T. H. BAKER.
Augusta, Butler County, Kansas.
[Partner of E. C. Manning.]
THE WINFIELD COURIER. CENTENNIAL ISSUE.
WINFIELD COURIER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1876.
HISTORY OF COWLEY COUNTY BY WIRT W. WALTON.
In November and December of 1869, E. C. Manning erected a small log building on the claim south of C. M. Wood. It was designed for a claim house and store. During the winter of 1869 and 1870 Baker & Manning kept a small stock of goods therein for trade with settlers and Indians. At that time there was no land surveyed in the county and the settlers marked the boundaries of their claims with stakes driven at the corners, and claim disputes were settled by tribunals, called settlers’ unions, or by public meetings before whom the respective claimants presented their cases. C. M. Wood had taken the claim immediately north of where Winfield now stands, which he occupied until he left the county last fall.
[According to Wood’s account, he built Manning’s cabin.]
The following is a short history of the town.
E. C. Manning built his claim house in January, 1870, and moved his family into it March 10th, 1870. It is the house just north of the stage stable in block 108 and is the oldest house in the city. What afterwards became the Winfield town site was then known as his claim.
The Winfield Town Company was organized Jan. 13th, 1872, with E. C. Manning, president; W. W. Andrews, vice president; C. M. Wood, treasurer; W. G. Graham, secretary; E. C. Manning, J. H. Land, A. A. Jackson, W. G. Graham, and J. C. Monforte, directors, and the foregoing named persons with T. H. Baker, S. S. Prouty, Thos. Moonlight, and H. C. Loomis, corporators; and that the object of this corporation was “to lay out a town site on the rolling prairie east of the Walnut River and south of Dutch Creek, the same being in Cowley County and embracing the particular forty acres of land on which the residence of E. C. Manning is situated, with the privilege of increasing the area of the town site as soon as practicable.”
C. A. Bliss & Co. bought out the small stock of Baker & Manning in September of 1870, and were the first regular mercantile firm in town and brought in a large stock of goods.
Note: T. H. Baker part of the Winfield Town Company.
From the “Democrat”...Wirt Walton’s history:
Cowley County Democrat, Winfield, Kansas, Thursday, July 13, 1876.
Published by Amos Walton and C. M. McIntire.
HISTORY OF COWLEY COUNTY.
Read at the Centennial Celebration, July 4th, 1876, at Winfield, Kansas.
BY WIRT W. WALTON
During the Winter of 1869, Alonzo Howland, W. W. Andrews, Joel Mack, H. C. Loomis, A. Meanor, and others took the claims upon which the most of them reside. Mr. Howland built the first frame house in the county—his present residence—which was considered at the time a herculean task, having to haul the lumber over 100 miles without the sign of a road. About this time E. C. Manning erected a small log building on the claim south of C. M. Wood’s. In this Baker & Manning kept a small stock of goods, which they sold to the settlers and traded to the Indians.
Emporia News, November 26, 1869.
Several loads of goods passed through town on Tuesday for Baker & Manning, of Douglass, Cowley County. Mr. Baker went through on Monday.
Excerpt from long article by Prof. H. B. Norton...
[THE OSAGE RESERVE.]
Emporia News, January 14, 1870.
Three miles south of Douglass we enter Cowley County and the Osage Reserve. The valleys grow in breadth and beauty, and numerous squatter cabins are visible, as we approach Lagonda, better known on the border as Dutch Creek. The word Lagonda is said to signify clear water, in the language of the Osages, and the name is well applied to a most beautiful stream, but the border settlers are not poetical, and adhere to the old name. The town consists, at present, of one log house and a log store, the former being the residence of Mr. C. Wood, formerly of Cottonwood Falls, and the latter owned by Baker & Manning of Augusta. This is a pleasant site, has one of the finest water-powers in Kansas, and is surrounded by a good country.
Note: E. C. Manning and T. H. Baker were members of the town company.
Emporia News, February 25, 1870.
