KanColl: The Kansas  
Historical Quarterlies

Kansas History as Published in the Press

August, 1947 (Vol. 14 No. 3), pages 325 to 335.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.

     A series of articles entitled, "The Birth of a State-This Month in Kansas History," by Cecil Howes, has been published in the Kansas Teacher, Topeka, continuously since January, 1942. Among recent articles of the series are: "Salt, An Important Resource of Kansas," January, 1946; "Ferries and Toll Bridges in Early Days," February; "Prairie Fires in Kansas," March; "Oil Discovery and Development," April; "The County Seat 'Wars,'" May; "Sappa Creek and Arickaree Massacres," September; "Prohibition in Kansas," October; "The First Industry [Milling] in Kansas," November; "State Aid Through Bounties," December; "The Traveling Library and Art Gallery," January, 1947; "Military Posts in Kansas," February; "The Planting of Trees in Kansas," March; "Territorial Days in Kansas," April, and "The Lewis and Clark Expedition," May.

     The story of the Daniel Sheridan cabin in present southeast Topeka which in the late 1850's served as a hideout for John Brown and slaves whom he assisted to freedom, was told in Capper's Weekly, Topeka, January 25, 1947. The cabin is owned by the John Brown Memorial Association of Shawnee County, Inc., an organization of Topeka citizens interested in preserving the cabin as a permanent John Brown shrine.

     Feature articles of general interest in the March, 1947, number of the Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, Lawrence, include: "Kansas Weather: 1946," by S. D. Flora; "Survey of the Fossil Vertebrates of Kansas; The Birds," by H. H. Lane; "Plains and Zuni Species of Prairie-Dog," by Theo. H. Scheffer; "Pupillidae of Northwestern Kansas," by Dorothea S. Franzen; "Birds Added To the Kansas Faunal List," by Arthur L. Goodrich; "Production of D. D. T.," by T. T. Castonguay and R. L. Ferm; "Composition of Forbs at Hays, Kansas," by Noel R. Runyon; "The Nutria in Kansas," by Donald F. Hoffmeister and Charles D. Kennedy; "Reptiles and Amphibians of S. E. Kansas," by H. H. Hall and H. M. Smith, and "The White-Tailed Jack Rabbit in Kansas," by H. Leo Brown.

     Pioneer life in Pawnee county in the late 1870's was recalled by Mrs. Martha Bixby Gates in articles printed in the Larned Chronoscope, March 6, 1947, and in The Daily Tiller and Toiler, March 14.



Mrs. Gates settled in Pawnee county with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. Delbert Bixby, in 1877. The family's first residence on their homestead, a sod house in Walnut township, was erected during a "building bee" at night. Mrs. Gates also recounted the beginnings of Prairie Home school district, No. 39. Reminiscences of Mrs. Harriet Broadbooks appeared in the Chronoscope, June 12, and in The Daily Tiller and Toiler, June 16. She settled near Pawnee Rock with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Payton, in the late 1870's. Payton operated an early day sorghum mill.

     Recollections of Grant Whitlock concerning the Neosho valley in eastern Labette county in the late 1860's were published in the McCune Herald, March 14, 1947. Whitlock said when his family settled on a claim in 1866, which his father had staked the year before, there was a camp of 300 Indians on the lake, a mile and a half south of Strauss, near what is now the Strauss and Oswego road.

     Biographical sketches of Ewing Herbert, co-publisher of the Hiawatha Daily World and The Brown County World, were printed in many Kansas newspapers following his death, March 15, 1947. Beginning as a printer on The Brown County World in the late 1870's at the age of 12, he was engaged in the newspaper business for 69 years. After serving as a journeyman printer in various cities he returned to Hiawatha and became associate editor of the World in 1887. He subsequently became manager and purchased the publication in the early 1890's. Herbert established the present Hiawatha Daily World on September 12, 1908.

