W. D. BISHOP.
Pawnee Agency and Arkansas City
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 24, 1878. C. M. Scott, Editor.
A Visit to Pawnee Agency. We made a hurried visit to Pawnee Agency last week, in company with Mr. Thomas E. Berry, the newly appointed trader at that place, and felt well paid for the visit. After crossing the Arkansas river, and Chilocco creek, and following down Bodoc a distance of eighteen miles, we halted at Dean’s cattle ranch, thirty miles from Arkansas City on a straight line. The ranch was not adorned with pictured walls, but we made the best of it we could. On Saturday we crossed the Salt Fork about a mile below the ranch, then Turkey creek and followed Black Bear to the Agency, where we found a host of former acquaintances all busy in their several employments. Mr. Ashton has almost completed the beautiful stone school building, erected at a cost of $15,000. The plan of it is decidedly good, convenient, and well guarded against fire. On our arrival Agent Ely was absent from the office, overseeing some work at one of the adjoining farms. In the evening we had the pleasure of meeting him, and found him to be an affable, honest appearing gentleman. It was our impression he was a native of Pennsylvania, but he informed us he was a Kansas man, having lived for several years near Wyandotte, Kansas, engaged in fruit and vegetable growing.
Among those in the employ of the Government, we were introduced to Mr. Hurtford, a fine old Irish gentleman, whom we should have judged to have been a full blood Johnny Bull, and found him a man of remarkable experience and judgment.
Carrying the hod was Pattison, the first Sheriff of Cowley County, who has seen many ups and downs since leaving God blessed Cowley.
McFarland, Bishop, Dr. Williams, Mannington, and our old townsman, P. H. Woodard, are all there yet, but some of them expect to leave before the warm weather sets in. We enjoyed the hospitable entertainment of Mr. and Mrs. Woodard, who took us in when the boarding house was crowded.
The site of Pawnee Agency is a beautiful one, situated on a green knoll with surrounding trees on every side, with Mount Pisgah on the west, and another mound overhanging the east, each affording a beautiful lookout and pleasant roaming place.
At the house of Battee Beyheylle, a full blood Pawnee and interpreter for the tribe, we saw the LITTLE WHITE GIRL so frequently spoken of before, amusing herself in one corner while the Indian daughters of “Bat,” as he is called, were cleaning away the supper dishes. From Mr. Beyheylle we learned that the mother of the girl is an Indian and that her father is an Irishman. She was born at Fremont, Nebraska, and answers to the name of Maggie Brown. Mr. Beyheylle did not know her father, but claims to know she is not a captive.
After a general ramble among the rocks and nooks and a hurried glance over the Agency grounds, we returned to our homes with a promise to ourselves to again visit the home of the Pawnees at some distant day.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 8, 1879.
We welcome the return of Mr. Matlack and family to our midst. Mr. Matlack has on hand a large stock of goods, and those who call on him will find a pleasant and agreeable gentleman. Mr. Bishop and Mr. Fred Farrar are his salesmen, and this is all that is essential to a successful business.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 19, 1879.
W. D. Bishop has purchased the vacant corner west of Rube Houghton’s and will build a residence this summer.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 14, 1880.
Mr. Bishop is building one of the neat, attractive dwellings in the city.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 21, 1880.
Mr. Bishop is erecting the boss dwelling in the city.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 3, 1880.
The plasterers are giving the finishing touch to Mr. Bishop’s brick residence in the west part of town. This, when finished, will be one of the neatest residences in the city.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 14, 1880.
Mr. Bishop is beautifying his yard by grading and seeding to blue grass. He will have one of the most beautiful places in town.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 21, 1880.
Mr. Bishop’s new brick building on the west side of town had a chimney blown off by the wind last Sunday.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 5, 1880.
BIRTH. It was a Louisiana editor that laid the following at the cyclone’s door: “The storm wind of the equinox of last Saturday morning left at our house a little cherub of the female persuasion, a kind of leap-year tribute, as it were. We bow gracefully to the dispensation, sharpen our lead pencil, and call upon the delinquent wood subscriber to materialize at once.”
Remarkable coincidence. W. D. Bishop had eight and one-half pounds of girl baby left at his house last Monday morning, just the same way. He’s so awful, blamed happy. Ouch!
Arkansas City Traveler, May 12, 1880.