This new town (formerly called Delphi) at the mouth of the Walnut seems to promise good things. The town company consists of Messrs. Plumb, Stotler, Norton, Eskridge, and Kellogg, of Emporia; Judge Brown and H. L. Hunt, of Cottonwood Falls; Kellogg & Bronson, of El Dorado; Baker & Manning, of Augusta; and Messrs. G. H. Norton, Strain, Brown, Moore, and Wilkinson on the site.
Note: Baker & Manning located at Augusta in February 1870.
TRIP TO DELPHI.
(Note: Started trip on Monday, February 14, 1870.)
Walnut Valley Times, Friday, March 4, 1870.
[Correspondence of the Times.]
On Monday, the 14th inst., a party of three of us started for the lower country. The day was pleasant, and the roads excellent. We stopped at Augusta to take in a better supply of rations.
Augusta is a lively young town, having two good stores, blacksmith shop, sawmill, and hotel. Messrs. Baker & Manning have a good stock of goods, and appear to be doing a good business. Our old friend, Dr. Thomas Stewart, is also selling goods at Augusta, and seemed in good humor as usual. The saw mill at Augusta is doing a good business, but cannot supply the demands of the country. Another mill is expected soon.
The next place we passed was the new town site of Walnut City, situated on a gradual slope of the uplands sloping towards the junction of the Little and main Walnut. One or two buildings have been constructed on the town site, and we noticed about one hundred logs piled up waiting for the mill that is expected from the Neosho.
After crossing the Little Walnut, we came to the flourishing town of Douglas, near the southern line of Butler County. There are in the place three good stores, good hotel, etc. Chester Lamb is proprietor of the hotel. Douglas has one of the finest locations of any town in the State. Douglas and Walnut City will in all probability be rival towns, as they are only two or three miles apart. Below Douglas the valleys grow in breadth and beauty, and numerous squatter cabins are visible all along the valley from Douglas to the mouth of the Walnut.
Douglas [Later Named Douglass].
About 18 miles below Douglas we come to Winfield at the mouth of Lagonda Creek, formerly called Dutch Creek. Here we found A. A. Jackson running the store of Baker & Manning during the absence of Col. Manning, who has gone to Manhattan after his family. We counted several new houses going up at Winfield.
Emporia News, February 3, 1871.
CHICAGO, KANSAS & TEXAS R. R.
A company has been organized under the above name, having for its object the construction of a railroad commencing at Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas, and thence by way of Cottonwood Falls, Chase County, Chelsea, El Dorado, Augusta and Douglass, Butler County, Winfield and Arkansas City, Cowley County, and thence on the most direct and practicable route to Florence, near the mouth of the Little Wichita, on Red River, Texas.
The capital stock of said company to be one million dollars.
A meeting of the directors of said company was held at Cottonwood Falls, Chase County, Kansas, January 4th, A. D. 1871.
The proceedings of the meeting were as follows.
In the absence of Hon. T. H. Baker, President, Vice President C. A. Britton took the chair. After a lengthy discussion of the project by Messrs. Wood, Baker, Stover, and others, the meeting proceeded with the following action: At the request and recommendation of G. M. Simcock, treasurer by the charter, William Shamleffer was elected to fill vacancy as director and treasurer. H. L. Hunt was also elected to fill vacancy of director.
S. N. Wood, superintendent, was authorized to cause books to be opened in the Indian Territory and in Texas for subscriptions to the capital stock of the company. Hon. E. S. Stover was authorized to open books in Council Grove, Morris County; H. L. Hunt in Chase County; T. H. Baker in Augusta; H. T. Sumner in El Dorado, Butler County; E. C. Manning in Winfield; and H. B. Norton in Arkansas City, in Cowley County, Kansas.
On motion Hon. E. S. Stover, Hon. James Finney, Hon. S. M. Wood, Hon. L. S. Friend, Hon. T. H. Baker, and Hon. E. C. Manning were appointed a committee to ask the Legislature of the State of Kansas for the passage of a memorial asking Congress to grant the right of way to the above railroad company through the government lands in the south of Kansas and the Indian Territory to Texas.
