[Note: At the end of this long narrative about James C. Topliff, I have given the information uncovered by RKW years ago about postmasters in Arkansas City. MAW]

James Clement Topliff was a very important and valued citizen of Arkansas City. To tell his story and the connection of his father, Samuel Topliff, Jr., with the Associated Press, is something he never divulged. His obituary, printed in 1922, does not mention it. I am giving a brief synopsis below.

            Samuel Topliff, Jr., Member of Associated Press.

James Clement Topliff’s father and mother were Samuel Topliff, Jr., and Jane Topliff. Samuel Topliff, Jr., was born in 1789 and died in 1864. He resided in Boston, Massachusetts.

On a black November night in 1811 young Samuel Topliff shoved his rowboat into Boston harbor to learn the cause of distant cannonading. He made this perilous trip while the guns of a British fleet were pounding away (the prelude to the War of 1812). Samuel Topliff’s venture was the first systematic attempt to get the news.

Samuel Topliff was an employee, and later, the owner of the reading room at the Exchange Coffee House, located on the second floor of that building, a seven-story structure in Boston, considered the nation’s tallest building in 1811. In those days news items for local weekly papers often came from Topliff’s “Merchant’s Reading Room.”

Historians of this time period agree that his Marine and General News-Book actually hindered development of a daily newspaper in Boston, by supplying its readers for a fee with information that otherwise would have been printed in a newspaper.

Topliff soon made his agency into one of the most famous sources of commercial news in the world. Here gathered the important Boston merchants of the day to hear the latest gossip of the sea and commodity prices and trends. In a way it was a Lloyds of London on a small scale.

In 1820 Topliff extended the Boston Harbour telegraph from Fort Independence to Long Island Head. Topliff used a mast with an arm and three black balls, while on a topmast was hoisted the private signal flag of the latest arrival in port. Topliff speeded up his news-gathering facilities by sending men down the harbor to interview captains and passengers. In Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast, it was noted that among the first to greet the arrival of the Alert was one of Topliff’s men, eager for news from the northwest coast.

Topliff’s activities and correspondence service “led directly to the press news-gathering associations organized during the 1840s,” which themselves led to the formation of a news-gathering organization, the Associated Press, which came into being in 1849.

Information about Samuel Topliff’s connection with the Associated Press can be found under the following:




Resident of This City For Half Century; Retired Four Years ago.

Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Thursday, November 23, 1922.

             [Editor, Publisher: Richard C. Howard.]

Arkansas City today mourns the loss of another one of her old time and most highly respected citizens in the death of James C. Topliff, who passed away early this morning at the family residence, Second street and Washington avenue. Mr. Topliff had been ill and unable to attend to business for about four years and death came as a relief to his suffering. He was one of the very early day settlers here and had been in years past, very prominent in city affairs. In the year 1880 he was appointed postmaster and served in that office for several years. For a number of years prior to his death he was in the real estate and insurance business here, and was known for many years as Arkansas City’s tax collector. In this line of business he collected the taxes on real estate here, which enabled the local citizens to pay in this city, instead of having to go to the county seat for this purpose.

Leaves Family Here.

Besides the wife, Mr. Topliff leaves two daughters here. The daughters are Mrs. F. A. Gould and Mrs. Fred Shea. The deceased was 84 years of age. He was for many years an officer in the First Presbyterian church, which church he helped to establish here, in the early days of the city.

Born in Boston.

James C. Topliff was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1838, son of Samuel and Jane Topliff. He was raised in his native state. He enlisted in 1862 in the Navy, attached to the Department of the Gulf squadron. He was commissioned in 1862 as Assistant Paymaster. He served two years, when he was discharged from the service on account of physical disability. He then returned to Boston, where he remained for one year, and then spent three years in Memphis, Tennessee, engaged as Assistant Assessor in the Internal Revenue service. He then went to Illinois, and after one year came to Kansas and located at Emporia. In 1872 [1870] he came to Cowley County and located a claim in Bolton township, where he spent two years in farming. In 1874 he moved to Arkansas City, and engaged in merchandising until 1880, when he was appointed postmaster. Later he was in the real estate and insurance business.

Was On City Council.

Mr. Topliff was a member of the city council in the 1880s. He also was one of the first members of the local Masonic order and belonged to the Fraternal Aid association. At the time of his death, he was an elder in the First Presbyterian church and was a former clerk of the session of that church.

Was a Great Walker.

Previous to his late illness he was known as a great walker and his life probably was prolonged for the reason that he always took plenty of outdoor exercise. Many of the present day citizens here will remember seeing Mr. Topliff walking to the Santa Fe station in the morning to mail letters, to the county seat, and other places, as he always preferred to place the letters on the train. It is said of him that before there was a railroad into this city, he used to walk to Winfield quite often, and on many occasions would refuse a ride to or from the county seat, when overtaken by someone who happened to be driving in the direction he was going.

J. C. Topliff was the last of his family; all his brothers and sisters having preceded him to the grave. He leaves two nephews, one in Boston, and the other one in Chicago, to mourn his loss, and Miss Virginia Clevenger, who was reared in this city by Mr. and Mrs. Topliff, who now resides in Kansas City. She has been notified of his death and is expected to come here for the funeral services.

Farmed For Two Years.

The farm on which Mr. Topliff settled and which he proved up on as a claim was located southeast of the city in East Bolton, near the present Denton farm. It is now known as the Curry farm. After residing on the farm for two years, he moved to the city and was in the retail business here for some time. In the city he was identified with the late A. A. Newman and other of the early days residents here in various lines of business. In fact, he had made this city his home for fifty years and was one of the most influential citizens of his day.

Married in 1885.

James Clement Topliff and Miss Virginia Walton were married on April 15, 1885, in New Brighton, Pennsylvania. She had been here on a visit, and later he went there where the marriage occurred at her home. To this union two daughters were born. The family has resided at the present home of the widow, 220 West Washington avenue, for many years.

In the death of J. C. Topliff, Arkansas City loses one of her best citizens and one whose memory will live long in the minds of the good people here.

Arrangements for the funeral services and burial had not been completed late today, for the reason that the family were awaiting to hear from relatives in Boston. It is known, however, that the services will be held in the First Presbyterian church and that Dr. W. M. Gardner, pastor of that church, will preach the sermon. Definite announcement in regard to the services will be made tomorrow.

           Funeral Notices.

Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Monday, November 27, 1922.

Funeral services for J. C. Topliff were held at the First Presbyterian church Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. Dr. W. M. Gardner was in charge of the services and the body was interred in Riverview cemetery. There was a large crowd of friends of the family in attendance at the services. Music was furnished by a quartet composed of Mrs. Walter Hutchison, Mrs. Guy Curfman, Mr. Curfman, and J. H. Dweelaard, and R. Otis Fowler sang the solo, “A Perfect Day,” with E. M. Druley at the organ.


A Letter from Helen Topliff Gould.

My father, James C. Topliff, was born in Boston in 1838. In 1858 he came West, then settled in Arkansas City in the early seventies. He roomed at the Theron [Theoron] Houghton home, as did also J. C. Loveland. Father was a mail carrier for many years.

In 1872 he bought a farm. The deed was recorded December 14, 1872, and patent two years later. Between Father’s farm and Bert Moore’s there ran a creek known as Topliff Creek. It is still so designated in the description of land today.

Virginia Walton came from Pennsylvania to teach school, and she lived with her sister, Mrs. Stacy Matlack. Mr. Matlack built the two-story brick building that carries his name on the southwest corner of Summit Street and Fifth Avenue. And so my father and my mother met and were married. Sister Sarah and I were the only children. Father and Mother started housekeeping in a small three-room cottage. For many years father was engaged in real estate and insurance. They were lifelong members of the Presbyterian Church.

RKW did some work on Gould/Topliff...

Helen Sharp Topliff Marriage to Frederick Allen Gould.

Samuel J. Gould was born April 15, 1808, at Maryville, Tennessee. He married Jane Maxwell in 1831. They had one child, Archibald Cowen (Cain) Gould, born June 15, 1835, at Maryville, Tennessee. He married Elizabeth Parker on April 4, 1861, at Palestine, Illinois; she died circa 1920 in Arkansas City. They had one child, Frederick Allen Gould, who married Helen Sharp Topliff at Arkansas City. They had two children: James Frederick “Bud” Gould and Elizabeth Houghton Gould.

James Frederick Gould, born April 15, 1917, at Arkansas City, Kansas, married Myrtle Imogene Gifford. They had two children and were living in Arizona in 1995.

Elizabeth Houghton Gould was born in 1915 at Arkansas City. She married Horatio Maunsell Richardson in January 1966. They had three children: Donald Alexander Richardson, Joel Michael Richardson, and Peter Gould Richardson.


The Creswell township census of 1873 lists J. C. Topliff, age 22, and unmarried.

The Bolton township census of 1876 lists J. C. Topliff, age 36 and unmarried.

The Arkansas City census of 1893 lists J. C. Topliff, age 54, and his wife Virginia, age 33.

James C. Topliff was born January 14, 1838, in Boston, Massachusetts. He died November 23, 1922, at 220 West Washington Avenue in Arkansas City, and is buried in Riverview cemetery, Arkansas City, Kansas.

His wife, Virginia Walton Topliff, was born Nov. 5, 1857 in Fallston, Maryland. She died September 1, 1951, at the Grant Nursing Home in Udall, Kansas. She is buried in Riverview cemetery, Arkansas City, Kansas.


Emporia News, July 30, 1869.

J. C. Topliff, of Aurora, Illinois, has been spending several days in town, looking for a business location.

Emporia News, September 17, 1869.

               NEW BUSINESS HOUSE.

We clip the following notice of a new business firm in this place from the Aurora (Illinois) Beacon.

“James C. Topliff, of the firm of Topliff & French of this city, returned last Monday from a trip to Southern Kansas, where he will soon return, and with his former partner, open a store at Emporia. He reports farming and business prospects looking extremely favorable now in that country. At Emporia they waited several weeks before getting a store, so great was the rush for places in which to open business. We wish the gentlemen every success in their new location.”

“Mr. Topliff returned a few days ago and informs us his stock of goods will be here in a week or two.”

Emporia News, October 8, 1869.

Messrs. French & Topliff are about to open the best stock of boots and shoes, hats and caps ever brought to Emporia. These gentlemen are enterprising businessmen, and notwithstanding the destruction of Gov. Eskridge’s building, which was being fitted up for their occupancy, and the delay in receiving goods, will be able to accommodate customers in a few days. They will occupy the room opposite the post office. It is their expectation to wholesale largely. Their goods have been bought of the manufacturers at the lowest, and they are able to say positively that they cannot be undersold, and that their goods cannot be equaled in quality or variety. It is a matter of congratulation and encouragement that we are to have such men amongst us, and we bespeak for them a generous patronage.

Emporia News, October 15, 1869.

TOPLIFF & FRENCH. The goods of the new firm have arrived and are opened for the present at the building lately occupied by Mr. Hughes, opposite the post office, on Commercial street. Their stock of boots, shoes, hats and caps is large, and embraces all the varieties kept in such an establishment. No one will fail to notice their new advertisement.



HAVE JUST OPENED THE LARGEST STOCK OF BOOTS, SHOES, HATS, CAPS, AND GENTS’ FURNISHING GOODS Ever brought to this market, which we have bought of Eastern manufacturers, and will sell at LOW PRICES, at WHOLESALE & RETAIL, FOR CASH. OPPOSITE THE POST OFFICE, Commercial Street, EMPORIA, KANSAS.

Emporia News, November 26, 1869.

Topliff & French, owing to their unexpected large trade, have been compelled to have more room; consequently they are, today, moving their stock of boots, shoes, etc., to the room lately occupied by Bay & Hall, which has been fitted up for them. This firm is agreeably disappointed in the amount of business done in Emporia, and their sales have been double what they expected. They will hereafter be found at the old stand of Bay & Hall.

Emporia News, December 3, 1869.

TOPLIFF & FRENCH. These gentlemen are now prepared to wait on customers in their new place of business, in the room formerly occupied by the firm of Bay & Hall. . . .

Emporia News, January 7, 1870.


A Glimpse of the Business of 1869.


P. J. Lehnhard, Topliff and French, and William Clapp are the firms in this trade. Messrs. Lehnhard and Clapp have manufactories in connection with their trade, and manufacture extensively. Many of the dry goods establishments keep these articles. No estimate given for sales during 1869.

Emporia News, January 7, 1870.

Topliff & French have closed out all their fur goods except a few ladies’ fur band hoods, collars, beaver top gloves and mitts, and gents’ fur caps, all of which they propose to sell at cost. Mr. Topliff will wait on all who wish to examine them.

Emporia News, June 24, 1870.

Topliff & French offer some special inducements to persons in need of anything in their line of boots and shoes. . . .

Emporia News, July 29, 1870.

Our young friend, J. C. Topliff, of the firm of Topliff & French, has been down at Wichita. He reports that property is looking up in that city, and that everybody are happy because they are prosperous. James, we fear you’ll be emigrating to that section one of these days. Don’t do it. We cannot spare you.

Emporia News, August 12, 1870.

CHANGE: The boot and shoe firm of Topliff & French has been dissolved. Mr. Topliff retires from the business, and Mr. J. M. Green, formerly of Massachusetts, unites with Mr. French under the firm name of French & Green. The new firm will occupy the fine room in the new building of Ruggles & Plumb, as soon as it is finished.

Emporia News, September 16, 1870.

J. C. Topliff, late of Topliff & French, in the shoe business, and J. L. Hamilton and E. Torrence, sprigs of the law, had their scalp-locks cut short, and with their pants in their boots, shaded by broad brimmed hats, in a two-mule wagon, with a mowing machine, departed day before yesterday for the great Southwest, to “make hay while the sun shines.” How they will roll up the hay cocks! We’ll call at your ranch, boys, the first opportunity.

Emporia News, October 7, 1870.

             FROM ARKANSAS CITY.

EDITORS NEWS: Possibly an item or two from our young city may not be entirely devoid of interest.

And first of all, I wish to correct one ridiculous rumor which has come down from Emporia—that the government survey has located Parker and Arkansas City in the Indian Territory. The fact is that no government survey has yet been made at all. Max Fawcett’s survey shows our town to be six or eight miles north of the line. There is not the slightest reason to believe the contrary. The report is pure nonsense,—a lie, manufactured out of whole cloth, probably through the jealousy of rival towns above.

Arkansas City is growing as no infant border town has grown before it. The forty-fourth in our list of residences and business houses went up yesterday, and many others are in progress. Business is brisk, and all sorts of improvements are in rapid progress.

Among our latest acquisitions is Mr. Topliff, of the well-known firm of Topliff & French. He comes here to commence an extensive livestock business.

The health of our town is something remarkable. The aguish month of September is drawing to a close, but we have had not a single case of ague yet, or any form of malarious fever, in a population of 250 people. This may partly be attributed to our elevated and breezy town site, and partly to the abundance of pure, soft water. The people living down upon the bottoms, and drinking river water have suffered as usual.

The recent heavy rains have somewhat dampened the operations of immigrants, but business and the work of improvement were never more brisk. Large enterprises are being hatched here, of which the world will hear in due season. H. B. N. [Norton]

Emporia News, November 11, 1870.


J. C. Topliff and a Mr. Penfield arrived here Thursday night from Arkansas City. In crossing the little creek near the Crocker farm, on the El Dorado road, their wagon was washed down, upset, and torn to pieces. The mules were only saved by cutting the harness to let them out. The gentlemen themselves came near being drowned. They lost their camp equipage, some clothing, revolvers, etc. They were in the water from two to three hours in saving their team, recovering their wagon, etc. There were several teamsters on the bank of the stream who refused assistance. The gentlemen thought the stream safe, as they had taken the precaution to ride a horse in before entering it with a wagon. It proved too swift for them to ford.

Emporia News, November 25, 1870.


James C. Topliff to W. D. Peyton, s w 1/4 sec 27, t 17, r 11, $750.


Winfield Messenger, July 12, 1872.

Board of County Commissioners met in Co. Clerk’s office in Winfield July 1st, 1872. Present: Frank Cox, O. C. Smith, and J. D. Maurer.

Proceeded to act on the following Road Petitions.

One of Topliff, granted with Strong Pepper, John Linton, and Isaac Shedder, as viewers.

Winfield Messenger, August 16, 1872.

Commissioners Proceedings.

           Winfield, Kansas, August 16th, 1872.

Board of County Commissioners met in County Clerk’s office, pursuant to adjournment. Present: Frank Cox, O. C. Smith, and J. D. Maurer. Petition of Charles Parker for County Road was presented and granted with the following viewers: Daniel Hunt, W. Thompson, and John Nichols. Time of survey August 26th, 1872. New viewers were appointed on the old petition of Topliff, consisting of John Linton, Isaac Shedder, and H. O. Ward; Time of survey August 27th, 1872, and also on the old petition of Tipton, of O. Howard, Frank Speers, and R. A. Thompson; time of survey Aug. 28th, 1872.