To the many friends and customers of S. Matlack’s, I would simply say, he is now away on business in the Indian Territory, knows nothing of the present slaughtered prices of Dry Goods. But you can rest assured that his prices will duplicate those of any other house in the Valley. W. D. BISHOP.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 26, 1882.
DIED. In this city, Tuesday, April 21st, 1882, of croup, Alice, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Bishop, aged two years.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 3, 1882.
A. W. Patterson, of the firm of Gaskill & Patterson, meat market men, has sold out to W. D. Bishop. The firm hereafter will be Bishop & Gaskill.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 3, 1882.
A. W. Patterson sold out his interest in the City Meat Market to Wm. Bishop, the latter taking charge of the same last Monday morning. The firm now stands as Bishop & Gaskill. We have no doubt but the new firm will sustain the reputation of the establishment.
[BIG WEDDING HELD AT RESIDENCE OF DR. J. T. SHEPARD.]
Arkansas City Traveler, June 28, 1882.
Married. 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 26, 1882.
W. D. Bishop has purchased of L. McLaughlin the building formerly occupied by Mitchell & Swarts as a land office, consideration $900.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 13, 1882.
Mrs. Matlack, Mrs. C. H. Searing, and Mrs. Bishop left for Geuda Springs yesterday for a short sojourn in the vicinity of the healing waters.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 11, 1882.
Messrs. Endicott & Gibby came to the front this week with an “ad” to the effect that they are now running the meat market lately owned by Bishop & Gaskill. For full particulars see elsewhere.
AD: ENDICOTT & GIBBY, MEAT MARKET -Keep the best- FRESH, SALT & SMOKED MEATS, Poultry, Game and Fish in season. Summit St., Arkansas City.
We take the greatest care in the selection of beeves and stock for market, and are prepared at all times to furnish our customers with the very best.
Farmers who have choice stock for sale, please call on us. Cash paid for hides.
ENDICOTT & GIBBY.
Bishop and Gaskill: Start Pork Packing House...
Arkansas City Traveler, December 13, 1882.
Messrs. Gaskill & Bishop have our thanks for a generous chunk of tooth-some head cheese left at the house. It was good and if you don’t believe it, go to the pork packing house and buy you some.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 24, 1883.
We call attention to the new “ad.” in this issue, of Messrs. Bishop & Gaskill, who are engaged in pork packing. Their packing house is in the northwest part of town where they always have on hand bacon, hams, shoulders, etc.
Ad: Bishop & Gaskill, PORK PACKERS, have constantly on hand at their Packing House, in the northwest part of town, CHOICE BACON, HAMS, LARD, SHOULDERS, TENDER LOINS, SPARE RIBS, SAUSAGE, etc.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 24, 1883.
FIRE. One day last week the packing house of Bishop & Gaskill took fire and for some time it seemed that it must be consumed. By strenuous efforts, the fire was subdued before doing damage to any considerable extent.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 21, 1883.
Mr. Nat Snyder has purchased three lots between W. D. Bishop’s and Geo. Cunning-ham’s residence on Ninth Street for $300 and will shortly put himself up a neat and commodious home.
W. D. Bishop to take over trader’s store at Pawnee Agency...
Arkansas City Traveler, May 9, 1883.
Mr. S. Matlack and W. D. Bishop left for the Pawnee Agency last week. The latter gentleman will take charge of the trader’s store at the above named place.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 30, 1883.
W. D. Bishop has departed for the Indian Territory, where he goes to take charge of the trader’s store at Pawnee Agency.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 30, 1883.
Mrs. W. D. Bishop and son left for Pennsylvania last Tuesday where they intend spending the summer months visiting relatives and friends.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 6, 1883.
Mr. J. H. Hilliard has purchased W. D. Bishop’s handsome residence on Ninth Street and is now occupying it himself, having removed thereto last Saturday.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 5, 1883.
Mr. W. D. Bishop is now postmaster at Pawnee Agency.
Arkansas City Republican, July 19, 1884.
W. D. Bishop informs us that he has been absent for 15 months, and is surprised at the wonderful growth of the city. He is up from the Territory, looking rugged and hale, indicative that Territory life agrees with him physically, anyway.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 23, 1884.
W. D. Bishop, of Pawnee Agency, was up visiting his many friends last week, returning last Monday.
Arkansas City Republican, July 26, 1884.
W. D. Bishop returned to his territory home, at Pawnee Agency, last Monday.
Arkansas City Republican, August 30, 1884.
