but the greater part of the 
opposition came from those who had no children to educate and were 


afraid of higher taxation. Two elections were necessary to carry the 
township for the new system. It was inaugurated the following year 
in buildings at the township center, and every district school abandoned 
except one. Six wagons transport the pupils from their homes to the 
school comfortable and happ}' each morning. Almost from the start 
there was a distinct change in the personality of the pupils and marked 
increase in their progress, made possible by the fact that they were 
placed in grades and a longer period given for study and recitation. So 
pleased were the people with the outcome of the first year that they 
readily voted a higher tax to add additional teachers to the force and 
increase the high school facilities. The one lone district which had ob- 
jected to the centralization plan so forcibly that they were permitted 
to maintain their rural school, petitioned to have the rural school aban- 
doned and the pupils of the district given free transportation to the 
central school. Land values in the township have increased because of 
the fact that a better class of tenants were moving to the tenant farms, 
and buyers were more in evidence for the land. This centralized school 
has been in existence for' thirteen years and is looked upon as a model 
of its kind in Ohio and elsewhere. The action of Mantua township, in 
Portage county, Ohio, was followed in succeeding years by other town- 
ships, and it is only a question of years when the rural school in Ohio 
and Indiana and parts of Illinois will be a thing of the past. 

The argument of the opponents of centralization or consolidation 
of rural schools that the system "costs more" and makes taxes higher is 
just. Better schools do cost more money. But the advantages and 
benefits received by the neighborhood far outweigh and overbalance the 
cost. The extra cost of a consolidated school will not equal the present 
cost which citizens who are ambitious to give their children a high 
school education in some town in the county, are compelled to pay. 
There is not a township in Nemaha county but could have a consoli- 
dated school. The movement is gaining ground in Iowa and in parts of 
Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan, and is destined to be taken up in 
Kansas at no late day. 

Wherever intelligent consolidations have been made, the results are 
always the same— an increased attendance, a better average, and more 
interest. In short, a first-class, well-taught school takes the place of the 
"kept" one-teacher school we have at present in so many communities. 

The parent who wants to educate his child, who wants him to have 
the faculties of the mind expanded and the attributes of the soul fully 
developed, cannot afford to fail to aid in this great movement. Surely, 
the little ones, who are reaching up with their silent, isolated appeal 
for a better chance in life, will have a hearty and ready response from 
every thoughtful, loving parent. 

Let us teason together over these propositions. Let us place the 
good of the child above all else. Let us educate them so that they shall 
walk upon mountain tops of exalted, progressive, glorified American 


If you who read this have been so unfortunate as not to have ac- 
quired an education, ponder on the opportunities you have lost, on the 
embarrassment which has been yours, on the ideals you have failed to re- 
alize, and then, when you have done this, I am sure you will lay your 
hands on the heads of 3'our little ones and exclaim : "Please God, these 
shall have the opportunities I have missed." 

There are also in Nemaha county several parochial schools that de- 
serve notice in this comment on "Schools and Education." The St. 
Peter and Paul's school at Seneca with nine sisters as teachers, under 
the direction of Father Joseph, O. S. B., has an enrollment of about 
tliree hundred pupils. The curriculum covers ten grades and the school 
has an excellent reputation. Father Joseph has taken the necessary 
steps for the approval for high school credits by the State board of the 
two years' high school work done by the school. This will strengthen 
the school for the young people of like faith, who must have high school 
credits to obtain certificates as teachers in the public schools of the 

St. Mary's school at St Benedict has an excellent building, well 
equipped. Father Gregory, assisted by an able corps of sisters, con- 
ducts the school, which has an enrollment of more than one hundred. 
Only graded work is taken up in this school, in connection with religious 

St. Bede's school at Kelly, under the supervision of Father Edwin, 
is a splendid school, witli, an enrollment of about one hundred pupils. 
He has three teachers, who are experienced instructors, and the course 
of study covers eight grades. 

Sacred Heart school at Baileyville, Father Hohe, O. S. B., in charge, 
is a growing institution, well patronized by the surrounding homes of 
the Catholic faith. This school is new and has a good building. The 
enrollment last year was eighty pupils. 

Some statistics from the superintendent's annual report : 

The two second class cities, Seneca and Sabetha, with a school 
census of 1,172 pupils, paid their thirty-three teachers $20,129, almost 
$20 to the pupil. 

The eight third class cities, Wetmore, Centralia, Goff, Corning, 
Bern, Oneida, Bancroft and Baileyville, with a school census of 1,129 
pupils paid their thirty-eight teachers $22,650, a little more than $20 to 
the pupil. 

The no rural schools, with a school census of 3,698 pupils, paid 
their no teachers $42,172, just a little more than $10 a pupil. 


C. C. Sta'rr, assistant State superintendent, was appointed to his 
position from superintendent of the Seneca schools. He is now head of 
the schools in Fresno, Cal. I. B. Morgan, head of the schools of Kansas 

'ayllt^ A^^/^ 


City, was one of the brilliant teachers in Sabetha, having been superin- 
tendent of the schools in Sabetha previous to his Kansas City appoint- 

Miss Mattie Trees, now a member of the Sabetha school board, has 
a record as a teacher of Xemaha county and Sabetha of which to be proud. 
It is doubtful if a teacher in the State can equal it. Miss Trees taught 
school in Sabetha for twenty-nine years without ever losing a day from 
her work. Hundreds of men, women and children owe allegiance to 
her. Miss Trees, herself, never had a high school education. She at- 
tended the country schools near her home, south of Sabetha, from the 
time she was five years until she was nearly fourteen. Every summer 
she attended normal school, either at home in Sabetha or in Seneca, 
Emporia or Holton. There has hardly been a month since she was a 
tiny girl that Miss Trees has not been in a school in one capacity or 
another, until her resignation to care for her mother a few years ago. 
She was fortunate in her teachers at the country school. She studied 
under Henry Isely, Mr. Carothers and Mr. Mellenbrush. These three 
men owned farm.s in the vicinity, but were graduates of Eastern colleges. 
They took pleasure in teaching their apt pupil the higher branches. 
She consequently received instruction in many studies that do not come 
even in the regular high school curriculum. All three teachers are now 
dead. Prof. E. G. Hoffman, a principal of Hiawatha schools, once told 
a number of Miss Trees' pupils that when she was his pupil at Holton 
she took the entire first year's course in Latin in ten weeks. 

Miss Trees received her first certificate entitling her to teach when 
she was fourteen years old. The first school she taught was the Victory 
school, six miles southwest of Sabetha. Mrs. Hattie West Benson was 
teaching the school at the time. She got a chance to take a higher school 
and asked Miss Trees if she would take the Victory school. Needless 
to say, Miss Trees did not let the grass grow under her feet in putting 
in an application. James Belyea was the president of the school board, 
and he was shocked at the applicant's youthfulness. He claimed no 
little girl like that could teach school. Miss Trees finally persuaded 
him to let her try it for a month. The name of the school, Victory, was 
suggestive of the girl teacher's success. For Mr. Belyea was so satisfied 
with her that she was retained in the position for six years. 

'Later, she taught in the Spring Grove, Franklin, Harmony and 
Summit schools, all in this vicinity. 

Then she was engaged to teach in the Sabetha schools. She started 
with the sixth and seventh grades. When they divided these grades, 
she retained the seventh. Then she was given the seventh and eighth. 
When these grades in their turn were divided she was given the ninth 
grade. Later the ninth grade was abolished and Miss Trees was given 
her position in the high school, which she held for eight years, and 
which she has recently resigned. 

Miss Trees started Dr. Orville Brown, who is now in Europe taking 


a special course in medicine, on his educational career. Fred Faragher, 
who is professor of chemistry at the Kansas State University, is an- 
other of her pupils. Of the teachers in the Sabetha schools and other 
schools in the vicinity. Misses Jennie Douglass, Minnie Meisner, Daisy 
Buck, Florence Fagan, Emma Cashman, Birdie Masheter and Charles 
Smith went to school to Miss Trees. Stanley Ford, a teacher in the 
Kansas City schools, is another of Miss Trees' pupils who is prospering 
because of her instructions. 

She has always been immensely popular as a teacher and dearly 
loved as a friend by her pupils. And upon their learning of her decision 
to retire, there were not only protestations, but tears. 

A school teacher who has made more than good in the big world 
following pedagogical ministrations in Nemaha county is Dr. Maurice 
King, now of New A^ork City, a Centralia boy. Dr. King attained the 
position of chief medical examiner of the New York Life Insurance 
Company in New York. To guess his salary at $10,000 is probably put- 
ting it mildly. While Dr. King was studying medicine he taught school 
near Centralia and lived with his sister, Mrs. Durland. A. C. Durland, 
who died a few years ago, was responsible for bringing the King family 
to Nemaha county. He lived near the Kings in New York before com- 
ing to Kansas. After settling near Centralia, he went back and married 
one of the daughters. The father of this fine family was a Swiss-Ger- 
man. He made a fortune in New York in the manufacture of Switzer 
cheese. The other children came to visit Mrs. Durland, and most of 
them married here. Price King is a son-in-law of Dr. A. S. Best. Al- 
bert King married a daughter of A. Oberndorf, the Centralia banker, and 
now lives in Kansas City. Another sister, Mrs. I. Mapes, also lives in 
Kansas City. The father never lived in Centralia, having died many 
years ago. The mother lived there with her children for many years. 
She, too, is now dead. Their children have made some of the finest 
citizens of which Nemaha county boasts. 


The most antiquated and venerable looking building in this part of 
the county is the Albany stone school house. The walls are weather 
beaten, and the building has a silent and mysterious atmosphere, as if 
there might be a strange, and romantic tale hidden in some remote and 
dark closet inside the heavy pile of masonry. 

As a matter of fact, the old building had its hopes and ambitions 
at one time, but in an evil hour a vulgar railroad crept up and chilled it. 
When the Grand Island was being built, Albany was a better town than 
Sabetha, but the grade into Albany was too steep, and the road swung 
around into Sabetha, and the old stone school house has been sullen 
and silent ever since. 

The school house was erected in 1866. The stone for it was quar- 


ried somewhere near the old Fox place. The building is a heavy affair, 
two stories high. Originally it was hoped to have the school developed 
into a college, and it was believed that the two rooms would grow into 
a hundred and that the small beginning would be the nucleus of a nota- 
ble seat of learning. 

Pupils came from far and wide to attend the school, which was the 
most important school for twenty miles around. It was found neces- 
sary to build a boarding house next to it, and the boarding house was 
always filled with pupils who lived too far away to go home daily. 

The first teacher was I. D. Sammons, now of Pennsylvania, "father 
of C. E. Sammons. He taught the school in 1867. Another early 
teacher was the late Samuel Slosson. Mrs. Jennie S. Landrum, now 
deceased, also taught the school in the early days. Mrs. W. B. Law- 
rence taught the school longer than any other person. She taught the 
school fifteen years, resigning many years ago to better attend to 
household duties. Some of Mrs. Lawrence's first pupils grew up and 
were married and she taught their children. 

The removal of Albany to Sabetha caused a rapid decline in at- 
tendance at the Albany school, and now only one room, the one on the 
first floor, is used. The room on the second floor is closed. When the 
decline in Albany began, even the buildings left, some of them being 
moved two miles to Sabetha. 


■'The report of the county Normal institutes held in the year 1877 
shows that the}' were held in sixty counties. The first was held in 
Nemaha count}', opening June 5. It held for twenty days. I attended 
this institute. The highest salary paid a conductor was $185, to J. M. 
Greenwood, in Elk ; while Nemaha paid $140. In average attendance, 
Nemaha stands thirtieth. During the sessions of the institute, lectures 
were given on educational topics. State Superintendent Lemmon and 
S. A. Felter, who was conductor, gave lectures in Seneca. .'Vbijah 
Wells was countv superintendent at the time," writes ]\Irs. Emilv Col- 

Mrs. Emily Collins, a beloved citizen of Nemaha county, has been 
faithfully attending institutes ever since, for this year she completes 
her thirty-eighth year as teacher of the primary grade in the Seneca 
schools. In that period, she has lost no time. In hundreds of cases, 
Mrs. Collins has taught the second generation, and in one case at 
least, has taught the grandson, having started in school the mother and 
grandmother of the little lad. Her hair has grown to the softest white, 
but her eyes retain the fire of her youth, and her sympathy and under- 
standing of childhood has only increased with each year spent in their 
midst. Mrs. Collins never looks forward to the first of June as a re- 
lease from her labors, but anxiouslv awaits the summer's end, when 


she may again be with the Httle ones whom she starts on the way to 
knowledge. Every year Mrs. Collins has a picture taken of the class. 
On her schoolroom walls are pictures at all stages of photography. 
Among the interesting are the old-fashioned chromos of two little girls, 
one curly head surrounded by daisies, another by roses, which the chil- 
dren of forty years ago remember as the first pictures hung on their 
nursery or bedroom walls. These favorite's of other days have not 
been removed for more modern works of art, but have merely been 
moved over that the newer photographs and gravures may have wall 
space. Mrs. Collins' home is as rare as her schoolroom and herself. 
She has a remarkably fine library of hundreds and hundreds of books, 
which will be left to Seneca if that town ever has a public library. 
The house resembles a quaint old church, and is hung with vines and 
the yard filled with old-fashioned flowers. The 1915 high school 
annual was dedicated to Mrs. Collins. E. W. Howe, founder of the 
Atchison "Globe," and editor of Howe's monthly magazine, the most 
widely quoted writer in America, lectured in 191 5 on "The People in 
the Audience." He said the following of Mrs. Collins, who was "among 
those present." "Mrs. Collins has taught for thirty-seven years. This 
fact is remarkable, but the more remarkable is Mrs. Collins' person- 
ality. I have never seen a woman of her age equally well preserved; 
not only as to health, but as to disposition. On her face are written in 
unmistakable characters, peace, charity, and kindliness. She is a 
greater woman than Jane Adams. A speaker in the Chautauqua re- 
ferred to M!rs. Collins, and there was a burst of applause, as the people 
of Seneca love her. Pictures of saints give them faces that are some- 
times, usually, I think, ludicrous. The artists try so hard to repre- 
sent the virtues in oil. There are no people who have "never said an 
unkind word of anyone" ; there are no saints on earth, but the saintliest 
face I have ever seen belongs to Mrs. Collins, who has taught half the 
men and women of Seneca, and never whipped any of them." 









While Nemaha county men and women would not be called "jiners," 
in that acceptance of the word which indicates going into anything 
that comes along, there have been, since early days, several solid lodges 
faithfully and profitably supported in all communities in the county. 
Seneca, the county seat, naturally organized the first lodge, which was 
the Masonic, A. F. and A. M., organized in September, 1863. Byron 
Shelley, A. K. Moore, J. H. Peckham, L. B. Jones and Hiram Johnson 
were the original officers. The Eastern Star lodge was organized in 
October, 1878. J. H. Hatch, Mrs. Peckham and Mrs. Brown were orig- 
inal officers. 

The Royal Arch Masons was formed in 1877 with \A'illis Brown as 
high priest, and other offices filled by S. B. Murphy, John F. McGowan 
and J. E. Black. An attempt was made in 1864 to organize a chapter of 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but it was not effected until 
two years later, with Delos Acker and William Histed as officials. 

Seneca's present orders, with officials, are as follows : 


George Graham Post No. 92 — Meets first and third Saturdays at 
2 p. m. in G. A. R. hall. George Root, post commander. 


The Women's Relief Corps — Meets on the first and third Tuesdays 
of each month at the G. A. R. hall at 2:30 p. m. Lizzie Wetmore, pres- 




Seneca Lodge No. 39, A. F. & A. M. — Communications in Masonic 
hall on first and third Thursdays of each month. H. M. Baldwin, wor- 
shipful master; W. E. Fuller, secretary. 

Nemaha Chapter, No. 32, R. A. M. — Convocations first and third 
Tuesdays in Masonic hall. Herbert E. Jenkins, high priest ; R. M. 
Emery, Jr., secretary. 

Seneca Commandery, No. 41, Knights Templar — Conclaves second 
and fourth ^A'ednesdays in Masonic hall. Edwin Buehler, exchequer; 
W. G. Rucker, recorder. 

Iris Chapter No. 357 O. E. S. — Meets every second and fourth Fri- 
day evenings of each month in the A. O. U. W. hall. Visitors welcome. 
Mrs. Jane Emery, worshipful master; Dora Adriance, secretary. 


Nemaha Lodge No. 19, I. O. O. F. — Meets everv Monday night in 
I. O. O. F. hall, Seneca. C. M. Newton, noble grand ; J. T. Campbell, 


Nemaha Lodge No. 99, K. of P. — Meets every Thursday evening 
in I. O. O. F. hall. Frank Larew, chancellor commander ; Clarence 
Smalley, K. R. S. 


Seneca Council, No. 193, K. & L. S. — Meets the second and fourth 
Friday each month in I. O. O. F. hall. R. D. McCliman, president; 
Mrs. E. M. Collins, secretary. 


Seneca Camp No. 644 — Meets every second and fourth Tuesdays 
in each month in I. O. O. F. hall. J. E. \^'hite, venerable consul ; Frank 
Larew, clerk. 


Nemaha Valley Camp No. 944 — Meets first Friday evening of each 
month in I. O. O. F. hall. Social meeting every third Friday evening. 
Mrs. C. A. Japhet, oracle ; Mrs. Florence Wheeler, recorder. 


Seneca Lodge No. 60 — Meets first, third and fifth Tuesdays in each 
month, in their hall. Charles Carman, most worthy; W. B. Murphy, 



Meets in A. O. U. W. hall the second and fourth Tuesday evenings 
of each month. Mrs. Edna M. Ralph, C. of H.; Mrs. Myrtle lies, re- 


Seneca Fire Department — Meets last Monday in each month. Ira 
K. Wells, chief; C. J. Smalley, secretary. 

C. M. B. A. 

The C. M. B. A., St. Charles Branch No. 21.— Meets first and third 
Thursday of each month in the A. O. U. W. hall. Peter P. Stein, presi- 
dent; Henry Gudenkauf, recording secretary. 

Willis M. Slosson was master, John F. Corwin, senior warden, and 
J. E. Black, junior warden of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons 
of Sabetha Lodge No. 162, at its organization in 1875. Nineteen mem- 
bers were included in the original roster, of whom D. D. Wickins and 
H. C. Haines are still members and residents of the town. 

Sabetha Lodge, or the Central City Lodge, as it was called. Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, No. 125, was organized the same year, 
with J- E. Moon, noble grand, and W. F. Robbins as secretary. 

Twenty-four men organized the Knights of Pythias lodge in 1880 
with David D. Wickins and T. K. Masheter as financial reporter, both 
of whom are still residents of Sabetha. N. S. Smith and Fred L'^kele 
were original members who are now residents of the town. 

The Women's Christian Temperance L^nion was organized in 1878. 
Mrs. David Wickins and Mrs. Dr. Slosson are now members of the 
organization, who were charter members. 

Masons, Fritz Flerrmann, worshipful master ; Order of the Eastern 
Star, Mrs. George A. Allen, Jr., worshipful master; Modern Woodmen 
of America, A. R. ^^'ittwer, venerable cunsul ; Royal Neighbors, Mrs.- 
Halla Oylear, oracle ; Knights and Ladies of Security, Dr. B. W. Con- 
rad, president; Royal Highlanders, A. G. Kemper, secretary-treasurer; 
Yeomen ; Mrs. Laura L. Hook, correspondent ; North American Union, 
John H. Judy, secretary; Central Protective Association, W. C. Schug, 
president; Free Department, Fritz Herrmann, president. 

Centralia lodges include the Masonic, Eastern Star. Odd Fellows, 
Modern Woodmen, Royal Neighbors, Kansas Fraternal Citizens, Wood- 
men of the World, Ancient Order of United Workmen and Degree of 

Goff lodges : Royal Neighbors, Mrs. Louise Henry, oracle : Miss 
Okeson, recorder; Mrs. D. W. Hunt, chaplain; Mrs. Ed Conover, past 


oracle. Modern Woodmen : T. J. Cox, venerable consul ; Nick Jacobs, 
worthy advisor; Frank Stringer, banker; W. C. Jesse, escort. Odd Fel- 
lows : W. E. Coffelt, noble grand ; H. E. Hanley, vice grand ; A. H. 
Fitzwater, secretary ; B. A. Johnstone, treasurer. Rebekah lodge : Mrs. 
F. J. Cox, noble grand; Mrs. Besse Eckard, vice grand; Mrs. E. C. 
Maher, second vice grand ; Mrs. Nick Henry, treasurer. 

The lodges at Corning are the Ancient Order of United Workmen, 
Odd Fellows, Masons, Modern Woodmen and Knights and Ladies of 

Oneida lodges : Knights and Ladies of Security, Raymond Funk- 
houser, president; Mrs. J. F. McCarty, vice president; Claud Funk- 
houser, secretary ; Mrs. C. H. Bell, financier. Masonic, S. S. Steven- 
son, worshipful master; O. L. Coleman, senior deacon; W. H. Moore, 
junior deacon ; Roy Smothers, secretary. Odd Fellows : Claud Ander- 
son, noble grand ; Ernest Moser, vice grand ; Harvey Barndt, chaplain ; 
Roscoe Benedict, warden; J. J. Russell, secretary; Henry Wikoff, treas- 
urer. The Modern Woodmen is another of Oneida's active lodges. 

Bern lodges : Ancient Order of L^nited Workmen, Bern Lodge 
No. 319, J. J. Koehler, most worthy; D. D. Cunningham, secretary. 
Sunlight Lodge, Knights of Pythias : D. D. Cunningham, C. G. ; A. J. 
Clyman, K. R. and S. Turnverein : Jacob Spring, president; Charles 
Cassman, secretary. 

Wetmore lodges : Wetmore Lodge No. ■ 53, Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons, A. Philip Lapham, worshipful master ; Claude J. 
Wood, secretary. This lodge was first organized at Granada and 
known as Granada Lodge No. 53 ; was then moved to Capioma, where 
it remained about a year, and was then moved to Wetmore and its 
name changed. Wetmore Chapter No. 212 Order of Eastern Star. 
Mrs. Lillie A. Achten, worshipful master; Miss Lorena J. Mell, secre- 
tary. Wetmore Lodge No. 289, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
Charles Cooley, noble grand ; Lee Adamson, secretary. Wetmore Re- 
bekah Lodge No. 326, Mrs. Charles Cooley, noble grand ; Mrs. Anna 
Stolzenberger, secretary. Star of Hope Camp No. 1064 Royal Neigh- 
bors of America, Mrs. Alice M. Turrentine, oracle; Mrs. M. Maude 
Stever, secretary. Wetmore Camp No. 1515 Modern Woodmen of 
America, C. C. Gilbert, vice commander; Robert Rion, clerk. Wet- 
more Council No. 273 Knights and Ladies of Security, Charles W. 
Hendershot, president ; Mrs. Bessie Ruhlen, secretary. 


Nemaha county is rather remarkable in the number of its clubs 
that have staj^ed under a loosely woven scarf of original weaving for 
over a period of years. 

In Seneca was formed a library and literarj^ association, as far 
back as 1864. After a few months' interest, it lagged. Again it was re- 


vived. Periodical backslidings have occurred, but, today, after more 
or less slips and regaining of foothold, a circulating of librar}^ books 
individually owned, exists in Seneca, the undoubted offspring of the or- 
iginal library association. 

In Seneca, about ten years ago, Mrs. C. C. K. Scoville, notable for 
her variety and brilliance of achievements, organized a se.xtet of girl 
singers called the Mary Lincoln sextet. Mrs. Scoville is the wife of the 
Seneca banker and mother-in-law of Lieut. Walter de Mumm, whose 
achievements in the European war have attracted attention during the 
current year. Mrs. Scoville was named by President Lincoln on the 
occasion of a speechmaking visit to the town of her nativit}-. Mrs. 
Scoville remembers the martyred president. She was born in Gales- 
burg, 111. Her father, George I. Bergen, held a Government position. 
Mrs. Scoville recalls that when she was a little girl, Mr. Lincoln came 
to Galesburg to deliver a speech. It was the first time he ran for the 
presidency. George Bergen and Abraham Lincoln were friends. A 
great procession was arranged in Mr. Lincoln's honor, and the daugh- 
ter of George Bergen rode in the carriage with Lincoln. As the crowds 
cheered, the child stood up in the carriage and added her cheers for 
Lincoln. He was greatly amused and pleased at the little girl's demon- 
stration and lifted her to his knee, and gave her the narne of Mary- 
Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln's maiden name was Mary Todd. She was em- 
ployed as a seamstress in the family of George I. Bergen. Mrs. Sco- 
ville has in her possession letters written her father by Lincoln, Grant 
and Yates, the war governor of Illinois. The Mary Lincoln sextette 
of Seneca was named in honor of this event for Mrs. Scoville. It was 
composed of girls whose fresh young voic'es were carefully selected 
and admirably suited. Mrs. Scoville chaperoned them to neighboring 
towns for concerts until their fame became widespread. The sextette 
was disorganized by the inroads of matrimony. 

Since its earliest day, Nemaha county has been notably musical 
with many residents who have won laurels in far away places through 
their music. Among these was the late Will Stevenson who lived in 
Oneida, midway between Seneca and Sabetha, and was the moving 
spirit in musical affairs in all three of the communities. Today, years 
after his death, the beauty of his voice and the superiority of his pro- 
ductions are so uniformly admired that his compositions are repro- 
duced in memory of him. Most of Gilbert & Sullivan's popular operas 
have been produced in Nemaha county by the choral union. One of 
Mr. Stevenson's great successes was "The Haymakers." It was repro- 
duced shortly afterward by signed request of most of the citizens of 
Sabetha as a benefit performance for Billy Williams, a local citizen 
who had been seriously injured. The play was taken to neighljoring 
towns, and twenty years afterward, was reproduced, some of the parts 
being played by the children of the original company. The Billie 
Williams production resulted in a net donation to him of over ^70. 


Hiawatha people had come over to see the original production. It 
was so good that they induced the company to go over there and give 
the operetta for the benefit of the Fliawatha library. They went and 
were given a reception in the library rooms, then located over the bank 
diagonally across from the postoffice. Seneca came after them for a 
performance at the county seat. A Seneca paper said that the perform- 
ance demonstrated that people could be fine business men and women 
and artists at the same time. Among the members of the organization 
at that time who took part in the opera, were C. L. Sherwood, who 
was business manager as well as a member of the musical company. 
E. Holzshue sang the boatswain in "Pinafore." Miss Ida Robbins, now 
Mrs. Graham of Pomona, Cal., was the prima donna. Miss Bird Riffer 
was Little Buttercup. Sid West was the fascinating Ralph Rackshaw 
and Dr. Roberts, the captain. Joe Stevenson was stage manager, and 
Will Stevenson, Dick Deadeye. Will Storm played the clarionet in 
the orchestra, and a violinist named Mutter was transported from 
Leavenworth. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Waller were Plebe and Sir Joseph. 

Sabetha gave "Erminie" too with Robert Bressem as the marquis, 
and Mrs. Hogbin as Erminie. The two robbers, for whom the dicky 
birds were always calling, were Freel Corwin and Will Storm. Harry 
Gravatte staged the piece and Will Stevenson directed. This was 
given by the Congregational Church. Most of the performances at 
that time were given by the choral union. The fine musical library at 
the public library is a result of the choral union's efforts and the inter- 
est which accumulated on their moneys from the time of their disor- 

Within the current year, The Sabetha Amateur Music Club has 
brought artists of world-wide fame to the town of 2,000 inhabitants, 
including Madame Maud Powell, the world's greatest woman violinist ; 
Fabbrini, the great pianist, and Marguerite Dunlap, the singer. The 
venture was a great success. No other community so small is known 
to have attempted such a thing solelv through a woman's club. The 
organization has forty-five members, some of whom have more than 
local fame as musicians, notably Mrs. S. INIurdock, Miss i\Iinnie Stalder, 
Mrs. W. A. Carlyle and Miss Mary Pace. 

A society that probably would take a State prize for continuous 
and uninterrupted fortnightly meetings for pleasure purposes, only, for 
over a quarter of a century is the Sabetha Evening Whist Club. The 
venerable whist club has been meeting for thirty years. Members and 
their children and their children's children are now members of the 
same organization, and have been for several years. Sweets are saved 
from the midnight supper served, to take home to grandchildren of 
charter members. The club was organized when the old-fashioned 
"drive" whist was the rage. Neither fashion nor pleas of the newer 
members will push the originators from drive whist of two hands at a 


L and 7, J. E. Taylor and Wife. 2 and 3, Mr. and Mrs. John Sly. 4. Mrs. Fuller, a and 6 E. J. Emery and \Vfe. 
^ and 9, J. H. Peckham and Wife. 10, Mrs. Ballard. 11 and 12, Thomas Bronaugh and Wife 13, J- P^ Jay or. 
U and 15, Mr. and Mrs. William Broxtermann. 16 and 17, Dr. D. B. McKay and Wife US, .lacob McGel ee. 
19, Mrs. Kelley. 20 and 21. Peter McQuaid and Wife. 22 and 23, Mr. and Mrs. .lames Graney. -■>■ P. H. Stirk. 
25, Marsh Burger. 26, Ed. Caspy. 27. James Gregg. 2S, Joshua Sams. 29 and 30, J. P. Cone and \Mfe. 


game, to four, game whist, duplicate, bridge or auction, all of which have 
been the fashion since the organization of the Sabetha Whist Club. 

Seven 3'ears, or more, ago appeared the following story of a Whist 
Club anniversary : 

The charter members of the Whist Club surprised Mr. and Mrs. 
C. L. Sherwood in celebration of their twenty-fifth wedding anniver- 
sary. Mr. and IMrs. Lon Hook, Dr. and Mrs. W. A. Haynes, Mr. and 
Mrs. Robert Bressem, Mr. and Mrs. George A. Guild, Mr. and Mrs. E. 
Holtzchue and Dr. Roberts are the charter members, besides Mr. and 
Mrs. Sherwood. Mrs. Hook and Mrs. Sherwood were president and 
secretary from the formation of the club twenty years ago until last 
year. Mrs. Cotton has always been treasurer of the club. There never 
has been a cent of money in the treasury during the entire twenty years 
of its existence. A standing joke of the president has been to call for 
the treasurer's report at every meeting fortnightly for twenty years. 
Mrs. Charlie Haines and Mrs. Sam Murdock are the present president 
and secretary. The duties of these officers seem to be no more arduous 
than those of the treasurer. Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Haines are also char- 
ter members, but were unable to attend the Sherwood surprise. The 
club guests at the party presented Mr. and ]\Irs. Sherwood with a hand- 
some set of solid silver knives and forks. The "bride and groom" were 
so genuinely surprised that it almost required restoratives to bring 
them around. The husbands attend regularly and enjoy it. .Are any 
other thirty year husbands as faithful? 

The county gathering of longest standing, most faithful attendance 
and unvarying success was the annual picnic held for fifty years at 
Magill's grove near Capioma and Woodlawn in the southwestern 
corner of the county. Samuel Magill, with his three brothers, who 
were pioneer settlers of this district, arriving in 1856 and 1857, inaug- 
urated the picnic in his grove of walnut trees in i860. Trees were few 
in those days except along the creek. The walnut grove of Samuel 
Magill was famous. Its lumber now is made into handsome furniture 
filling the castles and palaces of England, but still the beauty of the 
vyoods seems undisturbed. 

In this forest primeval, for nearly fifty years annually, gathered, 
until the year of his death, Mr. Magill's friends, acquaintances and all 
folk from surrounding communities who knew Woodlawn or Capioma. 
The grove itself is historic in that Samuel Magill preempted the land 
in 1855, and owned it to the time of his death with the parchment deed 
■to the land signed by Abraham Lincoln. The grove when the first 
picnic was held was practically the only timber in the vicinity. There 
are now fiftj'-five acres of timberland, from which, in the late years of 
his life, Mr.' Magill shipped thousands of feet of massive walnut trees 
to England. Mr. Magill retired from active farming, for years prior to 
his death six years ago, but to the last meeting he attended the annual 
picnic. When the picnic started in the pioneer days, the picnickers 


numbered but a few early settlers, who had preempted their farms, 
worked early and late against the odds which assail the pioneer, with 
this annual celebration their only pleasure. For this day troubles were 
laid aside, hardships forgotten and homesickness banished in the warm, 
human communication, with gospel hymns and good eating the sole 

Every year the crowd increased until five neighborhood Sunday 
schools and at least two towns were represented: Granada, Capioma, 
Comet, Bethany and Woodlawn, besides all the surrounding country- 
side and the thriving towns of Wetmore and Sabetha. The crowds 
frequently numbered several thousand. There was to have been speak- 
ing before dinner, but, of course, there was none. The speaker never 
arrives until dinner is spread. The mothers gather on the rough, tem- 
porary board benches and discuss household affairs while watching the 
arrivals. The fathers gather near their own rigs in knots of five and 
six, where they discuss their corn prospects, tell of their fine wheat 
crop and wonder when Charley Jordan is ever going to get around 
with the threshing outfit; and why on earth Jack Dyche ever wanted 
to sell out his fine farm here in God's country, and move away out to 

The children hang around and watch closely two embryo financiers, 
Clyde Buck and Ed Stalcup, put up their ice cream and soda pop stands. 
Things drag along. Noon arrives and no speaker. Finally the Wood- 
lawn Sunday school superintendent gets up on the impromptu plat- 
form, flanked on one side by an American flag, and on the other by the 
church cabinet organ, and announces that the speaker not having come, 
the first thing on the program will be dinner. Shouts of applause 
follow this short speech. Matters begin to move. Fathers get baskets 
from under the buggy seats, boys bring buckets of water from the 
spring and mothers begin to squeeze lemons. The children hop around 
in everyone's way, sneaking bites from anyone's table. The picnic is 
fairly on. Married children, with their tots, gather at the family table 
cloth with grandmas and grandpas, together with a dozen intimate 
friends. Some few who live in far parts of the district make the picnic 
dinner their annual feasting together. Of course there is a hundred 
times too much to eat at every table, although everyone eats and eats 
and eats. 

Dinner over and cleared away, another pause comes. The speaker 
arrived in time to get his share of the food. Little by little, the older 
ones gather on the benches fronting the platform. Sweethearts saunter 
off to find a grapevine swing; the children scamper off to wade in the 
creek; the older boys rush off into Pettit's pasture for the annual 
baseball struggle between those old enemies, Granada and Capioma. 
The superintendent of the Sunday school again gets on the platform. 
He makes a plea for a choir. No one moves. He beseeches our excel- 
lent singers not to be bashful. He wants representatives from every 


choir present. Still a motionless audience. "Well, well," he says, "I 
do not want to sing all these hymns as solos." Giggles followed by 
the rising of the faithful Capioma choir leader, who started the music 
with a tuning fork some forty odd years ago. This brave man is backed 
by three brave girls, and the procession to the dozen straight-backed 
kitchen chairs on the platform begins. Half the singers are then ob- 
liged to return to their seats on the benches. The program begins 
with No. 177. The organ wheezes out the little verse all the way 
through, the last chord dying entirely out as the organist ceases to 
pump. The original chorister leads off. The voices straggle in one 
after the other until the chorus is reached, when the audience takes it 
up. This hymn is followed by another. Then some local elocutionist 
recites. Another c'horus, followed by a second flight of orator)-, and 
so on, heartily applauded by the neighbors and admirers of the reciter. 
The climax comes when fourteen perspiring, exicited little boys and 
girls, draped in bright blue tissue paper sashes and crowned by triple 
pointed, gilded pasteboard crowns, are gathered together, by their 
faithful trainer, Mrs. Stauffer, and coralled on the platform for the flag 
drill. They weave in and out and wave their flags and mix up and 
unmix, forming a final glorious tableau, by kneeling with their flags 
carefully stuck in each other's eyes. This part of the program is given 
an encore, and is repeated. 

Then, at last, the speaker gets in his work. Mothers sneak off to 
relieve their children of their drill finery. The speaker shouts patrio- 
tism at a few fathers for half an hour, and the day's program is fin- 
ished. Fathers go to hitch up ; mothers gather up baskets ; older chil- 
dren hunt up the little ones ; the last call for ice cream is made, going 
at five cents a dish, and Magill's picnic is over. This has been the pro- 
gram for nearly half a century. Can any other community claim such 







Of the big- calamaties of lesser renowned happenings of Nemeha 
county the drought of the sixties, the grasshoppers of the seventies and 
the tornado of 1896, are the most important. The exact dates of the 
drouth and grasshopper era is frequently disputed as is most matter of 
historical worth handed down by verbal recitation. The big drouth is 
generally conceded to have occurred in i860. There are scores of stories 
in connection with it. J. T. Brady who recently died in Pomona, Cal., 
tells a good one. Mr. Brady helped in the foundation of two towns, Sa- 
betha and Albany, and to his life's end divided his affection equally be- 
tween them. He was one of the builders of Sabetha, and thirty years 
ago went to Pomona, Cal., which he helped to build as he had Sabetha. 
Many Nemaha county folk followed him there. 

Fred and Charlie Graham, Colonel White, Mrs. F. E. Bouton, her 
daughter. Miss May, Mrs. Edwin Slosson, Mr. and Mrs. William Law- 
rence, who have been prominent in Nemaha county for years, were seized 
with the California fever, gathered at Pomona, built and settled there. 
Mr. Brady was a connection of Ira Collins matrimonially and the two 
were in business together in Sabetha's early days. Mr. Collins -wandered 
from the fold for a few years, but is again in Nemaha county. 


Mr. Brady recalls the drouth as follows : The pumpkin is a sort of 
"incidental" now on the food scale, and a feature of Hallowe'en parties, 
but back in i860, when the hot winds turned Kansas into a scorched 
plain, the now forgotten and unsung "punkin" was the whole show. 
John T. Brady told a story of that famous drouth in i860. He and A¥il- 
liam Collins had come from Illinois the year before. They had started 
for Pike's Peak, which at that time was the- Mecca of all wanderers. They 
met a bunch of returning emigrants near Sabetha, and the hard luck 
stories determined them to cast their fortunes in Kansas. They took a 


claim near the present townsite of Sabetha. After putting in a crop in 
the spring of i860 tliey decided to go on to Pike's Peak anyway. They 
remained until fall and then came back to their claim. The country was 
burned to a crisp. The corn was twisted like burned bacon. The grass 
was bleached and dead. The whole country, which onh^ a few months 
before had promised abundant harvest, had been turned into a profitless 
waste. The bare ground looked as if it had been seared by a furnace. 
Nothing was raised. Brady and Collins began to look around. They knew 
a man named Bierly Job, close by, arid called on him. They found he had 
a tremendous crop of pumpkins. The pumpkins had been planted in the 
corn, as the old fashioned farmers used to do. The corn had been killed 
but the pumpkins refused to suffer a like fate. The hotter the weather 
got, the faster grew the pumpkins. Pumpkins filled the furrows and the 
vines covered the hills and continued to bring forth more and more. The 
crop was something wonderful to behold. When anybodj^ got hungry 
he came and carried off a load of Job's pumpkins. Nothing else had been 
raised and pumpkins were served for soup, for meat, and in pie for des- 
sert. People ate pumpkins till they turned yellow. That crop made his- 
tory and saved many a belt from being drawn into unaccustomed 


The grasshopper year was in 1873. It hit Nemaha county as thor- 
oughly as any other section, and tales are rampant of sufferers who had 
their clothes fairly eaten off their backs. The grasshopper year is al- 
ways referred to as if it were a calamity that visited Kansas alone, as if 
Kansas bore and bred the omnivorous insects, and then refused to let 
any other State have a sight of them. The truth of the matter is that the 
famous grasshoppers came from Colorado. Kansas- had nothing to do 
w^th their origin whatever, and merely fed them her crops as they blew 
over the State into Missouri and Iowa. But Kansas is a good advertis- 
er, and always has been since her forefathers left New York, New Eng- 
land and Pennsylvania and started for the West with the motto "Kansas 
or Bust" on the covers of their mover wagons. Therefore when Kansas 
drew the grasshoppers, Kansas advertised the fact, knowing that it was 
better for her business to be discussed any old way rather than not to be 
discussed at all. And it is the same today. Iowa was having primaries, 
and insurging and things last week, too, but no one paid any attention to 
Iowa. The eyes of the entire country were on Kansas. And "as Kansas 
went, so goes the country" is Kansas' new slogan. 

