CHANGING A CLAIM INTO A CITY.
The Beginning of Winfield, Kansas.
Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Wood: Call it “Lagonda.”
The settlement of Cowley County commenced in 1868 before the treaty for the removal of the Osage Indians was made. C. M. Wood, who built a log cabin near Dutch Creek, had to vacate when threatened. He married Miss Melinda Jones, from Springfield, Ohio, at the residence of Judge W. R. Brown, at Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, on June 28, 1869, after he departed. Mrs. Wood, even before their marriage, began to talk about returning to his claim, referring to it as “Lagonda,” an Indian name meaning “Clear Waters.” Wood, his wife, and their household effects reached “Lagonda” on August 14, 1869. After viewing the burned remnant of his first log cabin, Wood began building a second cabin, fully intending to use it as a home and a place in which to trade goods for the Indians.
W. W. Andrews Family: Call it “Winfield.”
The W. W. Andrews’ family from Leavenworth, Kansas, became settlers in 1869. Both W. W. Andrews and his wife, were about thirty-six years of age. They were accompanied by their three children: Cora E., Hattie E., and Minnie E.
On November 19, 1869, the Emporia News printed the following item.
On Wednesday we had a call from Mr. W. W. Andrews, of Cowley County, from whom we have late intelligence from that new county.
There is beginning to be some anxiety about threatened troubles with the Indians, and Mr. Andrews was on his way to Topeka to lay before the Governor a petition signed by almost every legal voter in that county, asking him to take measures for their safety. He also brought us the proceedings of a meeting lately held there, at which a “Citizens Protective Union” was organized, the constitution, by-laws, and resolutions of which we publish below.
Mr. Andrews informs us that immigrants are pouring into that county at a rapid rate. Nine families arrived the morning he left, and dozens more are now on their way thither. It is becoming well known that Cowley is one of the best timbered, watered, and agricultural counties in the State, and between this and next summer the rush will be great.
Mr. Andrews says there has been no outbreak with the Indians yet, but they are saucy, and are committing petty thefts among the settlers. Where the men are about home in considerable numbers, the Indians do not disturb anyone, but they watch, and when they find the men absent they visit the houses and compel the women to cook meals for them, after which they load their ponies with provisions and leave. When they can find two or three settlers out from other settlements, they make a regular business of robbing them. The Indians assert that they will not hurt anybody, but that settlers shall not open claims below the mouth of Dutch Creek. They have robbed and driven back all who have ventured below that point, and the settlers, knowing their treachery, fear trouble will break out.
It must be recollected that these settlers are not on land where the Indians object to their going, further than that they want to save their hunting ground. We hope the Governor will make speedy and decided action in the matter, and do all in his power to relieve the demands of these enterprising people. They have gone on to these lands with the assurance from Superintendent Hoag that they should have peaceable possession of them. Notwithstanding the promises the store of C. M. Wood was burned by the Indians.
CITIZENS’ PROTECTIVE UNION.
COWLEY COUNTY, KANSAS, November 7, 1869.
The citizens of Cowley County assembled at the house of Dr. Graham for the purpose of organizing a Citizens’ Protective Union.
N. J. Trusty was elected Chairman, and Dr. Graham, Secretary, after which the following constitution, by-laws, and resolutions were presented and adopted.
ARTICLE 1. This Association shall be called the Cowley County Citizens’ Protective Union.
ARTICLE 2. The object of the Association shall be the mutual protection of citizens, both in claims and property.
ARTICLE 3. The Association shall be composed of those citizens residing within Cowley County who subscribe to this Constitution.
ARTICLE 4. The officers of the Association shall be a President and Secretary.
ARTICLE 5. This Constitution may be altered or amended by a vote of two thirds of all the members present.
ARTICLE 1. This Association shall hold at least one session in each year, at such time and place as may be determined upon from time to time.
ARTICLE 2. The officers shall be elected at each annual session, by ballot, and shall remain in office until others are chosen.
ARTICLE 3. The President shall preside at the meetings of the Association, preserve order therein, put all questions, announce decisions, appoint committees, and call meetings at his discretion, or at the request of three members.