W. L. Powell, who has been clerking for Ware & Pickering the past six months, left for Pawnee Agency, Indian Territory, yesterday, where he goes to take a clerkship with the firm of Bishop & Matlack.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 18, 1885.
A. D. Hawk spent a few days at Pawnee last week assisting W. D. Bishop.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 4, 1885.
Mrs. Bishop, of Pawnee, has been in the city for a few days past, visiting friends.
W. D. Bishop erecting building on North Summit Street...
Arkansas City Republican, June 20, 1885.
W. D. Bishop is erecting a store room on North Summit street on lots adjoining Dr. Chapel’s. The rooms will be two stories high and 25 x 75 feet. J. Q. Ashton has the contract.
Arkansas City Republican, July 4, 1885.
Mrs. A. Williams this week sold her lot on North Summit street, opposite Shaw’s lumber yard, to W. D. Bishop, for $1,100. Mr. Bishop will erect a business room on his purchase. Mrs. Williams bought lots in the fourth ward of L. V. Coombs and has moved her house on them. Meigs & Nelson consummated the sales.
Matlack and Bishop, Indian Traders at Pawnee, losing license...
Arkansas City Republican, July 4, 1885.
Isaac Ochs, of the firm of Ochs & Nicholson, proprietors of the Bee-Hive, has been licensed as Indian trader at Pawnee Agency, under Cleveland. Mr. Ochs received word Saturday. The firm went down to the agency Tuesday to look up the matter. Whether Ochs & Nicholson will succeed Messrs. Matlack and Bishop or not, we are not informed.
Arkansas City Republican, August 15, 1885.
Chas. Bundrem has leased the new brick business room on North Summit street, belonging to W. D. Bishop, and will have his meat market therein upon the completion of the room.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 19, 1885.
Charley Bundrem has leased Dr. Chapel’s new store for a meat market, and C. W. Ransom, from Lockport, New York, will open Bishop’s store with fancy goods and notions.
Business Block: Dr. A. J. Chapel and D. W. Bishop...
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, August 29, 1885.
Dr. A. J. Chapel and D. W. Bishop are having erected their business block. It is composed of two storerooms below, each 25 x 80 feet, and office rooms above. The block is built of stone with brick fronts. J. Q. Ashton is the contractor for the stone work. Dr. Chapel’s room has been leased by Jerome Steele for an eastern gentleman, who desires to locate in Arkansas City and engage in the mercantile business. Chas. Bundrem has leased Mr. Bishop’s room and will occupy it with his meat market. This block has been receiving the plastering this week and will be ready for occupancy in a few days. J. H. Trask is the architect of the building and did the wood work of the block.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 2, 1885.
Charley Bundrem opened his new meat market in Bishop’s block yesterday.
Arkansas City Republican, September 5, 1885.
Chas. Bundrem has opened up his Red Front Meat Market in the Bishop block.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 7, 1885.
BUILDING ACTIVITY. The cry of hard times may be raised, but where building activity continues unabated, there can be no cause for dejection. Almost every day we see new buildings started, all of a permanent and solid character and an evidence of the progress and thrift of the city. In the burnt district foundations are being dug for six new business buildings, two story and basement, each 25 feet by 100. William Gall, the architect, has prepared the plans for four of these buildings, those of J. H. Sherburne, S. B. Pickle, Mrs. Benedict, and Dr. Shepard, and this row of iron fronts, extending 100 feet, with plate windows and elaborate finish, will be an enduring monument to the enterprise and growth of our city. Messrs. Kroenert & Austin, at the south end of the burnt region, intend to erect a one story brick, uniform with the building adjoining it on the south (Mowry & Sollitt’s drug store), and Mr. Bittle, at the north end, is excavating his foundation without having decided fully on his plan.
Just north, the handsome stores of Dr. Chapel and W. D. Bishop have received tenants, and the finishing touches are being given to the upper floors. They are being finished off for dwellings or offices, the doctor retaining a portion of his upper floor for a medical office. On the opposite side T. H. McLaughlin is making progress with his double building, putting in such solid work as to secure the safety against all stress of wind and weather.
Arkansas City Republican, October 24, 1885.
W. D. Bishop has been ousted from his position as postmaster at Pawnee Agency and Isaac Ochs appointed to succeed him.
Arkansas City Republican, November 7, 1885.