In the historic year of the grasshoppers, Roy Hesseltine was a boy, 
and later president of the Citizens State Bank of Sabetha. The thing 
that impressed him most was the excitement among the turkeys when 
the grasshoppers darkened the sky in their countless numbers. The tur- 
kevs were for a moment staggered by the spectacle of so much food in 
sight. Then they "lit" into the grasshoppers and ate, and ate, and ate. 


Mr. Hesseltine says he saw turkeys eat grasshoppers until they couldn't 
get any more down, then stand_ with their mouths open. Occasionally 
the grasshopper would take advantage of the gobbler's "open season" 
and would kick itself out and escape. The turkeys would start early in 
the morning with a rush, bent on transacting business all day, but about 
one o'clock they would be full to the throat, and would squat down and 
remain there the balance of the day, picking only grasshoppers which 
they could reach from a reclining position. The turkeys were the only 
beneficiaries of the grasshopper year. 


But the cyclone was more of a personal matter with Nemaha county. 
To be sure a portion of the northeastern section of the State shared in it 
to an extent, yet it was not a State-wide event, if disastrous enough for 
one. The cyclone occurred on the evening of May 17, 1896. The storm 
originated in Miltonvale, Cloud county, Kansas, and swept through 
Washington, Marshall, Nemaha and Brown counties, Kansas, and Rich- 
ardson county, Nebraska, to Preston on the Missouri river. At times the 
tornado would break up into several tornadoes and in Nemaha county, 
several communities were simultaneously damaged by twisters. The 
first place where extensive damage was done was at Barnes out in 
Washington county. Then the tornado hit Frankfort in Marshall co.un- 
ty, then Baileyville in Nemaha county, then at Seneca. Five were killed 
at Seneca, five were killed at Reserve, four at Sabetha, five at Oneida, 
three at Morrill and four in Richardson county. The funnel cloud which 
wrecked Sabetha formed over Price station. The storm then seemed to 
have hesitated and gathered its forces for the descent on Pony Creek and 
east Pennsylvania avenue. From there it passed on to Reserve and into 
Nebraska. It was the worst storm the county has ever known since its 
organization. There was not a business building and very few houses 
left undamaged in Sabetha. The damage of the storm financially was 
estimated at one million dollars, of whicli over $700,000 was Nemaha 
county's loss. 

"Cyclone stories" in a stricken community are of unfailing interest 
and when the bitterness and sorrow have been a little obliterated by the 
passage of time, they become sometimes amusing. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel 
Magill's home in Seneca was completely demolished in the tornado of 
.1896. Mr. Hartner, of the same locality, lived half a mile from the Ma- 
gill home. A family picture of the Hartner family and family group 
of the Magill family were carried with the wreckage of their two homes 
above the clouds to a distance of sixty miles and were found in the same 
cornfield by a farmer who was cultivating and did not know there had 
been a storm. The farmer carried the two pictures into the home of a 
neighbor, a ]\Irs. Plummer. She recognized the picture of the Magill 
family and said the pictures must have come from Seneca. Later they 


heard of the terrific storm, and the destruction in its wake, and they re- 
turned the pictures to the Magill family. There had been no storm at all 
at Falls City, Neb., or near there, only' a distance of twelve or fifteen 
miles from Reserve, one of the towns destroyed. The pictures must 
have been carried entirely above the rainclouds as they were not even 
damp. Only one corner of the picture was torn. Mrs. Magill framed it 
and it still decorates their home and is in as good condition as* if it had 
never taken so mad an air ride. In the picture are the following Seneca 
people: Mr. and Mrs. Abijah W'eUa. Mr. and Mrs. David Magill, Mrs. 
Captain \\^illianis and daughter. 

Another story of the tornado that is amusing is the saving of the 
Magill piano. The piano was found upon a pinnacle of wreckage, unin- 
jured except for the fact that a board had blown completely through the 
piano, entering one side through the hard wood and going out the oppo- 
site side, without injuring the works of the instrument. The clock was 
the only thing absolutely uninjured. The clock was left standing on a 
pile of wood. It was ticking and had not lost a second's time through the 
frightful storm. When Mr. Magill and his family issued from the cellar 
of a neighbor's house, his clock greeted him by chiming out the correct 


Issued First Copy the Seneca "Courier" Fifty Years Ago — Some Earl}' 
Seneca History — The Changes of Time. 

As preliminary to what the writer may here state, he wishes to re- 
fer to first impressions. His first introduction to Seneca and the valley 
of the Nemaha, leading north into Nebraska, was in the late summer of 
1862. There were two of tis, residents at that time of Marshall county, 
and having a couple of Indian ponies we wished to break to the saddle 
and a day or two of idle time on our hands, we left Marysville one Sunday 
forenoon, took in a camp meeting on the Vermillion creek and from 
there went across the prairies to Seneca and north to near the Nebraska 
line, where we stopped with Dr. Edwards, a very genial old gentleman, 
over night. There were small and very scattering improvements along 
the valley and we met very few settlers but the road, or path rather, was 
an easy grade, the foliage and landscape fine, indicating productive soil_ 
and compared with anything we had seen on that or previous trips. We 
pronounced the valley a gem in the rough, an Eden spot of Kansas, and 
were, therefore, as we returned to Marshall, in a mood to sing in the lan- 
guage of the old hymn: "Every prospect pleases and only man is vile." 

Something over a year after the date mentioned above, or in Octo- 
ber, 1863, the writer came to Seneca with the view of starting a newspa- 
per. Inducements were offered and aspirations stimulated that Seneca 


and Nemaha county could support and should have a newspaper. Ac- 
cordingly teams were sent to Atchison county and a press and complete 
outfit brought to Seneca and on the fourteenth day of November, 1863, 
the first paper in the county made its appearance — a six column four 
page paper, the Nemaha "Courier." Many predictions were made as to 
the success or failure (more of the latter) of the enterprise. The town 
was an infant, there was one brick business house on Main street occu- 
pied by Lappin & Scrafford as a general store, (now the Mason & Wolt- 
kamp furniture store.) The block east had a few wooden .buildings and 
J. H. Peckham was doing a tin and hardware business in one of them, 
and a blacksmith shop on the east side of that block. On the next block 
east was the stone building now standing, considerably remodeled and 
then occupied b}- Bolivar Schofield's general store. On the south side. 
and corner where August Kramer now is, was John E. Smith's hotel and 
station for the overland stage travel. West were several small 
buildings occupied by furniture, general trade, saloon, restaurant or any 
transient line that might come along. Dr. McKay ran a drug store on 
the north side about where the Steam Bakery now is. The old double 
log house celebrated in song and story and which has a history in itself 
as first house, hotel, store, residence, etc., was still standing about where 
the Scoville buildings now are and was occupied by Albert Clarke and 
famil)'. The block across the street south of where the post office now is, 
had one building near its center, the residence of Samuel Lappin. There 
were probably about two dozen business men and firms in town, all told. 
And while there was a pretty generous subscription list started by some 
subscribers paying for from three to five annual subscriptions for the 
paper to be sent to friends in the East, the local advertising and job work 
was light. The county printing was increasing and instead of its being 
sent away to the river papers, was now kept at home. Then, too. by per- 
sistent hammering and soliciting the paper soon filled up with advertise- 
ments from St. Joseph, Atchison and Leavenworth merchants. A new 
field was opened to the business men of the river towns and they took 
occasion to cultivate it. 

The home office of the "Courier" was in the rear room of the Mason 
& Woltkamp building before referred to. Byron Sherry's law office was 
in front. The press was a fine old Foster make and is now installed in 
the State Historical rooms in Topeka for preservation and for the good 
it has done. 

The first roller boy or original "devil" of the office was George W. 
Williams, of Seneca. T}'pesetting machines were unheard of in that day 
and one of the first printers who was employed to assist in placing in col- 
umns the "mute metallic messengers of thought." was Theodore Alvord, 
who responded to a call on a $5.50 stage ticket from Atchison. A great 
many lively reminiscences could be given of the printers and workmen 
who rolled into and out of town in the next few succeeding years. The}' 
were a restless and venturesome lot that traveled the road in those davs 


and Nemaha had one lone office where they might apply for a "sit." Al- 
most every article fit to eat or wear by man or beast was taken on sub- 
scription in those days. A pair of longlegged leather boots were early 
handed in by a local shoemaker for the editor and he put them on and 
"waded in." They proved a most serviceable pair. In December, 1865, 
the "Courier'' was designated by the Secretary of State, W. F. Seward, 
as one of the two papers in Kansas to publish the United States laws 
passed by the United States that session of Congress. A new Gordon 
job press and many substantial improvements were added to the offce, 
followed by a frame one story office built on the corner where the First 
National Bank now stands. Most of the material was sawed in Atchison 
from native lumber and shipped by the Central Branch railway to Cen- 
tralia and hauled to Seneca by H. D. Hornbeck, the Seneca freighter of 
those days. Centralia then and for some years after was our nearest 
railroad point. The paper remained in its new home until the early sev- 

A word now as to the early organization of the town. One Inger- 
soll and another man from Doniphan county are said to have located the 
town of Rock Castle, where Seneca now stands, in the winter of 1856 to 
1857, and the double log house, so often referred to, was put up the 
succeeding spring. Pocket knife engravure had indelibly placed the 
name Rock Castle on one of the logs. Not long after Royal U. Torrey, 
Samuel Lappin and his father, Finley Lappin, and Charles G. Scrafford, 
the last two arriving later, bought or took the townsite and Ijecame ac- 
tive in building a town and upon the suggestion of the elder Lappin, the 
name was changed to Seneca. This name was familiar to Lappin senior, 
it has been said, from a town of the same name in his native State of 

In these chronicles relating principally to the town, should not be 
forgotten the men and families who came to Nemaha and were "squat- 
ting" along the creeks and branches near by and who founded some of 
the fine farms we see today. The idea largely prevailed then, that land 
worth taking up should be on a creek or low ground, that the prairies 
would never produce or sustain anything more than a few Indians and 
jack rabbits. As early as 1855, 1856 and 1857, there were the following 
settlers contiguous to Seneca, viz : "Elias Church, John S. Doyle, L. J. 
McGowen, Joseph W. Dennis, on the east side of the Nemaha and his 
father, Batson Dennis, on the west side, William Berry, on the east, and 
Jesse Dennis, on the west, W. W. Lilley on the east and E. N. Hanks on 
the west, Thomas Morgan on the east, and Elias Huff on the west, Thos. 
Carter, William R. Wells, John F. Long, William Houston on the east, 
and on Illinois Creek, Alonza Whitmore, Jeremiah Barnes, John Roots 
and George F. Roots." On the north and east of town were Lanhams, 
Newtons, the Johnsons, Williams, Bonine, Carlins. Steinmeirs, and many 
others of the tillers and toilers who could be depended upon, upon what- 
ever occasion called them out. 


Indian scares and rumpuses were somewhat common then. Small 
bands of the Otoes in visiting their brothers south took the Nemaha 
route, and while peaceable except when filled with fire water, they were 
not particularly agreeable as permanent residents. The savage raid by 
those farther west in 1864, when the Nemaha Home Guards were called 
out, would form a chapter of reminiscences of itself. 

And this is a glimpse of Seneca and Nemaha fifty years ago when it 
was struggling for the "Stars Through Difficulties." Kansas was the 
battlefield of ideas, the struggle was sharply on and defiance and death 
were dealing fearful blows. The heart beats and throes of the time were 
awakening everj^ dormant energy. The immortal Lincoln's guiding 
hand was at the helm of State, and Kansas and Nemaha were loyal to 
the faith. 

"What anvils rang, what hammers beat, 

In what a forge and what a heat. 

We shaped the anchors of thy hope." 

"The Bison Kansas Bee" of Rush county, deep in the solitude of the 
"Great American Desert," sums up the progress of fifty years as follows : 
"Only fifty years from ox-team to automobile, from forded streams to 
concrete bridges. Only fifty years from buffalo grass to alfalfa, from 
unplowed fields, pounded by hoofs for a thousand years, to the mellow 
soil of varied crops. Only fifty years from bisons to shorthorns, from 
the wandering tribes to the contented families. The plodding pace of 
Buck and Berry" and the gliding 1913 model, affords no greater con- 
trast than that which obtains in all lines in Kansas. It's only fifty years 
from inebriety to sobriety, from Kansas drunk to Kansas sober ; only .fif- 
ty years from the wagon trail to the iron rail. Only fifty years from 
"buffalo chips" to natural gas- Only fifty years old, yet one State alone 
has more money on deposit than Kansas. Fifty years ago only an occa- 
sional letter; today the rural carrier visits nearly every farm house. 
Telephones, rural carriers and good roads make neighbors closer than 
formerly when a block apart. Kansas, the commonwealth, has had her 
infancy and her ripened age, in less than the lifetime of one generation. 
'Better fifty years of Kansas than a cyclone of Cathay.' " 


T. H. Edgar told a thrilling story of pioneer days in this vicinity. 
Mr. Edgar had four brothers and a cousin who took the old Sante Fe 
trail for California in search of gold. The}' were fortunate in their quest 
and started to. their home in the East with saddle bags filled with the 
precious gold dust. It was estimated that in all the return party had 
$100,000 in gold dust. Each of the Edgar boys and the cousin, whose 
name was Burner, had $20,000 and a pony. Near Fort Leavenworth the 
overland party was surprised by Indians, and most of the band was mas- 


sacred. One brother of the Edgar boys and Burner survived. The two 
managed to keep hold of their saddle bags in the fray, and escaped. Sup- 
plies were abandoned, and in hiding out from place to place they became 
so exhausted they could carry the gold dust no farther, so they decided 
to cache it. A large gray rock along the trail was selected as a likely 
spot. An abandoned wolf hole was found under the stone and the gold 
was buried there. They reached the fort, and after four days' rest re- 
turned to the spot where the gold had been buried, accompanied by a 
company. They found the place where the raid had been, found the 
burned wagons, but no trace of men or horses was left. They searched 
for the gray stone, but it was not found. Nor could any familiar spot 
be discovered. Late in the fall, after continued search, they returned 
again to Fort Leavenworth. They reached their Illinois home penniless. 
An Illinois company was formed to search for the gold, with no better 
result. Twenty years later another quest was made, but the gold dust is 
still buried somewhere beneath the old California trail in Nemaha or 
Brown county. 


^^'illiam B. Slosson used to tell of an exciting buffalo hunt which 
resulted from an Indian scare in the early sixties. All the men of the 
county practically had gone to war. Mr. Slosson had been wounded in 
the knee and was at home recuperating. Shortly before his return to 
the front word was received that Indians were attacking the residents of 
Marshall county adjoining Nemaha on the west. A rally was made at 
Seneca. Rev. G. C. Rice and Elihu Whittenhall, elderly men, made a 
house-to-house visit among the scattered settlers to inform them where 
the rendezvous was to be. The women sat up all night cooking. In the 
morning, Byron Sherry, a Seneca attorney, was made commander of the 
impromptu brigade, numbering about 400 boys and old -men, and the 
brigade started after the Indians. As they approached the scene of the 
raid, cabins were found in smoking ashes and the Indians had fled. 

As the party came over the hill, overlooking the Blue river valley, 
their hearts fairly stopped beating to behold in the valley beneath them a 
solid mass of tens of thousands of buffalo, peacefully feeding. There 
were acres and acres, solid miles, in fact, of buffalo. The buffalo sniffed 
the foreign invaders and started to move. The Indian hunters dashed 
after them. Mr. Slosson shot one buffalo and he veered out from the 
herd. Mr. Slosson was riding a blooded horse, which became excited 
with the chase and dashed after the buffalo. They caught up with the 
wounded animal, when he turned to lunge at them, but the skillful horse 
stepped aside and the animal lunged forward. Several shots and similar 
maneuvers finally conquered the king of the plains. He was skinned, 
and the fresh meat served the amateur soldiers many good meals. 

In the beginning of the buffalo raid, Byron Sherry cried, "Boys, 


let's surround them." This became a byword, and many years afterward, 
when Mr. Sherry was making a political speech as candidate for congress, 
someone in the audience cried out, "Boys, let's surround them." It 
raised such a roar of laughter that the speech was useless, and Mr. 
Sherry lost the nomination. Mr. Sherrj' became a lawyer in Kansas 
City later. 


Alfred Stokes, of Sabetha, was one of twenty-two persons who ar- 
rived in Sabetha in 1872, from Binghamton, N. Y., to seek their fortunes. 
There was Mr. Stokes and family, John Stevens and family and Garret 
Dietrich and family. Their intention was to take up homesteads. The 
nearest good land was found to be in Smith county. The men left their 
families and went to Smith county and took up land. Mr. Stokes came 
back to Sabetha after staking off land near the present site of Smith 
Center. He gave up the homestead, let it go back to the government. 
The farm is now worth $100 an acre. Should he have kept it? Here is 
the answer. A few months after Mr. Stokes took up the claim he started 
from Sabetha to Smith county. The Grand Island road, when it touched 
Davenport, Neb., was the nearest road to the claim, seventy miles. Mr. 
Stokes started to walk from Davenport to the claim. He walked all day 
without seeing a sign of life except buffalo and wolves. At night he 
staggered into a building. He Avas back at Davenport on the Grand 
Island, which consisted of an old box car. He had been walking in a 
circle all day. 

The next daj^ he started out and made better progress. He came 
to a dugout. A settler had just lost his wife. Mr. Stokes asked for 
water. The settler showed him a stinking hole. Stokes knew wh}' the 
wife had died. The next night, Mr. Stokes feared to lie down for fear 
wolves would devour him. He walked on in the night and saw a light. 
A woman was nursing a sick bab}'. Her husband was somewhere picking 
up buffalo bones to exchange at Wetmore, sixtj^ miles away, for a pitiful 
little jag of groceries. After he had implored her to let him in, she did 
so, and he slept on the dirt floor, thankful for his life. 

So it went. A few dugouts ten to twenty miles apart. Poverty 
everywhere. At another dugout a woman had just given birth to a 
baby. She had baked rye bread ahead in anticipation of the event. Her 
husband sold Stokes a loaf of bread. He sat down and ate it, then 
begged to buy more. The husband would not sell. Mr. Stokes cooked 
buffalo meat with buffalo chips. It was plenty tough. 

There is nothing in this theory of wild game being so much better 
than any other kind. Mr. Stokes will take a good steak any time. Event- 
ually he reached his claim. There was no town of Smith Center then. 
There was no living on the crops produced. It couldn't be done. It 
wasn't done for twentv years afterward. The hundred dollars an acre 


homestead doesn't look so alluring, does it? Stevens and Dietrich 
moved their families from Sabetha to Smith county. Both men are 
dead. John Tyler died in Seattle. Mr. Stokes is the only head of a 
family still living. The reason he didn't move to Smith county was 
that the Grand Island owed him $210 and couldn't pay it. They did 
him a favor. He doesn't think those years of pioneer hardships would 
have been worth the hundred dollars an acre. 


More than fifty orphan children, homeless from the vicissitudes of a 
city existence, have found a home, shelter and refuge in this county. The 
goodly people have given these not only a home, but in most cases the 
love and control of parents. Our first bevy of little ones, twenty-four 
in number, came ten years ago under the charge of Mr. Swan and Miss 
Hill, field agents of the Children's Aid Society of New York City. 

Miss Hill is now the Kansas State agent, with headquarters at To- 
peka. Some of the innocents came from the Kansas Home of the Friend- 
less. Of all this number there was but one defective child. The rule 
is less than one in twelve. The city orphans know nothing of farm life, 
and }'et they make good upon the farms and almost every case of dis- 
satisfaction of foster parent or child is found to be the interference of 
neighbors or servants. 

The child's return to the foster parents in love, labor and usefulness 
more than justifies the expense, care and trouble. The responsibility of 
the child's life is carried by the organized societies and their represent- 
atives who govern their discipline and by advice and admonition assist 
in the guidance to a useful maturity of these children. 

The remarkable success of these children proclaim that the rearing of 
the children is the greatest industry Nemaha county attempts. One of 
our most unpromising little ones has become the friend and associate of 
her foster mother. At eighteen she is little mother to two others. She 
has saved $500 and is today a useful, helpful housekeeper. 

Another has demonstrated scholarship to a marked degree and by 
competitive examination won a State scholarship in the big institutions 
of learning where she is finishing her education. This child was seven- 
teen. She knows how to do housework, milk, husk corn and drive a team. 

It has been one of the aims to place these children upon the farms in 
preference to other homes. Upon the farms they have the intimate as- 
sociation of their foster parents, their regular, steady work, the oppor- 
tunities of the country school — the best in America today. Add to these 
the regular hours of sleep, the wholesome food of the farm table and 
the conditions for the rearing of the child become almost ideal. 

The material affairs of the children are supervised by a local com- 
mittee that are in truth the representaives of the instiutions. The head- 
quarters of the movement in the county has been at Sabetha, and of the 


original committee, which consisted of George W. Hook, Ralph Tennal, 
Tom Pace, Roy Hesseltine, Grant Hazen and Will Guild, there remains 
active in the work Ralph Tennal and George Hook. These two have kept 
in close touch with their charges, and have urged upon both parents 
and children that maxim of good guardians of child life, "Don't see too 

These supervisors are under lasting obligations to the newspapers of 
northeastern Kansas. These have, without money and without price, 
given most freely of their advertising columns, the reading space and 
their good will, and the children are blessed accordingly. The Sabetha 
"Herald," the Brown County "World," the Kansas "Democrat," Seneca 
"Tribune" and Troy "Chief" have each assisted cheerfully. May their 
blessings be accordingly. 

The committee has found some royal helpers among the people, and 
among those have been Mrs. Henri Plattner who, by care, advice and 
material assistance, has found homes for many. To Irwin Hook and 
his gentlewife, whose home has at all times been open for the care and 
instruction of the children so unfortunate as to be waiting for new homes, 
much credit is due. Nemaha county has always cared for the orphans. 

E. E. Crichley came to Kansas from England with a party of orphan 
children that were distributed here about thirty-six years ago. He was 
taken into the O. C. Bruner home in Seneca. He remained with the fam- 
ily, and is now with the Santa Fe railway people in the coach depart- 
ment in the shops at Topeka. Although only five years of age when he 
was taken, he recalls quite well the day and occasion of his assignment, 
and when at home recently went to the court house to see if he recog- 
nized anything about the place that was impressed upon his child mind 
on the occasion of his first visit. All trace of a brother taken by a Mr. 
Rosengarten has been lost, and nothing is known of him since the time he 
was in the employ of Jake Allen, who used to run the big livery barn 
on the vacant block in the rear of the Kramer hardware store, and which 
was destroyed by fire some twenty years ago. 


In the past few years in rich Nemaha county very few have wound 
their way "over the hill to the poorhouse." Thus it was called in 1869 
when crops frequently failed and residents of "No Papoose' .oc- 
casionally lost their grip. Then a county farm was secured for their 
care and sustenance, a mile and a half from Seneca. A stone building 
was erected sufficient to accommodate thirty people. The eighty acres 
surrounding it have frequently been self-supporting, and larger acreage, 
with fine timber and a picturesque stream, are included in the grounds 
now. But the new building is called the County Hospital, and that is 
what it amounts to. 

The building is modern in every respect, furnace-heated, a water- 


works system, two windows to all the rooms, four porcelain baths, and 
a home of comparative happiness and contentment to the dwellers 
therein. Under the management of Mr. and Mrs. John Pugh, who are 
now conducting the hospital, it is almost self-supporting and his "family" 
is well content. Sara Teasdale's words about "The Poorhouse," 

Hope went by and Peace went by 

And would not enter in ; 
Youth went by and Health went by, 
And Love that is their Kin. 

Gray Death saw the wretched house, 

And even he passed by; 
"They have never lived," he said, 

"The}' can wait to die." 

are little suited to Nemaha county's Home for the Poor, where peace 
reigns with comfort and contentment. 

Eighty windows glow in the western sun, and the glow they reflect 
is the glow reflected by the care and rest that is given the weary and the 
old within its walls. 







Of the sons and daughters of Nemaha county, many have acquired 
fame, honor and riches bounded only by the nation and a few beyond 
this country's boundaries. 


Benjamin L. Miller, born on the Rock creek farm of his father near 
the Nebraska State line, has just returned from an expedition in the 
countries of South America for the United States Government, examin- 
ing mines and conditions there. He has the chair of geology in Lehigh 
University, and was given a leave of absence of a year and a half for 
the work. Upon his trip letters of his findings and travels were sent 
to his' boyhood home and reproduced in home papers, in which he al- 
ways retains his interest. 

Dr. Miller's discoveries were told at a congress of scientists in 
Washington, D. C, and before the president. The week in the National 
capital was notabh' given over to him and his work. 


While there may be truth in the saying that "a prophet is not 
without honor save in his own country," yet it would seem that there 
are rare occasions when two prophets, hailing from the same country, 
may admire one another. Such seems to be the case of Dr. Edwin E. 
Slosson for his former countr3'man. Prof. W. J. Husse}'. Dr. Slosson 
and his brilliant wife. May Preston Slosson, a poet with a name of her 
own, were boy and girl in Nemaha county about the time Ethel Eon- 
tain was a girl in the same vicinity. All were children of pioneer citi- 
zens of this communitv ; Mrs. Slosson, of Centralia, Mr. Slosson, of Sa- 


betha, Ethel Fontain, of Fairview. Miss Fontain became a brilliant 
scientist and married Prof. Hussey, a man high in the same profession. 
She was his helper and companion in all remarkable achievements. 
Indeed, she was more : his partner in equal right. The same is true of 
the Slosson family. Dr. Slosson is associate editor of "The Independent 
Magazine" of New York, a periodical of highest standard. All are 
children of farmers, who helped to build this part of Kansas into the 
great commonwealth it is today. Mrs. Hussey's recent death occurred 
when she was returning from a trip of scientific research with her hus- 
band. Now for the pleasant things one gentle prophet of Nemaha 
county has to say of another, in a recent issue of "The Independent 

"The oldest of our State universities and the youngest of the uni- 
versities of Argentina have formed a unique sort of partnership to in- 
crease their efficiency in astronomical research. The observatories of 
Michigan and LaPlata have been, for the last few years, under the 
management of a single astronomer and their telescopes working in 
harmon}' command the heavens. Prof. W. J. Hussey is doubtless 
the first man to attempt to occupy chairs in two universities 
9,000 miles apart. But Prof. Hussey is not unused to attempting 
the unusual. He has been at it all his life. A farmer boy does not 
work his own way to the front rank of steller discoveries at the age of 
forty-nine without exceptional initiative and ability. He started in life 
with no apparent advantages toward such a career, perhaps Quaker 
ancestr}^ and a book loving father. He took the engineer course at Ann 
Arbor, working summers on railroad construction in Wyoming and 
Kansas to get money to carry him through the winter. One summer 
he was ordered to report to the superintendent at ^lankato, to be sent 
into the field. Entering the office he found the superintendent out and 
while waiting, his orderl)^ mind was so much distressed by the con- 
fusion in the office that he busied himself cleaning up and setting 
things to rights. When the superintendent came back and saw the 
transformation he gave the young man a position in the office instead 
of sending him out on the road. At the Lick Observatory on Mount 
Hamilton he began the discoveries which brought him an international 
reputation. Upon the publication of his work on the double stars ob- 
served at Pultowa, Russia, and of his systematic observations of the 
satellites of Saturn for many years, he was elected to membership in 
the Royal Astronomical Society of London and awarded the Lalande 
gold medal by the Paris Academy of Science. He has devoted himself 
especially to double stars, and has discovered 1,400 such systems pre- 
viously unknown. He has found that about one star out of every 
eighteen is really double. To distinguish between two such stars, 
which are less than two seconds of an arc apart is as difficult as it would 
be to distinguish two pinheads placed side by side at a distance of two 



When Professor Hussey made the pictures of the eclipsed sun in 
Egypt, Mrs. Hussey accompanied him, and wrote a story of the ex- 
perience for the California papers. The "Herald," at that time, com- 
mented on her rare powers as a writer, and cjuoted from her story. A 
brief resume of Mrs. Hussey's story is reproduced here from the "Her- 
ald" of that date, about eight years ago. 

"She tells of the long- trip through the desert, and hardships of con- 
structing and mounting the enormous photographic instruments. Ice 
was carried over 500 miles to the party, not for their personal comfort, 
but to put in the photographic baths to counteract the effect of the 
intense heat so that the gelatine in the photographic plates would not 

"Weeks were spent in preparation, and thousands of dollars were 
spent, all for that two and a half minutes of time in which the eclipse 
lasted. Mrs. Hussey describes the scenes among the astronomers at the 
critical time just preceding the eclipse, and in very dramatic fashion. 
One hitch in the elaborate clock work and other mechanism would 
have been disastrous to the expedition, but the plates were photo- 
graphed and developed successfully and were on their way to America 
when the letter was written. Mrs. Hussey's husband is one of the big 
astronomers of the country. We quote below the opening paragraph 
of Mrs. Hussey's article which gives an idea of her stjde, and which 
we pronounce good enough to be literature. 

" 'The unique interest that attaches to a total eclipse of the sun is 
not hard to explain ; it is beautiful, it is rare, it is tantalizingly brief, 
it is a clue to mysteries. That blazing star, without which we should 
not know our own world, without which we should not know life at all, 
long stood behind its own light unrevealed. Now and then the moon's 
disk, of just proportions to screen the unbearable brilliance, comes 
between, and there flash into light the rose-red flames above the 
chromosphere, and the cold radiance never else suspected, the corona. 
A brief moment it hangs ; then the following limb of the black disk 
crusts with red, a bhnding spot of yellow appears, the light of common 
day again floods the sky, and the corona is lost like the dawn.' " 

F. R. Richards was the childhood playmate of the famous lost 
Charlie Ross. Mr. Richard's father, the Rev. E. Richards, was a minister 
in New York, and lived next door to the Ross family. F. R. Richards 
says that for several years he played with Charlie Ross, the boy who 
was stolen. The Richards and Ross boys were almost the same age, 
and they were inseparable companions. One day when Richards was 
about six years old, he remembers missing Charlie Ross. Making in- 
quiries of his mother, Richards learned that Charlie Ross had been 
stolen. Mr. Richards says he remembers his loneliness for days after 
Charlie Ross had been stolen, because of being robbed of the com- 
panionship of the lost Charlie Ross. 



Willis J. Bailey, vice president and managing officer of the Ex- 
change National Bank, Atchison, Kans., since 1907, and governor of the 
State of Kansas from 1903 to 1905, was bom in Carroll county, Illinois, 
October 12, 1854. He was educated in the common schools, the Mount 
Carroll High School, and graduated at the University of Illinois as a 
member of the class of 1879. In 1904 his Alma Mater conferred upon 
him the degree of Doctor of Laws. In 1879, soon after completing his 
college course, he accompanied his father to Nemaha county, Kansas, 
where they engaged in farming and stock raising, and founded the 
town of Baileyville. L^pon reaching his majority Governor Bailey cast 
his lot with the Republican party, and since that time has been an 
aictive and consistent advocate of the principles espoused by that organ- 
ization. In 1888 he was elected to represent his county in the State 
legislature; was reelected in 1890; was president of the Republican 
State League in 1893 ; was the Republican candidate for Congress in 
the First district in 1896, and in June, 1898, was nominated by the 
State convention at Hutchison as the candidate for congressman at 
large, defeating Richard W. Blue. After serving in the Fifty-sixth 
Congress he retired to his farm, but in 1902, was nominated by his 
party for governor. At the election in November he defeated W. H. 
Craddock, the Democratic candidate, by a substantial majority, and be- 
gan his term as governor in January, 1903. At the close of his term 
as governor he removed to Atchison, and since 1907, has been vice 
president and manager of the Exchange National Bank of that city. 
Shortly after his retirement from the office of governor, he was prom- 
inently mentioned as a candidate for LTnited States senator, and in 1908, 
a large number of Republicans of the State urged his nomination for 
governor. Mr. Bailey has always been interested in behalf of the 
farmers of the country, and from 1895 to 1899, he was a member of the 
Kansas State Board of Agriculture. 


E. G. Stitt, late of Sabetha, was an old time friend and business 
comrade of William Thaw, grandfather of Harry K. Thaw, and he told 
the story of how the Thaw fortune was started and incidentally men- 
tioned the sterling character of old ^^'illiam Thaw, on whose grandson 
fhe attention of the nation was riveted during his trial for the murder 
of Stanford White. William Thaw was an old canal man on the Penn- 
sylvania canal and made a large part of his money in the canal business. 
He had in a measure retired from the canal for larger interests when 
Mr. Stitt was interested in canal contracts. William Thaw, Andrew 
Carnegie, a man named Clark and Thomas A. Scott built a bridge over 
the Alleghany river to connect two railroads which heretofore had 


transferred passengers by drayage and busses and horses. The four men 
asked Mr. Stitt to take a block of stock in the bridge ; in fact, they were 
rather insistent about it. But Mr. Stitt was fearful of the venture and 
dared not sink his money. Had he put in $1,000 he would have re- 
ceived enough money from the receipts of the bridge to have kept him 
for life. The four men mentioned were bridge stockholders. They 
charged twenty-five cents each for all passengers ovr the bridge and $5 
for each car and engine. The same charge is still in effect after half a 
century. There are thousands of passenger and cars crossing this bridge 
daily. Harry K. Thaw, millionaire homicide, is one of the beneficiaries' 
of the immense amount of money brought in by the bridge now. William 
Stitt said that William Thaw was the most beloved man in Pennsyl- 
vania. He was loved by young and old, rich and poor. Saturday af- 
ternoons Mr. Thaw gave entirely to the interests of the poor. They 
rang the bell of his palatial Pittsburg home and he personally talked 
with them and heard their troubles. He alleviated them by money or 
sympathy, as the case required. He personally saw that the cases of 
trouble were genuine. Upon his death the city of Pittsburg went into 
mourning. Mr. Thaw was worth $100,000,000 at the time of his death. 
He left $10,000,000 to each of his ten children. This is the sort of a man 
whose grandson faced the murder charge and is known as the degen- 
erate son of riches, who in a measure expiated his crime in prison and 


Miss Nannie Kulhmann, a former Centralia woman, is holding a po- 
sition in Washington for which she had to compete with a hundred 
men. She is official translator for the patent office. In her work she 
writes, reads and translates twelve different languages and the dialects 
of each. The languages are French, German, Spanish, Portugese, 
Italian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Bohemian, Hungarian, Norwegian and 
Swedish. Miss Kuhlmann is A. Oberndorf's sister-in-law. She taught 
school in Centralia two terms, about 1883 and 1884. Her sister. Miss 
Emily Kulhmann, who was here at the same time, the two emigrating 
from Germany, was one of the first kindergarten teachers in Kansas, 
having a class here -and beginning the work in Topeka. She is now 


Senator William Howard Thompson, of the United States Senate, 
was a Nemaha county youth, who recalls with interest his arrival in 
the county and the long walk he made to a farm in Rock Creek town- 
ship, north of Sabetha. He was a good pupil in school, taught in the 
country schools, was his father's court stenographer when his father 
was district judge, married a daughter of Andy Felt, of beloved mem- 
ory, one of the pioneer newspaper men of the county, and was elected 
to the senate when a resident of Garden City, Kans., having, within the 
current year, removed to Kansas City, Kans. 



Nemaha county claims Mrs. \'irginia Greever for her daughter. 
Miss Dora Adriance, of the Seneca "Courier-Democrat," one of the clever- 
est of Kansas newspaper women reporters, says that Mrs. Greever 
was the most intimate girlhood friend of her mother. Her parents were 
Mr. and Mrs. F. P. Newland, who lived and died in Seneca. Mrs. 
Greever brought prohibition to Kansas. The Story goes that thirty- 
five years ago the prohibition question was up for decision in the Kan- 
sas legislature, the amendment prohibiting the sale of liquor as a bever- 
age. The Senate passed it. Both men and women were working for 
its passage by the House, but defeat seemed to be imminent. Speaker 
Clark was about to announce a negative vote, when Mrs. Virginia 
Greever, a Nemaha county girl, then the wife of a member from Wyan- 
dotte county, rushed up to him, and in an impassioned plea, besought 
him for her children's sake, and for his children's sake, and all the chil- 
dren of the world, for Kansas' sake, and, above all, for God's sake, to 
change his negative vote to a vote in favor of the measure. Mr. Greever 
put his arm around his wife, faced Speaker Clark, and said : "Mr. 
Speaker, I vote in favor of prohibition." So it was through the courage 
of a Nemaha county woman and the consideration of her husband, a 
Democrat, that Kansas secured the most famous law in its constitution. 


Walt Mason, the most widely read and best paid poet America has 
produced, is a Nemaha county product ; or, if not born within its con- 
fines, he spent many years on its farms. Recently, Walt Mason wrote 
a poem about acquiring an automobile. His ambition was to come di- 
rectly up to Nemaha county and parade up and down the road before 
the Nemaha county farmer's place where he was employed as a youth, 
and honk his automobile horn continuously to let the man know how 
he had prospered. He has not come as yet, but we are expecting him. 
Nemaha county is very proud of Walt Mason. Not to have read his 
poems argues oneself absolutely ignorant of newspaper perusal. Walt 
Mason worked as a cub reporter on the Atchison Globe. He wrote his 
paid locals into poetry that amused the entire town and were his first 
poetical effusions. He puts a sheet of paper, or a roll, rather, in the 
typewriter and simply reels off his inimitable stuff by the yard. 


Frederick Gates, private secretary and right hand man for John D. 
Rockefeller, was a boy in Sabetha. His father, Rev. Granville Gates, 
was the first minister of the Baptist church, the first church in Sabetha. 
Rev. Gates was pastor of the church during most of the seventies, and 


was here when the church edifice was erected. Fred Gates did not for- 
get his boyhood chums during- his brilhant financial career. At least 
one of them, George Black, whose mother was one of the founders of 
the Baptist church, was offered a position with Mr. Gates in his work 
m the East. Mr. Black is now a figure in insurance circles in St. Louis. 
Frederick Gates later became cashier of a bank in Highland, Kans., and 
afterward a preacher in Minnesota, where George A. Pillsbury, the 
great miller, became interested in him. The original corporation papers 
of the immense Pillsbury mills were written by the son of a Nemaha 
county farmer, Judge W. D. Webb. Pillsbury helped Gates found the 
Pillsbury Academy at Owatonna, Minn. Later, Gates started a inove- 
men to found a big university in Chicago, and interested Rockefeller in 
the plan, securing from him the first $600,000 contribution. Rockefeller 
insisted that Chicago people should make this an even million and 
Gates induced Chicago men to put their money into the enterprise. 
From this start the great University of Chicago was built, and a Ne- 
maha county boy started it. 

Fred Gates became the big distributor of John D. Rockefeller's 
gifts, and became a great financier on his own account. He was presi- 
dent of great corporations, the biggest of which was the Lake Superior 
Cosolidated Iron mines, with railroads, boat lines, etc., which Gates 
sold to the L'^nited States Steel Corporation for $75,000,000. 

Frederick Gates was a cousin of the late Myron Lewis, of Sabetha, 
whose family received a typewritten story of the life of his father, the 
Rev. Granville Gates, upon the latter's death. 

W. C. Pace, ninety-six years old, the first bandmaster of Nemaha 
county, who still lives with his son, T. J. Pace, was a warm friend of 
Rev. Gates, and kept a special room of his home ready for him all dur- 
ing his life in the West. 