     The Norcatur Dispatch continued its weekly historical feature in recent issues by publishing reminiscences of Decatur and Norton county pioneers as follows: Taylor McNeal, March 27, 1947; Byron Wray, April 3; P. T. Neal, April 10 and May 15; C. C. Andrews, April 17, 24, May 1 and 8. A historical sketch of Reager, a village in western Norton county, appeared in the May 22 and 29 issues. The Dispatch said it was named for William Wesley Reager, an early settler.

     Included among articles of historical interest to Kansans in recent issues of the Kansas City (Mo.) Star were: "Hoofprints of Kansas Buffalo Cause Shift in a Bridge-Building Project [Ellsworth county]," by Cecil Howes, April 1, 1947; "Southwest Kansas celebrates the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Santa Fe railroad,"


by Frank J. Shideler, April 13; "'Bike' Riders Who Began Good Roads for Kansas, Again Seek Recognition," by Cecil Howes, April 24; a sketch of the career of Walter A. Bowers, who has been named president of Utopia College, Eureka, by Paul Brownlee, May 4; "Prairie Dogs, Long a Rarity in Kansas, Revive as a Pest in Russell County," by Cecil Howes, May 10; a sketch of the career of Emmett Leo Kelly, a native of Sedan, one of the world's great clowns, May 11; an article on the career of Fred W. Stein, Atchison inventor, by Charles W. Graham, May 18, and "'Hoot' Burger, Fistic Hope, and the Dodge City Spirit," by Alvin S. McCoy, June 8. Historical articles by Cecil Howes in the Kansas City Times were: Minneola, Franklin county, was once a proposed capital of Kansas, April 17, 1947; a sketch of the career of Brig. Gen. Charles I. Martin, April 29; "Osage Mission a Century Ago," May 8; "Name Origins of Towns in Kansas," May 13; "Where Pawnees Raised the Flag," May 15; "A Spa Boom Swept Kansas," including a brief sketch of Merrill Springs, Osage county, May 17; "Fuel Problem of Kansas Pioneers," May 22; story of a Kansan who shipped himself home by express, May 24; "On Coronado's Trail in Kansas," May 29; "Creek and Town Names in Kansas," May 31; "British Settlers in Early Kansas," June 3, and "The Kaw River Highest in 1844," June 5.

     Eight graves in Boot Hill cemetery at Hays were uncovered April 3, 1947, by workmen excavating for a residence in the West Eighteenth street neighborhood. The bones will be reburied by the city in Mount Allen cemetery. Discovery of the graves was described in the Hays Daily News, April 3, and the Topeka Daily Capital, April 4.

     The career of one of the colorful figures of the Southwest ended April 4, 1947, with the death of H. B. "Ham" Bell, 93, at Dodge City, according to the Dodge City Daily Globe of April 4. Mr. Bell came to Kansas in 1872 and located at Great Bend. In 1874 he moved to Dodge City and a year later contracted to haul ties for the construction of the Santa Fe railway at Granada, Colo. Besides his farming and business career, he served for 36 years as a peace officer.

     Recollections of Orvoe M. Swartz concerning the route followed by government freighters between Fort Harker and Fort Zarah through northern Rice county following the Civil War, were printed in the Bushton News, April 10, 1947. Swartz was born in a sod


shanty on the Simeon Swartz homestead, on which a part of Bushton is now situated. The area in Rice and Ellsworth counties, adjacent to Bushton, was known as "The Plum Creek Flats." The flats, Swartz asserted, were on a line between Fort Harker and Fort Zarah. The Buckbee spring being a favored watering place, the government freighters followed a course north of Bushton about half way between the Bushton railroad depot and the Rice-Ellsworth county line.

     Construction of the Santa Fe railroad to Valley Falls 75 years ago was recalled in a sketch in the Valley Falls Vindicator, April 23, 1947. The article listed station agents as well as other employees who have served the railroad at that place.

     Titles of brief articles by Ida Bare, historian of the Protection Historical Society, printed in the Protection Post, include "Red Bluff," May 9 and 16, 1947, and "Protection, Its Name," May 23. Red Bluff was an early-day post office in Comanche county. Entries in the James W. Dappert diary for the period of December 1, 1885, to March 18, 1886, were published in the Post from February 21 to May 2, 1947. The Dappert diary also was published in the Wilmore News, March 7, 21, 28, April 18, 25, May 2, 9 and 16.