The ladies of the Episcopal Guild will give a social, Nov. 17, at the Bishop Block. All are cordially invited.
Arkansas City Republican, November 7, 1885.
W. D. Bishop is up from Pawnee this week.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 11, 1885.
W. D. Bishop was in town last week and made himself solid with the printer.
Arkansas City Republican, November 28, 1885.
W. B. Thomas has a shop from over Wyckoff & Son’s store to the basement of the Bishop building, where he is prepared to do all kinds of ornamental house and sign painting, calsomining, graining, and decorative paper-hanging.
Next item indicated that Bishop was at Ponca Agency.
Lockley was editor of Traveler at this time and evidently did not know one agency from another...
Arkansas City Traveler, December 23, 1885.
W. D. Bishop is in town from the Ponca [Pawnee] Agency.
Arkansas City Republican, March 6, 1886.
W. D. Bishop, trader at Pawnee Agency, will remove with his family to this city shortly. Mr. Bishop was in the city this week fitting up and furnishing his abode. He will reside on the second floor of the Bishop block.
Arkansas City Republican, March 27, 1886.
W. L. Powell came up from Pawnee Agency Thursday night. He will make Arkansas City his future home. He is one of the many upon whom the administration axe fell. He was in the employ of W. D. Bishop.
Arkansas City Republican, March 27, 1886.
The license of W. D. Bishop, trader at Pawnee, has expired. Mrs. W. D. Bishop came up from Pawnee Agency Thursday. Mr. Bishop will follow in a few days. He remains at the agency to finish up the business and to box his goods.
[CYCLONE AT PAWNEE AGENCY.]
Arkansas City Republican, April 17, 1886.
The season for the cyclone has come. Wednesday afternoon, a gentleman writes from Pawnee Agency that that vicinity was visited by a destructive cyclone. It occurred about 5 o’clock and demolished the store room of W. D. Bishop, ruined his stock, unroofed the store room of Isaac Ochs, and damaged all the houses at the agency so badly that none of them can be occupied. The residents took refuge in a dug-out of Mr. Bishop’s and used it for sleeping apartments. Only one person was injured: a cowboy who was stopping at the agency hotel, and he was not hurt badly. This cyclone occurred simultaneously with that terrible one at St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, in which about 40 persons were killed and a large number injured severely. Both towns were almost entirely destroyed.
Arkansas City Republican, May 8, 1886.
Judge W. D. Kreamer sold his home place to W. D. Bishop, ex-trader at Pawnee Agency, yesterday, for $3,500.
Arkansas City Republican, May 15, 1886.
G. N. Gilliland sold two lots in the 1st ward to W. D. Bishop, who removed here from Pawnee Agency, for $400. Mr. Bishop will build a residence on his lots.
[ARKANSAS CITY: REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS.]
Arkansas City Republican, May 22, 1886.
MEIGS & NELSON, REALTORS, HANDLED THE FOLLOWING SALE...
E. M. Godfrey to W. D. Bishop, 1 lot, $200.
FRANK J. HESS, REALTOR, HANDLED THE FOLLOWING SALE...
J. R. Harmon to James Geary, E. J. Colman, and W. D. Bishop, 30 acre tract, $7,500.
Note: Above item re J. R. Harmon and others does not agree with the following item in the Arkansas City Republican on the same date??? Item reveals that it was “D. D. Bishop” rather than W. D. Bishop...
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, May 22, 1886. From Wednesday’s Daily.
Messrs. Cary and Coleman, of Newton, and D. D. Bishop paid John Harmon $250 per acre for 28 acres of his farm adjoining the townsite on the east. $250 per acre is a good figure for land and don’t you forget it. How we boom.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, May 29, 1886. From Wednesday’s Daily.
W. D. Bishop was arrested Tuesday evening for the throwing of slop into the alley at the rear of his home. This morning he was taken before Judge Bryant. He plead guilty and was fined $1 and costs.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 19, 1886. From Friday’s Daily.
The jury in the Brubaker case failed to agree and were discharged this morning by Judge Kreamer. Seven were for conviction and five for acquittal. The jury was composed of T. H. McLaughlin, J. F. Hoffman, Chas. Howard, G. Cunningham, W. D. Bishop, J. F. Smith, A. C. Gould, Jas. Benedict, T. B. Oldroyd, Geo. Allen, Dugal Owens, and W. S. Upp. A new trial will be had, commencing next Tuesday. This trial consumed two days and the jury was out overnight.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 26, 1886. From Monday’s Daily.