ARTICLE 4. The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of meetings, answer all letters addressed to the Association, give proper notice of the meetings, and attend to such other business as generally pertains to this office.
Resolved, That the members of this Association use their influence to encourage immigration to the bounds of this county.
Resolved, That owing to the outrages having been perpetrated upon the property of citizens of this county by the Osage Indians, that we petition the Governor for protection.
Resolved, That each citizen be entitled to hold a claim of one hundred and sixty acres of land, provided he improves and resides upon the same within thirty days after making his claim, and that we recognize as improvements sufficient to entitle a man to protection that there be a house upon the claim, and at least five acres cultivated within twelve months from making his claim.
Resolved, That we recognize no man’s right to hold a claim of more than one hundred and sixty acres of land.
Resolved, That in the transaction of business this Association be governed by parliamentary rules.
Election of officers being next in order, Dr. W. G. Graham was elected President for the ensuing year, and C. M. Wood Secretary.
Lagonda or Winfield.
Some of the early settlers persisted in calling the settlement “Dutch Creek,” due to its nearness to a creek by that name. Fortunately this name was dropped: some years later the creek was renamed “Timber Creek.” There were other settlers who liked the name first given to the settlement by Mrs. C. M. Wood: “Lagonda.”
In the latter part of 1869 Mr. W. W. Andrews made a wagon trip back to his old home at Leavenworth, Kansas, where he saw the old family preacher, Winfield Scott. At a meeting of the settlers, Andrews informed them that Winfield Scott had told him: “If you are going to start a town down there and will give it my name, Winfield, I will come down and build a house of worship for you.” The name “Winfield” was adopted in January 1870.
The following article was in the Thursday, April 15, 1886, issue of the Winfield Courier.
A Letter From Winfield Scott, D. D.
ANGEL ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, April 2nd, 1886.
ED. COURIER: In your journal of March 24th, just received by me, is copied a little private note I wrote the Rev. Mr. Reider. It was written with no idea of publication, or of giving any matter of historical interest of your place. It has led me to wonder whether the pioneers and old settlers of Kansas are as greatly interested in the rise and progress of your State as I have been. I was not a pioneer and do not claim any of the honor and glory that attaches to the grand characters that made history when Kansas fought her way through fire and blood to freedom. Going onto her soil in January, 1865, I was in time to see the development of a great State, in a most wonderful manner. At that date Weston was the western terminus of the H & St. Joe railroad and we rode in a coach from there to Leavenworth. I resided in Kansas until January, 1872, and saw the building of the Kansas Pacific, the L. L. & G., Missouri River, Ft. Scott & Gulf, and Neosho Valley railroad, and have ridden over those lines when towns along them containing from 500 to 1,000 inhabitants each had risen like magic from the prairie sod, and in so short a time that not an old shingle could be seen upon a single roof.
It was during the latter part of December, 1870, that I visited Walnut Valley. A few months before this a Leavenworth man had gone there. Among my friends were the families of Messrs. Andrews, Hickok, and Rev. O. W. Tousey. They sent me an invitation to visit them, telling me of the new country and of the name of the new town after myself, and that they expected it would be the county seat. I had known of many prophetic towns of euphonious and high sounding names that never existed except in imagination, or in a glowing letter of an enthusiastic squatter, or worse than that, only on a highly embellished and carefully platted card board, that I was not especially influenced by the town or the promise to immortalize my name, but I did want to see what was then known as the great “southwest” that was booming from the rushing tide of immigrants all going thither. I knew of the warm welcome, too, I should receive from the large hearted old friends then on the ground. Accompanied by my old college chum, Prof. D. H. Robinson, of the State University, we went to Emporia by car and took a team and drove to Eureka, where we were joined by my brother, S. Scott, now of Clay Center. From there we went west to Butler County, through El Dorado, Augusta, and Douglass, all rival towns, each full of prophecy and prophets, of their own success and the other failures.