It was moved and adopted that S. N. Wood, H. P. Dumas, and A. Eldridge be a committee to procure action and the influence of the Legislature of Texas in favor of obtaining the right of way through the Indian Territory and also obtaining a grant of land from the State to the company. The said committee were also authorized to present to the proper authorities the question of getting a transfer of the Atchison branch road as required by act of Congress, running from where said Atchison road crosses the Neosho River to where the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston road crosses the same, to run from Cottonwood Falls, Chase County, by way of the Walnut Valley in Butler and Cowley Counties, to the south line of the State of Kansas.
Moved and adopted that the Superintendent cause a preliminary survey of the road to be made, if the same can be done without involving the company in debt. Moved and adopted that the proper officer, as soon as local subscriptions are sufficient, cause to be let under contract any portion of said road and, also, to negotiate with any other railroad company to construct any part or the whole of said road. It was also resolved that the secretary correspond with the secretary of St. Joseph, Wamego and Council Grove R. R. Co., in relation to the probability or possibility of forming a continuous line of the two roads. It was moved that subscriptions to capital stock of the company be received, payable in county and township bonds, lands, or town lots at their cash value, and that certificates of paid up stock be issued therefor as well as the ordinary subscriptions of stock in money. Ordered that the secretary furnish a copy of the proceedings of this meeting to the newspapers of Morris, Chase, Butler, and Cowley Counties. Moved and adopted that the meeting adjourn subject to call by the secretary. C. A. BRITTON, Vice-Pres’t.
W. S. ROMIGH, Secretary.
[THE COUNTY LINE QUESTION.]
Walnut Valley Times, February 10, 1871.
THE COUNTY LINE QUESTION.
Elsewhere we publish the proceedings and resolutions of a public meeting, held in Eldorado, on Monday evening, February 6th, in reference to the County Line Question. We are all aware that the people residing in the southern portion of Butler and the northern portion of Cowley Counties want a new county formed out of the territory now comprising the two named counties. This proposition is one that we are all more or less interested in, and should engage the candid consideration of every citizen of these counties. The question is, whether these counties are not too large for practical purposes.
Leaving out local issues, would it be to the best interest of the taxpayers of these counties to have a new county formed, embracing the territory in the south of Butler and north of Cowley counties. E. C. Manning, Representative of Cowley County, was elected on the issue of “no change of County lines.” H. B. Norton, his opponent ran on the same platform, but was defeated.
L. S. Friend, Representative elect of Butler County, distinctly stated in his canvass of the County, that he was opposed to any change in county lines, and would not, if elected, do anything to change them, unless a majority of the legal voters of the county petitioned for a change; then, and not till then, would he act in the matter. He has held his seat more than half of the session and has adhered strictly to this pledge.
Mr. Baker, who was a candidate for Representative, was also pledged to oppose any change in county lines.
All the citizens in the lower portion of this county want a new county. Quite a number of people scattered over the county are favorable to the proposition. It is claimed by the advocates of this measure that a county thirty-three miles wide by forty-two miles long, is too large for practicable purposes—that what is for the interest of one part of the county is not for the other—that so long as our county remains as large as it is, so long will it be engaged in local fights. There is and can be but one fair way to decide this matter, and that is to leave it to the people who are interested in the matter and who are affected by it.
Mr. Manning and Mr. Friend are not going to take up this question unless the people move in the matter. This session of the Legislature is so far advanced that it will be impossible to do anything this winter.
Therefore, there can be but one thing for those who are favorable to this third county movement to do, and that is to submit the proposition to the people and let them decide the matter. We shall favor the following proposition, which, in our opinion, will settle the vexed question.
