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. . . .
“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.”
The Emporia News article gave the constitution, by-laws, and resolutions adopted by the Citizens’ Protective Union, created on November 7, 1869, covering the citizens in Cowley County, Kansas, noting that the following officers were elected to head the “Union” for the ensuing year: Dr. W. G. Graham, President; 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. A. 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, noting that he thought it would be of interest to all of the paper’s 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.
The story of the early settlers was told in Volume I, History of Cowley County, Kansas. The following accounts cover some of those who started Winfield.
First Claimants to Land in Winfield.
E. C. Manning. Manning, the first claimant to land that later became Winfield, Kansas, was born at Redford, New York, in 1838 and spent his early boyhood in Vermont before moving with his parents to Iowa. After teaching school for several years, Mr. Manning began traveling and in 1859 became a printer in Marysville, Kansas, returning to that city in 1861 with his family, where he served as postmaster and helped organize a regiment for frontier protection. He reached the rank of colonel and used that title long after the regiment disbanded in 1865. Manning moved with his family to Manhattan, Kansas, in 1863, 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.
A. A. Jackson. Addison A. Jackson, born in New York State in 1834, moved with his family to Illinois, where he enlisted in the 12th Illinois Volunteer Infantry on the day that Fort Sumpter was fired upon. He served three and one-half years, being severely wounded at the battle of Shiloh. He was mustered out with the rank of Captain. After the war he engaged in cotton planting in Tennessee for a few years. He came to Cowley County in December 1869 with E. C. Manning. (Jackson had been employed by Baker and Manning to look after their trading store when Manning was gone and to assist in selling goods.) A. A. Jackson took a 160 acre claim immediately east of Manning in the northeast quarter of section 28.
Jackson served as Cowley County Clerk from November 8, 1870, until January 11, 1874. He also served as a justice of the peace and probate judge at various times. He was involved in a number of business ventures: furniture store, restaurant, hog slaughtering, and the grain trade at Wichita with George Melville. The Jackson family moved in late 1879 to a location that later became Seeley in Ninnescah township, where he handled hogs and sheep and became the Santa Fe station agent. In September 1882 he was given a pension for being shot at Shiloh of $2.00 a month for a gunshot wound in the left thigh. By this time he was suffering a great deal from rheumatism. He became Captain of the Seeley company of the Old Veteran regiment in 1882. In 1891 Jackson was back at Winfield serving as the Register of Deeds. In October he made a trip to Princeton, Illinois, to attend a reunion of his old regiment, attended by only twenty-six of his old comrades.
Winfield Town Company.
On January 13, 1870, A. A. Jackson, C. M. Wood, W. W. Andrews, H. C. Loomis, and A. Menor joined with Manning 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.
Winfield Town Company.
On August 16, 1870, D. A. Millington and J. C. Fuller came to Winfield. They associated themselves with E. C. Manning to build up a city. The claims of Manning and Jackson occupied what became the most central portion of Winfield, surrounded by the claims of A. Menor, J. C. Loomis, A. Howland, A. J. Thomas, A. D. Speed, Prettyman Knowles, and G. W. Green, all or parts of which claims were later incorporated into the city of 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. They laid out the half of the two claims of Manning and Jackson into a town site, and invited settlers who would improve lots on the site. Inasmuch as a town site wholly controlled by them made it a different ownership, they deemed 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, which was surveyed by D. A. Millington into blocks and lots, streets and alleys.
W. H. H. Maris and Enoch Maris: “Maris & Co.”
W. H. H. Maris and Frank A. Hunt were partners in a dry goods store in Winfield in 1870. By March 1871 Maris was in partnership with his brother, Enoch Maris, under the firm name of “Maris & Co.,” handling wholesale and retail groceries and provisions.
Enoch Maris, A. A. Jackson, and Others Bring Suit.
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 embraced a great portion of the seventy-two owners of buildings on the town site. They collected money to carry out their measures and pay for the services of Amos Sanford, an attorney who specialized in land controversies. They held meetings in which exciting speeches were made against the two corporations, and were prepared, at a moment’s 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. They arrived at the Augusta Land Office too late, not privy to the advance information given to members of the two town companies.
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, 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.”
Millington, Fuller, and Manning informed Methodist minister Thomas Benton Ross, Probate Judge in Cowley County, 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 after midnight. 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.
In August 1871 the Cowley County Censor was purchased by Messrs. Webb & Doud at about the time of a meeting of a “Citizens Association” in Winfield, where the following resolution was adopted.
“Resolved, That the little clique of land speculators and political shysters that have brooded over the destinies of the town since its organization, shall no longer control its affairs, so far as the influence of a great majority of the substantial citizens can prevent it. That one of the pleasurable pursuits of the members of this association will be the combing, curbing, and pinching on the lowest back seats, in all town and public affairs, the speculating sharks and members of the ‘town ring’ who have of late been ruling in our midst; as well as to place in positions of honor and trust, within our gift and influence, the good and honest citizens of our town and County; and that we will sustain the good people of Winfield in improving and building up and controlling the town, and in their future endeavors to make it a place worthy of the patronage and support of the citizens of the surrounding community and the County at large.”
Town Companies Set off Lots.
After the land entry was made on July 10, 1871, by the Winfield Town Company and the Winfield Town Association, 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. A meeting took place on September 20, 1871, at which the two town companies presented to the three 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. The Citizens Association 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.
Enoch Maris joined with A. A. Jackson and others in a suit in the district court of Cowley County in October 1871 through their lawyer, Amos Sanford, to set aside the deeds from Probate Judge Ross to the Winfield Town Company and the Winfield Town Association.
On January 13, 1872, another “Winfield Town Company” was organized. Officers were E. C. Manning, president; W. W. Andrews, vice president; C. M. Wood, treasurer; W. G. Graham, secretary. The directors were E. C. Manning, J. H. Land, A. A. Jackson, W. G. Graham, and J. C. Monforte; and the foregoing named persons together with T. H. Baker, S. S. Prouty, Thos. Moonlight, and H. C. Loomis were the corporators. 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.”
Winfield Incorporated Into a City of the Third Class on 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.
Settlement of Case of Enoch Maris et al.
The civil action brought by Enoch Maris and others, Plaintiffs, against the Winfield Town Company, Defendants, 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 at the January term in 1873. 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 newspapers misunderstood this ruling. The Saturday, May 14, 1873, issue of the Topeka Commonwealth said, “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.
Activities of Enoch Maris Before and After Supreme Court Decision.
Enoch and W. H. H. Maris dissolved their partnership on September 20, 1872, W. H. H. Maris continuing the business.
The Winfield Courier on January 25, 1873, announced that Dr. Graham and Enoch Maris had formed a co-partnership for the purpose of engaging in the drug business, securing the newly re-fitted building of A. H. Green on Main street.
On February 15, 1873, the Winfield Courier reported that thee new store room of Maris & Blandin on Main street had just opened a stock of drugs and toilet articles.
In February 1873 Enoch Maris became an officer of Adelphi Lodge, A. F. and A. M., and was appointed as a member of the board of trustees of the Presbyterian church in Winfield.
On March 13, 1873, the Winfield Courier had an item about the new drug store of Enoch Maris and B. F. Baldwin.
In October 1873 Enoch Maris, a member of Co. F, 4th U. S. Cavalry, during the Civil War, participated in the organization of the Cowley County Soldiers’ Association, consisting of Union soldiers in the late war.
Also, in October 1873, Maris & Baldwin moved into a new store room. Their old store was turned into a boot and shoe store by T. E. Gilliland from Independence.
On October 23, 1873, the Winfield Courier announced that Maris, Carson & Baldwin, at the City Drug Store were prepared to accommodate their many customers with drugs, notions, toilet soaps, etc.
In February 1874 the case of Amos Sanford versus Enoch Maris et al. was placed upon the trial docket of the Cowley County District Court.
On November 19, 1874, the partnership of Maris, Carson & Baldwin was dissolved when Carson left Winfield.
In August 1875 the firm of Maris & Baldwin was dissolved, B. Frank Baldwin becoming sole proprietor of the drug store. Enoch Maris started a lumberyard in El Dorado, Kansas.
City Council of Winfield.
The city council of Winfield came into being on February 22, 1873, at which time W. H. H. Maris was elected Mayor. S. C. Smith was chosen as council president; other council members were O. F. Boyle, J. D. Cochran, H. S. Silver, and C. A. Bliss. The first annual election took place on March 7, 1873, the same persons being re-elected excepting Samuel J. Darrah, who succeeded C. A. Bliss on the council. The first city council carried out the building of the courthouse and jail in 1873, assisted by J. M. Alexander, city attorney; and the three Cowley County Commissioners: Frank Cox, of Richland; John D. Maurer, of Dexter; and O. C. Smith, Creswell. Fifty-eight leading men of Winfield were most active in this matter and guaranteed the title to the courthouse ground; many prominent men of Cowley County approved the measure.
At the second annual election on April 8, 1874, S. C. Smith was elected Mayor. Samuel Darrah became council president; other council members were J. D. Cochran, H. S. Silver, R. B. Saffold, and J. P. McMillen.
The above were the official listings of the city council of Winfield for the years 1873 and 1874. Further study of events taking place during these two critical years in the history of the city of Winfield reveal quite another story about the position of “Mayor of Winfield.” S. C. Smith was the acting mayor for Winfield during the greater part of 1873, as noted in the following by James Kelly, editor of the Winfield Courier.
Winfield Courier, April 3, 1874. Editorial Page.
One year ago, one, or rather two, of the most disgraceful elections it has ever been our misfortune to witness, was held in this city. Crimination and recrimination—mis-representation and calumny—was then the order of the day; issues were made that were no issues at all. So far as we were concerned we had in the multiplicity of candidates, only, what might be termed, a personal preference, we said then, and time has vindicated our assertions, that there could be no significance in that election, any farther than to elect our best citizens to fill the various municipal offices. On the other hand, it was claimed that the settlement of the suit then pending in the supreme court between the citizens and the town company depended on that election.
It is no part of our object in this article to discuss the merits or demerits of the town site difficulty any farther than to say, in passing, that every sensible man knows by this time, that difficulty cuts no figure in our municipal election, nor can it be affected in any manner, no matter who our city fathers may be. Then if the town site question has no bearing, and political faith seems to be out of the question, it is clearly the duty of every good citizen to support and vote for men who will best promote the interests of the town and the welfare of our people. Captain S. C. Smith has been the acting Mayor of the city for almost a year last past, and so far as we know, he has made a good, careful, and efficient officer, guarding well the interests of the town. We are therefore in favor of the election of Mayor Smith, believing that his experience will better enable him to discharge the duties of the office, than any new man, no matter how well qualified.
In the election of the council we, in common with others, have our preference. Although that preference is not of such a character that we could not support almost anyone of well known honesty and ability. We only ask that the same test be applied to candidates for council that would be demanded in our choice for Mayor.
Let us for once, in the history of Winfield, lay aside our petty spites and quarrels, which has a tendency to sour the sweetest temper, and mar the usefulness of the noblest and the best, and unite on men and measures, that will make Winfield what she ought to be—the city of Southern Kansas.
Let us have peace.
A brief outline concerning the people named as members of the Winfield City Council in 1873 and 1874 follows as well as mention of others involved with these individuals.