Augusta was named after Mrs. Augusta James, the wife of Mr. C. N. James, my parishioner. I spent a day or two at Augusta, preaching evenings. I remember well the afternoon when we forded a stream, passed through a strip of timber, and drove over the gently sloping ridge, when we had the first view of the town of Winfield. The Main street was laid out and enough stores and houses rudely built, with foundations of other buildings laid to define where the intended main street was to be. The record I made in writing to an eastern journal was this: “On the center of a beautiful plateau of land, in the very heart of the valley, is rising a splendid town. Four months ago two or three houses marked the place where it was to be. Today there are twenty-seven buildings, twenty more are rising, and about thirty more lots have been secured.” I met there, besides the friends mentioned, D. A. Millington, an enterprising businessman, whom I had known in Leavenworth, and he believed in the town, and met me with cordiality and championed with liberality and enthusiasm my proposition to raise money for a Baptist church in Winfield. I preached every evening while there and hunted deer in the day time. The first day I killed three, just across the creek west of the town site. I borrowed and used a rickety old shotgun, with stock tied up with strings to hold things together. My luck as a hunter all came the first day, and that, too, in the forenoon.
The record of the Sabbath service is as follows: I preached in a store not completed. The front end of the building being out, we had for the congregation a wide open door. My pulpit was the end of a work bench with my overcoat doubled up for a desk. The seats were 2 x 8 scantling resting on nail kegs and boxes, and yet the entire room 20 x 36 was full morning and evening with an appreciative audience. We had a good choir and an organ. At the close of the morning sermon, a church was organized with twelve members. During the evening and the next day a subscription of $400 was secured, which was increased to about $700, sufficient to enclose a stone building 24 x 40 with 14 ft. walls of your stone quarry. This is the record: “I have never seen in the west as pure white magnitia [magnesia] limestone as these quarries afford. It can be laid in the wall for $2.25 per perch, thus furnishing durable and very cheap building material for the poor as well as the rich. It seems a little unique to think of a very poor man living in a magnificent limestone house roofed, shingled, finished, and furnished throughout with the best quality of grained black walnut, all this because it was so cheap—the difference between the dwellings of the poor and the rich being in the cut of the stone and the carve of the wood.” In returning home I volunteered to drive somebody’s team for them and made the trip alone. From a point north of Chelsea, I struck out across the Flint hills to go to headquarters of the east branch of Fall river, traveling by compass. This is the record. “For the first time in Kansas, I laid out upon the prairie, supperless and alone. With oats and hay for the horses, a robe blanket with God’s moon and stars in the heavens over me, and the precious spirit of Jesus in the heart, a happy night was spent while joy came in the morning. I know now why Abraham in journeying, rejoiced in setting by his altar and I can see how happy spirits can be inspired to make heaven resound with hallelujah.”
Thus was the publication of the little items of history, which seem to interest you, have tempted me to give you a few more items of history on more general matters which may awaken in others old memories and reveal to the younger generation what a luxury it was to live and work when the foundations of enterprises were being laid, which now add so much to the thrift, stability, and peace of a great state. I was always proud of Kansas. I proclaimed it east and west as “the poor man’s paradise, where continuous quarter sections could have more bona fide settlers on them than any western state.” My interest and pride in the state has never waned.
Ed. P. Greer, editor of the Winfield Courier in 1903, printed a letter addressed to him in the August 19, 1903, issue.
The Courier is in receipt of the following letter which will interest all our readers and especially the Old Settlers Association members.
San Marcos, San Diego County, California
August 12, 1903.
Mr. Ed P. Greer. Dear Sir, Will you kindly see that Mr. Ed. F. Green, president of the Old Settlers’ meeting to be held in Dexter August 26, gets the following items.
“Winfield” was named by my mother, Mrs. W. W. Andrews, now living in San Diego, 920 Ash Street, in 1869 for Rev. Winfield Scott, who was then a Baptist preacher in Leavenworth, Kansas. In return for the honor Rev. Scott came to Winfield and preached and “begged,” as he called it, until the first church, a small stone Baptist church was built on Millington street. He is now a retired army captain in San Francisco, or was two years ago.
I was the first white child born in Winfield, August 3, 1870, in a log house then standing on what is now the northeast corner lot at (the) corner of fourth and Loomis streets.