Winfield Messenger, September 20, 1872.

Report of viewers on the county road of Topliff was adopted and ordered opened across the range line (3) east.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 13, 1873.



MARCH 9TH, 1873.

Board met in county clerk’s office. Present: Frank Cox, O. C. Smith, and J. D. Maurer.

The following section line roads were ordered opened as per former petitions: One of T. H. Hart 50 ft. wide. J. C. Topliff, 50 ft. wide.

Petition of Frank Gallotti granted, with R. A. Thompson, J. C. Topliff, and O. C. Smith as viewers, to meet for survey March 31st, 1873.


Arkansas City Traveler, March 22, 1876.

The Centennial Concert, rendered at the First Church last Saturday evening, by the church choir, was attended by more than one hundred persons. The introduction was made by Rev. Fleming in a manner that did credit to himself and gave spirit to the audience. The musical efforts were of high standing, and attend­ed with success. The characters were interesting and somewhat comical. It struck us as a little funny to see Ethan Allen with his hair parted in the middle, and wearing white pants. George Washington, of the little hatchet fame, was introduced as the father of his country, and afterwards exhibited his skill on the organ in a manner that was “not so slow” for so aged a gentleman.

Mrs. Washington, the wife of George, and mother of her country, was attired in complete white.

William Penn, like other members of the company, looked aged enough in his hair. How they came to get William in reach of the Centennial year was more than we could solve, although he was brought forward as the grandfather of his country.

Widow Bedott was also represented, and recalled by the audience after singing the song given to her name.

Gen. Wayne bore the sword so dreaded by Russell Cowles.

Gov. Winthrop made himself useful during the early part of the evening as usher, as did Paul Revere; both finally retired to a more convenient place for inspection, and added to the group on the stage.

Mrs. Sipes, Mrs. Alexander, Mrs. C. R. Mitchell, and Mrs. Meigs occupied front seats, dressed in old style, and caused some merriment.

All in all, it was a good concert, and added one more evening of enjoyment to the eager public.

The characters represented were as follows.

Ethan Allen - Prof. Hulse.

George Washington - Will. Mowry.

Mrs. George Washington - Miss Sherburne.

William Penn - Luscious Norton.

Mrs. John Jay - Mrs. R. C. Haywood.

Mrs. Alexander Hamilton - Miss L. Norton.

Mrs. John Hancock - Mrs. Newman.

Widow Bedott - Mrs. L. C. Norton.

General Wayne - Frank Hutchinson.

Governor Winthrop - J. C. Topliff.

Paul Revere - Kendall Smith.

Arkansas City Traveler, May 24, 1876.

We have a specimen of wheat from J. C. Topliff’s farm four feet and nine inches high.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 16, 1876.

WANTED. Teams to plow 30 or 40 acres of ground. Inquire at farm 2½ miles southeast of town. J. C. TOPLIFF.


Arkansas City Traveler, September 6, 1876.

I notice that J. C. Topliff and John Brown have at some expense introduced fall barley, which has proved to be a grand success. That on the farm of the former was very nice, yielding nearly forty bushels to the acre, and without doubt, it would have gone sixty bushels if it had been sown early.


Winfield Courier, September 16, 1875.


This is to certify that we, whose names are hereto sub­scribed, do most heartily recommend for our next County Treasurer, FRANK GALLOTTI, who has for the last year and a half faithfully and satisfactorily performed the duties of said office while acting in the capacity of Deputy; and we do hereby further certify that his character during that time has been such as to fully entitle him to the recommendation. The records of said office kept by him, bears ample testimony of his capability and efficiency. We consider him well qualified to fulfill the duties of said office, and therefore cheerfully recommend him to the voters of Cowley County as well worth of their cordial support, and who, if elected, will most faithfully and systematically perform the duties of said office.

One of those who signed this petition: J. C. Topliff.


Winfield Courier, September 21, 1876. Editorial Page.

The following named gentlemen were selected members of county central committee.

One of those selected—Bolton: J. C. Topliff.

Winfield Courier, September 21, 1876.

Capt. Chenoweth, Frank Lorry, and J. C. Topliff represented the banner wheat raising township in the convention.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 27, 1876.

We learn that in almost every deposit of grasshopper eggs, a small worm is found destroying them. Mr. Wyard Gooch and J. C. Topliff report several examinations, resulting almost invariably in finding the presence of the worm. With the chances they will have to undergo in the spring of being killed by the cold rains, we think grasshoppers will be few next spring.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 4, 1876.

Choice Fall Barley may be had at Houghton & McLaughlin’s, Channell & Haywood’s, or of the undersigned, at $1.00 per bushel. Now is the time to sow. J. C. TOPLIFF.


Winfield Courier, October 26, 1876.

WELLINGTON, KANSAS, Oct. 11, 1876.


DEAR SIR: I see by the Traveler that its editor, C. M. Scott, is opposing your race for the Senate. This Scott is a thief, and you may charge him with being one, and give myself and Mr. Topliff, of Arkansas City, as witnesses. In 1870 the theft was committed in the city of Emporia. Mr. Scott stole goods from the clothing store of Topliff & French, and I was a witness to the settlement of the affair. Mr. Scott acknowledged the steal­ing of the goods to Messrs. Topliff & French and paid for them to save an arrest. If this statement is worth anything to you, you may use it. WILL NIXON.

Mr. Scott compels the COURIER to answer the attacks that the Traveler makes upon Mr. Manning, and then the COURIER must go to the Traveler’s readers through Mr. Scott’s hands at Arkansas City. We don’t know whether those COURIERS reach their intended destination or not. A man that will steal is not too good to destroy mail matter.



Arkansas City Traveler, November 1, 1876.

The attack we refer to is in the issue of the Courier of October 26, accusing us of “stealing goods from the clothing store of Topliff & French,” of Emporia, in 1870, for proof of which they publish a letter from one Will Nixon, of Wellington. The writer does not state what the goods were, but the figurehead of the Courier explains it as being a suit of clothes and an overcoat.

To begin with, this William Nixon is a low, drunken gambler, who would scarcely be believed under oath, and who, by his own statements, is guilty of and accountable for the death of his own brother. In the second place, Topliff & French never had a clothing store in Emporia, and the following statement, from the very authority to whom they refer, proves the charge wholly false, and an unmitigated and scandalous lie.

   ARKANSAS CITY, KANSAS, October 28, 1876.

Friend Scott: On my arrival in town this morning, my attention was called to a letter, signed by one Will Nixon, of Wellington, Kansas, accusing you of stealing goods from the store of Topliff & French in Emporia, in 1870, and that I had you settle to avoid arrest. Also, several insinuations in different parts of the Winfield Courier, “about your stealing clothes and an overcoat.”

Was it not by the urgent request of friends, I would take no notice of the affair, coming from the source it does. I have known you for about seven years. Part of the time in Emporia, and the balance from the first settlement of this place, and I can truly say that I have never seen the time when I doubted your honesty in the least, and have always held you in the highest esteem, and think more of you today than ever, especially when those that call themselves men, stoop to such mean, low, dirty tricks, to make party capital by assailing you.

Rest assured, that you have not lost any friends by any of these charges, have gained many, and the accusers will find that they have barked up the wrong tree. In the first place, I never kept clothing of any kind, while in Emporia, so you could not have had the chance to steal any, were you so disposed. Then again, I never had any grounds or intention of making an arrest.

The old saying is, “those that live in glass houses must not throw stones.” This will apply to Mr. Nixon. He must cast the beam out of his own eye first. Those that know both him and yourself can judge whose character will stand best before the public.

I knew him and some of those he was associated with in Emporia, and believe he would do most anything to damage your character. I would take no further notice of his accusations.

Your friend, JAMES C. TOPLIFF,

Late of Topliff & French, Emporia, Kansas.

Yet the letter of Mr. Nixon is sufficient to answer the purposes of Mr. Manning, who is always in accord with just such rascals, and has many of them for his tools and backers.

Winfield Courier, November 2, 1876.


The Traveler comes out this week and denies that its editor stole a suit of clothes and an over-coat from the firm of Topliff & French, of Emporia, in 1870.

Mr. Nixon, in his letter as published in last week’s COURIER, did not charge that Scott stole a suit of clothes and an over-coat, but he did say that “Scott stole goods from the clothing store of Topliff & French.” It matters not to us whether it was a full suit, a half-suit, or simply a cap, as explained by the Telegram. The principle is just the same. A man who would steal a cap would steal an entire suit, if he had the chance. Mr. Topliff, in his letter, says that their firm did not keep clothing. Very well, they kept boots, shoes, hats, and caps, though; and Mr. Topliff will remember that, about two years ago, he told a citizen of this place, who was then a resident of Arkansas City, and a particular friend of his, that he (Scott) did steal a cap from their store, as set forth in Nixon’s letter. If Mr. Topliff or Mr. Scott want the authority for this state­ment, they can have it. If he had stolen all the goods in Emporia, it wouldn’t have altered the character of the offense. The principle of the thing is what the “vagabonds” are looking at, and they do not want Mr. Scott to crawl out of it by hiding himself behind his charges against Mr. Manning. The “vagabonds” have a right to know the character of the prosecuting witness in this continued assault upon them and their friends. His attempt to prove that Nixon is unreliable, simply because he gambles—won’t work. That’s a knife that cuts both ways. We know of several prominent politicians of the Traveler stripe that gamble and race horses, and are still held in high esteem by the “pure and better element of the party.” It’s too thin, Scott, it won’t wash. Bring in another horse.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 8, 1876.

FOR SALE. One mule about 14 hands high, with harness; is a good worker, and in fine order; inquire of Houghton & McLaughlin or of myself, 2½ miles southeast of town.


Winfield Courier, November 9, 1876.

“MANSFIELD,” in the Courier, palms off “Bob Ingersoll’s” speech as his own original production. Traveler.

The doctor replies that if Scott had never “stolen” anything worse than an extract from Bob Ingersoll’s speech, he would not have gotten himself into trouble at Emporia. The Dr. lived in Emporia and knows all about Topliff & French’s store. He says that they did keep clothing, for they had an assortment of hats, caps, boots, shoes, and gent’s underwear, and that he has bought goods of them more than once. Scott has waked up the wrong passenger again.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 15, 1876.

On the outside of this issue will be found the letters of Messrs. Topliff and J. W. Hamilton, in refutation of the charges made against Mr. Scott by the Courier. It is a complete vindica­tion, and bears so decidedly the impress of truth that the ignominy and disgrace thus sought to be brought upon Mr. Scott reverts to the parties who for the purpose of attracting the voters atten­tion to themselves would bring into disgrace an honest man.

Cowley County Telegram.



Arkansas City Traveler, December 13, 1876.

               NEW ENGLAND KITCHEN.

Mrs. Mary Baker, Mrs. L. C. Norton, Mrs. I. H. Bonsall, Miss M. Houghton, Mr. T. H. McLaughlin, O. P. Houghton, Miss Bowers, Kate Hawkins, Miss Lizzie Ela, J. H. Sherburne, T. R. Houghton, Mr. Ela, J. C. Topliff.

Arkansas City Traveler, December 20, 1876.

HOUGHTON & McLAUGHLIN have again secured the services of JAMES C. TOPLIFF, to assist them in the store, as salesman and bookkeeper. Many friends of Mr. Topliff will be glad to have him back, to trade with.

Arkansas City Traveler, April 3, 1877.

In the race for Mayor last Monday, H. D. Kellogg received 72 votes, Major Sleeth 40, and Rev. Thompson 1.

For Police Judge, James Christian received 112 votes, and Rev. David Thompson 1.

For Councilmen, Jas. Benedict received 72, E. P. Farrar 72, Jas. I. Mitchell 72, H. Godehard 71, I. H. Bonsall 71, A. A. Newman 40, O. P. Houghton 40, E. D. Eddy 40, J. A. Loomis 40, Dr. J. T. Shepard 40, Rev. Wingar 1, Rev. Swarts 1, Rev. Will York 1, L. C. Norton 1, J. C. Topliff 3, Sherb Hunt 1.


Arkansas City Traveler, October 31, 1877.

The following committees have been chosen by the Ladies’ Sewing Society for their Thanksgiving Festival.


W. D. Mowry, J. C. Topliff, J. Sherburne, W. Stewart, Dr. Williams, Miss Pickett, Kate Hawkins, Angie Mantor, Dora Dixon, Mowry Bowers.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 7, 1877.

Mr. Topliff offers a valuable mule for sale at a bargain this week. See special notice column.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 7, 1877.

FOR SALE. One span of 4-year-old work mules, 14 hands high; one double-barreled shot gun, one feather bed. Will trade for cows. W. H. H. RATHBURN, On Topliff’s farm.

Arkansas City Traveler, February 6, 1878.

JAMES C. TOPLIFF is on his farm now, and will make large preparations for his summer’s work.


Arkansas City Traveler, February 13, 1878.

BOLTON, Feb. 9, 1878.

A meeting was called by J. M. Sample, Trustee, to meet at the Bland schoolhouse at one o’clock today, to take some action in regard to purchasing a site for a cemetery, to be owned by the township. Notwithstanding the weather was very stormy, quite a large number from middle Bolton and west Bolton turned out.

J. M. Sample was elected Chairman, and James C. Topliff, Secretary of the meeting. It was the opinion of all present that the township needed a cemetery of not less than five acres, and that the same be purchased if possible. If a location be decided on and the parties owning the land would not sell at a fair price, to condemn the land according to law, and go ahead and improve the place. Quite a number of locations were suggested and voted on, but all were defeated, and it was finally left to the Township Board to select a site as soon as possible, of not less than five acres, and as near the center of the township as possible. Survey of the ground into lots, which are to be numbered, and given to the different residents of this township in rotation, as called for. Also to have the same all broken out the coming spring. It is understood that the committee members are to look up a site this coming week.

After the cemetery matter was disposed of, the bridge ques­tion was brought up before the meeting, and nearly everyone had something to say in its favor. It was the opinion of all present that if we did not have a bridge soon, many would leave the township. Mr. Pepper asked that a vote be taken in regard to voting aid to build a new bridge and repairing the old one south of Arkansas City, which was done, and the same was carried unanimously. They all agreed to turn out on election day and see that all their neighbors went to the polls to vote.

The Board then met together, and in response to petitions from 114 of the residents and tax payers, ordered that an elec­tion be held at the usual voting precincts on Saturday, the 9th day of March next. J. C. TOPLIFF, Secretary.

Arkansas City Traveler, February 13, 1878.

J. C. TOPLIFF and STRONG PEPPER presented to the Township Board of Bolton Township last Saturday petitions signed by more than 114 voters in favor of calling an election to vote $2,000 in bonds towards the bridge across the Arkansas River. We understand that everyone was in favor of the proposition, as well as several others who did not get a chance to sign the petitions. Let every man turn out on election day and vote for the bonds, and see that his neighbors do the same, so that a contract can be drawn up and work be commenced immediately.

Arkansas City Traveler, February 20, 1878.

J. C. TOPLIFF purchased the Vanston tract of land joining his farm in Bolton Township that was sold at Sheriff’s sale last Saturday.

Arkansas City Traveler, February 20, 1878.

THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN SUNDAY SCHOOL of this place has just received five hundred books from a Boston Sabbath school, and the old books of the school were given to one on Grouse Creek. J. C. Topliff manipulated the matter.

Arkansas City Traveler, March 6, 1878.

J. C. TOPLIFF is now helping the Schiffbauer boys in their spring rush of business. The boys are fortunate in securing so valuable a person as J. C.

Arkansas City Traveler, March 13, 1878.

HURRAY FOR THE NEW BRIDGE to span the raging Rackensack! Topliff’s happy, Parvin’s happy, Capt. Hoffmaster’s happy, Skinner is happy, and three-fourths of the residents of Bolton Township are happy over the result of the election. One hundred and eighteen to thirty-nine is a pretty good majority. No more reports of “ferry stuck,” or waiting an hour and a half on the other side.


Arkansas City Traveler, March 27, 1878.

               From Cuckleburr City.

Editor Traveler: This is a new place on the bottom opposite Rocky ford. It is a place that in the near future promises to rival all other cities in Cowley County. The bottom contains about one thousand acres—its size admitting of its being densely populated. Its settlers have tried to raise corn and wheat for exportation, but the raging Rackensack forms one boundary, and impassible bluffs the other, and the citizens have generally given it up until aerial navigation shall have been perfected, or the Government appropriates money to help build the Topliff, Moore, and Denton road. On account of the spring raise, the settlers plant their corn in the fall, and gather before spring.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 19, 1878.