W. H. H. Maris, First Mayor of Winfield.
Mr. W. H. H. Maris was a partner of Capt. J. S. Hunt in opening a store on the corner north of the first Courthouse in Winfield in 1870. They handled dry goods.
By May 1871 W. H. H. Maris and his brother, Enoch Maris, were partners in Maris & Co., which supplied groceries and provisions. Their store was located on the southwest corner of Main street and 8th avenue, Winfield, Kansas. Their address was listed as “171 Main Street.” The partnership between W. H. H. Maris and Enoch Maris was dissolved on September 20, 1872.
It appears that when W. H. H. Maris moved into a new residence in September 1873, located one half mile east of Winfield, he vacated the office of Mayor in Winfield, making Capt. S. C. Smith the acting Mayor. However, Mr. Maris did not resign.
W. H. South bought Maris’ entire stock of dry goods, notions, hats, caps, boots, shoes, glassware, and queensware in January 1874, offering the entire stock at auction in April 1874. In November 1874 J. W. Scott & Son traded their boots and shoes to W. H. South for his dry goods and with the combined stock moved into the old store of W. H. H. Maris. Maris established a lumberyard in Winfield in November 1874. In December 1874 Maris was an active participant in providing a free supper to Winfield citizens given by the Christian church members at their new meeting house.
In February 1877 Maris was busy constructing a stone store, 25 by 125 feet in size, upon his corner lot, and repairing and remodeling another building that was occupied in March 1877 by T. E. Gilleland’s boot and shoe store. In March 1877 Maris changed the location of his lumberyard to vacant lots on the south side of 8th avenue between Main and Manning, and also handled agricultural implements and machinery. Maris completed his new building (opposite the Central Hotel) in September 1877, which was occupied by Lynn & Gillelen. He sold out his lumber business in April 1879 to Mr. W. T. Ekel, from Wichita.
In December 1879 Maris was named Chaplain for Winfield Lodge No. 101, I. O. O. F. The Lodge took up room in the upper part of the Maris building rented by Lynn & Gillelen.
Maris sold both of the buildings he owned in Winfield in January 1880 to Chas. C. Black (J. B. Lynn’s store and W. C. Root & Co.’s boot and shoe store) and his residence on Elm Row for $12,000. In return, Maris obtained the J. G. Titus farm of 640 acres southeast of Winfield and $5,000 in cash.
In 1881 W. H. H. Maris was unsuccessful in his attempt to become County Treasurer.
By 1883 Maris was a resident of Silverdale township and was appointed as a member of the executive committee of the “Old Settlers’ Association of Vernon Township.”
Maris made a mistake: he went into the sheep business in 1885. In May he sheared 600 head of fine Merino sheep when the weather was excellent. A cold, heavy rain came down after the shearing was completed. On the following day Mr. Maris entered his sheep lot to find the ground strewn with the dead carcasses of 400 of his animals. Later he lost the remaining 200 when a storm struck. His monetary loss was over $2,250.
Maris realized that he was in the wrong business. In July 1885 he located in New Salem, Kansas, and went back to his first love, dry goods. In August 1885 the city council of Winfield responded to Mr. Maris’ request to give him a quote on selling the old fire machinery that the city of Winfield held.
In November 1885 Mr. Maris’ son, Eugene, directed the contents of his shotgun in the direction of an Indian trying to break into the Maris’ store. Mr. W. H. H. Maris and constable Ford of New Salem followed the Indian and caught him near Burden. He was removed to the Winfield jail. A trial took place in January 1886 relative to the twenty-four year old Indian, George Callum, referred to some as a half-breed Pawnee and by others as a half-breed Kiowa, who could speak but little English. Attorney Lovell Webb, appointed at the last moment due to Attorney Cal Swarts being ill, called upon C. M. Scott from Arkansas City to interpret. The evidence showed that Mr. Callum was up from the Indian Territory hunting work, and that he made his bunk on the ground under Maris’ store window. During the night he got cold; hearing someone in the store, he tapped on the window. Young Maris thought that Callum was a burglar and blazed away with his revolver. The concussion broke the window pane, but Eugene Maris thought that the Indian did it. Mr. Callum was acquitted by the jury and Jailor Finch sent the Indian down to the Chilocco Indian school.
In December 1885 Messrs. Eli Reid, of Burden, and T. Walker of Salem, bought the dry goods and grocery stock of Mr. W. H. H. Maris in New Salem. The grocery store of former Senator John C. Long, located at 815 Main in Winfield, was purchased by Mr. Maris and Rev. Irwin of New Salem.
S. C. Smith. City Councilman and Mayor.
S. C. Smith was often referred to as “Capt. Smith.” Effective March 1865 Samuel C. Smith received a monthly pension of $6.00 for a wound in his right arm. On October 21, 1872, the real estate business of Smith & Kerns dissolved when W. H. Kerns became a lawyer in Abingdon, Illinois. S. C. Smith held an office located one door north of the post office in Winfield in November 1872, as a real estate agent, land surveyor, and notary public. Mr. Smith raised cattle. In May 1873 one yoke of Council President Smith’s cattle lifted the beam at 4,140 pounds on the city scales. Smith was a director of the Agricultural Society in 1873. On November 27, 1873, Mayor S. C. Smith gave an address of welcome at a soldiers’ reunion held at the Courthouse in Winfield during which union soldiers living in Cowley County, Kansas, formed the “Cowley County Soldiers Association.”
Mayor S. C. Smith wrote the following letter relative to the ownership and occupancy of the jail on February 17, 1874. His letter appeared in the February 20, 1874, issue of the Winfield Courier.
“EDITOR COURIER: As a misapprehension seems to exist in the minds of some in regard to the ownership and occupancy of the jail in this city, will you allow me through your columns to make a statement of the facts in the case.
“On the 19th of April last, a written contract was entered into between the City of Winfield and the County of Cowley, according to the terms of which, the county was to build a Courthouse at Winfield at a cost of $10,000 county orders, or $8,500 cash. The City of Winfield was to erect a city building at the cost of $2,500 in which was to be a jail for the accommodation of both city and county, and the city was to give to the county the free use of the jail for the confinement of prisoners, so long as the county should want it for that purpose. Both buildings were built according to contract, each costing something more than the specified sum. The city building is two stories high. On the first floor are six cells with grated windows, and four of the cells have iron doors; the doors of two are of hardwood. The second story is finished as a hall. On the completion of the jail, the key was delivered to me by the builder, and at the request of Sheriff Parker—he having a prisoner ready to occupy the jail—I delivered the key to him, since which time the city has never had control of the jail proper. The city has held possession of the hall over the jail, which has been used for various purposes by permission of the city.
“I presume that the misapprehension that exists arises from the fact that J. M. Young, who was acting jailor by appointment of Sheriff Parker, and afterwards by Sheriff Walker, was also City marshal; but the city never claimed any control of his acts as jailor, nor did he receive any instructions as such from the city authorities. Since the escape of the prisoner Rucker, the Sheriff deeming it necessary that the hall over the jail should be constantly occupied, the County Commissioners asked for a conference with the City Council, which was immediately convened for that purpose. At this conference the city offered to give to the county the use and control of the entire building, both stories, on condition that the prisoners of the city should be taken care of without expense to the city, except for board which the city would pay for. I believe the city has honestly and faithfully complied with the terms of the contract, and even offered more than required. S. C. SMITH.”
On April 8, 1874, S. C. Smith was officially made the mayor of Winfield. He continued has activities as a real estate agent, land surveyor, and notary public. In March 1875 Mayor Smith decided to move to California. His office as Mayor was vacant until the April 8, 1875, election and D. A. Millington became Mayor. In May 1875 Capt. S. C. Smith wrote from California: “Everything is red hot here. Hundreds of emigrants arriving, some blessing the country and climate, and others cursing the newspapers for bringing them here where there is nothing to do. It is a worse place than Kansas for one without money, and whether a better place for one with it, I am not sure yet.” He returned to Winfield in June 1875.
Smith took an interest in wool while he was city engineer of Winfield in May 1881.
“I have taken considerable pains to ascertain the situation of the sheep interest in this county. A year ago there were about 40,000 sheep in this county. Recently I got actual enumeration of 69,500 sheep in the county, and there were probably many that I did not get. The sheep are about two thirds graded merinos and one third native Colorado and Missouri. A large majority of the bucks are nearly full blood merinos called thoroughbreds. I think the wool crop of this county this spring will amount to 350,000 pounds and will net $70,000.” He was instrumental in calling a meeting of the “Wool Growers of Cowley County” at his office on May 26, 1883.
Smith remained a realtor. In 1882 he became a Commissioner of Cowley County.
O. F. Boyle. City Councilman.
In March 1871, Owen F. Boyle, twenty-six years of age, and W. H. Hitchcock, his partner, opened up a dry goods store at No. 220 Broadway, Winfield, Kansas. They handled groceries, Queensware, hats and Caps, clothing, notions, hardware, stoves, tinware, drugs, clocks, flour, butter, lard, hams, saddles, iron and steel, breaking and subsoil plows, garden seeds, and farming implements. In time Hitchcock devoted his time between the Winfield store and another one in Belle Plaine, Kansas. O. F. Boyle, a bachelor from New York, roomed at first at the Lagonda House, and was known as “Tony.” After serving on the city council in 1873, O. F. Boyle was elected as treasurer of the Winfield Township in April 1874. On March 11, 1875, the copartnership of Hitchcock & Boyle was dissolved, and Owen F. Boyle became sole proprietor of the dry goods firm in Winfield.
Anna Melville and George W. Melville.
Miss Anna Melville and her brother, George W. Melville, settled in Pleasant Valley township in 1874, where their brother, Wm. H. Melville, had settled with his family. George Melville became a member of the Maple Grove Grange in January 1874. A graduate from the State Normal School in Emporia in 1874, Miss Anna Melville, often called “Annie,” was hired as a teacher in September 1874, and taught in the primary department of the Winfield school. George W. Melville was also a teacher. He ran on the Independent ticket in October 1874 for the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction. At a meeting in Tisdale, Mr. Melville stated that this office was overpaid, nearly useless, and merely a burden to the county; the present incumbent, who received $1,200 per annum, had made nothing out of the office. At another meeting in Lazette, Melville pledged himself to work for $3.00 per day, charging only for the days actually employed in official labors, which would bring about a saving to the county of several hundred dollars. He was not elected. George Melville was the Pleasant Valley township assessor in April 1875. In July 1875 Mr. Melville, who lived on Posey Creek, joined with other individuals in sending a cargo of unthreshed wheat down to Ft. Smith via the Walnut and Arkansas rivers when the river was on a “high.”
Mr. and Mrs. S. D. Klingman and their daughter, Allie, entertained friends in August 1875. Among their guests were O. F. Boyle and Annie Melville, who were going steady by this time. In October 1875 both George Melville and O. F. Boyle attended a reform convention in Winfield. In November 1875 Miss Melville graduated from the Kansas City Commercial College and began teaching school at Plymouth, a village near Emporia. Frequent visits were made by Mr. Boyle to see “Annie.” On June 11, 1876, O. F. Boyle and Anna A. Melville were married at Plymouth, Kansas, by Rev. A. H. Walter. On their honeymoon trip they took in the Centennial at Philadelphia.
