History of Butler County, Kansas
The contributors to this work, the historians, are men and women, writing from personal knowledge, personal observation, and personal experience; those that have made, created, and assisted in making and creating" that of which they write. That they are wise and gifted and endowed with, and possessed of both eye and soul, is a self-evident fact; and the reader will be convinced that they speak that which they do know. This history being based upon such evidence, which becomes the best evidence attainable, its reliability, its perfection, and its authenticity, are assured.
The history of Butler county is the history of an empire. While many of those pioneers of early days have taken their chamber in the silent halls of death, have gone to that country from whose bourne no traveler hath ever yet returned, yet a goodly number remain among us; ripe in years, experience and information. From them we learn of those whose brain and brawn laid, and assisted in laying the foundation of what is today a county. "Magnificent in its greatness and great in its magnificence" — a county with a diversity of interests and resources practically unlimited; a county where school houses and church spires are always in sight; a county whose people are happy, contented and prosperous, possessed of refinement and culture, attained unto an intellectual level; and equipped to meet the broader view and higher purpose of the civilized world.
As we contemplate the results of the efforts of these hardy, earnest early settlers, and realize the wonderful transformation by reason thereof, and as we enjoy the fruits and benefits of their labors, their toil, their hardships, their sacrifices, our hearts go out in thankfulness to Almighty God for that American spirit possessed by our ancestry, which battles, builds, creates, and makes two blades of grass grow where but one grew before.
The reminiscences of these pioneers form a most essential, valuable and interesting portion of this work. There is nothing mythical or legendary contained in them. They are not dream stories, but reliable and authentic stories of the men and women, boys and girls of early days. Their romances, their trials, tribulations and triumphs. They who stayed, who endured, who conquered, who are entitled to, and who will receive greater things in the days to come.
Grateful acknowledgment is hereby made to the press of Butler county, and to those whose kindness of heart and whose ready pen have rendered material assistance in the preparation of this work; and to those pioneer men and women whose lives and experiences make this history possible, a great many of whom are no longer here, but whose memory remains like unto a benediction; and to my daughter. Corah Adelaide Mooney, for her efficient help.
Table of Contents
FIRST EVENTS... 47-53
COUNTY SEAT AND COURT HOUSE... 54-62
INDIAN HISTORY AND EARLY TIMES... 63-74
PERMANENT SETTLEMENT... 75-85
TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS... 95-119
TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS. (Continued.)... 120-152
TOWNSHIPS. CITIES AND TOWNS. (Continued.)... 153-170
TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS. (Continued.)... 171-192
TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS. (Continued.)... 193-214
TOWNSHIPS, CITIES AND TOWNS. (Continued.)... 215-235
POLITICAL HISTORY... 236-249
COURTS AND THE BAR... 250-261
MEDICAL PROFESSION... 262-263
LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY... 271-274
OIL AND GAS... 281-284
BANKS AND BANKING... 285-291
TELEPHONE SYSTEM... 292-294
BUTLER COUNTY SCHOOLS... 295-300
THE PIONEER CHURCH... 301-303
FRATERNAL ORDERS AND LODGES... 304-313
WOMEN'S CLUBS... 314-317
REMINISCENCES, CONTINUED... 326-339
REMINISCENCES, CONTINUED... 340-358
REMINISCENCES, CONTINUED... 359-366
REMINISCENCES, CONTINUED... 367-378
REMINISCENCES, CONTINUED... 379-392
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Butler county was named in honor of Andrew P. Butler, for twelve years United States Senator from South Carolina.
Andrew Pickens Butler lived from 1796 to 1857. He was prominent in politics and an active worker for the cause of the South. He served in the Legislature in 1824, and was appointed judge of the circuit and supreme courts in 1833. In 1846, he was appointed United States Senator and served until his death. Senator Butler was attacked with great severity by Senator Sumner in his speech, "The Crime Against Kansas." Butler was absent from the Senate at the time, but Preston S. Brooks, a relative who was present, later mortally assaulted Sumner.
Senator Butler was a zealous advocate of the right of the South to introduce slavery into the Territory of Kansas. The naming of this county after an ardent southern sympathizer is an echo of the spirit of the times. Many of the counties of the original organization were similarly named, this being the Missouri influence working itself out in the "Bogus Legislature." Thus were named Davis, Wise, Lykins, Douglass, Jefferson, Calhoun, Bourbon, Breckinridge. Franklin. Weller, Anderson, Dorn, McGee and Godfrey counties. The names of some of these counties were changed in later years, while others still retain the original name, as does Butler county.
Butler, the largest county in area in Kansas, is located in the southern part of the State, east of the center, it being in the second tier of counties from the south line, and in the fifth tier west from the east line of the State.