A Grand Union Sunday School Picnic.

Committee on furnishing swings, croquet sets, boats, etc.

W. J. Peed, Will Alexander, Charles M. Swarts, J. C. Topliff, Mr. Knight, William Parker, R. Turner, James Pierce, Frank Schiffbauer, Edmund G. Gray, Frank Speers, E. D. Eddy, and I. H. Bonsall.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 25, 1878.

           Another Railroad.

Mr. L. B. Fuller, chief engineer of the Kansas City, Emporia & Southern Railroad, in a letter to J. C. Topliff, of this place, under date of Sept. 21st says that the narrow gauge road from Kansas City to this place will be built, and men are at work on it now grading at the rate of two and a half miles per day.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 25, 1878.

      EMPORIA, KANSAS, SEPT. 21, 1878.

James C. Topliff Esq.—DEAR SIR: Your favor of 16th inst. at hand. Thanks for the interest you and your people manifest toward our road. I will now proceed to answer your questions.

We are now at work with all the men and teams that the contractors can procure, thirty miles south of this point, in Greenwood County, and are grading about two and a half miles per week. Mr. Young concluded a contract with Philadelphia parties in August, whereby they agree to have the line completed to Eureka by the first of January, 1879, and they are now at work with a will. I do not know what Mr. Schofield will do as it is but a short time since he was trying to sell out his line of road to our people, and induce them to build from Burlington instead of Emporia, but after a careful examination of his line from Burlington to Athens, they decided his iron would be worth more, buying in Kansas City, than his road and equipments as it is constructed with so many heavy grades, several over 120 feet to the mile, that it would be impossible to do any business over it. On our line from Athens to Cowley County line, we have no grade going north over 30 feet to the mile, an immense advantage as you will readily see. Mr. Schofield is doing no work south or west of Burlington, and has not as yet paid for the work done on his line last season, making him some $50,000 in arrears, and still going behind. These are facts! Or were facts three weeks ago! I do not say this from any ill will, but in order that you may know the exact facts. Our people are putting forth every effort to have the line completed to Eureka by Jan. 1st, and through the Flint Hills by April. The greatest difficulty at the present time is the scarcity of teams, the farmers being very busy putting in wheat, but that will soon be over when we hope to have 250 teams steadily working till the grading is completed. If there are any idle in your vicinity they can get work on the line in Greenwood County, some thirty miles south of this place. Wages $2.50 per day and board $2.50 per week.

I learn that Major Gunn, Mr. Schofield’s engineer, decides that a line by way of Lazette is very impracticable. Yours truly, L. B. FULLER, Chief Engineer K. C. E. & S. R. R.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 16, 1878

        EUREKA, KAS., Oct. 4, 1878.

C. M. Scott, Esq., Arkansas City, Kansas. DEAR SIR: My attention has been called this morning to an article in your paper of Sept. 25, dated at Emporia, Sept. 21, and addressed to James C. Topliff, Esq., by L. B. Fuller, Chief Engineer of the K. C. E. & S. R. R.

In the article Mr. Fuller has undertaken to state some things (which he calls facts) in reference to myself, to the road I represent, and to Maj. O. B. Gunn, our Chief Engineer, which statements, as made by Mr. Fuller, are so utterly at variance with the facts that I respectfully solicit the privilege of correcting—through the columns of your valuable Journal—some of the statements therein made by Mr. Fuller. And allow me here to say that we have nothing to say about or against Mr. Fuller, or the road he claims to represent, and we think he would much better accomplish what he and his associates have undertaken, if they would confine themselves to their own enterprise, and leave us and ours alone. Now to the points in Mr. Fuller’s letter which I want to correct. He says, “I do not know what Mr. Schofield will do as it is but a short time since he was trying to sell out his line of road to our people, and induce them to build from Burlington instead of Emporia.”

Now I wish to say to Mr. Fuller that what I shall do will be to build our road, therefore he need have no especial anxiety on that point, and further, he is entirely mistaken in the matter of my trying to sell out our line, etc.

Mr. William Sturgis and Mr. Joseph E. Young, of Chicago, met me on my way from New York, and did propose to me to purchase our road from Ottawa to Burlington, and in anticipation of that purpose they, through and by means of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Fuller, had organized a new corporation, to be called the Kansas City, Eureka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, whose purpose was to build a road (as an extension of our road) from Burlington via Eureka to the Southwest. This they had done before I had ever met, to know, either Mr. Young, Mr. Wm. Sturgis, Mr. Johnson, or Mr. Fuller. When I did meet these Chicago gentlemen, I did, in a respectful manner, listen to their proposition to purchase our road, and we discussed the question at great length, and I spent with these gentlemen several weeks in Chicago and New York, on this subject, they wanting to purchase much more than we wished to sell. The result was, they failed to offer us any consider­ation that we could accept in exchange for our road. Thus ended, amicably, all there was about that purchase and sale of our road.

Now Mr. Fuller further says: “But, after a careful examination of his line from Burlington to Athens, they decided his iron would be worth more lying in Kansas City than his road and equipment, as it is constructed with so many heavy grades (several over 120 feet to the mile) it would be impossible to do any business over it.”

Now on these points I have to say that they failed to pur­chase because what they offered us in payment for our road—in quantity and quality—we declined to accept; otherwise (that is, if we had accepted the amount and kind of pay) they would have purchased our road. About those “many heavy grades,” and the impossibility of doing business, etc., I say to Mr. Fuller that he has most wickedly and, I think, foolishly overstated these things. We have not many grades on our road of “over 120 feet to the mile,” and we are now doing every day, and have done since the day we opened our road, a good business over our road—and could do three times the amount, as we shall surely do when and as soon as the business of the new country we run through becomes organized. We have neither run off the track, damaged, or destroyed any property, or injured any person, since we have been operating our road, and I respectfully solicit public patronage in passengers and freight, and leave the question of our ability to do business with the public who do now, or may hereafter, patronize our line of road.

Mr. Fuller further says: “Mr. Schofield is doing no work, and has not as yet paid for the work done on his line last season, making him some $50,000 in arrears, and still going behind.”

I wish to say to Mr. Fuller that he does not know what work I am doing, and further, his statement as to our arrears is not true, either in whole or in part, and his further statement that we are “still going behind” is absolutely untrue. I deem these statements impertinent. I declare it to be none of Mr. Fuller’s business. I pronounce them false, and think it of very question­able propriety in Mr. Fuller, or anybody else, to thus falsely attack another corporation in order to show up a possibly better condition of his own.

I have no sort of objection to Mr. Fuller and his associates building their road, and completing it to Eureka, Coffeyville, Howard City, Douglas, Winfield, Arkansas City, Wellington, Caldwell, etc., in the shortest possible (or impossible) space of time. I have not, and never shall, put or attempt to put a straw in their way.

We shall build our road. We may not attempt so grand and diffusive a plan or network of railroads all over Southern Kansas, but we shall try honestly and faithfully to build some road, and reach as soon as possible the Walnut and Arkansas Valleys, and thence through Sumner to points west and south. Trusting that this explanation may set at rest any prejudice created by Mr. Fuller’s letter, I am, sir, your obedient servant. Very Respectfully,


P.S. I am authorized by Maj. Gunn to say that his sugges­tion about the impracticability of a route by Lazette is all sheer imagination. He never gave any such opinion. Major O. B. Gunn is an engineer of such standing, and his character as a man is such and for 20 years so well known in Kansas, that such allusions made by Mr. Fuller are exceedingly foolish.

The K. P., the M., K. & T., the Central Branch, and many other of the trunk line railroads of our country, the elegant and exceedingly convenient new union depot at Kansas City, with its complex network of yard tracks, are works that bear honorable testimony to Major Gunn’s engineering skill and ability—all of which Mr. Fuller could copy from and study with advantage and profit to himself. W. H. S.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 13, 1878.

We publish by request the following letter from Mr. Fuller, to one of our citizens. Want of space rendered it impossible to insert the same in our last issue.

      EMPORIA, KAS., Nov. 1, 1878.

J. C. Topliff. DEAR SIR: I have nothing to take back in the letter I wrote you, and only ask that my letter in reply to Mr. Schofield is published, as I have a record of his line from beginning to end, and have no fears that I shall fail in substantiating all that I say. In regard to our line, I can say that we are grading as fast as possible, and that the Missouri Pacific railroad, a road in direct opposition to the A., T. & S. F. R. R., have become interested in our line, and furnish us with steel rails, splice bars, and bolts, and rolling stock for our line, and guarantee the first mortgage bonds of the line. The road is to be complet­ed to the north line of your county by July next.

I can give your people no better assurance that you are soon to have a road that will break up the monopoly so long enjoyed by the A., T. & S. F. R. R. line.

Our road is the standard gauge, making a through line to Kansas City. Your people will readily see that the A., T. & S. F. railroad is alarmed at the immediate prospect of the loss of all her trade from the Arkansas Valley and Sumner County, and is at last forced to do what she otherwise would not do; namely, make a proposition to build down the valley. Yours truly, L. B. FULLER, Chief Engineer, Kansas City, Emporia & Southern R. R. Co.

Winfield Courier, July 11, 1878.

Real Estate Transfers.

J C. Topliff to Wm. H. Moore, in se. 6, 35, 4; 17 acres, $240.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 22, 1879.

David Maricle has moved into the Topliff house on Main street.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 29, 1879.

Mr. Chinn, an uncle of Rudolph Hoffmaster, from Muscatine, Iowa, has rented J. C. Topliff’s place.

Arkansas City Traveler, March 12, 1879.

A fire broke out in the Topliff building on Thursday at noon, but was soon squelched.

Arkansas City Traveler, March 26, 1879.


A brown horse about 13 hands high with star in forehead, heavy mane, silver colored tail, with saddle marks, blind in left eye, and 9 years old this spring. When last seen had on a webb halter. I will give a liberal reward to anyone who will deliver the same to Mr. Chinn, on the Topliff farm. M. L. SMITH.


Winfield Courier, May 1, 1879.


James C. Topliff vs. Patrick Harkins.


T. S. Parvin vs. J. C. Topliff.


Winfield Courier, August 21, 1879.


DEFENDANT                        LAWYER(S)

James C. Topliff                        Hackney & McDonald


Patrick Harkins                        Webb and Pryor & Pryor


Thos. S. Parvin                        Torrance & Asp


James C. Topliff                        Hackney & McDonald

      Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, December 10, 1879.


PROCURING DISHES AND TABLES: Mr. and Mrs. O. P. Houghton, Mr. and Mrs. Lafe McLaughlin, Mrs. Sipes, Mr. J. C. Topliff.

Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, December 24, 1879.

The officers elected for the coming year of Cresswell Lodge, A. F. and A. M., No. 133, are:

W. M.:  James Benedict.

Senior Warden:  James Ridenour.

Junior Warden:  Charles Parker.

Senior Deacon:  James I. Mitchell.

Junior Deacon:  Edwin R. Thompson.

Treasurer:  Harry P. Farrar.

Secretary:  Isaac H. Bonsall.

Tyler:  Cyrus M. Scott.

Senior Stewart:  Charles R. Sipes.

Junior Stewart:  James C. Topliff.

Organist:  William D. Mowry.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 7, 1880.

J. C. Topliff took a ride on a mule to Winfield last Sunday afternoon. You see J. C. has lived here for nine years, and forgot all about the cars.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 14, 1880.

We regret that we were unable to accept the invitation to a feast on the fat of the land at the Central Avenue last Sabbath noon; but the fact is that just one week before Topliff took a ride to Winfield on a mule, and since his return, he has been gradually sinking into a decline and at the hour our invitation reached us, his stomach resembled the motion of a high sea and we were confined close to duty in the Post Office. We hope that mule will not go back on “Top” another time.

Arkansas City Traveler, February 4, 1880.

         Wedding Bells.

GOOCH - HOUGHTON. Married on Wednesday evening, February 4th, at the First Presbyterian Church in Arkansas City, Mr. Wyatt Gooch and Miss Hattie Houghton, by Rev. McClung.

Present from J. C. Topliff: hanging lamp.

Arkansas City Traveler, March 17, 1880.




By an Old Bachelor.


Good nature (when the mails are on time); killing mustache; age unknown; blushes easily; fair talker; easily wounded in the heart. We know James to be anxious, and he should receive encouragement from our fair ones.

Arkansas City Traveler, March 24, 1880.

The bachelor catches in executive session last Monday night with Commodore Topliff in the chair resolved themselves into a committee of the whole with power to capture and control the dear creatures who are on the matrimonial market, and sighing for a chance. Bro. Blakeney took the floor and said that it was a piece of spite work that some of the ladies had started on purpose to “halter break” a few that they thought they could manage, and as for himself, he was resolved not to be duped in that way. Applause. He had tasted of a great many wedding cakes and he thought that the man who could not mince a little without being caught on the hook was an object of pity. Judge Walton obtained the floor and in his pathetic style stated the tear of sympathy as he held the mirror to the past and spoke of those who had loved and been left. So far as he was concerned no woman should try that little game again. The speaker referred to others whom he had no doubt had similar experience and he was resolved to teach his posterity to avoid these breakers. The chair finally closed the debate with a few remarks warning the members from making too hasty promises. It was an easier matter for a man to get his foot into the trap then to take it out. A motion to adjourn until next Monday evening prevailed when a report will more fully and at large appear. Until then the ladies can bask in the sunshine of hope.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 16, 1880.

The following are the delegates and alternates to the county convention to be held at Winfield next Saturday, for the purpose of electing six delegates to the Congressional convention and nominating a candidate for State Senator for this district.

DELEGATES: W. D. Mowry, J. C. Topliff, Ed. G. Gray, Geo. H. McIntire, Dr. A. J. Chapel, C. R. Mitchell, Tom Mantor, J. Ridenour.

ALTERNATES: H. D. Kellogg, Cal Swarts, R. J. Maxwell, M. Rexford, A. C. Williams, M. Stanton, D. B. Hartsock, Frank Speers.

The above is the best ticket that can be put before our people. Look to the interests of our county, and send these delegates to Winfield.

Arkansas City Traveler, December 8, 1880.

At the annual election of officers of Crescent Lodge No. 133, held Saturday, December 4, the following were elected.

James E. Ridenour, W. M.

Cyrus M. Scott, Sen. W.

Isaac H. Bonsall, J. W.

Harry P. Farrar, Treasurer.

James C. Topliff, Secretary.

Rudolph Hoffmaster, Tyler.

Senior and Junior Deacons were not reported.

Arkansas City Traveler, December 15, 1880.


The names of the various committees having in charge the Christmas tree festivities to be held at the Presbyterian church, were handed in last week, but were unavoidably crowded out, and are presented in this issue, as follows.

Decorating Committee: Mr. and Mrs. Searing, Mr. and Mrs. Matlack, Mrs. Haywood, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Cypher, Misses Mary Parker, Angie Mantor, Carrie Benedict, Annie Norton, Mattie Mitchell, Linnie Peed, Flora Finley, Albertine Maxwell, Sadie Thomas, Linda Christian, Annie Hutchison, Mary Theaker, Emma and Susie Hunt, Ada Easterday; Messrs. E. G. Gray, W. D. Mowry, John Kroenert, J. D. Houston, George Howard, D. Cunningham, James Leonard, Will Peed, J. C. Topliff, Dick Chamberlain, Irving French.

Winfield Courier, December 23, 1880.

Mr. James C. Topliff has been nominated by President Hayes as postmaster at Arkansas City, in the place of N. B. Hughes. Mr. Topliff has been assistant postmaster for several years and is a general favorite. His fitness for the position is recog­nized by all, and the nomination, we feel sure, will be heartily seconded by the citizens of our sister city.

Winfield Courier, December 30, 1880.

The post office squabble is over. Mr. J. C. Topliff has received the appointment as postmaster at this place. Mr. Topliff has for the past two years served in the capacity of assistant, and has, so far as we have been able to observe, given universal satisfaction. Speaking for all: the honors have been conferred on a deserving gentleman; and if the postal affairs of the city be conducted in the future as in the past, there can be no reason for complaint. Arkansas City Democrat.


Winfield Courier, December 30, 1880.

J. C. Topliff has been appointed postmaster at Arkansas City, vice Dr. Hughes removed. This course was first indicated by this paper at the close of our November election. The man appointed is an excellent one and fully meets the wishes and wants of the City people. [Ed.]


Arkansas City Traveler, January 5, 1881.

We were glad to see the appointment of J. C. Topliff as postmaster at Arkansas City. He has been a faithful and atten­tive assistant, and surely deserves the appointment.


Arkansas City Traveler, January 12, 1881.


A mass meeting of our citizens was held in the schoolhouse last Thursday night for the purpose of discussing the merits and demerits of constructing a canal from the Arkansas to the Walnut river. Despite the stinging cold weather, the house was crowded, showing the interest manifested by our people in this important project.

