History of Atchison County, Kansas

In the preparation and compilation of this history, no effort has been made to interpret the logic or spirit of events that surrounded the birth and progress of Atchison County. The work was undertaken with the idea of compiling a narrative plainly told, of the people and the institutions here. I was interested in putting in permanent form chronologically the events that have transpired in the past sixty years, that have made for the political, social, moral and commercial development of the county, but, had 1 realized in advance the many hours of labor and patient study it required, the work of completing the task in six months would not have been attempted. I am very deeply conscious of the imperfections of the completed work, but had there been more time for research and study, much might have been included that does not appear.

It would be ingratitude if no acknowledgment were made at the outset, of the obligation I am under to George J. Remsburg for the assistance he has rendered me. Without his unfailing courtesy, kindness and help I should never have been able to do the work at all. His ability as a local historian is truly marvelous. He wrote two chapters of the history and contributed most of the matter touching upon the founding of cities and towns. It is to be regretted that the condition of his health prevented him from undertaking the work which I have so imperfectly done.

Acknowledgment is also due George A. Root of the State Historical Society, who has rendered me invaluable assistance, and to the Atchison Daily Globe, from whose files I gathered much important data. Nor can I fail to give proper credit to Andreas' History of Kansas, from which a wealth of information has been secured. D. Anna Speer, county superintendent, collected for me most of the historical matter relative to the schools of the county and Professor Nathan T. Veatch was more than kind in preparing for me a sketch of the Atchison city schools.

And my dear mother, a loyal resident of Atchison since July, 1859. intimately identified with its history and growth for fifty-seven years, has visualized to me as no other could, the story of the early days. Remarkable as a mother, loved and adored by all her children, she is no less remarkable as a woman, stalwart, rugged and buoyant. She lived her young life with the pioneers of Atchison, and now in the fullness of her years she looks over the past, so full of pleasures, tribulations and sorrows, with gladness and resignation, and faces the future with a determined spirit and a brave heart. To the ministers of the various churches of Atchison and to Professor Erasmus Haworth and Charles H. Taylor, the county farm agent, and to many other good people of Atchison, I entertain sentiments of the deepest appreciation, and if any of them ever undertakes the work of writing a history, I shall gladly render them any service in my power.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I.
GEOLOGY... 17-20

CHAPTER II.
PRE-HISTORIC PERIOD... 21-24

CHAPTER III.
INDIAN HISTORY... 25-30

CHAPTER IV.
EARLY EXPLORATIONS... 31-36

CHAPTER V.
TERRITORIAL TIMES.. 37-63

CHAPTER VI.
ORGANIZATION OF COUNTY AND CITY OF ATCHISON... 64-83

CHAPTER VII.
TOWNS, PAST AND PRESENT... 84-128

CHAPTER VIII.
THE CIVIL WAR... 129-150

CHAPTER IX.
NAVIGATION... 151-157

CHAPTER X.
OVERLAND FREIGHTING... 158-173

CHAPTER XI.
RAILROADS... 174-185

CHAPTER XII.
REMINISCENCES OF EARLY PIONEERS... 186-212

CHAPTER XIII.
AGRICULTURE AND ITS DEVELOPMENT... 213-216

CHAPTER XIV.
THE PRESS... 217-233

CHAPTER XV.
BANKS AND BANKING... 234-244

CHAPTER XVI.
CHURCHES... 245-263

CHAPTER XVII.
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS... 266-292

CHAPTER XVIII.
BENCH AND BAR... 293-301

CHAPTER XIX.
MEDICAL PROFESSION... 302-310

CHAPTER XX.
INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL... 311-317

CHAPTER XXI.
PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND INSTITUTIONS... 318-327

CHAPTER XXII.
SOCIETIES AND LODGES... 328-333

CHAPTER XXIII.
THE AFRO-AMERICAN RACE... 334-344

CHAPTER XXIV.
OFFICIALS... 345-350

CHAPTER XXV.
BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY.

 

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The oldest citizens of Atchison county are the animals and plants whose fossil remains now lie buried in the solid rocks. These denizens of long ago, by their lives, made it possible for later and better citizens to live and flourish in the happy and contented homes of her best citizens of the present day. Long before man ever saw Atchison county long before man lived anywhere upon this earth, the seas swarmed with animal life and the dry lands supported a fauna and a flora substantially as great as those of the present time.

Tn character the animals and plants of those early days were very different from those of the present time. Almost all of their kind long ago became extinct. It is only the few who have living representatives anywhere in the world today, and they are degraded in form and size as though they had long outlived their usefulness. Some of the animals live in the waters of distant oceans, such as the brachiapods and other shell fish; the crinoids or sea lilies, and others of like character. On the dry land we find a few insects of the cockroach type and other creeping things which inhabit dark and damp places, animals of gloom on whose forms the sunshine of day rarely falls.