History of Reno County, Kansas

VOLUME I

All life and achievement is evolution; present wisdom comes from past experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past exertion and sacrifice. The deeds and motives of the men who have gone before have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities and states. The development of a new country was at once a task and a privilege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the present conditions of the people of Reno county, Kansas, with what they were fifty years ago. From a trackless area of virgin land, the comity has come to be a center of prosperity and civilization, with millions of wealth, system of railways, educational and religious institutions, varied industries and immense agricultural and dairy interests. Can any thinking person be insensible to the fascination of the study which discloses the aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid the foundation upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of later days? To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and record the social, religious, educational, political and industrial progress of the community from its first inception, is the function of the local historian. A sincere purpose to preserve facts and personal memoirs that are deserving of perpetuation, and which unite the present to the past, is the motive for the present publication. The publishers desire to extend their thanks to those who have so faithfully labored to this end. Thanks are also due to the citizens of Reno county for the uniform kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking, and for their many services rendered in the gaining of necessary information.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I EARLY EXPLORATIONS OF THE WEST 33
CHAPTER II PHYSICAL APPEARANCE AND EARLY CONDITIONS 42
CHAPTER III THE ARKANSAS RIVER AND OTHER STREAMS 45
CHAPTER IV THE OSAGE INDIANS 54
CHAPTER V THE BUFFALO 60
CHAPTER VI EARLY TRAILS ACROSS THE COUNTRY 67
CHAPTER VII BOUNDARY LINES 71
CHAPTER VIII THE EARLY SETTLERS 76
CHAPTER IX SOME FIRST THINGS 82
CHAPTER X A YEAR OF DISASTER 94
CHAPTER XI ORGANIZING THE COUNTY 98
CHAPTER XII TOWNSHIP ORGANIZATIONS 110
CHAPTER XIII POLITICAL PARTIES 124
CHAPTER XIV THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS 129
CHAPTER XV PROBATE JUDGES OF RENO COUNTY 135
CHAPTER XVI CLERKS OF THE DISTRICT COURT 142
CHAPTER XVII COUNTY CLERKS 146
CHAPTER XVIII COUNTY ATTORNEYS 151
CHAPTER XIX REGISTER OF DEEDS 156
CHAPTER XX SURVEYORS AND CORONERS 160
CHAPTER XXI REPRESENTATIVES AND STATE SENATORS 165
CHAPTER XXII SOME EARLY BOND ELECTIONS 172
CHAPTER XXIII BONDS OF THE COUNTY AND ITS SUBDIVISIONS 177
CHAPTER XXIV RENO COUNTY'S FINANCIAL MATTERS 181
CHAPTER XXV BUILDING THE MISSOURI PACIFIC 188
CHAPTER XXVI THE HUTCHINSON & SOUTHERN RAILROAD 193
CHAPTER XXVII EARLY FARMING 199
CHAPTER XXVIII RENO COUNTY FAIRS 206
CHAPTER XXIX THE GRAIN BUSINESS 211
CHAPTER XXX POSTOFFICES AND MAIL ROUTES 214
CHAPTER XXXI SCHOOLS, RENO COUNTY 225
CHAPTER XXXII NEWSPAPERS OF THE COUNTY 237
CHAPTER XXXIII FIRST CHURCHES IN THE COUNTY 243
CHAPTER XXXIV EARLY DOCTORS OF RENO COUNTY 247
CHAPTER XXXV BANKS OF RENO COUNTY 250
CHAPTER XXXVI THE RENO COUNTY BAR 254
CHAPTER XXXVII THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT 263
CHAPTER XXXVIII CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS IN RENO COUNTY 269
CHAPTER XXXIX STATE MILITIA COMPANY E 299
CHAPTER XL COMMUNITY MUSIC 306
CHAPTER XLI SMALLER TOWNS IN RENO COUNTY 310
CHAPTER XLII FORTY-FIVE YEARS IN RENO 316
CHAPTER XLIII THE BEGINNING OF HUTCHINSON 319
CHAPTER XLIV HUTCHINSON, A CITY OF THE THIRD CLASS 324
CHAPTER XLV HUTCHINSON, A CITY OF THE SECOND CLASS 336
CHAPTER XLVI HUTCHINSON AS A CITY OF THE FIRST CLASS 350
CHATTER XLVII THE SALT INDUSTRY 356
CHAPTER XLVIII BUILDING UP THE SALT INDUSTRY 366
CHAPTER XLIX LOCATING THE PACKING HOUSE 372
CHAPTER L SODA-ASH PLANT AND STRAWBOARD WORKS 377
CHAPTER LI THE SCHOOLS OF HUTCHINSON 381
CHAPTER LII THE Y. M. C. A. AND Y. M. C. A 486
CHAPTER LIII THE WEATHER 390

 

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VOLUME II

 

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The obtaining from France of the land known as the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803, met with the most violent opposition in the New England states. Even the Revolutionary War had failed to teach those who lived along the Atlantic coast the value of a wider national policy than that which they had been following. These segregated colonies had found that a closer union added greatly to their advantage in fact, had been their salvation in their early struggle with England. They had found it impossible to maintain themselves without the compact under which they obtained their independence. But when the war was over, the advantages of uniting to build a greater nation seemed to have no place in their minds. They wanted no larger union. They wanted no more states, unless it be by division of the thirteen original states. From the people of New England, particularly, came opposition to Jefferson and his expansion policy. They had no vision of empire such as had inspired France when she explored the territory of the West; when her missionaries were among the Indians with the Cross; when her frontiersmen were naming the streams and her hunters were becoming opulent in their fur and peltry trade. With singular shortsightedness, the Americans at that period hugged to their breasts their early patrimony. They had no desire for the possession of any land west of the Mississippi river. To the French their giving up of their dream of an empire on the American continent, that had inspired their statesmen, was one that only the exigencies could end. The condition of affairs in France made the sale of Louisiana a war necessity, not only for the money it brought to their treasury, but to keep the land from falling into the hands of their enemies as a prize of war.