The meeting was called to order by Dr. Chapel, and on motion of A. A. Newman, he was elected chairman. J. C. Topliff was chosen as secretary, and the business of the evening commenced.

Arkansas City Traveler, February 2, 1881.

The post office was transferred into the hands of J. C. Topliff last Friday, and removed to its new quarters in Ridenour & Thompson’s store the same day.

Arkansas City Traveler, February 2, 1881.

        A CARD.

Owing to the circumstances attending the removal of the post office to its new quarters last week, some of its patrons may have suffered inconvenience in the matter of receiving mail, etc., but now having the office entirely refitted and in conve­nient shape, no effort will be spared to ensure satisfaction to all in the future. JAS. C. TOPLIFF, P. M.


Winfield Courier, February 10, 1881.

J. C. Topliff, postmaster at Arkansas City, has removed the post office uptown and now has his office with the well known jeweler firm of Ridenour & Thompson.

Winfield Courier, March 10, 1881.

J. C. Topliff, Post Master at Arkansas City, came up to the “hub” Friday. He reports the city is flourishing, and the people interested in the canal. They turned out en masse to help turn the first shovel-full of dirt.

Arkansas City Traveler, April 6, 1881.

James C. Topliff, our Postmaster, has been to considerable expense in fitting up and arranging the Post Office in this city, until it is one of the best in the State, and our people should show their appreciation of his enterprise by taking a box, by which they, at a nominal expense, can save themselves much time and trouble.

Arkansas City Traveler, May 4, 1881.

Mr. J. C. Topliff, our worthy P. M., left on the train Monday afternoon for a trip to Chicago, and from there to New York and Boston. He expects to be absent about a month, during which time he will visit his friends and relatives in the above named cities.



Winfield Courier, May 26, 1881.

Last Monday we paid Arkansas City a flying visit for the purpose of inspecting the “Canal,” and giving the readers of the COURIER a fair understanding of it and of other improvements going on in our sister city. On our arrival we were welcomed by Joe Houston, Captain Scott, Charlie McIntire, and other old friends, who made it seem almost like home. We were then turned over to Mr. John Walker, in company with whom we drove over the city and inspected the canal, water-works, and other general improvements.

Charley McIntire also shows evidences of prosperity. He shows forth in immaculate linen and sorrel neck-tie, and has rented a post-office box. Speaking of post offices reminds us that Postmaster Topliff has the neatest one we have ever seen. It is carved and varnished, and has “didoes” all over the front, like a circus wagon. It’s tasty, and a postmaster who can keep an office like that ought to get married. He can keep a wife.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 8, 1881.

J. C. Topliff, our worthy Postmaster, returned from a four week’s visit to friends and relatives in the East, yesterday.


Winfield Courier, June 23, 1881.

Mr. J. C. Topliff, our worthy postmaster, who has been in the cities of Boston and New York for the past month, visiting friends and relatives, returned last Wednesday. He reports a pleasant time and visit.

BIG SNAKE. Mr. A. J. Arnett, of Bolton township, informs us that a huge snake has been seen recently in the neighborhood of J. C. Topliff’s farm, that will measure at least fifteen feet in length, and is as large around as a stove pipe. He says he has not had the pleasure of gazing on the monster serpent, but his neighbors have seen it frequently, and thinks there is no doubt but what it is as large as they represent it to be, as he has seen its track, which will measure fully eight inches across. It is thought to be a rattlesnake, and several monsters have been killed in that neighborhood recently. In telling us this snake story, it was with the direct view of not having it published. Since it was made known that rattlesnakes have been killed in that locality, they have been harassed so by parties who wish to cultivate rattlesnakes since May 1st, that he considers it imprudent to let it be known that Bolton produces such whoppers. We therefore make the above announcement under the seal of confidence to our readers.



Arkansas City Traveler, June 29, 1881.

A meeting of the citizens of School District No. 2 was held in the schoolhouse on last Saturday evening, and was largely attended—about one hundred persons being present. Dr. A. J. Chapel was called to the chair and J. C. Topliff elected secre­tary. After a few remarks the business of the evening commenced.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 27, 1881.

The meeting held last evening to discuss the Woolen Mill question was well attended. Dr. Kellogg was called to the chair, and J. C. Topliff to act as secretary at the meeting.

It is proposed to form a stock company with a capital of $24,000, one half to be subscribed by individuals, and the balance furnished by the owners of the machinery, Messrs. Obrist & Lycan. Size of the proposed struc­ture, 40 x 20 ft., two stories. Will use 300 pounds of wool per day, produce 500 yards of woolen goods per day. A meeting to more fully discuss the matter was called for next Friday evening, at the Central Avenue hotel, and a committee was appointed to ascertain what stock would be taken. Be on hand at the next meeting, and help along this most important project.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 10, 1881.

Mr. James Topliff has leased the building lately vacated by the Central Drug Store, and situated between the Creswell Bank and Schiffbauer’s Grocery, and will remove the Post Office thereto sometime before the first of September. This will put the Post Office on East Summit Street again.


Arkansas City Traveler, August 31, 1881. Editorial Page.


Arkansas City Traveler, September 14, 1881.

The farewell party, given by Miss Lillie Chamberlain at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schiffbauer, on Tuesday evening of last week, was one of the grandest events of the season. The full moon shown down like an immense headlight, viewing apparently, with the many Chinese lanterns that were pendant from the surrounding trees, making the scene resemble that of fairy land rather than reality.

One of those who attended this party: James C. Topliff.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 14, 1881.

At the primary meeting held last Thursday, the following gentlemen were elected as Delegates and Alternates to attend the Republican Nominating Convention at Winfield, on September 19th, 1881.


Capt. Nipp, G. H. McIntire, Cal. Swarts, C. M. Scott, Jerry Tucker, W. D. Mowry.


I. H. Bonsall, R. A. Houghton, Frank Speers, J. C. Topliff, R. L. Marshall, A. B. Sankey.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 28, 1881.

Topliff and Scott will ship a carload of fine merino ewes and rams from Ohio next month, to add to their flock.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 28, 1881.

Mr. Stafford, of Harper County, sold his flock of 2,200 head of sheep to C. M. Scott and James Topliff, last week, for nearly $5,000.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 19, 1881.

On the 24th of this month, Messrs. Scott and Topliff will have a car of fine Merino rams and ewes from Harrison Co., Ohio. They will sell a part of the carload.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 23, 1881.

    Trespassers Beware.

We, the undersigned residents of Bolton Township, hereby notify all persons that we will not permit hunting on our farms, and all persons found trespassing, in pursuit of game, will be prosecuted to the utmost extent of the law.












Arkansas City Traveler, January 18, 1882.

Messrs. C. M. Scott and J. C. Topliff spent Sunday last at Harper, whither they went to purchase some sheep to stock their ranch south of town.

Winfield Courier, January 19, 1882.

Captain Scott, Postmaster Topliff, and Cashier Farrar, of the terminus, were doing our city Friday. Mr. Topliff was going west into Barbour County and Scott and Farrar escorted him this far on his road. He went on alone and anxious friends are praying for his safe return. We don’t think he’ll get lost.


Winfield Courier, January 19, 1882.

    Sheep Items.

        BOLTON TOWNSHIP, January 16, 1882.

As the sheep interest in Cowley has become one of considerable importance, perhaps a few items from this locality would not come amiss.

In 1881 Bolton Township had but 63 sheep. At this time I know of over 4,000, and the number will be doubled before another winter, as most sheep owners are anxious to add to their flocks. The winter has been a very favorable one, and where there is plenty of range, little or no hay or corn has been fed. Mr. Pink Fouts, at Willow Springs, Indian Territory, ten miles below us, has a flock of 4,000, and reports his sheep fat. He has but sixty tons of hay and does not expect to feed half of it.

Scott & Topliff have 2,500 head and about 70 tons of hay. They have not fed yet, except their Merino sheep shipped from Ohio last fall.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 25, 1882.

Capt. C. M. Scott and Postmaster Topliff returned from their sheep buying trip out west, last Friday. C. M. Scott returned to Harper the same day to assist in driving the sheep purchased through to their ranche south of town.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 25, 1882.

Captain Scott, Postmaster Topliff, and Cashier Farrar, of the terminus, were doing our city Friday. Mr. Topliff was going west into Barbour County and Scott and Farrar escorted him this far on his road. He went on alone and anxious friends are praying for his safe return. We don’t think he’ll get lost.

Winfield Courier, January 26, 1882.

Captain Scott and Postmaster Topliff have bought another thousand sheep, out in Barbour County. They now have nearly four thousand and will pull much wool next spring.

It will be fun around the ranch when lambing time comes on.

Arkansas City Traveler, March 29, 1882.

Our two sheep men, C. M. Scott and J. C. Topliff, left on Monday last for Willow Springs, Indian Territory, on business connected with their large sheep interests. They will probably return to the city tonight.

Arkansas City Traveler, May 3, 1882.

Messrs. Scott & Topliff have the boss sheep ranche in this section of country, with sheds and corrals for over 2,500 sheep as well as other conveniences erected at a cost of over $4,000.

Arkansas City Traveler, May 10, 1882.

Sheep shearing at Messrs. Scott & Topliff’s ranch south of town commenced last Friday.

Arkansas City Traveler, May 31, 1882.

Mr. Knott finished shearing his sheep last week. Mr. Upton has sheared his also, Mr. Crowell has sheared a part of his. Mr. Fouts, Scott & Topliff, Mr. Maxwell, Mr. Andrews, Mr. Cole, and others have to shear yet.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 28, 1882.


Wednesday evening, June 21st, at the residence of Dr. J. T. Shepard, by the Rev. S. B. Fleming, Mr. M. B. Vawter and Miss Alma Dixon.

The wedding was decidedly a grand success. The pleasant and orderly manner in which everything was conducted was the subject of general remark. The spacious parlors of Dr. Shepard were filled to overflowing with the admiring friends of the young couple. Great credit is due Messrs. Maxwell and Kroenert for the gentlemanly and gallant manner with which they waited upon the invited guests. Acknowledgments are due Mrs. Bonsall, Mrs. Searing, Mrs. Chapel, Mrs. Ingersoll, Mrs. Bishop, Mrs. Alexan­der, and Mrs. Wilson for flowers. The decorations were beauti­fully and tastefully arranged. On the south wall of the parlor was a large festoon of evergreen, with the letters V. and D. skillfully worked in the center. From the ceiling hung a large marriage bell made of evergreen, sprinkled with white flowers, with a large white calla lily suspended from the center. Shortly before 10 o’clock a grand wedding march pealed forth from the organ so ably presided over by Miss Bell Cassell. At a given signal the attendants, Miss Clara Finley and J. O. Campbell, Miss Maggie Gardiner and Mr. J. C. Topliff, followed by the Bride and Groom, marched to the music down the broad stairway and into the parlor. When the last notes died away from the organ, Rev. Fleming performed the ceremony in solemn, touching simplicity, and pronounced them man and wife. After the usual hearty saluta­tions and good wishes, a sumptuous feast was served in fine style; Mrs. Dr. Shepard presiding with her usual grace and affability. Quite an enjoyable time was had in cutting and serving the very handsome bride’s cake, to see who would be fortunate enough to secure the ring it contained. Mr. E. O. Stevenson proved to be the lucky fellow. After an hour or so spent in social enjoyment, everyone departed, wishing the happy pair as happy and cheerful a life as their wedding seemed to promise.

The presents were numerous and handsome.

Marble Top Center Table. The Father and Brother of the bride.

Silver Coffee Pot. Dr. and Mrs. Shepard.

Silver Tea Service. H. H. Davidson and wife.

Handsome Center Table. Mr. W. J. Stewart and wife.

A beautiful Horseshoe made of Colorado Minerals. Ben Dixon.

Elegant Silver Water Service. A. A. Newman and wife, W. E. Gooch and wife, T. Mantor and wife, Jerry Adams, and Sam Reed.

A Lovely Basket with artistic design of sea weed and sea shell in the center. Mrs. L. McLaughlin.

A Lady’s elegant Dressing Case. J. C. Topliff.

Lace Scarf. Miss Etta Maxwell, Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Silver Butter Knife. Willie and Jamie Fleming.

Silver Call Bell. Freddie McLaughlin.

A very handsome Sofa upholstered in raw silk, with Patent Rockers to match, together with a large Rattan Easy Chair. By the many young friends of the Bride and Groom.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 19, 1882.

J. C. Topliff sold lot 6 in block 68 last week to the Highland Hall Co. for $850.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 19, 1882.

J. C. Topliff sold two pieces of real estate on the line of the Indian Territory last week. One to Peter Hollenbeck and the other to Mr. Reinhart for cash in both instances.

Winfield Courier, July 27, 1882.

             FROM ARKANSAS CITY.

EDS. COURIER: A gradual rain set in yesterday morning and continued without ceasing until ten o’clock, followed by showers interspersed from that time until evening. This gives us another corn crop, and makes the grass grow so that it will be in splendid condition for hay in the fall. Already contracts have been let for several hundred tons at $1.50 per ton delivered at the ranches.

The supply of oats will be large and will meet a ready market at the military posts south of us. A number of cattle driven in from Arkansas meet with ready sale at good profits to the first purchasers. There seems to be a mania for cattle this year, and many farmers are mortgaging their farms and borrowing money at ten percent to invest in cattle, claiming it pays fifty percent on the investment. More than two-thirds of the land sold in this section this year has been purchased by stock men for pasturage. The Territory south of this place is crowded with stock and more is coming in.

Most of the sheep men have sold their wool to local buyers at from 15 to 23 cents; yet some of the larger flock owners are holding to ship to Philadelphia. Mr. Pink Fouts has 10,000 pounds and Scott & Topliff about 8,000. C. M.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 16, 1882.

Merino Rams. We have 25 head of full-blood Merino Lambs, for sale. Scott & Topliff.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 23, 1882.

        Industrial School.

Major Haworth, U. S. Inspector, with Haskell, architect, of Lawrence, Kansas, are here looking out a location for the Indian Industrial School. Mr. Haworth has examined about all the territory in the section where the school is proposed to be located, and pronounced it as fine lands for the purpose as it is possible to find, and he is selecting out of the elegant lands just south of us two of the most suitable sections to be used for the purposes of the school.

He has been engaged for several days in surveying the lands, and has in his employ Commodore Topliff and Chas. Schiffbauer, who are a whole team, and if the lines and corners are not found, it will be because they are not findable.

We did not get a description of the building to be erected, but have been informed that it will consist of one large main building, with two wings with east front, and will contain a large school room, two recitation rooms, office, dormitories, kitchen, dining room, laundry, etc., all finished and furnished in modern style to accommodate 150 pupils for the present.

Mr. Haworth brought the architect with him so that he could examine the ground as to the location of the building before drawing the plans and specifications. Mr. Haworth is not like some of the U. S. Inspectors we have seen, but when he has work to do, pulls off his coat, and does it with a will; he has shown remarkably good judgment in the selection of these lands, and has taken the trouble to examine them before selecting, and hence knows what he is getting. We are all anxious to see this school a success, and from the present outlook we have nothing to fear.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 6, 1882.

The Society of the Army of the Cumberland have on hand the erection of a monument in one of the public squares of the National Capital to the memory of our martyred President, J. A. Garfield. Circulars giving particulars of the same may be seen at the post office, where subscriptions will be received by J. C. Topliff, P.M., who is duly authorized to receive the same as well as to further this object in any way he deems expedient.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 6, 1882.

WANTED. 1,000 Rails and 250 Posts delivered at our Sheep Ranche within 30 days.

Scott & Topliff.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 13, 1882.

The damage to Scott & Topliff’s ranch on the State line last Saturday night, by fire, we are glad to state is fully covered by insurance.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 13, 1882.

Sheep Ranch Burnt.

At Messrs. Scott & Topliff’s sheep ranche on the State line last Saturday evening some dastardly villain set fire to the stables which were connected with the sheep sheds and a large quantity of hay. However, owing to a fortunate change in the direction of the wind, the fire was kept under control and beyond the loss of the stables and a considerable damage to the sheep sheds, no great loss resulted. The loss is covered by insurance.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 20, 1882.

The loss by the fire at Scott & Topliff’s ranch was paid on last Saturday, just one week after the fire. Scott & Topliff were insured in the Springfield Fire and Marine Insurance Co., F. J. Hess, agent.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 20, 1882.

A fearful fire ranged on the south side of Shilocco creek all of Sunday afternoon. About dark it crossed the creek below Mr. Parvin’s, and had it not been for Mr. Topliff and two of his sheep herders, would have gained the State and probably caused thousands of dollars damage. The man that set fire to the grass should be made to suffer.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 20, 1882.