I was named for Rev. Scott’s daughter, Minnie Etta. I came to California in 1890 and am the happy wife of A. Shipley, a section foreman in San Marcos. Very truly yours,
Mrs. A. B. Shipley, nee Minnie E. Andrews.
First Claimants to Land in Winfield.
The first claimant to land that later became Winfield, Kansas was E. C. Manning, who came to Marysville, Kansas, as a printer in 1859. He returned in 1861 to Marysville with his family, where he served as postmaster and Colonel of a militia regiment for frontier protection. He served one term in 1863 as a state senator from Marysville, moving in 1863 to Manhattan, Kansas, where he published a newspaper for two years. In 1868 he was appointed as a secretary of the Kansas Senate. In 1869 he became a partner of T. H. Baker, a politician from Augusta, Butler County, Kansas. The Baker-Manning partnership secured a trading license enabling them to trade with the Osage Indians and settlers; as a result, they wrested control from C. M. Wood, unaware of the need to secure a license. In 1869 Baker paid Wood to build a log cabin in which E. C. Manning became the resident trader for the Baker-Manning partnership. This claim was located on the northwest quarter of section 38, township 32, south of range 4 east.
Upon the arrival of Col. Manning in December 1869, Mr. A. A. Jackson, who came with him, proceeded at once to claim 160 acres in the northeast quarter of section 28.
A. Menor and H. C. Loomis laid claims on the south half of the same section; C. M. Wood and W. W. Andrews claimed the half section next north.
Each of these claimants proceeded to occupy and improve his claim, and had as good a right to his claim as any man had on this reserve. Each had the undisputed right to prove up and enter his claim when the land should be ready to be offered.
Winfield Town Company.
On January 13, 1870, Jackson, Wood, Andrews, Loomis, and Menor joined with Manning, Jackson, and others in a project to make a town site with the understanding that the town company would be given a certain 40 acres of Manning’s claim when he had entered it, for which the company was to pay one-half of the expense of building a two-story log structure, known as the “Old Log Store.”
In February 1870 T. H. Baker moved from Douglass to Augusta, Butler County, Kansas, making that the headquarters of the Baker-Manning partnership.
The first political gathering held in the county took place at the log raising of the Old Log Store on the 1st day of April, 1870. It was called a Citizen’s Meeting to nominate candidates for the county officers to be elected May 2nd, 1870. It was the only full ticket voted for at that election, and of course all the nominees were elected. There were a few scattering votes cast for other individuals.
In August 1870 D. A. Millington and J. C. Fuller came to Winfield. According to Mr. Millington, A. A. Jackson was then “off the track,” denying having agreed to sell any part of his claim, stating that he never would sell any of it to the Winfield Town Company. The matter was settled by Millington and Fuller paying Jackson $1,000 in cash for his claim. The Winfield Town Company held a claim of forty acres in the northeast quarter of Manning’s claim. A town site wholly controlled by them made it a different ownership. This made it necessary to create a new corporation.
Winfield Town Association.
E. C. Manning, J. C. Fuller, and D. A. Millington formed themselves with J. M. Alexander of Leavenworth, T. H. Johnson, the first attorney in Cowley County, T. H. Baker of Augusta, and some others into another company, called the “Winfield Town Association,” and joined another 40 acres in the southeast quarter of Manning’s claim with the west 80 acres (half of Fuller’s claim), as the property of the association. This land, added to the Winfield Town Company’s 40 acres, made a town site of 160 acres, in square form, and D. A. Millington, who was then the only surveyor and engineer settled in the county, surveyed this town site off into blocks and lots, streets and alleys.
Winfield Town Site Controversy.
On October 24, 1878, in refuting statements that the Winfield town site had been stolen by Manning and others, D. A. Millington, at that time editor of the Winfield Courier, stated the following: “The two companies proceeded to give away lots to persons who would improve and occupy them, to other persons who would work for the benefit of the town in any way, and for other purposes to benefit the town. More than one-third, and nearly one-half of the lots in value, were given to occupants, to stage companies to induce stage service to Winfield, for services in and outside of Winfield, for churches, schools, courthouse and jail, and for other public purposes. The two companies paid out in the aggregate more than five thousand dollars in cash for the general benefit of the town site in various ways, aside from buildings for personal use.
