A history of Meade County, Kansas

In presenting this History of Meade County to the public I am timidly conscious that it will meet the full approval of none. In the preparation of this work I have talked with five hundred people, and received five hundred suggestions as to what the book should contain. Being anxious to please, but realizing my inability to carry out the ideas of the many well-meaning people and confine the work to one volume, I have discarded much that is interesting, but it has been my intention to include all that is important or valuable.

The personal experience of every old settler would be interesting reading; the achievements of those who settled upon the frontier in the days "that tried men's souls," who battled with the elements, subdued the wilderness and made the desert fruitful, is a story worthy of the mightiest pen; the exploits of "Hoodoo" Brown, the activities of George DeCow, the eccentricities of Pat Mulligan, the unconscious humor of Pete Hotz, the martial dignity of Captain Osgood, and the characteristics, freaks and foibles of many others who might be mentioned, would, if properly preserved, afford a source of never-ending amusement and entertainment; but it would not be history.

The inside history of county politics as the game was played in former days, the plans and schemes, the plots and counter plots, the maneuvers by which tricks were taken and lost, would read like a story by George Randolph Chester, hut I could not go into these matters without violating the confidence of such eminently good fellows as Bob Painter, Doug: Adams, Fred Pick, Tom Johnston. Frank Fuhr, Mose Black, Fred Judd, el al., and the public would certainly not expect me to do that.


Table of Contents

Foreword 7
Acquisition 13
General History 18
Cities 26
Political 44
Banks 61
Newspapers 68
Churches 72
Public Schools 77
Fraternal Organizations 78
Bonded Indebtedness 81
Highways and Bridges 84
Automobiles 89
The Court House 92
The Salt Well 96
Farm Statistics lO3
The Old Calaboose 131
Biographical 139


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In the early days of discovery, exploration and settlement, three European nations, England, France, and Spain, claimed the territory out of which Meade County was finally carved. Basing its claims upon the explorations of the Cabots and others, in 1606 the English Crown granted to the London Company and to the Plymouth Company that vast area of land lying between the 34th and 45th parallels of latitude and extending from ocean to ocean. The English made no attempt to explore the country so far inland, and their claims upon this territory were early abandoned.