Let those who are in favor of the new county movement, nominate a man for Representative who is distinctly and positively in favor of the movement; and, on the other hand, let those opposed nominate a man who is opposed to a change in county lines. By this move we will ascertain the will of the people of the county, which should be law, in this, as well as all other matters. We are opposed to any change in our county lines, if it has to be secured by fraud, deception, or misrepresentation. A part of the town may resolve that they are in favor of a new county, while others may resolve to be opposed to it. We shall endeavor to discuss this question candidly and frankly, and shall do what we can to secure to the people their rights in this matter. A fair discussion of this question will do no harm, and we hope to see it settled by fairness and not by fraud. It is for the people to say when this county shall be cut; how it shall be done, and where the lines shall be drawn.
As Cowley County is in the same boat with us, these remarks will apply equally as well to her. Those of our friends in the southern part of the county who want a change, should give the people time to consider this matter, as they will gain nothing by undue haste.
We attended and acted in the capacity of Secretary of the meeting that passed these resolutions. We did not vote for them, nor can we endorse them. We publish them by a request of the meeting, as we would publish the proceedings of any other meeting. We do not know the exact sentiment of this community on the county line question, nor do we know what the masses of the people, outside of those who are directly interested in this matter, think of this movement. As this county line question has been the prime cause of all the local quarrels in this county, we want to see it come squarely before the people, without being mixed up with any county-seat movement, and let them decide whether or not a new county shall be formed.
[PUBLIC MEETING RE COUNTY LINE QUESTION.]
Walnut Valley Times, February 10, 1871.
At a meeting of the citizens of Eldorado, held in the Masonic Hall on February 6th, 1871, in which Allen White was chosen chairman and T. B. Murdock, secretary, after speeches were made, for and against, by J. J. Wingar, W. T. Galliher, Elder Small, T. B. Murdock, Dr. White, and others the following resolutions were adopted.
Resolved, That we the citizens of Eldorado, in Butler County, are in favor of the division of the territory comprising the counties of Butler and Cowley into three counties, taking into consideration the population, nature of the country, and the streams in said territory.
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to circulate petitions to the above effect, and to confer with the citizens on the streams in the south part of this county, and vicinity of Douglass as to where a fair and just division of said territory would be.
Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be published in the WALNUT VALLEY TIMES. ALLEN WHITE, Chairman.
T. B. MURDOCK, Secretary.
[ANOTHER PUBLIC MEETING RE COUNTY LINE QUESTION.]
Walnut Valley Times, February 10, 1871.
At a meeting of the citizens of Eldorado and vicinity, held in the schoolhouse on Thursday evening, February 9th, T. B. Murdock was chosen Chairman and William Crimble, Secretary. After considerable discussion, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted.
WHEREAS, We are thoroughly convinced that the people of the southern portion of this county are anxious for the formation of a new county out of the territory now composing the counties of Butler and Cowley, and
WHEREAS, We are credibly informed that petitions are in circulation in that portion of the county, asking the Legislature of the State, now in session, to grant them a new county, as aforesaid, and
WHEREAS, We do not believe that it is possible to accomplish this object by petition this winter, be it therefore
Resolved, 1st. That as the Representative of Butler and Cowley counties were both elected on the issue of no change in county lines, we believe it impolitic and not consistent with the expressed will of the people to agitate the question further this winter.
Resolved, 2nd. That we will endeavor to bring this county line question fairly before the people at our next Representative election.
Resolved, 3rd. That as the taxpayers are the only persons interested in this question, they ought to have a voice in saying when our county lines should be changed and where the new lines should be run.
Resolved, 4th. That we will depreciate any efforts that have been or may be made by any locality to interfere in any way whatever with the present limits of our county without submitting it fairly and squarely to a vote of the people of the county.
Resolved, 5th. That a copy of these resolutions be furnished the WALNUT VALLEY TIMES for publication. T. B. MURDOCK, Chairman.
Wm. CRIMBLE, Secretary.
[EDITORIAL: BAKER VS. FRIEND.]
Walnut Valley Times, February 17, 1871.