“The plan that had been adopted to secure the erection of buildings in Winfield was to contract to give a deed of the lot built upon free, and the adjoining lot at value, when the said Manning and Fuller should be able to enter their claims at the U. S. land office. It was intended and expected that when the land office should be opened, Manning and Fuller should each enter his entire claim, and then deed the 40 acres of town site to the town company, and the 120 acres to the town association, and these corporations should then deed the improved lots to the owners of the improvements, and sell them the adjoining lots at value. Such entries and dispositions had been made in the cases of the town sites of Wichita and Augusta, and it was considered the true way in such cases.
“In nearly all the other town sites of the state made before entry, the original claimants entered the land and then deeded to the occupants, town companies, and others, according to previous agreement, and that was originally the intention with regard to this town site, but the commissioner of the general land office had made a ruling in the case of this reserve, that the claimant must, before entering, subscribe an oath, that he had not sold or agreed to sell or otherwise dispose of, any part of the claim he proposed to enter, and though this ruling was clearly outside of law and the oath if taken would not be an oath at all in fact (as afterwards decided by the courts) yet Manning and Fuller did not like to conform to it as others were doing. They, therefore, procured the probate judge of the county to enter the town site under the town site laws, and then each entered the other 80 acres of his claim in his own name.”
During the spring of 1871, new buildings continued to be built on the town site, stores and shops were filled, and dwellings occupied. During this time the occupants of the town site began to get restless, and demanded that the companies should give them more lots free. Some urged that the companies had no more right to the town site than anyone else, and that all the unimproved lots legally belonged to the owners of the improved lots, to be divided pro rata. These disaffected parties became so numerous as to embrace a great portion of the seventy-two owners of buildings on the town site.
They procured the service of a great land lawyer of Columbus, Amos Sanford, made an assessment, and collected money to carry out their measures. They held meetings in which exciting speeches were made against the two corporations, and were prepared, at a moments notice, when the land office was open, to rush in and enter the town site, through the Probate Judge, who should distribute the lots to the inhabitants, according to their theory. Thus commenced the famous Winfield town site controversy.
Long after the crucial date of July 10, 1871, when the U. S. Land Office at Augusta, Kansas, opened for land claimants in Cowley County, E. C. Manning wrote the following.
“It took a long time to plat the surveys, send them to Washington for approval, and return the copies to the local land office at Augusta in Butler County, thirty-two miles distant. But the Winfield Town Company had long ears, and one of those ears was laying very close to the Land office building in Augusta on July 9, 1871, when the plats arrived.”
The “long ears” mentioned probably refers to Manning’s old partner, T. H. Baker, who became the duly-elected Representative from Butler County on February 9, 1871, after a contested case between Baker and L. S. Friend. This case was mentioned numerous times in the Walnut Valley Times, a newspaper printed at Eldorado [later El Dorado], Kansas. On February 17, 1871, Editor T. B. Murdock wrote the following: “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.”
Probate Judge Ross.
In 1871 Thomas Benton Ross, a Methodist minister, was the Probate Judge in Cowley County, having been elected on November 8, 1870. Millington, Fuller, and Manning informed Judge Ross that they wanted him to leave with them on Sunday afternoon in order to be in Augusta early Monday morning, July 10, 1871, when the land became subject to entry at the land office at Augusta. Judge Ross refused, but told them to drive to his claim three miles northwest of Winfield, where he would leave with them one minute after twelve o’clock. They arrived at Augusta early Monday morning, ahead of the Arkansas City delegation, and had Winfield declared the temporary county seat. The Winfield town site was the first entry in Cowley County. They then entered the other 80 acres of their own claim and returned to Winfield. During the next night a group of dissatisfied citizens went up in considerable force to enter the town site and learned that they were too late.
After the Land Entry.
After the land entry, Judge Ross appointed W. W. Andrews, H. C. Loomis and L. M. Kennedy as Commissioners, under the law, to set off to the occupants of the Winfield town site the lots to which they were entitled, according to their respective interests.