In March 1876 George W. Melville became involved in the grain trade at Wichita with Mr. A. A. Jackson, returning in October that year to attend to business connected with his Pleasant Valley farm.
Mr. and Mrs. O. F. Boyle returned to Winfield in January 1877. In March Mr. Boyle had rented his building to A. A. Estlin & Co., who ran a “Cash Store.”
In May 1877 “Tony” Boyle departed for the Black Hills, leaving Mrs. Anna Boyle in Winfield. On May 4, 1877, Mrs. Boyle, a member of the Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Society, delivered an essay at the courthouse called “Waiting,” which was well received by those who attended. Mr. O. F. Boyle returned from the Black Hills in September 1877, reporting that he had met road agents and was beaten severely and robbed. He was soon busy in buying and selling grain at Wichita in partnership with his brother-in-law, George W. Melville at the Westlake Elevator. In December 1877 Walker Bros. opened up a grocery store in the Boyle building in Winfield. On July 18, 1878, the Winfield Courier printed the following item: “O. F. Boyle was down from Wichita last Monday. He says there is war among the elevator men at Wichita, with firearms and threats of shooting. No one killed yet. Prices of wheat 25 to 55.” In September 1878 the Wichita Beacon printed the following item: “Boyle & Melville have shipped through the Savings bank up to Monday night, and for this month, wheat to the amount of $78,000. During the glut of wheat last week this firm with praiseworthy enterprise built an addition of 2,800 bushels capacity, and had partially constructed a 1,500 bushel bin, when the arrival of cars enabled them to ship. Enterprise of this character is worthy of encouragement.”
While O. F. Boyle stayed at Wichita handling the grain business for the partnership of Boyle and Melville, with occasional visits to Winfield, George Melville went to Leadville, Colorado. In May 1879 Boyle reported that he had bought and shipped about two million bushels of wheat while Melville had purchased an eighth interest in the Pendery mine on Carbonate hill at Leadville, Colorado, and “struck it rich” when silver was uncovered. By July 1879 Mr. and Mrs. Boyle were residents of Leadville.
The success of Boyle & Melville in their mining investments prompted other Winfield citizens to take chances. In September 1879 M. L. Robinson, J. C. Fuller and others joined in with Boyle & Melville in investing in a mine near Leadville, the “Winfield Mine.”
Mr. and Mrs. O. F. Boyle returned in November 1879 to Winfield for the winter. In January 1880 Boyle rented his building, located on the east side of Main street, between 10th and 11th avenues, to B. Sadler & Co. Mr. George Melville returned to Winfield in January 1880 after completion of the sale of the Pendery mine for half a million dollars. The Courier reported the following on January 22, 1880: “Boyle and Melville, who had an eighth interest, are not out of mining property by any means. They have interests in forty other mines, some of which are worth even more than the Pendery mine.” In February Boyle left Winfield in order to examine mines in Colorado and New Mexico, returning in April 1880.
In May 1880 Thos. McDougall, of Cincinnati, attorney for the Longworth estate, purchased the two lots on the corner of 10th and Main streets, belonging to O. F. Boyle, for $3,000 cash, on which McDougall proposed to build a two-story brick building. Mr. and Mrs. Boyle moved to Leadville, Colorado, in June 1880, returning in November with Geo. W. Melville. Boyle and Melville soon left with J. L. M. Hill to visit the old silver mines of Sonora, Mexico. As the years went by Boyle’s visits to Winfield became less frequent after Mr. and Mrs. Boyle settled in Durango, Colorado, where O. F. Boyle became a member of the city council in 1881. In 1882 and 1883 Boyle became a County Commissioner of La Plata County, Colorado, an area 150 miles long by 50 miles wide.
The Winfield Courier had the following item on April 3, 1884: “The oldest landmark in the city was moved off Main Street this week, the old Tony Boyle building, to give room for the new McDougall brick. It was the second or third building that went up in Winfield, and at that time was considered a very fine structure.”
In May 1884 O. F. Boyle sold the large hardware store he owned in Durango, Colorado; and he and his wife visited Winfield friends in September before returning to Colorado.
J. D. Cochran. City Councilman.
James D. Cochran, a farmer, was born in Indiana. He came to Winfield circa 1870 with his wife and six children, whose ages ranged from the oldest, Jethro, 23 years of age, to Jay, 10 years of age. He was elected treasurer of the Cowley County Agricultural Society, organized August 17, 1871, and served as a director and treasurer for several years. In June 1871 Cochran was chairman of a citizens’ group that met at the Winfield courthouse to decide where to celebrate the upcoming July 4th celebration. A sufficient supply of power was donated for the national salute, to be given at daybreak on the morning of the fourth, and a committee was appointed to superintend the firing. It was decided to celebrate at other locations than Winfield. The subject of incorporating Winfield evoked much interest. A committee was appointed to draft petitions and circulate them.
When J. S. Hunt resigned as treasurer of Winfield township in July 1872, J. D. Cochran was appointed to replace him. Mr. Cochran was a member of Adelphi Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and a charter member of the Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry organized in Winfield in January 1874, serving as overseer. In April 1874 he became a city councilman in Winfield and was a member of the committee ordered to provide an enclosed “pound.”
Cochran raised corn and cattle. In May 1874 he joined with others in driving his cattle up to the central part of the state where grass was plentiful at a time when there was a scarcity of feed in Cowley County.
Both J. D. Cochran and S. D. Klingman, a wealthy farmer from Pleasant Valley township, who arrived with his family from Cambridge, Ohio, in February 1870, suffered the loss of a fine horse in October 1874 from Mr. Cochran’s stable, where Klingman was boarding his horse. It was assumed that Tom Quarles and a companion had stolen the horses as they had been seen hanging around before the horses disappeared.
Col. John T. Quarles and his son, Tom Quarles.
Tom Quarles, fourteen years of age in 1874, was the son of Col. John T. Quarles, a native of Pulaski County, Kentucky, who was born May 11, 1818. In the early period of his life, Col. Quarles was blessed with a comfortable living and was more than an ordinary man of ability, being at one time speaker of the House of Representatives of Kentucky, and known for having a warm and generous nature. Col. Quarles was the owner of a livery stable in Winfield in 1874, trying to raise his family alone after his wife’s death. In March 1874 Tom Quarles and some of his friends plundered the store of W. H. South, a merchant in Winfield, taking jewelry, watches, etc. Lucian McMasters, one of the youngsters, confessed that he and Tom Quarles had stolen the jewelry and hid it in Cliff Wood’s timber. Other boys were implicated in recent robberies. Within days after a jury found Tom Quarles not guilty in October 1874, the horses were stolen from Cochran and Klingman. They were never recovered. Tom Quarles gained a reputation as a horse thief. He and his young wife, Anna, were both sentenced for three years in December 1882 to the Kansas State Penitentiary.
In 1876 Col. J. T. Quarles, then fifty-eight years of age, married a twenty-three year old girl, Annie E. Quarles. Col. Quarles died on May 18, 1883, after years of painful suffering and dependence upon the charity of friends.
Mrs. Annie E. Quarles, the widow of Col. Quarles, moved into a home that she had rented on Monday, April 20, 1885, with her three children, the oldest child being eight and the youngest four. On the following Thursday, between midnight and 1:00 a.m., the home was entered by an unknown party who nearly beat her to death as she lay in her bed. With blood streaming down her face, Mrs. Quarles rushed screaming into the street, where she was found by Mr. C. C. Pierce and other neighbors, who came rushing to her assistance. Mrs. Quarles’ three children were in the same bedroom, the youngest child sleeping with her and the other two in a bed in the corner of the room. Neither Mrs. Quarles nor the children saw the person who attacked her. Since the death of her husband in 1883, Mrs. Quarles had to work in order to support herself and her family. She became ill some months before she moved into her new quarters, and was dependent upon neighborly assistance for support.
Two days before Mrs. Quarles and her children had moved into the rental house, the lady who had previously occupied it moved out after taking onto herself another husband, having obtained a divorce from her first husband, a man known for domestic infelicity. This gave rise to the theory that he had returned in a rage at his former wife’s re-marriage and with vengeance in his heart and blood in his eye sought the house where he supposed she still lived to beat her to death. The screams showing his mistaken victim, he suddenly decamped. No one was ever caught! Mrs. Quarles married Mr. C. C. Pierce, the neighbor who had assisted her when she was attacked, on January 1, 1887, at Kansas City, Missouri.
Later Activities of J. D. Cochran, City Councilman.
J. D. Cochran was elected as an officer of Adelphi Lodge No. 110, A. F. & A. M., in December 1874. A member of the Christian church, Cochran took an active role in providing a free supper to the citizens of Winfield in their new meeting house on December 31, 1874. He was re-elected as a city councilman in July 1875 along with Samuel Darrah, H. S. Silver, J. P. McMillen, and R. B. Saffold.
In April 1877 Mr. J. D. Cochran became city marshal of Winfield. J. S. Hunt was trustee of Winfield township. The Winfield Courier printed the following on April 19, 1877.
“About two hundred citizens of Winfield, with the brass band, star spangled banner flying, Trustee Hunt with sword drawn, Marshal Cochran with star shining, turned out on yesterday afternoon to try the experiment of fighting grasshoppers on a field of wheat adjoining the town on the west. In a couple of hours vast numbers were destroyed, but they were most too young to drive far. The effort had more fun than business in it, but it proved that when young, they must be driven slow; very slow, and not driven very far. They become tired after taking a few leaps. About one half dozen persons can clear a half acre of ground as quick as one hundred can.”
J. D. Cochran was an active city marshal, receiving favorable comments for getting the streets graded and drained. The new fire bell, weighing 225 pounds, was elevated into position by Marshal Cochran in July 1877. Three months after this event, Mr. Cochran became very ill and died at his residence on October 6, 1877. The funeral was conducted by the Masonic fraternity from the new M. E. church, which was crowded to overflowing.
H. S. Silver. City Councilman.
Hiram S. Silver was born near Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia, on July 2, 1837. During the Civil War he volunteered and was in the Confederate army a short time. On November 10, 1864, he married Ellen M. McKown at Hagerstown, Maryland. They had five children, four daughters and one son. At his death in 1919 Mr. Silver was survived by his wife and daughter, Mabel, wife of John Fuller of Winfield. The Silver family moved to Illinois and then Missouri before coming to Cowley County in 1872.
H. S. Silver was elected as a city councilman in March 1873 and chosen as a director of the Cowley County Agriculture society in May 1873. He was re-elected as a city councilman in April 1874. During his tenure many important decisions had to be made with a limited budget as the major source of revenue for Winfield came from a license tax on local saloons. He served on many council committees which worked toward building sidewalks and providing essential services. They spent $40.00 for six ladders to be placed at different business places along Main Street, where the use of water buckets could be implemented under the control of the City Marshal in case of fire.
Lack of money delayed action. On April 22, 1874, Silver was appointed as a member of a committee to provide a “pound” for the city and have the same enclosed. On December 22, 1874, the committee on (dog) pound was instructed to procure a pound at once. On January 4, 1875, the committee on pound reported they had procured a pound from Nate Roberson at the rent of $1 per month, which was accepted.