     The McPherson Daily Republican published a diamond jubilee edition on May 10, 1947, in connection with the city's three-day celebration, May 14-16, of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the staking out of the McPherson townsite. Subjects in the jubilee edition included: Location of the McPherson townsite, route of the Santa Fe trail through McPherson county, by W. J. Krehbiel; historical sketch of McPherson county seats and courthouse, county named in honor of Gen. James B. McPherson, by Ed Weilepp; chronologies of city and county; founding of McPherson college; building of railroads to McPherson, last buffalo hunt in McPherson county, by L. E. Lindell; early-day prairie fires, the campaign to move the state capitol to McPherson, the horse-car line, by Mark Anson; the kidnapping of Mrs. Bassett, historical sketches of the churches, by Mrs. H. A. (Jessie Hill) Rowland; early-day McPherson schools, by Edith I. Haight, and a historical sketch of the Daily Republican. Also printed in the edition were many early-day pictures and reminiscences of these early settlers: Mrs. T. J. Darrah, Mrs. Charles McGiffert, Ralph C. Weight, Joe Kubin, Lydia Martin Park, and Mrs. Christine Nordstrom. Reminiscences of Mrs. Nordstrom were also printed in the Marquette Tribune, April 10. A 24-


page booklet, Pioneer Days in McPherson, written by Mrs. H. A. (Jessie Hill) Rowland and published by the McPherson Junior Chamber of Commerce, was issued in connection with the jubilee.

     A centennial celebration in observance of the establishment of Osage mission in 1847 was held May 14-17, 1947, at St. Paul. Gov. Frank Carlson, one of the principal speakers, was inducted as an honorary member of the Osage Indian tribe. A 125-page volume, Osage Mission, edited by Mary Joyce and sponsored by St. Francis parish of St. Paul, was issued in connection with the centennial and contained historical sketches of both the mission and municipality of Osage Mission, which in 1895 was named St. Paul. The book was illustrated by drawings of early mission buildings and many views of the mission and community together with pictures of religious leaders and early residents of the community. Historical articles in the volume included these subjects: "The Jesuits at Osage Mission," "An Historical Sketch of the Lorettines in Southeastern Kansas," by Sister Lilliana Owens, S. L., the Passionist Fathers at St. Paul, a sketch concerning the Sisters of St. Joseph, the schools of Osage Mission, the beginnings of the town, first railroads, Neosho county-seat contests, banks, churches, and newspapers of Osage Mission and St. Paul, and rosters of mayors and postmasters. Articles on the religious orders and leaders who have served at Osage mission and St. Paul were printed in special issues of the St. Paul Journal, May 1 and 8. A historical sketch of Osage mission appeared in the Pittsburg Headlight, May 12. Views of the centennial celebration were published in the Parsons Sun, May 14, 16 and 17.

     The Merrill Springs hotel, a landmark near Carbondale, is being razed. The history of the 38-room frame structure, located adjacent to a medicinal springs, was sketched in the Topeka State Journal, May 16, 1947. The springs were used by the Indians in early days and later abandoned by them. The springs were rediscovered by M. D. Merrill, the article said. Kansas courtroom scenes of earlier decades were described by A. L. Shultz in an article, "Curtain Falls on Court Orator, Once-Great in County Seat Arena," which was printed in the State Journal, May 23.

