History of Shawnee County, Kansas

The aim of the publishers of this volume has been to secure for the historical portion thereof full and accurate information respecting all subjects therein treated, and to present the data thus gathered in a clear and impartial manner. If, as is their hope, they have succeeded in this endeavor. the credit is mainly due to the diligent and exhaustive research of the editor of the historical statement. James L. King, of Topeka. In collecting and arranging the material which has entered into this history, it has been his aim to secure facts and to present them in an interesting form. His patient and conscientious labor in the compilation and presentation of the data is shown in the historical portion of this volume. The record gives an interesting description of the aboriginal inhabitants, the natural features and the early society of this section, the story of its settlement and a comprehensive account of the organization of Shawnee County and the city of Topeka, giving the leading events in the stages of their development and the growth of their industries to the present time, as set forth in the table of contents. All topics and occurrences are included that are essential to the usefulness of the history. Although the original purpose of the author was to limit the narrative to the close of 1904, he has deemed it proper to touch on many matters relating to the current year.

The reviews of resolute and strenuous lives, which make up the biographical department of the volume, and whose authorship is wholly independent of that of the history, are admirably adapted to foster local ties, to inculcate patriotism and to emphasize the rewards of industry, dominated by intelligent purpose. They constitute a most appropriate medium of perpetuating personal annals and will be of incalculable value to the descendants of those commemorated. They bring into bold relief careers of enterprise and thrift and make manifest valid claims to honorable distinction. If "Biography is the only true History," it is obviously the duty of men of the present time to preserve in this enduring form the story of their lives in order that their posterity may dwell on the successful struggles thus recorded, and profit by their example. These sketches, replete with stirring incidents and intense experiences, will naturally prove to most of the readers of this book its most attractive feature.

In the aggregate of personal memoirs thus collated will be found a vivid epitome of the growth of Shawnee County, which will fitly supplement the historical statement; for the development of the county is identified with that of the men and women to whom it is attributable. The publishers have endeavored in the preparation of the work to pass over no feature of it slightingly, but to give heed to the minutest details, and thus to invest it with a substantial accuracy which no other treatment would afford. The result has amply justified the care thus exercised, for in our belief no more reliable production, under the circumstances, could be laid before its readers.

We have given special prominence to the portraits of representative citizens, which appear throughout this volume, and believe they will prove a most interesting feature of the work. We have sought to illustrate the different spheres of industrial and professional achievements as conspicuously as possible. To those who have kindly interested themselves in the successful preparation of this work, and who have voluntarily contributed most useful information and data, we herewith tender our grateful acknowledgement.


Table of Contents

The Shawnee Indians in Kansas Various Treaties with the Tribe Indian Villages in the County Kaw and Pottawatomie Reservations The Kaw Half-Breeds and Their Descendants Scenes and Incidents of the Early Settlements 19-27

Organization of the County Township Divisions Physical Aspects of the County Rivers and Streams First Efforts in Agriculture Topeka and Tecumseh Contest for the County-Seat Territorial Elections, Judicial System, Roster of Senators, Representatives and County Officers First Land Transactions Bridging the Kansas River County Buildings Growth in Population Assessed Valuation, Live Stock and Farm Statistics Nursery and Creamery Industries Post Offices and Rural Delivery Routes A Prominent Landmark 28-43

History of the County by Townships The Pioneer Settlers Organization and Names of Townships Hardships of Frontier Life Historic Towns and Villages Dispossessing the Indians Missionary Labors Incidents of Home-Making and Agricultural Development 44-53

Continuation of Township History Sketches of Soldier, Tecumseh and Topeka Town- ships Names of the Early Settlers General Sherman's Pioneer Experience Rival Towns and Their Promoters Famous Farms and Their Owners Present Day Conditions 54-62

A Glance at the History of Kansas Early Expeditions Across the Plains The Slavery Contest The Struggle for Statehood Roster of Governors and United States Senators Population, Resources and Institutions of the State Business and Educational Statistics 63-72

Shawnee County in the Border Troubles John Brown and His Followers The Siege of Lawrence Foraging Upon the Enemy Gen. James H. Lane and the Free-State Cause John Ritchie's Arrest The Kansas Emigrant Route Enlistments in the Civil War Campaigns Against the Indians 73-83