SPEEDY SETTLEMENT. On the evening of Saturday, September 9th, Scott & Topliff’s sheep ranche, on the State line six miles southeast of town, was fired by an incendiary, and by noon on Saturday of the next week, the agent of the old substantial Fire and Marine Ins. Co., of Springfield, Mass., was on the ground and paid the gentlemen the full amount of their loss, amounting to more than $150. The prompt settlement by the company is very credible to them, and will make friends for them wherever it is known. It pays to keep insured.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 27, 1882.

Scott & Topliff’s sheep ranche, on the State line, six miles from Arkansas City, was fired again last Sunday evening just after sundown, in the same manner and at about the same hour that it was fired two weeks ago. Both gentlemen went over and before morning had the guilty party, who acknowledged the crime, and on account of his age, was permitted to have his liberty. It is understood, and the boy states it, that he was influenced by other parties, and did it under promise of reward.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 4, 1882.

Mr. J. C. Topliff, our gentlemanly P. M., was prevented from attending to the duties of his office last week by sickness, but we were pleased to see him around in good shape again last Monday morning.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 11, 1882.

Messrs. Scott & Topliff shipped a carload of wool from this city this morning. This is the first batch of this year’s clip the boys have shipped so far.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 11, 1882.

Our popular P. M., J. C. Topliff, hied himself away on the afternoon train yesterday for the East, whither he goes to be present at a family reunion at his former home in Boston. He will be absent about five weeks and we wish him as good a time as he anticipates.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 15, 1882.

Sowing rye, for winter pasture, is fast growing in favor with farmers and stockmen. It is claimed that it pays to sow it for the pasture and straw alone. Mr. Callison and John Scott, of Bolton township, pastured a piece all last winter, and harvested a good crop besides. Mr. Andrews, of Grouse Creek, did the same, and this year put in more than ever. Scott & Topliff have forty acres, for their sheep, that is doing well.

Arkansas City Traveler, December 20, 1882.

Next Monday being Christmas day, the post office will be closed all day, except between the hours of 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., for receiving and forwarding the mails.



Arkansas City Traveler, February 7, 1883.

Grand Army of the Republic. On Thursday evening, February 1, 1883, Arkansas City Post No. 158, G. A. R. was organized by Com. T. H. Soward, with the following officers for term: J. B. Nipp, Post Com.; O. S. Rarick, Sr. Vice Com.; Jas. Ridenour, Jr. Vice Com.; M. N. Sinnott, Adjutant; J. C. Topliff, Quartermaster; H. D. Kellogg, Office of Day; E. Y. Baker, Surgeon; W. S. Voris, Chaplain; J. W. Hackelman, O. of Guard.; D. R. Cooper, I. G.; P. A. Lorry, O. G.; J. E. Miller, Q. M. Sergt.; Al. Mowry, Sergt. Major. Post meets second and fourth Saturday in each month.


Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, February 21, 1883.

Wire Fence Again. Senator Roberts, of Pennsylvania, accompanied by Mr. Windsor, arrived at this place Tuesday of last week, and remained several days looking up their interests in the stock speculation they are about to engage in, in the Territory south of this place. It was the intention of these gentlemen to fence in all that country west of the Arkansas River, and north of the Ponca Reserve, as far west as the Shakaska River; but another Cherokee, Mr. Mills, laid claim to the range as far east as Bitter Creek, and that portion of it was abandoned. The original intention as suggested by Mr. Gore, superintendent of the company, was to run the fence on the divide between Deer Creek and Chilocco, leaving a strip about four miles wide on the State Line. After losing the Shakaska country, he was overruled in this and the posts were set about one mile below the line, cutting off the ranges of Mr. Chambers, Mr. Hill, Scott & Topliff, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Parvin along the State Line, who had paid the Cherokee tax, besides a number who hadn’t paid, and several in the Territory who had paid. This wanton overriding of the rights of these gentlemen naturally produced trouble and the Secretary of the Interior interfered and stopped it.

Mr. Roberts then came out to see what had been done, and returned with the conviction that the people had not been treated fairly, and with the determination that they should be, and the result is that the rights of all those who have paid the tax will be respected. C. M. Scott’s range will be left entirely out, as well as all of his neighbors, and the fence placed west of the Ponca road and south of Chilocco Creek.

There is a disposition with some to crush out the company entirely, which is wrong. These gentlemen have the same right to the unoccupied range as anyone when they have paid the tax imposed by the Cherokees, and as long as they hold themselves within the bounds of right, without infringing on others, we would rather have them there than not have them. That the Cherokees have a right to impose a tax is recognized by the Department of the Interior, and having that right, it is clearly a matter for them to decide the terms and the parties to whom the grazing permit is granted. Those having paid the Cherokee tax are protected, and we cannot well see what more could in justice be demanded.


Arkansas City Traveler, February 21, 1883.

MAILS. Arrive daily except Sunday at 12:20 p.m.; depart at 3:00 p.m. Mails going north close at 2:30 p.m. The post office will be open on Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.


Arkansas City Traveler, February 21, 1883.

Messrs. Scott & Topliff were exceptionally fortunate in not losing any sheep during the last bad spell of weather. The reason, however, is not hard to find for these gentlemen had taken the necessary precaution to secure themselves from loss.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 13, 1883.

The last issue of the Geuda Springs Herald bears date of April 27th on the outside and on the inside it is dated June 8th. We take the following from the inside: C. M. Scott, J. C. Topliff, and J. T. Gooch, of Arkansas City, were callers at this office last Tuesday, while we were out in the country. Call again, gentlemen.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 13, 1883.

Messrs. Scott, Topliff, Mowry, and Thompson, accompanied by the Misses Dent, Gardiner, Burrows, and Peed, visited Winfield last Friday to attend Prof. Farringer’s concert, and we have no doubt enjoyed themselves immensely, especially on their way home by the silvery light of the moon.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 13, 1883.

A number of farmers are experimenting with blue grass, orchard grass, timothy, and clover this year. Mr. Topliff has a fine stand of orchard grass on his farm, in Bolton Township, of eighty acres or more. C. M. Scott sent to Texas for Bermuda grass roots and is setting it out on his ranche property. It is said to be of very hardy growth, spreading rapidly, and enduring the driest weather.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 20, 1883.

Messrs. Scott & Topliff yesterday shipped to St. Louis two car loads of sheep.


Arkansas City Traveler, July 25, 1883.

A $500 Accident.

An accident resulting in the loss of some 250 head of sheep occurred at Scott & Topliff’s sheep ranch last Sunday. It would seem the sheep were crossing a small creek as was the usual custom when they became frightened and piled up and before anything could be done, the above number had been trampled to death.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 19, 1883.

Will Mowry, Will Thompson, J. C. Topliff, and others will visit Chicago and the East this fall.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 17, 1883.

Mr. J. C. Topliff is now in Boston. His sister is lying very low.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 14, 1883.

Our genial postmaster, J. C. Topliff, returned home yesterday from a rather extended visit to eastern relatives. James says the country cousin racket in Kansas City didn’t pan out very successfully.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 28, 1883.

Thanksgiving being a legal holiday, the post office will be closed all day except between the hours of 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. J. C. TOPLIFF, Postmaster.

Arkansas City Traveler, December 5, 1883.


The following gentlemen were elected as officers for the ensuing year at the last regular meeting of Crescent Lodge A. F. and A. M.: James Ridenour, W. M.; Charles Hutchins, S. W.; Cal Dean, J. W.; H. P. Farrar, Treasurer; J. C. Topliff, Secretary; James Benedict, Tyler.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 23, 1884.

As the demand for boxes in the post office this quarter far exceeds the supply, all boxes upon which the rent has not been paid by the 25th will be relet. J. C. TOPLIFF, P. M.

Arkansas City Traveler, February 20, 1884.

Mr. C. S. Houghton, a relative of Postmaster Topliff, from Boston, is out upon a visit to Southern Kansas for his health. We hope the trip may have the desired result.

Arkansas City Traveler, March 5, 1884.

  Stockholders of the Commercial Building Association, Arkansas City.

This association, of which we gave particulars in a former issue, is now in readiness for active work, all its shares being taken, as will be seen by the following list of stockholders.

Name, Shares, Amount.

Geo. E. Hasie, 20, $2,000

M. S. Hasie, 20, $2,000

A. A. Newman, 20, $2,000

G. W. Cunningham, 20, $2,000

H. P. Farrar, 20, $2,000

W. M. Sleeth, 20, $2,000

T. R. Houghton, 20, $2,000

J. L. Huey, 20, $2,000

T. H. McLaughlin, 10, $1,000

F. J. Hess, 5, $500

J. C. Topliff, 5, $500

W. S. Houghton, 5, $500

Kimmel & Moore, 5, $500

Howard Bros., 5, $500

A. J. Chapel, 5, $500


Winfield Courier, March 6, 1884.

The Company from Arkansas City to attend the Carmilla Urso concert Tuesday evening were Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Newman, Mr. and Mrs. Beal, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Searing, Mr. and Mrs. Landes, Mr. and Mrs. H. P. Farrar, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Coombs, Mr. and Mrs. Kroenert, Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Sipes, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Ayers; Misses Abbie Hamilton, Beck and Anna Hunt; Ed. G. Gary and Miss Fowler; Ed. Kingsbury and Miss Barnett; C. M. Scott and Miss Gardiner; J. C. Topliff and Miss Walton; F. J. Hess and Miss Johnson; and George Cunningham. The party represented Arkansas City’s best people, and all seemed to enjoy the visit and concert immensely. They spoke in the highest terms of their entertainment at the Brettun. The accommodation train on the Santa Fe was held for them and all returned that evening.

Arkansas City Republican, April 5, 1884.

Hon. A. J. Pyburn: Though aware of your repeated refusal to become a candidate for any office; and the determination to devote your time to your profession, and although cognizant of the fact that an election and acceptance would involve to a certain extent the sacrifice of personal interests, yet we request and urge that you permit your name to be used in nomination for the position of mayor of Arkansas City, feeling as we do, that in your election, you will represent the whole people regardless of politics, issues, or business, and have only at heart the best interests of the place, and welfare of the citizens.

One of those who signed: J. C. Topliff, P. M.

Arkansas City Republican, April 12, 1884.

Rev. J. O. Campbell and Miss Grace Medbury, F. J. Hess and Miss May Johnson, J. C. Topliff and Miss Viola Walton, and Mr. Houghton and Miss Ella Love spent several days in the Territory this week, visiting the different agencies.

Arkansas City Traveler, April 16, 1884.

A jolly quartette of couples, composed of J. C. Topliff and Miss Walton, Rev. J. O. Campbell and Miss Medbury, F. J. Hess and Miss Johnson, and Mr. Houghton and Miss Love, took a pleasure trip to Ponca and Otoe agencies last week. They report the best of treatment and a most enjoyable time.

Winfield Courier, April 24, 1884.

J. C. Topliff, postmaster of Arkansas City, came up Tuesday to see contractors about building a fine post office at that place. He is one of the cleverest men of the Terminus and is always heartily greeted by his Winfield friends.



Arkansas City Republican, April 26, 1884.

Among other enterprises on foot are a new Baptist Church, and a two story business block by J. C. Topliff, the first floor of which will be used for the post office, it having outgrown its present quarters.

Arkansas City Republican, May 3, 1884.

R. B. Baird is erecting a residence on J. C. Topliff’s ranch.

Arkansas City Traveler, May 7, 1884.

The attention of builders and contractors is called to the advertisement of J. C. Topliff in this issue, for proposals for the erection of a store building on Summit street, this city.

Ad. To Contractors. Sealed proposals will be received by the undersigned at the post office in Arkansas City until 6 p.m. on the 17th day of May, 1884, for the whole or for separate branches of labor and materials complete for a store room to be built in Arkansas City, Kansas, in accordance with drawings and specifications, which can be seen at post office on and after May 10, 1884. JAMES C. TOPLIFF.


Arkansas City Republican, May 17, 1884.

The new post office building now being erected by J. C. Topliff will be 23 x 100 feet lower story, and 23 x 70 feet upper story, and is to be built of brick and stone, with a fine plate-glass front. The building will be completed as soon as the work can be done. The great increase in our population has caused such an increase in post office business that the erection of this building became a necessity. The second story will be used for a Masonic hall.

Arkansas City Republican, May 17, 1884.

W. S. Houghton and wife, of Boston, are in the city visiting their nephew, C. S. Houghton, and J. C. Topliff. Mr. Houghton is one of the wealthiest merchants of Boston, and also owns large railroad interests. He has considerable money invested in real estate in this city, and since his visit here, is so well impressed with the prospects of Arkansas City that he anticipates building a large business house on the two lots adjoining the Hasie and Commercial block on the south. He expressed himself as really surprised to see the rapid advancement made the last few months.

Arkansas City Traveler, May 28, 1884.

Notice. Friday, May 30, being Decoration Day and a National Holiday, the post office will be closed all day except between the hours of 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

J. C. TOPLIFF, Postmaster.

Winfield Courier, May 29, 1884.

J. C. Topliff, postmaster of Arkansas City, and Virginia Walton drove up to the capital Sunday.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 4, 1884.

Scott & Topliff began shearing their sheep this week. They will not be through before the middle of this month.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 9, 1884.

Scott & Topliff will put up 800 tons of hay this summer.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 16, 1884.

Some of the Democrats said last week that Topliff’s reign as postmaster was so short he had abandoned all idea of putting up his new Post-office building. The men started to work on the building last Monday. Top says he wants no stronger guarantee of Republican success than that offered by the action of the Chicago convention last week.

Arkansas City Republican, July 19, 1884.

Blaine and Logan Club.

At a meeting called for Monday evening, July 14, 1884, to be held in Judge Bonsall’s office, by the chairman, C. T. Atkinson, who was appointed by the county convention at Winfield last Saturday, I. H. Bonsall was chosen secretary. The following pledge was signed by the persons whose names appear below:

We, the undersigned, agree to support James G. Blaine and John A. Logan for president and vice-president, and we further agree to work and vote for their election, and we pledge ourselves to do all we can in an honorable way to favor their interests.

I. H. Bonsall, C. T. Atkinson, J. B. Nipp, C. W. Barnes, O. Ingersoll, J. H. Punshon, L. H. Braden, W. R. Wolf, F. E. Pentecost, J. E. Pentecost, W. R. Owen, Jacob Terwilliger, Chas. Bryant, C. W. Coombs, L. V. Coombs, R. C. Howard, Byron Wagner, W. D. Mowry, F. M. Vaughn, D. C. Duncan, John M. Roberts, J. H. Martin, W. B. Higgins, A. E. Kirkpatrick, J. C. Topliff, Mahlon Arnett, H. C. Deets, C. M. Scott, John S. Daniels, John J. Clark, R. B. Morton, N. P. Laughton, Dell Plank, A. Leonard, S. A. Daniels, F. H. Gage, M. J. Capron, N. N. Abernathy, Ira Wilbur, J. P. Musselman, A. H. Dodd, David Shields, John J. Breene, David McPherson, G. W. Martin, Joe Sheff, H. G. Vaughn, J. C. Harnley, Frank Landes, R. R. Ottman [?], J. A. McIntyre, F. C. McLaughlin, F. E. Burnett, W. S. Thompson, Ed Horn, J. H. Hackleman, Alvan Sankey.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 23, 1884.

Postmaster Topliff is in Chicago purchasing a front for his new building. It is barely possible that Topliff may go further to Pennsylvania, for instance—but we do not know positively.

Arkansas City Republican, August 2, 1884.

J. C. Topliff returned Monday from Chicago.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 20, 1884.

Scott & Topliff last week purchased N. T. Snyder’s large bay horse, “Pedro,” at a cost of about $600.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 24, 1884.

Ad. Corn! Corn! Corn! I want to contract 18,000 bushels of corn in the crib where it stands, or to be delivered on my ranch on Otter Creek, 12 miles east of Arkansas City, and 2,500 bushels at Scott & Topliff’s sheep ranch, 7 miles southeast of Arkansas City, on which I will make advance payments. C. M. SCOTT.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 1, 1884.

Ad. FEEDING WETHERS. We have 300 fat wethers it will pay some farmer to feed.


Arkansas City Traveler, October 22, 1884.

Time Card of the A. T. & S. F. R. R.

          TRAINS ARRIVE.

Accommodation: 9:30 p.m.

Passenger: 12:20 p.m.

          TRAINS LEAVE.

Accommodation: 6:00 p.m.

Passenger: 2:30 p.m.

MAILS. Arrive daily except Sunday, at the post office at 11:45 a.m. Mails going north close at 1:50 p.m. The post office will be open on Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.


Arkansas City Traveler, November 5, 1884.

Our Post Office.

Among the many good buildings that have been completed in our city during the past year, our new post office formally opened to the public last week takes a front rank.