Messrs. Bundrem & Gallager are the proprietors of the new meat market just opened up in the Bishop block, on north Summit street. They have one of the finest refrigerations in use in the southwest.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 17, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.
Rothenhofer & Co., is the name of the firm succeeding C. E. Kirtley, to the ice cream parlor in the Bishop block. They are from Covington, Kentucky. The REPUBLICAN wishes them success.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, August 11, 1886.
Rothenhofer serves delicious ice cream and cake in the Bishop block.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, October 2, 1886. From Wednesday’s Daily.
W. D. Bishop left this afternoon for Philadelphia, where he goes to visit.
(?) Coleman and (?) Bishop: See earlier reference to real estate transactions. Do not know if next item refers to D. D. Bishop or W. D. Bishop...
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, October 23, 1886. From Thursday’s Daily.
Messrs. Coleman and Bishop sold their North Summit Street lots to Mrs. Morse for $1,200.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, November 17, 1886.
Preliminary Inquiry Into Commissioner Atkins’ Report.
We made brief mention in our issue last week (having time to do no more) of the visit to this city of Mr. C. A. Paul, of Illinois, private secretary to Senator Platt, of Connecticut. It will be remembered that a resolution passed the senate during the last session providing for the appointment of a committee from that body to inquire into the wholesale removal of licensed Indian traders, and to learn whether any of these deposed tradesmen had valid claims against the government for damages. In a talk with this editor, Mr. Paul said the senatorial committee would not come out this fall. The session of congress had lasted late into the summer, and then the November elections had found them employment during the recess. And in two or three weeks congress meets again. His errand, therefore, was to take informal testimony in order to ascertain what truth there was in the complaints that have gone up to Washington.
The day after Mr. Paul left this city, Mr. W. R. Little, late trader to the Sacs and Foxes, came into our sanctum to pay long arrears on his paper and explain his seeming delinquency. He was one of the long list of extradited victims, and the hand of the oppressor had been laid heavily upon him. His license had been renewed from year to year, his record was without blemish, and he supposed the president’s avowed devotion to civil service guaranteed him security in his position. He had provided himself all the necessary facilities—home, store, barn, corn cribs, and so on; he kept a good stock of goods on hand; and trusted them out to Indians and cattlemen, an unavoidable practice at the Indian agencies.
Some time ago (a year and a half, as we understand) Indian Commissioner Atkins visited the Sac and Fox, accompanied by a friend, who either had the license to trade there or had been promised that privilege. This latter entered into negotiations to buy Mr. Little out, but his stock of goods being somewhat depleted, on the commissioner’s suggestion, he filled up, sending heavy orders for flour, provisions, and groceries to this city, which goods to this day remain unpaid. Having involved himself financially to be in condition to make the promised sale, he was shortly after dumbfounded at the commissioner’s protégé backing squarely down from his offer and he being refused a renewal of his license.
The next move in this sweet scented business was an order received by the agent at Sac and Fox to notify Mr. Little to take his belongings out of the territory and himself away, under pain of arrest as an unauthorized intruder. But the agent had more humanity than the government he served, and seeing that utter ruin would follow the strict enforcement of this harsh edict, he gave the trader some time to collect what debts he could, and dispose of some portion of his stock. For this leniency he was severely rebuked by his superior in office, and sternly admonished that a failure to perform his duties promptly would lead to his own dismissal. This brought the trader’s creditors on the ground; his stock, through their intervention, was sacrificed at one-fourth of its value and the money it brought was divided among them. Our “offensive partisan” then put his wife and children in his wagon, and leaving the earnings of his past life behind, he started out to rustle with the world, not only penniless but bankrupt. His wagon and team he sold to take his wife and children to her former home, and he finally accepted some unremunerative employment in the western part of Kansas, where he takes unspeakable joy in his proud heritage of American citizenship.
And this is by no means an isolated case.
Mr. J. L. Wey, now of this city, formerly of the firm of Hemphill & Wey, extensive Indian traders to the Cheyennes and Arapahos, is just as completely ruined, and the loss inflicted on him and his former partner is much heavier. These gentlemen had their residences and store, quarters for a dozen employees, hide house and press, and other improvements aggregating in value $40,000. Their stock of goods was worth still more, and their accounts with cattlemen and Indians footed up to nearly $10,000. Without a word of warning, men from Mississippi were licensed to do the trading with these two tribes of Indians, and Messrs. Hemphill & Wey, for the egregious sin of their republicanism, were compelled to leave, not saving enough of their property to meet the demands of their creditors.