The time of the meeting was advertised, and all parties met on September 20, 1871. The two town companies presented to the Commissioners a list of the lots, showing what lots were improved, and who were entitled to them, and showing that the vacant lots were the property of the two companies respectively. The citizens spoke only through their lawyer, Amos Sanford, and demanded that the vacant lots should be divided up among the occupants in proportion to the value of their buildings. After a full hearing, the three Commissioners decided according to the schedule of the two town companies, and Judge Ross immediately executed deeds accordingly.
This decision was accepted by a large part of the citizens, who, to prevent further trouble, executed quit claim deeds of all the vacant lots to the two town companies.
A New Entity Under an Old Name.
On January 13, 1872, another “Winfield Town Company” was organized 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.”
Suit: Enoch Maris et al, Plaintiffs, Versus Winfield Town Co., Defendants.
W. H. H. Maris became a partner of Frank A. Hunt (first hardware dealer and first Sheriff of Cowley County) in October 1870 in erecting a dry goods store located on Broadway, three doors north of Hunt’s hardware store. By May 1871 F. A. Hunt and W. H. H. Maris dissolved their partnership. W. H. H. Maris and his brother, Enoch Maris, started a new business, Maris & Co., which handled groceries and provisions on the corner of Main Street and 8th Avenue. The Maris & Co. wholesale and retail house started advertising in July 1871 that their address was No. 171 Main Street in Winfield, Kansas.
The partnership of Enoch and W. H. H. Maris in the firm of Maris & Co. was dissolved on September 20, 1872, W. H. H. Maris continuing the business at the old stand. This was brought about by Enoch Maris, A. A. Jackson, and others commencing a suit in the district court of Cowley County through their lawyer, Amos Sanford, to set aside the deeds from the Probate Judge to the two Winfield companies as void.
The civil action brought by Enoch Maris and others was at first thrown out of court on demurrer by Judge Webb. It was tried again on demurrer before Judge W. P. Campbell of the 13th Judicial Court, who overruled the demurrer, and promptly rendered judgment for the plaintiffs. The case was carried to the Supreme Court of Kansas and was heard by the Supreme Court of Kansas at the January term in 1873, which reversed the judgment of the court below and remanded the suit for further proceedings. On April 9, 1873, the Supreme Court of Kansas ruled that the judgment of the court below should be reversed with cost, and commanded that the judgment of the Supreme Court should be executed according to law the said petition in error to the contrary notwithstanding.
Many of the newspapers in Kansas misunderstood the Supreme Court ruling on the Winfield Town Company issue and thought that the plaintiffs had won. On Saturday, May 14, 1873, the Topeka newspaper, The Commonwealth, stated: “The decision of the supreme court in the Cowley County case reached here last night, and threw the whole town into consternation, as this decision makes the deed of the mayor to the town company illegal and void, and of course all deeds of the town company are also void. This will, however, be an advantage to the town, as the people here will take it into their own hands, and people will get lots much cheaper, and those here will quit paying money to a town company that never had any title to the lots or town.”
On August 7, 1873, a suit by Enoch Maris et al versus the Winfield Town Company was dismissed. Another case was commenced by ten of those who had quit-claimed, ran the course of the courts, and failed in the end.
Winfield Incorporated Into a City of the Third Class.
February 22, 1873.
In the matter of the application of the majority of the electors of the unincorporated town of Winfield, in the county of Cowley, and state of Kansas, to be incorporated into a city of the third class, under the laws in such case made and provided.
Whereas, a petition to me presented, duly signed by a majority of the electors of said town of Winfield, setting forth:
1. The metes and bounds of said town to be as follows, to-wit: Beginning at a point 80 rods east of the n w corner of the n w qr of sec 23 t 32, south of r 4 east, thence s to the n line of the s w qr of said sec, thence s 1 deg, e 1900 feet, thence e 1309 ft. to the centre line, thence n on said center line 1884 feet to the n e corner of the s w qr of said section, thence e 80 rods, thence n to the n line of said qr, to a point 1 chain and 10½ links e of the n w cor of said qr, thence n 1 deg w 19 chains, thence w 1 chain and 21 links, thence s along the line between s e and s w qr sections of 21, 19 chains to the s e corner of the s e qr of sec 21, thence w 80 rods to the place of beginning.