Rev. A. G. Lohman established the boys' industrial home under 
Mayor Tom Johnson, at Cleveland, Ohio, upon the theory that there 
are no incorrigible boys. About twenty-five years ago, Lohman was 
preaching for the German Reformed church in Brown and Nemaha 
counties, in northeastern Kansas. Later, he went to Cleveland, Ohio, 
where his voice, that had been strong enough in Kansas, failed, and he 
tackled the kind of work that suited his taste much better than preach- 
ing. He is a practical, sensible American of German parentage, trained 
in farm life, a man of infinite patience, the kind to handle boys. Mr. 
Lohman was put in charge of organizing of the homes for boys,, a 
movement then in its inception, in 1902. He has recently written a 
history of the farm and its work. The city first bought a farm of 123 
acres, with a barn not very large or convenient, and no house. Mr. 
Lohman moved his familv into the barn and made his home there until 


the first cottage had been built. Boys began to come to the farm before 
the house was finished. The first bo_v who came was quartered in a 
tent with the workmen until the house was finished. It soon developed 
that more land was needed, so an adjoining farm of 162 acres was pur- 
chased. That gave the farm 285 acres at a total cost of $12,300. The 
second farm had a house on it. The total amount that has been ex- 
pended for the farm and all impro\-ements in five years has been $70,000. 
This paid for the land, se\'en cottages, four barns, an engine house, 
baker3\ laundry, carpenter shop, gymnasium, waterworks and sewer 
system, electric light plant and all other permanent improvements. Rev. 
Lohman is the son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Lohman, of Sabetha. 

"The Father of Bern." 
By Mrs. V. A. Bird. 

The people of Bern and vicinity were shocked and received with 
sad hearts a telegram announcing the death of Col. Hy Baker, at the 
home of relatives at Utica, N. Y., at 4 o'clock p. m. Sunday, March 10, 
1913. The telegram stated that Colonel Baker had reached there on 
April 20, from Kingston, Jamaica, very much improved in health, and 
was in fine spirits all day Sunday. He went out to dinner at one o'clock 
and died suddenly of heart failure five minutes after entering the house. 
On receipt of the telegram, the flag at the city hall was hoisted half 
mast in honor of the man who was the founder of Bern. Colonel Baker 
was born in Utica, N. Y., which was his home for twenty-eight years. 
He was by profession a civil engineer, and was appointed city engineer 
of Utica when twenty-five }ears old. Later, he came West and was 
made chief engineer in charge of the construction of the Hannibal & St. 
Joseph railway into St. Joseph, in 1859. He enlisted in the I'nion army 
when the Civil war broke out, and while serving as engineer at Ft. Riley 
was given the rank of colonel, although he never served at the front. 
At one time during the war he was detailed to serve as revenue collector 
in Missouri, and after the war ran as railway mail clerk between Kansas 
City and St. Louis. In connection with others he secured control of the 
charter of the Iowa & Missouri railway, which was sold to the Rock 
Island, and which became their entrance into St. Joseph from the East. 
• During the construction of the C. K. & N. railway (now the Rock Is- 
land) he served as special agent in securing bonds in aid of the road, 
and during this time, about 1886, he purchased the land where Bern 
stands, platted the town and induced the railroad to build the neces.sary 
depot and side tracks, and Bern came into existence. Since that time 
Bern has been more or less his home, and especially during the last few 
years he has spent most of his time here. Colonel Baker was one of the 
best informed man in this country, being a great reader and having a 


splendid memory. He was a very strong character, and in his early 
days an aggressive worker — the best of friends to those whom he liked 
and a bitter enemy on sufficient provocation. In his early days he joined 
the Masonic order with his lodge connections at Utica, and was laid to 
rest with all the honors of the order. He was never married, and, with 
the exception of two nephews, his family has preceded him to the grave. 


Ralph Bunker, of Sabetha, is winning his way as an actor with Guy 
Bates in "Omar, the Tentmaker." C. J. Taylor is prominent in the pension 
office at Washington. He is a Seneca youth. The two Maxwell 'boys, 
Howard and Giles, are designers and consulting engineers with the Gen- 
eral Electric people in Schenectady, and have built electric railroads in 
England, and are now planning a railroad to be built in Australia when 
the European war closes. One could go through the list and find scores 
of other Nemaha county youths who have made big names in the big 
world outside. 








There is no doubt that the first sermon in Nemaha county was 
preached by a Baptist minister. Rev. Thomas Newton was a representa- 
tive of the regular Baptist missionary society. Rev. Newton died in 
1881, when he was eighty-four years old. Rev. Thomas Newton preached 
anywhere and everywhere during the first few years after his arrival in 
the county. The church itself was finally established at Central City, 
August I, 1857, and for two years was the only denominational place of 
worship in the county. Rev. Newton was followed by his son, Thomas C. 
Newton in preaching the gospel on Baptist lines. The Central City 
Baptist Church was finally combined with the Seneca Baptist Church in 
1875, after a brave existence of nearly twenty years, when it became ap- 
parent that the demise of Central City, generall}% was only a matter of 
a brief time. The Central City Church, which had been erected years 
before, was finally used for a school house. 

The Seneca Baptist Church was organized in 1866 in the Seneca 
school house, with the Lanham families, the Newton families, Rosanne 
Cordell and Eli Story and Silas ^^'icks as constituent members. It has 
not been as thriving as its pioneer efforts would warrant for twenty 
years and more, worshipping in the school house, private homes and 
utilizing the Universalist Church. 

The Methodists followed closely on the heels of the Baptists in or- 
ganizing at Seneca and became a strong church in that field of endeavor. 
The church was organized in 1857, but was visited only by the old-time 
circuit rider. Rev. Leonard Nichols. After a camp meeting held in Seneca 
the church was duly established, but the pastor. Rev. Asbury Clark, in- 
cluded surrounding towns in his itinerary, even as did John Wesley, 
father of the Methodist church, until the time of his death. The generous 
Universal building shared with the Methodist church also its roof and 


seats, and it was not until 1877 that the Methodists erected a church 
l)uilding. Rev. D. D. Hohnes dedicated the new church. 

On June 14, 1863. a meeting was held for the purpose of organizing 
a Presbj^terian church with such splendid names on the roster as J. C. 
Hebbard, for many years head of the school matters of Nemaha county ; 
Eliza Williams, Elvira Johnson, J. W. Fuller. The church did not 
thrive. Rev. Nash was sent for a few months to the charge. The feasi- 
bility of the erection of a common church to be used by all sects was 
discussed, but the settling as to which denomination should give its 
name to the building caused dissension. Finally the Universalists built 
an edifice, which was shared with the Congregationalists and Baptists. 

The Congregationalists, which organized in 1866, built a home of 
their own in 1870, ♦which was dedicated on Christmas day. Rev. W. C. 
Stewart was the first pastor. At least two of the pastors, Rev. R. B. 
Guild and Rev. A. G. Bergen, succeeding him, remained faithful to Ne- 
maha county, and their children have been factors in the progress and 
upbuilding of both Seneca and Sabetha. Mr. Guild's children and Mr. 
Bergen's children married and remained in the county. George A. Guild, 
the eldest son, became a banker, and finally became president of the 
National Bank of Sabetha and is now cashier of the Capital National 
Bank of Topeka. A connection, the late Edwin Knowles, was president 
of the same Topeka bank. Miss Susan Guild, a daughter, was principal 
of the Sabetha schools for several years, and is now dean of Carroll 
College for Girls at A¥aukesha, Wis. Miss Jessie Guild is a distinguisTied 
artist in Minneapolis, Minn. Roy B. Guild, a son, is head of the Congre- 
gational Society in Boston Mass. Will Guild is president of a bank in 
Hiawatha, and Harry Guild is president of a bank in Bern. Fred Bergen, 
son of A. G. Bergen, is president of a bank in Summerfield. So the in- 
fluence of these fine, noble men has been felt all during the life of this 
section of Kansas. 

Two thousand dollars was subscribed for a general church in Seneca 
to be called the Presbyterian. The Universalists added to this sum 
$1,600 in order that the title mig-ht be Universalist, to which all churches 
agreed, including the Presbyterians, and the edifice was erected, the 
property, however, belonging to the Universalists. Charlie Scrafford, J. 
H. Peckham, William Histed, J. P. Taylor and D. B. McKay were the 
trustees. The building was of soft old gray stone and today the edifice 
is a lovely, restful church of general use, resembling the Cjuaint old 
churches of England, which have withstood the ravages of centuries. 
Rev. G. W. Skinner held the first service in the church, July 17, 1869. 
Rev. J. H. Ballou was the first pastor. 

The following is told of a Seneca minister's visit to the notorious 
Bender home, where wholesale murder was committed in early days : 

The only Kansas man known to have incidentally visited at the 
Bender home and escaped is the Rev. C. L. Titus, of the Universalist 
Church of Seneca. J\Ir. Titus was passing through Kansas in 186S and 


went through Seneca on his wa}- South. He was going to Independence 
to attend the big powwow held down there upon the opening of the 
Southern Kansas lands. He visited it in company with Dr. York, who 
was the last man killed by the Benders. In driving through the country 
at that time Mr. Titus stopped at the Bender place for a drink of water. 
He is the only man known to have drunk from the Bender well and es- 
caped with his life. 

The Roman Catholic Church has been a great success in Seneca and 
the western part of the county. The buildings in Seneca of the St. Paul 
and St. Peter Church and the parochial school add greatly to the archi- 
tectural beauty of the county seat. The society was instituted in 1869, 
largely by Mathias Stein. The district school building was purchased, 
with a block of land in the center of the town, Mr. Stein contributing a 
generous amount of money. The buildings have from time to time been 
improved and rebuilt until the square is now the most attractive and 
valuable. The school entertainments, the library and the general air 
surrounding Sts. Peter and Paul's breathes peace and contentment. 


The first Catholic settlers in this part of Nemaha county were 
Thomas Carlin and John Koch, wIk) came here in 1857; the year after 
there arrived John and Joseph Koelzer, Joseph Assenmacher, Peter 
Blumer, Martin Stahlbaumer, John Dick, Margaret Draney, Micha€l 
Rodgers and Martin Rellinger. At the instigation of John Koelzer and 
John Koch, a little frame church was built in the year 1859. Peter 
Blumer donated twenty acres of land. Before the building was com- 
menced John Koelzer had gone to Atchison to see the Rev. Augustine 
AVirth, O. S. B., then Prior of St. Benedict's College of Atchison, in order 
to make arrangement with him for a priest to come out here occasionally 
to hold divine services. After Father Augustine had given his consent 
they began building; and in June, 1859, Rev. Edmund Laugenfelder, 
O. S. B. (died April 8, 1885), came out the first time, he being the first 
Catholic priest to set his foot on the soil of Nemaha county, Kansas. 

In the fall of the same year. Rev. Father Augustine paid this place 
a visit : he was here also twice in i860. In September, i860, tlie Rev. 
Philip Vogt, O. S. B., was sent here to attend to the few Catholic families. 
In the spring of 1861, Rev. Emmanuel Hartig, O. S. B., paid his first visit 
to this place. The first church was a very modest building, the cash ex- 
penses for same having been $92.20. Its size was 12x25 feet. 

When the church was about finished, there was wanting some glass 
and some other small things, which required about $20. .\nd as nobody 
except Michael Rogers had any money, it was decided by John Koelzer. 
John Koch and Thomas Carlin to give Michael Rogers the privilege of 


naming the church, and then charge him $20 for it. Michael, not know- 
ing but suspecting this manner of collecting, called it St. Mary's Church 
and had the pleasure of furnishing the $20 gold piece. 

After having finished the church the people desired a stationary 
priest, and, in spite of not having had any harvest at all in i860 on ac- 
count of the great drought, they built a parish house, which was com- 
menced in the spring of 1861 and finished in June of the same year. 

Their efforts and zeal were rewarded; for Father Augustine, O. S. 
B., sent the Rev. Severin Rotter, O. S. B. (died April i, 1898), who ar- 
rived here on June 18, 1861. He was the first resident priest of Nemaha 

From here he attended the following missions : 

St. Bridget's settlement, sixteen miles northwest of here. 

St. Augustine settlement, now called Capioma or Fidelity, about 
twenty-two miles southeast of here. 

St. Joseph settlement in the southeast corner of Marshall county. 
This mission was commenced on December i, 1861 ; it is now generally 
called Irish Creek. 

Elwood and Belmont, near Wathena. 

The first baptism administered in Nemaha county was that of Joseph 
Koch, son of John and Anna Mary Koch ; and the first wedding was that 
of Joseph Koelzer and Sophie Koblitz. 

The names of people who constituted the parish in the year 1861 are : 
John Koch, John Koelzer, Joseph Koelzer, Martin Stallbaumer, Martin 
Rellinger, Margaret Draney, Peter Blumer, Thomas Carlin. Michael 
Rogers, Mathias Stein, W. Berntsen, John Dick, Martin Bedeau. Justus 
Aziere, Jacob Rellinger, Joseph Rellinger, Patrick McCaffrey, James 

The salary of the Rev. Severin Rotter, O. S. B., in the year 1861 was 

How primitive the first church must have been, appears from the 
accounts, as they had paid $2 for making the pews, $2.50 for the taber- 
nacle, $2.05 for the confessional, fifty cents for a table in the priest's 
house, $3.50 for a bed. 

In the year 1862 the priest had an income of $23.85. 

After the parish had been thus established, more people moved in, 
and soon it was evident that the church was too small. Hence, in the 
year 1864, another larger church was built, whose size was 18x35 ^^^t- 
It was Father Emmanuel Hartig, O. S. B., now Vicar General of the 
diocese of Lincoln, Neb., who built this church. 

It was about this time that one of the Benedictine Fathers acquired 
an iron bell for the church. This bell, the first church bell in Nemaha 
county, had belonged to a boat which sailed on the Missouri river be- 
tween St. Joseph and Weston. AVhen it was rung- first, everybody ad- 
mired its "beautiful" sound. No one can give definite information of what 
has become of this bell. 

ST. MAUYS ClU UC.I. .T. l;i:.\l::iMCT, KANSAS. 


In the year 1868 the priest's residence was transferred to Seneca, 
where a congregation had been organized in 1866. This was done prin- 
cipally throngh the influence of Mathias Stein, who had lived here 
several years and then moved to Seneca to open a furniture store. 

Nothing remarkable happened from 1868 till 1880. 

The priests who had charge of the parish from 1861 till 1880 were : 
Fathers Emmanuel Hartig, O. S. B., Pirmine Koumlv, O. S. B., Thomas 
Bartl, O. S. B., Timothy Luber, O. S. B., Eugene Bode. O. S. B., and 
again Emmanuel Hartig, O. S. B. 

In 1878 and 1879. Father Emmanuel advertised the place to a great 
extent by sending articles to different Catholic papers. His efforts were 
well blessed ; people responded to his call, and at the beginning of 1880 
there were here about sixty families. The church had to be enlarged, but 
instead of enlarging it, they decided to build a new one, which was to last 
for some generations. It was 40x90 feet. 

When the church was finished by Father Emmanuel, O. S. B.. the 
congregation purchased a bell from H. Stuckstede, of St. Louis, Mo., 
which weighed 1,850 pounds. This bell was a beauty, indeed, for the 
congregation, especially so because it surpassed the Seneca bell in size. 
The people joyfull}' recollect the day it was consecrated by the bishop. 

In the fall of 1881, Father Ferdinand Wolf, O. S. B., was appointed 
pastor of the congregation, and had charge until 1883, when Father 
Timothy Luber, O. S. B., succeeded him. He built the sacristy and the 
pastoral residence in 1883. From November, 1883, the pastor lived here 
again. Father Timothy, O. S. B., was pastor until 1885, when Rev. 
Fridolin Me3'er, O. S. B.. was appointed, who remained four years. He 
was succeeded by Rev. Ambrose Rank, O. S. B., who, on account of sick- 
ness, had to give up after five weeks' service. In September. 1889, Father 
Pirmine Koumly, O. S. B., took charge. 

The congregation had in the meantime increased to 109 families, so 
that the church built in 1880 was entirely too small. The question arose 
what to do, to enlarge the church or to build a new one. For quite a 
time the people were divided, some were in favor of erecting a splendid 
new church of brick or stone, others, fearing the enormous cost, wanted 
an addition to the old church. At last they agreed to leave the decision 
to the bishop, the Rt. Rev. Louis M. Fink, O. S. B., who decided that a 
new church should be built of stone, and large enough for all future 
wants. And work was soon in progress. A subscription was taken up 
in the parish by Father Pirmine and Mr. Timothy Heinan, which 
amounted to over $16,000. During the year 1891 the foundation and 
basement were made at a cost of about $3,500. After they were com- 
pleted they were covered with a good coat of cement to protect them 
against rain: they had decided to wait at least one year before erecting 
the main building. 

Father Pirmine was appointed pastor of the Seneca parish and en- 
tered upon his new field on July 6. 1892. His successor wa-s P. Herman 


Mengwasser, O. S. B. On the second Sunday of September, 1892, the 
congregation publicly voted on this question proposed by the pastor : 
"Are you willing to pay your subscription to the church on or before 
June I, 1893, in cash or to give a bankable note for amount subscribed 
at six per cent, interest? The time given for payment of same limited to 
three or four j^ears." All except nine gave their consent. But even eight 
of these afterward consented also, to the great satisfaction of priest and 

In a short time all available place around the church was filled with 
stone, which the members of the parish hauled from a place three miles 
northeast of the church. On April 30, 1893, the Rt. Rev. Bishop laid the 
cornerstone, and on December i of the same year the church was under 
roof, except the tower. 

In January, 1894, a new subscription of $14,500 was raised by the 
pastor, and the church building was completed November 13, 1894. On 
the following day it was dedicated by the Rt. Rev. Bishop amid a con- 
course of about 3,000 people. P. N. Schlechter, S. J., of St. Louis., 
preached the German, and P. Charles Stoeckle, O. S. B., of Atchison, 
then of Seneca, the English sermon. 

The dimensions of the church are 162x60 feet : ceiling in center 
aisle, fifty-two and a half feet high ; in side aisles, thirty-five feet high. 
The tower reaches 172^/^ feet from the water table, and is covered with 
copper. The six windows in the transept were made by Maj-er & Com- 
pany, of Munich, Bavaria, at a cost of $2,400. The Sacred Heart Rose 
window above the altar is six feet in diameter and cost $275. Style of 
church is Roman. 

In the year 1895, ^he congregation bought four bells of 3,200, 1,800, 
900 and 500 pounds, respectively, from St. Louis, Mo. 

In the spring of 1899 the new main altar, which cost $2,700, was 
set up. 

In the year 1900, two side altars and a communion railing were put 
into the church at a cost of $1,500. 

On September 7, 1900, Rev. Herman Mengwasser, O. S. B., was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Anthony Baar, O. S. B. 

In the year 1901, the church was frescoed by G. F. Satory, of Wa- 
basha, Minn., and decorated with twelve large oil paintings by Th. 
Zukotynski, of Chicago. The cost of this work was $4,100. 

In September, 1903, the church was furnished with a set of fine 
Group-Stations of the Cross at a cost of $2,200. The year following, 
eleven Munich statues were donated to the church by various members 
of the parish. 

At present the parish consists of about 150 families, and is in charge 
of Father Gregory Neumayr. 

This place was called AVild Cat until the year 1883, when a post- 
office was established here, and the name was changed to St. Benedict. 


By P. Joseph Sittenauer, O. S. B. 

Although this is now the largest Catholic community in Nemaha 
county, the cradle of Catholicity in this county is not Seneca,, but St. 
Benedict, formerly called ^^'ild Cat. The first priest to say Holy Mass 
there, as early as May, 1859. was the Rev. Edmond Langenfelder, O. 
S. B., who was sent by the Rev. Augustus Wirth, O. S. B., 
then prior of St. Benedict's College, Atchison. The first child baptized 
in this county, on May 12. 1859, was Thomas Rogers, who now resides 
in the Seneca parish. The first Catholic couple to be married, on April 
17, i860, were Josepr Koelzer and Sophie Koblitz, the parents of J. P. 
Koelzer, of Seneca. Whatever Catholics may have resided in and about 
Seneca from that time until the early part of 1868 had to go to church 
at Wild Cat, where the priest resided since June, 1861, and from where 
he visited different missions. 

It was mainly due to the efforts of Mathias Stein that the priest's 
residence was transferred to Seneca in the spring of 1868. Mr. Stein had 
for several years lived in the Wild Cat district, but moved to Seneca to 
open a furniture store. Rev. Pirmine Koumly, O. S. B., was the first 
resident pastor living at Seneca. He was, after about six months, suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Thomas Bartl, O. S. B. Father Thomas was, after 
another half year, followed by Father Pirmine, \\ho remained till the 
end of 1871. In the beginning. Holy Mass was celelirated in Mr. Stein's 
residence. In 1870, however, the small cmigrc^ation purchased the 
public school house to be used as a church, together with the block on 
which it was situated. This is the block which nuiw contains the church 
and parish house. Shortly after, a small residence and a frame addition 
to the brick church were erected. 

The parish was greatly increased under Rev. Emmanuel Hartig, O. 
S. B., who was pastor from the spring of 1875 to the fall of 1881. He 
extensively advertised the Catholic settlement of Kemaha county and 
drew a considerable number of new settlers to this neighborhood. 

A small beginning had already been made for a Catholic school, with 
Mr. Huhn as schoolmaster. But Father Emmanuel soon realized that he 
could not look for great success unless he put the school under the care 
of teaching sisters. He acquired, partly by donation and partly by pur- 
chase, the block on which the parochial school is situated. Xew build- 
ings were erected and school was opened by the Benedictine Sisters of 
Mt. St. Scholastica's Academy, Atchison, in the year 1878. Xew addi- 
tions had to be made in the course of time to meet the growing needs of 
the school. 

The parish grew quieth', but constantly, under Father Emmanuel's 
successor, the Rev. Thomas Bartl, O. S. B., who had been pastor once be- 
fore. He resided at Seneca from the fall of 1881 till the summer of 1885. 



Sick and worn out by his man}- and long missionary labors, goocl old 
Father Thomas, as he is still called by the old residents, retired to his 
monastery at Atchison, where he died November 30, 1885, at the age of 
fifty-five years. 

The time had now come for a more rapid and more systematic de- 
velopment of the parish. The merit of unifying and organizing the man}- 
forces that had been created by long and hard work belongs to Rev. 
Suitbert Demarteu, O. S. B., who resided at Seneca from August, 1885, 


to April, 1892. It was during the early part of his stay that the main 
portion of the present church was built, a grand structure for that time, 
which was a sign of unshaken confidence, both on the part of the people 
and the priest, in the great future of Sts. Peter and Paul's parish. When 
the church was completed, the small residence, consisting of two rooms, 
was moved to the north of it, and there served, for some years, both as 
sacristy and as residence, until a suitable dwelling was built in 1890. 


Father Suitbert was a man of strong- character and great energy. He, 
more than any other priest before or after him, impressed his personality 
upon this flourishing community. 

As the thunderstorm, with its refreshing rain, must be followed by 
the warm rays of the sun to make the crops grow and ripen, so the en- 
e.rgetic Father Suitbert was followed by the quiet and gentle Rev. Pri- 
mine Koumly, O. S. B., who, from the summer of 1892 until the fall of 
1895, ruled the parish and enjoyed the fruits of his earlier work at Seneca. 
An ailment, which was due to a sick call on a cold night, whilst he was 
himself sick with influenza, developed to such proportions that he had to 
retire to his monastery. Though his health was never completely re- 
stored, he lived until July 27, 1904, a very active member of his com- 
munity to the last.. 

Rev. Boniface Verheyen, O. S. B., was the successor of Father Pir- 
mine, from October, 1895, to midsummer, 1898. It was during his time, 
in May, 1896, that the cyclone struck Seneca. The church was severely 
damaged by the storm, but none of the other church property suffered. 
The loss was repaired at once, and in the year 1897, the congregation 
had sufficiently recovered to undertake the building of a new school. 
The foundation for the new school house had been laid in 1895, but, on 
account of the cyclone, its completion was delayed for one year. Father 
Boniface intended to build a school that would be large enough for all 
future times, and many a one, at the time, thought that the proportions 
of the building were extravagant. Of late years, however, it has often 
been regretted that the school was not built larger at that time. 

Father Boniface was recalled as professor to the college at Atchison 
in the summer of 1898, and, after an interval of four months, during 
which the Rev. Winfrid Schmitt, O. S. B., was pastor, the Rev. Charles 
Stoeckle, O. S. B., succeeded him. The church had now become too 
small to hold the congregation, and Father Charles added the sanctuary, 
thus gaining a considerable amount of space. Father Charles was also 
the moving force in establishing the new parish at Kelly, thus creating 
an outlet for the overflow for which there was not sufficient room within 
the confines of the Seneca and the St. Benedict parishes. Father Charles, 
though always looking healthy and robust, had long been ailing. He 
finallv submitted to an operation, which brought about his death on 
April 14, 1903. He was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Burke, O. S. B., 
who presided over the parish for three years. During Father Thomas' 
time the school made great progress, as he strained every nerve to make 
it accessible for every Catholic child. 

In August, 1906, Father Thomas was succeeded by the Rev. Law- 
rence Theis, O. S. B., who came at the time when it had become neces- 
sary to put the finishing touch to the parish. Until this time, the second 
story of the school house had served as a hall for the different entertain- 
ments. Through Father Thomas' activity an enlargement of the school 
became an absolute neces.sity. Hence, the former hall space was par- 



titioned off into four school rooms, thus providing each grade with its 
own room. This caused an increase in the number of teachers, so that 
the old dwelling of the sisters had to be replaced by a new and modern 
building, which was erected in 1907. The want of an entertainment hall 
was soon felt and the opinion gradually prevailed that a parish like 
Seneca could not well thrive without an adequate place for lawful recrea- 
tion. The auditorium was built in 1909 and 1910. It is a stately struc- 
ture and affords ample opportunity for dramatic performances and dif- 
ferent kinds of amusements for young and old. An addition was also 
built to the pastor's residence in the year 1909. The work and worry 
connected with the erection of these buildings nearly proved too much 
of a strain for Father Lawrence's nerves. His pastorship had to be in- 
terrupted by a rest of eight months, from January to September, 1910. 
After his return to the parish, Father Lawrence stayed for two more 
years, completing the different kinds of work which he had begun. But 
his failing health made it imperative in the summer of 1912 to relieve 
him of the heavy burden. He is now pastor of a smaller parish in At- 
chison county. 

Father Lawrence was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph Sittenauer, O. 
S. B. Since the parish now possesses all the necessary buildings, the 
task as pastor will henceforth be comparatively easy, although even the 
upkeeping of these buildings requires a great amount of care and watch- 
fulness. The ease, however, is only a comparative one. Priests who 
exercise the care of souls in a large parish, with a numerous school an- 
nexed, have no idle moments. 


The Kelly parish was organized in the fall of 1901, by Rev. Charles 
Stoeckle, O. S. B., then pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul's Church at Seneca, 
and Alois Nolte, of the Seneca parish. The site for the first church was 
selected and the foundation laid. Rev. Father Edwin Kassens, O. S. B., 
of St. Benedict's College of Atchison, was appointed parish priest the 
following spring and held his first services on Sunday, March 16, 1902. 
The services were held in the district school building. Services in the 
school building continued until July 20, 1902, when the frame church 
building was completed. The original building was 24x52 feet. The first 
services were held in the new church August 3, 1902, and the organ from 
the school building was borrowed for the service. The new church was 
dedicated August 27, 1902, by the Rt. Rev. L. M. Fink, D.D., then bishop 
of the Leavenworth diocese, now deceased, assisted by Rev. P. Boniface 
Verheyen, O. S. B., of Atchison, and Rev. P. Charles, O. S. B., of Seneca; 
Rev. Anthony Baar, O. S. B., of St. Mary's parish, at St. Benedict's, and 
Rev. Father Edwin, O. S. B., the parish pastor. 

In the fall of 1903, the parochial school was completed and the first 
term began September 18, 1903, with an enrollment of twenty-seven boys 



and fourteen girls. In August, 1905, another room was added to the 
school, and living rooms for the parish teachers. At the present term of 
St. Bede's parochial school there are sixt_y-one boys and forty-one girls 

Rt. Rev. Thomas F. Lillis. D.D., then bishop of Leavenworth, now 



of Kansas City, confirmed the first class of nineteen, on Tune 19, 1905. 
The first two j-ears Father Edwin lived at the college in Atchison and 
made weekly trips to minister to the parish. For a time he then lived 
in a room of the church, but in May, 1906, at a meeting of the men of the 
parish, it was decided to build a parish house. Instead, a residence and 
lots were purchased and has since been used as a parish house. 

The first mission was held beginning August 29, 1906, by Rev. Vin- 
cent Trost, C. F. M., of Louisville, Ky. On March 8, 1909, the Uni- 
versalist church building in Kelly was bought by St. Bede's parish and 
added to the north end of the church building, together with a ten-foot 

On January 12, 1913, the church building caught fire and burned to 
the ground, onl}' a part of the church fixtures being saved. At a mass 
meeting of the parish members it was decided to build a new church edi- 
fice. The years of 1913 and 1914 were poor crop years and the present 
edifice stands, a monument to the personal sacrifice of the devout mem- 
bers of the parish and to the help of friends and neighbors in Nemaha 

At the formal dedication which took place Sunday, October 10, 1915, 
the Rt. Rev. John Ward, D.D., bishop of Leavenworth diocese, read the 
dedicatory mass and delivered the sermon. Rev. Mathias Stein, O. S. B., 
Atchison, was celebrant at the mass, and other priests assisted. 

The Kelly church is one of the most beautiful in northeast Kansas. 
It is of Gothic style, 54x100 feet, and from the platform as you enter the 
church to top of cross it is 125 feet. The church is built of matt-faced 
pressed brick, trimmed in Algonita stone, which harmonize beautifully in 
a structure that is very pleasing to the eye. The immense tower of the 
church rests on footings many feet below the ground, and through the 
basement three-foot walls support the tower. The basement is well 
finished, lighted and well ventilated, and nicely arranged. A roomy 
chapel occupies the east half, with a large seating capacity that is 
utilized for parish social events. Kitchen rooms are provided and every- 
thing is arranged for labor-saving and comfort. 

The church itself is neatly finished in white, with nicely arranged 
sanctuary, roomy pews and choir loft. The church steeple contains a 
thousand-pound bell, whose musical notes call the members to worship, 
and on week days peals forth the hour to the countryside, morning, noon 
and evening. 


Catholic. — Services daily at 8:15 a. m. Sundays, 8:00, 9:00, 10:30 
a. m. and 3:00 p. m. Rev. P. Joseph, O. S. B. 

Congregational. — Sunday school, 10:00 a. m. Midweek prayer meet- 
ing-, Wednesday, and C. E. meeting, Thursdays at 8 :oo p. m. 


First Church of Christ Scientist. — Sunday services, ii :oo a. m. Wed- 
nesday evening testimonial service, 8 p. m. Free reading room, church 
edifice; open Wednesdays and Saturdays, 2 to 4 p. m. 

Methodist. — Morning service, 11:00; evening, 7:30. Sunday school, 
9:45 a. m.; Epworth League devotional meeting, 6:30 p. m. Rev. I. Mc- 
Murray, pastor. 

Universalist. — Sunday school, 10:00 a. m. ; Junior Y. P. C. U., 2:30 
p. m. ; Senior Y. P. C. U., 7:00 p m. ; teachers' meeting, 8 p. m. Wed- 

St. Titus Episcopal. — Morning prayer and sermon, first and third 
Sundays each month at 11 :oo a. m. ; Sunday school each Sunday at io:oq 
a. m. Rev. William B. Guion, rector. 

Of late years Seneca has had a Christian Science Church and fort- 
nightly services of an Episcopal membership. Rev. Guion divides his 
rectorship between Seneca and Hiawatha, making his home in the latter 
place. Seneca is the most progressive of any Nemaha county town in its 
church movement. A great interest has been taken in the Community 
church movement in Seneca for the past two years. Its success is un- 
deniable. Mihor disagreements are forgotten in the matter of church 
belief, the teachings of Christ and the betterment of the community, 
spiritually and civically, being the matter of importance. Rev. C. A. 
Richards has been the pastor at the head of the movement, which is be- 
lieved by many to be the life saving of the church of today. 


The Congregationalists claim the first regularly organized church 
of Sabetha, and by the method of considering Albany the mother of Sa- 
betha, their claims are correct if the}^ could not substantiate their claim 
otherwise. The founders of Sabetha were the founders of Albany. The 
founders of the Congregational Church of .Albany moved to Sabetha and 
moved their church with them. The Congregational Church of Albany 
was organized September 26, 1859. The Rev. R. D. Parker was the first 
pastor, and there were eighteen charter members of the church : Elihu 
Whittenhall and his family, George Graham, John E. Graham, John Van- 
Tuyl. Edwin Miller, B. H. Job and their wives; Mrs. Rising, Mrs. 
Archer, William B. Slosson, Thomas Robbins and John B. Shumway. 
These names, or those of their descendants, have been identified with 
the Congregational Church in its history to date. Services had been 
held for over a year before the actual organization of the church under 
God's canopv and beneath a tree in the .Albany yard of Edwin Miller, 
whenever the weather permitted. It is scarcely surprising that with 
such a beginning the church has been nothing but successful from its 
inception. The Congregational Church was moved to Sabetha from 
Albanv in the summer of 1871, during the pastorate of Rev. Thomas. 


Rev. Parker, the original pastor of the church, later became editor of 
the Manhattan "Telephone," a newspaper long since passed on. 

Several of the pastors of the church in Sabetha have become noted. 
Perhaps the best known is one of the latest incumbents. Rev. C. L. 
Fisk, who is now head of the Congregational Sunday School Associa- 
tion in Ohio, and his wife, Mrs. Marion Ballou Fisk, who shared with 
him the labors in the Sabetha field, filling the pulpit during his absences, 
is a brilliant cartoonist in the Chautauqua and Lyceum field. Mrs. 
Fisk is the one woman who has kept up chautauqua work whose time 
has been engaged completely throughout the year. She has appeared in 
every State in the Union. Her chautauqua work began in Sabetha 
under the Horner-Redpath people. Their work in Sabetha is still bear- 
ing fruit. During Mr. Fisk's pastorate a cigarette was unknown in the 
town. He built a gymnasium, which all boys, regardless of church 
affiliations, were welcome to use freely. Their entertainments for 
church improvement and civic improvement were so unique that city 
editors sent men to Sabetha to >vrite up the affairs for their metropolitan 
newspapers. A presentation of Alice Hegan Rice's "Mrs. Wiggs of the 
Cabbage Patch" attracted such widespread attention that Liebler & 
Company, who owned the copyright of the plan, sent to the little Ne- 
maha county town to see if their rights had been infringed. 

Another interesting pastor of the Congregational Church preceding 
the Fisks by twenty-five years was A. G. Hogbin. His wife was a co- 
worker with him. In their effort to build up Sabetha they bought and 
conducted the Sabetha "Herald" for several years in connection with 
their church work. Mrs. Hogbin was a daughter of Rev. M. B. Preston, 
of Centralia. Rev. and Mrs. Hogbin have been retired for several years 
and are living in Italy. Rev. Charles Beaver is the pastor of the Con- 
gregational Church today. 

The Methodist Church of Sabetha was organized in 1868 in the 
Sabetha school house b}' Rev. F. W. Meyer. It is a church of wealth 
and ambition and enthusiasm, pursuing modern methods of entertain- 
ment and interest for its youthful members. The first church building 
was erected by Archibald Webb, which, within the past twenty years, 
has been replaced by a handsome edifice containing theater seats and a 
fine pipe organ. Several prominent divines have been its pastors, nota- 
bly, Rev. E. Gill, foster-father of the Rt. Rev. Bishop William A. 
Quayle, and Rev. Biddison and Rev. C. W. Shaw. Of Rev Biddison 
the following tale is told by men who were the mischievous boys in his 
day. The Rev. Biddison owned two dun ponies that were the envy of 
all the boys in town. He would lariat them at night out in the open, 
and it was no rare thing for a boy to borrow a pony for a night ride. 
One time, Adam Cramer, who was a boy about ten years old, now a con- 
tractor with gray hair, borrowed one of the ponies for such a ride. He 
had done it often before, but this night the enormity of his crime seemed 
to weigh heavily upon him. When he was three or four miles from 


town he became obsessed with the idea that Rev. Biddison was after 
him on the other pony. He turned for home and rode with a madness 
surpassing that of Ichaliod Crane or Paul Revere. When he reached 
town he found the other pony peacefully grazing on the lot. He vowed 
on the spot that he would steal no more rides, and he didn't. No one 
ever knew whether Mr. Biddison knew of these stolen rides or not. Rev. 
Biddison filled several pulpits in Nemaha county and if he knew of the 
pranks of the Sabetha boys he never told it elsewhere. .\dam Cramer 
has been a Methodist in good standing in the church for many years, 
and has expiated his horseback jaunts long since.. 

Rev. I. C. Paugh is the pastor of the Methodist Church at Sabetha. 
His daughter, Miss Delight, stood highest in her class of over 
graduates at Northwestern University, in Evanstrm, 111., this spring, 
and is a brilliant daughter of a scholarly father. 

M. J. Boomer, who celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday a few years 
ago by a post card shower, the surprise being arranged by his daughter, 
tells of the origin of the Baptist Church. He mentioned Mrs. Mary E. 
Black as still living. She has since died. Mr. Boomer's post card 
shower aroused memories. 

"One of the letters was from Clara Barton, who for many years was 
president of the Red Cross Societj^, and who is known all over the world. 
Miss Barton was Mr. Boomer's school teacher at Oxford, Worcester 
county, Massachusetts, over sixty-six years ago. Another letter was 
from Mrs. A. S. Tower, who was a schoolmate of Mr. Boomer sixt}'- 
seven years ago. Mrs. Tower now lives at La Crosse, Wis. 

Mr. Boomer came to Sabetha in 1873. He helped pay for the orig- 
inal Baptist Church, which, by the way, was the first church building 
erected in Sabetha. Mr. Boomer says Mrs. Mary L. Black, of Sabetha, 
is the only one of the original members of the Baptist Church left. This 
church was organized in 1871, and Mr. Boomer did not come here until 
two years later. The bell now being used in the Sabetha school house 
was used on the original Baptist Church in Sabetha. Mr. Boomer was 
twenty years superintendent of the Baptist Sunday school. 

Mr. Boomer says when he first came to Sabetha the old or eastern 
part of the town was contending with the present business section for 
the mastery. Campbell Tarr, father of the late Hamilton Tarr, had a 
store in the eastern or old part of Sabetha. On the store front he had 
a sign which announced that the store was located in "Sabetha proper." 
The old hotel was located where John Lanning's residence is now. l\Ir. 
Boomer has always lived at Fairview. He owns a farm near there. But 
he has for many years visited Sabetha regularly and is known here by 
nearly everybody. 

Mr. Boomer was for many years a member of the board of trustees 
of Ottawa University at Ottawa, Kans. He was a member of the Bap- 
tist State ]\Iission Board fourteen years. For ten years ho was a member 
of the board of trustees of the Hiawatha Academy. 


Of the pastors of the Baptist Church, it is possible the most beloved 
was Rev. Biggart, who was almost a missionary pastor in many of the 
pioneer towns of northeast Kansas. He died a few years ago, and his 
children, remembering with affection their life in Sabetha, have been 
planning to go back there to live. The Sabetha Baptists have a pretty 
church edifice and a parsonage which is one of the pleasantest homes in 
the city. The present pastor is Rev. Robert Church, who is an excellent 
architect as well as pastor. 

Two churches of interest and with modest aspirations are the 
United Brethren, with Rev. George Krebs as pastor, and the Church of 
the Brethren, with Rev. Yoder as pastor. The Church of the Brethren 
has a sister church in the Rock Creek neighborhood. Retired from 
active service, but occasionally taking the pulpit, is Rev. Ephraim 
Cober, of Sabetha. 

Rev. Yoder, on September lo, 191 5, announced in the church the 
nineteenth birthday anniversary of Rev. Ephraim Cober, of Sabetha, 
who celebrated his natal day, September 5, by preaching to the con- 
gregation of the Rock Creek Brethren Church. Like the Great Teacher, 
Mr. Cober was also a carpenter, and with his own hands he built the 
Rock Creek Church twenty-eight years ago, dedicating it and preaching 
on the site it occupied continuously for thirty-five years. A birthday 
party was given at the John Zug home in honor of Mr. Cober's birthday. 
Only a few relatives and neighbors were in attendance. Mr. Cober came 
to Kansas the year of the centennial for Mrs. Cober's health, as she was 
thought to be suffering from consumption. Mrs. Cober is living, healthy 
and happy, and they will celebrate their sixty-eighth wedding anniver- 
sary in November on her eighty-third birthday. Their son, the late 
Jacob Cober, a former editor of the "Courier-Democrat," died in Kansas 
City a few years ago, and his widow, Mrs. Laura Cober, lives near his 
parents in a home that Grandfather Cober built. Mrs. Ham Wasmund, 
of Sabetha, is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cober. 