On last Thursday, February 9th, the House of Representatives declared that L. S. Friend, after having served as Representative from this County for thirty days, was not entitled to the seat on account of fraudulent voting and drunkenness of judges of the Eldorado precinct at the election on the 8th of November, and that T. H. Baker was the duly-elected Representative from this county. Our readers are all aware that this contest case was a one-sided affair throughout, and that no attempt was made to prove that illegal votes were cast at any but the Eldorado precinct. We do not object to the proceedings of the House with the testimony before it, but we claim that a committee should have been granted Mr. Friend, with power to investigate the whole affair and find out if any frauds and corruption were practiced at other voting precincts in the County.
Mr. Friend, in his statement to the Legislature, claimed:
1st. That he was elected by a majority of the legal voters of Butler County.
2nd. That after throwing out all the fraudulent, false, and fictitious votes claimed by Baker, he was yet elected by a majority of twenty-three votes, and that the law and practice required Baker to make out his own case, and show that the mal-conduct, fraud, and corruption of the officers and the illegal votes counted were sufficient to change the result of the election before he could take any testimony in his own behalf.
3rd. Mr. Friend further stated that he was advised by counsel that he had no right to take testimony in the action without permission of the House of Representatives.
4th. He further stated that if he had opportunity, he believed he could prove fraud and corruption at the election at Augusta.
5th. That some of Mr. Baker’s witnesses were untrue in point of fact and that some of them were prejudiced against him.
Many of the most prominent men of the Legislature, and of the State, took the ground that Mr. Friend was legally elected and that he was entitled to his seat.
We do not propose to justify fraud or corruption in elections, but we do claim that the whole matter should have been sifted to the bottom, and let the election stand on its merits—that if illegal votes were cast in other precincts, it should be known.
It was our desire to secure the election of a Representative from this County who would oppose the election of Sidney Clarke to the United States Senate. That object has been secured and we shall not now mourn over the decision of the Legislature in this contested case.
[TESTIMONY: BAKER VS. FRIEND.]
Walnut Valley Times, February 25, 1871.
The testimony taken in the contested case of Baker vs. Friend was voluminous. Many witnesses were put upon the stand and were questioned and cross-questioned by the best legal talent that Baker could command; yet there was no evidence to show that Baker was entitled to a seat in the Legislature, or that Friend was not legally elected Representative of this county. Something must be done and something was done to defeat the will of the people and secure Baker a seat in the Legislature. Not satisfied with being beaten at the County Convention, he bolted and ran as an independent candidate and was again defeated. Not satisfied with this, he contested the seat of Friend, and by the use of a forged affidavit succeeded in getting a seat after the session was more than half over.
There was no evidence in the case, of any importance, but the so-called deposition of one Augustus Ottentot, who was one of the clerks of the election at the Eldorado precinct. We publish herewith, this so-called deposition in full, together with the affidavit of E. B. Peyton, Probate Judge of Lyon County, so that our readers can see by what means Baker secured a seat in the Legislature. . . .
THE COUNTY SEAT QUESTION.
A New Plan for a Perfect Settlement of the County Line
and County Seat Question.
Walnut Valley Times, March 3, 1871.
Butler County is without a “Friend” in the State Legislature, but in his place we have now a “Baker” and I trust he will provide bread (and butter) for the friends.
Down here in Butler County we always want some excitement, and if we cannot do better, we go at least in for a new County line, or for a new County Seat, or any other question of that kind. And there is no reason why we should not soon try again to have another County Seat.
Eldorado has had the County Seat, and all the honors and profits connected with that institution for several months; the courthouse building will soon be completed, and of course it is high time to look for another County Seat, and have a little fun and excitement, and meetings and speeches, and then a special election, with unavoidable errors in names and numbers of legal voters, and then we build a new Courthouse and so on ad infinitum.