It is a substantial stone building, 110 feet deep by 25 feet in width, pressed brick front, cut stone trimmings, and the whole surrounded by an elegant stone capping, the finest of the kind yet to be found in our town.

The building, which was erected by our postmaster, J. C. Topliff, is specially fitted for the transaction of postal business, being supplied with every convenience that will conduce the rapid delivery of the mail and the general dispatch of business. The rear part is lighted by a skylight, and the interior fixtures, in the way of boxes, wainscoting, etc., of black walnut, makes a decidedly attractive and elegant appearance. The furnace for heating both the office and store rooms is in the basement and is the first of its kind put up in the city. The patrons of the office will no doubt fully appreciate the action of our postmaster in providing them with the best arranged, most perfectly appointed, and withal, the most beautiful postoffice in the county.

The store room is occupied on the north by the large and entirely new stock of stationery, books, etc., purchased by the new firm of Snyder & Gould, while on the south, the magnificent display made by our pioneer jewelers, Ridenour & Thompson, put in the shade anything heretofore seen in the city. Both stores are fitted up alike with handsome tables and large show cases, all of which make up a whole of which the citizens of Arkansas City may justly be proud.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 19, 1884.

The next regular meeting of Creswell Lodge of A. F. & A. M. will be on the evening of Saturday, December 6th, at which time officers will be elected for the ensuing year. The installation of officers elected will be on Dec. 20. The present officers of the lodge are:

James Ridenour, W. M.

Charles Hutchins, Sen. Warden.

Calvin Dean, Jr. Warden.

J. C. Topliff, Secretary.

H. P. Farrar, Treasurer.

James Benedict, Tyler.

H. Endicott, Senior Stewart.

J. K. Rogers, Junior Stewart.

Arkansas City Republican, November 22, 1884.

The new post office has been handsomely painted. Postmaster Topliff has expended more than his entire salary since his advent in office in fixing up a commodious post office. We would suggest that our Democratic friends continue J. D. as postmaster. No better man could be found, at least no one who has taken such pains to please the public could be secured.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 26, 1884.

Topliff is fitting up the old post office building for a restaurant.

Arkansas City Republican, December 6, 1884.

Heretofore there has always been a rush and jam at the post office wicket after mail distribution. Postmaster Topliff has put a quietus on that. He caused George Cunningham to put up a railing in front so that only one gets there at a time.

Arkansas City Traveler, December 10, 1884.

  A. F. & A. M.

At the annual election of officers for Crescent Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of this city last Saturday night the following gentlemen were elected for the ensuing year.

Jas. Benedict, W. M.

Chas. Hutchins, S. W.

Cal. Dean, J. N.

H. P. Farrar, Treas.

J. C. Topliff, Sec.

Arkansas City Traveler, December 24, 1884.

Christmas day the post office will not be opened except between the hours of 2 to 3 p.m. J. C. TOPLIFF, P. M.

Arkansas City Traveler, December 24, 1884.

Among the confirmations for postmaster on the 20th inst., we notice that of our postmaster, J. C. Topliff. We can truly say we are glad, as Mr. Topliff has proved himself thoroughly efficient in his discharge of the duties of the office, and in addition thereto has provided our city with the neatest and most commodious quarters of any post office in Southern Kansas.

Winfield Courier, December 25, 1884.

James C. Topliff has been appointed postmaster at Arkansas City for another term of four years. The Democrats who want the office will like each other better if they are contented to wait the four years without a struggle for it.

Arkansas City Republican, December 27, 1884.

Last Friday, James C. Topliff was nominated postmaster of Arkansas City, and on the following day the nomination was confirmed. Mr. Topliff is deserving of the appointment. He has expended his salary in fitting up a post office of which our citizens are proud.

Arkansas City Republican, January 3, 1885.

Last Monday at the post office J. C. Topliff issued 23 money orders. During the month of December 97 money orders have been written out and some 50 postal notes.

Arkansas City Republican, January 17, 1885.

A petition is being circulated by the Democrats praying that Topliff be removed from the post office here and Jas. Benedict be appointed in his stead. The Democrats forget that the mug-wumps have a mortgage on Cleveland, which they are bound to respect. Besides Cleveland favors the civil service reform plank.

Arkansas City Republican, February 7, 1885.

St. Valentine’s Day.

Next Saturday evening the ladies of the Presbyterian society will celebrate this day with one of their unique and inimitable entertainments. To make the entertainment doubly interesting, a marriage ceremony will be performed. The high contracting parties are citizens well known in our social circle, and when their names we divulge, our readers’ eyes will dilate with astonishment. Everybody is invited to attend the wedding, which will occur in Highland Hall. Rev. J. O. Campbell will act as the “go-between.” The groom, Mr. J. C. Topliff, and the bride, Miss Linda Christian, are the subjects which Rev. Campbell will unite. The bridal couple after the ceremony will enjoy the bounteous feast, which will be prepared by the Presbyterian ladies. Phil Snyder and E. L. McDowell will be the groomsmen and Miss Annie Meigs and Mrs. J. H. Heck the bridesmaids. No invitations will be issued, but a general one to the public is extended. The new couple will please accept the congratulations of the REPUBLICAN in advance although we may be somewhat premature.

N. B. Dear reader, for fear you may think “Top” is really going to be married, we wish to inform you that it is only to be a Japanese wedding and not a binding one. Although they may agree to take each other for better or worse, it is only in fun.

Arkansas City Traveler, February 11, 1885.

The ladies of the Presbyterian Church will give a unique entertainment at Highland Hall on the evening of St. Valentine’s Day. First will be a Japanese wedding, in which the high contracting parties will be Jas. C. Topliff and Miss Linda Christian, with Miss Anna Meigs, Mrs. J. W. Heck, Phil L. Snyder, and Ernest L. McDowell as attendants, and Rev. J. O. Campbell as njukkorzatti ogrekzwim, or whatever officiating clergyman is in Japanese, Then there will be an elegant supper for all the guests. There will also be a Japanese table where fancy goods of all kinds and descriptions may be obtained. An admission fee of 35 cents at the door will entitle those who come to the entertainment and refreshments.

Arkansas City Traveler, February 18, 1885.


The most successful of the season’s social events occurred last night at Highland Hall under the auspices of the Favorite Social Club. A large and select party of maskers were they, who glided about the hall in the many intricacies of the dance. A feast for the eyes was the many colors as they glided in and out in serpentine movements or moved along stately in massed colors. The beautiful costumes of the ladies, the grotesque and glaring ones of the gentlemen, called up scenes of oriental splendor and was soothing and calming while yet exciting to the lookers on. The names of those who were invited to the Ma Hubbard, were, so near as we could learn as follows.

One of the maskers present: J. C. Topliff.

Arkansas City Republican, February 21, 1885.

The Japanese Wedding.

Last Saturday evening the ladies of the Presbyterian Aid Society held their entertainment in Highland Hall. The Japanese Wedding was the main feature. It was purely oriental. The participants were dressed in the Japanese garb. Miss Linda Christian and J. C. Topliff were the high contracting parties. E. L. McDowell and Mrs. J. W. Heck, the parents of the groom; Philip Snyder and Miss Annie Meigs, the parents of the unsophisticated bride. Misses Maggie Hoffman, Laura Gould, Flora Gould, Rosa Morse, Edna Worthley, Viola Bishop, and Mamie Steinman were the bridesmaids.

First of all appeared on the stage the parents of the groom, followed by the parents of the bride, who glided to their place quietly. Next came Rev. J. O. Campbell, the “go-between,” followed by the couple who were desirous of being united. After Salaam to their hearts content, the “go-between” proceeded with his part. He goes to the groom, who whispers in his ear, and then he transfers his information to the bride, who in return whispers to the “go-between” and he carries it back to the groom. The ceremony was realistic, and considerable mirth was provoked, yet it was interesting.

After the wedding a bounteous feast was resorted to by the guests. A neat little sum of money was realized from this entertainment. There were two booths, one a candy and the other a fancy-work, which were presided over by the young ladies. Miss Ora Farrar had possession of the candy booth, which netted a goodly sum of money. Mrs. Steel furnished the candy, and as it was homemade, the customers pronounced it excellent. Misses Ella Love and Lissa Guthrie were in charge of the fancy-work booth. A silk crazy quilt, which was to have been voted to the most beautiful lady, resulted in a tie between Miss Hattie Cory and Mrs. S. B. Fleming. It will be disposed of at some future time.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, March 7, 1885.

The following is a list of transfers for the months of January and February, 1885, as taken from the transfer books of Frank J. Hess, Real Estate Agent.


J. C. Topliff to Mary A. Hess, 4 lots: $150

Arkansas City Traveler, March 18, 1885.


This city was startled Friday with intelligence of the death of Maj. J. M. Haworth, which occurred at Albuquerque, New Mexico, Thursday, March 12, 1885. Maj. Haworth has been long and favorably known by many of our citizens. He was a man of exceptionally great ideas, pure motives, and earnestness in the work he was engaged in. He threw his whole soul into it, and made it the sleeping and waking thought and study of his life. Major Haworth has been in the Indian service since 1873, and in that time, no breath of suspicion has ever been raised in regard to his honesty of purpose or administration. In 1873, he was recommended by the Quakers, of which body he is a member, to the Government and was appointed agent of the Kiowas and Comanches, then just located in the Territory, and in a very wild and savage state, not having been subjected in the least to civilizing influences. He remained in charge of them for six or seven years, meeting with most gratifying success in their control. No agent since has been enabled to do so much for them. At the end of the year 1879, he offered his resignation, and was appointed Inspector of the Agencies in the Territory, and in 1882 to General Superintendent of all the Indian Schools in the U. S. In this position, he has labored faithfully and well. It was at his suggestion and influence that the Chilocco Schools were placed where they are, and it was by his untiring and ceaseless labors that so many Indian children are now enabled to receive the benefits of perfect training schools, learning the arts of civilization and the benefits of peace.

Major Haworth was contemplating a removal to our city upon his release from his present position, and expected to engage in business. His loss will be greatly felt in this community, whose true friend he had proved himself; and we venture to say that he had more friends here than any other man not a resident.

We print below the resolution adopted by the Presbyterian Church of this city and the citizens generally, as they voice our feelings and sentiments.


WHEREAS, God in his inscrutable providence, has called to Himself, in the flower of manhood, Maj. J. M. Haworth, general government inspector of Indian Schools in the U. S., and

WHEREAS, The citizens of Arkansas City, who have known him more or less intimately, have learned to look upon him as one among the few who are worthy of entire and implied confidence so often manifested in his daily dealings and acts among us; and

WHEREAS, Our city owes so much of her prosperity to his generous and just recognition; and

WHEREAS, That while placed in many and severe trials and difficulties, he has so nobly and uprightly conducted himself, both as a government official and a private citizen, that those of us who knew him most intimately, desire to record our appreciation of his kind, generous, christian spirit manifested in motives and deeds that betokened the abiding presence of the almighty with him, and reveals a great, generous heart, whose noblest impulses were enlisted for the elevation and salvation of the Indian race, in whose interests he labored so assiduously.

Therefore be it resolved,

1st. That we, citizens of Arkansas City, Kansas, and members of the Presbyterian Church, in congregation assembled, while bowing in humble submission to the orderings of His will, who “doeth all things well,” record with grateful memory, the life and labors and eminent christian spirit of our departed friend.

2nd. That we are assured this great change means to him nothing less than the fulfillment of a life-long desire to hear the “will done” of the master, for which his life, public and private, in business or in social converse, has so eminently filled him.

3rd. That we express our grief and sorrow at the great loss sustained by the government service, and his family, and that we hereby extend to the stricken wife and children, our most heartfelt sympathies in this their great bereavement.

4th. That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the President of the U. S.—to the Indian Industrial School at Chilocco—to the family of our brother, and that they be published in the papers of this city. Signed by Committee. J. C. TOPLIFF, S. B. FLEMING.

March 15, 1885.

             LAND SLIDES.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 26, 1885.

J. C. Topliff to A. Ross, lots 3, 4, block 4, Arkansas City. $50.00

Arkansas City Traveler, April 1, 1885.

J. C. Topliff visited his ranche Sunday.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, April 18, 1885.

MARRIED. Last Saturday J. C. Topliff left for New Brighton, Pennsylvania. Last Wednesday our worthy postmaster was united in marriage to Miss Virginia Walton, who formerly resided in Arkansas City. As soon as the nuptial knot was tied, Mr. Topliff took the train for New York. They will be home in the course of a month. For some time past the REPUBLICAN has noticed that “Top” has been extremely nervous and now we have the cause. He tried to slip off and get married without anyone knowing it. But the REPUBLICAN with its “eye like an eagle” caught on. May the best of luck attend you through married life, Brother Topliff.

Arkansas City Traveler, April 22, 1885.

MARRIED. Married at New Brighton, Pennsylvania, April 15, 1885, James C. Topliff and Miss Virginia Walton. At home, after May 21, 1885, Arkansas City, Kansas.

Such are the facts we glean from an elegant missive which reached us on Monday last, and in connection with which we can only say that the high contracting parties in the ceremony are well known and universally esteemed in this community and their hosts of friends will unite most heartily in welcoming them upon their return and also in desiring that life’s troublous tide in their case may never be ruffled by the winds of adversity.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 23, 1885.

James C. Topliff and Virginia Walton were married at New Brighton, Pa., on the 15th inst. A card informs THE COURIER that they will be “At Home” after May 21st. “Top” is the genial and efficient p. m. at Arkansas City. Congratulations will be in order after a sample of the wedding cake is received. Our young man doesn’t rest well without a slice of wedding cake under his pillow.

Arkansas City Republican, June 13, 1885.


The Democrat comes to the front on the post office question this week. Our neighbor is somewhat riled because the REPUBLICAN was informed that Judge McIntire had his application filed in Washington for the postmastership. We say again our information is creditable. And as the Judge does not openly deny the charge, we accept the information as true. Still the Judge’s application may never have gone farther than the chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee at Winfield and there died from strangulation. From time to time the REPUBLICAN has published paragraphs concerning the applicants for the post office, with jovial intentions. We did not think the Judge would take our remarks otherwise. But as he has, we answer in all soberness. Capt. M. N. Sinnott is a friend of the editor of the REPUBLICAN; he is also a gentleman and a true Democrat. The editor of the REPUBLICAN is a Republican. Since the Democracy was victorious, it has been evident to us that it was only a question of time until all Republican office-holders are ousted, and we have heard Judge McIntire express the same opinion. The REPUBLICAN does not desire to see a change in postmasters here, because J. C. Topliff is a deserving P.M. He has built a large building and the arrangement of the office is more elegant and commodious than even the one at Wichita. But at the present rate the administration is removing Republican officials—nearly 200 per day—it will not be more than 12 months until Arkansas City will be reached. The trouble with the Judge is that he is afraid Sinnott has the best chances and he wants the time put off as long as possible. At the winding up of his article the Judge says: “But the secret, narrow gauge side track arrangement of M. N. Sinnott’s will divide and distract the party, and smells too strong of Republican methods.

The REPUBLICAN got Sinnott into this scrape by poking fun at him. The shoe pinched Judge so hard he had to squeal. To ease Judge’s fears, we say Sinnott does not seek the office and could not accept it very well on account of his present situation. Therefore, Sinnott has no narrow gauge arrangement and such language as used by the Judge above will undoubtedly divide the party.

If a Democrat has to receive the appointment, the REPUBLICAN favors Capt. M. N. Sinnott. He is a Democrat who fought for the salvation of our country and stands high in the estimation of all who know him. Why the Judge should handle Capt. Sinnott so roughly, we fail to understand. If, as the Democrat suggests, an election should be held to see what Democrat should have the honor of being postmaster here, the REPUBLICAN predicts Sinnott would get 500 majority over any man who could be brought out against him who would accept the office.

Arkansas City Republican, June 27, 1885.

Frank Hess sold the H. R. Darrough lot and building on north Summit street Thursday to J. C. Topliff for $1,525. The lot is just north of Central Avenue Hotel. We are informed a business room will be erected thereon.

             LAND SLIDES.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 9, 1885.

Jas E Topliff to Chesley Deerberry, lots 27 and 28, block 27, Ark City: $50

William S. Houghton et ux to Jas. C. Topliff, lots 17 and 18, blk 52, A. C.: $83

James Topliff to Chas. Murry, lot 3, blk 61, A. C.: $50

             LAND SLIDES.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 23, 1885.

Harriet H. Chamberlain to James C. Topliff, lot 6, blk 71, lot 8, blk 52, lot 24, blk 65, lots 10 and 11, blk 157, Ark City, qc and w: $100

Arkansas City Traveler, July 29, 1885.

The residence of O. Stevenson on South Summit Street, was sold last week to J. C. Topliff, consideration $4,500.