The Church of the Brethren, with Rev. R. A. Yoder as pastor, is 
one of the most successful churches of the county. A series of lectures 
given by the churches of Sabetha and Rock Creek have geen gratefully 
appreciated the past year. It is progressive, with a fine membership. 

As the Community Church of Seneca is one of the most interesting 
in these progressive days, so is the Amish or German Apostolic Chris- 
tian Church of Sabetha the most interesting in the eastern part of Ne- 
maha county. The members of the church dress simply, as do the Men- 
nonites of western Kansas. They are the kindliest and gentlest of 
German people, whose brotherly love, help and intercourse is a matter 
of great admiration to their more worldly neighbors. 

The Amish are well-to-do and successful as a result of industry, 
thrift, right living and unfailing faith in their religious belief. If there 
is a better belief or one of truer Christianity than that professed by the 
Amish, it has never come to light. The Amish people believe that one 


should never buy an article for which he can not pay upon instant 
demand. A debt is against the theory of honesty. They teach that so 
long- as he has health, one should work, regardless of his worldly wel- 
fare. The theory is borne out by the fact that Satan finds work for idle 
hands, and that in good, honest industry lies the only real happiness. 
They believe absolutely in the simple life as to dress. This is so that 
those families who are financially able may not dress in so elaborate a 
manner as to arouse jealousy and envy in the hearts of those less fer- 
tunate. These are a few of the good ideas taught by the Amish or 
Apostolic Christian Church. The .\mish Church is really very much 
like a big family. They go to church early in the morning on Sundays. 
They remain there and eat their lunch, have church again in the after- 
noon and then go home. The Sunda}- lunch consists usually of bread, 
butter, coffee and preserves. Around the church are well built sheds. 
All the horses are unharnessed, turned into their stalls and fed and 
rested while their owners are at church. If any visitors come to Sabetha 
to visit the Amish folk, there is immediately held a church service, that 
everyone may become acquainted. Every few weeks a part of the Amish 
people from Sabetha go to visit their Amish friends in Illinois, Indiana, 
Wabaunsee county, Kansas, and other parts of Kansas and different 
States. In Northern Iowa there is a big colony of Amish. . In most of 
the Middle Western States there are colonies of Amish. And every 
community which contains them is to be congratulated. There is a 
difference in the Amish and Mennonite beliefs. The Mennonite re- 
sembles the Lutheran teachings, whereas the Amish profess the faith of 
the Christian Church. The Amish throughout this section of Nemaha 
county are Swiss and German. The Merinonites in Kansas are chiefly 
Russ-ians. The Amish here came in great part from Baden and that 
section of Germany. The German Mennonites came more from the 
northeastern section of Germany and from Holland. In many things 
the two beliefs are similar. They are both industrious, thrifty, fair and 
live simply. But there is- no scrimping. Sabetha merchants say that 
the Amish people are among their best customers. None but the best 
will do for them, with nothing flashy. Their trade is always cash. The 
Amish never forget their relatives in the old country. Every few weeks 
someone sends over to his native land for some relative left behind. 
They are brought to America to taste the joy of farming a hundred acres 
of land — when in Germany they farmed one acre. When the arrive the 
entire Amish community gathers in the church to welcome them, and 
give thanks for their safe arrival. Sometimes, when it is impossible to 
gather at the church, the little services are held at the homes in town. 
There seems to be a spirit to take the Lord intimately and affectionately 
and reverently into all their rejoicings and social gatherings. It is a 
beautiful faith. Their little cemetery adjoins the country church, where 
headstones of simple white wood are painted with the names of the 
dead, no preference being shown. The Amish preachers serve without 


pa}-, making their livelihoods as farmers and serving their Lord as 
ordained ministers for love of Him and of their people. Rev. John Platt- 
ner has been at the head of the Amish community here for many, many 
years, a gentle, lovable man, admired and loved and respected by all the 
community as sincerely as by his own people. 

In connection with the churches of Sabetha, Alfred Stokes, the 
town sexton, believed to be the oldest sexton in point of continuous 
service in Kansas, should be mentioned. Alfred Stokes has served as 
sexton of the Sabetha cemetery continuously for forty-two years, and is 
still serving. The cemetery is one of the most perfectly kept burying 
grounds in Kansas. There are about 400 graves in the free burying 
ground, which are kept in perfect order. The cemetery has no potter's 
field and no nook or corner which is neglected. The ground is owned 
by the city of Sabetha. Alfred Stokes began his hervices as sexton of 
Sabetha in 1872. Sadly enough, the first grave he dug was for a son. 
The Sabetha cemetery then consisted of but two acres. The two acres 
were donated to the city by a man named Goodpasture in 1856. The 
donor, Goodpasture, does not figure further in the history of Sabetha. 

In the pioneer class on Sunday, April 3, 1910, the question was 
asked by T. K. Masheter, "How many were at church and Sunday 
school in Sabetha fort}^ years ago this morning?" (Sunday, forty years 
ago, was April 3.) Henry Riffer, C. Fulton and T. K. jMasheter re- 
sponded. Mrs. Conrad could say that forty years ago she lived a mile 
west of Capioma. O. O. I\Iarbourg came to Sabetha July 8, 1870, and 
attended church at Albany the following day. Other members of the 
class have been here from seven to thirt}' years. The late J. E. Black 
came here June 10, 1870, and Mrs. Black, June 22, 1870. Among other 
recollections of forty years ago I recall that Mr., or rather Comrade, 
John Palmer has lived all this time in the same house. Daniel Stone- 
barger lived on his farm adjoining Sabetha on the south in 1870, and 
was called an old citizen then. John Beamer, east of the city, came for 
his second trial of the West from Ohio in the spring of 1870, and has 
lived in the same place since. 


Centralia has come nearer keeping her number of churches down to 
the needs of a town of 1,000 inhabitants than the average small town 
or even city. Centralia has but three churches, all fairly well patron- 
ized. The Methodist people organized a church as early as 1867, wor- 
shipping in private houses for four years, when a church building was 
erected and Rev. T. B. Gray put in charge. 

In 1868, the Congregational Church was started with a membership 
of twelve. A church building was erected in 1871, with a capacious 
auditorium. Centralia was the home of Rev. Levi C. Preston, whose 
children are among the Nemahans who have made names in the world. 


Mr. Preston came to Centralia for his health and conducted a farm that 
was the model for many miles surrounding. He planted orchards and 
gardens. He frequently supplied the Congregational pulpit. His daugh- 
ter. Flora, became the wife of Rev. A. C. Hogbin, mentioned in another 
part of this history, while Alay is the wife of the celebrated Edwin E. 
Slosson, associate editor of the New York "Independent Magazine." 
Rev. Preston has been dead many years. Mrs. Preston makes her home 
with Mr. and Mrs Slosson in New York City. 

Rev. J. E. Everett is now pastor of the Congregational Church ; 
Rev. E. O. Raymond, of the i\Iethodist Church. The Holiness sect has 
a church in Centralia, and Christian Science meetings are held at the 
home of Mrs. Catharine Meyers. 

In a district where the business is purely agricultural, as in Xemaha 
county, the entertainment for the communities devolved almost entirely 
on the churches. 

The masquerade Halloween social at the Congregational Church 
was a jolly or a spooky affair, which ever way you see it. You were 
met at the door by ushers, who took you through winding dimly lighted 
hallways, in which stood ghosts and goblins, up the stairs and through 
the main church, in which were no lights, but many scarecrows, and 
down the back stairs into the Sunday school room, where the festivities 
were on. There were over i8o attended and man}' of them were masked. 
The judges gave little Helen Wilson the prize, a Bible. She was cos- 
tumed as a fairy. It was great fun guessing who the different maskers 
were. One "family" kept nearly everyone guessing for a long time. 
There were a number of beautiful costumes as well as many grotesque. 
Miss Margaret Everett wore a beautiful old-fashioned dress that Mr. 
Everett's mother wore them when they came to Kansas in 1850. 


Wetmore is the one Nemaha county community to consistently 
support an Episcopal church. The Wetmore churchmen have not a 
resident pastor, but are served fortnightly by the resident pastor of 
Atchison, and their faithfulness is a matter of remark in many neigh- 
boring communities. Their church is regularly supported and has been 
supported since the early days. Through combining with the Atchison 
church they have had the advantage of eminent divines which so small 
a congregation or village could not have otherwise secured. The Atchi- 
son rectors have been rigidly regular in their Wetmore charge. Wet- 
more has had more than one prominent bishop serving at her fort- 
nightly church services in this way. The late Rt. Rev. Bishop Leonard 
was one who made regular visits to the Wetmore church. He became bi.s- 
hop of Utah. The Rt. Rev. Francis E. Brooke, bishop of Oklahoma, 
was another. Rev. John Henry Hopkins, one of the brilliant men of 


the Episcopal church, was a third. The Wetmore church is now in 
charge of the Rev. Otis E. Gray, and has, within the past week, in- 
stalled an $800 pipe organ in its little church edifice. 

The Methodists were the first people to open church services in 
Wetmore. In 1872 the organization was effected and the church build- 
ing erected, unusually prompt preparation. The priest of the Wetmore 
St. James' Catholic Church is Father Alphonse, O. S. B., Atchison; 
Grace Church, Episcopal, Rev. Otis Gray, Atchison ; Baptist, Rev. Jos- 
eph James, Wetmore ; Methodist Episcopal, Rev. Lewis Weary, Wet- 

It was in Wetmore and Sabetha that the Rev. Edward Gill served 
when his foster son, called Willie Gill, was a Nemaha county boy who 
has become one of whom the county is justly proud. Willie Gill was 
so called during his boyhood. When he attained young manhood, he 
took the name of his father Quayle, and is now known to the world a= 
the Rt. Rev. William A. Quayle, prominent bishop of the Methodist 
church, than whom none is more prominently in the public eye for the 
good works he has done and for his brain and literary talent as well. 
William A. Quayle was an orphan from earliest childhood, and was 
brought up by his uncle, Rev. E. Gill, by whose name he was generally 
known. Rev. Gill had no other children during his residence in this 
section, and Willie was his constant companion. When Rev. Gill lived 
in Sabetha, his home was on Roosevelt avenue which did not bear the 
name it does now, and was not noted as the children's street. He rode 
around a considerable circuit as did most country Methodist ministers 
in those days, according to the instruction and example of their great 
disciple, John Wesley. Rev. Gill preached at Wetmore, Capioma, 
Maple Ridge and Harmony as well as in Sabetha. The roads were in 
many places little more than bridle paths, but on all these, weekly, and 
sometimes, tri-weekly expeditions for carrying the gospel to the iso- 
lated, A-N^illie accompanied his uncle. Thus he was early imbued with 
religious teachings. 

Willie Gill or Quayle, it is recalled by Mrs. M. H. Keeler, was a 
timid, little boy with red hair and freckles. Many a time had Mr. Gill 
and the boy stayed all night at the Hochstetter place, which was the 
name and home of Mrs. Keeler before her marriage. And by the way, 
Mr. Gill married Mr. and Mrs. Keeler. At one time, Mrs. Keeler re- 
calls there was "a big doings'" in Sabetha, and her family had come up 
to it. A storm arose. They reached home shortl}' after midnight, but 
Rev. Gill and Willie were there before them, and they were found 
comfortably asleep in bed upon the arrival of the family. 

Dr. Isaac Magill of Corning recalls Willie Gill as one of his inti- 
mate boy friends. Isaac looked anxiously forward to the preaching 
days which brought a visit from his friend, and great was the mutual 
rejoicing when the weather was so bad that Willie was permitted to 
remain at the IMagill home while Rev. Gill continued his rounds, alone. 


Several years ago, after Dr. Magill was a practicing physician at 
Corning, and when Rev. William A. Oiiayle was president of Baker 
university, the latter visited Corning as a lecturer and was entertained 
at Dr. Magill's home. Dr. Magill did not connect the name of Ouayle 
with any one he knew, but in the course of conversation, Rev. Ouayle 
mentioned Mr. Gill. Dr. Magill made inquiries as to what became of 
Willie Gill. Mr. Quayle looked amused and quizzed Dr. Magill for 
sometime as to his acquaintance with Willie Gill. Dr. Magill recalled 
their oldtime friendship and fun ; and finally there was mutual amuse- 
ment and pleasure when Mr. Ouayle announced that he and the little, 
shy, redheaded Willie Gill were the same. 

Rev. Gill was at that time preaching at Junction Cit}' or Salina or 
one of those middle Kansas towns. He was later presiding elder of the 
district west of here, and also of the Kansas City district. 

The Wetmore Baptists organized a class in 1872. the Methodists 
sharing their church with them on occasion and, at times, the meetings 
were held in the homes of the church members. The first Baptist min- 
ister who officiated for a considerable period was Rev. Thomas Rolfe. 
At other times the society sent different men in spasmodic periods. 
Rev. Father Bagley was the first Catholic priest to conduct service at 
Wetmore while the Rev. E. H. Bailiff was the first Methodist preacher, 
followed shorth' by Rev. E. Gill, foster father of Rev. W. A. Ouayle, 
as told. The Methodist churcli is the most successful in the commu- 
nity, and is under the charge of Rev. T^ouis ^^^eary. Mr. Weary 
preaches also at Bethan}' and several country churches between Sa- 
betha and Wetmore. 


Oneida has four churches. The first one organized was tlie Chris- 
tian church, about the only one in the county and a tliriving church. 
A building was erected immediately for its occupancy, the jjulpit being 
successfully filled, fortnightly, by Chancellor Oeschger, of Lincoln, Neb. 

Oneida was as different in her church organizations as in her gen- 
eral foundation. The Presbyterians built a church, and later the Meth- 
odists organized, using the Presbyterian building for services. Today 
the Methodist Church is built, and the pulpit is occupied bv Rev. N. J- 
Adams. The Methodist and Christian Churches are the only ones now 
in use. 

The Baptists held their first religious services in Corning under Rev. 
J. S. Henry, who gave Corning the only religious services in her early 
days. The Baptists, however, did not erect any edifice nnr effect a 
permanent organization. 



Corning churches now are : Presbyterian Church, Baptist Church, 
United Brethren Church and Methodist Church. 

In 1878, the Methodists organized in the school house with twenty- 
six members and Rev. Biddison in charge. ' Rev. Biddison served in 
many pulpits throughout the county, notably in Sabetha, where a story 
is related of his incumbency there, in previous pages. Mr. Biddison 
and Rev. Gill were so long pastors in Nemaha county, in various loca- 
tions that they are regarded quite as Nemaha county men. The Meth- 
odists built a frame church in Corning in 1879 at an expense of about 

The Presbyterians did not have much foothold generally in Ne- 
maha county, but in Corning, they managed to get together to the num- 
ber of about twenty, and organized a society, of which Rev. E. Todd 
was pastor. Rev. F. O. Hesse is the Methodist minister of Corning, 
the year of 1916. 


During the past winter, the town of Goff had been without a min- 
ister for several weeks, for one reason or another. After the spring con- 
ference of 1916, Rev. J. W. Jones was appointed pastor of the church 
at Goff. Goff has also a Christian Church. Bern is notably Presby- 
terian leaning. In the smaller towns, the Methodists or Catholics have 
the largest following, while the still smaller communities and country 
churches are served by ministers from the largest town nearby. It is 
a rare thing that a preacher does not supply, more or less regularly, at 
least two pulpits in his community. 

The Holiness sect has a small following in some vicinities, nota- 
bly in Woodlawn and Centralia. But there is not a community in the 
county, however small, that is not faithfully attended by either the Pro- 
testant or Catholic pastors of nearby towns. 

The following is from a traveling preacher 'in Kansas, written in 
1866 and 1868: 

"You will find when you come that the land you want is just about 
double the price you expected it to be. This year wheat and oats are 
good ; corn good in some places, in others burnt up with drought. 
When no drought, no chintz-bug, no grasshopper, wheat will average 
twenty-five bushels to the acre, and corn, sixty ; but you can put in 
and attend two ac'res here as easily as one at home. Water-melons — 
nobody steals them (the only thing they don't steal out here), for ever}'- 
body has them by the wagon load. Peaches do well, selling now at 
fifty cents to $1.00 per bushel. Not sure whether apples will do well 
here or not. Grapes do well ; have seen some very fine specimens. 

"Climate. — In July the hottest I ever experienced; frequently no 
in the shade ; but even then nights cool and pleasant 


^^'ater. — In July wells nearly all went dr}- ; n(i running streams ; 
from stinking pools water (they called it water) was hauled miles. 
A^ery little good water anywhere, at any time : all hard limestone. In 
July everything seemed to be alni.)>t Imrnt up. Lately been great 
rains; country flooded; day before yesterday swam my horse over 
streams that three weeks ago were as dry as powder-horns ; won't need 
any more rain here till next summer. 

"Sickness. — Very little except ague, and there are enough castor- 
oil-beans in this county to physic all the ague and all other malaria out 
of all the stagnant pools in the State ; many fields of five, ten or fifteen 
acres of these beans. 

"Coal is pretty good and plenty of it at Fort Scott and south of 
that ; none fit to use any place in the State. 

"Wood is very poor, very dear, and very little of it anywhere. 

"Society, in some places, is as good as it is East; in others, as bad 
as thieves, cut-throats, Indians, old rebels and land sharks can make it. 

"Wages, for all kinds of work, lower than in the East; the "hired 
hand" has to work harder, earlier, later, live poorer, and get less for it, 
than any place in the East. 

"My Advice. — If you have no more money than will bring you here, 
stay at home. If you have $i,ooo or $2,000, and are willing to work 
hard and live like a beggar, 3'ou can come here and soon be rich. 

"In the summer of 1866, after the close of the war, the brigade to 
which we belonged, on its march to Ft. Kearney, Neb., and back, passed 
through the village of Seneca, Kans., then having a population of less 
than 300 persons. 

"We preached three sermons, setting forth as distinctly as possible 
our religious views, and the reasons of the hope that is in us. The re- 
sult was, that before leaving the place on Monday morning, enough 
was subscribed by our friends to purchase three lots for a church. 

"The work thus commenced finall}^ culminated in the erection of a 
beautiful stone church, costing some $9,000, Brother J. H. Ballou, now 
of Lawrence, in the meantime, having been associated with the society 
as pastor a year and a half, and assisting greatly in securing the result. 

"It was to assist in the dedication of this church, the first erected 
by the denomination in the Prairie State, and to render what aid we 
could in paying off a heavy debt, that we accepted an invitation from 
the good people there to spend our vacation with them. 

"We reached Seneca, August 3, and were very kindly received by 
our former acquaintances. We found the place very much impro\-ed 
since we were there, the population having more than tribled. New 
business blocks had gone up, fine dwellings been erected, a school house 
costing $15,000 completed, and'business generally very lively. Next to 
Atchison it is the largest and most stirring town in northern Kansas. 
Its location is charming and delightful, being situated on the Nemaha 
river, which, together with one of its branches, nearly encircles the 


town. It is the county seat of Nemaha county, and is seventy miles 
west of St. Joseph, Mo., and the present terminus of the St. Joe & Den- 
ver railroad. 

"The Universalist Church is the first church built in the place, 
which, of course, indicates a large, liberal element there. The Catholics 
have a small place of worship, the Congregationalists have just com- 
menced the erection of a small church, and the ]\Iethodists own a par- 

"Our church is 39x56, is built of a fine quality of stone — found in 
great abundance near the town — and cost not far from $9,000. The 
style is very neat and tast3% it is well finished and furnished, and very 
pleasantly located. 

"Brother Ballon has been the only settled pastor, and while there, 
did an excellent work for our cause — not only in Seneca, but the coun- 
try around. He has many warm friends in that part of the State who 
appreciate his labors among them. 

"The time set for the dedication of the church was Sunday, Au- 
gust 28. Invitations were sent to several of our preachers in Kansas, 
and other States to be present and assist in the dedication exercises, 
but, strange to say, not one invited came. Each had some excuse to 
offer, though none of them, we believe, had to bury their fathers or 
marry them wives. But the Lord did not leave us alone to do the work. 
He put it into the hearts of Brothers Eaton and Bishop, of Iowa, to 
make their timely appearance at this feast, even though they had not 
been bidden. Five sermons were preached during the meeting — Broth- 
ers Eaton and Bishop two each, and one by the writer. 

"The debt on the church was $4,800, a very large sum for a small 
parish to raise and which had been very generous in its previous sub- 
scriptions. But it had been decided to pay off the debt, as large as it 
was, at this meeting. So an appeal was made to the people present 
to give generously of their means for this cause. The following were 
the largest subscriptions : 

"C. G. Scrafford, $1,250; D. B. McKay, $600; A. Wells, $500: J. P. 
Taylor, $500; J. H. Peckham, $300: J. N. Cline, $150; J. A'an Leon, 

"Several gave $50 and $25 each. Others gave according to their 
means, until the amount reached $4,000. And before we left our friends, 
on Tuesday, we had the satisfaction of knowing that the full amount 
of the debt had been raised, and the church was free from encumbrance. 
We have never known of such a generous outpouring of funds before, 
on such an occasion. There seemed to be a determination to settle up 
the account to the last cent, and every one strained every nerve to 
secure this end, and thev were victorious, and happy, because victor- 

"A^^e visited several other places in the vicinity of Seneca, and 
preached the doctrines of the great salvation. Among these we mention 


Hiawatha, Centralia, Wetmore, America, and Frankfort. A\'e found 
warm friends in all of these and other places. At Hiawatha, Brother 
Hibbard is preaching a portion of the time. We occupied the Meth- 
odist Church, and had a good audience. Here they are talking strongly 
of building a church. Our excellent brother, Morrill, who gave $50 
toward paying the debt on the Seneca Church, and who lives here, offers 
to head the subscription with $1,000. 

"We stopped over night with Messrs. Collins and Brady, formerly 
of Cass county, Illinois, who li\'e near Albany, Xemaha county. They 
have 1,200 acres of land fenced, 300 of which are planted to corn, the 
balance is pasture. They have 700 head of cattle, and upwards of 500 
hogs. They think Kansas far preferable to Illinois for stock-raising. 
Their farm is the best we saw, and by the business manner in which 
they conduct their matters, they cannot help prospering. We enjoyed 
their kind hospitality very much. In fact, we enjoyed our visits \\-her- 
ever we went, so much so that we shall be tempted to spend another 
vacation in Kansas sometime. We found generous, warm hearts and 
welcome homes, and our visit will be long remembered as one of the 
most pleasant we ever experienced. 

"To those of our faith who think of immigrating West, let us say, 
go to Nemaha or Brown county, Kansas. You can get the choices"t 
land there for from $5 to $12 per acre, and then you will be where you 
can attend your church, and make the acquaintance of those of 'like 
precious faith.' No better country or people can be found." 


•J, Jf-^^^t^y 



Hon. Abijah Wells. — History in the aggregate is but the composite 
results of the doings of men in the mass ; whatever is accomplished by 
the citizenship of a city and county as a whole composes the historical 
annals of the body politic— all that can be told has been accomplished 
by men as individuals and making a co-operative effort along their re- 
spective lines. The humblest citizen has no doubt had a part in the mak- 
ing of the State — while a few men of prominence stand out as more 
striking figures, whose deeds are worth recording for the benefit and 
inspiration of the rising and future generations of the State. In the 
making of Kansas and Nemaha county and its evolution from a trackless 
prairie to a land of homes and plenty, some striking leaders are worthy 
of mention in this volume of Nemaha county historical annals. Judge 
Abijah Wells, who but a little over a year ago passed to his reward, 
was a product of the pioneer era of the State, who advanced himself 
from an humble situation in life to become a leader of his State and the 
foremost citizen of a great county, of which he was one of the builders. 
As a jurist, he had few superiors or equals ; learned in the law, he 
fottnded a widely known legal firm ; as a financier, he achieved a com- 
petence, which is an indication of shrewd financial ability of a high 
order ; deeph'' religious, he devoted much of his time to the cause of 
Christianity ; as a kind husband and father, he reared a family which 
have become famed for their individual accomplishments of its members 
in the nation. It is meet, therefore, that a reveiw of the life of .\bijah 
Wells be inscribed in this volume. 

The late Abijah Wells was born in Susquehanna county. Pennsyl- 
vania, June 12, 1840. He was a son of William R. and Betsy fSkinner) 
AVells, both of whom were natives of Orange county. New York, and 
descended from old American families of English descent. The parents 
of Judge Wells were married in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, 
whither their respective parents had removed from New York, and they 
resided there from the date of their marriage. June 2. 1832. until 1845, 
when William R. Wells decided that the great West afforded better 
opportunities for amassing a competence than could be found in his home 
community. Accordingly, he migrated to La Salle county. Illinois, in 
1845, ^nd was one of the pioneers of this county. He remained in La 
Salle county, Illinois, until the spring of 1857, when he removed with 


his family to Nemaha county, Kansas. The year previous he had visited 
Kansas, and the new territory so impressed him that he decided that 
the vast prairies, as yet unpeopled, was the place for him to make his 
fortune and would give his children an opportunity to grow up with a 
great State in the years to come. He returned to Illinois in the fall of 
1856 in time to vote for John C. Fremont for President, and was thus 
one of the original voters of the Republican party. In the spring of 
1857, he crossed the intervening country and made a settlement on a 
tract of unbroken prairie land three miles south of Seneca. Here he 
built his first plain home in Kansas. Not long after his arrival in Ne- 
maha county, William R. Wells conceived the idea of founding a city 
in what was the exact geographical center of Nemaha county. With 
others who were interested he purchased a large tract of land and laid 
out the town of Wheatland, with the idea of making it the county seat. 
His dreams came to naught, however, and the plan of building a city 
miscarried, principally because of the diversion of the overland trade 
route through Seneca and its subsequent selection as the county seat. 

William R. Wells prospered in the land of his adoption, however, 
and he became prominently identified with the early and formative 
period of Nemaha county history, and was a member of the first board 
of county commissioners of Nemaha county. He lived on his farm 
until 1864, and then retired to a home in Seneca. In June of 1882, he 
and his wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in Seneca, and 
six years later, July 18, 1888, his faithful helpmeet died. William R. 
Wells died December 16, 1893. Although a member of the Congrega- 
tional church at the time of his removal to Kansas, William R. Wells 
became one of the founders of the Methodist Episcopal church in 
Seneca, and remained an active and influential member of this church 
until his demise. His activity in behalf of the free State movement in 
Kansas was noticeable, and is a matter of history. He filled the office 
of township trustee several terms, served as justice of the peace and 
was a member of the first board of county commissioners of Nemaha 

The earlier education of Abijah Wells was obtained in the district 
schools of La Salle county, Illinois, and he was a lad of seventeen when 
the family settled in Kansas. Not long after he came to Kansas he en- 
rolled as a student in Centralia College, and later attended the first 
session of the State Agricultural College at Manhattan, Kans.. this 
institution at that time being noted for the excellent faculty maintained. 
His ambition when a youth had been to become a lawyer, with this end 
in view, he entered the office of Judge J. E. Taylor, where he pursued 
his legal studies until his admission to the practice of law in 1866. He 
practiced his profession in Kansas continuously for nearly fifty years, 
the only exception being when he became a member of the Kansas 
court of appeals. 

Early in 1881, he became the editor and proprietor oi the Seneca 


"Tribune." His talents as a journalist and manager here were shown to 
the best advantage, and he rapidly made the "Tribune" one of the best 
newspapers in northern Kansas, and created a profitable business prop- 
erty. He sold the "Tribune," however, during the same year to A. J. 
Felt and devoted his entire time to his legal business and his official 
duties in various capacities. The law firm of Wells & Wells, started 
in 1866 by Judge Wells and his brother, Frank Wells, and his son, 
Frank, at a later date, in time became one of the best known law firms 
of northern Kansas, and has always done an extensive business. The 
legal business of this institution is carried on at present by Ira K. Wells, 
who became the Junior partner of the firm upon the removal of Frank 
Wells to Oklahoma City. 

The political, judicial and official career of Judge ^^'eIls was a 
remarkable one, and is the best evidence of his pronounced ability and 
powers of leadership among men. He became a leader of wide influ- 
ence, who was noted for his integrity and upright conduct in every 
official capacity where he was chosen to serve b}^ his faithful and loyal 
constituents. During his whole life he was an active supporter of Re- 
publican party principles, and became one of the party's widely known 
leaders throughout the West. His first office was that of county su- 
perintendent of public instruction, to which he was chosen in 1863. In 
1866. he was elected clerk of the district court, and after holding that 
office for one year, he was elected registrar of deeds, and filled that 
position one term. From 1874 to 1S81. he again served as county su- 
perintendent of education in Ncnialia county. Vigorous and capable, 
he was diligent and progressi\e in his administration of the public school 
system of Nemaha county, and raised the schools to a higher plane as a 
result of his endeavors in the educational field. Upon the expiration of 
his term as count}- superintendent, he proceeded to devote his time and 
talents exclusively to his growing law practice with such signal success 
that he was called to a seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals bench in 
1896, and represented the eastern division of the northern department of 
this court, and was the only Republican on the State ticket to receive a 
majority at the polls during that memorable year. He served as judge 
of the Court of Appeals with distinction and honor during the life of this 
court, and on its dissolution in 1901, he returned to Seneca and resumed 
the practice of law. Judge Wells served two terms as mayor of Seneca, 
and was a member of the Seneca board of education for a number of 
■years. It is also worthy of note that Judge Wells was appointed post- 
master of Seneca in 1884, but resigned because of the press of his other 
affairs, Justus H. Williams succeeding him as postmaster. 

In a material sense. Judge Wells was accounted one of the most 
successful financiers and business men of Nemaha county and Kansas. 
He foresaw the inevitable rise of land values, and early began to invest 
his surplus earnings in real estate and farm lands, and at the time of 
his demise, was an extensive realty owner in Nemaha county. He also 


owned ninety acres of land within the corporate limits of Oklahoma 
City, which he purchased as an investment. He was markedly success- 
ful in banking; pursuits, and was connected with the National Bank of 
Seneca as a director and vice-president for several years. Beginning 
life as a poor boy, he was essentially self made and rose from compara- 
tive poverty to become one of the wealthiest men of his day. The fact 
that he amassed considei^able wealth honestly and with the exercise of 
inherent financial talents and good business judgment redounds to his 
everlasting credit : he was noted and admired for his straighforward 
methods of doing business, and his universal fairness in dealing with 
those with whom he came in contact. 

The married life of Judge Wells was an exceedingly happy one, and 
began October 18, 1866, at which time he espoused in wedlock. Miss 
Loretta C. AVilliams, a daughter of Capt. A. W. Williams, of Sabetha, 
Kans. This marriage was blessed with six children, who have grown 
to maturity, namely : Frank, of the law firm of Keaton, Wells & John- 
son, of Oklahoma City, Okla., and who served four years as county at- 
torney of Nemaha county, and after his removal to Oklahoma City was 
selected as one of the city commissioners to formulate the plans for a 
commission form of city government ; Arthur, died at the age of two 
years ; Ira K., a review of whose life career is found in this volume ; 
Elsie, who became a teacher in the Seneca public schools, and died Sep- 
tember 4, 1897; Maud W., the wife of JRobert E. Deemer, a merchant of 
Lincoln, Neb., and a veteran of the Spanish-American war; William A., 
an architect of exceptional promise and ability, of Oklahoma, Avhose 
plans for the Oklahoma countv court house were accepted strictly on 
merit, and who was the architect of the Colcord building of Oklahoma 
City, one of the finest office buildings of the United States, and Roland, 
who is located on a ranch in Sherman county, Kansas, and is extensively 
engaged in raising cattle. The mother of these children was born in 
Greenville, Green county, Wisconsin, March 5, 1847, and is a daughter 
of Arthur William and Mary Angeline (Nordyke) Williams, of English 
and Scotch ancestry. 

Capt. A. W. Williams was one of the well known figures of the 
pioneer period of Nemaha county history. He was born in Rochester, 
N. Y., ]\Iarch 21, 1818, and died in November, 1886, on his farm, south 
of Seneca. His parents removed from New York to Canada when he 
was but a boy and he was there reared to young manhood and learned 
the trade of a carpenter. In the early days of the settlement of Green 
county, Wisconsin, he located in that county, and was married to Mary 
Angeiine Nordyke, who was born in Vienna, Ohio, June 7, 1826. Aftei 
their marriage in Iowa, Mr. and Mrs. Williams lived in Green county, 
Wisconsin, until their removal to Iowa in 1856. They spent the winter 
in Iowa, and in the following spring migrated westward to Kansas, and 
made settlement on the Sabetha townsite. Mr. AA^illiams became the 
owner of the land where the citv of Sabetha now stands, and resided in 


Sabetha until 1872, engaged in keeping the tavern and also following 
his trade of builder and carpenter. The Williams Hotel was situated 
directly upon the old overland stage route and he also maintained a stage 
station, at which the relay horses were kept ready for changing. He 
also farmed such of his land as was not taken for the townsite. At the 
outbreak of the Civil war, Mr. Williams offered his services in defense 
of the Union, and was elected captain of Company D, Eighth Kansas 
infantry. He served with distinction, and then took up the peaceful 
avocation of a citizen after the close of the war. He served as post- 
master of Sabetha for several 3-ears, and was a leading citizen of that 
city until his removal to Seneca in 1872. He was engaged in the hard- 
ware business in Seneca for some years, and later settled on his farm, 
two miles south of the county seat, where he resided until his demise. 
The following children were born to Arthur AV. and Mary Angeline 
Williams: Justus, former postmaster of Seneca, and now residing at 
Riverside, Cal. ; Mrs. Abijah Wells, Mrs. Eliza Masheter, of Sabetha, 
deceased: Angus and Rosabelle died young; Mrs. Mary E. McGill died 
in California ; Charles, living in California ; Mrs. Olive Himrod, New 
Jersey. The mother of these children was born in Ohio, removed with 
her parents to Iowa, and died in California in 1908. 

Judge Wells was a member of the Universalist denomination, and 
was one of the organizers of the Universalist church of Seneca, in 1865, 
He became widely known in I'niversalist circles throughout Kansas and 
the West, and served for twenty-five years as president of the Kansas 
Universalist convention, holding that important position at the time of 
his demise. He was a Mason of high degree, and had attained the 
Royal Arch and Knights Templar degrees in the order; served as 
worshipful master of Seneca Lodge, No. 39, Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons, and as high priest of the chapter and as eminent commander 
of Seneca Commandery, No. 39. He was also a charter member of 
Nemaha Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he had 
passed all the chairs and was the last surviving charter member who 
held his membership continuously since the organization of the lodge in 
1866. He was also affiliated with the Knights and Ladies of Security. 

The demise of this illustrious Kansan occurred at Los Angeles, Cal., 
March i. 1915, at the home of his son, William, whither he had gone 
for a much needed rest and recuperation. The remains were brought to 
Seneca and interred in the local cemetery, after appropriate services at 
■the I'niversalist Church, conducted by Dr. Fisher, of Chicago, long an 
associate of Judge Wells in religious work. W^ith the departure of the 
soul of this noble man to the realms from which no man returneth, there 
passed the leading citizen of the county and city which he assisted in 
building: his friends were legion; he always commanded the respect 
and admiration of those who knew him ; a man of fine personal appear- 
ance, blessed with keen intelligence, which showed in his every action, 
a dignified bearing — he was a man among men, whose innate reserve 


was tempered by a wholesome good nature, which manifested itself 
when with his associates. As an attorney, he was always true to every 
trust imposed in him by his clients and business associates; in an official 
capacity, Judge Wells was firm in an unalterable determination to pros- 
ecute the duties placed upon him by the public in the interests of his 
constituents. As a public spirited citizen, he had few equals, and was 
always found in the forefront of undertakings which would have a ten- 
dency to advance the best interests of his home city and county. The 
reward which comes to all good men and true, who have been devoted 
to the highest principles of manhood, in the hereafter, has certainly 
come to him — inasmuch as his good deeds and upright life far out- 
weighed whatever faults he may have possessed. 

George W. Williams. — In point of years of residence in Seneca, 
George AVilliams is, without doubt, the oldest living pioneer settler, liv- 
ing in Seneca today. A review of the life of Mr. Williams takes one 
back to the old stage coach days; to the time of the emigrant freighting 
trains ; to an account of the first house built in Seneca, in which he 
lived when a boy of twelve years of age ; the review covers the gradual 
settlement and development of Nemaha county, the ups and downs of 
a struggling community and the growth of Seneca from being merely 
a wide place in the great overland highway to the West into becoming 
one of the thriftiest and most beautiful cities of northern Kansas. Mr. 
Williams has seen all of this great development, and has taken an 
active and substantial part in the work of creating a great county from 
a wilderness of prairie and wild land. 

George W. Williams, capitalist and farmer, Seneca, Kans., was 
born in a small New Jersey village, March 18, 1848, and is a son of 
Henry and Mary (Getty) Williams, natives of Vermont and descend- 
ants of old New England families. The home of Mr. Williams' parents 
was in Burlington, Vt., but his father's work as a railroad contractor 
required that he make his residence in the vicinity of his employment. 
Henry Williams died in 1848, and his wife departed this life not long 
afterward. The boy, George, thus left an orphan, was given over to 
the care of a maiden aunt, who became his guardian and who had gone 
to live in New Hampshire. However, he varied his early life between 
the homes of a married aunt (Mrs. John E. Smith") and the maiden aunt 
who was his rightful guardian. He accompanied the Smith family to 
Seneca in 1858 and resided with them in the first house built in Seneca, 
his first work in the village was as "devil boy" on the first newspaper 
published in Nemaha county by J. P. Cone ; his duties on this sheet being 
to ink the "molasses" rollers, and to assist in operating the old Wash- 
ington hand press, with which the editions were printed. He remained 
a member of the staff of Mr. Cone's newspaper until his place was 
taken by a stronger person, and one whom the editor thought more 
able and competent to handle the lever of the unwieldy press. About 
the time his newspaper experience came to an end, his maiden aunt and 


guardian came west and located at Irving, Marshall county, Kansas, 
and he join'ed his aunt's family there. He remained with his guardian 
until he completed a course in Illinois College in 1864, and after clerk-' 
ing- in a store at Irving for a time, he returned to Seneca and purchased 
an interest in a hardware store. This was in 1870, and his business 
venture was a success from the start. His interests have become diver- 
sified during the past fort}'-six years, and he has become one of the 
largest land owners in northern Kansas, owning thousands of acres of 
land in the county, Air. A\'illianis has erected several business build- 
ings in Seneca, and is nwner of considerable real estate in the city. He 
is financial!}' interested in several banking concerns, among them being 
the First National Bank of Seneca, of which he has been president for 
over thirty years; State Bank of Belvidere, Neb., and the State Bank 
of Axtell, Kan.s., of which he is president. He is a director in several 

Mr. W'illiams has been a stockholder and director of the St. Joseph 
and Grand Island Railroad Company, for the past three years. He is 
president of the ^ro^^•n County Farmers ^Mutual Fire Insurance Com- 
pany of Morrill. Kans. 

Mr. Williams was married, in 1876, to Miss Mary Moss Bryan of 
Kentucky, a daughter of Milton Bryan, a relative of William Jennings 
Bryan. To IMr. and Mrs. AA'illiams have been born six children, as fol- 
lows: Raymond, third child born, killed in a railway accident in 1906; 
Clara, eldest child, wife of Frank Stuppy, St. Joseph, Mo.; Mrs. Flelen 
Short, living near Chehalis, AA^ash. ; l\(liili, v\'ife of Art L. Collins, presi- 
dent of the National Bank of .<ali. ilia, Kans.; Rachel, at home with her 
parents; Milton B., at home and as^i>tiiig in looking after his father's 
interests, a graduate of Wisconsin University, Madison, Wis., and fill- 
ing the post of assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Seneca. 