     The building of Fort Mann, pioneer outpost on the Santa Fe trail near present Dodge City, and dealings with the Indians about Fort Atkinson were described by C. C. Isely in an article in the country edition of the Wichita Eagle, May 18, 1947. Isely locates the site


of Fort Mann as three miles west of Dodge City. Fort Mann was established by the army in the 1840's as a halfway station between Fort Leavenworth and Santa Fe. It was abandoned by 1850 and in the early 1850's Fort Atkinson was built on or near the same site, only to be abandoned two or three years later. Isely pointed out that various observations by early authors reported these forts east of the 100th meridian. This, he said, has raised the question whether or not the fort was east of Dodge City through which the meridian passes. "The apparent difficulty," Isely asserted, "is easily resolved by the fact that the western line of the Osage reservation, directed to be located on the 100th meridian. and still shown on all maps, was mislocated by the early surveyors a mile and a -half west of Fort Atkinson. The location of Fort Atkinson has been made more certain by J. P. McCollom who for twelve years owned the farm which included the site. While leveling the land for irrigation he found the outlines of the fort clearly defined by the slight elevation of the ground. The color and texture of the soil, the marked difference in the strip of wheat growing, the ashes frequently plowed up which must have been dumped beside the original wall, support his findings. More particularly, he located a wagon repair shop where a barrelful of wagon pieces were found." Isely said that Ed and Bud Riney and Tom Bell, who as boys played about the low mounds of the old fort walls, and F. A. Hobble, whose parents homesteaded nearby, all identify the site discovered by McCollom.

     Dodge City observed the seventy-fifth anniversary of its founding with a three-day jubilee celebration held on May 23, 24 and 25, 1947. The Santa Fe railroad was built to Dodge City in September, 1872, and the town was established the same year. Highlight of the celebration was an anniversary parade which included an oxteam and cart driven by Adley Sullivan of Guymon, Okla., and a buffalo and cart driven by James Brillhart of Perryton, Tex. Automobiles dating back to 1906 were in the procession. Rear Admiral John Gingrich, native of Dodge City, was a guest of honor and speaker. Other jubilee features were model airplane contests and an air show. A 56-page illustrated booklet was published by the Dodge City Chamber of Commerce in connection with the celebration. It contains early-day views of the community as well as pictures of present-day buildings. Historical feature articles published in the Dodge City Daily Globe were: "Dodge City Named For Army Officer at July, 1872, Meeting," May 20, and "History of


Famous Song [`Home on the Range'] Is Reviewed," by H. F. Schmidt, May 23. Other historical articles in the May 23 issue were: "Story of Historic Caches . . .," by C. C. Isely, and biographical information on Admiral Gingrich.

     Evidence in support of the belief that Coronado's journey to Quivira may have carried him as far north as the present Kansas-Nebraska boundary, was cited in A. Q. Miller's column in the Belleville Telescope, June 5, 1947. Miller also pointed out his belief that the Quivira village which Coronado found was the same Pawnee village that Pike visited in 1806. The site of the village is now marked by Pawnee State Park, near Republic.

     Florence observed its diamond jubilee on June 9, 1947, in celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of its incorporation as a city. It was named in honor of Florence Crawford, daughter of Gov. Samuel J. Crawford and the late wife of Sen. Arthur Capper. In connection with the jubilee the Florence Bulletin, on June 5, printed a number of historical sketches. The articles included stories of the first Fred Harvey hotel at Florence and the part the Santa Fe railroad played in the city's history, by Mrs. Margaret Irwin Haucke; a history of Florence, by Jereldine Jensen; a historical sketch of the Bulletin, rosters of Florence city officials from 1872 to 1946, and graduates of Florence High School from 1884 to 1946. A sketch of Florence, drawn in 1878, also was printed in the issue.

     "Bits o' History," a daily feature, was started in the Council Grove Republican, June 19, 1947. Contents of the column are taken from the writings of John Maloy, early-day lawyer and newspaperman. He was the father of Mrs. L. H. Brigham of Council Grove.

     Galena observed the seventieth anniversary of the incorporation of the city with a celebration June 19-21, 1947. Awards were made to old-timers and Mrs. Amy Ashworth, age 86, was declared the oldest resident. She has resided in the Galena community 83 years. Druzilla McGuire, second-oldest resident, has lived in the community 80 years. The Galena Sentinel-Times in its June 26 issue published a list of persons who have resided in Galena for 70 years and also the names of 60-year and 50-year residents. The Sentinel-Times published a historical sketch of the city, June 19.

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