Repelling the Price Raid Second Kansas State Militia Preparations for War in Topeka The Home Guards The Battle of the Blue Colonel Veale's Regiment in the Conflict Capt. Ross Burns and His Famous Battery The Gage Monument 84-91

Shawnee County and the War With Spain The Famous 20th Kansas Regiment Its Battles and Glory List of Dead and Wounded Enlistments and Service in Other Regiments Their Record in Cuba and Elsewhere Praise from President McKinley and Secretary of War The Colored Troops 92-100

State Officials from Shawnee County Record of Their Appointment, Election and Service United States Senators and Congressmen Federal Positions Filled Prominent Railroad Men The Press of Shawnee County Newspapers of Early Days List of Papers now Published- The Mortality Sheet 101-116

The Beginning of the City of Topeka A Farm Changed to a Town-Site Names of the Pioneers and Their Followers The Chase Cabin Organization of the Town Company Reminiscences of the Early Settlers The First Fire Description of the Country Marking the Site of the First Building 117-126

Dividing the Town-Site The First Survey Transactions in December, 1854 Title Acquired by Means of an Indian Warrant Claim Jumping, and Rival Town Organizations How Topeka Was Named, and Its Significance The Street and Avenue Plan Early Buildings and Schools 127-136

County-Seat Location Movements far the State Capital Locations at Fort Leavenworth, Shawnee Mission, Pawnee, Lecompton, Lawrence, Minneola and Topeka The Several Constitutional Conventions Free-State and Pro-Slavery Contests First State Legislature History and Description of the Finished Capitol 137-145

Drought of 1860 Depression Resulting from the War How the City Appeared in 1862 Prominent Business Firms and Professional Men The Growth from 1865 to 1870 Renewed Activity in Real Estate Transactions The Railroad Situation Wagon Routes from Topeka Association of Old Settlers 146-150

The Railway System Four Trunk Lines at Topeka Mills and Factories Commercial and Banking Institutions Public Utilities Finances of the City Parks and Resorts Assessed Valuation, Bonded Debt and Financial Resources Present City Officers and List of Former Mayors The Commercial Club 151-164

The Decade from 1880 to 1890 Results of the Boom Territory Added to the City Population for Fifty Years Immigration from the South Prohibitory Liquor Laws and Their Enforcement Early Work in Behalf of Temperance Activity of Women in Civic Affairs 165-173

Public Institutions and Buildings, Federal State and Municipal Post Office Locations and Postmasters City Hall and Auditorium Free Public Library Charitable Associations and Hospitals Halls and Opera Houses Prominent Hotels and Their History Political and Social Incidents The Topeka Cemeteries 174-188

Topeka's Educational Facilities Public Schools, Colleges and Other Institutions High School and Manual Training Departments The City's Churches and Their History Early Pastors and Those of the Present Time Religious Societies, Fraternal Orders and Club Organizations 189-206

The Disastrous Flood of 1903 Principal Events in North Topeka How the Sufferers Were Rescued Boats and Cables in Service Loss of Life and Damage to Property Systematic Relief Afforded Strange Experiences and Odd Incidents Major Harvey and His Salvage Corps North Topeka Restored 207-221

Brief Historical Notes of City and County Some of the First Happenings in Topeka Social, Literary and Musical Events Native Kansas in Shawnee County Commercial Features of Fifty Years Ago Accounts of an Early Flood Col. Richard J. Hinton's Reminiscences Two Morning Scenes in Topeka 222-237

Sketches of Representative Men of Shawnee County 243-628


Read the Book - Free

Download the Book - Free ( 30.9 MB PDF)

The Shawnee Indians, whose name was appropriately given to one of the counties of Kansas, comprised one of the tribes with which William Penn made his celebrated treaty in the year 1682. Penn described them at that time as being generally tall, straight, well-built, and of splendid proportions. They were graceful in their movements, walking erect and strong, and with a lofty chin. Their eyes were small and black, and their skins swarthy from exposure to sun and weather. In all respects they were typical Indians.