In May 1874 Joseph Likowski, R. Ehret, and E. R. Parker requested that the license tax on saloons be reduced from $300 to $200. Councilmen Silver, McMillen, and Darrah rejected this petition. The council did accept petitions from Likowski and Ehret asking for a dram shop license under and by the laws of 1868, allowing them to retail spirituous and fermented liquors in Winfield for the period of one year from May 1, 1874, on the payment of $300 per annum, payable semi-annually, and giving a bond of $2,000 as required by law.
Silver was elected in April 1874 as Trustee of Winfield Township and as a road overseer in the third district. Trustee Silver handled the 1874 census for Winfield and Winfield Township, showing a population of 2,399 in Winfield township. He also handled the 1875 census for both Winfield and Winfield township.
In August 1874 Hiram Silver was again made a director of the Cowley County Agricultural Society and served as Chief Marshal. In August Trustee Silver issued a notice seeking sealed proposals by September 1, 1874, for the building of a bridge across Timber or Dutch Creek at or near the point where the road, known as the A. S. Williams county road, crossed said creek in the S W ¼ of sec. 21, T P 32, Range 4 east. The notice specified the area to be covered: “Beginning at a stake on the left bank of said creek and bearing across said creek N 35 degrees W 3.57 chains passing a blazed walnut tree about six inches in diameter at 2.37 chains. Said bridge to have a roadway as high as the highest point on the left bank of the creek at said point.” The proposals submitted had to be accompanied with a complete plan and specifications. Winfield Township stipulated that they would pay for the bridge in bonds at par value, together with a bond with good and sufficient security in double the amount of the proposed costs thereof, conditioned for the faithful execution of the work proposed, and the carrying into effect any contract made in reference thereto. The right to reject any and all proposals was reserved.
In September 1874 Kansas Governor Osborn became concerned about the damage caused by grasshoppers in various parts of the state and a central relief committee was formed. Henry King, Secretary of the Central Committee, informed Rev. Platter, Cowley County Chairman, that they could not furnish shipments to individuals due to the railroads refusing to deal with any but persons authorized to act for a community for receipt of goods for distribution to the needy. This prompted the Patrons of Husbandry in Cowley County to issue the following resolution on December 12, 1874.
WHEREAS, The great drouth and grasshopper plague of 1874 has destroyed the crops to such an alarming extent that the members of this order have failed to raise enough corn, oats, or potatoes for feed for team, or seed, during the time for raising crops.
Be it Resolved, By this county council of Cowley County, that we request the members of the state central relief committee who are members of our worthy Order, to interest themselves in making some honorable arrangement with the A. T. & S. F. Railroad Company to furnish us with the above articles at such prices as will justify them, and take their pay January 1st, 1876, at some given rate, or such number of bushels of each article as will be fair to all parties.
In December 1874 H. S. Silver was appointed as a member of the central relief committee for Cowley County, which organized committees in each township to determine the amount of destitution which existed due to grasshopper damage. He was later made chairman of the Winfield Township relief committee.
On December 17, 1874, the Winfield Courier had the following item: “We understand there are some parties who have made application to the relief committee for meat, flour, and other eatables, who already have a cellar well stocked with the same. It is always thus. Whenever there is a chance of getting anything free, whether by charity or theft, there are always some grasping unprincipled people who are watching to get all there is to be had. Our relief committees cannot be too careful about distributing their aid where it is needed, and not throw it away upon these sharks.”
Mr. Hiram Brotherton, future partner of Hiram S. Silver, preceded Silver in coming to Winfield. Brotherton, born in Indiana, was about thirty-two years of age when he opened up the new cheap store of Myton & Brotherton in the Log Store, located at the northwest corner of Main Street and Ninth Avenue in Winfield in May 1871. Brotherton’s partner was J. A. Myton, a cousin of Sam Myton, a hardware dealer in Winfield. Myton & Brotherton handled provisions and clothing, announcing in October 1871 that they had just received the last lot of boots and shoes, ordered and shipped from the well known house of C. M. Henderson & Co., one day before the great Chicago fire, offering them for sale at the old prices.
J. A. Myton went to Colorado in 1873 to recuperate from a lung disease. He returned in August 1873 before departing for Illinois, leaving Hiram Brotherton to continue alone. Mr. Brotherton, 34, married Ida E. Hane, 25, at the M. E. Church in Winfield on February 12, 1873. Brotherton began to experience problems with creditors in November 1873 at a time when interest rates were high. By May 1874 he was engaged in selling mowers and reapers, trying to stay ahead of his creditors. In August 1874 he became the father of a little girl. Hiram Brotherton became a partner of A. A. Jackson in February 1875. They opened a general feed store in one of Jackson’s buildings on Main street. On March 1, 1875, R. B. Saffold, assignee of the estate of Hiram Brotherton, Bankrupt, sold to the highest and best bidder, for cash, all the open accounts and promissory notes remaining unsettled and unpaid. Brotherton & Jackson sold Osage Orange seed at 30 cents per pound or ten pounds for $2.50. The partnership between Brotherton & Jackson dissolved by mutual consent in September 1875, Hiram Brotherton collecting and paying all debts of the partnership.
Brotherton & Silver.
The new firm of Brotherton & Silver started advertising in December 1875, announcing that John Smith, Esq., of Silver Creek, had the exclusive right to manufacture and sell the celebrated rotating harrow in Cowley County, and could be seen at their store.
On January 6, 1876, the Winfield Courier gave tribute to their patrons.
“BROTHERTON & SILVER represent the only exclusive grain and feed store in the Valley. Mr. Brotherton has been a merchant in Winfield since it was a city and long before. Mr. Silver, ex-Township Trustee, is a live go-ahead man. The pair go well together.”
In February 1876 Hiram Brotherton had a boy.
Brotherton & Silver by April 1876 were located one door north of the office of Curns & Manser on the east side of Main street between 8th and 9th avenues. They specialized in selling seeds and farming implements. They paid cash for good wheat.
D. A. Millington was elected as Mayor in the April 1876 city election. Running on the Republican ticket, he received 81 votes; Hiram Silver, a Democrat, received 80 votes. Hiram Brotherton was elected as a city councilman.
In June 1876 H. S. Silver, Chairman of the Building Committee, First Presbyterian Church, gave notice that the contract for erection of the church had been let, notifying subscribers toward the building that the first installment was due for payment to the treasurer at Read’s Bank in order to meet the requirement of their contract with the builders.
Also, in June 1876 H. S. Silver joined with 24 Winfield citizens in signing a petition by T. K. Johnston opposing a petition presented by E. C. Manning and over 60 citizens asking for an amount not to exceed $300 to defray the expense of making a view of the several railroad routes from Winfield to the east and northeast. The motion was tabled.
On December 6, 1876, Mayor Millington, with the consent of the city council, appointed T. B. Myers to procure names preparatory to organizing a fire company and H. S. Silver to procure names for the organization of a Hook and Ladder Company.
On December 8, 1876, ordinance No. 61 was passed. Mayor Millington with the consent and recommendation of the city council, appointed R. L. Walker as Chief of the fire department in the city of Winfield; T. B. Myers, Engineer; and H. S. Silver as Captain, of said fire department.
On Sunday, March 11, 1877, Mrs. Ida E. Brotherton, aged 29 years, wife of Mr. Hiram Brotherton, died. In July 1877 Mr. Brotherton was replaced on the city council. In September 1877 Mr. Brotherton lost his youngest child, a boy.
In November 1877 Brotherton & Silver, grain and feed merchants, began building a business house on Ninth avenue, east of Main Street.
In January 1878 Hiram Brotherton became an officer of the Knights of Honor. In the same month he became an officer of Winfield Chapter No. 31, Royal Arch Masons.
In February 1878 Brotherton & Silver began to advertise their removal to a new location, one door west of the office maintained by the Telegram newspaper on Ninth avenue.
By April 1878 it was announced that H. S. Silver, with Brotherton, was doing a splendid business in agricultural implements. Mr. and Mrs. Silver lost a little daughter in May 1878. The funeral, held at the Presbyterian Church, was attended by a large concourse of friends. In August a new $1,300 frame residence was started for Mr. and Mrs. Silver in the Loomis’ addition. On Wednesday, September 29, 1878, they became proud parents of a son. Suffering with malarial fever, Mr. Silver became very ill in October after attending a funeral, Sunday school, and attending to church matters. He became partly insensible with an attack that resembled sunstroke, recovering his mind about midnight. He finally got well after a week.
In December 1878 Mr. Hiram Brotherton became an officer in Adelphi Lodge, No. 110, A. F. A. M., and the firm of Brotherton & Silver put in a new platform for their big scales.
Mr. Hiram Brotherton was installed as Guide of Winfield Lodge No. 479, Knights of Honor, on January 6, 1879. In April he was elected to the Board of Education. In August 1879 he was elected as a delegate to the Republican convention from the second ward.
In September 1879 Mr. Hiram Brotherton lost a law suit to A. J. Myton, his first partner.
Brotherton and Silver shipped the first carload of wheat ever taken out of Cowley County by rail in early October 1879.
Hiram Brotherton was elected president in October 1879 of the reorganized Winfield cornet band, whose leader was George Crippen.
Changes began to take place. In November 1879 Messrs. True & Morris started a coal office with Brotherton & Silver, on Ninth avenue. In late December 1879 W. J. Hodges purchased the Curns store room, being the north room in the union building on North Main street, paying $1900 cash, and rented the building for two years to Brotherton & Silver for $50 per month. In late January 1880 the “old reliable” seed and agricultural implement house of Brotherton & Silver moved to the north room in Union Row, North Main Street, affording them more space to accommodate their increasing trade.
A temperance convention took place in Manning’s Hall in late March 1880 to consider the prohibition amendment. H. S. Silver was appointed as treasurer. Kansas Governor St. John was the featured speaker, making an eloquent appeal for sobriety and law and order.
In January 1881 the congregation of the Presbyterian church celebrated the completion of improvements made in the basement of the church building: three rooms divided into a lecture room, parlor, and kitchen. One of the featured speakers was H. S. Silver, who gave an address entitled “The Revival of 1875.”
In February 1881 Brotherton & Silver were appointed as the city weigh-masters.
In March 1881 Mr. Hiram Brotherton made a trip to Harper, Kansas, where he purchased millet, paying 85 cents for the little and 90 cents for big millet.
In May 1881 the firm of Brotherton & Silver responded to an inquiry relative to the effects that prohibition in Kansas had on their business. “The seed trade is one-third better than it was a year ago. We have been paying less attention to the implement business than last year, and our trade is less. We are satisfied that prohibition is helping our trade considerably. Many are planting seeds who used to be loafing around, drinking more or less.”
In early June 1881 H. S. Silver was appointed as a member of a committee to obtain funds to defray the expenses of the upcoming 4th of July in Winfield and to have control of the fire works. He also contributed $5.00 for the immediate relief of the sufferers of Floral after a devastating cyclone.
H. S. Silver, W. J. Hodges, and S. H. Myton formed a company in September 1881 after a new discovery of coal two feet thick had been found in Chautauqua County.
In December 1881 the Winfield scales were discussed in the Winfield Courier.