Mr. Williams is allied with the Democratic party, but has never 
sought political preferm.ent of an}- kind, although he has taken pleasure 
in assisting deserving friends to office and has been generally loyal to 
democratic principles. He is a member of the Congregational church. 
Despite his great success in business, agriculture and finance. Mr. \\'ill- 
iams is the most modest of men who has devoted his entire life to hard 
work, kept at his tasks long hours, and even of late years, has assidu- 
ously devoted his time and energies to looking after his many inter- 
ests. This modest and brief review is in keeping with the inherent 
. modesty of the man himself. 

Courtney C. K. Scoville. — When a truly able and gifted man finds 
his niche in the world of business and finance, his success is certain 
and sure. There is no miscalculation about the obviousness of his being 
adapted to his surroundings — a really successful individual becomes 
more so when he has discovered his proper line of endeavor in which 
to exercise inherited and developed talents. Real leaders in the various 
professions and business circles are both born and made —and in the 


making, the best attributes of the man liimself are developed thor- 
oughly and well, so that there is no half way stop in the upward climb. 
C. C. K. Scoville, successful financier, author and lecturer of Seneca, 
Kans., is one of those individuals who found his proper niche, and de- 
veloped himself and his powers to the fullest extent, and has become a 
leader of thought and men, and is widely known throughout his home 
State and the A\'est. Endowed in the beginning with a heritage of pure 
American birth and ancestry, and gifted beyond the ordinary, he has 
risen to a high place among men. As a banker he has achieved success, 
and as a lecturer and orator, he has won more than ordinary renown — 
yet, withal, he is a modest, unassuming gentleman who loves best to 
assist in the development of social and civic conditions in his home 
city. The upbuilding and advancement of Seneca is in his thoughts 
and ambitions first and foremost of all things, and he is ever ready to 
take the lead in all matters having for their ultimate object a better 
and larger city. 

C. C. K. Scoville, president of the Citizens State Bank of Seneca, 
was born at Conneautville, Pa., September 14, 1852, and is a son of 
Daniel and Eunice P. B. (Kennedy) Scoville. natives of Vermont and 
New York respectively. On both paternal and maternal sides he is 
descended from old American families who trace their lineage back to 
pre-Revolutionary times. His grandfather was Daniel Scoville, whose 
father was a soldier of the Revolution and fought under Ethan Allen 
with the famous "Green Mountain Boys." 

Mr. Scoville received his education in the public schools of Iowa 
and Kansas, and studied law in Seneca where the Scoville family re- 
moved in 1870. He was admitted to the practice of law in 1878, and 
practiced his profession for a number of years and then engaged in 
banking, although he has never abandoned the legal profession entirely. 
Since his connection with the Citizens State Bank, he has always been 
the recognized head of the bank. Previous to engaging in the practice 
of law, he taught school for eight years. While practicing his pro- . 
fession, he served as cit}' attorney, and in 1900, filled the office of 
mayor of Seneca for a term. He organized the Scoville Exchange Bank 
in 1888. This concern was successful, and its activities and general 
scope were broadened materially in 1894, when Mr. Scoville organized 
the Citizens State Bank as a successor to the private bank. The capital 
has been increased from $30,000 to $40,000, and this bank is now one 
of the substantial and flourishing financial institutions of northern 

A-Ir. Scoville was united in marriage with Miss Mary Lincoln Ber- 
gen of Galesburg, 111., in 1881. Two daughters were born to them, as 
follows : Josephine, who studied for two years in Washburn College, 
Topeka, and who graduated from Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 
is how the wife of Louis S. Treadwell, a business man of New York 
City, and scion of the well known Treadwell familv of New York and 


Albany: Frances, a graduate of the Misses Oilman's Seminary for 
young- ladies at Boston. Mass., is now the wife of Walter De Mumm. 
a member of the famous Rheims firm of wine manufacturers and an 
officer of the Royal Fusileers of the German army and a member of 
General von Hindenberg's staff. Lieut. De Mumm has been twice dec- 
orated by the German emperor with the iron cross for personal bravery 
on the battlefield. 

]\Irs. Scoville, who was Miss Mary Lincoln Bergen, was a daughter 
of George L and Mary Bergen, of Galesburg, 111. George L Bergen 
was one of the leading busniess men and politicians of his .State, and 
was Avidely known as an inventor and as a public man. He filled the 
position of internal revenue collector of the great Peoria district, for 
many years. He and Abraham Lincoln were close personal friends. 
INIrs. Scoville enjoys the great distinction of having been given the 
name, Lincoln, for a middle name by the great Lincoln himself. Mrs. 
Scoville's mother was a member of the celebrated Field family, from 
which sprang many of the leading men of the nation, notably I\Tarshall 
Field, the great Chicago merchant. Mrs. Scoville was a graduate of 
the High School at Galva, 111., going from there to the Conservator}^ of 
Music at Oberlin, Ohio, from which she graduated in vocal, piano and 
pipe organ courses with distinction. Mrs. Scoville is well known over 
Kansas for her musical and literary accomplishments and for the 
beauty and hospitality of her home in Seneca, where many of the lead- 
ing people of Kansas and other States have been entertained. 

Mr. Scoville's activities outside of his banking interests have been 
many and varied, and their recital exhibits a remarkable versatility on 
the part of this able Kansan. He is essentially a self-made man, who 
has good and just right to be proud of his record, inasmuch as Seneca 
is rightly proud of him. He is an extensive dealer in farm mortgages, 
and loans on his own account and believes in keeping his capital con- 
tinually working in legitimate channels of trade. He has taken an 
.active and general interest in matters political and served his party as 
chairman of the county central committee during the Blaine and Logan 
campaign for the presidency. He is interested in his party's success, 
but has never been an office seeker, preferring to be a worker in the 
ranks and lending his moral support to such matters. He is a strong 
and influential supporter of civic, social and commercial enterprises for 
the benefit of Seneca and Nemaha county, and is president of the Sen- 
eca Business Men's Club, an organization of Seneca's business and pro- 
fessional men who are striving for civic and commercial betterment 
of the city's affairs, and are pushing imblic inipro\-ements to tlie front. 
For the past twelve years, he has been a director and treasurer of the 
Nemaha County Fair Association. 

His rise in the banking world is a matter deserving of favorable 
comment, and he has become known throughout the State among the 
banking fraternitv. During the years 1910 and 1911, Mr. Scoville was 


president of the Kansas State Bankers Association. He was one of 
the organizers and served as the second president of this association. 
During his lecturing career, which has covered a period of twelve vears, 
he has delivered many addresses upon financial questions pertaining to 
banking and the legal phases of the profession of which he has made a 
deep study. Mr. Scoville has the reputation of being the finest and 
most entertaining, extemporaneous speaker in central and northern 
Kansas. His broad knowledge and wide reading and continuous study 
have equipped him especially for this phase of his versatile attainments. 

Mr. and Mrs. Scoville are extensive travelers and have seen many 
parts of the old and new worlds. They made a sight seeing trip to Eu- 
rope, and visited their daughter, Mrs. De Mumm, in 1914, and Avere in 
London when the war between the European powers began. The 
success of this able gentleman under review can be ascribed to two or 
three things, either of which is important, and have a decided bearing 
upon a man's life career: He was rightly born and reared; he was 
imbued with an indomitable will and a determination to rise in the 
world, and was willing to make any honorable sacrifice in order to gain 
his end ; lastly, but not least, he has enjoyed the companionship and 
counsel of a capable and devoted wife. While teaching school, he de- 
voted his spare time to the study of law and equipped himself for the 
legal profession. While practicing law he discovered that his talents 
lay in the world of finance, and he determined that banking offered the 
best means to the attainment of a competence. 

Frank L. Geary, assistant cashier of the National Bank of Seneca, 
Kans., was born March 29, 1880, in the city of Buffalo, New York, and 
is a son of William C. and Nellie R. (Rademacher) Geary, the former 
of whom was a native of Ohio, and the latter was a native of Holland. 
William C. Geary was born and reared in the Buckeye State and be- 
came a farmer in his younger days. Later he abandoned this vocation, 
and engaged in commercial business in Buffalo, N. Y., until 1882, at 
which time he returned to Ohio, and farmed until 1887, when he mi- 
grated to Illinois, where he engaged in the live stock business with 
headquarters at Mattoon, 111. He removed to Seneca, Kans., in 1890, and 
continued his live stock operations with considerable success, until his 
retirement from active business in 1900. He now resides in Frederick, 
Okla. AVilliam C. and Nellie R. Geary reared three children, as fol- 
lows : Charles AV. and Tina A., of Los Angeles, Cal., and Frank L., 
with whose career this review is directly concerned. The mother of 
the foregoing children was born in Amsterdam, Holland, January 11, 
1846, and immigrated with her parents to New York. 

Frank L. Geary was educated in the graded and high schools of 
Seneca, Kans., and studied law in the office of Judge R. M. Emery. He 
was admitted to the practice of law in 1901, and for five years, had a 
lucrative practice in partnership with Judge Emery. For the two years 
following he served as bookkeeper for the Seneca State Savings Bank 


until 1907. He spent the following seven months in Los Angeles, doing 
abstract work, and then returned to Seneca to accept the position of 
assistant cashier of the National Bank of Seneca. Mr. Geary is emi- 
nently fitted by his legal and financial training to perform the duties 
of his position, and has a fine reputation as a banking man. He was 
the first title examiner in the office of the Los Angeles Abstract and 
Trust Company, a very large concern doing business in the Pacific 
Coast city. 

Mr. Geary was married, in 1903, to Miss Blanche Magill of Seneca, 
a daughter of J. D. Magill, former clerk of the Nemaha county district 
Court who died in 1900, his daughter, Blanche, being appointed to fill 
out Mr. Magill's unexpired term. She was twice re-elected to the of- 
fice, first in 1900, and again in 1902, and served until 1905. 

Mr. Geary is a progressive Republican who believes that reform 
and purification of the party can best be accomplished by working 
within the rank and file of the Republican organization, a belief which 
is generally shared by a majority of the party at the present time. He 
served as city attorney of Seneca, while filling his duties in connection 
with the Seneca State Savings Bank, and resigned the office when he 
went to California. Mr. Geary is a member of the Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons, the Eastern Star, Knights and Ladies of Security, 
and the'Knights of Pythias. 

Charles F. Schrempp, lawyer, Seneca, I^ans., was born in Harting- 
ton. Neb., January 17, 1887, and is a son of' Adolph and Sophia 
(Schweker) Schrempp, natives of Baden, Germany, and Schenectady, 
New York, respectively. Adolph Schrempp was born in 1847, ''"d em- 
igrated from the fatherland to America in 1853 with his parents. The 
Schrempp family settled in A\^isconsin where Adolph Schrempp was 
reared to manhood. He there married Sophia Schweker, whose par- 
ents emigrated from Schenectady, N. Y., to Madison, \A'is. .After their 
marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Schrempp settled in Cedar county, Nebraska, 
and were pioneer settlers of that county, where they homesteaded a 
claim and developed it, later removing to Yankton, S. D., and operating 
a hotel. Mr. Schrempp here met the famous General Custer with 
whom he struck up a warm friendship which lasted until the lamenta- 
ble death of the general at the Big Horn Indian massacre. After the 
massacre, Mr. and Mrs. Sclirempp returned to Cedar county, Nebraska, 
and again took up farming pursuits. The Schrempps lived in Cedar 
county until the town of Hartington, Neb., was started, and they built 
the first house in that city. Mr. Schrempp became a contractor and 
builder in Hartington until his removal to Seneca in the spring of 1914. 
Mr. and Mrs. Schrempp are the parents of seven children. William, 
employed on the staff of the Sioux City, Iowa, "Journal ;" .\lbert 
A., in insurance business in the office of Charles F., Seneca ; Charles F., 
with whom this review is directly concerned, are the three sons of the 
family. The daughters are as follows : Anna Ottele, Sioux City, Iowa ; 


Teresa Smith, Sanborn, Iowa ; Minnie K. Schrempp, Seneca, Kans. ; 
Frances Schrempp, Seneca, Kans. 

Charles F. Schrempp was educated in the Hartington public schools 
and the parochial schools, graduating from the high school of his 
native city in 1905. He taught school for two years, and then clerked 
in a general store for some years and became manager of a general 
store until 1909. He then went to Omaha, Neb., and worked his way 
through Creighton University for a period of three years during which 
he took the night course in law and was then enabled to take the full 
day course for one year. He graduated from Creighton University 
with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1913. During his' period of 
study, he was employed in the Brandeis department store, and worked 
his way upward from shoe salesman to floor walker on the main floor 
in this great establishment, from 1909 to 1912. In the spring of that year 
he obtained the post of assistant librarian in the Creighton law depart- 
ment, and was enabled to finish his collegiate course in a more satis- 
factory manner. 

Mr. Schrempp's original intention had been to begin the practice 
of his profession at Eugene, Ore., but having occasion to stop off at 
Seneca, he was impressed with the appearance of the city and the possi- 
bilities it presented for the practice of law, and he decided to cast his 
lot in this city. He was first associated with Charles Herold as' deputy 
county attorney until March. 1915, and has built up an excellent law prac- 
tice. He was a candidate for county attorney on the Democratic ticket 
in 1914. Mr. Schrempp has built up considerable practice in outside 
courts, and is fast making a reputation for himself as an able attorney, 
besides taking a prominent part in Democratic politics. He was re- 
tained as attorney in the Helser land case, the biggest partition suit 
ever filed in Nemaha county, and an incident to the settlement of an 
estate valued at $200,000, at this writing (1915) has completed the forc- 
ing of distribution in the secondary case in Pennsylvania, involving 
the personal property included in the estate. 

Mr. Schrempp is a member of the Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic 
Church, and is president of the county federation of Catholic societies. 
He is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Mutual 
Benefit Association. He is the secretary of the Literary and Lyceum 
course committee, and is at present secretary of the Seneca Commer- 
cial Club. He is a member of the Delta Theta Phi, the National legal 
fraternity and was instrumental in building up the Omaha chapter. 

Joseph P. Koelzer, lumber merchant of Seneca, Kans., is one of the 
native born Kansas pioneers who has lived his whole life within the 
borders of Nemaha county. The lumber concern of which he is the 
proprietor is one of the oldest established business concerns of Seneca, 
and was first started in 1872. J. ,H. Hatch was the second owner and 
managed the business until 1897, when it was purchased by the Holton 
Lumber Company, who operated it for ten years. Mr. Koelzer became 


sole proprietor in 1905. The lumber yards cover five city lots and the 
stock of lumber, builders' material, concrete, etc., is compactly and 
conveniently arranged so that the extensive trade which the establish- 
ment enjoys can be taken care of expeditiously. A concrete buildinc: 
at the front on the main street of Seneca houses the office and three 
men are employed in the conduct of the business. 

J. P. Koelzer was born on a farm at St. Benedict's, three miles 
northwest of Seneca, April 25, 1871, and is a son of Peter Joseph fborn 
in 1827, and died in December, 1893) and Sophia (Koblitz) Koelzer, 
born in 1839, natives of German and Austria-Hungary, respectively. 
Peter Joseph Koelzer emigrated from Germany to America in 1852, and 
made a settlement in Wisconsin, where he remained until 1859, and then 
came westward to Kansas and became one of the earliest pioneer sttlers 
in Nemaha county. In the spring of 1859, he made a settlement in the 
St. Benedict neighborhood, where he homesteaded eighty acres of land, 
which is still owned by the Koelzer family. The following year was 
the noted "dry year," when many settlers left Kansas never to return. 
The Koelzer family was too poor to leave and had to bear the hardships 
incidental to the crop failure. Time proved that the "dry year" but 
taught the settlers a lesson, and those who were forced to stay became 
the prosperous citizens of a great and rich county as the years passed. 
Peter J.- Koelzer learned how best to till the Kansas soil and how to get 
around the vagaries of Kansas climate and managed to raise good crops 
as well as to rear a fine family of children. The first home of the 
Koelzers was a small log cabin built of logs hewn from trees along 
Wild Cat creek, and consisted of one room. Later another room was 
added, and in 1870 the family fortunes were such that a neat frame house 
was built. J. P. Koelzer, the subject of this review, was the first child born 
in the frame house. Peter Joseph Koelzer became quite well-to-do be- 
fore his demise, and with the assistance of his faithful wife and his sons 
to help him till his acreage he became the owner of 280 acres of excel- 
lent farm land. As he became old he decided to build a home in Seneca, 
where he and Mrs. Koelzer could spend their last years in comfortable 
enjoyment of their good fortune: but, sad to relate, this sturdy old 
pioneer died on the eve of his removal to the new home. Peter Joseph 
and Sophia (Koblitz) Koelzer were the parents of thirteen children, as 
follows: John, lives in Texas: Louis, died in Idaho: Antone. died in 
Seneca, at the age of twenty-three years; four children died in infancy; 
Joseph P., with whom this review is directly concerned ; Peter, living 
at Stockton, Kans. ; Edward, farming the. old home place; Michael, of 
Electra, Texas: Mrs. Mary Flushe, Muenster, Texas; Mrs. Elizabeth 
Hoenig, Muenster, Texas. The mother of these children resides with 
her son, Peter, at Stockton, Kans. 

The senior Koelzer assisted in the building of St. Benedict's Church 
and gave liberally to the building of the magnificent new church, but 
death called him before the new structure was fini.shed. 


Joseph P. Kpelzer, the subject of this review, was educated in school 
district No. 33, at St. Benedict's, and remained on the hcrtne farm until 
he was twenty-four years of age. He then married, and one year later 
moved to Seneca, where he engaged in the buying and shipping of live 
stock for a year. He then operated a lumber yard at St. Benedict's for 
one year and a half. Returning to Seneca, he was employed by the Hel- 
ton Lumber Company for eight years, and then purchased the yards and 
stock, in 1905. In addition to his business and property interests, Mr. 
Koelzer is a shareholder in the Seneca State Savings Bank. 

J. P. Koelzer was married in 1894 to Miss Elizabeth Schneider, born 
in Nebraska, and a daughter of Mathias Schneider, who moved with his 
family from Missouri to Nemaha county, Kansas. (See sketch). Four 
children were born to this union, as follows: Albert L., a hustling 
young business man of Seneca, and owner of the photograph gallery 
and moving picture show ; Fred, a student of electrical engineering in 
Kansas City, Mo. ; Urban and Florence, attending high school in Seneca. 

Mr. Koelzer is a Democrat, who has taken an active part in political 
and civic affairs, having served as city councilman and treasurer of 
Richmond township. He and the members of his family are affiliated 
with Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic church in Seneca, and Mr. Koelzer 
is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Mutual 
Benefit Association. 

Hon. Rufus M. Emery. — History is a record of human events in the 
concrete and the historical annals of any section of the great common- 
wealth of Kansas is an assembling together in a systematic form an ac- 
count of what the men and women of that section have accomplished in 
the way of creating and building up a community of souls working with 
one accord to a common end. The history of Nemaha county tells the 
wondrous story of what has been done during sixty-one years of struggle, 
striving and working toward the creation of a great county. It must 
likewise tell of the individual accomplishments of the men who have 
taken part actively in the development of the county — and it is meet, 
therefore, that a review of the life of Judge Rufus M. Emery, of Seneca, 
be told, inasmuch as he is a leading citizen of Nemaha county, a success- 
ful attorney, widely known jurist and an able financier, who, during the 
forty years of his residence in Kansas, has won a high place in the com- 
munity of which he is a very important part. The life story of Rufus 
M. Emery is a record of the doings of a successful man of affairs, who 
has won his place in the citizenship of Seneca by virtue of decided 
ability of a high order. 

Rufus M. Emery was born on a farm near Loveland, Clermont 
county, Ohio, April 23, 1854, and comes of that sturdy American stock 
who for generations have been tillers of the soil and have assisted in 
pushing the path of empire ever westward. He is a son of Elisha J. 
Emery, born in Hunterdon county. New Jersey, September i, 1814, and 
a son of Judge John Emery, born and reared in the same county, and 



who removed to a farm near Cincinnati, Ohio, when Elisha J. Emery 
was one year old. 

Elisha J. Emery was reared to youngs manhood on the pioneer farm 
in Ohio, and took up agricultural pursuits in Clermont county, Ohio, 
where he married Miss Eliza V. Johnson, born in 1818 in Hunterdon 
county, New Jersey, and who accompanied her parents to Ohio in 1832, 
when she was married. Her father in a later day migrated to Cook- 
county, Illinois, where he farmed until his demise. Ten children were 
born to this marriage of Elisha and Eliza V. Emery, as follows: Al- 
mira, who died at the age of eighteen ; William A., Samuel A., George 
J. Edwin D., Jabez N., Eliza C, who married W. H. Fitzwater; Charle.s 
F., Rufus M., the subject of this review, and Mary M. Of these children, 
Almira, William A., George J., Edwin D. and Rev. Jabez N. are de- 
ceased. Four of the above sons, William A., Samuel A., George J. and 
Edwin D., served in behalf of the Union during the Civil war, and two 
of them, George J. and Edwin D., lost their lives while in the service; 
George J. was drowned in the Ohio river, and Edwin D. lost his life by 
drowning off the coast of North Carolina, when the transport, which 
was carrying him in company with other troops northward after Lee's 
surrender, is thought to have been wrecked in a storm and sank with all 
on board. Elisha J. Emery continued his farming operations on an ex- 
tensive scale and with marked success until 1873, when he disposed of 
his large realty holdings in Clermont county, Ohio, and located in 
Seneca, Kans. Having arrived here with a competency, he devoted his 
remaining years to his investments and was occupied in the capacit}^ of 
private banker and later as president and one of the largest stockholders 
of the Rank of Nemaha County, which he was instrumental in estab- 
lishing in 1882, and served as its president for man}' years. For several 
years he became a teacher in the district schools. When still a youth, 
Eliza V. Emery was born in New Jersey, .\ugust 28, 1818; married, 
December 18, 1836, and died March 8, 1894. 

Rufus M. Emery was reared on his father's farm in Clermont county, 
Ohio, and received his early education in the district schools of his 
native county. Honest, ambitious and clear headed, he applied himself 
with so much intelligence and diligence that at the age of seventeen 
years he became a teacher in the district schools. When still a youth, 
he mastered the art of telegraphy, and spent two and a half years as a 
telegraph operator in the employ of the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago 
& St. Louis railroad. He then resigned and came directly to Seneca, 
Kans., arriving here June 15, 1875. Soon after his arrival he began 
reading law in the office of Simon Conwell, of Seneca, and by hard ap- 
plication and self study, he qualified for admission to the Nema'ha 
county bar in April, 1877. He at once began the practice of his chosen 
profession in Seneca, and soon won a high place for himself in the legal 
fraternity of Kansas. Being a young man of fine tact and address, as 
well as being a forceful and eloquent .speaker and a logical thinker, his 


rise in the ranks of the legal profession was marked and rapid. During 
the. many- years in which Judge Emery has practiced law in Nemaha 
county and northern Kansas, he has maintained an unsullied reputation 
for fairness and a strict and abiding respect for the highest principles of 
his profession. He has adhered closely to professional ethics wherever 
and whenever he has been called upon to exercise his legal ability and 
knowledge of the law. Associated with Judge Emer}- in the law firm of 
Emery & Emery at present is his son, Rufus M., Jr. 

The political and judicial career of Judge Emery has been a note- 
worthj' one, and begins with his election to the office of city attorney, 
serving also as police judge, councilman and president of the board of 
education, following which he filled the office of county attorney for 
three consecutive terms, from 1881 to 1887. Although he had been 
reared a Democrat, he chose to ally himself with the Republican party, 
and for many years he has been one of the influential leaders of his 
' party in Nemaha county and Kansas. He was elected a member of the 
State Senate in 1888, to represent Nemaha and Pottawatomie counties, 
and held this position for one term of -four years. During his senatorial 
service he served on some of the most important committees of the 
senate, being a member of the judiciary committee and chairman of the 
committee of county seats and county lines, as well a a member of the 
committee on cities of the second class. In 1894, he was elected judge 
of the Twenty-second Judicial district, comprising the counties of Doni- 
phan, Brown and Nemaha, and gave universal satisfaction while on the 
bench for four years, from January, 1895, to January, 1899. After the 
expiration of his judicial term, he again resumed the practice of law. 

This esteemed Kansan has not only made an enviable record as a 
legal practitioner and jurist, but he has succeeded as a financier, whose 
land holdings and financial interests in Kansas are considerable. When 
the National Bank of Seneca was organized in 1897, Judge Emery was 
made president of this concern, which is conceded to be the strongest 
in Nemaha county, and one of the best managed and safest financial 
institutions in northern Kansas. He has made finance the subject of dili- 
gent study, and to his untiring labor and watchfulness, his genial man- 
ners, cool judgment and thorough understanding of finance, the subse- 
quent success of the bank has been largely due. 

Judge Emer}^ was married at Corwin, Warren county, Ohio, Sep- 
tember 19, 1877, to M. Lou Thompson, daughter of Samuel B. and Mar- 
tha J. Thompson. The father of Mrs. Emery died in Seneca in 191 1 in 
his ninetieth year. To Judge and Mrs. Emery have been born six chil- 
dren, as follows : Marie, Rufus M., Jr., George B., engaged in the optical 
business in Seneca, Kans. ; Helen M., wife of Eugene Hill, of Seneca; 
Alice, wife of Roy Voorhees, of Seneca, Kans. ; John R., bookkeeper in 
the National Bank of Seneca. 

Judge Emery is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons 
and has attained the Roj^al Arch and Knights Templar degrees. He has 


served as high priest of the chapter and as eminent commander of 
Seneca Commandery. No. 41. He is also a member of Abdallah 
Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Leavenworth. He is affiliated 
with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and, in 1900, was the grand 
master workman of the State of Kansas. He has been associated with 
the Kansas national guard and has held commissions as captain and 
major in his military organization. Judge Emer)- has always taken an 
active and influential part in the civic and social life of Seneca, and has 
ever been found in the forefront of all movements tending to the ad- 
vancement of his home city and county; he has served as president of 
the Seneca Commercial Club, and is universally recognized as a leader 
among the citizenship of the city. 

F. J. Holthaus, cashier of the Citizens State Bank of Seneca. Kans. 
was liorn in ]\Iuhlen, Oldenburg, Germany, Nov. 16, 1876, and is a son 
of Franz and Josephine Holthaus. Plis father was a mariner who en- 
tered the services of the North German Lloyd Steamship Company, 
when said company only had two steamers. He retired from thi.s 
company in 1892, and was pensioned. 

After F. J. Holthaus graduated from the schools in his nati\-e town, 
he came to America in 1891, ami c ini]ileted his studies in Denver, Colo., 
in 1892. He then went to St. riiiuiliii. Kans., and entered the employ 
of the firm of Blocker & Hoefller, dealers in general merchandise. In 
1893. he went back to Denver, and entered the employ of the "Colorado 
Journal" (a German daily) and learned the printing trade. In the fall 
of 1895, he went tn Chicagci and worked in a print shop which did all 
the printing for Alarshall Field. In the spring of 1896. he went to 
Cincinnati, and worked at his trade up to July I, and then went on a 
European trip. He traveled eight months on the continent in the in- 
terest of his coin and stamp business, and also visited his old home. 
In April of 1897, he came back to America, and went to San Francisco, 
and entered the firm of Henry Wolking & Co., importers and dealers 
in fancy groceries. He was with said firm until 1903. 

Mr. F. J. Holthaus' marriage was in 1903, to Mary Haver- 
kamp, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Haverkamp, Sr. They have 
four children: Regina Elizabeth, aged eleven; Clara Josephine, eight; 
John Francis, five, and Alma Bernardine, two. Ever since his marriage 
"he has lived in Nemaha county, the first year on his father-in-law's 
farm, five miles north of Seneca. In 1904, he moved to Seneca and en- 
tered the employ of the First National Bank as bookkeeper. He was 
elected assistant cashier of the Seneca State Savings Bank in 1906, when 
T. H, Cohen bought the controlling interest of said bank and moved it into 
the First National Bank building. In 1907 he was elected cashier of the 
Citizens State Bank of Seneca, Kans., and is filling this position in a 
satisfactory and able manner. 

F. T- Holthaus is a dealer and collector of rare coins and stamps. 
He became acquainted with this hobby when a school buy through 


coming across all kinds of foreign coins which his father brought 
home from his trips to foreign countries. He saw that the coins are 
serious historical monuments, that they contain in a nutshell the whole 
history- of the countries which issued them, and that by an intensive and 
comparative stud}" of them ancient history can be made real and living. 
It is a great asset for a banker to have a numismatic knowledge. His 
collection at first comprised all classes of coins. In recent years he has 
specialized in United States and early Colonials, Oldenburg, IMunster, 
Bremen and Papal State, with special emphasis laid upon gold and silver 
coins. In 1896, on his European trip, he picked up a good many dupli- 
cates of rare coins and stamps, and ever since that time he has been a 
dealer as well as collector. He is an extensive buyer at coin auction 
sales held in this and foreign countries. 

Besides his banking interests, Mr. Holthaus is the owner of a fine 
farm of 148 acres adjoining the city of Seneca, on which an attractive 
home is located. He maintains a herd of Holstein cattle. 

Mr. Holthaus is a Republican in politics and he and Mrs. Holthaus 
are members of Sts. Peter and Paul's Church. He is affiliated with the 
Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association and the 
American Xumismatic Association. 

John Fuller. — The historian or reviewer of this volume of Nemaha 
county historical annals can think of no more apt term with which to 
designate John Fuller, pioneer tinsmith, coppersmith and merchant of 
Seneca, Kans., than to give him the well deserved title of "Sage of 
Seneca." His has been a life well rounded and useful beyond that of 
ordinary men ; although four score and one years have passed since John 
Fuller first saw the light of day, his mental vigor is still unimpaired, and 
of late years he has added to the long list of his accomplishments that of 
lecturer. A man of broad vision and inherent capabilities, he has become 
a scientist and teacher and author of more than ordinary renown. 

John Fuller was born in Horsham, Sussex county, England, March 
25, 1835, and is a son of James and Deborah (Ware) Fuller. James, 
his father, was a member of the Church of England, and was a general 
sheet and metal worker, who taught his son, John, his trade. Deborah 
(Ware) Fuller, his mother, was a Quaker, whose sweet womanly coun- 
sel and careful training did much toward making John Fuller the man 
he is today. One of the touching things which Mr. Fuller remembers 
concerning his mother is that she made a sampler with her own hands 
when a girl, and inscribed on it the following original poem : 

"Deborah Ware is my name. 
With my Needle, I work the same, 
By this work you can plainly see 
The care my parents took of me." 

After learning the trade of sheet metal worker under his father's 
tutelage, John Fuller worked as a tinman and brazier and general sheet 



metal worker until he attained the age of seventeen years. He then took 
up the trade of coppersmith, which he followed for sixteen years. In 
1868, he journeyed to London, England, and again took up brazery 
work and also followed sheet iron work while attending the night 
schools of that great city. Previous to this, he had had little oppor- 
tunity to secure an education, and his sole reason for leaving home and 
going to London was to attain an education. Few boys worked as hard 
as he to attain his ends. Working long hours, he would quit his bencli 
at 5 130 p. m., walk five miles to the night school and study diligently 
until ten o'clock in the South London Workingmen's College, of which 
Huxley was the chief patron. The oldest son of Mr. Fuller has the 
highly prized certificate issued to Mr. Fuller by Huxley, and which has 
appended to it the patron's own signature. Mr. Fuller remained seven 
years in London, supporting his family of five children, born in Ash- 
ford, Kent, England, and in this great city one of his children was born. 
In 1870, he immigrated to America, joining a colon}' which had been 
formed in England under the auspices of the Mutual Land Immigration 
Operative Colonization Company, Limited. This company brought 
numbers of settlers to Kansas, and Mr. Fuller was among those who 
settled near Goff, Kans. He remained but a year on the farm., however, 
raising nothing but weeds after much arduous labor. The next year he 
spent in Centralia, Kans., working at his trade and any honest employ- 
ment he could procure to keep the wolf from the door. In 1872, he 
came to Seneca and engaged in the hardware business in partnership 
with Aaron Roots. This partnership continued for two years, and then 
Mr. Fuller purchased his partner's interest. As his sons grew up they 
became associated with their father in the business, which is one of the 
landmarks of Seneca, under the firm name of Fuller & Son. The 
Fuller establishment is one of the prosperous and enterprising concerns 
of Seneca, and has made money for its founder and proprietor. 

The most interesting phase of the life career of the "Sage of Seneca" 
is his career as a scientist and author and his accomplishments in the 
field of letters is the more remarkable when we learn that he had no 
school advantages from the time he was nine years old up to his mar- 
riage, after which he secured a good, broad education while rearing and 
supporting his growing family in comfort. In the year 1889, Mr. Fuller 
wrote and published "The Art of Coppersmithing," an instructive voca- 
tional volume, which had a wide sale, and has run through four editions, 
and was copyrighted in 1904 and in 191 1 by its author. This work is a 
standard text on the coppersmithing art and contains 485 illustrations 
drawn by Mr. Fuller in order to more clearly bring out the various in- 
structive points. The volume was published by David Williams Com- 
pany, and bears the distinction of being the only text book on copper- 
smithing as an art ever issued. The book was greatly eulogized and 
praised by book reviewers of the country upon its appearance. Mr. 
Fuller completed another attractive and instructive volume in 1904, 


called "A New and Original Treatise on the Geometrical Development 
of Round and Oval Cones," with easy examples of application. This 
work is a very fine affair and is intended for the use of beginners in 
metal working and practical sheet iron and tin plate workers. For man}' 
years this versatile patriarch has been a contributor to various news- 
papers, and has frequently called attention through the newspaper col- 
umns to undeveloped and waste resources generally overlooked by the 
public. He frequently lectures in the Seneca High School on scientific 
subjects, and the students are always eager to listen to the words of 
wisdom which fall from his lips. His favorite lecture is "Wealth is 
Not Worth," and is well worth reading or hearing. He is a deep thinker 
and a profound philosopher, whose material needs have not been neg- 
lected during the man}' years he has spent in Kansas. From a poor boy, 
he has become wealthy, and occupies a high place in the esteem of his 
fellow citizens. It is a fact that at one time this highly regarded and 
wealthy citizen was in such reduced circumstances during his early 
struggles in Kansas that, in order to get sufficient solder with which 
to do his tin work, he gathered up a pile of discarded tin cans, melted 
them, and. thus obtained the solder which he needed so badly. 

There is no doubt but that much of the success of John Fuller is 
really due to the inspiration and assistance of the noble woman who 
became his wife on January i, 1856, when Mr. Fuller was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Ann Fagg, born September 22, 1834, in England, the 
eldest daughter of Henry Fagg, formerly an engineer on the South- 
eastern railway in England. To this union have been born eight chil- 
dren, as follows : Henry William, associated with his father in the 
hardware business; John died in 1914; William Edward and Walter are 
with the firm of Fuller & Son : Martha Jane, at home with her parents ; 
Helen Florence died in September, 1870; Herbert Moreton, born at Cen- 
tralia, June 24, 1871, and now engaged in business with his father; Mrs. 
Beatus Filia Williams, born in Seneca, Kans., and resides there. 

Mr. and Mrs. Fuller are members of the Episcopalian denomina- 
tion. Mr. Fuller became a Mason soon after settling in Seneca, and has 
served as master of the local lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons 
and he enjoys the distinction of being one of the oldest Odd Fellows in 
Kansas, having become a member of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows in his native country in April of 1852, and never having been 
delinquent in his dues during all of the sixty-four years he has been a 
member of the order. For the past twenty years he has been affiliated 
with the Knights of Pythias. John Fuller is a remarkable man, who has 
had a unique and interesting career. 

One of the highly prized possessions in the Fuller domicile is a cop- 
per kettle, which was made by Mr. Fuller over fifty years ago, and is a 
masterpice of the brazier's skill. The proudest day of the young man- 
hood of this fine old gentleman was when he showed to his father the 
kettle, after it had been made with his own hands from the copper. 


Robert G. Mueller, superintendent of the Seneca public school sys- 
tem, was born in Alleghany, N. Y., August 2, 1863, and is a son of 
Robert G. and Catharine (Ehret) Mueller, both of whom were born in 
Germany. Robert G. Mueller, Sr., emigrated from Germany with his 
parents, Jacob and Hannah Mueller, to America in 1849, and first set- 
tled in New York. Jacob Mueller, Sr., had learned the trade of tanner 
and worked at his trade in this country until he became the owner of a 
fine farm near Alleghany, N. Y., and finally died on his farm. Robert 
G. Mueller, the elder, migrated from New York to Atchison, Kans., in 
1878, and after a four years' reisidence on a farm near that city, he re- 
moved to Atchison and has followed his trade of carpenter and builder 
almost continuously since 1882. Robert G. and Catharine Mueller have 
reared seven children,. as follows: George W., deceased: Robert G.. 
the subject of this review; Anna C. and Henry P., deceased: Charles 
F., a farmer living in Butler county, Kansas; Minnie W., deceased; 
William E., a barber in Kansas City, Mo. The mother of the foregoing 
children emigrated from her native land to America ^^•ith her parents 
when six years of age. She died in Atchison in 1893. 

Prof. Robert G. Mueller received his early educatiDn in the pulilic 
and high schools of Atchison, Kans., and also attended the Monroe In- 
stitute of that city. He is self-educated, and worked his way through 
the University of Kansas, from which institution he graduated in 1901. 
Under the tutelage of his father he learned the carpenter's trade and 
worked during the summer vacations for money with which to continue 
his studies. Prof. Mueller began teaching in Atchison county in 1883, 
and taught for twelve years in his home county. His first principalship 
was at Hamlin, Brown county, Kansas, where he was located for one 
year: then one year at Fairview, Brown county, Kansas; six years as 
principal of the Sheridan County High School. He was called to Seneca 
to take charge of the city schools in 1906, and his ten years of work in 
this city have been very successful. Many innovations and betterments 
of the school work have been added by Mr. Mueller during his career in 
Seneca, among them being a normal training department, a domestic 
science department and agricultural course and a commercial depart- 
ment. Six teachers have been added to the high school force, and he 
has reorganized the seventh and eighth grades on the departmental 
plan. So great is the confidence held in Prof. Mueller's judgment by 
the board of education and the patrons of the schools that his requests 
for improvements are invariably granted and he enjoys the co-opera- 
tion of the school officials and teachers to an exceptional degree. 

He is still an indefatigable student and has spent four vacations at 
Chicago University, working toward the acquirement of a Master's de- 
gree. He received the Bachelor of .Arts degree from the Kansas Uni- 
versity and holds a State life certificate. 

Prof. Mueller was married in 1889 to Miss Lillie M. Reynolds, of 
Cummings, Kans., a daughter of William T. Reynolds, a resident of 
Atchison, Kans. They have one child, Eunice, aged twelve years. 


Prof. Mueller is an independent in politics and is a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a trustee and is superin- 
tendent of the Sunday school. He is a member of the Ancient Free 
and Accepted Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellov/s. Prof. 
Mueller is a very useful citizen, who is generally found in the front 
ranks of those who seek to advance the civic and moral atmosphere of 
Seneca. His activities extend beyond the halls of the school building 
to such an extent that his services in behalf of the people of Seneca are 
immeasureable in their value to the city. By word and deed he has 
sought to help advance his home city in many ways. 

Solomon R. Myers. — The achievements of Solomon R. Myers since 
his advent into Kansas forty-eight years ago are worthy of mention in a 
favorable sense and show that he has accomplished more than the or- 
dinary man from a material standpoint and has filled the highest offices 
within the gift of the people of Nemaha county. He is descended from 
sturdy German stock fused with old American ancestry — a combination 
which makes the best American citizens. Mr. Myers' record reflects 
credit upon his ancestry, and he has carved for himself a career, the re- 
cital of which is well worthy of being handed down to posterity in this 
volume of historical annals of his home county and State. Solomon R. 
Myers was born in McDonough county, Illinois, April 4, 1849, ^^^ is a 
son of Jonas and Marguerite (Treadwell) Myers, who were the parents 
of ten children, of whom Solomon R. was the sixth child born, and only 
two of whom are living. Jonas Mj^ers was born in North Carolina in 
1810, and migrated to Illinois in the'pioneer days of the settlement of 
that State. He developed a farm and died there in 1866. Jonas was a 
son of Thomas Myers, a native of Germany, who immigrated to North 
Carolina, and owned a farm in that State. When a youth, Jonas Myers 
learned the trade of hat maker. Mrs. Marguerite (Treadwell) Myers 
was born in Virginia, a daughter of Thomas Treadwell, a native of Vir- 
ginia. She died in Brown county, Kansas. 