             LAND SLIDES.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 30, 1885.

James C Topliff to Edward C Gage, lots 9, 11, blk 39, A. C.: $60

James C Topliff et ux to David R Beatty, lots 23 and 24, blk 120, A. C.: $70

Arkansas City Traveler, August 5, 1885.

NOTICE. Saturday, August 8th, being the day of General Grant’s funeral services, this is to give notice that, by order of the postmaster general, the post office will be closed from 3 to 6:30 p.m. J. C. TOPLIFF, P. M.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 19, 1885.

Postmaster Topliff will soon begin the erection of a two-story and basement store on Summit Street, just south of the Hasie block, its dimensions fifty feet by one hundred. Mr. William Gall has the contract to put up the building, and is now busy on the plans. The south wall will be of stone and the front of pressed brick. It will be a fine addition to the present elegant block.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 19, 1885.

Postmaster Topliff wishes to inform our readers that the post office at Salt City has been discontinued. All mail matter directed to that office will be sent to Geuda Springs for distribution.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 19, 1885.

The change in time in arrival and departure of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe trains, and the corresponding change in the time of closing the mails in our city post office (which went into effect on the 12th inst.) Will be found noted in our time table.

Time Card of the A. T. & S. F. R. R.


Accommodation: 8:05 p.m.

Passenger: 12:10 p.m.


Accommodation: 6:00 a.m.

Passenger: 2:45 p.m.

MAILS. Arrive daily, except Sunday, at the post office at 12:20 p.m. Mails going north close at 2:10 p.m. The post office will be open on Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.


Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, August 1, 1885.

Some time ago Asa Burr purchased four lots of J. C. Topliff, C. M. Scott, F. J. Hess, and T. H. McLaughlin. He paid half cash and gave his note for the remainder.

Burr was of a business turn of mind and proceeded at once to purchase lumber to build a house, getting it on time. Wednesday he traded the house to a negro by the name of Banks, who lately moved here from Winfield, for stock. He never told Banks that the property was encumbered in any way except by a mortgage of $80. With the exception of the $80, he declared the title to the property good and gave a warranty deed when he held no deed himself. The same night, succeeding the day of trade, Burr harnessed his team, purchased provisions, and skipped.

No one knows in which direction he went, but several men are very anxious to ascertain his whereabouts. Some think he started for Nebraska, where he has a claim; and others believe he went to the northwest part of the state. He informed a man by the name of Patterson that he intended to burst the town wide open before he left it.

Banks is the greatest sufferer by Burr’s leaving. His house is covered with liens, mortgages, etc., to the sum of about $356. Bob Maxey is a sufferer, also Dave Beatty, and quite a number of others. If Burr should be arrested, he will most likely serve a time in the penitentiary if it is proven he was attempting to defraud the parties interested, and it is the general belief he has gone for good.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, August 1, 1885.

J. C. Topliff had to go and purchase a staple, padlock and chain, and lock the office door of the room formally occupied by ex-city attorney Stafford in order to keep him out of the room. Some three months ago, Stafford was sued by Topliff for rent. About the time the action was to have come to trial, Stafford moved out of the room, leaving “Top” to get his rent the best he could. When he moved out, Stafford failed to give up the key and since has been seen to go to the room, unlock the door, and go in. What for we can’t say. Topliff says he has asked Stafford to turn over the key and that he will keep him out if he has to stand guard at the door with a rifle. Correct, Commodore.

Arkansas City Republican, August 22, 1885.

Capt. Sinnott came down from Winfield the first of the week to see Topliff and learn what the aggregate receipts of the post office averaged per month. Nothing like getting acquainted with your future business, you know.


Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, August 29, 1885.

Our New Business Blocks.

Kroenert & Austin will soon commence the building of their business room; and J. C. Topliff will put up a block just south of the Hasie Block.

Arkansas City Republican, August 29, 1885.

Postmaster Topliff informs the REPUBLICAN, that on and after Sept. 1, the Southern mail will only be sent as far as Pawnee Agency, Indian Territory, by stage. All south of that agency will be sent round by rail and forwarded to its proper destination.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 2, 1885.

Notice. On and after September 1st, the southern mail will only be sent as far as Pawnee Agency, Indian Territory, by stage; all below that place will be forwarded around by rail.


Arkansas City Republican, September 19, 1885.

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hilliard were surprised by a very pleasant party last evening. They were spending the evening very pleasantly with Mr. and Mrs. Powell and Miss Laura King, relations of Mrs. Hilliard, from Chicago, when the party took them by storm. Those invited were Messrs. Philip Snyder, Will Daniels, Chas. Mead, Herman Wycoff, Charlie Chapel; Misses Mollie and Linda Christian, Clark and Cora Thompson, Jessie Miller, Lucy Walton, Fannie Cunningham, Minnie Stewart; Mrs. Fred Miller, Mrs. Gooch; Mr. and Mrs. Capt. Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. Topliff, Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Parsons, Mr. and Mrs. Worthley, Mr. and Mrs. Ayres, Mr. and Mrs. A. V. Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Perry, Mr. and Mrs. Grubbs, Mr. and Mrs. Landes, Mr. and Mrs. N. T. Snyder, Mr. and Mrs. Matlack, Mr. and Mrs. H. P. Farrar, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Searing, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Cunningham, and Mr. and Mrs. Wyckoff.

Arkansas City Republican, September 26, 1885.

J. C. Topliff will soon commence the erection of two business rooms for W. S. Houghton on lots just south of the Hasie block. The block is to be two stories high and 50 x 100 feet.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 30, 1885.

James C. Topliff advertises for bids on the double house he is about to erect just south of the Hasie block.

AD. TO CONTRACTORS. I will receive bids within the next ten days for laying the stone and brick work, also doing the carpenter work, on lots adjoining the Hasie block. Also for stone and brick delivered at same place, and for excavating for cellar. Plans and specifications may be seen at A. V. Alexander & Co.’s office, Wm. Gall, architect.


Arkansas City Traveler, September 30, 1885.

In the burnt district, S. B. Pickle, Dr. Shepard, and Kroenert & Austin are excavating for new buildings. Mrs. Benedict and J. H. Sherburne will also start in a few days. Postmaster Topliff will shortly start on the erection of a fifty foot business building south of the Hasie block, and other similar improvements are under consideration.


Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, October 3, 1885.

In addition to the business houses going up on the “burnt district,” J. C. Topliff is receiving bids for the erection of a stone business block, 50 x 100 feet, and two stories high. In the block there will be two business rooms, each 25 x 100 feet; the second floor will be used for office rooms. The block will be put up on lots just south of the magnificent and imposing Commercial and Hasie blocks.

Arkansas City Republican, October 3, 1885.

J. C. Topliff is likely to continue as postmaster of Arkansas City for some time. The two Democratic factions could not agree upon a man—’cause too many wanted it—and the pressure that each side brought to bear against the other was more than Cleveland dared to antagonize.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 7, 1885.

Postmaster Topliff has been removed from the ragged edge, and Martin A. Sinnott appointed to succeed him. Our new man of letters will take hold in a few days.


Arkansas City Traveler, October 7, 1885.


Mr. Gall has finished the plans of J. C. Topliff’s new double building south of the Hasie block. This will be in keeping with the elegance of the structure it adjoins, and will be the cause of just pride to our citizens.


Arkansas City Traveler, October 7, 1885.

             Council Proceedings.

Permission was granted J. C. Topliff to use the street for building material while erecting his double house next to the Hasie block.


Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 8, 1885.

The “offensive partisans” continue to resign and such mild mannered partisans as Martin N. Sinnott are taking their places. In yesterday’s list of Presidential appointments we find: M. N. Sinnott, Arkansas City, vice J. C. Topliff, resigned; B. F. Devore, Independence, vice W. T. Yoe, resigned; T. A. McCreary, Medicine Lodge, vice W. D. Van Slyke, resigned; S. S. Carey, Harper, vice J. O. Graham, resigned; T. R. Love, Wellington, vice J. J. Coffman, resigned; C. Campbell, Florence, vice W. A. Standford, resigned. This about closes out the list for this section of Kansas except Marsh Murdock, of Wichita, who, as a partisan, is not the least bit offensive.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 8, 1885.

Capt. M. N. Sinnott, now deputy County Clerk, has been appointed postmaster at Arkansas City, J. C. Topliff having resigned. He is popular, thoroughly competent, and will fill the office with satisfaction to all.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, October 10, 1885.

A Clean Sweep.

The “offensive partisans” continue reign. In the Tuesday’s list of presidential appointments we find: M. N. Sinnott, Arkansas City, vice J. C. Topliff, resigned.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, October 10, 1885.

Tuesday morning the news came that Martin N. Sinnott had been appointed postmaster of Arkansas City, vice James C. Topliff, resigned. Later the associated press dispatches confirmed it; the news to a large portion of the Democrats was like a thunderclap. If a cyclone had struck them, their surprise could not have been greater. They were paralyzed, speechless, and heart-broken. James C. Topliff, during his career as postmaster, has been an efficient officer, and we are sorry to see his head decapitated. Martin N. Sinnott is a hard shell Democrat, a regular moss-back, yet we believe he will make a good and trustworthy p.m. But after all it will be somewhat humiliating to have to get your mail from a Democrat after being treated so handsomely by Republican officials for 24 years. Sinnott’s appointment dates from the 1st day of October. Since his wind-fall, he has never come around with cigars; but we have patience.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 14, 1885.

Our city cotemporaries are dismissing Postmaster Topliff to the shades of private life with pleasant obituary notices, and are saying many kind things of him as an obsequy to his memory. This strikes us as somewhat previous. He is still in active life, and is certainly not a fit subject for these obsequious attentions. It would be more becoming to wait till the last breath of official life has departed before they commence the pastime of dancing nightly on his grave.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 21, 1885.

G. B. Shaw & Co., have secured the contract for the lumber to be used in the Topliff building.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, October 31, 1885.


Dollars Worth of Improvements Made to Arkansas City This Building Season.

The following is a partial list of the improvements made in Arkansas City since March 1, 1885.

J. C. Topliff & Co., business block: $40,000

Arkansas City Republican, October 31, 1885.

The Courier says: “James C. Topliff and lady, and A. D. Hawk and wife, were up from the Terminus Monday. Go away from home to get the news. This is the first time we ever heard of A. D. Hawk having a wife.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 4, 1885.

On Monday Postmaster Topliff vacated his office, and Col. Sinnott assumed charge of the mails. The retiring P. M. has acquired the good will of all our citizens by his efficient performance of duty and his unfailing courtesy. Col. Sinnott has had a good training for the office and his pleasing manners will add to his immense list of friends. We regret the loss of so good a man as “Top,” but feel confident that the office has fallen into good hands. Here’s success all round.

Arkansas City Republican, November 7, 1885.

M. N. Sinnott took charge of the post office Monday. No change has yet been made in the employees. J. C. Topliff has received the appointment of deputy postmaster. This is a novel team yoked together.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 11, 1885.

Topliff, our ex-postmaster, stepped out of the post office on Monday, having accepted a position in the Arkansas City Bank. He will enter on his duties there tomorrow.

Arkansas City Republican, November 14, 1885.

J. C. Topliff resigned his position as deputy postmaster and has accepted a situation in the Arkansas City Bank. Chas. Chapel has been appointed Mr. Topliff’s successor. Miss Lucetta Pyburn has received the appointment of postal clerk.


Arkansas City Traveler, December 9, 1885.

City Council Proceedings.

J. C. Topliff, in behalf of O. Stevenson and W. S. Houghton, complained of the feeding of teams on Fourth Avenue, declaring it a nuisance and asking that it be abated. Petition placed on file, and city marshal instructed to look into the matter.

Arkansas City Republican, January 2, 1886.

Mr. and Mrs. S. Matlack, and Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Topliff, went up to Winfield New Year’s day to attend the wedding of B. W. Matlack and Miss Gertrude McMullen.



Arkansas City Traveler, February 10, 1886.

The petition of property holders on Thirteenth Street was again read.


To the Honorable Mayor and Aldermen of the city of Arkansas City, Kansas, in Common Council Assembled.

GENTLEMEN: We property holders on Thirteenth street of said city beg and petition your Honorable body to immediately take such legal steps as may lay in your power to procure for us damages done to our property abutting on said street, caused by the building of the Kansas City and Southwestern R. R. on the said street.

The right of way being granted to said R. R. Co. by your Honorable body, we deem it only right and proper that you procure for us the damages claimed by us, to our property.

Signed. Amount Claimed.

J. C. Topliff, for Virg. Walton   $ 500.00

W. S. Houghton, by Topliff $1,000.00

Arkansas City Traveler, March 31, 1886.

           Farewell Reception.

On Monday, Mrs. E. D. Eddy gave a farewell reception to Mrs. Walton, mother to Mrs. Stacy Matlack and Mrs. Topliff, who will leave the city for her home in Maryland, next Tuesday. This estimable lady has been the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Matlack through the winter. Those present at the festivity were Mesdames Walton, S. Matlack, Topliff, Searing, Newman, Wyard Gooch, Carrie Morse, E. Sherburne (mother to Mrs. Eddy), Joseph H. Sherburne, and Frederic Lockley. Invitations were sent to several other ladies, who were probably deterred from attending on account of the inclement weather. A pleasant afternoon was spent, and in the evening an elegant repast was served. On separating the guest of the evening received the warmest assurances of esteem and friendship from all present, and her departure will be regretted by all within her social circle.

Arkansas City Traveler, April 28, 1886.

The south store of the Topliff block is approaching completion, and the Nickel Plate Restaurant will be opened next week.


Arkansas City Traveler, September 1, 1886.

C. L. Kloos, of the Nickel Plate Restaurant, is negotiating with his landlord, J. C. Topliff, for the upper portion of the Houghton block, with a view to furnishing a score of rooms for lodgers.

Arkansas City Republican, May 15, 1886.

The Land Slides of the Week.

James C. Topliff sold to A. R. Wilcox, 2 lots, $100.

Arkansas City Republican, May 15, 1886.

GRAND OPENING OF THE NICKEL PLATE RESTAURANT TONIGHT, In the North Room of the Topliff Block. Everybody invited to come and behold the Best Restaurant in Southwestern Kansas. The Buckskin Border Band will be in attendance and furnish the music. Respectfully, C. L. KLOSE.

Arkansas City Republican, May 15, 1886.

C. L. Sudborough, Mrs. J. C. Topliff, and Prof. J. C. Weir were appointed the examining board for teachers in Arkansas City by the school board Monday night last.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, May 22, 1886. From Wednesday’s Daily.

Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Topliff and Miss Lucy Walton visited at Robt. Howe’s residence at Maple City over Sunday.

Arkansas City Republican, June 5, 1886.

Real Estate Transfers.

The following real estate transfers have been made in Arkansas City within the past two days and deeds sent up for record.

J. L. Huey to J. C. Topliff, lot 22, block 92; $150.

      Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 26, 1886. From Wednesday’s Daily.

The trial of Brubaker for cruelty to animals before Judge Kreamer has ended. It went to the jury last evening. They were out until midnight and agreed to disagree. The court dismissed the jury and the prisoner. This is the second time the jury agreed to disagree in this case. It was composed of A. D. Prescott, A. D. Hawk, H. P. Farrar, John Ware, S. B. Adams, Geo. W. Spruill, G. W. Herbert, Thos. Kimmell, M. S. Hasie, O. F. Lang, Calvin Dean, and J. C. Topliff.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 17, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.

The upper rooms of the new Topliff building are a model of comfort and convenience. They are well ventilated, furnished with water fixtures, and suited either for living or office rooms.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 24, 1886. From Monday’s Daily.

Mrs. J. C. Topliff and her sister, Miss Lucy Walton, are visiting friends and relatives up in Nebraska.



Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, August 7, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.

J. C. Topliff complained that hitching posts on 4th Avenue were a nuisance and asked that they be removed. Complaint referred to City Marshal.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, August 7, 1886. From Thursday’s Daily.

J. C. Topliff has commenced work on his residence on Fifth Avenue. It is to be two stories high.

Arkansas City Republican, August 14, 1886.

J. C. Topliff has rented the south room of the Houghton block to D. Davidson, who will open a clothing store next month. Mr. Davidson is from Fremont, Nebraska, and comes to us very highly recommended.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, September 4, 1886. From Saturday’s Daily.

Mrs. J. C. Topliff returned home yesterday afternoon from her Nebraska trip.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, September 4, 1886. From Saturday’s Daily.

Thos. Saymens sold his residence property in the third ward yesterday to J. C. Topliff for $900. Mr. Saymens intends moving away from Arkansas City.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, September 11, 1886. From Friday’s Daily.

Yesterday F. J. Hess sold the Jas. C. Topliff farm south of the city to John Love for $12,000.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 15, 1886.