“Now, Mr. Editor, that there is substance to the complaints was verified by three of my neighbors last Friday, December 9, in this way. Two of them had each a load of wheat, the other a load of hogs; before offering to sell, each had their loads weighed on Brotherton & Silver’s scales, taking tickets, then sold their loads, all weighing on the same scales. When these men had delivered their loads, each weighed their wagons on the B. & S. scales, taking tickets, then weighed on the scales they sold by. Result: one bushel of wheat short to each load and one dollar short on the load of hogs. When attention was called to the fact and B. & S.’s weigh bills shown, in justice be it said, the deficiency was paid over without demur.”
The city council acted on this matter at their December 19, 1881, meeting, appointing Brotherton & Silver as city weigh-masters for the next six months on compliance with the ordinances and laws of the city. They also granted A. G. Wilson the privileges of putting in scales on Main Street under the direction of the committee on streets and alleys.
The editor of the Winfield Courier commented on December 22, 1881: “The council, in the present condition of the city finances, did not think it advisable to purchase scales or go to any expense that could be avoided. Although we think it would have been much more satisfactory for the city to have taken the scale matter into its own hands, so far as we know Messrs. Brotherton & Silver are honorable men, and being sworn officers of the city cannot do other than their duty. The ordinance relating to the duties of weigh-master requires him to give a good and sufficient bond in the sum of $580 to be approved by the council for the faithful performance of his duties. He is required to have his scales tested once each quarter by the county clerk and as often thereafter as may be deemed necessary by the council. Any false weights made by said weigh-master subjects them to a fine of $100 and costs and a forfeiture of the license. The charges are fixed at 10 cents for each load. The ordinance further provides that in cases of all disputes on weights, the city scales shall govern.”
Mr. Hiram Brotherton was again elected as an officer at the annual meeting of the Knights of Honor in December 1881.
After the scales were checked, Brotherton & Silver became the official weigh-masters in December 1881 once more. On December 29, 1881, the editor of the Winfield Courier had one more article relative to the city scales.
“We learn of a very amusing circumstance in connection with the weight question in which the seller tried to get away with the buyer but made a wrong calculation. A man brought in eight loads of hogs and sold them with the understanding that they were to be weighed on Brotherton & Silver’s scales. These scales weigh both the team and wagon. The hogs were weighed on the B. & S. scales, then driven to the stockyards, unloaded, and weighed again. After unloading the eight teams drove down to the river to eat dinner, and while there the boys conceived the idea that it would be a good plan to water all the horses and weigh the water back at $5.25 a hundred. After watering they drove back, weighed the teams and wagons, and compared the results with the stockyard weights when their chuck-ling was turned into lamentations by the discovery that they were watered at the wrong time, and had lost three hundred pounds by the operation, or in dollars and cents $16.05. A bucket of water weighs about twenty pounds, so it seems that the sixteen horses drank an average of one bucket each. If the boys had watered just before they drove onto the scales, it might have been a slick thing. As it was, we are sorry the horses didn’t drink three buckets apiece. It’s only another endorsement of that old maxim ‘honesty is the best policy.’”
In January 1882 Hiram Brotherton became a member of an organization of businessmen, the “Merchants and Business Men’s Protective Association.” Their object: mutual protection against the class of men who obtain credit at one place as long as possible, then change to another, and so on around, and for heading off dead-beats of every kind.
After the adjournment of the meeting all repaired to the dining room of the Brettun and ate oysters and celery, drank coffee and cream, told vigorous stories of dead-beats and bill-jumpers, and treated each other to little bits of business experience that furnished points for future action. The supper was nicely served and thirty-nine sat down to the long table and took two or more dishes of “Oysters-loony style,” with fruit and lighter refreshments thrown in. One of the most unfortunate features of the supper was that there were no toasts.
The editor of the Cowley County Courant wrote an article on February 2, 1882, about the company formed in October 1881 by Hodges, Myton, Silver, Jennings, Asp, and others in Winfield, which spent over $5,000 in purchasing land leases, mining tools, and development of mines located eight miles south of Grenola in the Cana Valley. It paid off when the first car of Cana Valley coal arrived on February 1, 1882.
“From a scant vein of 14 inches, the show is now 20 inches, and a much better grade of coal. From a wagon load a day, their capacity has increased to 500 bushels. They are now able to supply the retail demand at the mines and ship from five to ten cars per week. Since the arrival of the Cana Valley coal to this market, our people have had time and opportunity to test its quality. It is pronounced by many that the Cana coal is far superior to any other grade of soft coal mined in the southwest. The coal is free from rock and slate, burns clean, and leaves only a white ash. There is no offensive gas which escapes from the stove; and no accumulation of soot in the pipe or flue. The company have very wisely made the reliable coal firm of A. H. Doane & Company their agents in Winfield, and will keep them supplied at all times with Cana coal, putting it in the market at the price of other soft coal.”
On February 9, 1882, Brotherton & Silver moved again. Their new seed store was several doors south of their old stand, located two doors north of the business establishment of J. B. Lynn, situated at the southwest corner of Main and 8th avenue.
In March 1882 Mr. A. G. Wilson was appointed city weigh-master in place of Brotherton & Silver, who resigned.
Hiram S. Silver was a member of the finance committee of the A. O. U. W. Society of Winfield, which sent out invitations to twenty-five lodges to attend a grand basket picnic in Riverside Park on May 25, 1882, arranging for transportation by special trains.
Both Brotherton and Silver were elected to the Board of Directors of the Winfield Cemetery Association on June 3, 1882. For the first time this association was out of debt and plans were made to beautify the grounds. There still remained $200 due for lots sold, some of them four or five years before. The Board passed a resolution that unless the money was paid within the next ninety days covering lots which had not been paid for, the bodies would be moved to paupers’ grounds.
On June 29, 1882, the Winfield Courier had an item of interest: “R. B. Pratt’s steam thresher, bought of Brotherton & Silver, arrived Saturday on the Santa Fe and was taken out by him Monday evening. He passed through the streets with the traction engine in full blast, and it drew much attention. The machine was put to work on Tuesday threshing out of the shock, and R. B. has already engaged all he can possibly thresh this year. This makes three or four steam threshers that have been turned loose in the county this season.”
In August 1882 Hiram Brotherton, delegate from the 2nd ward in Winfield, was also a member of the committee on credentials at the Republican county convention.
Brotherton & Silver were strong supporters of the annual Cowley County Fair. In September 1882 they won first premium for the best churn and had a very fine display of seeds and produce, entering some thirty or forty varieties, carrying off twelve premiums on Red wheat, rye, oats, timothy seed, blue grass, early potatoes, big pumpkins, and white wheat. They also had a fine display of watermelons and musk melons, exhibiting a Cuban queen watermelon, perfect in form, which weighed fifty-five pounds.
On July 26, 1883, Brotherton & Silver ran a large ad showing that they were dealers in agricultural implements and field seeds, Caldwell wagons, and Sulky Plows from $30 to $50.
By this time they were handling many products, among them Enterprise Wind-Mills, Baker Grain Drills, and McCormick’s Iron Mowers.
At the September 1883 Cowley County Fair, Hiram Brotherton was the superintendent in charge of agricultural implements, presenting a show that was larger than ever before held. S. H. Myton, Brotherton & Silver, and W. A. Lee had large exhibits and each carried off a number of blue ribbons.
Hiram Brotherton took a train for Harper, Kansas, in March 1884, where he wholesaled a bill of seeds. On Friday evening, April 25, 1884, H. T. Silver was the “Chief Cook” at a “Leap-year Basket social” held in the lecture room of the Presbyterian Church.
Both Brotherton and Silver were again elected as directors of the Winfield Cemetery Association in June 1884, when a balance of about $500 was reported in the treasury. The improvement and beautifying of the grounds was stressed, and each individual was asked to take hold and assist by improving their lots, which now cost $12.00 each. A report showed that 228 lots had been sold, leaving 475 lots to be sold. A sexton had been employed. The charge for digging graves was fixed at $2.00 to $4.00. There was a great need to obtain water for irrigating purposes.
Hiram Brotherton married Miss Isabel E. Lowe, usually referred to as “Belle,” in January 1885 at the home of her parents in Winfield. They became the proud parents of a little girl in November 1885.
Hiram S. Silver became board president of the Winfield Cemetery Association in 1885. He gave notice that during decoration services on May 30, 1885, no teams would be allowed on the grounds of the cemetery except the ambulance wagon, and the public was requested to keep off the mound in the center of the grounds and the lots of private individuals.
In May 1885 Brotherton & Silver joined with W. A. Lee in complaining about “wicked little vandals carrying off rods to machinery, corn plow shovels, and various things.”
Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Silver rarely joined in social gatherings in Winfield, but they attended the 30th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Hunt in December 1885.
On Christmas morning in 1885 Mr. H. S. Silver got a rig and distributed presents donated by Presbyterian members in Winfield to needy families: flour, meal, potatoes, clothing, etc.
Brotherton & Silver, like many business entities, were sued from time to time. In January 1886 they settled a case between them and Field & Co., a St. Louis agricultural implement firm, after a jury had been empaneled and evidence begun. Pending a motion to one of the defendants’ answer, a compromise was effected and the jury dismissed, Brotherton & Silver agreeing to pay $87.50.
Mr. Hiram S. Silver was compelled to retire from active work in 1918 from the Silver Seed Store. Mr. Silver was a typical southerner and real sociability and hospitality were dominant characteristics of his life. He delighted in growing flowers and vegetables and sharing them with his friends. Nearing his 82nd birthday, Mr. Silver died at the family home, 712 East Twelfth avenue, Winfield, in February 1919. He was interred in Union cemetery.
C. A. Bliss. City Councilman.
Mr. Charles A. Bliss, born in the state of New York and formerly of the firm of Bliss & Lee of Topeka, came to Winfield in 1870 with his wife, Julia, and joined into a partnership with A. W. Tousey, his brother-in-law, married to Jennie S. Bliss. Bliss & Tousey purchased the small stock of Baker & Manning in September 1870. They brought in a large stock of mercantile goods and soon became the leading businessmen in town. In March 1871 Bliss, Tousey & Co. moved into a mammoth building, 84 feet long and 22 feet wide, in Winfield. C. A. Bliss became the postmaster and stage agent at Winfield upon the death of A. W. Tousey in the fall of 1871. The store did a large business during the years 1871-1873 while new citizens came in by the hundreds. Mrs. Jennie S. Tousey retained her interest in the store, which changed its name to C. A. Bliss & Co.
In June 1872 C. A. Bliss and Joseph C. Blandin decided to go ahead with a flour mill project, hoping to have it completed by early winter 1872. From five to twenty loads of rock began passing through Winfield each day to their site on the Walnut river just west of the City limits. Bliss made a trip to Indian Territory and purchased horses and ponies in June 1872 for sale and also began to provide teams to transport people wishing to go to Oxford, Pleasant Valley, and other places.
In July 1872 C. A. Bliss began constructing a residence on the corner of Fuller and 10th.
By October 1872 the flour mill of Bliss & Blandin was making progress, with work starting on the second story of the stone 40 by 45 foot building, which would be three and a half stories above the flume. By January 1873 the mill was nearing completion. Thus far Messrs. C. A. Bliss and J. C. Blandin had expended $20,000 and it was estimated that another $5,000 wold be spent before completion of the building. Ten teams arrived from the railroad in mid-January 1873 bringing the new machinery for Bliss & Blandin’s grist mill. The mill contemplated being in running order by March 1, 1873.