Now I am not a friend of so many special elections (although I can’t deny that every special election has proved to be a great medium to increase the number of voters) and I have therefore made up a plan, which will not only satisfy the most fierce County-seat-mover, but at the same time will keep up such a wholesome uninterrupted excitement with the good people of Butler County, that I hope every Butler County patriot will give it his approval and full support. The principle which I have laid at the foundation of my plan is in short as follows:
It is an established fact that a City is a big thing, and a City with a County Seat is a still bigger thing. Therefore, to promote the most possible prosperity in Butler County, we should exercise our most energy to locate in the shortest possible time, the greatest possible number of cities, and everyone of them should enjoy the benefit of a County-Seat, and as we can have only one County-Seat at a time, it explains itself that the County Seat must be of a perpetual shifting nature; thus bestowing its benefits not only to each city where it stops, but (and that is just the principal merit of my plan) this shifting process produces at the time just enough excitement with us Butler County people as to keep life in us. We need some excitement anyhow. Therefore I think the following simple plan will answer exactly for all purposes.
1. In every Township 6 miles square in this County there shall be located a City at least one mile square, fully surveyed and stakes driven for each city lot; a public square to be reserved of at least ten acres, and said City should be located at or near the geographical center of the Township.
2. These Townships are to be numbered, commencing with No. 1 at the North East corner of the County and running West and East in the same order as Sections run.
3. Every one of the Cities in the County shall have the County Seat for a given time, say for one or two weeks every year.
4. As we cannot afford to build forty or fifty Courthouses, I propose to build one Court-house and Jail on wheels, and move said building from city to city to the last number at the south line of the County, and thence backward in the same order to the place of beginning.
5. The Printers in the several cities will print “Courthouse time tables” and also “almanacks” giving in red print the “Courthouse moveing days” in the same manner as the Catholic Calendar gives the days dedicated to the several Saints. Every Butler County citizen would then see in a moment where he could find the Courthouse at a given time. . . . C. H.
Walnut Valley Times, March 3, 1871. Editorial.
COUNTY SEAT QUESTION.
The County Commissioners held a special meeting on Monday of this week, and called an election for April 18th for the removal of the County seat from Eldorado to Augusta. Our County is no exception to all large counties on the question of a permanent location of the County seat. This striving among most towns for the County seat has been a great detriment to the growth and prosperity of our County, and it is to be hoped that the people will give a final stroke and put the matter at rest. . . .
Walnut Valley Times, March 17, 1871. Editorial.
Every issue of the Augusta Crescent contains at least one article denouncing the people of Eldorado and its denunciations always conclude with something on the removal of the County seat. . . .
Walnut Valley Times, March 24, 1871.
COUNTY BONDS FOR BRIDGES.
We call the attention of our citizens to an act of the last Legislature authorizing the counties of Butler and Cowley to issue bonds to build bridges, which has become a law by publication in the Kansas Weekly Commonwealth.
The bill was gotten up and put through by Messrs. Baker and Manning, representatives from the two counties interested, and provides that said counties may have an election, on the question of issuing bonds in the sum of thirty-thousand dollars to build bridges in the Walnut Valley.
It does not specify the time of the election, nor the particular locality of the bridges, only that they must be in the Walnut Valley.
We must say that this is a remarkable bill, and passed in a most remarkable manner. We were not aware that any petition had been sent to the legislature asking for such a bill. In fact, we never heard such a project talked about, along the Walnut Valley, and it is certainly not a favorite project with the people off of the valley.
Chelsea has commenced her bridges, and proposes to build them without taxing the balance of the County to pay for it.
Eldorado has just voted bonds to build three bridges, one across the main Walnut, and two across the West-Branch, and the bridges will probably be completed within two or three months.
Towanda and Plum Grove are alive on the subject, and propose to build their own bridges without the aid of the County.
Propositions are being exchanged between Eldorado and Chelsea to join together in building a bridge at or near the dividing lines between the two Townships across the main Walnut.
There has been a good deal said about Augusta building one or two bridges, but as they have established a ferry there, we presume the project has been abandoned, and they now ask that the County build them a bridge. We consider this unfair and shall oppose the project.