The same venomous treatment was meted out to Joseph H. Sherburne, formerly trader at Ponca, and he only saved himself from ruin by being “seized with” real estate property outside the territory. His comfortable house, his commodious store, his corn cribs stored with 5,000 bushels of corn, his stock of goods, and debts owing him by the Indians were all left worthless on his hands because of his offensive partisanship.
The experience of Bishop & Matlack, late traders to the Pawnees, and of T. M. Finney, trader to the Kaws, has been precisely similar. Not a charge of crookedness has been brought against these worthy and upright men, their record is not marred with a single scratch. They enjoyed the fullest confidence of the Indians and their removal was opposed with earnest protest. But what weight had fitness, integrity, and deserving, against the clamors of hungry Southrons who, having gained the possession of power, now asserted their full right to enjoy the spoils of office?
The stories of all these abused and despoiled citizens, at the request of Mr. Paul, were repeated to him, and he being impressed with their candor and honesty, did not withhold the declaration that the senate committee could work up a strong case. He took copious notes of the statements made to him, and when the senate committee sets about preparing its report, a number of these disgraced traders will be summoned to Washington to testify.
The Russo-Turkish war of a few years ago was inaugurated by the principalities revolting against the rapacity of the tax-gatherer. The collection would be farmed out to court favorites, who traveled from farm to farm, taking up free quarters wherever they chose, fixing their own levy, and in many cases leaving their victims without enough to support them till the next harvest. Mr. Finney and Mr. Wey tell of a similar treatment meted them. Some democratic journalist, or a nephew of the commissioner, or some political henchman would be put off with a license to trade with some tribe of Indians. He had no money, no business experience, and no intention of purveying to the aborigines. But armed with this instrument, he would present himself before the victim he designed to exploit, and after showing him the ruin brought home to his doors, would propose to divvy with him, he putting up his license against the trader’s capital and experience, or he might propose a stipend to be paid him quarterly out of the business.
It is the popular belief that governments are instituted to protect the citizen in his rights. But Secretary Lamar and Commissioner Atkins have found another purpose in the administration of affairs. The former’s use of official power is to find public employment for all the needy neighbors, political supporters, and family relations, and the latter hitches every Tennessean that applies to him at the national crib. There is no mock sentiment about it. To the victors belong the spoils, and as the south is now in the ascendant, to its gaunt and famishing sons must the spoils of office be awarded.
When the senate committee again gets hold of Mr. Atkins, and confronts him with some of his despoiled victims, he will be ready to call on the rocks to cover him. And what a deeply interesting chapter this trader business will make in the forthcoming presidential canvass.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, December 15, 1886.
THAT POST TRADERSHIP SCANDAL.
It will be remembered that a few weeks ago we mentioned the presence in this city of Mr. Paul, private secretary to Senator Platt, of Connecticut, whose business was to hear the statements of the ex-Indian traders to be found here who have been put to severe loss, and in some cases to utter ruin, by being broken up in business by our democratic administration.
The committee appointed by the senate to take this testimony had been hindered from presenting the task because of their summer’s labors in Washington and the fall elections, hence Mr. Paul was sent to inquire into the matter, and ascertain what methods had been used in dealing with these men and how severe the losses inflicted upon them. Mr. Paul made a thorough investigation, hearing at Wichita the statement of W. R. Little, former trader to the Sac and Foxes, and in this city taking down the testimony of Messrs. Bishop & Matlack, ex-traders at the Pawnee Agency; of T. M. Finney, who was trader among the Kaws; of J. L. Wey, of the late extensive firm of Hemphill & Wey, traders with the Cheyennes and Arapahos; and of Joseph H. Sherburne, former trader with the Poncas.
This investigation produced testimony showing such glaring misrule in the Indian bureau and such a gross abuse of power, that Mr. Paul pronounced the case a strong one. It has been laid before the special committee, and what step will next be taken is shown in the following dispatch from the Globe-Democrat correspondent in Washington.