The March 7, 1873, election in Winfield was a “stormy” event inasmuch as there were two separate tickets. The first ticket (the “City Ticket”) showed the following slate.
For Mayor, J. B. Fairbank; For Police Judge, Wallis M. Boyer; For Councilmen, Owen F. Boyle, A. T. Stewart, Jas. P. Short, James D. Cochran, and James M. Dever.
The second ticket (the Citizen’s Ticket”), which won, showed the following slate.
For Mayor, W. H. H. Maris; For Police Judge; A. A. Jackson; For Councilmen: Owen F. Boyle, Samuel C. Smith, Jas. D. Cochran, Hiram S. Silver, Chas. A. Bliss.
The Winfield Courier was established on January 1, 1873, and was handled by its editor, R. S. Waddell. Mr. J. C. Lillie was foreman. On March 13, 1873, both editor Waddell and foreman Lillie, printed a number of items concerning events leading up to the March 7, 1873, election, criticizing the actions of Mr. C. A. Bliss.
Mr. Lillie had the following to say: “Now, as I polled my vote, Mr. Bliss seized me by the collar, and leading me into the middle of the street, demanded of me my right to oppose the ticket upon which his name appeared, and stated in the presence of witnesses that the ‘jig was up with all patronage of the COURIER from him and his friends,’ and that ‘I and R. S. Waddell had been carrying water on both shoulders and throwing dirt promiscuously at the Citizen’s Ticket, which he had the honor of supporting.
“I wish to say to Mr. Bliss, just here, inasmuch as he has blown his horn so loudly, I exercise the right of franchise to suit my own feelings and preferences in the matter, and if he wishes to withdraw his patronage in connection with that of his friends from this office, he has a perfect right to do so.
“And I will further state for the benefit of the gentleman, that he has placed himself in a very erroneous position, by accusing and associating my name in a business connection with that of R. S. Waddell, as well also as saddling us together in the matter of support to any ticket before an employee of Mr. Waddell’s in the COURIER office, and I exercise all rights of constitutional liberty without the aid of any man, suiting my own feelings in the matter; and in my opinion, Mr. Waddell possesses the same happy faculty of understanding himself in matters of this character. It is now left to you, Mr. Bliss, to make all the electioneering capital (in the absence of Mr. Waddell) out of this new cut and shuffle that you can, but in the meantime, I beg of you to adhere as strictly as possible, to truthful statements, and in no wise speak of R. S. Waddell in connection with myself.”
Mr. Waddell made the following comments: “In a recent interview with Mr. Bliss he gave us choice of three alternatives: either compromise principle by discharging Mr. Lillie from our service; condemn him through the columns of the next paper; or consider his (Mr. Bliss’) patronage withdrawn from the COURIER. . . .”
On March 27, 1873, the paper was sold to James Kelly, who became the editor.
It was noted in the March 27, 1873, issue of the Winfield Courier that Bliss & Blandin’s mill was grinding corn for twenty miles and around and the mill was still not crowded. By April 24, 1873, two run of burrs had been put it; Bliss & Blandin contemplated adding two more to the mill, which was being run by water power after a splendid rock dam had been built. In May 1873 the dam was washed out due to a flood and the fact that the west end of the dam was not completed in its circle as it was intended to be finished. In June 1873 J. C. Blandin purchased a half interest in the Koehler & Covert mill, known as the “Tunnel Mill.”
On August 6, 1873, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Bliss lost their adopted daughter, a child about seven months of age. On the very same day, John W. Millspaugh, Receiver, pursuant to the order of Cowley County District Court, 13th Judicial District, State of Kansas, placed a notice that the grist and flouring mill, mill property, and water privilege belonging to Bliss and Blandin would be sold at public auction on Monday, September 8, 1873, to settle the suit brought by Charles A. Bliss against Joseph C. Blandin. On August 21, 1873, the Winfield Courier had an article stating that the suit of Charles A. Bliss versus Joseph C. Blandin had been settled, Mr. Bliss purchasing Mr. Blandin’s interest in the mill.
On December 19, 1873, the mill of Mr. C. A. Bliss was in running order.
On February 6, 1874, the Winfield Courier had an item stating that C. A. Bliss had the hams of thirteen hogs in his smoke house undergoing the curing process and the belief was expressed that this was the largest lot of hams ever cured at one time in Cowley County.
A younger brother of C. A. Bliss, E. Spencer Bliss, came to Winfield in 1874 and married Mrs. Mina Hawkins of Winfield on March 31, 1874. On the same date Mrs. Jennie S. Tousey, sister of C. A. and E. S. Bliss, married Rev. N. L. Rigby, pastor of the Baptist church in Winfield.
A social was held at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Bliss in April 1874 by the ladies of the Baptist Church and congregation. In December the “Winfield Ladies Aid Society” was formed. Mrs. C. A. Bliss was the first president and her sister-in-law, Mrs. N. L. Rigby, the first secretary. The society began to meet weekly on Friday.
In February 1875 the friends of Mr. and Mrs. Bliss, including members of the “Winfield Ladies Aid Society,” met at the Bliss’ residence to celebrate their 20th anniversary with a “China Wedding.” An elegant china tea set was presented to them before supper was served.
By timely exertion, Mr. Bliss was fortunate enough to save the dam at his mill west of Winfield in April 1876 when it was seriously threatened by the Walnut river after soaking rains caused the springs and streams to fill up.
Mayor Millington appointed newly elected councilman C. A. Bliss in April 1876 to be a member of two committees: on streets, alleys, and sidewalks; and on fire.
In May 1876 Bliss & Co. were hard at work repairing the dam at the stone mill when Timber Creek flooded and by noon the bridge crossing it had left its moorings. Men worked feverishly carrying all the wheat and flour into the upper story of the mill and used ropes and axes to keep flood wood away from the upper bridge. The mill was damaged to the amount of $500, but soon became operational. A week later it was determined that the bridge at Bliss’ mill was in a bad condition as the abutments on both sides of the river were cracked. Thousands of pounds of fish were being caught daily at Bliss’ mill dam.
Mr. E. Spencer Bliss experienced health problems soon after he was married in Winfield and moved with his wife to various locations trying to recover. In May 1876 they were living in the state of New York when they became the proud parents of twins: a boy and a girl.
In June 1876 water started to make a big hole in Bliss’ dam. Time and money were needed to repair the damage. At the same time great numbers of fish were thrown from Bliss’ mill race with pitchforks by fishermen. The fish got caught in the race when the gate was shut down for the night and allowed several hundred pounds to be taken out.
Bliss’ mill became known as the “Winfield City Mills” in June 1876 at the time Mr. J. Ex. Saint was promoted from salesman at Bliss’ store to miller-in-chief of the mills. Mr. C. A. Bliss hired Pratt’s steam thresher to handle his wheat field, located southeast of Winfield.
On July 3, 1876, the city council appointed A. B. Lemmon and C. A. Bliss as a committee to confer with the board of County Commissioners in regard to disposing of the city jail to the county.
Councilman Bliss made a motion at the October 1876 city council meeting that $30 be paid out of the city treasury to the Chicago Journal of Commerce for one cut of the courthouse and for the advertising of the city of Winfield. M. G. Troup and H. Brotherton agreed to his motion while A. B. Lemmon and T. B. Myers voted against it. The motion being carried, the city clerk was instructed to credit the treasury with the same.
In October 1876 Bliss completed repairs on his mill dam and the mill began running under full pressure.
In November 1876 Mr. J. A. Earnest, of Topeka, came to Winfield looking for a storeroom to rent. On December 21, 1876, the Winfield Courier advertised the firm of Bliss, Earnest & Co., proprietors of the Mammoth Dry Goods and Grocery House in Winfield.
On April 4, 1877, R. L. “Dick” Walker, assumed two positions: he was now “Sheriff Walker” and “Mayor Walker,” winning the election for Winfield mayor at the April 2nd election. Soon after Walker became Mayor, while standing on a pile of rocks at the bridge located at Bliss’ mill and observing some boys fishing, he fell, receiving two bruises on his forehead and having the skin pulled off his left cheek.
In June 1877 a new force pump, with seventy-five feet of hose, was put in the public well opposite Bliss & Co.’s store.
The dam at Bliss’ mill was damaged in August 1877 due to high water.
Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Bliss, accompanied by their twin children, Bertie and Birdie, were on their way back to Winfield from New York State in August 1877 when first one and then the other child became sick: one of them dying at Burlington, Iowa, and the other at Wichita, Kansas. Upon their arrival in Winfield, Spencer Bliss was confined to his home due to sickness.
Mr. and Mrs. E. Spencer Bliss became the parents of a son in October 1877 and Mr. Bliss began making additions to his residence and started building a barn.
On October 19, 1877, C. A. Bliss and his brother, E. Spencer Bliss, bought out the interests of Mrs. Jennie S. Rigby and Mr. J. A. Earnest in the general store of Bliss, Earnest & Co., and the new firm name became “Bliss & Co.” The following Bliss brothers began to handle the merchandise business only: Charles A. Bliss, E. Spencer Bliss, and Elbert H. Bliss. Mr. C. A. Bliss alone remained the proprietor of the flouring mill.
Celina Bliss, a sister of Chas. A. Bliss, a resident of New York, stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Bliss in 1878 while she attended the Normal Institute. She soon became a teacher in Cowley County, teaching in many of the area schools, and was noted as a fine organist.
In June 1878 a devastating storm struck. As the water in Timber Creek began to slowly subside, the water in the Walnut began to rise. At the Bliss mill the water came up to within 16 inches of the bridge. Bliss had a large quantity of flour in sacks in his mill, and the hands set to work moving it into the upper story; but the rise was so rapid that about 10,000 pounds of flour was caught on the main floor, and was of course a loss. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss got caught at Oxford on the morning of the great storm. Abandoning team and wife, Mr. Bliss somehow got home covered with mud. He recovered his wife the next day.
In August 1878 Bliss & Co.’s petition for a sidewalk was granted by the city council.
Bliss & Co. began making pressed brick in August 1878 at their brick yard across the river opposite the Winfield Mills, putting up a kiln of 200,000 bricks. The bricks were expected to be much superior to ordinary molded brick. They soon lost 15,000 by dissolution either from perspiration of the workmen or late rains. In April 1879 Bliss & Co. hired an experienced brick-maker, purchased 800 cords of wood, and proposed to make two millions of pressed brick. By this time they had one kiln nearly burned, almost ready for the market, kept in an extensive drying shed that was constructed so that it could be opened to the sun or closed against the rain at five minutes’ notice.
In January 1879 both Chas. A. Bliss and E. Spencer Bliss were elected as trustees for the year by the Baptist Church as plans and specifications for a new building neared completion.
In April 1879 C. A. Bliss began putting in a new stone dam for his water power at the Winfield Mills, hoping that this time he would be putting in a dam that would stay. It was noted in June, two months later, that a large number of teams were at work hauling stone for the mill dam—some of the rocks being so large that only one stone could be hauled at a load. Bliss was spending thousands of dollars in this enterprise, laying the rocks in the best cement. He cut a deeper race in the solid rock below the mill, allowing him more power and doubling the capacity of the Winfield Mills.