It is unfair that one locality shall be taxed to enrich another. The framers of our Constitution were of this opinion when they engrafted into our State Constitution Sec. 8 of article 11, which provides that the State shall never be a party in carrying on any works of internal improvement.
Under this section, the rich and populous portions of the State cannot vote a tax upon the more thinly settled portions, to build up their own locality. This provision is a great protection of the rights of the minority against the encroachments of the majority.
The principle is a good one and is just as applicable to counties as to the State. The Legislature saw this and provided that each Township shall have power to build its own bridges.
It is true that a bridge across the Walnut at Augusta would benefit more or less the other portions of the County. So would a bridge across the Missouri at Leavenworth be of some benefit to almost every portion of the state, and yet it would be unconstitutional and wrong for a majority in the Legislature to vote a tax upon the whole state to build a bridge at Leavenworth. It would be equally unjust for the populous districts along the Walnut Valley to build themselves bridges at the expense of the people of Whitewater, Little Walnut, Hickory, and Rock Creek. It would also be unjust to require those Townships that go ahead and build their own bridges at their own expense to aid also in building bridges for other Townships.
Now if Mr. Baker had embodied in his bill the Whitewater and other creeks mentioned above, and made an equal division of the benefits of the proposed taxation, it would not have been open to so much objection; but as it is, we cannot support his bill.
We would be glad to see our sister town of Augusta have a magnificent bridge, but we think they are asking too much, and would advise them to do as we have done; build their own bridge.
Walnut Valley Times, Friday, April 7, 1871. Editorial.
The election to determine whether the County-seat shall remain at Eldorado or be removed to Augusta will take place on the 18th inst. Let every voter remember the day and turn out.
THE COUNTY SEAT ELECTION.
ELDORADO AGAIN TRIUMPHANT.
The Herd Law Made an Issue!
Walnut Valley Times, April 21, 1871. Editorial
Our majority is small, but when we take into consideration that we have fought and defeated two positive propositions, we consider that we have won the most complete victory ever achieved by Eldorado. Not only did we defeat Augusta and the entire southern portion of the County on the removal of the County Seat, but we also defeated the proposition to change the County Lines, this movement alone taking over one hundred and thirty votes from us in the northern and central portions of the County.
[Note: Election returns showed 743 voted for Eldorado; 712 voted for Augusta to be the county seat of Butler County. Eldorado (later named El Dorado) won by 34 votes.]
Walnut Valley Times, April 21, 1871.
We understand that the main traveled road from Augusta to Winfield has been changed to the west side of the river, thus leaving Douglass out in the cold. We wonder if the people of Douglass can tell how this was accomplished.
[ARTICLE RE NEW MAIL ROUTES.]
Walnut Valley Times, May 26, 1871.
Messrs. Baker and Manning secured the passage of a bill in the Legislature, last winter, for the location of a State road from Florence to Arkansas City, and had J. C. Lambdin, of Eldorado, J. M. Herman, of Augusta, and D. A. Millington, of Winfield, appointed viewers. These gentlemen have just located this road, making the distance from Eldorado to Florence thirty-one miles. The Stage Company, in the meantime, have opened a daily route from Florence to Eldorado, and made the necessary arrangements for a permanent line from Florence to Arkansas City, via Eldorado, Augusta, Douglass, Walnut, Lone Tree, Rock, and Winfield.
Prominent gentlemen of this Stage Company came to Eldorado and said that if we would make them a donation of lots, they would establish a daily line from the railroad to our town; and that they would also build their repair shops and offices here, and make this town the Headquarters for all their lines in this portion of the State. We proceeded to “shell out” town lots to the number of twenty-five. We are well satisfied that Eldorado cannot influence the Stage Company to run their lines either by the way of Chelsea or Plum Grove. We expect to get a new route opened from Eldorado via Little Walnut, Hickory and Rock Creeks to Elk Falls, in Howard County. This will supply a large portion of the southeastern part of the County with mail, direct from the railroad. The people on Little Walnut and Hickory Creeks have not had any mail facilities, whatever.