Solomon R. Myers migrated to Kansas in 1868, and bought land in 
Brown county, which he improved and farmed until 1881. He then 
came to Nemaha county and bought 480 acres of good land in Rock Creek 
township. He improved this tract and cultivated it with considerable 
success until his retirement to a home in Sabetha in 191 1. Mr. Myers' 
success in Kansas is due .to the fact that he was an extensive feeder of 
cattle, his cattle feeding operations embracing over 500 head annually. 
In this manner he maintained and increased the fertility of his large 
acreage and marketed his farm products in the most economical and 
profitable manner. Mr. Myers owns property in Sabetha and is a share- 
holder and director of the National Bank of Sabetha. 

Mr. Myers was married at Plymouth, 111., February 7, 1867, to Mary 
Thompson, who has borne him twelve children, as follows : Mrs. Carrie 
Cochren, Santa Anna. Cal. ; Mrs. Sarah Sanford, Peculiar, Mo. ; James 
H., a farmer in Nemaha county ; Mrs. Delia Johnson, living in Nemaha 


county ; George conducts a notion store in Sabetha ; Mrs. Roxy Draney, 
living on a farm in Nemaha county ; Mrs. Marguerite Brown, Peculiar, 
Mo.; Mrs. lone, wife of B. Ransom, Brown county, Kansas; Mrs. Irene 
Koch, whose husband operates a bakery in Sabetha; Hester, at home; 
Herbert, deceased; Alfred, deceased. The mother of these children was 
born in Kentucky, January ii, 1849, and is a daughter of James and 
Rebecca (Wright) Thompson, v.-ho removed from Kentucky to Illinois 
and died there. 

The political and civic career of this pioneer citizen of Kansas has 
been a noteworthy one. He was elected to the office of county com- 
missioner in 1890, and served for two terms. He was a member of the 
State legislature as representative from Nemaha county in 1903, and he 
filled the duties of this position with credit to himself and his constit- 
uents. From 1881 to 191 1 he served as a member of the school board of 
his township. He is prominent in Masonic circles and has taken all de- 
grees of Masonry up to and including the thirty-second d.egree, and is 
a Mystic Shriner. He is also affiliated with the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows. 

Anton Wempe. — The \\'empe family is one of the oldest pioneer 
families in Kansas, and its members are among the prominent citizens 
of Nemaha county. Anton Wempe, the "Father of Fidelity," Kans., is a 
product of the frontier era in the State, and his biography is an inter- 
esting one, which deserves a place of honor in the annals of that portion 
of the commonwealth with the development of which he has played such 
an important part. 

Anton Wempe, retired, Seneca, Kans., was born in Effingham 
county, Illinois, December 24, 1847, and is a son of Herman Henr}' (born 
in 1813, and died July 5, 1861) and Mary Alexandrina (Jensen) Wempe 
(born in 1820, and died in 1853). Herman Henry Wempe and his 
brother, Gerard, came from their birthplace in Oldenburg, Germany, to 
America in 183 1, and located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Herman Henry 
Wempe plied his trade of blacksmith in Cincinnati and eventually joined 
a colony of German born settlers who went westward to Effingham 
county, Illinois. This colony had previously sent representatives ahead on 
foot to spy out the country and report upon the most likely place in which 
to make a settlement. Henry Wempe became one of the leading mem- 
bers of this colony, which made a settlement in Illinois as early as 1842. 
?Ie remained there until 1853 and then moved to a farm southeast of St. 
Louis, in St. Clair county, Illinois, where the family lived until 1858. at 
which time Henry Wempe made a trip to Kansas to look over the coun- 
try. The appearance of the Kansas country impressed him so favorably 
that he determined to buy Kansas land, and in the spring of 1861, he 
came westward to Brown county, Kansas, where he invested in a tract 
of land soon after his arrival. He was the father of six children, as fol- 
lows : Herman Henry, died at Sabetha, Kans.. in 1912; Mrs. Philomena 
Wuebben, born in 1843, and died one year after her marriage; Mrs. 


Elizabeth Buser, died near Fidelity, Kans., in 191 1; Anton, the subject 
of this review; Clements August, died at Seneca in 1910; Mrs. Mary 
Winkler, a widow, residing in Seneca. The father of these children be- 
came enfeebled soon after his return from Kansas to his Illinois home, 
in 1861, and died July 5, 1861. Henry Wempe was married the second 
time to Mrs. Mary (Kempker) Klinkheimer, a widow, who cared for the 
infant left by his first wife, and later accompanied the family to Kansas. 
Anton, the subject of this review, was practically the head of the family 
during the migration to Kansas. Mrs. Klinkheimer had been engaged 
to care for the younger children. The youngest child, now Mrs. Mary 
Winkler, was but five weeks old at the time of the mother's death, and 
so well did Mrs. Klinkheimer care for the helpless infant and the other 
children that Henry Wempe espoused her in marriage, and she made a 
splendid mother for the children. 

The Wempe family moved on the farm located near the Nemaha- 
Brown county line. The lumber used in the building of the Wempe 
home was shipped from Atchison, Kans. The trading point was White 
Cloud, Neb-, and they hauled other material from the latter place, the 
trip requiring three days in the making. The first day was spent in 
traveling to White Cloud ; the second day was needed to load the wagon, 
and it required a third day to make the return trip, a distance of forty 

Anton Wempe recalls that he would spend from two to five days in 
"going to mill," there being three milling places for the settlers, who 
would first go to Wells' mill on the Nemaha river; then, if this mill 
was not grinding, he would go to Salem, Neb., and then, perchance, go 
on to Falls City, Neb. It was frequently necessary for him to journey 
from one mill to the other to get his "grist" ground, on account of the 
water in the streams being low. One instance of going for "grist" in 
particular is worth recording. Anton Wempe and a neighbor started 
out with a load of grain en route to the Wells mill north of Sabetha, Kans. 
This mill was "broke down." They went on to Salem. "No grist" there, 
and found it necessary to go to Cincinnati, Neb. On their return trip 
they stopped at Wells' mill and asked the miller what was the trouble 
with the mill. The miller told Mr. Wempe and his neighbor that he 
was out of "whang leather" with which to fix the main belt, which was 
broken. Mr. Wempe saw that his neighbor had an old-fashioned "hame 
strap," and the men offered this strap to the miller for the purpose of 
fixing the belt. The belt was soon fixed and the mill started to grinding 
at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and by the next morning the "grist" of ten 
bushels of wheat and corn was all ground by 9 o'clock. 

When it was impossible for the Wempe family to get "grist" ground 
at the mills, Mr. Wempe used the old-fashioned "potato grater." which 
consisted of a can with holes punched in the bottom, over which the 
corn was "grated" in order to remove the outer shell. One can con- 
ceive of what a laborious task this would be. 


Anton Wempe lived on the home place of the family in the western 
part of Nemaha county, near the Brown county line, for a period of 
twenty-four and one-half years, or until the fall of 1892. He then bought 
a farm west of Seneca, upon which he moved and cultivated this tract 
until 1908. He then moved to Seneca, where he is living comfortably 
in a nice bungalow. He owned two farms, of 160 and eighty acres, at 
this time, but later traded the eighty-acre tract for a farm in Anderson 
county, Kansas. Mr. Wempe's farm is well improved and is a splendid 
producing tract. He was always an extensive live stock producer and 
generally sold the product of his farms on the "hoof." Resides his farm- 
ing interests, Mr. Wempe is the second largest stockholder of the Citi- 
zens State Bank of Seneca, and is a director of this thriving financial 
institution. For a number of 3'ears he has served as vice-president of 
this bank. 

Anton Wempe was married in 1872 to Miss Barbara Muench, who 
has borne him the following children : Joseph M., member of the firm 
of A¥empe & Huerter, Seneca, Kans. ; William P., a merchant of Railey- 
ville, Kans.; IVIary. at home; Gertrude, Fairbury, Neb.: Anna, wife of 
Philip Lauer, of the furniture and undertaking concern in Seneca, Kans.; 
Anthony J., assistant cashier of the Citizens State Bank of Seneca ; Ed- 
ward J., Fairbury, Neb. ; Rose, known as Sister Maurus, O. S. B., Mt. St. 
Scholastica's Academy, Atchison, Kans. The mother of these children 
was born May 4, 1855, at Wilmet, Cook county, Illinois, and is a daugh- 
ter of Joseph Mathias Muench, a native of Germany, who migrated from 
Illinois to Nemaha county, Kansas, in 1870. 

Mr. and Mrs. Wempe are members of Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic 
Church and contribute liberally of their means to the support of the 
Catholic institutions. Mr. Wempe is affiliated with the Sts. Peter and 
Paul's Benevolent Society. He is allied with the Democratic party and 
filled several township offices when living on the farm in Richmond 
township. He filled the post of justice of the peace and township clerk 
and served as clerk of the school board for many years. Anton Wempe 
became widely known as the "Father of Fidelity," Kans.. and started the 
first general store at that place in 1890. He was the first postmaster of _ 
the village, receiving his appointment under Postmaster General John 
Wanamaker. He sold out his store, however, in 1892. Mr. Wempe served 
as county commissioner from January to March of 1892, to fill a vacancy 
and was thus qualified on account of having received the highest vote 
in the primary election of 1891. 

Thomas E. Rooney, real estate and loan dealer of Seneca, Kans., is 
one of the really successful men of his day and generation. Born in 
Marshall county, Kansas, of Irish parentage or descent, and reared on 
a pioneer farm in Kansas, he has grown up with a great State and pros- 
pered as his home county and State have done. He saw opportunity 
and grasped it and has made good in his line, and is one of the leading 
and substantial citizens of Seneca. 


Mr. Rooney was born in Marshall county, Kansas, April 7, 1877, 
and is a son of John and Marguerite (Burke) Rooney, who were the 
parents of eleven children, ten of whom are living. John Rooney was 
born in Indiana in 1857, of Irish parentage. The Rooney family came 
to Kansas in 1873, ^"d made a settlement in Marshall county, where the 
father cultivated his farm until his retirement in 1912 to a comfortable 
home in Marysville. Marguerite (Burke) Rooney was born in ^^^est 
Virginia in i860, and departed this life in 1914. 

Thomas E. Rooney was reared on the home farm in Marshall 
county, Kansas, and received his education in the district schools. He 
remained on the farm until 1908, and then removed to Seneca, where he 
established a real estate and loan business. He operates in all sections 
of Kansas, and has made a remarkable success of his business. Mr. 
Rooney is the owner of 1,500 acres of farm lands, has city propert}', and 
is the owner of a half interest in the Guilford Hotel in Seneca. 

Mr. Rooney was married July 24, 1907, to Miss Nellie Feehan, of 
Pottawatomie county, Kansas. Three children have been born of this 
marriage, namely: Mark, born June 24, 1908; Raphael, born March 26, 
1910, and Thomas E., Jr., born September 6, 1915. Mrs. Thomas E. 
Rooney was born January 11, 1881, and is a daughter of Cornelius 
Feehan, who was a native of Ireland, and immigrated to America, set- 
tling in Kansas in 1870. Both parents of Mrs. Rooney are deceased. 

Mr. and Mrs. Rooney are members of the Catholic church and con- 
tribute of their means to the support of the Catholic institutions. Mr. 
Rooney is allied with the Democratic party and is a member of the 
Knights of Columbus and the Catholic ]\Iutual Benefit Association. 

George A. Shaul. — For a citizen of an inland city the size of Seneca, 
Kans., to achieve national prominence in a field which is filled with 
able and ambitious competitors, is somewhat out of the ordinary — but 
George A. Shaul, general contractor and builder, of this city, has ac- 
complished the feat, and ranks high among the builders of the West and 
Middle West. For several years his genius and activities have been di- 
rected in the Avork of erecting Government buildings, and so satisfac- 
torily have his tasks been accomplished that one extensive contract fol- 
lows another, and Mr. Shaul has achieved a reputation second to none in 
his chosen field of endeavor. 

George A. Shaul was born June 23, 1861, in Leland, La Salle county, 
Illinois, and is a son of Aaron and Olive (Near) Shaul, the former a 
native of New York, and the latter a native of Pennsylvania. Aaron 
Shaul was born in 1822, and died in February of 1895. He was a son of 
i\Iathias Shaul, a soldier of the War of 1812, and who received a land 
warrant from the government in recognition -of his services in behalf of 
his country. His warrant called for a tract of land in La Salle county, 
Illinois, and he removed thither at a very early day. When Aaron Shaul 
was eight years of age he served as a "mule driver" on the Erie canal 
in New York State, and worked his way upward to the position of boat 



captain. He immigrated to Illinois, and in 1874, he came west to Ne- 
maha county, Kansas, where he made a permanent settlement on a farm 
near Seneca. The first year of the residence of the Shaul family in 
Kansas was the famous "grasshopper year." George A. Shaul was 
thirteen years of age at this time, and he recalls this trying time very 
\ividly. He was sent out to herd cattle for S. B. Leatherbury on 
the Nebraska line range. He was watching his herds out on the hills 
when the grasshoppers came with the wind driving them with such force 
and deafening noise south and west' as to stampede the cattle and fright- 
ened the boy. Four sons and three daughters were born to Aaron Shaul 
and wife, namely : Frances, who died in infancy ; William, died at the age 
of five years; John went to California in 1871, and has never been heard 
from since his departure : George A., the subject of this review ; Mrs. 
Hattie Miller, Los Angeles, Cal.; Mrs. Henrietta Moores, Omaha, Neb.; 
Mrs. Ida L. Richardson, Lafayette, Ind. Mrs. Olive (Near) Shaul was 
born in 1827, and died in September, 1895. Her mother was a Miss Lee, 
of the famous Lee family, of Virginia. It is a matter of history that the 
oak from which the good ship "Constitution" was built was cut from the 
farm of Mrs. Shaul's grandfather Lee and hauled by ox team to Boston, 
ready for shaping into seaworth}- timbers. 

George A. Shaul assisted his father in tilling his Kansas farm until 
he was twenty-one years of age, and then crossed the continent to Cali- 
fornia, where he learned the trade of bricklayer and plasterer. L'pon 
his return to Kansas he began contracting- in a small way during this 
first year and gradually worked up to a large business. In the course 
of years Mr. Shaul became an extensive contractor, whose operations 
extended in all parts of the A\^est. Becoming dissatisfied with the manner 
in which general contracting was carried on and the methods employed 
by some of his fellow contractors becoming decidedK- distasteful to him, 
he made up his mind to abandon his contract work for the general pub- 
lic and devote his attention to government building. ' 

This radical departure was not taken until he had given consider- 
able thought to the matter of making a change and weighed the con- 
sequences. He finally decided that government work offered the best _ 
and most satisfactory field in which to exercise his talents and genius 
as a builder, and he made the plunge. During the past four years 
in which he has been engaged in erecting government buildings, Mr. 
Shaul has never found occasion to regret the change, and has received 
better and fairer treatment from his employers and has earned more 
money than ever before. His first government job was the erection of 
the postoffice building at Abilene, Kans., in IC)I2, and he is now erecting 
buildings at Garden City, Kans., Webb City. Mo., and Long View, 
Texas. He has erected the following government buildings, which are 
notable: Abilene, at a cost of $65,000; Garden City, Kans., $60,000; 
Webb City, Mo., $65,000; Long view, Texas, $45,000. Others completed 
are the government buildings at Clarksville, Texas, costing $45,000; 


Marshall, Texas, $65,000, and he has built coimty conrt houses at Dodge 
City, Kans.. and Broken Bow and ]\Iinden, Neb. Mr. Shaul has erected 
ten large public buildings in Nebraska, the annex to the Lincoln hotel, 
Lincoln, Neb. ; remodeled the old city hall and postoffice at Lincoln, 
Neb.; erected the Carnegie Library at Lawrence, Kans., and has erected 
many school buildings throughout Kansas and Nebraska. 

Mr. Shaul was married in 1900 to Miss Fannie Bennett, of Seneca. 
Mrs. Shaul was born in Illinois and taught school in Nemaha county, 
Kansas, for a number of years previous to her marriage with Mr. Shaul. 
The}^ have no children. 

The Republican party claimed the allegiance of Mr. Shaul for a 
number of years, and his father before him was one of the original Lin- 
coln men. Of late years Mr. Shaul has become a great student and 
reader and become an independent thinker on public questions ; likewise 
he has become an independent voter and is an admirer and supporter of 
Woodrow Wilson. He and Mrs. Shaul are members of the LTniversalist 
church. He is fraternally allied with the Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons, and is a Knight Templar, and belongs to the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows. George A. Shaul is a courteous and able gentleman 
of the old school, whom time has matured and whose mind and breadth 
of vision have been greatly broadened by his nation-wide contact with 
his fellow men. He is a decided asset to the citizenship of Seneca and 
is proud of the fact that he is a Kansas pioneer and has grown up with 
this great State. 

Edward R. Murphy. — The life stor\' of EdwardR. Murphy, retired 
pioneer and wealthy citizen of Nemaha count}-, is well worth recording 
in the annals of this count)-. A resident of Kansas since 1868. he has 
accomplished more in the last fifty years than the average man — and has 
risen to a high place in the esteem and respect of his fellow men. Kan- 
sas spelled "opportunity" for this patriarch in his younger days, and 
the wonderfully rich soil of the Sunflower State became the medium 
through which Mr. Murphy realized his dream of wealth and substance 
in the West. Besides the accumulation of a fortune from tilling the 
soil of his adopted State, he has bequeathed to his country a fine family 
of children. 

Edward R. ]\Iurphy, farmer and banker. Seneca, Kans.. was born in 
the province of Ontario. Canada. November 11. 1840, and is a son of 
Michael (born in 1815 and died in 1885) and Ellen (Tobin) Murphy (born 
in 1823 and died in 1880). both of whom were natives of Ireland. Michael 
Murphy emigrated from the Emerald Isle with his parents in 1823, when 
he was eight years old, and grew up to become a tiller of the soil. He 
married Ellen Tobin in Canada and resided in his adopted land until 
1853. then moved to Iowa, where he lived until 1868, at which time he 
came to Kansas and lived one year in Nemaha County, and then moved 
to Richardson county, Nebraska, where he died. Michael and Ellen 
Murphy were the parents of the following children : Edward R.. the 


subject of this review; Mary Jane, died at Falls City, Neb.; Thomas, 
died at Falls City, Neb.; James, Oklahoma; Ellen, wife of John Draney, 
Seneca, Kans. ; John, Oklahoma ; Patrick, Falls City, Neb. ; Robert, 
Falls City, Xeb. ; Elizabeth, wife of Jeremiah Kanaly, Falls City, Neb.; 
Airs. jNlarq-arct Kanaly, Oklahoma:" Michael, Oklahoma City, Okla. ; 
William, died at Falls City, Neb. 

Edward R. Murphy left his Canadian home and migrated to Iowa 
in 1853, first locating at Davenport, where he was emplo}-ed until the 
spring of 1854, and he then removed to a farm in Clinton county, Iowa, 
which he cultivated with success until 1868. 

"Commodore" Murphy, as he is affectionately called by all of his 
friends and acquaintances, has a notable war record to hand down to his 
children and grandchildren. Mr. Murphy enlisted in the United States 
navy in July, 1863, and served on the United States steamer "Peosta,'" 
which crusied on the ]\Iississippi, C)hio, Cumberland and Tennessee 
rivers until the close of the Civil war. 

After the war, ]\Ir. Murphy returned to his home in Clinton 
county, Iowa, and was there married in 1866. Two years later he re- 
moved to Nemaha count}-, Kansas, and settled on a farm, one and one- 
half miles west of Seneca. This farm was partly broken up, and Mr. 
^lurphy lived upon it for one year and then resided four years on the 
adjoining farm, at that time the county farm. In 1873, he was enabled 
to purchase 160 acres of land southeast of Seneca. His prosperity began 
with the purchase of this tract, and this fine old pioneer eventually 
became a large land owner and one of the wealthiest citizens of Nemaha 
county and northern Kansas. He added to his acreage until he owned 
1,400 acres of land, from which he has sold 280 acres, but still owns 120 
acres of the original home farm. He is the owner of 200 acres of land in 
Pottawatomie county. Kansas, and formerly owned more land, upon 
which he settled two of his sons and gave them a start in life. Mr. 
Murphy attributes his great success in farming to the fact that he never 
sold any grain raised on his land, but fed and handled large numbers of 
cattle and hogs. He would buy calves from other farmers and raise and 
fatten them for market. He was also an extensive breeder of horses and 
mules and used high grade sires in this department of animal husbandry. 
His favorite breed of cattle was the famous Shorthorn variety, and his 
horses were generally the standard Percherons. Mr. Murphy retired 
from active farm work in 1903 and lives comfortably in his beautiful 
residence in Seneca, cared for by his daughter, Ella Marion. 

Mr. Murphy was married in 1866 to Catharine Kelly, who bore him 
the following children: Roger, born November 11, 1868, living in To- 
peka, Kans.; Ella Marion, born February 16, 1870; Elizabeth, born Oc- 
tober 4, 1871, wife of A. E. Levick, Seneca, Kans.; Thomas, born Feb- 
ruary 13, 1875, living at Wamego, Kans, ; Ralph J., born September 9, 
1877, living in Oklahoma; Therese, born May 18, 1870. and wife of John 
R. Sheahan, Kansas City, Kans. ; Edward R., born March 9, 1883. ^t'"- 


Murphy has fifteen grandchildren. His son, Roger, has the following 
children : Edward Alvin, member of Company K, Eighth infantry, 
I'nited States army, and stationed in the Philippines; Panl, Roger, 
Helen, Agnes. E^■a ; Airs. Levick has four children, namely: Edward, 
Harry, John and Caroline; Thomas Murphy has three children, Ralph, 
Herbert and Harry; Ralph has one son, Thomas; Edward has a daugh- 
ter named Mary Bernice. The mother of these children was born in 
Jennings count}', Indiana, near Vernon, December 25, 1843, ^"^d died Sep- 
tember 8, 1895. 

The Democratic party has always had the allegiance of Mr. JNIurpliy, 
but he has been content to be a voter in the ranks during his long life. 
H^e is a member of Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church, and is affili- 
ated with the Knights of Columbus. Mr. Murphy is the colonel com- 
manding or post commander of George Graham Post, Grand Army of 
the Republic. No. 92, and is a prominent figure in Grand Army of the 
Republic circle of the State of Kansas. In addition to his large land 
holdings, Mr. INIurphy is a charter member of the stockholders and a 
director of the National Bank of Seneca. 

L. D. Allen. — Successful banking calls for qualifications somewhat 
different from those required in other pursuits or professions. It calls 
for a keen mind, decisive action, ability to accurately judge the' merits 
or demerits of a proposition, the power to judge and gauge human nature 
and determine upon the honesty and sincerity of those with whom the 
banker is constantly doing business. L. D. Allen, vice-president and 
manager of the First National Bank of Seneca, possesses the qualifica- 
tions of a successful banker to a considerable degree. He is one of the 
rising financiers of Kansas, and his prestige in financial circles is con- 
siderable. He is one of those broad minded individuals who keep 
abreast of progress and have the faculty of adapting their capabilities to 
the advanced needs of this modern era. Although a comparatively 
young man, as years measure a man's age, his experience in banking has 
been such as to eminently fit him for the important position which he 

Liphe D. Allen was born on a farm in Pottawatomie county, Kan- 
sas, August 3, 1871, and is a son of John U. and Martha J. f Rollins) 
Allen, who were the parents of the following children : Rowland and 
Mattie died in infancy ; William W. died at Havensville, Kans. ; Charles 
H., living at Havensville, Kans. ; Mrs. Mary A. Dennan, Seneca, Kans. 
John U. Allen was born at Boston, Mass., August 16, 1833, and was a 
son of William W. and Mary B. (Ulmar) Allen. He is descended from 
the Allen family of New England, and William W. Allen was a relative 
of Ethan Allen, of Vermont, who commanded the "Green Mountain 
Boys" at the battles and capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point dur- 
ing the American Revolution. Mary B. (Ulmar) Allen was a daughter 
of Jacob Ulmar, jporn in Holland, and who fought in defense of the 
Netherlands against the Spanish conquerers, and was taken prisoner. 


His wife, ^Nlary (Blass) Ulmar, sent the money for his later ransom 
from this country. Mary (Blass) Ulmar, a lady of Welsh descent, was a 
member of the party of patriotic women who burned the bridge at Mar- 
blehead, Mass., in order to prevent the British from making a landing 
during the Revolution. John U. Allen's father, "\\'illiam \\\ Allen, con- 
ducted a boot and shoe store in Boston, J\fass., and John U. became a 
leather dresser in his nati\e cit}-. William Allen served 'as an alderman 
on the Boston ti)\\n cnuiieil. After his marriage, March 22, 1855, 
John U. Allen lived in Boston for a lime, and then located at Jamaica 
Plains. In 1862, he enlisted in the Ninth ]\Iassachusetts artillery, and 
served for nearly one year, receiving his discharge just previous to the 
battle of Gettysburg on account of disability incurred during his service 
in defense of the city of \\'ashington, D. C. In ]\[arch of 1870, he re- 
moved to Kansas and for a time was located at Topeka. Not long af- 
terward he located on a tract of land near Havensville. Pottawatomie 
county, which he developed into a fine farm. He resided on his farm 
until he became afflicted with blindness, in 1901, and in November of 
that year he retired to a residence at Havensville, where his demise 
occurred on January 2, 1913. John U. Allen was a member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic and was a Mason. 

Mrs. Martha J. (Rollins) Allen now resides with her daughter, Mrs. 
Dennan, in Seneca, Kans. She was born March 23, 1838, and is a daugh- 
ter of William S. and Abigail (Wheeler) Rollins, of English descent. 
The Rollins (originally Rawlins) is a very old American family, and 
the name "Rawlins" traces back to the year of our Lord 1363. Cornwall, 
England, is the ancient home of the family in Europe, and the emigra- 
tion of the members of this family begins with the year 1630; during 
the period between 1630 and 1680, ten members of the family made set- 
tlements in America ; some settled in the northern colonies and others 
setled in the south. During the next decade at least ten more members 
of this family came to America, and their descendants are many in this 
country. The members of the family who settled in the north changed 
the name to "Rollins" at the time of the Revolution, and it has remained 
"Rollins" to this day. Tracing the genealogy of L. D. Allen on the ma- 
ternal side in a direct line we find that : (I) James Rawlins came from 
England and settled at Ipswich, Mass., in 1632. Later, in 1844, he re- 
ceived a grant of land at Dover, N. H., settled thereon and died in 1691. 
His son (ID Thomas, born in 1641, married Rachel Cox, and was a 
member of the rebelling assembly which protested the acts of an oppres- 
sive governor and was dissolved; was the father of ten children, of 
whom (III) Moses, born in 1672.' at Strathan, N. H., married Esther, 
and died in 171 7, and had nine children; (IV) Thomas (his son), born 
February 17, 1717, at Strathan, N. H., settled at Epping, N. H.. and 
married Sarah, daughter of Capt. Jonathan and Elizabeth (Sherbun) 
Sanborn, who bore him six children, of whom (V) Moses, born March 
10, 1744, at Epping, N. H.. married Anna Drew, of Madbury, N. H., 


and was a soldier in the Continenal army, fought in the Third New York 
regiment under General Sullivan at Ticonderoga in 1776, and in Gen. 
George Breeds' regiment in 1777; removed to Hallowell, J\Ie., and 
died in 1824; had eleven children, of whom (VI) Jonathan, born October 
1786, at Loudon, N. H., and died January i, 1819, at Hallowell, Me.; 
moved from Loudon to Barnstad and married Clarissa, daughter of John 
Langle}^, of Barrington, N. H.; had two children, of whom (VII) 
William Stillson, born at Strafford, N. H., April 12, 1813, located at 
Rutland, N. H. ; married Abigail B. Wheeler, of Rutland; removed to 
Charlestown, Mass. ; had three children, as follows : Martha Jane 
(Allen), Mary Ann (Gilman), and Charles Henry. 

L. D. Allen was reared to young manhood on the Kansas farm, and 
was educated in the Havensville, Kans., pubHc schools. When he was 
twenty years of age he clerked in a hardware store for one year. His 
banking career was then begun, when he entered the Havensville bank 
as clerk and rose to the position of assistant cashier. In 1897, he re- 
moved to Goff, Kans., and became cashier of the State Bank of that 
city. He later organized the First National Bank of Goff, and served 
as president of that institution until 1906. Disposing of his banking 
interests in Goff, he removed to Seneca, where he became associated 
with J. E. Stillwell in conducting a loan and abstract business. In 1912, 
he and Mr. Stillwell purchased the holdings of the late J. H. Cohen in 
the First National Bank of Seneca and the Seneca State Savings Bank. 
Mr. Allen is serving as vice-president and manager of the First National 
Bank, and is cashier of the State Sa.vings Bank, quartered in the First 
National Bank building. 

In addition to his banking interests, Mr. Allen is an extensive owner 
of Kansas farm lands, all of his farms being located in Nemaha county. 

Mr. Allen was married in 1895 to Miss Rosina Goodrich, who has 
borne him five children, as follows ; Paul J., Mary, Ulmar, Charles L. 
D. and John H. Mrs. Allen was born at Farmington, Atchison courrty, 
Kansas, and is a daughter of Judson and Amelia Goodrich, early pioneer 
settlers of Atchison count)^ She is a well educated lady and received a 
classical and musical education at Holton University. For some years 
previous to her marriage, Mrs. Allen was a teacher of vocal music, and 
is endowed with exceptional musical talents. The Goodrich family now 
resides at Holton. 

Mr. Allen is a progressive Republican, who maintains his allegiance 
to the party of Abraham Lincoln while working for the advancement 
and success of progressive principles within the ranks of his political 
party. He is interested in civic, affairs, and assists materially in fur- 
thering the cause of education by serving as a member and chairman of 
the Seneca Board of Education. He and Mrs. Allen are members of the 
Christian church, and Mr. Allen is affiliated with the Knights and Ladies 
of Security. 

As a business man and financier, Mr. Allen has made his mark in 


the world of finance, and while still young in years and strength, he 
has won his way to a place of honor and prestige mainly through his 
own efforts. It is safe to predict further advancement for this native 
born Kansan, who has literally grown up with Kansas. One of the in- 
cidents of Mr. Allen's early life which impressed itself upon his memory 
for all time to come was his view of the first steam railway train 
to arrive at Corning, Kans., and which brought his grandmother from 
her faraway home in Boston, ]\lass. He has had the unique experience of 
riding in a "prairie schooner," lived on a pioneer farm, and was reared 
amid the most primitive surroundings. 

Leo J. Scheier. — Among men in Seneca's financial circles, Leo J. 
Scheier ranks well and is second assistant cashier of the National Bank 
of Seneca. He stands high in business circles, and is known every- 
where as a conservative and capable banking man. 

Mr. Scheier was born March 17, 1886, in Seneca, Kans. He is a son 
of Peter W. and Catharine ( Etringer) Scheier, to whom three children 
were born : Edward, of Chicago ; Mary, living at home, and Leo J., whc 
is the subject of this narrative. The father of Leo. J. Scheier was born 
Februarjf 22, 1850, of German immigrants, Avho settled in Illinois. His 
parents were Mathias and Louise Scheier. Catherine Scheier was born 
Tune 6, 1850, and died in 1902. She was the daughter of natives of 
Alsace-Lorraine, the provinces of which have played so great a part in 
the European war. She came to America with her parents and settled 
in Illinois, where she was married to Peter Scheier. 

Leo J. Scheier's parents came to Nemaha county, Kansas, in the 
early seventies and settled on a farm one mJle west of town. They 
brought their parents with them and Mathias bought the farm on which 
his son, M. F. Scheier, an uncle of Leo J., now resides, .\fter a year or 
two on the farm, Peter moved to Seneca and lived in town while farm- 
ing nearby land. He is now retired. 

Leo J. Scheier was educated in the parochial school of Seneca, 
Kans., and later attended St. Benedict's College at Atchison, Kans., 
where he took classical work. Poor health forced him to take a com- 
plete rest in 1905 and after a year's recuperation, he entered the Seneca 
State Savings Bank as cashier, where he remained four and one-half 
years. In January, 1912, he was called to the National Bank of Seneca, 
Kans., to become its second assistant cashier, and has since been acting 
in that capacity. 

In politics, Mr. Scheier is an independent Democratic voter, who 
is not to be stampeded into voting an unfit man into office because he 
wears the party label Mr. Scheier is a thinking man and in political 
matters prefers to do his own thinking. He belongs to the Sts. Peter 
and Paul's Church and to the Knights of Columbus order. He is also 
affiliated with the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association and the 
Knights and Ladies of Security. He is chancellor of the Knights of 
Columbus, Seneca Council, No. 1769. 


Mathias Schneider, president of the Seneca Savings Bank, is one 
man whose natural handicaps were not strong enough to overpower his 
strong ambition, and the fact that he was born in a foreign land and of 
poor parents has not prevented him from occupying one of the most re- 
sponsible places in the business affairs of Nemaha county. 

Mathias Schneider was born August 21, 1839, in Prussia, German 
Empire, and was a son of Peter and Anna Maria (Meier) Schneider. 
The father, Peter Schneider, was born in Prussia, in 1799, and grew up 
to follow the occupation of farming. Leaving his native land in 1845, 
he sailed for America, and upon his arrival here, came to Milwaukee, 
Wis. He bought a farm near that place, in Waukesha county, and con- 
ducted it until his death in 1903. The mother of Mathias Schneider 
was born in Prussia, in 1799, and died in 1907. Both were members of 
the Catholic church. They were the parents of five children: Adolph, 
deceased ; Anton, deceased ; Mrs. Margaret Wright, deceased : Anna 
Maria (Wright), deceased, and Mathias. 

Mathias Schneider left Germany with parents, and after coming 
to America, he remained with them until he was twenty-nine years of 
age. He then went to Salem, Neb., where he bought 340 acres of fine 
farming land. He sold this land in 1880, and bought eighty acres near 
St. Benedict, Richmond township, Nemaha county, Kansas. In 1892, 
he sold this land in order to buy the place which he now owns, which 
comprises 640 acres of the best land in the township, east of Seneca. 
Mr. Schneider has been an excellent manager, and from the successful 
operation of his farm he has accumulated a considerable fortune. His 
general reputation for shrewd and conservative business methods led 
to his election as president of the Seneca Savings Bank when it was or- 
ganized. ■ His career was so conspicuously successful as to make him 
the most available man for the place, and consequently he was chosen 
as the first president of the organization, whose dut)' it was to start 
the bank out on its career. He is also a shareholder in the corporation 
and invested a considerable sum in the project. The success of this in- 
stitution is testimony to the ability of Mr. Schneider and justifies the 
confidence which his fellow citizens placed in him. 

Pie was married in 1865 to Elizabeth Birkhauser, who was born 
May 23, 1842, in Germany, and left there with her parents and came to 
Wisconsin while she was a young girl. She died in 1879, having been 
the mother of eight children, whose names are : Peter A., Mitchell 
township ; Anna A., married Henry Stailbaumer, now a widow living 
with her children ; Jennie, wife of Henry Koelzer, living in Missouri ; 
Elizabeth, now Mrs. Peter Joseph Koelzer, whose husband is a lumber- 
man, of Seneca, Kans. ; Gertrude, wife of Peter Smith, Seneca, Kans. ; 
Karl M., Richmond township, farmer. 

Mr. Schneider is a Catholic and a member of the Knights of Colum- 
bus order. He is one of the foremost citizens of Seneca, and is influential 
in public affairs. 



John Draney, retired farmer, Seneca, Kansa, was born at Cobourg, 
on Lake Ontario, Canada, September 8, 1840, and is a son of Hugh 
(born in 1805 ; died in 1856) and Margaret (Connolly) Draney fborn No- 
vember I, 1814; died October 6, 1896), both of whom were natives of 
Ireland. Hugh Draney was born in the north of Ireland and Margaret 
Draney was born near Dublin, a daughter of John and Norah CKanon) 
Connolly. Hugh Draney emigrated from Ireland to Canada when a 
}-oung man in his teens and was there married. After his marriage he 
migrated to Clinton county, Iowa, in the winter of 1856, and died there. 
The widow was left with a family of six sons and a daughter, as follows : 
John, subject of this review; Mrs. Elizabeth McOuaid, Seneca, Kans. ; 
James, deceased; Hugh, living on a farm north of Seneca; Thomas, Sen- 
eca ; Martin, migrated to the State of Washington in 1885 and died there 
in 1912; Miphael, Kansas City, Mo. The elder Draney had planned to lo- 
cate in the West and stopped in Iowa, but found the land too high priced 
for his means, and determined to come to Kansas. Death intervened in 
1856, and the widow carried out his plans. In the spring of 1857, Mrg. 
Draney, with her family of children, migrated to Nemaha county. Kan- 
sas, and preempted a homestead of 160 acres, three miles north of 
Seneca. She also bought land from the government and was successful 
in accumulating a large estate of 720 acres. The family farm was lo- 
cated in the St. Benedict neighborhood, and the family expected hard 
times for a while, but the ability of Mrs. Draney was so great and her 
powers of management so remarkable that she was successful where 
strong men failed and had to give up the fight for the redemption of 
the prairie. Flour cost, in those days, the exorbitant price of $6 per 
100 pounds, and was a great luxury in the frontier homes. Other neces- 
sities were priced in proportion on account of the high freighting rates. 
The Draney funds, which were to be used in buying land, had been orig- 
inally left in Canada. When Mrs. Draney had her family located she 
made the long trip back to Canada alone and brought her money to 
Kansas quilted in her skirt, after having had her bank draft turned into 
cash in Iowa. She carried this money all alone to Nemaha county from 
Davenport, Iowa. She reared every child to become an upright and 
God-fearing citizen and set an example to them of industry and right 
living which will never be forgotten by her progeny. When old age 
came upon Mrs. Draney, she retired to a home in Seneca. Although a 
small woman physically, she made up in energy and determination what 
she lacked in size; she was good, kind and brave and resourceful. 

John Draney recalls that he and Mr. Gregg met his mother on her 
return trip from Iowa and Canada, and accompanied her to Nemaha 
county from Iowa Point, and that the river was very high, necessitating 
their waiting for a week for the waters to subside. John, at the outbreak 
of the Civil war, entered the quartermaster's department at Ft. Leaven- 
worth, Kans.. in 1861. His duty was to carry supplies to the I'nion 
soldiers stationed at different points, and the only time he was under 


fire was in the chase after General Price. In the year 1865 he was sent 
out with a train of five hundred pack mules, carrying supplies to the 
Powder river country, and he witnessed the Indian battle at Powder 
river. His government service ended in 1865, and he returned home and 
began to till his 120-acre farm, which his mother had given him four 
3'ears previously. He tilled his land until 1868, and then, in company 
with a neighbor, rigged up a team and wagon and started for Oregon. 
When he arrived at Marysville, Kans., they learned that the Indians 
were on the warpath up the South Platte river and they headed west- 
ward via Lincoln, Xeb. They found all ranches on the route deserted, 
and at Ft. Laramie were forced to wait until forty wagons had gathered 
for the train. They ended their long journey at Apple river, California, 
where they remained for one year, and then went to San Francisco and 
decided to return home and give up the project of making a settlement 
on the Pacific coast. At San Francisco, Mr. Draney took a steamer to 
Panama and returned home via New York City. He settled down to 
farming his land, three miles north of Seneca, and improved it to such 
an extent that he was enabled to sell out in 1879. He then invested the 
proceeds in a 240-acre farm, east of Oneida. This formed the perma- 
nent home of the family until 1909, when he and Mrs. Draney removed 
to a comfortable home in Seneca. The Draney farm is one of the most 
valuable and well improved farms in the county and is easily worth 
$150 an acre, a great rise from the original purchase price of $7.50 an 
acre. At the time he bought the farm there was neither tree nor shrub 
on the place, but he and Mrs. Draney have improved and beautified it 
until now it resembles an old Eastern farm. 