Mr. E. Spencer Bliss retired from the firm of Bliss & Co., on account of failing health in July 1879.
Demise of Winfield Township and Birth of Walnut Township.
On February 27, 1879, Kansas Governor John P. St. John signed a proclamation making Winfield a city of the second class. In the spring of 1879 the combined population of the city of Winfield and Winfield township was 3,381. On Monday, July 7, 1879, at a meeting of the Cowley County commissioners, “Winfield township” was replaced by a new entity called “Walnut township.” Winfield was left a municipality of itself surrounded by the townships of Vernon, Rock, Pleasant Valley, and Walnut township. Overnight, reference was made to “old Winfield township.”
Walnut township was composed of the eastern and northern portions of the old township of Winfield and a slice off the southern portion of Rock township; the southern portion of Winfield township became part of Pleasant Valley township, including the south bridge and the Tunnel Mill; and the western portion of Winfield township became part of Vernon township, including both of the west bridges and Bliss’ mill.
Pursuant to call, the citizens of Walnut township met at the courthouse in Winfield on July 12, 1879, and organized by electing J. H. Curfman as chairman and T. A. Blanchard as secretary. T. A. Blanchard, D. Robertson, and S. E. Burger were elected as the Walnut Township Republican committee. Robert Weakly, John Mentch, and John Hoenscheidt were then appointed as a committee on nominations, who, after due deliberation, made a report, which was received and unanimously adopted, showing a slate for Walnut Township officers as follows: trustee, J. C. Roberts; treasurer, Joel Mack; clerk, T. A. Blanchard; Justices of the Peace, J. L. King and S. E. Burger; Constables, T. J. Johnson and Abraham Land. Messrs. Mentch and Hoenscheidt were appointed a committee to procure ballots. The entire Walnut Township slate of officers nominated on July 12, 1879, was elected on July 22, 1879.
Editor Millington complained in the Winfield Courier on July 24, 1879.
“The foolish business of cutting and slashing up townships, which commenced in this place by making it a city of the second class, has been continued. While we were absent, the new township of Walnut was made and Winfield township was whittled to pieces. We are disgusted with the whole business. Nothing but harm will be the result. Winfield has lost much of the value of its schools by weakening them, has assumed a much more expensive city government, and cut itself off from its best helpers and supporters. The change of township lines has done no one any good, while it has complicated everything and will doubtless lead to much litigation and bad blood. If anyone expects that these changes will in any way release him from taxes on the bridge bonds, he will find himself mistaken.”
At the scheduled meeting of Cowley County Commissioners R. F. Burden, G. L. Gale, and W. M. Sleeth on Monday, July 28, 1879, J. C. Roberts, trustee of the newly created township of Walnut, asked for a levy of two mills for contingent purposes. County Clerk M. G. Troup and County Attorney E. S. Torrance, not being able to determine as to the lawful manner of collecting the tax, the commissioners adjourned to meet on the first Monday of September without taking action in the matter.
The August 7, 1879, issue of the Winfield Courier had the following item.
“From Mr. J. C. Roberts, who at present has charge of the old books of Winfield township, we have learned a few facts regarding the condition of the township. The floating indebtedness is $5,714.74. The bonded indebtedness is $19,000, of which the first bond of $2,000 was due Aug. 1, and $2,000 on the first days of February and August of each year until paid. The August installment has been paid and there is money enough in the treasury to pay the next semi-annual installment, which reduces it to fifteen thousand dollars. The question is now pending whether the commissioners can levy a bond tax on the territory comprising old Winfield township. The county attorney has the matter under consideration and the commissioners meet the first Monday in September to hear the opinion of the attorney and if possible make the levy. If the commissioners cannot levy the tax on the present assessment, the bonds coming due in 1880 cannot be paid, nor the interest accruing thereon. There should be no difficulty about levying this bond tax. It should be levied on all the property contained within the lines of old Winfield township and no other, and we deem it the duty of the commissioners to see it done disregarding any legal quirk that may be raised adversely.”
More information was given by the Winfield Courier one week later, on August 14, 1879.
“We interviewed J. C. Roberts, the trustee of Walnut township. He admits that he was one of the workers in getting the Walnut township scheme, and that he circulated petitions by the ‘pale light of the moon,’ but denies that his acts or those of any other men, who were active in the scheme, were the result of a desire to escape from the liability to pay their just proportion of the old Winfield township debt. They desire to pay such proportion and no more. He says they were compelled to this action in self defense by the action the city had taken; that so long as the city was a part of Winfield township, the township board could levy the tax to pay principal and interest of the bonds and incidental expenses on all the property of the township; but when the city by the acts of her citizens obtained an organization as a city of the second class, the township board could no longer levy a tax on the personal property in the city, and the city could not levy a township tax so that the city would escape its just proportion unless the city authorities should determine to levy the tax anyhow; that the bridge at Bliss’ Mill needs a considerable expense to secure it from danger and destruction, and that the city authorities refused to assist in that matter, claiming that they had no jurisdiction and showed a disposition to saddle the whole debt upon those outside the city, as in fact they seemed to believe they had done; that lawyers advised him and his associates to that effect. He says that the men left in Winfield township had but one of two things to do: either to pay the whole bonded debt amounting to some $16,000 and interest, which the city men had voted upon the township, and the $5,721.74 of floating debt, which city men had contracted; or to put the balance of the township in a way that it could not be compelled to pay more than its just proportion. He says they studied the matter carefully and determined upon the latter. They worked secretly because they knew they would otherwise probably be defeated. He says he made a demand of the county commissioners that they should levy a tax on Walnut township sufficient to pay its proportion of the floating debt and the maturing bonded debt and interest; also, a small tax for incidental expenses, that he did not name; a two mill tax as we stated last week.
“We shall have to admit that the foolish move of organizing the city as second class evidently placed our Walnut friends in a bad predicament and that they had a show of justification for the course they took to get out of it. The more we learn of its effects, the more we see that the second class move plunged us into a labyrinth of difficulties. . . .”
On August 28, 1879, the announcement was made that the bridge across the Walnut, at Bliss’ mill, had been “closed for repairs,” the bridge being in a dilapidated condition.
By September 1879 Mr. C. A. Bliss was using between 200 and 300 barrels of cement to repair his dam. Due to low water the Winfield Mills stopped for repairs; as a result, flour became scarce.
On September 18, 1879, a progress report was given by a Winfield Courier reporter on a railroad being built from Wichita. The gang of track-layers and the construction train were hard at work on this end of the Cowley, Sumner & Ft. Smith railroad, and track would be completed down to Bliss’ brick-yard within days. The south pier of the railroad bridge was almost completed. The gangs would then proceed to put on the north pier, working night and day, and expected to have the piers ready for the bridge by September 27, 1879.
In October 1879 Governor St. John spoke at the fair grounds to a large crowd, giving advice in regard to small farming and machinery. That evening a party of Winfield citizens, numbering thirty-seven, met at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Bliss to pay their respects to the Governor, partaking of a splendid supper, followed by conversation and music.
In December 1879 Mr. W. L. Morehouse purchased the lot on the corner of Main Street and 10th avenue from Mr. C. A. Bliss for $1,200. He planned to erect a two-story brick building 25 feet by 80 feet, the first floor of which would be occupied by Messrs. Hendricks & Wilson, hardware dealers. Also, in December 1879 Baird Bros. purchased the lot on which Dr. Graham’s office stood, and began erection of a two-story dry goods building, 25 feet by 100 feet, with basement. They outlined that the first floor would be used as a retail department; the second floor as a wholesale department; and the basement for ware rooms.
In January 1880 Bliss & Co. sold their store building and lot to Mrs. Linticum for $1,575, retaining possession until May 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss departed later that month for the East, planning to be absent two or three months visiting friends. Their trip was cut short when Mrs. Bliss became ill. They returned in late March 1880.
In April 1880 Mr. C. A. Bliss sold his mill to Messrs. Wood, Wolf, and Williams, of Ohio, for $25,000.
A formal announcement was not made of C. A. Bliss selling the brick yard; however, on May 13, 1880, W. W. Green was advertising his brick yard north of Bliss’ Mill, across the river, stating that he had 160,000 on hand and for sale at reasonable prices.
In late June 1880 a social was held at on the grounds of the Bliss residence, illuminated with Chinese lanterns and tables under the trees for the Baptist building fund.
Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Bliss departed in July 1880 for the east due to her being ill.
In November 1880 the firm of Bliss & Co. ceased to exist. John M. Wilson, from Winchester, Illinois, settled in Douglass for a year. He then came to Winfield and purchased the large stock of goods held by Bliss & Co., and established a store.
Late in November 1880 Mrs. C. A. Bliss returned, apparently in better health.
On December 9, 1880, the Winfield Courier announced that C. A. Bliss had bought an interest in his old mill again and would again engage in buying wheat and selling flour. The new firm would be called “Bliss and Wood.”
Benjamin F. Wood and Chas. A. Bliss worked well together. Like Bliss, Mr. Wood was a member of the Baptist church. They decided in January 1881 to put in a 100-horsepower engine, tired of trusting solely to water for power.
On January 20, 1881, the Winfield Courier printed the following article.
“We are called upon to record accident No. 3 on the old man-trap of a bridge near Bliss’ mill. Saturday night, one , after filling himself with liquor, started home. The team seemed to be imbued with the master’s spirits, and commenced running. They turned the corner of the Christie residence, spilled the man out, and rushed for the old bridge; but the bridge wasn’t there, neither was there fence or posts to check their progress.
“They had gained considerable momentum and of course plunged over the abutment, and fell thirty feet to the ice below. The wagon was smashed to atoms. One horse had his leg broken, and laid on the log for twenty-four hours before anyone removed him; and the other horse got up, walked across on the ice, and went on home. If the man hadn’t been drunk, he would not have fallen out, and would probably have been killed; consequently, liquor saved his life. Another argument for the free whiskey forces.”
Elbert H. Bliss, a brother of C. A. Bliss, married in February 1881 a lady from Angelica, New York. He became a traveling salesman for B. C. Clark & Co., queensware merchants.
C. A. Bliss and B. F. Wood, through hard work, made the Winfield City Mills of Bliss & Wood prosperous. In May 1881 Mr. Bliss gave an account of the mill: “This mill is a large, substantial structure on the Walnut river at Winfield, built of stone. The fall of water is eight feet, and there is plenty of power except at rare seasons, when we use steam power, having a 100 horsepower engine. We can make 24,000 pounds of flour a day, doing more than we did a year ago. I think there is plenty of wheat in the county to keep the mills going until another crop is brought in. Prices are about the same as a year ago. We ship most of our flour to Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. We can ship three carloads a week besides supplying our home demand, which is considerably larger than it was last year. . . .”
R. Spencer Bliss became active as a salesman for Bliss & Wood in April 1882.
Mrs. Julia M. Bliss, aged 45 years, died in Winfield on Monday, June 26, 1882. She was living in Beloit, Wisconsin, at the time she met and married Chas. A. Bliss on February 7, 1855. They were both converted and baptized into the fellowship of the Beloit Baptist Church. In 1870 they came to Winfield, remaining active in Baptist Church activities.