It takes time and work to establish mail routes, and it is necessary for the people to act harmoniously if they expect to secure what they want.
OSAGE, NEOSHO AND WALNUT VALLEY RAILROAD.
Walnut Valley Times, July 21, 1871.
The above Railroad Company was organized this week, and will receive its charter from the State within the next few days.
Prominent Railroad men are interested in this organization and give assurance that the road will be built as soon as the franchises are worked up. This road is to start from Ottawa, and run up the Marais Des Cygnes Valley to Arronis, in Osage County, thence up the Neosho Valley to Emporia, thence up the Cottonwood Valley, crossing over to the head of the Walnut and passing directly to the mouth of the stream, via Chelsea, Eldorado, Augusta, Walnut City, Douglass, Winfield, and Arkansas City.
The Directors of this Company are: R. M. Kelsey, of Franklin County; J. Mather Jones, of Osage county; F. R. Page, C. V. Eskridge, Gov. S. J. Crawford, E. P. Bancroft, and E. B. Peyton, of Lyon County; M. Vaught, T. B. Murdock, J. D. Connor, and Hon. T. H. Baker, of Butler County; D. A. Millington and H. G. Norton, of Cowley County.
One hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars in bonds have already been voted to secure the building of this road from Ottawa to Emporia. Lyon County will give one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the continuation of this road to the west line of the County in the direction of the Walnut Valley. Should the counties of Butler and Cowley each vote two hundred thousand dollars in bonds to this road, it will be built the entire length of the Valley within fourteen months. We are assured that the Company proposing to build this road will commence at Emporia and build both ways. We consider this road a feasible one that will reach the Valley sooner than any other, giving us a shorter route east, with better connections than any route now proposed. We shall give further particulars next week.
Walnut Valley Times, Friday, August 4, 1871.
E. C. Manning, of Cowley County, stated that he was not a delegate from that County, but as an individual he was in favor of a proposition to vote bonds to any company, or to the first company, that would build a road down the Valley.
Gentlemen present at once showed to the meeting that bonds thus voted would be worthless.
T. H. Baker, who made a long speech, was opposed to anything, anybody, or any project that did not center in the Chicago, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company, of which he has the honor to be President, we believe.
We were sorry that Mr. Baker attempted to drag old issues into the meeting, but were satisfied that he represented the sentiments of the people of Augusta, as he was repeatedly cheered during his speech. Mr. Shannon, Receiver of the Land Office, wanted three Railroads at Augusta, and was therefore opposed to this one without the others.
At the close of the meeting, Mr. Baker introduced a resolution to the effect that the commissioners be petitioned to submit a proposition to the people of the County to vote $200,000 in bonds to the Chicago, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company, and that a meeting be held at Eldorado on the 12th to select four new directors for said Company; and that a committee of one in each Township in the County be appointed to obtain subscriptions to said petition.
This resolution was carried, after which the convention adjourned.
We are thoroughly convinced that the people of this Valley cannot be united on the Chicago, Kansas & Texas project unless the company is reorganized and a new charter obtained, giving us the privilege of building a road to other points besides Cottonwood Falls, if we desire to do so.
The following excerpt is from an article written by E. C. Manning of the Winfield Courier.
Winfield Courier, June 28, 1877. Editorial Page.
DENVER, COLORADO, June 20.
DEAR COURIER: The editorial excursion party stops long enough here to “catch a long breath,” and I improve the time by writing you a line.
At this place I met Hon. T. H. Baker, formerly of Augusta, and a Mr. Smith, who once lived in Winfield. From the former I learned much of Denver life and history. The crops of Colorado are limited in extent but look well for this country. No grasshoppers to speak of can be seen. Colorado has a great future and Kansas is looked to for its food. Both are better off for the existence of the other. M.