John Draney was married to Ellen Murphy, May 20, 1871, and this 
union has been blessed with the following children : Margaret Ellen, 
born March 4, 1872, and wife of John O'Kane, of Blue Rapids, Kans., 
and mother of three children, Margaret, John and Walter; Florence, 
born August 31, 1873, a trained nurse at Chicago, 111.; John Hugh, born 
September 10, 1875, 3"<^ died February 24, 1876; William Wallace, born 
February 27, 1877, married Roxanna Myers, and resides on a farm ad- 
joining the home farm, and has seven sons and two daughters, as fol- 
lows : Alfred, John, Emmet, Solomon, Randolph, Lester, Delphin, 
Wallace, Nina and Lola ; Edwin Draney, born January 3, 1879, married 
May OT-Cane, Fairview, Neb., and has five children, as follows ; Celia, 
Mabel, Daniel, Marie and Clifford ; Charles Draney, born October 2, 
1881, married Lola Shaver, resides in St. Joseph, Mo.; Robert, born 
October 11, 1883, married Alice Rogers, resides on the home place, and 
has two children, namely : Cecil and Ellen ; Walter Draney, born April 
22. 1887, maried Tecla Egen, and lives on a farm near Capioma, and has 
two children, Walter, Jr., and Richard John; Leo, born April 11, 1891, 
a medical student, Omaha, Neb. The mother of this fine family of chil- 
dren was born October 13, 1831, in Ontario, Canada, and is a sister of 
Edwin R. ]\Iurphy, of Seneca, to whose biography the reader is referred 
for the history of the Murphy family. 


Mr. Draney has in his possession the birth certificate of his mother, 
which reads as follows: "Church of St. Joseph, Mount Mellick, Sep- 
tember 12, 1819. Marjjaret Connolly, baptized. God parents, Owen 
Delaney and Margaret Scully." 

Mr. and ^Irs. Draney and the children are members of the Catholic 
church, and Mr. Draney is politically allied with the Democratic party. 
They are an intelligent, interesting couple, who are proud of the fact 
that they are pioneers in Nemaha county, and have assisted in building 
up a great State. 

Charles E. Mathews, farmer, Seneca, Kans., was born in Atchison, 
Kans., October 7, 1865, and is a son of Hiram and Sarah (Skmner) 
Mathews, to whom were born two children: Charles Edwin, the sub- 
ject of this review, and Elmer Roy Mathews. Hiram Mathews was born 
in Indiana, in 1828, and was a pioneer in Atchison, Kans., locating in that 
city in 1857. For several years he was a stage driver on the overland 
route from Atchison to Denver, Colo. In 1862, he enlisted for service in 
behalf of the Union at Leavenworth, Kans., and became a member of 
Company D, Second Kansas cavalry. He was second sergeant of his 
company, and saw active service at the battle of Prairie Grove, and 
many other engagements and served until the close of the war. He then 
located in Seneca, Kans., where occurred the culmination of a romance 
which had begun in the old days of the stage coach. Before the war he 
had become enamored of a widow, Mrs. Sarah Jane (Skinner) Wetmore, 
who had come to Seneca with her husband in 1855, and made a settle- 
ment on Illinois river, south of Seneca, and homesteaded land. Her 
first husband died and she wedded the returned veteran, who proceeded 
to homestead a tract of land, which is now owned by the subject of this 
review, and located just outside of the city limits, north of Seneca. 
Hiram Mathews developed this farm of 160 acres and part of it is now 
incorporated within the limits of the city. He died in 1886. The mother 
of Charles Edwin was born in Pennsylvania in 1838, and moved with her 
parents to Illinois, where they died, and she married Mr. Wetmore. 
Both of Mr. Mathews' parents had been twice married. 

Charles Edwin Mathews was educated in the public schools of 
Seneca, and has always lived on the farm which he owns. He rented 
the land from his mother until her demise, and then came into posses- 
sion of the tract by inheritance and purchase. Part of the Mathews 
farm has been sold and incorporated in the city of Seneca and Mr. 
■Mathews is now farming sixty-five acres of the original tract. He is 
well-to-do and is a shareholder of the National Bank of Seneca. 

Mr. Mathews was married in 1882 to Miss Carrie Thompson, who 
was born May 8, 1859, in Warren county, Ohio. (See sketch of her 
brother, Howard Thompson, for data concerning the parents of Mrs. 
Mathews). She is a graduate of the Seneca High School, and taught 
school one year before her marriage. Three children have been born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Mathews, as follows: Lillian, wife of Charles Voorhees, 


Seneca, Kans. ; Mattie, at home with her parents, a graduate of the 
Seneca High School and the domestic science department of the Man- 
hattan State College ; Edward, at home, a graduate of the Seneca High 
School, and farming in partnership with his father. 

Mr. Mathews is a Progressive in his political tendencies and is a firm 
believer and advocate of purity in politics and rule by the people and 
for the people, without domination b}^ the party bosses. He and his 
famih' are members of the Congregational Church of Seneca, and he is 
affiliated with the Ancient Order of United AVorkmen. 

It is a matter of Kansas history that an uncle of Mrs. Mathews, 
John Doyle by name, conducted the first tavern in Seneca, which for 
many j'ears was the old stage station until superseded by a later 

Joshua Mitchell, attorney, justice of the peace and city clerk of 
Seneca, Kans, is one of the real, old pioneer settlers of Nemaha county, 
and has had an interesting and varied career which reads like a tale from 
romantic fiction in the recounting. Pioneer and a son of a Kansas pio- 
neer settler, scion of old Eastern American ancestry, soldier, Indian 
fighter, public official, racing man, successful attorney, — he has had 
considerable to do with the making of a great county and State. Judge 
Mitchell is one of the last survivors of the famous Powder River Indian 
fight, when the Sioux Indians received such a crushing defeat at the 
hands of the Sixteenth Kansas regiment, famous for its exploits and 
fighting ability, and a regiment noted for its daredevil members and 
brave and hard)^ fighters. 

Joshua Mitchell was born at Dover, Ale., March 11, 1842, and is a son 
of William Hamilton and Keziah Leland (McLanathan) Mitchell, natives 
of Maine. William H. Mitchell, his father, was born at Foxcraft, Maine, 
in 1803, and died on his farm in Nemaha county, Kansas, February 5, 
1859. He was a son of Joshua Mitchell, a native of Dover, Maine, a 
farmer and a son of Irish parents. Joshua Mitchell, grandfather of 
Judge Mitchell was a soldier in the War of 1812. The mother of Judge 
Mitchell was a daughter of Samuel McLanathan, who married Keziah 
Leland. She was born in 1811, and is deceased. Keziah Leland 
McLanathan was a daughter of Henry Leland and Sarah (Phipps) Le- 
land, and was born in 1787. Henry Leland was the third in line of his 
family in America, and was a son of Henry Leland, who was also a son 
of the first Henry Leland. Sarah fPhipps) Leland was a daughter of 
Sir William Phipps, one time royal governor of Massachusetts. (The 
foregoing ancestral data concerning the lineage of Joshua Mitchell was 
taken from Henry Leland Genealogical Record). 

AVilliam H. Mitchell was reared on the paternal farm in Maine until 
1843, when he located in Lowell, Mass., and served for ten years as 
captain of the night police force of Lowell. In 1853, he migrated west- 
ward to Galesburg, 111., and owned a farm in Knox count}^ which he 
developed and cultivated until October of 1858. In that year he loaded 


all of his moveable effects on wagons, and accompanied by his wife and 
all of his children excepting the oldest girl drove overland to Nemaha 
county, Kansas, locating on the present townsite of, Centralia. He built 
a log cabin, but did not live long to develop his Kansas farm, death in- 
tervening in February of the year following his advent into Kansas. 
Ten years after A^'illiam H. Mitchell preempted his farm, the town of 
Centralia was laid out and built on the site of his former home. The 
following children were left fatherless by the demise of ^^'illiam H. 
IMitchell : Samuel McLanathan, deceased ; William Hamilton lives at 
Liberty, AIo. ; Emily Ann, deceased wife of Nathan Bentley Uppel, who 
was. killed on the field of Gettysburg, Pa., July 3, 1863; Sarah Keziah, 
deceased wife of Albert Clark, also deceased, and former residents of 

The Civil war record of Joshua Mitchell began with his enlistment, 
October 8, 1861, in Company D, Eighth Kansas infantry, with which 
organization he served until August 3, 1863. After his honorable dis- 
charge he re-enlisted as a veteran soldier in Company M, Sixteenth 
Kansas cavalry, which was equipped as a light artillery company on 
December 8, 1863, and he served until December 8, 1865. He was com- 
missioned first lieutenant of Company M. and his command saw much 
hard service. While a member of the Eighth Kansas. 'Mr. Mitchell 
saw service in fighting bushwhackers in the border counties of Mis- 
souri until his regiment was ordered to Tennessee in 1863. He was 
taken sick at that time with typhoid fever, which developed into pneu- 
monia, and he received his discharge on account of sick disability. 
While delirious with fever, he suffered painful injuries by falling off 
a trestle in Nashville, Tenn. Careful nursing at home soon restored 
him to vigorous health and strength, however, and he re-enlisted, as 
stated previously, and his regiment fought General Price's army of in- 
vasion at the battle of Westport, October 23, 1864; the battle of the 
Little Blue River and Cavin Creek, and the battle of Newtonia. During 
these engagements, his company was under the direct command of Col. 
Sam Walker, a great and brave fighter. The famous Sixteenth Kansas 
regiment was part of the army which drove General Price to the Arkan- 
sas river, as had been planned by the L'nion authorities. During the 
Westport battle every horse excepting one in Mr. Mitchell's command 
was killed, and his comrades would seize the horses of the .soldiers 
watching the conflict from the rear and the side lines and again rush 
into the thick of the fight, during which the "Sixteenth" bore the brunt 
of the battle and covered themselves with imperishable glory. They 
had four pieces of artillery in this engagement, and the muzzles of the 
guns were kept hot while throwing shot and shell into the demoralized 
ranks of the rebel invaders. On February 13, 1865, the "Sixteenth" was 
ordered in pursuit of the hostile Sioux Indians, and marched west to 
join the command of Brig. Gen. Patrick Edwin Connor. The expedi- 
tion was planned in the following order: The Sixteenth Kansas, the 


Second Missouri light artillerj' and the Twelfth Missouri cavalry, and 
these divisions marched twenty miles apart to their destination in 
Wyoming, where they expected to meet the Indians. The famous battle 
of the Powder River ensued. The Sixteenth regiment formed the center 
of attack and was only saved from annihilation by the artillery ; four 
times they repulsed the frenzied charges of the savages, and were forced 
to bear the brunt of the fighting, because the supporting columns could 
not see the heliograph signals, owing to the fact that the wily redmen 
flashed mirrors against the artillery men. This battle was Lieutenant 
Mitchell's last great fight, and his service ended soon afterward. 

Mr. Mitchell's employment in behalf of the United States Govern- 
ment did not cease with his war service, however, and in April, 1866, 
he took charge of a government train of twenty-six transport wagons 
(mule motive power) and convoyed the train across the plains to Ft. 
Union, N. M., and was thus engaged in freighting to New Mexican 
points until 1867, when he returned to Seneca. 

In 1868, he preempted a homestead in Neuchatel township, lived 
on it one year, commuted, and proved up on his claim. In November of 
1871, Mr. Mitchell was elected to the office of county clerk, and served 
for four years. He was re-elected to the same office in 1875, and served 
for another four years. In 1880, he was appointed deputy treasurer of 
the county, and served for one year under Treasurer R. E. Nelson, and 
one year as deputy under A. C. Moorehead. In 1883, he was ap- 
pointed to the office of justice of the peace to fill out the unexpired 
term of D. B. McKay. During the years ensuing, from 1884 to 1891, this 
versatile gentleman folloAved the racing circuits with a string of fast 
running horses, and this was probably the most enjoyable period of his 
long and eventful life. He bred practically all of his own running horses 
and owned four fast runners and a fine trotter. Mr. Mitchell was the 
owner of "Bright Eyes," the famous running mare, which was known 
to the track devotees of twenty-five years ago and achieved a national 

His racing career was abandoned in May, 1891, when he received 
a telegram at Anaconda, Mont., from Ira Collins, then chairman of the 
board of managers of the State Soldiers' Home, to take the position of 
quartermaster at the home. He accepted, sold his racing string, and 
capably filled the position until May, T894. In the meantime, Mr. 
Mitchell had the m.isfortune to suffer a broken arm, caused by a falling 
horse, in November of 1893. He returned to Seneca, Kans, and in the 
spring of 1895, was elected justice of the 'peace, and has held this office 
since that time, with the exception of two years, when it was filled by 
Hon. J. E. Corwin. Mr. Mitchell was admitted to the practice of law in 
1875, and now devotes practically his whole time to his law business. 

Joshua Mitchell was married February 6, 1868, to Miss Julia Eliza- 
beth Brown, born November 8, 1846, in Warren county, Illinois, a 
daughter of George and Amanda Fertodd Smith Brown, natives of Ken- 


tucky. The father of l\Irs. Mitchell died in Nodaway county, ^Missouri 
in 1867. Her mother was born near Lexing-ton, Ky., and after her hus- 
band's death she made her home with her children, dying at the home o: 
her son, Albert Gardner Brown, Republic county, Kansas, in 1886. 
Mr. Mitchell's wedding occurred at St. Joseph, Mo., at the home 
Harry Brown, a brother of Mrs. Mitchell. Four children have blessed 
this union of Joshua and Julia Mitchell, namely : George Anthony, now 
an electrician in Seneca ; was sailor on the high seas for five years and 
traveled in all parts of the world, returning home in 1914 ; Ellen Amanda 
married Chris L. Diehm, Leavenworth, Kans., and mother of three 
children, namely: Christopher M., Julia Barbara, and Joshua Mitchell 
Diehm; William Henry died in August, 1872, at the age of eighteen 
months; Edwin Ruthven Brown Mitchell, educated in the Seneca 
schools, which he attended for fourteen years without being absent or 
tardy. He was married in June, 1915, to Miss Mamie Bresnahan, of 
Kansas City, Kans., and is cashier and staff clerk in the office of the 
deputy United States revenue collector at Wichita, Kans. 

Judge Mitchell has been allied with the Democratic party, and has 
taken a prominent and influential part in the affairs of his party. He 
is a member of George Graham Post, No. 92, Grand Army of the Re- 
public, and is affiliated with Seneca Lodge, No. 39, Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons. 

Victor N. Peret, retired farmer and Union veteran of Seneca, Kans., 
has had a most interesting .career. He comes of a noted family of sol- 
diers and is one of four sons of a soldier father, who served in the Union 
army during the Civil war. Although past eighty years of age, and one 
of the last of the famous old guard who offered their lives in defense 
of the L'nion. Mr. Peret is still vigorous mentally and enjoys life to the 
utmost. Thirty of his four score years of life have been spent in Kansas 
and during that time he has reared a fine family and accumulated a fair 
sized competence for his support during his declining years. 

Mr. Peret was born at Abington, Wayne county. Indiana, March 
3. 1836. He is a son of Victor and Mary (Dichmocker) Peret, natives of 
France. Victor Peret, the father, was born in 1778, and was reared in 
France. When he attained young manhood he became a soldier in the 
French armies under the great Napoleon Bonaparte and fought for 
several years in behalf of the emperor. He was captured in battle and 
taken prisoner by the British, who impressed him into service on a 
British sailing vessel, where he was compelled to serve for eleven years 
against his will and inclination. When the ship finally landed at a 
Ignited States port, he made his escape and later went inland to a small 
town in Indiana (Abington), where he worked at his trade of tailor 
until his demise in 1850. The mother of the subject was born in .\lsace 
and died in Indiana in 1850, at the age of forty-four years. They were 
the parents of ten children, of whom Victor N. and his youngest brother, 
Henrv E., of Holt county. Missouri, are the only ones living. Henry E. 


was a soldier in the Union army, as were two other brothers of the sub- 
ject, James W. and August Sebastian. 

Victor N. Peret was reared b)^ kind neighbors and worked at any 
honest labor in order to earn a living for himself after the death of his 
parents. He worked at farm labor for the munificent sum of $3 per 
month and "found," but as he grew older and stronger he easily com- 
manded a higher wage. On February it, 1864, he enlisted in Company 
I, One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Indiana infantry, and served until 
the close of the war. Mr. Peret saw service in the Atlanta campaign, 
and after the fall of Atlanta, his command followed Hood's army to 
Columbia, S. C, expecting to meet Hood there and a battle took place, 
followed by another battle at Franklin. Hood's army was later de- 
feated at Nashville, Tenn. Mr. Peret was then sent with his corps to 
Washington, D. C. He was engaged in many battles aiid skirmishes 
and was for a time at Morehead City, N. C, from where his command 
was transferred by train to Newbern, N. C. From this point they 
marched thirt}^ miles to Kingston, where they were engaged in a three 
days' fight. This was his last battle. Mr. Peret was honorably dis- 
charged from the service at Greensborough, N. C, August 31, 1865. 

After his notable war service, Victor N. Peret returned to Indiana 
and cut wood during the winter of 1865 and 1866. He then came to 
Hannibal, Mo., and purchased a farm of 100 acres in the neighborhood of 
that city, which he cultivated for fifteen years. He then went to Holt 
county, Missouri, and farmed there for one year, until his removal to 
Wetmore, Kansas, in 1883. He and his brother, James \V., started a 
general merchandise store at Wetmore, and eight months later, Mr. 
Peret sold his interest in the business to his partner and bought a farm 
in Wetmore township. He cultivated his acreage for seventeen years 
and added to his holdings until at one time he owned 500 acres of good 
land. In 1904, Mr. Peret decided to retire and removed to a pleasant and 
comfortable home in Seneca, where he owns considerable real estate. 

Mr. Peret was married in 1867 to Mary E. Shute. Ten children 
have blessed this happy marriage, of whom seven are living, as follows : 
John W., a farmer of Illinois township, Nemaha county ; Emma, died at 
the age of twenty-one years : Mrs. Anna Trapp, Brown county, Kansas ; 
Omar E., living in Idaho; James, Fort Worth, Texas; Mrs. Pearl Flem- 
ing, living on a farm near Council Grove, Kans. ; Cecil, El Paso, Texas ; 
Mrs. Mae Sheppard, Seneca. Kans. ; Robert C, died at the age of one 
year; two children died in infancy. Mrs. Mary Peret was born Decem- 
ber 5, 1846, in Richmond, Ind., a daughter of Robert C. and Mary C. 
(Clark) Shute, natives of New England. Robert C. Shute was an en- 
gineer by profession, and for a period, of forty years was engaged in the 
practice of his vocation as engineer and county surveyor of Wayne 
county, Indiana, Both parents of Mrs. Peret are deceased. 

Mr. Peret is an independent voter, who does his own thinking along 
political lines. He and his good wife are members of the Methodist 


church. Mr. Peret is senior commander of the Grand Army Post at 
Seneca, Kans. He is one of the grand old men of Kansas of whom it is 
a pleasure to have written this brief review. To the mind of the writer 
there are no Americans worthy of more honor and distinction than the 
brave fellows who marched to the strains of martial music beneath the 
folds of the American flag and fought on the great battlefields of the 
South in order to preserve the Union from dissolution. They, the men 
in the ranks, under the leadership of the greatest generals of the age, 
bestowed an untold blessing upon mankind for centuries to come in 
making the sacrifices necessary to accomplish the end sought by Presi- 
dent Lincoln. Commander Peret is one of these, and he enlisted in the 
Union army imbued with the idea that slavery was a sin and it was his 
patriotic and religious duty to shoulder a musket and assist in bringing 
about the conquest of the South and the preservation of the Union. 

Barnard Winkler.— The late Barnard Winkler was a pioneer of 
Kansas and one of the best known citizens of Xemaha county. His life 
was well rounded and the years of his earthly sojourn were replete with 
industry and good deeds, which will make him long remembered. Bar- 
nard Winkler was born in Oldenburg, Germany, January 5, 1841, and 
was a son of Barnard Winkler. He left his native land in 1867, immi- 
grated to America and settled in St. Louis, Mo., where he followed the 
carpenter trade for a year, and then came to Kansas. Mr. Winkler first 
settled in Brown county and bought forty acres of land, upon which he 
erected a two-room house, which served as a residence for him and his 
bride during the first years of their struggle for a competence in Kan- 
sas. Mr. Winkler hauled the lumber from White Cloud with which to 
build this little dwelling, ten feet square. He did all of his own car- 
penter work and broke up his forty-acre tract with the aid of an Indian 
pony and one horse. Four years later he sold this farm and bought 
seventy-two acjres on the county line, which he improved. Times were 
hard for Mr. and Mrs. Winkler during those early years and they suf- 
fered many privations in trying to make ends meet. They bought a 
lumber wagon for $10, used chains and old harness for tugs, with a 
leather line on one side and a rope on the other. They farmed this 
tract until 1889, then sold out and came to Nemaha county, Kansas, 
where Mr. Winkler bought 160 acres of land in Richmond township. 
This farm was the permanent home of the Winkler family until 1909. 
He improved the farm and made it very attractive and profitable, sn 
that he and his famil)' lived in comfortable circumstances. This Kansas 
' pioneer died September 12, 1910, in Seneca, where the family moved in 

Barnard ^^'inkler and Miss Alary Wempe were married I'\brn:iry 
3. 1869, in Atchison, Kans. Mrs. Winkler was born October 2, 1852, in 
Effingham county, Illinois, and is a daughter of Herman TFenry and 
Ale.xandrina (Jensen) Wempe, natives of Oldenburg, Germany, who 
settled in Kansas in the spring of 1861. (See biography of .A.nton 


A'Vempe for a complete account of the Wempe family in America and 
Kansas.) Anton Wempe is a brother of J\Irs. \\''inkler. Eleven children 
were born to Barnard and Mar}- A^'inkler, as follows : Henry, a farmer 
of Nemaha county, Kansas ; Barnard, living on a farm near Kelly, Kans. ; 
Charles, of Seneca ; Anna, wife of F. M. Sears, proprietor of the Bonair 
Hotel, Seneca; Elizabeth, wife of C. Schneider, living on a farm east 
of Seneca ; John S., a farmer in Nemaha county east of Seneca ; William, 
cultivating the home place ; Frank, deceased ; Joseph, Seneca, Kans., a 
well known horse and mule dealer, married Minnie Robertson ; Mary, 
deceased, was twin sister of Joseph Winkler ; Anton, deceased. 

]\Irs. Winkler was reared to maturity in St. Clair county, Illinois, 
and received a good common school education. When twelve years of 
age she "Went to work in the fields, binding wheat in the shock by hand. 
When she and INIr. Winkler were striving to get ahead, she nobly did 
her part and ably assisted in building up the family fortunes. Mrs. 
Winkler hauled hogs to market when the market price was just enough 
so that she received $2 for hauling five or six porkers, going twelve 
miles to Wetmore from their home, for a neighbor. They thought this 
amount of money was a small fortune in those days, and that they were 
amply repaid for the trouble of hauling the animals. The Winklers 
lived on the farm until 1909 and then removed to town for a well earned 
retirement in peace and comfort. Mrs. Winkler is the owner of 160 
acres of land and has citj' property in Seneca. Mr. Winkler, wife and 
children were all members of the Catholic church. 

Irvin Johnson, retired farmer of Seneca, Kans., comes of an inter- 
esting family. His father led a romantic life in the pioneer days, having 
journeyed to California behind oxen and sailed back via the long sea 

Mr. Johnson was born August 17, 1857, in California. He was the 
son of Richard and Eliza (Metier) Johnson, to whom these four children 
were born : Isaiah, deceased ; Lydia, Mrs. Thompson, living on the old 
family farm, Nemaha county, Kansas; Ella, wife of Mr. Zimmerman, 
of Seneca, Kans. ; Irvin, of whom this sketch is to deal. 

The father was born April 29, 1833, in Indiana. His father was 
Ebenezer Johnson, a stanch man of Scotch-English blood. The mother 
was EHzabeth Tandy before her marriage to Ebenezer and they lived 
on their farm in Indiana, but moved to Iowa in the early days. In 1852, 
Richard Johnson and his brother-in-law, Isaiah Metier, took an over- 
land trip to California by ox team. Six years later he (Richard) re- 
turned to Missouri and shortly afterward bought 160 acres near Baker's 
Ford, in Nemaha township, Nemaha county, the date of this transaction 
being July, i860. During the next eleven years he farmed this place, 
making improvements constantly and at the end of that period he sold out 
and bought land in Richmond township, where he lived until seven years 
before his death, in 1913, when he came to Seneca. At that time he 
held 800 acres of land which he had acquired by hard work and careful 


management. Richard Johnson's political career was a noteworthy one, 
he having- been elected State representative on the Democratic ticket 
in 1870 and to the office of sheriff two years later, in 1872. Later, he 
was county commissioner of Nemaha county, and worked hard in the 
interests of the public. He never held office for personal profit or glory, 
and was always deeply interested in the matter of public welfare. Proof 
of his ability to give the people good administration lies in the fact that 
he was repeatedly elected on the Democratic ticket in a district where 
the Republican party was well organized and very strong. Personal 
friendship and a conviction that he could give good service led to 
scratched tickets on the part of many who were in the habit of voting 
the Republican ballot straight. 

The mother of Irvin Johnson was born in Ohio, August 2. 1833. 
and died in 1914, in Seneca, Kans., where she and her husband had lived 
since 1905. They were married in 1852 in Iowa. 

Irvin Johnson was reared on the farm and went through the usual 
hard life of the boy on the farm. He, as all farmers' boys in those days, 
was deprived of good school facilities, and was able to attend school 
only three months of the year. Until he was twenty-one years old. he 
remained at home, working on his father's- farm, but when he became of 
age, he rented land from the elder Johnson, and worked this until 1907, 
when he moved to Seneca, Kans. Two years later he engaged in the 
poultry business for a time, but retired, intending to take life easy the 
remainder of his days. But he could not be idle, and in October, 1915. 
he was back in the harness again, managing his poultry business, of 
which he disposed March i, 1916. Mr. Johnson owns 160 acres of land 
in Richmond township. Nemaha county, and also has considerable 
property in Seneca. 

In 1880, he was married to Ellen Burger, and to this marriage these 
six children were born: ]\Irs. Effie Stevens, of Bethany, Xeb. : Louis, 
deceased ; Claud, farmer, Richmond township, Nemaha county ; Cleve. 
cashier at Missouri Pacific depot, Seneca, Kans. ; Wanda, wife of E. 
Britt, Seneca, Kans. ; Mildred, living with her parents. 

Mrs. Johnson was born December 26, 1855, near London, Ontario, 
Canada. She is the daughter of Hiram and Jane (Metcalf) Burger, who 
came to Nemaha county in 1855, where her father was a farmer. 

Mr. Johnson is affiliated with the Democratic party. He is not a 
member of any church, but attends. 

Elmar Roy Mathews. — This is a story of a man who has reached 
. success through the university of hard knocks. Keen judgment and 
efficient business management have brought him to conspicuous success 
among the business men of Seneca, Kans., where he conducts a grocery 

Mr. Mathews is a native Kansan, having been born in Seneca. 
January 15, 1870. He is the son of Hiram W. and Sarah Jane Skin- 
ner (Wetmore) Mathews, to whom two children were born. Charles 


E., a retired farmer of Seneca, and Elmar Roy, the subject of this sketch. 
The father was born in Indiana, and for further details of the parents 
of IJlmar Mathews, read the sketch of his brother, Charles E., which 
appears elsewhere in this volume. 

Elmar R. Mathews grew up in his birthplace, Seneca, and attended 
the city schools. In 1892 he went to Shenandoah, Iowa, where he took 
a business course. In 1894 he returned to Seneca and was employed in 
the Wells law office as stenographer, which position he held until 1896. 
For several years immediately following, he worked at various busi- 
nesses, and later began farming near Seneca, where he owned 100 acres 
of land. In 1913 he came back to town, buying the grocery establish- 
ment which he now operates, and which ranks with the most up-to-date 
stores in the State. His business is handled in the most economical way 
and he numbers among his patrons some of the best residents of Seneca. 
He lives in his comfortable home on the outskirts of town, where he has 
twenty acres of land well kept, which provides a beautiful setting for 
his home. 

In 1895 he was married to Mary Grace McCulloch, and to this 
marriage four children were born: Two dying in infancy; Mary, born 
in 1903, and Paul, born in 1910, both living at home. Mrs. Mathews is a 
daughter of Samuel McColloch. She is a graduate of the Shenandoah 
College of Music, Shenandoah, Iowa, and is a very talented woman. 

Mr. Mathews is not a member of any church, though he attends 
religious services quite regularly. He belongs to the Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons and the Modern Woodmen of America. 

Ira K. Wells. — Inasmuch as it has been demonstrated that heredit}' 
and environment play a distinct and important part in the development 
of the individual, and forms the basic groundwork of whatever he is ex- 
pected to accomplish during his span of life, then Ira K. Wells, able 
attorney of Seneca, Kans., was endowed beyond the ordinary, and lias 
undoubtedly inherited many distinguishing characteristics of his father, 
the late Judge Abijah Wells. He of whom this review is written was 
reared in the legal atmosphere, and had the advantages of a practical 
training under the tutelage of his father; who was a leader of the Kansas 
bar and a jurist of note. A thorough academic education preceded his 
practical training, and the two combined resulted in a finished product — • 
an attorney of acumen and decided ability. 

Ira K. Wells, of the firm of Wells & Wells, legal practitioners, 
Seneca, Kans., was born in Seneca, June 18, 1871, artd is a son of the 
late Judge Abijah Wells, concerning whose life an extended review ap- 
pears in this volume of historical annals of Nemaha county. Mr. Wells 
received his primary education in the public schools of his native city, 
and graduated from the Seneca High School. His aptitude for the higher 
studies, and his marked preference for the profession of law, demon- 
strated that ^ his inherent ability and proclivities destined him for the 
bar, and he accordingly matriculated in the law department of the Kan- 


sas University, graduatinji" therefrom with the degree of Bachelor of 
Laws, in 1893. He immediately became associated with his fatlier in 
the practice of law, and upon his father's demise, in 1913, assumed full 
charge of the law practice of Wells & Wells. 

The political and civic career of Ira K. ^^'eIls has been a note- 
worthy one. and has been marked by devotion to duty, which has won 
him the confidence and praise of his fellow citizens. He. like his illus- 
trious father, has been politically allied with the Republican party, and 
stands high in the councils of his party. Mr. Wells was elected to the 
office of county attorney in 1900, while serving as city attorney of 
Seneca. He filled the office of county attorney successfully for two 
years, and then devoted himself to his private practice. However, he is 
the present city attorney of Seneca. He served as a member of the 
board of education of Seneca and took considerable interest in the cause 
of education, and is still interested in this phase of the civic advance- 
ment of the city. The latest and highest honor which has come to him 
from his political party was his selection as a delegate to the Republican 
national convention at Chicago, held June 7, 1916, from the First Con- 
gressional district of Kansas. For the past fourteen vears, Mr. Wells 
has been chief of the Seneca Fire Department, and it is through his in- 
fluence and guidance that the fire department of the city has been kept 
to a considerable degree of efficiency. 

Mr. \A"ells was married May 7. 1896, to Miss Zula M. Thompson, 
a daughter of the late Judge J. F. Thompson, former district judge, and 
a sister of United States Senator William H. Thompson. This union 
has been blessed with two children, as follows: Loretta, aged sixteen 
years, a member of the senior class of the Seneca High School, and 
Dora, aged thirteen, freshman in the city High School. 

Mr. Wells is a member of the Universalist church, and is the present 
chairman of the board of directors of this church, which his father as- 
sisted in founding. He has been one of the foremost active supporters 
of the community movement in Seneca, and is president of the Seneca 
Community Association. 

He is fraternally affiliated with the .\.ncient Free and .\cccpted 
Masons, and is high in the councils of this order, being a member of 
Seneca Lodge, No. 39, Blue Lodge: affiliated with the chapter and also 
Seneca Commander}', No. 39, and has taken the degree of the Mystic 
Shrine at Leavenworth, Kans. He is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen and the Knights and 
Ladies of Securit3\ .A.s an attorney, Ira K. Wells is an unqualified suc- 
cess ; his citizenship is in keeping with his high standing in the com- 
munity, and he is ever found in the forefront of all civic movements 
tending to the advancement of the best interests of Seneca and Nemaha 
county : his breadth of mind, genial, whole souled manner and attributes 
and the ability to make and retain friendships, bid fair to place him in 
the high places in the vears to come. Good nature and an obliging dis- 


position have endeared him to his friends, who are legion, and he is de- 
servedly popular among all classes. 

His literary hobby is history, especially when it concerns his home 
county and State, and this volume has been decidely enhanced in value 
by his contributions to the end that the people of Nemaha county may 
have a work worth while. 

Miss Abbie W. Kennard. — Kansas presents opportunities for wom- 
en to enter the learned professions and the marts of trade and finance, 
not usually offered the feminine residents of older States. It is not 
unusual to find women of decided ability who are capable of holding 
their own in competition with the stronger sex in the various cities and 
towns of the State. Miss Abbie W. Kennard, real estate and insurance 
agent, Seneca, Kans., is a good example of the successful business 
woman of the present age. Alone and unaided except by her own ef- 
forts and spurred by ambition, she has won a substantial place for her- 
self in the real estate and insurance field. 

Abbie W. Kennard was born at Barnesville, Belmont county, Ohio, 
August 27, i860, and is a daughter of Eli and Mary (Edgerton) Ken- 
nard. Eli Kennard was born near Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, in 1816, and was 
a son of William and Rachel (Drubree) Kennard, descended from old 
Quaker stock, which had its origin in America with the advent of the 
followers of WiUiam Penn in Pennsylvania in the seventeenth century. 
William and Rachel Kennard were both natives of Bucks count}^, Penn- 
sylvania. William was a noted Quaker preacher who traveled exten- 
sively over the eastern States, expounding the doctrine of his church. 
Eli Kennard was a miller, tinsmith, and farmer during his life, and died 
at his home in Barnesville, Ohio, in 1885. He was the father of the 
following children : Anna and William, deceased ; Jesse, engaged 
in real estate business at Lawrence, Kans.; Rachel, deceased; Mary, 
living at Barnesville, Ohio ; Sarah J., a teacher in the Quaker schools 
of Philadelphia; Alfred E., Barnesville, Ohio; Elizabeth, deceased; 
Abbie, with whom this review is directly concerned, and who was the 
sixth child born. The mother of the foregoing children was born in 
1824 at Summerton, Ohio, and was a daughter of James and Anna (Hall) 
Edgerton, both of whom were natives of North Carolina. The Hall 
family left their Carolina home and traveled to Harrisonville, Ohio, via 
the ox wagon route in the early days of the settlement of the Buckeye 
State. Mrs. Kennard died in 1900. 

Miss Abbie Kennard received her elementary education in the 
Friends' Boarding School at Barnesville, Ohio, and after graduating 
from this school, she pursued a normal teachers' course at the West- 
town Friends' Normal School in Pennsylvania. She taught school in 
Pennsylvania until 1887, at which time she came to Seneca, Kans., and 
joined her brother, Jesse, who had come West, and established a vari- 
ety store in Seneca. She remained with her brother until his removal 
to Lawrence, Kans., in 1910, and was appointed acting postmaster in 


that 3-ear as his successor. Previously she had served as her brother's 
deputy in the postoffice. Miss Kennard began writing insurance in 
1908, and is now handHng fire, bondings and hfe insurance for eight well 
established companies. It was only natural for her to become inter- 
ested in real estate, and she has been successful in handling Kansas 
and western lands and city properties. She has an interest in land in 
Barber county, Kansas, and is a shareholder and treasurer of the Best 
Slate Company, of Kansas City, Mo., whose field headquarters and 
plant are located at Nema, Ark. 

While Miss Kennard has remained true to her Quaker teachings 
and training, she has become actively interested in the community 
church movement in Seneca, and is connected with the World's Chris- 
tian Temperance Union in a prominent way, being much interested in 
the uplifting of humanity and the betterment of social conditions — a 
field of endeavor for which her birth and training has eminently fitted 
her. Miss Kennard is one of the founders of the rest room in Seneca, 
and has been treasurer of the organization supporting this valuable 
addition to the civic and social life of Seneca. She is in sympathv with 
the progressive political movement, and has been active in civic and 
political matters in Seneca. She has served as city treasurer of the 
city for three years, and well merits the confidence and high esteem in 
which she is held by all who know her. 

Otto A. Kelm, one of the progressive business men of Seneca, has 
lived all of his life in the town where he now resides. He was born 
September 19, 1876, in Seneca, Kans. His parents were Albert and 
Anna (Pertosek) Kelm, to whom were born these three children: Otto, 
of whom this sketch is to treat at length; Fred, carpenter in Seneca, 
Kans. : Anna, living with her parents. 

The father was born in Beto, Prussia, where he was taught the 
shoemaker's trade as he grew up. When a young man. he left Ger- 
many, and on coming to America, migrated west to St. Joseph, Mo. 
Shortly afterwards, he came to Seneca, Kans., and opened a shoeshop 
which he conducted in a prosperous fashion. Later he conducted a 
hardware store for George Williams in Seneca. In 1899, he died at 
Seneca, at the age of fift^'-seven years. The mother was born in Aus- 
tria, and left there when a child, coming to Nebraska City. Neb. She 
was married at St. Joseph, Mo., and now lives in Seneca. 

Otto Kelm attended the public schools of his native city, and after 
completing the elementary grades, began working as a laborer. At the 
age of eighteen, he went to work in a bakeshop to learn the baker's 
trade, and in 1908. opened a shop of his own, which has proven an 
unusual success. Plis natural business ability and excellent service and 
bakery goods account, in large measure, for his business success. Grad- 
ually, he invested in other fields also, and is now a property owner and 
a shareholder of the Seneca Fair .Association, among other things. 

Mr. Kelm is a member of the Democratic party, and is interested 


in all public questions, though he has never sought political prefer- 
ment. He belongs to the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and has 
served as high priest and master of that order, always taking great in- 
terest in the affairs of his order. 

In looking back over the career of Mr. Kelm, the striking thing 
about it is the wonderful rise he has made. Starting out without re- 
sources of any kind except determination and willingness to work, Mr. 
Kelm has risen until now he is one of Seneca's leading business men. 
and owns one of the finest bakeries in the State of Kansas. 

William Dennis. — The career of William Dennis, mayor of Seneca, 
Kans., has been an interesting and noteworthy one from several view- 
points. He is a member of one of the gldest pioneer families of Kansas, 
and has had a political career which is worthy of mention in a favorable 
sense, having been twice elected sheriff of the county, filled several 
minor offices, and is now giving the city of Seneca one of the best ad- 
ministrations in its history. His popularity, ability to make and retain 
friendships, wide influence, his activity in behalf of the people and in 
advancing the interests of his home city and county, have been such as 
to place ■\Tr. Dennis in the front rank of Nemaha county citizens. 

The history of the Dennis family in Kansas began sixty years ago 
when Batson Dennis, grandfather of Willim Dennis, accompanied by his 
wife and family of five sons and a daughter, made the long and arduous 
trip from Illinois to the Kansas plains by means of ox teams and took 
up a large acreage of government land in Nemaha county, where they 
preempted land, for which they paid $1.25 an acre. 

Batson Dennis settled on land direct!}^ south of Seneca, and his five 
sons, Samuel, Joseph, Jesse, John H. and Batson settled on claims along 
the Nemaha river south of Seneca. John H. Dennis, father of William 
Dennis, took up a homestead one mile south of the present town of 
Kelly, Kans. These Avere pioneer days in Kansas, and William Dennis 
remembers well the plentitude of wild game which abounded in the 
woods and plains bordering on the valley of the Nemaha. 