In August 1882 Messrs. Bliss & Wood made arrangements to rebuild their mill on a larger and better scale after a devastating fire destroyed it, the loss being $50,000. In August 1882 the new five-story mill was in operation. The first, or basement story, was a perfect network of shafting, machinery, and elevator ends. On the second floor were the seventeen double sets of rollers and the flour packing apparatus. Wheat was received in an elevator of 35,000 bushels capacity. The new mill was valued at $100,000.
In April 1883 Mr. C. A. Bliss sold his residence to his brother, E. H. Bliss for $4,500.
In May 1883 Bliss & Wood’s warehouse, near the railroad switch, went down with over 180,00 pounds of flour after the braces under the floor gave way. Two tons were a dead loss.
Mr. C. A. Bliss married Mrs. M. L. Jewell of Winfield at Topeka, Kansas, in September 1883. On July 6, 1885, Mr. C. A. Bliss, at the age of fifty-five years, became a father for the first time at the birth of a son.
In July 1885 the four milling firms (Bliss & Wood of Winfield, Searing & Mead of Arkansas City, V. M. Ayres of Arkansas City, and the Arkansas City Roller Mill Company) which had joined together as the “Arkansas City Navigation Company,” took a delegation of businessmen and reporters down the Arkansas river on the initial voyage of their new steamer, the “Kansas Millers.” Bliss & Wood sold their one-third interest in the “Kansas Millers” to parties at Ft. Smith, Arkansas, in 1886.
New Bliss & Wood Bridge.
A sore point for many years, the need for a replacement of the “Bliss & Wood bridge,” as it became known, was finally settled.
The city council of Winfield awarded a contract to Smith Bridge Company, of Toledo, Ohio, to erect the Bliss & Wood bridge (as well as a bridge called the Ninth Avenue bridge) in April 1886. The Bliss & Wood bridge had two 100 foot spans, with bed-rock abutments. The superstructure cost $4,442 and the masonry, contracted by Charley Schmidt with H. C. Campbell, agent of the Smith Bridge Co., cost $568. It was expected that travel could once more be made over the Bliss & Wood bridge by August 1886.
Samuel J. Darrah. City Councilman.
Mr. Samuel Darrah was a member of Company K, 1st Ohio Cavalry, and later moved to Missouri before arriving in Winfield, Kansas, with his wife Philena and three children.
In July 1872 Mr. Darrah moved his livery stable to 8th avenue just east of the Lagonda House, where it was centrally located. His stock, buggies, and carriages were enclosed in a good yard and accommodations for freighters and travelers were unsurpassed.
Mr. Darrah was on the first board of trustees for the Presbyterian Church, which was started January 19, 1873, by Rev. A. R. Naylor.
In March 1874 Mr. W. B. Doty became a partner of Mr. Darrah in the livery stable.
In February 1875 Samuel Darrah journeyed down the Arkansas River with two of his friends in a flat boat as far as Fort Gibson, where they bought ponies to bring them back. Darrah became convinced that this would be a practicable route to ship grain to Fort Smith.
Mr. A. G. Wilson of Elk Falls, Kansas bought out Mr. Doty’s interest in the livery stable in July 1875. Mr. Darrah left again in October 1875 for Fort Gibson while his partner, Wilson, managed the business. He began to put up hay to ship south via the Arkansas river when he became ill, and attempted to return home. He failed so fast that death overtook him at a trading ranch fifteen miles below Elgin, in the Indian Territory on November 10, 1875.
R. B. Saffold. City Councilman.
Reuben B. Saffold, born in Georgia, was about thirty-five years old and single when he came to Winfield. He and J. M. Alexander advertised in March 1871 the Alexander & Saffold Dry Goods & Groceries firm at the corner of Broadway and 5th avenue, south of the Walnut Valley House. In October 1871 Messrs. Mullen & Stevens, formerly of Baxter Springs, opened a wholesale liquor store in the former location of Alexander & Stafford.
By March 1872 the team of Alexander & Saffold, attorneys, had purchased law books from Philadelphia, paying over $1,000 for them, to add to their already fair library in their office located in the stone building on 9th avenue, east of Main Street, Winfield, Kansas.
R. B. Saffold was being addressed as “Judge Saffold,” by the time he went east to attend the Baltimore Convention in June 1872. He returned in August, sporting a Greeley hat.
In October 1872, R. B. Saffold was nominated by acclamation for county attorney at the Liberal Nominating Convention held in Winfield. He lost.
At the third annual fair of the Cowley County Agricultural Society, held in September 1873, Judge Saffold won first prize for his saddle horse.
Judge Saffold boarded at the Bradish House. In November 1873 he became quite ill and visited friends in Kentucky while recuperating, returning in late November to Winfield.
Judge Saffold maintained a fine dairy farm near Winfield. In November 1873 it was noted that he had imported a splendid short-horn Durham bull calf, five months old, weighing five hundred pounds from Kentucky. The animal cost the Judge $500. The Judge at that time had one of the most complete herds of fine Durhams in Cowley County.
In January 1874 Judge Saffold put in a handsome stone walk in front of one of his lots on Main Street. In February 1874 Burt Covert recovered a pair of horses stolen from Judge Saffold months before and taken to Howard County.
Judge Saffold was appointed as a member of the finance committee at the April 20, 1874, meeting of the city council when he became one of the councilmen.
James Kelly, editor of the Winfield Courier in 1874, carried on a feud with a rival newspaper, the Telegram, and a group that he called the “Post Office Ring,” saying that the Telegram was for anybody or anything that would keep T. K. Johnston in the Post Office at Winfield, and serve the interests of its masters, Read & Robinson, and Alexander & Saffold.
On September 25, 1874, Kelly voiced his opposition to the “ring,” which had nominated R. B. Saffold for State Senator.
On October 2, 1874, James Kelly, Courier editor, again spoke about Judge Saffold.
“J. M. Alexander, Saffold’s law partner, says of that gentleman, in the Telegram last week; that he is a ‘farmer.’ True, he don’t do the work himself as his republican opponent Col. St. Clair does. ‘But ’tis because his health is not good.’ The statement that Judge Saffold’s health is not good will be news to his friends. Judge Saffold is a man about 38 years of age, over six feet high, and weighs 175 or 180 pounds, and is one of the healthiest looking men in Kansas. We have known the Judge for some years and don’t remember ever hearing of his being sick but once, and that was during the past summer. Judge Saffold is one of the few, fortunate young men who was raised in the state of Georgia, who perhaps never did a day’s work in his life, whose daily employment was going to school, and highest enjoyment to larrup a ‘nigger.’ On coming of age he chose the law profession which we believe he has practiced ever since. ‘When the war broke out,’ Alec. further tells us, ‘Judge Saffold was forced into the army against his wishes and in order that he might do the Union as little damage as possible, he chose the least conspicuous position in it. ‘So much so,’ continues Alec., ‘that he was often in imminent danger of his life.’ Now we appeal to every soldier, on either side, if the least conspicuous position in the army wasn’t also the least dangerous. The fact is that Mr. Saffold was a Commissary Sergeant during the war and of course it was not conspicuous. But of course, also, it wasn’t dangerous, as Alec. would have us believe. Another funny thing is, that Saffold being forced into the army, i.e., conscripted, that he could choose where and how he would serve. Had Alexander left that part of his record out entirely, it would have been better for Judge Saffold. Or if he had owned up manfully to his having been a rebel and volunteering in the army, no one would have found any fault with him on that ground. But the pitiful excuse made for him by his law partner ought to snow him under worse than ever. Now he has no claim on those who served in the Southern Army and he certainly never had any on Union men. Of course, Alexander thought that we would show up Mr. Saffold’s war record so he thought he would be out first. The truth is, Alec., we would have done no such thing. For besides having considerable personal regard for Judge Saffold, we have no ill will against a man for having served his time manfully in the rebel army. But for such a soldier as described by Alexander, we have the most profound contempt.”
Judge Saffold was beat by over 300 votes in his attempt to become a State Senator in the November 1874 election. By April 1875 Saffold & Alexander were no longer law partners.
In August 1875 Judge R. B. Saffold made a trip to Galveston, Texas. In early September it was noted that he was eating bananas and oranges on the “promenade” at Galveston, Texas, while his friends were fighting flies and cholera morbus there. He returned to Winfield soon afterwards to a dwindling law practice. In November 1875 he advertised that he would sell his blooded cattle, swine, and horses at public auction. Instead, he sold his herd of cattle and hogs at a private sale that month, retaining his sheep herd. Ed. Strickland maintained Judge Saffold’s sheep farm on Black Crook east of Winfield. In April 1877 Mr. Strickland, living on Judge Saffold’s farm, was awakened by a very heavy clap of thunder. In a few moments he realized that the shed containing 300 sheep had been struck by lightning and was on fire. Despite his endeavors to rescue them, over 200 sheep burned to death.
title to the courthouse ground and many prominent men of the county approved the measure.
Judge R. B. Saffold spent some time in New York in 1880. In April 1881 he visited friends in Winfield, informing them that he was currently a resident of San Francisco, California. All contact with him ceased after that.
J. P. McMillen. City Councilman.
J. P. McMillen and his partner, J. T. Shields, left Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio, and came to Winfield in November 1872, establishing a general merchandise store in the Old Log Store. Shields returned to Wooster, leaving McMillen to run the Winfield store. Mr. McMillen prospered; as a result, his family came to Winfield in June 1873. In August 1873 Mr. McMillen became ill for some time. In November 1873 a two-story stone dwelling house in the south part of Winfield was completed for the McMillen family.
In April 1874 McMillen became a city councilman. He was a member of the committee on streets and sidewalks and a committee to obtain an enclosed pound. At the May 4, 1874, meeting the latter committee reported they had done nothing toward providing for a pound, and asked further time, which was granted, and the committee was authorized to purchase a suitable lot for said pound, and to fence the same. They procured a pound in January 1875 from Nate Roberson, on which the rent of $1 per month was paid.
In May 1874 the firm of McMillen & Shields moved to the former drug store of A. H. Green, two doors north of the post office. Two years later, in May 1876, McMillen & Shields moved to the store north of S. H. Myton’s Hardware Store, on the west side of Main Street. A new innovation, counter stools for the ladies to sit on while talking to the obliging attendants, was provided. By July 1876 Mr. McMillen was suffering severely from asthma attacks and went to northern Colorado to see if his health might be improved. He returned in September. In January 1877 McMillen & Shields commenced selling for cash or corn many of their goods. The Harter Brothers purchased their stock in September 1877 and took over the McMillen & Shields store. In that same month Mr. John P. McMillen took over the Howard House, run by a former Winfield citizen, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the hope that his asthma might be cured. His family soon departed for Colorado.
On November 23, 1878, Mr. McMillen wrote a letter from Colorado Springs in which he stated that he had not suffered from asthma as yet and weighed 20 lbs. more since he left Winfield. In April 1879 it was learned that Mrs. McMillen had died of pneumonia at her residence in Colorado. In July 1879 D. A. Millington visited with Mr. McMillen, who was running the Central Hotel at Colorado Springs, and found him rugged and hearty, having no trace of the asthma with which he was near his end when he started for Colorado.
By November 1880 Mr. J. P. McMillen had become a salesman for a Chicago mercantile firm, making trips in Colorado and New Mexico.