“Senator Platt’s special committee will shortly resume the investigation of the Indian tradership scandals. Whether to send for persons and papers, or go West during the holiday recess, is a question yet to be settled. Senator Platt is inclined to think the most economical method will be to have a sub-committee visit Wichita, Arkansas City, and one or two other places near the border, and take the testimony there. Five cases, all of them aggravated, will receive attention first. They are the Sac and Fox tradership, of which W. R. Little was dispossessed; the Cheyenne and Arapaho license taken from Hemphill & Wey; the Ponca agency privilege, which Jos. H. Sherburne had to relinquish; the Bishop & Matlack license for the Pawnee reservation; and the case of T. M. Finney, who was trader among the Kaws.
“The grievances in all these cases are much the same, varying somewhat in detail and in the amounts sacrificed. These men all had stores, improvements, and established trade on their respective reservations. Along came Democrats with new licenses in their pockets, and with propositions more or less peculiar to make to these traders whose places they were to take. These supporters of the reform administration were for the most part without capital, and frankly admitted the situation. What some of them wanted was to put up their license as capital and be taken into partnership with as large a share in the profits as the old traders could be forced to give up. In some cases the revocation of the old license preceded the arrival of the new trader, and thus the old trader was in a frame of mind to make a compromise, if he could. Instead of the bald-headed proposition to be taken into partnership without putting in money, some of the new traders made offers on the stocks of goods and the improvements, putting the figures down so as to let the old trader out with only a loss of 30 or 40 percent. At one way or other a squeeze was attempted. The losses of the dispossessed traders, through the questionable tactics which the Indian Bureau made possible, ranged from $5,000 to $10,000.”
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, January 29, 1887. From Wednesday’s Daily.
Ed Perrine informs us that yesterday he finished excavating a cellar for a residence in the fourth ward for W. D. Bishop. Mr. Bishop will remove the cottage from off the lots he purchased of J. M. Grove, to the lots where the cellar is, and in the spring he will erect one of the handsomest residences in the city, on the lots vacated.
Excerpt from a lengthy article...
[ARKANSAS CITY. BUILDING BOOM.]
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 5, 1887. From Friday’s Daily.
Building Boom Prospective. During the year of 1886 Arkansas City enjoyed a very extensive building boom. Many handsome blocks were built during the year and our citizens as well as visitors thought it would be almost impossible for any city to make a more rapid growth in this direction. But the year of 1887 promises a greater building boom. Schemes are now being agitated and are well under way for the building of several handsome business blocks. We are informed that work will be commenced on several of them within the next 60 days. There will be extensive building on 5th Avenue and also on Summit Street. On East 5th Avenue, Messrs. Johnson, Hill, Rhodes, and Hess have about completed the arrangements for the immediate erection of a substantial business block on the lots formerly owned by Wm. Gibby. The block will consist of six business houses, all three stories high and of handsome finish. F. W. Farrar et al, have concluded to build a three-story business block on their lots next to the McLaughlin block, on the south. Messrs. Coleman and Bishop inside of 60 days will commence the erection of a fine two-story business block on their lot on 5th Avenue next to Frank J. Hess’ new building.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 12, 1887. From Friday’s Daily.
W. D. Bishop is being prominently mentioned for councilman from the 4th ward. J. W. Oldham and other fourth warders are enthusiastic in the support of Mr. Bishop.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, March 12, 1887. From Wednesday’s Daily.
The Red Front meat market has removed from the Bishop block to the room several doors north. Wilson & Childers are fixing up their new shop first class.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, March 26, 1887. From Friday’s Daily.
Between 10 and 11 o’clock the cry of fire rang out. It proved to be in the old frame building on 5th Avenue, next to Frank J. Hess’ building, and belonging to Messrs. Coleman and Bishop. The fire originated from a stove-pipe run up through the roof and the old tinder-box was soon in flames. The Hose companies were on hand, No. 2 throwing water first. Three streams of water were turned on and the fire was extinguished; loss small; no insurance on building.
[Note: Am still confused over whether some of the items relative to Coleman and Bishop referred to W. D. Bishop or D. D. Bishop. Newspapers were very sloppy with giving initials and sometimes they had “D. W. Bishop” rather than “W. D. Bishop.” I have corrected these items, but I am still uncertain about the real estate transfers mentioned. I do not know which items were correct. The question remains: Were they referring to “D. D. Bishop” or to “W. D. Bishop.”
Unfortunately my coverage of the early newspapers on W. D. Bishop ends with the last item concerning the fire in March 1887. MAW