The prairie land was broken up with the oxen, which had furnished 
their means of transportation from Crawford county, Illinois. Batson 
Dennis married a ]\Tiss Callender. who was his faithful helpmeet for 
many years in creating a home in the wilderness of Nemaha county. 
To Batson Dennis and his pioneer associates enough honors and en- 
coniums cannot be given for accomplishing the great and arduous task 
of breaking the way for the later settlers and proving to the world that 
Kansas could be made into a comfortable place of habitation. 

William Dennis was born in Crawford county, Illinois, June g, 1854, 
and is a son of John H. and Ellen (Rich) Dennis. John Dennis was 
born in Kentucky, September 28, 1827, and was a son of Batson Dennis, 
who migrated from Kentucky to Illinois in the early forties. His father 
was a native of Kentucky, and his mother was born in Virginia, both of 
whom were descended from old American families from the Atlantic 



seaboard. After the migration of the Dennis famil}' to Kansas in 1856, 
John Dennis improved the land which he bought from the government, 
and became an extensive cattle raiser. This was due to the fact that 
there was much free range in those early days and the conveniences for 
grazing large herds of cattle were at hand. John Dennis died at his 
Kansas home in 1898. He was twice married, his first wife being the 
mother of William Dennis, and who bore him four children, all of whom 
are now deceased but William, the subject of this review. Mrs. Ellen 
(Rich) Dennis died in 1856. The second of of John H. Dennis was 
Miss Nanc}' (Thompson), a native of Indiana, who is now living in 
Seneca, aged eighty-two years. 

William Dennis got little schooling when he Avas a boy. He at- 
tended subscription schools for about three months out of the year until 
he attained the age of eighteen years, at which time he began to work 
out by the month for wages of $20 per month. He worked on the farm 
of Joshua Mitchell, and then started in the live stock business on his 
own account. He continued buying and shipping live stock for about 
eight years and then married and began farming on his own account. 
His first investment was in 120 acres of land near Kelly, Kans., which he 
cultivated until 1887. He then filled various official positions for some 
years, engaged in the grain business at Kelly, Kans., for a time, and 
purchased his present home place at Seneca in 1908. 

For some years Mr. Dennis has devoted his attention to racing 
horses, and maintains a string of thoroughbreds. For the past twenty 
years he has been a breeder of thoroughbreds, and has been very 
successful. His horses are in demand in all parts of the Ignited States, 
and he has received as high as $2,000 for a single thoroughbred. Many 
animals bred by him have made excellent records. 

His land holdings in Nemaha county have become considerable, and 
Mr. Dennis is one of the most extensive farmers in this section of Kan- 
sas. He has accumulated a fortune in Kansas land through wise in- 
vestments. Early in his boyhood days he became inured to the hardest 
kind of work, and when ten years old he hauled goods from the nearest 
shipping point with his uncle, Mick Thompson, for Charles Crappel, one 
of the earl)^ day merchants of Seneca. 

The official career of William Dennis began in 1887, when he was 
elected trustee of Harrison township, and held the office for three years. 
In the fall of 1889, he was elected sheriff of Nemaha county, and held 
the office for four years, from Januar}- i, 1890, to January i, 1894. He 
then farmed for a time and was appointed postmaster at Goff, Kans.. and 
held this office for three years. He was again elected sheriff of the 
county in 1904, and held the office for the following four years. He was 
faithful in the discharge of his duties and rendered conscientious and 
devoted service to the people of the county in every public position 
which he held. Mr. Dennis was elected mayor of Seneca in T914, and is 
giving the city an excellent administration. 


William Dennis was married in February, 1889, to Miss Olive 
DoWney, who was born February 14, 1869, in Platte county, Missouri, 
a daughter of Madison and Kathrine (Mullen) Downey, natives of Mad- 
ison county, Ohio. Madison Downey was a farmer and teacher, who 
immigrated to Kansas in 1870, and engaged in farming near Atchison. 

Mr. Dennis is a Democrat in his political affiliations, and is one of 
the influential and popular leaders of his party in Nemaha county and 
Kansas. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 

The political history of Nemaha county does not record an instance 
of a Democrat being twice elected to the same office in past years, and 
Mr. Dennis bears the distinction of being the only Democrat who was 
ever twice elected to the office of county sheriff. His election took 
place in the face of the fact that he had a Republican majority of over 
856 votes to overcome. He was the first Democratic trustee ever 
elected in Harrison township, and defeated his opponent, whose ticket 
lead the field, by a majority of eighty votes. The personal popularity 
of William Dennis is such that he is known b}' almost every man, 
woman and child in Nemaha county. As a campaigner, he has few 
equals or superiors. As mayor of Seneca, he is making a record which 
will go down in history as the most constructive up to the present time. 
During Mayor Dennis' regime the main street of the city has been 
graded and oiled under his personal supervision and with his actual as- 
sistance. The new city hall is being erected, which will be a milestone 
in the city's progress. Few towns in Kansas or anywhere can boast of 
a more faithful or more energetic executive than Seneca. 

Benjamin F. Hart, retired farmer, Seneca, Kans., was born in Put- 
nam county, Indiana, October 22, 1847, and is a son of William J. and 
Mary E. (Collins) Hart, natives of Kentucky. William J. Hart was 
born in Kentucky in 1823, and was a son of Thomas and Joyce (Hew- 
itt) Hart, who were among the pioneer settlers of Indiana. Both father 
and grandfather were tillers of the soil. William J. and Mary Hart 
were the parents of seven children, of whom five are living. The wife 
and mother was born in 1826, and died in 1880. William J. Hart re- 
moved with his family to Kansas as early as 1858, and settled in Brown 
county, Kansas, where he bought 160 acres of virgin prairie soil, which 
he broke up with six yoke of oxen. He developed his farm into a val- 
uable piece of property, and died in the home which he erected, in 1876. 

Benjamin F. Hart was eleven years old when the Hart family cast 
their fortunes in Kansas, and it fell to his lot to witness the growth and 
development of a great State, and to have an integral part in the mak- 
ing of a county. He attended school in a primitive log school house 
with hewn log slabs for seats and desks. After his marriage he bought 
160 acres of land adjoining his father's farm and JDrospered to such an 
extent that he eventually became the owner of 550 acres of land in 
Brown and Nemaha counties. This land he sold and invested the pro- 


ceeds in a fine farm of 333 acres two miles north of Seneca. While 
this farm was improved at the time of purchase, Mr. Hart added sub- 
stantialh' to the buildings and fencing, and became an extensive feeder 
of live stock. He successfully followed his life avocation until 1895, 
when, feeling that he had accomplished enough for one man in a life- 
time of endeavor, he retired to a comfortable home in Seneca in 1895. 
Mr. Hart has prospered exceedingly during his long residence of fifty- 
seven years in Kansas, and is the owner of 900 acres of good land. He 
is a stockholder and a director of the National Bank of Seneca, and is 
one of the city's most substantial citizens. 

This pioneer Kansan was married in 1870 to Miss Martha Letch- 
worthy, who has borne him the following children : Mrs. Minnie Mc- 
Kellips, of Nemaha county, Kansas ; Charles, a garage and automobile 
man at Seneca ; Zebelon, living in Nemaha county ; Benjamin, railroad 
station agent at Stimmerfield, Kans. ; Mrs. Fannie Firstenberger, Sen- 
eca ; Valentine, railroad agent. Glen Elder, Kans. The mother of this 
fine family was born at Parkville, Mo., in 1850, and is a daughter of 
Thomas and Mary (Barnes) Letchworthy, natives of Kentucky, who 
immigrated to Kansas in the early pioneer days. Thomas Letchworthy 
was a plasterer by trade. 

Mr. Hart is an independent thinker and voter along political lines, 
and does not wear the yoke of any political party. He has been promi- 
nent in city affairs, and served for six years as a member of the city 
council. It was during his term as councilman that the electric light 
and power plant was taken over by the city and operated for the benefit 
of all the people. He was influential, also in having the old time board 
sidewalks dispensed with and replaced by concrete pavements. He is 
a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted ]\Iasons, and has served 
as treasurer of the Seneca Masonic lodge. Hard work, economy, and 
rigid attention to details have placed this Kansas pioneer and his wife 
in the position of wealth and comfort which they are enjoying today. 

Lorrain N. Simon. — As an example of the successful business man, 
who during his prime, accumulated a comfortable surplus, and who, in 
his later years, retires from the strife of business competition to enjoy 
the quiet and easy life of leisure, Lorrain N. Simon is to be remem- 
bered. Engaging at various times in the furniture, grocery and hard- 
ware businesses, Mr. Simon has proved his versatility and the fact that 
he is the holder of 1,100 acres of fine, fertile soil, attests his business 

It was on December 3, 1858, that Lorrain Simon was born. His 
parents, Adam and Mary J. (Toler) Simon, resided in Noble county, 
Ohio, at the time. For the life story of Adam Simon, see sketch in 
another part of this history. Coming to Kansas at the early age of ten 
years, Lorrain grew up on his father's farm, and lived the conventional 
small boy's life on the farm. Mixed in with plenty of hard work were 
infrequent sessions at the district school. Being proficient in his stud- 


ies, he later went to the high school at Seneca, Kans., thus gaining ad- 
vantages which all farmers' sons in those daj'S were not given. After 
finishing high school at the age of seventeen years, he taught school 
for a period of twelve years, while farming, in which occupation he 
remained until about 1893 when he moved to Seneca, to engage in the 
furniture business. An undertaking establishment was operated in 
conjunction with the furniture store. After conducting this enterprise 
four years, Mr. Simon sold it, and became interested in the grocery 
business. But shortly afterward, a good proposition was offered to 
him, and he left his business to take up farming. However, business 
exerted a fascination for him, and, in 1904, he went back into the mer- 
cantile life, buying a hardware stock at Goff, Kans., which he operated 
until 1913, when he retired and moved to Seneca. While these numer- 
ous adventures into business were going on, Mr. Simon was accum- 
ulating land, and now owns some of the best in the county. 

In 1880, on November 14, Lorrain Simon was married to Jennie 
M. Ford. To this union six children were born as follows : Nellie, 
wife of Dr. D. C. Smith, Girard, Kans., graduated from Seneca busi- 
ness college and studied music in Chicago ; Raymond, deceased ; Clayton 
K., postmaster of Goff, Kans. ; Ford, bookkeeper in sugar beet factory, 
Brush, Colo. ; Eunice, wife of S. D. Morris, assistant cashier of First 
National Bank, Goff, Kans. ; Loren D., student in the Seneca High 
School, winner of football loving cup, member of 1915 football team of 
Seneca High School. Mr. Simon has given all of his children a high 
school education. 

Mrs. Jennie (Ford) Simon was born January 15, 1861, in Nemaha 
county, and was the daughter of John M. and Eliza J. (Murphy) Ford. 
Her father was born in Ohio, and came to Nemaha county in 1856. He 
freighted from Atchison to Denver, driving a yoke of oxen, making the 
trip in three months. His family lived at Seneca during the time John 
was freighting, and he rejoined them there after his retirement. In 1913, 
he died at the ripe old age of eighty-four, after having lived a varied 
and useful, as well as adventurous, life. His wife, who died in 1902, 
was born in Delaware, and was seventy-three years old at the time of 
her death. 

Mr. Simon early, after reaching the legal age, affiliated himself 
with the Democratic party and, since that time, has cast his Azotes with 
it. Although he is not a member of any church, he attends regularly 
and contributes generonsh- to the activities of the church. In addition 
to holding membership in the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodges, Mr. Simon is a charter 
member of the Knights and Ladies of Security, as is his wife. Thev 
have both been members of that order for twent^^-two years. 

Mr. Simon has been a representative business man of his commu- 
nity, always standing for progress and willing to do all in his power to 
advance the welfare of his citv. His business was alwavs run effi- 


ciently, and he preserved to a nicety the balance between business and 
service. Though he u^as always ready to demand his rights, he was 
always willing* to extend privileges for the accomodation of his cus- 
tomers. In short, he is one of the men, to whom the community looks 
for solid support in any project for the good of all, and for the welfare 
of the commercial interests of Seneca. 

Adam Simon. — In the days following the Civil war, many sturdy 
men brought their families West to try for a livelihood on the undevel- 
oped country of Missouri and Kansas. The pioneers had come before 
them, but there was still plenty to do, and he who made his living hon- 
estly had to labor long and faithfully. Adam Simon was one of this 
class, who came West to Kansas shortly after the war and laid the 
foundations of his success. 

Adam Simon was born in 1833 in Noble county, Ohio. His parents 
were Christian and Harriet (Armstrong) Simon, the father having 
been born in Virginia in 1814. At the age of fourteen, he went to Mor- 
gan county, Ohio, now known as Noble county, where he followed at 
different times the trades of bricklayer and stonemason, and farming 
as well. His father. Christian, was of German descent, and his mother, 
of English. In 1853, Adam Simon was married to Mary. J. Powell, 
a native of Ohio, who died there in 1856. Two children were born 
of this marriage: Rhoda Ann. wife of James Mathews, deceased; 
Helen, deceased. The following year after his wife's death he was 
married to Mary J. Tolcr. who was born August 4, 1835, '" Vir- 
ginia. She was a daughter of Absalom and Jane (Grey) Toler. The 
mother was a native of Ireland, and her father was born near Rich- 
mond, Va. She died in October, 1891. The four children born to this 
union were : George, deceased, who was a stockman ; Lorrain. whose 
life story will be found in this book; Ida, now ]\Irs. McNeal. of Wash- 
ington county, Colorado ; Earl D., deceased. 

In 1869 Adam Simon came to Centralia, Kans., where he bought 
160 acres of land in Mitchell township, Nemaha county, and erected a 
house 18x28 feet, one and one-half stories, frame. Later he put up a 
frame barn. The land, of course, was unbroken when Adam Simon 
took possession of it, and he spent some time in breaking it for culti- 
vation. He farmed it until 1885, when he retired and moved to Seneca, 
where he died in July, 1916. During this period, he homesteaded 320 
acres of land in Colorado, improving it and raising 300 bushels of grain 
cm twenty acres of land. At the time of his death, he owned 480 acres 
of land. 

Mr. Simon did not confine himself to farming, however, for in 1871 
and 1872, he represented his fellow citizens in the State le,gislature. 
having been elected on the Independent ticket. While in the le.gisla- 
ture, he acquitted himself with credit, and at all times, kept a sharp 
lookout for the welfare iif his constituents. Later he served as town- 
ship assessor. 


Mr. Simon was a member of the Methodist church. He belonged 
to the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and to the chapter and 
Knight Templars. He was made a Mason in 1864 in Sharon, Ohio. 

This is a life which any man would be proud to live, full of hard 
work, containing also a period of service to the interests of his State, 
and loyalty to his friends and community. 

William Burt Murphy. — An engineer of a municipal water works 
has to master a multitude of technical details to be able to operate his 
plant with any success at all. In fact, such a position requires such 
high ability that most men spend several years in schools of engineer- 
ing to learn the intricacies of the work. But William Burt Murphy, 
chief engineer of the Seneca water system, is a man of unusual me- 
chanical gift, and succeeded in learning the secrets of this great enter- 
prise without the assistance of teachers. He has studied the problems 
of engineering alone, and has mastered them as anyone at all familiar 
with the success of his work at the municipal plant can testify. 

Mr. Murphy was born December 22, 1859, in Cherokee county, 
Georgia. To his parents, Franklin and Phoebe A. (Worley) Murphy, 
two children were born : William, of whom this history is to treat, 
and Dora J., wife of Mr. Linn, of Rocky Ford, Colorado. The father 
was born in Georgia where he farmed until the outbreak of the war of 
the rebellion, in which he gave his life for the cause he believed to be 
right. The mother was born in Georgia also, on October 6, 1836. After 
the death of her husband in the Civil war, she was married a second 
time to Joseph E. Hocker, a native of Indiana, who practiced law in Sen- 
eca, Kans., where he served as justice of the peace. He was in business 
in Lincoln, Kans., also prior to his removal to Seneca. By a former 
marriage, he was the father of three boys and an equal number of girls, 
'but no children were born to the second marriage. 

William Murphy, of whom this sketch is written, came to* Seneca, 
Kans., with his maternal grandparents, W. W. and Licenia fHolden") 
Worley, natives of Georgia. In his native State, the grandfather had 
been a Baptist minister, but after coming to Nemaha county, Kansas, 
he followed the occupation of farming. Both grandparents are now 

William lived on the farm until he was fifteen years old, when he 
came to Seneca where he attended school a short time. For several 
years, he farmed in Richmond township, Nemaha county, but believing 
that greater opportunities lay in store in the city, he returned to Seneca 
where he held positions in grocery stores, drug stores, and in the lum- 
ber yard. However, life in the store and office was too cramped, and 
he secured a position as fireman on the Missouri Pacific railroad in 
1888. Four years later he qualified as an engineer, and remained with 
the company in that capacity until 1895, when he resigned. When 
Seneca put in its water plant, he fired the first boiler. As the plant 
grew larger, remained in charge until 1907. He became assistant 


engineer again in 1910, and in 1912, was appointed chief engineer of 
the electric and water systems of Seneca. This is a position which 
obviously requires a high degree of technical skill and ability. But 
Mr. Murphy has both in unusual amounts, and is giving the utmost 
satisfaction in his operation of these utilities. He owns considerable 
real estate in Seneca, and has a fine modern residence. 

In 1885 he was married to Mary E. Ridenour, and to this union 
four children have been born : Raymond, stationary engineer at Ilam- 
ilton, Mo.; Glenn, married Irma Bruner in February, 1916, a daughter 
of R. T. Bruner, former county treasurer ; Earl C. and Juanita, all living 
at home. Mrs. Murphy was born in Paulding county, Ohio, in 1856, and 
is the daughter of Granville and Sarah (Green) Ridenour, natives of 
Ohio, who came to Nemaha county, Kansas, in the early days. Before 
her marriage, Mrs. Murphy was a milliner and dressmaker. She has 
lived in Seneca since she was very young, having come there in 1866, 
three years before her husband. She attended the Seneca schools along 
with her sisters and brother. It might be interesting to know that she 
had thirteen sisters and one brother to grow up with her, and are all liv- 
ing now except one sister. 

Mr. Murphy is an independent Republican, taking an. active inter- 
est in political affairs. His preference lies with the Republican party, 
but when a good man is running, he gets Mr. Murphy's vote, regard- 
less of his party connections, for it is the man, not the party, that 
counts with Mr. Murphy. Fie is a member of the Congregational 
church, and of the Knights of Pythias, and Ancient Order of United 
A¥orkmen lodges. 

Peter P. Stein. — He whose name heads this review is one of the 
youngest Kansas Bankers, and has made a name for himself in his 
chosen profesion, and has shown ability which places him in the front 
rank of the financial men of northern Kansas and his home city of 
Seneca. Peter P. Stein, cashier of the First National Bank of Seneca, 
Kans., is a native born Kansan, whose parents were pioneer settlers in 
Nemaha county, his father having been the pioneer furniture dealer 
and cabinet maker of the city. 

Peter P. Stein was born in Seneca, Kans., July 4, 1879, and is a son 
of Mathias and Elizabeth (Daltrup) Stein, who were parents of five 
sons and five daughters. Mathias Stein was born in Germany, Novem- 
ber 25, 1829, and learned the cabinet maker's trade in his native land. 
He immigrated to .\merica in i860, and resided in eastern Iowa until 
after the beginning of the Civil war. and then came West to Nemaha 
county, Kansas. He enlisted for service in the Union army at the time 
of the Price invasion of Kansas and served as cook of his company in 
a Kansas regiment. He first cultivated a farm in Clear Creek town- 
ship, and farmed on his own account east of Axtell where a hill named 
in his honor is yet known as Stein hill. He left the farm and located 
in Seneca, where he started the first furniture store in the city. In 


those days he made nearly all of his own furniture, and made some very 
durable and high class work. He remained in the furniture business 
until 1885, when he sold out and retired. He died May 24, 1892. The 
mother of Peter P. Stein was born in Germany, August 4, 1844, and 
died in Seneca, May 24, 1883. 

Peter P. Stein attended the parochial schools of Seneca and pur- 
sued a course of higher studies at St. Benedict's College in Atchison. 
Kans. His first employment was as clerk in a general store from 1897 
to 190,1. In 1901 he became bookkeeper of the National Bank of Sen- 
eca, and was promoted to the post of cashier of this bank in 1907, a 
position which he held until his resignation in 1912, to accept the post 
of cashier of the First National Bank. Mr. Stein is also second vice 
president of the Seneca State Savings Bank. While the banking busi- 
ness has always received his devoted and undivided attention.. Mr. 
Stein is owner of land in Nemaha county, and western Kansas, and is 
one of the city's younger substantial citizens. 

Mr. Stein was married in 1902 to Miss Frances Waltkamp, and 
four children have been born to this union, namely : Raphael ; Vin- 
cent ; Sylvester, and Celestine. Mrs. Stein was born in Des Moines, 
Iowa, December 31. 1881, and is a daughter of Henry '\\''altkamp, Sr., 
a native of Germany and early settler of Nemaha county. 

Mr. and Mrs. Stein are members of the Catholic church. Mr. Stein 
is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Mutual 
Benefit Association. He is a Democrat in politics and takes an active 
and influential part in the affairs of his party. In 1904. Wr. Stein was 
elected treasurer of the city of Seneca, and served in that capacitv for 
eight years. 

Andrew Jackson Trees. — The late Andrew Jackson Trees, of Sa- 
betha, Kans, was born near Moscow, Clermont county, Ohio, September 
26, 1828, and was a son of John and Nancy (Hodges) Trees. The Trees 
family is of German origin, and John Trees was born in Pennsylvania, 
where his forebears had settled in the early daj'S of the settlement of the 
Keystone State. He was a pioneer settler in Clermont county, Ohio, and 
died on the farm which he cleared from the wilderness in the Buckeye 
State. His wife, Nanc_y ( Hodges) Trees, mother of Andrew Jackson 
Trees, was born in North Carolina, migrated with her parents to Ohio, 
there married, and died February 2, 1877, in her ninetieth year. John 
Trees was born March 19, 1833, in Clermont county, Ohio, and died at 
riage of John and Nancy Trees occurred August 5, 1806. The Hodges 
family is an old American family, and it will thus be seen that Andre\^■ 
Jackson Trees was a product of sturd}- German and pure American 

Andrew Jackson Trees was reared to the life of a farmer on the 
famil)' homestead in Clermont county, Ohio, and immigrated to Kansas 
in 1872. He settled on 160 acres of land in Walnut township. Brown 
county, which he developed into a fine farm. Mr. Trees prospered and 


owned considerable land, which he divided among his children prior to 
his retirement to a home in Sabetha in 1886. His demise occurred in 
Sabetha, May ir, 1914. His was an upright and honorable life, filled 
with hard work and good deeds; he was a kind husband and father, and 
did well by his children. 

The marriage of Andrew Jackson Trees and Frances A. Brown oc- 
curred in Clermont county, Ohio, November 9, 1854. Frances A. (Brown) 
Trees was born March 19. 1833, i^i Clermont county, Ohio, and died at 
Sabetha, Monday, August 7, 1916. She was a daughter of John and 
Sarah (Brannen) Brown. John Brown, father of Mrs. Trees, was born 
in Yorkshire, England, in 1801, and learned the trade of cabinet maker. 
After his immigration to America, he followed farming in Clermont 
count}', -Ohio, where his marriage with Sarah Brannen occurred, July 
I, 1832, near the town of His wife, Sarah, was of Irish de- 
scent, and bore him eight children. John Brown died in Cincinnati, 
Ohio, in 1851 ; Sarah Brown was born in Kentucky in 181 1, and died 
in 1876. 

Nine children were born to Andrew Jackson and Frances A. Trees, 
five of whom died in infancy. The four living children are: Mrs. Sarah 
R. Ashley, living on a farm in Nemaha county ; Miss A'lattie Trees, 
Sabetha, Kans. ; Elizabeth, wife of J. F. Lukert, Sabetha,' Kans. ; (see 
biography of J. F. Lukert) ; John, a farmer living one mile south of 
Sabetha. ' 

Miss Mattie Trees, who is living at the family home in Sabetha, 
was born September 24, i860, in Clermont county, Ohio, and attended 
the district schools of Ohio and Brown county, Kansas, until she was 
sixteen years of age. She then began teaching in district No. 20, of Rock 
Creek township, Nemaha county, and taught in the district schools for 
six years. She also taught the Spring Grove school and spent six years 
in the school rooms of Brown county. In 1889, she began teaching the 
fifth and sixth grades of the Sabetha schools, and worked her way up- 
ward to a high school position. She retired from her profession in 1906, 
and has since devoted her attention to the care of her parents and look- 
ing after her property interests, which are considerable, and include 
Sabetha property and 280 acres of land in Brown and Nemaha counties. 
For a more extended account of the great educational work accom- 
plished by Miss Trees in behalf of the youth of Nemaha county, the 
reader is referred to the chapter on 'JSchools and Education." 

Joseph J. Buser. — The business success achieved by Joseph J. 
Buser, manager of the Buser Auto Company, Seneca, Kans., is a strik- 
ing illustration of what can be accomplished by the individual who 
sees opportunity in his home community, and is able to grasji it and 
work his way upward to wealth and prestige. Mr. Buser is a native 
born Kansan, and is a son of pioneer settlers in Nemaha county. Few 
were the luxuries and even comforts of his boyhood; schooled in the 
hard life of the frontier era of Kansas development which enabled him 


to build up a magnificent physique ; broadened by practical experience, 
he is one of the leading figures of Nemaha county, because of his ac- 
complishments and citizenship. 

Joseph J. Buser was born on a pioneer farm in Capioma township, 
Nemaha county, February 5, 1869, and is a son of Peter and Mary Eliz- 
abeth (Wempe) Buser. Peter Buser, his father, was born in the city 
of St. Louis, September 27, 1839, and was a son of Peter and Cath- 
arine Buser, natives of Germany, who immigrated to America and set- 
tled in St. Louis, Mo., in the thirties. Peter Buser, the grandfather, 
lost his life by accident in 1869. His widow married a Mr. Burns, who 
lived in southwestern Illinois until their removal to Nemaha county, 
Kansas in 1875. Both died in this county. Peter Buser removed with 
his family to Nemaha county, Kansas, in 1867, and purchased a half 
section of land in Capioma township for $2,000. He developed his large 
farm, and was an extensive breeder and feeder of hogs. He prospered 
until his untimeh^ death at Sabetha, Kans. His death was caused by 
a runaway team on the streets of Sabetha. March 24, 1885. 

Peter Buser was twice married, his first wife being a Miss Cart}^ 
who bore him one child, namely : Mrs. Catharine A¥ahlmeier, of Jen- 
nings, Kans., who was born February 16, 1863, at Mud Creek, 111. His 
second marriage took place August 22, 1865, at St. Labora, 111., with 
Mary Elizabeth Wempe, and this union was blessed with the following 
children : Mary, born February 14, 1867, at Mud Creek, 111., and mar- 
ried June 6, 1889, in Capioma township to Antone Wahlmeier; Joseph 
John, the subject of this review; Peter Paul, born January 25, 1871, in 
Capioma township, married November 23, 1893, to Mary Fox, and is a 
partner in the Buser Auto Company ; Anton F., born November 20, 
1872, married at Marysville, Kans., November 29, 1905, to Katie 
Schmidt, and is engaged in the oil business at Wichita, Kans. ; Clement 
A., born January 2, 1875, married to Anna Stein, May 8, 1900, at Sen- 
eca, Kans., and is associated with the Buser Auto Company ; John B., 
born March 30, 1877, and is engaged in business with his brother, 
Anton, at Wichita : Henry J., born July 14, 1879, married at Axtell, 
Kans., to Libbie Byrne, engaged in the oil business at Wichita ; Mrs. 
Elizabeth Rochel, born November 28, 1881, married January 26, 1904, 
at Capioma, and is residing on a farm in Capioma township ; Dan G., 
born February 19, 1884, married at Germantown, Kans., June 6, 1905, 
to Ida Wintersheet, and is engaged in the oil business at Halstead, 
Kans. The mother of these children was born at Tentopolis, 111., 
December 19, 1845, and died in Capioma township, December 4, 191 1. 
She was a daughter of Herman Henry Wempe, a native of Germany. 
(See history of the Wempe family under the biography of Anton 

Joseph J. Buser lived on the home farm, and assisted in the culti- 
vation of the family estate until he engaged in the general merchand- 
ise business for his mother at Fidelity, Kans., in the spring of 1892. On 


May I, 1895, he came to Seneca, Kans., and bought a half interest with 
Hon. Andrew J. Felt in a bakery business. This partnership continued 
until the fall of 1896, when he purchased his partner's interest, and 
conducted the bakery business alone for some time, then consolidated 
with Christ Schmitt and John Meinberg. This partnership continued 
until the spring of 1897 when Mr. Buser sold his interest in the bakery 
to Schmitt and Meinberg. In the fall of 1897, he started the Leader 
dry goods store in the Stein building, with a stock of goods valued at 
$2,800. In the fall of 1904, he engaged in the clothing business and 
started a clothing store in the Ford building with Ben J. Stein as man- 
ager. In the fall of igo6, Mr. Buser purchased the general store of P. 
L. Gibson at Denton, Kans., and operated this store for four months, 
and then sold the business to Buser and Stein. During that same fall, 
he sold his clothing store for $14,000, but continued as owner of the 
Leader store until December 8, 1905, at which time he sold this estab- 
lishment to C. R. Bricker for $14,450. In the spring of 1907, he pur- 
chased the Westhoff stock of goods and moved it to the old Leader 
building, which he owns. October 25, 191 1, he again sold the Leader 
store to Honeywell and Stein for $24,000. January 12, 1912, he pur- 
chased the garage, formerly operated by George Adams. Some time 
later, he took in his brother, Clement A., as a partner in the business. 
The concern is now known as the Buser Auto Company. They handle 
the well known and standard makes of automobiles such as the Oak- 
land, Hudson, Dodge Bros., and the Maxwell. The garage building 
is a substantial brick structure 44x100 feet in dimensions, and is requires 
a considerable staff to care for the extensive business carried on by 
this enterprising firm. 

In addition to his automobile business, Mr. Buser is a large land 
owner, his holdings being located in western Kansas ; he is a share- 
holder and a director of the First National and State Savings Banks in 
Seneca. In October of 1912, Mr. Buser, J. E. Stillwell, and L. D. Allen, 
and Peter P. Stein purchased the controlling interest, formerly owned 
by Jacob E. Cohen in the First National Bank of Seneca. Mr. Buser is 
proprietor of the local opera house, and owns several business buildings 
on the Main street of Seneca, besides residence properties in the city. 
He is one of the substantial and wealthy men of Nemaha county. 

Mr. Buser was married, May 28, 1885, by Rev. P. Boniface, O. S. 
B., at Seneca, Kans. to Katie E. Stein, born May 13, 1870 in Seneca, a 
daughter of Mathias and Elizabeth Stein. (See biography of Peter 
P. Stein.) 

Mr. Buser has taken a more or less active part in Democratic poli- 
tics, and is one of the "wheel horses" of his party in Nemaha county. 
He was a candidate for the office of county commissioner in 1913, and 
made a strong race for the office. He and Mrs. Buser are members of 
Sts. Peter and" Paul's Church, and are liberal contributors and supporters 
of this denomination. Mr. Buser is a charter member of the Knights 


of Columbus and the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association. Prob- 
ably no citizen of Nemaha county is better known or more highly 
esteemed for his many excellent qualities, genial disposition and uni- 
versal kindness than the gentleman, of whom this brief review is writ- 
ten. His career is a living epitome of what a single ambitious citizen 
can accomplish in his home community if the right effort is put forth. 
Joseph J. Buser did not look beyond the borders of his home county 
for opportunity, such as many are wont to do — he found it awaiting 
him right at home — and took advantage of his opportunity with a keen- 
ness of percejition and the necessary energy and ability to make good 

John McManis. — Civic pride and good management is evident in the 
conduct of municipal affairs at Goff, Kans., the third largest city of 
Nemaha county. The citizens of Goff are enterprising, industrious, and 
are imbued with that pull together spirit which goes a great way in 
making a substantial municipality. In such a community one can 
naturally expect to find a wide awake and hustling executive who has 
the best interests of his city at heart. Goff is fortunate in having as 
mayor. John McManis, manager of the Goff Grain Company, a business 
man who finds time to devote his attention to civic affairs in his home 
city, and is an excellent city official. 

John McManis was born at Lamoille, 111., August 31, 1873, and is 
a son of Hugh and Elizabeth (Hedge) McManis, who were the parents 
of four sons and six daughters. Hugh McManis, the father of John, 
was born at Kempville, Canada, February 20, 1845, ^nd died at his home 
west of Lamoille, 111., May 9, 1906. He immigrated to Illinois when 
a mere lad with his mother, who first located at La Salle, 111., and later 
made a home at Lamoille. When the Civil war broke out, he proved his 
loyalty to the L'nion by enlising, August 25, 1861, as a volunteer soldier 
in Company B, Fifty-second Illinois infantry, and served throughout 
the war, and was given an honorable discharge when his company was 
mustered out, July 6, 1865. The command to which Mr. McManis be- 
longed was assigned to duty with the western army, and the famous 
battles in which it was engaged are recorded in history. Company B 
took part in the famous "March to the Sea" under General Sherman. 
He returned home after his war service and settled down to peaceful 
pursuits. On April 15, 1868, he was united in marriage with Miss Eliza- 
beth Hedge. Of the ten children born to this union, nine are living, as 
follows: Mary, Nellie, Frank, Bessie, Lucile and Catherine, Mrs. 
Thomas Huffman, living on a farm near Erie, 111. : John, with whom this 
review is. directly concerned: James, an engineer by profession, located 
at St. Paul, Minn. Mrs. McManis, mother of John' was born at La- 
moille, 111., in 1850, and resides on the old home place in Bureau count}', 

John McManis was reared on the farm and attended the public 
schools of Lamoille, 111. On December i. 1893, h^ began working for 
a grain elevator concern at Whiting, Kans. Six years later (1899), he 

Mayor oi Goff, Kansas. 


came to Goff and became manager of the Goff Grain Company, in 
which concern he is a stockholder. Mr. McManis has prospered in 
Kansas, and besides his business interests he has property in Goff and 
owns 160 acres of farm land in Thomas county, Kansas. 

He was married in 1903 to Miss Grace Berridge, born at Goff in 

1881, and a daughter of Henry and Anna (Hopkins) Berridge, who 
were early pioneer settlers of Nemaha county, her father following the 
trade of stone mason at Goff for some years. Three children have been 
born to John McManis and wife as follows: Geraldine, Helen and Mar- 

Mr. McManis is a Republican in politics and is one of the leaders 
of his party in Nemaha county. He has twice been elected mayor of 
Goff. the first time in 1904, and during his term as mayor the cement 
walks were laid on the city streets. He was again elected to the office 
in 191 5, and is also serving as township treasurer of Harrison township. 
During his last administration Goff citizens installed an electric lighting 
system. He is affiliated fraternally with the Independent Order of Odd 

Burnett G. Firstenberger is one of the youngest bankers of north- 
ern Kansas, and is the youngest banker in Seneca at the present time. 
His success has been marked and he has shown capabilities for bank- 
ing, and ability for handling financial matters which have placed him 
in the front rank of banking men in his section of Kansas. 

Mr. Firstenberger was born in Seneca, Kans., May 22, 1886, and is 
a son of George and Jennie (Lount) Firstenberger. George Firsten- 
berger, his father, was born at Gallon, Ohio, in i860, and is a son of 
Christopher and Barbara (Ziegler) Firstenberger, natives of Germany, 
who emigrated from their native land to Am.erica in 1850, settling in 
Ohio where Christopher followed his trade of shoe maker. Christopher 
Firstenberger enlisted in an Ohio infantry regiment during the Civil 
war, and served his adopted country bravely and well. He and his wife 
died in Ohio. George Firstenberger began his career as a clerk in a 
dry goods store in his home town of Gallon, and remained there until 

1882, when he came to Seneca, and took a position with his brother in 
the dry goods store. He followed his vocation of salesman until his 
retirement in 1912, and is now making his home with his daughter and 
son in Seneca. Four children Avere born to George and Jennie Firsten- 
berger. as follows: Lount, deceased; Burnett G., subject of this review: 
Mildred, born April 20, 1888, housekeeper for her father and brother; 
Doris, deceased. The mother of these children was born at Barrie. 
Ontario, Canada, in 1861, and was a daughter of Gabriel and Harriet 
(Burnett) Lount, natives of Canada. Harriet Burnett was a daughter 
of Aaron and Hannah (Plaxton) Burnett, natives of Kent and York- 
shire, England, who immigrated to Canada. Aaron Burnett came to Sen- 
eca, Kans., from Canada in 1870, and engaged in the lumber business at a 
time when Seneca was but a small village. He died here in 1891 at the 



age of seventy-one years. His wife, Hannah, was born in Yorkshire, 
England, in 1820, and died in 1902. Their daughter, Harriet, wife of 
Gabriel Lount, is also deceased. Jennie E. ( Lount) Firstenberger came to 
Seneca with her mother in 1870, and died in 1898. She was educated in 
Bethany College, Topeka, Kans., and was well versed in music. 

Burnett G. Firstenberger was educated in the public schools of 
Seneca and the high school of Sacramento, Cal., where he made his home 
with his grandmother for one year, after which he returned to his home 
in Seneca. His first work was as carpenter's helper, but he was soon after 
employed as bookkeeper in the First National Bank of Seneca. He was 
ambitious to advance himself and was willing to study; acting upon 
this resolve, he pursued a special course in abnking and banking law, 
thus fitting himself for the post of cashier of the State Savings Bank, 
which position was tendered him in 191 1. 

Mr. Firstenberger is a Democrat in politics and is at present treas- 
urer of the city board of education. He is a member and clerk of the 
Congregational church. 

Horace M. Baldwin. — The legal profession is one of the oldest of 
the learned arts and offers a vast field for advancement to the ambitious 
disciple of the law creeds. A knowledge of law nowadays is indispen- 
sible to the business or financial man ; and a reall}^ able, conscientious 
and capable attorney is certain of recognition and the security of a com- 
petence. A leading member of the Nemaha county bar is Horace M. 
Baldwin, county attorney, Seneca, Kans. Mainly through his own efforts 
and the development of inherent ability, combined with a profound knowl- 
edge of the law has resulted in Mr. Baldwin taking front rank among 
the attorneys of northern Kansas. 

Horace M. Baldwin was born at Monmouth, 111., October 29, 1859, 
and is a son of John H. and Anna (McKeowen) Baldwin, who were the 
parents of five children, as follows : Carrie, at Monmouth, 111. ; Horace 
M., with whom this review is directly concerned ; Mrs. Mary Mixner, 
Bridgeton, N. J. ; Wilbur, deceased ; Elbert, deceased. John Baldwin 
was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, in 1829, and learned the 
trade of mason in his youth. He was a son of Johnson and Hannah 
(Speakman) Baldwin, natives of Pennsylvania, who were tillers of the 
soil. The Speakman family is of old Quaker stock, whose origin in 
America began with the advent of the William Penn colony at Phila- 
delphia in 1682. John Baldwin migrated from his native heath to Illi- 
nois in 1850 and worked at his trade of mason until his retirement to a 
comfortable home in Monmouth, in 1914. He became an extensive con- 
tractor and worked at his vocation until he was past four score and five 
years of age — a remarkable record. Mrs. Anna (McKeowen) Baldwin, 
mother of Horace M. Baldwin, was born in Union county, Pennsylvania, 
and Vv^as a daughter of Daniel McKeowen, whose wife was a Bogart, 
and both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania and early settlers in 


Horace M. Baldwin attended the public schools of Monmouth, 111., 
and in 1876 matriculated at Monmouth College, graduating from this 
institution in 1880 with the Bachelor's degree, and later receiving the 
degree of Master of Arts. He taught for one year in the district schools 
of his native county, and then went to Chicago, where he was employed 
by the Rissler & Reitz wholesale saddlery company for one year. He 
then returned home and began the study of law in the office of Stewart 
& Grier, and was eventually admitted to the bar and came west to At- 
chison, Kans., where he opened an office with a law partner, the fi