2. That said town contains a population of about six hundred inhabitants.
3. That said petition contains a prayer to be incorporated as a city of the third class. And, if appearing to my satisfaction that a majority of the taxable inhabitants of said town are in favor of such incorporation, and that the number of the inhabitants of said town exceeds two hundred and fifty, and does not exceed two thousand, therefore:—
I, W. P. Campbell, Judge of the 13th Judicial District of the State of Kansas, being further satisfied that the prayer of the petitioners, in said petition, is reasonable, do hereby order and declare said town incorporated as a City of the Third Class, by the name and style of THE CITY OF WINFIELD, according to the metes and bounds aforesaid, and according to the law in such case made and provided:
And it is by me further ordered that, the first election in said City, for City officers, shall be held at the LAW OFFICE OF SUITS & WOOD, in said City, on the 7th day of March, A. D., 1873. And I hereby designate W. M. Boyer, D. A. Millington, and J. P. Short, to act as judges of said election, and J. W. Curns and J. M. Dever to act as Clerks of said election, and also, A. A. Jackson, A. T. Stewart, and O. F. Boyle to act as a Board of Canvassers.
It is further by me ordered, that the Clerk of the District Court in the county of Cowley, in said Judicial District, shall forthwith enter this order at length on the journal of proceedings of the District Court of said county of Cowley, and shall make publication of the same in some newspaper published in said City, at least one week before the said City election.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand at Eldorado, Kansas, in chambers this 22nd day of February, A. D. 1873. S/ W. P. CAMPBELL, Judge.
First Election at the City of Winfield.
The first city election was held March 7, 1873, at which W. H. Maris was elected Mayor; A. A. Jackson, police judge; and O. F. Boyle, C. A. Bliss, J. D. Cochran, H. S. Silver, and S. C. Smith as councilmen.
Winfield Made a City of the Second Class.
On February 16, 1879, the City Council met at Winfield. The city attorney presented a resolution to the organization of a city of the second class, accompanying which was the proper survey of limits by John Hoenscheidt. The resolution was adopted.
On March 17, 1879, the City Council met with C. M. Wood, President of the Council, in the chair. Councilmen Gully, Jochems, Manning, and Robinson were present along with J. P. Short, city clerk, and N. C. Coldwell, city attorney.
The Governor’s proclamation making Winfield a city of the second class was then read, after which a petition of some ninety citizens in opposition to changing the class of the city was read; and Mr. E. C. Manning moved that the prayer of the petitioners be granted. The matter was discussed by Councilman Manning and H. E. Asp and J. E. Allen, citizens, for, and N. C. Coldwell, Col. J. M. Alexander, and M. G. Troup, against. The roll being called the vote stood as follows: Yes—Jochems and Manning. Nay—Gully, Robinson, and Wood.
On motion of Robinson, the clerk was instructed to spread the Governor’s proclamation on the Record. Ordinance No. 84, dividing the city into two wards, was then passed.
Whereas, It appears from a certificate of the Mayor and Council of the city of Winfield, in the county of Cowley, and State of Kansas, duly authenticated by the clerk of said city under the seal thereof, and bearing date February 19th, 1879, which has been duly filed in this Department, that the said city of Winfield, in the said county of Cowley, and State of Kansas, has attained a population of over two thousand and not exceeding fifteen thousand; and
Whereas, the Mayor and Council of said city of Winfield, have duly made out and transmitted to the undersigned an accurate description by metes and bounds of all the lands included within the limits of said city and the additions thereto;
Now, therefore, I, John P. St. John, Governor of the State of Kansas, in pursuance of the statute in such case made and provided, do hereby declare and proclaim said city of Winfield, in said county of Cowley, and State of Kansas, subject to the provisions of an act entitled “An act to incorporate cities of the second class and to repeal former acts,” approved February 28th, 1872.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused to be affixed the great seal of the State.