B. Davidson, the dry goods merchant, who has rented the Topliff store, arrived in town on Monday evening, and will open out as soon as his stock of goods arrives.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 22, 1886.

Mr. B. Davidson, late of Fremont, Nebraska, has opened a first class dry goods house in the Topliff Block, which he has filled with an entirely new stock of goods. Mr. Davidson has had many years’ experience in the dry goods trade, and being impressed with the business advantages of Arkansas City, has come to contribute his enterprise and capital to the general stock. He is a valuable acquisition to our business circles, and the TRAVELER wishes him success.



Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, September 25, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.

The petition of J. C. Topliff to vacate the alley at the rear of S. Matlack’s residence was reported unfavorably on by the committee. The report was accepted.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 6, 1886.

J. C. Topliff and wife took a vacation last week, spending their holiday on C. M. Scott’s ranch, twelve miles east of here.



Arkansas City Traveler, October 20, 1886.

The application to vacate the alley between the residences of J. C. Topliff and Stacy Matlack was discussed, and the first named authorized to proceed with his work.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, November 13, 1886. From Saturday’s Daily.

An idea of the increase in Arkansas City the last year can be gained by a reference to the work done in the post office. When J. C. Topliff was postmaster, his average sale of two-cent stamps was about 30,000 per three months. Postmaster Sinnott says he sold 24,000 two-cent stamps last month.


Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, December 4, 1886. From Saturday’s Daily.

From East Bolton.

ED. REPUBLICAN: Thinking an item from these parts would be of interest to your many readers, I will tell you something of the land exchange since the Frisco struck the state line, not yet 12 months ago. We will commence with the Roberts farm, containing 80 acres, and Beck’s, 80; Hill’s, 98; Whitney’s, 80; Greenbaum, 80; Beeton, 80; Kennedy, 80; Bond, 85; Branson, 80; Ray, 80; Edwards, 80; Herndon, 80; Brown, 320; Holt, 160; Topliff, 480; Pattison, 240; which, if I correctly count, is 2,182 acres, all sold at a fair price. We tell you this to let you know that while we are proud to see Arkansas City’s advancement, we intend to keep as near her as farmers can. [Beeton? Could this be Beeson?]

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, January 1, 1887. From Friday’s Daily.

The annual congregational meeting of the Presbyterian Society occurred last evening at the church. There was a good attendance and the utmost harmony prevailed. D. P. Marshall was re-elected elder; Mr. Martin was elected elder to fill the vacancy caused by the death of J. C. Duncan; G. MaGill, Gee Coonrod, and I. French were elected deacons. J. C. Topliff and J. W. Hutchison, were re-elected deacons. Mrs. Morse was continued as organist, and Mrs. E. D. Eddy was continued as chorister. The church has no indebtedness.


Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, January 15, 1887. From Tuesday’s Daily.

A good index to the growth of the town is its post office receipts for postage. A glance at those of Arkansas City reveals the fact that they have doubled in one year. The receipts for December, 1885, are:


Stamps sold:     1-cent          4,797   $  47.77

Stamps sold:     2-cent        15,054       301.08

Stamps sold:     4-cent       173           6.92

Stamps sold:     5-cent       172           8.60

Stamps sold:   10-cent           237              22.70

Stamps sold:   15-cent             33            4.95

Stamps sold:   30-cent             13            3.90

Special delivery:               8             .80

Newspapers:                          3.22

Postage due:                             .57

Postal cards:             1,730         17.30

Stamped envelopes:    2,358       49.01

TOTAL:                 $467.02

For the month of December, 1886.

Stamps sold:     1-cent    5,680 $   56.80

Stamps sold: 2-cent 25,855 517.00

Stamps sold:     5-cent       298          14.90

Stamps sold:      10-cent           296           29.60

Special delivery:             16            1.60

Newspapers:                         12.64

Postage due:                            1.24

Postal cards:             8,000          80.00

Stamped envelopes:    9,385       185.33

TOTAL:                   $899.21

The above tabulated statement shows the receipts of December, 1886, to be double that of 1885. It is safe to say that Arkansas City has doubled in population during the year of 1886. All business in Arkansas City appears to have increased two-fold, except the post-master’s salary. Postmaster Sinnott draws the same salary now that ex-Postmaster Topliff did, but has to do twice the amount of work in order to draw it. Arkansas City, as will be seen, will soon be entitled to a free delivery system.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, January 15, 1887. From Wednesday’s Daily.

The ladies of the city who were interested in the founding of a benevolent society for home work, met yesterday afternoon at the residence of Mrs. H. P. Farrar and organized. Mrs. C. H. Searing was chosen president; Mesdames J. P. Witt, Wm. Jenkins, N. T. Snyder, E. F. Shindel, W. H. Cline, A. D. Prescott, and J. O. Campbell were made vice-presidents; Mrs. H. P. Farrar, secretary; and Mrs. S. B. Fleming, treasurer. The society adopted the name of “The King’s Daughters,” and now that the organization is perfected it is ready for action. The intentions of the society are for the relief of the poor and needy of the city. The basement in the Topliff block, beneath Mr. Davidson’s dry goods store, will be open every Tuesday afternoon to receive clothing, etc., from charitably inclined citizens. The King’s Daughters will take charge of the clothing and distribute it to the distressed. The society has its next meeting on Tuesday afternoon at 3 o’clock at the residence of Mrs. N. T. Snyder. Everyone invited.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 19, 1887. From Friday’s Daily.

The jug breaking last night at the Presbyterian Church was a great success. The ladies of the Home and Foreign Missionary Society sent out jugs into the homes of the congregation last July and met last evening to ascertain the result. An interesting programme had been arranged and was all carried out as follows.

SINGING: “Work for the Night is Coming,” by congregation.

Bible Reading, conducted by president, Mrs. Atwood.

Prayer, Mrs. Jenkins.

Quartette by choir.

Secretary’s Report, Mrs. Fleming.

Treasurer’s Report, Mrs. L. F. McLaughlin.

Recitation, “For Love’s Sake,” Miss M. Theaker.

Solo, “Not a Sparrow Falleth,” Mrs. Eddy.

Jug Breaking, by Odie McConn and Mamie Oliphant.

Counting of money, by J. C. Topliff and Irving French.

Amount: $80.

Recitation, “Last Hymn,” Miss Cunningham.

Benediction, Rev. S. B. Fleming.

The music by the choir was very fine and the recitations by Miss Theaker and Miss Cunningham merit special praise. The house, notwithstanding the stormy evening, was about full and altogether the entertainment was very pleasant and profitable to all present. It is to be hoped that the good ladies will frequently exercise their gifts in such entertainments.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 26, 1887. From Tuesday’s Daily.

BIRTH. Born to Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Topliff, yesterday morning, a son.


Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 26, 1887. From Tuesday’s Daily.

             Council Proceedings.

The regular meeting of the council occurred last evening. Present, Mayor Schiffbauer, Councilmen Ingersoll, Prescott, Thompson, Davis, and Hill.

J. C. Topliff asked for quit-claim deed to lot 1, block 103; it was referred to city attorney.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, March 5, 1887. From Tuesday’s Daily.

C. R. Rhodes has removed his family here from Pennsylvania. He is commencing housekeeping in the residence formerly occupied by J. C. Topliff in the third ward.

[Coverage of the early newspapers ceases with the above-noted issue. I was able to uncover the following in 1921and 1922. MAW]

Arkansas City Traveler, Friday, June 17, 1921.


1893: On April 1, 1893, A. A. Newman, still a resident of this city, was elected mayor. In this year W. J. Gray was the constable, T. B. Oldroyd was on the city council, J. C. Topliff was city treasurer, O. Ingersoll (now a resident of Topeka) was city clerk, and Frank Perryman, the well known “chin scraper,” was the chief of the volunteer fire department.

[Howard, who started with the Republican, and later became the editor of the Traveler, made numerous errors with names and facts relative to Arkansas City history. Aylmer D. Keith was not the first postmaster. He was, however, the first and second mayor of Arkansas City. Because so much of the early information is unavailable, it is understandable how “mistakes” have been made repeatedly relative to the early history of Arkansas City. Study the locations that are mentioned in the “Topliff” portion of the article given next. I do not believe they agree with earlier history.

A revelation to me was to learn that it was a relative of J. C. Topliff [W. S. Houghton], who was instrumental in the “Houghton Block” in Arkansas City. I had been under the impression that it was O. P. Houghton or one of his relatives. MAW


Arkansas City Traveler, Monday, July 17, 1922. Front Page.

While Marion Smith, assistant postmaster, was looking over some old records of the Arkansas City post office recently, he dug up the record which showed when the money order business was established in this post office. It was just fifty years ago today. The first money order was written by the postmaster himself and was for $25, dated July 17, 1872. The postmaster at that time was Aylmer D. Keith.

According to Postmaster Hartley and Assistant Smith, Keith was the first postmaster, but according to some older residents, particularly M. N. Sinnott, the city clerk, the first postmaster was Capt. Norton. Both Captain Sinnott and Judge C. L. Swarts say that Captain Norton had the original post office in a com­bined store and residence at 104 North B Street, the corner now occupied by Senator R. C. Howard’s modern residence.

The first uptown location of the post office, it seems, was on the corner of Summit Street and Central Avenue, in the William Rowan building. This building still stands the same as it was nearly half a century ago, except that it had a new roof put on it the other day.

During the reign of C. M. Scott as postmaster, the post office was moved to the location now occupied by the Saddle Rock café. It being the general tendency of the post office to travel southwest, its next location was in the 200 block on the west side of Summit Street, either in what is now Kuntz’s cloth­ing store or the building adjacent to it on the north occupied by the New Home restaurant.

When the post office was young, it was active and didn’t like to stay in one place very long. It saw a good location on West Fifth Avenue in the building now occupied by the Fifth Avenue Book Store, and proceeded to move into it. After resting for a time, it then roamed up the avenue a little farther and stopped in the old Carder building, only three doors west of its previous location.

Here it stayed until a contract was entered into with the Odd Fellows for the occupancy of the first floor of their build­ing, corner of Fifth Avenue and First Street. The first floor of this building was built especially for the home of the post office, and here it proceeded to stay and grow.

The majority of Arkansas City residents know the movements and conduct of the post office from that time on and know that it has behaved itself very well. Only a few years ago it made its last and final move for an indefinite time, when it went into a home of its own and stopped paying rent, made possible by an appropriation secured by Congressman P. P. Campbell of the third congressional district. Ever since, both the post office and Mr. Campbell have been doing business at the old stand.

The order in which the postmasters served Uncle Sam and the people of this community is said to be as follows: Captain Norton, Aylmer D. Keith, C. M. Scott, Dr. Hughes, J. C. Topliff, M. N. Sinnott, W. H. Nelson, M. N. Sinnott, R. C. Howard, C. M. Scott, C. N. Hunt, and George S. Hartley, the two-times being C. M. Scott and M. N. Sinnott.

Mail Carrier By Stage

The first mail was carried to Arkansas City by stage, the Santa Fe railroad not having been extended to Arkansas City till the late ’70s. Billy Preston was the first stage driver. The mail was carried from Emporia, that being the terminus of the Santa Fe. Preston operated a two-horse-power stage between this city and El Dorado, and from there a four-horse stage was run to Emporia. They resembled an automobile in that they got stuck in the mud, but they were not equipped with speedometers.

The driver occupied a seat high and dry on top of the omnibus, and it is said that on some occasions when crossing streams raging with high water, the water would come up a foot or two in the stage, almost floating its occupants, and the matter would not be noticed by the driver until some of the passengers called his attention to it after getting on dry land.

By and by the Santa Fe was seized with worldly enthusiasm and extended its line west from Emporia, running a spur from its main line down to a little cow town called Wichita. Then a stage was operated out of Wichita to Arkansas City and a lot of other towns in the southwest. It was near 1880 when the Santa Fe ruthlessly competed the stage lines along its route out of business, little realizing that in forty years it would have a competitor in the automobile and aeroplane.

           Business Doubled in Ten Years

The growth of the post office business is indicated in the cash receipts for years selected about five years apart as follows: 1907, $20,728.95; 1913, $27,460.70; 1916, $29,513.54; 1921, $53,258.24; ending December 31, 1921.

It will be seen from the above figures that the business of the office practically doubled in the last ten years. For the first quarter in 1922, the figures show a gain of $809.26 over the first quarter of 1921. “Regardless of war conditions and the stringency following the war, the post office has never shown a loss or slump, but has continued to increase each year,” said Postmaster Hartley.

Pay Roll is $4,000 a Month

Money orders issued since the money order business was established amount to a total of $314,515. The post office force consists of the postmaster, assistant postmaster, superintendent, 9 clerks, 9 city carriers, 6 rural carriers, and 2 janitors. The payroll if about $4,000 a month.

Clerks and carriers receive from $1,400 to $1,300 per year according to length of time they have been in the service or in the case of rural carriers according to miles traveled. The pay of a rural carrier is $1,800 on a 24-mile basis, and $30 a year for each mile in excess of that. The carrier on route 6 makes 32 miles daily, drawing down pay for eight miles in excess of the 24-mile minimum, which would be $240 a year, thus making his annual income $2,040.

In the original record which the assistant postmaster dug up, some of the names familiar to the Arkansas City public are: E. D. Eddy, who is reported to be living in Chicago; H. O. Meigs, who has been dead several years; Amos Walton, whose widow is a resident here; E. J. Hoyt, “Buckeye Joe,” who is dead; T. H. McLaughlin, who is a merchant in Pawhuska; Herman Godehard, who was a merchant here, but is now dead; I. H. Bonsall, dead; C. R. Sipes, hardware merchant, dead.

George S. Hartley’s tenure in the post office will expire July 29, 1923. The present post office building was completed in 1915. Although there are no vacancies at the present time, twelve men took the civil service examination held in the post office building, Saturday. Those passing will be qualified as clerks to take any vacancy in that line that might occur here or anywhere in the country.

[Note: E. J. Hoyt was known as “Buckskin Joe.”]

First Postmaster.

Winfield Courier, December 18, 1884.

It is said that Captain G. H. Norton, Arkansas City’s first postmaster, is now one of the richest men in the orange growing districts of Florida.

Winfield Courier, December 18, 1884.

The A. C. Democrat gets the following historical information from the first biennial report of the state board of agriculture. It will be read with interest by all identified with Cowley’s pioneer days.

First post office: Creswell Township, Arkansas City, G. H. Norton, postmaster.

Notes by RKW.


The streets in Arkansas City were laid out north and south and east and west. The main street traversed the summit of the mound upon which the town was located.

The first structure built on the townsite was a log cabin, erected in the 100 block on North B Street. This house was later moved to the northeast corner of B Street and Central Avenue. It was first occupied on April 7, 1870, by Capt. Gould Hyde Norton as a residence and store. G. H. Norton & Co. opened a general stock of groceries, dry goods, boots and shoes in this cabin. It also became the first post office. Captain Gould Hyde Norton was appointed as the first postmaster of Arkansas City on May 16, 1870.

[Note: Many years later the cabin was moved to Paris Park. It was demolished by the flood of 1923. The stone chimney survived. It was torn down in the 1960s.]

According to Notes by RKW.

The order in which the postmasters served Uncle Sam and this community is said to be as follows.


Captain Gould Hyde Norton May 16, 1870.

Mortimer J. Martin June 13, 1871.

Aylmer D. Keith January 19, 1872.

[The Postal Money Order system started in 1872.]

Cyrus M. Scott April 26, 1875.

Dr. Nathan B. Hughes November 7, 1878.

James C. Topliff December 21, 1880.

Martin N. Sinnott October 5, 1885.

William H. Nelson September 28, 1889.

[City delivery of the mail started in 1902.]

Martin N. Sinnott April 1, 1894.

Richard C. Howard May 20, 1898.

Cyrus M. Scott July 7, 1902.

[Rural Free delivery started in 1902.]

Charles N. Hunt February 11, 1911.

[Postal Saving and Parcel Post started in 1911.]

George S. Hartley February 16, 1915.

Charles N. Hunt September 15, 1923.

Helen E. Hunt (Acting) February 4, 1926.

Mark Mollett (Acting) September 10, 1926.

Mark Mollett December 14, 1926.

Lynn B. Mohler January 26, 1932.

Charles T. Hill April 25, 1936.

Georgia V. Long (Acting) June 1, 1954.

Wayne E. Richards October 8, 1954.

Wayne E. Richards was the last Postmaster to be appointed. He was appointed by President Eisenhower after Richards completed his term as Commander of the National V. F. W.

The postmastership then changed from a political patronage job to a competitive job.

James L. Flick November 28, 1970.

Irvin E. Kramer June 29, 1974.

John L. Cox August 30, 1986.

Rose M. Duncan July 11, 1992.

[Changes after 1992 are not noted.]