[SEAL] Done at the Executive Department, Topeka, Kansas, this 27th day of February, 1879. By the Governor: JOHN P. ST. JOHN.
JAMES SMITH, Secretary of State.
Winfield Divided Into Two Wards.
That portion of Winfield east of Main Street became the First Ward; that portion of Winfield west of Main Street became the Second Ward.
Original Claim Turned Into Six Blocks Along Main Street.
In the course of four months after the agreement made on January 13, 1870, Manning and the town company surveyed 20 acres of “the particular 40 acres” of his claim into six blocks along Main street from 5th to 9th avenues, and built the “Old Log Store” in Winfield.
The first political gathering held in the county took place at the log raising of the Old Log Store on April 1, 1870. It was called a Citizen’s Meeting to nominate candidates for the county officers to be elected May 2nd, 1870. It was the only full ticket voted for at that election, and of course all the nominees were elected. There were a few scattering votes cast for other individuals.
In April 1870 Manning with stock from the Manning-Baker partnership took up most of the first floor of the two-story log store; Dr. W. Q. Mansfield started a small drug store in one corner of the building, sleeping on the floor at night until he could get a small abode built. In May 1871 the partnership of J. A. Myton and Hiram Brotherton started a business in the Old Log Store, providing clothing, boots and shoes, mirrors, blankets, comforters, etc. They were replaced by Van Hillis in November 1872, who was followed by Robinson & Co. This company was followed by McMillen & Shields, general dealers in merchandise, dry goods, and groceries, which started in January 1873. Mr. McMillen did the buying for this partnership in St. Louis and Chicago. In May 1874 they moved their goods into a former drug store run by A. H. Green, and were replaced by the grocery store of I. F. Newland in July 1874. Newland closed out at auction and was replaced by J. C. Weathers and J. M. Dever, who handled groceries, queensware, and provisions under the name of J. C. Weathers & Co. This business closed on February 1875.
The second floor of the Old Log Store was used at first as a courtroom and county offices. The Courier office took over much of this space in April 1873.
The first floor of this structure became the post office sometime in 1875.
In October 1877 E. C. Manning made arrangements to build a brick business house on the site of the “old log store,” which had served for eight long years as a store, church, political headquarters, law office, post office, schoolhouse, and printing office.
In March 1878 Robert Hudson put his log wheels under the structure and moved it to a site on 8th avenue northeast of its former location. Robinson & Miller, dealers in furniture, coffins, etc., turned the building into a furniture store. Its last owner was Mr. Fredrick Leuschen, who used it as a cabinet shop. The story of its destruction by fire along with other buildings nearby was told by the Winfield Courier on May 6, 1880.
Last Thursday night, between 11 and 3 o’clock, Winfield was visited by the most disastrous conflagration yet happening within her borders. The fire started in the old log store, one of the landmarks of the town, and for years occupied by the COURIER, but was now being used by F. Leuschen as a cabinet shop. The fire is supposed to have originated from the old rags, oil, and varnish in the shop. The alarm was given before the fire was thoroughly underway, and had those first on the ground been furnished with decent appliances, it might have been controlled, saving thousands of dollars worth of property. The old log building was like a tinder box and made a very hot fire. Next to it on the east were two buildings, one belonging to C. L. Harter and occupied by the moulder at the foundry, the other owned and occupied by Robert Hudson. These buildings were both destroyed, but the contents were saved.
Immediately west of the log building, across the alley, was an old livery barn belonging to Hackney & McDonald, which was the next to go.
From this the fire was communicated to the Central and Lindell hotels. As soon as it was evident that the hotels must go, the work of getting out the furniture began. Carpets, bedding, crockery ware, and furniture of all descriptions were tumbled promiscuously out of windows and doors into the street, much of it being broken and smashed. The hotels being dry, pine buildings, burned rapidly, sending up large cinders which fell in different parts of the city, making the utmost vigilance necessary to keep them from igniting buildings three blocks from the fire.
When the two hotels caught, everyone turned their attention toward saving the buildings on either side of the street. They were covered with men who handled buckets of water and barrels of salt, and by their exertions prevented the fire from spreading and destroying the larger part of the business portion of our city.